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[KD] The 17-year-old girl was observed talking to a stranger in a car. The following morning, she was found with her underpants down and with large damages to her head, 400m from her home. Who killed Birgitte Tengs? [Norway, 1995]

The Birgitte case is one of Norway's most discussed cases. The case is still ongoing, and the last thing that happened regarding the case was in August 2020. This case has gone through all of the courts in Norway and has even gone as far as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. There have been written a book about this case, as well as a documentary and a podcast.
Birgitte Tengs was born in March 1978. She grew up as an only child and had blonde, curly hair. She loved animals and cared for them, regardless of their size. Her father told a story about when they had to drive to the shore to safely place an ant they found on their boat. There is a lot of words that are used to describe Birgitte. She was adored by everyone around her. She was very bubbly, always in a good mood, and liked to get to know people. She loved going to school and loved to learn. She used to sing all the time and had a good singing voice.
The famous picture of Birgitte. This image was used in every article and every news program. She is wearing Norway's national costume, Bunad.
She lived outside a town called Kopervik, located on Karmøy outside the city of Stavanger. At the time, Kopervik was known to be a rough place. The town was filled with fishermen and seafarers who often spoke from the liver (being very blunt, just saying it as it is). On the weekends, there were a lot of teenagers in the streets in the town center. People were fighting and yelling, and there were people being beaten up. Most of the alcohol that these teenagers could get a hold of was strong moonshine.The town was also the place for one of Norway's biggest marijuana cases, where 60kg was seized.
The night of the murder
The 5th of May 1995 started out as a normal day. It was a cloudy day with only 7 degrees celsius. At around 7:00 PM Birgitte walked from her house to where her friend Mona lived. After staying at Mona for about an hour, the two girls started walking towards Kopervik at around 8:00 PM. They walked down the road called Gamle Sundveg. Along this road, they walked past where Birgitte would be killed only 4,5 hours later. After a few kilometers, Mona and Birgitte went their separate ways. Mona was going to the movie theatre in Kopervik, while Birgitte was going to a party at Karmel prayer house in the town of Avaldsnes.
A map of how far away Avaldsnes and Kopervik is from each other.
When the party at Karmel prayer house ended around 11:00 PM, Birgitte asked around if someone could drive her to Kopervik center. Nobody was going that way. She then called home, but nobody answered the phone. Her father was out at sea, and her mom did not hear the phone. Birgitte decided to hitchhike. At around 11:40 PM, a red VW Beetle stopped. Inside were 3 girls that were going to a club in Kopervik. They asked Birgitte if she wanted a ride all the way home, but she said no.
Birgitte was dropped off in Kopervik center at around 11:50 PM. She was in the town center for about 15 minutes. During these 15 minutes, she was observed by a lot of people and she talked to several. She goes around asking for a ride home. She was also observed by a car driver while she was standing in the town center trying to hitchhike.
At around 12:07 AM, Birgitte was observed for the last time. A car with 3 teenagers is driving down the road in the city center. Behind them is a police car with their blue lights on. The car drives to the side to let the police car pass and they stop 30m behind another car (the picture is from a dramatization based on witness statements) that is parked next to the curb. Leaning on this car is a girl with blonde, curly hair. This car's details were broadcasted both locally and nationally, but the driver never contacted the police. 5 minutes after this observation, a car was seen driving very fast down a road called Øygardsvegen, driving directly towards what would become the crime scene. The driver of this car was never found either.
Map of Kopervik, Øygardsvegen, and the crime scene
After this observation of Birgitte, she was never seen alive again. Nobody saw her walking from Kopervik to her house. There are several routes she could have taken, and multiple people have come forward saying they were along those routes at the time Birgitte would have been there. This leads the police to believe that Birgitte managed to hitch a ride home.
The discovery of the body
At around 4:00 AM, a police car was driving up the road Gamle Sundsveg, where Birgitte was killed. The reason they were driving here at this hour was that this road was often used to drink and drive. Suddenly, they saw a blood pool in the car lights. They stopped and started to look around. They saw a lot of blood as well as tow tracks. At first, they believed the blood was from poaching. The officers had very little light, and they didn't manage to contact another patrol car to get assistance. They opened a wooden gate and walked into the terrain. The officers claim to have heard strange noises coming from the dark forest. They turned off the car engine to be able to hear better, which is an indication of how unsure the officers were about what they heard. After a few minutes, they decided to turn back. At this time, they were only 2-3 meters away from the body of Birgitte.
When they go through the gate again, one of the officers closes it behind them. He is a sheep farmer himself, so he knows the importance of these gates being closed.
5 hours later, at around 9:20 AM, a farmer drives past on his tractor. He notices that the gate is open, and stops. He sees the blood on the ground and goes through the wooden gate. There he sees a female body and quickly gets back on his tractor to contact the police. Note that the gate was now open, somebody had been there between the police leaving and the farmer arriving. A theory is that when the police arrived, the killer had returned to the scene to get rid of the evidence. That may be the reason for the sounds they heard. After they left, the culprit left as well and left the gate open.
