Saturday, December 31, 2005
1. Start living from a budget. Plan the month ahead of time, stick to the Excel spreadsheet, and use cash for all non-bills. Gradually increase standing balance in my checking account to equal $750.00; contribute no less than $150 Jan.-June and $200 July though December to savings.
2. Keep the credit card bill paid off every month, pay no interest all year.
3. Incur no bank fees, traffic tickets, dog-poo fines, and other total wastes of money.
4. Start my 401(k) in January, increase contributions to equal 10% of every paycheck by June. Deposit bank bonus (if I get one) directly into the 401(k).
1. Start eating breakfast every day again. Oatmeal with fruit. Smoothies.
2. Increase consumption of yogurt, cranberry juice, all fruits, start putting flax-seed in smoothies.
3. Cook more vegetarian dinners like quiche, bulgar, etc., curries (thanks, Ben) and more fish.
4. Visit the doctor (in Jan or Feb) for complete physical; discuss baby-making stuff with doctor.
5. Lose either 7 lbs, 5% body fat (as measured by bathroom scale) or both, through above measures and increased gym visits.
1. Either get promoted or leave the bank for better paying, more challenging job. Update resume.
2. Not to be a bank teller this time next year.
1. Get this whole wedding thing planned and executed, ASAP. Try to have the planning done by Valentine's Day and the wedding over by June.
2. Go on a nice honeymoon.
3. Help D with his goal of losing some weight, getting his shoulder and arm muscles in shape, and eating better. (even though he may not be aware of his goals exactly.)
4. This time next year be married (for sure) to D and expecting (possibly)
Last night I wasn't feeling well, felt very sinusy and headachey when I came home from work. So D cleaned the catbox (so the bathroon wouldn't smell), ran me a bath, went out for beer and wine, and made dinner. I felt so much better after, and so very loved. Because while many men would run a bath and pour wine for their sweetie, only a true love would have touched that catbox. (insert novel-format here...
D staggered out of the bathroom, clutching the doorframe and a bottle of Lysol. His eyes are hollow and gaunt, as one who's seen great carnage; they search the room and finally settle on the cat. "you!" he whispers, accusingly. Almost threateningly. "you were so cute as a kitten! nobody warned us about this...this..." Lost for words, he just shakes his head. She is remarkably unperturbed by him and remains atop the sofa, watching him in that narrow, sphinx-like way that cats have. "what better thing could you do, than clean my box?" she seems to ask. Sighing, he throws one last "Don't go in there for a while!" over his shoulder and starts manuevering the trashbag down the stairs to the garage, trailing a heady aroma of catpiss behind him.
I'm working on my goals for 2006, which I think is going to be our year. Really! I haven't felt this good about a year in a long time. They'll be posted next.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
1. It's so annoying for somebody to tell me how cute my little sister is, and be surprised about it. Why is that so surprising? Am I a hag and nobody told me or something? I know she's adorable, that since birth she's been the "cute" one (because everybody has to do that to sisters. God forbid they both be smart and attractive), but it's fairly insulting for somebody to say "wow! your sister is a cutie!" as though shocked that we emerged from the same gene pool. Manners, anyone? And by the way, she's smart, too. And funny. Open your eyes, folks, she's more than just cute! It's doubly insulting.
2. I'm annoyed at the world for the fact that I went to visit somebody at work who either wasn't there or was actually working or something. How is this rational? Everything should stop upon my arrival! I am the queen, and the queen wants lunch! When I have a half-day, everybody needs to have a half-day!
3. I'm bugged that everybody at work is slavering for fresh homemade cookies for the party/meeting tonight when I know that none of them are baking, they're just picking stuff up on the way to the bank. I'm not a fucking bakery, folks; it's a two-way street. I'm not so desperate for praise that I'll spend time and money to bake ya'll cookies when I don't feel like it. I bake out of love only, love for the process, for the product, and occasionally for the recipients. Right now I don't love you.
4. Also annoyed in preparation for tonight that what should be a fun white-elephant gift exchange is probably going to suck ass now because people can't be bothered to bring a nice $10 gift but are just going to bring whatever it is that they don't want. I've overheard at least one co-worker say, "oh, I'm just bringing this awful thing that I won in another exchange, you should do the same!" It's ten bucks, folks; just go out and buy a scented candle, a box of candy, a gift card, or whatever! Don't be so frickin cheap and lazy! D got this set of Jones sodas in wierd flavors like 'turkey and gravy' and 'stuffing' but I'm not going to take that to the bank and pass it on, come on! Well, partly because I want to try them, but still.
