suck sucky suck suck

cheap-fun-wineYeah, I’m pissed. And depressed.

I’m 55 years-old, smart, reasonably attractive, and fairly well-liked! I dress well, speak well, and I have SKILZ, baby!

If I were younger I would consider making an offer to sleep my way into a job.  I’d also take pictures and blackmail their asses but still….money is money.

On Friday, three days ago my daughter called me from work to tell me that one of her patients mentioned that a job had just opened for a Marketing Director at a nearby assisted living facility. She suggested that I would be ideal for the job and since I had “insider” information I might be able to beat the crowds looking for work there. It was too late to get my resume out to them by that time so first thing this morning, Monday, I called them to ask for an appointment and was told the position had already been filled.  WTF?

So I have decided that if I live frugally enough I may be able to make it through till I sell this place, collect Social Security (HA!), and maybe have something left over in my annuity to keep me from having to ask my kids to let me live with them.

So here are some ideas I have to save money:

I plan to unplug my clocks while I sleep. 

I will only eat whatever is on sale, and I will only buy what I know I will consume. In the past I have been rather wasteful. I have been known to buy items and then they sat in the freezer or produce bins until they were no longer edible. This spring I tossed some freezer burned edemame, chicken livers, a roast of dubious origins, several bags of Tater Tots , and a 4 lb. chunk of frozen Velveeta over the bank in the back field.  NO MORE! I also intend to start that diet. I think I can probably hibernate on these extra 20  40 lbs. I carry.

Two-ply toilet paper and paper towels? No more. Any remaining two-ply items will summarily be separated into single-ply and used thusly. By reducing my food intake (see above)  I will dramatically cut down on my own “solid-wastes” anyway!

I will get used to wearing a winter coat while in my house. My down comforter will substitute at night. Thermostats will be kept at 55 degrees.  I apologize to anyone visiting me but be forewarned to dress appropriately when coming by.

Coupons. I hate ’em. I will now use them.

Consignment clothing is chic, no? I may look retro-fashionable from now on (otherwise known as “the bag lady look”).

dress made from ramen noodles packages

dress made from ramen noodles packages

Mineral make-up is expensive but I love it. BareMinerals is my cosmetic of choice but perhaps some good old Pennsylvania dirt would work as well. It is, after all, mostly minerals! And it will work so well with the retro fashions I intend to adopt! Perhaps if I sterilize it in the microwave first…..

Siphoning gas from my ex’s vehicles will save me on gasoline bills for my car. Hey! Who asked him to build a house right across from me anyway?

If anyone would like to contribute suggestions on ways that I can save more money please comment and I will take them under consideration. If anyone would like to donate to my retirement fund…. I will adopt you. I could use the tax write-off of a dependent.

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the good, the bad, and the snuggly (no, not the damn blanket!)

The weather sucks.

It really does. It’s 42 degrees outside and not much warmer inside, as far as I can tell. D’Bear keeps the heat off until icicles form on the computer screens. Hey, it is his house to do with as he sees fit. Oh, he tells me to turn the heat up but I know he hates it…so I don’t.

stanleyclarkeI am here in NY since last Friday. We went to see Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White play their amazing jazz in Buffalo at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts.  I am learning to love jazz. I never thought I would!  Stanley Clark practically f*cked that bass, I swear! He made love to it and made it sing in ways I never knew a bass could sound. He strummed it, plucked it, beat the strings, drummed on the body, fluttered his hand over it like he was literally making love to it! Oh. My. Gosh.

Today is the 7th day in a row with no sunshine. I can’t take much more of this.

I considered going to Rochester Works , the NY State -run employment agency to look for a job here in Rochester. I changed my mind. I need a job. I do. Money is draining through my fingers way too fast. My savings are not going to be able to withstand the kinds of hits they took this past year again unless I can somehow bolster them up with some moolah this year.

My prospects aren’t that good back in Pennsylvania. The economy sucks there like in many small towns. The few manufacturing jobs they once had have long since dried up. Car dealers folded. No one is growing larger, business-wise. My marketable skills are … well, let’s say I fit a niche market, shall we? It sounds better than saying I am practically unemployable at 55 years-old.

Oh, I am smart, reasonably attractive, willing to work, and easy to train but let’s face it. McDonald’s doesn’t really care if I keep my nails nice and ran my own business for 12 years, right?