The crime scene
The police arrived within minutes. The sheriff department flew in forensic scientists from Haugesund who arrived only hours after the discovery. What met them was a gruesome sight. In the grass laid Birgitte, with large head wounds. Her dress was pulled up and her underpants were pulled down. They didn't manage to measure the temperature of the body, so they couldn't decide the exact time of death. In Birgitte's hands and on her body, they found hair. The DNA technology was fairly new at the time and the answer that came from the Department of Forensic Medicine threw the investigation on the wrong track. The DFM said that the hair did not belong to Birgitte, which made the police look for a culprit with long hair for one and a half years. After experts in England investigated the hair, they arrived at a new conclusion: The hair was Birgitte's. The investigation had to start over.
The cousin
Birgitte's cousin became a suspect very quickly. He was under investigation from the start. The rape of Birgitte only made the suspicion stronger, as the 19-year-old cousin had previously been arrested for going around naked in a sports hall. After the hair proved to be Birgitte's, the cousin was again in the searchlights. He was interrogated for a total of 180 hours in 5 weeks. Only two of the interrogations were recorded.
On the 24th of February 1997, the cousin met with his attorney. He had two notes with him that said: "I admit to having caused Birgitte Tengs' death". One of the notes was for the police, the other was for the attorney.
The day after, he officially confessed to the murder of Birgitte Tengs.
During the interrogations, the cousin had been encouraged to construct the course of events and write fictional stories about what could have happened to Birgitte, compose a "film script" about the murder, and elicit what the investigators thought he had repressed.
"You think I killed Birgitte!" The cousin exclaimed in an interrogation six days after he was put in custody. "Yes, and we can prove it" He got in response from the interrogators.
Four months after the confession, he withdrew it.
The police planted a story in the papers, that said that the father of the cousin had changed his statement of when the cousin came home that night, that meant that the cousin no longer had an alibi. The cousin said that the police made him believe that he had killed Birgitte. During the first interrogation, the police told the cousin a lot of details surrounding the case. That lead to him being able to give a statement that corresponded with the evidence. He was never confronted with the things that didn't match. The cousin was sentenced to 14 years in prison but was later acquitted in the Court of Appeal. He was still sentenced to pay compensation ($10 000) to Birgitte's family. In May 2020, he was denied the right to appeal the case.
In 2003, the Norwegian state was convicted of violating the cousin's human rights.
Want to read about what the police did wrong in this case? I'll leave a comment with the details.

Do you have tips regarding this case? Please contact Haugaland Police department on 02800 or via this link.

Har du tips til denne saken? Kontakt Haugaland politidistrikt på telefon 02800 eller ved å bruke denne linken.

Did you like my write up? Then you may find interest in my other ones:
A 6-year-old that disappeared without a trace
A 94-year-old that was found strangled and tied in her own bed
A 32-year-old left his home in the middle of the night and was found stabbed to death in his own car
A 71-year old man that was found beaten and tied in his home with $15,000 in his safe
A 20-year-old was found raped and strangled to death. 3062 witnesses has been interrogated
Sources (in Norwegian)
https://www.vg.no/spesial/2015/uloste-drap/?id=586
https://sumo.tv2.no/programmefakta/hvem-drepte-birgitte/sesong-1 (The documentary about the case)
https://www.gyldendal.no/skjoennlitteratupocket/sakprosa/hvem-drepte-birgitte/p-419027-no/ (The book about the case)
https://www.vg.no/nyhetei/5046RO/true-crime-serien-uloest-drapet-paa-birgitte-tengs (The podcast about the case)
https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birgitte-saken
All the images are either taken from the documentary or the articles.
Thanks for reading!!
submitted by KingDrude to UnresolvedMysteries

6

I am 27 years old, I make $100,000 a year, I live in Houston, Texas, and I work as an attorney

I am 27 years old as of today! As I wrote this diary, I realized that my life is pretty boring right now. I also didn't get too deep into my work, because attorney, and because it's pretty boring this week.
I wish we could have more in savings right now, but I never came from an enviroment that encouraged responsible savings, nor have I ever had the privilege of having enough to put in savings. Until now. My husband has come from a place of privilege, so he's gotten to see firsthand what it's like to not have it.
Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement Balance: $6,622.23 in a 401K I get through work. I just started qualifying for the 401K in April of this year. I contribute 10%. My employer does not match anything, unfortunately. I’m not sure how much my husband has in his teacher account. Additionally, I have $1,300 in a Roth IRA I started at my old job which had no benefits. I haven’t contributed to my IRA in a few months because…
Equity if you're a homeowner: We just bought a house at the end of September! We did not intend on buying a house yet, but an offer came up in my hometown that was too good to pass up. We bought the house for $120,000, we put down about $6,500, and the house is estimated to be worth about $180,000 without any repairs (of which it needs many.) We do not intend on living in this house, because I don’t want to live across the street from my parents. Hopefully, repairs will be done before the end of the year and we can start getting renters in. The current plan is to rent it out for a year, and then sell it.
