Something just a little bit different…

May – What a Month…

Just a forewarning, this post is much more candid than my others, so I hope no one takes offense.

Took time on May 23rd to remember the 9th anniversary of my father’s passing. 2004 -> 2013, a lot has changed and certain things shockingly remain the same. I remember the day vividly, for all the wrong reasons. It was supposed to be a day of celebration, in honor of my company’s 100th anniversary. The weather was finally getting warm, a real treat in New York where a good half the year has cold or rainy weather.

I knew my father had some issues related to his dialysis upon seeing him 2 days earlier, but neither he nor I knew the extent until it was too late. Even the people who lived less than 20ft away in the adjacent room had no idea what was going on. No phone and based on my research, you only have less than 15 seconds to react. So even if I was with him, by the time the paramedics would’ve arrived there’s no guarantee they would be able to revive him.

To this date it upsets me talking about my father. He was smart, yet also limited by his disability and stubbornness. As a kid, his mom died before he finished high school. He worked to help support his siblings and earned a GED. In 1985 he was diagnosed with Alports Disease, which impaired both his hearing and sense of vision. In some ways history has repeated itself.

In the news, there have been stories about antigay hate crimes. Up to 29 so far for the year in NYC. I don’t live in NYC but we’ve both spent nights or weekends there at various times and it’s scary. Mark Carson, a black male in his early 30s was shot and killed because a random crazy guy armed with a gun chose him to be his victim. This was in Greenwich Village of all places, not some random hillbilly town in the country.

Then the massive destruction that came with the tornados in Moore, Oklahoma. An entire city decimated by the worst tornado in 14 years. We had warnings in Dallas, but fortunately nothing too serious on my end.

Two of the three people left my job. One seems happy, the other hates her job and may possibly be coming back. That all assumes she’ll be able to put her pride aside. Dabbling with the idea of moving near Reading, PA. It’s one of the poorest places in the country, the weather isn’t great and it would be boring as hell. Financially worth it from bf’s perspective, but I’d likely not have a job for a while or take a massive pay cut. Also saw a video of a drive-by shooting victim seeking medical attention there on YouTube, never a good sign. Not worth it as far as I’m concerned.

On a more positive note, I bought my mom flowers for her birthday. They were close to $80 (online, including balloon and same day Memorial Day delivery) but delivered the same day and she absolutely loved them. I was debating whether to purchase them since Mother’s Day was just a few weeks ago. I wanted to do something special though, since going out to dinner, etc wasn’t an option.

I did splurge on a new keyboard. My handy-dandy Logitech unit has sticking keys which annoys me each and everytime I type. I’ve put up with it for over 2 years but enough is enough. I ordered a Matias Tactile Pro 4 for $125 plus tax and shipping. I come from a generation of people who type fast as heck on the older mechanical keyboards and this is the best on the market short of buying a $299 Kinesis Advantage.

I could lease a 2014 Mercedes E350 for what I pay monthly in student loans. Some months it feels like a heavier burden than others. This is one of them, with $200 less disposable income than previous months and having to wait till the end of the week for payday.

We had a friend visiting us from NY which meant lots of eating and drinking out. Went to Six Flags Dallas for the first time and my oh my it is one large park. Still not as big as the one in Jersey, but 213 acres ain’t tiny. Also went to a fancy movie theater / bar / dinner spot and ended up spending way than I wanted. Got to see The Hangover 3 and two days later Star Trek… Bought sandals and a hat too. So this month I dropped the ball financially. My credit cards are still under control at least though…

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Dealing with Successful People

I’ve encountered or had communications with some highly successful people in the last 15 years.

  1. Worked for a high profile Internet broadcaster in the late 90s as part of a startup reviewing software which I got to keep but not actually keeping an income. Rights to the name / company were sold for an undisclosed amount off the record (though I believe it to be in excess of $1mil) during the dot.com bubble.
  2. Friends with an engineer at Google who has been there for 7 years. I’m sure he makes over 100k / year.
  3. Friends with another engineer at a well-known international company who is an engineer as well making over 100k/yr.
  4. Worked for a multi-million dollar CEO who presided on the BOD for one of the most well known mobile device companies in the world. Along with him, I worked briefly with the founders of a company that was later purchased by Oracle for an undisclosed amount.
  5. My bf does pretty well, though he has been in the same industry for over 12 years at this point.
  6. I’m friends with the CTO of a big nationally recognized company in Houston. He registered a domain name in the 90s and sold it to a pretty popular music company and got $30k for nothing basically. Also online friends with the CEO of that company.

