She came on like a dream…

…in this case all strawberries and cream. A leggy, 5’9″ strawberry blonde dame.

Quick side note/explanation: twice in two weeks I’ve been asked what’s up with my blog, so here I am tonight to see what I can do. Aren’t you just all a quiver with anticipation. I know, right. So without further delay…

She was gorgeous, as so many tall blondes are. But this one was particularly so. So much so that I was kind of surprised that she wanted to meet me at all. But she did. Although she was late for our first meet, by almost an hour. I was sure I was being stood up, but I was l ike, meh, I’ here, I’ll have a beer and some chicken wings and watch the Lions lose. Better than sitting at home. But in the end she did show. And what a show it was to..

Should I mention her that our first phone conversation was almost entirely about religion. She’s kinda sorta religious. But I’ll get to that. Or at least I intended to. Provided I don’t lose my way, a real possibility.

It was a good meet. Def chemistry. So we chatted, drank. Turned out she was late because a) she overslept her nap and b) her car died and needed a jump. She should have charged her battery (in her car that is) a bit more because I ended up having to drive her home. No sweat. I got two good night kisses and scored some major points, or so it seemed. It’s kind of coup to score a good night kiss on the first date anyway.

We kept chatting and talking and meeting, and good night kissing. Strawberry Blonde didn’t have a major problem with me living with my folks. She was up for making out in the car. Things seemed to be progressing nicely. She even invited me over to her place, something she said she never done since starting to date again after he divorce, a second for her.

Then came date 4 I guess, for which she had to wait for me to get off work. But whatever. And she offered to pay the bill that night. I did not argue. But what stands out was her seeming sudden decision to tell me about a DUI for which she had to got to court. She was quite worried about, as well as ashamed. She offered it up as my chance to run, but I didn’t see why I should. I told her the only difference between her and me was that she got caught. Most people I told agreed with me. What eventually became a problem was here lament over paying the court costs. Not then of course.

But a few dates later, when she invited me to come dog sit with her — it was the night before Thanksgiving, and I grabbed a bottle of wine. It was cool. Until she brought up the hearing again, which she would be understandable stressed about. But when she fretted about not being able to pay the court costs again and I empathized WITHOUT offering up cash to help, well, let’s just say it felt as if a door closed between us. Things felt weird, and I have not heard from her since.

But perhaps that had nothing to do with it. Pehaps she was waiting for me to contact her, which admittedly I never did. But she never contacted me either. Why not? I dunno. Probably never will. My instinct told me to just let this one go, despite how beautiful and interesting she was.

First woman I’ve met who seemed to top every story I could tell. Examples;

  • Most interesting place she ever had sex: Pentagon
  • Her father was in the Hell’s Angels and had probably killed people
  • At age 13 she was abruptly sent to leave with her father, not by her mother but by a step-mother.

I was not scared of her issues/problems. We’ve all got those. But the inkling that she might want money from me after only half a dozen dates. It would change the whole dynamic of the relationship, effectively ending it as far as I could see. Some might say that is to harsh, too rash. Perhaps, but it was a risk I just wasn’t wiling to take. Maybe because I wasn’t really into this woman that much, maybe I just wanted to be, thought I should be.

Her court date was the 30th. I wonder how it went. Well, I hope. But I’m not going to try and find out.

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Made my move….

Last weekend my brother and BIL came in from Indiana to help my move out of my apartment and back into my parents place. We got all the big stuff and some other things. I’m still not fully moved out yet. Still a few things left and I’d like to give the place a bit of a cleaning before turning in the keys, but essentially I’m moved into my parents’ condo.

This move has prompted me to consider all the times that I have moved in my life. Of course for the first 19 years of my life I lived in the house that I was born into in Warren, Michigan. My parents were not the type to move. Once they got settled in they didn’t want to change things.

After a failed attempt at engineering school at Lawrence Institute of Technology (LIT), as it was dubbed back in 1986, (now it Lawrence Technological University, I think((LTU))) I did a semester at Macomb Community College (MCC) and then began then began the next Fall at Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Last there about three weeks.

Moved back home.

After a couple more years at MCC I moved to Ypsilant, into Jones Hall on the campus of Eastern Michigan University (EMU).

Moved back home at the end of the school year.

Then back to EMU the next year. Lived there through the school year and summer and through the next school year before moving back home again.