Joint Savings account balance: $1,000.00. See above. We’ll work on replenishing this once repairs are done.
Joint Checking account balance: $11,588.05 in our joint account on the date of publishing, following receipt of my $8,000 bonus last month. We are about to pay $8,000 to fix the foundation in our house, so we have everything in our checking account. Additionally, we’ll have to pay for labor to pull out the rugs, paint, etc. And we need to buy new appliances because the appliances in the house are definitely the original from 1968.
Credit card debt: None. Everything is paid off monthly on both accounts. I think we both individually pay about $2,000 per month on our credit cards. Sometimes less, rarely more. I don't ask him what he buys, and he doesn't ask me either.
Student loan debt: $218,719.16 for my undergrad (about 9K left) and law degree (the rest). I am a first generation college graduate and my parents had nothing to provide me except their love and support. They always told me education was the most important thing, and for that, I am eternally grateful. It’s just another payment, and I wasn’t going to let that stop me from living the life I wanted. For now, I am on an income based repayment plan and hopefully it will be forgiven in 2030.
My husband has no student loan debt, which is great because I have enough for both of us.
Extra: My husband has a trust left behind by his grandpa. He has never touched it, and does not have plans to, until maybe we buy the house we will actually live in.
Section Two: Income
Income Progression:
I got my first job in college because I was a young graduate and never had a high school job. I worked at the university dining hall making 8.50/hour. It was a glamorous year. The following two years, I worked for an attorney in town and decided that I wanted to go to law school. I made 10/hour for about a year and a half, and then 12/hour when I graduated and kept working there until I left for law school.
During law school, I did not work, because it was just not feasible. I had internships in the summers, of which three were paid. One was a federal judge internship, where I was paid a stipend at the end of the time, and they also paid for parking. One was back at the firm I worked at in undergrad, and I got paid a lump sum to be a legal assistant for half a summer. The third was at the city attorney’s office, and they paid $20/hour. I had never gotten paid that much in my life and I was thrilled.
Out of law school, I started working at a plaintiff’s law firm, and I made $55,000 until I passed the bar, at which point, I got a raise to $80,000. I hated being a plaintiff’s lawyer, and got out after six months. After that, I worked at an insurance defense firm, where I made $65,000 for six months as a trial period, and then $80,000 again. That firm environment was not healthy, and I got out after about a year and a half. I was unemployed for about three months and got by on my savings. Then I got the job I have now, where I bill less hours, and make more money. I have been at this job for a little over a year.
Main Job Monthly Take Home:
5,552.04 (me) 3,331.96 (h) after taxes, health insurance (we each pay our own), etc.
Side Gig Monthly Take Home
We both tutor (him math, me English) on the side with a friend who organizes it all. Our profits have increased each month since we started. In August, we made $190, in September we made $593, and in October we made $775. Current November profits are $916 and the month is only halfway done. I anticipate that this number will keep increasing as we get more students. This money is used on house expenses. Maybe after we get renters in, this money will go towards student loans.
Any Other Monthly Income Here
None yet! Hopefully our time as landlords starts soon!
Section Three: Expenses
Rent / Mortgage / HOA fees: $1,900.00 in rent for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1100 sq. ft. apartment, including all water, sewage, valet trash, and pet rent. $1,015.00 for our mortgage while we are repairing and having to pay for it on our own, and no HOA fees. Once we start renting the house out, we will not have double payments.
Renters / home insurance: Renters is $35.23/month. Home insurance was paid for the first year as part of closing. It was $1,200 for the first year.
Retirement contribution: none that wasn’t previously discussed.
Savings contribution: TBD once the house is done. It was previously around 10% of my paycheck and I think my husband contributed the same.
Investment contribution: TBD once the house is done. It was previously $75/month. I also have an acorns account that probably gets about $15-20/month. It currently has about $220 bucks in it, but I have had to withdraw from that account when times were hard.
Debt payments: Currently nothing. Focusing on the house for now.
Donations: I donate $10/month to the ACLU. We also foster kittens through our local shelter.
Electric: $102.39 last month. This bill is starting to go down now that it’s *finally* cooling off
Wifi/Cable/Landline: $50.27/month
Cellphone: $70.66/month for me. My husband is still on his parents’ plan.
Groceries: We spend about $60/week on grocery delivery from Imperfect Foods. Every couple of weeks we’ll go to the grocery store and pick up anything we didn’t get delivered. Those days can range from $40-$100, and it’s only every few weeks.
Gas: Maybe $50/month? My commute is short, and I don’t go to any other places anymore.
