This is the X10. It’s just about as good as the X100. ONLY it’s a lot cheaper.
This is what I want, now.
Maybe a gift to myself once I cut another debt?
This is the Fujifilm x100 and it’s lovely. It looks old school, and I got to take a picture or two with one a few months ago, and I can’t get it out of my head.
It costs more than a month’s rent, and I have other debts to pay off, but this is a camera that I’d like to own one day.
Let me know if you see it for about half of what they’re asking.
Stranger things have happened!
- Review: Fujifilm FinePix X10 (stuffmideast.com)
- Fujifilm X100 Black pictures and hands-on (pocket-lint.com)
- Hands-on with the X-Pro 1: Streamlined controls and bright lenses in the same stylish package (digitaltrends.com)
In my day job, I subscribe to Inc’s online sales newsletter. It talks about all kinds of small business success stories — mainly in terms of hard sales or door-to-door campaigns.
But then, today, something else came along. Ten questions that create success. And it blew me away. The author says to think of these things every day, and that it’s okay when the answer is “not today” but they’ll improve your life if you think of them every day.
They’re worth reprinting here, just for reference. They’re already in my journal.
1. Have I made certain that those I love feel loved?
2. Have I done something today that improved the world?
3. Have I conditioned my body to be more strong flexible and resilient?
4. Have I reviewed and honed my plans for the future?
5. Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?
6. Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?
7. Have I accomplished something worthwhile?
8. Have I helped someone less fortunate?
9. Have I collected some wonderful memories?
10. Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?
Okay, yay or nay on this?
The salted sugar cube
2012 is going to be a great year! My best friend is going to get married and throw one heck of a party, another really good friend is going to have a wedding, one of my friends is in the final fingers-crossed stage of an adoption, and who knows what else we’ll see?
Well, here are my goals for 2012:
Get completely, 100% out of credit card debt. This is going to happen in a few months, and there will be a happy dance all over the place. I’m aiming for finishing off that credit card by the time my friend has her wedding, so it doesn’t look like swamp thing was at her wedding. Right now it’s set to be done in May, and her wedding is at the end of April. Diligence will pay off.
- Do ten pullups. I was going to write “do one pull up” but I figure, once I can do one, then I can do ten. And putting “do one pull up” on a goal list for the next twelve months is a bit wussy, even for me.
Participate in a triathlon. Gulp. My boss is doing the Portland Triathlon with his son and he’s trying to recruit the rest of the office. It’s a 1.5 mile swim in open water, a 25 mile bike ride, and a 10k run. All at once. This is a stretch goal. It’s on the other side of possible, but only just. It’ll be super challenging, and a bit expensive to get into (seeing as I don’t have a bike or swim gear!) but I think I can do it. Scratch that. I know I can do it.
- Be more charitable. Give $100/month by the end of the year. I’m 20% of the way there.
- Get caramel business off the ground. Any ideas on a name for this?
Yep, 2012 is going to be a fun one!
- What I’ll be Doing in 2012 (If the World Doesn’t End) (carlybananas.com)
- Tips to Keep your New Year Resolutions in 2012 (moneyexpert.com)
- 6 Tips To Making Your Savvy New Year’s Resolutions Stick (businessinsider.com)
- New Year’s Resolutions: A User’s Guide (wdfyfe.wordpress.com)
I went searching to find my 2011 resolution list. Let’s see how I did:
- eat breakfast every day: I did this for six months, and just couldn’t keep it up. I get up really early and just can’t eat breakfast in the 6 o’clock hour. But I do actually eat in the mornings more often than not nowadays, and I am happy with that progress.
- be more open to new ideas: I’m definitely more open minded and more open to new learning opportunities. I’m thinking of ways to expand my horizons.
- be more positive: This is definitely an area where I have improved greatly. I have framed my outlook in terms of thinking of how lucky I am, how many things I have, rather than focusing on what I don’t have.
