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Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 03:09 AM
Okay, so I'll be finishing my university degree in... 3 days. (Well, that's when the final paper is due, anyway.) I'm toying with the idea of buying something to celebrate/commemorate the occasion, and I'd like some other people's input!

Here's what I'm thinking of so far:

1. Some gothic stomper boots.
2. A PlayStation4 bundle with 3 games.
3. A violin.

Now, the problem I'm running into is that I want something that satisfies the following 2 conditions:

1. It must be special/commemorative seeming.
2. It must be something I'm likely to get decent use out of, and not just something that will sit in the cupboard gathering dust.

So... The only 1 of my 3 choices so far that satisfies the "commemorative" feeling, in my opinion, are the boots. However, I'm not likely to get much use out of them. 2 and 3 I'm likely to use more, but I'm still not sure *how much* I'd use them. A PS4 doesn't seem especially special, and the violin would be my first one, and thus I'd be going with a student's violin - so not exactly super special either.

Anyway, people posting in this thread could do 2 things:

1. Vote for which of my 3 you think I should get; or
2. Suggest something else.

Honestly, I have no idea what else I could get myself. I've ruled out "little things" like books, CDs and DVDs, because they don't seem special enough. I'm also only planning on spending a few hundred dollars. (The PS4 is more expensive than I'd like to pay, to be honest, but it's been nagging at me.)

So... ideas? Votes? Random jokes about buying everyone here a round of drinks?

Thanks in advance. :)

Kylabelle
11-12-2014, 03:16 AM
So, why is the violin less commemorative than the boots? Oh I see, less special. Um, your first violin is special by definition.

(I vote for the violin.)

(I may change my mind later.)

Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 03:18 AM
I don't know... Probably because I have a habit of buying musical instruments (I've owned 3 drum kits, 2 keyboards, and 4 guitars already :tongue) and I'm fairly sure that the instrument I'll be best at over time is keyboards. So it just seems like... "Oh, Cliff bought another instrument. It must be Friday."

ETA: But that's 1 vote for the violin. Thanks. :)

Osulagh
11-12-2014, 03:19 AM
Save money for a backpacking trip around the world. Commemorative and it won't gather dust.

Kylabelle
11-12-2014, 03:21 AM
Save money for a backpacking trip around the world. Commemorative and it won't gather dust.

I don't know about that. It's a pretty dusty world.

(Great suggestion!)

Crayonz
11-12-2014, 03:28 AM
A trip around the world or to some country you've always wanted to visit would be hella cool. ;)

Also, a question: why does your first violin have to be a student one?

Chris P
11-12-2014, 03:46 AM
A vote for travel!!! Sign up for a website called Couchsurfing.org and find free lodging at your destination(s). I hosted a dozen or so folks when I lived in Uganda and had a blast, as well as stayed with people when I traveled here in the US. I've never used it, but there is also a travel buddies website and might help defray some travel costs as well.

But if you're staying home, I vote for violin because that's not going to be made obsolete by a newer version or wear out. It will still be cool and useful 30 years from now.

I actually bought a fishing reel when I got my Master's degree. Never caught a SINGLE fish with it, if you want a punchline.

Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 03:58 AM
Hrm. I've never really done much traveling, so I'm not sure how traveling around the world would work for me. I had considered it, so it's definitely a good suggestion - but the thought of taking off for destinations unknown scares the bejeebus out of me. :)

Crayonz, the violin would have to be a student one due to cost. I'm not sure exactly how much the next step up costs, but it's probably at least twice as expensive as a student one, if drum kits and guitars are anything to go by.

Anyway, so far it seems the violin and world travel are about neck and neck. :)

Keep the suggestions coming! I'm not making up my mind until at least after I've submitted this final paper in a few days' time.

Osulagh
11-12-2014, 04:03 AM
Hrm. I've never really done much traveling, so I'm not sure how traveling around the world would work for me. I had considered it, so it's definitely a good suggestion - but the thought of taking off for destinations unknown scares the bejeebus out of me. :)

It's far less scary than you think (mostly because the media enforces scare tactics that create the majority of this fear). There's very little to be afraid of when it comes to backpacking and travelling. And of course, it's a learning experience--that's what you should be afraid of: Meeting the unknown and learning from it.