Eating in: $40-70/week. We’ll order food once a week. It helps me feel normal and not like my life is a never ending series of cooking and cleaning.
Subscriptions:
Netflix: $14.99. I pay for it for myself and my parents and brother
Hulu: $11.99. Same
Spotify: $14.99. Family plan for me and my husband because he didn’t use spotify beforehand
HBONow. I think it’s $15.00. My husband pays for this
We mooch off of someone for Disney+
Book of the Month: $10.00/month. I love to read, but at a truer level, I love to own books. I will never get through my reading list, but I’ve come to terms with it.
NYTimes: $6.38/month
Winc: $60.00/every other month
Gym membership: $42.22 for the Peloton classes, and $74.78 for the bike itself. I got it for 0% APR and it will be paid off in three years. If it were not for the house, I would have paid this all off already. It’s been a great purchase and I fully recommend it.
Pet expenses: between $80-100/month. The cats are bougie and get fancy food from PetCo. One is also fat, but we’re still working on that. This may increase depending on if we have fosters, which we do right now.
Car payment / insurance: My Rav4 payment is $334/month and car insurance is $90/month. My husband’s car is paid off and I think his dad still pays the car insurance because it’s cheaper that way. (P.S. if anyone has advice on refinancing your car, please share! The thought terrifies me)
Regular therapy: I think my insurance is covering my co-pay right now because I am not paying anything for therapy right now.
Paid hobbies: None. The Peloton is my paid hobby.
I’d like to note that most of my expenses are paid on my credit card and then paid off every month. I may not be able to use those sweet, sweet points yet, but once we are free, I’ll be at an airport as often as possible.
Section 4: Money Attitudes
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If so, how did you pay for it?
Yes, there was always the expectation that I attend university. My parents both immigrated to the US in their early 20s and did not attend college. They both always told me that education was the most important thing, and the only thing I could take with me. In application, this got a little more complicated because my parents did not know how higher education worked. I had to do all the research regarding college applications, the SAT, scholarships, FAFSA, etc. because they didn’t know how any of it worked. When I applied for FAFSA the first time, my mom had me sit down and read all the fine print to make sure I knew what was happening. However, once I applied to law school, my parents asked why I didn’t just go to law school, and why I had gone to undergrad. It took some explaining for them to realize that I needed a Bachelor’s degree before going to law school. I had to pay for all of it through loans.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have around money? Did your parents educate you on finances?
My parents were not great, and still are not great, at finances. I knew my mom spent too much money on the credit cards, and my dad has frequently pulled out of his 401k. My dad told me too many details about the household finances that I did not need to know as a child.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
I got my first real job in college because my parents could not support me.
Did you worry about money growing up?
Constantly. See above for my dad using me as an emotional support daughter.
Do you worry about money now?
In theory yes, because I’ve never known how to not worry about money, but in practice, I recognize that I am living a life my parents could have never dreamed of, and I am not irresponsible with my money. I could stand to be a little more frugal, but I worked hard to enjoy my life now, not later.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
I became financially independent at the age of 17, when I got dropped off at my dorm. My parents gave me $200, and that was it. I think they may have bought me groceries once after that.
Section Five: DIARY TIME!
Tuesday 11/10
6:30 a.m.
I asked my husband to wake me up early because the foster kittens needed to go to the vet. Quarantine has wrecked any aspirations I used to have about being a morning person. Now I am bitter and groggy. He kisses me goodbye, and goes off to work.
6:45 a.m.
Okay, I’m up. I feed the foster kittens, feed our cats, and do some chores I will not have time to do later today, mainly dishes and general clean up around the apartment.
7:15 a.m.
I get dressed and make myself breakfast. Two eggs, two vegan bacon slices, and an avocado. I let the kittens out for a while so they can get some energy out.
7:50 a.m.
I’m off to the free vet at the animal shelter. The kittens have had soft stool for a while, but since they are older than the ones I normally get, I hoped they would resolve it on their own. Alas, they did not, and it is time to get it resolved. While driving over there, I make some calls for my volunteer work which I have not had time to make previously. I volunteer with Child Advocates, which is the Houston branch of CASA. Three calls total, and that’s off my plate, finally.
8:30 a.m.
No one has come out to help me at the shelter, so I have to get out to find someone.
9:00 a.m.
Medication obtained, and I need to go back home to administer medication and drop them off.
9:20 a.m.
Kittens medicated, and I’m off to work.
9:30 a.m.
Work! Why they made us come back into the office is beyond me, but at least I get my triple screens.
10:00 a.m.
My husband is a teacher, and I asked for his google classroom link because I just wanted to hear his voice during the day. We’ve both been going through it lately, so the support is appreciated on his end as well. I keep his algebra class on in the background while I work.
11:30 a.m.
My mind starts to wander, and I open ASOS to browse. I buy a dress that I’ve been eyeballing for a few days, and I justify it as a birthday present to myself. I can probably wear it to work.
