Random

1. Today is Bastille Day. I know it is Bastille Day because the importance of it was drilled into me by the inimitable David Franklin, history professor extraordinaire. I have always enjoyed history because I was fortunate to have some excellent teachers along the way, but David made it come alive.

2. I have still to paint the outsides of two of the cabinet doors, put the drawers back in, and do some touch-up work, but aside from that, the kitchen is done. Yay, Grimace!

3. Last night I dreamed that I was missing an opportunity to have lunch with Heather B. Armstrong, but I didn’t really care because I don’t like chicken breast that much.

4. I also dreamed that I got back to my office building at night just in time to catch the last two songs of an Aerosmith concert, but Bon Jovi had already played. Abdul, the night security man, told me I should ask him if he would do another song for me, so I went up to him in his very fly electric blue 1977 Monte Carlo and asked him and he said yes.

5. Suze Orman is very easy to make fun of, and I’m pretty sure her silvery eyeliner is tattooed on, but I read her book and it changed my life. Also, I think she probably wears a jacket to bed.

6. I went to a makeup party at my hair salon last evening and my friend (and hero) Christine (funniest woman in the world) gave me smoky eyes. I sort of gave myself smoky eyes this morning. I should have taken a picture while I had the chance.

7. Marcy asked me the other night if I had a quote I had made up myself, and I asked if she meant like that time I told a contractor he would find it easier to shove butter up a tiger’s ass with a hot poker than to get one more dime out of me, and she said, “yes, but you don’t want that on your tombstone. Do you?” And I have been giving that some thought, but I hope I don’t need a tombstone any time soon. I have always joked that I wanted a marker in the ground that when stepped upon would blast out “Don’t Do Me Like That,” loud.

8. I have not had my car washed since I got it. For those keeping track, that’s nine months. I have, however, kept it clean of debris.

9. My hair is long enough for pigtails now. Unfortunately I look like an idiot with pigtails.

10. Two of my high school teachers died last week. I wasn’t expecting that, and am unspeakably sad about it. I think I expected them to live at the school forever.

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About S.

Reader, writer, talker, knitter, picture taker, tennis player, music lover, Southerner.
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6 Responses to Random

  1. jaysaint says:

    I am sorry to hear about your teachers.

    I’m also curious to know what you do differently since you read the Suze Orman book.

    • S. says:

      Thank you. I’m fortunate to have had such good teachers that I even care so many years later, aren’t I?

      Have you read Orman’s books?

      The first thing I did after reading them was to get my bank statements for the previous 24 months and do exactly what she said – make a spreadsheet with columns of all the places my money had been going and figure it out to the penny. What I figured out pretty quickly was that I was spending 238 nebulous dollars a month at Target, and on what? Sure, contact solution and toilet paper are cheaper there, but it was the lure of everything else that was killing me. Cute new trashcan for the bathroom? I’ll take it! Witty birthday cards? Why not? Oooh! socks and underwear, on sale! Yes, please.

      I immediately put myself on a year-long moratorium from going to Target at all. After a year, I let myself go, but only with a list, and only with my friend Nancy, who I knew would not let me stray from that list. Now if I even go in there, I usually walk out empty-handed anyway. The only thing that’s really a bargain there is contact solution, and I buy it in bulk there. Everything else is available at the grocery; I’m happy with my trashcans and socks and underwear are available at Nordstrom’s and Macy’s.

      I then sat down and made a comprehensive list of every single entity I have to pay money out to each month and figured out when I have to pay it, and then made a spreadsheet broken out by pay period and put those items on it. For me, that’s 24 columns and the rows have decreased as I’ve paid things off. I make my spreadsheet each November for the next year, and I put it all down, so I can plan ahead for vacations and things. Once I see the money has cleared my checking account, then I make that cel rel so I know the money has gone. A day or two before I get paid, I look at it all and see what I’m going to be paying and where I stand as regards what I will have left for things I wasn’t planning on, like when I bought a new bike this year, and I took a quick trip to Savannah.

      Money is an interesting thing. It doesn’t have a personality or feelings. It’s just a tool, and like any other tool, you can’t leave it lying about or throw it around, or it becomes worthless, or worse, dangerous.

      I did not do things like cut back tips to 12% or give up my hair salon or start doing my own brows. Giving up Target was a big deal. Stopping late fees was a big deal. Just knowing what was going on was enormous, and made me a happier and better person. Making an inventory of what was in the refrigerator and pantry and what I really would use and stopping buying what I wouldn’t helped.

      The next prong of my plan is to bring in more money to devote to a money market or something akin to that, and I’d like to pick up some freelance editing for that, since I’m not keen on taking in ironing. I just have to figure out how to go about finding things that need editing.

      I wonder if anyone would be interested in seeing sort of what my budget looks like.

      • Shani says:

        I kinda would, actually. I don’t have late fees, but I would like a better idea of where my money is going. Which one of her books was this?

        • S. says:

          The one I found most helpful was Nine Steps to Financial Freedom.

          I was having late fees from simply not paying attention. You know – I knew I had to pay the gas bill, but I never opened it and just paid it, I’d go online when it felt like about a month and pay it. It’s only a 1.5% late fee, but 1.5% every month for years adds up to hundreds of dollars, and when you consider it wasn’t just the gas bill, well, it’s a lot of money. I’ve always been scrupulous about paying for the house and the car, but it’s easy to take utilities for granted.

          And it is truly shocking to see where your money is going. Another thing I did was stop getting money back at the grocery and other stores. I forced myself to go to my bank’s ATM when I needed cash (which I mostly use) so it would make an impression on me.

          Some time over the weekend, I’ll figure out how to put that spreadsheet up, without putting all my bidness in the street.

  2. Robin says:

    Awww, I’m sorry about your teachers. I’d be really sad too.

    • S. says:

      It is sad. They were good teachers, and kind people. Thank you for taking the time to comment on their loss – I appreciate it.

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