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$0.48 till payday!

February 15th, 2008 at 09:25 am

oh, boy!...I just checked my balance on line... I have a whooping $0.48....which should have to last until next Friday...yeah, right!...the good news is, we are supposed to be getting the money for the first school supply packages on Monday (about $1k for me)...((sigh))

meantime, I have $2.6K in uncollected translation money, too...which should have been paid to me before the 10th of Feb....hopefully at least part of that $$$ will come through this weekend!

Back to work!

Drowning in translations!!!

February 13th, 2008 at 09:27 pm

2 new customers...a translation for $700 and another one for $63...on top of my normal workload from the translation agency since they are at that 6-week training program again!...oh, boy!

it's scary in a good way!!

$349 more for the challenge!

February 5th, 2008 at 07:07 pm

I've been busy lately, and, translations over the weekend, yesterday and today will get me $349 come March! woo-hoo!!!- my monthly average is at $986...and rising!!...it will continue to rise until the third week of Feb...from then, I'll have to start counting April (as the payments typically take 30-45 days!)

...and because I didn't take the bite the last time...

February 3rd, 2008 at 06:08 pm

the cc company sent me ANOTHER letter indicating I'm entitled to a pre-approved "extra-financing" and called me again...hmmm, maybe they think after 1 month I might be more tempted??...well, guess what? NO!...after seeing that I paid $100 this month and that their charges were $155 (interests, fees and insurances only!!!)...well, NO!...usually it's not so bad, but, this month they charged me for the annual membership (which I really can do nothing about, unless I were cancelling the cc today...and you cannot cancel the cc unless you pay it in full ...and then only after you have received a statement showing $0 balance...and only at their most remote branch...oh, joy!)...still, I'll get them yet!...this is the cc that will take the longest to close, but, I've made my numbers and think I have a really good chance of closing the account next year)

falling asleep on my face!

January 22nd, 2008 at 11:03 am

if all of a sudden you see just one letter being repeatedly typed here, I'm asleep on the keyboard!...

the customer with the blurry translation sent a new document...legible this time, Thank God!...which included the 6 original pages and 9 more!... medical and chemical terms...o joy!...I ended it at 10:30pm and went downstairs to connect to the internet to "clean" the translation (that is, to check MY translations against Google to see whether the terms actually exist or whether I made them up! ;P ) ...well, at around 11:10 (when I had 3 pages to go!!!!) the internet went down!!!!...aaaaaaaaaargh!...and I HAD to send it in yesterday (they needed it for today, end of day, but, we have visitors from out of town at the office, which means we will all go out to lunch, which means I don't get to work in my lunch hour!)...by the time the internet decided to work again, and by the time I finished reviewing the document, it was already 12:50!!! I finished at about 1:05 am, and went to bed at 1:11...I woke up feeling refreshed, but I look terrible (red eyes, yellowish skin)...I need at least 2 hours nap time...not going to happen! Frown ....I've been keeping awake through coffee and candy...bad, bad MI...
(at least dinner last night was broccoli cream, so it KIND OF compensates!)

oh, and the $80 translation turned into $200!

I'm not going to buy them!

January 4th, 2008 at 08:53 am

an insert in the paper had an ad for bookcases on sale...I immediately thought: THAT's what I NEED!...they even had the measurements, so I went home and measured...2 of those would be perfect to fit the small space where Ale has her books and movies in my room...together, both bookcases would have cost me $50... they are not exactly the kind of furniture I like, but they would be convenient...HOWEVER...I could achieve basically the same result (a more organized area) just by switching the current stuff (a TV table that my sister bought and then discarded and one of those tiered thingies for veggies) and buying ANOTHER veggie thingy - they're stackable- which, last I checked, could be gotten for about $11....so, nope, I'm not going to buy MORE furniture to fit the space of a house that isn't even mine! (oh, yes, I have dreams of a house of my own again someday...I don't care if it's smaller than the one we have!, and, the less "stuff" I have specifically bought to fit THIS house, the easier it will be to find stuff to fit THAT house specifically...not to mention once I own a house I'd want REAL wood bookcases!)


January 2nd, 2008 at 07:16 am

ugh! One of my goals was to pay off $5K in debt (not counting interest)...I ALMOST made it! ....$4.7K!...
oh, well, it wasn't that bad...and I'm still pending some payments...but those are already Jan 08!...

