This Quote Gives Me Courage…

August 23, 2010

You are the right person, this is the right time, you’ve paid your dues, you’re thinking the right thoughts, you’re doing the right things, and this very moment, you are exactly where you’re supposed to be… poised for the happiest time of your life.


The Universe

You see, I’m planning to give notice this week…


In the Backseat and Harvest Moon

August 19, 2010

I just can’t get enough of these today…

Old Friends Think Alike

August 19, 2010

Yesterday I woke up and was greeted by this beautiful sky…

Only to be further greeted by this image, from one of my oldest friends, on Facebook.

Our tiny camera phones capture very nearly the same images of our Los Angeles lives.  Old friends think alike.

How to Be Alone

August 13, 2010

My friend shared this with me and I want to share it with you.


May 21, 2010

At what point do you stop boycotting something?

So I have never been before but I definitely boycotted Typhoon/The Hump in Santa Monica after finding out that they were serving endangered whale. Even though there is some aspect of Japanese culture that eats that as a delicacy, that is so obviously bad in Western culture.  I talked people out of going there.

I just wonder if there is some point when you call off a boycott. Both personal ones and organized ones.  There are somethings that you can boycott for the rest of your life.  But is there any point that you can return or start going somewhere like Typhoon/The Hump?

My inital reaction is absolutely I won’t go to Typhoon/The Hump.  But why?

This is not a perfect example but I am boycotting Arizona right now.  Just like I boycotted Florida after Bush “won”.  I assume that I will boycott AZ until someone overturns their new laws. But I also think that when it gets overturned, I will eventually go back (not that I really have to because even before these racist laws were enacted, Arizona was my least liked state in the union).

As reprehensible as serving endangered whale is, I’m confident that what is happening in AZ is 1000x worse than what happened at Typhoon/The Hump and has done much more damage.  So if at some point I feel like I can go back to AZ again, once they have redressed their errors, shouldn’t logically I be able to do the same for Typhoon/The Hump?  The thing is that I don’t feel like I want to go to Typhoon/The Hump but logically I should be able to.  Why is this? Is it because Typhoon/The Hump as a restaurant, is not as important to me as the freedom to travel to a state (even a state I despise?), and so I can cut it out a restaurant easily?  Do I feel like their reparations are not enough? It’s true, I don’t think a fine and an apology is enough reparation but what is enough?  Will anything be ever enough?  What if they had to pay for a whale breeding habitat?  Would that be enough?  If it will never be enough, why will nothing ever be enough for this but why will some point be enough for AZ reparation?  Especially since I think what is happing in AZ is multiples worse in terms of ethics.  Is it because in AZ, I feel like it’s the work of one Governor? Because it’s not, there are millions of people that back her.

I need to figure this out.  I’m still waiting for The Cove in my Netflix. (UPDATED 8/13/10:  Watched it loved it.  You should too.)

What are your thoughts?

Pay Off Your Debt!

April 1, 2010

In order to prepare for a RTW trip, you pretty much need to have no debt.   At least no credit card debt.

I cleared out $25K in 1 year.

I make a good salary but many people make tons more than I do and had no debt to begin with.

Some things that I did:

I paid more than $2000/month towards debt.  It was hard.

I started to walk to work to get additional money.  That got me $400/month  I took a second seasonal job.  That gets me $2000/year.

I transferred credit card balances.  That made me focus on paying it off within the timeframe, otherwise that low APR goes to 14.9%, 19.9%, 24.99% and that starts from the day you applied for it.

You may need to make major changes in your lifestyle that I’m you may not be willing to do.  It won’t be easy.  You have to be honest with yourself and really devote MAJOR sacrifices in how you spend your money.  Don’t want you to get mad at me and I don’t think you will but are paying off your debts your priority?  It should be.  If it isn’t your priority, its easy to get messed up.  If buying the latest gadget is your actual priority, you may choose buy the latest HDTV or a case for your netbook over paying off debt more often than you should.  You will do that when you really need it for yourself.

