September 30, 2008

The Bailout

I wasn't going to post about this, but I have to. I can't think of anything else to write about, for one, and I'm just sick of hearing about this and having no where to voice my opinion. So, you lucky people, you get to read it. :)

1. If I owned my own business and let people buy on credit there would be no bail-out for me if they couldn't pay me back and it killed my business. I would be able to declare bankruptcy, but that is all the help that would come my way.

2. I realize that the businesses that are in trouble will probably cause an economic crisis if they are allowed to fail.

3. I also know that many of these businesses are in trouble because their board members, CEOs, Presidents and assorted high management make more money than anyone really needs to survive, and therefore the business does not have enough savings to support themselves after making bad credit decisions.

4. The government (read: tax-payers) did not force any of these businesses to extend more credit to people than they could afford.

5. The government did not force any of these businesses to advertise about the low credit rates available and make people believe that a variable-interest mortgage (read: debt) was a good idea simply because of the low rates available now.

6. The government did not force any of the people now in trouble to borrow money without looking at their true financial situation, what they could realistically afford, or without reading the fine print and understanding that the current interest rate and payment will not stay as it is, but will most likely rise to a point that is, perhaps, unaffordable by the borrower.

EDIT: Apparently the government (read: democrats) did require a certain amount of sub-prime mortgages to be given by each bank. How in the world did democrats think that would be a good idea? Seriously! I took AP Macroeconomics in high school, aced the exam at the end of the year, and could have told you it was a bad idea. You don't force banks to lend money. That's like forcing lactose-intolerant people to drink milk and eat ice cream: All you end up with is a big pile of poo. Gucci Mama posted a video that explains.

7. I have never met anyone that could not live comfortably on an income of $100,000 per year. Also, I see no reason for someone who makes more money than that (and also does not pay social security taxes on much of their earnings, because of the level) to need large bonuses every quarter, every Christmas, every time their birthday, wedding anniversary, work anniversary, or any other excuse they can come up with comes around.

8. My husband and I live comfortably on a household income of less than $50,000 per year. I can only imagine what we could accomplish with twice that.

Now, my opinion of the bailout may be clear from what I have said, but allow me to state it plainly. It disgusts me that something like this is considered necessary by the leaders of our country when it is clear to me that people who are getting rich and fat off of other people's woes are the cause of this whole thing. And who will benefit? Those same because even if the government puts a cap on what they can earn if their company is bailed out they probably still have enough savings to keep them living comfortably for years. And the 'tax-payer' benefit of having a stake in these companies? Paltry. For one, we will never see it, because the government will have it and reason that it needs to be held there to settle the debt Bush has caused (from a falling debt, might I remind you, and despite that during most other wars in history, our economy has strengthened). Also, even if we manage to ever get back to a surplus budget, will we really see the benefit? I think not. The credit companies are not the only ones hemorrhaging money. The government is bleeding to death and doesn't seem to realize it. The national debt, at the moment, is

The Gross National Debt

That's crazy! But since it's in the trillions, so why don't we just add another 700 billion? That'll fix everything.

September 26, 2008

Imagine if you could Poke the Pope!

If you've been reading my blog I thank you, and you know that I am Catholic. If you haven't been reading my blog, thanks for stopping by, you should know from the previous sentence that I am Catholic. Now that we're all on the same page, I'd like to tell you about one of my Facebook groups, which is call the Papal Facebook Initiative.

This group is dedicated to gathering 1 million members, and then petitioning the Vatican to create a profile for the Pope on Facebook. The idea is that this would be an awesome way to connect with and minister to the younger generation of Catholics and Christians, as well as the general youth. Also, if you read the group page, there are some really cool things you could do if the Pope was on Facebook. These are my favorites:

Pope Benedict was on your friends list. You "Worked together for Christ" and "Met him through a friend."

A new Vatican Office of the Curia had to be created, called the "Papal Facebook Attendant." (Credit: Joe Mileski)

the pope sends you a gift: "You have received the Holy Spirit." (Credit: Jessica Condon)

thanks your superpoke application, you could throw a lost sheep at the Pope. (Credit: Giovanni De Stefano)

♥ Pope Benedict XVI is now in a relationship with God. (Credit: Valerie Banas)

Currently, this awesome group only has about 21,500 members. That's not even a tenth of the people they want, so here's what I'm asking: If you have Facebook, if you know anyone that has Facebook (even your kids), or if you know someone who might have Facebook, or someone who is Catholic, ask them to:
a)join Facebook if they haven't,
b)join this group,
c)invite everyone they know to do the same.

I think this would be an awesome thing, and I think the people who started the group are aiming for 1,000,000 people because of the impact that kind of request would have. If 1,000,000 people wanted you to create a Facebook profile, wouldn't you? Thanks in advance, and God bless!