$89.95
12:45 p.m.
I’ve put off eating long enough. I go downstairs to the cafe and get a salad and some chips. I am participating in a weight loss challenge at work, so I try to eat healthy. I also run into my coworker downstairs and we chat on our way back up. I also FINALLY fill my water bottle today. I’m permanently dehydrated, it’s fine.
$8.96
1:45 p.m.
My husband’s geometry class. I sit in again, and even participate a little bit!
6:00 p.m.
Time to head home. I’m beyond exhausted. And I should still have a long night ahead of me. Instead, I drive around the neighborhood park for Pokémon Go related reasons and it makes me feel better.
6:45 p.m.
Normally on Tuesdays, I spend the whole night logging my billing. I should do it as I go, this I know, but I hate doing it and I don’t want to. So I do it on Tuesdays and usually spend the entire evening doing it. Right now, I would rather sit and cry, but instead, I start making pasta sauce for spaghetti squash.
7:00 p.m.
I turn on Dancing with the Stars and all three kittens fall asleep on me. I am trapped forever now.
8:00 p.m.
Dinner time! Homemade sauce with mushrooms and greens, all on top of spaghetti squash. I make sure to have plenty for leftovers. My husband and I turn on game shows because it feels like a mindless tv night. Billing? Who is she? I will regret this later. Meanwhile, my husband and I talk about how down we’re feeling, and try to make each other feel better. They say the first year of marriage is the hardest, but nobody planned for a global pandemic.
10:00 p.m.
I do a face mask for the first time in forever. My skin went to absolute shit after switching to the mini pill in May, and I finally went to the dermatologist to fix it. It’s been about a month and a half with spironolactone, Epiduo, and sulfur face wash. My skin purged terribly, and I could not stop picking at it. So I do a brightening face mask to help even out the skin tone. My husband records a video for class, and I keep Jeopardy on in the background. RIP Alex Trebek. Around this time I stare at my briefcase some more. This is the first time in eight months I have not done my weekly billing timely and I feel the laptop boring into my soul. However, the exhaustion goes down into my bones. There is no shaking this. I’ve been feeling like this for a while, and my therapist said it was probably depression. She also frequently tells me to do self care, which I am terrible at. With all this in mind, I resolve to be okay with not billing tonight and just exist for the rest of the night.
11:40 p.m.
I start getting ready for bed. Nighttime face routine, brushing teeth, feeding kittens, and putting the food away. I’m exhausted, and I go to bed.
Daily Total: $98.91
Wednesday 11/11
8:00 a.m.
I barely registered when my husband left this morning, and I start to come into consciousness. This is a more normal start time for me. Yes I got eight hours of sleep, but I do not feel any less tired.
8:12 a.m.
My birth control alarm goes off so I have to get up.
8:17 a.m.
I check my work email and see that I missed a call from someone I needed to speak with ASAP. I call him from my cell phone. He doesn’t need to know that my hair is sticking out like a Cynthia doll and that my vision is still blurry. I get things resolved, all is good. Meanwhile, I feed the cat squads and pop some waffles in the toaster. I promptly forget about them and shower quickly. I grab the waffles after showering, taking the rest of my meds, moisturizing, brushing teeth, etc etc. As I’m about to head out the door, I realize I still need to medicate the kittens. I do that quickly, and head out the door.
9:10 a.m.
I’ll be real. I don’t feel bad about leaving for work after 9. My commute is exactly 10 minutes long and they don’t care when I show up, as long as I do the hours. Being a lawyer has plenty of stress and exhaustion, but this part is pretty chill.
9:20 a.m.
Oh look, I’m at the office.
10:00 a.m.
I log in to see my husband, but apparently he left work early because he didn’t feel good. I text him to see if he needs anything.
As I work, I munch on some pomegranate seeds that I cut out my poms last night. Why did I wear white pants today though?
12:30 p.m.
Lunch time! I heat up some spaghetti squash and sauce and go back to my office. All the legal assistants were sitting in the break room and it was too many people for my comfort. To be fair, all the legal assistants sitting together was already too many people for my comfort before the pandemic.
2:30 p.m.
Zoom call with a client for deposition prep. It goes fine, no issues. This is important.
3:30 p.m.
Deposition. First half hour, the client could not get the sound to work, so I just called him on my cell phone and put that up to my computer to work as the sound. We get through half an hour of deposition and then his phone dies. We try to get him back for twenty minutes before we just call it and agree to reset. I am mortified. It’s not my fault, but I’m still the lawyer and we take responsibility for the mistakes. I call my boss and let him know what happened.
5:45 p.m.
After that debacle, I work a little bit longer and then head home to make sure my husband is okay. As I pull into the parking lot, I note there is a food truck downstairs! My husband said he wanted to order food tonight, so maybe we can do this instead so as to not pay for delivery fees.
6:00 p.m.