- let mean comments roll off my back: I would call this a partial win. There are some people who can still say mean things and get me upset, but my guess is that’s how it’ll always be. For the most part, though, I don’t spend time with people who say mean things.
learn how to cook meat: Partial win, too. I am significantly more comfortable with meat, and I can only think of one time where the thing I made went from the table to the trash, and I think it’s just that I’m not a huge fan of ribs. I learned to cut up a whole chicken, I can cook pork tenderloin, I’m an expert with sticking something in the slow cooker, and I can even cook steak. The fact that my diet has become more meat centric forced me to get better at this, since let’s be honest, there’s only so much ground beef a person can eat.
- run a 15k with emily and dave: Well, this was probably cheating, since I think at the time of writing my 2011 resolutions, Emily’s plane ticket had already been purchased. I ran it, and had a blast. I ran a half marathon, too, and then I stopped running. I think I put on jogging shoes and went jogging six or seven times since April.
- travel for work: A win, I suppose, but a silly goal, in retrospect. I went to Colorado and New York in the early part of the year and Park City, Utah in the summer.
- travel for fun: Yes, definitely. However, I think that some of the travel was to make my relationship more fun. And I realized something really important: if you have to travel every month (or more!) to keep your relationship fun, you’re doing it wrong and it won’t last.
- love more: Yep. Win.
- be less skeptical: Hmmm. Some of these (like this one!) make me wonder what I was referring to, exactly. Skepticism is good, and exists for a reason. The opposite of skepticism is blind faith and that’s not something I’m good at. I’m more open to new ideas, but I’ll forever be skeptical. I’m not as apt to listen to my critical inner voice as I once was, so let’s call this a partial win. And a reminder to make my 2012 resolutions decidedly less vague.
- believe in myself: YES! Much more than I was. I’m going to include listening to my gut, because I finally got around to that in the summer and haven’t looked back since.
- give the benefit of the doubt: This one is kind of hard, actually. I definitely don’t think the absolute worst every time someone says something, but I still need to be a bit more generous and assume that people mean the best when things are unclear.
All in all, not bad. For next year, my goals need to be SMART (I can hear the teacher voice of my sister coming through here):
2012 goals to come!
- How to Stick to your 2012 Resolution – Beauty from Within (modealanix.com)
I’ve been really focused lately. Focused on work, on family, on friends, on writing. Focused like a laser, trying to dig my way out of debt. Focused on Christmas, too. On filling my days with happiness.
On giving. I made holiday gifts (though I haven’t mailed them to those I haven’t seen in person) and I’ve given those out.
And now, somehow, unexpectedly, I find myself thinking over the spirit of Christmas. What is Christmas? I believe that the definition is rather personal. At least for me it is, since I am a non-believer. But I love Christmas. I love the lights that I can see at night. I love the look in a kid’s eye when I ask if he’s sure he’s on the nice list this year. I love spending time with my sister, my mom, my dad, and all 78 pets.
I love the way Christmas makes me feel. The Christmas version of Kathleen is happy. She laughs easily, she’s not so cynical, and she judges people less. She gives to people holding signs. She wears holiday attire, though she is still too young to pull off the Christmas sweater look.
And yet, the season gives me pause. On Thanksgiving I wrote that I was thankful that all of my problems were first world problems. I can’t help but think that I don’t give enough money away. It makes me feel guilty that the only giving I do goes to my local NPR affiliate. I’m one of those middle-class, NPR listening, fancy-coffee drinking, local-food eating liberals who are too selfish to see that their actions don’t reflect their values.
My actions don’t reflect my values. According to my actions, making caramels and paying my credit cards are more important than helping others. And that doesn’t sit well with me.
So I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to donate every month. Not just to Oregon Public Broadcasting, either. Today, I gave to World Vision. Sure, they’re an evangelical group, but they do good work. I don’t want to sponsor a child, but I do want to give. There’s a section on their site that’s called “area of most need” — that sounds noble. I only gave a little, but I intend to donate at least ten dollars a month to some sort of charitable organization.
And I’m going to give to the people holding signs in the cold. If you’re holding a sign and standing on the corner on my commute to work (I get to work around 7 or 7:30) I will give you money.
I don’t know what else to do, and I don’t know how else to give back. But it’s important to me. So if you have any ideas for this season and beyond, please let me know.
Current state of affairs:
And then, a better way to visualize:
Join me as all those go to zero!