September 25, 2008

Lack of Focus

I have completed several projects for work today, and while I have more, I find myself unable to focus and create any sort of forward momentum. This is not unusual for me, but it's my lack of ability to focus on ANYTHING, personal or work-related, that is bothering me. Here's what I've done so far today:

Finished billing cycle
Finished all address corrections available
Emailed new address requests
Finished third book of the Inheritance cycle, Brisingr

I was part-way through all of those things when I woke this morning, and now I am finished. I still have to correct old information from many of the physicians we associate with according to the new information I've been gathering, finish the COBRA billing, work on the bank statements, prepare the 3rd quarter revenue report and prepare my office to be moved. I can't seem to settle to a task, though. Thankfully none of these things are due soon, but if I don't continue work on them, they may never get finished. My brain doesn't agree, however. I seem to have lost the motivation to complete this day, and I really just want to get out of here, but I can't because it's short notice, I don't have any vacation time that I don't have plans for, and I have to pick Michael up from work after I get off, so I would be stuck in town anyway.

I think my problem is that I need to get away from here, away from the entire town and everyone I know, Michael included. Does anyone else have days like that? Or weeks? I can't remember the last time I spent a significant amount of time truly alone. Even right after the wedding when Michael was traveling for his job with the state I wasn't really alone. I still had to go to work, he still called me every few hours. I need to take a week and go somewhere without anybody. Maybe I'll talk to Michael again and see if the concept of alone time has sunk in yet...

September 23, 2008

I Hate it When I'm Wrong

So, when Michael told me that the piece of land by his parents house is the only one available in our price range, my first thought was that he's just not looking hard enough. Well...I was wrong. There is NO LAND for sale here that meets our requirements and is in a reasonable price range. Even when I widened my search area so that I would have a 30 minute commute every day, there's nothing that is 10 acres or more and less than $6000/acre. This is ridiculous. Almost nobody wants to sell, and therefore the few people who do are able to ask a premium, despite the condition of the economy. And, most of the tracts available are way more than 10 acres. If we could find something that was only 10 acres and was $7000/acre, we could probably afford that, but there's nothing like that. There are NO 10-acre lots. There are 5-acre lots (for a reasonable price, but Michael insists on more land than that). There are 20-acre lots and above. There is NOTHING in the middle. NOTHING!! This is horrible. I can't stand to live in the same house that we are in now for the rest of our lives. We can't afford the land around here. Michael won't move out of the area or on to a smaller piece of property. Michael won't sell the house that we're in because it was his grandfather's. I WON'T live next to his parents.

I have a headache.

September 19, 2008

You want me to move WHERE?!?!

Michael and I are currently hunting for land on which to build a house. If you live in a city, this may be a foreign concept for you, or one only the rich can afford. Out here, where 'town' or even 'village' is a more appropriate word than 'city' (no matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise), it's a fairly common practice. So, we're land-hunting.

Our requirements are pretty simple: Michael wants at least 10 acres and I want it to be no farther from where I work than we are now. So far, we have found one piece of land that meets these conditions perfectly. It is a 30-acre hay field about 15 minutes from my office (and I use that term loosely as well). It being a hay field is actually an added bonus as well because I would like to have horses, and the type hay that grows there is high-quality food for those of the equine persuasion. The problem? The price is $7,500/acre. The basic rate for land in this area is $3,500-$5,500 per acre. Which means they want at least $60,000 too much for the land. Their reason? A $5,000 per year federal subsidy the owner of the land is entitled to because of the type of hay that grows there and the ability to rent the field to hay reapers who would then sell the hay and split the profits with the owner. That sounds good in theory, but that subsidy and the hay profits would go down if someone, say, mowed down half of the hay to build a house like we want to do. The real estate agent is also advertising the land as a great home site (which it is, because it's gorgeous land). So on one side they're telling you it's worth the extra money (never mind that it would take over 10 years to see any profit on the extra expense) and on the other they're advocating that you pay the extra money for the subsidy and hay, and then throw away the ability to recoup the cost because it's a beautiful home site.

Our other option so far is a nice piece of land, which is about 17 acres, and the same distance from my office, with a very good price. The problem with this? It's literally next door to my parents-in-law. Yep, the land abuts theirs. For me, that is not an option. I would rather pay an extra $60-120,000 for the priviledge of living farther from Michael's parents than we already do. Mostly, it's not myself I'm worried about, because I would gladly use the excuse of being closer to them to also be more rude when his mother decides to put her two cents in where it doesn't belong. What I'm worried about is what will happen when we have kids. Oh, the horrors that being so close to them could open up. I shudder to think about it, and I'm probably going to have nightmares tonight.

