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Champagne and Corndogs: A Look At 2008

What a lovely year it's been, 2008, but I must say, I'm happy to see a new year come. Here's a look back:

Champagneandcorndogs In Februrary (on the 17th actually), Breaking Even became a daily blog. A commitment yes but one I've never regretted.

In April, I turned 27, three days after my father would have turned 52. I celebrated both of our birthdays.

In May, I met my friend Mel at a small business conference. She's been so encouraging abut my writing and web projects that we eventually teamed up for our own, which is still in progress.

In June I launched Too Cute Tuesday, my midweek craft and cocktail. I realized that people liked series because then they knew what to expect at least once a week. Ah-ha! While the crafts tend to be a little girly, a couple of men have admitted to me they secretly enjoy TCT. Ah-ha again!

In July, I had a popular couple of posts: Lame Things That Your Friends Do That Cost You Money in Part I and Part II. I realize that I don't have to talk about just intellectual things or just personal things… I can do both! Cool!

In August, Sean had an emergency operation and I developed carpal tunnel. J Money at Kelly stepped up with guest posts to keep my blog going. To them, I'm ever grateful. It is at this time I realize that I have actual friends in the blogosphere. Oh, and I start my very long term project to connect Maine-based bloggers.

In October, I went to Las Vegas and thought about life. I broke up with Sean and moved out of his house. I slept on a friend's couch for two weeks until I found my current apartment. And Breaking Even turned one year old. Sarah C. stepped in with a couple of guest posts to get me through a terrible weekend.

In November, I moved into my new apartment and it was the one year anniversary of my father's death. There was a lot of crying and a big cell phone bill but I got through.

In December, my freelance work and personal happiness have ramped up. Coincidence? Probably not. And my Small Business Series was the most popular set of posts I've had besides my fashion series, the highest single day traffic I ever got. As of this evening, I have 99 subscribers, so close to my year end goal of 100. What a great note to end on.

And what's up with the champagne and corndogs headline? Well that was my dinner this New Year's Eve. I'm perfectly happy with it and realize just now that the metaphor is what I'm trying to do on this blog which is have it both ways: personal and personal finance, freelance and fun, long posts and short quips. I love the big and little things of life and I hope you do too.

So I raise a glass and a corndog to your health and mine. Best wishes in 2009 and thanks for reading this blog, for commenting, for passing around a link. I wish you could know how much I love writing Breaking Even. Happy New Year, and may you more then break even in all your projects!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are having as good a day as I am. I'll be back tomorrow as usual but for now, it's time to play with my new toys. Merry Christmas!

Today I Bore My Soul At BluntMoney.com

You can check out my soul-bearing post here. It came out more personal but also better then I thought. So get your Breaking Even fix at Blunt Money today and I'll be back here tomorrow!

Bimmer's* Old Moped Rides Again

I think we all like to hold on to things from our past. It's one thing to keep an old pin in a jewelry box or a box of greeting cards in your closet but it becomes another issue when your sentimental attachment takes up substantial space and has a horn that beeps like a roadrunner.

Moped In short: My father fixed up then gave me his now 28-year old moped. It died two years ago. Then he died last year.

The moped sat in a shed while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with it. I finally had to do something when I moved a month ago. I decided to take it to a small engine repair man with a good reputation. I told him if it cost over certain amount to repair it, that he should dispose of moped (either way, I was going to pay something). I completely forgot that I did this, which is why I was surprised by his phone call yesterday.

For less than $300, Mr.Repairman is confident that it could be up and running no problem. "It only has 1500 miles on it." He said, clearly impressed with its condition other than needing a few small replacements. Sentimentality won out and I told him to go ahead and fix it. Here's why (besides sentimentality) I decided to resurrect the moped:

1. It was my dad's, and that is really important to me.
2. It gets about 100 miles a gallon, which will come in handy commuting this summer.
3. A new moped (which I’ve considered for awhile) would cost me way more than $300.
4. Since it is 28 years old, it should be cheap to both insure and register.
5. It's small and light enough to be stored in my basement until spring.
6. It's totally retro, and as you see it's totally “me” (it looks just like this except it's blue).
7. Mr. Repairman isn’t someone who is trying to screw me over, at least not according to my sources.

