Book Ideas

I just tried to write a story, or I at least started  a story. And then I realized I was writing Fight Club.

Writing is hard, I am so out of practice. And writing Fight Club 2 really isn’t the best approach.

I should write what I know, which is cubicles and apartments by the beach and boyfriends and babysitting and having a sister. It will be called “Sister by the Bay” and will include chapters on “Wine Tuesdays” and “Battered Boyfriends- tales of living with the Blackwoods”, there will be a follow up chapter to that called “You’re Nothing Like my Dad- living up to weird expectations set by an overly religious weekend father” (that’s meaner than I meant for it to be)…. also “The Lazy Eye and the Computer Screen”, “WWE Mondays”, and “Resentment: The Christmas Tree Saga”.

It should be a bunch of short stories, because no one is going to read it anyway and it’s easier to write short stories than 47 chapters on why my life isn’t all that significant in the BIG picture, but significant enough for me.

Or I will take the hundreds of blog posts that exist here over the last decade+ and bind them and hand them out to people on the street, like a crazy person. I will title it, “My Lazy Manifesto: basic girl whinings about everything” and it will be a smash hit with all the homeless people of Wall.

Happy Friday- I think I’ll take a nap.


A crass attempt at budgeting

I filed my taxes yesterday with my Aunty Chacha, who does my taxes every year. I’m getting $1,071 back. I feel like everyone I know is always getting thousandin returns. but they must have more withholdings during the year. I’m just happy to be getting a refund at all; for several years while waitressing and in the first years of my other job, I always owed money.

I should have $5,000 coming to me in the next week or so. Let’s do a budget breakdown for fun:

Monthly Costs

  • Car Payment: $200
  • Car Insurance: $110
  • Rent: $685
  • Electric: ~$100
  • Cable/Internet: ~$100
  • Cell: $60
  • Credit Cards: ~$300
  • Gas: ~$300 (much lower right now- nearly half-, but let’s estimate for when it goes back up)
  • Tolls: $88
  • Groceries: ~$400 (inflated for more expensive months)
  • Savings: $400

Total: $2,293

That leaves me with a surplus of just over $1,500 a month or so… I’m guessing on my weekly take home for now.

So this month, I should have an excess  of $2,707 (after I receive my refund and a paycheck for God’s sake). I don’t know what I’ll do with it- Put more into savings… perhaps a grand? Or put it toward credit cards to try and get those under control. Or just leave it in my checking to start saving there. Let’s look at upcoming expenses with the June move:

  • 1.5 month security deposit: $975
  • 1 month rent $650
    • Numbers are assuming our rent is $1,300, and factoring in the split with Mark.
    • Total by May: $1,625
  • New Mattress and Box Spring: $1,200
    • A quick search found me this pillow top mattress. I don’t plan on spending any more on it.
    • Total by June (split with Mark): $600
  • New Couch: $1,100?
    • I told Britt she and Eric could take the couch and Mark and I would buy a new one because, I’d like a better one. Between Mark and I, I think we can afford a couch and we should – it’ll be with us for a long time. A quick search on sectionals brought up this, which  I like.
    • Total by June (split with Mark): $550

TOTAL BY JUNE: $2, 775

I think we have enough stuff to get started outside of the couch and mattress, so we wouldn’t need to buy everything right away. Plus there’s plenty we can salvage and get for cheap, those are just two things we’ll need to get right away. My mattress sucks- it’s uncomfortable and squeaky- and his is awesome but only a full. We need a queen. He spoke about getting a king, but once he sees the price tag I’m sure he’ll be happy with the Q. Plus, I already have the bed frame.

Other expenses that are coming up in August:

Vegas Vacation: I would like to have, after airfare and hotel, $1,000. I doubt I’d spend all of that – it’s just a long weekend- but let’s make that the goal. Falling short is okay.

Estimated Flight: $600  (That’s an inflated estimate from the very cheap prices now, bc it’s so far away- hoping to buy early enough to be able to get a decent price)

Estimated Stay: $450 (Not planning on paying more than $150 a night and I think it’ll only be 3 nights and 4 days)

Total: $2,050

So my total savings for this summer that I would need, not counting if I go to Hawaii or not, is: $4,825

I think my vegas costs are very inflated, but let’s say I want  $5,000 of surplus money in my checking account come June in order to pay all my moving costs and a vacation without feeling the pain- then I should continue to live on my strict budget, continue putting money into my savings (and never touch it) and just let my checking account hold more and more.

That’s rough- I like to spend and when I have money I suddenly need so much stuffff.

But I think this is doable- I said I will have on average an excess of around $1,500 a month. So let’s count:

Jan + Feb + March + April + May = Excess of $7,500.

But that number will be smaller seeing as I will be going out to dinner, or movies, or just doing “Entertainment” as would say. Regardless- that means I should be very capable of savign enough money to do everything I want this summer, if I am just smart. Plus groceries and gas aren’t that expensive. But maybe I miscalculated my weekly earnings after withholdings, 401k and benefits.

Well that was a fun waste of time. Back to work.

My Big Sista was Big’s Sista

I was approved to join the Big Brother Big Sister program at my firm!

I’ve wanted to do BBBS for a year or so now, but it’s a serious time commitment, and with my commute and uncertainty about where I would end up working, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to be the asshole who leaves some fatherless kid on the stoop with a melted ice cream cone, all because I had to use my one Saturday afternoon to go to the DMV and get my eyebrows waxed. I didn’t want to do it unless I could truly commit.

There’s a program here where you meet with your Little twice a month, but the school actually shuttles them to my office. It’s during work hours, so I just go downstairs. How convenient!

