My June Monkey

The monkeys on my back can be broken down into three categories: mini-monkeys (not very important things that I keep putting off but I’ll get to eventually); major monkeys (important things that I really need to do in order to feel like some aspect of my life is moving forward); and 800-pound gorillas (don’t ask).

I’ve been rather fortunate in the past couple of years in that I’ve managed to slay a number of major monkeys such as credit card debts and other annoying dead weights that were really cramping my style (and my stomach). Similarly, a lot of minor monkeys have gotten cleared lately via the discovery of a really amazing tool: the to-do list. As in, a honking big white board in my office and a chalkboard in the kitchen where realistic chores are listed. Seeing them there day in and day out really makes you want to just do the thing and cross it off the list.

Below, for your entertainment and enlightenment (and perhaps to function as a to-do list for me) is a selection of a few of the monkeys on my back:

Mini Monkeys

  • Figure out domain mapping through TypePad so I can get this blog back on where it belongs.
  • Put together a photo album of our 2004 San Francisco trip.
  • A whole bunch of food-related blogs, including an update to the famous “how to freeze guacamole” post and the zen-like suburban coffee ritual.
  • Organize the badly-filed stack of paperwork that’s lurking in my closet.
  • Watch the Sopranos, season three to where ever it is now. Preferably in a very short succession, like a season a week.

Major Monkeys

  • Write the stories for that I promised them ages and ages ago.
  • Organize my various credit card insurance coverages. Between my Amex, Visa, and debit cards, I have a wide range of insurance coverage, but they are all very particular and some are better at some things than at others. For example, if I rent a car with my Visa, I can waive the extra insurance thingy. Or is that my Amex? If I book a plane ticket with Amex I get cancellation insurance… I think. If I buy something with my debit card I automatically double the warranty… but has that program expired? I need to make a matrix of coverages so I can decide the best card to use for each circumstance. Back in 1999 I started gathering the paperwork to do just that. It’s still nothing more than a pile of booklets and pamphlets.
  • Take a stab at writing fiction. No — a real stab. For real. Really.
  • Deal with the bizarre ailments that have afflicted me over the past year or so, including the constant low-level tremor in my shoulder, the numbness in the ball of one foot (probably a neuroma), and the ever-swelling blanket of flab that is adorning my belly.
  • Make a will, which will include the key to unlock my passwords. But the key will only be revealed once it’s proven I wasn’t murdered for it!

800-Pound Gorillas

  • To make the language of Molière — or more accurately, of Tremblay — a real part of my daily life. As in, going both ways!
  • Two-and-a-half years ago I took a big chunk of cash out of my not-so-big RRSP to make a down payment on the condo I was buying. No problem, I’ve got 15 years to pay it back. I was under the impression that I simply had to keep contributing enough to the RRSP to eventually exceed the withdrawal amount. I recently found out that no, this is an amount I have to pay back ON TOP OF any RRSP contributions I make, and there is no tax break for the payback amount (the logic being that I’ve already seen the tax benefit the first time I contributed it).
  • The ultimate monkey on my back, the mother of all 800-pound gorillas: figure out what I want to do with my life!

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