Damn Roth IRA

I’ve spent the entire rest of my evening trying to figure out a decent mutual fund to transfer my IRA into, since the management of my old fund is retiring at the end of the year. (As we all know, the managers—and not the name of the fund—are the ones who make the returns.)

I still haven’t found anything.

I gots me some new digits

I barely ventured out on Black Friday. If the stores discounted their wares heavily, as was rumored they would do, they certainly didn’t discount the things that would have caught my fancy. (I’m not actually sure what things would catch my fancy, but rest assured it wasn’t what was on sale.)

I did make one purchase over the weekend, though:

About once a year over the last couple years, when I think about it, I poke around the various wireless carriers to see if they have any plans that would make any sense for me. Until this year, the answer was always heck no.

Those who have seen Evangelion will remember that there was an episode entitled “The Phone That Never Rings.” That’s my phone. Paying the monthly fees that cell phones ask for is so far out of the question that it’s laughable (though might be justified if I were living on my own, and could cut off my land line); the alternative were pay-as-you-go options, which were equally laughable. (Pay for minutes and then have them disappear if they aren’t used in the next month? Huh? Lose your account—and thereby your number—if you don’t keep your phone loaded with these short-lived minutes? Wha?)

This year, for the first time ever, I found a reasonable pay-as-you-go option that meet my needs. After up-front costs, I’m paying ten cents a minute, and must buy a minimum of $10 of minutes a year to keep my phone going. I’m willing to pay that price for the convenience of a cell phone.

So, woot. I gots me some new digits.

It’s been a long, long week

This is my third Sunday in a row. Wednesday felt more like a Friday than any actual Friday has felt in quite a while, meaning that Friday was my first Sunday. I’ve had some kind of a bug over the Thanksgiving break, meaning that I’ve been even more listless than normal.

[And now the worst transition ever, courtesy of said listlessness]

A week ago Thursday my dad fell off my grandma’s roof. It was a one-story fall onto a concrete driveway—and my dad isn’t exactly the youngest man around—but he managed to survive with merely a concussion and a handful of very large bruises. Six short inches away from where his head actually landed were big, sharp (decorative) rocks: I will use the strongest analogy that I possess in my linguistic arsenal, and say that those rocks would have been like spikes to my dad’s Mega Man.

Had he fallen just slightly differently, I would have had the most bitter Thanksgiving ever. As it is, I had a quiet holiday.

I can’t be down forever

I have finally broken the apathy that has ruled my life the last couple weeks*. I cleverly illustrated the doldrums I was in by neglecting my blog (*cough*)—which, now that I think about it, truly reflects how little I accomplished during the time between these posts.

(*Well, all save for that whole Japan write-up thing. Anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time knows how terrible I am about writing about things I intend to write about… the difference here is that I really want to get something written about Japan. I’m just slow.)

Truly the only area of my life that had any forward progress has been my work, where I’ve been bringing the various corporations we bill for onto my program. It’s been surprisingly painless to do so (taking two days per corporation, on average), and the benefits seem to be huge. If nothing else—and there’s actually a lot else—we no longer tear through reams of paper at breakneck speed. Trees may feel free to thank me at any time.

I’m still amazed, when I think about it, that I successfully built this thing.

Otherwise, though, my days (i.e. evenings) have been a blur of mostly nothing. Most notable have been ballroom dance practices on Wednesdays—but even those were similar to previous practices (Janis mocks Brent for not dancing; Brent and Robin enjoy dancing with each other, but still have little to say; Jay comments on the number of Lindy Hops that are played; etc.)—and Thursday night hot chocolate with Brian—where the new trend, now that Tom works different nights, is to be harassed by Abby and occasionally amuse Erin. [This paragraph has been a whimsical attempt at bolding names in order to visually break up text.]

Andy’s Halloween party was a good deal of fun (damn, I really did take quite a break from this thing), and was made complete by a well-timed call from Eric—made at 4 am London-time, after he returned from his own Halloween party. Nick, humorously (to me), seemed somewhat intent on fixing my “single” status. Andy, who was dressed as a crude Master Shake, joined a handful of others who went trick-or-treating (keep in mind that this party was on the Saturday before Halloween), and somehow came back with bags full of candy. Brian broke out some sake that he brought back from Japan; I now suspect that I’ll have a soft spot for sake for the rest of my life. (It’s all proprietor-san’s fault.)

Friday evening I went to a West Coast lesson, where I picked up a new move or two—but, more importantly, regained a tiny bit of the edge I used to have in the dance. There’s a certain amount of crispness that you lose if you don’t practice (I don’t practice anywhere near enough to avoid that fate), and the worst thing about it is that you know that you don’t have it.

Saturday I attended Mike’s birthday party, where I mostly stood back and was amused by the goings-on around me. (They’re a fun group.) As I was leaving, Mike gave me a giant bear-hug (the guy is tall; I was using my tiptoes to maintain contact with the ground)—apparently for not beating him up, like most everyone else did.

Today I finished dusting my room (something not to be taken too lightly, ’cause I don’t do it too often—and so there’s quite a bit of dust when I do clean), got out and took care of some errands that had been on my to-do list, and (!) started writing for the blog again. Small potatoes, but the sense of moving forward—any distance at all—is a welcome one, after being stagnant for so long.

This evening was the second ballroom dance of the term, where I maintained tradition by arriving late […], but then broke it in spectacular fashion by dancing almost every dance I could, with a wide variety of follows. (<–Totally out of character.) Robin came over and punched me when I arrived; Janis and I exchanged smack talk ([Brent goofs] B: “…what am I doing?” J: “Dancing cha-cha… poorly.” B: “Remind me again why I dance with you?”) later on.

My brain was blown towards the end of the evening, though, when I saw someone who looked a whole lot like my long-lost friend Katie. As in quite a bit like her. I failed to confirm or deny whether or not it was actually her (things were made more difficult by mystery gal’s costume, inspired by the pirate theme of the dance)—as Andy would say, that’s in [my] face—though it makes no sense why she would be there.

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