The calendar is telling me that it’s time for the next Things I Love Thursday, so that’s what you’re about to get! This week was super exciting, because I got two days off, rather than just one! I always love when I can manage a second day off. Anyway, let’s get down to business. Let’s look at the things I loved this week!
Dean Street Between Washington Ave and Franklin Ave: At this point, I’ve figured out the best route to and from work when riding my bike. It’s fast, bike lane optimized, and completely different than the route I took when I drove. On the ride home, I end up taking Dean Street for a brief period of time. My favorite part of my commute is on Dean St between Washington Ave and Franklin Ave. It’s usually around 9pm or so when I get to this stretch of road. It’s always extremely quiet, filled with old factories on both sides (some of which may have been converted into apartment buildings, but not many. Sometimes I’ll see a random person walking down the sidewalk as I’m riding past. It always feels so calm and peaceful, and a stark contrast to almost every other busy road I bike down in New York City. It always makes me contemplate living on that stretch of road, and how isolating it would feel. Surrounded by empty factories rather than apartments filled with people. Living in a neighborhood that shuts down after 6pm, and everything suddenly becomes yours. I try to imagine what that stretch of road would be like as a destination rather than a passing moment while traveling elsewhere. I like it.
Paying myself: I currently live paycheck to paycheck. While this isn’t an ideal situation, I’m not ashamed of it. Things will get easier in the future, but for now I have to live with what I have. Which lasts me approximately a week and a half, and is a struggle until the next payday. Despite this, on every payday, I pay myself first before I pay any other bills. If you’ve ever read Rich Dad, Poor Dad you know what I’m talking about. I currently have three savings accounts (well, four savings accounts, but one I don’t really use). Each of these savings accounts works towards a different goal. One of these accounts is the traditional do-not-touch-this-money-ever account, the second is a savings account with a vacation fund, and the third is for saving money, little by little, for any big ticket purchases I may want to make in the future. Every paycheck before I do anything, I put a set amount of money into each of these accounts. Then I’ll pay all the bills due during that specific pay period. Then, with the remaining money, I’ll weigh the importance of eating to the importance of other purchases I may want at that time. Sometimes, towards the end of the pay period, I’ll run out of money and have to borrow from one of my savings accounts (usually the vacation fund), but I’ll always try to pay it back, and then some, with the next pay check. You’ll got to start thinking of saving like a bill, otherwise you’ll never do it. And start paying yourself first.
Getting College Acceptance Letters: I totally got my acceptance letter to go back to school yesterday! Awesome! I’ll be getting my second bachelors, this one in computer science. My first bachelors was in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Religion. Which was fascinating and fun, and an area where I definitely excelled, but not really a passion of mine. Now, math and computers, that’s definitely my field. It took me a few years to really figure that out, but it feels great. So, I decided to go back to school. I submitted my application for the 2010 Spring semester a few months ago, and had nothing left to do but wait. I was under the impression that I wouldn’t get a response until around November 15th, so when I received a letter from CUNY in the mail yesterday, I was quite surprised. And worried, at first, since it was a letter in a traditional envelope rather than a large packet (which usually means the letter starts with, “We regret to inform you…”). But, much to my excitement, this letter started with “Congratulations!” After a brief failed stint with online school last year, I had forgotten how great it feels to get a real acceptance letter. I’m still going to be working full time, although I’ll probably cut my work schedule from the current six days a week back down to five days a week. The plan is to get Tuesdays and Thursdays off of work, and then cram all my classes in on those two days, attending school full time. We’ll just have to see how many of my undergrad credits will transfer so I can see how many semesters I’ll need to graduate. I figure it’ll take a year or two. And a year or two of a crazy schedule for a lifetime of knowledge it’s too bad. I’ll suffer through it.
Pictures of my Cats: I have no problem admitting that a good third of the pictures on my iPhone are of my cats. At the very mention of cats, I can whip out my phone and overwhelm my companion with numerous pictures of my two cats in varying degrees of cuteness. And they always pretend to care, much like you do when a friend tells you there’s a song you need to hear. But I don’t care, because I know the pictures are amazing. Chavie, who spends 70% of her life on her back, is the most photogenic. Normally cats will move out of the cute pose when you go to grab your camera. But not Chavie. She doesn’t even move if she’s sleeping on the couch and you push her off. She’d land on her back and continue napping. And Maimy, the more active cat, never shies from jumping around and attacking for the camera. If I’m in an inspired mood, I’ll just snap photo after photo, which does nothing to change any perceptions that I’m just a creepy obsessed cat loving guy. I mean, being a crazy cat lady is one thing, but a crazy cat guy? Awkward, right? I don’t care, ask me to see pictures of my cats and you’ll be bombarded. Or don’t ask. I’ll show you anyway.
Watching People Play Video Games: I’ve never been a big video game person. I usually purchase gaming system right before the next greatest thing comes out, so I’m never in the loop with new games. And I never have the attention span to finish those long, drawn out RPG’s that sound so appealing when I read the descriptions. But it brings me great joy to sit back and watch other people play video games. Especially games with a storyline (rather than those large online games, those are boring to watch). These days, video games are on par with interactive movies, so they’re better to watch than they’ve ever been. The best part about watching a video game, rather than playing the game, that you get to sit back and relax, and only pay attention when you want. You can chime in, ask questions, and help, but the game continues completely independent of you. That’s all up to the person playing. You get the perks of trying to solve the puzzles, trying to figure out who to talk to and where to go, without worrying about what buttons do what and forgetting something important. Plus, you can come and go as you please. It’s all the perks of a video game with none of the investment or disadvantages. You literally can’t go wrong when you watch someone play a video game.
The Rest: Baking cookies, Sapphire on the rocks, remembering to put on cologne, queen sized beds, impromptu visits to 7-11, shooting a gun for the first time ever, shooting an AK-47 as my first gun ever, extra days off, pancakes, collapsable dinner tables, Modern Family, the snooze button, going to bed early and waking up early, acting on nostalgia, self control, spontaneous shopping spurts, Trainyard, long showers, cold weather, The Social Network, giving into vices from time to time, enforced productivity, organization, screens, Mplayer, Kava tea, comics, craigslist, having friends with similar interests, picture frames, candles, slippers, cats sleeping under covers, brushing my teeth, lazy evenings.
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