this, that.

Thing 1: I promise to never die.
We had a 401k meeting at work this week, because we were switching to Principal. I am a hands-off investor, which means that I completely ignore my 401k. When the quarterly statements come, I don't even open them. My knowledge of the current status of the markets depends on whether I happened to be in the car when "Marketplace" was on the radio, and even then I only think about it in terms of whether they played "We're In the Money" or "Stormy Weather" at the beginning of the show. Money comes out of my check, and in 40 years, there will be a lot of it. That's all I care about.

Because we were switching investment management companies, we had to fill out new paperwork, including a beneficiary form. Previously, I have always specified my mom. But I was thinking that I would put Josh down this time. In another five months, he would get the money automatically, but might as well simplify things in case anything happens before March. Sorry, Ma.

I told Josh about this, about how he'd get like $10k, which would enable him to keep paying the mortgage until he figured out what to do. Then I started thinking out loud, about how he and Trevor could just continue to live there, because between the two of them they could totally make the payments. The more I talked, and particularly the more actual numbers I mentioned, the wider and more terror-filled his eyes got. It wasn't the thought of me dying, it was the thought of having to think about money. Seeing his face, I stopped.

"I just won't die, okay?"


Thing 2: 56 days
The Red Cross called me again this week to set up a blood donation appointment. I think it must have been exactly 56 days (8 weeks), the length of time you're supposed to wait between donations. So I said I'd come in after work yesterday.

It was fine, but I think that from now on, I will avoid appointments at the end of the donation day. The workers seemed a little eager to get out of there, and I felt a little manhandled. The part of my elbow with a needle sticking out of it (the "donation site") continued to pinch a bit the whole time, which is unusual. Also, my arm was numb by the end, which is probably not supposed to happen. But I didn't die or pass out, so I guess it was fine. And I confess that I probably do not do my best work at the end of the day, but then again, I'm not shoving needles into people. Lesson learned.

The other problem is that in 56 days, when I am able to give again, I will probably have missed the period where they give away the Christmas ornaments. I'm never going to get the whole set of blood ornaments now.

Thing 3: Higher taxes and horse trails
We, like probably everyone else in the world, have been getting lots and lots of election mail. Rather than get frustrated by the half-truths and out-of-context quotes, I've been enjoying the imagery. In particular, the ads put out by the North Carolina Republican Party opposing the election of Sig Hutchinson have been wonderful. They never mention what exactly he is running for, or who he is running against, only that he wants to raise my taxes to spend it on horse trails (one of those half-truths - Sig has chaired bond campaigns for greenways, and has supported a group that is turning North Carolina's historic tobacco trail into horse trails. The bonds were approved by voters). These ads come with amazing pictures of horses, which I have cut out and used to start a nice little political ad collage on the fridge. Finally! A good use for negative ads.
Also, I am going to enjoy the heck out of voting for Sig Hutchinson.

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