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Friday, February 27, 2009

Mixed Emotions

These past few days have brought up several conflicting emotions.

I'm scared of what the future may hold, disappointed that I have to close down the business that I've worked so hard on, troubled that my only finacial recourse seems to be bankrutcy, resigned that I have to ask my parents for financial help, heartbroken that I will have to leave my close friends behind as I begin this new phase in my life.

On the other hand, I'm excited by the new opportunities that await me, thrilled that I will finally be able to live my dream of traveling while making a living, hopeful that it will all work out better than I can imagine now, determined to make it all happen in a short period of time.

I think I'm going to need a lot of hugs in the next few months.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Proof That I Was a Slacker

I've spent the last several days scanning old photos, journals, & school essays. Like many of us, I had a serious case of senioritis in high school. Here's the proof.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bankrupt

I spoke with a bankruptcy lawyer today. He said that my best option was probably Chapter 7, which would absolve me of the mortgage & my credit card debt. Then he told me that his fee to take the case is $2300. Does anyone else see the irony in this?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Poetry Corner

SECONDS

With so short a time to live and think
about stuff, I've spent just about
the right amount of time on this
butterfly.


Richard Brautigan, 1971

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Whew! I spent all week cleaning houses - 14 houses, to be exact. I even cleaned on my birthday, which was Thursday. I could have felt sorry for myself because I was tired & achy, but actually I was just glad to have a job, even if it was just for one week.

My birthday got better as the day went on. After cleaning four houses that day, I went to the studio for classes. My students brought me flowers & a vegan cake, & sang Feliz Cumpleaños to me. Afterwards, I met my friends at Four Peaks Brewery for some chow & brew, & then most of us headed over to the Yucca Tap Room for Rock-a-Roake. It was awesome! I got home pretty late, but the next morning when the alarm went off for yet another day of house cleaning, I was happy thinking about what a great birthday I had.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cleaning Lady

I've been helping a friend clean houses all this week, trying to get some extra dough. Three houses yesterday, three today, & more tomorrow. I'm soooo tired.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kittens, Inspired by Kittens!



I stole this from Melissa's blog - Thanks, Melissa!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Awakening

I've been trying these last several months to figure out how I can still make my Plan work, even though the Economy is in the tank. I finally came to a very important realization today.

First, for those of you who don't know The Plan:

I've been working towards living a life of simplicity & mobility. I aspire to live permanently in a state of flux (is that a contradiction?). I've been selling off my possessions little by little, I've been searching for someone to take over my business, & I've been trying to find a way to sell my house or rent it out while I'm traveling around the world, working temporary jobs here & there, moving on to something else when whatever gig I have ends. Possibilities for work include teaching English abroad, working on farms for room & board, working in our national parks, working on a cruise ship, etc. Deadline for living life on the fly: June 2009.

I've wanted to do this for years now, & I finally have my chance. What better time than now? I love to travel, I love to see new things, I thrive on change. I'm single, kid-free, pet-free, & it's near to impossible to get a "real" job right now. Still, I wanted to remove myself from conventional life responsibly. I didn't want to do anything that would hurt my credit, or that would somehow hurt my relationships with friends & family. But today, I started considering that maybe it's just not possible to be that responsible. Today I realized that I will have to take some very drastic measures - & soon.

Four financial thorns in my side:
1. The Business
2. The House
3. Credit Cards
4. Student Loans

The lease at the studio ends in April. I have decided to close down the business then. I'm going to call the bank to talk with them about the mortgage, but I will most likely have to let the house go into foreclosure. & I'm going to talk with a lawyer about bankruptcy (anyone know a good lawyer?).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Obama Saves Homes

President Obama is set to speak from Phoenix this coming Wednesday about the housing foreclosure crisis. I hope that his plan will somehow help to save me from my own housing crisis.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Surfside 4

I spent the morning today cleaning houses with a friend of mine. I'll be doing the same all next week. I'm thankful for the few extra bucks in my pocket, but it sure was hard work! I wound up taking a nap before heading out to the studio this evening.

After Movie Night at The Spanish Place tonight, I hopped over to the Yucca Tap Room with a couple of stragglers to listen to the Surfside IV. It was a great way to end the day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taxes Schmaxes!

I've started doing my taxes online with TurboTax. One good thing about owning a business is that you get to write off just about everything! Hmm... That might be the only good thing about owning a business.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad turned 68 today - Happy Birthday, Dad!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Rain

"The rain. Sometimes it gives me the blues."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chinese "Festival"

I went to the Phoenix Chinese Week Spring Festival yesterday at the Chinese Cultural Center. It turned out to be just another gathering of vendors under white tents. It really had very little to do with a true "festival". Is this just a Phoenix phenomenon?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life for Sale

I finally sold my grandmother's dining room chairs today. Six in all: $100. I've had them for about 15 years, since my grandmother died. They've been through lots of moves & lots of roommates. Six less things on my list of possessions.

I'm in the middle of getting rid of all of my stuff so that I can live life traveling. I've had a couple of yard sales, reducing my useless stuff quite a bit. But I still have some useful stuff, too. Some of it I've been passing on to friends, but I've been listing several of my "nicer" things on Craig's List, hoping to generate a little bit of travel cash. But the interest that I get from Craig's List is fleeting at best, so I'm glad that the chairs finally sold.

It's amazing how long it takes to "un-do" yourself & leave conventional living behind.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Oriental

Another of my employment options while traveling is to teach English in China. Meng Ying, one of my Chinese tutors said that she took classes at the New Oriental school, & highly recommends it.

It couldn't hurt to check them out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

National Park Service Rejections

Back in November I applied for all of the jobs on the National Park Service's website that I even sort of thought I was qualified for. So far, I have received two rejections. Apparently, they don't think I would make a good Lead Maintenance Worker, nor would I excell as a Park Guide. Hmpf.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cruising

Here's an interesting article about life as a cruise ship employee written by a veteran cruise ship worker:

This job includes medical & dental insurance! I'm going to put some feelers out - maybe they need Spanish instructors.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jam-Packed Fun-Filled Weekend

My weekend started on Friday, since it was the 5th Friday of the month. When a month has five Fridays, I take the 5th Friday for myself. Normally, I use the long weekend to go out of town, but I decided that, since The Economy is in the tank, it would be better to save my money. So I stayed home & had a really great weekend anyway.

I began Friday morning with my favorite yoga class with Barb at SWIHA in Tempe. I love this class because it's just beyond my ability level, making it just the right amount of challenging. Often, we'll do a series of positions that I'm familiar with, then suddenly Barb will say something like, "Now put your leg here!" I always try it (chuckling all the while), but don't always get my leg exactly there.


After yoga class, I spent the rest of the day at the movie theater, watching a total of three movies! See my Movie Blog for details.





On Saturday, I went out to the Superstitions to hike Flat Iron. The weather was perfect, yet again. What a great hike!





Saturday night, I went over to one of my students's house to watch an episode of Amor Mío, & try to type up the dialog in hopes of making a Spanish class out of it somehow.

On Sunday, I met with Juliana, my Chinese tutor. I'm slowly improving. We actually had a conversation in Chinese about my triple feature at the movie theater! One day I'll be able to discuss more profound topics, but for now, I'm happy I can understand anything at all.

Then I went to my friend Tracy's house to watch the Super Bowl. I'm not much of a sports fan, but this was a great game!