Tutoring! This student has a test on Lord of the Flies tomorrow, so we go over her test review. I read Lord of the Flies in the eighth grade, so I tried to skim over it before tutoring, but I do have to rely on Sparknotes for some details. I can easily discuss themes with her, and she feels much better.
7:00 p.m.
My husband went downstairs while I tutored and got us dinner on his credit card. He is tutoring a different girl now for math, so I eat half my veggie burger while he works. I lay down on the sofa and read Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby for a while.
9:30 p.m.
Time to turn on the Bachelorette. It’s Tayshia’s first episode, and we’re ready for it. My husband is also a little in love with her, and I completely understand. Honestly, same.
Sometime around 11:45, I doze off on the sofa. My husband gets me up and I relocate to the bed without brushing my teeth or moisturizing. It’s one of those nights.
Daily total: $0 from me. I didn’t ask how much the burgers were.
Thursday 11/12
7:30 a.m.
I wake up feeling surprisingly rested. Maybe I’ll do a quick ride on the Peloton!
7:50 a.m.
LOL nope. I fell asleep again. But this time, I resolve to at least do an arm workup for the tricep challenge on peloton. I feed the cat parade first and turn on a 10-minute class. After that, I get dressed, and even put on makeup! Man, I feel like a woman. I balance this out by running out of time to eat breakfast. Oh well.
9:10 a.m.
Work! I left a pear here, so that’s my breakfast.
10:00 a.m.
Joining the algebra class again. They’re learning the formulas for horizontal and vertical lines and I actually remember this! But my office neighbor is here and in a hearing, so I keep the volume down low.
12:10 p.m.
Lunch! More leftover spaghetti squash. It was a huge squash and I’m getting as many meals out of it as I can.
12:39 p.m.
After three and a half days, I finally finish medical record review in one case. Time to move onto medical record review for a different case. There are more records in this one.
2:45 p.m.
I’ve gotten through two hundred more pages, so I go make some matcha. I keep a jar of matcha green tea latte mix from Trader Joe’s at work so I can make that whenever the mood strikes.
3:30 p.m.
Not so embarrassing confession: I still play Pokemon Go. I rarely spend money on it, but I don’t have a remote raid pass, so I put up the ninety-nine cents to get it.
$0.99
6:00 p.m.
I work until 6, at which time I have therapy. I stay at my office for therapy, because I’m too lazy to drive back home beforehand. We talk about the holidays, fears, my parents, and continued burnout. I resolve to talk to my husband about not going to his family’s for Thanksgiving.
7:00 p.m.
Therapy’s done, so I pack up and go home. I leave my work laptop at work because I need to be better about boundaries.
7:30 p.m.
My friend wanted to do a ride together on the Peloton. I let her pick, which was a mistake. She chooses an Alex Toussaint ride and we nearly die. While we ride, I ask my husband to peel sweet potatoes and press tofu. I should have asked him to press tofu earlier, but I didn’t figure out dinner until an hour ago.
8:00 p.m.
I boil the sweet potatoes and start making sauce for the tofu. Sauce is miso, fig jam, peanut butter, soy sauce, and honey. *Chef’s kiss* I also boil some ears of corn. Once I mash the sweet potatoes, I grab a mandarin and juice it. This is the best dinner I’ve made in ages. Baked tofu with miso sauce, sweet potato mash with orange juice, corn, and salad. I’ve peaked. While we eat, my husband and I talk about the holidays. He has students in person again, aside from the online classes, so he can’t realistically isolate anymore. His parents are older, and his brother just had a baby. We know his family really wants to see us, but it’s just not safe. The US just hit 150,000 cases today.
We make the call to my mom first, because we had previously discussed taking my 14-year-old brother. My parents are not very celebratory this year (heyo therapy), so we wanted to make sure he was fed. My mother understands. This was the easy call to make.
Then we make the call to his mom. We express our concerns, and she is much more understanding than I thought she would be. We also mention that Christmas will likely not be possible, but we know this will be a longer conversation to have with her later.
Finally, my husband calls his aunt. That conversation is not as chill. Biggest thing is that she assumed I don’t want children because of my career and that women can be lawyers and have kids. She did not know she was on speaker. I am LIVID.
After all these calls, I finally shower, do my nighttime routine, feed kittens, and get ready for bed.
11:00 p.m.
Bed time. Except that the big cats get all grumpy and are fighting with each other, so they keep us up for a while. UGH
Daily Total: $0.99
Friday, 11/13
8:00 a.m.
Not as rested as yesterday, not as tired as Wednesday. I’ll take it. Same old morning routine: cats, clothes, etc. Today, I remember the veggie breakfast sausages and heat two up to take with me.
9:15 a.m.
Work! I eat my veggie sausages and a plum. If you’re keeping track, that’s four different fruits this week. I also check my bank account! Payday! The foundation guy still hasn’t cashed his check though, which is annoying.
