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March 16, 2010

per aspera

In the past week and a half, I've asked for

-- a discount on a discounted skirt in San Antonio, bringing the price from $43 to an even $40.

-- a discount on a handcrafted copper dish and mirror on behalf of my dad, bringing the total from $32 to $30.

-- a substitution between a smaller and equally priced sandwich in a sandwich/soup combo, since I like the ingredients on the smaller one. The answer was no.

-- a ride from the airport.

-- clarification of a dental bill, since the dentist was charging me for what the insurance company had paid. She said she'll look into it.

-- Mr. A to look inside our trash bin, since when I moved it to the curb for pickup day I thought it felt really, really heavy. Like, sinister heavy. Could someone have thrown a body there? Or something else strange, like a box of questionable documents about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts? I looked inside and saw nothing strange, but I wanted a second opinion. Turns out we just have a lot of trash.

-- my pen pal to write. Not an email or a letter, but a book. His second, to be precise. Because his first, which I've read, was great, and he's been too busy to write the next. Sometimes getting asked is the perfect excuse to start doing something.

--my web hosting company to not be such dipshits. They are forcing me to buy a year of service before giving me a code that would let me transfer my domain. Is this even legal?? (Clearly the problem hasn't been resolved and by now it's on the back burner. Avoid and its sister companies.)

-- if my dad and stepmom would be willing to give up two telephone lines with local and long distance ($100/month) and switch to Magicjack ($30/year). I even outfitted them with Google voice numbers, and now as long as all the numbers don't get confusing they will be in business -- and save $1170 per year.

I give you this rushed report because the "asked" file in my cell phone, where I jot these notes so I don't forget them, keeps getting longer and I haven't had time to produce the actual posts.

My final dissertation deadline is looming, and as much as I love writing here, I simply can't. I have to cut back, on this and everything else I enjoy. For a few more weeks. I'll still aiming to ask daily, but I'll only come here to report on it when I need a break. I will post occasional links to useful articles about asking and negotiation as they come up, though, since that's quick and I want to give you some quality resources to read and think about. And if you write me with a story of what you've asked for, I'll happily post it here. This is your blog, too, and if you've been asking, or thinking about it, I want to hear about it and share with others.

Even with these efforts there's no guarantee I'll finish in May, since three professors still need to read and approve it. But I can't think that way. It's time for the final push.

Oh, and one more thing, yesterday: I asked my registrar to email me the "Application for Degree" form, where I'm about to check off the PhD box for May 2010 and mail it in.

And when it's all over, you're all invited to San Diego to paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarty!

[image via flickr]
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