As the saying goes ‘Your 5 Closest Friends Determine Your Income‘. I’m not sure how much truth there is to that statement. The five closest friends I have in NY:

1. Is in IT makes over 100k/yr.
2. Works at McDonalds as a manager making $9/hr.
3. Works at a cable company making high 30s/yr.
4. Runs his own business is making around 60k/yr pretax.
5. Moved far far away to China, then California to run his own business.

So the real question is what do I need to change in my life to get success closer to what they’ve been able to experience. What strategies would help me get there? I’m back to doing the IT training videos after a hiatus / spell of laziness. On module 1.7 – Connectors and have quite a bunch more to go. Reaching goals can be a bitch sometimes… Or is it? It’s 11:45PM my time. Better go to bed so I’m not a zombie in the morning.

Month 13 Update – 40,355.11 and Counting

Back from New York. Had a fun trip, got to see friends and family. Rented a zippy little Mazda 3 hatchback that was getting 50% better fuel economy than my Nissan. Started hypermiling and I went from 21.6mpg to 26.1. Let the bf drive along with me + our friends and it dropped to 24.6. Definitely notice how an extra 900 pounds of the car with A/C at full blast affects handing and acceleration. Makes me wish I got the V6…

Washed my car today. Nice and shiny. It’s kind of silly, when the car involved dirty and filthy I start thinking about selling it to get a new one… Over the weekend I spent some time enjoying the outdoors, both walking trails around a nearby Grapevine lake and doing tailgating for a Jimmy Buffet concert. I didn’t end up attending the concert but that’s another story.

Also did some major cleaning around the house as a friend came by to visit from out of town. Lots of last minute scrambling around, but the work needed to be done anyway.

So the Roth IRA contributions have been set aside. TD Ameritrade doesn’t seem to be processing my automatic withdrawal requests. Maybe something to do  my account being dormant for so long. I’m already battling with what I pay now so that might not be a bad thing.

Month 13 of Sallie Mae repayment.

Month 13 of Sallie Mae repayment.

Each month I pay the 452.76 plus an additional 150. The 150 covers interest, the 452.76 goes straight to principal. As my principal goes down, more of that 150 will go toward the principal. Come next payment I will be under 40k, a huge milestone for me.

Indirectly had someone piss me off. Let’s just say someone I interviewed with last year who worked for a part of the company I was interested in working for. This person’s feedback weighted heavily on the hiring manager. Then at the tailgating party they made a rude side comment about me not getting hired. I hate workplace politics and I’m much better off not working there. I’m an INFP and we

I’m really enjoying the great outdoors – Texas style. Thinking about getting a roof rack for my car. I hate to put anything on the car, but it won’t fit inside. Also debating  a gym membership at my local planet fitness. They are about 13 minutes away from my house but I wouldn’t have to pay a toll to get there. It’s the least expensive gym in our area, ranging between $10 and $20 per month and has the highest reviews. One big constant I see people saying is that it’s rarely super busy and always clean.

Here are some pictures from my excursions.IMG_3292 IMG_3294

Takara Kabuto

Takara Kabuto

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The road bike continues serving me well. $185 and so far about 30 miles on it. I get a thrill going downhill at 24mph.

My feelings are mixed on American Airlines. The MD-80 I took flying in was nice inside but I would’ve preferred a 737. I arrived at the airport early from LGA to DFA and they bumped up my flight 2 hours with no extra charge. With the sequester in place my flight would’ve been delayed a half hr or more. A friend went to Hawaii from Dallas non-stop and they wouldn’t even provide any type of snacks. Not to mention the horror stories of people sitting on runways for hours..

I constantly make reference to my personality type, INFP in this blog. The reason is simple, it defines such a huge part of me.
INFPs do not want just any job or career. They want to do something they love, something they are passionate about. They want to use their creative gifts and abilities in ways that bring personal fulfillment and contribute to the greater good. The quest for a suitable career choice cannot be divorced from INFPs’ search for identity. Before settling on a career path, INFPs want to know who they are and where they fit into the fabric of the working world. They want a career that capitalizes on their unique abilities, coincides with their values, and ignites their drives and passions. Because most jobs fail to consistently inspire them, INFPs often end up feeling restless and dissatisfied. Even those with a college degree may struggle to find long-term career satisfaction.

This is part of why I haven’t jumped at the first job posting that was going to offer me more money. I don’t want to work with a company that overworks its employees, lacks work/life balance, would involve a massive amount of travel or is just boring. Does that make me picky? Perhaps. I just have worked enough dead-end jobs over the years I never want to experience that for as long as I can help it.. I’m feeling chatty, so expect another post soon.