Category Archives: Life as I Know It

20-Something Life in The City vs. The Burbs

It’s Sunday morning, and I roll out of bed after a much-needed full night of rest and stare out my window. One roommate is up, clanking around the kitchen, but otherwise, there is just a slight breeze that can be heard through the windows and silence.

It’s all too tempting to remain in my bed another hour longer as there really isn’t anything to jump out of bed to do. In order to get anywhere, I have to drive at least 10 minutes away. To get to the city, it’s an hour drive give or take. So, while I’d love to head to Golden Gate Park for a run, instead, I lie in bed, and imagine what it would be like to live in the city.

When I moved out to the Bay Area in 2005, I always assumed I’d end up in San Francisco. But, instead, I’ve managed to live just about everywhere within an hour radius around the city and never in it.

There’s a part of me that feels like I need to experience city life now, before I get “old” and have a family and a reason to trap myself in the ‘burbs. Right now, there’s a piece of satisfaction with life I’m missing, and I think that has a large part to do with not living in the city. I want to be able to go to a figure drawing open session on Tuesday night… or Thurs night. And make new friends that are my age who like to go out and do… things.

Right now, I’m in a coffee shop in San Francisco near the Lower Haight, and the energy here is so city Sunday. Soft music plays, people are talking, reading, enjoying the day. Through the glass in front of me are four women, probably in their early 30s, enjoying a relaxing lunch, the SF version of Sex & the City (more hoodies, ponytails, but probably similar conversation.) And I want that… I want a life outside of work and watching reruns at my boyfriend’s house.

July 1 I have the opportunity to move… I can either stay close to work, or… maybe it’s the right time to make the move to the city. It would mean an hour-long commute to work, and more expensive rent, but it could also mean finding the missing link between my life today and my happiness.

What do you think? Do you live in a city or suburbs? Does living in a city help one be happy and feel more connected in her 20s/30s?

When there’s a “Will” there’s a way… So my great uncle died…

Death is not something most people would want to deal with on a regular basis. And by most people, I mean everyone with the exception of the occasional sociopath and/or actor playing one. I, for one, have never been to a funeral, and haven’t known a lot of people who have died. In fact, no one I’ve known closely has died yet (knock on wood.) When it does happen I’m not sure how I’ll cope. Regardless, one thing I’m not enthused about is the idea of how death, from a legal perspective, also means inheritance, and the uncomfortable situation of relatives turning against each other as that money is split up all while you’re trying to morn your loss.

In the case of my family, a few months ago my great uncle passed away. He was in his 90s and up until his death was a happy and youthful guy. A prominent Rabbi who divorced his wife late in his life in order to follow his heart (with his much younger cantor… oh, the drama) he had lived a long live, escaping the Holocaust and losing his first wife and child in the genocide, and then moving on and living a life dedicated to openness and interfaith connections. Needless to say he was a very interesting guy, and it was sad to hear that he had passed.

He also had a condo in a nice area of New York that’s undoubtedly worth a bit of money, and who knows how much additional money in the bank. At some point he revised his will to give all of his money to his “foundation” (that hasn’t been set up yet) and gave full power over his estate to another rabbi he knew in NY. The rabbi then went on to do something a bit shady… quickly asking my mom, her sisters, and the others who would likely receive some of the inheritance, to sign an agreement saying that they give over all the rights to this guy to decide what to do with the money, and that they should sign right away or risk not being able to receive anything (although it was clear they probably wouldn’t receive anything if they signed.) My mom and her sisters signed, but a relative in Israel refused and the latest word is that they received a note that they would receive $10k if they will sign. So now my mom is pissed about the whole situation and wondering if she’s getting screwed over.

While she’s likely getting screwed over, the whole situations just irks me. This guy DIED and you barely made time to see him during his life, why do you deserve any of that money? What also irks me is that the one who has power over the estate may be using the money for his own gains… or he might be using it for the charities he promised to support. We don’t know.

Have you had any awkward inheritance stories to share?

I’m Taking the $4k Hair-Free Plunge: Why Laser Hair Removal is (Hopefully) Worth The Investment

So long $4k. $4.5k to be exact. I’m splurging on something that is (after a lot of pain) going to make me a much happier person. That thing is Laser Hair Removal. And it’s something that I’ve been wanting to fully invest in for a long time.

Let me preface this post by saying that I’ve already had some laser hair removal done. I’ve probably spend $2k already on 8 treatments for my face, 5 treatments for my underarm and one for my bikini area. For those of you who don’t know, laser hair removal requires multiple sessions because your hair grows in phases. Generally speaking people need 5-10 sessions per area to have most of the hair removed permanently.

Laser Hair Removal is extremely expensive, and it’s not a sure bet. My hormonal issues (PCOS) means that while LHR will kill hair currently growing, new hair might decide to pop up at any time. Still, I’ve found Laser Hair Removal a worthwhile investment so far, and I’m ready to invest in what it takes to go completely hair free. For some people who aren’t that hairy, it might not be worth it. But… TMI… I’m a hairy beast. And the truth is that my hair doesn’t just bother me, it hurts my relationship with others. As my hair grows back so quickly, it hurts intimacy with my boyfriend. He just doesn’t want to touch me at all if my legs are the least bit prickly. Meanwhile, having to shave all the dark hair frequently means a mess in the bathroom that takes a long time to clean up. And don’t get me started on Nair…

So I’ve done my research. I’ve made spreadsheets with the cost of getting each body part cleared of hair. Every time I added up the costs, even with the 40% off discounts that some of the local places run twice a year, it would still cost me $10k to get close to the amount of LHR I’d need. And then hair might still grow back, and it would be an unfinished job. I didn’t want a $10k unfinished job.

A year ago I found a place that’s about an hour drive away that offers Unlimited Laser Hair Removal. It seems almost too good to be true, but it’s also not all that cheap. I went to visit for a consultation (I actually met the nurse at another medspa in the city that was charging a lot more for the same equipment) and the place seemed clean, reputable, and has been around for a while. It uses an Alexandrite laser which is the right kind for my light skin and dark hair. So I’m game.

Still, it’s tough to plunk down $4k on anything. After all, I spent $7k on my car and that was, well, my CAR. I just figure if i’m going to invest in laser hair removal I might as well do it sooner than later — the value comes from being hair free for a long time, not waiting until I’m old enough to afford it. And, heck, I am old enough to afford it. I saved a lot of money last year, I deserve to “treat” myself.

And by treat myself, I mean TORTURE myself. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise, laser hair removal is extremely painful. I had my bikini area done with it to test it out and… YIKES. Even with numbing cream it hurt. Well, the worst part was my inner thighs and around back. I cringe at the thought of all the pain I will endure, over and over again, to be hair free. But today I don’t feel the pain and my face is a lot smoother than it was a year ago (yea, yea, yea PCOS makes me have a beard, ugh.) I know I will be a much happier person when I go hair free. And that, my friends, is worth $4k.

Who wants to be Charlie Sheen?

With 2 million followers on Twitter since joining the site a few days ago, it’s unquestionable that Sheen’s celebrity power is worth enough money to fund his addictive, bipolar, goddess-filled lifestyle. America LOVES Charlie Sheen, in all his crazy glory. America LOVES to hate him as well, because he can get away with all the things the average person would be doomed by. His cocaine binges, his self-indulgent media whoring, his ability to become MORE famous for his crazy antics despite causing his show to shut down, makes him almost as invincible as he thinks he is.

I admittedly haven’t followed Sheen’s story closely, and have only caught glimpses of his interviews online, and have seen the stars glistening in my boyfriend’s eyes as he defines Sheen as “awesome,” half jokingly, half… well, half surely wanting to be Charlie Sheen. His 24-year-old blonde Goddesses clutching his side, watching his children, and undoubtedly providing a party in the bedroom, without asking him to grow up — after all, who needs to grow up when you have billions of dollars to blow through?

Our society both glamorizes this type of outrageous celebrity lifestyle, it’s easy to forget these people are human, not gods, and probably have as many downs as they do ups. Yet somehow — even with all the drug use and body-hurting behaviors — most live, and seem, well, happy. Especially Charlie Sheen — maybe he just fakes it well — but he sure seems to love being able to exploit his mania, and have the financial cushion to do whatever he wants in life.

Ok, so maybe YOU don’t want to be Charlie Sheen, but I might. Not to be HIM exactly, but to have enough fame and fortune to live a life of extremes and spontaneity. That may be unhealthy, but I’d agree to some extent that it IS winning. Then again, as someone who struggles with a more mild form of Bipolar, I lust for an even more extreme mania than the hypomania I occasionally experience with Bipolar II. I’ve never had a real manic episode, but — deep down my happiness seems tied to the ability to live manic. Why do I need a lot of money? I want to be able to, when in a manic-type of mood, go to a mall and spend thousands of dollars on clothes and other items. I want to be able to blow a few thousand dollars on a weekend trip to Hawaii, or London, or anywhere else in the world. And I want enough money to buy my friends, because then you don’t have to be the perfect friend, just the one who can afford to keep your selected company around.

I guess I do want to be Charlie Sheen, and with that being my goal in life, I don’t think my dreams are all too realistic. Especially since the female version of Sheen is Lindsay Lohan or something, and I wouldn’t want to be her.

2011 Goals

Last year I made a list of goals. I’m going to ignore the fact that I probably didn’t accomplish most of them and start from scratch. I’ll check in monthly to report on my progress. This year is different because I am on ADHD meds so I can focus. Maybe this is all do-able.

  1. Have $150k – $170k in savings/investments by Dec 31, 2011.
  2. Read 1 book per month (12 books total) — 6 fiction, 6 non fiction?
  3. Teach myself math. 1 Subject per month. Algebra I (February), Algebra II (March), Geometry (April), Trig (May), Pre Calc (June), Calculus (July & August)
  4. After learning Math, take GMAT &/or GRE, depending on career enlightenment by summer (September)
  5. Lose 50lbs (now ~ 170lbs, want to be 120lbs. Mini goals 160lbs by March 1, 150lbs by May 1, 140lbs by August 1, 130 by Oct 1, 120 by Dec 2011.
  6. Go to “ADHD Support Group” twice a month
  7. Be a good friend and roommate. Friend-wise, invite 2 friends per month to do things (2 different times.) Roommate-wise, keep the house clean, offer to help doing things, random fun gifts for roommates
  8. Volunteer!!! Figure out a place to volunteer on a regular basis. Once a week(?) Maybe join mentoring program. Start this by March 1.
  9. Write a book with boyfriend. I have a really bad sci fi plotline written down and my bf likes the overall idea but says the details are ridiculous, but is willing to write with me and  maybe turn my ideas into a good book.
  10. Kick ass at work. I’m behind right now, but decided that first I need to get my life in order at home (today!) by cleaning my room, car, everything, and then I can focus on the kick ass at work thing. This is most important of all. I am going to be a marketing goddess. I have a lot of ideas, right now the important thing is to prioritize and get shit done. I want to feel like I’ve accomplished this goal by March 1, and then up the ante each month for the rest of the year.
  11. Be a good sister. Even though my sister is far away, I want to stay in touch w/ her and even send her some fun things on occasion. I want to make sure she knows I’m always here for her, not just the 2 times a year we see each other.
  12. Dedicate 1 weekend day a month to painting or drawing. 6 hours minimum.