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Archive for May, 2010

pics of the SIFF film and party

May 31st, 2010 at 10:43 pm

As threatened, the picture link. Hold your cursor to the photo (don't click) and you can see the number. Woman in the animal print in pic#3 and #5 is the presenter from Montlake Terrace. Guy in red is the programmer. #36 is a pic of screenwriter friend's son. #38 is a pic of the stuffed to the gills audience. Blessedly, no pics of me! Big Grin

film premiere

May 29th, 2010 at 08:05 pm

Wow, five days since I last wrote. Apologies!

Last night screenwriter friends' sons' movie premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). The one that I bought two copies of the High Def rendering of, and was given an Executive Producer credit of.

We saw it in its full glory on a big screen last night. Long story short it was a great night. I was going to take pictures, but no photography allowed, and the SIFF photographers were around anyway. Turns out that those pictures from those photographers get uploaded to Flickr, so I'll keep an eye out and link to the pictures as they come up.

First off, the 400 seat place was packed. Not a single empty seat. A number of my co workers showed also, so it was a bit like large group friends night. The SIFF programmer was there to introduce the film and the son came out to receive a commendation letter from the mayor's office. No one from Montlake Terrace had ever gotten a film into SIFF. Then the son thanked everybody who had helped with the film, including me.

The movie ran and it looked and sounded great. Lots of laughs. A film that you'd say, "that was a great film" rather than "that was a great film for a 17 yr old". Lights came up, and there was a 15 minute Q and A with the son and 8 members of the cast - how they constructed their characters, how they improvised, the budget. (all the equipment and actors were there already, so it was blank tapes and pizza for the cast.) $100 in costs. (His costs - mine were considerably more.) Then a standing ovation.

DH and I was invited to and went to the after party, held a couple of blocks away. I had a quick chat with the SIFF photographer who told me about the flickr upload bit; chatted with some of the co workers; and chatted with screenwriter friend and his wife. They told me they coached him on who to thank, and especially coached him on my name. Big Grin I laughed when I told her the extent of my "executive" powers was to decide to make two copies of the movie instead of one keeping karma at bay. Screenwriter friends' wife smiled, and shyly pulled out the SECOND copy of the movie from her tote. She thanked me for the decision and told me that brought it just in case. For what, she didn't know ... but if something happened during the screening, she was ready.

DH was beginning to get tired, so I quickly went up to the son, introduced myself (we hadn't met), thanked him for the shout out and for pronouncing my name correctly.

Then we left, leaving the rest to celebrate. Who knows what the future of this will bring... we'll find out.

pictures, still and moving

May 24th, 2010 at 09:28 pm

Monday
Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple + $1 bag of spinach salad
Found money - $0.04 (sidewalk, road)

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.98 bagel (free coffee!) + $.50 apple + $5 edamame, kimchi
Found money - $0.18 (road, crosswalk, escalator edge, grocery store floor)

Deposited 45$ into the tip box for the month. I decided to take my new (to me) purse to a shoe repair place downtown to see about the straps. It's going to cost a bit more to replace the straps than I expected but the layout of the purse makes it still reasonable. But I finally got brave and printed some pictures with the $20 photoprinter. They print pretty well if there isn't too much gray in them (grey seems smudgy and muddled), so I definitely got a deal - printing whatever I want whenever I want. And the quality is reasonable if I want to finish my memory book (after 3 yrs!). The guy that I bought from thought that the culprit was the paper, so I might try improving that next. Now I get to pick two that I really, really like, cut the white edge of the pictures, get a bit of white matte board and frame them up. Definitely feel like I've got my money's worth Saturday.

The movie I'm the Executive Producer on made by the son of screenwriter friend is going to be shown at SIFF on Friday. It has been getting a lot of promotion around town, much to the chagrin of screenwriter friend, the proud papa. A friend of his joked both that the son looked great in the pink prom dress and that the article (which I've linked to so you can enjoy) made screenwriter friend seem cheap.

I am cheap, screenwriter friend said, and proud of it. I laughed and told screenwriter friend that he'd fit right in my family ... and the cheapness of my family got him the last bit of cash to help them both out. And that's being fiscally real can do for you - when push comes to shove, you have the money to get 'er done. Looking forward to seeing what Victory Studios has wrought.

