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Archive for October, 2006

well that was fun

October 31st, 2006 at 08:32 pm

Went as the trainer today for Halloween. I had a ball and got a lot of compliments. My favorite was the owner of the little deli where I get my cheap coffee: "I didn't know you worked there", and a couple of flirts (can I get some free personal training?). What more can you want from a Halloween costume? My trainer went as a little kid with footie pjs. Didn't matter - she still created a workout that kicked my butt.

I did however spend some money on the costume - black pants and that medium black zippered top. The nice part is that I will be using them as gym clothes or kick-around clothes.

Almost had a nearly no-spend day. I just spent on the coffee and the milk (2$). We had a potluck and that took care of lunch.

real inspiration

October 30th, 2006 at 09:25 pm

Every so often, I read the Millionaires in the Making column on CNN, and I've glanced at the pfblog to see how he's doing.

At first glance, they both depress the hell out of me. Nothing against them, but saving a ton of money when you make a ton of money ain't that hard. I mean the worst problem is the I-make-a-ton-therefore-I'm-brilliant and-I-deserve-it spending that you would have to quell. But really now, saving 25% on a combined salary of 145K still leaves a combined salary of 108K.

Yeah, I think I can live and save on that.

I'd be more impressed if they lived and saved on a combined salary of 60K, which is what DH and I make. And I have saved about 30% of my take home salary. (Not this last year - gym ate that, its about 12%.)

Every so often The Motley Fool trots out an update on their Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth column, which usually cheers me up. It just means that I'm going to have to live for a long time. I throw the link out to cheer whomever needs the cheer.

This morning the bus passed by a dark, closed up node of Scottrade, downtown on 3rd & Union. Wonder what happened there?

The gym has come through. The Halloween costume will be spectacularly good.

Counted a lot of money and pledges today at a company. Tomorrow our department has work!

oops, forgot, bibimbap

October 29th, 2006 at 05:19 pm

Bibimbap: Korean dish. Over a bowl of rice, lay a few ounces of meat grilled with garlic and chili (beef, chicken, seafood, tofu), and an ounce or so each of little piles of: shredded carrot, shredded radish, kimchi, shredded cucumber, mung or soybean sprouts, sauteed mushrooms, cooked spinach, with hot sauce on top. If you spring for the more authentic egg on top, you get an egg sunny side on top, above the hot sauce. The idea is that you mix this all together, and especially mix the egg, so that the yolk soaks into the hot rice and cooks a bit more.

I've been noticing a lot more places to get bibimbap around here in Seattle. It seems like this dish is going to be like pho was 20 years ago - adopted and co-opted. Already notice this - you have to tell them if you want kimchi, which is a shame.

1.47 left this month

October 29th, 2006 at 05:05 pm

That is, if the chiropractor cashes the check as soon as he gets it, and with the new banking rules about floats (there are none) you've got to assume it. Its as close to zero balance checking as I care to come. I did put 300$ in savings so I wasn't at the edge of my budget and I have 30$ in my wallet, so I can easily survive tomorrow and Tuesday's payday.

I just got caught up in spending this month. Sigh.

My gym will come through with the rest of my costume Monday, but I did get a black long sleeved top just in case (if you get it, they will; if you don't prepare, they won't). Lately large in tops and sweaters is loose, so I gambled and won: its a medium and it fits! I also got a new medium sports bra. Tight like the large bra used to be, so I have to consider it a goal. (41.91$)

Yesterday DH picked up a buffalo chuck, so we had buffalo pot roast last night. (Montana roots, I think.) Frugal for me because DH sprung for it, but at 3.99$/lb not particularly frugal for him. Haven't seen any fantastic deals in the grocery stores here right now. November's around the corner and around here that's the time chicken stock goes for 78 cents/can.

Made stuffed grape leaves for the potluck on Tuesday. Picked up ground lamb last week at $2.99/lb. Again not really all that frugal, but for stuffing grape leaves lamb is the easiest and the most authentic.

Yesterday DH and I were watching the little trick-er-treaters on Greenwood Ave Saturday afternoon. Like a lot of other places, Halloween has undergone a shift. I picked up a bag of candy in case we get a couple of traditionalists (or teenagers), but I really don't think that many little kids trick or treat on a week night anymore. Too dangerous, too little return.

