Sunday, December 17, 2017

final stretch before a brief vacation

I'm looking forward to being on vacation from December 23 (Saturday) through January 1 (Monday). The boss heard me say I'd be coming into the office on Sunday (which I did, after having seen "The Last Jedi" a second time: I'm in the office and pounding out this blog post this now, right before I head back to my apartment), so he told me to "get a life"—something I'd gladly do if I didn't have so much damn work to do. It's depressing to realize that the workload is going to be twice as bad this coming January and February, then it'll be back at this level during the April-May time frame. A grueling 2018 lies ahead.

Anyway, once I'm through the next five days, I can focus on spending Christmas Eve with my Korean buddy and his family, then walking to Incheon and back from the 26th to the 29th. I confess I haven't trained very hard; if anything, I'm morbidly curious as to how the deep cold will affect my feet, which normally get very achy after eight or nine hours' walking. This hike is happening under very tenuous conditions: if there's any snow or rain-plus-freeze at any point before or during the trek, I'm canceling immediately and heading back to Seoul by rail or taxi or whatever's available. That'll suck, but I do have other things to take care of during vacation. Too bad the vacation is so brief, but at some point in the near future, I'll be back to university teaching and four months a year off, so I can really travel.

Oh, one last announcement: I sent home a few extra thousand dollars this month to begin paying down my fourth and final major debt—the largest of the bunch. That feels unimaginably good, knowing that I've taken the first sword stroke to fell the foulest of my personal financial demons. I also feel some grim satisfaction in discovering that a video by a financial advisor counsels people to handle major debts exactly the way I did: by starting with the smallest debt and working up to the biggest. This strategy simply made sense to me because it created a snowball effect (a term that the financial advisor also uses): over the past couple of years, I've steadily freed up more and more cash, developing a debt-paying momentum. A few years back, I was sending home around $2000—most of my salary—to pay down debts. Now, I send home barely $500 while making more than I used to, which is allowing me to save up a bundle. 2018 should, in theory, be the year I pay off my last debt, so next Christmas is going to be very merry, indeed.

But first things first: survive the week, then enjoy vacation.


Annie C. said...

I'm sorry the goose laid an egg. Reading you daily gives me the opportunity to see another world and I appreciate it.

Thank you, Kevin.

Annie C. said...

Sorru about the comma. Talking to one person while typing to another is not recommended.

Kevin Kim said...

I see only one comma in that first comment, and it's where it should be: you're supposed to use a vocative comma when address someone. E.g.:

Hey, Richard!
Max, where are you?
Yes, ma'am.
What do you see, John?
I'll be back, Bennett!
Your dog loves you, Rose.

If I'm going to be disgustingly pedantic, though, there needs to be a comma between "world" and "and" because a [comma + conjunction] is needed when separating two independent clauses.

1st independent clause: "Reading you daily gives me the opportunity to see another world"

2nd independent clause: "I appreciate it"

[Every clause has a subject and a verb.]

So, written properly:

"Reading you daily gives me the opportunity to see another world, and I appreciate it."

Sorry. I spend my days writing books on grammar, so this is what occupies my thoughts. More to the point: thanks for the kind comment. Apologies for getting all academic on you.