Greenwood Yard Sale

May 22nd, 2010 at 09:31 pm

Thursday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $5 coffee, yogurt
Found money - $0.02 (parking meters)

Friday
Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $5 groceries
Found money - $0.11 (corner, road, Safeway floor)

Saturday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $22.50 yard sale finds + $1.50 cupcake
Found money - $0.62 (driveway, inside purse I bought)

In case anybody else is tracking me, Big Grin, ever since mid-July I've found $43.77: 942 pennies, 38 nickels, 158 dimes, 38 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

Today was the Greenwood Neighborhood Yard Sale, 2010 edition. We started late, but we still found some good stuff. There's always two ways to handle a yard sale: get there early to be the first to pick, or get there late for the desperation.

Desperation worked very well this year. I bought: a purse, 1 tablecloth, 1 HP photoprinter (along with cables, and picture paper). Most people were willing to deal - 50% off as soon as you showed an interest. The four pm stroll from site to site picking in the "Free" boxes was just as productive: 1 shower head, 1 tablecloth, 2 frames, a little salt spoon. I still am a sucker for purses, but while the handle was shaggy (why it was 50 cents) this one really had the layout that I liked. Best of all, I got home, shook the purse and found 52 cents left for me. The purse gave me a profit!

The photoprinter was the 20$ purchase. I was attracted to it because I now have plenty of fun pictures that I would love to print out. Its been 3 years since Paris, and I still haven't printed anything out. Will see whether the 20$ will pay off.

The free tablecloth was as good as the one I bought for $2. (Actually, a $1.90, because I found a dinged up dime in their driveway.) I bought the one in a very rich dark green, pulled from a free bin one in a rich red-purple. Holiday festive!

Add up everything we shelled out money for and it came to $22.50.

karma, said sarge

May 19th, 2010 at 09:36 pm

Wednesday
Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $6 tahini & bag of salad
Found money - $0.15 (grocery floors, crosswalk, sidewalk, under table)

Tuesday
Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $10 groceries
Found money - $0.04 (gym equipment, sidewalk, grocery floor)

Well it happens once per year - I lose things. Yesterday evening, after shlepping my groceries home, I searched my purse, patted my pockets, tore open my grocery bags. No wallet. Eeek!

My house key was in my wallet, so I after pulling out the hidden key I dumped everything out, took a deep breath, and said, "I've got to back track."

As I went to my first stop I took stock. I had $15 in money, some spare change (of course), house key, one filled coffee card (it took 10 coffees to get a free one, dammit), my Safeway card, and my debit card. Of that, I guess the debit card was the most hassle, having to cancel it and all. But I didn't sign up for the "convenience" of me over charging my debit. Once it went to 0$ it would be denied...and there was only about $100 in balance on it. Painful, but not a nightmare.

No wallet on the first stop, but I hadn't pulled it out there, so that was expected.

Checked the bus stop. I keep my bus pass separate from my wallet, so I had that. It had been about 30 minutes since I was there. Seattle is a freakishly honest place, but still it being out in the open and all it would have been a miracle if it was there. But miracles have happened to me in the past. I once left my sweater on a bus. 4 hours later I -amazingly - got on the same bus heading back home and saw my sweater next to the bus driver.

Checked the grocery store that I had bought something that night, so it was the last, best place. I went to the customer service desk and asked whether it was also the lost and found. Yep, she said, what did you lose? I lost my wallet and began to describe it ... cloth with a Beetle Bailey com--. Yep, she said, we have it right here!

Nothing was removed; everything was in place. I laughed and told her that I had lost and found it about a year ago - the Beetle Bailey comic really makes it stand out. And I think it makes it totally un-cool to steal. No petty theft teenager wants to be thought of as being so desperate as to steal a Beetle Bailey wallet.

In any case, pwhew!

Greenwood Art Walk, 2010

May 17th, 2010 at 09:02 pm

Saturday
Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $15 brunch + $3 mocha + $23 piece of art
Found money - $0.03 (floor, parking lot, newspaper box)

Sunday
Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $10 for 10 Luna bars
Found money - $0.62 (road, planting strip & gutter, bus stop)

Monday
Saving log - $6 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $.50 apple + $8 lunch + $9 groceries
Found money - $0.03 (lotsa floors - food court, escalator, Safeway)

Thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Greenwood Art Walk, and saw many spectacles but I didn't take many pictures (matter of fact, really just one). I learned a lot about my neighbors.

Neighbor 1: A set designer for Hollywood - tv and film. Bought a bit of small commercial space and designed rooms to HIS liking...



I don't do justice, but being a renter and always looking at the tyranny of beige and white, seeing celandon green walls with yellow stencil, chinese sculpture and a wild chandelier...exciting. The basement of the place contained an art collective and I bought my $23 piece from them. It was a cute little leather monster - one-eyed and screaming. He looked like I feel in January or so.

