Day 166 | $61,994 paid | $28,723 till freedom
When Sarah told me a week or so ago that this is her last month of living in the house, I marked Feb 20th on my calendar as the day to post up a Craigslist ad and start screening out the weirdos in the hopes of finding a clean and neat and normal roommate. A few days ago, I told (er, texted) Patrick to let me know if he knew anybody looking for a room. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but yesterday he told me that he knew somebody from his college who was moving to Austin in March to intern at the same place as he. I got the name and number and gave the guy, Sam, a call.
An automated voice picked up and told me to wait for a “videophone connection” or something to that effect. It dawned on me that Patrick’s friend was also deaf. And that’s totally cool–having Patrick here has been great. He’s clean, neat, and normal–exactly what I want in a roommate!
I worked through an interpreter to sign Sam up for March 10th through the end of June. He’ll be sending me a check for $910 (pro-rated for March + last month’s rent + security deposit) near the end of this month, and he’s already digitally signed the contract.
I feel good about this not only financially, but on another level, too: it indicates that Patrick is happy enough here to recommend it to his friend. So while things didn’t work out with Sarah, it’s not indicative that there’s something wrong with the house or the way I run things around here.
Back on Facebook
Yep, I’m back. I reactivated my account, deleted all of my albums, all of the hundreds of posts on my wall (except a few choice ones from back in the day), left all of my groups, went offline on the chat application, turned off all of my other applications, and published the following status update:
Six weeks later, and I’m back! I didn’t miss FB at all, but I do want to be part of the global directory. Cell and email are listed–don’t hesitate to use them or message me on here.
That’s all factual. I didn’t miss it, and I do want to be reachable–I hate it when somebody sends me an email about something one of my former classmates is doing (e.g., attending Davos, appearing in a news article, etc.) and I can’t find their email address to send them a congratulatory note.
I rejoined on Monday, and since then, I’ve spent about fifteen minutes on the site. That’s far, far better than the hour or so I was spending on it every day up until my exit six weeks ago.
Moderation–that’s really what it all boils down to. Will I be able to demonstrate it? Sometimes quitting something cold turkey is easier than trying to do something in moderation. Going cold turkey on Facebook for awhile was good for me, and probably easier than scaling back would have been. I needed to turn it off and just be without it for a bit. Now I’ve seen what my life is like without it and I prefer it that way, but I also want to make myself accessible, so I’m rejoining in hopes that I can moderate my usage. So far, so good. But it’s a slippery slope. Look at one article on a news feed, then another, and sooner or later, I’ve spent ten minutes on the site looking at other people’s lives and not living mine. Blech.
Speaking of Facebook
The other day, Stan did me another solid and sent me an article on PEhub.com abou an interview with Richard Watts, an HBS grad running a wealth management practice in Santa Ana, California. Watts is intimately involved with his clients’ personal lives as he helps them manage their immense fortunes of $100M+. As the Facebook IPO ushers in a new group of multi-millionaires who are used to living middle-class to upper-middle-class lifestyles, Watts has a few key pieces of advice to offer up that I’ve paraphrased below.
- The wants of clients with newfound millions turn into needs as the comparison peer group changes. The 100-foot boat that brought so much initial happiness is no longer big enough compared to the Joneses’ 200-foot boat.
- Entering a new class of wealth opens up all kinds of opportunities to spend money on extravagant activities. It’s easy for clients to go overboard and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a hobby to the point that they lose touch with the reasons they were so fond of that hobby in the first place.
- Parents shouldn’t give their children elaborate gifts. They take away the lessons the child would have learned if he had been forced to buy his own car, as well as the ensuing satisfaction of achieving the goal on his/her own. “There is really no child that gains from having things gifted to him or her.”
The key take-away from the article is simple yet arresting: “Live like you don’t have the money. It will ruin your family if you don’t.”
I believe I’ve found a new favorite hobby: Reading the personals in the back of Harvard Magazine. I was flipping through the latest issue the other day and stumbled upon a veritable treasure trove. From the Jan-Feb issue of 2012, I bring you the ladies of Harvard:
SLENDER, SEXY PROFESSOR AND POET, outgoing and warm. Seriously pretty; engaged in literature, politics, and outdoor life. Irreverent academic; major fan of high-end art–with a weakness for TV Shows about perilous sea voyages and high adventure in the Arctic. Tortola for sailing, hiking in Vermont, biking by the Charles. Unsystematic passion for wildlife: any old bird will do. Paris walks, Patmos, NYC, hidden (and flagrant) New England. Favorites include: DeKooning’s Wild Women, Tolstoy on tape, Cullen Murphy’s Are We Rome?; Rialto, West Side Lounge, sushi outdoors at Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet. Looking for a future of kisses and conversation with some like-minded guy, 55-70. Boston area; ?@gmail.com.