If you have the money, and don't have many commitments to take care of, it's a no-brainier in my book. A month, a year, five years. How long you wish, it might be the greatest time of your life.

Tazlima
11-12-2014, 04:16 AM
Travel, definitely. If you want to learn a new instrument, you can pick up a really good quality wooden recorder for about $30 and learn to play it on your trip. A harmonica would be good too. Something compact, lightweight, sturdy, and easily replaced if stolen.

I spent some time in my twenties traveling around wearing a recorder in a homemade leather holster. Travel and music are an excellent combination. Waiting for trains or walking along a country road, there are countless moments of quiet solitude that lend themselves to practicing.

Kylabelle
11-12-2014, 04:18 AM
Well, here's another angle on the whole thing: Maybe set aside your two criteria, just for the sake of investigation, and consider choosing something that will feel really good to you simply to acquire and have. So that even if your definition of special and useful is not served your experience of enjoyment is enhanced to the max.

Marlys
11-12-2014, 04:19 AM
You don't seem overly enthused about any of your choices. What do you drink? If wine, get a couple of crystal wine glasses and you can toast your accomplishment every time you have a glass of wine. Beer? Find an awesomely ornate stein. Tea? Find yourself the coolest teapot ever. Those are all things that won't need to be replaced by the latest model or a non-student version, and that you could potentially use for the rest of your life.

ajaye
11-12-2014, 04:31 AM
Oh definitely the violin. It needn't gather dust in a cupboard, it can be artistically displayed if not used :)

MaryMumsy
11-12-2014, 04:31 AM
Since you are on a writers' board, get yourself a really nice fountain pen. It would be special, you'd always remember the occassion, and it's useful.

MM

Mclesh
11-12-2014, 04:54 AM
Cliff, I vote for the violin, travel, and MaryMumsy's suggestion of a fine pen, one that writes smoothly.

(Good job, by the way!)

Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 04:57 AM
So that's more support for travel.

And Kyla, you raise a good point - something that brings happiness *should* trump any rational criteria.

I don't actually drink alcohol or tea - just coffee. I've tried the whole "Special mug" thing, and it didn't seem especially meaningful to me.

Another vote for the violin. :)

And as for the fountain pen... I'm *assuming* that I'll get something like that from my family as a graduation present. I received a special pen for some occasion or other after I'd started writing, from family. So yeah... That's probably coming to me without my needing to buy one for myself. :)

...

And yes - I'm not enthused enough about any options yet for there to be a clear front-runner. It's entirely possible that I'll just say "Screw it" and not commemorate the occasion with anything special. I'm not exactly the most sentimental person around, anyway.

But keep the suggestions coming - it's helping. :)

Tazlima
11-12-2014, 05:08 AM
You could just hang onto the money. Eventually something awesome is bound to present itself and you'd be ready to buy it!

BenPanced
11-12-2014, 05:09 AM
Buy some bacon and coffee.

Lock. Thread.

Crayonz
11-12-2014, 05:18 AM
Aww, Cliff, you should definitely do something special. It's a big accomplishment, it should be celebrated, even if it's just a little. For example: when I got home after my year away, I did some sight seeing within the U.S. Wasn't as big as what some of my friends did (went on a cruise, traveled to Iceland, bought a house, etc.) but I still felt better for having done something. You could splurge on some fancy coffee. :)

As for the violin, is it possible to do a rent-to-own? Seems a waste to spend money on a student violin if you know you'll want a more high quality one down the line (assuming you do).

But, I'm just throwing some ideas around, feel free to ignore me. Good luck and congrats on finally being (almost) finished! :D :hooray:

Brightdreamer
11-12-2014, 05:20 AM
If you're not enthused about any of your options... what does enthuse you?

I'd vote for the violin - if music, if learning new ways to express yourself, enthuses you.

I'd vote for travel - even in-country travel - if seeing new places and experiencing new things enthuses you.

Otherwise, if you want something that will always remind you of your accomplishment... get a nice tattoo. You can take it anywhere, and it can never be stolen. (Well, at least not without you knowing about it... ;) )

Maybe you should keep it simple - treat yourself to a nice dinner, or an overnight trip to the nearest forest/ocean/scenic area of choice. Enough to mark the occasion without going overboard.

Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 05:36 AM
Good points, all. Bright, the overnight trip thing sounds far more plausible to me than a big trip somewhere. (And I was waiting for someone to mention a tattoo! :tongue Not gonna happen, I don't think.)

