Archive for March, 2008

Mommy!

March 28, 2008

My mommy got a promotion yesterday! She works at Boston Store as a sales associate. They called and asked her to come in early yesterday to help with a fashion show they were doing for some of their new clothing lines. Afterwards, her manager talked to her and asked her to be the Specialist/Manager of the these three new clothing lines!!

Awesome!

I know for sure two of them are BCBG and Kensie. I don’t remember the third. But seriously!? I LOVE BCBG! She got a small raise and she’s guessing she will probably get a clothing allowance too.

I will no doubt be using this to my advantage.

Credit Cards and Debt

March 27, 2008

I am so anxious to pay these sons-of-bitches off. My credit card debt hangs over my head and weighs on my shoulders every day. With my Thailand trip, I actually did fall a little behind on my debt situation. But I made a bold move today. Here’s where I stand, actual numbers and everything…

I have about $6,650 total in credit card debt. Whew. Yikes. Some of it was necessitated by unfortunate circumstances and accidents. Some of it was self inflicted. Regardless, there it is. And I have learned my lesson.

I got an e-mail yesterday from my Chase Mastercard (my first card, from when I turned 18, and would forget to make payments occasionally). My credit limit has soared to $7,000. But the best news was that they lowered my rate. A LOT. Even after calling a couple months ago, my rate was at about 23%. It went down to 11.99%!! I am SO THRILLED! My highest balance, highest interest card, just became much less scary.

Here are my card stats now:

Chase Mastercard: 11.99% on a $2,450 balance
American Express: 16.49% on a $2,000 balance
Citi Mastercard: 8.74% on a $2,200 balance

I am trying very hardnot to get overwhelmed. I can do this, I know. Both my Amex and Citi cards started with 0% balance transfers that I told myself I’d pay off before that rate expired. Didn’t happen, obviously. But now I am making large monthly payments on all of these. Just 3 or 4 months ago, that Chase balance was a few pennies away from $3,000!!

I finally decided to take a leap and apply for another 0% balance transfer offer. Hopefully in a few weeks my Amex balance will be about $400 and I will have a Discover card with a $1,600 balance with 0% APR until April of 2009.

If I get approved and everything goes through (and I don’t anticipate any problems there- I may not have a lot of credit history, but what I do have is pretty good- I’m proud that my score hovers around 700.) then I will make minimum payments on that $1,600 balance until some of my bigger, interest accruing balances are less scary.

My plan right now:
Chase: $200-$250 per month
Amex: $100 per month
Citi: $100 per month
Discover: (I’m guessing around $30 – $50 per month)

I’m not counting on a tax return, but I think chances are high that I will get one. If I do, that will go towards my Amex, just to get it out of the way. Having at least one ZERO balance will help motivate me. Then I can put $50 more to my Chase and Citi cards.

I don’t have a head for math like I used to, but based on the calculators at http://www.bankrate.comI could be paid off in about 12-15 months. If I get a good tax return and stimulus check, I could achieve my goal even faster. I like my Chase and American Express cards, so I won’t be cancelling them. I think my Citi card will eventually be cancelled.

Other than my credit card debt, the only debt I carry is my car loan. It was a 27 month loan, and I’m not paying any extra towards it. My monthly payments are about $175. I have a fairly low rate (5 or 6%) and it should be paid off by summer of 2009.

My other monthly commitments are:
Cell phone bill ($70)
YMCA dues ($30)
Car Insurance (have I mentioned this is now only $110 a month?!)

David pays our rent and utilities.

I have an automatic $80 savings withdrawal.

Whats left is usually used for groceries and gas. It’s a really tight budget to live on, but it’s only temporary. We still do fun things like going out to eat or seeing a play or movies. We could cut even those things out, but that doesn’t seem like a fun existence and I have too much “carpe diem” in me to lose all of that.

Again, I wish I could just fast-forward through all of this. I have barely used my credit cards at all since Christmas. I’ve learned my lesson. And now I have to step up and pay the price. I can’t wait until I can check the box on my online bill payment screen that says “Pay balance in full”!!!

A Good Day

March 27, 2008

26 years ago today my future husband was born. He may not be too thrilled about his birthday, but I am. 26 may not be an exciting age to reach, but hey, in this crazy world, making it one more year is good news. Plus, now he’s just a year away from the holy grail of birthdays. THE Golden Birthday.

If you believe in the power of numbers, his next birthday seems pretty special. When I think of powerful/lucky numbers, I think of 3 (and 7). His birthday will be 03/27/09. Not only is there a 3 and a 7 in there, but:
3×3=9
3x3x3=27 (as does 9×3)
I’m pretty sure we need to go to Vegas. This seems like one powerful day.

I’m taking off work at 4:00 today. We’ll stop by my mom’s house, where I have been stashing his present, and then go to Sake-Tumi for dinner before rehearsal. It sucks he has to work AND go to rehearsal, but there are other birthday activities in the coming weekends.

