Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cuckoo Ka Choo Choo


It's time for a ride on the crazy train, folks.

I am neurotic. 

I know ... *GASP*, right? 

Seriously though ... I am not unaware of my short comings as a humanoid. I suffer from an upsy-downsy sort of existence even when the terrain around me is relatively mundane. I honestly thought for most of my life (to this point) that it was an anti-boredom mechanism built into my drama soaked brain. So, for the most part, I have been inclined to embrace it somewhat.

Here is a highly inconvenient truth for me to chew on - neurosis does not a successful business starter-upper, make. 

Let me give you a visual for instance:

click click click click ... click ...

So we get started on the climb.

This is the more labour intensive part of the process, but oddly is the part in which I am most comfortable - mostly because there is action on my part and therefore, I have a false sense of control.

I like control.

I know ... *GASP*, right?

I get a call for a quote. (Seriously, how much do you love that I made myself a stick figure with jugs?)

click click click ... click ... click ...

The prospective client meets me and I sell them on the benefits and value of my service.

click click ...

The day comes and I perform my service ... they are thrilled and pay me.

click ... click ...  

My mood is super high!

I am on top of the world! My mind is fertile and the ideas are flowing like a leaky box of cheap wine. The future of my business is bright and subsequently, all our financial woes are in danger of being eradicated!

... click ...

The bottom falls out of my life.


The power company informs us that we have two days to come up with two grand or our service is being cut... Our second mortgage payment gets screwed up in this mix of begging for mercy and finding sufficient hush money to throw at them... This creates an additional $65 in service fees between our bank's NSF fees and the lender's... Then, the car payment is shorted in the attempt and a payment that was originally $159.00 is now subject to an additional $120.00 in service charges... The second mortgage - after having been late last month due to the screw up, is then due again and we were $26 short to cover the PAC when it tries to clear... We transfer the money and call to ensure the payment is covered - we are assured it is fine, only to learn that it is NOT in fact fine and the payment gets sent back a second time - thus creating not only another $65 worth of fees, but also cancelling the automatic PAC - so now, we have to DRIVE TO THE GOD FORSAKEN LENDER EVERY FLIPPING MONTH AND PAY CASH! (because they will no longer accept cheques from the likes of us, either)... The first mortgage payment is then shorted because of this game of Financial Twister that we are playing... That creates another $120.00 worth of service charges to be tacked on... Oh, and the brakes went in the truck... So we can't drive anywhere until they are fixed ... and I have two jobs that need to be quoted this week.

Here's another inconvenient truth - brakes cost money to fix. 

Actually, so does food... and entertainment for two children that are off school and have ZERO to do. THIS SUCKS!!! We haven't even been able to go camping due to either gross lack of funds, or vehicle issues.


I am in a state of mania. I am wound so tight, you could likely shove a lump of coal up my ass and get a diamond in 24 hours. We have decided that we need to try to sell the house again. Even if we just get enough to get the hell out without losing it, we'll be much farther ahead. We won't qualify for another mortgage for a number of years, but at least we could ... someday. Not so, if we lose it.

This sounds like a reasonable plan, right? Yeah ... well we are in a super flat market and THIS house, for which I still require a fairly pretty penny, is in need of some work... and here's the third inconvenient truth of the day, THAT, my frens also costs money. Lots of it.

We are going to try anyway ... throw it to the wind and hope, pray and possibly negotiate with Satan a little that it will work out. And if not ... well ... I guess we'll move onto 'plan G' ... or are we at 'plan H' already? I dunno ... we'll do something. Maybe have a REALLY big bonfire ... and roast some big assed marshmallows on the burnt out shell of our life.

(Holy crap, I just googled mania and I truly may fall right into that definition.) Yikes. NOPE! I reject that diagnosis ... I can NOT afford any more meds.

It is such a kick in the crotch to have worked so hard all these years, flipping houses to get here ... only to screw it up so colossally, that we find ourselves facing choices that are nearly indigestible.

Honestly, if it was just me and Hubs ... this would have been an easy decision. But it isn't. There's Shorty and Stretch ... not to mention my three cats, a dog and our fish ... who has chosen now to get sick and act like he's going to live up to his reputation of "heartache in a bowl". Oh well ... one less mouth to feed... maybe I could feed him to the cats ...

The truly sad thing is that I would be so grateful to stop feeling like I am about to stroke out at any moment, that I really don't even care anymore. I'm so tired ... and cranky and vile and sad and embarrassed and ashamed and scared and sad some more... and tired some more. So tired, I can't even sleep the past few days.

This is so old.

