I have been to North Carolina

I went to North Carolina. I spent too much money on food. I was there to cheer up my father, who is more broke than I am, and so I took him out to eat, bought him some Jack Daniels, &c. In addition, there is fuck all to do in New Bern after 6:00pm, which is when my father went to sleep the first two nights--I foolishly went out to eat the first night (godawful pasta with boiled vegetables) and bought myself some cheese and rum the second night.

Bottom line, not counting the overdraft fees, the entire trip cost me $681. Counting the twelve $25 overdraft fees that I incurred, I spent almost a thousand dollars last weekend.

I just wrote a note to James, at my credit union, asking whether I could do anything about the fees. They are, as I said in the email, incontestable. The bank isn't at fault in any way. The aren't terrible Christian fees, (and are explicitly not sharia, as I understand it) but I'm not Christian (or Muslim) so that's no help.

Either way, at this point I'm trying to figure out how to convince my mother that I can't come home for Christmas. I do like seeing her, but boy do I hate traveling there. I also hate traveling to New Bern to visit my father, although I love spending time with him, too. I hate sleeping in my father's boarding house, and I hate sleeping in my mother's guest room--it's nice enough, but I'm now allergic to my own cats.

That may all just be pique because I'm still in a bit of shock, but the bottom line is that I can't ever do this again. As it happens, through sheer chance, my next paycheck is a "magic" paycheck, one that I don't need to spend on bills or rent. I had planned to fix my bicycle, to buy a phone, &c. Instead, I'll spend the bulk of it paying of this damned trip, and still have some left over. There won't be another magic check for quite some time, however, and if I find myself doing this again it really will completely ruin me. A thousand dollars is an inconceivable amount of money to me. That's a thirtieth of my yearly income, and an eighth of my credit card debt.

Look, I only have three mid-term goals in my life these days: I want to lose a bunch of weight, to be stable financially, and to be able to play the fiddle. Last weekend I gained seven pounds, maxed out my credit card and sent my bank balance down to -$400. For what it's worth, I also missed a violin lesson.

The credit union was nice enough to reverse half of the fees ($150), but warned me that "going forward we will not be able to reverse any additional fees on this account".
And it's still usury, in my book.
It totally is usury.
Total usury, but, hey, looking back on things in your life, you'll be glad to have spent this time with your dad. And who says you need to lose weight, you loon?
My doctor, technically, in close consultation with his sphygmomanometer.
"in close consultation with his sphygmomanometer": is that a metaphor?
Well, if you change your mind about the holidays and get anywhere near Durham, drop a line. We have *fair-to-middling* pasta and *steamed* vegetables. ha
No, of course I'm coming home for Christmas, I'm just worried about it is all. (: