06 September 2006

A Roundtable of Updates: The Phonys, The Real Money & The Champ

Well, as I spent a bit too much time online for my hotel bill last night talking with a wayward friend, today's post will have to be a bit abridged compared to my usual style. Instead of posting an entry that I will later find problematic, I'll use this time to follow up on some long overdue updates.

  • Our dear blog 'commenter' and my dear friend Amanda was passed over for Best Actress at this year's Phony Awards (previously mentioned in my July 21 entry), but she did win Best Performance By An Actor in a Bit Part (Female) for her work as Miss Metcalf in "Splendour in the Grass".

    I apologize for such a lengthy delay in this good news, but as she and I were unable to get in touch until this past weekend (and then she promptly didn't return my call after I allowed her a potty break, for shame), I wanted to make sure I gave her the proper credit. Once again, I continue to proclaim her talents far and wide...and Montgomery County Theatre is damn lucky, indeed, to have her on their roster of performers. The picture is from that night's festivities (and please forgive the darkness of the photo), with our beguiling Amanda on the left...LOL. (Picture taken from MCT.)

  • Secondly, I've made significant headway getting off the 'hamster wheel of debt' (July 25). As you may recall from that entry, I had several bills I was still paying down towards the overall goal of being debt-free. Now here's the updates, as good and as bad as it is.

    As of September 6, the advancements and the plan :

  • reminders in the wallet for what I need to save for in my case, saving for Australian immigration and visa application procedures, helping me remind a need vs a want

  • weekly budget and goals planning sessions to stay on course

  • all monthly bills, including rent and misc, budgeted for and paid on time since this past January...and starting January 1, 2007, I will live on only 70% of my take home pay, with the remaining 30% split equally between retirement/investment and Aussie move savings

  • two discount store credit cards paid in full, no new charges

  • one auto repair maintenance card paid on full, no new charges

  • clothing store credit card paid in full every month, no new charges

  • gasoline cards paid in full each month

  • one college loan paid, no new charges

  • only one hospital/medical bill remains, and all doctor's remaining balances after insurance paid at time of service rendered

  • one major credit card with an outstanding balance (paying on a schedule to have the debt eliminated by this December), the only other credit card I have was paid in full, with no new charges

  • furniture/electronics card paid in full on August 18, no new charges

  • actively looking for a better credit card option, and I'm also carefully monitoring my credit report and FICO score for correct updates (which is actually far more damn complicated than it should be)

  • a personal loan which I have been paying on devoutly since end of Feb this year will be paid in its entirely by this New Year's Eve, even though some new evidence questions if I should be done by now...but my word is my word, so I'll honour it

  • increased 401k investing, and I've become addicted to CNBC's "Mad Money", "Fast Money" and "The Suze Orman Show" financial advice shows, as totally ridiculous as that sounds

  • pay off the remaining student loan by 31 December 2011 (5 years early with additional monthly payments over time), an adjusted date to allow for some additional Oz savings


  • never allow myself to get into debtor's hell again AMEN

    And, yeah, I still do get a high knowing that I am making some significant elimination of the debt picture. So even though I am very weary of eating leftovers all week long, I can smile easier now when I think about money...and I sleep very well now, too, as the endless worries have almost gone away. I highly recommend making the sacrifice of luxuries to anyone with a money management problem, for it truly is fantastically liberating.

    (Picture from Sitevip.net/Andre Agassi.)
  • Thirdly, my dearly beloved Andre Agassi is ending his glorious career in professional tennis. I've loved Andre since I first saw him on ESPN playing against another then-unknown named Jim Courier, and while I'm not a devout tennis fan, I've suffered watching countless matches of Andre, including a grueling double-ear infection US Open weekend marathon when I was 18 or 19. (And while we're talking about my devotion as a fan, can I just add that I always wanted to be a tennis player, and positively was glued to the set as a child watching Chris Evert? Although I hated Monica Seles' grunting and Ivan Lendl's eyelash-pulling antics. Bet you never figured that from me.)

    While Courier's game at that time was certainly more solid and I just remember Agassi running down countless shots he could have just let go, I was always taken with the brash Las Vegas-based star. He suffered through bad calls, faulty serving games, a marriage to Brooke Shields, and the loss of his once famous locks...but he's been a man about it all and made no apologies for any of it along the way. In a sport that so desperately needs anyone with some distinguishing personality and who is also able to come through in the clutch to win (somebody send this memo to Lleyton Hewitt, stat), the void that Agassi will leave is a mammothly large one. At last, though, he seems genuinely happy off the court and, in consideration of all of the back problems he's been plagued with recently, his departure is a timely one. A class act in a time when we can so rarely say that about any professional athlete.
  • 1 comment:

    anonymous jones said...

    Hi! That was nice what you said about Steve and Australia (though I don't know if the sun shines out of us THAT much!) It's a shame that Germaine Greer is now mouthing off for 15 seconds of fame. She reckons he was disrespectful to animals and was embarrassing. Well, we all pretty well reckon SHE is the embarrassment by being disrespectful to his mourning family!