1:20 p.m.
I go heat up my lunch, which should finally finish up the spaghetti squash. As I walk around, I see that there are two other lawyers here and two legal assistants. It’s a ghost town. I’m tempted to leave. I also see that Barack Obama’s new book is about to come out, so I pre-order it.
$29.23
1:45 p.m.
Because of the ghost town status, I leave. I have errands to run and a Friday to enjoy. Regardless, I will still work at home.
2:00 p.m.
I saw a few recipes I want to try this weekend, so I pop over to Whole Foods right by the office and get the ingredients I don’t already have at home. It’s mostly specialty vegetables and fresh spices. I even buy salmon, which I almost never cook.
$78.40
3:00 p.m.
I get home and medicate the kittens, which I did not do before leaving this morning. I put away the groceries, and my husband gets home! Yay! He lays down on the sofa, and I pull out my laptop to finish working for the day.
5:00 p.m.
I finish working for the day and start a load of laundry
6:00 p.m.
I do a ride with my other friend. The theme is weird, but I get a great sweat in.
7:00 p.m.
I use the fancy ingredients to make coconut miso salmon curry and some plain rice. It is AMAZING!! Maybe this is the best dinner I’ve made in a while. Martha Stewart who? Meanwhile, my husband puts on the latest episode of the Mandalorian. I didn’t watch the first season with him, but I’ve enjoyed watching this with him. After that’s done, I finish Wow, No Thank You and start Anxious People.
11:00 p.m.
Bed time! Same old routine. We have a long day ahead of us.
Daily total: $107.63
Saturday 11/14
8:12 a.m.
My birth control alarm will never let me sleep in.
9:30 a.m.
But I do get to sleep a little while longer. However, today is my birthday party/friendsgiving and we have so much cleaning to do. I heat up some tea, and my husband makes us toaster waffles, and we sit for a little while.
To be clear, when I say party, I mean, hanging out with the same few people I’ve seen all of quarantine. There will be eight other people there aside from my husband and I, so there will be a total of 10 people in my apartment. (And five cats). I even considered cancelling this after we had to call the family and tell them we weren’t going to Thanksgiving. But I’m already bummed I don’t get to go to the Texas Renaissance Festival this year, so a small get-together is as good as it gets.
10:00 a.m.
The theme here is powerpoint party, and even though I sent out the information two weeks ago, I have not prepared my powerpoint. I spend three hours prepping my powerpoint. It is informative, it is dark, it is ready.
Well, kind of. About two hours in, I notice my laptop has stopped charging. I JUST GOT THIS CHARGER A MONTH AGO. I have known the end was coming for my laptop soon enough, but I kept trying to hold it off. My laptop is already four years old, and it would not be worth it to replace the battery. I don’t like using my work laptop for personal things, but I don’t have another option, and my husband is still working on his presentation as well, so I grab my work laptop and finish it off. Let’s see if I purchase a new laptop this upcoming week. (Recommendations are always welcome. I currently have a Dell XPS 13 Touch, and I’ll probably just get a new one of those unless a better recommendation comes along).
1:30 p.m.
We start the deep clean. I get busy in the kitchen and my husband cleans the bathroom. Vacuuming, mopping, rug cleaning, etc. and soon, our apartment is spotless.
While we’re cleaning, my mom texts me and confirms the foundation guy picked up his check.
4:30 p.m.
I still need a few more things so I shower quickly and head to Kroger to get the last things I forgot at Whole Foods. I am unfortunately out of time to work out, so that won’t happen today.
4:45 p.m.
Paper plates, cups, tin foil, and more tofu. I’m not trying to do all those dishes tomorrow.
$16.26
5:00 p.m.
I also go to Spec’s to get more alcohol. It’s the only place that has mead, and I’m trying to recreate those Ren Fest vibes as best I can.
$102.90
5:30 p.m.
Time to start cooking. Everyone is bringing a little something, so the weight is not on me to do it all. I am making vegetarian shepherd’s pie, tofu roulade, and roasted cauliflower. I’m very anxious. I’ve never been a fan of hosting parties, and COVID has only confirmed that I prefer being a homebody. Insert cooking montage here.
6:00 p.m.
One of my friends arrives early and helps me finish prepping. The roulade is not going well, which is disappointing.
7:00 p.m.
Everyone has arrived, and we start eating.
Presentations are shown, laughs ensue, and good times are had by all. Powerpoint themes:
  • Poetry of Catullus (Catullus is a fuckboi)
  • Crimes Each Duggar Would Commit (this was me)
  • Loch Ness (by my friend who honeymooned in Scotland and is learning Scottish)
  • The Republican Party’s Path To Victory (It’s a shitpost. It’s one slide and it’s Jeb!)
  • Do Tapirs Exist? An Exposition (Spoiler alert: Yes)
  • The Spy Kids Trilogy and Why They’re The Greatest Movies to Ever Exist (undisputed best slideshow of the night)
12:00-1:00 a.m.ish
I don’t remember exactly when the party ended, but it was a reasonable enough hour. I take my makeup off and go to bed.
