Well, here it is. The end of one glorious year and the start of another. Since lists seem to be the “in” thing these days, I’ve compiled a fun list of events (focused on perks) of 2012 and what I’m planning resolutions-wise and event-wise in 2013.


  • Steampunk-themed contra dance party with fantastic costumes, goggles c/o la boyfriend (now of nearly 2 years)
  • Vacation to Seattle to visit cousins and play tourist
  • Finding out Dad had prostate cancer, supporting him from far away, and then having an “Adios, Cancer!” party when we found out he was cancer-free (44 radiation treatments later)
  • Incredible women’s climbing weekend in West Virginia
  • Interesting, if amusing, debates followed by re-election of President Obama (phew!)
  • Friends-filled college “reunion” going-away party
  • Vacation and travel through Peru, catching 15K heights and Machu Picchu
  • Maryland Renaissance Festival and dress-up
  • Started second novel
  • Joined/helped form an independent author’s collective/publishing imprint
  • Sent over 30 letters to Sandy Hook Elementary School
  • Spent first holiday with boyfriend’s family



  • Eat breakfast every morning
  • Spend 1 hour before work writing and/or editing
  • Meditate twice a day
  • Still arrive at work at sane hour
  • Make more home-cooked meals (cheaper and healthier!)

Events to Look Forward To:

  • Time-travel-themed contra dance party with boyfriend (yay more dress-up)
  • Parents visiting DC
  • Seeing more old college friends
  • First time going to Las Vegas (conference)
  • Seattle visit with cousins
  • Saturday classes for project management
  • possible Hunger Games food/watching event
  • I turn 25 (woo rental cars!)
  • Attending brother’s wedding in Hawai’i as bridesmaid
  • <Possibilities!>

I think I owe more money. I don’t think I should, since I’m paying for it with my own card. I have claims. I “may pay” some. I don’t understand. Send me a bill.

I actually have lots of claims. I’ve been to lots of doctor visits and had lots of various tests done (old doc seemed a rather big fan of blood tests). Do I suddenly owe money on them? The website (as many websites that we know involving money <ahem>SallieMae<ahem>) didn’t clarify things one bit.

Whatever. I’m sure if I owe money they’ll let me know in no uncertain terms. Right. Right? …

On the plus side, PT went really well today. Could be on the short road to recovery! Of course, I feel a little worse after he tried loosening me up, but hoping it will ease up with lots of stretching.

I started physical therapy for my neck this week. I am paying for it all on my own, which means May in general is getting really expensive. But it reminded me of a tidbit of advice I’d forgotten to share in my earlier post.

When you get a job that has benefits, look through everything carefully before deciding on which plan you want for health insurance. Many insurance companies have something called a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA. It allows you to set aside some amount of money that is not taxed and you can only get at for medical reasons. Often, this comes in the form of something akin to a pre-paid credit card. So, for example, that co-pay for the doctor’s office? The amount you have to actually pay the pharmacy for your prescriptions? Try to add up all of the things you think you’d like to have money set aside for. Look at the list of items your insurance provider will cover within the FSA. Sometimes this includes Tylenol, ice packs, contact lenses and/or solution, etc. Basically, whatever number you come up with, add a little more for unexpected costs like getting sick, when you’ll need a little more. This amount, over the year, will be taken from your paycheck. So, you get paid a little less but you know those things you need are covered. It’s a sweet deal if you work it the right way. Just remember to use it all – usually what you haven’t used by the end of the year goes up in smoke.

Unfortunately, I did not enroll in mine this year (bad timing), and it would have been nice to my own monthly spending if I had.

As for physical therapy, it is only covered (in part) after I reach a certain deductible, which is more than the total sum of all the PT sessions.

Tom-ay-toh, tom-ah-toe. I’ll deal with it. Just means I can’t save much this month.