things that make you go hmm

Our internet plan ran out today.  This happens about once a month, unless we download more than 5 GB of data.  But considering I'm trying download Picasa on our new laptop and the estimated time to download 76 MB is over one day (read: extremely.  painfully.  slow.), it's pretty hard to go through that much data.  Anyway, renewing the internet plan consists of counting out a little over $50 in little over $1 bills (the largest bill available the last time we got cash was 200 naira, which is about $1.25), walking down the dirt road to the shack built into the concrete wall, requesting "five - one five" cards and "one - five hundred" recharge card (because if you ask for 8000 they will tell you they don't have it), walking back down the dirt road and then scratching off each card (they look just like scratch-off lotto tickets) and entering each card's sixteen-digit code into the computer.  All for super-fast speed.  Or not...So that was my fun activity today.

Joey and I were invited to a wedding back in late August.  True to tradition here, we bought the fabric from the bride and contacted a tailor to make our outfits.  I ended up going home and missing the wedding, so the tailor only finished Joey's outfit.  We told her we'd pay her once my outfit was finished.  In October, when we still hadn't heard from the tailor, I called her and said I'd like to pay her for her work.  She told me she'd have everything finished within a week.  Today, the tailor called Joey.  She apologized for taking so long and told him that the government had seized my fabric.  She was too embarrassed to tell me before, but she'd gone to court and gotten it back, and assured him would have my outfit done by next week.  Um, ok?

On a different note, part of the reason I haven't been blogging is because I've been totally consumed by two major investment purchases.  First problem: a camera. Ever since Canon G11 v. African rain forest, I've needed a replacement.  (Lucky for me, my friend N. was generous and trusting enough to allow me to borrow her G11 for our trip to Cape Town.  I took good care of it.)  I figure now is as good an opportunity as any to upgrade to a D-SLR, but I cannot decide for the life of me what to buy.  Canon?  Nikon?  One of those new, slim, interchangeable lens cameras like a Pentax or Panasonic?  Do I buy the entry-level or shell out an extra $100 for the better entry-level model?  Or do I invest a little more so that in two years I don't need to replace this model?  Ugh.

Then there's the extra battery, the camera case, the memory card and the requisite waterproof camera for use when the humidity is above 10% because I'm a clumsy mess.  That's a good chunk of money.  My warranty should cover the rain-dominated G11, which I'm hoping is damaged beyond repair and will thus result in a new G12 that I can try to sell on Amazon or eBay and recoup some of the cost, but it's still a lot of money and so I want to make sure I'm making the right decision!  I have spent hours researching online and I'm pretty sure I'm even more confused than when I started.

Then lies the question of when I buy the camera(s).  Do I buy now during the post-Thanksgiving sales?  Or do I wait until after Christmas and risk the prices going up or the cameras going out of stock?  Dilemmas!

Problem number two: shoes.  We're planning a trip to Italy late January, and I don't have any good winter walking shoes and I can't decide what to buy.  Do I invest in a pair of leather riding boots?  I found a pair that  I love (Frye Melissa Button Boot - of course it doesn't hurt that the shoes have a great name - it's like a sign), but the soles are leather too and I'm worried about slipping and ending up on my butt (like Joey did yesterday when he fell in a manhole).  I'm also worried about wet weather ruining the leather, but the average precipitation is fairly low for January, and I'm sure I could buy a weather-proofing conditioner. Still, I don't want to invest in gorgeous leather boots only to have them ruined the first week.  

Then there's the issue of comfort - they're flat and have some measure of support, but they're not soft by any means.  And I'll be traipsing around cobblestone streets all day.

The worst part is that if I buy the boots, I have to break down and finally buy skinny jeans.  Ever since my charming husband helpfully told me in the dressing room of Banana Republic that, "those skinny jeans really emphasize your pear shape," I've had a hard time plunking down $100 bucks to emphasize my hips. Plus then I'd have to buy at least two pairs to justify the cost of the boots, and I've already tried ordering two different versions of the Levi's curvy skinny jeans.  This resulted in paying return shipping and being in an exceptionally bad mood all day.

So now I'm trying to decide if I should just buy the cute gray Converse wool sneakers and hope they'll be warm and supportive enough.  I mean, isn't it time for skinny jeans to go out of style already?   It's really quite the conundrum.