However, I've been doing a bit of thinking, especially about the enthusiasm a lot of you have for travel, and my own lack of enthusiasm for a purchased item. So... Perhaps some sort of (local, relatively cheap) experience would be an idea?

Like, I don't know, taking lessons in something (an instrument, tennis, whatever), or doing something fun that I never did during my degree (go bowling or ice-skating, something like that), or just doing something I've never done before just for the sake of doing something new?

I mean, those are just general ideas, but the principle is the same - for a long time, I've chased happiness in the form of items, and at the expense of experiences. So perhaps starting my "I've graduated at last!" years with something out in the world is a good idea? (But probably not any travel that costs more than $300.)

So... Ideas for fun things to experience, that would be available locally? (Ie. things that are available locally in most cities, if you're not familiar with Adelaide.)

tarot
11-12-2014, 07:51 AM
If you're not going to travel (which would be my first vote as well), I think you should go with the boots. I think they're the most celebratory of all the gifts because they're the least likely to be associated with aggravation. I tried to learn violin and really, really sucked at it, so maybe I'm biased. The boots are probably most likely to directly impact your mood. You know you'll feel a little bit better every time you wear them... They'll be like an immediate attitude boost. I think the PS4 would be really nice, and I've got my eye on one myself, but, if you waited a little longer, you might be able to get a nicer deal on it - the violin, and perhaps the boots, probably won't ever change in price. The violin probably has good resale value though, if you ever decide to upgrade... so maybe that's the best investment? I'm not helpful at all.

Lady MacBeth
11-12-2014, 07:57 AM
Another vote for the violin. :)

CathleenT
11-12-2014, 08:03 AM
On experiences, what about skydiving, hang-gliding or parasailing (depending on your adrenaline tolerance). I've done the last and really enjoyed it.

I've done some mild aerobatics in a plane (but not as pilot in command) and that was a hoot, too.

I'd suggest scuba, but I'm not sure you're in the safest place for that. Still if there's a cove where locals go that's often frequented, it's probably reasonably safe. That's a rather singular experience as well.

You could buy nice, hardback editions of your favorite books if you don't already own them.

I wouldn't buy an instrument you're not sure you're going to play or travel if that doesn't appeal to you.

You could always save the money a while and think about it.

T Robinson
11-12-2014, 08:09 AM
Travel, even if it is local. Years ago, Greyhound had an offer for $99 to travel for a month anywhere in the USA.

A friend and I went almost across the country and back. It was.....interesting.

Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 08:32 AM
Tarot, thanks for giving the boots some love. Nobody else had given them a second thought, it seems. :) And yeah, the PS4 will probably come down in price in the next 6 months.

Travel and the violin are still leading the pack in votes. Thanks all. :)

And Cathleen, I'm really not an adrenaline junkie at all. Even scuba diving sounds like more adrenaline than I care for, and I understand that that's a lot mellower than, say, skydiving. :tongue Thanks though.

I'm probably going to look into day trips in my local area. As I don't drive, it'd have to be either one of those "A bus picks you up and takes a bunch of people somewhere" deals, or else going with family. But I'm not even sure what all is around here, to be honest, beyond the wine country and the old German town.

Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 08:34 AM
Oh, and I'm paying attention to those saying "Save the money for something even better later." That is definitely an option.

GailD
11-12-2014, 02:37 PM
First of all, congrats on completing your degree, Cliff. I know you've worked very hard and been extremely diligent, so you deserve a big pat on the back for that. :D

Secondly, I'd go with the travel suggestions - not necessarily overseas or into the great, wide unknown but get to know your own country a bit better. Australia has so many amazingly beautiful and interesting places.

If I had the chance, Helix and Mccardey would be at the top of my list. :D

But whatever you decide, two excellent frames are a must - one for your degree certificate and one for the cap and gown photo at your graduation. :)

JimmyB27
11-12-2014, 03:07 PM
I'd definitely back the travel idea. It's not just about the places you go, but also the people you meet and the new cultures you encounter. And, even further than that, not just the people and cultures of the place(s) you go. I did a year backpacking around Australia which isn't particularly different from the UK, culturally speaking. But I stayed in backpacker hostels the whole time, surrounded by people from all over the world. It was that experience that shook the last threads of conservative patriotism from me, and made me realise that people are just people, no matter where they come from.

