This morning I woke up like any other morning: to the smashing tune of the dog upstairs banging his rawhide bone on the wood floors. Kirk turns over, sighs, and my blood starts to simmer. City condo living? Not always idyllic.

After a half hour, I’m out of bed, on the living room futon, feet on the coffee table, laptop poised for action. The markets open at 8:30 CT.

Ah, JASO looks good today, and I buy. A Lot. Unbeknownst to me, I would be buying a ticket at the Stock Market Carnival to ride a stomach-twisting coaster, THE BIGTIME. As in, “Gonna Lose it, BIGTIME.” The bottom of the lowest drop for this stock is still in question today. Of which the following slogans to this experience could all apply:

“Hand over your stock trading innocence, you newbie!”
“You thought you could keep making money with that strategy? Think again!”
“You were asking for it, you know that.”
and the SNL favorite…
“Really? I mean, REALLY!?”

So I bought at the wrong time. It had to happen sooner or later. But, what I learned today was this: Don’t sit and stare at the chart. With every downtick, a piece of my day’s productivity falls through the hourglass, to be lost forever. And for what? More time lost relishing a bad decision? Bad idea. Good idea: go to a coffee shop. Write about it. Now other people can laugh, or commiserate, or whatever. Lemons to lemonade, check.

Now bigger and better things. My friend Julie and her mom, Ann (my mom’s best friend), arrived downtown last night at 9pm, just as the blizzard was really letting loose its vigor. They stayed at our place in Rogers Park for a quick a cat nap, and we woke up at 3:45am this morning to drive to O’hare. They would be flying to Costa Rica.

Julie has been volunteering with a mission group, the Abraham Project, since last summer, and will be through May this year. In short, the project aims to help the community grow though child care, youth activities, adult education, and faith.

I’ve been stewing in my metal saucepan the idea of going down myself (and Kirk as well) with a videocamera and making a documentary about the project and its effects on the community. Lately the thought has been running deeper, really out there. Driving me to do things like talk to my co-worker and friend, Laura, about how I’m going to get off work for such a long time (month?). Or other possibilites, like quitting. Or saying I’m going on a trip and Maybe I’ll be back. Like a not-so-intimidating threat from the Terminator.

The next obvious consideration: cost. Overhead would be fairly low. Plane tickets, some lodging money, some rental video equipment. Much to my fantastic fortune, a friend of mine from college, Brian, said he would be willing to loan me a HD videocamera. Definitely awesome.

Really though, this idea, when brought to conception, will be one of those win-win ones. Actually, a win-win-win-win. Win for me, because I love traveling, filming stuff, and making documentaries. Win for the project, because they’ll be getting some wonderful free promotional material and more exposure, hopefully leading to new volunteers and more financial support. Win for Julie, because she gets to hang out with me. (That’s a good one.) Win for the Costa Rican community around the project, able to reap benefits of the project’s growth.

When is this supposed trip? Sometime March/April, i.e. extremely right around the corner. Julie’s only there until May, and she is one especially necessary liaison.

Time’s a tickin’, the hourglass filling…