No one cares that I’m sick

Oh man, I have been so sick.  I’ve had this nasty cough and cold for 10 days and haven’t been able to write or blog anything.  My mind, a haze of sleep deprivation and germiness, just couldn’t come up with anything anyone would want to read.

At 2:30 a.m. I’d lie awake in a stupor and think, “I’m going to blog about how much this cough syrup I bought sucks.  I’m going to tell my readers about how it’s left me stuck between sleep and awake and hasn’t even calmed my cough as it promised.”  Thankfully I had enough awareness to know that no one wants to read that.  Also the cough syrup had caused my fingers to become detached from my body floating lazily near my hands, but immovable.

Standing in the shower using the gross NeilMed sinus wash bottle to rinse out my nose – must avoid a sinus infection – I ponder how much money this peddler of squishy bottles and salt packets is worth.  Maybe he’s one of those people who makes $99,000 every two weeks.  My mind wanders to why so many salt packets come with each bottle I purchase, because I know I have an entire shoebox of salt packets in my linen closet: enough to rinse my nose out every day for years.  I’m distracted from my revery by the green snot crab that has just landed in the bathtub and squiggles down the drain.  After I dry off I realize that I should not blog about rinsing out my nose, because no one wants to read that.

This morning I woke up and knew I was feeling better because the words and stories returned to my brain.  Soap day, my pretty fingernails, the flat-aloes I saw yesterday and the beautiful weather all poured into my head as likely blog topics I needed to write.  Then my mind jumped to the critique I received on my novel from an agent and I longed to go downstairs and start removing the piles of “He smiled, he walked, he looked” worthless phrases from my novel.  She said it made my story plod, and I don’t want to plod, I want to fly.

It’s such a relief to have the story gates open again and be able to step away from the sickness induced drivel that was drifting through my head the past ten days.  I can’t wait to get started, but first I’m going to post publish on this post.  I hope it doesn’t go viral.

Ba dum bum, ching!

The $99,763.68 Mistake

Something strange happened in my bank account last week.  In addition to my normal paycheck, a much larger, more significant deposit was made: $99,763.68 showed up in my account.  Before I even noticed the hugely increased balance I was notified by my employer that there had been an error and that they were fixing the problem.  I was not going to get to keep this unexpected windfall.

It got me wondering though.  How much would I need to make to get regular paychecks of $99,763.68?  I get paid 26 times a year, so that would be an annual net income of  $2,593,855.68.  Assuming that puts me in the top tax bracket, and assuming that tax bracket is 36%, that means I would have a gross pay of  $4,052,899.50.  That doesn’t include things like saving for retirement or dental insurance, but I think if I made this much those types of payments become negligible.

So who makes $4.05M?  The obvious place to start is athletes.

If this was my regular paycheck I would make about the same as:

The 170th top paid NBA player,  Lavoy Allen from the Indiana Pacers

The 321st top paid NFL players, Kory Lichtensteiger from the Washington Redskins and Brandon Fusco from the Minnesota Vikings

The 194th top paid NHL player, Jake Gardiner from the Toronto Maple Leafs

All of these players have an annual salary of $4,050,000

The MLB 279th highest players are Jeurys Familia from the New York Mets and
Ivan Nova from the New York Yankees with an annual salary of $4,100,000

Now, I’m not a huge sports fan, but I live with a huge sports fan and I watch shows on ESPN at least weekly and I’ve never heard of any of these players.  Maybe they are big names, and I’m just ignorant, but it makes me wonder where a $4.05M annual salary is in the rankings for each of the pro sports.

In the 2014-2015 season, Business Insider reported

NBA average annual salary: $4.58M

NFL average annual salary: $2.11M

NHL average annual salary: $2.62M

MLB average annual salary: $4.17M

So I’m going to put this in perspective.  The epic, mammoth mistake of a check that I received this week is about the size of an average MLB player’s paycheck and less than the average NBA player’s paycheck.

The average MLB and NBA player takes home over $99,000 every other week.

It’s staggering to think about.  It makes me understand, a little bit, why professional sports players are draped in gold, put diamonds the size of marbles in their ears, have huge mansions and drive amazing cars.  They make a staggering amount of money.  So much, that it’s almost hard to conceptualize.  So here are things you could do with that much money.

You could buy a new Tesla 90D, my dream car, every other week at a cash price of $97,500.  That’s twenty-six new Teslas a year.

