Saturday, June 9, 2007

My Lucky Day!

Today, I got an email saying I was randomly picked to receive a GRAND PRIZE: The Smart Traveler's Passport: 399 Tips from Seasoned Travelers from a contest-of-sorts at the travel blog Gadling's. Awhile back, I submitted a story of one of my MANY travel follies and promptly forgot about it the contest.

I don't do it for the recognition. I'm just happy if I can somehow put a smile on one person's face.... Ok, that's crap. I really wanted this book because my pattern is usually to make a mistake and THEN learn my lesson, instead of doing things right the first time round. And obviously my own clumsiness and bad luck amuse the hell out of me. That's pretty much what this whole blog is about.

So I just called up my brother to let him know that I won something today. He's buying a couple of extra tickets using MY lucky number, which has never been particularly lucky, but perhaps that's because it's always used on an unlucky day.

We discussed whether we'll be taking the annuity or the lump sum. Looks like this time, it will be the annuity. All I care about is my trip around the world for a year. He's more practical, thinking that he might have to take the annuity for his kids' sake. He wants them to be free of money worries for the rest of their lives. Yeah, I can just see my niece, partying all night, hitting curbs with her Mercedes, and running around saying, "That's hot" all over the place. Sigh.

I'm also concerned about how much I'll give to my favorite charities every year.

I haven't been able to give to them for a few years, but I'm sure glad we have them around. When I get my annuity, I'll divide it in half . I'll keep $220,000 to live on and give $100,000 to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, $100,000 to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and I'll start my own nonprofit for a project that a co-worker and I are kicking around. It won't cost much to start up, because we want to get our boss to allow us some unused space in our building. But if I can put $20,000 into it every year, it will really help.

Is $220,000 enough for a trip around the world? I'll have to take the time to figure that out someday.

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