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Archive for October, 2005

waiting- again! - and several other thoughts...

October 31st, 2005 at 06:53 pm

I hate waiting!!!...but, I called the bank exec this morning and she said there were still no news and that the results of the applications are posted once a day, in the mornings....so there'll be no news today....probably tomorrow...she said she'd call me when she has an answer....(in other words, she doesn't want me calling everyday...)

I have discovered that other cc companies ALSO increased the percentage on some of their credit cards...including my Amex!!...it went up by 5 percentage points - OUCH!...good thing I'm scheduled to be done with it by December and, even if it means making a few extra sacrifices, I WILL be rid of it by 31/dec/05!....same thing with my Banco Cuscatlan card (which, fortunately, hasn't raised it's interest rate!!)

I'm starting (teaching) English lessons today....$10/hour and it'll be 2 hours/week...so $20/week...tax free!....this will all go towards debt repayment!!...at least until January...then it'll go half/half into Ale's enrollment fee/debt...I still need to find ways to make more $$$$... or spend a lot less (not likely!....there's not much room to "cut" anymore...except for swimm lessons ($15/month) and we are trying to lower our electricity bill, other than that, it'd have to be the food bill and that's difficult with two growing children in the house!! -can't have THEM on rice and beans for too long!...and, the high gas prices have caused price increases in food (and, of course, even if the gas does go down, the prices at the supermarket will remain at their new levels! ugh!)

On the other hand, I have just seen a book I want to buy - it's a new release: J.J. Benitez' Caballo de Troya 7!!! - I have waited several years for his new book - as has my sister....and I think we will endulge in it!!...Caballo de Troya is GREAT!!...I highly recommend it, although, I know some people might find it offensive, and even heretic...but, you've got to remember it's FICTION... the short-short-short book review: the series deals with the "memoires" of a US military man that went on a secret mission: to travel back in time and follow Jesus and try to find out whether 1. there WAS an historic Jesus and 2. whether He really was of divine nature or not...He has been specifically chosen because he is a non-believer...and, guess what....he BECOMES a believer!...the mission gives several "leaps" in time (two or three, I cannot remember) and, it is soon discovered that time-travel is altering the cells of the time-travelers, making them age at an unnaturally fast rate...it becomes this man's personal mission to record everything he sees and to pass it on to the world- that's why he contacted the author, supposedly- because he's appalled that the evangelists are NOT recording as they go, but that they put their stories on paper until much later...the series of books are a really good read, intellectually challenging, spiritually enhancing - whether you agree or not with the author, it makes you either question or affirm your faith - if you're a Christian, that is....J.J. Benitez was once accused of saying that Jesus was an alien...I remember that interview...he said: NO, I didn't say Jesus was an alien, I said He was NOT OF THIS WORLD, which is an entirely different thing!!...

Anyway, back to $$$ matters, I might buy the book for us....I get a 15% discount on cash purchases at the bookstore that is promoting the book right now....I could list this expense under: spiritual care...or maybe just "mental care"...LOL!...

Speaking of staying healthy, I have decided that I'll bring tea from home for lunch instead of buying a soda, and will use the soda $$ to buy an apple and a banana (soda=$23, apple + banana = $0.25)....moneywise it's almost the same, but healthwise it's a great difference....

Well, gotta go for lunch now....I brought my paella, but need to get my tea and buy my fruit...I also need to walk up to the mall after lunch to pay the phone bill...cannot do it over the internet because last month we paid late, so the invoice does not match the outstanding amount...oh, joy!

taking care of yourself is expensive...

October 28th, 2005 at 06:37 pm

but then, NOT taking care of yourself can be even MORE expensive!!...I spent $12 in vitamins yesterday (I am now taking a multivitamin, a calcium supplement and vitamin C)...and spent $19 in enterntainment, to attend a friend's birthday...(i could have spent less if I hadn't had dinner there...)...I had a lot of fun and got to relax and be around GROWN UPS...REAL grown ups...(not the "legally adult" people I see at the office!...I mean, they are "adults" that, for the most part, are ~10 years younger than I am, living with their parents, they don't pay rent, food, utilities, all their money is for themselves...most only pay gas, as the cars were given to them by their parents as graduation gifts, so....NO, they are not "real" grown ups....)...we gathered for drinks at around 7, and sis and I left at around 8:30pm...so I didn't have to pay extra money to the nanny...

so, yesterday I spent a total of $21 in "maintenance"!! LOL!...But, I cannot afford to let this "machinery" (me!) break down!, can I??...and, well, the vitamins will last 1 month and the fun....well, that one'll have to last a bit longer!!...

Papers are in, now I need prayers!!

