Save a Penny, Blow Thousands

Save a Penny, Blow Thousands

Many of you know I play these silly games where it’s all about how low I can go with my expenditures. My obsession was at its worst when I was in grad school at UF. The summer would be like 100+, and I’d still pretend not to have A/C. I think I set my thermostat to like 98 as soon as spring came along, and I just conditioned myself to ignore the profuse sweating. Since then, I’ve picked up some of John’s sybaritic tendencies, for example, the nice laptop, high speed internet, good food, but I still try to pinch a pretty penny when I can.

At work, the daily lunches out at $7 each were adding up, so as part of my New Year’s resolutions, I stopped eating out with the crew:
A. The lunches were socially awkward for me, especially with the CEO there. People are so weird when he’s around.
B. The food was getting old. Plus it was mediocre at best.
C. Who had time for lunch once the work pace picked up?

Mentally, I calculated that I was saving some decent dough by packing my lunch and eating at my desk. So I was pleased with myself. I got so much more done too it seemed.

In other cheap thrills, I replaced all the light bulbs in our house with CFLs. Our energy bill ran about half of what it was at that bullshit energy-sucking apartment Archstone. My hybrid is also serving me well, getting me to work reliably while reducing my trips to the gas station. Btw, gas now runs about $3.50/gallon. No wonder Wal-Mart suffered the worst sales numbers in like three decades! But I digress…

Anyway, I was on a roll, and like any jaded person, I knew I was due for something. Well, welcome to this week. Work has continued to grind me down to a fucking nub. My skin is tanking big time. Yesterday, so many people told me I looked tired and that I’ve lost weight. Apparently, I’ve discovered a new diet: the crazy busy work diet. Five pounds in a few weeks. Not bad. Ok, all jokes aside, I don’t mind the weight loss, I’d put on a few since returning Stateside, but the skin irritation is not cool. I’m not just talking about my face. I’m talking rashes on my hand and waist. I’m really worried it’s the return of the shingles. Wtf? I mean, yes, I’m stressed (and having anxiety dreams nightly) but whatev. Why is my body not handling this? So annoying. I know, I need to take action soon…

But the biggest news, is that Remy got checked for her broken tooth. As I explained before, she broke her 4th premolar, the major grinding tooth on the upper left side. The damage was partial, but it got to her pulp (canal) where there are supposedly a shitload of nerves. I researched this heavily online, and turns out this is very bad. Infection is inevitable, so all the experts say you have three options: vital pulp therapy, root canal (this tooth happens to have THREE roots), or extraction. I’ve included a picture… seriously, she is acting totally fine. I’ve pressed on it, brushed it, blown air on it… no problem. But I figured, an expert still needed to check it out. The day of the appointment, I left work at noon. This is what happens when you have a long commute, and you go into auto-pilot. I drive 50 miles a day roundtrip for work. Usually, it’s in rush hour so the cops are never out. Well screw me with a spoon. The cops are out in full force at lunch time. And who knows what I was zoning out on… work, life, whatever. Out from fucking nowhere, a motorcycle copper appeared in the rear view mirror. I pulled over. Then, I couldn’t find my goddamn vehicle registration. I know, what kind of stoner am I? So whatever, got busted. We’re talking a $300 ticket. But hell man, I’m not just handing money over without a fight. It’s time to learn the frickin’ system. I’m contesting this bull. My record’s been clean for the last 6 years; I ain’t tainting my “good driver” record quietly… Btw, to those of you who say women ALWAYS get off. That’s total bullshit. Either that or I’m not a woman.

Anyway, back to Remy. So I took her to the vet. He saw the pulp exposed, and referred me to the dental specialist to see what all the options were. Dental specialist gave me 3 treatment plans, all of which cost $1600. It’s major surgery, with anesthesia and all, but the procedure is still same day and recovery is like 3 days. Doesn’t sound so bad.

I called my vet about the treatment options, and he was floored that the extraction was quoted for the same as the root canal, but whatever. So my dentist offered to do the extraction for $600, and I went ahead and booked the appointment. So yeah, $1500 is crazy expensive, and $600 is a hefty amount too, but it’s not just about the money. I mean, I save like Scrooge McDuck so I might as well spend, but now I feel bad about having Remy be less than perfect (I know, am I a doting freakzoid mom or what?). The thing is, with extraction, the outcome is certain. With the root canal, there are a series of post-op x-rays and follow up… not definite positive outcome. But she gets to keep the tooth. My vet buddy Nathalie says dogs are fine without the tooth… they are easy; it’s the humans who obsess and spaz about everything… I dunno. Still thinking about it.

Obviously, I’ve had better days but this is not the end of the world. I just have to make an effort to improve my different life situations. Btw, I got a pair of inline skates a couple weeks ago, and I am OBSESSED. So much fun. Maybe the 5 lbs. should be attributed to that… I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve already walked the dogs on them… of course Martin gets super nervous and doesn’t know to stay on one side. Twice, he’s crossed over in front of me and caused me to splat. But no injuries so far. Yeah man, livin’ on the edge with my extreme sports! Ha.


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