Also, as you're a musician, maybe you could take a guitar? Probably not one of your best ones ;) maybe a cheap one from eBay or something. I stayed at a few places that offered a room for the night to musicians who would play a little set of an evening. And then there's busking, of course.

Silent Rob
11-12-2014, 03:30 PM
Get a tiger. They never sit in cupboards gathering dust.

Caitlin Black
11-12-2014, 11:58 PM
Thanks, Gail. I think visiting mccardey or Helix would take me over budget. Flights alone would be too expensive at this point. :) Oh, and I was going to get a frame for my degree certificate, but hadn't considered the photo!

Jimmy, alas, I'm not much of a musician. I just like messing about with instruments, but I can't play songs and such like. But yes - that's another vote for travel. :)

Rob, that's an excellent suggestion! If I got a tiger, I could keep the cat and dog in check. And I mean, who needs all their flesh, anyway? :tongue

...

I'm still thinking about what I want to do/buy. I've soured on the idea of a day trip somewhere, simply because I've probably already seen most of the area down here, and I never thought it was anything special. Scenery doesn't do it for me.

*ponders*

Ambrosia
11-13-2014, 12:21 AM
How about a ring or a pendant? It would mark the occasion and it would remind you of your accomplishment every time you wore it.

Congrats, Cliff. You have worked hard to complete this degree. Great job!

Caitlin Black
11-13-2014, 12:25 AM
Thanks. :)

I had considered jewellery of some variety, but I have a bad track record of buying something shiny and then never wearing it. Although, LOL, I considered getting a *fake* lip ring, and seeing how many people I can convince it's real. Mum would probably flip out, with comments like, "If you're going to be going on job interviews soon, do you really think the lip ring was a good idea?!" It's almost worth doing just to see people's reactions. :tongue

Mr Flibble
11-13-2014, 12:30 AM
A pony called Trumper

:D

Failing that, I fifth/whatever travel. Is there any place you've always fancied seeing/experiencing? It's worth it -- you can't make those memories any other way, and I treasure mine. If you can't afford an all out trip, can you work abroad somewhere for a bit? I did this, and it's even better than travelling for just immersing yourself in a place.

Travel is worth its..er..not weight I suppose...in experiences that will change who you are

ETA: I have always fancied either doing the Trans-Siberian Railway (no idea why! I just want to) or travelling overland to Hong Kong. One day I will do one of these. One day...hopefully before I get too old! Kids etc put the stop on that for now. If you've got somewhere you want to go, do it now while you're free to do it!

Maryn
11-13-2014, 12:45 AM
I've been mulling this over for a few days, Cliff.

To me, the ideal choice is something which cannot become obsolete, unfashionable, or worn out. That rules out the goth boots and the PS4. Having known you long enough to see you go through a few instruments which it turned out you didn't love, the violin doesn't seem like a proven winner, either.

I understand your reluctance to travel alone, especially with you not driving. And I get having seen the local attractions where you live too many times.

I also remember the many, many times you've said if only you didn't have this schoolwork or reading to do, you'd be writing, which leads me to my suggestion:

Identify a hotel, rental cottage or cabin, or other place which is located in an area of interest. Maybe it's in the heart of the city, so you could walk to restaurants, museums, clubs, etc. Or maybe it's away from everything and everybody, perhaps on or near a beach.

Figure out how you can get there--a ride from a family member, a bus, a taxi, whatever. Determine what you'd need to be there, alone, for a week or more--think food, something to keep you occupied, like that.

Rent a room and write, for hours at a time. Bring a computer and blank journals or notebooks. Take breaks, eat, go for a walk or a swim, read for a while, watch a movie (one per day, tops!), but mostly, take your aspirations as a writer seriously, before whatever new responsibilities come your way can push them aside. Do not get online more than once a day, and that only to check your email, in case someone's trying to reach you.

Give yourself the graduation gift of becoming serious about writing.

Maryn, knowing the goth boots are tempting

Toothpaste
11-13-2014, 01:12 AM
Lots of fun ideas here!

I'm going to add my personal achilles heel: Etsy.

