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Archive for June, 2009

Bedtime

This is my precious pup, the day after his head surgery to remove a giant lump and teeth cleaning (since he was already unconscious), telling me it’s time for bed. Even though his bed is just outside of our bedroom, a storm was rolling which means he heard thunder and thought he would just sleep in our room tonight. He is just too sweet for words.

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Behold my husband’s 1980s Michael Jackson doll circa 1984. We are so meant for each other.

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There Are No Words

I’m sure by now everyone has heard the news. Michael Jackson, an American icon, and in my opinion, THE American icon, has died.

And I? Am devastated. Which should come as no surprise to most of you after hearing me confess my love for the 80’s multiple times.

When I was little, my mom would sing to me, but she only had two songs she liked to sing. One was a lullaby – I called it the pretty horses lullaby. The other was ABC by the Jackson 5. As I grew older, I would listen to Michael’s music on the radio, but it wasn’t until I was 14 and we finally got cable(hello MTV and VH1) that I fell in love with MJ. I remember back in the mid 90’s, VH1 played a 48 hour Michael Jackson marathon. For the entire weekend it was nothing but Michael Jackson music videos, concert footage and short movies that he had made. And I recorded every video and the full concert from the Dangerous tour in Bucharest (’92). I shamlessly practiced the moonwalk and other dance moves, namely those to Thriller and Smooth Criminal.  Sometimes I would just watch in pure awe and amazement that so much talent could exist in one human being. It was around that time that I saved up enough money to buy the History album – a two-disk greatest hits-type album that was about $40, more than I had ever spent on a CD or on much of anything at that time. Eventually I bought other albums. Bad, Dangerous, and The Jackson 5 greatest hits. When Invincible came out, I bought that too.

All that to say, I’m a fan. And despite all the rumors and lawsuits, I truly never believed he was guilty, and still don’t. It’s not a popular belief, but neither is dancing in your basement to old Michael Jackson videos. I’ve always considered him the most talented entertainer to ever live.

I always thought he would make a comeback. Do a sell-out tour somewhere, put out a couple of new songs and eventually another album. I had high hopes and expectations and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine today would come so soon. When I heard about the London shows, I tried to get tickets. I was willing to fly to London JUST to see Michael Jackson perform. But, they were sold out. I was a little bummed but I assumed there would be other chances. Like I said, I never thought today would come. He was larger than life in my eyes. Death was not an option.

But apparently it is. And it’s strange to feel this sad over someone I never knew, but I do. He was more iconic than anyone else living today. A living legend, who is now, just a legend. I’m sad. I’m heartbroken. It’s more than just the death of a man. It’s the end of an era. The King of Pop is gone forever and I just can’t quite grasp it, or maybe I don’t want to.

I also don’t want to forget the other legends that passed away this week – Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett. RIP you two.

I read something on Twitter that made me smile this evening, so I’ll leave you with this:

Somewhere in heaven Johnny Carson has a great show tonite. His sidekick back, an angel for a first guest, and a thriller of a musical act.

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Out of Office

I’m on my way to Atlanta for meetings and it is WAY too early to be up. Yes, this post was written at 5:20 am which means I’ve been up since 4am. The good thing is I’ll be home by dinner. I love day trips for that reason.

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Did you really think I could go an entire month without talking about another vacation? Me neither.

This time, we’re planning a trip to California. More specifically, San Francisco…

goldengatedawn

(photo credit: Oldvidhead)

Napa Valley…

napavalleytree

(photo credit: lightchaser)

And the giant redwoods…

redwoods

(photo credit: rybczynski)

We haven’t nailed down specific dates just yet, but we’re thinking September or October time frame. My husband has never been to California (other than our Hawaii layover at LAX) and I’ve only been to San Jose for a work conference. Any tips? Must see places or restaurants we should try? Favorite wineries or hotels?

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Guest room

Hung a couple of sconces, bought a new lamp, but still in need of some curtains. I think I might be anti-curtains and just didn’t realize it.

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In an attempt to be more frugal and financially responsible in these “tough economic times,” I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to live life on one income. This would simply mean that we pay all of our bills and take all of our spending money from one person’s paycheck each month and the money from the other  paycheck goes into a savings account as if it never existed. Now that we’ve paid off both of our cars and have no credit card debt or school loans, I think it’s possible for us to survive on just one income, though it would be tough.

The only issue we’re having with this scenario is, whose paycheck do we spend and whose do we save? I’m salaried and my husband is largely commissions-based. My paycheck is the same each month whereas his fluctuates, sometimes by hundreds maybe thousands of dollars. It would be easier to determine and follow a monthly budget if the income was consistent, so that would mean we try to live on my salary alone.

Now here’s where I admit that we don’t share a checking or savings account. GASP! Yes, it’s true. I get mixed feedback anytime I tell someone this. It usually starts with the questions. “Really? Why?” and “How do you split the bills?” Once I explain that we just both like having control over our own finances and that it keeps us from ever fighting about money, I usually get a response along the lines of, “Oh how unconventional of you!” Yeah, and we’re swingers too.

Having separate checking and savings accounts really has kept us from ever fighting about money. I don’t get pissed off when he drops $20 on lunch rather than opting for the $5 foot-long deal and he doesn’t flip out every time I walk into a Target and walk out $100 poorer, wondering where it all went. That alone is probably enough to credit our separate accounts as one of our secrets to a healthy marriage. Plus it makes birthdays, special anniversaries, Christmas gifts and little surprises easier to hide. (to those of you with joint checking accounts, how do you ever hide surprise gifts?) I’m truly a big advocate for maintaining separate checking accounts, but the thought of my account just barely keeping a positive balance month to month while his account keeps adding dollar signs, well it just makes me ill.

So is this where we cave and join our accounts? Do we open a third account that’s joint and just keep separate savings accounts? Or do I suck it up and just hope that my husband doesn’t meet a pre-baby Halle Berry and run away with her and all our money leaving me broke with all the bills?

After talking it over, I think we’ve decided to keep things the way they are – separate – but whatever money he puts toward our mortgage and/or the cable bill, I’ll match it by depositing the same amount of money into my savings. Everything else gets paid for out of my account already, so nothing will really change. We’re just pledging to be more conscientious about our finances and hope to save up enough money for a nice emergency fund, build some equity in our home, and set aside some money for a down payment on a new car. We don’t NEED a new car, seeing as how we just paid off both of our cars, but in a couple of years we will. Better to plan ahead now. And of course, we need to have enough money to indulge our travel addiction.

What are your best budgeting/money saving tips?

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