At Long Last- My Student Loans are Paid Off

I made my final student loan payment this morning. It feels pretty amazing.

It took a while to pay them off for a number of reasons, but chief of which was that I set a very low payment rate the first few years I was paying them off because my interest rate was so low I decided it would probably be better to defer them for a bit and invest the maximum into my retirement account. At the time I was living in a shithole two bedroom apartment that had not been remodeled and had… carpet on the walls in some rooms but was only 300 bucks a month (the next cheapest 2 bedroom was 700 bucks) and drove an 83 chevy celebrity until 2006 when it finally died.

After I had a bit of a nest egg, I then started paying in earnest- every month, 400 bucks. And now I am done.

Probably just start putting the money into the furnace fund, since I own a house and after replacing the water filter yesterday and the ac unit in September and all the plumbing and electrical wiring two years ago, I know that is next. Or maybe one of the animals will learn the loans are done and decide to get some debilitating and expensive protracted illness. But the god damned student loans are paid off.



Saturday Afternoon Open Thread

It is cold and snowy here, so I did what comes naturally to me- I took a nap. I was awoken by a majestic beast:

He has been very loving since I returned, sleeping by my side or on top of me, sitting on me while I am in the chair downstairs.

Now, for fun, guess how much ATTITUDE there is in this picture:

Answer: A metric shitton. They wouldn’t look at the camera no matter what I did. Stubborn damned animals.



Home Crap Home

2,570 miles later, the family truckster is parked outside home crap home. Thurston was so excited to see me he peed himself, although in fairness, he does that sometimes when I am only gone for four hours. Rosie came to see what Thurston was all riled up about, gave me a cursory glare, and fucked off somewhere. Still have not seen Steve.

This was the first major trip I have ever taken with Lily, and of course, she was a perfect angel. This should not really be a surprise because the sum total of her existence on most days is sleeping a dog bed five feet from me. So basically she did the same thing on the trip, just at 75-80 mph. She was do sedate at the my parents’ that my dad asked “Does she ever do anything she looks like she has flatlined.”

Some pics of the fat loots from the trip:

First, Tammy’s kicks, which she tried on and loves:

Second, some cigars for Brian, Tammy’s husband:

Third, for the three sisters (Devon, Annie, and adopted sister Tammy), somewhat matching necklaces:

And then finally, for me:

The former is a large picture of the Angel Oak of St. John’s Island, a live oak that is perhaps 600 years old and just massive. As you all know, I have a thing for trees, so I had to have it and am going to see it next time I am down there.

The latter is a print of some artwork by an artist in Charleston named Sam Long. The original piece is something she makes from polymer clay and bakes in a kiln, but this is just a print. I liked all the colors and the Warholesque feel of it. You should definitely check out her website- she seems super neat and she has nine cats.

Final playlist:

Miami to Charleston, SC:

Coldplay- A rush of blood
Donovan Frankenreiter- Move By Yourself
Lorde- Melodrama
The Smiths- Hatful of Hollow
Talking Heads- Stop Making Sense
RATM- the Battle of Los Angeles
Parliament of Funk- Millenium Collection
Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerels- Highball with yhe Devil
Guru- Jazzamatazz
Dire Straits- Brothers in Arms

Charleston, SC, to Bethany:

Donovan Frankenreiter- Move By Yourself
Led Zeppelin II
Lynyrd Skynyrd- All time greatest hits
Beatles- Abbey Road
Beatles- Sgt. Peppers
Zappa- Overnite Sensation
Beyonce- Lemonade
Alice in Chains- Dirt
Black Panther Sountrack
Kendrick Lamar EP
Beastie Boys- Hello Nasty
The Cars- Heartbeat City
Notorious BIG- Ready to Die

I should probably take my road trip playlists to therapy and let them analyze them because I’m sure it says something about me.

I’ll be back later. I need to unpack, shower, put my life back together, and although I am dreading it, check in and see what the orange fuckboy has been up to the last two weeks since I have paid only superficial attention to the news.

It’s fucking cold and that is bullshit.

Oh, and boy is travel cheap when you don’t drink (and you are staying in someone else’s place. I budgeted the money I got back from the insurance from my cancelled Outer Banks vacation and spent 500 less. And that was with eating out a bunch and buying a few things.



Wednesday Night Open Thread

It doesn’t matter how big or small the footstool is, we make room:

I’ve the conversations with my parents sound eerily similar to the conversation I had with my peers when I was stoned to the bejeezus. For example, dad just offered this up:

“How does a bald person with a beard know where to stop the beard.”

Back in the day, that could have dominated a stoned conversation for several hours. Or maybe it would have just felt like several hours.



Greetings from the Cole Retirement Community

Day one at the Cole Retirement Community (our motto: “The food is great, the pets are awesome, the hearing is suspect, and the conversation is sketchy at best”) has begun with a fresh round of cleaning, with my father surgically cleaning every square inch of the house, muttering “there’s hair everywhere” the entire time. No one is safe, and the morning ritual for the Cole pets includes a vigorous brushing:

The conversation is, as always, a delight:

And look, I am NOT pinning this on my parents, because I am every bit as bad. I was sitting in the living room and the tv was tuned to the Today Show, and they had a long segment on their fitness goals and kept mentioning planking and I blurted out “what the hell is planking?” A minute or so later, my dad walked through the room dusting and they mentioned planking again, and my dad said to no one in particular “what the hell is planking?” A few minutes later, mom, who had been in the room the entire time but was reading, looked up, looked at me, and asked “Do you know what planking is?”

Lily, of course, is nonplussed:

Dad’s lift chair rental arrived this morning (he’s having another knee surgery), and then I suppose we will go to the beach and the dog park.