If this is something you REALLY want to do, you need to take control of it.  Refinance.  Stop talking about it and do it.  Do NOT hire a cleaning person.  Do it yourself or let it go for a while longer.  Or make it a very rare occurence to hire them.  Cut out or have fewer dinners with friends.  Cut out one drinks from the bar.  Transfer balances on to a lower card asap and stop using credit.  MAKE SURE that the transfer fee is reasonable and maybe even has a cap (like $75).  Generally these days they charge 3% fee to transfer and there is no cap ( I don’t really think this is a good deal unless you know 100% that you will pay off the cc before the APR kicks in).  It used to be different and there is a chance that you can still find something like that.  Be more strict on parking rules.  Don’t lose $300 a year to parking tickets and moving violations.  Consider how much you are spending on a car that might not be what works best for your lifestyle, even if you can afford it.  Maintenance and gas costs are significant.  Try not to drive for 3 days in a row or something.  Combine your meetings so that a bunch of people you need to meet with could be done at one time and you can stop doing them one on one.

You don’t have to cut out everything but if something is important to you then you need to cut out elsewhere.  If a standing date is important to you, then cut out meals out with other people.  Cut out drinks with people.  Only meet with people for a coffee or something cheaper.  Have an actual meeting that isn’t over food or drinks.  Just stop suggesting all together that you and so-and-so need to get together.  You probably get invited to enough events that you don’t have to suggest it yourself.  Talk to more people them via phone or email, something that has the cost already budgeted in.

The point is every bit helps.

Airline credit cards

March 25, 2010

I have a Chase United. I like it but so far I have only redeemed it once.

Has anyone ever really done the math? I have and I don’t like it.

The $60 annual fee sucks and I really don’t think people should get a card with miles and an annual fee unless you 1) buy a lot, a lot, a lot…I’m talking like $20K+ a year 2) intend to cancel it immediately after you get your bonus and free flight. That $60, if you don’t get and use a free flight immediately could be $240-300 within 4-5 years which is basically a flight in itself. I’m actually kind of irritated right now because I just got charged my $60 annual fee. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve paid and so far I’ve only used it on 1 flight. I probably should have redeemed something last month and then cancelled it but it’s got a good credit limit and it’s not good to cancel cards a lot for your credit rating, obviously, so I’m a not sure what to do right now so I keep paying. Most people are only able to get a free flight after years and years so it’s not really a good option for most people. I think it costs a min of 25K for a free rt (though I think you can do one ways at 12.5K now. And occasionally you will have to pay a service fee to get the flights that you want (sometimes the good ones are only available for $15 more on the phone and not for free website booking), etc.

As much as I love traveling, it seems like it is better to get a card that gives you cash back and no annual fee, if you are in a similar situation to me. You could earn about $50-100/year and then put that towards a flight if you want and then you also don’t lose the annual fees. Within 4-5 years you have like $600-800 (earned and saved).

The card I think I want to apply for is a Capitol One card (no, I do not work for them), though I’m afraid they don’t give out good limits. Seems like a card for young people without credit history. Supposedly, they are the only major credit card company that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. But I don’t really like the card options they have online. The rewards aren’t that great and some of the actual cards look terrible. The best plan is the MTV card but I don’t want and MTV logo on my credit card! It’s embarrassing. Now, they are offering the Venture card.  I think I may go that route, but the one with no annual fee earning 1.25 points per dollar, rather than the one that earns 2 points per dollar.

If you have checked out Capital One, let me know what you think.  Do they offer fair credit limits? How easy is it to redeem points?

A New Friend

March 24, 2010

Marc Jacobs Mercer Peet satchel (not the same purse I found)

Good news…after spending the better part of the afternoon rummaging through the purse, calling bad phone numbers, googling her, and calling her credit cards, I finally connected with the woman who left her purse at the cafeteria.

She called me about 30 minutes ago (after I left my phone number with her credit cards).  She was very happy and bought me a Coffee Bean Vanilla Ice Blended.

She is the nicest lady and I learned quite a bit about her in our brief encounter.  It was a little weird while we chatted because I already found out a bit about her through the bag rummaging.  Like when you run into an old friend and they tell you what they have been up to and you pretend like you didn’t know but you actually did know because you’ve seen all their latest Facebook statuses.  I am really good at gathering clues and investigation.  I have also been told that I would be an excellent detective or spy from people who know absolutely nothing about police or spy work.

