Sunday, November 27, 2011

Plaid Friday

I'm way too literal for my own good sometimes. For the last month I've seen signs and ads all over town about Plaid Friday. I knew it was referencing shopping local but I was confused by the Plaid part. "Plaid Friday? What the hell does that mean?"
I quickly found out, in a room full of people, when I mentioned to everyone that I didn't get it. Lots of laughter ensued and I felt like a goofball. Duh!

So, what a great idea it is to encourage shopping local, small businesses and calling it Plaid Friday instead of Black Friday. Genius!

I believe that I wrote last year about how I feel about Black Friday so I won't rehash - too much. Suffice it to say, I think it's hideous and the last place I would want to be is in ANY store on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Plus, it pisses me off that retail workers don't get one FULL day off to spend with their families or do what they like. It was brought to my attention that a lot of retail workers want the extra hours and I get that but I bet you dimes to donuts that most of those folks did not make double time or even time and a half for working amongst all the crazy fuckers (and I say that with love) that absolutely have to buy a whatever at 10pm on Thanksgiving night. I realize some deals are too good to pass up but, really?

I had to buy some milk on Thanksgiving day on my way home from work in order to make my green bean casserole and I was happy that King Soopers was open but I would've been just as happy to go to 7-11 to buy it. I thanked the young man that checked me out at King Soopers for working and told him that I remembered the days when nothing was open on Thanksgiving except 7-11 and the like. He was about 22 or so and said he couldn't imagine stores not being open on Thanksgiving Day.

In the post-apocalyse if another life form happens upon the U.S. and wonders what people were like in 2011 they'll find giant buildings full of items not necessary to sustaining life and they'll scratch their heads and think, "No wonder they didn't survive, they were consumed by their stuff."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Working the Plan

Listening to the new Mayer Hawthorne record and thinking about the simple pleasures in life - sitting in a coffee shop, drinking a mocha and listening to a little Blue-Eyed Soul is certainly a pleasure. So, too, will be planning my Italy trip after significantly reducing my debt.

Since my last post I've put a lot of wheels into motion. I've reduced my 401k contribution at work, stopped my IRA contribution, reduced or stopped a few charitable donations and even cut my Netflix in half. Sure, the Netflix is only a $7 savings per month, but as they say, it all adds up, right!? I've also turned down a few fun things - an invite to a Bronco's game ($45), entry into the 2012 Colorado Half Marathon ($90), a 4-mile run on Halloween ($30), and most significantly, an airline ticket to see dear friends in February ($210). The objective is to send that 'saved' money to my debt and I'll be starting this with my next paycheck.

I'm also continuing the not-buying-anything-new paradigm. This has really become a way of life for me now. I do buy new things on occasion but whenever I need to buy something I try to get it used first. For Christmas I'm trying to find things that I can make. Beginning with the New Year I will severely limit the new item purchasing back to 2010 levels in order to put even more towards my debt.

Is this all just a smart way to live or am I simply bored and need a challenge? I think its a little of both, maybe more of the latter if I'm honest with myself. Either way, my hope is when 2013 roles around and I turn 45 I'll have a reasonable amount of debt and will be able to plan the trip I've been thinking about for years. Fingers crossed.