Money to burn

burning-moneyThere is a guy across the hall who has hired a laundry service.  At night, he leaves a bag of laundry outside his office.  In the morning, there are cleaned and pressed shirts hanging from the door, as if by magic.  Don’t get me wrong, if I had money to burn, I would be all about fresh pressed shirts that I didn’t have to launder or iron.  But if I had that kind of surplus, there are other things I would do first. Continue reading

Cash Back?

cash backIn a short story I read recently, “The Language of Things Around the House” by Lydia Davis (from her Can’t and Won’t collection), she talks about words and sounds she, I actually don’t know how you’d put it: thinks she hears around the house?  hears in the sounds these things make? thinks when she sees these particular things, internally, but so coherently it is almost like the impressions are words being spoken aloud.  This isn’t exactly that, but I experience a similar phenomenon every time I use my debit card at the store. Continue reading


wheres-george-Who likes money?  I know I do.  And I always have.  But not in the way you think.  Would I tolerate greater quantities in my possession?  Absolutely.  But that is not my goal.  No, what really interests me is the actual paper, the ink, the security measures especially.  I love looking at it.  Find it fascinating.  And am always on the lookout for nuances/irregularities.

And it was in this context that I was delighted to discover on one of the rare actual one-dollar bills I encountered (who uses real cash anymore, seriously?) the red-lettered message “Track this bill at” Continue reading

Latte Factor Exposed

When I got home last night, there was a finance book in my house.  A finance book!!!  In my house!!!  As you may know, I find these books terrifying, and want nothing to do with them.  Needless to say, it wasn’t there because I put it there.  Though I love books generally, I think finance books are (1) insanely boring, and (2) a freaking joke.  But not everybody feels that way.  And so they keep appearing.

Continue reading

Murphy’s Law of Home Buying

You know how when you live in an apartment and something goes wrong (i.e. faucet leaks, toilet clogs, window breaks), you can call the landlord and they will (in theory) come and fix it?  It won’t be right away necessarily, and they may not be happy about it, but the important part is that, eventually,  (a) it gets resolved, and (more significantly) (b) they pay for it.  Yeah, that’s not how it works when you own a home. Continue reading

Where Dreams Go to Die

Recently, I had occasion to visit the local shopping mall.  Near closing time.  On a weeknight.  Suffice it to say, it was bleak.

Before I even got inside, the streetlights casting an eerie gloom across the silent, near-vacant parking lot, the wind blew a stray soda can right in front of me, like a modern-day tumbleweed in some forgotten Western ghost town.  For some reason, this struck me as spooky.  Continue reading