Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Futures and Coke bottles

If someone would’ve explained the futures market to me when I was 18 years old, I’d be a fucking billionaire by now. If I had the money to do it, I mean. I’ve been trying to figure out my money situation lately, especially since my average daily balance in savings in 1996 was 4 cents, and someday I’ll get sick or laid off or will want to buy a new pair of shoes and I’ll be fucked. I’ve been thinking about a mutual fund or something like that, where I can put in a few dollars a week and when I decided to buy a house or whatever, I’ll have the cash.

Anyway, I found out how futures work and it’s all highly skeptical and everything, but sounds incredible. It’s about like betting on the world money market – horseracing but slightly more legitimate. I’d probably do bad, since every prediction I’ve made about the business world has gone under. But it’s the thought that counts.

It’s been one of those days where I am so miserable that I wonder what I’m doing and why I’m not doing something better. Yesterday, I spent the whole day on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and I couldn’t even blame it on anything. Maybe it was diet or this stomach sickness or food or lack thereof or something, but I had complete and literal tunnel vision, and couldn’t do anything as simple as open my car and get something off of the dash without formulating a complete battle plan and executing it at a movement per five minutes, like some kind of lunar probe being controlled from a million miles away. And when I can’t even watch TV, I can’t do things like write, think, etc. So it’s been frustrating and tiring. Sleep hasn’t helped a lot. I think my glasses are going, or I need a new prescription, or I scratched mine up too much.

Shit, I didn’t know USWEST really had their yellow pages online. I thought the commercials were some kind of stupid joke, and when you went to the URL, it would say “Use the yellow pages!” and then have a phone number where you could call to get a paper copy of them (if anyone ever answered the phone).

Okay, so I now have an appointment to get new glasses, which is somewhat of a scary thing. First, I have had glasses since I was in first grade. And not some little token, about-as-distorting-as-plate-glass glasses, but big, thick, coke-bottle glasses. So from a young age, I’ve always thought of having to buy new glasses as something like having to replace the engine in your car – an expensive and time consuming process that 99% of the people out there probably don’t have to deal with. I know a lot of people that get all kinds of Brooks Brothers, Anthony Edwards-looking glasses to correct their 20/29.5 vision, and they love new glasses like they love a new pair of $300 shoes. That isn’t me. First, nobody can fill my prescription right. One time I went to a place in the mall where their ad said “we will fill any prescription in an hour!”. It took them 9 days to grind me a pair of glasses, and when I got them, they were not perfect. So I’ve always had problems with getting new glasses. Plus now, it adds the fun element of dealing with my cryptic and impossible to decipher insurance coverage. I think this will be a fairly cheap thing, but we’ll see. If it does work out, it will be nice to finally have a new pair of glasses…