Friday, May 28, 2010

Who Needs a House When You're Skinny?

Reason number 2 I wish I didn't take another job?

I miss the gym.

No really.

I actually miss having time to go spend 1-2 hours sweating like a fat man in a sauna and busting my ass to get my ASS looking good. Well, not just my ass, my abs, legs, get the picture.

Every month I watch as my monthly gym membership is deducted from my bank account. Most of the time I am unable to go. I have no time, no energy and no babysitter to attempt to get my jiggly ass to the gym.

But when I was out of work, damn I was dedicated.

That whole one week I was laid off, I would drop Dylan off at school and I would go to the gym. Hop on an elliptical machine for 20 minutes to warm up. I would then circuit around to various machines. I would do crunches on ab machines, I would do legs and arms and triceps and biceps. I would do my low weight, high repetition little circles around the gym, because I wanted to slim down not bulk up!

Now mind you, the ole "fanny pack" area known as my mid-section where I once housed an over 8lb child is still and will likely remain an issue, until I get someone with an MD, a knife and a vacuum involved, but I felt I was making progress.

Now I just feel gross. Bloated and fat and squishy and completely undesirable.

Oh sure, I have the best breasts mother nature has to offer, but once they turn on me like the rest of me has and decide to stop defying gravity, I'm toast. Burnt toast.

I could have had the summer off. Collecting unemployment and filling my days with the Jersey Shore-esque ways of GTL. What a life! I mean, I would have likely been homeless by the end of it since I would have been broker then broke but shit! I would have been tan and skinny!

Who needs a home when you're tan and skinny?!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What I Never Learned in Kindergarten

I'm just going to outright say it. Deep breathe...

I am completely my job.

Whew what a load off!

Now of course, I get that in this economy I should be eternally grateful that after my layoff from my previously adored position that I got another job so quickly. And at first I was. But then you get settled in and start to see the whole bigger, less appealing picture than the one they show you from far away.

Like my favorite line from "Clueless", it's a "Full on Monet....from far away it looks ok but up close it's a total mess!"

On paper, I have it made, sort of. I mean, for all intensive purposes I am still technically employed through another agency and sort of a squatter here. Temping away until they decide to hire or fire me.

The litany of benefits offered to "real" employees seems phenomenal. Free college tuition to finish your degree, after 3 years free tuition for your child, health benefits, retirement, the whole normal package that comes with the adult territory. Decent hours so to speak.

Then there are the buts.

They lopped off $2 an hour from my previous job, so I am starting out at less money. THEN they took away 5 hours a week. Oh no folks, not your normal 40 hour work week here. 35...MAX. They force you to take an hour lunch, which in and of itself sounds great...but makes you lose an hour of pay a day and your 8 hour day gets slapped down to 7. When you're paid hourly, that's a bummer. PLUS I never take an hour. I eat at my desk usually, unless I need to go out to get something, and am generally all wrapped up within a half hour (and I blame my retail history for getting accustomed to such a shiesty lunch). Oh and you have to pay anywhere from $10-$18 a day to park.

That's right, you have to pay to come to work. What's that you say? Take public transit? Well that WOULD seem like a viable option, if it weren't more inconsistent and more money than driving. From where I live I would have to pay $7 to park at the subway station if I drive straight to it, pay $60 a month for a pass, and then deal with late trains, overcrowding, and being late every day. OR I could take the commuter train, a lovelier ride, but pay $4 to park, then the $150 a month for that pass, PLUS still need to connect the subway so the other pass being $60. Stellar.

Then there is dealing with the elements, and let's face it, once that harsh New England winter comes back, who wants to wait on a train platform in the freezing snow?

Not me.

I get here, and am bored. I am apparently over qualified for this position, which a lab rat with a block of cheese would likely do just as well. I get several tasks to do, and finish them with ease and quickness, then sit around like a bump on a pickle useless for the majority of the day.

I am surrounded by other people who hate their job, which doesn't say much for the atmosphere let me tell you.

They seem more prioritized paying ridiculous sums of money to spruce up the offices than they do seeming to focus on the salaries or contentment of their staff.

I get that people drone on about their jobs, that they muster up the wherewithal to just suck it up and go every day, but I miss my old job.

I used to look forward to going to work. I loved the people I worked with, even the people in other offices. I was a part of a team there, I was good at what I did, and I was able to Do things. To work on charity functions with the United Way, to be a part of an archival project. I was inspired there.

And making more money was obviously a perk.

I find myself so tired. I am tired of being broke all the time. Of not being able to pay my bills on time, or sometimes at all, like a responsible adult. I hate feeling like a failure in my own life. Like there is so much more I am capable of or should be doing. I feel sometimes like a bad daughter, mother and girlfriend. That there should be more I am able to do.