Mortgage calculators show me that buying a $5M house, and putting down one bi-weekly paycheck as a down payment would lead to a $31,000 monthly payment, easily doable with a $198,000 monthly salary.  Heck, you could probably swing two $5M houses and still have plenty left over for groceries.

Your daily paycheck would be $7,106.  You couldn’t quite afford to buy a new 65″ OLED TV every day – the  most expensive I could find on Best Buy – but you could come close.

Every single hour of your year you would be making $296.  Even while you were sleeping.  That’s a 32 GB iPod Touch and a $50 iTunes gift card to go with it every hour.  (Okay, maybe only a $25 gift card if you include tax.)

Now if you ever find yourself in a lucrative career, say as an average MLB player, and are offered $4M annually I hope you find my analysis helpful as you decide how to spend your new found wealth.  Sadly my windfall disappeared from my bank account, but we’ll see if the mistake shows up again next pay day!  If so, I’ll be better prepared.


Depression and the circle of sadness

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband struggles with depression.  His is a disease that comes on strong and hard and completely disables him for months, only to lift leaving him the same vibrant man he was before the episode hit.  It is really hard for me, who has never experienced the depth of his anguish, to relate.  Thank goodness for animated movies!

We saw Inside Out when it was released, and were blown away.  It was such a great movie and gave us such an age appropriate vocabulary to talk about feelings with our daughter.  (Cause, you know, two engineer parents don’t necessarily excel at talking about feelings.  We excel about talking about Excel, the spreadsheet tool.)  It’s great to be able to say to the seven year old Afthead, “Hey, what’s going on?  It seems like Fear has taken over the control panel.”

But the most enlightening conversation came about with my husband.  We were chatting about a specific part of the movie when Joy tries to ensure Sadness won’t interfere with Riley’s first day at a new school.  Joy gives everyone a job (Fear has to come up with the worst possible scenarios, Disgust has to help with friends) and Sadness’s job is to “stay in the circle.”  Joy draws a circle on the floor and pushes Sadness into it.   Of course, Sadness doesn’t stay in her circle and causes Riley to cry at school.

My comment to my husband was, “Too bad your Joy can’t shove  your Sadness into a circle.”

He replied, “Oh, my Sadness always stays in his circle, but when he escapes he’s impossible to get back in.”

It was an incredible vision into my husband’s brain.  He is a man guided by Joy, Anger, Fear, and Disgust, but Sadness isn’t really his thing.  I’ve only seen him cry once, and it was when he was depressed.  He doesn’t really do sadness, which just makes his depressive episodes that much more disconcerting.  But it makes total sense when viewed in the Inside Out context.  Sadness gets out of his circle, and takes hold of the controls and only he and Fear run my husband’s brain.  His normal forceful Anger, Joy and Disgust are gone, pushed aside by Sadness.  Eventually time and drugs wear Sadness out and he heads back to his circle to hibernate for years, decades if we are lucky.

Still, I don’t understand his depth of anguish.  Still, I can’t put myself in his shoes, but finally, I have a metaphor for his pain, and a wish.  I hope his Sadness stays in the circle for a long, long time.


A Powerful Snow Day Meme

Yesterday my daughter came home with a plan.  “Mommy,” she said, “I learned at school today that to have a snow day we need to put a frozen spoon under our pillows, flush an ice cube and wear our pajamas upside down.”  With that pronouncement she went to the cutlery drawer to pick out which spoon she wanted to go into the freezer, and I followed after her to get clarification that “upside down” meant “inside out.”  I wasn’t sure how we were going to pull off upside down pajamas.

Not wanting to mess with a potential snow day, I had her freeze a spoon for me and my husband.   I dutifully flushed an ice cube and then let her flush one.  We both wore our pajamas inside out, but couldn’t convince Mr. Afthead to turn his boxers inside out.  A frozen spoon went under her pillow, under my pillow, and was snuck under Mr. Afthead’s pillow.  He didn’t really want a snow day, or at least that was his justification for not playing along.

I posted the recipe for snow day on Facebook, and was inundated by replies from my limited list of friends that their kids had also proclaimed the same, or similar snow day procedures.  One mom worried because her spoons weren’t frozen, but the power of the elementary school crowed could not be overwhelmed by a single family’s inability to freeze their spoons or a dad’s unwillingness to wear nontraditional oriented pajamas.

The 5:30 oh-my-God-someone-has-died automated phone call from the school district and the foot of snow told us that our careful plans had worked!  Do not question the power of the snow day meme when implemented en masse.