Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm exhausted. And I don't know's not like I've been sooooo busy rushing around for Christmas, OR for work, for that matter . It's like there's a slow gas leak in my house and I just keep nodding off...

Mostly, I've been trying to pretend Christmas isn't coming at us like a brick wall to a car wreck, but when I looked at the calendar recently, I realized that was no longer going to work. But then I started receiving lovely packages in the mail from extremely kind and generous friends and family and that cheered me up considerably. It's lovely to get gifts, or even cards, from people you love. I don't have much money this year, and I've been feeling badly about not being able to send people things. However, I've clearly been blessed with friends who just don't give a damn. Lovely people, I call friends....

Which means Bakepalooza '09 is about to start. I've tried this year to be creative with some of my homemade gifties, since everyone will likely have a zillion cookies and candies. I've got some new tricks up my sleeve, so I'm anxious to see how they turn out!

In other recent dramatic news ( it never ends, I tell ya):

I've been cleaning like crazy and baby-proofing the house because...

Annie has returned to my doorstep. Annie, in case you're new to this blog, or me or whatever, is my dear friend Robbie's little sister. Annie lived with me before, in 2004-05, when she was 18/19, when Robbie had her daughter and their parents, Jon and Rosanne moved back to IL (where we're all from orginally) to help her out. Annie didn't want to go, or move out of CA, so I said she could come and live with me.
I thought it was going to be fine, since I THOUGHT she was ready to live on her own and she would get a job,e tc. HA! It was like taking care of a 15 year old. It was an utter disaster and while she finally DID grasp the concept of work, bills, etc., it wasn't without turning ME into a monster -- since I was the de facto "parent" figure in this dynamic--and without much drama. I finally got to the point where things just got so bad between us -- I might add that I was sick at the time, and had to be hospitalized at one point, even, so I was no picnic either-- where I just said she had to either go back to her parents or figure something else out.
The "Something Else" is what leads into THIS return. Her boyfriend at the time, Ed, decided she should just go and live with him. No one ( including her sisters and me) was particularly thrilled about this idea, although Ed was a nice enough guy( or so we thought!). She was just very young, was my opinion, and didn't need to depend on a man when she had a lot of growing up to do and family readily willing to take her in. Nonetheless, her parents gave their blessing, and off she went.

Cut to now, 5 years later.

Annie is here with me for the time being. She has a child, Davy, nearly two. She and Ed (the father of said child) split awhile back because, in essence, he became angry that she was going on vacay to IL without him. He then decided to kick them out ( so he wasn't such a winner, after all, the asshole). Annie went to a family friend in nearby Lomita, and he decided to present her with custody papers there, bringing along several of his goombah friends for extra harassment. Annie, not thinking, decided to go to IL and NOT COME BACK to CA, which is one thing, but to do so knowing there is a possible pending custody case? Not too bright. ( It's called "fleeing", ya know....but they weren't ever married, so I guess I understand PART of her rationale..).

So anyway, this proceeds, and she gets a lawyer and the hearing was last Monday. The judge, clearly having smoked a big ol' hit off of the crazy pipe, said that she was going to award physical custody to Ed even though he a.) works during the day; b.) has never taken care of Davy on his own ( that was Annie's "job", as he saw it) ; and c) it would likely traumatize the child ( she actually SAID that) because Annie needed to "learn a lesson" about just picking up and leaving the state with a child. She also stated that she "didn't bother to look at the evidence" Annie presented about Ed's criminal record, abusive behavior and general crackpot thinking, since "it didn't matter".

Yes, really.

So now, this child, who has never known anyone to take care of him but Annie, has to go live with his father, while his mother fights to regain custody. She had to come back to CA, and I was implored by the entire clan to take her in. I agreed, since I knew they were stuck, but let them know I was in no position to to support her ( hello, I don't have a job!) and that she would have to be able to, if I had conflicting obligations ( like a JOB), figure out how to use the bus system ( oh yeah, did I mention she doesn't DRIVE??) and make all her appointments with the public aid/legal aid without my constant reminders. There was NO WAY I was signing up for that again (they all understood immediately and sent her with seed money, etc.). But while it's true I could have turned the other way, I do care about her, ultimately, and felt somewhat guilty anyway with the way things went between us ( which ultimately, had a hand in her going to Ed in the first place!) and love her family dearly no matter what. And, in the name of justice, I cannot conceivably stand by and watch and let that man get away with the utter bullshit that he has managed to finagle.