Go to Etsy.com (the website for artisans) and search for something that's a favourite thing of yours. Maybe favourite book, maybe favourite song, maybe favourite character in a TV show etc. Chances are someone out there in the world has made a really neat thing out of it. You say you aren't into jewelry, but they have clothing, furniture, knicknacks, really anything. You can also get things customized: you could get your favourite quote on a T-shirt or a pillow, say.

I ordered myself some customised earrings with covers of my novels (see here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/206852924/adrienne-kress-miniature-classic-novels?ref=shop_home_active_6 )!

It's fun, it's relatively cheap, and it can be really special :) .

Caitlin Black
11-13-2014, 02:10 AM
Some nice ideas here. Maryn, I may look into hotels in the city that are cheap enough for a week-long stay. The city is best for me, given that I can just catch the train for an hour and be right there. (The travel places near the beach are harder to get to.)

And as an added bonus, it'd give me a week away from family. :D

I think I'm going to rule out travel here and now. The only place that I desperately want to go to is Italy, which would be thousands of dollars I don't have right now. Though I might set some money aside for my "Italy fund" (to go next to my "Get my own place fund" and my "Pay off my student debt fund" and my "I want a new computer at some point fund"... :tongue).

Toothpaste, you raise a very interesting point about the pillowcase-with-favourite-quote thing. It would probably make me happy to sleep with my head on an inspiring pillowcase. Not sure what all I'd put on it, though... But it's definitely an intriguing idea. (And I'd *love* to get new furniture, but alas, I'm living out of a tiny bedroom with no space for anything big. Hell, I wasn't even sure where I'd store the goth boots when not wearing them, let alone a new desk or some such thing.)

:)

Siri Kirpal
11-13-2014, 03:16 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Maryn got there before I did with the rent a room and write suggestion. But I'll say it again: Rent a room and write!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Caitlin Black
11-13-2014, 04:28 AM
I checked hotel prices in the city... Cheapest is about $150 per night. Eek!

Caitlin Black
11-13-2014, 05:53 AM
Actually, I've been thinking since I last posted in here... For the past year or so, I've been toying with the idea of setting up a private editing business. I know some AWers do so already, so I know it IS possible to drum up business, if the price is fair.

It might not be a get-rich-quick scheme, but I don't know... Maybe sinking some money into this online business idea would generate enough income to not feel so pressured to find a day job? So I could also focus on my writing, sort of thing.

And really, I'd only need, what, a couple of clients a week (or one client with a big novel to edit), and I'd be making as much as (or more than) what I'd be getting on unemployment, so I could also get the government off my arse (which they would be if I struggled to find work).

So I'm kind of toying with that idea right now...

My dad rented a website for a number of years for his personal business, and he tells me that renting a site doesn't cost that much per year, and mum is an accountant and informs me that setting up a business name and such like isn't that expensive either...

What do people think? Is it a contender?

Siri Kirpal
11-13-2014, 08:36 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Definitely a contender, Cliff.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

gingerwoman
11-13-2014, 09:27 AM
I was going to say 1, go with fashion. But maybe boots are no longer a contender?

Caitlin Black
11-13-2014, 09:44 AM
At this point, I think everything is still in contention. I'm terrible at making up my mind. :)

However, I'm going to have to choose soon, as I submitted my final assignment about an hour ago.

GailD
11-13-2014, 02:45 PM
I submitted my final assignment about an hour ago.

:snoopy:

Maryn
11-13-2014, 05:40 PM
Wet blanket here. Before you spend anything on setting yourself up as an editor, spend some time talking with those who have gone before you. Start a thread, or send PMs. There are a number of people here who can tell you the cold facts about income, work load, and more.

I know Old Hack, Chase, and firedrake have spoken about it here before, so if you were to begin a thread, I expect you'd see them in short order--if they even have time.

Maryn, thinking the hotel room rate is not out of line

Chris P
11-13-2014, 06:12 PM
I submitted my final assignment about an hour ago.

Wonderful! Congrats!!!

Chris P
11-13-2014, 06:25 PM
Actually, I've been thinking since I last posted in here... For the past year or so, I've been toying with the idea of setting up a private editing business. I know some AWers do so already, so I know it IS possible to drum up business, if the price is fair.

It might not be a get-rich-quick scheme, but I don't know... Maybe sinking some money into this online business idea would generate enough income to not feel so pressured to find a day job? So I could also focus on my writing, sort of thing.

