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Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Time Event
7:48a
Too Taxing
I've been having that recurring dream about being in school, taking classes that I didn't realize I was in, and being overwhelmed by work. Then waking up and being overwhelmed by all there is to do. The anticipation of work is always worse than the work itself. I get absorbed once I get going.

I took the first baby steps toward taxes. Cash transactions since last May are now loaded on Quicken, and I started recording checking and investment account items. At times, I had to check the calendar and even my blog to see what I was doing, say, when I took cabs (return from the Pleasantville tournament:deductible, Oscar party: no). My bank seems to have changed its leeway on how often you need to download, and Quicken did not pick up transactions for most of February. They're online on the bank site, and in the printed statement, but it's a pain to have to manually add them to Quicken.

I still keep a paper checking account transaction register as backup. I have plenty of checks but am out of space on the register. The bank's web site and phone line have no way to order a register, so I'll stop by the bank. If they don't have one, I suppose a list on a pad will suffice. (Updated to add: I have 3 boxes of checks with no registers, BUT I still have a box of checks from an old account - *cough*packrat*cough* - and THAT had a register.)

Maybe I can make a dent in the other work today.
11:29p
Semi-rewarding
I started out the day productively by sorting out papers relating to checking account transactions. Telephone, cable, Con Ed, and 4 charge cards all go through this account. Everything is now ready to be entered on Quicken.

I had a book to mail that was requested 3/28. Usually I like to minimize trips to the P.O. and mail more than one book at a time, but nothing else had come in and I needed to mail it. I went to the smaller station south of here and the line was long, so I used the self-service machine. It doesn't do Media Mail but this was a very light book so First Class was actually cheaper. I've been classifying these postage expenses as "postage" but wonder if I should make them "books" since that's really the cost of getting books through the trading sites.

Then to the bank. Even though I found a check register, I still had 2 checks to deposit. The teller didn't have check registers, and the person at the customer service desk looked through many drawers and couldn't find any. Someone finally brought out a few, so I couldn't ask for more than one. The 2 I have should suffice for a while. I don't use too many actual checks but have lots of online transactions to enter. Next, I picked up still more at-home puzzles to grade. This is the next urgent task along with taxes and those 2 other jobs due next week. Wait, now it's 3, with another one received today. Note to self: Do not panic, keep working.

Gristedes had none of my preferred foods so I walked up to the other Gristedes. No Edy's pints. I haven't seen them in a long time. Felt too fat for the 4-muffin assortment (even though my weight is - finally - down to the goal I set a while ago. This is still pretty high), so got one double chocolate muffin. AND they had MM light raspberry passion juice! I just got one juice since the at-homes were heavy to carry.

I just checked online and Edy's does not appear to make pints anymore. Grrr. They have the same flavors (peanut butter cup ripple and Nestle toll house swirl) in large sizes, but those are useless to me since I'd eat it all in one sitting. Keep it in the freezer for days and daintily spoon out a small scoop once in a while? Hahahahahaha, they must be kidding. The calories aren't bad for a pint but too much for more. I e-mailed to make sure the pints are indeed discontinued.

I got back home and ate the muffin and wondered if I should go to Border's to hear Dana Vachon. I had put this on the calendar and then taken it off. The main reason for going was to get a Border's rewards card in order to redeem some market research points (e-Rewards) expiring 4/30. It was getting late but I got myself back out and to Time-Warner Center. It wasn't as crowded as Suzanne Vega, and Vachon had already started reading from ... I don't know if it was "Mergers and Acquisitions" (which I read and had mixed feelings about - and traded away) or something new in progress. The passage didn't sound familiar, but I was too shy to ask. Serves me right for being late. Vachon looks like his pictures: young and, well, privileged. His father was there, too. There weren't huge numbers of questions and I left when the line formed for signing.

I checked out the puzzle section next to the events area, and turned a copy of "Wordplay" to face front. The info desk people said the cashier could give me a rewards card. According to everything I'd read, the card is free and doesn't require a purchase. But when I got to the register, I was told I did need a purchase in order to enter a new card in the system. But but but... I want to wait until I can put my gift on it and THEN come back to buy, I said.

I was ready to institute a boycott and DON'T EVER SHOP AT BORDERS and general obnoxiousness - when the cashier then gave me a card and said I could activate it online myself. Oh, OK, that'll work. I did say if they hadn't given me the card they would have lost substantial business from me, and I spend thousands of dollars on books (well, I do, if you add it up over the years). DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? (no, I didn't say that)

Back home, I activated the card online with no problem. Whew. Then to the market research site to apply the gift. I have over $50 in e-Rewards pending, so I figured I'd use the $15 Border's reward 3 times. I put the first $15 on the card, but then learned that reward can only be used ONCE per calendar year. Darn! As a new Border's cardholder, I also got a 20% coupon off one item which must be used by 4/18, so all this will have to do. I'll redeem these next week, hopefully on puzzle-related items I can deduct next year.

Now I needed to redeem $35 more in e-Rewards, but most of the offers weren't that great: discounts instead of outright free stuff. One of the merchants was Levenger's ($25 coupon). I wanted a lap desk ever since I saw one at A's house a few years ago, and this would make it more affordable. After I redeemed the reward, I read the fine print and saw I had to buy $75 worth of goods in order to apply the $25. Grrr. I added a book stand and some bungees (bookmarks).

Still $10 in e-Rewards to redeem, with $8 of it expiring this month so basically I had to redeem it now. So now I have a subscription to "Interview." I got it once before and never read it (it's in the piles of magazines), and that may happen again, but there was nothing else I remotely wanted.

Dear e-Rewards: If you're going to call them rewards, could you make them a little more rewarding? Thanks. -- En
11:44p
Were they playing hide the salami?
http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/archives/014168.html

Buns as Soft as Yours Deserve the Hardest Salami I Can Give You

Middle Aged Woman: I'd like to get some hard salami, but I'd like to see it first.
Serious Deli Man: You would like to see my hard salami? [goes to get it and brings it out to show her]
Woman: Is it very hard salami? How hard is the salami?
Serious Deli Man: Ma'am, I don't think it is hard enough for you.

--Fairway Market

Overheard by: Jen

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