Marathon Life

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful & Black Friday Finds

On this Thanksgiving Day weekend, even though I am sick with a head cold, I am thankful for a lot in my life right now. First, I am thankful I have a roof over my head. It could be a lot worse and I realize that many people are severely struggling from the effects of the Great Recession. I am thankful that I am now living in San Diego again and that I was able to take a risk and buy a condo. The mortgage and responsibility is a different feeling but I am getting used to it. I finally feel like a real adult at age 34.

In regards to the condo, I am also thankful and relieved that I finally received my First Time Home Buyer's tax credit check from the US Treasury in the mail this week! That's money in my pocket that I can use for whatever I want. I felt like I won the lottery since the check was probably the largest check I have ever deposited in my life. Even though the condo was purchased in 2010, I was allowed to amend my 2009 taxes so I could receive the funds this year instead of in 2011. I am also thankful that I am supposed to get even more tax credit money from the State of California First Time Home Buyer's program.

As a consumer in this sour economy I have really benefited from many of the stimulus programs that were aimed to jump start the economy.. Many people bash Obama for these programs, but I am not complaining and nor do I bash him. It IS helping the economy. Period. Check out this story here. I am a clear example of how these programs can affect the economy. I use the money I receive and I am spending it on things like furniture, new hardwood floors, TVs and other items.

I am thankful that I have a job and was able to find one in this piss poor economy. It was a 6 month struggle but I found a great agency to work at. Although I have freaked out recently about the stability of the agency, I feel better about it now after a meeting we had yesterday. We are not out of the woods yet, but I'm just not going to worry about it. This agency has been successful over the years and I am confident they will pull through any difficulties they may face.

Black Friday Finds

Since I have been sick I didn't know if I was going to feel up to getting up early for all the Black Friday deals. Also I was concerned about being trampled by the masses of heavy middle aged women who typically frequent Walmarts. My main goal was to get a 32 inch LCD HDTV. I have never owned a flat panel TV before (I know, I am stuck in the 90s when it comes to home entertainment). I had done a lot of research on to find where all the deals were. I knew I wanted a quality brand. If I had to buy it at Walmart I would, even though I do not typically support such a corporation with a history of racism and homophobia.

Walmart was having their door buster sale for a 32in Emerson LCD TV priced at $198, down from a regular price of $448. I knew that if I got there just a few hours after opening (5am)) they wouldn't have any left. Well last night I went online at midnight and it was available online for the same price with free shipping. I was tempted but I hadn't read any reviews of this TV online. Since it was a lesser known brand (Emerson is more known for their other computer board products, not TVs) I decided that I would show up at 7am and see what was left. They also had a Samsung 32 inch LCD for $328. Since Best Buy and Target both had the same TV for that price, I decided to leave Walmart and take my chances at Best Buy. Before I left, I did purchase a Bissell Easyvac for just $25 with tax. It was a great deal ($20 off) and I saw it up at the front near the registers. I needed a quality vacuum since I didn't own one, but I didn't need a really hefty duty one since I only have 2 rooms with carpet. 

It was 8am when I got to Best Buy and I immediately saw that same Samsung 32 inch that Walmart had. They still had tons left. I decided I would look around to see if they had anything better. The main issue I had with the Samsung model was it had just a 720p resolution. Right next to the Samsung was the LG 32 inch LCD HDTV that had a much better 1080p resolution and was just $50 more at $379. In the end I decided to just splurge and go with LG due to the resolution and the fact that it has a USB port so I can view photos and other stuff. I paid with tax including a CA $16 recycling fee, $429. Not bad. My goal was the spend around $300 but I really wanted a quality brand and I just didn't trust these other brands. The Samsung would have been OK, but then I didn't want to regret not getting the highest picture quality.

Now I can finally host a Glee night on Tuesdays! Yay!

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posted by Anthony at 2:08 PM 0 comments

Friday, November 19, 2010

Not going to live in fear

With a new job, condo and my life back in San Diego, I am relatively happy these days. I am getting used to this life. I am happy at work too, which seems to be a rarity for me given the past 9 full-time jobs I have had since 1999. I'm 3 months into this new job and I really enjoy the work. I can't let my paranoia creep in and ruin this "at peace" feeling I have right now. The other day I stated to obsess and started worrying about losing my job again!  And you may be asking why?

