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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

A Dose of Reality

Today I went to see my financial planner, S, who manages my IRAs, 401k and one of my brokerage accounts. Clearly this man know what he is doing because the accounts S manages did not fall in value as much as the accounts that he does not manage. It was a dose of reality. Even though the accounts did not decline in value as much as the market I’m still hurting. Looks like I will be seeking gainful employment soon if I want to have any resemblance of a decent life when I actually retire. Retirement has been pushed from fifty-five to sometime in my sixties. My dream of having a fun lower paying job supplemented by my pension and retirement savings does not seem to be possible at this time. The market is poised for a recovery but if I move all my investments into income producing vehicles at this time I will miss out on the inevitable market gains. I will be in a much better position if I move into income producing investments after the market recovers. The recovery could take several years.

After meeting with S I headed over to T Gallery to see the Damien Hirst + Jeff Koons show. I got reacquainted with Ron, the gallery director, whom I have known socially. He sold two of the Hirst pieces while the Koons have not sold. The Hirsts are $24k while the Koons are 50k. I saw a Williams Stockman drawing that was priced at $15k. Ron told me the Stockman’s we own have substantially increased in value. I thought about investing in Art rather than the financial markets. I came to the conclusion that I don’t know enough about the contemporary art market to make wise investments. I should stay with the guidance I’m getting with the stock market.

I’ll be meeting with my other financial manager on Monday morning to see what he has planned. It will be interesting to see how his proposal differs from what I was presented with today.

Tonight I’m forgetting all about this mess and will be enjoying the holiday cheer at K’s holiday party.

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The Party’s Over

Last night I went to a holiday/pre-construction party at Aimee and Steve’s house. Aimee is the daughter of our social worker friend, Mary. Aimee and Steve are renovating and expanding their Park Hill bungalow. Construction starts on Monday so they hosted the party in their empty house. People were invited to write on the walls and even take a hammer to the walls that will be demolished. Guests were encouraged to dress in construction attire. I wore jeans, a shirt and K’s hardhat. I had a good time but soon grew tired of standing. I was home by 10 p.m.

Today I’m in a blue mood. I ran into Gigi this morning. I had not seen her since E’s funeral. She started crying when I told her I was unemployed. I didn’t expect that result. I started feeling sad when I got home. I then made the mistake of reviewing my investment statements for the last quarter. A broker from Smith Barney wants to review my portfolio in order to make suggestion on changing my investments at his firm. I started looking at all my investment and soon became horrified. The losses are staggering. In a fit of anger I threw the folder containing my investment statements on the floor. It’s laying here next to the desk in a mess. Now I’m full on depressed. I’m going to the gym to do cardio.

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A Mixed Up Post

I had a great weekend with K. Thanksgiving was an especially wonderful day. The dinner turned out to one of the best we have ever hosted. It was great having our friends over and spending the day with them. The last guests left at 9:30 p.m.

K and I spent the rest of the weekend together. We saw Milk on Saturday and Australia on Saturday. It was great having K home for the weekend. K flew back to St. Louis today. He’ll be in Festus until December 23rd. I miss him already. Since I’m unemployed I’ll be chauffeuring him to and from the airport for while. No more car service for K.

I went to the gym today for a chest and tricep workout followed by cardio. Mr. Jones, of the Ted Haggard scandal, came into the locker room as I was stowing my backpack in a locker before my workout. Rumors were circulating that he was not treated well here after the scandal and was contemplating moving away. I not sure why our community shunned him. It must be tough getting one’s life together after the media exposes the details of your life.

Ambien has once again become my friend. I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. It seems that when I go to bed my mind starts reviewing recent history. I toss and turn for hours unless I take an Ambien at bedtime. I don’t want to make this a regular habit. I would love to be able to sleep without medication. I need to find a way to clear my mind so that I don’t drive myself crazy thinking about what I could have done and what I should be doing now. I hate only sleeping three hours a night. My friend, Ambien, lets me sleep at least eight hours, sometimes ten hours. I need to exercise caution with this drug.

Today has been as mixed up as this post. I’ll try to stick to one topic going forward.

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Our friend Peter has invited us to stay in his Dupont Circle penthouse condo for the Inaugural. It should be a lot of fun.  We went shopping for tuxedos last night.

Roundtrip airfare Denver – D.C.    $650.00

New Hugo Boss tuxedo    $800.00

New tux shirt    $125.00

Cole Haan formal shoes    $350.00

Witnessing a milestone in United States history    Priceless!

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A Goodbye and a Party

K left this morning for New York. He’ll be back on Friday. We’ll get to spend the weekend together and then he’s off to Festus again.

Our neighbors, Tom and Sheila, have invited me to an election return party tonight at a downtown hotel. They have been hosting an Obama volunteer for several months. The party is an invitation only event for all the hosting families in Denver along with prominent Democratic Party officials. I’m going as the volunteer’s plus one. Considering I’ve never met this young woman it should be an interesting evening.

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Cancer Free For Now

I saw my oncologist today and have mostly good news. The CT scan and lung X-ray came back clean. The doctor is concerned about the lymph nodes in my pelvic area. They don’t feel “right” to him but nothing is showing up on the CT scan. I’m scheduled for another CT scan in four months instead of six months. I received a button for my one-year anniversary of being of being diagnosed. It reminds me of the one-year sobriety chip that AA gives out. The only exception is that I have only been cancer free for six months. I would rather celebrate that anniversary than the diagnosis anniversary.

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16 Years and Counting

Today is our 16th year anniversary. We’ve had some good times and some not so good times. We’ve taken many wonderful trips together – Paris, Scotland, Czech Republic, New Zealand and Northern Italy to name a few. Renting a house in Tuscany and an apartment in Paris were two of my favorite adventures. We have survived a kitchen remodel, two bathroom remodels, construction of the master suite addition and two major landscaping projects for the front and back yards. Our relationship also survived law school and studying for the bar exam. We also managed to navigate through long times of absence during K’s projects in Grand Rapids, New Jersey and now Festus, MO. K has been by my side through numerous biopsies, chemo and radiation treatments. We have always been there for each other even though at times we have been in different cities. It is not always easy but it is worth it. K is a wonderful man and I’m blessed to share a life with him.

K is flying home this afternoon. We’re planning on going to Caroline’s Halloween party tonight after we hand out candy to the neighborhood children. We have Tanner’s baby shower on Saturday morning and dinner with Carlos and his wife on Saturday night. K has to find time to meet with Patty since he is handling Steve’s estate. Hopefully, we will have most of Sunday to ourselves. K will then fly to New York on Monday for the week. Life as we know it will continue.

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