Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

Questions... and answers!

I got questions. Fun questions!

ladythmpr asked What do you watch to knit by once the baseball season is over?

Oh lots of stuff! My TiVo stays stuffed. Right now it's got a bunch of HGTV and DIY network shows and some movies and documentaries. Come the fall, I like scripted dramas (Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, Scandal, Gray's Anatomy, NCIS (except the New Orleans one), Law and Order (reruns of the original and Special Victims), etc. I watch Project Runway but really no other reality/contest shows. Some Netflix and Amazon originals.

I'm a TV lover. Really. I remember when we got our first one. A teensy black and white screen in a giant wooden box. Programming didn't start until 7 am and quit at 11 pm. I was not allowed to watch TV on a school night. I missed a lot of the episodes of some of my favorite shows because of this law and I am still making up for it :)

pinmedown gets a blue ribbon for the most great questions!

Have you never really been one for the marriage and kids thing? (I know you've been married before, but still) you seem so content with your own company and I envy that so much.

When I was little, my Dad was the boss of a group of sales people across the country. Periodically, they would come into 'hq' and Mother and Daddy would host them at our house. They were all men - nice men but... Then there was one woman. A woman!! I was fascinated and grilled her and grilled my Dad about her. Turns out she had no husband, no children and lived in downtown Chicago in what Daddy described as a very wonderful apartment. She had a giant organ in her living room and earphones so her neighbors couldn't hear her play. Every time she came to our house, I watched her with an eagle eye. Every time Daddy went to Chicago, I grilled him when he got home.

I was fascinated to find out that it was a real possibility to live a good life with no husband and no children.

My marriage was a mistake from the get go. My best friend at the time said I did it to prove I could and while I hate that she was probably right, she probably was.

I am just to selfish and self centered to share my life. Plus, you know, I've never seen enough benefits to out weigh the downsides. (Never having anyone to go out to eat with, or tell you when you have something on your teeth, or help you move furniture. I like being in control of my own TV remote.)

Also, how did you get into swimming? And baseball?

I was a member of the gym across the street. I hated it. I spent the hour before I would go trying to figure out an excuse not to go. I didn't like sweating. I didn't like the mirrors. I hate the whole thing. When I was little, I loved the time I spent in the swimming pool. I discovered that the local city pools offered exercise classes in the pools!! So I tried it and I loved it. No mirrors. No sweating. So I did those classes for several years and then decided I wanted more so I started swimming laps. I could only do about 10 or 15 at first. But now I do 70+ every day and I love it.

My grandpa (Mother's father) taught me to love baseball. After church and lunch on Sundays, we'd walk down to the drug store and buy a cigar. He got the cigar and I got the cigar ring. And then we'd settle in on the screen in back porch and watch the game. The rule was you had to be really quiet or you got kicked out. (My brother and sister never made it past the first half inning.) The reward was that at the 7th inning stretch, Grandpa would get up and go get us each a bottle of CocaCola (which my mother would never let us have) out of the icebox and pop the caps and we would drink right out of the bottle (again, a major faux pas according to my mother). Meanwhile I learned to really love the game. My Mom actually did, too, and after Daddy died, it was something she and I shared - just the two of us.

What age did you retire and how do you invest your money etc?

In the summer of 1994 [EDIT - thanks rsc - cause this is only a single decade off... I retired in 2014 - my brain is clearly used up!!!], I got laid off from my job. My boss encouraged me to apply for unemployment which I did (and it is very generous in Washington state) so I got paid for a year. I kind of looked for work but not that seriously. I had the money to retire so I just did.

In the 80's I worked for IBM and they started an early kind of matching 401K. I did not really understand it or care but I had a good friend in human resources and he bullies me into joining. So that started my little nest egg. When I left IBM in the 90's, I got a half year of salary and took that to an investment counselor. He invested it for me and showed me the fun of investing and making money with money. He did retire but I'm still with the guy he sold his practice to. By 1994, when I needed it, I had enough saved up and invested to live off the proceeds. Then Social Security kicked in and I get $1000 a month from IBM (retirement). And so now I just take a little out of my investment accounts every month and the rest is just reinvested in a wide variety of stuff that I just trust my own version of Bernie Madoff (only the the good kind of Bernie Madoff).


Thanks for asking! Fun questions. Always ready for more.
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