Work: Got settled in pretty well. Besides doing the normal finance calculations, debugging their screwy Excel sheets, putting together new, more efficient ways of doing things, and researching stuff outside of our company to compare ourselves with, I'm also now teaching Excel classes for beginner and advanced students. Lately, for the most part, things have been rather slow here, with my Boss being unavailable to teach me new things, and with us being between quarters (last one ended March 30th, next one is June 30th). This is the calm before the storm, though, since our fiscal year ends on June 30th, and then everything, shit and otherwise, will be hitting the fan all at once, so to speak. My contract position expires on June 30th, too, but I fully expect to be picked up for another year, since I'm apparently very valuable to them. I'm kind of hoping for a full time position, since apparently medical coverage WOULD be cheaper through them than on my own. That, plus they'll be able to pay for my Masters university degree.
Education: Smith School of Business, which is the Maryland University's prestigious MBA program, put me on their waiting list yet again. My original plan was to go back to Frostburg for 1.5 years accelerated MBA (not a very well known school, but many of my BS classes would transfer into their MBA program, so I can graduate quicker). However, my boss here really pleaded with me to stay. She said that, even if I can't get a full-time position that would cover my education costs, she would try to get me a raise to help me pay for my studies once I get the new contract. They are also perfectly willing to work with me to have my work hours fit around my education. At first, my decision to do MBA part time seemed like a poor choice, but then, to my surprise, Smith turned around and accepted me into their part-time MBA almost immediately. So, by chosing to take the part-time direction, I ended up being accepted into a rather prestigious, 16th rated business school in the country, and one I've been fighting to get into for two years. Classes start in September. I'm wondering what will be more difficult, trying to get into it, or keeping my grades up and graduating after I start with it (I'm guessing the later, but the former was a major pain as well). Either way, I'm very glad that I'll finally have a chance to graduate from something I can feel genuinely proud of (Bachelor's at Frostburg felt like just another uneventfull step in life).
Furry Cons: Not going to any. Can't afford to. It's not that I'm strapped for cash; I'm easilly able to pay off inconvenient surprises, like the $2,500 for new car engine, $500 for mole removal (wanted those gone to reduce risk of skin cancer from sunning), or the surprise $1,000 reservation fee, to be paid NOW, to get my seat at Smith. Heck, I even easilly managed to afford to gift a friend $200 to help him keep affloat with his electric bills, without it registering so much as a blip on my finances. I'm also still perfectly able to put the few hundred a month I need into savings, investments, and downpayment fund. No, it's just that, right now, I am still trying to put as much as I can into paying down at least one of my student loans so that I can get another one for the MBA (in case my job fails to help pay for my education), and Anthrocon is quite a bit lower on the priority list at the moment. Over the last few years a lot of my priorities have been restructured quite a bit. Gaming consoles, entertainment, eating out, and, I guess, cons, have all moved way down, while saving, investing, and growing my net worth went way up. So, in a sense, I feel like I'm constantly broke with no cash to spare (except on specific rare occasions), but I'm only like that because I'm forcing myself to be like that. Hubby started to help out with keeping me frugal recently, too, for which I'm thankfull.
Travel: The trip to Italy at the end of this Summer is a guarantee now. I got a bit screwed with the plane tickets, expecting to pay $1,400, but with a major inconvenience (saving $200 for having to put up with it), but ended up not getting the $200 discount, and still being stuck with the major inconvenience. The inconvenience is that our plane leaves Rome at 8:20am, while we'll be in Venice the previous day. If the plane left at 11am, we could take an overnight sleeper train from Venice to Rome, which gets there at 7:20 at the earliest. That is NOT early enough for an 8:20 flight. This means we will have to leave Venice some time in the evening (by bullet train or local airline), spend the night in Rome, and probabyl get up at 5am just to make it to the airport (30mins by train) in time to go through check-in and board. I sent them a complaint letter, asking for my discount, but that was a week ago, and still no reply. Oh well. Other than that, almost all hotels have been reserved, all the trip expenses have been calculated, and the total trip should cost us about $3,181, which puts us right smack against the total I'll have saved by then, of about $3,200. Our trip will take 10 days, and will take us from Rome and tiny beach town of Nettuno (where I spent a part of my growing up), through Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Ferrara, Venice, and Murano. There will be a lot of rushing, taking trains to a new city almost every day, and lots of walking. There will also be little sleep. But, hopefully, there will also be a lot of enjoyment. Plus, hey, we'll spend 10 days eating pizza and ice cream daily in a country that, if not invented the two, is known for having the best of those in the world (gelato is Italian for ice cream, and that's where it comes from). It's like every kid's dream :D
That's about it for anything major or interesting. Car still doing great (hit 35mpg with new(er) engine), going back to Kendo and Iaido after a month hiatus due to mole surgery, hubby and I doing well, and generally can't complain about anything.