Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Financial Freedom... really?

I fear that this is becoming a forum for my rants, so I will start with something "non-ranty".

My brother is now living a mere 2 hours from me. And even though neither one of us has cars - it is doable. I think that he will live in Philly and then "weekend" in NYC... although the accommodations are a bit worse than most people's weekend homes (we make up for it with the food). I'm excited about having a sibling so close!

Last week a group of students came from NKY to work with a church in Bay Ridge. Some of these folks were in the 8th grade small group that I lead..... Good times with them playing kickball, making fun of them eating KFC and Uno's (I STILL don't know who comes here and does that!) They also were gracious enough to bring G & I some stuff from home and carry a table back for me. Getting that little table out of my room increase my floor space by 25%, I think!

We are starting our bi-annual question of "What should we do for small groups?" Since I moved here I've wanted to do a financial/budget group. Living in a city is expensive and oftentimes the pay isn't that much more than what a "suburban" job would pay. Within my first 6 months here I finally understood the statement "We couldn't afford to leave the city." I've been doing my homework: searchin the internet, asking wise people I know (that would be my pops who knows both small groups AND finances) and checking out different small group materials. I have a few that I'm liking but I also have a question: These materials, which will help people get their finances in order, WHY ARE THEY SO EXPENSIVE? Now, I understand that when you're done with your 11-13 week of small group, things should be pretty rosey... but at the start you're supposed to sink either $49 or $93 on material?! I'm thinking that if I had to decide between joining that small group or eating/paying rent for the month - there would be no question. So I've decided that when I write my amazing financial material, I will make it low-cost. Maybe even make it a pdf and let it be downloaded for free..... we'll see :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hi

Hello All. Finally found time to read my email and found this. Life is good everything is moved in and in a place somewhere. Still training at work which is really just like full sail "Here make a game see you when you are done and we will grade it." So yea I have as much time as I want but I decided on a week (ending tomorrow hopefully). Work is awesome we get free food (usually once a week but we have had it 3 times this week and there is a ton left in the work fridges) we goof around, we play practical jokes, we make fun of everyone that isn't us in the studio. Yes it is true we are elitist. Tomorrow I go to NY to visit Heidi ($20 round trip WOO) should be fun. Ok that is it back to other stuff. Love you all
Grant

PS These are private right I don't want my shoddy random writing showing up on my professional search ;)

PPS This is for Heidi and her Feist hatred
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fciD_II7NI

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blind Man Stood on the Road and he

First, I need to say that every time I think of this song, I think of one man: Don Strunk. He shaped my middle school years and beyond by singing this song....alot :-)

On my way to work yesterday I passed by the subway stop. Usually there is a man with a mohawk at this corner passing out free newspapers. I realized as I was crossing the street that it was a different man (also signaling that it was a different free paper). I also noticed the man had a cane, a cane like blind people normally walk with. As I got onto the sidewalk I was going to continue down the avenue (as opposed to into the train like most people would be doing) and the man asked me if I'd like a newspaper. I was pretty amazed that he heard me walking by in tennis shoes while big trucks zoomed past us. I'm lucky if I can hear the conversation that's meant for me to hear it in these situations.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What could I do with $28K a month?

Man, lots of things for me to have an opinion about today. I was watching Oprah today and she had Alexis Stewart on (daughter of Martha Stewart). She was talking about her infertility and how she was trying to get pregnant (she is 42 and divorced). In her quest she is spending approximately $28,000/month on treatments. As I sat here, I thought about what you could do with that money a month that relates to a child.... adoption? open and run a few foster homes? open a home for unwed mothers? I don't know - I don't have that burning desire to have my own biological child, so I know that I am not completely impartial to the argument.... just something to think about.

Was she worth it?

So when I moved to NY, I brought with me an excellent umbrella - courtesy of my former employer for Christmas. When you live in the land of cars, umbrellas are nice and useful. When you live in the land of walking, good umbrellas are a necessity! I walked with my great umbrella for about a year before going to a bridal shower at a friend's apartment. We all left our umbrellas right outside her door (in the building's hallway) and when I came out my umbrella was gone! I walked around for about a month with a cheap umbrella before realizing that I was going to have to invest a bit of cash in a quality umbrella. I made my way up to Macy's - got lost in the store - before finally making it to the purse & perfume area (just my cup of tea). Picked my umbrella and we have been happily exploring this city since that day.

Last night I helped out at the Feist concert. It was supposed to rain. My trusty umbrella and I hiked up to the park and got our ticket. And that's when they told me... "you have to leave your umbrella outside". I almost turned around and walked home. I knew in my gut what would happen if I put my nice umbrella, in it's case, in a pile that a thousand other people were going to toss their umbrellas into as well.....

It rained - it poured, for about 20 minutes - as I sought shelter under a tent flap. It was dark when the concert was in it's encore. I walked outside the gate to look for my umbrella before the crush of folks came looking for theirs. I could see nothing and went back in to finish the job I was there for.

Was Feist good? Sure. Was she worth my trusty umbrella? NO! Luckily some people gave up looking for their semi-quality umbrellas. So as I was leaving and the garbage truck was pulling up to haul them all away... I snagged 3 of them. I figured that would hold me over for at least 3 rainstorms.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

And so it begins

Here we are - the beginning of our "team" blog. We'll see how this works out - or who contributes the most (I'm guessing me, since this was my idea).

I feel like the first post should be something amazing or challenging or insightful. Instead I will leave you with a conversation that I heard (part of) over the weekend. It was 2 girls that were at least high school seniors... maybe in college.

Girl #1: what's so wrong with that idea? "I know I don't want to marry you, but I want to have your babies."
Girl #2: Yeah, you get together and then 'See ya in 9 months!'
Girl #1: That would work for however many babies you wanted.

And that friends, is why we have some of the problems we have.