Passionate photographer, former Silicon Valley CEO, current director public boards. Slim, athletic, really attractive, fit. Casual elegance, lively smile, generous heart, irreverent wit. Excellent traveler, true friend, creative, innovative, charitable, open. Adventurous, fun and funny, never full of herself. Easy-going, curious, model–finds writing this somewhat over the top. Movie-goer, animal-lover, news-junkie, lousy dancer, hiker (New Zealand, Basque Country, Marin County–probably would do Machu Picchu–too precipitous). Favorites: books on iPad, Stanford continuing ed and basketball games, cashmere sweaters, great restaurants with friends, walking my Border Collie, African safaris, rafting/camping Alaska, photographing wild animals everywhere, revisiting Europe. Seeks active, articulate man 56 to fit 70, prefers Northern CA man but open–intelligence, street smarts, financially stable. ?@gmail.com, 650-***-****.
Too good to resist: striking natural beauty–sexy, sophisticated and completely real at the same time. Slender, lean, really cute. Adventurous, curious, artist, low-key humanitarian, trailblazer. Fun, athletic. Not a false note. Light of heart, open with unassuming playful smile. Nature outdoors-lover. Appreciator of beauty, creativity, spontaneity; delights in exploration, discovery, Maine Coast, Cinque Terre, Whistler. Passionately loves skiing, hiking, sailing, New England, photography, architecture. Great cook, great conversationalist but not both at once unless you’re up for mojitos in your coq au vin. Crazy about making a difference, giving back…youth at risk, local agriculture, teaching art. Seeking adventurous, verbal, secure man, 45-60, values generosity, authenticity. 617-***-****. ?@yahoo.com
Smart and beautiful, intellectually curious and athletic. Consultant/educator–tall and slim with natural radiance, warm demeanor, genuineness of character. Adventurous yet calm, listens well. Expressive, affectionate, divorced, 5’8″. Laughs easily, thinks deeply, politically liberal. Interested in social change, literature, politics, nature, beauty. Midwestern roots, international outlook, lived in Spain. Actively enjoys skiing, hiking Rockies or Whites, Mozart sonatas (but can’t play despite years of lessons), Sunday Times, snuggling at home. Comfortable having tapas in Barcelona or roughing it in the backcountry. Seeks healthy/active man, 60s-mid-70s–warmth and intellect bent. Boston area. ?@aol.com. 781-***-****.
Class, class, class. I would literally date any one of these women if I were older, but I seriously doubt that I could afford them. Maybe what we actually have here is a potential sugar mama opportunity??
If I ever go on Match.com or eHarmony any time soon, I’m recruiting these ladies to write my entire bio–they have some serious talent in the personals-writing department.
This one’s a bit bizarre/funny:
Professional, loving Jewish-Italian family, Brookline, MA, with mature, beautiful and accomplished daughter age 21 seeks applicants for position of son-in-law. Must be at least 21, family and career oriented with great expectations. No political tests though occupants of Zuccotti Park need not apply. Applicants and/or parents send resume to ?@hotmail.com.
And the fellas…
Male executive, Yale degree, thoughtful, accomplished, fit, very youthful late 60’s seeks nice, sensitive, warm widow (or other single) comfortable with ideas who finds humor in whimsy and banter. NY metro area; often in Boston. Likes travel; advance apologies if schedule prevents timely response. ?@gmail.com
Ivy League alumnus, mid-30s seeking an interesting/intelligent woman to have a baby with. ?@gmail.com.
It’s funny to see how different in language, tone, and length the male personals are from the female ones.
I was complaining about my groceries spend the other day, and Nate said I should post a receipt for analysis. So here you go. I still had some milk, potatoes, and vegetables in my fridge left over from last week, so this isn’t even a typical week’s receipt, and yet multiplied by four weeks in a month it comes to $340, well over my goal of $280/month.
Looking at this more closely, I should stop complaining and just take my budget up. I don’t want to switch to a Ramen Noodles diet, private brand cereal really doesn’t taste as good, store brand shave gel really doesn’t work as well, and I like Axe and breath mints too much to not buy them.
BTW, give Axe Music a sniff next time you’re in your local grocery store. Holy moly. Some dude sprayed it in the locker room a few months ago and I had to ask him what kind it was. Sort of awkward, but well worth it.