Being laid off once and having my life uprooted to AWFUL Orange County has caused me to live in fear sometimes. The decision to take a job in a undesirable/un-gay friendly place last year was Anthony taking the "safe" route. In retrospect, I should have waited out the recession and took my chances. But, I do think God had a plan for me ("everything happens for a reason" cliche) and I ended up where I am today (back in SD with a better job and condo) because of those past decisions. Would I have still decided to buy the condo if I had stayed in San Diego last year without any real job prospects? Who knows? Maybe I would have struggled to find work and been in the "I can't afford a condo" frame of mind. Maybe I would have found something better. I am grateful for what I have now and I have to remind myself of that everyday.

Since I work at an agency now, my continued employment depends on our clients. Not getting into specifics, but a major client of ours I currently am assigned to wants to narrow down the marketing agencies they use early next year. If we are not selected that would be a major hit to our agency's revenues. I am trying to not freak out, but it made me think, "what if they lose that client? Will I still have a job at this agency?" It really pissed me off to even think of having to look for a new job so soon. I actually felt sick to my stomach. I know I am jumping to the worst case scenario, but it's a defense mechanism that I have rooted inside me. I always prepare. I always anticipate. I tend to go with my gut feeling. I wish I didn't do this, but it's what I have ALWAYS done. It's masochistic. I need to stop. I need to stop now.

I have to look at the facts. I am very appreciated at work now. They would be crazy to get rid of me. At the same time, I have skills to offer if I HAD to move on to something else. Am I going to job search right now? Absolutely NOT! Am I going to worry about the what ifs? No! I am going to try something different and for once NOT live in fear and NOT think about the worst case scenarios. I am going to live in the present damn it!

At many of my past jobs I would constantly be looking over my shoulder and worrying about losing my job. Now I am going to look at the facts. The worst thing that could happen is that I do lose the job. Well, I have a roommate right now. I can afford to pay my mortgage and other expenses if I had to take unemployment income. I have money saved up. I will be fine. I have the confidence, resourcefulness and know-how to be successful.
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posted by Anthony at 12:04 AM 2 comments

Sunday, November 07, 2010

My Marathoning Future

So with my discovery about the better back support in my new work chair, I have renewed hope to be able to run another marathon soon.  My hamstrings are really sore lately, but I have been hitting decent paces. I feel optimistic about my training.

I was hoping to use the Carlsbad Marathon on Jan 23, 2011 to re-qualify for Boston Marathon, but I won't be doing that now as it sold out in 8 hours on Oct 18. It's the first time this has happened. Usually they open registration in early Sept and usually it takes until Jan or Feb to sell out. Well, things are different now. More and more people are running marathons and qualifying for the race. Also, since they opened registration in the middle of October, one of the most popular months for marathons, there was a sense of urgency to register quickly.

I did 8 miles on Saturday at 7:00 pace and I'll have to admit it was a bit of a struggle. I didn't do it early enough in the AM, so temps were around 70 degrees or so. I also ran 5 miles the night before. Mistake. I have to just take a rest day if I am going to have a successful longer run. I had to stop 3 times to stretch for about 30 seconds each time and I was so fatigued throughout this run. The tired feeling was probably due to not eating enough before the run and waiting too long to run after eating. Ideally I should run 60-90 min after eating. I think the key is stretching A LOT more before my runs, especially my runs that go over and hour. I also am going to try to work in some spin classes on my non-running days.

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posted by Anthony at 9:53 PM 1 comments

Friday, November 05, 2010

Painting and no more back pain

Ughh I said I was going to update this more often and what did I do? I only had one entry in Oct! Not good enough. I am going to try to write more.

Midnight Harbor painting
So I had sort of a Eureka moment at work about a week ago. I went into a meeting and sat in a conference room chair. It was so much more comfortable than the one at my desk. I asked to switch it out. Immediately I noticed the difference. I went running and didn't have any lower back aches. I have had these aches for over a year! I couldn't believe it. I went on to do more runs and still didn't have the pain. I was so happy I discovered this. The difference with the chair is that it has a bump in the back of it. I also started to paying attention to my posture. I try to not lean forward anymore. It's working. Maybe I can get back to the marathon early next year. I think I will try for one in January or February.

As for my condo, I am looking into getting carpet for the two bedrooms. In the meantime I got the painting from my friend Mike Quernemoen. I hung it on the wall and it looks great. The colors really work well for my space - reds, blues, greens, black. They match the FLOR carpet tiles I bought as well.

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posted by Anthony at 7:04 AM 0 comments

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