Finances & Money

Job Update: A day at the zoo and more

Last Friday, our client called us in and said they ran out of money and worked ceased immediately. This was the first time in a long time that our company had to deal with something like this. I’ll write more about that another time though (when I know more about my job status).

Until I start my next assignment, I’m on “the bench”. That means the company is paying for my time out of their pocket. For now, they don’t have anything for me to do (like writing proposals, etc.), so I’m sort of on vacation. However, if they need me, I have to be ready.

Today, however, I decided to do something I’ve been wanting to do for some time: go to the zoo by myself. Usually, when we go to the zoo, it’s with guests. I never get to spend much time with the animals. Also, we go in the summer, and always catch the animals sleeping. Today was different.

I headed out of the house around noon, stopped at Target for some gifts and household items, then went to the metro (cost: $4 for parking, $2.35 for metro to the zoo). When I got down to DC, I headed to the zoo (cost: FREE!). For those of you visiting, or living in, D.C., I highly recommend going to the zoo in November/December. I was basically the only person at many of the exhibits, and most of the animals were pretty active, including the orangutans (the oldest one made kissy faces at me). This was a stark contrast to the summer when the place is packed and the animals are all sleeping because it’s steaming hot outside.

I spent about 2 hours at the zoo, then walked down to Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant down in Adams-Morgan. I wasn’t sure how far the walk was, but it turned out to be about 10 minutes from the Woodley Park metro station, so about 20 from the zoo.

I got the Meskerem Messob, which is a sampler platter, for $12.95. I also got a glass of Ethiopian honey wine for $4.95. With D.C. tax at 10% plus tip, I paid $23. I felt that I could spend quite a bit more for lunch today because I made a really good ad sale (MUCH more than $23). Call it a bit of a celebration for myself.

After the late lunch, I walked down to Dupont Circle, which was another 10-15 minutes, and headed home (cost: $2.90. It was rush hour rates).

Total Vacation Costs: $32.25. Not bad for an afternoon excursion. I know I could have brought my lunch and left the zoo before rush hour to save much more money, but it wouldn’t have been much fun. I was really looking forward to Ethiopian food as it’s my favorite food, right after chocolate chip cookies and milk.

After I got back to Maryland, I drove the truck down to White Flint Mall where a guy from Potomac Garden Center sells Christmas trees. We’ve been buying from him for 4 seasons now, even though our parish also sells trees. Honestly, we get the same tree for $20-30 less, and that’s how we justify it. Anyway, I got a nice 7 foot tree that smells great, looks wonderful and made Stacie happy when she got home from work 🙂

Christmas Tree cost: $65. I still think it’s a high price to pay for a tree we’ll have until, what, Jan 6th? I’d go for artificial, but it wouldn’t be the same for Stacie. At least Rockville, MD has a good tree collection and recycling program.

The rest of the day I napped, played Wii and typed up and article that will post in 2 hours. Now hang out so you can read it as soon as it posts!

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Clever Dude


  • Wow, I wish I could do what you did while getting paid! Sounds like a grand time! Makes me want to get back in the contract IT world again! 🙂

  • I want your life.

    Well, not really, but your day sounds like a lot of fun! I have yet to eat Ethiopian food…it’s very sad. Maybe Micah and I will do a lunch sometime, since that’s less expensive than dinner.

    Could those platters be for 2 people?

  • MM: At Meskerem, they DO have a price for 2 people on that platter, but it’s just a cheaper version of the 1-person price, and they probably don’t give double the food. Perhaps you could try takeout for one person and share at home? You don’t get the same type of experience, but you get to try the food.

    Also, this year’s Entertainment book has a buy one, get one coupon for Meskerem.

  • I never understand why people wait to buy their Christmas tree until 6 days before Christmas. What’s the point when you will only have it up for maybe two/three weeks?

    I’d rather buy it towards the beginning of December. That way I have a month of enjoyment out of it. And yes, I know,.. it can dry out. But it doesn’t have to. If you do the right things and don’t let it run out of water, it can last for quite a while.

    I know that’s a bit off topic, but just something I’ve been thinking about.

  • You mentioned purchasing a Christmas tree from someone at White Flint. Does he represent himself as the Potomac Garden Center? Just checking… Hopefully it’s just a mix-up and he’s not using the name for business purposes. PGC has locations in North Potomac and Urbana, but he’s not associated with us??? Thanks.

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