January Then and Now

January 1st, 2008 at 12:08 pm

I've been checking my old January entries and, this is what I was doing back then....

Getting calls from creditors.
Selling tamales to pay for Ale’s psychologist sessions

School supply sale
Second job teaching English
Canceled 1 cc!

School supply sales

Resting (we will do a scale-down version of the school supply, so we are not putting as much effort/money into it...don't have any translations, although I hope they pick up the second week of January!)

Life is good!

$20 well spent!

December 30th, 2007 at 06:42 am

I decided I needed a change...a BIG one...so, I went to have a haircut...itīs new, itīs modern, itīs medium-lenght, suits my face shape and hair type perfectly....and, it cost me $20!...actually, I paid $19.50 for a wash, haircut, hair treatment and styling...so itīs not expensive...(sis spends $20 just for cut and style)...
Niece came back into my room twice just to tell me how nice the cut was...and sheīs a true fashionista, so....
oh, and itīs easy to style, too!! (it will require maintenance, though, but, I was starting to feel so unhappy with the other hair, itīs worth it!)

More medical bills!

December 28th, 2007 at 09:19 am

Ale is sick again....as am I! (and sis, and cousin!- we all catched the same flu bug! ugh!)...another trip to the doctor's office ($30) and another ~$90 in meds...well, I can't complain, I actually had the cash! (well, it should have been paid towards debt, but...it's worth it!-plus, I'll get SOMETHING back from the insurance!)
I hope we all recover before New Year's!!

ok, January '08 is taken care of!

December 19th, 2007 at 02:16 pm

...I just got told that our quotation for that $1600 translation got accepted...so, they already delivered the materials to my home...that means I have to start TONIGHT! as I only have 15 days to do it...that means we must deliver it no later than Jan 2nd, 4:00pm...
wish me luck!

The school said "no"

December 19th, 2007 at 07:21 am

the school were we usually sell school supplies did not give us permission to sell this year...part of me is relieved...I really don't like it that they force the parents to buy X or Y brand of crayons, colors, etc...and I don't like it that they think THIS makes them a better school...cousin did have the lists already, and she says this year they've gotten even more ridiculous:
1/4 gallon of white paint, to be bought at XYZ hardware store...
1 wooden box with sliding top, to be bought at store #X at Marketplace Y...
1 package of stickers- must be a package of 750 stickers, bought from ABC supermarket...

Hellooo?? both the Ministry of Education and the Center for Consumer Defense prohibit this...why no one has turned them in is beyond them!

So, cousin is bummed, but I'm actually quite happy that we are not going THERE!...we are looking into other schools, though, so it's not like we WON'T be selling school supplies!

Great news!

December 14th, 2007 at 09:31 pm

The place where the children's party we are organizing is going to be held allowed cousin to drop off the toys today...so she loaded her car and asked a neighbor (that has a van) to help her transport them all (it took 4 trips in total!) and she started sorting!!!...we only have 4 pages of names to go! (about 100 toys out of 500!) ...we have to leave at 7:30am tomorrow...the party starts at 3pm, but we have to set up in the morning and make sure everything-s ready...

One of our first-time customers called: she said the president of the coffee cooperative (who she says is quite snobbish!) was impressed with the toys we supplied!...she also says the people were very happy, as in previous years they have handed out toys that looked cheaper...)She spent the same amount, but the toys we sent her look nicer than the ones from previous years...so, we're guessing they'll come back next year, too!...

Also, on the translation front (no, I haven't finished yet, shame on me!)...
well, there are good news about a potential business venture opportunity there....still don't know much, and, of course, right now it's "top secret"...don't worry, I don't believe in "get rich quick schemes"...it's just an opportunity to have access to more customers...woo-hoo!...will let you know as soon as I know more about it!

Almost done!

December 14th, 2007 at 01:43 pm

ok, so I still have 12 pages of translation to go...
we are done with all the toy wrapping (yay!) and today all we have to do is load the cars to be ready for tomorrow (take the toys to the place where the party will be held, tag and bag there)

Then on Sunday night we load cousin's car for the last delivery on Monday (toys are already wrapped)...

almost done....almost, but not quite!


December 13th, 2007 at 12:18 pm

with the translations I'm doing this week, I already have $800 due for January...that is so wonderful...I don't think there will be much more after this week, but, we'll see...one of my goals for next year is going to be to match my salary through translations...(so, I should be making an average of $1014 per month, after taxes- in translations)...wouldn't that be nice??


December 12th, 2007 at 11:16 am

Ok, part 1 of the translation is done...that was 20,001 words!(or $800.04, whichever you prefer!) ...now there's another law I need to translate!!!...

At least, I got niece to help with wrapping gifts for a while today (called her at 10am, but she needs to pick up Ale at 3:00 and then leave for work)...still, it's help!...

The customer with the additional 187 toys just called...he missed ANOTHER 24 toys!...ugh! and to think I still haven't wrapped MY gifts for family!...will get to it next week!...I hope!

::breath in, breath out::

I'm leaving for lunch now! (it's 1:14!)...brought some spaghetti from home!

oh, no, ANOTHER toy sale!

December 6th, 2007 at 09:32 am

we're going into panick mode!...we had another call from someone wanting more toys...not that we are complaining, but, it would have been better if it had come 2 weeks ago! (more time to do everything right!)...

and, speaking of wasted time...cousin was asked for a few extra toys for one of the companies that bought toys in Nov...when she went to deliver the toys, she saw they were UNWRAPPING our toys!...they didn't buy ALL their toys from us, just some...they asked us to wrap the toys because they thought the other companies would wrap them too...but, those companies wanted to charge them an additional $0.13 per package....(we offer to do it "at no additional cost"...truth is, the cost is already considered in the price, so if the buyer doesn't want it, it's actually additional income for us!- but, most of OUR customers are OUR customers because of the convenience!- we wrap, tag and even group them together in bags with the employees' names! so all the HR dept has to do is check for accuracy and hand them out!)

...and MORE translations!!!

December 5th, 2007 at 10:47 am

this is a Law they want translated...fortunately, this is one law I'm quite acquainted with (acquisitions by govmnt entities)...but, it may be quite extensive...most probably, I'll agree to do only a PART of it, as it is quite urgent and I wouldn't want to overcommit!

niece quit....now has a new job!

November 29th, 2007 at 06:33 pm

well, they wanted to send her to the warehouse (which is downtown) and she called the ad agency that hired her and they said no-way...so, she didn't actually quit, but was pulled off the job! (she's supposed to be paid for looking pretty and charming people into buying stuff, not being holed up stocking shelves...)....so, she didn't go to work today...which was good, as she had a call from CyZone- she's among the 10 finalists for the CyZone Girl contest and had to go to a photo shoot today!...she starts tomorrow at a shopping center in the other side of town...but, they'll provide transport from the agency to there, so it's ok...she'll work less hours, and will get paid more than at the other place!...sweet!

Niece has a job!

November 26th, 2007 at 02:09 pm

it's only for 3 weeks, but, it's a start!...she had 3 offers and took this one, which seemed to be the "path of least effort"... (less time, less hours, more or less the same pay)...except, one of the other ones was a "sit down" job, and this one means she has to be on her feet most of the day!...Now, Niece owns more shoes than Imelda Marcos, but, wouldn't you know it? none of them are comfortable shoes! (except for her sneakers and crocks, which are unacceptable, since she's supposed to wear "dressy" clothes!)...so, on Saturday, which was her first day of work, she came home with blisters on her feet!...her best friend, who had also signed up, quit after the first day!...Niece is holding on (we're very proud of her, btw!)...in many ways, this is her first real brush with "The Real World"...we'll see how it ends!

Ale's Christmas list

November 26th, 2007 at 10:25 am

is totally crazy!...she found a "special toy catalogue" insert in the newspaper and copied about 1/2 of the toys advertised!...averaging $20/toy!...er, um....NO...she's already getting too much stuff as it is!...she's getting a BIKE, and that should be enough!...she's getting a Jr Scrabble (which I bought before I knew I was going to be able to afford the bike), 2 books in English and 1 in Spanish, a plush Piglet (also bought before the bike became a reality)...my cousin is giving her 1 present, and she'll get 1 from my sis + family...oh, and she's finally getting the remote control car she's been asking for the past 3 Christmases (we have a left over sample that no customer has ordered!)...
AND, I wanted to give her a 64-piece box of crayons, and asked a friend to send it (they are not available locally!) ....she sent a 120 piece box, and a 24 piece of twistable crayons, and some glitter glue AND some drawing paper...
ok, now I feel guilty!

