Thursday, January 01, 2009

What a Way to Start

The good news about the New Year's Eve celebrations is they are just festive with no gift exchange and religious overtones. The bad news is: what a way to begin a year...with a bang, yes, but drinking and staying up late and then you start the first day of the year getting up late, sort of behind. And then you realize: yikes I can't start the new year on the books without taking care of a couple of things on 2008 and saving some info for the CPA. And then you realize that you have to start taxes and that is so depressing. A friend called to say Happy New Year and said I should be glad I had money to count. Can't you imagine going into tax season as a Madoff investor? You would have horrible tax issues and no money. Or even as Bernie himself. He had to turn over a list of his assets by yesterday to the court. When did you last update your own list of assets? Does it include yachts? Still, it's an excellent exercise.

I wrote the above paragraph earlier. I had some breakfast, read some of the paper. Then I set a timer on my Mac desktop and started working on some year end and month end bookkeeping. I spent about three hours on it. I still have several things I need to do. I wrote them on a little 'to do' list on a Sticky and decided I would do my blog. Holidailies lasts another four days, I believe. So I have to do it. Yeah, not really, but doesn't it make you feel better to know you can do something every day even if it's kind of indulgent? FFP is taking a nap. We slept in this morning a little (9 o'clock it was almost when we finally got up and stayed up). But we were up very, very late. FFP took the picture above on the pool deck last night at midnight when the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake were erupting. We stayed up a while after that visiting with friends. We stayed up a while longer reading. I probably drank too much. Wine and champagne it was.

So, here we are. 2009. I've made the stickies for my promised New Year's Resolution. Which is to spend some time each day doing things that I never get around to. The three hours I spend today on bookkeeping? Doesn't count. It is stuff that eventually gets done and doesn't get shunted aside indefinitely.

I feel like I should go to the gym or go for a walk. I don't think we will go out to eat or go to a movie today. FFP has some writing he has to get done. But we may get cabin fever. (Would that be condo fever?) A walk would probably cure it. Going to the gym doesn't do the trick since it's just across the hall. (Can't go to the club today, even if I thought starting the car was a good idea, because it is closed.) But right now I'm listening to iTunes execute a play list of jazz tunesI made with "Genius" starting with a Roy Hargrove track. I still bridle when Apple uses Genius for people or software, but that's me. (Did anyone see the Simpson's Mapple episode? Loved, loved it. But I digress. But you know me...I think digression is the better part of valor.)

While I was goofing off, FFP got up from his nap. I wish I could nap. I'm not good at it. FFP can doze well in his chair or (as in this case) go to bed and catch some winks. Maybe I'll take a nap today. That would be different.

Well, before I continue too far down the digression path...I want to make a beginning of 2009 comment. I may expand on this in my other blog, The Journal of Unintended Consequences (which has fallen into disuse because it was overwhelmed with material). But I just want to make a list of the things that the press keeps telling me I did in 2008 and prior to that that I did not do.
  • I did not run up credit card debt I had no hope of repaying. In fact, I paid cash or charged for thirty days only all year and for lots of years before.
  • I didn't ignore that I might lose my job and health insurance. Rather I prepared financially to quit my job and buy insurance.
  • I did not invest in things that 'looked too good to be true.' (Well, maybe a couple of times, but I knew the risk and it was usually some financial advisor dispensing and drinking the Koolaid.)
  • I did not buy a house I couldn't afford with a toxic mortgage with zero down at adjustible rates I didn't understand and then blame someone else when I lost 'my' house. (If I had, though, I would realize it wasn't ever mine! Hell, you don't even own a house you own unless you can pay the tax collector thousands of dollars a year.)
  • I did not assume real estate would always go up and buy property to flip.
  • I did not gain two pounds. (I have done that, on average, sometimes in the past. I'm pretty sure that I'm pretty much the same as I was last year. Yes, I still could use to lose ten or twenty pounds. Shut up.)
  • I did not buy an iPhone or any other smart phone. My phone doesn't take photos even. It is seven (more?) years old. But it works and the (original) battery still takes a charge and has good life.
  • I did not cut back on eating out. And, contrary to the wisdom I heard on TV today I'm not going to start packing a lunch to go to work because I don't work. On the other hand I won't be saving money by not buying lattes. I don't buy lattes. I drink coffee out sometimes, but it's usually a brew, French press or an Americana or espresso. Mostly I drink many cups from my expensive Capresso machine at home.
I often look at the world and wonder what kind of place it would be if everyone were a little more like me. It isn't a pretty picture, in some cases. But it would be a world without Golden Arches. Or Starbucks. I'm just saying. And there wouldn't be an ARM.

So I'm tired of hearing 'it's our own fault' and stuff like that. Speak for yourself, journalist person.

Well, that's all. I'm going to the gym. Then I'm having a shower. Maybe a walk after that. Maybe I'll read a book. Hope you have a nice holiday and that your hangover yields as easily as mine did if you have one.

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