I’ve found my next case

Tell me this wouldn’t look hella cool sitting vertically on your desktop. Antec “Overture” case. I’d put in a couple of slot loading drives to keep it polished looking and probably end up adding a few lights and such (that power button, or the ring around it, definatly needs to glow). That would be very very cool.

It’s not going to happen, well, ever, since I don’t have $92. But it’s nice to dream right?

All is not well

As the title suggests, there’s something rotten in the state of Texas. Namly my financial well-being. You’ve all heard me gripe about this before but this time I’m getting serious with you. Now, since I’ve moved to Texas I’ve been changing addresses for things like magazines and letters and even bills. Even school loans got the updated address. Apparently it didn’t stick. I got a letter from a collection agency yesterday saying they were trying to find me on behalf of one of my loans and that they demanded payment immediatly. Apparently I’ve not been receiving the bill. Serveral bills to be exact. The amount they claim they need is quite large. I’m a bit scared actually.

Lauren’s been going to this financial seminar (I can’t go because it’s Wednesday evenings before I get off work) for us and we’ve learned about a technique called the debt-snowball. Basically you don’t consolidate anything. You start by paying the minimum payments on everything. You put any extra money towards the smallest bill. After you’ve paid off that smallest bill you don’t consider the money you had been sending now to be free. You roll that payment into the next lowest bill. So, using our own bills here… we’d pay off lauren’s bill for my ring (about $300 I think). Once we’ve paid that off we’d take the $20 we had been spending on it a month and roll that into our next highest bill, my credit card. So, my credit card minimum payment is, let’s say $30, we would now send in $50 a month. When we finish that we apply that $50 to something else. This method gets you two things: first, you pay off you bills, which gets you favorable credit ratings and second, you pay off the larger bills faster. My $20,000 school loan will go much quicker if I’m sending in $400 a month instead of $50. See how that works?

Now comes and interesting question. Do I consolidate? I’m not talking about consolidating everything here, but maybe just the school loans. I have three of them, of various sizes, all of which have a monthly bill of about $50-$75. Then there’s the car and my credit card. I can’t swing those extra amounts each month, at least not right now. My basic concern is that if I consolidate to make it ONE payment of $50 a month, something I can handle, is it worth it if it turns three bills into one large $60,000 bill? That would take 30 years to payoff. But, then again, wouldn’t three smaller loans of equal amounts? It’s so confusing. I’m so stressed about this. I didn’t sleep at all last night and I haven’t been sleeping very much at all. It’s hanging over my head and I feel like I have no peace at all.

I outright refuse to declair bankrupcy. I think it’s wrong. Both on a financial and moral level. I made this hole for myself and I’d like to do the honorable thing and dig myself out. But, then I think about who I’m being honorable to. A group of corporations who don’t care, at all, if I’m alive or dead. They’re a faceless, uncaring group of blood thirsty, money grubbing bean counters. They’re whats wrong with American. They’re keeping the people in poverty and ruining lives. Everyone is judged by their credit report, not their character. That’s fucked up.

So, bankrupcy by 25, debt until 50 or poverty forever. What would you choose?

I’m actually glad I get to talk about this and get a little off my chest. It’s making me sick inside not to be able to talk to anyone about it. I feel physically ill, probably ulsers, and I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know what to do.

Bottle Caps

Well, before I get to what I actually did today I’d like to take a second to mention Nagle’s new project and my participation in it since he’s given me the green light to do so. After a sucessful clothing line launch it appears that Offbrand will be expending into the Offbrand Freelance Collective, or the O.B.I. Syndicate (which is a far cooler title). It’s function would be as a “think tank of design” or online portfolios persay, where clients could come and see the groups strengths in illustration, graphic design, broadcast, web, photo, etc and they ask us to do some work for them. I feel very honored to be a part of something like this and I’ve already told Nagle this. I’m sure you’ll hear more about this from him later at some point but I just thought I’d bring it up since I’m excited about it. It really has some potential.

Now, besides that good news there was also a pretty good day to be had around here. I had worked late last night and as such, was able to leave early today. I came home, took a nap, and relaxed for a bit until Lauren came home. We then headed out for some food and to the mall where I found an 18” Beaker Muppet which is now sitting proudly on my desk. It completely kicks ass. I own a friggin Beaker. Hells yeah.

After that we stopped at the grocery store for a few quick things where I made an interesting discovery. You know how Pepsi is giving away iTunes downloads under the caps? Well, you can SEE if you’ve won or not without opening the bottle. Simply tip it away from and look up under the cap. Since the winning codes are so long, they fill up nearly the whole cap area, making it very visable. You can really read it obviously, but if you can see a bunch of letters, you’ve won. If you can’t see anything or can read the word “again” as in “please play again”, grab another bottle. Seriously. It’s that obvious and really easy to see since the code is so large. Give it a try. I’m 2 for 2.

Lastly, I’ve started putting together what I consider to be a pretty kick-ass mix CD. Normally I wouldn’t even bother mentioning something like this but I think it’s worth while. Opinions are welcome, let me know what you think:

I fought the law (cover)- Green Day
Bottles to the Ground – NOFX
Sugar in your Gas Tank – Less than Jake
Party @ my House – MXPX
Breakup Song – Bouncing Souls
The Anthem – Good Charlotte
It’s the end of the world – Suicide Machines
Fingers Crossed – Millencolin
Whats my age again – Blink 182
I’m the one – Descendents
All Messed Up – Sum 41
Heaven is a halfpipe OR Rooftops – Mest
In This Diary – Ataris
Stupid Kid – Alkaline Trio
I’d do Anything – Simple Plan
Prisoner of Society – Living End

That’s all I’ve got so far. I’m also considering some Dropkick Murphys, Get Up Kids and Catch 22. Suggestions?

So, a muppet, free music, good news and a few good songs. What a great day.

Matt out

Journal… as in a real one on paper

I came across my last journal yesterday. I’ve kept one since highschool but I had neglected my latest one for about 6 months. It was actually a thrill to go back and read some of my short fiction and poetry that I had written. Things I had written at 4am and never remembered writing. I might have to find some of my old ones and take a trip down memory lane.

Also, the new Blink 182 album is horrible. I haven’t listened to it strait through a 2nd time to confirm this to myself but I was really disappointed. I’m not a groupy or anything but it was their style of music that I enjoyed. Well, it’s dead now. Replaced by some emo-metal crap. What is sounds like most is that it was over produced. It doesn’t sound like fun punk-ish music anymore. Sad.

Also, Radio, the movie, is very long and very very borring. Don’t waste your rental dollar. Nuff said.

side notes

A few side notes that didn’t have anything to do with car racing or stupidity. They warrant they’re own post.

First up, Chip was telling me his friend Delia was having FireFox issues with themes and disappearing taskbars. In that light I thought I’d pass around an also-unreleased theme thats working very well for me in v0.8. It’s actually a port of the default OSX theme (pinstripe) and really looks slick. Check it out at MozillaZine.

Also, in case you’re looking for some new wallpaper and don’t feel like waiting 10 years for devaintart to load, check out PixelGirl Presents (Desktop Images section). It’s where I’ve gotten some of my favorites over the years. I’m not sure I ever passed the link along.

Serious bling-bling. Uber Diamond found in space.

Plant Piracy“? Give me a break. They’re roses people. That’s like me taking out a trademark on the phrase “water” and making everyone call it “tasteless non-colored liquid” or else I sue them.

In Silent Storm… you start with guns and get frickin’ lasers halfway through. How cool is that?!? Sorry… I just got to that part of the game.