October 27th, 2005 at 10:34 pm

Well, the request for the loan has been submitted...now all I can do is wait and pray ...One of my friends reports she has already been called!...Even if they don't authorize the full amount, I still win!!!...pray for me!!!

debt consolidation loan

October 25th, 2005 at 12:13 am

Well, I called up "our" bank executive today (the company has agreements with 2 banks), and, she said that with my salary I can get up to $8,000...I will meet with her on Wednesday to give her my acct statements and salary certification....since I went to DICOM, which is the local credit rating company, and my record doesn't look as bad as it really is (only 2 accounts appear as having been delinquent, when in reality I know there were more cc's that were delinquent!) and, since one of those 2 accounts has already been paid in full (I have my cancellation letter and everything!), I don't expect to have much trouble...It would be great because the interest rate would be 9.5% - special rate for our company- and the lowest cc is ~21%!!...
I hope to have good news to report on Friday (it usually takes about 2-3 days for them to tell you if you got the loan)...

Our nanny wants to learn to cook....

October 18th, 2005 at 11:29 pm

so we are suffering through her attempts! LOL!...I will have to tell her she has to mix ingredients better...today, I packed some of the meatballs she made for dinner yesterday (I had a soup and did not try them)...half of one was good, the other half was almost pure pepper!....
and, about a week ago, I tried a stew she had made...it was good, until I came to a spoonful that had half of an undissolved bouillon cube....ack! super-salty and I just couldn't continue eating after that!...when she doesn't use any condiments (like when she cooks for DD) she's much better...and then, it's way easier to ADD stuff than take out!...I'm taking all those leftover meatballs and turning them into a bolognese sauce tonight!...might have to add sugar to get rid of all the pepper!!

That being said: I totally support her efforts!

AAARRRGHHHH!!!

October 18th, 2005 at 04:43 pm

I checked the acct statement for my CC with the highest interest rate today...min monthly payment for last month was $57, and I paid $100 (less than what I had planned, but then, I had to pay for half the repair of the washing machine!)...well, charges for the month are: $38 membership fee + $27 fraud/theft protection plan (without it, if anyone makes purchases with your cc, YOU are responsible, even if you can prove the thing was stolen!) + $31.99 interests....for a total of $96.99....So, the difference between September's balance and October's balance is $3.81!!!AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!....WILL I EVER BE FREE OF THIS CURSE????....
And, we have to see what to do about our stove (it's 13 years old and 2 of the burners are giving us trouble...we called a tech to fix it and he said it would cost about $75...at that price, for such an old stove, it's really worth looking into buying a new one...) - ((sigh))

I've already had 8 years of "thin cows"...will this EVER end??

Buying cheap will cost you

October 17th, 2005 at 04:15 pm

Lo barato sale caro, my grandmother used to say....well, I have learned that I shouldn't buy shoes for DD at the downtown marketplace...true, they cost me $10....but they lasted 2 months!!...I could have bought her $22-shoes that would have lasted 6 months! (or, long enough for her to outgrow them!)....Oh, well, lesson learned...now I have to come up with a plan to replace those $10-shoes (they can be repaired, but, really, is it worth it?? They'll probably last another month...) Best to take the $3 that it would take to repair them and invest them in new shoes....Only, instead of bringing her with me (she has the "expensive eye" thing, like myself...we can look at the whole store and, somehow, we are drawn to the most expensive item....this happens especially when prices are NOT displayed, so, no, it's not like we are price-oriented!)...so, I'll just get her a pair of tennis shoes that are pretty, preferrably pink (her favorite color at the moment) and pay for them...if she doesn't see the other ones, she'll appreciate those ones!...Now, what I'll do is try to find something at the ADOC outlet (ADOC is a very high-quality shoe factory...they make Hush Puppies shoes, and also other good brands...and they have an outlet here, where I bought a pair for myself for $10...of course, the catch is that you have to buy from what is "left over" from the stores...so there's not much flexibility as to sizes and styles...)

Vampires!!

October 13th, 2005 at 05:33 pm

One of the credit card companies has increased interest on all their cards...by 7%!!...do I need to tell you what this does to my payment schedule??...I had things worked out so I would be rid of them by March '08....now make that June '08!!...VAMPIRES!!...

On the plus side, I went to the credit bureau day before yesterday and, while my credit rating isn't perfect (as it used to be) it is not as bad as I thought it would be....plus, there's record only of 3 of my credit cards...all others are non-existent in their registry....So, it's official, I'm asking for a loan to consolidate debts in December...(specially with this cc interest hike, it DOES make sense!!...the most I'll pay in interest for a loan will be 14%...the lowest credit card, with this new hike, is at 27%!) - can anybody lend me a wooden stake and some garlic??

DHL is nuts!!

October 12th, 2005 at 11:16 pm

A friend of mine sent me a CD via Amazon.com....supposed to be a surprise...I got a phone call from DHL yesterday at home, but I wasn't in, so the nanny took a message...I called them today...according to them, I have to pay $5.16 for taxes (ok) and $5.20 for storage at customs (not too ok, but, not much to be done about it)...and, THEY want $41.81 for their work getting it out of customs...ARE THEY NUTS?? ...can't they see that the CD cost $12??...- eventhough I didn't pay for it, I mean... THEY ARE NUTS... I asked them to send me the paperwork...I talked to our customs agent at the company I work for...she says to give her the documents and the $11 for the taxes/storage and she'll get it for me for free (I was expecting her to charge me at least a symbolic rate for it....but, hey, I won't say no to a freebie in this case!!)...so, eventhough I'll spend $11 on the CD, it's still worth it because locally they cost $20....buy, pay $52?? ..gotta be kidding me!!
The same thing happened to my boss, he bought a $20 teddy bear and they were charging him $70 to get it out of customs...he said: forget it! they can keep it! (and he's right!)
soooo...maybe I'll get my CD by Friday!! yay!!

my boss talked to HR!!

