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Job Acquired, Life in Limbo

July 21, 2015

I’m back in banking, working for a local credit union. It’s a different vibe from working in retail banking—there are no sales or referral pressures, but it lacks the high-tech processing found at most for-profit banks. I don’t mind all the manual processing, so long as I don’t have referral goals, or am being “coached” every twenty minutes on how to ‘talk to people about other products’.

I completed my revisions on chapters 2-5 of Suffocation, about two days after the date I’d set for completing them. I’m due to get another chunk of edits today, and will try to knock those out when I can.

The situation on the home front with my son Ian is in a tense state of limbo. We allowed our sons girlfriend to move in with us last November so that she could finish high-school. Her mother made is clear that on her 18th birthday, she had to quit school and get a job–or she had to get out. We made it clear that she could live with us until she finished high school, but then had to find another family member to take her in. Right before graduation, my son begged that we give her time to get a job, and they could work and pay us rent. We said okay.

That didn’t work out as planned.

After weeks of my son’s savings account dwindling down, and the girlfriend sitting around gaming and making cosplay stuff, my spouse decreed that girlfriend had to be out by August 15. We did our part, we gave her a home until she finished high school, and informed her she could stay only if she immediately  got a job—but there wasn’t any real job searching until July (only after the spouse and I got angry about the lack of looking). Unfortunately, the girl’s mother ignored her, insulted her, spent inherited college money set aside for her by grandmother on a new house and car. The mother didn’t bother teaching her the basics of life, and essentially made the girl into a head case. She’s anxious, doesn’t speak loud or clear, and rarely makes eye contact withIan authority figures. Even if she manages to get an interview at this point, she’s likely going to blow it because of these issues.

Most folks would say ‘don’t give up on her’…but she’s not my kid. I’m sorry. Ian is my kid—and unfortunately, because he insists on being with her, he’s derailing his life. Ian doesn’t see it that way. According to him he had no life before this girl, and she’s his only family, and so he’s trying to take on two jobs at the age of nineteen, because we’re kicking out his girlfriend and he needs to get an apartment to be with her. 0_0 The reality is, even with two jobs, Ian cannot afford any apartment within walking distance to his current workplace (required because, he has no car). She still has no job—but her dad is willing to take her in (mother kept her from her dad out of spite), but he lives in San Antonio—OMG, heaven forbid they have to skype and talk on the phone daily instead of living together.

My spouse said she has to go by August 15, and that if Ian insisted on moving into an apartment, we’d help with rent and utilities—HELP, not support completely. I informed my spouse that the flaw in his plan is that he wants her out by August 15—so even if she gets a job today, they won’t have enough funds to qualify for an apartment by that date (landlords need to see that you earn 2x the rent per month). The smart thing is to let her go live with her dad until Ian can get on his feet, (we’d pay for vocational schooling to enable this). When he gets the training he needs to get a good job, he can get his own place, and then take her in. We’re not paying for schooling if he insists on keeping his unemployed girlfriend in our home–because I’m not paying for a another adult to live in my house, rent free.

Explaining all this to a 19 yo is going to be a hoot.

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Back Into the Workforce

July 1, 2015

My spouse and I have a set goal for something we want, this time next year.  What funds I have from my writing gig are in the bank for Mag’s college–so I’ve put the breaks on everything month so that I can send out resumes and get a 9 to 5 gig for some fast cash.  The ghost-scripting paid well, but it pays once a year, and frankly, I’ve become a bit demoralized by the direction of the series. They also prefer to keep their writers in Austin, so…

If I can score a job and work, this should allow us plenty of cash to do what we want, in style. I’ve got a real issue with using a credit card for anything other than groceries, gas, and sundry expenses.  I don’t keep a balance, and we’ve been credit card debt-free for quite some time.  I plan to keep it that way, so we’re not digging into Mag’s college fund.

How will this affect my agent search and novel-series? It won’t. The books are done (except for the tenth and final novel), and edits will be complete by summers end on Suffocation. My agent hunt will prevail, I can be anywhere and work on my novels!

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Confederate Flag (ellation)

June 25, 2015

beautifulIt’s your heritage, and its worth fighting for?

“The war wasn’t about slavery, it was about State’s Rights…”

Yeah, let’s talk about the rights those southern States were trying to obtain, by talking about succession and why the Confederate Flag was made.

Not going to quote textbooks, because every state seems to have its own version of events, but in a nutshell, the top 1% of the south (those families with plantations and wealth) began selling raw goods to other nations, at costs cheaper than what they were selling to northern industry in their own country (we wont get into the European hypocrisy of the era–they ended slavery in their nations, but were more than happy to buy cotton, tobacco, and sugar, from the US South–which hadn’t). Northern legislators dominated the United States Congress, so they levied taxes and tariffs at these southern companies, hurting the economy of the southern states.

Southern elite weren’t willing to change their behavior (being greedy and owning people) and convinced Southern lawmakers that they needed more representation in Congress (Congress was staffed based on a state’s population–the southern states had the least representation). They lobbied to have their slaves counted as ‘in state population’. Congress said no (naturally) because you can’t demand that slaves be considered property (without the human right to leave or vote or work somewhere else) and then demand they be counted as people freely living in your state. The southern lawmakers cried foul, and the northern lawmakers said – tough shit. The right to trade freely those goods acquired on the backs of slave labor, wasn’t a state right–anymore than being allowed to count that slave labor as residents of your state. The South chose to succeed. They made new money, made a new flag, and fired off some shots. The wealthiest people in the South declared war on their own country, because they were greedy–and wanted to own people.

When you talk about your relations fighting for the South, you’re talking about how they fought to maintain the wealth of their 1%, and they died so that those 1% could fucking own people.

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Sadly, the South isn’t YOUR South anymore. People of color freely live here, Hispanics and Latinos live here, and OMG, Yankees live here (Sorry UT, why is a statue Jefferson Davis sitting front and center at your campus?) The racial demographic of the South–it’s changed. You can keep your heritage on your front lawn, in your bedroom, on your sheets, and in your purse. Do you really want them to know you honor an era where fighting to keep people as property, and men dying for the wealthy 1%, is something you’re proud of? If so, then I suppose this flag symbolizes a version of the South you’re comfortable with–one that means more to you than the “American South” that’s presently awesome, and part of the United States.

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