"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thanks for hitting my mailbox ... seriously

The girls headed out the door yesterday to go to school, and a moment later, Gin popped her head back into the house to tell me that someone had run over our mailboxes (the four units of my building have four boxes on a single post.) I went out to look at it and saw that the post had been completely snapped in two and the boxes were on the ground. Great. So I finished quickly getting ready for work and headed out. I called my landlord when I got there, and he informed me that it was my neighbor, who'd called him about an hour ago to let him know that she'd backed over it. "While I have you on the phone....." Those words are never followed by anything good, have you noticed? "Mom's decided to sell the apartments." The owner of my apartment died on Christmas Day. I was wondering what was going to happen with my place, but enough time had passed that I thought I was safe. You see, his sons had been managing his properties ever since I moved in 10 years ago. I thought maybe they'd just go on doing so. Apparently not. So he told me that they'd be coming through the apartments for inspections at some point within the next week or two. I'd be given 24 hours' notice. Problem. I've been living in this apartment with my family for 10 years. Almost no maintenance has been done on the place since I moved in. Our white walls have never been painted (was in my lease that I wasn't allowed). The wheat-colored carpet has taken 10 years of life with a family. And I work insanely long hours, so obviously housework falls behind. Of course, I've been even busier the past couple of weeks - not even getting home until about 9:30 each night. I haven't had a whole day off at home in months. And this coming weekend, Gin has a cheerleading clinic and tryouts that will take several hours on Saturday, and Sunday I'm working from 2 p.m. to after midnight. I'm off Monday, but I have a dental appointment that will take at least three hours, not counting the driver there and back, which is another hour. So when am I supposed to get anything done? It's certainly possible that they could accept the wear and tear on the place as normal 10 years' worth of wear and tear, but even so, they could still have me leave just so they could fix up the place before the sale. Even if they let me stay, my rent will go up, surely - if not with them, then with the new owners. I'm the only tenant they've had straight through the past 10 years, so I'm the only one who hasn't had a rent increase. Previously, they've just increased the rent for new tenants. So I'm paying less than anyone else. No rent increase in all this time seems nice, but I'm making $6 per hour less now than I was 10 years ago when I moved in. I had a much better job then. And since the price of everything has gone up dramatically in that time, in real terms, I'm living on about a third of what I was back then. I. Am. Screwed. Still, if my neighbor hadn't backed over the mailbox, I wouldn't have known a thing, and I'd have 24 hours' notice before the inspection. So...thanks for that.

Monday, May 14, 2012

So now what do I do?

Another season of the Barclay's Premier League has ended, and though it did not end quite as I would like, it did have me transfixed right up until the last minute. Manchester United were written off to win the league title just before the last match of the season, but during that match, QPR led Manchester City against all odds, so the possibility of retaining the title was renewed right up until the last minute when Sergio Aguero scored the winning goal in the "other" match. Even at our final whistle, we stood a chance. It is somewhat satisfying to know that if QPR had just managed to hold on to that draw, we would have won on points, while City's win was achieved merely on goal difference. A second-place finish by only a hair's breadth is not too damn bad. And truly, what an exciting way to end the season. My only problem is this: Since football is such a big part of my life, what am I to do now that the season's over. Let's see. Tonight, I take Gin to her cheerleading clinic while I go back into the office. Tomorrow is Gin's awards ceremony for school and Munch's book fair. Wednesday is another cheer clinic and evening at the office. Thursday...hmm...nothing yet, other than work until probably about 6 or 7. Friday - working the night shift from 2 p.m. till about 1 a.m. Saturday - another cheer clinic and tryouts. Sunday - work the night desk same hours as Friday. ..... Ok, so I might have a little something to do.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rare day

It's a rare day indeed in this household when a financial surprise is a good one. Today was one of those rare days. My daughter checked the mail after I arrived home from work and handed me an envelope marked from the child support agency. I pay child support for my son, Book. I used to receive child support for my son, Pooh, but he's 21 now, so that stopped long ago. I had a debit card for Pooh's support, onto which the state deposited my payment each week. I had a total of $4.77 left on it when Pooh turned 18, which I just never ended up using because, you know, it's a debit card, and it was $4.77. I never felt comfortable saying, "Here, use $4.77 on this card and then I'll pay some other way for the rest of the cost." So I just left it sit there. Apparently, that card has expired, or was due to expire soon, because I received a replacement in the mail today. I remembered, "Oh yeah, it had a couple of bucks on it so they sent a new card. Oops." I called and activated it like a good girl, and after I selected my PIN, the automated system told me my balance - nearly $1,300! What?! Well, I logged into the account online and discovered that my payments did not stop in May of 2009, when my son graduated high school. They continued on through the end of the year, during the summer and then while he was enrolled full-time in college. He left after the first quarter. I'd be rolling if he hadn't, because apparently the payments would have continued as long as he continued, uninterrupted, as a full-time college student. I suppose it can be forgiven that I was entirely unaware of this fact. I never opted in for any type of notification on the account, because the debit card was a brand-new thing just before he graduated. Until then, I'd been getting checks. I also had another excuse - I was completely useless for about three months after his graduation day because it was on that day that I was unceremoniously and without warning dumped - via text message - by the love of my life. It made for some entertaining blog reading for him and his new girlfriend for a while. Now, I've got this money I didn't know I had which has been languishing in a non-interest-bearing account for three years. What to do with it?