On Saturday he is FINALLY going to a game at Miller Park. It’s just a Brewer’s exhibition game, but I hope it makes him happy. He’s been having a rough couple of weeks. Little bad things keep happening to him. I have contributed, though not on purpose, in my own ways. Hopefully today it will all turn around.

Happy Birthday Love!

Little Shop

March 21, 2008

Seriously, people have GOT to see the live cast of Little Shop of Horrors at the Times Cinema starting Friday March 28th at midnight. Hilarity will ensue.

Visit our website for details.

Just see it. For real.

My Bank Account Aches

March 14, 2008

You know what really sucks?

Checking your bank account in the morning and seeing a beautiful $1,031, which includes your depressing after-tax bonus amount.

Then paying all your bills.

And then seeing you have about $211 to get you through the next two weeks, which includes your fiance’s birthday. And you haven’t really thought about the medical copay bills you’ll be getting in the mail soon.

AWESOME!!

I Wanted To Laugh In Your Face

March 13, 2008

So… remember my weirdo dilemma over what to say when a cashier says “I love this! This is so cute!”??

Well, it happened again.

This time it was at Walgreens. Over socks. Plain, white ankle socks.

The cashier squealed “These are super cute! I need some new socks.”

About these:
 

 Umm… Okay. I may have looked at her like she was crazy. Which she obviously was. They’re just socks!

 OH! I was just reminded of the time I bought these:

It was at Sentry Foods. And the older cashier woman also squealed, “Oh!! How cute!” Gee, THANKS lady for drawing attention to some crotch razors. Thanks a lot.

Normally I’m good with small talk check-out banter. But I guess some days I just don’t care.

Alternate Spitzer Statement

March 13, 2008

“I am a douchebag. I cheated on my wife with a prostitute. No matter how high priced she was, she was still a prostitute. And I paid her to have sex with me. She was probably 22. I didn’t care how this would make my wife or my TEENAGE daughters feel. I figured it would be okay as long as I didn’t get caught. I’m sorry, but I’m more sorry I got caught. Because now my wife, family, and the whole country knows how much of a disgusting, unfaithful, hypocritical pervert I am. I didn’t break the law once, I broke it multiple times. I acted a fool. I not only need to resign, but I also need to STOP trying to weasel out of legal ramifications and take any fines or jail time like the loser that I am. I should not be exempted from laws and consequences because of my status, I should be held to an even higher standard. To reiterate, I am a lying douche.”

I should SO be a speech writer. Wouldn’t that have been a better statement?

Content

March 7, 2008

I feel content. It’s a nice feeling. I sit here at my desk, eating a Stonyfield Farm strawberry yogurt, knowing that it’s Friday, anticipating leaving work at 4:00, and I feel satisfied. Excited for the weekend, even though I don’t have any thrilling plans. I just feel okay. But in a good way.

I’m working through my lunch today, which makes today the first day this week that I haven’t worked out during my lunch hour. That’s disappointing to me, because over the course of this week, it has finally started to feel like the normal, natural thing to do. Yesterday, I barely had any of the “Waaah, I don’t want to go” feelings. I’ve only been doing 15 minutes on the elliptical (plus a cool-down) but it sure is better than nothing.

Work is busy (we’re short staffed today), I got a lot less sleep last night than I normally do, and my apartment needs some serious cleaning, but all that isn’t bothering me. Instead, I look forward to seeing D at 4:00 and going out for dinner with him. We’re planning on going to Envoy at the Ambassador Hotel and indulging in their happy hour specials. Then I’ll go with him to Dominican High School to watch Les Miserables, where he is playing guitar in their pit orchestra. I love that show, even if high schoolers are doing it.

My happy-level just went up a little higher! I just got a thank you note from the management at my work for coming in to work during that horrible blizzard a couple weeks ago. The note says something nice about appreciating our dedication, since our company doesn’t have the option of closing during bad weather. That would’ve been perfectly nice, but there’s also a $25 BP Gas gift card!! That rocks! Totally worth the hellish drive… right?

Also, I played around with and figured out the macro function on my camera and took a lot of fun pictures yesterday. I’m just a little bit proud of how this one turned out. It’s for a group I joined on Flickr that gives out weekly assignments. This one was for St. Patty’s Day:

Fun stuff! Flickr is so addicting.

Emo

March 5, 2008

I’m feeling emo today. Perhaps I should have dressed all in black and combed my hair over my face. I can only assume it must be PMS because my week has been pretty good.

I got a raise yesterday! It’s an average raise, but I got a teeny tiny raise last year, and this one was more than double. PLUS, I got a huge bonus. Well, huge to me. Big enough to make up for a majority of my Thailand trip. Big enough that I don’t feel TOO bad for taking some out and treating D and I to a nice dinner, perhaps for his birthday. Big enough that I can apply the rest of it to one of my credit cards and breathe a little easier.