And really, I'd only need, what, a couple of clients a week (or one client with a big novel to edit), and I'd be making as much as (or more than) what I'd be getting on unemployment, so I could also get the government off my arse (which they would be if I struggled to find work).

So I'm kind of toying with that idea right now...

My dad rented a website for a number of years for his personal business, and he tells me that renting a site doesn't cost that much per year, and mum is an accountant and informs me that setting up a business name and such like isn't that expensive either...

What do people think? Is it a contender?

What type of editing? I did copy editing and proofreading for an outfit that specialized in scientific papers, most of them from non-native English speakers. The type of editing novel publishers do is a very different thing, so be sure you're clear about what services you offer and if you have the skills to do it.

As for income, since I was on a contract for a service that did all the marketing, advertizing, and negotiations with the client for me, I didn't make as much as I could have had I been purely freelance. But between doing the first pass, second pass, and final read through on the documents, I averaged about 1000 words per hour (depending on what type of shape the document was in) and at 1 to 2 cents per word it came to $10 an hour, which is not much above minimum wage here in the US. It was okay for some extra cash, but took a lot of my evenings and weekends time. Then there were the taxes--for self employment, paying my own social security, and taxed at the salary bracket for my well paying day job, it just wasn't worth it for me.

However, many people make a great living at it, so I'm not saying it can't be done; I just wasn't prepared to do what I needed to make my living at it.

One final consideration. The place I worked for did copy editing and proofreading for novels, mostly for people wanting to self-publish. I stopped taking novel jobs after the second one because I didn't feel right taking more money for the job than the author was likely to make from the book.

Just food for thought.

Devil Ledbetter
11-13-2014, 06:37 PM
I'd go with boots. They're a commemorative prize you can wear proudly for years to come.

I'm a huge fan of Doc Martens. They're my favorite indulgence and they last forever. Probably my most loved pair are red knee-high lace ups I bought "as a souvenir" while on a business trip to Victoria, BC. They still look great after three years of heavy wear including ice and snow. Best souvenir ever!

Fruitbat
11-13-2014, 06:44 PM
I'd get a frame and put that degree on the wall where you can see it all the time, and go out for a nice dinner every night for a week. I don't remember any of the commemorative stuff I've gotten so I'm not sure it's really so commemorative, to me anyway.

The editing idea seems to me kind of a diversion or off track. I'd focus on the main goal first, getting a job and getting used to the job.

But mostly, big fat congrats! :partyguy:

regdog
11-13-2014, 06:54 PM
Ya for your final submission. I just saw this thread so I'm going to think about it for a day or two. Tardy to the party as usual.

Siri Kirpal
11-13-2014, 10:07 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Congrats on completion!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Caitlin Black
11-13-2014, 10:40 PM
Thanks all. :)

And yes, private editing wouldn't pay that great, but it could possibly help me out as a recent graduate. Like I said, the income would probably be enough to replace my unemployment benefits, which would take away a lot of the stress of looking for work. Perhaps it's an option best left for if I struggle to find work?

I'm still thinking about all this stuff, what to get/do/etc. We'll see.

CathleenT
11-14-2014, 06:18 AM
You can camp way cheaper than a motel, so you'd get more days. I don't know about Australia, but buses go to a lot of the big state and national parks in California. Big parks would have wifi and a place to charge your laptop.

Caitlin Black
11-14-2014, 07:04 AM
Erk. Camping and me don't mix well. I've been camping about 4 times in my life, and each time it was a disaster. :tongue

How about you go camping in my honour, and I'll stay in the air-conditioning? :D

Caitlin Black
11-14-2014, 08:19 AM
Okay, so here's what I'm thinking at the moment: Tomorrow, I'll take $250 to the big mall and not come home till I've spent it.

Now, I know that this seems like I'm ignoring what everyone's been saying, so let me explain my reasoning.

1. I would dearly *love* to spend a week in a hotel writing, but it's too expensive right now. As for dedicating myself to writing, I can do that from home with the same amount of willpower.

2. The 3 ideas I listed (boots, PS4, violin) have been adequately disenchanted with some of your comments, for the reasons that people have been saying.

