I need to introduce you to the monkeys; from a debt-repayment standpoint, May is looking like a bad month.

First, a small indulgence: I signed up for a class with some local artists ($65) then I received an unexpected doctor’s bill ($320 – they charge for making you pee in a cup?), our car needed some work done ($1,300) and finally… I bought a small piece of original art from Therese Murdza ($110). Yikes. It almost sounds like a series of bad draws from the Chance pile in the game of Monopoly.

Car maintenance is to be expected – we figure have put about $1,500-$2,000 into Giorgio for the past few years with occasional misbehavior from rotors, glowplugs, belts, and the like. Overall I continue to be quite happy with my 2003 diesel-powered VW golf and wouldn’t willingly trade it for a newer model vehicle. I never did understand why people lease cars.

But… what’s up with doctors these days booking their appointment calendars and unable to take new patients? Don’t even get me started on the doctor’s bill. It’s been years since I have had a general practitioner. When I was sick for three weeks this past March, as a new patient I was unable to schedule an appointment with anyone local. I had to spend time in Urgent Care (= emergency room, kind of) twice within one week because they were the only people who would accept me. Urgent Care was completely inadequate, so the next thing I did from my sickbed was research doctors and schedule health appointments over the next couple of months so that I can at least get an appointment next time I am in need. Anyway, my advice for you when you go see your doctor: if they ask you “should we do that test right now?” or “do you want to take care of that today?” say NO and run far away, because they will bill you for things they know your insurance won’t cover.

Finally, the art. I wouldn’t have signed up for the workshop if I knew the car repairs awaited, but I was still thrilled to pick up a small watercolor from Therese at her first solo art gallery show this past weekend, despite the fact that I knew it was not in the budget. This was a case of willful rebellion, and I don’t regret it.

Luckily we have been paying more than our monthly allotment so we’re ahead of the game. I’m still sad that we are put back by unexpected expenses this month.


  1. Kate

    Try zoomcare next time when you need an appointment fast. If you have no insurance, it only costs 99 bucks flat.

  2. Rachel

    Dave, actually… they’re different. We use the phrase spark plugs too, but since Giorgio is a diesel engine he also has an ongoing issue with the glowplug:

    Kate, good idea! I just read that Zoom Care has a “one price” model where uninsured people pay $99 per visit, and insured people pay $129 per visit. GOOD TO KNOW.


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