Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Sorta Depressed

I've posted before about not feeling particularly funny, and once again I'm feeling a bit low these days. Don't mean to bring you down, and if you're feeling particularly chipper, maybe you should just move on to the next blog in your reader list.

First, my 401(k) is simply melting away.

I don't know why. It never did anything to anybody. It's not like it was threatening a scarecrow with a burning broom or something. I feed it regularly. It should be really happy. It's like that plant you keep watering, but turns brown and droops despite all the care you try to give it. This leads me to feel like I may be the one without a brain in the above picture.

If that picture represents peoples' savings, then I suppose this one must be the mortgage companies.

Yep, all these cheap houses that can't even stand up to a little wind are falling all over the mortgage lenders, and ruby slippers are currently selling for $700 billion.

Just look at the latest bill issued by the US Government:

We used to actually have dreams of possibly being able to retire early. We've been tracking our net worth as best we can for years. The first couple of years looked like we might be right on track. The last couple of years have sort of leveled out. The past few weeks look pretty bleak. I thought that I might be able to enjoy retirement starting as a relatively young man. I'm afraid that now I may be working at least a few more years. My hair's alread gray and I'm wearing bifocals.

Next, there's still a lot of work left to do on the house, as I've been chronicling from time to time here. There's painting to be done in several rooms, new carpet to install, new furniture to get in place, and new window treatments. We went to the paint store yesterday and they were out of ceiling white. This is something akin to McDonald's being out of Happy Meals or Victoria's Secret being out of bras. How does one run out of ceiling white? (Aside: Why are so many of my similes in terms of food and sex? That word is "similes" not "smiles", although most of my smiles are in terms of food and sex as well. Maybe I just answered my own question.)

Since I live here, I see the work to be done every time I walk through a room. (By the way, I may post soon about the joys of recaulking tubs and showers, which we've done recently. Mildew is special. At least that project is completed, unlike the other two we've started. Small steps. Teeny, tiny, wee, almost infitesimal steps.) Current plans are to do a second coat of ceiling white (assuming we can find any) next weekend, patch up some crown molding, and then we'll call the decorator and schedule carpet installation.

Third, someone who recently worked on my house tells me that this absolutely must be the next big project:

Lovely. A new roof. Seems that some of the shingles on the current roof, while looking just fine from the ground, are actually so thin at this point that you can read a newspaper through them. It's just fortunate for me that nobody reads newspapers any more, or I'd be in real trouble.

Fourth, I've been summoned for jury duty.

I have mixed feelings about this. I don't have to go to work and Fairfax County will pay me the princely sum of $30.00 per diem, but I do have to trudge down there in the morning, find the place, park, and then sit and read for 8 hours. I hope. I sure hope I don't get on some multi-day trial. They won't even let me take a knife with me like Henry Fonda did. This is why people don't register to vote, folks.

Fifth, winter is upon us.

I hate winter. I'm currently loving the highs in the lower 70's, but there's already a nip in the air in the mornings, our heat has come on once or twice, and it's just a matter of time before it's below 50 degrees, which is too cold for me. Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm a real pansy. Screw you. I don't like cold weather and any delay in my retirement means I have to put up with a few more years of it.

Finally, there is a significant number of people out there who will, next month, despite every definition of reason that I can come up with, vote this way:

Sadly, their vote counts just the same as mine. Look at that button again. One of these people is extremely happy to be on this ticket with their running mate. The other one has a sort of "what just happened here?" look. Even in this still photo, you sort of get the "Omigod what have I done?" thought process alongside the "I'm not too sure what's going on, but I'm darn happy about it" thought process.

So there it is. My short-term future involves juries, home improvement, and new roofs; my longer-term future may have irrevocably changed over the past month; and I don't understand the voters in this country at all.

If you've read this far, I hope this hasn't depressed you in any way. Look at like this, things pretty much have to get better, right?

Oh yeah, and my left knee hurts.


lacochran said...

Those glasses look familiar. Did you star in an Old Navy commercial a few years back?

Bilbo said...

I was feeling pretty good this morning until I read this and realized that we are probably the same person. Except that not only is my 401k melting away, but my IRA lost about 12% of its value...AND...the funds manager is going to charge me a "maintenance fee" for overseeing the loss. I think we're screwed no matter who we vote for, but I agree with you on the McCain-Palin ticket. Australia is looking better all the time.

zipcode said...

I hope things get better for you and I need some tips on re caulking the bathroom tub - omg what mess thats gonna be.

Herb of DC said...

I was already depressed so really this didn’t make it any worse.

The good news is we will always have the Trunk Monkey to cheer us up.

BTW if you paint your ceiling a few shades lighter than the wall it makes the ceiling apear higher. Employees at Lowes paint department are always happy to custom mix this for you. Just ask nicely and make sure you have Trunk Monkey with you.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

I don't understand voters in this country either. How the hell did McCain end up on the ticket in the first place?

Cape Town or Vancouver--either one--are looking pleasant about now. Of course, given today's market dive, the inside of a shopping cart could be the next hearth and home around here. Ugh.

LivitLuvit said...

My right knee hurts. I popped a squat between cars in an abandoned parking lot Saturday night, and fell over- TWICE- leaving a sizable purple goose egg on my knee. So at least you didn't fall over while peeing on yourself, drunk, in a sketchy DC neighborhood AT NINE PM on Saturday night.

......Are we laughing yet? A little smile, perhaps? Come on, that's classic vaudeville. Well, maybe not "classic" so much as "Lilu is special." I'm trying.

GreenCanary said...

The only way I make it through the day is to stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes, and yell, "LA LA LAAAAAAA!" at the top of my lungs.

Gilahi said...

lacochran - No, but I did play God in that movie with John Denver.

bilbo - Crap, I forgot all about my IRA. Now I'm even more depressed. Thanks. Unfortunately, it's too early for me to come up with any sort of IRA joke. I figure it has to be some terrorism joke comparing it to the other IRA. Maybe later.

zipcode - OK, I'll work on that blog. Between that and jury duty, I should have plenty of material on tap.

herb - since my walls are now a super-pale green and the ceiling is white, it should soar like the Sistine Chapel (did I spell that right?). And re the TM, it's sort of like those Crackberries. Once you're used to having a Trunk Monkey with you, you never want to leave home without it.

j.m. - Vancouver? Really? See, I'm already complaining about winter. I'm thinking Mexico or Costa Rica.

LiLu - You're right. Imogene Coca couldn't have done any better. By the way, we have the photos. How much are they worth to you?

canary - What a great idea! How long would I have to do that before the judge locks me up for contempt of court?

LivitLuvit said...

Oh crap. I'd love to give you money but we're all broke now that the economy's in the toilet. How does some pocket lint and a pair of bacon panties sounds?

Gilahi said...

LiLu - I would love some pocket lint, but I'm a vegetarian. My guess is that you wouldn't be willing to part with any cucumber panties, huh?

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