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Archive for April, 2010

a new birthday year

April 17th, 2010 at 06:13 pm

Got another Colour of Spring CD, this one is remastered while the other one is out of print, so I guess they are different CDs. Also got a $60 rebate from the insurance company, which goes to: $15 VISA, $15 HELOC, $15 Chequing, $15 Savings.

Listening to the Cocteau Twins. Amazing what sounded ace 20-25 years ago hurts the ears now, but Talk Talk from 1984-onward, Motorhead and the Dead Kennedys always sound excellent.

My new birthday year:
- read at least one Stanley Elkin book
- defy death and eat more oysters, liver and shellfish
- paint the railings and porch
- read one Michael Ignatieff nonfiction book
- read five banned/challenged books from Radcliffe Publishing's Top 100 list: one must be from an African-American author
- adopt as heroes those idolized by nerdy fifteen-year-old British boys
- read one book by each of: Steve Pavlina, Dick Davis, Dorothy Day, Hannah Arendt
- watch one Mizoguchi film
- watch one Kiarostami film
- get a new roof
- enroll in Yoga or Qi Gong course
- repaint living room, boy's room
- read either The Epic of Gilgamesh, two George Eliot novels or three Charles Dickens books
- reduce debt by $9606 (includes mtg, HELOC, interest due from mtg)
- increase savings by $9606 (includes reduced interest on loans, interest, dividends, profits, investment purchases)
- work on raising my vibrational frequency

Am buying one share of Procter & Gamble.

The good, the bad and the free

April 16th, 2010 at 01:24 am

Today is April 15, in America's innumerable Starbucks locations that is "Sustainable Deadbeat Junkie Tax Day": bring a refillable tumbler or travel mug and get free drip coffee: Pike Place or bold. I chose Pike Place. My right eye, eight hours later, is still angry with me for taking the free coffee.

Apparently half-a-cup of coffee is the most my body will tolerate. Bah.

Work was great today: my "client" let me borrow her Hildegard von Bingen medieval chants CD, and Talk Talk's "Natural History" CD (I had the cassette somewhere), and gave me "The Colour of Spring." I also received an Adrenal Tonic tincture, and get to browse her herb, meditation, spiritual and health materials. For nobody else would I take this low-paying job. I get to shop for organic stuff with her, visit the library, run errands on a great street, and she's taking me out to a fabulous Chocolaterie next week for my birthday. She thinks I am a fabulous cook too. I must not get out much: I wonder if there are many other women in the city with such a strong overlap of interests and sensitivities. And apparently I do little wrong: I found Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds in a discount retail outlet, having been convinced for years I could order it only by mail order, and cheap top-grade supplements for her.

HELOC balance is down $83, and I am 0.0565% closer to being debtfree. Still at 3% interest rate. As Kodos or Kang would say, rubbing tentacles together: "Good, good."


April 14th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Found some money while I was trekking to my brokerage firm to make a Roth IRA deposit. Fourteen feet away from the money I found was a man standing against a wall, facing the street, with his hat turned up in his hand. Guess what he wanted, but didn't feel like bending over to pick up?

Haiku for Joan.of.the.Arch:
A man stands begging
Meanwhile fourteen feet away
Money lies waiting

Did what feels like miles of walking but was probably just 1.5 miles with filled grocery bags, being all Florence Nightingale or Chicken Soup Brigadier to the sick and indigent in my community. Then I came home to beautiful notes from my second cousin and his mom thanking us for sharing a beautiful time with them Sat. night (yeah, we ate with Ludacris -- no joke) and for the gifts. I feel so appreciated my heart is glowing. I just feel it is sad that the appreciation comes only from people who are MENSA-level and higher, which means I'm missing out on 49 times more appreciation. However, the lonely, sick, hurting, bereaved are comforted, and in my spirituality/religious realm that counts for something. I still wouldn't mind Karma giving me a nice $65K+ yearlong contract.
D'OH! Remember my last post about patience, and my friend? She's told me about my state's Prescription Drug Plan Program so I can apply for a Discount Card for reduced-price meds!

Spring Fever and its effect on personal finances

April 10th, 2010 at 04:11 pm

Dunno why, but the image of leeches sucking my blood seems apt for the Internal Revenue Service's annual collection of income tax.

My animals hear the birds, see the sun, feel the warming air and howl to be let out. I see the film and lecture calendars, feel the thinning fibres of my faded wardrobe, and itch to spend/redirect money. A dress here, pair of jeans and earrings there, a bit to the HELOC.

Certainly the baseball tickets are an extravagance, and judging by the way I was treated when attempting to buy them I will not be buying baseball tickets anytime soon. It's refreshing to know, I guess, that the economy has rebounded to the point where merchants feel confident enough about revenues to treat its customers like criminals or crap. "We can't have a smooth and friendly business transaction or else THE TERRORISTS WIN! OMG! LOL! WTFBBQ!"

Happy Easter, or 1st Sunday in April

April 4th, 2010 at 04:43 pm

I watched John Daker's

Text is stirring medley and Link is
stirring medley (safe for hipsters, agnostics and non-Christians) of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" and "That's Amore!" this morning. Went to church yesterday because I fear crowds: good idea, as heathen hubby was working on-call and yelling obscenities when we got home. Would hate to have to get up early with "#%@$".

Little child received chocolate, hubby received bacon and eggs scrambled with tarragon, creme fraiche and roasted red peppers.

I was one of under a thousand people who solved Mike Reiss's NPR Sunday Puzzle Challenge, but the guy who blogs for won and got Benedictine nun Sister Joan Chittister to read the prizes for him: lucky cur. I'd love to have a job where being clever at solving puzzles led to a big salary: anyone have any ideas?

My husband got a mailer for an
Text is Easy Orange mortgage offer and Link is
Easy Orange mortgage offer: five years at 3.75% APR, up to 75% of the home value borrowed, no points, with free bi-weekly payments. We're tempted. I like our 20-year mortgage with 12.5 years remaining, and I don't yet have a financially stabilizing and sustaining income. Also the payments are made electronically: paper checks incur $50 fees. I didn't see anything about making extra principal payments whenever on the INGDirect Website. Maybe this doesn't look all that appealing after all.
taxes: We owe $890. I guess that's not horrible. I will do more tax and finance planning this year. I did this without booze (did you know doing your taxes sober takes 1/3 of the time and 1/2 as much paperwork? The IRS should include this handy tip on its 1040 package: do your taxes sober!), and now am going to get an overpriced junky bag of potato chips and kombucha and watch A Bit of Fry and Laurie (more people have seen Stephen Fry
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open his iPad package -- is that not tragic?), and subversive French classic Zéro de Conduite.