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11:26 am - Sun 2/09/03


It has begun.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store, spending about twice what I usually do--and taking about three times as long--so I could get the essentials needed to become "Cooking Guy--Scourge of restaurants, convenience stores, and manufacturers of conveniently-packaged, tasty snack food products."

Chicken, spaghetti (And of course, spaghetti sauce), potatoes, frozen vegetables, eggs, Jiffy mix, oatmeal, and all manner of flavoring agents for the chicken (soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, salsa, honey, mustard, etc), in addition to my normal lunch staples (I almost always take the same lunch to work--a microwave burrito, an apple, and a yogurt--and since it costs maybe $1.50 per lunch, I'm going to stay with that), and most of the other things I typically buy in a given week (The only thing I normally buy that I didn't buy this time out were lunch meat and individually-wrapped slices of pasteurized processed American cheese food product. Probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but I've lived on sandwiches all my adult life, so it actually kind of is).

A short time ago, I had a couple pieces of coffee cake, courtesy of Aunt Jemima and her "easy mix" recipe (I felt kind of bad, cheating on Little Debbie and all, but what can I say? In my heart-of-hearts, I've always known I was never meant to be a "one-woman man". As a matter of fact, I'm entertaining lewd thoughts about Betty Crocker even now...).

I have to admit, the trip to the grocery store was kind of an ordeal; I typically have about a dozen or so items on my grocery list, and at this point, I pretty much know where all the pathetic bachelor stuff is located, so I'm used to getting in and out relatively quickly. But this time out, I had over double the number of items, and I didn't know where half of them were. Confusion, indecision, and a whole lot of backtracking ensued (I almost had a breakdown when it took me 15 minutes to find the lemon juice, the last thing on my list; I was looking for one of those little plastic lemons, which I think are typically around the produce section, but they were out of those, and for some reason, it just didn't occur to me to look for lemon juice in the aisle marked "fruit juice". I guess I never think of people kicking back with a tall, frosty glass of lemon juice).

So anyway, a big step for The Kid.


Thursday was a banner day for Jim and the US Mail; In addition to getting my 401K check, a package with my name on it was in the apartment office.

The check was for less than I'd imagined; The starting "lump sum" was about $250 less than when I last checked--"Penalty for early withdrawal"? There wasn't anything to that effect on the statement--and the tax bite

was a little heftier than I'd guesstimated

(Based on...well, nothing, I'd assumed it would be around $500; It was actually $610).

So Friday morning, I went to the bank to deposit the check. With that, and the fact that it was payday (I'm loving "direct deposit", by the way!), I was feeling pretty damned flush.

And I probably shouldn't admit this, but I went a little crazy with my newfound wealth...

On my way back from the bank, I popped into a barber shop I'd seen along the way and got a much needed haircut (It was supposed to be $8, but at the end, when I handed $10 to the nice Korean lady, she just smiled and said "thank you". And I didn't have the heart to say "Actually, I kind of wanted that two dollars back..."; It was a nice-enough haircut, mind you, but nothing that merited a 25% tip. But at least it turned out better than the Buster Brown horror I ended up with the first time I tried to get a haircut in Koreatown).

Then, a short time later, on my way to a commercial audition in North Hollywood, I went into a watch shop and got not only a new battery, but also a new watchband, for my old Seiko quartz.

And yesterday? I washed my car.

Fairly small things. But they felt good. I'm sort of a slob by nature, but there's a difference between making that choice, and feeling like sloppiness is being imposed on you by circumstance.

(And the watch stuff made me realize how much I really like having things refurbished. It's like you've got a whole new thing again, for a fraction of the cost.)

Out of time here...

The package was from Kevin, the scanner he wasn't using and kindly decided to pass on to me.

I'm not able to set it up just yet--I need a parallel port cord and not a usb one like he had--and I'll need to rethink my current setup, but I think that'll end up being a fun thing to have.

So all in all, good times for Jim.

More to come...


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