Saturday, June 08, 2013

We'll see

My finances are out of control and literally making me lose sleep. I'm doing OK right now, with my paycheck reliably coming in every two weeks. I put money away for retirement with every check. I have 7 months' worth of expenses socked away and, if I lose my job this summer, I should receive about two months' in severance.

But in this economy, I have no confidence that I'll find another job in 9 months. My best friend is still out of work after 10 months. This month my friend John will see his first anniversary of unemployment (though he's been doing inspiringly well as a freelancer). And my friend Ed has given up working in marketing altogether and is selling ties at Macy's.

So I'm scared.

But being scared is not empowering. Doing something is! So I went through my closet, pulled the nicest lightweight pieces that no longer fit, and took them to the resale shop around the corner. Two suits, two blouses and two handbags. One of the purses still had tags attached. My kid sister found it in our mother's closet and we're reasonably sure she bought it for my birthday. Parting with it left me melancholy, but I have too many purses and besides, I usually carry Miche bags with interchangeable shells, so it's doing me more good over there than it would making me sad, sitting there in the den.

I've never done consignment before. I didn't realize that I may not see any money at all (if they don't sell, I'm taking the items to Goodwill for the tax writeoff) and if I do it won't be for months. Oh well, it's an adventure. And making the move made me feel like I have a wee bit more control over my own bottom line.

She means well

My friend Kathleen is going through the Empty Nest Syndrome in a big way. Her son just graduated from college and in days her daughter will graduate from high school. They are lovely kids, any parent would be proud. Just thinking about these transitions, and that beginning in fall there will be no kids in her house, leaves her quite emotional.

She and her husband -- a challenging but most interesting man that I like a lot -- are having a backyard barbecue to celebrate their kids. Two weeks from today.

"Oh, good!" The Gal thought sarcastically when the invitation arrived. "Not only do I miss the Cub game she and I were going to that weekend, I get to spend $100 I hadn't budgeted for." And yes, I know that a $50/kid gift looks cheap, but that's all I can come up with right now.

I'd rather be with Kathleen in the stands watching the Cubs and Astros than in her backyard watching her mist up every 15 minutes or so as she gazes upon her progeny. And I really don't feel like spending the money.

But including me with family and friends is Kathleen's way of saying I'm important to her, and that she wants my support on this special day. So I should stop being such a bitch and enjoy the gesture in the spirit in which it was meant.


Last night and this morning was rough for me and Rey. The other two cats, too, but mostly Reynaldo because he is the most routine-driven of the 3. For the vet tech thought that bloodwork would be required at Rey's morning appointment, which meant no food at 9:00 PM Friday.

"MEOW!" Where's my dish?
"MEOW!" Come look! My dish is gone.
"MEOW!" Shit! All the dishes are gone!
"MEOW!' There must be some kind of mistake! No dishes! No dishes at all!

Punctuated, of course, by knocking things over and eating my hair. 

This went on from 9:00 PM until 8:00 AM, when we left for the vet. The upshot was that, though she meant well, the vet tech was wrong and no blood was drawn.

Instead, the vet gave him a shot of female hormones. He said we want "more nesting and nurturing and less territory marking." He also explained that Rey's behavior isn't anger toward me. That I am looking at his behavior through a human's eyes. The doc says Rey's marking and peeing and demanding attention is because he's so "bonded" to me, that he's being particularly macho in trying to both hold my attention and protect the Ponderosa. He is showing me that this home, and I, are the center of his world in the only way he knows how.

OK, but we can't have him peeing on my stuff! The vet thinks the shot will mellow him out, make him a bit less aggressive, less protective. We'll revisit the situation in two weeks. Hopefully this will do the trick!

Saturday 9

The idea for this came from Harriet, who suggested the baseball theme.
1) "Sweet Caroline" has been sung during every Boston Red Sox home game since the 1990s. (Click here to watch Neil Diamond lead the fans in the first game after April's bombing.) Do you know the words well enough to sing along? Yes, I know it by heart. I think every baby boomer does. It was pretty ubiquitous back in the Top 40 AM-only radio days. 
2) Do you have a favorite major league baseball team? If you don't know the answer to this, you don't visit this blog often. I root root root for the CUBBIES.
3) Budweiser is the "official beer of major league baseball." Do you reach for a cold beer on a hot summer day? Given my choice, I'll have a Miller Lite, but yes, I love a cold beer on a hot day.
 4) Every season, more than a million Vienna Beef Hot Dogs are consumed by baseball fans at Chicago's Wrigley Field. When you get a hot dog, what do you put on it? I loooove hot dogs! I like everything but onions. (And yes, blasphemous though it sounds, that includes ketchup.)
  5) The odds of a fan in the stands being hit by a baseball are 300,000 to 1. The odds of winning the lottery are (approximately) 1 in 12,000,000. Do you play the lottery? Every week. I dream about winning. I blog about winning. And this reminds me, I've got to buy a ticket for tonight's drawing.
6) Though his song has been adopted by faithful Boston Red Sox fans, Neil Diamond was born and raised in New York City. Have you ever visited The Big Apple? Only once, but I was enchanted.
7) Baseball players are notoriously superstitious. For example, the Cubs' Matt Garza eats Popeye's fried chicken every day that he pitches. Joltin' Joe DiMaggio touched second base with his foot every time he ran on or off the field. Do you have any superstitions? I try to hold my button when I pass a cemetery. 
8) A ball signed by Babe Ruth can fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction. Have you ever asked a celebrity for his/her autograph? When I was in junior high and high school, I had many autographs from Cubs and Hawks players. But as an adult? No.

9) Baseball means summer and summer means sun. Are you working on a tan, or do you slather on the sunscreen? I wear sunscreen and you should, too! About 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are tied to the sun's UV rays. (This is very top of mind for me because I recently had a skin cancer scare.)