Just how much is $787 billion?

“Suppose you spent $1 million every single day starting from the day Jesus was born and kept spending through today. A million dollars a day for more than 2,000 years. You would still have spent less money than Congress just did.” That's a lot of dollars.


Lessons of an apartment dweller

It's interesting how great I thought my apartment was when I moved in. I loved everything about it. I will admit that in theory, it seems like a fabulous place. I will also admit that I may just be snotty and have too-high expectations. But what is undeniably true is that my so-called "luxury apartment home" is more stodgy construction and less high-quality abode.

- In apartment-speak, "hardwood floors" actually means linoleum, which is SO hard to clean. No matter what soap I use and whether I use a mop or scrub on my hands and knees, it always has a visible film.

- Cheap paint is just that: cheap. If I remove several layers of paint, leaving a visible spot, when cleaning the walls, it's a problem.

- While white ceramic floor tiles and white granite counter tops provide a bright, clean look, they're impossible to keep clean and show every minuscule scratch.

- Double-pane windows are a necessity.

- Buying the cheapest washer and dryer is probably not the best idea.

- I am envious of fingerprint proof stainless steel.

- I have gained a new appreciation for wiping the baseboards, despite the fact I used to think my mother was a crazy woman for noticing the near-invisible dust that settled upon them. Why you ask? Because when no one cleans then, the maintenance team simply paints over the dust, and it looks disgusting.

- When planning your kitchen, measuring is important, especially when placing a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer with a in-door ice maker next to a protruding window sill.

All of these things taught me one thing: I'm going to be one heck of a picky home buyer.