5. Why on earth are we combining our monthly meeting with our holiday party? This really sucks. We can't bring spouses or friends or whatever like we would otherwise, and it's going to be like "Sales reports, snacks, operations, gift exchange, attendance issues, etc..." How are these two mutually exclusive events supposed to coincide?
6. What's with all the car dealerships and companies trying to suggest that you can save money if you buy their car? Hello, the best way to save money is to not buy a new car! Keep driving the one you have-- that'll save money! Unless it's a Hummer and you want to trade it in for a Prius or something, or if it's costing so much in repairs that a new car would actually save money, there's no way that buying something like a car will save you anything at all! It's the worst kind of fake math there is! I don't know what bugs me more, the advertisers, or the stupid, blind, rationalizing people that believe them.
I'm not going to re-read this because I'm edit a whole bunch of stuff, so here is my annoyance blog, raw and real.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
1. Six (count 'em, six) classical CD's from Dad and Little Bro.
2. Socks, 2 pair (a Chanukah tradition for our family that is also a little Harry Potter. I think I'd cry if there were a Chanukah without any socks.)
2. A Day-by-Day calendar with crossword puzzles on it!
3. A nifty little jewelry-box thing that is bright orange shiny vinyl and shaped like a fish! So cute. 4. A hundred-dollar check tucked into the jewelry box.
5. A box of Ferraro Rocher chocolates, my favorite!
6. One of those little nesting Russian dolls, I can't remember what they're called, Matroyska? Matrioshka? from their Alaskan trip last summer.
7. A beautiful, arty little compact mirror and magnifyer.
8. A gift certificate to Petsmart, with not only Alice and Cathy's names on it, but Speeder and Earl's as well. I can't believe my mom remembers the names of our fish...
It's an embarrasment of riches; I wasn't expecting anything like that. I'm glad we did the Salvation Army thing instead of buying gifts for Mom and Dad, but it does lack the exitement factor a little. And, I forgot that little bro has Winter Camp with the boyscouts all next week, so I didn't bring his present because D couldn't be there. Since D paid for most of it (Age of Empire III, 50 bucks (it has three with a roman numeral, Mara, not the number three; do you know how that is? It looks like three "i"s in a row?" Gosh, I love being thought so highly of by a 14-year-old)) --I thought he would like to be present for the presenting so to speak. D is perpetually soft-hearted when it comes to the holidays, though. He will work straight through and miss the holiday himself in order to give his guys the day off; a practice from his divorced/single days: they have families, let them be at home, I can work... I love him for it even if he does miss things. Mom and Dad made a brisket especially in his honor thinking he'd be there. It's almost 11 at night now, and he won't be home for a few hours yet.
So, I didn't bring any presents over there and walked out with a bag of them. Gosh. Now I'm listening to my new CD of Schubert's Trout Quintet and munching chocolates. Ahh, Chanukah. Interestingly, what D is giving me and what the two of us are giving KK is the same thing; this beautiful candle-holder/sculpture/thingie. It's made of a dark metal, maybe iron, about 2 feet tall, a graceful swooping shape with three tea-light holders suspended in it. We saw it at a specialty candle store in a mall and liked it so much that I had to find a loophole to the no-buying-yourself-stuff-the-week-before-C/Ch. Aha--he hasn't got me anything yet! He can get me this thing that we like so much, and we can get her one too! Perfect. It isn't as wierd as it sounds because she and I do have overlapping taste in decor and art, so there are things that we both own, inspired by the other's apartment. I'm looking forward to giving it to her even if she did want gift certificates for work-clothes.
Yesterday, we went to IKEA to get the chair that is my gift to him, and it was great! The store wasn't at all crowded. We've decided to make it our Christmas-eve tradition, to go to IKEA and browse. The chair is so comfortable, and it should be better for D's back than the old futon that serves as our sofa. Plus, I really like the way it looks. And it's a wonderful chair for reading--I spent most of the day curled up in it reading Jane Austin's Persuasion. Someday I will have read everything that Austin ever wrote, and that makes me sad. I realized about half-way through it that the second Bridget Jones' Diary book is based on Persuasion in the way that the first is based on Pride and Prejudice. The similarity was too great to overlook--some scenes were practically lifted right off the pages--and it made me laugh, because I could predict what would happen in Persuasion based on the Bridget Jones correlary. We're going to have to re-arrange all the living-room furniture to fit the chair in, but that was long-overdue anyways. Maybe we'll do that tomorrow, if he's still off work.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Alice woke us up bright and early with, er, "digestive problems". I don't know where she got them, but we took her outside four times between 5 in the morning and 8, when I had to leave for work. Work- what a crazy place! Why would anybody wait until the 23rd of December to go to the bank for Christmas presents? "Whatdya mean, ya don't have Visa gift cards?" (special X-mas cash envelopes, brand-spankin'-new crispy bills, etc, etc) The bank is not a store at which you buy presents for people! It's just a bank! We don't order new money for Christmas! And we had to wear silly santa hats that were itchy! Anyways. That's all over now. Deep calming breath. Right.
