@EternalOctopus They are definitely cheaper in Virginia, and according to a friend of mine with a Virginia vanity plate, it used to be just a (low) one time fee, whereas most states make you pay an annual fee for your personalized plate. Just looked at a couple DMV sites and Virginia now charges $10 per year, whereas California will run you an initial fee of $50 and then $38 every year after that, at a minimum.
@Unaccompanied Lady I am dying, my story is so similar. I met him at a book signing when I was in college. You know when everyone was wearing ironic shirts that said "Frank" or "Jeff" on them? My roommate found a bowling league shirt at a thrift store that had my actual name on it. I am not sure why I was wearing that disgusting thing on the day I chose to meet a former President, but the whole day had been a spur of the moment decision.
So I go up to shake his hand, he looks at my chest, looks at my face, and says "It's so nice to meet you, Jill", and I walked away utterly confused and elated because HOW DID HE KNOW MY NAME? I wanted to pass out. It wasn't until I was out of the bookstore that I remembered my name was on my shirt. A stupid looking polo shirt with a set of bowling pins on the back. I die.
Brava to this woman, from those of us with no desire to have your sticky, smelly toddler forced on us.
My ex-boyfriend's brother and sister-in-law used to insist that their kids give me a KISS on my FACE every time we left their house. And we didn't live in the same state so I saw these kids basically once a year, meaning they had no clue who I was. She'd hold a child up to my face and implore him to kiss me as I was trying to do a running back spin move out the door. It was like trying to push two magnets together.
Your kid wants to kiss a near stranger as much as I want his slobbery face anywhere near me.
@dracula's ghost One thing I would suggest is to try a wool mattress pad. They are expensive but in my opinion, so worth it.
This is not really akin to going through menopause, but my boyfriend is a really warm sleeper and it was getting to the point that we had to wash the sheets almost every day because he was waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat (I have a Tempur Pedic mattress and those sleep warmer than most mattresses). Wool sounds totally counterintuitive, but it's supposed to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It changed our lives the first night we used it, not one more night sweating episode since.
Of course he's not getting hot flashes, so your mileage may vary. The ones made by SnugFleece have a 30 day money back guarantee, though I don't know how difficult it is to return it if you don't like it.
Ally is a great option for a savings account. I opened a checking and savings account with them over a year ago and I love it. What's with the "I believe there are fees for transfers"? Not that hard to look up their fee schedule, they're one of the only banks that has always offered a straightforward approach to fees: http://www.ally.com/bank/online-savings-account/?INTCMPID=SavingsMenu_OSA_Nav#tabs=fees No minimum balance, no monthly maintenance fees, no charge for withdrawals as long as you stay within the fed's limit of 6 per month. Interest rate is decent compared to most and overdrafts are reasonable.
Regarding negotiation, I would love it if I could force every career woman to read the book Women Don't Ask. You don't have to be a pushover! Just ask. That book is amazing and hopefully it will help put you in the right frame of mind.
And as for the savings bonds, please put them in a Roth IRA if you don't need the money and you don't want to be tempted to touch it. Even if you already have a retirement plan. This is a no brainer.
@punkahontas Last year a friend of mine loaded up an Elmo pinata with cans of beer and brought it to a party at my house. At some point the head was busted off of it, and then in a moment of drunken brilliance Elmo was bodyslammed on my hardwood floors. The cans burst and as the beer was leaking onto my floor, it mixed with the red crepe paper and turned a shade of pink/red. Basically, picture a headless Elmo bleeding all over my living room.
I took a moment to laugh at the absurdity before literally running for my paper towels, Swiffer WetJet, and hardwood floor cleaner. Crisis averted and I got a good story to tell out of it, but seriously, a pre-filled pinata containing confetti is an honest mistake. A pinata full of beer cans is just stupid.
@kayjay Solidarity! My man is a 37 year old server/artist (a painter, to be specific) and he's the shit. I've dated my fair share of "non-professionals" (my mom has referred to this guy as such, yeah) and the key is finding one who's not intimidated by your success. They are out there, and likely their definition of success is not solely related to income. I'll take my starving artist over the guy with the dead end full time job any day. My parents, however, would much prefer I stuck with the latter...