punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Last minute Holiday wrap-up

Last night, I finished my Christmas shopping. I figured what didn't arrive already won't be here until after Christmas. All the important crap got here in time, with a few items somewhere in shipping/eBay limbo.

For what little shopping I did on eBay, I certainly didn't have a good experience. I bid on several things, lost on most of them, and the three things I won, two were canceled, and one ... is missing. Luckily, if it never shows, I am only out $12. One of the things I like about working for a small company is I can have packages shipped to me at my business address, and I know someone will always be here to sign for them. At AOL, they specifically requested you NOT having anything shipped to you, I think because of a rampant theft problem we had in shipping at one point. I am not sure how bad it was, but I kept hearing about a pallet of 150 Mac G3s (back when they were new) being stolen and untraceable. Shipping also blindly signed for anything, so just because shipping signed for it didn't mean you actually got it, so if you ordered server parts, and only got one box of three... well, someone signed for all three, says FedEx... not our problem. But because of the security where I work now, *everything* is logged. It also helps we only have 30 or so employees.

Last night, I took CR out to the local mall for the final, what I like to call "touch-up" shopping. He wants to go Christmas Eve to see the chaos. I told him it was a little less than Black Friday, but meaner and more desperate. "All RIGHT!" he said. Heh. It's kind of amazing, when I am at the mall with him, I revert to teen mode pretty quickly. At "Build-a-Bear," they had a laundry hamper filled with fluff, and I put my hand through it going, "Look... bear guts! Ewww..."

CR is doing well with his new splint.

I was pretty exhausted when I got home, though.

Part of my worries are about this coming home equity loan we're doing. It's so we can fix that deck, and we have pretty much decided on one general contractor. We're also getting a Saturn VUE to replace the too-small Saturn Coupe we have. And probably getting a new fridge. We can do this now because my house payment only went up about $100/mo, and I am making more now than I was last year. But I worry. This loan we have to hang on for at least 2 years; if we pay it off early, we get penalized. I don't like being in debt, but the equity in this house is staggering compared to what we paid for it five years ago.

One thing we found out about the loan: our credit rating is the best it's ever been. I have worked hard for the last 9 years trying to get our finances on track. When I started in 96, we were probably $15,000 in debt as a hangover from CR's taxing birth, my unemployment for 2 years, plus rampant crushing poverty problems that come from... well, being poor (when you are poor, you neglect things you can't afford until they become critical, which is always more expensive, and that's a cycle that is hard to break). I don't like being in debt. I have credit card debt right now, and while it's not as high as a lot of people's, I am still uncomfortable with it, because if one of us loses our job, we'll be crushed like an insect under a metal boot. I have a fair bit in savings, enough for 2 months' salary of selling the house in a panic move, plus AOL's old 401k (I don't have 401k at work), plus takayla's 401k, and a few other bricks of cash I have stored behind the drywall (not really).

Oh, and that "yellow bathroom" upstairs will progress a little more, thanks to a gift from a pair of certain people who will help me next week :).
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