Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

These pretzels are making me thirsty.  1

Posted on January 4th, 2006. About Entertainment.

Evan and I are making our way through the third season of the Seinfeld DVDs – and we are finally entering familiar territory. I found Seinfeld in high school, around 1995-ish, and thus missed many of the earlier episodes, although I went through a phase where I was addicted to the syndicated shows. I am guessing most of the episodes from the first two seasons are not on tv as often (and for good reason – they are not that funny), but I am loving Season Three! I recently revisited the episode where Jerry has to rent a car after his car is stolen, and there are numerous hilarious exchanges during this 23 minute period:

1. After his car is stolen, Jerry calls his car phone and has a discussion with the car thief. The car thief calls him back to ask where the button for the defroster is located. Kramer, in the meantime, asks the thief if his brown gloves are still in Jerry’s glove compartment.

2. The most HILARIOUS part of the episode involves Jerry trying to rent a car. The dialogue goes:

Agent: I’m sorry, we have no mid-size available at the moment.
Jerry: I don’t understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?
Agent: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.
Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the
Agent: I know why we have reservations.
Jerry: I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a car. See, you know how to
take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation and
that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody
can just take them.

3. Elaine tells Jerry about her new boyfriend and claims, “You would really like him,” to which Jerry replies, “Why do people always say that? I hate everyone, why would I like him?” I was roaring on this one. Who hasn’t said, “You would really like him/her” before?

4. Kramer lands a one-liner in a Woody Allen flick being filmed near the building, and his line is, “These pretzels are making me thirsty.” It becomes the line people say throughout the episode when they don’t know what to say.

Anyway, the beauty of the episode is that it is the first Seinfeld that follows the algorithm for what makes Seinfeld a great show. Each of the characters possesses some independent problem that, individually, creates humor, but as the show progresses their situations become intertwined in such a way that the fate of each relies on the outcomes of the other three. A) Jerry’s car is stolen because the parking attendant left the keys in the ignition. George decides to take over the attendant’s job (typical George, unemployed and unemployable). B) Elaine’s boyfriend has a stroke and is brought to Jerry’s apartment, but the paramedics cannot reach him because of the traffic outside of the building, created by George’s inane desire to park cars for a living. C) This desire of his also delays filming of the Woody Allen movie in which Kramer is to partake. D) On top of everything, the congestion was created because George wrecked Jerry’s rental car. The way the plots come together at the end is a brilliant comical climax, setting the stage for many laughs to come over the ensuing years.

Introducing the Roth 401(k)/403(b)  2

Posted on January 4th, 2006. About Money.

Evan was telling me recently about a new retirement account offered for 2006 in which I very much wish I could participate – the Roth 401(k) (or, in my case, it would be the Roth 403(b), although my employer does not offer it). Taxwise, it functions similarly to a Roth IRA in that the tax on the money is paid now and the growth can be withdrawn tax-free at 59 1/2 years of age. This is beneficial for people who expect to earn more at the age of retirement than they currently earn – I am an example of such a person, and I pay lower taxes now than I expect to at 60. The Roth IRA also has contribution limits of $4000 annually and $5000 if you are over 50 (this is no different than in 2005), whereas the Roth 401(k) allows up to $15,000 annually ($20,000 for those over 50). You can skim the new contribution rules for 2006 by clicking here. Happy investing.

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