After a year at home, working at B. Dalton’s Bookstore in Universal Mall, I moved to Kalamzoo, where I attended grad school at Western Michigan University. I lived in on campus apartments my first years. Moved to another on campus complex the second  years. My third years moved to a brownstone at Rose and Vine in the downtown Kalamzoo student ghetto. And for my last few years lived in an apartment complex, the name of which escapes me now.

Moved back home. Lived with folks in Warren house.

Moved into Troy apartment with girlfriend (now ex-wife).

Moved to an apartment in Ypsilanti.

Moved into a condo in Madison Heights with now ex-wife after she got pregnant.

Moved to a house in Birmingham. Lived there about 6  years.

After separating from wife, moved into Royal Oak apartment at Thirteen and Coolidge. Stayed approximately 5 months.

Moved back into Birmingham house.

Divorced and moved back in with folks in their new condo in Sterling Heights. Stayed a few months.

Moved into Troy apartment, which was actually same complex that I lived in with now ex-wife who was girlfriend at the time. Lived there a year.

Last weekend moved out of Troy apartment and back into condo with folks.  Plan to be here for awhile, to save money, so I can buy my own house, where daughter can have her own room and space. Not sure where, though. I don’t have a house to sell since ex got house in divorce. So once I save enough money I have my pick of places. Needs to be close enough to my daughter and her school but not too close to the ex.

Seems like a lot of moving to me. Is that normal for someone of my generation?

 

Maybe it’s because the 10th anniversary  of 911 that I’m feeling such angst this morning.  I know I’m missing my daughter, Addy, this morning, whom I was with on that morning. At the time I was working from home so that I could tend to her. I remember that I was so caught up in watching on TV what was  going on that I smeared apricot baby food on her face. Of course, I’ve told this story many times, as so many others have told their stories of where they were on that morning. But Addy called me yesterday (she’s with her mom this weekend) to ask me about it again, wanting to know what kind of food I got all over her face and did she cry or laugh. I told her I couldn’t really remember, although I was pretty sure she didn’t cry. She was just a happy baby eating her breakfast.

I suppose that some of my angst is because of the move. I’m moving back in with my folks, which I’m kind of torn about. Of course, it is not the ideal situation. I mean, I’m 43 and should have my own place. And, right now I could probably continue to rent my apartment. I could probably just afford it, for a few months anyway. But I currently don’t have any serious debt and want to avoid that. I have a bit of saving but the last thing I want to do is eat that up. That, I hope, will go for a house some day, a place for me and Addy, where she can have her own room, her own space. Also, I think that my parents could use my help. My mom needs help taking care of my father, whose health is failing. And they need help with the upkeep of the house. Perhaps that will sound like a rationalization to some. Oh well…. But considering the state of the economy, especially the job-market, it seems a necessary move.

I’m also stressing about my job situation. I don’t have one, and of course I’d like to have one. I’m waiting to hear about a job this week. I’m also torn about that. I want a job but this one will mean long hours, 50-60 per week. I’m not afraid to work long hours but I’ll see my daughter a lot less because of that. I’ll be seeing her less in any case, because living with my parents won’t allow me to have her as much as I do now. But I don’t see how I can NOT take a job offer in this economy. How many people find a new job a month after they lose their job? Not that many would be my guess. I hear stories all the time about people being out of work for 6 months, a year, two even three years. Yikes! And then of course I’m afraid that they’ll contact me and decide to pass for whatever reason. Then I’ll be back to the drawing board, starting over. Sigh.

But I suppose that I should really count myself lucky. Yes, I lost my job but I have quality work experience and a good education to prop me up. And I have a place to go, someplace I can stay that will allow me save money for mine and my daughter’s future while affording me the opportunity to help my parents. And while 911 scared the crap out of me badly, I lost no family or friends. Things could be worse. Of course, I worry that just saying that could somehow jinx me. Knock on wood.

It was cloudy this morning, and it appeared that it had rained last night, the ground wet, puddles in the parking lot of my apartment complex, but the sun seems to be coming out. Maybe I’ll go for a walk.

Had an interesting chat online yesterday, with a woman I went to high school with who is also single and divorced, and has a couple of kids. It was about the difficulties of dating when you’re divorced and have kids, and, in our cases, unemployed. Of course, this used to be the domain of Boomers, once upon a time, but Generation X has hit that stage.

