It's been just under one year since Melanie and I dropped our one Sprint cell phone and opted for two prepaid cell phones from Tracfone. The service is spottier, but overall, Tracfone has served our needs. About two days ago, I finally ran out of the first official set of minutes that I purchased for my cell phone. Those 900 minutes cost me $80, and it cost me $20 to get the phone in the first place. If you do the math, that means my prepaid cell phone is costing me approximately $8.50 per month. That's a much better value than the $40-50 it cost me every month for the barest of plans from Sprint. Now, I don't know how much we've spent on Melanie's cell phone, but it isn't enough to make up the difference. Clearly, switching to prepaid cell phones was the right move for us.
Movie Club, Anyone?
I watch a decent amount of movies, and many of them are movies that not a lot of other people see. Sometimes I see a movie that I really wish other people would see, either because I think those people would thoroughly enjoy it, or because I think the film merits attention. I tell my family about these movies sometimes, but I know they'll never bother tracking them down. A while back, I started thinking that perhaps I should start a long-distance movie club with my family, kind of like a book club. The basic idea would be something like this: once a month, we all watch the same movie at some point during the first week of the month. We trade off who chooses the movie, but everyone must watch that same film. The person choosing the movie would pick a movie he/she knows (or at least strongly supposes) few to none of the others have seen. It should be a movie that the person thinks should be seen. After everyone has watched the movie, we could discuss it via the web—on my blog, for instance. Does anyone have any interest in doing this? It wouldn't have to be limited to family, but that's practically all that reads my blog anyway. We could begin pretty much right away, if we wanted. And heck, maybe to start off, we could all choose a movie that everyone else has to watch during the first month. It'd be like a film festival of recommended films, a little cinematic feast to get the ball rolling and get us thinking about movies. Who's game?
Sick of Sickness
I've had a lot more anxiety over the last few months than I typically do, most of it revolving in some way or another around my and my family's physical well-being. It seems neverending that something is going on. I had diverticulitis in early October. Then Creegan came along and dealt with serious jaundice and pyloric stenosis. On top of that, we've all been passing colds back and forth. And has it stopped? Not at all. Yesterday, Creegan was throwing up quite a bit and seemed not to be feeling very well. And a few days ago, Edison got attacked by fire ants and ended up with about 15 bites on his right hand plus about 5 bites on his left hand. His right hand has been massively swollen for days, and the itching and general anxiety he feels over it has sometimes left him having near-delirious fits. And, of course, our "wonderful" new minivan keeps getting sick too. I'm writing this blog in the waiting room of the repair shop, where they are replacing the fuel pump at an estimated cost of $400. (Good thing all of my money right now is make-believe! It makes it easier to part with!) At this point in time, Melanie and I are desperate for a week to go by when nothing overwhelming happens. It's not easy to be optimistic about that.
Back to School
This post wouldn't be complete without a brief mention that, yes, another semester has begun. The really cool thing about this semester is that I'm not taking any official classes of my own. I have a TA gig that obligates me to be on campus for about three hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but other than that, I'm doing independent work. Motivation and discipline will be the challenge, but I admit that I'll enjoy only going to campus twice per week. Even though I do schoolwork six days a week, it’ll be nice having five-day weekends. Working from home is nice.