Gahhhh, what an expensive couple of weeks it has been in this household!
Now before you get your knickers in a twist, let me assure you that we are not in any sort of dire straits. Everything’s covered, every bill is being paid, all mouths are being fed. We are good. But after months and months and months of being reasonably responsible with our money, it’s like the floodgates have opened.
I think what started it was my new lens. Granted, I do not need a new lens. But this is a most fantastic lens, and it was very reasonably priced, as lenses go, at just $200. Since it was out of stock everywhere, I ordered it from Amazon and fully expected to wait six months to receive it. That’s what happens when Nikon releases a rad new lens. Everyone and their uncle waits till the first responders get their hot little hands on one, and then when the reviews are amazing, they all go out and order one. Nikon never makes enough lenses, so there is usually a waiting list. Now, I could have ordered the same lens from an unscrupulous third party to receive it immediately — if I were willing to spend $500 for a $200. Um, no thanks. I put in my order and waited patiently. Alla sudden, an email appears in my inbox stating that my lens has shipped.
I have yet to take that lens off my camera, except to get one or two really wide-angle shots. It’s that awesome.
The next thing to go was my little pink camera. It was when my friend from Washington came out to visit, and I had just dropped her off at her hotel in Boston when I noticed the skyline all lit up beautifully. I attempted to take a photo with my little pink camera, and lo, it would not cooperate. The damn thing wouldn’t even stay on! It’d been acting up for months, doing the equivalent of a blue screen o’ death at crucial moments. I put up with it until that night in Boston, but I could do so no longer. Kurt needed a camera to take to Florida with him on his business trip!
And you are absolutely insane if you think I’m going to let him travel with my Nikon dSLR. It’s not that I don’t trust him, but how can I go a whole week without taking a photo? That’s like some of you going without coffee, or without reading, or without sleep. It just cannot be done.
So now we (yes, it’s Kurt’s too) are the proud owners of a little Nikon point & shoot camera. It wasn’t the camera I absolutely wanted, but it is little, and it was cheap, and it is Good Enough. No point in spending an extra $100 to get features I probably wouldn’t use anyhow. I have yet to grab my photos off it, so I haven’t seen them on the computer, but I’ll be fixing that soonest.
And of course you know the story of my laptop, the one with the dying hard drive. Kurt elected to replace it instead of sinking money into this HP hunk o’ junk. My pink Dell should be here tomorrow!! I CANNOT WAIT! See, why couldn’t this have happened fifteen months ago when I initially wanted my pink laptop? We ordered the dang thing on the 7th, I believe it was, and FedEx tells me it’ll arrive tomorrow. The last time I tried to order a pink Dell, it kept getting backordered and no one could tell us why. Bahh.
Now the laptop we have financed, mainly because we are getting 0% interest as long as I pay it off by next May. That won’t be any problem at all. I get an “allowance,” of sorts, from Kurt’s paycheck, and I figure I’ll use that money to pay off my laptop.
As if that weren’t enough, the tv decided it wanted to die. Our friends got a new flat-screen tv and couldn’t decide what to do with their old, rear-projection flat-screen tv, and so they sold it to us, knowing that Kurt was dying for a big screen. That one had a 50″ screen — definitely counts as big. We paid a token amount for the tv, but then had to buy a new lamp for it. Kurt got it all set up, and we’ve been watching television on the big screen ever since.
Last week, while Kurt was on his business trip, the tv would shut off randomly. The fan would still be running, but the screen would go blank. Turning on the tv first thing in the morning was the worst; it would run for all of four minutes before it would shut off. Then it would stay on for maybe twenty minutes, and then shut off. I was trying to watch an old 30-minute episode of the British “Antiques Roadshow,” and the tv must have turned off four times in those thirty minutes.
It’s not very conducive to the tv-watching.
Kurt looked online to see if he could figure out what was wrong, and after talking to Panasonic he realized that the ballast was probably going bad. That’s a $300 part, plus another $300 labor. He most likely could do it himself, but it requires a lot of soldering and messing with circuit boards. It’s what he does for a living with the Navy, but it seemed to be too much work for a tv at least five years old that had been running at least twelve hours a day in those five years. My friends are major tv-watchers. That, and they had already warned us that we’d probably have to buy a new lamp for at least $100 every year. In other words, this tv has become a money pit.
Which is how we ended up with a new tv tonight. I mean, I guess we could have gone back to the old 27″ square tv that’s gathering dust in the garage. But how do you revert when you’re used to a 50″ screen? Now we have a 55″ LCD tv that we got for almost half off because it’s the floor model. There are a couple of scratches on it, but it still has the one-year warranty on it, and we can opt for a two-year extended warranty as well. Kurt has a “secret” savings account (not so secret, obviously, but we try to forget we have it) that will pay for this tv. He’s now playing Metroid for the Wii, and the graphics are amazing.
Honestly, all of this is just stuff. None of it is really necessary, I know. There are people starving in Africa, and here I’m spending a king’s ransom in electronics just to keep us amused. So I have a bit of guilt for the frivolous spending.
Yet another first world problem, I suppose.