"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Wii Fit

Though I am not, at the moment, the biggest I have ever been thanks to some weight loss last year, I am still bigger than I should be. Or want to be.

Thankfully I don't have high blood pressure, cholesterol and all those other scary things.

Mr. SLS supports me in my efforts to be healthier and bought me a Wii Fit! (I think this may be because my bike is in pieces. I haven't asked him about this, I'm just trusting it will be fixed by the weekend). I've been using it for two days now and my Wii Fit age is 35. That's OK, cause I have to admit I thought it would be worse, but, I'm too young in spirit for that. I can do better.

So rather than focus on a number of pounds to lose, I've decided to focus on whittling down my Wii Fit age. To tell the truth, when 35 popped up there, that was a like a red flag waved in front of a bull. CHALLENGE! LOL!

I hope all of you are doing what you can to stay as healthy as you can.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Living together before marriage

This topic has come up on a couple of blogs recently and a friend and I were discussing it yesterday as well, so I thought I'd blog about it.

There are folks who believe you should not get married to someone you have not lived with...I'm not one of those people.

In the discussion yesterday my friend asked, "Well if you're spending so much time at one place but paying two rents, why not move in together?" That, to me, is not a reason to move in with someone I'm dating.

She also argued, if you're living in a high cost of living area like New York City, it can make sense to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Again, IMO, limited finances are not a reason to move in with someone I'm dating.

Here's what I responded: "I don't mix my money, credit and future with potentially temporary folks. I'm not buying furniture with you, we aren't signing leases together, adopting a pet -- none of that. If you want to do all of that, marry me." (Ed note: I'm speaking about ME and MY preferences. Other folks can do what they like, obviously).

She argued that it would be a roommate-type situation unless and until you decided to get married or break up. *blink*

I don't feel I should mix my finances with matters of the heart until some legal paperwork is involved. I AM SERIOUS about my money. When I was younger, I had a couple of crazy relationships where I stupidly allowed a lot of foulness to go on and so these brothers thought, hell, she's letting me do this, let me ask her to co-sign on this motorcyle or give me some money on this rent. Funny how cheating didn't make me leave, but a money/co-sign request ran me off faster than Marion Jones on steroids. I DO NOT MIX MATTERS OF MONEY AND THE HEART. EVER.

Among my friends and family I am known as being very practical and serious about money. Cold. I have THREE friends I would loan money to with no question and that's because I know how they handle their money and I know if they asked me for some loot they really needed it. This is a sidebar however, back to this moving in thing.

Living with someone I am involved with, could never be just a roommate situation. How does it work? If one person wants to break up and the other doesn't and y'all live in the same house, how does that work? Who gets what? We bought the couch together so is it yours or mine? What about breaking the lease? And the deposit? All that sounds like DIVORCE-type stuff to me. Except, wait, we aren't married.

I realize this may make sense to no one but me and that's fine since I did what worked for me and I know others do, too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crazy sis-in-law has crawled back out of the woodwork

My sis-in-law's birthday is six days after mine. Every year she comes up with some cockamamie "let's celebrate our birthdays together" bullshit.

I don't "share" or "celebrate" my birthday with anybody.

Almost every first cousin I have has an April birthday (April 3, 10, 12, 13, 27. Mine is April 18). My brother -- MY BROTHER -- was born seven days before my 6th birthday (April 11). I have never "shared" or "celebrated" my birthday with any of them (and I am one year younger than one of them, so theoretically, we could have shared a birthday party).

Yes, this is selfish. I'm selfish. *shrugs*

But, let's be clear, my sis-in-law doesn't want to celebrate our birthdays together. Unhunh. She never suggests that we do this joint celebration on MY birthday, just on hers. She never says, what would you like to do when we do this joint birthday celebrating, she just lists all the shit she wants to do and get as gifts.

What I want is for her to quit faking the funk and stop pretending this is some "joint birthday celebrating" and call it what it is: a 50-year-old attention whore trying to get a birthday party and a bunch of gifts for herself under the guise of a "joint birthday celebration."

Despite me and my husband telling her we would be out of town last weekend celebrating my birthday, she called here three times over the weekend to ask about HER birthday party. In not a one of those messages did she bother to say, "Happy Birthday SLS!"

She never even called her brother last month to wish him a happy birthday. But, it's time for hers, so the phone is ringing off the gotdayum hook.

Shit irritates me. I never do this joint celebrating BTW.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I celebrate the anniversary of my 21st birthday. I was born at 4:19 a.m. on April 18 and I've had a great life. I feel grateful. thankful. blessed. Here's to many many many many many many many many (OK, you see where I'm going with this) more.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The road less traveled (now that we have found an alternate route)

As you know, relationships are fluid and ours continues to evolve.

