Nov 252008

This isn’t some kind of deep, soul-searching blog post.  Please don’t let the title fool you.  I’m kicking around a financial decision and I could use some advice/input from my friends.

I have two $10,000 life insurance policies that my Mother took out when I was in elementary school and passed on to me.  If I’m reading the paperwork correctly, at the age of 36 these policies that are probably close to 30 years old have amassed a whopping cash value of $596 each.  I pay $18.20 quarterly for each of these policies, so I’m shelling out $145.60 a year to maintain them.

I have PMI on my mortgage that is paid monthly, so if the worst were to happen the house would be paid for.  On top of that I have a sizable life insurance policy through work that I pay extra to have increased.  It is set up to be split between Alex, Krystalle and Jareth if.  It wouldn’t be enough to set them up for life, but the house would be paid for and Krystalle could make sure all of my debts were paid off and they would all still have a decent cushion for a while.

I’ve always looked at the two $10k life insurance policies as my “funeral” policies.  That money would probably cover the funeral and subsequent mad party I have requested should I shake off this mortal coil.  In the grand scheme of things, that money is a pretty small drop in the bucket and won’t come near covering what my other policies do.

All of this leads to my question – If you were me, would you continue paying for the two policies or would you cash them in and use that money to pay down debts (or, more likely, pay off the new debt incurred by Christmas)?

Nov 212008

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to preface this particular entry by reminding my readership that I am ensemble member of the Jobsite Theater.  All this really means, in the grand scheme of things, is that I have worked with Jobsite in the past and they do not need to see a monologue from me at the beginning of their casting season.  They know what I’m capable of, and if they think I might fit a role they call me for that specific show.  I am not involved in the business end of Jobsite at all.  I am not on the Board of Directors.  I have no financial stake in Jobsite beyond the shows that I do with them, and my interest in their health and future only impacts me directly in that if they were to fold I’d actually have to actively seek roles with other companies if I wanted to keep acting.

I mention this only because what I’m about to write is going to be fairly critical of another local company, American Stage, and I do not want you all to think that my words are in any way motivated by a desire to see them fail.  The truth of the matter is that any company that does well here is good for the community at whole, and that’s kind of why I felt the urge to make this post.

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Nov 112008

I’ve always held a quote from Anne Frank very close to my heart.  “In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart.”  This came from a girl who hid for years from the Nazi’s only to end up dying in a Concentration Camp.  I read something else today from a person in a similar situation.

You only live once. Let’s keep trucking. If we don’t do that, who’s going to do it for us? We have to be happy. Why hate?  The world is full of hate, and yet they don’t know what they want.

The man who said this was a Prisoner of War in a Nazi slave camp, who saw hundreds of his comrades die and who was told by his own government that he was not allowed to talk about his experiences when he came home.  You can read the full story here.

People like them give me hope for the world.  If they can hold on to goodness and hope when they’ve been through atrocities that I’ll never come close to experiencing I certainly can.

Nov 052008

President-Elect Obama,

I am writing this post with a full awareness that you will likely never read it.  I am not writing it for you per se, but I am directing the message at you and anyone who feels that you were elected out of some kind of blind hope or reckless idealism.  I am writing this to explain, and in some ways I am writing this as a warning.

Mr. Obama, we will be watching you.

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