Friday, January 29, 2010

Confession time

I'm not working right now. I'm supposed to be working and I'm not working. I was working, and I have to work again in a few minutes, but right now I'm not working.

I'm drinking a mocha. Remember how I'm not drinking caffeine? Well I'm drinking a mocha and feeling the buzz that is the unraveling of my steadfast stimulant eschewal. Mmm..

Before you go assuming I'm such a bad teacher (a fair assumption, though not for this particular reason), you should know I'm not at work. I have a meeting at work from 10:45 to 1:45 today to review the draft of that beastly report I've been writing, and since that was smack in the middle of my teaching day, since I've spent copious amounts of time working on this report and will need to continue to do so, my boss gave me a sub day today. That way I can make the meeting, work on the report all morning/ afternoon, and someone qualified will be watching my lovelies for me. Nothing like a "free" sub day, even if I have to work all day. Sometimes it means the world just to not see students. It is a breath of fresh air that doesn't have to deplete my sick day supply.

There are few things I enjoy as much as the din of a cafe. I love to sit in a corner and wrap myself in the lulling comfort that is the ambient noise around me. The fact that JK Rowling scribbled bits of Harry Potter on cafe napkins gives me even more of a fondness for her books (which I'm about to start reading with Roo--her first time--Yipee!). If I was going to write a book, I'm sure many compelling chapters would be written in the Starbucks and La Bous of the greater Sacramento area. Currently they're my home office, my editing and grading outposts for work.

I didn't blog anything last night because the excitement of our two-paycheck reality was too great. It came a day earlier than I expected, so I almost didn't know what to do with myself. In the way that things always crumble to pieces, we limped and crawled and scratched our way to the finish line of the worst month ever in the worst year ever, financially. E got a fix it ticket, our credit card payment was flirting with being overdue (thankfully, it wasn't), E's school loan consolidation and abeyance faxes got lost at the loan office, he got sick, etc etc etc etc. When it rains, it pours, then it gushes and spews. I was crossing my fingers that neither of us would wreck our cars or break the washing machine. I just knew it was the kind of week where major appliances conspire to the detriment of their owners who are just trying to make it to the next payday.

We made it, though. I kept telling E this was the last day of the worst of our lives, and now suddenly it's the first of the rest. Last night I tweeted that "income is freedom" and it certainly feels that way. Not total freedom, but freedom from worrying about what I'll feed our kids, how we'll make it to the end of the next week, what we need to sell on Craiglist just to keep the water on. We've been living in a way that was so restrictive. I'm thankful the grip we had on life can loosen a little.

Last night after I hit up Nugget for E's gluten-free food needs, we went to Cosctco for the first time in about six months. Since we'd used up our supply of just about everything--meat, dog food, shampoo, laundry soap, salt, EVERYTHING--we spent an obscene amount of money on two carts full of Costco goods. I am now resting easier courtesy of a freezer full of protein choices and a garage full of backup pantry items. I'm proud of us for taking our stock down to nothing, but this felt exactly when we started our life together and we went oh crap, we have to buy all that stuff Mom always kept in the cupboard?

I do notice a change in my spending habits, even with those two carts full. There are some things I just can't justify now that we've been in such dire straits. I also wouldn't let myself buy anything other than the gluten-free essentials at Nugget, where groceries are almost twice the price of Winco. Anything that I could get elsewhere I didn't buy. At Costco it was much easier for me and E to think about what we need vs what we want. I'm going to try to hit up Winco this afternoon to complete the Grocery Trifecta. Then I'll just sit around on my couch like some laurel-wreathed fatty from ancient times and dine on grapes while rejoicing in my bountiful grocery harvest and peace of mind.

Whoops. I got so enamored with my grocery story that I forgot I need to go back to working. Peace out, dudes.


  1. Aw, I totally recognize that particular LaBou from your picture! Seeing random little pics like that from my hometown actually make me miss it a little :)

  2. Good times at the La Bou during high school! I could totally walk over there right now and bother you while you're working, a little EG bloggers convention. ;) Yeah for the sub day! Good luck with WASC.

  3. Gotta love Nugget :) I like to splurge there and at Whole Foods now and then and SOME things are cheaper if you are sticking to all-natural organic.. but if you are comparing all-natural & organic to just any ol' thing at Winco.. then yes, cheaper :)

    Oh, and cheat days are good... gotta have them sometimes!

  4. I am so tired of shopping! Got the rest at Winco, and I'm spent!

    Tracy, let's totally organize a blogger meetup. I'd love that.

  5. Glad you got in some good grocery shopping! I've never been in a LaBou - I'll have to go there sometime!