I am a planner. Friends and family say I always need a project, a goal to be working toward. That's how I approach traveling. I consult schedules to make sure there is no school/Army band/gig, then I pick a place, do research, narrow down choices for lodging and flight, then book it.

I then come up with a list of places to see, things to do and organize them by day. In a calendar. With address and contact information and times and distance from hotel. Yeah. I create a vacation dossier in a manila folder. That's me.

I plan what I'm wearing and start packing and pulling together oufits days ahead of time. The night before departure, I lay out what I'm wearing to fly, recheck my dossier for missing info, and lay out all the things I need in the a.m. that will also need to go in my bag. Then I go to bed at a reasonable hour.

I get up when the alarm goes off, bathe, straighten up the house, do a last check and then, I'm ready to go. Once I arrive at my destination and get settled into the hotel, I consult the list of things to do as I NEED TO DO THOSE THINGS. I WROTE THEM DOWN. IN A CALENDAR. (Here's where I should mention the potential panic attack I can have if something is off with the flight or blows my schedule. Instead I'll just let you imagine it).

I realized when I took my mom to Paris in 2006 (or 2005...can't remember) that I got it from her. She totally LURVED my lists and schedules and planning. We got along swimmingly.

Mr. SLS is more, ummmmmmmm, spontaneous. Yes, that's it, spontaneous. He decides to take a trip and he says, "hey baby, let's go to such and such." I say OK and he turns back to the computer and buys the tickets. (He has learned not to book a hotel without letting me do my intense research for cleanliness, amenities and such).

Then we go. Now, our departure could be THE NEXT DAY. And the next day is when he will pack a bag, sometimes 15 mins before we leave. That's how he got to Guadalajara last year with one shirt. And how he got to London without...something. And how he ended up in Hilton Head with no swim trunks.

This used to stress me out. *I* used to stress him out.

But last year we finally hit our stride as traveling companions! We went to Guadalajara to visit some friends and then on to Puerto Vallarta. I agreed NOT to make any lists and schedules. We just did what we felt like doing everyday. It was the best trip we have been on yet. Very relaxing.

For the trip that we are on right now, I have a loose-ish schedule for two things I absolutely want to do and ideas for other things we *can* do. I still packed early and at the time I am writing this post, Mr. SLS has yet to pull out a bag or anything, but I decided not to let that bother me cause, really, why am I stressed about *his* bag?!! *My* bag is packed. Let him sort out how to get whatever will inevitably be missing from his suitcase.

What about you, what's your travel style?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A few questions (and answers) on Tax Day

1. Do you wait until the last minute to do your taxes?
Seems like it would increase the stress and the idea of it being an unpleasant experience by waiting until the last minute to do them. Try doing them earlier next year, giving yourself time to find errors and additional deductions and credits. It might improve the experience.

2. Do you get an annual tax refund?
Why not get that money in your check every pay period instead? You could set up direct deposit into a savings account and earn interest on it. Personally, I try to make us break even every year -- they don't owe us and we don't owe them.

3. Do you pay people to do your taxes?
I have never paid anyone to do my taxes. My father has a degree in accounting and a degree in mathematics and wayyy back when I first had enough income to file taxes I asked for his help. He said, no, told me I didn't have any assets, but I did have some damn sense and to get the EZ form and fill it out. That pissed me off but I did it, realized it was easy, and since then I have never paid anyone to do my or our taxes, though I almost did this year because we had medical expenses, rental income and costs associated with getting my house ready for sale/rent and I feared things had gotten beyond my skill level. I think if you have simple financials -- a mortgage, school loan, health savings account -- you should try doing your own taxes. You can e-file right from the comfort of your home.

4. Do you get frustrated about paying taxes?
Do you drive on the street/highway? Do you like having firemen and policemen available if you need them? Do you send your kids to public school? Then you are getting some return on your money. I can understand being mad about HOW governments spend (or misspend) the money, but please appreciate some of the benefit derived from paying taxes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Do you let your screen door hang open? and other random observations

I've noticed that people in the District don't like to close their outer doors. They just leave them swinging in the wind. I don't get it. Down South where I'm from that is considered ghetto and a sign of people who don't take pride in their property.

I've been away from my job for almost three weeks. This is dangerous. My employer may decide I'm not needed, or worse, I may decide I don't need my employer.

Why do people insist on turning left at an intersection where it says no left turn and holding up traffic, which is likely the reason the city has decided not to let people turn left at the intersection.

I don't get Lady Gaga.

I want a new car. And a new house. Mr. SLS says to be patient and collect my rent for a few more months. But I saw the house I want and it won't be around in a few more months. That said, I will sit my ass down on this one. This time.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I love springtime and Easter and the sun being out and the flowers blooming AND in two weeks, I'll celebrate a birthday. YAY!