March 29th, 2002


Yet Another Goddamn Financial Crunch

The last time I looked at our finances, I figured that if we could save $1000 per biweekly paycheck, we could be okay for income taxes. That would mean saving $2000 for March, in particular. This would be difficult but feasible.

Last night, I sat down to look at our financial state. The short form of it: we've managed to save about $1000 during March. Car repairs and our St. Patrick's Day party were most of what ate up the rest.

I think we can still squeak through and pay the taxes, but just barely. It means just a few hundred dollars has to tide us over from now until the next paycheck. And then the April 5 paycheck will disappear into paying taxes, giving us just a few hundred dollars to make it through those two weeks, and then the April 19 paycheck will get eaten up by those bills. It won't be until mid-May until we get a bit of slack. (And in May, my sister is graduating, and we should go to that...)

And it means that I won't be taking my "allowance" for personal spending for April--if anything, I'll be giving some of my personal money back to the family to cover bills. And it means that I'll be delaying paying bills--the credit card bill will have to wait until the next paycheck, and the payment for the second mortgage may have to wait until later.

I think we'll still be able to afford a party for my birthday... I hope we can. Even so, I don't think we'll be able to have the sort of birthday celebration we'd wanted.

And of course it means that we're not going to get the trees removed this spring, and the wireless network I've been wanting to buy for a year and a half will go unbought a bit longer, and we hope that nothing expensive happens to the cars, the house, or the residents...

This will be the sixth time in a year and a half that nearly all of my/our savings have been clobbered.

I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. I am sick of money being so tight. I hate feeling so apprehensive about our financial situation. I hate feeling that I have to count every penny. I hate feeling that I have to sacrifice my allowance for the financial health of the family.

I do blame Queria for a lot of this. Things would certainly have been easier if I had gone to MayaViz. I hope that Queria does well enough to make it turn out well.

More Financial Crunch

Man, just writing the previous entry has me gritting my teeth with frustration.

I used to feel rich. I had good savings, I was saving well every month, I had the savings to buy quite a nice house.

Now I've been feeling that we're one catastrophe away from serious problems. And I've been feeling that way for way too long.

I take some pride that I've mostly managed to avoid cursing in these two entries. It required some effort to do so.


I have quite a backlog of journal entries I've been meaning to write. One of them is about last Friday's session of Kevin's Lorn campaign.

This session was much more eventful than the previous. We split up the party to try to bring the NPC noncombatants back to join us, figuring they'd be safer that way.

Meanwhile, the rest of us got pursued by creatures that might be zombies, and tried to move away. The zombies managed to chase us into an ambush by badger-men.

I enjoyed the chance for combat, because combat is really my character's specialty. But it went badly for us--the two fighters with this subgroup were nearly unscathed, but the three other people with the party were badly injured, though still conscious. Our party's healer is among them, and rather preoccupied with trying to keep his blood inside.

Meat had lots of hits on target in that combat, but the jackal-men had very high DX and kept dodging successfully, so he didn't manage to take them down expeditiously. He's barely scratched, but he's let others get hurt.

And the zombies that were pursuing us are closing in on us, and we're too injured to run...


In other personal GURPS news, it sounds like Andy is reviving his GURPS campaign set in 1930. I still haven't been able to decide whether I want to play or not.

The plus side is that I love my character. He's cool and stylish (based on Nick Charles)--I like him.

The big minus is that I've often felt that Andy tends to minimize the specialness of characters. I know that Lori felt that her character's Empathy and Intuition weren't having much effect. For myself, I felt that Alec's really impressive social modifiers were not given their due; Alec has +10 in reaction modifiers compared to Forrest, but I felt that Alec was getting barely better treatment.

I thought that this might be a consequence of my inexperience and vanity, but Andy has now been taking steps to reduce the Eidetic Memory that forms the schtick of Steve's character Forrest. And he's not acting to tone down the point crock of Eidetic Memory, he's acting to mute the impact of the actual eidetic memory itself. Now, it's certainly the case that Steve is more intent upon finding loopholes to exploit than he is on playing a character in depth, but this still seems like Andy working to mute the specialness of the character.

I can understand the temptation, I suppose--it can be daunting to handle the raw specialness of everyone in the group. But I think that in my GMing, I'm more inclined to play up the specialnesses than to downplay them--and I think I'd rather have that be the case as a player.

I'm still pondering.