The hay field has come down $1000/acre in about 2 months. The real estate agent (who represents both options we have so far) advises that we wait on it if we don't want to be so close to his parents and we don't want to pay that much for the land. I say, damn straight.

September 18, 2008


Two days ago, my desk looked like this:

Then, because I was getting paid for my time, and because my company tracks internet usage, I decided to ask for something to do to tide me over until billing begins on Monday.

Now my desk looks like this:

And most of it needs to be done by someone before Friday next week. The question I posed to my supervisor was what I should do about the billing. He said do the best you can. One of the more pressing assignments I was given was to work on getting correct provider addresses so the IRS doesn't fine us the $7,500 they want from us for 'unissued' 1099s. The problem there is that we did, in fact, issue them. The providers do not update us with their correct addresses like they should when they move. Or, they won't send a W-9 form, which is required by the IRS for us to have before we change their address in our system for anything of import, like a 1099. Catch-22 much?

And now I have a lot of work to do, all of which is very urgent, but wasn't mentioned until I asked for something to do. I love my boss, I do. It's his bosses I have a problem with. Nothing is ever mentioned until the last minute. The one good thing? Overtime. Lots and lots of overtime. :)

September 15, 2008

My Rings

I love my wedding ring. It matches Michael's, which is something I've always wanted. I love his and hers stuff. And his and hers wedding bands? That's the ultimate, because it's the symbol of everthing that you have together.

I also love my engagement ring. It's a 3/4 kt D color and it's either a FL (flawless) or IF (internally flawless) round cut diamond. In other words, it's practically perfect, and if it has any imperfections, you can only see them under 10x magnification and only if you look really hard. In the sunlight, you can see colors I didn't think existed in nature. Yes, Michael has a thing about quality. He said he'd rather give me a smaller, more perfect diamond, than a larger imperfect one. I would have been happy with a sapphire set with tiny, imperfect diamonds. Needless to say, I'm very happy with my very perfect diamond.

Now, Michael wants me to wear my rings all the time. In general, I completely agree. I wear my rings while I sleep, while I work, while I drive, pretty much everywhere. I don't wear them, however, when I'm cooking, during some cleaning, or showering. During these times, they could get very yucky. When I cook, I cook with my hands. When I clean, I can't stand to wear gloves. I do not want to expose my precious rings to these less-than-ideal circumstances. I know that the diamond can't really be harmed by anything, but I don't want the setting to get disgusting either, or to feel like I have to clean my rings every three or four hours. Besides, the diamond is high-set, and it gets in the way when I'm trying to wash my hands, during which time there is also an OPEN DRAIN right under my hands. I do not want my rings to slip off and fall down that drain. They are insured, but still, I don't want to go through the hassle. I don't wear them while I'm showering for the same reason: OPEN DRAIN = LOST RINGS, at least in my mind.

Does this make sense? I thought so. However, Michael seems to take it as a sign that I don't want to wear the rings, which is not true. As I said, I love my rings, and I love wearing them. I clean them at least once a week. I wear them while I sleep for goodness sake, and I know a lot of people don't. I've come to the conclusion that he just needs to lighten up. Even if I occassionally want to leave, I'm not going anywhere. And really, on the occassion that I want to, I'm really just going to cool off for a couple hours. We both know this. We both know I'm coming back. I don't even give in to the urge to tell him I'm never coming back anymore, because I don't like to lie; I just say I'll be back after I cool off. So, if I take my rings off to cook a meal for him or clean the house, is that so bad? I don't think so.

September 11, 2008

You Are Remembered

For a moment, our nation was bonded together as never before. We, with one voice and one heart, proclaimed our pain, demanded justice, and prayed for righteousness. To those who left us that day, to those who lost most dearly, and to those who fight for us all: you are remembered.

Please visit this blog and thank this man for all he and his fellows do. Without them, we would be lost. Doc Williams.

Also, three years ago today, I lost my father. As great as my pain is, I can only imagine the pain of those who know their loved ones were intentionally killed and taken away from them by hate. But, my grief is still there, and I miss my father terribly. I love you, Daddy.

September 10, 2008

That's All

In honor of my 6-month wedding anniversery (which was on Monday), I present you with our wedding song:

Old Blue Eyes:

Michael Buble

We danced to the Michael Buble version, but I love them both. :)

September 9, 2008


It's official. I'm busier than ever at my job, and my old friend has followed me here. You see, I have a problem with commitment to any particular project. If it's not complicated enough, I get bored. If it's too complicated, I get frustrated and then get bored. The latter is far more depressing, because I don't measure up unless I think really hard. Which, frankly, is not something I'm fond of.

It's not that I'm shallow or unintelligent, you understand. I entered college as a sophomore due to my work in high school; I thoroughly enjoy educational pursuits. If I had my way, I would be a perpetual student. Life, and money, got in the way of that goal.

