The Real Ghostbusters
Production number 76009 – 1986-Syndicated
“Venkman’s Ghost Repellers”
Written by Richard T. Meuller Continue reading ‘The Real Ghostbusters Episode 22 Review’
I’ve been working on my budget for the past week. I live on a fixed income and recent events have made my financial situation very unstable.
I’ve never been good with money, it’s no secret. I’m probably the last person that should have a credit card. When my depression hits hard my brain looks for comfort, and it finds it in food and things. I spend money I don’t have on both of these things. Mostly food.
I’m trying though. I’m doing my best to wrestle control of my life away from my mental conditions. It’s not easy.
Structure is huge for me. I require routine. The problem is that I’m the only one who can impose a routine on myself, and I’m very bad at that.
I worked out a schedule for myself. It’s hard to stick to. I think I’ve figured something out though. Having the schedule isn’t enough. I need goals to achieve as well. I have to have something that I am working towards and a way to quantify my progress. I’ve come up with some modest weekly goals that I hope will help keep me motivated.
Further, I’ve worked out my budget, taking into account all of my monthly expenses. I think I have a workable budget that will let me pay off my visa completely in 12 months. Faster if I’m lucky enough to make some extra money here or there. I’ve just sold my animation desk, so that will cut down on how long it will take to clear the visa. Hopefully over the course of the year I’ll pick up other commissions and contract jobs, and maybe sell some stuff to speed up the process.
I’ve built some spending money into the budget as well. As much as part of my brain wants to say “Just dump all of your remaining money after your expenses onto your Visa” I know that if I do that I won’t be able to stick to the budget long term. I need to set aside some funds to do stuff with, like going to a movie, or having dinner out with a friend.
The new budget will be starting in earnest in November. October I’ll be using to get everything prepared for November. Bringing all my bills down to zero (minus the visa of course) in preparation for November’s fresh start. I’ll be keeping a close eye on my bills from now on to make sure that they are what they’re supposed to be. I’ll be paying especially close attention to my Phone bill, as that seems to be the one that tries to charge me more than it should.
During the course of making my budget I looked into reducing my costs by changing the level of internet service I currently get. I decided it wasn’t worth it. If I went to the next tier down, I could save $10 a month, but I’d cut my internet speed in half. The tier below that would save me $30 a month, but I’d be at a quarter of the speed I am now. It’s just not worth it.
I’ve also been thinking of trading in my Van for a smaller vehicle with better gas mileage. I only make use of the cargo capacity of my van maybe four times a year, and three of those times are as favours to other people who need help moving stuff. My previous car cost about $75 to fill the tank, which I would get roughly 400km out of. The van costs roughly $130 to fill the tank, and I get roughly 500km out of a tank city driving. Ideally it would be nice to make some money off of the trade that I could put on to the Visa, but even a straight 1 for 1 trade would help in reducing my monthly gas budget. I’d want my dad to help me handle that though, I just don’t have enough experience to do it on my own.
I’ve worked out a plan that will hopefully see me opening up a website devoted to my art in January of 2014. My current schedule would have me opening with 12 prints available for purchase at the time of launch, with 4 new prints added each month thereafter. This would also become the platform from which I would sell my t-shirt designs, but one step at a time.
From my spending money fund, I’m hoping to put aside some money each month towards the purchase of the next tool I want to invest in. I currently do much of my work on a Cintiq 21UX, and it’s the best tool I’ve ever owned. What I’ve been looking in to is basically a portable version. It’s not as robust as the cintiq, but it makes up for that in it’s portability and multi-functionality. I would very much like to purchase a Microsoft Surface Pro 128gb.
A number of artists whom I admire have been making use it, and have convinced me that it would be a worthy addition to my toolbox. Also, it’s been a long time since I’ve had anything like a laptop, so it would be nice to have that flexibility again in my computing needs. I wish I’d had one of these when I was in the comic program last year, it would have been a god send. The surface recently had a price drop, but it’s still out of my range. I expect it’ll be some time before I’ll be able to afford it.
So that’s where I am just at the moment.
