HoydenSeek’s Weblog

hoy·den: a boisterous, bold, and carefree girl; a tomboy + seek: to go in search or quest of

Rich Dad, Poor Dad February 9, 2009

Filed under: Books & Mags,Very Good Things — suzanne turner @ 1:51 am

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ – Personal Finance

This book teaches you the essential rules of managing money, and that it isn’t all about just making more of it. It is about making smart choices, and not stretching your budget, no matter your income, to the limit. It advocates building assets versus aquiring liabilities. The first step is knowing the difference and this book does a great job of laying out the concepts to help you understand how to acquire assets and minimize liabilities. I recommend it highly. A friend who is also a fan of this book told me about a game that accompanies it called Cashflow, which is supposed to be a fun way to apply the ideas from the book. Unfortunately the game costs around $200… so I don’t think that is a prudent decision for my budget right now. 🙂 But I’ll keep an eye out for it in the free section of Craigslist. In summary though, I’m very happy Joel and I found this book when we did. It has changed the way we look at money, how we are handling the budget now and setting future goals.

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Southbound/Hellbent October 8, 2008

Filed under: Books & Mags,Rants (Politics),Religion & Spirituality,Travel — suzanne turner @ 1:06 am

Seattle today! Helena Tomorrow… maybe.

I had only been to Seattle briefly, passing through until now. But today, Joel and I ran around that city like nobody’s business. The forecast had called for lots of rain, but lo and behold, it was the most fantastic day imaginable. Everywhere we looked, it was a scene straight out of that computer game Myst. The sun was shining on the water as we took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to the city. On the Island, we are staying with Joel’s Uncle, who has an amazing house with his wife, who was unfortunately visiting family in Japan as she often does. So sadly, I didn’t get to meet her. Their house, which they designed themselves, is just a beautiful example of traditional Japanese design. And the Zen-like feeling is palpable. Simple wood, glass, and bamboo surrounded by acres of forest- needless to say, it was a more relaxing stay than anywhere else we could have imagined. I soaked in the deep Japanese hot bath for quite a while before retiring to bed in a casual kimono- I forget the word for it. It was wonderful. Today we walked from the ferry terminal over to the fish market, up to find a place where Joel remembered having great Russian Pieroshky, which we did find and enjoy very much. We found the Seattle Public Library, which I have been reading about since I had heard of its design, and it was amazing to see in real life. I get to cross another famous architect off my list of buildings to see- Rem Koolhaas! I don’t think I’ll ever beat meeting Daniel Liebskind though. 🙂 We then walked up to the retail core, where I saw this amazing restauraunt called Purple which had this ridiculously huge spiral staircase in the middle surrounding their open, cylindrical wine storage. They had big dark, gothic looking light fixtures hanging from the double height ceiling that looked like they held big candles, which I’m sure were really light fixtures, but the effect was stunning. It was very Sarah and Ted. 🙂 It would be so much fun travelling with friends, we decided. Running around there, a couple of couples, would be so much fun. Joel is really good though about shopping with me and looking with me at things I like. Which brings me to my next subject.

We need to shop a lot less. Saving money has never been a forte for either of us, but its time to stop making excuses. So many people want to live a lot richer than they are. Maybe our parents or grandparents generation are doing ok now, but we don’t see the half-lifetime worth of work that has gone into preparing that lifestyle. Some of the people our age have inherited some of their wealth, or a position to make wealth from that same source, but for most of us, we need to realize that hard, hard work is the way to come by wealth. And that wealth needs to build slowly but surely over a number of years. We need to learn to accept that the house we want and the housing we can afford are often two different things most often these days. Think of where your parents were living when they were in their twenties, versus where they are living now. We decided to be starving students, but refusing to acknowledge that decision is not getting us anywhere. We can only dig ourselves out of debt steadily, or rack it up and suffer forever. And for what? Stuff? One good thing about moving seasonally is that it keeps your pack-ratted shit in check. That card someone gave you years ago- did it change your life? Then go ahead and throw it away. People want to keep things with sentinental value, but they could really just keep the memory. Or take a picture and store it on the internet. The thought of how much money I have spent sickens me. Some in worthwhile endeavors, some on pure bullshit. I wish I could just have the money back for all the things I bought. But going forward, I just need to remember that. In fact, today I found a book of Buddhist essays on the urge to spend and consume, which would be cool to read, to bolster my resolve. But I decided to just go ahead and keep that $17.95 and walk away. I could look up the subject on the internet for free if I really care to read up. Joel and I both have a weakness for books and magazines, which is ok to a certain extent. Its somewhat justified, but we still need to keep it to a minimum, and only what applies to helping make more money. When we are bored and want to spend money- hey it sounds like we have free time to be working on learning more, and working out. We just agreed to not get cable when we get to Denver. People our age consider TV a near necessity. Silly and sad.    

