Turn of Fortune

I got an email last week from David Yurman announcing a new line of 5 mm stacking bracelets.

Here they are:

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Photo from David Yurman

The rose and yellow gold ones are pretty spendy, but the silver ones (I like the tarnished one) are well-priced.

I’m really not in the market at all for another stacking bracelet, and I was a bit soured on David Yurman after two events last year.

Event #1: A bracelet that I’d had less than a year went AWOL. After ripping the house apart, interrogating the children, wondering if someone stole it out of my locker at work, searching high and low in my office, and inquiring at the gym lost and found, I just came to a place where I secretly thought I probably didn’t fasten it quite right and it carelessly slipped off, leaving some incredibly lucky person as a finder on the street. 

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Sniff.

 

 

I moved on, not in the best way (this is me, after all), by buying an exact replacement.

Plus a few new friends for it.

Event #2: One of those new bracelets was a huge impulse buy. Huge. And in my excitement, I decided to wear my new bracelets right out of the store and forego any and all packaging, requesting that the store email me my receipt.

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Except they didn’t.

I had the bracelets, but no paperwork. No problem, I thought (cue foreshadowing).

About four months after this spree, the impulse bracelet broke at the hinge. I wasn’t even putting it on or off; I just looked down and it had fallen apart.

I was too stunned to cry, and I wasn’t sure what to do. My luck with David Yurman was starting to become pretty lousy.

Spouse kindly did the legwork and sent the bracelet off to an official David Yurman repair center. It was gone for four months but came back fixed, and for free! Worth the effort.

Fast forward to last weekend: Trixie (6) was digging in my jewelry box, as she tends to do. She brought out a small box that holds a pin belonging to Spouse from his college days on the crew team. It’s a pin for being a letter winner in the sport, and since Spouse is not a jewelry guy, it’s lived in that box for, oh, nearly twenty years.

I was folding laundry on the bed and she emerged from my closet with the box, saying “I have a little pin and a bracelet.”

A quick glance seemed to confirm that she’d put the replacement bracelet in the box.

Me: “Hey, look out. I already lost one bracelet exactly like that and I don’t want the new one to get hidden in the box so I can’t find it.”

Trixie: “Umm, well, this one was in there already and I may have put it in there a long time ago.”

Could it be? It was!

Lost bracelet found.

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Twinsies

I was so happy that I couldn’t even be mad about the whole ordeal.

But I will have my eye on her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Snacks

Right now I’m trying to avoid airport/airplane and otherwise bad-for-you travel food whenever possible.

This takes some planning, but with multiple trips back-to-back, I need to buckle down on healthy eating.

Here’s the latest crop of snacks that made it into my carry-on.

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Mary’s Gone Crackers. These gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan crackers come in seven varieties.

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Go Macro bars. Stats: 260 cals, 9g fat, 10g sugar, 10g protein, 1g fiber. The fiber is the weak link here, but I’m ok with this as an overall meal replacement.

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The Think Thin name kind of throws me off (seems a bit too Slim Fast-y for me), but I was attracted to the low sugar content of these bars – only 2g! 

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This 22 Days bar was an instant favorite. Although I’ve only tried this bar, I’m intrigued by the company’s manifesto. Vegan home delivery meal service? I would actually love to try that.

Other staples: plain water, mineral water (I almost entirely gave up soda six months ago), and my old friend, coffee with a splash of milk.

While it’s still healthier to make your own food and eat at home, I still figure I’m better off with these choices than, say, the Panda Express at Gate 75.

 

 

The Costs of Working

So, it turns out that your job is really costing you more than your health or sanity.

Tim Grant’s recent article added up the “hidden costs” of working, and it gave me pause.

Here’s the idea: a typical workday is loaded with fixed expenses (parking fees, bus pass, tolls, etc) as well as small, insignificant purchases (umm, daily coffee?) that can really add up.

Thus, the true cost of holding a job is rarely appreciated.

Where the money goes, on average, per week:

  • Gas and transportation: $67
  • Lunch: $29
  • Coffee: $10

In a given year, that tallies to nearly $3500 on gas, $1500 on lunch and $520 on coffee.

Men also appear to be bigger work-related spenders (i.e. less cost-conscious on work-related spending) than women. Huh.

I’m lucky in that my current commute is a mere 3 miles (the huge improvement in my overall wellbeing from my former 45-90 minute commute – each way – cannot be overstated), I have free parking, and I bring my lunch every day.

But that coffee cost is real. 

While we do have free coffee at my workplace (doctors love coffee and all), it is pretty lousy. So I hit the coffee place across the street from my building every day for a fix.

I save money (a dime, but hey! It adds up) by bringing my own travel mug, and it’s a nice break during the day to take a few minutes to go over there. Given everything, I can live with $10 a week.

Tax Surprise

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Never ones to rush tax season, Spouse and I filed our returns this year on April 14th.

Or so we thought.

A panic-inducing email from our accountant at 9 PM that night indicated that our tax returns were rejected because the IRS indicated that they had already been filed – by someone else.

Tax related identity theft occurs when someone else steals your social security number and files a claim with it – usually early in the tax season – and scoops up any refund that you may have coming.

This crime is also on the rise – up 60% in recent years.

The super tragedy: this was the one year where we were slated to get a federal refund instead of paying more. D’Oh!

Spouse spent the morning of the 15th scrambling around to get paper taxes filed and sent, filing an affidavit with the IRS for identity theft, and reporting to the police. I contacted my employer’s office of physician staff services and they informed me that I was in good company: dozens of doctors where I work were also affected. We seem to have been targeted as part of a large scam. Argh.

Here are the steps we were advised to take:

  • File current taxes on paper by April 15th
  • Contact the IRS Identity Protection Unit
  • File an Identity Theft affidavit with the IRS
  • File a report with the local police
  • Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission
  • Contact the fraud department of all major credit bureaus
  • Contact the Social Security Administration
  • Report to our local Social Security office (show up in person)

What a pain.

Just Breathe

Oh, my.

This past week was just a roller coaster, even worse than usual.

Having people quite literally put their lives in your hands is an incredible privilege, but sometimes it just shatters you in the process.

I was reminded of this over and over, especially when midnight found me fighting hard in the OR.

I cried three times with patients this week, which is way, way out of the norm and definitely something not usually taught in medical school.

Granted, once was a happy cry but the other two took me right to the edge.

I thought about it a lot, and my final analysis is this: if I ever get to a point that things don’t affect me to the core, I should probably quit being a doctor.

Hugging my own family extra tight this weekend.

 

 

 

Sayonara, C. Wonder and Piperlime

I was surprised to learn this week that two retail haunts on my usual rotation were going out of business.

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First up: C. Wonder.

A quick check showed they’re already gone. The link above just gets you to a brief “We’re Outta Here!” message.

C. Wonder founder  Chris Burch – ex-spouse of classy Tory – describes the downfall here.

And in the Number 2 spot: Piperlime.

While I didn’t hit up this site as much as the other brands under the Gap umbrella (Athleta and Banana Republic are particular weaknesses), they would occasionally run some decent sales on brands that usually weren’t discounted (Clare V., I’m thinking about you).

Still, I miss you both already.