"What are WE going to do for the poor this Christmas?"

November 21st, 2007 at 09:50 am

the question came at breakfast yesterday...along with: "do you think Santa brings poor children toys, too?"...

My former colleagues are going to an orphanage the first weekend of December to have a piniata with the kids...they've asked me if Ale and I want to go...I'll definetily try to make it!...if not, we can always donate something to the many Toys for Tots boxes around the Embassy...but, it's not the same...I like Ale to SEE the impact of her actions...the "Power of One" as the ad says...I want her to appreciate what she has, and to know that it doesn't take a lot to make a big difference!

total damage for the weekend!

November 19th, 2007 at 07:25 am

well, groceries were $48....fruit and veggies at the market $18...bought some cloth to make some bedding for Ale $19.75 (still need to get the batting, but that's not expensive and, she'll have 2 new bedcovers/4 new looks for her bed!)....seafood $23...invited the whole family for lunch at our favorite restaurant: $55 (had thought it would be $50... still, not too expensive for 4 people!...and, sis had beer and niece and I had one glass of wine each!)

2 translations...$42 and $74.48...and a third one which I still haven't done, so I don't know how much I will get for it!

seafood on sale!!!

November 16th, 2007 at 02:19 pm

a well-known seafood store just opened a new branch in a new neighborhood near my area...to encourage people to go to their new location, they're having a 2X1 on ALL their products!!...
I was thinking about buying 1 lb of shrimp this weekend anyway (Ale DOES love them, and we so seldom have them...maybe 2 times this whole year?...)...so, this is great! ...I may even buy some fish (which was NOT on the list, but, would be worth it!)

I'll let you know how it goes! Smile

Easy money!

November 14th, 2007 at 03:21 pm

well, I just got sent a file...it does not need to be translated, but it is a Powerpoint doc that got turned into a PDF and now they want to use some slides, so they asked me to re-create them...text slides, mostly....I don't think it'll take more than 1/2 hour...
I'm going home now (it's 5:15pm!) and I'll work on it after Ale goes to sleep... $$$$$ I'm SO glad:
1. that my former boss asked the managers to let me "help" with their presentations (hinder, mostly, would be the right word...at least at the beginning! I swear it took them twice as long to explain to me what they wanted than what it would have taken them to actually DO the slides themselves!)
2. that the managers had the patience to actually teach/correct me
3.that I was actually paying attention
4. That I got to re-type the manual/make the slides/screenshots for the new version (lots of practice!)

Yeah, Dad was right: anything you can learn can be useful some day, even if at the time you cannot imagine that it will!...and, even if you CAN imagine, sometimes things are useful in a DIFFERENT way than you imagined! (never saw this as a "side business" skill!)

a bolero for niece?

November 13th, 2007 at 02:42 pm

she's been begging for me to knit her something...I found this nice pattern on the web today...looks great, and the instructions are fairly easy....I think I might give this a try! (I can knit it in my lunch time here at work - if there are no translations! LOL!- and she'll never know about it!)

I was actually looking for instructions to knit one for Ale, as she has said she wants one and, we saw one at the store the other day....$20....NO WAY!.... the pattern I found also gives instructions on how to adapt it!...hmmmm, might even do a third one for is...wouldn't THAT be neat??....I could probably do all 3 for $20 (or less!)...it's an idea...

Expenses for today

November 12th, 2007 at 09:54 am

took Fiona to the vet for her anti-parasyte shot and a bath (I don't usually spend money on baths for her, but prefer to bathe her myself, but, thought we could "spoil" her as an advanced Xmas gift...and the bath includes nail clipping, which she needed anyway!...they put neon green bows in her ears...she looks sooooo cute!...)....anyway, I thought I was going to spend about $30 ($29 to be exact, as I had called ahead to know what each service cost)....the Dr. didn't charge for the visit, only for the shot and, since the nail clipping was included with the bath, I ended up spending only $12...yipee!

