Sunday, February 12, 2012

If I had 4,000 dollars

So some of my problems are things that really reek of privilege.  Even the big things like the increasingly likely possibility that I'll lose my house, can only be understood when one takes into account that I currently live here paying no expenses whatsoever and I have not one but two places I can move into (my sister's place and my father's place, neither of these is remotely optimal, but the options exist.)  That's privilege.

But that pales in comparison to the privilege inherent in a problem like, "I've never been to Greece and am unlikely to go in the near future."  To even consider that as a problem one has to have a pretty sizable distance from the real problems of life.

And yet, in May a Harvard outpost type thing is sending one of my teachers to Greece as the leader of a trip.  The trip is being offered at cost, 4,000 dollars give or take (plus airfare both ways) depending on the fluctuations of the relative values of the Euro and the American dollar.  The money doesn't need to be had until May, but a (relatively) small down payment is required on the 20th of this month and so if I can't figure out a way to come up with $4,000 by May in the next eight days then there's no reason to make the down payment which means I can't go.  I consider this a problem.

Now at this point, if I were a reasonable person, I'd be thinking about the fact that even if I can somehow come up with a way to get the $4,000 that money would be better spent on trying to keep me in my house, and if I can't (which seems more likely) there's no point in worrying about it.

But the thing is, if this is to be the year when it all goes wrong and everything comes crashing down and I lose my house... I'd kind of like to go to Greece.  And if it isn't, if I somehow manage to make things work, I'd still like to go to Greece.

No matter how right things might go in the next few months, the only way I could be sure I'll have the money then by the 20th of this month is if I get someone to promise to loan or give it to me.  I don't know the odds of that, I figure they're pretty low, and it probably isn't a good idea.  Even if it did happen, that would just mean more indebtedness to my family.  They may have long since given up on the hope of me ever paying them back, but I haven't.

It also could mean bringing some pretty bad conflict down upon myself if I ask.  The last thing anyone wants to think about right now is more costs.  But I really want to go to Greece, and in the middle of a year that looks like it's going to be a pretty dark time for me, I could use some light.

Expect me to be using excessive profanity in about 8 days or so when any chance of going fails to come to pass.  Actually, said profanity might only be spoken, in which case it wouldn't show up on the blog.


  1. Of course the obvious solution is to con someone from the Twilight universe. Just tell them they can be a model if they cut their hair and you'll get that much money three and three quarters times over. But I think Lauren has been mistreated enough already.

    Interestingly enough, I wasn't thinking of this when I had her getting scammed prevent her from going on a trip to Europe.

  2. I'm afraid I've no idea. I certainly couldn't earn 4 grand in a matter of weeks. Okay, I'm my body weren't a mess, I'd seriously consider stripping, but...

    Good luck?

  3. I actually think it's within the realm of possibility that I could earn the money in the available time-frame. (Which is three months, in case that wasn't clear) not sure that it's likely per se, but definitely possible.

    For example if I made, by hand, things like this* but much smaller and less complex, thus much cheaper (say 20 to 30 dollars instead of 200-3000) I might be able to make the money in the time-frame. It's not at all sustainable (because once you sell a a few hundred everyone on earth who wants one will have one) and thus not a way to make a living, but it could be able to work for a one time push to get a few thousand dollars. At least I think it could.

    What isn't within the realm of possibility is knowing for sure by the end of the week that I can make the necessary money in the available time. (For the above idea I doubt I'd have an opportunity to try fabrication until next week, and wouldn't be able to test the market until after that.)

    That's the problem. If it were a case of simply needing to pay when the time comes that would be one thing, but I have to know, now-ish, whether or not I can pay then. And that's something that's impossible which makes the whole project doomed to failure.

    Which I knew before I made the post. But I still have this irrational hope that wont go away. This not-at-all-realistic belief that somehow I can make this work. Which is going to make it hurt so much more when it doesn't happen.


    *Or, I suppose, if I found a lot of rich people (in the triple digits) who each decided to buy one of those. In that case I wouldn't even need to do anything, shapeways would do all the work. Hasn't happened yet and I don't expect it ever will. Those things are expensive. (Downside to not making things by hand is that, short of mass production which has massive start up costs, it costs a bunch per puzzle.)

  4. What happens if you go for it and don't have the 4 grand? Would you just be out whatever deposit you put down? If so, it might be worth it to give it a shot. Even if you didn't have enough for the trip at the end, you'd have however much you made to use for whatever.

    (Coherency, I haven't got it at present. My apologies.)

  5. It seemed perfectly coherent to me, but that might just be because I'm considering doing just that. I'm going to ask my teacher what the fallout would be today. If it's just losing the deposit (if it's not going to hurt the program or keep someone else out or whatnot) then I think I am going to go for it.

    Even if my other problems work out in the end, this looks likely to be the worst year of my life so far, a few weeks of good is probably something worth trying for.

  6. Of course today I realize that I read a thing wrong and full payment is needed one month after the first installment rather than three, so we're back to impossible. So it goes.