Archive for February, 2008

26
Feb
08

My Life is Wearing Me Down

I have one horrifyingly stressful day gig with no job security, and one physically demanding part time gig with PTO and benefits and a 401(k) and everything.

Going to the coffee shop across the street from my house for an americano and some mindless web-surfing requires scheduling. Don’t ask when the last time I hung out with friends was, ’cause it was last night on my couch and involved frequent breaks to do laundry, clean the kitchen, make lunch for the next three days, and catch mice.

Yes, you heard me right. Mice. In my KITCHEN! No advice needed, thanks, we’ve done everything you have thought of and they’re still doing tap dances on the counters and kicking back in the living room watching the Oscars with us.

I woke up this morning with a similar sore throat to the one my coworker was complaining about yesterday and my first thought was, “How am I going to get time to go to the doctor?”

Then the cluebat descended upon my head from above, in the form of one of my family’s three mottos*:

Only do things if they’re fun.

In the small things, I am enjoying myself. But overall, I am NOT having fun.

Shuck this fit. Things have gotta change.

Now, where’s my day planner so I can schedule some Deep Introspection and Goal Setting?

*The first family motto is “Never put anything incriminating in writing.” The second is “Protect the face!” One could argue that “It is better to look good than to feel good” is also a family motto, but it’s not one I particularly subscribe to.

{ETA – I just sent a payment to my highest-balance credit card for $501. That’s about 60% of the current balance. Including this payment, during the month of February I’ve paid that ccard down 70%.}

21
Feb
08

Oooh, I’m *MAD*!

Over at Queercents, there’s a post about tipping. Here’s the conclusion the person writing it comes to:

That’s a lot of tips. For us consumers it’s a feel-good expense but one that ultimately adds up just like utility bills and car payments. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be taking a hard look at some of the more confusing issues with gratuity and generating some discussion about what is, and isn’t necessary.

So… Why do you tip?

I blasted off a cranky comment after having half-read the post, and cited as the reasons why I tip the ones the author had shot down (basically, because service work sux0rs, because I do have favorite places and the people there really take care of me, and because the tips are often split between the other support staff [bussers, dishwashers] and the waiter).

And also, people who are *smug* about not tipping? Jackasses. What are you going to do with that whole extra dollar you stiffed the *$ employee? Probably spend it on something stupid, that’s what. Maybe that *$ employee is going to night school, maybe that *$ employee is a single parent, maybe that *$ employee is paying down student loans by working a second gig.

I know these things about the waitstaff at my favorite places. Because I am a Nosy Nellie. But it has the secondary effect of making me think of waitstaff as people instead of slaves to cater to my every whim and be glad with the scraps I toss to them.

But I ended my screed with something I thought needed wider attention. I said:

Do you want to know the best way to ’save’ money on gratuities? Don’t eat out as often.

I mean… DUH! Seriously, come on! It’s not like this is brain surgery. No spendy money, money stays safe in the wallet.

19
Feb
08

Yee Haw! Ride ’em, Cowgirl!

*pulls on reins of the debit card* Woah! Woah! Heel, spending, heel!

I’ve gone out for meals every day for the last five days. AND I purchased a new teeny tiny baby laptop mobile internet device.

The baby laptop was planned for (and by going with a bare-bones tiny machine, I actually am way under budget. Seriously, my laptop at home is being held together by duct tape and needs to be propped against a wall to work). The eating out? Not so much.

But I’m doing okay. I’m not going to guilt myself about it. I was working hard this weekend and didn’t have energy to cook. Today is a new day.

Well, actually, since I went out to lunch, Tomorrow will be a new day.  Yes, tomorrow. *nods*

15
Feb
08

The Fangirl Fitness Program

  1. Go to Goodwill. See a rack of tennis raquets. Think to self, “Self, there’s a lighted tennis court and ball wall five blocks from your house.” Purchase one for $6.99.
  2. Go to Sports Authority. Purchase can of three tennis balls for $1.99. See same model tennis raquet on sale, brand new, for $185.
  3. Wait for a non-damp day. This being Oregon, it takes a couplea days.
  4. Walk to tennis courts. Smash ball with raquet repeatedly into wall. Giggle hysterically at yourself ’cause you haven’t played tennis in pretty much a decade.
  5. Sometimes, smack ball over wall and have to walk all… the… way… over… there…
  6. Look up, realise that the lights have come on and it’s kinda dark out. 
  7. Walk home.

Repeat as needed.

09
Feb
08

Soooo…

Anyone know how easy  it is to get a payment extension from the IRS?

06
Feb
08

What’s in My Wallet Wednesday

It’s that time of the week where I clean out my wallet and tell you what I find in there that’s strange, interesting, or just, you know, *in there*.

 The winner this week must be the four different w2rk schedules I just dug out of there. The BEST part is, while they are all for the next two weeks, none of them match! One says I’m working 18 hours, one says I’m working 12…

 This is going to be interesting, I tell you what.

05
Feb
08

I can haz 401(k) nao!

Just signed up for my 401(k) through w2rk. I put down for 20% and w2rk will add 4.5% to that, and each month that’ll be about, oh, $150 bucks.

I chose for most-all of my portfolio to consist of bonds, for several reasons:

  1. It’s right smack in the middle of the conservative <–> aggressive arrow chart on the Investing 101 tutorial I read on the plan’s web site. And it was green. Green is pretty.
  2. OMFG I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL I’M DOING! Small-, Large-, and Mid-Cap! Blended! Income! What language are you people speaking?! There were FORTY-ELEVEN different choices!  I’m basing my financial future on the pretty color of a chart!!!! *hyperventilates*

Yes. Bonds. Nice, vaugely stable bonds. And I’m going to go over there and do some research now… After all, I can always change my elections.