- I had a killer headache yesterday. I started writing this post four times. After Will got home and I took a shower, I felt better. So I cast on another knitting project, because all of the in-progress gifts I should have worked on were in the bedroom where Sam was asleep. THAT’S MY STORY AND I’M STICKING TO IT.
- Several people responded to my post about our finances with remarkable generosity, in the form of emails and in a few cases money. I did not expect that and am insanely grateful. I am also terribly embarrassed, so have not yet formulated a proper thank you.
- I am in touch with a bunch of people I went to elementary school with, thanks to facebook. It is so awesome and weird. But it is also driving home just how crappy my memory is. I am having SO MUCH TROUBLE remembering names and events.
- Sam is in love with R2D2. And I mean IN. LOVE. You might even say obsessed. I’m thinking of making him this beanie for the costume box.
- Will and Sam are at the zoo right now, making use of the very last day of our membership. I am working on editing our best screenplay yet. My red pen stopped working, despite having plenty of ink left, so I am using blue. I prefer red.
- Can I call it a Superbowl party if we’re having another family over for chili tomorrow?
OK, so here’s what happened:
Sam and I went for a run (er, more of a walk with occasional bursts of speed) and stopped at Starbucks (yes it is counter to my weightloss plan, but soy chai lattes are kind of keeping me going right now and I do not want to think about what will happen when this card has no more money on it) on the way to the park. Now, our stroller is pretty big. This is not anyone else’s fault and I do not expect special treatment because I have a kid or because of the stroller. But our Starbucks is quite narrow, and the path between the door and the pick up bar at the far end is two-way traffic.
After we got my drink, I managed with some comical difficulty to turn the stroller around — thanks to a very nice man who gamely moved out of the way twice as I struggled to figure out which way would work best — and headed for the door. There was a long line of people waiting to order, and it went from the door to the bar at an angle making it impossible to leave. (It is worth noting that I doubt I could have gotten past alone, never mind with the stroller.)
I headed for the door and two of the three men who were directly in the way stepped to the side. The third stood still despite the fact that he MUST have seen us. I said “Excuse me” and he STILL did not move. I said it again, louder. NOTHING. His friend actually grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the way.
As I said, I do not expect special treatment. Just basic courtesy. My only guess is that Sam creates some sort of force-field around him so that some people simply do not see us.
(Incidentally, able-bodied people–by themselves, not carrying or pushing anything–routinely do not give way on the sidewalk and I am forced at times to maneuver the stroller into the street. I suspect this is due to the same.)
When Will was offered his current job, I had a part-time gig paying me around $750 a month. Between the two of us, we’d be making JUST enough to squeak by. Immediately after he accepted the job, I lost mine. Some bills went unpaid. Credit card balances went to collections. It was not good. But we made rent every month, and the car payment most months, and we’ve been eating. The only time we eat anything not made from scratch it’s tacos, which are insanely inexpensive. I’ve tried a few times to find at-home work but there is NOTHING because my areas of expertise are full of less-qualified people willing to do the work for free. I had blog ads for a while but the amount I was making was downright insulting and not enough to make a difference so I took them down. I have nearly set myself up to make children’s clothing and toys to sell, but as of February 10th it will be illegal because of misguided legislation intended to keep Chinese-made toys full of lead from reaching our kids. (You can read about that here.)
Will has gotten one 3% raise since he was hired. Our rent has gone up 4% twice. Food prices have DOUBLED in the last year and while we used to squeak by spending $50-75 weekly, we are now paying over $100 every week. There is not enough left over for our bills.
Last week our rent check bounced. It was a mistake and it wasn’t even my mistake but the bank won’t correct it and I can’t exactly fight it (I don’t want to go into the details so please just trust me on this). The money was there but after all the fees the bank charged, plus the fees the landlord is charging, we do not have enough to pay our rent. (This is JANUARY rent. Next month’s is due in mere days and I can’t think about that or I will require a padded room.) We have overdraft, so if we could write a check we’d be fine. But of course the landlord will only take a money order, and the bank will only give us one for our actual balance. I have to figure out a way to turn $700 into $1100 by Thursday.
And I am just… out of ideas. I’m so depressed and anxious right now that if I didn’t have Sam throwing blocks at my head I’d probably get into bed and stay there indefinitely.
(Actually, I think we’ve figured out a way to at least use the overdraft to our advantage so we can pay the rent. But next month’s rent? The car payment? I have no idea.)
When the economy first started tanking on a national level, I joked that it wouldn’t affect us because we’ve been living on next to nothing for so long. But that joke isn’t funny anymore, because our expenses have gone up so much and there is no other work to be found so we’re stuck with Will’s low-paying job as our only source of income. I’m just… well, “out of ideas” pretty much covered it.
Last year, at another low point, a friend of mine suggested that I ask the internet for donations. The thing is, I don’t want to. It’s our mess. I just need a place where I can freak out about it, and this is it.
I’m closing comments, though, because I am anxious enough as it is.
Listerine is expensive, and there’s some controversy about whether it may lead to mouth cancer. (Mouth cancer!) We’ve been making our own for a while, and I thought I’d post the “recipe” (it’s not much of a recipe) for you all.
You will need:
- A glass jar (mine holds about 1.5 to two cups)
- Baking soda or non-iodized sea salt (I like to use both)
- tea tree oil
- peppermint oil or peppermint extract
Put everything into the jar. I just made a batch with the following proportions: 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, six drops tea tree oil, four drops peppermint oil. (When I have used peppermint extract in the past, I’ve used about half a teaspoon.) Add enough hot water to dissolve and mix everything, then fill with cool water. You may need to adjust the amounts so it tastes all right. You will not get that sting you get after rinsing with Listerine, but, um, I think that’s a good thing.
This morning on Twitter, after noting that the day was flying by without a single accomplishment on my part, I made a list of goals:
- put away laundry
go for run
- finish knitting sweater
Now, I would never describe household chores like laundry and dishes as fun, but these are things I want to do today.
I added two bonus goals:
- organize fabric
watch Doctor Who
Though I didn’t say it, my intended meaning was that these were things I would do in addition to caring for and playing with Sam.
Notice anything missing from the list?
Yeah. Not so much as one little tiny writing-related goal. No reading, no editing, no research, and certainly no actual writing.
This might explain why I never get any done. It isn’t even on my list! I suck.
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Baguette with dark chocolate, coarse sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil, oven toasted
Black bean soup, rice, crispy fried pork, garlic bread, pickled onions, fried bananas
Sweet potato pudding
Dark & Stormy (dark rum, ginger beer, lime juice), wine, beer
Happy Birthday to Briana, Will, Shelby, and Chris!