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05-10-2002 @ 12:22 a.m.
Where I Try to Figure Out Fiscal Responsibility

It was a stellar day in the darkroom today despite the fact that I ruined one piece of 11x14 paper (which costs about $2.50 per sheet) and created an inadvertant waterfall that made a huge water mess in the hallway. But I printed contact sheets for my photo session with Grandma and then printed final 11x14 prints of 3 of my project photos. This means that I have half of my project finished, except for mounting (which I haven't yet decided on) so I am totally stoked. I may get this project done after all!

This also means that I might have some time to work in my garden. I'm planning to work on part of it tomorrow--installing mesh under the soil in my garden boxes to keep the critters at bay. Hopefully that will help. I need more soil, though. We need to top off our boxes. This is my favorite part of the year--putting in the vegetable garden, as my grandfather always called it. If I can get the soil ready tomorrow then I can plant this week in our good weather. Yay!

Joey came home with a perfect weekly evaluation report today. It's something we've been working toward for awhile and even met with the teacher to set goals to get on track with finishing work on time during class and it's been a big challenge for Joey. She needs a quieter, more distraction-free environment than she has in her classroom and so it has been hard for her to stay focused on her work at hand. Boy howdy, do I know how that feels. I'm the Queen of Distractability. But she has made great progress. She gets to reap her reward tomorrow with Ed when they go out shopping in the afternoon.

I'm seriously jonesing to spend money. It's ridiculous. I just want to buy more and more and more stuff. I don't understand that at all. I mean, I've always been something of an impulse shopper and a spendthrift but I don't usually crave it. These days, though, it seems my thoughts are consumed with things I need (want) to buy. I need more photo paper--that's a given. And I need mounting board and mounting tissue. And a portfolio to carry my work in. Those are non-negotiable. But I also seem to need orange capris with rhinestones in the shape of a Hawaiian flower on them. And I seem to need to buy Joey more summer clothes. And I need to buy birthday gifts for all the freaking May birthdays I have out there. I got art gifts for my friend's children (easy to mail) but her birthday is the 20th and I need a gift for her, too. I'm feeling a gift certificate coming on. I also bought a killer retro shirt for my BIL whose birthday is also the 20th. My other BIL has a birthday on the 22nd but that sister and I don't buy gifts for each other's husbands so all I need to get for him is a card.

But beyond that, I'm wanting to buy more stuff. Stuff I don't need. I want to stroll through salvage stores and antique stores. I want to hang out at Home Depot. I want to search Ebay for a medium-format SLR. I want to buy a new satellite dish receiver to replace the one that went on the fritz so we can have TV in our bedroom again. That's clearly not a need, just a want. Still, it is bugging me. I put myself to sleep every night redecorating the guest room into a nursery/guest room. Don't really need a lot there--have the crib and guest bed but need some kind of armoire/drawer combo (preferably with a pullout changing table--ever heard of such a thing?) I want to go buy paint and start painting the interior of my whole house. (Well, I'm not really excited about *doing* the painting just having the painting finished.) It's like going on a diet--soon as I tell myself that I'm going to be more fiscally responsible, I just want to go shopping and travel. What the hell?

Speaking of spending money, we went out for dinner tonight, as is our custom on Friday nights, and I wanted sushi. Actually, what I wanted was a big steaming bowl of salted edamame. I tried to get some for lunch but the place wasn't open when I went there at 10:30. What's up with that? So anyway, I was lobbying for sushi but I got vetoed in favor of Subway which was right in the strip mall where we were at the time we decided to go out to dinner. The sandwich was tasty and all but it did nothing to quell my craving for those delicious soybeans. I'm going to have to hie myself over to Sushiworld for some edamame when I'm out and about tomorrow. There's no two ways about it.

Joey has $28 to spend and it's killing her not to spend it right this very minute. While we were out tonight, she kept picking things up that she wanted to buy. Ed and I are trying to wean her away from junky, crappy, cheap-ass toys in favor of saving her money for more long-lasting, quality items. This is a very difficult thing to teach an 8 year old. (Hell, it's obviously a hard thing to teach a lot of people, myself include. Hmmm...wonder where Joey got her spending ideas????) Still, we're trying to help her learn to raise her standards a little. No more of the dime-a-dozen toys like the kinds you get in a birthday party goodie bag. She gets enough of those for free from birthday parties. It's a slow transition. She likes to collect things--she has 3000 stuffed animals (you think I'm exaggerating, don't you?) and still she wants more more more of them. She has 10 Gr00vy Girls dolls and furniture and accessories and clothes to go with them. You'd think that's enough but clearly it is not because the first thing she wanted to do was buy 2 more Gr00vy Girls dolls. If I really thought she'd play with them, I'd have no problem with her getting them but the 10 she has are largely left unplayed with unless a friend comes to visit. I think 10 is probably enough of those dolls anyway. She got this collecting mentality from a classmate (the dreaded Shannon who I absolutely *cannot* stand--her father is the one who started the whole Acid Debacle). Shannon couldn't have just one of anything. If she had one, it immediately turned into 20. And if anyone had more of whatever it was, the next day she'd have 5 more. I'm not kidding. She did it with these light-up Pokemon keychains on their backpacks. Once Joey found them on sale for $.99 each so she bought 3 and gave 1 to a classmate who didn't have one. That put Joey "ahead" of Shannon by one keychain. The next day, Shannon had 5 more. Shannon had 3001 Be@nie B@bies. Shannon had 100+ "bouncy balls" (those superballs that bounce really high and get lost the first time you actually bounce them). Shannon had every version of the Pokemon gameboy game the very day they came out. She also had each version of Gameboy is it became available. She also had a Playstation and a Nintendo 64. I understand for Christmas, their household also acquired both an xbox and a game cube. Since this girl was Joey's most favored friend (though she treated everyone so despicably that I don't understand how she had any friends at all but let's save that for another entry), all of Shannon's goodies cast in Joey's face all the time. From this, Joey got the notion that one of a thing is nothing. One must have many of a thing. And if it comes in different shapes, sizes, colors, styles, etc., then all must be had. This is very irritating and we don't know how to combat this line of thinking. We're not collectors like that (except for when I find a pair of pants that fit--which is no easy feat--in which case I usually buy several pair in different colors but she's not privy to my pants-buying strategy). But except for being hard asses and saying no no nonononononono all the freaking time, I don't have any ideas on how to limit this behavior and reshape the thinking behind it. I don't want her to turn into one of those old ladies with 24 cats and a house full of teacups and souvenir spoons and Madame Alex@nder dolls and fancy Barbie dolls and all these useless collections that do nothing but collect dust and create a yearning to have more more more more of whatever it is. I just want her to get over the desire to have multiples of everything she owns.

What a contradictory entry this is--here I am trying to teach Joey fiscal responsibility while internally, I as eager to spend money as she is. I'm really not a hypocrite. Well, ok, maybe I am. A little. I don't let her drink caffeinated beverages while I quaff the Diet Dr Pepper like the earth will run dry tomorrow. Hmmm...lots to think about here.


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