That is a beautiful purse! I totally understand the obsession with finding the perfect bag. I bought my current purse two years ago: a Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC in black. It was $200, but as a birthday present my mom paid for half. It goes with everything, holds a surprising amount (no book, though), and so far no issues with the zipper or clasps. (Although one time when I was drunk and playing with the clasps on the chain strap, I managed to close the clasp around the hole in the zipper pull and effectively lock my bag. I had to get the guy at the pizza shop to fix it for me so I could pay.)
The best shul haggling I've heard of is my parents' old Russian babysitter when they lived in St. Louis in the 80s. Her synagogue told her they were raising her dues, and she sent back a letter: "I am old retired woman living on fixed income. I pay $200. No more questions, no more answers." And it worked! Feel free to try this method.
@CincyCate Cincinnati is AWESOME. So cheap, so much good Indian food!
Shana tova! I also had a Rosh Hashana donut - it was pumpkin spice flavored, and was indeed a spiritual experience. I still go to Hillel services (no awkward mechitza like at Chabad, where it always sounds so much more FUN on the guy's side - like is that a conga line??) and really only ever go to my home congregation with my parents in the summer when they do services outside. I don't even want to think about having to pay my own way on that one...when I do, I agree, I think it'll be the most adult thing I've done!
My GRE experience (taken just last August!): - Magoosh online study program, $99. Totally worth it. If anyone is studying for the GRE I highly recommend it. It lasts for six months, and I had only used up three, and so after the test I wiped my stats and gave the log in info to my friend who's taking it in January. - GRE, $185 and a panic attack after I realized I had crossed the point of no return. - Oil change, $35. I got to the testing center 45 minutes early and couldn't bear the thought of sitting in that waiting room, so I went to the place next door and got my oil changed. Good decision. - Celebratory Dairy Queen meal, $8. They give you the scores right after the test (but not before you send out your scores to schools, what a dick move), and I was happy and ate a chicken strip basket.
I had a pretty similar choice to make for college - the big public university in my state or a private research university (WashU). But it actually wasn't a choice at all, because my state university gave me an almost full ride (still have to pay fees) and WashU is like $56k a year. My state university is WORTH IT. I'm able to work and do research (which is paid, because it's a huge school that has grants for everything), and my classes are still challenging. Public universities are awesome.
Yeah, kind of a dick move. My internet at my apt was just not working for a couple months. I've always had pretty shitty internet, so I was used to it, but my roommate, who had never had wifi in her house growing up, expected it to work and would call TWC everytime it went out. We had the service guys come at least ten times, and it finally started working for real when some kind of supervisor came along with the technician. But: we were never dicks to any of them. They aren't doing it out of spite. And you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Not related but: Kevin Roose! He is indeed great. Mike Dang is always right, read everything Kevin Roose has written. Especially Sinner's Semester.
@stuffisthings This is how the Mayo Clinic does physician salaries.