The job market is considerably better here in Rochester BUT, and here’s the rub, I live in PA! All my contacts, my “stuff” is till there, in PA.  My bank, my mechanic, my house, my daughter and her family, my art studio, my junk… all are there.  If I didn’t have my house there it would be different, but I do. Until D’Bear and I make other arrangements that’s the way it’s going to be.

I don’t want to get married. I want to live, love, laugh, and enjoy the years left without the legal shit. I want to be with D’Bear simply and truly because I love him. No other reason.

He found out this week that his contract job is coming to a close shortly, like in one to three weeks. That means he will be looking for the  next job, feeling the financial strain of living on savings and unemployment until the next gig comes along. Sometimes he gets cranky as shit and I have to put up with his moods and he tells me it’s because he is unemployed. Ahhem… helllooo!!! So am I!

I want to work, too. I just don’t feel like being degraded in the workplace by slinging burgers or emptying bedpans, or smiling at dumbass customers at Home Depot for a few measly bucks a week. I don’t mean to imply that there is anything wrong with doing those jobs but I won’t go there. I am 55 years-old, and I deserve want to work in a place which respects the workers with a fair wage. And I will NOT work every damn Saturday!  I worked every Saturday for over ten years when I had my business and I will NOT do that again.

mcdonalds1Call me what you will.  I am not a prima donna. I am a damned hard worker. With me , you get 150%, but only if you grant me respect. Otherwise I’m outa there. I have watched pimply-faced 19-year-old boys in management at fast food places ,bossing around women twice their age, with sneers in their voices as though the women had no feelings.   I have seen the callousness of nursing home owners when speaking to the nurses’ aides.  I have heard the stories of the retail workers at that DIY place and I can’t imagine working there for very long.

So I am at a loss.

I’m going to sit here and figure it out. One way or another.

Hell, Cougar Town is taped! I can watch that! Noo, maybe not. I don’t need another media message telling me I should look like Courtney Cox in 4-inch heels.

Fuzzy slippers and a sweatshirt maybe.

OH! Here’s another thing! (You thought this damned long blog was finally coming to a close, didn’t you? HA!) After two years together, I am finally coming to the conclusion that I try too damned hard OR he-who-will-not-be-named needs to step his game up. I do not greet him after he comes home from work wearing sweat pants and a hoody. I smell good. I look good. I am cheerful. FUCK! I am practically June-Fucking-Cleaver!cleaverish He looks good when he goes to work. On weekends he wears cargo shorts and Tshirts. What happened to the nice pressed, button-down shirts and the neat jeans? When did wearing cologne become only for workdays? Hmm?

What happened to the sexy talk? When did sleeping- in become sleeping? When did saying “You look beautiful ” become a thing of the past? Where did the occasional love notes or flowers or kisses-for-no-reason go?

Every time I leave NY to drive home…EVERY TIME! … I write him a love note or letter or paint him a picture and leave it somewhere for him to find when I am gone. It’s become a game with us. As soon as he gets home he looks for it. Sometimes it’s somewhere obvious like on the bed. Sometimes I leave it a little hidden so he has to look for it. But I ALWAYS do it.

I am still waiting to find one from him.

Now, in all fairness, he does some wonderful and loving things. He does. He tells me he loves me pretty often. He is a thoughtful and considerate lover. He takes good care of me in so many ways. I am a bitch to complain.

I know he loves me. That’s not it. I am just tired of being the one to make all the effort here.

Men.

I love ’em.

who you calling paranoid?

Birdpress took one of these on line personality test that determine your mental health. Hers was quite intimidating..to her. For those of us who know and love her, well.. we know and love her.  She’s NOT nuts! She’s awesome!

 But curiosity got the better of me so I went over there and took the test and here are my results:

Disorder Rating
Paranoid Disorder: High
Schizoid Disorder: Moderate
Schizotypal Disorder: Very High
Antisocial Disorder: Low
Borderline Disorder: Low
Histrionic Disorder: High
Narcissistic Disorder: Very High
Avoidant Disorder: Low
Dependent Disorder: High
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Moderate
 

Sheesh!! No wonder poor little Birdpress was worried. It seems I am a Paranoid, Schizotypal, Histrionic, Dependent with moderate OCD!!

