Thursday, March 22, 2012


I was reading Marie Claire at the library yesterday, and there was an article giving suggestions for how women should take control of their finances. One of the financial advisers said that, in this economy, going back to school for another degree is not worth the money (so true), and you should pursue adult education and training courses instead. Of course, this got me thinking. Especially because my student loan online account was telling me that I needed to pay nearly $800 today (and every month).

I was complaining the other day about how one year of my life cost me $70,000. A year that I'll probably be paying off for at least the next 30. The article made me think I'd made a huge mistake leaving my good job and getting my master's degree. I went into $70,000 debt in order to be LESS employable than I was four years ago. $70,000 debt in order to reach my 30th birthday with no career, no job even, no savings, no retirement fund, nothing.

But that's not really what I went into $70,000 debt for. I went into debt so that I could live in the UK for three and a half years. I basically spent $70,000 for two visas. I did it so that I could see Izzi again. So that I could meet several people who now fit into the category "some of my favorite people in the whole entire world." So that I could see more of the world: Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, and Uganda. I went on safari with that money! I went to Paris twice! I had my breath taken away by the Dorset coast, the beaches of Cornwall, and the mists of Glen Coe. I've lost count of the number of times I've relaxed in the most charming farmhouse in Sussex. I drank Snowballs with the Coleys. And, to add a grated cheese topping to this cheese pie, I met my handsome man. My next adventure will happen (hopefully; knock on wood) because I took on that debt. I just need to periodically remind myself what I really intended that money for, and what I got out of it.

And at some point, but happily not today, I need to figure out how to pay it back.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Australia fun facts

There are more sheep in Australia than people.

Australia has mammals that lay eggs, which of course challenges the definition of "mammal" that we all learned in elementary school. They're called "monotremes," and they include platypuses.

Australia pioneered a manufacturing process for polymer banknotes. Australian bills are plastic, which means they're less susceptible to wear and counterfeiting.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Snapshots of Home: Part 1

I see this as a series of photos describing home, in its American-ness, or its Seattle-ness, or its Peterson-ness.

First, a scene that I normally wouldn't consider odd, if I hadn't spent three years in the UK, where you just don't see things like this. This is American-ness:

Second, some Nakelski-ness. This is my new best friend. He likes to hang out in the corner of Amy and Diana's living room, within sight of the TV:

And now for quite a bit of Peterson-ness. After a healthy day of sport (skeeball) at the Family Fun Center, we spent our winnings on candy and toys. What's better than an inflatable sword? An inflatable SNAKE sword! And what's better than an inflatable snake sword? THREE inflatable snake swords in varying colors!!

The Pi(e) Party with a disconcertingly high baby to pie ratio:

And me showing off my cute dress at Jillian's birthday party.

Fun with time zones

If you ever want to turn your brain into a bowl of spaghetti, try figuring out why the time zones in Australia are the way they are. And then try to figure out the difference between Adelaide and Seattle with and without daylight savings. Oh, don't forget that Seattle's daylight savings change is three weeks before Adelaide's. Also, don't forget that spring is occurring in Seattle when fall is starting in Adelaide, so you have to spring forward in Seattle three weeks before you fall back in Adelaide. Isn't that FUN?!?!???

Why are Queensland (yellow) and NSW (blue) an hour apart? And why is SA (green) further in the future than Queensland, if the sun hits Queensland before it hits SA?

All this because I want to know what time to arrive at Starbucks tomorrow for a Skype date with my handsome man, who will arrive "around the same time as last week." Last week, before daylight savings started. Ouch.

Don't even ask me what time it is in London right now, because my head might explode. Leaving bits of my heart on different continents, and now different hemispheres, is starting to get confusing.