Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And now a word from our sponsor....

(Originally posted on MySpace on Sunday, March 30, 2008)

This week I was going to talk about a few of my short brushes with fame. Working in the music business has given me lots of those types of opportunities. But it’s been a busy week and I have run out of time. So I’m going to postpone those little tidbits for two weeks and just write a short little update on my current situation.

Over the last several months, I’ve made little comments here and there concerning Skip’s and my financial status. I’ve never really explained it though. Basically, we pretty much live week to week. Neither of us have real jobs. Skip picks up computer consultant work here and there when he can find it and I sell things on, and EBay. Neither of us makes enough money to pay all our bills.

On top of that, we have house payments to make. We bought this house in 2000 and it closed escrow in early 2001. Literally, the week after the house closed, both Skip and I lost our jobs. Skip’s firing was especially bad since he always made the most money. His place of employment had just given him a bonus for extraordinary work and then turned around and fired him. It caught us completely by surprise.

Fortunately for us, the housing boom began and our house literally quadrupled in price in just a few months. We both looked for work and then gave up and decided to live the best we could off the equity in the house. We knew it would catch up to us some day, but both of us are tired of the American working experience and the bullshit needed to survive in it.

So that’s how we’ve been living the past seven years, supplementing the equity with whatever we could through the small bit of money we were making on the side.

And now the George W. Bush express has managed to practically destroy the infrastructure of this country and everything is going to shit. The housing market is tanking and our economy is going the same way, although everyone in the Bush administration continues to insist that everything is still rosy. No one really believes that though. Skip and I have also found that we are the victims of an unscrupulous remortgage
loan that is making it harder and harder to make ends meet. There has been a lot of controversy about these types of loans in the news

Now, I know that all this is partly our own fault. We could see the signs quite awhile ago, but we made the choice to continue living the lifestyle we live. We like traveling and we like going out and we like gourmet food. We don’t want to go back to living like we were in college, scrimping and saving and doing nothing but eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and watching TV (although we do watch a lot of TV). It’s a choice we made and we’re fully aware of the consequences. And we’ll deal with them when they happen.

Skip is a manic depressive and believes the worst about everything. He been sure the axe has been going to fall on us every day for about five years now. I’m different. I remain positive (although very angry about the way of the world) and believe that things will work out if you truly believe they will.

When we entered this year, we figured we had enough money to keep us afloat until mid-summer. I was frantically trying to sell off everything in the house and had just listed the last of our books on Amazon when we got the word that we have been reprieved once again.

As anyone who has been reading this blog knows, Skip’s dad died about a year ago. Skip and his dad didn’t have a very good relationship. On top of that, while he was doing very well financially, he was a stubborn and rather ignorant bastard who refused to invest his money in anything but a normal bank account, and a good amount of his savings flew out the door in costs to his old-folks home and the like. His records were in a mess and Skip wasn’t really getting along with the rest of his family either, including the one who was the executor of the will and trying to make sense of the mess his dad left behind. So we were expecting nothing from this turn of events. It’s now been a year and we have just been told that we are getting a good chunk of money from the will. It’s not a tremendous amount, but its enough to keep us afloat for another year or two, and that’s more than we expected in the long run. As I said, it always seems to work out for me if I keep thinking positively.

So now I can relax a bit. I’m still planning on selling everything we own to raise cash and because we’re both sick of all this crap lying around the house. I also sell for other people and do rather well with that. We could make this money last a bit longer if we would change the way we live, but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. We’re already planning a vacation to either Italy or Argentina in the late fall or early spring.

It also means that I will stay right here and keep writing this blog for a good while longer. I’ve still got a lot to say and a lot of stories to tell. I enjoy writing them and I enjoy that even the small amount of people who read them seem to enjoy that I write them as well.

As for when this money runs out. Well, hopefully this will give us some time for things to change in this country. Our mortgage loan adds more money in interest than we pay each month and has huge penalties if we try to pay it off or sell the house. In a year, some of those penalties become void, so if we can last that long, there’s hope it will get better even if we have to sell the house. I’m not worried, as something will come along when we need it. It always does. In the meantime, I’m going to continue working on my writing and enjoy my life to the extreme. I never thought I’d live past 30 years old and here I am turning 54 this year. As long as life is enjoyable, I’ll continue living it. For now its still loads of fun.

Thanks to all of you who read this stuff I put up here every week. And a special thanks to those of you who send me comments and letters. I would be doing this even if no one was reading, but knowing that you guys are out there makes it so much better.

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