Left Fi at the vet's and went to a place that sells baker's supplies to get two bottles of vanilla for a friend who lives in the US (we agreed to "trade" the vanilla for crayons for Ale!)...I bought some cookie cutters and found some swirly candles, too (sis' birthday is Dec 15)...spent a total of $8...originally, I thought each vanilla bottle was $3, but it turns out they are actually $1....no savings here, though, because I spent the $$$ on the cutters and the candles....I saw sooooo many things that would be so nice to have....but, that's it: "nice to have"...plus, I SHOULD have a lot of that stuff someplace (but sis boxed up everything that was in my parents' house when they died, so I don't know where she put it!)...and I refuse to buy it if I KNOW I have it...

I then went to a clothing store to buy some clothes for Ale for Xmas...a pair of pants and 2 shirts...$21 ...OUCH!...I did find that expensive... but I'm now "done" with her Xmas presents!!...

Now I need to find a present for sis, one for niece, and one for cousin....I'm sorry, it really is "not in me" to give either of my nephews presents this year!...a present for my best friend's son (we agreed two Xmases ago that we would give the children presents and a hug would be enough present for us!)

...I also have to start thinking about Nanny's Xmas basket...and her Xmas bonus...

Milk on sale!

November 8th, 2007 at 08:20 am

...powdered milk has gotten so expensive (we are now paying $2.98 for a 400g bag!)...and, today I found an ad offering it at $2.16!...I'm stocking up!

someone cloned cousin's debit card!

November 7th, 2007 at 12:30 pm

there was a discrepancy between HER numbers and the balance at the bank (she discovered this when a toy wholesaler tried to reserve a cheque she had given and got rejected for insufficient funds)...well, someone has spent $685 from her account!...living the good life at expensive restaurants and bars in the two most expensive malls here in ES (coincidentally near the place where we live!)....I would have blamed it on her son (who, at least apparently, continues to behave and will start to work next month!- or so he says)...well, I would have blamed him if it weren't for 2 things: 1. he was with her at the times when the transactions took place and 2. there's a $150 purchase at a store called Ilusion. Cousin didn't know what it was, but I do...it's a very expensive home-decor store (definetily not your average teenage-hangout!)...nothing but crystal, silver,pewter and the likes there...definetely not a place where a teenage boy would spend $$$$....she is disputing the charges (obviously) and has closed her account with the bank...

On the day her cheque was rejected, she tried to go to an ATM to get a balance and found out her card was blocked. When contacting the bank she was told the card had been reported as stolen, so they issued her a NEW card...and not she's lost ANOTHER $535 ....fishy, very fishy...

anyway, the bank is investigating, and she got whathever money she had out of there...

She's been told it generally takes 45 days to have something like this resolved...we'll see...wish us luck! (the $$$ in the account was the toy money!!!...obviously she thought it would be a lot wiser to keep it in the bank, where it would be "safe" rather than keep it home....after last year's "incident" with her son!)...I'm just glad I didn't give her MY share of the $$$, but chose to keep it myself, as we need to buy some toys TODAY to be able to benefit from a special sale price- which will allow us a $10 PROFIT/toy, instead of the $5 foreseen!! Smile

Ale's dream store

November 6th, 2007 at 08:16 pm

Ale and her best friend want to open a store to sell "stuff"...they actually want to call it "Ale and Danny's stuff"...Ale says that Danny will be in charge of allocating the money, but that she (Ale) gets to be the boss and she gets a bigger share of the profit (her expression, not mine!) because it was HER idea...Ale will be in charge of ordering the stuff to sell, but, she says, she will have to order other stuff, too, as it would be nice to have restrooms in the store...she also thinks it would be nice to have a cafeteria, so people can eat there and save on food and gas...the food in the cafeteria would be free for customers, so if someone coming in for the first time notices the cafeteria, she'd tell them: oh, it's free for our customers...

AND, she says she would be very good at selling, because she's already been to the flea market on Sundays, and has also experience buying stuff from coming with cousin and me on our weekend expeditions downtown...

She knows she has to pay for the stuff she buys, plus the people that work at the store, and that from they cannot take all the profit because they need to replenish the store.... (I wish I had known all that when I was 7!! LOL!)

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