When we get back home, I want to go through all that storage in my bedroom- all that stuff I have no idea what it is- and sell it. Everything. Cutthroat. We dont need a TV. We don’t need anything. I want to get the stuff we BOTH own down to what we can fit in the 4 Runner. That’s a large enough vehicle. A few totes for household stuff, the rest for only the most useful clothes and things. No more. Its sickening how much I have, how should I be wanting more? I thought tonight of a mantra that encompasses my goal for the winter: Aim for being the person you want to be, and not having the things you want to have. I want to keep that at the front of my mind.

I just finished reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which talked a lot about the nature of quality. The book was rather long winded at getting to the point, but quality is a concept I have often contemplated myself, so it kept me (barely) intrigued enough to finish it. It did get better, but not until the very end. If you include the afterward. Though the concepts could have been summed up more quickly, it did give me a lot to think about. I want to pare down the things I have and trade them for quality things. I have thought about this topic mostly in terms of architectural appplications, but I think it applies regardless. I am always drawn to things that have quality and good intrinsically in them. I love architecture with the joinery and cladding naked, the methods of construction apparent. I love materials like wood, metal, and concrete that are themselves the material beauty. Paint is never necessary in my mind. When you think this way anyway, other things seem to fall into place- for instance with the absence of paint, you have no volitile organic compunds off-gassing in the baby’s bedroom. The simplest road is usually best. And its true that the best things in life are free. Luckily also, we are at a time when most of the things we could ever want or need are very accessible, and even for free. Books and music are very available at the library, and I intend to spend more time there again. I can easily spend hours there, and for free. We can work out, go for a walk, make a light dinner, hang out with friends, listen to music- shopping is not the answer. I wish I had never bought girl-mag subscriptions for my sister. I know my girlfriends and I were influenced by those at a young age, and not in a good way, but obviously, it is worse now. The only way I can teach her now is by my example that things are not where its at.

All the things I want I can either figure out how to get for free, cheap, or just decide to forego. I’m at the point where I’d rather have a bike or a kayak than a car. I guess quality is just finding the right combination of things that make you truly happy. Finding the right place to live that suits your needs is crucial. I think people don’t explore enough on their own. I have always wanted to visit Seattle, but whenever I mentioned it, people always say, probably some who have never even been there, “yeah, well it always rains there, who would live there?” Now that I have lived half a year in Juneau, with the worst weather they have had in easily over 15 years, I’m glad to know rain won’t stop me if I want to live somewhere. Juneau, no. But someplace like this, oh yeah. I would live here in Bainbridge Island, or over in the city in a heartbeat. People there are really cool, and the whole feel is so artsy, cultural, and yet laid back. I know we caught the weather in its prime today, but the shops I saw here and the culture is exactly what I’m looking for. Rain may not stop me, but we’ll see about snow as we make our way south, and then east to Denver for the winter. I want to give Joel his chance to be back near his friends and family, and since I’m feeling ready to explore anywhere new, now is the time. Joel is good to me, and if I am utterly miserable somewhere, I know he will help me do what it takes to fix things. Plus, we won’t be there forever.

 

Women’s Health Mag & Barley Salad September 6, 2008

Filed under: Books & Mags,Food,Health & Beauty — suzanne turner @ 2:41 pm

When I was at the airport in Seattle coming home from Aaron & Brenda’s Lovefest, I picked up a couple mags for the flight. Shape, and Women’s Health. First I started flipping through the Shape, and it took a while to get past the ads to any meat. The articles were mainly about products, clothes and accessories, just like any other superficial women’s mag. There wasn’t much solid advice on food or exercise, and I was getting a little bummed and felt ripped off. I could have just bought Cosmo- at least that would have had some juicy stuff too. I’m so glad I also bought Women’s Health! It was everything I had wanted: tons of exercise stuff, interesting news and studies, food and recipes I tried and love, and sultry tidbits similar to those you might find in Men’s Health. It was so awesome and refreshing, and I’m so glad I got it. If I had just grabbed Shape, I would surely be bitter. But I plan to subscribe now to Women’s Health. AND they have a great website where you can grab recipes and stuff you missed! I wish it came out weekly. 🙂

One of the recipes that is now in my regular rotation is a barley salad, a sort of variation on Tabbouleh. I ate it so many days in a row, I had to give it a rest for a little while. Eveyone who tasted it loved it too. I can’t seem to find the recipe right now, but when I do, I’ll update you with it. But now that I’ve made it, I kind of just wing it anyway. It’s cooked barley, lemon juice, parsley, green onions, chopped greens, chopped hazelnuts, olive oil, salt, pepper. I tried walnuts and it was still good, but hazelnuts are better. I love parsley, so I could eat this everyday. I love chopping everything for this, and it is so hearty for a salad- it’s a one bowl dinner. Plus the cooked barley makes this a warm salad which is a nice change. Although it definitely makes a delicious snack right out of the fridge the next day.

