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09 December 2008 @ 02:57 pm
RL just takes the fun out of things  
Don't you just hate it when RL becomes a "thing?" That thing you have to deal with. Yeah, me too. With the new year looming on the horizon, my health insurance under my dad's plan runs out and my current employer does not offer insurance to his part-time employees (I basically work 35 hours/week). A few things can happen. 1. I'm offered a full time position and I get health-insurance. 2. I look for another job (which is in the card come January), 3. I can be without health insursance (NO), and 4. COBRA kicks in and I have to pay the monthly fee out of pocket, which runs about $450 a month without dental. Soooo... things are going to get more expensive for the short term. Yay. I've been tweaking my resume and geting things ready to go after the holidays. I suppose I'm in a decent position. At least I have a job. I'm not desperate for income. It just freaks me out not to be insured. Shit happens, you know? Hence, all the medical appointments I crammed in October and the widsom teeth extraction.

This weekend I spent all of my Saturday immersed on Priceline.com, Trip Advisor, and various travel/hotel/resort sites trying to pull together details for my vacation in January. Gus has time off in January between leaving his current job and starting his new one. I can essentially set my own schedule, so we thought, what the heck? The Caribbean was the focus of most of my research. Needless to say, it was rather overwhelming. I was hoping for all-inclusive to cut down on costs, but those that I found did not have good hotel ratings and were rather expensive. We want to spend $1000 or less per person for 6 nights, if we can. I also branched out and looked into Central America, and really, really liked what I saw/read about Belize.

Although I am a research master (I do a lot of it for work/and did do it for reporting), I felt really overwhlemed by the information influx and started stressing. The hair-pulling freak out stressing that I used to have when I was in school. Basically, I realized that I couldn't do this by myself, so I called a friend up who uses a travel agent I know she likes. She was awesome, got me her contact info, and I spoke with the travel agent yesterday evening and gave her all my specs. I should hear from her this evening. Fingers crossed! If any of you have been to the Caribbean or Central America before (I've never been), please give me some tips or recommendations. Thanks!

I have also been doing a fair amount of research on gym membership. As an alumni, the rate for me to use the Columbia gym for 6 months is only $140. I'll likely be joining with MS next month, so I can start moving my ass a bit. Get the blood pumping. They also have 10-week classes. Judo and kickboxing looked like they might be fun, but I'll consult with MS first and see what she wants to do. A few of my co-workers also use New York Sports Club over lunch. My boss suggested I sign up for their 2-week membership, which is only $20 and go to spinning with him and another co-worker. I think I will. It's more motivating that way. But, price-wise, NYSC is way more expensive at $90 a month. One more place I looked was Alvin Ailey's Dance Annex, which provides classes for non-dance students every day of the week. Another college friend of mine does Afro-Cuban dance there, which you can by class rather than a lump sum. I had to register to see the prices (will do that later), but beginner Capoeira looked really interesting. For those that don't know, it's an Afro-Brazilian dance that incorporates a fair amount of martial arts. I knew someone that took it once and they highly recommended it.

Hm, have I just listed all my New Year's resolutions here? Get insurance/new job, plan my vacation and join a gym? Looks like.

I've been working late most days and not getting home until 8PM, but when I get the chance, I will work more aggressively on those Holiday ficlets, which I'm pretty excited about. I've been making notes on the train and scribbeling down dialogue. I only wish there was a nice block of time for me to sit and just bang a few out.
Rebcake: sombrerorebcake on December 9th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
This might not be what you are looking for, but for the beauty and warmth of the Caribbean (at lower prices) consider the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. That usually means flying to Cancun (cheap-ish from NYC), but Cancun proper isn't my cuppa. There are a ton of interesting places to stay within an hour or so, though: Isla de Mujeres, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Xelha, Tulum, and countless others. It's been awhile since I've been there, and maybe you've done it and are over it, but I thought it was pretty great. Warm, clear water, waist-deep for hundreds of feet, and powdery beaches. I usually hate beaches, but I made an exception for these. There's also fantastic food, amazing ruins, and interesting wildlife. Just a thought.
ClawofCat: pondersclawofcat on December 10th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
I've never been any points south of the US, so I'd definately consider Mexico and the Yucatan. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll snoop and read up on the places you mentioned.

All of my abroad traveling has been in Europe and the Meditaranean, so this is all new territory for me.

(love your festive Giles!)
zygomat_smilezygomat_smile on December 9th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
Capoeira is very fun! Intense, and not without blistered feet, but totally worth it.
Then again, I just love dance/movement stuff in general ;p

Haves fun!!
ClawofCat: Buffy stake raisedclawofcat on December 10th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! I love dancing. I thought it might add a nice motivating factor to working out. I used to when I was in high school (mostly weights), but fell off the wagon in college. I really need to get back into the habit of it. The whole bitch about aging is you can't have that 16 year old forever. Damn.
shawty got flava like a peach lifesaveronly_passenger on December 9th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
miss you, dear, and have been thinking of you.

congrats on your FF noms!

ClawofCat: fuffy kiss meclawofcat on December 10th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
I'm glad you left a comment. I owe you the Bander and Fuffy. Sorry that I haven't gotten to it yet. Things have been busy and it keeps falling to the bottom of the pile. I'll try to get one of them to you in the next few days.
Herself_nycherself_nyc on December 9th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
I used to be in a writing group with a guy from Belize who was always talking about how beautiful it was. Until he moved back there and I never saw him again.
ClawofCat: huhclawofcat on December 10th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
LOL. So much for that! They tell you not to stray off the resorts or go without a guide. Maybe he was taken.

In all seriousness though, the pictures I saw were beautiful. Plus, they've got The Blue Hole. Pretty cool natural abberation.
eowyn_315: want to be supportiveeowyn_315 on December 10th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
I felt really overwhlemed by the information influx and started stressing.

When that happens to me, I make spreadsheets! I might possibly be OCD, but it really makes me feel better to organize all the information from a million different websites into one chart where I can compare everything. I did it when I picked a college, and a grad school, and an apartment. I'll probably do it again when I move to DC, lol.
ClawofCat: buffy poutclawofcat on December 10th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Oh, spreadsheets. That might have been the smart thing to do. I had a little hissy fit when my IE hiccupped and I lost all my tabs :(

Which grad school are you going to and when are you moving to DC?
eowyn_315: Buffy libraryeowyn_315 on December 10th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
Assuming they ever get around to admitting me, George Washington. And I'm moving whenever I find a job (10 applications so far), which hopefully happens before the semester starts in August.