3. Travel is, again, out of the question, due to finances (for far-away travel) and seen-it-already (for local stuff).

4. I've spent the last few hours decluttering all my possessions, and it's given me a chance to really recognise what it is that brings me the most happiness on a day-to-day basis: music, books, and DVDs. I use these things far more often than any instrument I've ever owned (and I re-watch DVDs, re-read books, and re-play music a lot). So I've got to admit that the only thing holding me back from buying a bunch of new CDs or DVDs (I have too many books already) was the fact that they didn't seem *special* enough.

5. On that note, I'll have a degree certificate soon that will be hanging in my room to gaze at day-by-day, which is commemorative enough.

...

So, that's my reasoning. The things suggested in here that I loved the most are too expensive right now ($300 is probably the most I should be spending), or don't seem fitting right now, so yeah.

What do y'all think? A big shopping spree to go out with a bang, plus the degree certificate for the commemorative angle?

That's quite probably what I'll do, but I'm not above changing my mind at the last minute. :D

Brightdreamer
11-14-2014, 08:25 AM
Sounds fine. Treat yourself to a few nice hardcovers or box-set DVDs. And a cookie at the food court... just 'cause.

Caitlin Black
11-14-2014, 08:36 AM
Sounds like a plan. :D I think I'll stop in at my old regular coffee shop, as well. I've hardly been there since moving house 2.5 years ago.

Siri Kirpal
11-15-2014, 12:31 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Happy shopping!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Caitlin Black
11-15-2014, 12:37 AM
Thanks. :)

I should be entering the shops in a little under 4 hours. (It's way early here.)

Mr Flibble
11-15-2014, 12:39 AM
Come back and post your haul!

Not that I'm nosy or anything :D

cornflake
11-15-2014, 01:05 AM
It seems I'm late to the party, but you said you were taking less than your max so...

I'm all about the experience gifts and things.

I'd have said travel, but the sum is too small for that.

So I might say save it or save half and splash out half, but in the event that's not on the table either, heh...

Go to a concert, play, buy a year's membership to a museum or symphony. You like music, so that'd seem like a good investment and you'll have inspiration and a year's worth of events for a transitional year.

Even $50 would probably still get you a membership at a museum or a concert ticket!

Caitlin Black
11-15-2014, 01:33 AM
Mmm, I did consider a concert, actually. Unfortunately, most of the bands I love never come to my city. Hell, it's very rare for a metal band that isn't local to play here.

There are some music festivals in the new year at some point (January or February I think?) so I might look into those. And yeah, if I spend $250 today, that technically leaves $50 on my "don't spend more than this" budget...

And Flibble, I'll definitely post my haul. :)

Mr Flibble
11-15-2014, 01:40 AM
Have you thought about buying one of those "experience days"? You know, drive a car around an F1 track, balloon rides, zoo keeper for a day etc.

Only a day, but you'd had a fab memory of something perhaps you've always wanted to give a go? I'm sure they do musical ones too...

ETA: Just searched a Brit site. Tea with Tigers! OMG Tickle a Tapir days! WANT!

Caitlin Black
11-15-2014, 02:49 AM
There's not really much that I've always wanted to try, to be honest.

Yeah, I think I'll go with the shopping spree and possibly look out for a decent metal band playing locally...

Mr Flibble
11-15-2014, 03:00 AM
You could try something just for the hell of it?


Just a suggestion (and I am totally asking for a tickle a tapir day from Santa :D)

Caitlin Black
11-15-2014, 07:07 AM
Okay, so I spent 2 hours in the big mall. Went around 4 of the 5 shops I was planning on looking in, writing down prices of tasty looking items. Then had lunch (I forget who said it, but yes, I had a nice cookie :)), then hit up the store where I knew I was likely to spend the most money, as it has the best selection (and is the reason I went to *that* mall instead of the one closer to home).

So, here's what I got in the better store:

Community, Season 1 DVDs (recommended by a friend, never seen it).
Farscape, Season 1 DVDs (seen it, and loved it, but never owned it).
The following are all CDs:
Burzum - From The Depths Of Darkness (I've heard good things about them, but had never actually heard their music).
Dark Tranquillity - We Are The Void (second album of theirs I've bought).
IWRESTLEDABEARONCE - Late For Nothing (heard a few of their songs before).
Marduk - Serpent Sermon (I bought one of their CDs recently and loved it).
Nile - At The Gate Of Sethu (heard some of their music before, never had an album of theirs).
And then... A freakin' 6-pack of CDs by Deicide for a hella cheap price! (Deicide; Legion; Once Upon The Cross; Serpents Of The Light; Insineratehymn; In Torment In Hell) - came highly recommended. :)

So, all that would've cost $190-ish, but there was a sale on, and I got it for $152-ish! Score!