 Fuck ’em. That’s what makes me interesting!! LOL

woe is me…..

   screwme Well, the day arrived. I placed a claim with my home-owner’s insurance. The company I deal with is..well, it rhymes with StationWide. The name should be “Bend Over. This is Gonna Hurt!”  They sent an adjuster out this morning. His name was Richard but he looked like a Dick before the morning was through.dick1

   I got up early, put on coffee in case he wanted some, tidied the house, especially the areas I knew he would by looking at. I showered and fluffed. I smiled. I was pleasant. I figured that being nice to the man who will cut me a check for the damages is just smart business sense. 

    I now know why they call them “adjusters”. He surely adjusted the numbers! My contractor placed an estimate of the repairs at $6, 140.  That was to repair the damage and install cables on the roof to prevent  further damage.  According to the adjuster man, cables will not be covered. I showed him the stained, damp mattress and box spring which will most likely have to be replaced. That’s not covered. 

    After I showed him  all the water damage, he took pictures and measured the rooms with his manly tape measure (men do seem to love them some tape measures. I don’t know why!) then said he was going out to his truck to do the figures.

    Man-Oh-Man! They must have equipped that truck really well! He came in after a half an hour with about 6 pages of personalized printed pages explaining the company’s policies regarding payment and how they arrive at the numbers. He also had printed out a check…for $1,995.00. He couldn’t even f*cking round it up to $2000. ! I have a $1000. deductible so basically they shorted me around $5000. if you count the things that weren’t included in the contractor’s estimate, like carpet cleaning, new mattress/box spring, etc!

   When he gave me the check I’m sure I looked weird as I stood there with my mouth open , staring at the piece of paper. WTF?!?!

    In my life I’ve only ever made one other insurance claim on my home-owner’s policy and that was 24 years ago for the time lightning hit my home and blew out a few appliances!

   I wish now I’d had the balls to look him in the eye and say “F*ck you and your company, too! Do you sleep well at night ? Does this really seem fair to you, you miserable c*cksucker?”    I realize I could call and maybe have this thing drag out, trying to make a larger claim but I just don’t have the energy. They win.

    I hate to always be complaining but this has been a pretty sucky period for me financially. I just heard from the logger who was so eager to cut trees down on the property. He said there isn’t enough good timber to make it worth his time. So there goes another money-making opportunity down the drain. I was so looking forward to a nice fat check from him! Evidently there hasn’t been enough growth since the place was logged out 27 years ago!

   I am looking forward to eating lots more beans than meat in the near future if things continue the way they’ve been going. That’s all right. I hear a vegetarian diet is healthier anyway.

My Challenge

  nonegativity

 My challenge this week has been to find the good in people and in situations.  I’ve challenged myself to beat negative attitudes and to stop saying or thinking negative things.

    I had an occasion to practice my new rules yesterday.  I had parked at the mall and was walking through the parking area when I saw her. She was a handsome older woman, loaded down with packages and fighting to get her umbrella up before the rain came. As she came wandering towards me,  I heard her muttering ” where the hell is my G-D car?!!!”  The sky was almost black with rain clouds but just to the northeast was a brilliant rainbow arched right over the Barnes & Nobles Bookstore.  I said to her “I don’t know where your car is but there is a rainbow just for you!” and I pointed to it. She looked up and then smiled the most beautiful smile and said” Oh, my! I haven’t seen one of those in years!” and then she turned and said “OH! and there’s my car!!  Thank you!”

 I didn’t find her car for her. I made her see a rainbow. rainbow2

 I think I may have found my own pot of gold right there.

It’s ONLY Hair!!!

My best and oldest friend and I went out today for shopping and lunch; such a girly thing to do but we haven’t spent much time together this summer.

 She lives half of the year in my town here in NE Pennsylvania and the other half in Sarasota, FL.. She and her husband are retired for quite some time. They are what is referred to as “filthy rich”.  She has housekeepers and gardeners and pool boys, and maintenance people all over the place.  They don’t flaunt their wealth in gaudy ostentatious ways but nonetheless they enjoy a certain level of comfort that most of us only dream about.

 Because I have been spending so much time with D’Bear and commute back and forth to Rochester a couple of times every month she and I haven’t had as much time together as we used to. Today it really hit me just how far apart our lives have become. She is stuck in a dull routine. She doesn’t go anywhere. She doesn’t do anything interesting. She and her husband live lives of dull monotony but they seem content  so who am I to criticise?

