Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stuck In the Low Income, High Rent District of Life

Dupont Circle here in Washington, D.C., on a rainy, chilly, gloomy November early evening just before a cold frontal passage, 4:40PM, Nov. 30, 2009. DCA's precip tally crossed the 40" threshold today with 0.18" to 40.11" (and is above the annual normal of 39.35").

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So I have figured out a way to pay about two-thirds of my December rent on time with the remaining one-third late. While this will incur a $30 or $45 late fee (depending on whether it is after the 20th or not), since the remainder will come after the 10th, I think it should avoid the start of any eviction proceedings for December. I can do this magnificent maneuver because my crappy contracting job is paying me $440 for my climate change news compendium that I finished last week.

The empty Dupont Circle Fountain with the 1800 and 1700 blocks of Massachusetts Avenue, NW, stretching off to the southeast on a rainy, gloomy Washington, D.C., early evening, 4:48PM, Nov. 30, 2009.

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However, it also means I will be flat broke with my average daily expenditures having to be no more than $18 per day for at least two to three weeks. I also won't be able to pay any of my bills, including the three collection agency ones (my chapter 7 bankruptcy initial filing date still 8 months away).

It also means that I will not be able to go to Florida next week as planned on what would have been a very inexpensive vacation.

Gary purchased me one of those $9 each way Spirit Airlines tickets that come to about $50 (with fees) between National Airport(DCA) and Ft. Lauderdale / Hollywood Int'l Airport (FLL).

Here was a cellphone image I took somewhere off the South Carolina coast on June 6, 2009 heading south from DCA to FLL.

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It also includes free lodging (as a night time sleeping place) at his landlord's nearly empty condo in Boca Raton even while our third traveling companion (in this case, Chris T.) stays at the Holiday Inn in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Gary also rents a car. I still owe him about $100 from the last trip in August. I've been to Deerfield Beach three times this year anyway.

A picture from Deerfield Beach, Florida that I took last August 8th on one of my trips to South Florida in 2009.

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Speaking of Florida, the true nightmare scenario would be having to go down to Florida to Flagler Beach -- which is most definitely not South Florida -- and live with my dad.

Anyway, by staying home here in D.C. next week, I can finish up a half dozen projects for my contracting job. Based on the number of assignments I have, I SHOULD earn $2730 from my contracting job for work to be completed in December and another $380 or so from the tutoring. Of course, much of that won't arrive until well into January.

My November income was $834 and year-to-date income is $12,921.48 with the bulk of that being untaxed, meaning I am probably going to owe $1800 to $2400 in taxes next year that I can't pay.

Rainy 1900 block of New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 4:28PM, Nov. 30, 2009

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Oh, yes, Kristof asked me if I have been applying for work lately. The answer is sort of. I have applied for about 4 jobs in the past month. I do not send my resume out buckshot or blast fax style.

A view from the Space Shuttle Atlantis taken earlier in November as it docked with the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit, Nov. 30, 2009 APOD. I rotated the image.

In the past year, I have applied for 25 to 30 jobs. In the past two years, I have applied for 40 to 50 jobs. I have heard back ZERO (except for that dreadful interview in October).

We are still in a pure crap economy and I have an odd skill set that shows me to be both over-qualified and under-qualified at the same time and, well, probably just odd. I also have shit luck. I actually believe I am operating under some kind of spiritual curse.

Fort Totten Red Line platform and train car 6104, in a far and away stretch of Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2009

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It gets depressing applying for jobs "cold" by sending a resume to some Idiot @ shit-bag E-mail address that no one even opens, much less reads or considers. America is an ugly place these days, in particular how it is configured here in the professional world of Washington, D.C. Unless I make a connection, nothing is going to happen, period.

I know that some of my friends and acquaintances and even readers are increasingly unable to understand the situation I am in and -- in true American and Protestant work ethic form -- deep down believe this is all my own fault. One very long time, once close friend who does not read this blog feels I am a big "is-what-it-is" bottom-line liability.

Some just chuckle warmly from safe and comfy perches. Other beautiful gay guys in the gayborhood just get money given to them by the wheelbarrow full.

Yes, I am bitter.

I don't doubt that I have made a host of bad choices and contributed to the fact that my life has gone off the rails.At the end of the day, I really am living in the wrong place and wrong time.

Babies eating dinner

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Political detour ...

Read this column by Glenn Greenwald, columnist for Salon.com, about why Indiana's Democratic U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (and his wife) represents the "rotted" face of the corrupt, hypocritical, corporate whoring, compromised, and uncaring Washington Establishment.