I left that store feeling mildly dizzy, and then checked my wallet. I had slightly under $90 left. Some of that was in change, and I was thirsty, so I bought a Coke Zero. $85.90 left over. Checked my notes on what things I'd seen elsewhere, and there was one item for $84. It was too perfect to ignore!

That was a box set of seasons 1-3 of Game Of Thrones (which I've never seen, but is obviously recommended by virtually everyone).

So! That's my haul! I have no idea how long it's going to take to get through all of this, but I imagine I'll be entertained for the next 2-3 months at least. :)

Grand total: 5 seasons of TV shows and 11 CDs (due to that 6-pack).

And I came home with $1.90 left in my wallet, which was close enough to the goal. :)

*flop*

It's really... perplexing to think that the only reason I stopped picking up CDs in the better store was because I couldn't hold anymore in one hand and browse with the other. :tongue

Caitlin Black
11-15-2014, 07:20 AM
I should add that I didn't buy any books or video games because A) I have too many already, and B) the only ones I was considering buying weren't available in the stores I checked today.

Hence only CDs and DVDs. :)

Supergirlofnc
11-15-2014, 08:09 AM
I agree with the traveling. However, video games can take you into a different world, too...

Oops! I missed the middle page of this thread somehow. It sounds like you got a haul, though, and had a great time doing it! That's what a reward should be (:

Caitlin Black
11-15-2014, 08:40 AM
Yep, it was fun. Except for the huge weekend crowds at the shops in the lead-up to Christmas...

I think what I'm going to do with my CDs is only rip 1 of them per week (I guess 1 per weekend, because it's Saturday here, and I want to listen to 1 now), and that way they'll last nearly 3 months. Because I've noticed that I absolutely love a new CD (if the music is good, anyway) for about a week or two, and then it just becomes old hat. So instead of binge-listening to 11 of them and having them all become old hat in a couple of weeks, I'll stretch it out. :)

The DVDs, I'll get to them whenever I get to them.

Siri Kirpal
11-15-2014, 10:37 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Enjoy!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Chris P
11-15-2014, 11:08 PM
Nice! Glad you had a great time! :)

Ladyxkaa
11-15-2014, 11:10 PM
congrats, cliff! I can't help about the buying thing xD my tastes are funky. I'm glad you completed it ^^

Caitlin Black
11-16-2014, 12:55 AM
Thanks all. :)

Ladyxkaa
11-16-2014, 02:31 AM
you should buy pecan pies btw. you need the pecan-y goodness to celebrate properly.

Caitlin Black
11-16-2014, 03:15 AM
:D

Ladyxkaa
11-16-2014, 03:18 AM
=D

tiddlywinks
11-18-2014, 07:35 AM
Cliff,

First, congrats on the pending graduation. You should celebrate the occasion and take pride in your accomplishment. Hats off to you.

Second, I would also vote "experience" - whether it be in the form of travel or trying something new that you've never done before, making memories always trumps materialistic satisfaction. While the 'stuff' might seem interesting and, yes, may indeed remind you of your accomplishment, the memories you'll make from going forth and doing something will last you a life time. And years from now, you'll look back on that experience and be very glad you did something that enriched your spirit. Memories don't break or fall into disuse. Sure, they may fade a little over time, but it's amazing how much remembering new folks you met, breathtaking encounters with nature, or times you challenged yourself to do something you hadn't ever conceived of doing before can stand out so vividly decades later.

That might sound corny, but it's true. You never know how long you've got, so I say make the most of the time you are given. Don't put off making memories until later. They are more precious than any things and they can never be taken away.

Find something special, something that speaks to you, and go DO it, man!

Stepping down off of soapbox now. Enjoy, whatever you decide. :D


ETA: Well blast. Like someone else on here, only the first two pages of the thread showed up initially for me, so I didn't see the rest, Cliff. Sigh...ignore. But, the thought above still stands for future reference. And you may hate camping now, but rethink it again a few years from now. Stranger things have been known to happen! In any case, good luck on your journey forward, and may you have continued writerly success...