It was a blast watching all the little tykes dressed as frogs, queens, Star Wars characters (to the Darth Vader with the plait hanging down the back - you go girl!), superheroes, t-rexs, princesses, sports stars, playing cards, monkeys...its a great irony that we adults allow our children to be creative but as adults - and adult women especially - costumes are narrowly defined, generally on the wench line. Its like we say to kids be anything to have fun, but to an adult be sexual to have fun.

mmm, that's good bass

October 26th, 2006 at 10:29 pm

If you laughed, that dates you!

Got the new headphones in the mail tonight. Okay, they are only 3X more expensive than ear clips and ear buds that I've cheaped out on, but they sound many times better, they fold up with a little bag, they deaden other sounds (not so good when I'm playing in traffic), they won't fall off my head and are they're more comfy.

And the bass is fantastic. At least from a woman's amateur perspective. Smile

Spent again the usual 2$ on coffee and nofat milk, 7$ on bibimbap (I sprung for an egg on top for an extra 1$).

Got weighted and measured at the gym. Didn't lose any weight, so at 193. I'm at the back end of my cycle, so not gaining is a win, if you know what I mean. I did lose a bit more on the inches.

We totalled the inches from all body parts since November. I now have two waist measurements - the narrowest part (I have an empress waist) and at my belly button - so depending on which waist measurement you take, I've either lost an amazing 16 inches or a freaking amazing 18.5 inches.

I'm going for density. I'm going to be the densest woman I know. Smile

Finally, a little more about the real me. I'm not really a professional poet, but I did manage to sell a few here, here and here. I threw the links out because the sentences underneath the poems are accurate, so you can get a bit of info about me on the sly. Sister, in addition to holding down the farm, does pottery, photography, and makes soap in Milwaukee. Another fun fact: we don't look alike or act alike or handle money alike (clearly) but we do sound alike. Exactly alike. Freakishly alike in tone, timber, and accent. Like a right and left speaker.

Back to finances next time.

Came clean

October 25th, 2006 at 08:24 pm

...with the usual foursome, today five-some at lunch. (lawyer friend, lawyer friend's partner, screenwriter friend, a friend co-worker with serious Finnish family roots - so finnish friend).

At the end of lunch lawyer friend said to me, "you write, why haven't you started a blog yet?"

I shot back, "I've been blogging for over a year. Where have you been?"

Both lawyer friend and lawyer's friend's partner made a little blog earlier in the year, based on fixing up a house in Hoquiam. I reminded them that it takes a lot of endurance to blog consistently. There are days when its hard to come up with meaningful things to write about.

"Yeah, and you just never know whether people are reading or not."

I told them that I didn't have that problem. Smile

This fall, last fall

October 24th, 2006 at 09:14 pm

Added a little bit more to the tip box, so I put 50$ in the bank.

Spent 2$ for the coffee and the nofat milk and 4.50$ for curry lunch.

Nothing much else on any financial front. We're supposed to be converting from Sick/ Vacation/ Catastrophic to PTO at work by January 1.

Gym today, the trainer turned the dome upside down and I could stand, balance on it for 1 minute.

This fall is different than last fall for two reasons: no titanic flocks of starlings in the trees (yet), and now Seattle traffic is so bad that a little rain causes a titanic traffic jam. Its now faster to walk out of downtown than it is to take the bus. I'd rather have the starlings.

Spendy, but constructive spendy

October 23rd, 2006 at 08:26 pm

Savings log -

Put 6$ in the tip box - I have 46$ in total, enough to put in the bank.

Thank you Lucky Robin! I couldn't have given my last ING invite to a nicer person. Enjoy - and remember you've got your own invites to sell. 10$

All my stocks went up. Amazing and scary, so its time to stop monitoring now. Smile

Spending log -
Last day of the Sur La Table 20% friends and family sale (DH currently works there) - picked up a small wisk, tongs with hard silicone so I can use them on a non-stick pan, a universal lid, poultry seamer (corkscrew thingee that I can use to stitch up a turkey), clip to allow me to rest a spoon over a pot, a coarse microplaner, 2 silicone circles that can be used as a lid, trivet, or sealer for a pan or a bowl. In other words, bought only the utensils that I needed or wished I had a second of. 69$

Lunch at the hideout - 6$.