Bayh is the reason why Dems may be trounced next year (which would probably make someone such as him happy).

Later today Pres. Obama announces his sure-to-be-disastrous "another land war in Asia" policy of escalating U.S. involvement in frickin' Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the D.C. mediawhore narrative (picture Cokie Roberts) about Obama is, of course, all wrong, again.

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Monday nights is the We TV marathon of The Golden Girls followed by a few more of the nightly episodes on Hallmark.

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On the Jersey Side ...

On Sunday, my mom and Ray (step dad) came into D.C. -- itself a rare event, since usually they only drive as far as College Park, but this time they drove to New Carrollton and took the Orange Line into the city to Metro Center.

We went to see the Jersey Boys at the National Theatre, the strange old theatre near the White House with its weird interior layout and even weirder pastel aquamarine colored walls that I recall from 20 years ago.

Hey, I think I can actually edit the colors in HTML using these RGB numbers independent of the little color table in Blogger's "compose" mode.

The role of Frankie was performed by Joseph Leo Bwarie. Watching it among the crowd of 50-something women for whom that era is part of their living memory, and the tremendous theatrical and singing talent on display, I realized how little I have achieved, what a loser I really am, and AND how boxed in things are in the U.S. professional world, especially here in Washington, D.C. today, where NOTHING and NO advancement is possible unless you have some crazy resume, great connections, or some other quality I lack.

I will say, though, that ever since my obsession with Happy Days (in particular Anson Williams!) and Hollywood at age 11 when I was living in New Jersey, I have felt inadequate. I pretended I was in some continuous Happy Days episode at the time.

A picture from the Oct. 6, 2009 Washington Post's glowing review of the National Theatre rendition. I heard that one of these four guys was at Cobalt recently for karaoke night, although I cannot confirm that. It might have been one of the bit characters, and it was probably not Bwarie.

Here is a picture of Joseph Leo Bwarie.

The musical play -- that includes profanity and some mock violence -- is about the lives and careers of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons band during a 20 year period. The early 1960s mobbed up ethnic Italian Newark, New Jersey context from which he came was interesting, too.

My dad's Italian New Jersey side in Long Branch was kind of in that world but not really. I mean, it was pure mid-20th Century New Jersey Italian American, more suburban than urban, and while there was illegal activities with booking horses, there was never any overtly apparent "mobbed up" Sopranos-like activities that I saw.

My mom was closer in South Amboy in the shadow of New York City, living there in the 1950 and '60s, but that was the Polish side and a different world.

Oh, yes, my mom gave me a birthday card with a $100 check. She also spent a combined $300 on the Jersey Boys tickets -- I guess someone has to pay Mr. Bwarie -- plus some lunch and a little dinner at the Potbelly's next to the theatre. This is a lot of money for her as she does not have a lot of money.

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OK, I think that's all for now.

My next planned update will be later this week.

--Regulus

16 comments:

krzysztof said...

(...) in true American and Protestant work ethic form -- deep down believe this is all my own fault

Not me. As a lapsed but good Catholic I would rather say that we are all at fault, the fabric of the Universe is torn as a result of the original sin, repentance is much needed and you have been blessed with the gift of suffering which allows you to mistically participate in the Mystery of Salvation.

Wow I think I finally nailed down the difference between the two versions of Christianity:-)

But you seem to be trying. I'm glad and wish you luck!

Regulus said...

I know you are on my side, Kristof, and I appreciate that very much.

I was watching "Three's Company" in the wee hours last night and in watching the mannerisms and antics of the late John Ritter playing Jack Tripper, he reminded me of you. I am specifically thinking of the episode where the sex-crazed neighbor Larry was going to get married.

One of the premises of the show was that Jack could only live with the two girls (Janet and Chrissy, and later two or three others who each replaced Chrissy) if his landlord -- Mr. Roper and later Mr. Furley -- thought he was gay, but his gayness was a straight guy parody of gay (this was the 1970s and early 80s after all). I am not talking about that part of him but rather his overall comedic effect. I can't explain it.

Oh, yes, I'm finally starting on my book "From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest", but I started backwards and read the part on Sartre and existentialism and the author basically says it is a empty philosophy offering no guidance and based on conflicted premises ...

Regulus said...

For some weird reason, the comment number counter on this entry is off by one.

krzysztof said...

Is that the book you had autographed by the author a few years ago?
Yeah but still Sartre made some interesting points about the immobilizing and terrifying nature of "the gaze of the Other". An Argentine writer, E. Sabato suggested that this derives from the simple fact that Sartre was extremely shortsighted (not to mention butt ugly) and quite literally frightened by people looking at him.