Who knew that a dollar sign had the ability to take so much out of you? That we are ruled by the creditory mistakes of our past and destined to live hand-to-mouth week after week, wondering if you're going to make it.

Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten?

My ass!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rewards for Slacking

Even though I've been a little lackadaisical on the blog front, the lovely Robin over at The Writing on the Wall decided I was kick-ass enough for yet another blog award!

Though I don't find myself as "prolific" as the award describes, I like to think that sometimes I blow enough hot air that's relateable and you people dig it.

Usually I can fodder enough garbage that spews around in my head to at least post every couple of days. Lord knows enough in this world pisses me off that can send me into my lovely sarcastic rants, or as of late even knee-deep in the mushiness of a loving relationship...who knew?

But I digress.

Among my seeming slackerdom, Robin still loved me. And she rocks!

So thus, I am to in turn spread the love and prolificness off to some other worthy Blogs I would like you to check out. (and trust me, some of you have NO idea what you've been missing with the stellar reads!)

SO here goes nothing...(in no particular order)

1. The lovely Brenda over at MummyTime Nothing like a short funny mom of 3 from Down Under

2. The ever-charming Lauren over at Hipstercrite Who has a NY driver's license, a LA mailing address, and an Austin physical address.

3. The magnificent Jill over at Heart Strings: Pulling Advice from the Heart Dear Abby, Dear Shabby! You need advice THIS is the place to go!

4. The Faux Trixie If you're lucky enough to get on the list, she will rock your socks with wit

5. IT over at Well, Oh Yeah!!! because sometimes, a little sarcastic snip-it is all you need in life

I'm sure I could add a boatload of other worthy candidates, but to be honest, I'm lazy. (Clearly this month seeing as I have posted like twice...)

SO read away my people!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ain't That A Kick In The Pants

Money money money. I wish I could say it with the lightheartedness of the ABBA song, but alas, it's NOT a rich man's world. At least my world isn't.

Silverchair had a line in a song circa 1990-something "They say money isn't everything, but I'd like to see you live without it". For a neo-grunge bunch of young'uns, they knew what the FUCK they were talking about.

I know I know, things could be worse as I am constantly reminded, but shit on a stick they aren't that easy either.

I am not homeless...yet. I am not carless...yet. I have a temporary job. It sounds so cheesy. "I'm temping" Like it's 1985 Working Girl and I am supposed to sit airily in front of a typewriter and file my nails and gossip from 9-5.

Granted I am currently working 8-4, but I digress.

Falling behind and trying to catch up when more things keep mounting is seemingly impossible. When everything else in my life is finally fantastic, I am drowning in a sea of past due notices and collection calls.

My health is finally (for now knock on wood) not mimicking that of a 65 year old man, I have a wonderful man in my life, and my family and friends are amazing. And yet...

Yet among the things that are so right, the other side of the compass is so far off. SO off course that I am likely to end up lost in the Arctic, frozen to death and afraid of my next step.

I never thought that taking a $2 an hour pay cut would be so drastic. Well, in theory it wouldn't have been that bad, BUT you factor in they only allow you to work 35 hours so you lose 5 more hours there AND then they hit you with anywhere from $10-$18 a day for parking...depending on if you can get to the other side of the massive campus and get a pass to keep it on the lower side. It adds up. Or more over, subtracts.

I have completely thrown myself into my Relay for Life efforts. Thinking maybe if I focus more on my need to raise money for charity and do good things, that maybe, just maybe Karma, that fickle lady she is, will finally look over and say, "Oh yeah, I forgot you were one of the GOOD ones" and maybe throw me a frickin bone.

I planned an all day benefit concert, the 3rd Annual Save the Tata's Benefit. Complete with great bands and raffle items. Year after year I do this, with promised attendance from various close friends and family, and year after year I am disappointed by the no-shows. Sure people come, those tried and true, those people who keep their word, and even strangers off the street. It's minimally successful in a way. Sure we raise funds, but nowhere near the potential it should have for what it is. And 100% of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society, so it’s not like I pocket it!

I get so distressed by it. But it's a welcome distraction to the stress of my own sordid financial reality. Knowing I have lost so many loved ones to this disease makes my problems seem minimal, right? RIGHT??

So alas, I sit and suffer as it were. Driving day by day into the concrete jungle. Temporarily a fixture. Trying to figure any other way to obtain extra income. Do a little make-up here, participate in an acting thing there (oh yes, I am). Trying to bolster my struggling Mary Kay business in the process.

Aside from either some sort of mystery inheritance or a lottery windfall (which would be as likely as me giving birth to Jesus, as I don't actually PLAY the lottery), I have no idea how to play catch-up.

Oh sure, there's that ever fun road of public assistance, but in a zippy and unexpected twist, I make too much money for help. I can't pay my rent, my car, or utilities. I can't pay for my son's school, but I make too much money to get help. Help I have paid into for the past 16 years of legally working in the state of Massachusetts.

