Friday, December 23, 2016
So I've been accumulating this massive pile of begging letters lately as multiple charities forage for those end-of-the-year donations. I've been tossing the envelopes onto one corner of my desk, and today I decided to excavate the tell. So many worthy causes... so comparatively little available to give them... what to do? Start by sorting the unopened envelopes, discarding the duplicates, into three broad categories: animals, people, nature. Pull out the ones I've given to in the past and set them aside as already vetted. Take the likely candidates among the rest, pull up Charity Navigator online (making an online donation to them while I'm at it), and investigate each candidate. Firm rule of thumb: Got to be using over 80 percent of moneys received for programs rather than fundraising or administrative. Winnow them down to... Eighteen total charities to give to. Pull up Quicken and start making out checks to print (thank heavens I don't hand-write checks any more!); print three at a time, sign, match to solicitation, stuff envelope, stick on stamp and return address label. Update Quicken on two other computers (yes, but it catches errors now and then, so it's worth it). Update 2016 financial Excel worksheet. Finally, after a couple of hours -- done. Ready to drop in the mail and go forth to help homeless critters, homeless people, hungry people, poor women needing a micro-loan to get out of grinding poverty, natural resources to preserve, and so on. Over 900 bucks out, mostly in $50 gifts, and well worth it all.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
I was chatting the other day with a friend about memories of childhood Christmases, specifically that old standby stocking stuffer: gold coins. Yep, those thin disks of chocolate, pressed into the shape of coins, wrapped in gold-toned foil, and tucked into tiny nets. There they were on the big morning, in the long red stocking, with other little treats and tschoschkes, and the inevitable tangerine down in the toe. So when, a day or two later, I was shopping at Rite-Aid and spotted them on a holiday display, in a surge of nostalgia I bought a wee bag and bore it home in retro glory. Should I wait till Christmas morning to enjoy my chocolate memory? Oh, hell no. Of course not. So last night I cut open the bag, spilled the coins out into my eager hand, and settled down to indulge myself. Carefully I peeled the foil away, expectantly I bit into the fifty cent disk.... It tasted terrible. Absolute worst low-end-chocolate horrible. And so did every one of them, but I ate them anyway, because after all, they weren't that great but they were chocolate. I guess nostalgia just isn't what it used to be.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Yesterday in proofreading, just three jobs: 1. A viciously contentious arbitration over the firing of a racist employee. 258 pages 2. A densely technical deposition of a professor who wouldn't stop answering the questions he wanted to rather than what had been asked. 307 pages 3. A civil but wall-to-wall, long-paragraphed deposition of a psychiatrist in a defamation case related to the Jeffrey Epstein sex slave scandal. 172 pages Total for the day: 737 pages and melted synapses.