An old Polish intelectual (don't remember who) reminisced once about an evening in the 60s when Sartre and Simone de Bouvoir entered one of the bohemian Warsaw cafes where intelectuals used to gather. de Bouvoir entered first followed by Sartre and someone shouted: "Look, the existence precedes the essence". Something like that passed as a hilarious joke among those strange people.

Simone de Bouvoir was interesting though with her famous "No one is born a woman" from "The other gender" which was basically an aplication of existentialist framework to social studies.

About the numbering: when I posted my 1st comment this morning it took about a minute to appear which doesn't normally happen. Right now it says '3 Comments' which is correct

Regulus said...

Fascinating stuff about Sartre. And that long ago joke about the existence preceding the essence is actually funny.

Yes, this is the book my the retired (and now possibly deceased) George Washington University philosophy professor T.Z. Lavine. The "T" stands for "Thelma." She had a show of same "From Socrates to Sartre" on PBS -- produced by Maryland Public TV back when it was still good -- in the late 1970s. I recall first seeing an episode of it when I was deathly ill in Feb. 2000 with that gum infection. It was a strange EXISTENTIAL juxtaposition of deep philosophical inquiry as I lay (lie?) there in bed nearly dying in agony, my face disfigured by the gum infection / abscess.

Yes, I actually got her to autograph my previous copy of this book in April 2004 -- and I sent it as part of that present in Feb. 2005 -- to Mr. Sirius.

Sigh.

I had called her up (she was in the phone book and living in Georgetown) and said it was OK if I came by, but when I did, a rude, black woman who must have been her caregiver would not let me speak to her and instead just took the book and and she autographed it and then the rude, black woman caregiver sort of threw it at me and slammed the door.

That was my encounter with greatness. Typical.

I'm not really doing her full argument justice but I think you'd really love her book.

As for the comment counter, no baby, it's still one behind. This is the 5th comment and it is showing up on the main page as "4." Something was screwy when you posted the first comment.

I blame Mike G.

Just kidding.

krzysztof said...

YES! it is off on the main page, I noticed that just now. I immediately thought Mike G was to blame. Ha ha ha,

Why did you send an autographed copy of your favorite book to Mr. Sirius? It's beyond me. I guess much like the comment counter your whole mindset was slightly off back then. :-)

Speaking of sending stuff. Per my request my uncle has obtained a copy of my criminal record from Poland (needed for immighrant visa). My mom put it in the mail for me yesterday. She said it's about 150 pages, fine print.

Just kidding.

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

i thought i should interject some validity to the whole counter-gate...

and i do apologize! booyah!

Regulus said...

The counter is suddenly correct. Thank you for fixing it, Mike.

Kristof -- 150 pages fine print? That's about right.

OF COURSE I was in a slightly off frame of mind when it came to Mr. Sirius and sending him books and a glass paperweight.

krzysztof said...

About the police report. It's not funny. It has to be translated. I don't even know how to say "engaged in 7(c) with a minor" in English:-)

krzysztof said...

Also I misspelled 'Beauvoir' twice which is unacceptable. Sorry Simone!

Regulus said...

150 pages? I'm sure you're joking.

And Ms. Beauvoir will forgive you. She already has.

I really wish I could talk to you on the phone but that would cost, like, thousands of dollars with my stupid cellphone plan.

krzysztof said...

I can call you some time. For me it's 5p/min to the US and Poland. Interestingly enough it seems to be more expensive to call Pawel in the UK. I need a different mobile plan I guess. I call D regularly. The question is would YOU be charged for an incoming call?

Of course I'm joking about the 150 pages.

Regulus said...

I got your email, sweetie -- that was quite a message. And it sounds like things are going well and that the immigration process is moving forward. I responded to you. I included who I think you should ask that question to (I mean "to whom you should direct that inquiry").

Concerning RECEIVING an international phone call, that's a good question. I'm not sure and I should find out.

Glad you received an A-OK bill of clean legal / criminal record health. Good thing you got all that other stuff expunged -- ha ha. Just kidding.

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krzysztof said...

Wow, look at what the robot above wrote! That's what you get for writing too much about money on the blog.

At least it's not the usual retired general from Nigeria. lol

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hey, krzysztof!

don't diss the fine nigerian scammers - they offer usually no lessthan 50 gazillion tugriks!

regulus,

check out skype.com - for talking with kris. it's free.

btw, i started contacting kevin on facebook...