 Today she got in my car as we headed out to Scranton for some shopping and she was jabbering away, catching me up on the doings of her family of six.  Suddenly she looked over at me as I was driving and said ” Do you have purple stripes in your hair?!” I had just had my colorist put in some eggplant-colored lowlights and then some purple-ish strips along the underside of my hair. I thought it was fun and loved the new look!

 I said “Yeah, do you like it?” 

Now I thought she would say, as I would have if the shoe had been on the other foot ” That’s cool! What a neat look! I think that’s great!” or something along those lines.

No. She said “Ummm, …Okaaaaaayyy…” and then she changed the subject.

 She’s always been like a big sister to me as well as being my closest friend and confidante so her lack of enthusiasm hit me like a slap in the face. I chose to let it go instead of calling her on it.

 Two years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and during the first mastectomy the doctors discovered a malignant tumor in her lung. They removed the middle lobe of her right lung as well as her left breast and then she spent six months undergoing intensive chemotherapy. She has since had the other breast removed as well.

 I went down immediately after her first surgery and spent a couple of weeks taking care of her. I was so afraid of losing her. When you have no other family, then friends like her become your family.  I couldn’t NOT go! She was such a fighter. She seldom complained even when the chemo left her barely able to move or eat or sleep.  I finally left when I saw her beginning to rally and her youngest daughter was able to take my place caring for her mother.

 Since then my dear friend has gone from vibrant youth to frail oldster. She acts old. She talks old. Her attitudes have even changed into those of an “OLD” woman!

Oh, she still loves me as I do her but we are in two different worlds right now. I am coming into my own with a life I had only dreamed of a few years ago. Since meeting D’Bear I am truly loving life in a way I hadn’t been able to do for decades! She is happy for me but in all honesty she often times thinks I am off my nut! It is so hard for her to relate to my lifestyle. We are only nine years apart chronologically but we are eons apart in attitude.  It has gotten so bad that I won’t even let her drive because she doesn’t seem to be able to find the accelerator , only the brakes!! She brakes every time she drives downhill!!! Arrgghh!!!

 I would have thought that having beat death she would be more open to life, more understanding, more vibrant and sensitive to those around her. Wrong! She is simply stuck in her rich-girl world, completely cut off from what most of have to deal with on a daily basis. She can’t seem to understand that I am no longer financially able to fly to Norway with her for a cruise around the fjords or that I can’t take off for a weekend in Long Island where hotels start at $200 a night! Her days consist of talking on the phone and maybe running the dishwasher. Mine consist of draining water lines,  worrying about the lack of insulation in my attic, or mending the hole in the woodshed roof. 

  Lord, give me strength to remain calm and understanding because she is a wonderful person and I love her like I have seldom cared for any other outside of my children. 

But Lord, would you smack her upside her head and tell her to say something nice about my hair?

Meanwhile, this song ALWAYS makes me cry when I think of my dear friend, Wenche.  May you share a park bench with me in eternity, old friend.

Fed Up

 I started watching the presidential debate tonight but after  15 minutes of it I turned it off, fed up and disgruntled. I looked up the definition of the word disgruntled

adjective-

displeased and discontented; sulky; peevish:  grouchy, testy, sullen, grumpy, dissatisfied.

 

 

That’s me, to  a tee!  I got my account statement from one of my investment groups and it chilled me to the bone. I lost what is to me a huge amount of money in ONE fucking month! The money I lost could have supported me for over half a year! AGGH! 

Why did we all work so hard and sock away money for our old age if this is our reward? Last year- YES! last year all the financial advisors were still saying “Put your money in IRAs and retirement accounts. Don’t spend all your income on today! Plan for tomorrow!” Bullshit! I should gone on a freakin’ round-the-world cruise, for cryin’ out loud!

  Obama and McCain were verbally wrestling and pointing fingers and swearing that they were the salvation of America BUT they would NOT offer a solution to the economic problems facing us all. They can’t. This is bigger than they are. This mess is so stinkin’ nasty our government can’t fix it. That, I believe, folks, is the truth and it scares me half to death.

 Here, Kitty Kitty!!!  Mama needs some o’ that Nine Lives! It might be dinner pretty soon!

Shit, I’m pissed.

Playing Fair

_divorce100.jpg I got the property appraisals back yesterday. Wow. I look good on paper.