So she's here It's actually been really okay. Davy is exceptionally even-tempered and adorable. He is a little monkey , curious and into everything, but that's to be expected. But more importantly, Annie has changed tremendously. Somehow having that kid really made her into a responsible grown-up, willing to take charge of her own destiny, so that makes dealing with the situation and living with her A LOT easier on me. I wish that all people who had kids came to understand the gravity of the situation and grew into maturity like she has....but unfortunately they do NOT. So far she's gotten Ed to agree to let her take care of Davy while he's at work, and, as Davy has never slept without Annie, he's here at night, too. I told Annie that if she plays it right, the situation will naturally reverse itself: she will, in essence, have physical custody of the child, and Eddie will be visiting. When it comes time to revisit this in court, all she will have to do is present that to (a DIFFERENT) judge and things will likely turn in her favor.

Goddess willing.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to manage my own finances, soothe some very put-out felines, and stay awake during daylight hours.

The only last bit of news currently is just my ever-lame love life. Saturday night I went out to a karaoke party for my friends Nate and Lori to just blow off some steam. It was Nate's 40th, and good fun was had by all. It was, of course, nearly all couples, which is, of course, the way it seems to be 90% of the time everywhere I go. In an attempt to remedy that scenario, I told Lori to just flat out tell Don, (Nate's BFF and the Cutest Geek I've seen in some time) that I was interested and that we might be a good match ( he's wicked smart, a filmmmaker, and various other things in common) . She agreed, and so I made the effort to look as nice as I could . He was polite and welcoming, and yet.... didn't seem to know yet that I'm All That. I got really sad and cried a little, even, on my drive home from the party, even though it's not the end of the world or anything. It's just..... nothing like a little subtle "I'm not interested" vibes from a handsome man to make your night REALLY SPECIAL, y'know?

I'm going to die alone in this apartment, with the cats,.....only to have Annie and Davy take it over upon my demise. I'm sure of it. So much for hope for a New Year's date....

And Christmas marches ever closer....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm just gonna be lazy and cut-and-paste an email I sent to a friend recently since I really don't feel like writing.... ( edits made for....editorial reasons. And because I said so.):

Hi Sweetie!

I haven't felt like writing in my blog since I got back from Boston, as it was a wretched trip that I think has just broken me down. I know I've owed you an email, but things have been solid rotten here all year and I just didn't want to waste your time complaining. Brief highlights, instead:

1.) I haven't worked almost all year- I DID get hired at Macy's for holiday help and thought I'd be working my butt off by now, but they are only scheduling me THREE times in the next two weeks. Then of course, Christmas will be over. I got hired by them on Nov 11 and I've sat around WAITING for a month. What a waste of time. Of course, this means no Christmas gifts for mom and dad ( or anyone) til...??

2.) RE: the car accident, there is, of course residual drama. First is that now Crazy INS- Suspect Lady has gotten a lawyer and is claiming injury. I'm insured against this, but ARGH. Their lawyer called my insurance company and wanted to know the maximum of my policy, and the adjuster couldn't release that information without my consent. I said, "Absolutely not." I was informed that it was customary that we go ahead and tell them, and I reiterated that my answer was negative, being that I had actually met these yahoos and determined that they were not particularly good people. If she wants to submit her medical forms, THEN we have those assesed as valid or invalid, and THEN we pay. After all, that's what I had to do, and when I did, I didn't get a dime untill I went to small claims court. The max she can get is $6000 in small claims court. If I tell her NOW I'm insured to $25,000 for injury to a second party, she's gonna be sure to file a suit for that much, I suspect (even if the injuries are "soft tissue" { i.e.: no sustained trauma or broken bones or surgical intervention neccessary; the kind that send you to the chiropractor for a lot of out of pocket money} like mine were, I had to sue in small claims, because insurance companies try to avoid to pay out on those anymore. I can't believe she got a lawyer to take her claim, unless the injury IS exceptional. In which case, she can prove it. I'm not trying to hold out on her- I know how it goes personally! - I'm just trying to protect myself so she HAS to prove it instead of getting a big settlement out of MY policy.). So, HELL TO THE NO, thank you, I'm hanging up now.
I do have MY car back now, though my brakes, (after slamming them and screeching and spinning out) are not up to where they should be, understandably. But the car looks nice.

