Friday, May 28, 2010

Ponder a future option

I do ponder future scenarios. Not that in the current time I have the possiblity of following through. It's sort of like Plan S, to the Plans A-D I'm currently operating on.
I've been looking on-line at houses in the College Park vicinity. Particularly houses under $185K with decent sized lots with lots of sunshine (not too many trees). Why? Oh, pondering how could we live if by some chance we got married (no he hasn't asked, and I'm trying not to pressure, trying) and how could we go from DINK to OINK to OIO/TK. He being the 'O'.
Yes, I make more and the problem is not so much money as it is security. If we sold the DC house, took the equity we could buy a PG house and not have a mortgage, eliminating one financial stressor. With a PGCo house I could expand my gardening (and possible deer hunting) and supplement the food bill. But the thing is just one income stream makes me nervous. I've got 3 currently. My job, the room I rent out and the Florida house. Of course the Florida house is not a profit maker. I'll be lucky to break even each year considering someone's inablity to pay rent.
But I'm not on that plan. I'm still single. I still have to save up for the basement for the DC house. Plan A continues.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Imagining the good life- home

First, I like where I live. But is it a dream home? Nope. There are some aspects of it that annoy me at times. Like a wet cellar. Ah, homeownership.
One scenario I imagine is an English townhome. I now forget the name of my British host (Paul?) but his home was lovely with a conservatory overlooking the 'garden' which is british for "back yard". The conservatory was a sort of living room with a pitched glass ceiling and 2 glass walls. Not exactly a sun room. Less patio type furniture. More greenhouse meets library. A place to read and fall asleep and nap.
The dining room is not so much a separate room but a place off the kitchen, but not in the living room where you have the table. On the table is a bowl full of citrus fruit and other things that don't attract fruit flies. Oh, yes, the real world works in my imagined good life, because if it didn't I would not be able to obtain it. It would be pointless to imagine a world where the real world was not a part of it.
When I think of the boundaries of my land at the dream house, I wonder about maintenance and the practicality of such a thing. So if I am creating this dream and I have the chance for say a brick wall around the house I should ask myself now, if I should have a brick wall. Could I maintain a brick wall? Would the installation price undermine other projects by removing funding? I see country houses surrounded by bare land and a sad looking brick outcropping and I don't want that.
Rather, if I say had my step-grandfather's 30 some odd acres, the house would be near the road, the property line, lined with fruit trees, then grazing land for the odd cow, some goats and a few sheep. Closer to the house fences to keep out the herbivores, lined with bushes and briars. Inside that, a courtyard garden, filled with veggies and friuts. Near the garden door, a shotgun, 'cause is it deer huntin' if you kill a 4 legged interloper munching on your salads?
But back inside. There is a decent kitchen, with a stove that can work even if the power goes out. There is a generator. There is a library. There are guest rooms and a root cellar. More of that later.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trying to imagine the good life

Quoting the lady Jewish farmer, I mentioned that the only way we can lead in helping the planet become 'greener' is to show that 'green' is the good life. So that is part of it. There are other bases that I integrate in when trying to imagine what the good life for me would look like. The reason to imagine the good life is so I have a vision to work towards.
Reading, that is part of the good life. I imagine sitting in a good comfy chair engrossed in a book. I have experienced that before. Sadly I have trouble replicating it. The book may be tiresome. The chair lacking proper back support. My arms get tired. I get distracted. But there was so great joy in getting lost in a book. I get lost in the web or on the Internet, but I am not left with the same feeling.
Good worship. There are some masses that kick assess. And they don't come along often. But then there are the ones with the hymns I love and take great joy in singing. There are homilies that stick with me long after I've returned home. Those great masses are rare and valued in my heart.
Naps. There is napping in the good life.
Gardening. There are fruits to be picked. Flowers to be dead headed in the good life.
Food. You know there is food. Good food in the good life, eaten with friends.
Walks and cycling, or hiking and biking. These are in the good life.
These things aren't all necessarily green. But they can be local and organic. I don't see reading has being terribly promoted by ad agencies as there are only so many books one can read and electronic games make you more money.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poor Ms. Kagan and the right to be an asexual cat lady

