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2006-06-02 - 6:32 p.m.

It's officially winter and it's cold. I'm much more of a Spring and Summer person myself, but at least I have a reasonable amount of warm clothes, a blanket and a $10 heater.

Had a very productive day at home today. As well as vacuuming the whole apartment (apart from the floors which I mopped last week), I cleaned out some of my kitchen cupboards, did some general tidying and sewed buttons onto a jacket that I pretty much haven't worn in a year because I couldn't be bothered sewing the buttons onto it. Oh and I tried on my one and only suit which I haven't worn in a couple of years and came to the conclusion that I need to buy a new one before my cousin's wedding in July.

The last week and a half have been very staggered in terms of days worked and days off. I mentioned in my last entry that because I was working the Wednesday on either side of my official cycle to fill in for my boss, I was taking the weekend off. Well, it ended up getting even more stop-start because I agreed to take this Wednesday off and work Thursday instead seeing as they were understaffed. So in the end I worked last Wed-Thu-Fri, had Saturday and Sunday off, worked Monday and Tuesday, had Wednesday off, worked Thursday, had Friday (today) off and am back to work for the start of my usual shift cycle tomorrow at 6am.

Filling in for the boss has been a really good experience. At times I didn't have a lot to do seeing as I wasn't taking on all of his work, but then at times I did some of the shift work as well. But going to meetings with my manager once removed, as well as having to make a couple of executive decisions for the lab was good, and it also made me think for the first time seriously that it might be a position that I see myself in somewhere down the line. I also used the time to email my boss's equivalent in San Francisco (or Richmond to be precise) to say that I was interested in anything that might be available there and that I'd like to meet up with him in August or September. I haven't heard back yet, and I'll be relieved when I do because then at least I'll know what my chances are, but it's a tricky situation. How long do I wait before I follow it up if I hear nothing back? Responding will not be top of his priorities list unless there happened to be something available in the near future, and besides he could easily be on leave or something.

So what else have I been up to since last Monday? Yesterday aside from work I had beers at the Cactus Bar and dinner at a Vietnamese/Chines/Thai place across the road with Nathan. Wednesday during the day I did very little- slept a fair bit considering I went to bed at about 9.30pm the night before, ventured out of the house to buy some things to cook for dinner, and then ventured out to the Rose for Bernie. I was misinformed by my usually reliable music nerd source that the guest would be Murray Cook from the Wiggles- in fact it was a different Murry Cook, not that he was bad or anything, but the former would have been more fun. I also screwed up my dates and thought we'd be going there for Cindy's birthday, but the honorary birthday gig is in fact next week, when I'll be working nights. So no Cindy, and no Fordie (poor Fordie, her leg must be terrible for her to miss Bernie), but there was Meegs and Charm, and later Nathan for a bit.

Monday and Tuesday were work days and home cooked dinners, which is good since I've just looked back on the month of May and realised how much I spend on drinking and eating out (I'll get to that later). It's not like I've been particularly misbehaving, it's just the first time that I've written down exactly what I spend my money on each month.

The weekend was a reasonable big one. Friday night Nathan came round for dinner and a few drinks, then we headed up to the Townie. Nathan only stayed about an hour, and by Mark and my standards we didn't have a huge night either, but plenty was still had to drink. I had made no plans for Saturday night (except some tentative ones to catch up with Uni people which I forgot to follow up), but this time around Nathan was keen for a biggish night (as opposed to the night before), and it ended up as a "It's 5am and the Townie are kicking us out- let's go to the Imperial" kind of night. But I still had dinner at home. Still- between Friday and Saturday night I spent $125 on drinks and transport. Erin and Ruth were also at the Townie on Saturday, as well as some of Nathan's High School friends. Saturday was also the 5th night in a row that I'd had at least one drink with Nathan. I think I'm going to try to cut down in June :) Wednesday was just a quiet beer or two (well, not entirely quiet seeing as we caught the end of State of Origin), Thursday we had beer and Tapas at the Cactus Bar (these spur of the moment dinners are where I could be saving money on eating out), and going back to Tuesday a larger section of the work gang had dinner at Thai Pothong in Newtown for Kel's birthday.

And that, in more or less reverse order, takes me back to my last entry. Back to my finances- I've been keeping track of pretty much everything I've spent money on since a couple of days after my April pay, and I've now got a full calendar month to look back on. I wont give away what I get paid or how much my mortage repayments are, but aside from that the breakdown was as follows:

Monthly Bills (eg phone, electricity, gas, strata, home and car insurance)- $610

Groceries- $240

Petrol- $150 (keep in mind I get a 25% discount)

Eating Out/ Drinking/ Getting to and fro- $580

Extra Expenses (for May that meant 4 new tyres and the deposit for our Vanuatu accommodation)- $778

So for the month of my I technically saved about $80 from what I was paid. But having said that, I hve about $10,000 of credit card debt, so any money that I'm saving isn't really mine, I'm just choosing to keep it for now and deal with the monthly interest. Also, I'm getting over-taxed because I never declared that I have paid off my HECS, so it still gets taken out, plus due to my promotion in February, the amount I'm being taxed for Feb-June is based on me getting my new salary for the full financial year, so I should get a big return in July, just in time for my trip to the US and Vanuatu.

I still shouldn't be spending so much on drinking and eating out though.


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