3.) In addition to these car woes and money woes, I've owed on my liscence plates for over a year now. I have penalties and tickets that have racked up to $750. I would have gladly paid them all if the money were there.....but it wasn't.

4.) I did have some money put aside that my mom had sent to me for the CAR ONLY following the Dad-Isn't-Speaking-To-You Incident, but guess what? My friend Blu sent me a plane ticket as a gift to go to Boston in September. Free-- she just wanted me to come out to see "New Moon" with her and her daughter. I didn't have any money, and I told her so; she reassured me it was fine. I've known her for 5 years, and trust her, so, I went. BUT: She then lost her mind about two days before I was to leave and kicked me to the curb- nowhere to go, and as far as she knew, no money. She just threw me out of her house because we were having a tense moment.(And can I say how much I want to write her REAL NAME here right now? I won't, I won't. I won't do that because that's the kind of tactless crap she went on to pull after bouncing me out of her house like I'd either slept with her boyfriend or killed her dog { not even close to that-we had a dumb, dumb argument}; she decided to derisively announce her actions as "neccessary" an call me a few choice epithets on Facebook in full public view of oh, say...25 of our mutual friends....only THREE of whom actually bothered to inquire privately if I was all right. NICE, ladies. Thanks for adding searing disappointment to my cup-o-scary-bullshit-and-humilation. I appreciate it! ) Luckily my mom had just given me ( literally deposited it the NIGHT BEFORE she went psycho, in anticipation of my coming home and having do a quick pickup on the way home from the airport) the $$ for the car. But guess where that went? To saving my ass in a town I didn't know ( and for gas, thank you gifts> see below) . Yup. Good times.

On the good side....

5.) An old friend from HS, Milo, lives in the Berkshires, about 3 hours outside Boston, and I had posted to him on Facebook while I was in Boston, and said, "Are you still in MA? Are you close?" He called me the morning of The Psycho Incident and we lamented that he wasn't close enough to meet up. However, as things escalated with Blu, he happened to be on the phone when she walked in. I went to hang up, but he wanted to know I was okay and asked me to call him later. Well.....when I got to the hotel Triple A found me on the fly, I called him, and when he and his wife heard what happened to me, he came and picked me up. 3 hours. Both ways ( he also did it Mon morning at the crack of dawn to get me back to the Boston airport). I've known that man for 25 years, but I hadn't seen him in about 15. But he and his family -- who are so awesome--welcomed me in. I am forever grateful. I don't know if I can thank him enough. Just thinking about it makes me cry.

6.) My dear friend Vince, after I got home and fell into the I'm-Way-In-The-Hole-Because-Of-Circumstances-Beyond-My-Control spiral, sent me some cash, because I just didn't know where else to go for it. It's enough to help on the car tags, but will probably not solve the whole problem. Still it's an extremely generous ( really) gesture, and gets me closer to getting it together, and I am really, really kind of blown away by his kindness.

7.) I MIGHT have a housesitting gig to make up for some of the loss that the job at Macy's incurred. I've been applying to lots of things and I keep chanting a mantra for SOMETHING to come. Keep your fingers crossed....

Other than that, I've been hanging on, trying to get by. I'm really tired and feeling pretty hopeless right now. Christmas is going to suck- I've borrowed money from everyone I know, and I just feel guilty and sad. No one has treated me any differently, but it's just a crappy situation. I wish I had better news, but personally I'd like to sleep through Christmas to about Feb, when people will be hiring again and I can get a job and get my life back on's sad how much money plays a part in that. However, I realize I am not totally luckless; I'm obviously blessed with amazing friends who come through for me this year when I least expected it and others have come through for me over and over in the past. I am very very glad for each of those particular reasons alone.

Well, I love you and hope things are going good on your end. I hope you and your family have a good holiday-- you deserve it!