I know as a conservative I'm supposed to be against her but so far her biggest fault is liberals like her and until we hear she has personally drop kicked babies over cliffs, she'll more than likely be the next Supreme Court justice. But I feel badly for her, as a single woman.
Here's the problem, you get older, it's a bit harder to make new close friends. You get set in your ways. You find a life that's comfortable, like a pair of old stained sweatpants, but this doesn't include another person. And because you aren't actively seeking someone else, particularly someone of the opposite sex, and if this continues for several years, decades, people assume you're not straight. Gawd, why is that!
Can't a person just not be single and happy?
If it were not for that idea that I'll credit G-d for putting in my head to approach the Help on our current path, I was sort of planning on spinsterhood. An enjoyable spinsterhood. Unfortunately, my 8 year period between boyfriends and about 3 or 4 years without going on a date during that period, I felt somewhat obligated to prove my heterosexuality by interjecting mention of ex-boyfriends in conversation. Not that in that period I didn't want a boyfriend or date, but the environment and the available persons just weren't suitable. My pursuit of men really didn't go beyond prayer and updating dating web profiles.
But now I'm in a relationship with the Help, long time friend turned boyfriend, with an eye (no date yet and stop asking) towards marriage. But the irritation (anger is too strong a word) came concerning the speculation of Ms. Kagan's sexual orientation because she's an unmarried squat woman with a short haircut. It reminded me of a conversation with others, men & women, who were in their late 30s, 40s (maybe 50s) about the problem of people thinking you were gay just because your dating life was dead, you were never married and had no kids.
I look forward to the day when I do get married. Mainly so I can form better relationships with associates who are lesbians, because I've kept a distance because I don't want to bother with defending my orientation to other people.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

WARNING- There is language that migth offend you. Yes, you. Yes, YOU. The one reading this. So no lip about how offended you were.

I'm still conflicted over this but it is very informative and the Flex Your Rights people are very right when they say if you don't flex your rights you're apt to loose them.

Movie Levels

See it in the Theater worthy- These are things where someone needs to win an Academy Award for Sound or CGI effects. I will pay over $8 bucks for this.

Netflix Worthy- Everything I didn't have to see in a theater. Stuff with a plot.

TV Movie worthy- Not even worth renting, but it's on TV, I'm home and got the time to see it. Stupid inane chick flix fit the bill.

Netflix on demand worthy- Not worth waiting for in the mail and grainy quality is acceptable. I don't care about the directors comments nor do I want to bother with extra features.

Stuck on an airplane worthy- I'm trapped. It's 2-8 hours before we land. I can try to go to sleep or put on my headphones and watch Elf.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"It just happened" prevention insurance

I'm trying to plan a summer vacation with the Help. And I've narrowed it down to two places on two different weekends both in Western Virginia. Not West Virginia but 'Western'. These places I'm trying to rent for the weekend are privately owned cottages and cabins in rural VA, surrounded by farmland or woods, one in the shadow of the mountains. Part of the deal is we need a chaperon.
I know what you're thinking, he and I are two educated adults, why would we need a chaperon. You know that phrase, "it just happened." A couple of friends of ours, also educated adults, one an MD, said 'it just happened' when explaining how they are getting their 1st child. A doctor. You'd think this person would have a great understanding of how human reproduction works. You may also be thinking, you and he are such committed Christians. Yup. Even though some people in some one's church might not think of me as a Christian, yup, we love Jesus and G-d and occasionally the Holy Spirit (kinda forget the Spirit at times). However, I still sin, fall from grace, wander into temptation, do dumb stuff. So thinking logically, and learning from mistakes of others, we need a chaperon.
So I started contacting folks who'd I think would make lovely travel companions. Jon, being one. Problem with Jon, there is a 50% chance he'll flake. Something will come up right before we leave. I'd put money on it. I'd bet it would be a family-friend emergency in the Midwest or wanting to catch up with work. So I emailed my cousin to be an alternate, should he flake. 50%, and that's being generous.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Plan B or C or Z-11