I told her that I wasn’t really considering dating seriously at this point, given my current circumstances. I mean, I’m 43, divorced with a ten-year-old daughter, unemployed, and if I don’t manage to snare a job soon, like before the end of August, I’ll likely be moving back in with my parents. Doesn’t really make me much of catch now does it. I mean, seriously, with a profile like that how much interest do you think I’m really going to generate on e-harmony or match.com or someplace like that. She told me that I was a nice guy (debatable, depending on who you ask) and good looking (thanks ;-)) and the the right woman would look passed these things. Perhaps, but I just think it’s probably best if I get my financial house in order and get my career, such as it is, on track first.

I can’t help thinking of another woman that I spoke to recently, who, after her divorce, got involved with a guy who was unemployed. He ended up moving in with her. They broke up. He still lives there and is still unemployed. All because she is too nice to boot him out. Of course, the woman I was chatting with online said that she would never allow a man to live with her unless they were going to be married. She realized that might sound rigid, and snobbish, but she said it was mainly because of her kids. She didn’t even allow men to spend the night unless her kids weren’t going to be there. It made sense to me. I figured I’d have to be dating someone for at least awhile before I even introduced them to my daughter.

Also, I had to admit that I myself probably wouldn’t want to get very serious with a woman if she wasn’t at least working. I understand that plenty of people have financial woes these days, but I wouldn’t want to be taking on someone else’s serious financial burdens. I’ve even thought that if I ever were to consider marriage again I’d want a prenup to protect my daughter’s inheritance, such as it is likely to be. The more I think about it the more tangled and complicated it seems to get. Makes me want to just say forget the whole thing. I’m staying single for the rest of my life. Of course, that was my original intention and look what happened.

Hell, it’s hard enough to just get your schedule to sink up with another divorced person with kids, so that you can actually spend some time alone.

 

 

Pinched

Driving home from my parents’ place this evening, where I had dinner with my folks, I was listening to the NPR show On Point, and the focus was the economy, specifically the jobs situation, the poor jobs situation. They’re talking about how the country, in the wake of this recession, is becoming divided into the affluent, the wealthy, and everyone else, i.e. the middle class is disappearing, which has been said to be the engine of our economy.

The guest “expert” is Don Peck,the author of  “Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It.” And I got to tell you that guy does not sound very optimistic.

I heard quoted that the average time of unemployment time span is 9 months. Nine freaking months! I can’t imagine still being unemployed come next may. And yet I’ve heard of people being out of work for up to three years. What do you do with yourself when you’re unemployed for three years.

Something else they’re talking about is how there are certain segment of American society that are not touched by the recession, people who don’t see the jobs problem. Now, I’ve only been unemployed for a week but I’ve been job-searching for months, ever since I learned that jobs would be cut at the library where I worked, because I strongly suspected that I might be one of the unfortunates to get the ax, and I can tell you that it is not good out there, jobs-wise. I don’t care what anyone says. I reviewed perhaps 100 j0bs and found only three to apply for. I mean, unless I want to work for $8.50 and hour, which would be a step down from unemployment. But who knows? I may be begging for a job lock that in a few months.

And yet there are people who believe things are not that bad, that they are improving. Someone said to me that they felt things are getting better because their company was looking to hire 7 people or something like that and couldn’t find people to fill those positions. That may well be, but it is not representative of what is going in the greater economy. The situation is not good, and I seriously doubt that it’s going to get much better anytime soon. It is going to be years and years before we recover, it we ever really recover entirely.

Of course, statistically I am supposed to be in a good position, since I have an education, an advanced degree even. But consider that my degrees are in English, creative writing. I’m not sure that these seem very practical or impressive to employers, if they even look at my resume amongst the hundreds, if not thousands, that are submitted for any given position.

Finally, they say that people get more conservative financially in times like these, and I agree. I question and pain over every nickle that I spend. I cut wherever I can. I go without. I just don’t buy stuff. And I’m not about to until things start improving.

Example: my lease is up at the end of September. I have to give thirty days notice to the rental office if I’m going to stay or move out. So that basically gives me two weeks to nab a job that will allow me to stay in my apartment. But I doubt that is going to happen, so my plan is to move back in with my parents. Now, I could probably afford to stay in my apartment while on unemployment. I could probably scrape by. But I’d probably run through what meager savings I have in addition to burning up the unemployment, which is substantially less than I was making at  my job, which was not that much. It may not be ideal, moving back in with my parents, but my goal is to not go into debt, and perhaps even preserve some money, what little I have.

