The Idea of an Economic Recession Makes Me Gassy

thinkheader-2

The Thursday Think Tanks are semi-random thoughts that may not necessarily fall directly into the category of finances, but I still feel are worth sharing. Read at your own risk!

_____________________________

I’m a nervous person by nature. I don’t think most people who meet me get that impression, as outwardly I think I come off as pretty self-assured and confident. Yet when it comes to things like playing my guitar in front of people, giving presentations at work, or speaking at conferences, I am a MESS on the inside. I’ve had a fair amount of experience in all of those situations, and yet every time I get insanely nervous!

When I get nervous, my stomach has a tendency to gurgle and bubble. Part of it stems from an old surgery I had on my small intestines many years ago, but the way it manifests is by bubbling and fizzing so loudly that it’s easy for people in the same room I’m in to hear it.

I’ve been in particularly stressful work meetings before where the presenter has had to stop and ask, “Dave, do you need us to take a break so that you can grab a snack or something?” thinking it was stomach loudly growling out in hunger. I usually don’t have the heart to tell them it’s not hunger, but the impending sense of doom I’m currently feeling. No sense in two gurgling stomachs in the room.

Another key area that affects this condition is stress over finances. In the time since we came to terms with our financial shortcomings, I have had many nights where my stomach sounds like a stinky bog “glorping” and “blooping” outside of a witch’s window as she dines away on small children. It usually really kicks in as I am laying next to my wife in bed, trying to shut my super-chatty brain off, as she is also attempting to fall asleep. This elicits one of the following responses:

“You’re thinking about finances again, aren’t you?”

“What has you stressed out now?”

“Things are going to be fine.”

“That thing won’t quit. Can you please go sleep in the guest bedroom?”

Over the last month or two, things have gone smoother as we’ve got our finances back on the right track, and as a result I’ve spent less nights in the guest bedroom. This is great, because the guest bedroom tends to be where our largest house spiders seem to congregate at some kind of giant-hairy-house-spider-key-party, which makes my stress levels rise, which makes my stomach gurgle so much that it prevents me sleeping due to the sound of the walls rattling. I hate spiders.

Seriously. I f*cking hate them.Read More »

Thursday Think Tank: I’m Kind of Best Friends with Terry Crews

thinkheader-2

The Thursday Think Tanks are semi-random thoughts that may not necessarily fall directly into the category of finances, but I still feel are worth sharing. Read at your own risk!

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,570.87
Total Paid Off: $16,739.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

I don’t really talk about it too much on this site, but I work in videogames. I’ll go into much greater detail on a future Think Tank about my journey through the business, but I started as a Software Test Engineer, moved to Animator and then Art Director, and I am now a Producer.

Working in this industry has afforded me many great opportunities, but the one that sits at or very near the top is the time I got to speak to a capacity room at San Diego Comicon with Mr. Terry Crews.

A while back, I worked on a game called “Crackdown 3,” which is a game about super cops called “Agents” who fight crime in the not-too-distant future. Our amazing Marketing person had the brilliant idea to try to cast a celebrity in the lead role for the game, and she focused almost from day one on Terry. To our shock and surprise, she actually pulled it off, and he agreed to take part in our videogame.

I co-wrote and co-directed many of the cutscenes in the game, as well as all of our trailers for various tradeshows and events. I also drew the very first concepts of what would become our Agents’ signature armor in the game, and a modified version of that design was eventually physically built for Terry to wear in many live-action spots.

My first interaction with him was one I’ll never forget…Read More »

I May Have Coined My First Inspirational Quote While Going Into Mild Cardiac Arrest

190621

I make it to the top of the hill, and I am DYING. I’m wheezing, I’m sweating, and one guy cutting logs in his yard asked me to keep the sound of my beating heart down a bit because he couldn’t hear his chainsaw.

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,570.87
Total Paid Off: $16,739.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

It’s beautiful here in my neck of the woods right now. Temperatures crest just above 70 degrees, and that’s perfect jogging weather for me.

I never used to be a jogger and I still can’t really say as though I enjoy jogging, but I do like how I feel after a good run. When you’ve hit that “jogging wall” where you feel like you’re going to collapse, you tend to drop into an almost meditative state. At least I do. Half the time I will be running and then suddenly snap back into reality and realize that I’ve covered a couple of miles but don’t really remember much of it at all.

As I’ve said in previous posts, when I exercise I tend to push myself pretty hard. It’s really the only way I know how to properly trick my brain into forgetting about things like finances and credit cards.

So today I was running hard. I had hit about 1.75 miles at an 9 minute mile pace, which isn’t bad considering… well… I’m old.

I rounded a corner of a road I hadn’t run on before, and there in front of me was a gigantic hill. I was exhausted by this point, but I knew if I made it to the top without stopping, it would be roughly 2 miles, and then I could turn around and head back to hit 4 miles in total.

I began charging up the hill. I try to sprint up hills so that I can just get them over with. When I’m coaching youth lacrosse I often tell kids that are running sprints for conditioning, “Remember that the faster you get these over with, the faster you get them over with.” I take this same advice when I’m running up a hill. Why prolong the agony?

I make it to the top of the hill, and I am DYING. I’m wheezing, I’m sweating, and one guy cutting logs in his yard asked me to keep the sound of my beating heart down a bit because he couldn’t hear his chainsaw.

As I paused briefly at the top of the hill before setting out on my return home, it hit me. My first inspirational quote I’ve ever thought of…Read More »

Running from Your Debt

Tangent: Men at the gym, please stop using the blow dryers on your privates. I know it’s not technically touching anything, but it still just freaks me out.

Starting Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Debt: $109,710.00
Total Paid Off: $16,600.77
Income Going to Savings: 1%

I used to be really overweight. I’m 6’5″, and at my heaviest I weighed 296lbs. That’s four pounds short of 300 for those of you with math skills similar to mine. Long before I got into my current financial situation I decided to do something about the extra “el bees,” and boy has it helped me deal with some of the stress!

For starters, I went on the keto diet. I had done Atkins back in the day, so it was somewhat familiar to me. In effect I just basically stopped eating sugar and processed flour. I enjoy meat a lot, so the diet was easy for me once I got in the groove.

__________________________________

Tangent: As much as I like meat, I did recently try an Impossible Burger, and sweet maple syrup was that burger delicious. I will be eating one of those bad mammy jammies again very soon.

__________________________________

Along with this, I started exercising. I’ve always gone to the gym around 3 days a week, but I decided to up my workouts to 6 days a week with one “off day” that I rarely take off.

Here’s a typical week for me:Read More »