Thursday, June 14, 2007

We're going on a trip

For many years, spouse and I have talked about going to Europe. He's never been. There was really no way to go when we lived in the states, as traversing borders was too risky. When we moved here the Canadian dollar (known here widely as the loonie) was quite weak, while the US dollar and Euro were strong. But now things have changed, the loonie is nearly equal to the US dollar, so we discussed it and then booked a cruise in the Mediterranean for next June. I've felt like someone has kicked me in the stomach since. Spouse, on the other hand, has been floating on air.

I'm having trouble adjusting to the financial commitment we've made. I want to be excited, I've done the calcs and with great monetary restraint for the next 355 days, we should be able to pull it off. Worry keeps reminding me, "beware of the unforseen."

Yesterday, spouse called from work. "Guess what?" he asked with a smile you could hear, "I got an extra contract for us."

"What? Us?"

"They are going to deliver the parking meters this afternoon. You need to clear a space in the garage."

"What?"

"We're going to paint the parking meters."

"What?"

"They are bringing 5 of them today so we can make samples, and then the other 20 on the weekend."

"What?"

"So don't make any plans this weekend. It's $2000! We're going to make $2000 this weekend. "

"What?"

"Oh, shit, I have to go. Just stay home until they deliver. Love you bye."

I always thought it was ridiculous in the movies when someone hangs up on someone and the hung up on person looks perplexedly/angrily/sadly at the receiver before hanging it up. Who looks at the receiver? Well, finally it happened to me. Agape and trying to process, I studied the receiver. The unforseen could have an upside, I realized.

When he got home, he filled me in on the project, these are "donation meters" which will be placed in high foot-traffic areas around the city. I guess it's a way for people to be charitable with the homeless without actually interacting with them. The meters need to be eye-catchingly painted. (Serge came home with a bunch of neon green spray paint.)

So now I'm getting excited. Not about the painting mind you, but the potential windfall of a weekend's work. And the fact that this will go directly to the cruise fund makes me giddy. No more kicked-in-the stomach feeling. Simple glee now.

30 comments:

Ed said...

2 Grand for painting 20 meters? Send some of them to me. LOL. Neon Green? Was that your only choice of color?
Ahhh! a trip to the Mediteranean. Just saying it sounds so relaxing. A trip to anywhere sounds great to me. I've never been out of the Midwest. I may move to Canada and Paint Parking Meters or mop floors for $25 an hour. The minimum wage here is $5.15 but they are going to raise it way up to $5.65!!! Whoopeee!!!!

Snooze said...

Very cool, and you're helping with a good cause. I like the idea of donation meters.

dirk.mancuso said...

The Mediterranean and neon green donation meters.

Only you would connect the two in such a sweet and charming way. (You do realize you two are adorable, don't you?)

Lemuel said...

Wow! That sounds like a great deal! It sounds simple and do-able enough. It will give an added boost to your income. (Where can I get such a gig?!) And the whole unique concept of helping the homeless via a "parking meter" is something that Canadians would do (and, sadly, Americans would never think of). Good luck. We expect videos of the neon paint fight that you and Serge devolve into sometime this weekend when you get giddy on the fumes.

dan said...

COOL !

I'll go to your place this w.e. to reserve my place on the boat, maybe with Ian !?!

Bye xx

Lacey said...

Um....if it's for charity, shouldn't you be doing it for free?

I'm just sayin'

Kevin said...

Is it wrong of me to think that's a brilliant idea? I might drop my spare change in a neon green meter on the sidewalk, but not in the hands of the scraggly looking guy with the misspelled "Will Wurk for Food" sign on the offramp.

What can I say -- I'm jaded and cynical.

Chunks said...

Does he really say "Okay love you" when you get off the phone? Because it's those little things that keep a marriage afloat. It really is.

Now, that pit of the stomach feeling you get when you spend huge sums of money, well, we need to talk about that. Let it go! It's only money! You're going to THE MEDITERRANEAN! Lucky fuckers! Be happy in your parking meter painting!

Patricia said...

what an interesting and odd little project to fall into your laps! how great!! are you going to paint them all the same or are they going to be different? we have similar "themed" statues and artwork downtown and after a while, people actually seek them out in order to see the differences. people could be looking for your meters, just to see how cool they are. take lots of pics, i can't wait to see them!!

thank goodness serge is already pre-creatively ready, having just completed the masterpiece on the patio.

Anonymous said...

This post was really an eye opener. I am glad that you guys are getting the $2000. You really deserve it. But, $2000 for painting? It shows us how outrageous times are. How much of our charitable contributions go for what we intended and how much goes to Administration?

Jason said...

That's good karma.

Oh, Hoppy, was on the CBC, on the Lens (documentary).

http://www.cbc.ca/thelens/program_261206.html

SJ said...

I'll paint a 1000!!!

Hi got here from Enemy of the republic's.

Brechi said...

Well there's something I haven't heard yet. I'm guessing there is more to it than spray-painting them?

bardelf said...

I LOVE CANADA!

GayProf said...

At this point, I would paint anything over a weekend for $2000 -- meters, toilets, the elderly. Whatever -- $2000 is a good slice of cash.

Chris said...

When I first read this, I thought Spouse meant you were going to install donation moneys and then keep the money people donate to the homeless!

On second read, it sounds like you're just getting paid by the city to paint the meters, right? RIGHT?

tornwordo said...

Exactly Chris.

Naked Boy said...

If it is for charity, why are you being paid to paint the meters? Doesn't make sense.

But it does prove that when you need something it appears. This always happens, rather than worrying about where the money is coming from, just make plans and it appears. Always happens like that. (The Secret).

Hope you have an enjoyable trip. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Doug said...

I guess I never pegged you as a pessimist. As you said, the unforeseen can have an upside.

May your future be filled with meters.

Lewis said...

So, are there any coins left in the meters? Empty them out! Save the cash. You'll need it. I know how expensive cruises can be (cruises...not CRUISING). Well, that can be expensive too. We're doing a 15-day Hawaii cruise in October. I'd better find something to paint for a little extra money.

Joy said...

How cool is that?!!!

David said...

Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump. I think it's wonderful that you will be taking a cruise. Especially when it's such a long way off, you can budget little increments to save and set aside so when the bill comes, the money is just sitting there waiting to be spent. And with this $2,000, which you must set aside as sacrosanct, it's all that much easier. Marvelous.

TJ said...

Congrats on you're travel plans. I say don't let life pass you by or you'll regret it. I'm sure you'll have a great time. I've never been to Europe or the Mediterranean, but I hear it's beautiful. Enjoy both the trip and your meter painting...

Willym said...

Divine providence from le Ville de Montreal????? It's a miracle!

So which cruise did you choose?

In a way I envy you the adventure - I've travelled since I was 19 (started working for the airlines) and continue now into late middle-age (said he coyly.) We're moving to Rome in July, leaving Canada behind once more for an extended period. I'm looking forward to it but not with the anticipation that Serge must have. And I envy him that.

The cruise is going to be a great adventure for the two of you and its started off well.

Chunks: doesn't every couple end their telephone calls that way - I know we still do after 29 years.

robert78 said...

"Agape and trying to process, I studied the receiver." -lmao! Too funny.

ps you're going to have A BALL in Europe. I'm so happy for you! :)

dawn said...

Ironic that you are being paid 2 grand for a FUNDRAISING project? Are YOU the fundraising project? Either way, sounds like the cruise gods are smiling upon you.

On another note: Have you ever seen the TV show Dexter on Showtime? It's about a serial killer. Everytime he kills someone he covers the area in plastic. Your garage looks like a Dexter crime scene. With parking meters.

Addict said...

How cool... planning a cruise, worrying about money and getting unexpected pay... I think it was meant to be!!!
Enjoy :)

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Sounds fun, sling some over my way too:>) hee hee

Good luck with the money making schemes..way to go with this ingenius one!

Will cleaning car windows and being bob -a- jobs be out of the question?

Lyvvie said...

Can't wait for the after pictures!!

Steven said...

How exactly did Serge find out about this? And, how can I get in on the act?