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Juanita Lunchbucket blues, part deux

francisco-jose-de-goya-y-lucientes-execution-of-the-rebels-25371

Francisco Goya, Execution of the Rebels - How much can we take?

For those that are going through lay-offs, job cutbacks, you have a friend.  I’m in the same struggle as you.  This is an extremely personal post, if you don’t wanna read, keep moving to the other great posts.

Remember when I got laid off, thanks to the October bailout & stock market collapse?

It happened again – yesterday in fact, and today was my last day.  Not just me, the entire staff except for the the owners (this was a small business).  I was working PT, while also doing an online course for state certification in a supposedly recession-proof industry, working at this small business and making minimum wage salary plus commission.  But in order to make that commission, you need a state license to do that.  It’s an insurance office that specializes in Medicare Advantage plans (Part A & B – plus D = Part C, aka Medicare Advantage Plan)  It rolls up Medicare (Federal), prescription coverage (Part D) all into one.  And if you’re of lower income, it rolls up your Medicaid too.

Mind you, I am a “creative classer” – aka, marketing/advertising/media professional.  I’ve been freelancing for about 6 years, with some concentration on the Health Insurance industry (I have other “concentrations,” but I won’t get into that now) and up until late 2006, I was doing really good.   I could pay my bills & do what I need to do for the FAMILIA (Puma Cub & Grandma Puma).  I even got to volunteer for Puma Cub’s school teams & activities.  Something a single working mom can’t do.

Well after the October 2008 fiasco – I started PT-ing just to try to cover basic necessities (my nest egg flew the coop),  hoping things would kick up and get better after the election.  Then I got sick.  Here I am, needing insurance- mind you, and I’m helping people worse off than me (disabled & seniors who need food stamps, lower co-pays for their doctors & medications),  to get something back for all the years they’ve busted their ass for in their working years.  Despite my illness, I kept working because I had to, giving my all and learning the trade that could be paying the bills for a while.

Not anymore.  Everyone from the cleaning lady, bookkeeper, receptionists, everyone – GONE.  Just like that.   Medicare cut back on the payments made to sub-contractors (private insurance companies and subsequently, independent agencies) which in turn, had to cut back personnel or absorb the cut until things balance out with the stock market.  The owners decided to cut personnel, aka, me and everybody else.

So what to do?  I can’t push for more child support – ex-hubbie is miraculously cooperating lately (which he wasn’t for 9 of 11 Puma Cub’s years) but it’s not enough.   During my 3 month PT, I’ve helped seniors & disabled people get the most out of their hard-earned working years, (which what the gov’t and their insurance company SHOULD DO since they are being PAID by the Federal Gov’t to do for them when Bush Privatized Medicare),  get the most out of their Medicare.  After learning exactly how much money goes into each recipient of Medicare, how much the state gives for low income cases, I KNOW UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE IS A POSSIBILITY in the United States.  But that’s another post to be written.  I’ve been a passionate advocate of this, BTW…but you all know this… moving on:

For the first time in my working single mom life, today I applied for Food Stamps & Medicaid- because for the first time, I have no other alternative.

I cried my eyes out while doing it.  I’m from a strong Amazonian stock of proud working immigrant people who never asked anything from anyone except to work & give the best we got for a living wage, but what else I am going to do?

I have a kid to support and a disabled senior under my care.  Under more normal economic circumstances, I would have a little $ put aside for a couple of months and hustle for that next gig – which always came through (thank God/Goddess).  But there’s no more bustle in the hustle.  There’s no money to hire a person like me.  There’s hardly any opportunities in Tampa for my skill set – and most of the money I’ve made in the past 5 yrs has been through NY, DC, CA projects that I get through my marketing network – who are suffering just like me.  Hell, even Checkers is on a waiting list.

So to all the O-bots that bullied, cheated and pushed their way to elect a MFer that doesn’t know shit about nothing – FUCK YOU.  We had that person that can save this economy – that can give both domestic and foreign investors 10 BILLION times more confidence in investing in domestic industry and services to pump back the stock market.

We could have had that leader who had the plan to undo the damage – SHE had the Solutions for America, for the invisible fuckers like me and the millions that are getting laid off and fucked up the ass thanks to Bush 2.0 just so you can expiate your nascent liberalism, while the rest of us BEEN fighting for the rights of everyone here in the US for decades while your asses were being wiped  and powdered by your moms or nannies.

BUT NO.  You had to have your fucking President Obama, come hell or high water.   Guess what – I ain’t seen a damn change, except for the worse.