 

Happy Updates June 19, 2007

Filed under: Books & Mags,Love — suzanne turner @ 5:07 am

So, its been a while, but thats how I roll. I don’t have anything in particular to tell you about, but in general, its been a good time lately. I think life is looking up for most people I know right now, which is cool. Its interesting to see everyone progessing, changing, ending up in places we could never have pictured being 10, even 5 years ago. I mean, I look around at my friends and everyone is in various stages of marriage and family, and I realize I’m 25. This is the age at which I though I would be long graduated, married with 1 or 2 kids. (Given I thought this when I was 16 or 17, when you can hardly realistically fathom being 25.) I had no idea what I wanted as a “career” other than homemaker, and never saw myself not being Mormon. Obviously a lot of spiritual, personal and social changes have occurred for me in the past few years. I am completely happy with where I am, in fact I could not be happier. I often think that even if nothing else amazing happens to me ever again, finding Joel was enough of a jackpot for a lifetime. I want to continue learning, travel a lot, learn about ourselves and each other, meet lots of people and learn from them, and just really savor life together each day. I want to always respect and adore each other and pause to see the bigger picture when things get hard. There is so much to enjoy about life, books, music, food, love, nature, family, friends… I’m ready to experience it all. I’m glad I found someone who has the same views as I do on these things, and we share so many of the same philosophies. I think its more important than people realize.

I’m currently reading a travel memoir Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert which is extremely enjoyable. I’ve read her earlier fiction work, but this one is an intensely personal account of her adventures all over the world. Its both entertaining and enlightening and I highly reccommend her. I think I’ll take a little nap and continue later… Siesta, Interlude, Intermission… Ciao!

 

Just What I Needed September 3, 2006

Filed under: Books & Mags,Love — suzanne turner @ 8:16 am

So I woke up last night at freakin 3:30 for no apparent reason, WIDE awake. About 6:30 when the sun was up, I started getting tired again! In between, I finished my book and it was wonderful. I highly recommend Straight Up & Dirty by Stephanie Klein to any girl looking in her twenties still struggling to define herself- but here’s the catch: love herself regardless of the guy situation. Every time I let go and realize nothing is permanent, nothing can be forced, I just need to focus on myself, that’s when something amazing happens. And that’s kinda what the book is about. Not to mention, it’s hilarious and spares no detail. I have reason to hope and lots to look forward to again, and its a good place to be. I don’t even care what happens. I am enjoying being myself right now and that’s all I can do. Love is just like life itself- you grieve loss, learn from mistakes, you celebrate new beginnings.

I spent some time last night with three very happily married, very Mormon couples for a little reunion barbeque. As the conversation turned to porch swings and epidurals, I realized that even though a lot of my friends are in that stage, I’m happy that I’m not there yet. Soon enough; but with the situations I’ve had lately, I’m very glad its never gone there. It wasn’t right yet. Luckily, they’ve found the “one” already. And I am overjoyed for them, truly. I am just so glad that I didn’t want it so badly that I accepted what was happening to me for it. I hadn’t met the one yet, and deep down I knew it. I just wanted that kind of love so badly. Now, already having 20/20 vision in hindsight, I am wondering, what if it happened any other time, any other way? I wouldn’t be here now. And that is unthinkable. I am in a good place now, my favorite place in years. The only way out of hell was through it, which was agony I’d never felt. The heartache was physical, tangible pain. But now that I know where it led, I would do it all again. ♥

 

Amazing Little Book December 17, 2005

Filed under: Books & Mags — suzanne turner @ 11:32 am

I just have to share this passage, because it’s so great.

“Sam tapped her hand on the steering wheel. Patrick held his hand outside the car and made air waves. And I just sat between them. After the song finished, I said something.

‘I feel infinite.’

And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever heard. Because the song was that great and because we all really paid attention to it.  Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way. I have since bought the record, and I would tell you what it was, but truthfully, it’s not the same unless you’re driving to your first real party, and you’re sitting in the middle seat of a pick-up truck with two nice people when it starts to rain.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This is really a quick, fantastic read if you get a chance to pick it up. I would let you borrow it, but I’ll probably start over when I’m done.