The problem, I think, is finding something that I'm passionate enough about to continue perpetually. I can stay committed to something for months or years at a time without getting burned out. When I do finally get to the burn-out stage, however, it's not pretty. I explode and then I'm finished. I want nothing more to do with that project for years. Music, specifically playing the flute, is the most spectacular example of this. As I neared the beginning of my senior year, I was playing with an expertise I had never dreamed of, and naturally chose music as my course of study. I had studied the flute since the summer before my sixth grade year, all told for about 7 years. By the time college auditions rolled around, I was burned out. I wanted no more to do with it, and therefore, while I did my best, it was no where near the peak of my performance. I still play occasionally, but less often then I would like. I still enjoy playing, but it's also depressing: just another failed project, after all the time and effort I put into it.

Here again, I have found a wonderful job, and great people to work with, but I'm bored with it, and have been for some time. I enjoy my work during my busiest time: billing. This only lasts for about 4 days, however. The rest of the time I mostly deal with complaints from clients and search for things to do. I do have other responsibilities, but they are boring, and accomplished with very little effort, so that I barely notice I'm working. And while I enjoy the billing, I absolutely despise the responsibility that comes with it. I was trained by someone who mostly knew how to bill by rote, and did not have time to teach me anything beyond the procedure before she left. I must learn as I go. The problem being that every mistake I make seems to result in either a very upset client, one or more very upset bosses, lost income for the company, or any combination of the above. I have discovered some interesting things from my mistakes, some that I doubt my predecessor knew, but I still have the angry clients, annoyed or angry boss(es), and possible lost income hanging over my head. These things are not conducive to a calm work environment.

While I do get angry about this, I don't stay angry. The anger transmutes into boredom. Boredom makes me want to do things other than my job while I'm at work. I don't, but I want to, which leads to frustration, which leads to even more boredom. It's a vicious cycle.

September 5, 2008

I survived...

...and it wasn't that bad. It was slightly awkward, but she was very nice and very quick. I barely had time to read the funny posters on her ceiling before she was finished. And the posters made me laugh, partly because the point to them was so obvious, and partly because they were funny. My favorite part?

OBGYN: "Are you sexually active and do you need birth control?"
Me: "I was married in March and I'm a devout Catholic."
OBGYN: "Yes and no, got it."

And the cool thing? When she asked if I was using a natural birth control method, and I told her about NFP, she actually knew that it wasn't the rythm method and that, excepting divine intervention, it works as long as I followed the rules. She did ask me to start taking a folic acid supplement, because the nueral tubes of the baby's brain and other things that folic acid is essential to start to develop before you can even get a postive home test. So I did, because I'm doing everything I can for my future kids, and God only laughs when you tell him your plans, so you never know what might happen. She also gave me some other material to start reading up on and asked me to continue to lose weight at the rate of 1-2 lbs a week, stating the obvious that the healthier I am when I get pregnant the better and easier it will be.

All in all, I am much less nervous about next year's exam then I was about this year, and I'm very relieved. :)

September 4, 2008

I'm dreading this...

So, I've never had a gynecology appointment before. I know I should have had one, especially with everything that marriage entails...but I was really nervous. It's one thing to tell your boyfriend that you won't sleep with him until you get married, which is a nerve-racking conversation. Then you actually wait, which in my case meant I had about 2 years to dwell on our wedding night. And that made me nervous. Really nervous. Remember your first time? Yeah...imagine that, plus knowing that you'll never sleep with anyone else for the rest of either your life or theirs, whichever ends first. And even then, y'know, chances are there won't be anyone else, because if he dies when he's 80, I'll be 72, so I doubt I'll be getting any. So, I was really nervous.

But now? Now a complete stranger will do a pelvic exam on me. COMPLETE. STRANGER. Never met the woman before in my life, but as small as this town is, chances are she knows someone who knows me. Like she might know my MIL, who uses the same OBGYN facility (because there isn't another one in our town). And there's that whole doctor-patient confidentiality thing, so I shouldn't have to worry, right? Well...yeah, except that I know for a fact that my husband's GP shared information about him with his mother without his express permission, because she asked. And that's illegal. We didn't do anything about it, it wasn't anything we wouldn't have told her, but still, it's illegal.

So there's that. And there's also the fact that I have no idea what to expect. Thankfully, the appointment is late enough that I won't have to go back to work, so if I feel totally violated, I can just go home and tell Michael not to bother me. But I'm nervous. I'm going to go google and see if I can figure out what's gonna happen. And say a few Ave Marias and Pater Nostres. And maybe a God help me or two.....yeah, I'm really nervous.

P.S. So I just went to WebMD to see if they could tell me what to expect...and now I'm more nervous. This is why I never wanted to grow up. It's just not worth it. :(