So within the next couple of weeks, I will be a two-car household. Here's hoping that future sentimental attachments won't be as odd… I doubt that any them will be this fun.

*Bim is Nicole's father's nickname. Nicole took to calling him "Bimmer" in her adult life, which he thought was funny.

Image from classicmopedparts.com

Bimmer’s* Old Moped Rides Again

I think we all like to hold on to things from our past. It's one thing to keep an old pin in a jewelry box or a box of greeting cards in your closet but it becomes another issue when your sentimental attachment takes up substantial space and has a horn that beeps like a roadrunner.

Moped In short: My father fixed up then gave me his now 28-year old moped. It died two years ago. Then he died last year.

The moped sat in a shed while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with it. I finally had to do something when I moved a month ago. I decided to take it to a small engine repair man with a good reputation. I told him if it cost over certain amount to repair it, that he should dispose of moped (either way, I was going to pay something). I completely forgot that I did this, which is why I was surprised by his phone call yesterday.

For less than $300, Mr.Repairman is confident that it could be up and running no problem. "It only has 1500 miles on it." He said, clearly impressed with its condition other than needing a few small replacements. Sentimentality won out and I told him to go ahead and fix it. Here's why (besides sentimentality) I decided to resurrect the moped:

1. It was my dad's, and that is really important to me.
2. It gets about 100 miles a gallon, which will come in handy commuting this summer.
3. A new moped (which I’ve considered for awhile) would cost me way more than $300.
4. Since it is 28 years old, it should be cheap to both insure and register.
5. It's small and light enough to be stored in my basement until spring.
6. It's totally retro, and as you see it's totally “me” (it looks just like this except it's blue).
7. Mr. Repairman isn’t someone who is trying to screw me over, at least not according to my sources.

So within the next couple of weeks, I will be a two-car household. Here's hoping that future sentimental attachments won't be as odd… I doubt that any them will be this fun.

*Bim is Nicole's father's nickname. Nicole took to calling him "Bimmer" in her adult life, which he thought was funny.

Image from classicmopedparts.com

I’m Alive!

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This weekend, I found myself completely without internet, which is a small
scale nightmare for a daily blogger like myself.

I've been mooching off my friend Jen's internet for the last two weeks. She's
away for three weeks so it wasn't rude to get my posts written, photos
ready, etc. at my apartment then piling on my winter gear to head the 1/4 mile
to her house and quickly post my blogs around 10 pm. A pain yes, but my only
option.

This weekend, however, her internet stopped working. Usually when a wireless
router doesn't work, turning it on and off can be enough to get things moving
again. Only I don't know where Jen's router is, and I'm not the kind of person
who's comfortable snooping in someone else's apartment. I restarted my computer twice, ran a
virus scan, and defragged. I gave up yesterday and watched Ratatouille to cheer
myself up, vowing not to drive to Ellsworth on a non-commuting day for five
minutes of internet time.

I literally drove around the other night looking for any unsecured wireless
signal I could find, refreshing my available network list at almost every block.
Nothing within Bar Harbor proper that didn't require a password. (And if you're
thinking of all the cute little internet cafes you saw when you were last in Bar
Harbor during some pleasant summer day, know that those cafes are boarded up
until spring.)

So today, I'm calling the Bar Harbor Public Library and seeing what
information they can give me. Look for me getting back to a daily schedule
hopefully later today, even if it does involve some extra driving on my end.

I (finally!) get internet at my house Friday afternoon. Can't wait!

Just wanted to let you know I was still alive and writing, just haven't been able to do much about getting it on the web. Happy Monday!

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