Daily total: $119.16
Sunday 11/15
8:12 a.m.
Birth control alarm. UGH. I am hungover and feeling it.
9:00 a.m.
I move to the sofa so I can watch tiktoks without waking up my husband. I will not move from this spot very much all day.
We don’t really eat breakfast today, because we are still full from last night. Around lunchtime, we heat up some more food from last night.
I watch Big Mouth all day because season 4 is coming out in a few weeks. It’s just as weird and uncomfortable as I remember it being.
I also cuddle with kittens all day, and they are SO CUTE. I LOVE THEM.
7:00 p.m. ish
I finally get up to be semi-productive. I load the dishwasher and leave the pots and pans for my husband to wash later. We still ended up using all our utensils, serving spoons, and small plates for cake.
I also start dinner. We actually finished most of the food we had made yesterday at lunch. I make ramen and guss it up with shiitake mushrooms, miso (lots of miso this week), kimchi, and rice cakes. Easy, tasty, satisfying.
Around this time, I go back to my laptop. It is not charging. UGH.
After dinner, and more tv, I finally shower, and finally feel like a normal person. I read for a little while before bed.
11:30 p.m.
What a lazy Sunday. It’s exactly what I needed.
Daily total: $0
Monday 11/16
7:15 a.m.
I’m up and mostly rested.
7:30 a.m.
I get out of bed, and finally do a chore I’ve been putting off all week: repotting my money tree to take back to the office.
After that, it’s the same old morning routine: cats, plants, packing lunch, getting dressed. But today, makeup and breakfast both happen. Who is she????
Additionally, I joined a weight loss pool at work that started a month ago. I weigh myself for the weekly check-in. Despite the feast I had this weekend, I still managed to lose a pound. This is pretty consistent with what I’ve done all month. Overall, four pounds lost. I wish it would go faster, but it’s fine. I’m healthy, I’m active, and I eat well.
9:00 a.m.
Work! My money tree fell over in the car and dirt got all over the ground. Great. And the tree is falling out of its new pot. I awkwardly repot it in my car, and then in my office. Hopefully it’s okay. Otherwise, I have a specific research topic to answer, and a report due tomorrow.
I also bring my personal laptop and hope it will charge here. No such luck. I order a replacement charger AGAIN, but this time it’s free of charge. I also start doing research on how much it’ll take to replace my laptop. I do need it for tutoring, so it’s not like I can put it off much longer. There are Black Friday deals going on already. There’s also a Best Buy nearby, so I’ll go look after work.
11:30 a.m.
I eat a plum and go look at my credit card statement. I usually pay it off every two weeks, to align with paychecks, so I pay off my credit card. I note that there’s a Classpass charge on my card. I saw the email a few weeks ago and forgot to cancel. I cancel my membership, but the $60 charge is already on my card. UGH
$60.00
I also get an email confirming our Imperfect Foods order and the charge that comes with it.
$63.93
1:00 p.m.
I heat up some of the ramen from yesterday. It’s fine. Our work microwave isn’t very good. I eat a mandarin as well.
5:30 p.m.
I am almost finished with the document review in this case, but I ordered some tables for my office plants last week, and they came in over the weekend. I assemble those and arrange my plants. Since it’s my birthday tomorrow, I get to go to the plant store.
6:00 p.m.
I drive on over to Best Buy and check out the Dell selection. They only have Inspirons on display. What a waste of time. I also goofed on the way over here and had to do a big loop on the highway to get here, so I’m extra annoyed. Afterwards, I call my husband and he already knows that I’m going to suggest ordering in. He gets me.
6:40 p.m.
I get home and plop on the sofa. He wants something hearty, but I want the opposite. We find a good compromise and I put the order in.
$40.44
7:45 p.m.
Food is here! He got a BBQ brisket sandwich, and I got a brussel sprout salad. Compromise. We watch the latest Last Week Tonight. John Oliver blows up 2020 and it’s exactly what this year deserves. Trash TV and kitten cuddles for the rest of the night. Too tired to read.
11:00 p.m.
Time for bed. Teeth, face, etc.
Daily total: $164.37
WEEKLY TOTALS
Food + Drink: $310.89
Fun / Entertainment: $30.22 (book and pokemon go)
Home + Health: $0.00
Clothes + Beauty: $89.95
Transport: $0.00
Other: $60.00
GRAND TOTAL: $491.06
REFLECTIONS
Aside from the alcohol and extra party purchases, this was a pretty standard week. I have been doing better about not buying clothes when I’m sad, but I also normally buy used clothing and not a new dress for $90. I am very much a creature of habit, which I did not realize until I wrote it all out. I am excited about our financial future, and although we aren’t putting much into savings right now, I know that’s temporary.
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