Alice seems to be fine now. Strict kibble diet, that's what she needs. No steak bones, no pizza crusts, nada. Nothing but kibble for you, missy, until you prove that you can handle the good stuff. We really do seem to be missing a fish from the aquarium, one of the cory cats. Every time I feed them I only count three. Did he die? Did Cathy get him? It's a mystery. Fish floating at the top of the tank is not a mystery, but fish disappearing completely? weird. This is the second time it's happened. My theory is that the fish (which is generally on the bottom of the tank) dies, then floats to the top, where the cat scoops him out. She would be no match for a live one and these are bottom feeders anyways....seems the most logical solution.
I called my parents and told them about the super-jumbo check from Grandma and dad thinks it's ok, that she's probably just trying to unload some dough, but he's going to mention it to her when they talk next, and also see what Phillip's and KK's are, to make sure that she didn't make a mistake or something. I really sorta wanted to just deposit it quietly in my account, but....you know. Off to bed where I can sleep in! For three days!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Saturday, D and I went to Walmart. It has to be one of the dumbest ideas we've ever had, going to Walmart, on a Saturday...the week before Christmas...it was awful. And of course they didn't have what I needed. I hate that place, honestly. But to save 10 bucks off a computer game I'll try anything.
Sunday, my little brother and I spent the whole day making a gingerbread house (pictures to follow when I find the little cord that connects the camera to the computer!) with gables, and real candy windows, and a big chimney made of maple-nuts. Mmm, gingerbread. mmm.
Yesterday D, got a holiday bonus check from his workand he took me out to dinner to celebrate. It must be nice to be a manager and get nice bonus checks! It will make up all the money we've leached out of his savings accout to cover medical bills etc over the last quarter. The Cheesecake Factory was surprisingly crowded-- we had to wait 25 minutes for a table on a Monday night! I kind of forgot about the whole pre-Christmas going-out-thing. It was so good though. Worth the wait. Mmm cheesecake! Mmm bonus check. Wish I was getting one of those myself!
So, it's only been an hour and already things are new. It appears that D spent his day off from work cleaning the apartment; it's all vaccuumed and tidy. I love that man. He's at a work-party-thing now, so I'm here listening to Mozart, eating cheesecake, and blogging in a clean, peaceful apartment. On the dining-room table with the mail was a card from Grandma for my birthday (I guess she's a little ahead of herself; my birthday is next month) with a check for birthday/Chanukah combined. And.....wow. I won't say how much it is because that would be crass, but if you took my monthly expenses and tripled them....that's what the check is. I'm bowled over. I have an urge to check with the other grandkids to make sure she didn't give me like, all the Chanukah money or something on accident. I mean I know she can afford it and all, but it's so much just for birthday/Chanukah. More like what you'd give for a wedding or Bat Mitzvah or something. This will take all of my budgeting and saving goals for the next year and jump-start them like crazy. Wow. (still bowled over, give me a minute.) Well, here are the pictures of the gingerbread house:
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Hehehe. Yeah. The other day I saw the greatest bumper sticker at the movie theater. It said something to the effect of:
"Ladies Anarchist Sewing Circle and Terrorist Guild"
in very swirly script. Love it. Today I am the Queen of Cookies. Cookies cover my kitchen and my dining room; cookies on plates, on trays, on racks. Peanut-butter-kiss cookies and crispy sugar cookies. I made maybe even too many cookies; I ran out of steam and the gingerbread dough is still in the fridge. My coworkers will love me tomorrow as I am bringing lots of cookies to work. Even though I'm not sure they deserve cookies at all, it is the "holiday season", whatever that has come to mean.
Making all the cookies was cathartic, or maybe it was just having a day off; I feel ok about having to go back tommorow. I can handle it. I decided today that my main goal for the new year is going to be a better job, and one not in customer service. Something that requires a bachelor's degree and more than a little intelligence. Preferably something within the bank, for what's the point of working for such a big, powerful company if not to move up and around within the ranks and divisions? I'm tired of being a foot-soldier, because let's face it; I should be doing better than this. I'm being lazy and chicken staying so long in this position. Job-hunting sucks, but so does doing something so un-demanding, something that under-utilizes all of my abilities, something paying less than 10 an hour... So, here's to next year! I feel optimistic about it because last year my goal was to get my finances in order and I did a good job with it.