Of course, it’s not big enough to take a huge bite out of my credit card debt. In fact, it’s only about 10% of my CC debt. But hey, it’s a step, and it it’s a much bigger step than I thought I’d be able to take at this point. If I get a tax return AND a stimulus check, I might actually use the stimulus check for it’s intended purpose. I could use some home improvement items.

Part of my feeling down is also probably the Favre news. I liked the guy. He was fun to watch. And I never was able to fulfill my dream of seeing him play live. Woe is me.

Also, D has been feeling down and worried thanks to the election news. He was really hoping that Clinton would effectively be OUT of the race after last night, but that did not happen. I’m not THAT in to politics, but he is more than makes up for me. He is really invested in this election and it’s really exciting for me to see him so inspired and hopeful about a political candidate. It’s hard to see him disappointed over something he takes very seriously, but has no control over.

Finally, this could be a whole entry by itself, but I just need to touch on it… I feel like I should be older. By that, I mean I feel like I should be past my early 20s. I look at some friends who are older than I. They’re married, buying houses, going on great vacations, working at jobs that they like, etc. I often wonder what I’m doing wrong and why I don’t have all that yet. Then I remember that I’m only 23. Some of these people are 26 or 28 or older. Just because those people are my friends, doesn’t mean I have to be at the same place in life.

But DAMN I’d like to be. In some ways I feel so much older than the number 23. In others, I feel younger. But overall, I just want to BE THERE already. I want my life to be in order. I want to be done with the struggling. But unfortunately, I can’t really see any way to speed the growing-up process. I just have to make sure things fall in place as I’m able.

For now, I’ll just have my dreams where we’re happily married and living in a house. Maybe one that is nicely decorated and where we can invite friends over for dinner and where the laundry is always organized and dishes are always done and the living room doesn’t resemble a dorm. That stuff comes with age too, right??

What’s Up?

March 4, 2008

These last few days have been theater-filled for me. On Wednesday I saw The Lion King (incredible!!); Thursday I saw “Jacques Brel” at Off the Wall; and Saturday I saw “Avenue Q”!!!!

Let’s talk about Avenue Q. I was sweating my butt off in my final Pole1/Strip This class (next Saturday I start Pole 2!!) while David and our two friends Chuck and Lisa traipsed down to the Marcus Center almost two hours before the 2:00 start time of Avenue Q.

Avenue Q has a wonderful ticket lottery program. A handful of really good seats are saved for each performance. 90 minutes prior to the show, they raffle them off. Here in Milwaukee, this consisted of giving a half a raffle ticket to everyone who was present, and dropping the other half into a hat. They drew about 10 tickets. Each person was able to buy 2 tickets for only $25!!!!!!

Both our friends got called, so we were able to have 4 tickets for a total of $100! These were in row Q (sweet!!!) and would’ve normally totalled about $300. So not only did we get to see an incredibly funny, sweet, and entertaining show, but we had great seats, and we didn’t have to spend a fortune. What could be better?

In other show news, I am currently working on THREE shows. And trying to memorize lines for all of them. Fortunately one of them is really tiny and I just have one line. Unfortunately, I have that murder mystery in less than two weeks and my other big show opens in a month.

I’m in Death on the Nile at Off the Wall and I think it’s going to be a great show. I really love my character and I have a decent line load. But I really need to find some time and really work at my character. She grows so much during the show and I find her really interesting. I don’t want to let any of that slip away or fall flat in my performance.

<Warning. Lots of self absorbed self love ahead.>

I remember when I was Nadine in the Midwest premiere of Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party. This was SUCH an awesome experience. I only had one line, my age, “Eighteen.” But I was involved in a lot of the show and I was on stage for huge spans of time. I got so into that character. I made up a backstory for her. Every single thing I did on stage had motivation in my mind, and during performances, my thoughts were her thoughts. I hid in a bathroom at one point, (the show took place in an apartment) during this beautiful ballad. I had no one to interact with, but I still found myself crying in there one night. Feeling alone and abandoned and scared. It was the most amazing thing.

I have never felt as into a character as I did that time. I was SO into it, that I um, bared more than my soul at one point (if you know the story, you’ll know which part I’m talking about) when my camisole slipped off my shoulders and I may have flashed the audience. Thank goodness I was on the floor at that point. And all my work was not in vain. I got so many wonderful compliments on my performance. The best came from other actors and performers who had come to see it. I was so proud of myself.

Hopefully reminding myself of that will give me some motivation to take the time and really study this character. Acting and performing always feels best when you can totally lose yourself in what you’re doing and really BE the character.

And here’s a pic of me from that show. I have some more on some CDs somewhere at home. Here is blonde curly me:
wildparty.jpg

Also, if you EVER get a chance to hear some of the music (the Andrew Lippa version) do it! Listen to a clip on iTunes or Amazon.com. It’s so cool. Taye Diggs + Idina Menzel = HOT!!