Sunday, January 08, 2017

OneWord: FOCUS on my empty wallet

to concentrate: to focus one's thoughts

My goal in 2017 is to be able to point to concrete achievements, accomplished because I continued to FOCUS. This weekend I stayed focused on money, and I'm proud to report I stayed on budget.

I had allotted $50 for groceries/household supplies this week, and spent $51.41. I gave myself $50 in spending money and today my wallet is completely empty,* but I didn't go over. (And I paid cash for Kathy's birthday lunch!)

I know it's still just January, but I think I can maintain this. I just have to FOCUS.

*Really. All that's in the coin section of my wallet is a paper clip and a breadbag tie.

Little things can mean a lot

Today I surprised Kathy with her ideal birthday celebration. It was so easy to do that I feel a little guilty.

She moved away from my neighborhood years ago and really misses it. She thought it would be nice to spend the day around town, starting with church, then a trip to the local bookstore, and lunch.

I told her I'd be happy to since, after all, today is Elvis' birthday and I felt a glass should be raised in his honor. But my flippant response camouflaged my real plan.

Kathy desperately wanted a ticket to see Obama's farewell address at MacCormick Place. I was pretty sure she wouldn't get one. After all, she now lives way out there in The Land Beyond O'Hare, and getting to the city by car at dawn, then finding a place to park, then getting into line in time seemed daunting.

So I decided to give her a way to celebrate Obama from her home on the day of the address. I found this glossy Conde Naste retrospective -- so she could flip through the pages and relive the glory days -- and made a contribution to Organizing for Action in her honor -- so that while she watches she'll know she has a part in helping his work continue.

On the way to church, as soon as I got into the car, she told me how disappointed she was that she didn't get a ticket to the farewell address. She noticed the envelope I was carrying and I lied, telling her I had some questions about my condo association's 2017 budget that she, as a realtor, might be able to answer.

I let her choose the restaurant and she selected a downscale but yummy Thai place. After we ordered, I handed her the envelope and she was so, so happy.

Her birthday isn't for another three weeks so she wasn't expecting it. It really didn't take any effort at all to put it together and surprise her. I must remember to be more thoughtful and do things like this more often in 2017.

Out, damned spot!

When I was a kid, we were not supposed to touch our dad's Lava Soap. My mother insisted it was too rough for our skin, and that it was only for the dark, ugly stains that our mechanic father brought home from work.

I think it's time for Bernie Brats to get out the Lava Soap. How else can they wash away the stain of helping to elect Donald Trump?

All last summer they bitched, they whined and obsessed about the Wikileaks about Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile. It was as though Julian Assange had re-released Shakespeare's witches chant around the cauldron: Double, double, toil and trouble!*

I couldn't help but notice that by the time the convention rolled around, even Bernie Sanders himself asked them to shut the fuck up about it. And, shockingly, they booed him.

They also booed Cory Booker, Elijah Cummings and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake -- making sure that voters of color all over the country knew how little respect they had for black voices. I'll always wonder what impact last summer's nationally televised display had on voter suppression.

Donald Trump has said that Vladimir Putin is a smart man. He's right. Through hacking and Wikileaks, Putin manipulated Democrats into carving one another up on the public stage -- over nothing that really mattered.

No one understood this better than Bernie Sanders himself:

“It is easy to boo, but it is harder to look your kids in the face if we are living under a Trump presidency. Politics is not easy stuff. You don’t get everything you want tomorrow — ask the people who fought in the civil rights movement.”

Grab the Lava soap, boo-birds. Start scrubbing.

*Props to me for keeping the Shakespeare references from the same play. Somewhere my high school English teacher is smiling.

Attention must be paid

Today I celebrate the King's birthday. I honor what he means to America and to pop culture. And, of course, his influence on those the Lads from Liverpool.

It felt good at the time, but ...

Today began with a lovely coffee shop breakfast (ham and cheese omelette, English muffin and a pot of chamomile tea). Then I ran some errands -- grocery shopping, camera store. After about four hours out and about I came home and took a two hour nap.

Woke up feeling refreshed, but then all I had time to do was my laundry ... and my Saturday was gone! I was so ambitious, and now ... pfft!

I guess that I should call my doctor and get that sleep study scheduled!