Monday, January 02, 2006

The Life, It Sucketh Miserably.

Well, sometimes. Lately.

That whole rug-pulled-out-from-under-you thing doesn't sit well with me. And when enough really big hard to deal with things happen in a row, say in about four months' time, and it's winter, and you hate winter because you have SAD, then it's really hard to skate around the edge of the abyss and not look into it. A lot. And everything on TV is about murder, dead people, tragedy, drama, doom, despair. Because, you know, real life isn't hard enough. And there is a small person who should not watch a lot of TV, and murder TV in particular, so you have to be very careful what you tune into when you're trying to distract yourself from the things that suck so very much. And so we watch a lot of cheesy sitcoms (by we watch I mean that it's on and I listen as I mill around the house doing half-assed housework while the baby putters around wrestling the cat and stuffing puzzle pieces into the houseplants).

On the more positive side, I don't spend all my time thinking about the many things that suck, and there are a few things that are moderately shiny in life. Not the least of them is online bill pay, which is making me so much more connected to the mysterious and deeply suspect machinations of the checking account, that entity which rules my existence far too often. Bad habit: going into denial about how much is left. "I'm sure it's fine." Reality: about twice a year, usually more often, but I'm not admitting to that, we suddenly find (and by "we" I mean "not me") that we are overdrawn and it's several days until payday. Argh. So, the easy access of online bill pay means that I can log on anytime I like, pay any bill with a check issued by the bank at my very bidding, on the date that I specify, and -- gasp! -- check the balance! And -- and this is totally mind-blowing -- watch the transactions flit past, practically in real time if I so choose, thereby receiving the much-needed reality check of our Current, Up To The Minute Fiscal Status anytime I need it. Which is more or less daily. No more wondering, no more denial. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't go into Full Avoidance Mode if I really get in a dither, but it's much harder to do that knowing that two minutes at a keyboard will tell me if we can really afford whatever dippy money-wasting errand I am thinking of engaging in. Generally a trip to some store or another for things we don't really need. Seriously, phantom expenses suck up a ton of money around here. Where does it all go? Um, the mall food court, Starbucks, eating out, Costco (legitimate expenses aside, i.e. diapers etc), Starbucks, the craft store, Starbucks, the other craft store, Starbucks, the fabric store, Starbucks... Oh, and my stock market advice this year is to buy stock in Starbucks.

I worked on Christmas Day and New Year's Day this year. And Thanksgiving Day. Five or six hours at a whack, at 24 bucks an hour. It doesn't suck. We could certainly use it. I mean, who can't use money? Name one person. Besides Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey, smartass.

What I just finished reading:
Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. Bought it at the local library used book sale for like a dollar. Enjoyed it, as I enjoy most historical fiction.

What I am reading right now:
Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt. I've read his other two books (Angela's Ashes and 'Tis) a few times each.
An Elm Creek Quilts Sampler, by Jennifer Chiaverini. This was a Christmas gift to J from her mom. Three novels in a series. Not all that intellectually compelling, but a nice way to pass the time, esp. when a bit stressed and in need of distraction. Presumably a quilter might enjoy the way the stories center around a quilting guild and there is a certain amount of quilt lore and terminology therein.
Suprised By Joy, by C.S. Lewis. This one I pick up when I feel the need.
Any of the Get Fuzzy anthologies, by Darby Conley. Ditto.

What I'm reading next:
Mary, Called Magdalene, by Margaret George. Bought it at the local library book sale also.
Possibly A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens. I think I'll try to squeeze in a few classics this year. We own quite a number of them so I might as well.

What I'm listening to:
Monkey Business, Black Eyed Peas. I can't explain it. I won't even try.
Several albums by The Battlefield Band.

Well, it's off to bed. The small one gets up damn early. And I have chowder to put away.

No comments: