Because I Just Did the Bills

I realized that I’m completely out of money. Flat Broke. But I’m happy and I have a family that will make sure that I never starve.

And I’m healthy.

But there are a lot of people who aren’t so why not follow this link and donate $5. Heck, I’m flat broke and I did it.

*In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that every $5 donation buys me another ticket in a raffle for a $10,000 bike.

Advertisements

I Need $20 to Get Back to Mexico

There’s an old story about a pair of panhandlers.  They’re alike in most ways, they work similar corners, all that.  But one guy makes a lot more money than the other one. Finally the guy who’s making less money asks the other guy what his secret is.  The other guy says it’s simple, instead of just asking for “some money” hes asks for $20 so that he can get back to Mexico. You ask for a specific amount of money for a specific reason and you generally get results.

He is, of course, not going to Mexico but it makes a sympathetic story.

I am also not going to Mexico but I am asking for money. $10 to be exact.

Do you suppose that there’s anyone out there who hasn’t been affected by cancer?  My father’s had it, my brother in law’s had it twice, grandparents, aunts, uncles, the list goes on.  Now I don’t have the raging hatred for cancer that some do but I haven’t had it hit too close to home. Yet.  (I’m under no delusions that I’m somehow going to dodge that bullet.) But I do have some readers (and good friends) whose mother died of cancer and I’ll bet they’re not the only ones.

So here’s what I want from you:   Fatty, a well known, beloved and award winning blogger, is having a raffle.  He’s raffling off this bike:

It’s a nice bike.  It’s a $6,000 bike. It’s a lot more bike than I’d even know what to do with.  But that doesn’t stop me from wanting it. And you can help me win it and help fight cancer all at the same time.  All you have to do is follow this link :

and donate $5.  That’s it.

All the money donated goes directly to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and regardless of how you feel about Lance (or if you feel any way about him at all) you’ve got to admit that LIVESTRONG does great work in fighting cancer and helping those who are waging a more personal battle with it.  For every $5 you donate I get one more ticket in the raffle.  OR if you want a chance at the bike yourself you can go here and throw $5 in for yourself.  C’mon, it’s $5 and it’s for a good cause (two good causes?).

But I asked for $10.

The other five goes to the HERA women’s cancer foundation. (A group fighting women’s cancers (specifically ovarian cancer, I believe) for those of you who aren’t going to follow the link.)

I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy rock climbing.  Well HERA is putting on a climb (same idea as a race, or a ride, or a whatever only rock climbing) and I need to raise $125 (that’s in addition to the $50 registration fee which I paid).  I don’t have $125 (remember the new transmissions?) so I need some help. Specifically I need you to follow this link: and donate $5. (Before you do that, take a moment to look at that girl in the middle’s arms! Holy Crow! Ok, now go.)

That’s it.  Then you’ve fought cancer and helped me have a good time which gives me fodder for the blog and c’mon, we all know that that benefits you because you come here to read my blog and it’s a lot more interesting when I have something interesting to write about.

So that’s it, follow two very easy links donate five (or more, I’m not saying no to more than five) dollars, get on with your day knowing that you did something good.

The One Where I Beg For Money

Have you ever noticed that the title of each Friends episode is “the one where (whatever happens in that episode happens)”?  Probably not.  take my word for it.  That’s how each episode is titled.  I think I may start titling my blog posts like that (until I get bored of it or otherwise don’t feel like it at which point I’ll stop while reserving the right to resume at any time).  It’s just easier.

So Christmas was a long time ago and we’ve got a while before it swings around again which means that it’s been a while since you were encouraged to give money in a charitable way (except for those of you who pay tithing, which is of course a charitable donation, or those who’ve been hit up for money for any one of innumerable charity races or contests or… ok fine there are always charities that want your money, whatever).  My point is that… let me start from the beginning.

I have two brothers, the older of which is a regular reader, commenter and occasional contributor (you really need to click on this link, this really is who my brother is and it really is what he believes which is why he’s not too upset over his current state of affairs) on this blog (in addition to having a blog of his own).  He is a mortgage broker.  He chose that profession because he likes to help people, he likes to interact with people (I know, it’s hard to believe we’re even related) and he’s pretty darn good at it.  The problem is that, given the current economic climate, being a mortgage broker doesn’t really pay a whole lot (insert surprised gasp here).  My brother has 8 children.  He hasn’t been paid in quite a while, and because of some changes to mortgage laws (things that they seem to be changing on an hourly basis) the loan that was supposed to close last Friday didn’t, so instead of getting paid this week he won’t be for a minimum of 20 days.  His sons recently broke the picture window in his front room, both of his two cars are on the fritz, a dinosaur recently sat on his garage, and his eldest son is about to leave for college. (It’s possible that at least one of those things isn’t true, but well, did I mention that he has EIGHT children?  I’m not sure it’s possible to overstate the damage 8 kids could do.)  He lives about 2 miles from his office so even without an operational car, he could walk it, (or ride a bike, or, since he works for himself, work from home) and he has, I am assured, copious amounts of food storage.  All of that is good, but I’m not sure that a family 0f 10 can live for months on end with no cash, no matter how forward thinking they’ve been. He also refuses to buy on credit and doesn’t want to borrow money.  (I think, in fact *I know, that in his position I would make some different choices but I also recognize that those choices would probably be worse in terms of personal and spiritual benefit and I’m not here to judge.)

What he has though, is stuff to sell.  Remember this?

That’s right.  He has the limited edition Holly Hanberg debut novel “On the Table” this is a first edition folks.  We could probably even arrange to have it signed by the author.  A lot of you said that you wanted it.

(For those of you not in on the joke, this is my book.  I wrote it about 4 years ago and my brother published it for me for Christmas last year. It’s a pretty good book (although you may want to consider the source of that last statement) and well, that’s all I have to say about that.)

He has, in fact, 4 copies of this book.  So here’s what I’m proposing. There are, as of this moment, 3 2 1 copies of this book for sale.  They are $25.  That includes shipping to anywhere in the US and, if desired, an author’s signature and message and blah blah blah.  These books will go to the first 3 people to call me 801-996-3185 (yes, that is my actual telephone number) and tell me you want one AND to pay $25 into my brother’s PayPal account: theclanjones@yahoo.com. Update: the first one is two are gone, we’re down to 2 1 folks, I wouldn’t wait if I were you.

The fourth book is the prize of the raffle that I’m having.  Here’s how that works: “tickets” for the raffle are $5.  For every $5 you donate to my brother and his family you get one virtual ticket (so $10 gets you two, $15 gets you three, and so on)  This raffle will run through Wednesday the 11th at 7pm, at which time we’ll see if I’m really smart enough to figure out how to pick a winner without just writing all the names on the requisite number of slips of paper and putting them all in a hat.  (And if I’m not then I’ll write all the names on the requisite number of slips of paper and put them all in a hat and have someone pull one out.)  Anyway, the winner will be announced on Wednesday night or sometime Thursday at which time I’ll write whatever you want on the title page and put all four books in the mail or if you’re close enough (as determined by me) I’ll hand deliver it to your house or to wherever we decide to go for lunch or…

So there it is:  If you want a really cool book, or a chance at a really cool book, and the chance to some good for some of the most deserving people I know, donate now through PayPal to theclanjones@yahoo.com.

This begging for money post is the first of what may very well become a regular thing around here.  I’ve lately been inspired to join team fatty in raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation to fight cancer (and possibly win myself some really cool stuff) so be prepared for that. I’m also going to start blogging regularly again at which point I’ll probably tell you about how *I know for sure that I would make different choices about borrowing money, and about owning two vacuums and about the treat that is going to restore world peace (and which would probably be the solution to my brother’s problems if only I had some way to get it to him) and… well, it’s gonna be good.

PS. If any of you have been considering refinancing, now’s a really good time (as far as rates are concerned anyway) and I know a guy who’d be really happy to have the work.

Update: I got this email from my brother today and I thought, in the interest of explaining his whole situation (which I’m far, far too lazy to do on my own) I’d pass it along:

Al-

As I mentioned before, I can’t possibly thank you enough. I cannot comment on your blog, because that seems a bit odd, so I wanted to just mention a couple things.

It seems impossible and somewhat delusional that I should be setting up a company ostensibly based on how successful my brokerage is, when simultaneously my sister is petitioning the world to send me money because I am broke. I want to emphasize that I am broke due mostly to two things 1) the way I run my brokerage and 2) luck. We remain busy. Really busy. We’re as busy now as we have been at any time in my career, and busier than most times. It isn’t that we have no loans to do, it is that the loans we have take longer than they used to (regulatory issues and market conditions). We have, for instance, half a dozen clients right now that should be buying houses, only they cannot sell the ones they’re in. That wasn’t a problem a couple years ago. So we have to wait for that. We have a dozen (literally) that would close in a heartbeat if this or that weren’t a problem; again, those are mostly problems that wouldn’t have existed before. Because we run the brokerage in the way we do, we never turn anyone away. We never stop trying to make a deal happen, no matter how long it takes. Unfortunately, this often means that it takes a long time.

Luck is the other factor. Like all sales jobs, money comes when it comes, and sales happen when they happen, without a great deal of rhyme or reason. It always seems odd to people that I could like and even revel in a career where money comes to us in waves, a lot here and there and nothing at all in between. But that’s sales. When you think of it, this is far more like the way the real world works than the paid-every-two-weeks that has become the norm in the modern industrial age. Think about farming – you work steadily for months and all the food comes in in a huge burst at the end of October. Even your garden takes two months of hard work before you start harvesting peas and lettuce. You never get a garden where you can make a BLT, because the lettuce is gone before the tomato gets ripe. That’s the way of things. All the lambs are born in the spring. It’s how things work. And we’re in such a patch right now. On the 27th, we could easily make $15,000. But we haven’t been paid in six weeks, despite having volumes of work to do. You’re an author. How much writing do you do before you get paid a cent?

The loans we will close in the next two weeks were supposed to close MONTHS ago (one of them, honestly, in January). But things happen.

As I say this, I know that I cannot escape the reality that if we had fifty loans to do instead of fifteen, then we’d have enough that there would be no dry patches. I know that says “he doesn’t work hard enough.” Nobody is as conscious of that as I am, or feels more keenly that he should be better than he is. I am ashamed that I should have come to this pass, but that is also a function of how I live my life. See my recent post on Gattaca [the link is mine, for those who might be interested]. I don’t save, and I am unlikely ever to do so. When I have money, I give it away with both fists. I trust my God, who tells me to rely on Him, not on the Bank of American Fork. Should it turn out to be publicly humiliating to do so, well, God has never cared about humiliation, either His own or that of His servants. He tells us to keep our eyes on Him and consider not what man can do, and to the best of my ability, I’m doing that.

So consider yourself the chosen of God, and His direct messenger, and do all that you do for us knowing that He is behind you, and before, you, and round about you to bear you up. For my part, you always will be one of my five favorite sisters. I’m so grateful to you I can’t even speak of it.

Cj

What’re You Doing Friday Night?

You could be going to a ball.

That’s right, A BALL!

Just like Cinderella. Only (hopefully) with fewer rodents (and a better hairdo).

Anyway, here’s the deal.  If you’re in Utah, anywhere along the Wasatch front you should really come to the Twelfth Night Charity Ball being held this year at Thanksgiving Point.

The charity you’ll be supporting is A Child’s Hope Foundation, an organization trying to make it easier for couples in developed countries to adopt children in forgien countries And trying to provide those children with food, shelter and adequate medical care until they can be adopted.  More information about them can be found here.

The ball (and it is a ball, make no mistake, I’ll be wearing my prom dress)  is this Friday, (there’s nothing like a little notice, I know) January 30th at 7:00 at the Show barn at Thanksgiving Point.  More information about the ball can be found here.

If you don’t have or you can’t fit into your prom dress or it’s *ahem* not appropriate, I wouldn’t worry too much about it, church dress will be fine, but if you happen to have a formal gathering dust in your closet pull it out, dust it off and get out there.  C’mon when else are you going to get to wear that thing?

There will be a live band (led by a certain blogger’s father) and if you play your cards right you can be their lead singer (talk about the ultimate karaoke) and, of course, dancing (what’s a ball without dancing?) and chocolate fountains with lots of goodies for dipping (because what goes better with your formal attire than melted chocolate?) and various BYU and other semi-celebrities (I think some sports players or something, and maybe miss Utah???) and …

Tickets are, I think $20.00 but you should also bring a pocket full of quarters for the candy machines because if you get a golden ticket you win!  something.  There will also be a silent auction, (my sister won a really cool sculpture a couple years ago) and all kinds of fun stuff.

So stop considering, tell your husband that he’s going to have to suck it up and wear a suit and take you out and show you a good time for once.  I’ll see you there.

—————————————————-

P.S. I’ll be the  one who looks like this

Or you know, maybe a little more like this