October 11th, 2005 at 10:33 pm

says they are willing to consider re-classifying my position, so that I MAY be eligible for a raise!!...now, he also said not to get my hopes up just yet, as he still has to sit with them to redefine the position, see where they would be able to pay more and see what level of increment they are willing to offer...In the meantime, I continue to send out resumes whenever I see a good offer...Through it all, I know that God will do what is best for me and will either send me a better job, or see that I get a good-enough offer here...(If I get no offers from other places, I know He wants me to stay here!)...

what are the odds??

October 7th, 2005 at 07:57 pm

Our clothes washer broke down, so I looked up the classifieds in the paper to find someone to fix it...called the number on the first ad: no answer...called the number on the next one and the guy takes down all the info and says: Clason, that name sounds familiar...(we are the ONLY family with that last name in the whole country!)...He's the guy that used to fix my parents fridge and washer for years! (and, believe me, when we bought this one, the old one was the same that my parents had used all my childhood! the thing was over 20 years old!!)...he asked about my parents... Frown

The sun is shining!!

October 6th, 2005 at 04:51 pm

First, thanks to all for your good wishes/prayers, etc...

It stopped raining yesterday night!! (finally!) and today, we have a fierce sun!! (which I hope lasts at least a few days, so that the earth can dry!)

The area where I live is safe and nothing happened (some houses about 4kms from home were evacuated, because they are built right on the mountain, but, where I lived there was no problem)...40,000+ people are in shelters nationwide and, at last count, there were 62 deaths due mudslides...it is said that we had the equivalent of 30 days of rain in just 4!!-and I believe it!

I'm back at work today - yesterday I couldn't come because the nanny didn't come to work and it was raining too heavily for me to venture out with my daughter!...The nanny says her house is safe - although some houses in her neighborhood were badly damaged...

Now we can begin the re-construction process, clearing away mudslides, rescuing bodies (some of which could not be recovered at the time of the mudslides because of danger to the rescue units), and life can start to return to some sense of normalcy...

National Emergency!

October 4th, 2005 at 09:08 pm

El Salvador has declared a red alert due severe weather conditions (it has been raining non-stop for almost a week now!, and expected to continue for at least 2 more days)...most rivers are overflowing and the earth is so full of water already that there have been several mudslides...several important roads into the capital city are blocked due mudslides/danger of mudslides...15,000 people have been evacuated nationwide...There have been 36 deaths so far... The National Assembly had a special meeting today to consider decreeing a state of national emergency, which would mean that non-emergency government services and all private companies would be closed, so that workers wouldn't have to go to work....
On top of that, the Ilamatepec volcano in Santa Ana is showing renewed activity and is spewing ashes...Santa Ana is the second-largest city in El Salvador...

I had to bring my daughter with me to work today, because the nanny couldn't come and all schools are closed by orders of the Ministry of Education and the National Emergency Committee (COEN)...I'm trying to leave as much done as possible, in case I can't come tomorrow (if they DO decree the national emergency, it won't matter anyway, as there won't be anybody to follow up, but, just in case...)

Less worrisome right now is the fact that gas prices went up by $0.46/gallon on regular gasoline and by $0.63 in premium gasoline...

I have blankets, water, candles, canned goods and flashlights (+ batteries)...the only thing I DON'T have is a battery-operated radio (I know I had one at home, I know it was out of batteries...I went and bought the batteries, but I'm not sure whether one of my nephews/niece might have taken it, so I'm not sure I can find one...)

I am grateful that I paid my maid yesterday, because it means she has some cash on hand in case anything happens near where she lives...I already went to the bank today to get out some cash as well...My cousin called me and says she's been sweeping water out of her house all day...I don't even want to imagine what MY house will look like when I finally get there tonight! - I'm leaving early, though, because rain and darkness don't make the best driving conditions...plus, some streets are flooded....will have to check the news before leaving to see what the best route is....

toy catalogue

October 3rd, 2005 at 07:43 pm

Well, my cousin and I have been working on the 2005 toy catalogue to give to companies...instead of putting together a physical sample of toys, we are doing a CD and dropping that off at the companies....then, they can request which toys they specifically want to check out...that reduces our costs greatly (because we don't need more than 1 sample of each toy) and also allows us to cover more companies (as we don't have to wait to get the samples back before showing it to another company)...we'll see how we do this year...100% of any money I make on this will go towards debt repayment!!...I'm halfway done with my Xmas shopping anyway, so...

I still haven't heard from the job agency, or from the Embassy, but, I guess it's still early...