Monday, January 16, 2006

Okay, this sucks.

It’s not like I didn’t know I’d have to spend money this month. It’s not like I didn’t know that my rent would be due or my cell phone bill or that I’d want to go out with friends and that often involves restaurants and movies or that I’d need to buy stuff I needed to bring to Africa with me.

I planned on all of this. I factored it in. I have money. And there will be money being spent in Dakar, because despite what everyone thinks, it’s a big city, with big city rent and prices, and I knew this.

And then my iPod broke. (And by the way, all you marathon runners, hard-drive-based mp3 players break when you run with them. They didn't tell me that when I bought it. But it's true. They. break.) But I am Apple’s bitch, and I don’t want not to have an iPod. So I bought a nano.

But I need a voice recorder for the being a journalist thing, and the new iPods don’t work with the microphone attachments that were made for the old iPods (not that I had a microphone attachment for my old iPod, but I was going to buy one). So now I need to buy a tape recorder or a digital voice recorder or go without.

And then my car got towed. And then I was driving home and I backed into (VERY slowly) the front bumper of some guy from Sierrra Leone’s car and ended up giving him money (and by the way, he’s single and lonely, and would love it if I called him, as he said, “all the time”) and it’s a long story, and I was tired, and I would have handled it completely differently now that I’ve thought it over, but I didn’t know what to do and he took advantage of it, and well, there’s another $100 gone.

And then I noticed that my brakes were… whistling? I could describe it if I were on CarTalk and on the radio, but I don’t really have the words for it here, so that’s the best I’m going to do. But let’s just stop there and note that brakes shouldn’t make any noises, whether or not Click and Clack, the Tappett brothers, could decipher it on the radio. And I only need the car for another three weeks, but afterwards my parents need it, and I will not be the deadbeat daughter that hands over a broken car all, yeah, sorry, you’re going to want to get that looked at, and by the way, you’ll probably want to fill up the gas tank and get the oil changed, so that’s another $330.

And my stupid Powerbook that is tiny and perfect and wonderful, that I’ve hardly ever used since college because I don’t really have internet at home and I used my computer at work all day, but that is really useful now that I’m… what am I calling it? “Self-employed”? Well the battery doesn’t hold a charge, and it turns out that the battery isn’t covered under the extended service warrantee that came with my computer when I bought it, so that’s another $130.

And my vaccinations (Hep A, Meningitis, Polio) aren’t covered by my insurance, which I knew, but it turns out that each month of the malaria medication (which is not available in generic, so that’s $40) counts as a separate prescription (so that’d be 3 x $40), and the insurance will only cover a month at a time, so I may be able to argue for them to cover the second month, but I’ll probably have to pay for the third month out of pocket (since I don't want to depend on getting it filled once I'm in Dakar), and that’ll be $200.

And I still haven’t bought most of the things I need to buy for my trip, or the things I need for my move, or I don’t know, there are still three weeks for the transmission to fall out of my car or to get arrested or who the hell knows what else.

It’s okay. I can still pay for this. I will not end up penniless in Africa. But I forgot this feeling, when there’s nothing coming in and the outflow is more of a gush than an orderly, planned for trickle.


Meanwhile, I haven’t updated here, and I haven’t been keeping up with all your blogs, but I’m thinking of you all and also excited for the marathon. I’m enjoying the taper much more this time around, and I have sworn this is the last marathon I’ll ever run (most people just roll their eyes and point out that that’s what I said the last time), and in a month I’ll be in Dakar, and that’s just incredible. And in the meantime, please note that Deanna, the world’s greatest running buddy, has started visiting and commenting on this blog, so please feel free to say hello to her in the comments. La vie courante (not sure if that means what I want it to, but oh well) est belle.


Blogger susie said...

If we could just live without money. I hate it. I never plan well.

6:22 PM  
Blogger jeff said...


look at it this way, now you have the opportunity to get re-aquainted with ramen noodles! =)

7:26 PM  
Blogger David said...

After that sorrowful rant I hope you feel better soon. I wish I could help but I am lousy on car repairs.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

After every string of bad luck there's good luck. Maybe this means the marathon will be your best ever and you'll come in in something like 2 hours! =)

7:11 AM  
Blogger Scooter said...

Consider these things an investment in a new life. You're getting an education unlike most other people. Education costs money, but the experiences will be unparalleled.

BTW - I have a brand new Olympus Voice Recorder (4-hr version), still in sealed pkg. If you want to make me an offer, e-mail me at: wbakersports at comcast dot net

11:40 AM  
Blogger jeanne said...

Geeze, this sounds like my life. Except for the going to Africa part. And the Sierra Leone guy. Hey can you back very slowly into my car, too? I could use the hundred bucks!

Your luck will change soon. Wait and see. And maybe things are cheaper in Dakar? Maybe?

Meantime, what can you do but laugh? (Oh, right, you could cry.)

10:51 PM  
Blogger Bex said...

One big reason why I didn't buy an iPod nano is b/c it doesn't have recording capability. I now have a jetAudio U2 (Huh?!) MP3 flash player, which does, as well as a radio, and it works just dandy. It's the size of a lipstick tube.

6:18 PM  

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