Monday, July 15, 2013

Money matters

A few posts ago I said I was managing to pay off my mortgage. That was a lie. The revolving credit thing - which I put in place on the off-chance (!) that my well-paying job would turn to custard - has worked out a treat. It allows me to keep my property without paying much off at all, and that's what I'm currently doing. I'm paying off the fixed portion (which is about half) but the revolving bit isn't going anywhere. I did make a dent in the revolving part when I had some lump sums to plonk on it, like the poker money and the proceeds of the shares I sold, but now I'm totally plonked out. And I'm hardly spending anything. If I decide to buy a new TV and some furniture for the flat, then travel overseas for a month, my loan won't be revolving so much as rocketing into orbit. So what do I do? Get a flatmate? Two flatmates? Let the whole place out and live somewhere else? Take up online poker again? Um, no. Hope my app sells millions?

Mandy, my ex-work colleague from Auckland, is pregnant. That's excellent news. She'll be a brilliant mum I'm sure. What the baby will look like is anyone's guess however. Mandy is a black African and her partner is a ginger Kiwi.

On Friday, the same day Mandy told me she was pregnant, she got her latest actuarial exam result. She didn't pass. How she keeps studying and sitting exams I have no idea. Doing exams and having everything marked and graded feels so 2005 to me. Or more like 1995. There was a big kerfuffle in the office on Friday when one of my colleagues disputed a mark she'd received for a call she took from a customer. She seemed less concerned by the small difference it might make to her bonus than the indignity of it. You see this quite a lot. I couldn't imagine being bothered by that kind of thing any more.

I never take calls from customers so I don't have any marks or grades to worry about. I do call customers though, and on the rare occasion I successfully get someone's payment details, I get to say the word ombudsman. It's one of those words that I struggle to say without cracking up. The name Ponsonby has a similar effect on me. Ombudsman is Swedish in origin, as is smorgasbord, which Joe Bennett said sounds like the noise a pig makes at a trough. The name Smeg (they make whiteware - I have a couple of examples in my flat) sounds Scandinavian to me, but is actually an Italian acronym. Talking of smeg (which you'll be glad to know I don't do very often) I just bought a Red Dwarf DVD for six bucks off Trade Me.

I took out a new book called One Last Thing Before I Go from the library last week. I picked it because of the cover, the title and the blurb. I got through eight chapters (and they're short chapters) before returning it today. The writing was clever but everyone in the book seemed so bitchy and bastardy and, I suppose, neurotypical. I wasn't in the mood for it. I took out a P G Wodehouse book about golf instead. I'd never read any of his stuff before.

The Trayvon Martin case got a mention at the autism group tonight. The bloke who watches Hitler speeches to relax made me shudder with some of the things he came out with.

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