I love my peeps more than anything on this ol' rock we call home. I am responsible for their well being. I am responsible for my own, for that matter. I don't know how much fight is left in me at this point and I am starting to reconcile myself with the worst case scenario here. It's not like we are battling a life threatening disease or anything. I mean ... we're looking at packing our shit, finding a rental and suffering through a foreclosure and I suppose another bankruptcy. Easy breezy, right? Well ... no ... not so much, but we'd survive it.

Doesn't seem overly palatable to me - especially given my background ... but if given the choice between hardships, I'd still choose this eventuality over one of us being sick or injured ... or worse. It's just that I now live in fear that we'll drag ourselves through this ... on our faces ... by our eyelashes (as we have been doing) and when we finally get the wheels back on the bus, something (else) horrible is going to happen.

Somehow, that doesn't really make me feel a great deal better in this moment.

Universe, I need you to cut me some slack here. I realize I'm not in a bargaining position, but I'm asking. We either need to luck into a buyer for this house (for enough money to actually get out) or we need a very large financial shift for the better ... and I will make this distinction: NOBODY can get hurt or sick or die in order to fulfill this request ... k?

So ... a big contract for Hubs' business ... or mine ... or a lotto win - $50K would be great! ... or a buyer for the house ... or a really good job (for either of us - we're both looking) ... or some real assistance from CMHC's default management department (whom I will be contacting this week to see if there is any help available for us) ... any of those things would be super.

Mm K. So we're good?

K - great ... I'll be here. You just let me know what you need me to do.

D - out.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Je Regrette

My Mom is moving out next weekend.

It's finally here. 

THIS is what we've trained for, people!

I find myself fervently wishing our house was sold and that we were also moving on ... into a more affordable and subsequently healing housing situation. We aren't, but I am still attempting optimism in the healing department. 

I have long believed that regret is a wasted emotion. It really is. I mean, you should learn from your past, but spending valuable time on regret seems highly counter productive ... but I have to say if ever I felt regret, it is about this situation I find myself living of late.

Don't get me wrong, I really love my house ... but more than anything, I just don't want it to beat us. I regret buying it more than any other one decision I have ever made (and truly, that is a weighty statement right there). Further to that buyer's remorse, I regret getting it into my head that my mother should live with us ... and I regret trying to save our sorry asses with the gangster bank 2nd mortgage ~ I liken THAT little move to trying to catch yourself before you fall down a flight of stairs, only to break both of your arms in the process ... further impeding your ability to survive the original trauma.

Ah, hindsight ... you can fuck right off, okay?

So ... in the interest of living in the moment, we are attempting to make the most of an otherwise suck-tastic situation and have been planning a very inexpensive (as in ZERO monies, if possible) renovation for Mom's soon to be abandoned in-law suite. We likely should be trying to rent it, but heating this house with oil is just not a viable option for us ... and there is no other way to heat that area. In the Winter months, that space costs us more in oil than it brings in ... and we can't get any more money for it than what we had asked previously. 

To that end, we have decided on the following course of action: 
1) we are looking for a 2nd hand CSA approved wood stove and some chimney (which admittedly WILL cost money, but would pay for itself in no time flat) to put into that 'wing' of our home
2) once next weekend passes, we're going to open up the wall between the spaces and reclaim it for our own use
3) we are using the existing material (with the exception of some drywall and eventually some paint) to create a patio-accessible bar area
4) using the same frugal formula, we'll move a door, a couple of windows and a wall opening here and there ... take the big bath tub out and put my washer and dryer into that space ... and change it into a truly usable space - including the kids' toys, video games and so forth

It's about another 800 or so square feet that we can now utilize. Despite myself, I am getting excited about this prospect.

Once this has been completed and the toy room has been moved back to the main level, the two additional bedrooms on the second floor can be turned into an income opportunity. We are advertising for two university students to board through the school year with us. We are adjacent to a university town ... not right in it, but very close. 

This would do two very important things:
1) INCOME! I'm thinking like $1200-$1500 per month in income.
2) The students I am hoping to attract would be international students. What an opportunity for my girls to learn about different cultures ... and to broaden their view on the world. 

This is the plan.

Also, I am ever hopeful that the relationship between Mom and me will mend on its own ... over time. But I regret the need.

She is happy and excited and her man is a prince among men ... so it's all good on her end. I managed to NOT share my true feelings about this whole situation, so that's good - at the end of the day. I am optimistic that the healing will just occur on its own. Less chance for me to screw it up that way.

It is time to close this chapter and start fresh again. We can't sensibly dump the house, but maybe we can finally start to recover from the past five year stint.