So, Thanksgiving is easily one of my favorite holidays. The weather is just plain gross out there, so we’re stuck inside anyway — why not hang out with people we love? Add in delicious food, some football, a parade and a dog show and really — I could not be happier.
This year I’m thankful for a lot of things. Since I love lists, I’ll just list some of the things I’m thankful for (things for which I’m thankful?) here.
I’m thankful for:
- Staying grounded. Literally. I’m glad I don’t have to fly to see my loved ones.
- Shelter. When it’s pouring down rain, I’m grateful I am inside.
- Words with Friends, the Scrabble game on my phone — I’m koprim if anyone wants to play!
- Scarves with pockets.
- The fuzzy feeling of a new sweatshirt.
- Christmas jammies.
- Coffee in the morning. A working coffee pot, and a boss who’s nice enough to buy me a coffee when the pot breaks.
- Fresh sheets.
- Other people’s pets. All the fun, none of the responsibility!
- Realizing that every single one of my problems is a first world problem.
one sister + one parent + two best friends + one boyfriend + one weekend in Hood River =
the happiest Kathleen
I recently posted that my consumer debt (credit card, Toyota, and student loan) was just about $20K. This is a staggering number, since my annual income is just about double that. I was nervous to publish this number as having debt of any kind (except you, student loans) seems like a failure in the educated circles where I hang out.
Just publishing that number has made me much more conscious about the money in/money out cash flow scenario. Accountability is key! So, here are my debts, listed in the order of most painful to least painful:
Credit Card Debt: $4244. This number is the one about which I am most ashamed. It’s not from Thai takeout or shoes (though I’m sure I wasn’t frugal enough about those either) — it comes from an investment I made in a friend-of-a-friend’s no-fail, no-brainer business. Long story short, it failed. I didn’t use my brain. Takeaway: do not use the checks that come with your credit card, for any reason. Also known as: do not use one form of debt to pay another.
Toyota: $6600. Okay, so this one isn’t Lamborghini, so there isn’t any real reason to feel bad about this. But I cannot recall a more upsetting sales/buying experience, and will likely never go to that particular dealer again. I can’t help but think I got taken for a bit more money than my trusty Corolla is worth.
Student loans: $8411. This one doesn’t keep me up at night, because the rate is fairly low, I did not abuse this line of credit in any way, and needed help paying for college. Also, I went to a college which, at the time, was a reasonable “deal” and gave me financial aid. I’d go to college again if I had it all to do over, but it’s still consumer debt, and I’d still be happier once it’s gone and out of my life.
Using the debt snowball approach (which says to ignore interest rates and pay off the debt that hurts you most first), I will pay off as much of the credit card as I can. I’m paying $450 a month automatically, and if there is anything left at the end of the month after everything else has been paid, then I will pay a bit extra.
Thanks to my very generous mom, the balance is on a 0% card for the next 18 months or so. According to mint (my favorite way to track pennies in and pennies out) I’ll have that gone by June 2012.
I’m trying to think of an incentive to get me motivated to pay it off more quickly, and at this point I’m thinking stick, not carrot, and holding off on getting a hair cut until my credit card debt is paid off. Problem is, I’m a little worried that I’ll end up looking like Harry from Harry and the Hendersons if I wait that long. I may make an exception if there’s a Groupon deal worth doing, but I’m going to wait until 2012.
In order to have more room in the budget to throw at the credit card, I will:
- avoid buying clothes
- make more dinner at home
- cut the amount of “stuff” in my house, selling anything that might be useful to someone else (but is no longer useful to me)
- move into a more affordable place after March 1, 2012 (when my lease is up)
- start working on websites for friends and family and start marketing those in my spare time
- get creative with holiday gifts
- stay away from retail as a general rule
- visit my parents more to get food from their freezer ;)
- be thankful for what I have, and try not to focus on things that I want but do not have
- start bartering. What could I get for a batch of delicious salted caramels?
Another navel-gazing post!
Deal with it. It’s my birthday week. Until Thanksgiving. Then the pilgrims can have November back.