Neighbor 2: I'm about a block north of the neighborhood park which has bought out two abutting properties. There is to be a meeting about what to do with them and how to integrate them with the park. I always like the idea of another P-patch, but it would be great to allow neighborhood restaurants to rent space also...several are only 3-4 blocks away. Another two cents I threw in was to create an entirely edible landscape, and a third is to commemorate the orchards that were here before the neighborhood was. Great ideas, the chair of the committee said - come to the meeting!

Neighbor 3: Lawyer. His flower photos made it through a juried art show, but I was excited that he specialized in wills and estate planning and he's in the neighborhood. I nabbed his card and a gift certificate.

Neighbor 4: (bringing it back to fiscal) A coin cutter. He pulled me aside and had me look at his work. He did the cutting, sanding, and spot plating of gold, palladium and rhodium of some of the elements. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the Secret Service and the Treasury isn't after him. Apparently cutting coins is legal if the intent is not to defraud. Here's a thought: a cut Wisconsin quarter for sister developing her organic farming at the farmette. I'll have to think about that.

May weekends, full of temptations

May 14th, 2010 at 08:58 pm

Wednesday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $9 groceries
Found money - $0.53 (crosswalk, Safeway floor, planting strip)

Thursday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.41 (under bench at bus stop, road, curb)

Friday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.02 (bus floor, Safeway floor)

With 60 days left for my experiment answering the question "How much change I can find lying around?", I'm at $42.15, after finding 3 quarters in 2 days. I can't predict that much luck in the next couple of months, and it might be a stretch, but I'd love to think that I can reach $50. Yowsa! I'll do a bit of data mining when its all over and share my findings.

It has been quiet this week. It was payday today, so as I moved the paycheck around to pay off my credit card I'll have to think about possibly shifting savings into checking. The other 3 weekends in May are going to be fraught with temptation:

May 15 - the Greenwood Art Walk. Stepping into a store along Greenwood to look at art means stepping into a store and being tempted to buy

May 22 - we were supposed to take a weekend trip to view the steer we were to buy. The trip is going to be delayed until June. However, it means that I'll make it to the Greenwood Yard Sale. Hard to tell which situation will be more spendy - 1/2 a rental car and gas and possibly a motel room or going hog-wild at the yard sale?

May 28 - actually this is Friday night, but I'm going to the movie of screenwriter friend's son at SIFF Cinema. There's the possibility of drinks and party afterward.

rockin' if I'm thinking of rolling

May 11th, 2010 at 09:21 pm

Sunday
Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.88 coffee, bagel + $.50 apple
Found money - $0.56 (spilled over sidewalk curb and road, 2 different spots on Greenwood, grocery checkout floor)

Monday
Saving log - $3 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.23 (in the grate protecting a sidewalk tree, crosswalk, Safeway floor, by vending machine

Tuesday
Saving log - $4 tip box +$50 Drp
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $11 produce
Found money - $0.04 (planting strip, bus stop, parking meter, road)

Again, not much going on. Sunday, somebody, bless their heart dropped 3 dimes, 1 nickel and 9 pennies all in one place making up my two days of finding nothing.

I'm at $41.19: 904 pennies, 34 nickels, 153 dimes, 32 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents. All of the coinage is mind blowing, but even more so if I had to roll it up. It would come to 18 rolls of pennies, finishing 1 roll of nickels, 3 rolls of dimes, finishing 1 roll of quarters.

Nobody in our death bet had Lena Horne... or anybody else for that matter. I got word from the organizer that "nobody got anybody". Definitely all of our takers chose life. Big Grin

double negative

May 8th, 2010 at 09:56 pm

Friday
Found money - $0!
Saturday
Found money - $0!

Yikes, I guess, that I haven't found any change for two days in a row. Holding at $40.38, so there is more to life than finding it. Smile This weekend has been glorious so far and I'm close to getting the patio in shape for us to use it. So far, I've:

1. Painted the bottom and legs of the patio table. I have one good coat on it everywhere. Tomorrow I plan on lightly sanding the top, get the second coat on and be done with it.

2. Set up two chairs for DH and I. Turns out that Fred Meyer, Lowes, and Home Depot all had the cushion pattern that I liked. FM price was $35/per, Lowes at $29.98 (so $30)/per, HD at $29.96. HD it was. I also sprung for a stack of chairs cover at $20 ... it does rain here, after all.

