Money…that’s what I want

“I LOVE MONEY MONEY MONEY!!  I want to have ALL the money when I grow up so that I never have to work!”

Sashimi had been starting to think that money just appears whenever you swipe the stripe.  It started with the purchase of Angry Birds.  Then Angry Birds Rio.  Once he had passed every level on those two games, he started asking for a new game. Every day, Sashimi would get bored and ask that I buy a new game. We told him no, since the games cost money and we did not want to waste our money on something he would get bored of in a matter of hours.  “That’s ok,” he said.  “Just give me your credit card number and I will buy it.”

A few days later, he was pining over some Angry Birds stuffed toys (thanks to the plug on the game’s home page).  I told him that if he wanted a stuffy, he could help me sort the bottles and take them to the depot and I would let him keep the money.  In the meantime, we went out for Mother’s Day Brunch, where the lucky kid found a $20 bill on the floor under our table.  I told him he could put it in his piggy bank, to which he replied “Now I don’t have to sort bottles AND I can get my Angry Birds stuffy!” Money, in his eyes, was something that just HAD to be spent.

The tipping point came when he became obsessed with a toy he saw on TV.  A toy that cost quite a bit of money.  A toy that I was not willing to go out and buy just because.  So he ran to his piggy bank and dumped it out.  He wanted to use his money to go out and buy it himself.  We counted his money: $4.67.  Definitely not enough.  He thought since it looked like a lot (there were a lot of pennies) that SURELY he could buy it and have money leftover for candy, too.

Sashimi does have a basic understanding of numbers, so we went to the store and looked at the prices on a few toys. All of them were more than $4.67.  He was devastated.

Tony and I decided to start giving Sashimi an allowance in exchange for doing some chores.  He gets $5 every time Tony gets paid.  The first allowance, he was jonesing to spend.  He spent it on crap. Then Tony got crafty.  Being the vigilant investor, Tony told Sacha that every time it was allowance day, they would count his money in his piggy bank.  If he had not spent his money, Tony would give him an extra dollar as a reward for saving his money (interest).

Today was allowance day.  Tony gave Sacha his allowance (and he cried out “Yea!  MONEY MONEY MONEY!”) and we counted his money: $29 and change.  We told him that he had enough money to buy something if he wanted.  He looked at Tony and said in all sincerety: “No, I like money more than toys.”

**Good thing, because that toy he wanted is not even available anymore (unless you want to shell out $300 on amazon.com.  WTF?!

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Clearly, something must be done

Dear Nintendo,

I am writing to you because I have recently purchased the classic Super Mario Bros 3 game for my Wii using some Wii points, and I have a few suggestions that I think could improve this game.

  1. Clearly, 4 lives are not enough to start out with. After several attempts, I feel that you should up the lives-allotment to 8, as that’s how many lives it took me to get past level 1.
  2. Those flying mushroom-looking dudes should not fly. They misrepresent what real mushrooms can do. Furthermore, if one accidentally runs into one, one should not lose a life. I think that a nice little band-aid or something similar would suffice. Or maybe the little mushrooms could kiss you or make you high. Mushrooms do that, right? That would make sense, no?
  3. The boomerang throwing turtle should die.
  4. Every time you finish A level, you should immediately get a free life. This life will undoubtedly be needed for running into those damn flying mushroom evil thingies.
  5. What the hell is the purpose of the coins? Can I bank them and trade them in for more lives? If not, get rid of them. They’re useless to me.
  6. When you ultimately run out of lives and die, you should NOT have to go back and try to pass level 1 again. That is just cruel and unnecessary punishment for dying by flying mushrooms.

I may have more suggestions for your consideration once I get past level 4. Until then, I remain respectfully yours,

Mrs. Mustard

In case you think I am exaggerating, I am not. I am truly the worst super mario player ever to touch a nintendo.

The circle of greener grass

When I was in school, I couldn’t wait to be out of there and get into the workforce.  Studying was getting old, and I wanted to have a life.

Then I started teaching. That made me want to go back to school for all the freedom it allows – sleeping in when you don’t want to go to class, setting your course schedule so that you are only taking one class (or none) on Fridays.  Ah, such is the life.  People in school don’t realize how sweet it is to have such flexibility.

Then I became a SAHM.  That made me want to go back to teaching.  Ah, the sweet lunch breaks!  The 10 minute recess breaks! So much time to do things I wanted to do! What I would GIVE for a 10 minute recess right now.  I don’t even get that when I have to *ahem* download.  Who cares if I’ve got kids sitting with me serving a detention!  I got to sit in a spinny chair and boss kids around surf the net chatter with students about their oh-so-interesting lives.

And now, I have come full circle.  I long for the studying, the intellectual feasts to satiate the mind and make me feel like a human, and not just a robotic toddler-bum-wiping machin, soon to be a moo-my again.

So, in my quest for brain candy, I have decided to go back to my roots and revisit my music theory and history studies through the RCM.  I can do it by self-instruction, and there are no time-constraints on finishing a particular course or subject by a certain date.  In all honesty, I have studied most of the content in the RCM theory syllabus in university and college, but now I can put it all together and work toward a goal that I have long held: becoming and Associate of the Royal Conservatory, with all the glory and fanciness of a nice title, ARCT, to go after my B.Ed.

Wait.  I think this means I should be studying right now.  Oh crap, I’m already procrastinating!  I guess that means I am heading into student-mode once again.  Just send me a keg and a rowdy pack of frat boys and I’ll be back in business.

Just call me Whoopi

There has been some confusion in the world lately, especially after people started reading my google meme. The particular trouble lay in this image, which was supposed to represent my nickname:

my sister calls me this

I never realized that people would be confused. But they were. Even those who know me best.

As the story was told to me, my pooty SIL saw this and exclaimed “Sarah’s nickname is Whoopi??”
Her husband then said, “I think her nickname is Sarafina.”
“Who would call her that?” pooty asked.
“Who would call her WHOOPI??” her husband said.

Exactly.  Who would call me Whoopi? Then again, if even my amazingly intelligent, astute and beautifully flat-tummied SIL (your welcome, Andi) thought people called me Whoopi, maybe there is something to the name that I have not considered before.  I have been known to let Whoopi-type sounds escape me.  Maybe the name really does suit me…

I’ve got an idea

Our financial adviser just called us, and it got me thinking about RESPs.  Most people come out of university (or any post secondary education) with student loans.  Student loans are a bitch and, if they are the government loans that most students in Canada get, can take 10 years to pay off at a rate of prime + 5%.    In the meantime, these ex-students get married, have kids, and can barely afford to put money into their kids’ RESPs because they are spending hundreds of dollars every month paying off their loans.

In our case, my husband had a mere $10,000 loan for 6 years of university (he’s smart and got a whackload of scholarships).  Be that as it may, his loan payments were amortized over 10 years and the payments were to be over $100 a month. That’s a piddly loan comparison to most people.  I’m sure most people are paying over $300 or $400 a month to pay their schooling off.

Here’s my idea: give some sort of cut or lower interest rate to loan-payers who are contributing to an RESP.  Really, by contributing to the RESP, you are trying to ensure that your child will not have to take out as large of a loan as you did, so you are helping the loan company (government, bank, mafia) not have to lend as much of their precious money in the future.  Makes sense, no?

I should run for office, I know.  I’m just that good.