Friday, December 30

Happy New Year

Unlike so many others here in the Southeast, I ring in 2006 in a better position than the beginning of 2005. I just got my first paycheck after going full-time at work (whoo-hoo!), I have a new roof over my head, and I have made some "life-style changes" that have improved my outlook and perhaps health as well. So, I can't complain, but don't worry, that won't be stopping me from continued grousing.

To everyone out there who is still struggling through what, for many, has been the worst year of their lives, here's hoping that 2006 brings some new good things to you.

Meanwhile, ponder the fact that the average person will be spending $172 to celebrate New Year's Eve this year, according to Ad Freak. Perhaps many of us should embrace putting that plastic away as our New Year's resolution. . . .

Sunday, December 25

Hum Buggery

I trust no one will read this today, so my little bitter thoughts won't disturb your Christmas day.

I don't know why I am so very jaded this particular Christmas. I have experienced damn near 40 of them, so why this particular year has gotten under my skin is a mystery. The thing that is (hum) bugging me so much is the sheer surprise factor of the season. Morning news segments about forgetting to by that certain someone a gift and hitting the malls yesterday gall me. Stories about standing in line to mail last minute gifts dumbfound me. Christmas happens EVERY YEAR, people.

I work in a financial institution dealing with folks and their loans. Every December, the calls start coming in from people who want to "defer" the December payment. (Many of them even call it the "Christmas payment.") If ever I decide to quit my job, this is how those particular calls will go:

Caller: "Hi. I was wondering if you guys defer Christmas payments."
Me: "No, sir, we don't do that."
Caller: "But why not? I need a little extra cash this time of year."
Me: "Were you not aware that Christmas was coming this year, sir?"
Caller: "Of course I was, but my car loan folks sent me a letter stating that they were doing it. You people are not being helpful."
Me: "Sir, let's think about this, 'kay? Christmas is an annual event, is it not? And you have a 30- year loan, do you not, sir? That would be 30 years of once-a-year deferrals. That would mean that at the end of your loan, you would still owe 30 months of payments. That is 2 and a half years of payments, isn't it, sir? And Sir, I hate to tell you this, but your car loan people are not being 'helpful' to you. They are not waiving interest this month. Deferring your payment works for them, not for you. They are going to get theirs, sir, never fear."
Caller: "Huh. I hadn't thought about it that way."
Me: "I suggest that you take a hint 'long about Halloween when the stores start putting up Santas right alongside the Dracula costumes. They ain't kidding--Christmas is going to happen again, I guarantee you. It will happen this year, next year, and all they years of your life. It will still be happening when the last man on earth is putting up his Christmas stick with the help of his mutated dog. Why are you fucking surprised this year?"

Well, I hope that you have a merry and fiscally solvent Christmas and a Happy New Year. I need some egg nog.

Friday, December 16

The New Opulence

Here's a picture the S.O. took in Bay St. Louis of a FEMA trailer. Hmmm.

Tuesday, December 13

Good Morning!

Woke up at the crack of 9 am this morning to to something that sounded like huge mutant rats eating my house while fist fighting. It was glorious! The roof is finally getting fixed.

Wednesday, December 7

What's goin' on

Whew, this working 8 hours a day like a normal human being is taking it out of me, I'll tell ya. How do you people do it?

Other than work, there are a few other things going on: I am seriously considering buying what were called "roller skates," back in the 1800's when I was coming up and and are now apparently termed "quad skades" on which to scoot to work. Now, if they were still "roller" skates, I would understand that any of you who might see my almost-forty year-old self on my way downtown might get quite a chuckle out of it. But on "quad" skates, I am sure I will be the fleet embodiment of kewl, so no honking and pointing, now.

Also in the works is a serious plan to take a week-long canoe trip to the Boundary Waters/Quetico area in summer, 2007. I know that seems like a long way off, but there's a lottery system for permits, and the window on getting in on that for 2006 has already closed. We plan on driving up there, which is a fantastic trip in itself, so we also need the time to come by a car that is worthy of the trip. Oh, and I also need as much time as possible to get my self worthy of such a trip, too. Not in the best of shape, your wanna-be quad-skating author.

Scott and I are thinking about taking another couple with us. Do you know how difficult it is to come up with a pair who can withstand the drive, the canoeing, the portaging, and the punning with us that this will entail? And who will still be an item in 2007? We can only think of one possibility, so here's my invite, Carla C. If you read this before I see you again, email me and let me know if you're up to it.

For everyone else, please be kind to the little lady on wheels when you run across see her.

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