The other thing that has been playing on my mind the last week or two is a Christmas vacation. J really wanted to go away somewhere, but she's studying so can't really afford anything. Now i'm earning a decent salary i can afford to do it, but i'm still semi-operating with that sense of poverty that was all too real just three months ago. Like, i feel guilty spending money on anything. Part of it is because of the way i was brought up - my mom was always very conscious of teaching us to be careful with money, and even at my worst manic moments i've never gone to the extremes some people have. There's always that niggling guilt somewhere in the back of my head. So it's still hard for me to justify spend a big chunk of change on something - especially a vacation, which is pure self-indulgence. And it just compounds it when i have to pay for two. But, well, fuck it.
Of course getting from the decision to go on vacation to actually booking something is a whole mission in itself. We were looking at the north-east because it's by far the most affordable destination from here. The thing is, it's fucking shitty weather here over Christmas. We got stuck in a blizzard last year in Boston and although it was fun in its own way, it would be nice to actually get away from that for a while. Florida was an option because J's late grandmother still owns an apartment there for a few more months, but i'd feel awkward relying on her family's charity again. There were some deals for Mexico and the Caribbean, but i'm not sure if i'd enjoy a resort-style vacation, and J is a little wary of getting into a situation where the alcohol flows so freely. So we ended up looking at Vegas. The flights cost a fair whack, but the hotels are ridiculously cheap. After days of exhausting research we ended up at what to me is the quintessential Vegas joint - we'll be at the Flamingo for three nights, coming home Christmas night. Ha! I have no interest in gambling, and i guess going with J i won't be drinking much, but there should be plenty of other entertaining things to see. I'm excited! Just hope it doesn't freakin snow :)
This weekend she's busy again so i might head out to a gig, i guess, depending how i feel. I am enjoying going out again, so very much. I'm beginning to feel like me again, and i don't want to let go of that. It is leaving me a little frazzled, though. There is less time for me to do "normal" stuff on the weekends, and i'm letting some things get away from me a little bit. I've been pretty out of touch with people not in my immediate circle. I'm not doing a very good job of taking my medication on-time or at all some days, and that's something i haven't done for years. Meanwhile i accepted some more freelance work, and it is kicking my ass trying to focus on that after i come home completely drained from my day job. But if i keep that going it's extra cash, which makes me feel less guilty about spending on other things.
I also got a smart phone over the weekend. I've been using my iPod for a few years now as an offline RSS/news reader on the way to work, but after my latest app updates it finally gave out. The apps i use won't start up - presumably because it's a 1st-gen iPod - which makes it fairly useless to me (i don't really use it to listen to music). I was considering just buying a new iPod, but when i discovered i could get a smart phone and still be on pre-paid, i jumped at the chance. It is really, really nice being able to check my email when i'm out, though i must admit it shocked the hell out of me how quickly the battery drains on these things. I've had pre-paid Nokias all my life, so i'm used to indestructible phones that can go a week without a charge. But hey, moving with the times. Maybe i'll become one of those nerdz who posts Facebook updates all day long. Or not, because when i'm at work i get so sucked into the job i don't even notice texts coming through. See, this is why i need my leisure time. Looking forward to getting bent tomorrow. But i will behave, i do need to work on Friday, alas.
Anyway, midnight, guess i should go to bed. Been up way too late the last few nights noodling around online and looking at stupid hotels. Ahh, just two more sleeps to weekend.
And yes, this is a terrible picture. It was the middle of the summer in New York City and i was dying. Unfortunately no good pictures of me have surfaced in the last three years or so. So sad.