Ain't that a kick in the pants.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Great American Freak Out

And so it goes.

So we last found me with a dead car. Thanks to my brother and his friend (and a lot of bitching, whining and crying on my part) my car is now functional. Starter had to be re-replaced apparently and some sort of belt thing-a-ma-whatzit had to be re-routed to somehow bypass my air conditioner, but alas, it runs.

Now mind you, my AC didn't work stellar last summer to begin with, so avoiding the thing to make it work at all doesn't sound like it would be too terrible of an idea, but I loathe driving on the highway or anywhere over say 40 miles an hour with the windows open. It's annoyingly loud. But I digress.

It functions enough to cart me now back and forth to my new job. Yup a new job. I rocked out the old unemployment route for exactly one week. Not exactly the vacation I was looking for, but let me tell you that one week was enough to offset my entire financial life and put me on the skids to the point I am a complete and utter anxiety ridden disaster.

I mean more so than normally.

Losing one week of pay has had such a catastrophic affect on my life. I had no idea. I thought when I left my old job that I would be ok, that I would be able to collect unemployment benefits and a lieu of other state aid and skate by. In theory.

And possibly that would have been true.


Due to the amazing nature of my credentials and resume (yes I am totally patting myself on the back right now) I got a job without so much as an interview. I KNOW! Unheard of. They looked at my references, recommendations and resume and said, "When can you start? How about Tuesday?" And that's all she wrote.

SO even though I had filed unemployment and essentially took a couple dollar pay cut, I am back in the working world. And struggling immensely.

Dylan's school put me on this "Work Search" program in which I was given a 2 month pass from payment basically, BUT then due to a current balance I had, basically kicked him out of kindergarten for over a week until I was able to come up with $450. KICKED HIM OUT!! He was not allowed to go to school. That is devastating to a 5 year old.

THEN, the assholes call me yesterday and tell me that if I do not pay it by oh, the end of the DAY yesterday they are giving away his spot at the school and I will have to go back on a waiting list. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!


So I sit and cry at my new desk in my cubicle and freak the fuck out. I have had ZERO income in weeks, and I don't know what to do. My bank account had already been negative so what was deposited from the first week of work was already less than what it should have been. Life is stellar.

Mom to the rescue....temporarily mind you, but she was able to cut me a check until I get another check so he could not lose his spot at school. Who does that? Stupid school.

So off he went this morning, off to his field trip to the Circus. Which thankfully he was super excited about and basically cried about every day when he didn't think he could go.

And I am still beyond screwed. After the whole car fixing debacle, I owe over $500 to my car loan by the 17 or I am defaulted on my loan. I owe my landlord my rent by the 15. I owe every other bill and utility I have to my name. All with nothing, no means.

I am ready to pull out my hair, my teeth and loose my mind.

I don't know what to do to catch up. My head spins when I think about it.

I have 2 weddings to do make-up for over the next few weeks and that should help a little. My boyfriend and my mother think another yard sale would be a great idea, since they believe I possess far too much crap. (I however do not think it's crap, I like my stuff, and am somehow obtaining more and more of it. PLUS I had a yard sale in the fall, sold stuff and made shit.)

My son's father owes me about $20,000 in back child support and if I could somehow tap into that resource I could be ok, but the likelihood of that happening is about as likely as getting abducted by aliens.

I know there are worse things in the world, that I should be grateful for what I have and blah blah blah, but I am neurotic by nature. I am freaking the fuck out. If I don't pay my car, it gets repossessed. If that happens, I can't get to work, if I can't get to work I lose my job, if I lose my job, I lose my income, if I get fired, I don't get unemployment, if I have no unemployment I can't pay anything, if I can't pay my rent, I get evicted, if I get evicted I become homeless.

My mind goes on and on these horrible "what if" scenarios and I freak myself out. I get anxiety ridden and I cry and cry. I try to listen to my level-headed boyfriend. He who tells me to take things one day at a time. That things could be worse. And I am not built like him. I wish I was. He has this amazing ability to look at adversity in the face and keep on trucking. I so wish I was more like him.

I am grateful for him, for my real friends and my family I am, but I still sometimes feel so alone in what I feel. Like I am lost in my mental incapacity to be an adult sometimes. I am a mom and a grown up and I can't function in society. It's sad. I am financially retarded. I can barely pump my own gas and will look at you like a deer in headlights if you try to talk to me about anything else vehicularly related.

So this is what I do. I sit and I freak out. Every day. Over and over again. In supposedly the greatest country on Earth. In the Land of Opportunity. I sit and wonder where MY oppotunites lie. When I will stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. When I can STOP avoiding private calls on my phone afraid some ominous debt collector is out to get me.

How the HELL have I survived 31 years?!
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