It’s been over a year since I’ve had access to my storage unit. When my roommate former Ash moved to Los Angeles the keys got mixed up with her stuff, never to be seen again. The building caretaker didn’t have a key, nor did the property management company. My only hope was finding a neighbour who would lend me their key, but I fear social interaction, and didn’t have any pressing reason to get in there, so I let it slide for a long time.
Now I have a key once again. I spent my morning going through the unit, tidying things up and removing stuff that hadn’t been worth storing in the first place. I have a thing about packing boxes. If I buy something and it comes in a box I have this weird compulsion to keep the box, in case I ever need to repack the item for moving. Taking up an unreasonable amount of room in my locker was the box for my Cintiq. I also seem to have a shit ton of guitar hero guitars. Seven of them. I don’t know where they came from. I can account for Four of them.
I’m getting distracted though. While I was going through my boxes I came across artifacts of relationships past. Two boxes containing all of the letters, cards, notes, photos and keepsakes from my two most important relationships.
It’s a weird thing reading old love notes, seeing old photos and finding old gifts and trinkets from former loved ones. It’s not exactly unpleasant, but neither is it super great. It’s nice to remember those good times of course, but it’s a bit of a bummer too.
I put them back after looking through them. I wasn’t sure if I should keep them or not. On the one hand they’re a nice reminder of good times, on the other hand they’re also a reminder that those good times ended. I don’t think about either of those relationships much these days, they were a long time ago. I guess it’s kind of like having a photo album.
On a much more depressing note, I found tons of amazingly cool toys that I had to leave in storage because I don’t have the room to display them currently. I think we can all agree that THAT is the real tragedy here.
All my adult life I’ve been told the same thing: Find a job that pays you enough to do the stuff you really want to do on the side.
What I want to do is create. I need to make art. I’ve pursued a lot of creative endeavors: comics, videos, writing, etc. I was told these were “good hobbies”. I was told that once I found a career and became financially stable, that I could then do what made me happy on the side.
I followed that path for over a decade. A nervous breakdown, however, made it clear to me that “waiting to be happy” was a psychologically unstable strategy. I couldn’t wait for someone else to grant me permission to do what I wanted with my life. I decided that doing what I really like to do now is better than hoping I can do it later.
I won’t do it later. When you work in a job or career that drains your soul, there is no “on the side“. What little free time you have is an illusion, you’re too drained and defeated to do anything other than rest, gathering your ever dwindling strength to endure the next onslaught of drudgery. At least that’s how it is for me. There are no doubt many people out there capable of following the path that has been constantly pushed on me. I’m not one of them.
I need to get away. From everything.
I require a cabin with a fireplace and a tub (hot tub maybe? it’s my fantasy so let’s say yes). No internet. No cable television. I’ll bring my own movies and player.
I require this cabin to be on a nice, clean, fresh water lake suitable for swimming in. I require it to be gloriously sunny and warm, so swimming in that lake will be comfortable.
I want to spend my days just relaxing on the porch, or on the dock, sitting in the sun, reading a book, sipping on a cold beverage, taking the occasional swim to cool off.
I want to spend my evenings relaxing inside, maybe have a fire going, watching a movie or reading. I want to take a soak in the tub every night before bed. I want to go to bed early-ish and get a nice long sleep before I do it all again the next day.
I figure 5 days to a week of that would be just about perfect.
Perhaps alone, perhaps with company. I don’t know. I’m leaning towards alone. I just want to be away from everything for a little bit.
My mom is in the hospital right now. She was admitted yesterday with what they thought was a pinched nerve in her neck. My mom can’t take oral anti-inflamatories, they react poorly with her system, which exacerbates both her heart condition and her respiritory condition, so they admitted her to the hospital where they could give her intravenous anti-inflamatories and monitor her.
Today they discovered that it wasn’t a punched nerve, but rather a number of blood clots in her lungs. Which is pretty dangerous under the best of circumstances, and is considerably so for mom with her heart. They’re weening her off the morphine they had her on which is rough in her system and now have her on blood thinners and other agents to prevent the formation of more clots. The pre-existing clots they have to wait to let them dissipate on their own. Hopefully.
You now all know as much as I do.