V.I. immediately commandeered the chair in the sun. She looks very sultry against the cushion - like Lena Horne on a beach chair. I'll have to post a pic.

3. Planted the 3 strawberry plants we got last Sunday in the strawberry pot. 5 plants at the top is a little tight, but at least everybody has new good soil for this year.

In other financial news, I checked out the new Grocery Outlet one neighborhood west of mine, about a 5 minute walk out of my way. I joke that they put the "gross" in grocery, and I could see that in the produce, but I was surprised that I could get brand name canned tomato products (diced, stewed, sauce, paste) for a least 40 cents/can cheaper, brown rice for 60 cents/lb cheaper, toothpaste for $2 cheaper, etc. Quite useful.

The other irony is that the stock I'm interested in selling (FIS) is possibly going to be bought out by a consortium of three private equity firms. In other words, go back into private hands. Apparently, I just need to sit tight, watch the price rise, and wait for the shareholders to get paid off.

stocks down

May 6th, 2010 at 08:43 pm

Thursday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $11 groceries
Found money - $0.05 (work carpet, sidewalk, Safeway floor)

Wednesday
Saving log - $2 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.11 (grate in sidewalk, road)

Well, it looks like the flying fat finger of fate hit the stock market today. I've been looking forward for it to go down a bit - I'd like to buy some more stock but I feel like the price is too high...and most pay a dividend next month. Reinvesting them cheap means I get a bit more for my money.

It was weird though how it plunged 900 points and shot back up 600, all in the space of 30 minutes or so. People realizing the fat finger of fate, or an actual case of the rumored plunge protection team?

I had a spare moment and looked at a couple of financial sites that won a Webby this year. So far my fave is stockmapper, which produces a heat map of the stock market. Very red today!

The last little bit of news - I bonds have dropped in interest rate, but are still holding at about 1.5%. I have to download a new version of their Savings Bond Wizard program so I can still price my inventory.

getting over the cravings

May 4th, 2010 at 09:18 pm

Tuesday
Saving log - $1 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.28 (planting strip next to bus stop, curb, road, Fred Meyer parking lot)

Monday
Saving log - $5 tip box, $125 into savings
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $8 lunch + $15 groceries
Found money - $0.11 (sidewalk next to bus stop, floor underneath counter at coffee shop)

Sunday
Saving log - $0
Spending log - $3.88 bagel, coffee + $2.50 paper + $5 mocha, croissant + $20 groceries
Found money - $0.01 (bus stop)

I broke $40 in found money. $40.20: 880 pennies, 33 nickels, 146 dimes, 32 quarters, 2 $1 bills, 1 $5 bill, 1 10 pence coin worth 15 cents.

After that, this and that. Frontier Bank went under Friday - it was the bank that I previously talked about here.

I've been wrestling with the after effects of the birthday celebration dinner. You feast for one day, and then your body says, "party on, Garth"... and suddenly you are buying mochas. Mochas with a coupon, at least, but mochas nonetheless. But the cravings have given me an excuse to buy some more strawberry plants. I'll aim for fruit cravings versus chocolate cravings.

Bought some more stock at the end of last month, and now I'm waiting for the price to go down some so I can buy more. Lawyer friend asked me for some stock tips. I threw out some ticker symbols, but gave him my dull boring dividend choices. He kind of blew off most of them - thought they were evil, or big, or blah, but he did think about one - ironically, the very one I'm thinking of selling. We'll see. I hope he does some more research and doesn't just take my word for it. I recently looked at the DRP portfolio - it'll go down some, but at the time I looked it totaled 28K.

just a check-in

May 1st, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Saturday
Saving log - 0
Spending log - $30 two breakfasts & tip
Found money - $0.14 (road, sidewalk, grocery store floor, parking meter)

Friday
Saving log - $5 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee
Found money - $0.01 (by ATM)

Thursday
Saving log - $4 tip box
Spending log - $1.75 coffee + $14 lunch + $5 ice cream
Found money - $0.01 (sidewalk)

Still not much fiscally going on with me. I turned 48 on Thursday (thank you!) and was treated to a birthday dinner and cocktails at a wonderful neighborhood place. I treated DH this morning because I knew he dropped a bit of coin at the dinner.

BIL canceled visiting the farmette for EAA. At least we know now, rather than early July. V.I got her yearly vet visit - she passed with flying colors, and got her shots, but she did put on a bit of weight so now we'll have to be a bit cautious in feeding her.