You're a unicorn. You're very pure and innocent.
Almost everyone loves you and you love almost
everyone. You may be naive to the point of
gullibility. You're pretty much incapable of
violence, the exception being when someone you
love is threatened. While your intentions are
nothing but good, some might call you a
"straight-edger." Your alignment is
What mythical beast are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
I think it was choosing classical music that did it...
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I saw my old friend Erin this weekend, up from Austin where the people are better-read and the grocery stores are cooler-- apparently it's the HQ of Whole Foods and they have a huge one down there. Erin--get this--has actually met my hero, the food-network guru Alton Brown. He's one of the few people that I'd get really exited about meeting face-to-face. He's like the Bill Nye of food! Erin and I are going to open a restaurant one of these days, when we raise a little capital.
I also went to my work-friend Kristin's graduation party Saturday night, which was a lot smaller than I anticipated. It was fun in a laid-back kind of way. All the guys there but one were gay, which was kind of funny. My unknowingly flirting a little with one of them was funny. I mean, my non-knowlege of his being gay, not my non-knowlege of the flirting. Right. But he was someone that I knew from way back (freshman year) and he was "in the closet" then.... and so I'm not the most observant person in the room either. I mean, I didn't realize that he'd brought his boyfriend to the party... it was very British-comedy for a while there.
Sunday D and I saw Pride and Prejudice. It was really good! The only thing I think they botched a little was the passage of time; things that take weeks or months to occur in the book seem to just follow one another much too quickly. For example, in the book a long time and a lot of inner growth, personal reflection, and letter-re-reading take place between the two proposal scenes. In the movie it was more like:
Elizabeth: "No! You're despicable!"
Mr. Darcy: "I still love you. Will you marry me?"
Elizabeth: "Yes! I was so wrong about you!"
They don't give Elizabeth the time and reflection that it would reasonably take to change her mind so dramatically. And they cut some development that would have helped the movie flow by casting Mr. D in a darker light to begin with; it's too easy to see in the movie that he's being misunderstood. But I'm nit-picking; the movie's really good generally. The casting is great and I seem to have developed a crush on Mr. Darcy.
Today totally sucked at work but I'm not going to get into it. The good thing about posting late at night is that my work-day seems far away now, like a bad dream. Let it drift away into the night...
And, I broke the celibacy barrier on saturday!!!!!! (she cheers with happiness and relief.) With a little help from my friend of course (that being my D, not Ringo) My longest-ever period of sex-free living has past! Unless you count those first 17 years, which I don't. Even if another couple of months go by, it's good knowing that normalcy can be restored. But that's private stuff, even for the blog. ....
So! Anyways. Right. I'm going to bed. To sleep.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
I didn't have to go in on my day off like I thought I would which makes me so happy that I'm contemplating cleaning up this pigsty of an apartment that I'm sitting in, but first things first; KK is coming over to help with the rest of the Salvation Army shopping. It's all due in on Monday so time's a-wastin'!
I'm definitely ovulating again today, which makes me more outgoing and flirtatious than usual. Just as well that I'm not at work, I guess; no use wasting a good mood there! I'm sort of looking forward to actually trying to make a baby, in part to see if being so observant of my cyclical stuff actually comes in handy. And in part just because it'd just be so much fun...makin' it....(sigh.)
(celibacy sucks ass.)
Right. Going shopping now for stuff! Could be fun. Cleaning up apartment! Could be rewarding.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Anyways. I can still make fun of Texans driving on the sleet that we're going to get. hehehe.
Instead of scheduling a key and a combo to open this morning as always, the powers that be scheduled Kristin and myself, and we're both keys. We can't open any part of the vault without the combination and we had to call someone out of her warm bed, on her day off, to come open the vault. Poor girl. Not a great start to the day, really. Work has gotten wierd lately, with gossip and drama and factions and stuff. Not my cup of tea at all. I find myself lately missing some of the guys that I used to work with at the restaurant. They were a fun, interesting bunch, and sexy. Not to mention uncomplicated and unpolitical. Working with so many girls really sucks sometimes.
I also think that I've developed a real preference for a certain type of guy, the kind of guy who wears a toolbelt and does stuff with it. They're just so attractive! I think that D was the very first manifestation of this thing. I guess it's because in college I was surrounded by guys who talked all the time and were full so full of themselves and their ideas and didn't do jack shit; who's idea of work was hitting the gym or being a teacher's aide. All those nice blue-collar guys at the hotel were like a breath of fresh air...that I'm still breathing. Still flirting with all those tool-belt guys..
