break? what break? (or maybe it should be called: money? what money?)

Welcome to Fall Quarter 2003. Start preparing yourselves for more ramblings about my seventeen credits course-load (bearable), my paid internship (time-consuming yet exciting), and the fact that I may not be tutoring calculus this quarter as usual (very, very sad, and no, I am not being sarcastic, sheesh). So not only does fall quarter mean getting used to driving long distances all over again (one week in, and I have a back-ache and sense of exhaustion I can’t seem to shake off), putting up with
the annoying valet guys at the university parking garage, evening classes (what was I thinking?) and irregular dinners (surprise, surprise), it also has a lot to do with money. Mon-ayyyy. You know you like money. Just admit it. It’s good for some stuff.

One week into the quarter, and I still have $29.27 in my wallet. Let’s see how long this lasts. Cleaning out my bag today, I found a stash of wrinkled-up receipts. Here’s a run-down on where my money came from and went to, based on last Monday alone:

– Quick cash as a result of selling back two textbooks from summer session: $24 (rip-off!)
– Paycheck I had forgotten about for proctoring almost two months ago: $30
– Bank deposit slip for scholarship (finally, man): $3,000
– Fall ’03 registration fees: $2,594.37 (up by 30%, as of this quarter. Grand.)
– Books for only two of my courses: $207.76 (Five other books still on hold.)
– Slurpee #1 (cherry-flavored): $0.75
– Random school supplies and things: $40.40
– Parking permit for Fall ’03: $121
– Lunch with Friend #1: $5.14 (Oh, and she gave me all her french fries. Such a nice child, masha’Allah. I ate all mine, too, of course.)
– Slurpee #2 (BLUE RASPBERRY!): $1.00
– Two books from the off-campus bookstore’s comparative literature section: $20.31 (No, I am not taking a comp lit course. And, traumatically enough, slurpee #2 melted at this point, because the bookstore had a “No Food or Drink Allowed” policy; therefore, I had to leave my slurpee at the counter, along with my bag. ::shakes fist in annoyance::)
– Dinner with Friend #2: $6.25
– Chocolate ice cream (happy now?): $1.25
– Gas: $28.26

I should just set up a lemonade stand to raise some money. With a big ol’ sign reading, Help a Kid Out, Yo. For Educational Expenditures Only! No one in their right mind can resist kids with lemonade stands. You know it.

The other day I was at a shopping plaza and was waylaid/sidetracked/accosted by a self-proclaimed professional photographer. Ehh, okay, maybe not technically waylaid/sidetracked/accosted, but whatever the term is for people who are trying their utmost to convince you to buy something you really, truly (cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die) have no intention whatsoever of buying.

Somehow, this guy wanders up to me and starts chattering away in such a nonstop fashion that I can barely get a word in edgewise, much less convey my disinterest in whatever he’s selling. Finally, I just give up and resort to smiling politely, shifting my weight from one foot to another, praying my eyes aren’t glazing over with weariness.

He tells me that I’m an attractive young lady and I should have his granddaughter, a professional artist, paint my portrait. She’s sitting right over there, see? come look. See, doesn’t she paint beautifully? And he thinks I should be painted in pastel, because pastel is a softer and more realistic medium, and I really should take advantage of this opportunity and have a portrait painted, because I’m very attractive and twenty years down the line [when I’m ugly, I presume] I’ll look back and wish I had taken advantage of this offer. And, no, he isn’t flattering me, because he’s a professional photographer, remember? and he’s photographed all sorts of pretty girls, so he should know. See, look at this photograph of his granddaughter on her wedding day. Wasn’t she beautiful? He took that photo, and he’s very glad he did so, because she looked so much more beautiful then (even though she’s still attractive, he adds hastily). And, look here, here’s a brochure with price listings, and I should hold on to it and take it home with me, and think it over, and his granddaughter will give me a call, but remember, there’s really no need to think it over too much. I should really get this done today, and here, now he wants to introduce me to his granddaughter the portrait painter, who patiently interrupts her work to smile quickly, confusedly, while he chatters on and asks her whether I’m not an attractive young lady.

And, good lord, she now somehow has my cell phone number, and I don’t even want a pastel portrait in the first place, especially not if it costs $180.

If I had so much money that I could afford to throw it away on pastel portraits, I’d buy myself my very own personal blue raspberry slurpee machine instead. Heck, I’d buy everyone a blue raspberry slurpee machine. You know you want one. Just admit it. And then I’d take over the world and make sure that no one (and I do mean no one) ever enforced those annoying “No Food or Drink Allowed” policies.

And that’s a promise.

Vote for me.

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