I’ve felt the need to give back for a long time now, and to do so in a way that is not focused on ME is ideal. Otherwise, I’m just a selfish person who works and has a few friends and a boyfriend and doesn’t do anything of real, true substance. Websites are not real. TV is not real. This will be real.

So anyway- that process begins soon. I need to apply to the organization and go through an interview process… and then we start in February.

I hope my kid likes me. Gosh I think I’ll be more nervous my first day as a BBBS mentor than I was for my first day of actual work. And of course; this matters more.

Laziness is

Not waking up early enough to dry my hair.

Ingenuity is positioning the heat vents in my car to dry it for me.

My dad just texted B and me saying, “Hi Girls, I sent you a NYT article on living with your boyfriends. Please read.”

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

I’ll read this, but I don’t want to. I still kind of hate that my dad disapproves of me and Mark moving in together! Yeah I’m an adult, but it just bothers me.

Other than his disapproval, the thing that is most annoying about the whole moving in conversation is the fact that it always turns right into the engagement conversation; when is it happening, what’s the hold up, it’s Mark holding this up isn’t it?

This is a touchy-ish subject for me because I do kind of want him to propose and it is him holding off.

He’s not in a rush, and neither am I. But I think after our 4 year anniversary in June, we’re no longer rushing. I don’t want to become obsessed with getting engaged, but the whole premise is really exciting to me. This excitement leads me to wonder if I only want to get engaged in order to relish in a new ring and all the attention.

I hate girls like that.

So I go on to think, marriage- it’ll come. And it’s permanent. So really, enjoy this time now.  But then I think- no we should get married and in a few years have kids and…

The entire debacle rests on the fact that I don’t trust Mark to make the right decision at the right time because he pushes things off- like changing jobs. But I think he pushes off the things he’s uncertain about, and he’s not uncertain about us. So I really have no reason to worry and freak out.

But I still don’t want to deal with my Dad and his disappointment in us living together.

Part of  living in the now, which I have been practicing and enjoying every single day, is dropping thoughts on distant dates and engagements and focusing instead on what we have going on for us right now, Tuesday at 12:34 PM.

Right Now

I just finished working on the editorial newsletter draft- it wasn’t difficult to put together.

I just met a new colleague who is senior to me, and she was really nice.

There is no-bean chicken and turkey chili at home in the crock pot.

Mark is in charge of tasting it every hour to see how the spice level is. His last report said it was not spicy at all. He is now adding more spice.

I just finished my lunch and I’m still kind of hungry, but I’ll wait to eat my Red Miso Soup,

I don’t know how to fill up the next 5 hours of my day, but I’ll start by watching a new compliance video.

This weekend, Brittany turns 27! Saturday we are going to Avanti with mom to get massages. That night we’re going to Medieval Times.

I have a 10 pack of hot yoga sessions to Younique Yoga in Belmar and Allenhurst. I went to the 9AM session with Dina and Britt on Saturday- I love yoga. So glad I have this 10 pack to get me back into it. (Thanks Britt for the xmas gift).

I should get my first paycheck on Jan 30th. It should be for 4 weeks. It’ll be interesting to see what I’m actually bringing home after my deductions. But if I don’t get paid on the 30th, and I have to wait until the NEXT pay cycle, I’m going to be really screwed and broke and borrowing money.

The Year of the Now (What)

I am writing this from my new iPad, which I inherited from the office to review the work I do on the app. I’ve never really used a tablet before, but I like it.

I also have a new iPhone 6, unlimited sick days, five weeks of paid vacation, a free gym membership, and so on. These things are perks and I don’t want to turn this into a job blog, so we’re moving on to say….

I have spent so much of my time over the last 4 years job searching, that l I’m not really so sure what’s next. I need a new identity and new things to preoccupy my mind space.

For instance, I am no longer fantasizing about or pining over a higher salary; I am no longer seething over an employer who takes me for granted ( or whatever my disgruntled rumblings were ); I’m suddenly spared the time I spent worrying what to spend on groceries and wondering where I’ll get a deposit for our next apartment…

That’s a lot of brain power to replace. And I’ve thought about replacing it with a million things, and then I realized how crazy that was. I’m leaving it alone.

I am not going to worry about what’s next. I just want to chill. It took me 2 hours to get home tonight, which was unchill, then I made broccoli chicken cheddar purée, er soup, for Britt and I which took an hour or so. Then I watched Kate Plus 8 with Britt and talked on the phone with Mark, and ironed my clothes… And I was just content! Calm and content. No worries about reading before bed or doing a workout or being mad at Mark because his job bothers me. Nothing like that. I am leaving the blank space blank, and I am relaxed. Finally.

The early mornings don’t get to me, I’m relatively lively all day, i come home to a good life. I’m happy and I want to take a minute and just be instead of always thinking ahead. So if that’s my resolution fine- let this year not be filled with self-imposed worries.

Haas gets married on Saturday, Britt turns 27 in a few weeks, Mark will be home in a few days.. January is a good month, despite the cold.

And just for history’s sake, since so many of my plans fall through and live on only in here… This summer possibly Hawaii again, August is Vegas for the twins’ and Eric’s 30th birthdays, and definitely a vacation with Mark next December during our time off. Or so goes the supposed plan.

Wherever you are, be all there

I have to update this

But I’m so tired by the time I get home, and I’ve been in trainings for the last week and a half. If I was at my computer alone or my desk, I would update.

Maybe later or tomorrow.

Happy new year though! I never wrote a 2014 good-bye post, but that’s because 2015 whooshed in too quickly and hasn’t slowed down yet- in a good way.