Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Happy

Seeing as how writing here can work nicely as procrastination, well, you get a Erev Christmas blogpost.* C and I went to see "Good Night and Good Luck" last night, and if you haven't seen it, go do that before it's completely gone from the theaters. I've been forced to move George Clooney up the list. Don't get me wrong--it's not as though I would have thrown him out of bed for eating soda crackers--but, in part as a reaction to the volume of publicity he got around ER, he never really made it to my personal top ten. I saw him being interviewed w/r/t this movie, too, and was impressed by his obvious intelligence, and, after seeing the movie, I've moved him up.

What's on tap for the next few days, you ask? Today I'm making sticky buns--i.e., pecan sweet rolls--and fermented dough; tomorrow morning I'll bake some cranberry pecan bread and some cheese bread (with $12/pound-imported-gruyere, which is probably excessive) with the fermented dough. Tonight C and I go to a local restaurant that has a special Cuban Christmas Eve dinner each year: mmmm; pulled pork and plantains! Tomorrow we go to C's mom's place, where I think pork is on the menu. The needlepoint is coming along, but I haven't done any yet today and there's only three more hours of daylight, so I think it'll just have to go with me tomorrow. I'm also bringing along some cream puffs and some pastry cream to fill them, plus the aforementioned breads, plus the recipe for crepes (for Monday morning, just in case we've run out of food).

The financial situation isn't as bad as it could have been, which is nice. C and I prepared for a nearly-worst-case scenario (i.e., I get no unemployment and no other income), and we could still scrape by, albeit with a little debt on the credit card. Thanks to my unemployment checks ($302 per week! woo-hoo!), and a paycheck from October or November (I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know whether it's a full or partial check; one of our clients paid for some work, so checks have been cut and sent), and, according to my mother this morning, a check from my parents (who are very quite generous about these things), we might even be able to get rid of the credit card debt, which would be very lovely. Plus, I suspect I'll get some money back from the IRS this year.

My current goal is to stop paying for groceries with the credit card. When I was paying off the balance every month, it kind of made sense, because I have a points-accumulating credit card (from L.L. Bean, which also means free shipping from them). Now, though, it mostly feels like it's screwing up our budgeting efforts, because we pay for last month's groceries on the bill. More to the point, when I've been broke in the past, I much preferred paying for things with cash or checks; it kept the debt from piling up. It worked then, so I'd like to get back to it.

I realized recently that the strangest thing about being married is that our finances are even more deeply intertwined--what with a joint return and all--no matter that we keep, and will continue to keep, separate accounts. It's extremely weird for me, and, to tell you the truth, I don't much like it. I've worked my ass off to keep my credit rating as good as it is, but C hasn't been quite as . . . diligent, which is his business. Now that we're married, however, his relative lack of diligence has a much greater effect on me. And did I mention that I really don't like joint income tax filing? Not even a little bit. (In the Kids These Days section of this rant, I feel compelled to point out that many young women don't realize that I couldn't have anything separate thirty or so years ago--women's finances were inextricably tied to their husbands', and woe betide the woman who wanted a separate account of any kind.) But C and I talk about this, so I think we'll be alright.

Okay, people, I've procrastinated enough; I hear the pecans call me from the next room. In case I haven't told you this story, I once asked my father why we celebrated Christmas if we didn't believe in Christ; without missing a beat, he replied, "We celebrate Hallowe'en and we don't believe in ghosts; why give up a perfectly good holiday?" So, in that spirit, have a lovely holiday--hell; celebrate all of them!
*For those of you who aren't Jewish, "Erev" is the same as "Eve," i.e., the day before the holiday.


Blogger landismom said...

I think I might have to steal your dad's line.

Have a wonderful day!

1:11 PM  

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