At the Holocaust Museum I had two co-workers who were supervisory and semi-supervisory who played little games that can best be called, "worst case scenario". It fell under the relm of imagine the exhibit area is packed and some kid throws up, what do you do? And then they go about talking out how they'd approach the problem, pitfalls in that strategy, etc. It would stay in their area of responsiblity and possible likihood.
Everyso often I play the game in my own head. I shared one scenario with the Help. I thought what would happen if I lost my job. Well I'd seek work for 6 months. After 6 months I'd put the house on the market and move my butt back to Florida, where the cost of living is cheaper. Oh, and where I own a house. I'd move in with my sister and take over my youngest niece's room. Either she'd move out into the living room or move in her sister's room, which I already know would cause many problems. But hey, it builds character.
In Florida I would re-learn how to drive a backhoe help daddy in his business. Or I'd try to get my old cashier's job back at the Winn-Dixie. Then figure out how to restart my career and spend a lot of time applying for everything at the University of Florida or SFCC (the community college in Gainesville).
The Help, asked why would I go back to Florida? Why not? I mentioned I would have the support of my family. He pointed out that I support them. Yes, but they (with the exception of my sister) aren't that dependent on what I've funneled to them.
Going back to Florida has always been the plan when I thought I would not cut it. I really like DC and I have a few relatives here, and it is the best area for my particular field. But if I'm going to be poor and broke anywhere I'd rather be poor and broke in Florida.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Parents & money

The last time I talked to the Great & All Powerful Mummy she’d had a rough night at work at the nursing home. On the night shift there are fewer people on staff, so she had more people to deal with and those people had bowel movement issues of the really stinky kind. So she was musing about quitting her part-time job and getting something in retail or switching to another nursing home. I asked her when she was going to retire. She’s of the age to do so. She said she had too many bills.
Now I would love to help my mother but there are several problems. One problem being my mother, the other, my father. My mother is much better with money than daddy, who is very good at making it, but is most excellent in blowing it leaving a ditch of debt behind. Mommy will go along to get along and will walk into the kind of debt that traps poor people. And middle class people. For example, I’ll be damned to figure out her mortgage rate. Seriously. We know how much she owes, but looking at the statements I can’t figure out the rate to save my life. I got two graduate degrees. Yes, neither of them in anything mathematical, but I know the company and they’re evil. They gave my my 1st credit card. I dropped them when I noticed I was getting charged 25% interest. And her credit cards and store cards slowly build up on odd purchases for herself or the girls.
Now the plan is no longer to buy my parent’s house and set it on fire. I seriously have to fix my basement. And so I am saving up money for that and that is in a two year plan, the ‘rent’s house is in a 4 year plan. Daddy, is thinking that I will get them a new house, he’s wrong. I’ve looked at my own goals and there is no money for that…. Unless the Florida housing market is still sucking mightily in 4 years. Though I will not be buying my parent’s house and setting the damned thing on fire, I do plan on cancelling out my mother’s mortgage, which is her largest monthly expense. With that gone she could possibly retire fully. My fear is that she or daddy will find some very legitimate reason to remortgage the house at a crappy interest rate (consolidate credit cards, fix the house, etc) and put themselves in the same mess. It’s her bills that keep her working, and she keeps adding to them little by little. A few months back she was pondering buying someone’s car from church and taking over the payments. I gently tried to tell her she didn’t need payments and would be better off fixing her ugly old hoopdie or that car my sister left in her yard for 2 years. Really, mom does not need a car note on top of her house note and all those high interest credit cards she has. Even if the note was just $100 that would be $100 more dollars she’d have to earn, and she’s not making enough now without a car note.
I will try to honor my mother and father, provided they don’t sabotage the plan to help them

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Not going to throw fruit

Quick comment about the substitute priest. I don't want to throw fruit at his head. Actually this fellow was quite lively, he almost wandered in to Baptist preacher mode (style not length). I like him. Not like a past priestly sub who was gawdawful boring.
Other comments about today's mass. A song from the cantor, was tres 18th Century. I could easily imagine candle-lit rooms, white powered wigs and footmen standing in the dark corners. Another song was "On ward Christian Soldiers" but with changed lyrics, wussy lyrics about Christian fidelity. bletch.