Ya think?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

...and now for something completely different

I'm going to be entirely self-indulgent.

Cripes ... I couldn't even type that without snorting out loud.

I think I have successfully chased away all of my readers ... or certainly anyone who ever comments. That's alright, it would be much better for me if I could just be completely candid and unedited. I doubt it's going to happen, but it's worth a try, I suppose. I am so bloody worried about what others think of me, I'm becoming a pathological obsessive freakazoid. 

I had this long conversation in my head today while I was having a shower. I was having it with JJ (the conversation, not the shower). 

~ I am still going to meet with him to discuss the possibility of doing some work with his employer. It would be a cherry gig if I could get it. Honestly, it would give my company a massive punt forward. For better or for worse, really. It would either prove to me once and for all that I CAN actually do this ... or that I can't. Either way, it saves me a whole lotta time and heart ache. 

It is important that I follow this up. I am afraid, though. For some disturbing reasons, too. The worst of which has to be that I am OBSESSED with 'how attractive' he finds me, when we meet. Like I'm 'right stupid in the head' with it. It means the world to me that he not only thinks it, but voices it. ~

Uh ... why Bambi?

Anyway, I was having this conversation ... with JJ ... in my head (nothing crazy to see here) ... while having a shower - and the things I learned about my own life were really rather striking. I was regaling him about my life - including, but not limited to - my crazy, in all its glory. I was even toying with the idea of telling him about this blog for the love of gawd! Could I BE any more needy? I mean, why don't I just jump up and down in front of him, yelling "praise me, like me, want me!!!"? Perhaps even topless. I have no shame, it would seem.

What is the matter with the way I am wired that I act like this?

I feel like I want to understand - maybe I would be sorry to, though. Seriously ... I was gushing about how super fabulous my husband is and how easily he can 'work' me (... as opposed to the way JJ and I used to solve our disagreements - by throwing temper tantrums that almost always resulted in me being hurt somehow) and how peaceful our existence together is. It was almost a physical pleasure that I got from that. Then, I over shared (in my pretend conversation ... in my head ... in my shower) and now I feel guilty for it.

I'm fuckin' losing it.
I've fuckin' lost it.

Why do I want approval from this man? Is it because I secretly hope he regrets what he did to me all those years ago? Am I really that tragic and petty? (That was rhetorical, PLEASE do not confirm this for me - I'm too fragile) I'm supposed to be better than that. I'm a high road walker (that's not slang for an inebriated whore, either). It is somewhat disconcerting that I have digressed this much in the last 15 or so years ... perhaps even devolved a little.

I'm disappointed in myself. I don't really know what to do with that.

I guess as long as these are just thoughts in my head, I can ignore them. What do you figure the chances are that they'll stay there? Especially now that I have assigned them words?

I need to meet with this man, display some semblance of believable sanity, NOT over share, be "nice" and get what I actually need from him: an influential business contact. That's it.

Could I grow up just enough to actually pull that off?

Guess we'll find out next week - that is when I am aiming to approach him again. That's a three week lapse ... should be sufficient lag, shouldn't it? (ACK! Games people play)

...and on that note:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Heavy In Your Arms

"I was a heavy heart to carry ...

My beloved was weighed down ... my arms around his neck ... my fingers laced to crown

I was a heavy heart to carry ...

My feet dragged across the ground ... and he took me to the river where he slowly let me drown

My love has concrete feet, my love's an iron ball ... wrapped around your ankles ... over the waterfall"

Ever have a relationship like this? 

I did

Oh ... how did I love him ... let me count the ways. I loved him like a love song ... before Selena friggen Gomez went and ruined that line. 

It was like a wrought iron sculpture, the love I had for that boy: 

Massive ~ Heavy ~ Black ~ Beautiful

"JJ" was my first love, my 'first time' and my first real taste of heartbreak. We spent most of the two years we were a couple (at the ripe old ages of 16/18 and 17/19) embroiled in a massive power struggle. Of course at the time, I was struggling with the recent brutal rape of my best friend, a massive depression, the onset of agoraphobia, quitting school and generally falling apart. 

Not to be out-done, JJ promptly went ahead and developed life threatening allergies to a then unknown ingredient that seemed to be present in everything the boy put in his mouth. He essentially died right in front of me once. I saved his ass. It scared me right through to my core. Seared that shit onto my grey matter. In fact, I believe that very moment was what has caused me to be such a helicopter parent to this day. It happened right in front of my eyes ... he was gone. Fortunately, I was able to get him to a hospital fast enough that they could reverse the anaphylaxis. They zapped him, shot him full of epinephrine and he was okay. But, it affected me. 