 Now I have to figure out how to get my STBE (Soon-to-be-Ex) to buy me out so I can get out of this fishbowl I live in. Here’s the deal:  I live in “our” old house on one side of the road, my daughter, her husband, and son live across the street, and my ex has a business diagonally across from me where he spends the better part of the week, along with all our  employees. AND since he keeps all the classic cars over there along with storing a couple for his friends, I get to see many of those people, too. Nothing I do goes unnoticed or unremarked upon. If D. comes to spend a few days with me, everyone knows about it.

 Not that I give a damn what they think.  I just don’t like being on display so much of the time.

 I am not the screwing-around party in the marriage. Three years ago my STBE left me , saying that perhaps some time away from each other would be good for us. We had been having problems for a long time. After a couple of weeks we actually were getting along better. He would stop in often and we finally got to the point where we could talk without fighting or bickering. It was good.

 Then about two and a half months later he stopped by and said he wanted to tell me something before I heard it from someone else. He said he’d “met someone” and they were “in love“.   ……..huh?

 I thought we were in the process of repairing our marriage and he MET SOMEONE and THEY’RE IN LOVE?!! WTF????

 Oh, and the  girlfriend? She’s the recently divorced ex-wife of one of his good friends! And even better? She has the same first name as me!  Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!

I later ran into his girlfriend’s ex and he told me my bastard of a husband had been planning on leaving me for years!!

Was I angry? Shit yeah!

Am I still? No, absolutely not. It is over and I am now happier than I’ve been in many years. But the divorce will probably be messy considering we have many assets to divvy up and the STBE is a selfish prick who hides things really well and always has. I have never known, in thirty three years of marriage, how much money he makes a week! I am in the process of trying to figure out just what my half of this marriage is worth, thus the appraisals.

 I just started this whole legal battle and already I am tired of it. I wish it would all go away. I just want to be able to spend some time with D. and get on with living the rest of my life as happily as I can. I know I am not much of a fighter. I never have been but this battle may just determine the quality of the rest of my life. I had better be prepared to do whatever is necessary to make sure things get done fairly.

 I like my new attorney. He is calm but feisty, someone who speaks quietly but can be as tough as nails if he needs to be for a client. I like that! I feel calmer knowing he’s got my best interests at heart (or checkbook, whatever.)

 OK, tomorrow I get to work trying to make this thing go as smoothly and as painlessly as possible.

Movin’ On

    I met with an attorney  yesterday. I feel like  I’m cheating. My soon-to-be-ex ( from here on to be referred to as STBE) doesn’t know I am seeing a lawyer about our divorce. He keeps expressing the phrase “we don’t need lawyers taking all our hard earned money over this. We can iron it out ourselves“. (hear his Brooklyn accent)

   The thing is,  he gave me this ludicrous financial proposal that basically says he gets to keep everything of value except the house, which I then cannot afford to keep because it’s horrificly expensive to maintain, and then if I sell it he gets 10% of the sale price!! Which would pretty much reimburse him for any monies he may have to pay in alimony.

  I always thought alimony was for bullshit,  slug-ass , money grubbing gold-diggers but I have a whole new appreciation  for women who get it.

   For thirty years I seriously supported my STBE in every business venture his cackamamie-ness could come up with. He wanted to be a dairy-freakin’-farmer? I learned how to milk cows and do artificial insemination. He wanted to move the  cutlery rental business to town?  I renovated the new  building for him and put in 50 hours a week to get it off the ground while he did deliveries.  He wanted to drive to Minneapolis with his 1934 classic car to a fancy car show? I ran things and took care of the kids while he took home trophies for owning an expensive automobile. I also did all the housework and 90% of the yard work. Occasionally, if he wasn’t too busy with his antique car clubs he would sit on the lawn tractor and mow something. I cooked every meal, washed every dish and every bit of laundry , and made sure his daughters got into college without getting pregnant along the way.

  I sound bitter. I try not to do that. I was doing pretty well until  recently.

  I got tired. He got tired. He moved out. He moved in with his girlfriend. They  bought a house together.

  I want my half. I don’t want to wonder when I am 70-years-old whether I have enough food for the week. I don’t want to have to move in with my daughter to make it through the winter without freezing to death. I want half. No more, no less.

  He wants to “give ” me what  amounts to a pittance.

   My  attorney took one look at the financial proposal  my STBE handed me and he LAUGHED!  I think I love this guy.

  It’s so great to have an advocate to say the things I dont have the ovaries to say to said STBE!