New headphones for the MP3 player. Everything cheapo (10$-20$) that I've tried has at least two strikes: doesn't have good sound, hurts my ears, falls off my ears, the wires catch on my clothing, or the wires wad up in a ball so that they fly out of my purse when I try to retrieve my keys. Grrr. Supposedly these headphones have good sound, fold up, and while they rest on my head like a regular headphone would, I'm willing to risk the bad hair. 51$. In this case, the cheapest man pays the most.

Checked to see how much I owed the chiropractor. Quite surprised to find that it was only 50.56$; will pay it next week to get caught up.

So spendy, but constructive spendy.

We got a new temporary auditor at work, and very soon we will be in the thick of it. It feels like it would before a great battle. Tension mounting, no birds chirping, no sound at all, everybody busy getting their last little things done while we can before the big piles hit.

Sister emailed and asked me what I thought of the letter. I told her that will work out well for her, not so nice for me to share the deed to the property because I'm 2,000 miles away. I was going to say that I hope she won't take it the wrong way, but its the truth.

Doesn't look good

October 21st, 2006 at 06:07 pm

for the fortune cookie fortune. Got a letter from the executors today about the second piece of property that we are trying to sell to the Wisconsin DNR. It appears that the appraisal process is stuck on someone's desk, and that it takes a 12 member panel's approval to make an offer.

Since the executors are now on a deadline to settle the estate (January 2007), sister's lawyer has petitioned for an extension (March 2007), and the thought now is to split the money from the assets already sold and to jointly deed to us the second property to sell or do with as we will.

Sister will be bugged again for some unknown reason - it means that the executors will be backing out. (I can hear it now from her - they're idiots, they're incompetent, why did we allow this...blah blah blah.) I'm not thrilled, but its because I'm too far away to be a decent property owner.

Thursday and Friday

October 20th, 2006 at 08:00 pm

Thursday -
2$ in the tip box
7.70$ earned from T-bills this week, sent to ING.

Had breakfast coffee at a morning meeting, so only spent for a bibimbap lunch (6.50$).

The timeline firmed up for the first large quantity of pledges and money for this year - a week from now Monday.

Generally I try to make a week's worth of prepared food on Saturday and Sunday, but Thursday night I made the fixin's of lentil soup. DH fetched some carrots and more lentils (3$).


Friday -
8$ in the tip box (40$ total for the month)

I felt like a rich woman, so I splurged and spent on chirashi for lunch (11$) in addition for the for black coffee + no fat milk (2$)

It was a good day for my DRP stocks - KO went up $1.80/share; MMM went up $2.07. I write it now to cheer me up should they drop just as steeply. 3/4 of my stocks are close to their 52 week highs, only MMM is at its midpoint, bouncing back from its dip.

Put 300$ in a surprising place - in my PayPal account. Its paying at 5.02%.

Put out some small fires at work today. I feel bad about giving my helper a totally boring icky data job, but its important and it will help us... a lot.

Walked home from 15th Ave NW, 7 blocks further than I normally do - I have been doing off and on these past two months, but I figure this will be one of the last times this year. We go back to regular time either this weekend or next, which means walking in the dark.

Nearly a no-spend day

October 18th, 2006 at 09:08 pm

In a sense, it was a perfectly balanced day:
Saving - Put $2 in the tip box.
Spending - 2$ for coffee and 1/2 pint of no fat milk.

My lunch got bought today; time to call in the favors.

Put a healthy slug of nofat milk in my coffee and mixed protein powder with the rest. The trainer was right - consider it like cocoa and that will give you ideas what to mix it with. Also had about an hour after I woke up which helped; slugging anything down immediately upon waking up causes a very strong gag reflex. Its a family thing - my mom used to say, "I'll have this by the sink because that's where its going to end up."

Got word today that we'll be getting the first big batch of work in this season at about the same time as we did last year - end of October, beginning of November. Turning on a dime.

