March 2017 Budget Report

Hey all!

So this might be totally dumb, but I hope you'll bear with me. I recently came across a blog ( The couple who run it talk a lot about personal finance, and one of the things they do is present a monthly "budget report" explaining what went well, what went wrong, etc. I really like it - reading through their experiences helps me to think about my own and gives me ideas.

More importantly, it helps them to be accountable. I mean, I budget, but I find myself hedging around and not including certain expenses for various reasons (usually something like guilt). But I feel really motivated today so I'm going to try and hash out what happened to US this month and hopefully next month will be better. :)

So here goes.

I won't explain this regularly, but just for record's sake:
Ian and I get paid fairly irregularly and that is going to change this year as well. Last year I was employed, this year I am a student. Ian is a student but…

No Spoon

I forgot to bring a spoon. I packed a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup . . . and a bowl.

I should just keep a spoon in my backpack.

I fill the bowl with red goop and a can of tap water.

I go to my desk. The student who's desk is next to mine doesn't seem to be paying attention. He is listening to hard rock on headphones that are either of very poor quality or at a volume that will have him deaf within 20 years.

I begin to vigorously mix the soup with my pointer finger, glancing over every few seconds and hiding my hand under my desk if he happens to look in my direction. I look very suspicious. The red goop doesn't readily dissolve in the tap water. Note to self: the water solubility of condensed tomato soup is of a level that requires a spoon or at the very least a fork. Preferably a whisk.

Not a blunt, ~ 1.0 cm diameter, flesh-colored rod.

It blends to edibility. I drink the soup straight from the bowl. There are some lumps, but tolerable ones.

I find a spoon i…

On Having An Awesome Last Name

When your last name is Peacock, everyone wants you to dress in, eat from, decorate your home with, and transform into a Peacock. I receive at least one text message per week with a Peacock-related product included. (When I was first married, it was with greater frequency.)

I would be lying if I didn't feel similarly. I cannot pass by anything Peacock-related without feeling a very poignant level for regret that I cannot be a respectable 26-year-old in the eyes of my minimalist pseudo-professional millennial peers and wear Peacock regalia. I look forward to being 65 and feeling as though I'm justified in all things Peacock.

Truly, though, I should have hyphenated it with Black. I guess I totally blew it, because everyone says so. Even the Fedex guy I talked to the other day said so. But when I become a vigilante named "The Black Peacock" I don't want it to be TOO easy for them to track me down...

On another note, does your mind ever decide that a certain age just …

Foods I Prepared for Myself When I Was Young

In order of when I remember making them, starting with the earliest:

1. Bread balls (i.e. ripping white bread into pieces and squishing them into pebble-like balls. I would prepare a cup of these and then consume them.)

2. Saltines with cheese slices (cheap less-cool Lunchable style)

3. Buttery Tortilla (i.e. melting butter on a white flour tortilla, rolling it up, and trying to eat it before the butter dribbles out. Cinnamon sugar is a plus.)

4. Nachos (i.e. tortilla chips with sliced cheddar melted on top.)

5. Tomato Juice (but NEVER vegetable juice. I can taste the celery.) In a water bottle. Best consumed while laying on bed and reading.

6. Semi-cooked Tortilla Chips (fried corn tortilla triangles that you take out before they are really done because secretly you like the slightly soggy texture.)

Sometimes Los Angeles Makes Me Feel Like...

I may or may not listen to this song at least once every time I commute. 

Oh hi there!

I underestimated a few things. For your general information:
School is going well. I'm enjoying myself. I have no free time (though I keep ignoring this fact and using my free time to bake and make t-rex videos).  I will try to blog when I think of it. I get to go to Utah in December.

Daring Kitchen September and SCHOOL

It's been a little over a year since I was a student (i.e. in Cuba last July), so I am really surprised at how strange it feels. But being a graduate student is definitely different from being an undergraduate.

For one thing, your required classes are a bit of a bother because you want to get on with your research, not do busy work - plus you always have other things to be doing. For another thing, your classes are also more interesting because you're constantly thinking about how they apply in real time to what you're working on in the lab. Suddenly I'm not worried about the grades I get in statistics, I'm trying to figure out how to use the skills and formulas to analyze data that I actually collected. So cool.

Also, there is a lot of reading.
Lots of a lot of a lot. And your professor is giving you books required for the class and then more books on the side "in case you're interested" and OF COURSE you are because this is your new livelihood. And …