Monday, December 05, 2005
I had dinner at mom and dad's last night, and we played Scrabble after, or should I say that they both royally kicked my ass. I just got the worst letters all night! At one point I actually had 6 vowels and a "z". "zuu"! "uzo"! "zeo"! Right.
Helped my little brother study his geometry last week and he called me the next day to let me know that he got an A, which I thought was sweet. I can still bisect a parallelogram with the best of them, I guess. So, Ben, if you do take any math classes I can help you too. But anyways.
My little brother is growing up, which is really funny. (For us, not for him. It must suck to be the youngest sometimes.) He's shot up to almost my height--and I'm 5'7"--but we were getting used to that. Now I can put my arm around his shoulders instead of resting my chin on the top of his head like I used to do. He's got that awkward adolescent thing going where he wants to be hugged but doesn't want to appear to want to at the same time. The only solution to this is to grab him in a bear-hug and call him munchkin, whenever the mood strikes; 4 times out of 5 he'll be glad and the fifth time he'll be, "what the hell, you just hugged me five minutes ago! Get off me!"
But now, now his smooth baby skin is erupting into adolescence as well with the arrival of the first zit. (Sound the fanfare here.) It's just so weird for me because of the age difference; I was ten when he was born; I've changed his diapers, everything. A year from now and he'll be in a totally different place. He and I are much more similar to each other than KK is to either of us, both in looks and in temperment. He looks a lot like I did at that age but, you know, a guy. So, it's all weirdness. I miss my little brother.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
I'm baking cookies right now (chocolate chip, of course) for my co-worker who wanted them; the whole apartment smells so good. My sinus-headache is finally clearing up again-- is it just me, or has this become a real problem? I think I'm going to go back and read my blog from the beginning, doing a sinus-headache count, seeing how often I mention it. I was watching Food Network with D earlier today which is so dangerous this time of year. I am now seized with the desire to make an absolutely amazing gingerbread house, really decked out. I can just see it; gables in the roof, chimney, yellow-glass windows and lots of snow... I must get a grip. I've got no call to make something like that; maybe I'll make some gingerbread men instead to get rid of this bug. Cute little guys with M&M buttons.
As always I'm disgusted by the cynicism and shallowness of the so-called "holiday season", I could make a grinch-like list of the issues I have with it but instead I will just take advantage of the baking opportunities and the charitable ones, and ignore all the rest of the jazz. I love being Jewish and being able to ignore the whole shtick.
"Actually, I don't celebrate Christmas..."
"Really?!" (insert gaping, disbelieving expression here) Fun stuff.
It's time now to change the water for the tank, my usual Sunday adventure; to the hoses! To the bowl! To the bright blue algae-scrubbing brush! And to think the whole aquarium was D's idea. Lets see, the last time he cleaned it would be, hmmm. Yeah. Ohhh, gingerbread fishies! I think I need a new cookie-cutter...
Friday, December 02, 2005
Today was also long and busy, working open to close. It looks like that will be my shift most of the month, 8:45 to 6:30 or so. It doesn't sound long but dealing with the public makes it seem longer. My shoulders have been killing me lately, I don't know what to do about it. Tonight I tried some yoga and general stretching which felt good, but I don't think it really helped....I need a rubdown in the worst way. Youch.
Our apartment complex is raising the rent on us, about 80 more a month. Do we stay? Do we move? The bastards, we aren't exactly swimming in extra dough, more like just squeaking by what with D's new medical bills et cetera. Does this ever get easy? I feel like between us me make plenty of money on paper but with the child support, health insurance, taxes and all the rest we don't have so much to actually live on. Now I feel like they might actually deserve what we've done to the carpet...
Alice seems to have gotten the turkey carcass out of the trash where D forgot and left it (bad D! bad!) and had really bad, really messy craps all over the dining room. The clean up was rough. Just....rough. I almost ralphed, myself. If there's anyone out there who thinks, "dogs are so fun! I should get one!", just know that eventually you'll have to clean liquid dog poo out of carpet. Very fun. That was all on Wednesday evening. The worst bit is that I didn't figure out that it was Alice for awhile but assumed it was my sister's puppy (Cocomo) who was also there so I yelled at her big-time and made her cower in the corner. Whoops. Oh well, she deserves all the yelling I can dish out, I guess.
And now to bed, so that I can face tomorrow too....