Things that I will do while in my 30s:
- Get (and stay!) completely out of debt — that includes credit cards, car loan, and student loan. Only after those debts are paid in full am I allowed to contemplate buying real estate. I’m going to keep myself honest and track my debt here, on or around the first of each month. As of today, my total consumer debt is a whopping $20,269.35. Next update: beginning of December.
- Start a side business — I’m starting that now, actually. I’ll be helping people create very simple, very elegant web sites. I’m of the (very strong) opinion that every business (no matter how small) needs a website, but I’m of the equally strong opinion that it shouldn’t be too expensive, and it should be easy, once in place, for the person who owns the website, to update it. I’ll even teach you how to update it in the future. Any takers? Other ideas include Kathleen’s caramel, snuggle pants, advertising here, opening a distillery, an Etsy shop, etc.
- Write a Novel — this will happen in the next decade. And it will be somewhere on the spectrum, between “mindless drivel no one will read” to “Pulitzer material” but it will absolutely happen.
- Make the product I work on profitable. We’re close, but not quite there yet, and in the next decade, I would like us to get to the point where we fire all of our other clients and work solely on the product I love.
- Travel. I love traveling to new and familiar places. I intend to do even more of this, once my #1 goal is met and I have more room in the ol’ budget.
That’s it. I want to be a better friend/daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece/coworker/girlfriend too — not just while I’m in my 30s, but forever.
I was going to put “marriage/babies/mortgage” on this list, but then I thought long and hard about it, and decided against it. I would love to be a wife and a mom and a homeowner but those aren’t in my ten-year plan. Which means that instead of plotting for those, I’ll focus my energy on getting out of debt, starting a side business, writing a novel and traveling, and let the other pieces fall where they may.
In six days, I will no longer be in my twenties. I joked with my friend yesterday about how I had a week to get married, have a baby and buy a house. She said I better get started!
When I was a kid, I could imagine some day, well into the future, where I would be 30. I would have a family, my best friend would be my neighbor, and our kids would play, and have just as much fun as we were having. I probably thought we’d live in the same houses, since he was my neighbor when I was a kid. And we did have fun.
I bet even ten-year-old Kathleen wouldn’t be disappointed with how her life turned out. If she could see me, she would see that I’m still independent, I’m working in a cool job, I have really good friends, and I still consider my best friend from childhood to be among my favorite people. She would see that I’m lucky, and she would understand why I don’t have a house or a couple kids of my own.
In my twenties, I accomplished many things.
- I graduated from college
- I traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad
- I fell in love
- I got my heart broken
- I spent too much money on an investment that sounded good
- I moved across the country
- I moved back to Portland
- I held hands
- I kissed in the rain
- I had so many adventures with friends, family and loved ones
- I faced a few hard truths about myself
- I took many jobs
- I left many jobs
- I followed my heart
- I learned about the importance of family, close and extended
And as far as ten-year-old Kathleen? If I could tell her that the two kids in the neighborhood — one girl, one boy — are absolutely worth hanging on to, I would. One will become a very good friend who mails you scarves when you talk about scarves with pockets and lives in your computer except you’ll get to see her more than you could ever hope to; and one will be a friend who moved back to Olympia and you can go months and months without talking to, and one day you can pick up the conversation right where you left off!
I would like to read every novel that has won the Pulitzer prize for fiction (or before that, novels). I have a Google document to help me keep track. So far, I have been exceedingly happy about this decision, and I feel like the people giving this prize know a thing or two about really good fiction.
This is in contrast to how I feel about the Nobel Prize for literature. I feel like that prize is awarded to important pieces of fiction, verses a really well-told story. I don’t have enough free time to read books I don’t like. I’m a recovering book-finisher — up until this summer, there wasn’t a book I picked up that I didn’t finish, save (loaned by an ex as his “favorite book of all time” — I couldn’t understand it, couldn’t see how it was “about more than motorcycle maintenance,” and generally did not like it) but this summer, I happened upon a couple of really awful books, and I was able to put them down after reading a chapter or two. of Motorcycle Maintenance
Anyway, Mr. Pulitzer has very good taste. And by “very good taste” I mean “selects things I like” — though, let’s be honest, that’s what everyone means when they say that something is good, is it not?