We were so dramatic. Like ... soap opera dramatic. We fought like feral cats. We WERE essentially, feral cats. Un-domesticated teenagers who thought they had their futures all figured out. I was going to marry him. He promised.

He used to take me everywhere. We would get in his little dodge omni and just ... go ... whale watching, to the wild life preserve, to a neighboring province ... exploring down some back country road ... everywhere and nowhere.

I adored him. Worshiped the ground he walked on, in fact. I believe in my heart that he adored me, too ... as much as he was capable. I think that the weight of containing me and my messy-ness became more than he could handle ... especially since he had his own demons to master.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

He was not "strong enough to stand protecting both (his) heart and mine"

I brought the bad things out of him. It wasn't on purpose - I just did. Ferocity was what he brought out of me. It was scary sometimes ... most of the time, really. We would get so physical with one another ... and he was so much stronger (physically) than I was, so I got hurt ... often. I really did deserve what I got ... I would fight so hard to just win, already. Cracked three of my ribs just before we broke up, in fact.

"This will be my last confession ... 'I love you' never felt like any blessing ... ooohhhh

Whispering like it's a secret ... only to condemn the one who hears it ... with a heavy heart"

There have been a number of moments in my life where I can say I was truly broken. This was one of those times. I needed someone in my life that didn't take anything. So did he. I'm not really sure how long he was seeing the other girl before he managed to break up with me. It may have been weeks, maybe months ... I really don't know. The point is, he cheated on me, dumped me and then married her ... had 3 kids, moved on with his life and made something of himself. 


Fast forward 23 years ... I am starting a business. I need every ounce of help I can get and I'm really not too proud to ask for it from anywhere or anyone (or am I?). He has a big juicy title and has been in the media somewhat lately ... so I figure I'll get a personal reference from him. Why not, right? Not like he doesn't owe me a little good will ... 

So ... I began looking for contact information for him. Not so easy to locate. It took me a month or so, but I finally tracked him down this past Thursday. I sent him an email and asked him to call me. I wasn't too concerned that he wouldn't contact me ... I honestly thought that he would, at some point.

I hit send on the email and went off to do some housework.

It was less than three minutes from the time I sent the email until the phone rang and it was him. Guess I was right. He was ... different. He even sounds different. He says he's old ... that the job has aged him. Possible. I know work stress can take a toll. He's recently graduated from a business course. From fuckin' HARVARD, if you don't mind.


Harvard business school. This guy was a muscle head back in the day. A rugby player. Now he's taking advanced business courses from Ivy league schools... he wants to retire from his current position and ... oh, maybe run a hospital next ... Good Christ.

How in hell am I supposed to compete with THAT? Little Miss Uneducated. GAH!

Well ... I proceeded, undaunted. Told him about my new venture, about leaving finance, about my kids and hubby and mother and a bunch of other stuff ... I was so gob-smacked at some of the things he told me, I didn't ask a lot of questions, just mostly responded to him. It was ... weird.

There is a fundamental part of my being that still belongs to him ... pretty sure it always will. I think I am special to him, too. I think he wonders sometimes 'what if' ... 

There was a moment - after he asked me to text him the next time I was in the city and we'd meet for coffee - where I felt ... less than. Does that make sense? I felt like I had something to be ashamed of or some other stupid bullshit label that I assigned to myself and my own dissolution with my life ... but then I remembered the life in question. We're awesome. I have a fairy tale marriage, with healthy and gorgeous evil genius kids and I'm starting my own bloody business. Where's the fail? 

We have struggled through some hard assed shit ... and we are still here, queer and loving every minute of it. We've been doing 'for worse' for years and still manage to love each other more with each passing year.

For better is the easy part. We've persevered ... and I should wear that like a bloody tiara! I have EVERYTHING I have ever truly wanted ... right now. How many people can say that and mean it?

So I am going to meet him ... soon. I will get whatever help from him for my business that I can. I will enjoy him, flirt like a school girl, make him sorry (even just for a minute) that he let me get away and then I will walk away.

Is it wrong of me to hope he is fat? Or bald? Or old? Actually ... I just want his wife to be any of those things  ... but from all accounts, she is like uber chick. She's a nurse manager and mother of three and they have a cleaning lady and she's likely pretty and skinny (the wife, not the housekeeper ... although who knows, perhaps she is, too) and ~ and ~ and ... he chose her over me 23 years ago and was likely very right in doing so.

That smarts a little.

I am happy to report that I am as light as a feather in Hubs' arms. Take THAT, JJ.