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Archive for April, 2007

Splurge Complete

April 24th, 2007 at 06:54 pm

So I bought it. New shiny laptop. Itís replacing my desktop. I can take it traveling for work, or use it in bed, or sit in a cafť and use it. It was getting close to the time to upgrade or replace my desktop, and I use the computer a lot, so it feels like a decent splurge, instead of an extravagant splurge.

Being on Weight Watchers has got me eating really good food. Good in both senses: healthy, and tasty. IĎm eating a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, lots of fish, even some shrimp. Lots of artichoke hearts, hummus, parmesan. Sautťed zucchini, beans, yogurt, whole grains. Flavored oils, vinegars, tapenades. Iíve lost 13.2 pounds in 7 weeks, exciting enough to be motivating, slow enough to feel solid. Iím also cooking more, and still buying lots of basic ingredients instead of convenience foods.

I host poker Friday. Iíve lost the last two times by playing very sloppily. Then Saturday I drive four hours to my folkís place in Clearlake. So Iíll be social, and productive. Along those lines, I removed the TV from the bedroom. Itís a baby portable, broadcast only, that used to move around, but became parked in the bedroom. I found myself watching bad, bad TV. So much in life to do thatís either fun or taking care of business, and I didnít want to keep wasting time. I still love my Netflix (to get some good TV shows!) and have shows I love, I just want to watch by choice not habit.

My new laptop also doesnít have one of the games I used to play all the time. I always feel good when I take an action to change something thatís been worrying me.

Getting Ready to Splurge

April 19th, 2007 at 07:43 pm

In March I didnít spend as much as I thought I might have. My big three day weekend trip to Santa Rosa that included rack of lamb, escargot, and a historical register hotel was $420. Other than that, I spent $1140. $84 on dining out, the first month off The Challenge (not including the rack of lamb!).

After all that moderation, itís time to buy a laptop.

Man, my home-made frozen lunch ended up being great. I will definitely continue making them. I think the next batch will be the whole-wheat pasta, with chicken thigh meat, artichoke & red pepper tapenade, and green beans.

Thrifty Still

April 15th, 2007 at 05:15 pm

I made myself some frozen dinners today! Iíve never really been into frozen meals, but now that Iím on Weight watchers I have fallen into the trap, because itís a handy way for me to know how many points Iím eating and itís also handy if Iím pressed for time. I used to not buy any unless they were 99 cents or less and were NOT mainly pasta (I can put pasta and sauce in a cottage cheese tub), but since Iíve been on WW I have been buying $1.99 ones.

Well, I was irritated at paying for convenience, as well as overly processed, probably overly salted, and arguably over packaged food. So today, I took five used trays, and divvied up some frozen shrimp (grocery outlet), whole wheat pasta, steamed spinach, Trader Joeís artichoke heart tapenade, and parmesan cheese. I have five frozen lunches, and not only am I happy with the ingredients, these are much cheaper. Even with the shrimp, I think Iím less than a buck, at the least under $1.25. I told a friend I was planning on doing this, and her response was heartening-not ďI thought you could spend money now!Ē but ďThatís so you.Ē

In other thrifty news, I took an old contact lens case, and put facial moisturizer in one half and foundation in the other, and I am totally thrilled with the portability and size. Iím flying to Sacramento tonight, and anything that makes travel more streamlined is good. Iím also packing my dinner; this time Iím checking my baggage, but last time I packed my dinner I actually put salad dressing in a hotel shampoo sample bottle for my salad. The whole liquid/flying thing could either really irritate me, or I can be creative. Working to make sure oneís meal has no liquids or gels is a challenge. This time Iím checking baggage so I can bring back good Trader Joeís food.

This and That

April 12th, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Random

Iíve figured out that in mind, I like being able to buy things more than buying things. In my mind the last month Iíve idly thought of buying some things, and chose not to. Just the lifting of the challenge means I can spend a lot more, but I havenít. The mental freedom, though, is what I like- I could buy a lot of stuff even though I donít.

Broke folks donít have that optionÖeach time a person with every penny of his income spoken for idly thinks about buying something on a whim, he canít even idly entertain the thought. He has to not buy the paperbacks, the trinkets, the fresh flowers, the sushi. Iíve passť don buying so many things recently, but I had a choice. Just food for thought for me...I like freedom and choices more than I like spending. I gave myself permission to spend as much as I wanted on books, and it turns out as much as I wanted was $31. But the freeom, that was priceless.

Iím still doing Weight Watchers, still totally committed, still a slow loser, and still enjoying not overeating.

Iíll be going to Portland in May, for somewhere around a week, and Iím looking forward to it. One thing I could do more of is get out of the house, for sure. Iíve got my health and a car and spending money, and I manage to spend too much time indoors, not hanging out with friends, not enjoying the outdoors, not watching bad TV. So Portland will be good, and last weekend I was social, and this coming weekend I have another social commitment. Man, I would have never thought when I was younger that I would have had to work at hanging out with friends?

My folks are in Fiji-how cool is that? I suppose in a way Iím jealous, but actually itís more something I want to emulate. Iíd love to spend my retirement travelling. Iíd love for the welfare business to be seasonal, so I could travel four months a year. Iíve switched form thinking England in the fall to Mexico-definitely time to start nailing some details down.