We might have lunch next week.  Though she’s leaving her job on Wednesday so I won’t hold her to it if she’s too busy.   I love meeting people under unusual circumstances.

I think the Vanilla Ice Blended is already affecting me.

I forgot to mention that I finally got BUMPED!

March 22, 2010

On June 10, 2008, I wrote, “I keep hoping one day I will get bumped and reap the rewards” and published my popular post on “Airline bumping

I’m happy to announce it finally happened to me!  *happy dance*

How I did I manage this coup?  When the US Airways Charlotte – Los Angeles leg of my flight back from President Obama’s inauguration in DC (Did I forget to mention that I had seated tickets in YELLOW for that amazing event in January 2009?  I’m totally backlogged on recent adventures.  As soon as I get more time, this little blog is getting revamped and updated.) was totally overbooked.

They asked for 4 volunteers, I happened to be sitting close to the boarding gate desk.  You really should always be close to the desk.  Want to know why?  Because after the announcement, I stood up and started walking towards the desk (about 10 feet away), and this 60 year-old man (guessing) ran in front of me to be the first one at the desk!!!  Like stopped me in my tracks!  Apparently all daily niceties are thrown out the window when free flights come into play.  There is no chivalry in the airline bumping game, ladies!  Keep that in mind and be alert.  Everyone is out for themselves, even when people know that more than 1 volunteer is needed. 

I digress.

They offered a free round trip anywhere in the 48 contiguous U.S. states that U.S. Airways flies and the next flight was only 1.5 hours later.  Score!

I am now the proud protector of a free round trip anywhere in the 48 contiguous United States that U.S. Airways flies. 

I almost, almost was able to implement a 2nd bump by going to the boarding gate desk for my next flight.  But I think 60 Year-Old Unchivalrous Guy beat me.  You win this time, 60 Year-Old Unchivalrous Guy!  *shakes fist*

Where did I go?  I originally wanted to use it for New England in the fall but there were complications coordinating with A’s Southwest free flight so we used Southwest to Islip for the fall foliage trip.  I used the US Airways free flight this past February 2010 to go to Seattle for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics!

Vancouver, Canada

My Top 25 Albums…during 2008

March 12, 2010

I found something that I started 1.5 years ago, in October 2008. A list of my Top 25 Albums. Take a peek into what I loved in 2008…

A few months ago I posted my Desert Island Albums list.

At this moment in time, since I’ve been getting a lot of new music, these are my Top 25 albums in order…not much has changed in the past few months but I am putting them in order of ones I just love for whatever reason

At this moment in time, since I’ve been getting a lot of new music, these are my Top 25 albums in order…not much has changed in the past few months but I am putting them in order of ones I just love for whatever reason.

  1. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
  2. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
  3. Automatic for the People, R.E.M.
  4. London Calling, The Clash
  5. Parklife, Blur
  6. OK Computer, Radiohead
  7. Is This It?, The Strokes
  8. Up the Bracket, The Libertines
  9. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
  10. Odelay, Beck
  11. Coming Up, Suede
  12. Grace, Jeff Buckley
  13. Unplugged in New York, Nirvana
  14. Absolution, Muse
  15. The Queen is Dead, The Smiths
  16. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis
  17. Debut, Björk
  18. Definitely Maybe, Oasis
  19. The Man Who, Travis
  20. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac
  21. Tapestry, Carole King
  22. Rubber Soul, The Beatles
  23. Hunky Dory, David Bowie
  24. Different Class, Pulp
  25. Lovelife, Lush

Here is what I’m listening to now in no particular order:

  1. Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke
  2. In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy
  3. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill
  4. You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into, Does It Offend You, Yeah?
  5. Once Soundtrack, Glen Hansard
  6. Tapestry, Carole King
  7. Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords

I’m sure that this list wasn’t fully accurate, which is why it wasn’t published at that time but I loved this little time capsule.