Beer and skittles
So one of my goals in keeping a blog is to brag about my awesome life / kids / commute / bike races / etc. There’s a kind of affirmation goal, too: YAY ME. And every great once in a while I’ll get vindication from a friend who says something envious about my life. But of course this exercise requires a little dissimulation. I live an exhausting life with zero slack and I hate complainers. So this is the blog post where I let myself complain.
At age 40 my net worth is almost exactly zero. We had to take out a loan to sell a house. So I have to work two jobs to pay for the house we no longer own. Yes I get to be all noble about honoring my debts (YAY ME). I wish my mortgage bank had the same scruples. It contrived to squeeze money out of me in two ways: from my paid-in-full mortgage (which I totally agreed to) and from a fat taxpayer-subsidized handout (which I totally did not agree to).
And of course since we sold that house it’s shot up in value. Because if life has taught me only one thing, it’s that any attempt on my part to fix something will only make it worse.
I ride my bike all the time because we can’t afford two cars (and I couldn’t afford to park downtown anyway). Because this is Portland, I mostly ride it in the pouring rain over hills in the pitch blackness. In my imagination I’m a Modern Mountain Man because objectively I’m cold, wet, tired, filthy, and in mortal danger two-plus hours a day. So the bike thing: I’m golfing to work.
I try superduper hard to imagine my life as a permanent vacation because I can’t afford actual vacations. Like: not even a weekend off. A good weekend is one where I only work four hours. This is now how I define “vacation:” a weekend where I only spend four hours slinging pixels for cash.
Other things besides travel I don’t do any more: lift weights, swim, camp, yoga, see movies, rock climb, buy clothes, volunteer for good causes, read newspapers, hear live music, garden, cook, shop, rest with a fever, read for pleasure, watch television, sit quietly and think.
In the rare moments when I’m not working I’m generally attending a birthday party for a four-year-old. Seriously, White People of Portland: cut it out with the birthday parties. I love spending time with my kids. I hate spending time with your kids.
Of my rare remaining wakeful time, I fantasize about money and sleep. That’s what lurks in my innermost id. A few hundred bucks and a nice nap. I stopped imagining naked people years ago.