Wednesday, November 09, 2005, posted by Q6 at 11:58 PM
Aside from my regular nine-to-five, bill-paying job, I work certain weekends giving SAT tests and other college entrance exams. The money's not bad, but the month of October is brutal: in the last six weeks, I've had one weekend off. This weekend will be the first real weekend I've had since the middle of September--I don't have any more tests until December. My son will also be out of town for this three-day, holiday weekend. I'm busting my ass to make sure I don't have any work to bring home (I could invent some or get ahead of things, but I'm going to stop at "all caught up"). Then I'm going to have a weekend like normal people do. My girlfriend and I will sleep in, eat out, go to the Farmers' Market, maybe the movies, maybe something else--the point is that I am going to have a relaxing, unscripted, rejuvenating weekend. What could be better than an open weekend with my steady girl?
, posted by Q6 at 11:43 PM
In the next few days I will get a phone call from a rather hip optometrist who will inform me that my new reading glasses are ready. I look forward to this phone call for three reasons: the eyestrain headaches from which I currently suffer will cease, I was once told that my brother's glasses looked better on me than they did on him, and I will once again be able to read for long periods of time. I'm especially looking forward to the last one, as I have temporarily put off reading until I can do it pain-free. I'm right in the middle of a good book, too, recommended to me by my girlfriend (American Gods by Neil Gaiman). She's hoping I'll get hooked on one of her favorite authors. All I'm hoping for right now is to getting back to it as soon as possible.

As for joining the ranks of the spectacled, I'm not bothered. My father wore glasses, and my mom wore Coke bottles, and for me it was just a matter of time. Those that know me well, however, will be starting a pool on how long it takes me to lose them. In retrospect, I should've purchased two pairs.
, posted by Q6 at 10:22 PM
D.H. Lawrence wrote this story, which tells of a young boy who picks horse-race winners by riding his rocking horse really hard. He's motivated by a mother who constantly tells him that they are unlucky, and by a house which constantly whispers, "There must be more money . . . There must be more money."

I've been in some level of debt for about seventeen years. Bankruptcy solved most of my problems some time ago, and although my debt "problem" is nowhere near that desperate again, I find myself doing each month's books with a bit of dread. I'm not behind on anything, but there's still a lot not to be behind on. A second job (infrequent, but profitable) helps with the bigger bills, but with monthly interest on credit cards and the inability to plan a food budget, I never seem to make much headway. There must be more money.

Larger incidental expensesthat come up--lawyer fees on my divorce, home repair expenses (I do the repairs myself, but the materials get expensive), and other "one-time-only-but-by-no-means-small" expenditures--don't help the situation. There must be more money. Now the holiday season fast approaches, although I've been working on a plan to keep my costs down. My son, who announced only days ago that he would like an iPOD for Christmas/Hanukkah, is unaware of the financial perspective; but that's as it should be. For now, I've decided that if I can keep it together through the end of the year then I will redouble my efforts in 2006 to eliminate as much of my debt as possible.

In the end of Lawrence's story, the Rocking-Horse Winner literally rides himself to death trying to silence the whispering house. Let's hope it doesn't come anywhere close to that.