I’m sorry, I’m just not very optimistic. Others may be, but I’m not. It’s a new reality, and it’s not good.

The source of my angst ….today

Sometimes I just can’t help wondering where it comes from, this angst. I wake up and I’m fine, I feel good. And then I remember that the AC was running all night because it was so damn hot last night and I start wondering how much that is going to cost me. I’m scared to get my power bill this month. Because when I first moved in my second power bill was enormous and it seemed out of whack but of course I couldn’t convince the customer service jag-off of that and so what else could I do but pay  it. I can’t afford big power bills but if I dont’ pay it that fucks up my credit rating and…..

It’s six a.m. and I know exactly where I am, and I wish that I could be anywhere else. I try to go back to sleep for thirty minutes but my mind is racing already so you can forget about a few extra winks. And I remember that I won’t be seeing my daughter today after work; she’s going with her mom to a BBQ. And that makes me sad. I’ve got nothing planned for this evening, no distractions. Everyone I know is busy, has plans, or just not responding. I feel as if I have no friends.  I suppose I could go to my parents’ for dinner. I’m always welcome there, I know. But sometimes….I don’t know.

Then, I got to work this morning and when I went to check my gmail account there was no job alerts. I get these job alerts delivered to my email in-box via indeed.com. And when they weren’t there I felt this panic because there always there. But I mean, really, what’s the big deal anyway? I could easily just go to indeed.com and do the searches myself. But for some reason it bothers me. And I begin to really worry about my job situation, that I’ll never find another job, or if I do it will be some piece of crap job that I won’t have any choice but to take and I’ll be stuck with it forever.

And like that I’m having a crap day, one like I haven’t had in awhile. I can’t even concentrate enough for the measly hour of my lunch break to enjoy reading a book.

But then, after my lunch break, I sit down at my desk and check my email and there they are — the job alerts. And yeah, out of the dozens of jobs listings there’s only one that I can really apply for and even that is a long-shot, it’s better than nothing. There’s hope.

 

 

 

Dental chat

I woke up thinking about a conversation that I had with my dentist yesterday. Okay, it wasn’t really a conversation so much as he talked while I nodded my headed and uttered garbled responses because he had his hands in my mouth. It’s a tricky thing to carry on a conversation while you are in the dentist chair. You have to sneak in your comments when the dentist pauses to grab another instrument or check your ex-rays or something like that.

Anyhoo… we got on the subject of the crap economy after I told him about my impending lay-off. I was explaining how tight the j0b market is, especially here in Michigan, which of course he knew. And that the jobs that are available are often only part-time or temporary contract work, that unfortunately that seemed as if it was going to be part of the new reality work-wise. He pointed out that in discussions with small-business owners that he knows and has met that many of them are leery about hiring on full-time people because they don’t know how Obama Care is going to work once it is implemented — in what is it? 2014.

It was a good point. Because I had to admit I was every bit as confused. The Obama Administration and supporting Dems have done a terrible job explaining the new health care law and how it will work, perhaps because they don’t really know. Perhaps no one really knows. If someone does and can explain it, I’d be willing to listen, and even take notes.

My dentist also speculated that even if the economy does pick up and Obama Care works well (or at least doesn’t suck ass) they might just stick with running their businesses with a skeleton crew of full-time workers, filling in gaps with outsourcing, automation, and part-time and contract workers. Of course, an unintended consequence of this may be that people will reduce, perhaps even drastically, their spending habits on products and services. I know that if I’m only working part-time or on temporary contact I am NOT going to be spending my money. I”m going to be saving it, especially because I might need it in the even of a  medical emergency. Hell, forget emergency, I might need it for something minor, like a simply visit to the doctor’s office.

Which brings me back to the dentist, because I’m going to have to decide if I want to shell out money now to have him fix a filling and possibly put in a crown. Even with insurance, which I’ll have until the end of August, I’ll still have to pay out of pocket, but it won’t be as much as if a tooth suddenly goes bad when I don’t have insurance. And I have a tendency to grind my teeth at night which wears down the enamel and weakens fillings etc.  Not sure what to do at this point. It’s going to depend on the estimates I get back.