Monday, June 04, 2012

Lunch at my desk

I have to get my own work, plus my freelance project, done. And I will. It just won't be pretty. Fortunately one of my real projects has hit a snag that makes continuing difficult. So I'll crank on the freelance.

$300 more

That's the difference in upfront price between Key West 2011 and Key West 2012. New Year's in the Keys is an expensive proposition to begin with. Waiting two months -- usually I book in April -- makes it even more so. I went ahead and did it -- even though the friend I am going to visit is still pretending he may not be there -- because the longer I put it off, the more it will cost me.

My friend down there is very dear to me and loves me very much. I want to support him in every way I can as he struggles through this difficult process of finding another job as a college professor. The thing of it is, there's only one college in Key West and his position has been eliminated. So he has to relocate, no easy task since the real estate market down there is moribund and he has an enormous mortgage on a house he can't sell. He and his lover are now each working two jobs (together they currently represent accounting, security, hospitality and publishing) to avoid filing bankruptcy. Meanwhile, my friend keeps applying for teaching jobs. But the 2011-12 school year is over. If he finds himself at one of the colleges he desperately wants to join, it won't be until autumn. There's no way they can unload that house at a decent price by then. So whether he's willing to admit it to himself or not, he's going to be there for Christmas break.

That's why I just went ahead and booked the trip without telling him. I want to be there with him for the holidays. I also send gasoline gift cards to him whenever I can. $25 is two hours' pre-tax salary for him now, and with gas $4/gallon, I know he appreciates it. But he's very proud, so I must be careful not to be too generous because it might embarrass him.

And besides, I really can't afford to be all that generous myself these days. I keep recalling what flight attendants always tell us -- we must make sure we're wearing our own oxygen masks before we can assist the traveling companions who need our help. If I allow my own finances to deteriorate, I can't help anyone else.

God, I'm sick of thinking about money!

Should have done more

Laundry ... grocery shopping ... bills ... donated a dozen pairs of jeans to Goodwill and bought new dress slacks at Catherine's (after trying unsuccessfully at Kohl's and Burlington Coat Factory to find a pair to cover my burgeoning ass). Played Scrabble with my nephew. Napped. Watched the Cubs do well enough (though I recognize this will not be a winning season). It was a nice, laid back weekend and I enjoyed most of it (except the Super Sized pant part).

Didn't, however, make a dent in the new freelance assignment I promised to have done by noon on Tuesday. That was stupid. But after all these decades in advertising, I need a looming deadline to be motivated.