Compliment

October 17th, 2006 at 08:12 pm

$4 in the tip box

Had a small glass full of water/protein powder. This is going to be hard to take. The trainer suggested that lowfat and nofat milk will help...if I really wanted to give it a chance. Smile

Had a quickie lunch with the lawyer friend ($7), told him no movement on the bid of the second piece of land--the fortune cookie prediction is holding, and since sister is currently in Maine, I'm glad.

DJ friend/co worker got a compliment for me - he's been asking for and getting new remixes and product from other DJs. One DJ specifically emailed my friend that he submitted his on the basis of my friend's bio. "Well, if you want her to do yours, I'll hook you up." was what he said. Smile

Keeping my assistant busy. One or two new people are coming on - and a shortage of work. It will change; this year I predict it will turn on a dime.

Freebie

October 16th, 2006 at 10:15 pm

So the chiropractor said that he had something for me--
A bill? I joked.

A lot of protein powder. Free meal replacement powder to mix in water or a drink. As a woman, it doesn't excite me as much as, say, a fur would but it is the thought that counts. And my thought is that sweet snacks are easy to come by, but protein ones are not. Not to mention it does free me up to not have to think of the second lunch. I can drink the second lunch for free. So girly loss but frugal win.

I thanked him, tried some this evening, and split the powder between work and home.

Went to Uwajimaya for lunch today ($5.40). They're having the 10% off everything sale, and it is getting cold, clammy and gray, so I picked up the wakame and clear soup packs. ($6.08) Come January, amongst the piles and piles of paper, something soothing to drink will come in handy.

Got the new passport back. Positively charming and informative - I can see why I get protein powder instead a fur. Smile

Caught up on the credit card bill, so it was only 78$ this month. An even nicer feeling than saving money is not being beholden.

devil mother

October 15th, 2006 at 03:40 pm

For Friday, Saturday, Sunday...

Friday - put another 4$ in the tip box, but not much of any financial note happened.

Saturday - Denny's again, because the last time it was fairly quiet, and Denny's was strategically located for errand and later visiting friends out in Duvall, WA.

This time it was not quiet and it was all I could do to keep my tongue firmly in my mouth, because if I didn't there was going to be a hair pulling catfight going on.

Behind me sat a large party. Not a problem.
Right behind me, inches away (we were all in booths) was a young mother with a 4-6 month old baby. Baby was fussing loudly. Still actually not a problem, or at least a problem that I cut slack on.
Young mother sanctimonous about being able to stay at home with baby. Okay, now we are getting into problem because yer baby's behavior is not giving you any brownie points to be sanctimonous about.

And yet I was reading my Wall Street Journal weekend (EFT section was interesting), eating my meal because if I stopped chewing and working my mouth, hell was going to break loose.

And then she began a critique of all of the local casinos out of town. The dealers, the atmosphere, her husband's techniques, the table games, the bars, the buffets. I mean I'm hearing about late nights/early mornings from every freakin' casino - Tulalip, Emerald Queen, Angel of the Winds, and other ones that I care nothing about.

Too bad I didn't catch her name because I was looking forward to hearing about devil mother and devil spawn's financial doings in about 15 years. If only I had DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) on speed dial.

Anyhow - we were invited to a couple's house in Duvall. We were the first guests there and we hadn't seen them for more than a few minutes since February, so I sprung for housewarming food stuffs ($21.77). Duvall was a straight shot, and we had a blast visiting. Totally made me forget about devil mother.

Sunday - picked up two more long sleeved tops. ($6.08) Now the larges are starting to get loose, although not loose enough to encourage me to try a medium.

Am at the stage where I'm tossing out the really worn, size tent stuff. Threw out a pair of pants with again the hole in the crotch and thin spots in the hiney.

plans coming together

October 12th, 2006 at 08:31 pm

The 24K got into Vanguard today.
Put 4$ in the tip box.

Saw .06 on the gym carpet. It took all of the fortitude I had to not run over and put in my pocket. I'm positively embarrassed to mention it here. The trainer's boss loved the idea of my Halloween costume, so they'll get the top and a spare name tag that I can mock up with a label maker. Heh heh heh. This will be the cheapest costume I've come up with in a long, long time.

Lost two more pounds in the last two weeks or so. With any luck by Halloween I'll be under 190 lbs.