Right now I'm thinking about how I reported the uneven sidewalk pavement where I cracked my ankle to the city on Tuesday. You can kinda tell when you go to the site that they're hoping you won't actually fill out the form. It takes a lot of dropdowns just to enter an address, but if you're reporting a problem with a sidewalk, there's not necessarily an address, is there? So, I had to enter an approximate address, which I came up with by going one block over on Google Maps, then explained in the text input area that there's no such address and that it's approximate.
I also had to enter my full name, phone number, and email address. One would hope that after hitting submit, there'd be a ticket number one could refer to later, or that one would be assigned within 24 hours and emailed, but that hasn't happened. The problem, really, is that they don't set any expectation. Maybe they have an SLA of a whole week to look into those submissions. They should say so. Always set appropriate expectations. At the very least, set extremely low expectations so that mediocre work seems awesome.
The ankle's doing great. At this point, I really only need to wear the boot if I leave the house, which is great, because it's awful. They're really good for immobilizing your ankle while hurting everything else. Early on, the stiff side parts gave me huge bruises up the sides of my leg. Thankfully, those are clearing up, but now my heel hurts and I'm getting a scary open rash thing. It's been three weeks today, so I'm two to three weeks away from needing it, I hope. They said four to six weeks, but I just don't think four is enough.
I've become very good about paying bills. I spent a lot of money on those trips to New Mexico and Arizona, and was able to pay it off pretty quickly. Right now, my only balance anywhere is a few hundred dollars on my Amazon line of credit. I'll probably knock that out next week. Now, the key will be to continue applying those same habits toward savings. I've never really had any savings and I'd like to start. There's a bathroom remodel I'd like to get done, and it'd be really great for any future travel to be paid for upfront instead of afterward.
Someone who owes me lots of money says she's going to start sending some payments. I think I'll deposit those directly into my neglected savings account, with the goal of getting to spend all of it, all at once on something once she pays it all. I'd of course prefer to get all the money at once, but if that's not possible, I'd like to be able to spend it all at once instead of letting each little payment slip away as it comes.
I'm really glad I spent so many years living in tiny-but-not-exactly-inexpensive apartments. It really changed my relationship with money. I don't really find myself wanting so much stuff any more. There's nowhere to put it, anyway! I'd rather have money available for good times out with friends, travel, and being able to shop for food I want to cook without worrying too much about a food budget.
That's another thing that's really changed about me. If you knew me three years ago, you'd be completely shocked that I've turned into a good cook. I used to picture myself trying and walking away with horrible burns, but now I just go for it. And I love it.
For those who want to get into cooking, my best advice is to watch lots and lots of cooking shows. Don't even worry about trying to cook the food right away. Just watch. If you see a recipe you want to try, watch them prepare it a few times, and print the recipe from the website. Compare the recipe to what you're seeing on the screen. You'd be surprised how hard it is to picture how to do what the recipe says.
When you finally decide to cook something, the number one most important thing is to get all the ingredients ready first. The reason for this is, once you start cooking, time can easily get away from you and suddenly something needs to be taken off the heat, but you haven't chopped the thing that was supposed to go with it, so do you chop really fast, or pull it off the heat, or or or? Panic mode doesn't help. Just do it. You might feel a bit nerdy with your mise en place, and you might end up with some idle time while you work, but it's worth it.
Anyway, two shows I really recommend are Five Ingredient Fix and Worst Cooks in America. Five Ingredient Fix is great for new cooks because all of the recipes have five ingredients or fewer, not counting salt, pepper, and water. This is great because there's nothing more frustrating than wanting to make a recipe and having the ingredients cost $60 because it calls for a few spices you didn't already have. Sure, you'll have them for future use, but you don't want every recipe to cost a ton because of the expense of building your pantry.
That said, be warned that she'll splurge on costly ingredients because she only has five to work with. One time I watched her make churros using about $1 in ingredients, but then she grabbed $16 in gourmet chocolate to melt down as dipping sauce.
Worst Cooks is yet another competition show, but it's a cooking boot camp for people who can't cook, so there are lots of cooking lessons, making it a little more educational than most shows.
It's really hard to find a way to integrate Google+ into my life. It'd probably be easier if I was sick of Facebook, but I'm new there and actually like it. Sometimes I like it for nefarious reasons, and sometimes I genuinely like it. I keep up really well with both, but I don't know what to put on G+, and don't want to use the "put everything on every site" social media strategy. I figure the people who follow me 3-4 places don't need 3-4 chances to see the same thing.
Also, I wish a lot of the G+ fans would update their LJs. :P
Also trying to decide if I should devote another day to another feature on here. I'm always seeing cool pictures and animated gifs that aren't a cat or a dog or someone falling down, but I don't necessarily want to devote a post to each one. I think I'll start saving some and see what I come up with.
Also, people, please. Stop referring to "gif" as though that means it's animated. It doesn't. There are animated gifs and static ones. The format has been extremely popular since the late-mid '90s.
And stop saying "awe" when you mean "aw". It looks dumbe.
Very much looking forward to the Shoot the Hostage CD release party, Hope to see many of you lovelies there.