Rollercoasters are s'posta be fun, right?

Sorry for the long break between posts. As the title presumes, last week was quite a rollercoaster ride. And no, it wasn’t fun.

It started off pretty fun. The whole Obama Rally/Election Day excitement thing was a major thrill, and probably one of the most exciting moments of my life.

But what happened next, just a couple short days later, made me feel like the stock market on a really bad day.

I got an eviction notice.

Now I must explain a few things here. This had been snowballing ever since my bout with kidney stones a year ago. I was in and out of the hospital for nearly a week and missed a lot of work. I also called in to work a lot because I was still in so much pain after the initial hospital stay. I used up all of my sick time, and the majority of my vacation time as well. So if I got sick for any long period of time, I ran the risk of not being paid for those days. Thankfully I have an extended leave of absence clause at work due to health issues, so I can’t be penalized for those days off… but still, I was in a really bad place.

I worked myself out of it for a while and then the holidays arrived. Back down goes the rollercoaster. I took out loans on my 401(k) to catch up, then maxed out my loans. I was okay for a little while and then it seemed something else came along to knock me down. I never could find my way back.

I had been paying my landlord what I could, when I could, but it simply wasn’t enough. And she had had enough of all of it, obviously… so she did what she had to do.

Now before you begin envisioning me homeless on some dark street, sleeping under a train trestle, I want to dispel your concerns. I did what I had to do — and I called someone. I’m not going to say who. You can guess, and I won’t tell. But that someone helped me out and helped me repay my debt.

The problem is, I still feel like I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul. I wish I could just be independently wealthy and not have to worry about calling someone to bail me out. I wish it were just easier to live my life and do the things I want to do. But that’s the way the cards have been dealt to me, and I have to play them the best way I can.

I am still living in my apartment, and my lease is up in April. At that time I plan on either downsizing to something I can afford, or taking in a roommate. It sucks. I’m 37 years old and I still can’t make ends meet. Back when I was 27, I thought by now I’d be settled down and living the good life with my husband and our two dogs (and two cats) in a lovely townhome in Lincoln Park. Obviously, I haven’t grown up that much in the last ten years.

But I also realize that I am not, and never will be, alone in this situation. I’m sure a lot of my friends have the same troubles I do, and even those who look like they have “it all” really are barely getting by. It doesn’t help my finances get straightened out, but it does make me feel somewhat better.

So where do I go from here? Well, I will be having a very meager holiday season, and will most likely not be having my big holiday/birthday party. That alone will save me some major bucks. But in the meantime, I just have to be on time with the rent and everything should be fine. I’m paid up until December, so I can start paying now for December, which is great. As long as I keep myself in line, I’ll be fine.

And I’m staying away from rollercoasters until further notice.

Catching up

“Hello again, hello!
Just called to say hello…”

OK it’s been a few too many days since my last post, so it’s time for a quick summary of what’s been up with me lately…

Kitchen floor

It was a disastrous mess, but it’s over.  The floor looks fantastic!  Of course it took me a few days to wash EVERY SINGLE DISH I OWN after the guys left, but now I have a new floor AND my dishes are all clean.  So what more can one ask for, right?

The twins

They are growing so fast!  Abby is 11lbs. and Emily is almost 9.  Abby is quickly becoming a little version of her daddy and Emily is looking more like her mommy.  I’m hoping to see them again in a couple weeks.  In the meantime, my sister started a new job yesterday, so we’re all hopeful that things go well for her in that area.

Dating life

Nothing new here.  Still nothing.  And nothing on the horizon.  I don’t know what will ever become of this, but I remain strangely hopeful… and with spring in full bloom (more or less), I feel even more hopeful.

Living situation

The guy who has lived in the apartment below me for the past 6 years just moved out, so now I’m starting to worry that some bitchy queen – or some bitchy bitch – will move in.  I have gotten quite used to having nobody live under me.  The guy who moved out was a flight attendant and was almost never home.  And when he was home he never once complained about me being up at all hours or my cats chasing each other at 4 in the morning.  Time will tell what happens when the new person moves in.  Maybe if I make a cinnamon swirl bread he or she will like me right away.  Hmmmm…

The earthquakes

I didn’t feel a damn thing.  Not the first time, not during the aftershocks– nothing.  I slept through all of it.  Honestly when I am sleeping the walls could be crumbling and I wouldn’t know it.  Which is a good thing, in case I end up dating a snorer.  But still, a 5.4 magnitude quake and I didn’t feel or hear ANYTHING?  Damn!

Money

Oy vey.  Money has been a source of much head and heartache for me lately.  I and quickly trying to devise a plan to find more of it somehow.  It won’t be easy, but something has to work, and soon. Stay tuned there.

OK, that’s all I can think of for now.  I really and truly do hope to write more and more often.  But once I got behind I didn’t know where to begin to catch up.  Much like life, isn’t it?

Is there anything I left out?  If so, let me know.

Ever have one of these days?

So I woke up on Saturday and got myself going a bit faster than usual.  I had to get out and buy myself a long-sleeve black dress shirt for a chorus gig I was scheduled to participate in later that night.  If I didn’t hustle my ass, I’d be the only one there without one.

Now, of course, this begs one to ask, “You didn’t have a black dress shirt already?”  Well, no.  I didn’t.  I just never thought I would need one– until now.

So I zipped out to the new Target store that opened a few months ago, less than 10 minutes away from me.  I didn’t need high fashion.  I just needed something now.

Luckily they had one in my size.  I grabbed it, along with a few other things, and headed to the checkout.

Naturally, when I got to the register, the checkout girl (who didn’t remind me at all of SNL’s Target Lady) couldn’t find a price tag on my shirt.  So she looked inside the shirt at its manufacturing tag and keyed in the code.

It rang up for $4.95.

FIVE BUCKS.

I didn’t say a word.  She kept on ringing.

Now, when I picked up the shirt, I clearly saw the sign on the display that showed the shirts were being sold for $24.99.  Is it wrong of me to not say anything?  No… she could have easily done a price check and had a manager confirm it.  But she just kept on ringing… and I just kept my mouth shut, paid, and left.

Score one for me!

So I get home and park the car across from my apartment building.  I get out, and catch sight of something on the ground, just behind my car.

A folded-up $10 dollar bill.

There was nobody around.  And there were no cars behind mine.  So I scooped up the bill, checked it for authenticity (you never can be too sure), and slipped it in my pocket.

Score TWO for me.

So let’s recap here:

I bought a shirt and paid only $5 for it, then came home and found a $10 bill.

I got PAID to go shopping on Saturday.

Life is pretty damn good!