In the meantime, I have HOPE, not in the mass merchandised Obama kind, but that whatever protects me, Flying Spaghetti Monsters, Yahweh (MadamaB, the Bat-Mitzvah is on!), Santeria Goddesses, Ancestral Spirits, that my world turns back to the ordinary and simple kind where I work and I am paid what my work is worth.  Where I can buy my Puma Cub that extra treat due to a good report card (she wants to be a scientist!) and put some away for her college education, where I can send my mom on a well deserved vacation once a year to Dominican Republic to be in her hometown where she was born during the colder winter months so her arthritis doesn’t fold her in half due to the pain.  Where I can make a living and have that satisfaction of participating in this great nation that opened its arms to my parents.

Here’s a song I heard this morning on my way to be laid off.   I’ve always been a Duranie since Planet Earth.  Normally Simon Le Bon is not making any kind of sense except in a sexy kind, but this hit home today- and I cried my eyes out.

What is happening to me crazy some would say
Where is the life that I recognize, gone away

And I won’t cry for yesterday, there’s an ordinary world somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way to the ordinary world I will learn to survive

We all have to learn to survive while we strive for that Ordinary World we once had.

UPDATE: NEW LINK FOR VIDEO

109 Responses

  1. {{{SM}}} Oh, Honey — I’m so sorry. But, what a wonderful post. I can hear your clear strong voice with every word.

    I’m so glad you’re back.

    xxoo ♥

  2. SM: I’m so sorry. 😦
    Even someone as miraculous as Obama is going to need time to sort things out. In the meantime, have you looked on
    Craigslist for work? How about applying for a job at the
    State department? (it could happen). Think out or the box. And tell the PUMA cub to study hard. It is worth it.

  3. I’m telling you, the State Department! I actually went to the site today to see what kind of work they offered, but there’s no specifics. I’d love to work for Hillary!

  4. i feel ya sm. 😦

    reading this didn’t help.

    I have been cranky, real cranky and short tempered and not myself. no excuse, i feel bad about it.

    sorry to anyone.

    see ya all later.

  5. RD: Tell Hillary to call me!!!!!!!!!!! (LOL!!!!))

    PUMA cub wants to be an Earth Sciences Scientist – since 4, geology, meteorology – you name it, as long as it’s formed naturally. Trying very hard to get her into an Earth Sciences Magnet School in FL – it’s by lottery system. – We’ll see in a few months.

    To all – thank you – I’M F____CKING PISSED at this so-called Change assed-ness.

    WHERE’s THE F__CKING CHANGE???

  6. I am truly sorry to hear that you and all your co-workers were let go today, no warning, nothing. I am also sorry that you cired your eyes out for applying for “aid” aka, food stamps & medicaid – please do not cry nor feel ashamed — you paid into that all these years while you were working – and making a contribution. It is yours for the taking. Maybe tomorrow, Obama will begin to focus his attention away from freeing terrorists and the salarys of whitehouse staff…..and start doing something to help people like you and me……the working class – that have been propping up folks like him for decades!

  7. SM77
    You have my e-mail.
    Let me know what I can help you with.
    It may not be much but I will do the best I can.
    May I suggest the transportation field. A lot of people do no think of the buses or trains when looking for work.
    There are many things beside driving that are involved.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  8. I am sorry and mad after hearing what you’ve gone thru. I have bad memories myself of earlier times when I got laid off and had few resources. But now the market for those pay-the-rent type jobs is so slim.

    Just curious — what recession-proof/resistant field are you studying in now?

  9. I am so sorry to hear this SM.

    I know how hard it is to have to go to the one place where you never thought you would have to go for help!

    I know that hope does not pay the bills…I stated on another thread that I tried cashing that check long ago..but hang in there. You have many of us here that share your anger and story. I will offer a prayer to the “Great Spirit Usen” for you and yours.

  10. SM I’m a creative classer like you, and my work has dried up, too. I usually just lurk here but I wanted to pipe up and tell you to check out a place where i’m trying to extend my own networking – elance . com – it’s a site where you can bid on projects people need done allover the country. some projects are a bit below going rate, but it’s definitely something. i just joined so i don’t have firsthand experience to share, but a friend of mine has had great luck on it, and i’m expecting to have good luck too, and hoping you will too!

  11. I know only too well how you feel and how hopeless everything must seem right now, [my daughter was 5 years old when I got laid off, and I was a single parent] but I can tell you, from my own experience, someday you will look back on this day and be grateful for a new start…a new beginning. You have to get up every morning now, look in the mirror, and see the talented, beautiful person looking back at you. Then, you have to believe in that talented, beautiful person, and know she has what it takes to survive this and anything else life will throw at her. And…you have to believe there is something you will be doing the future that is more important and more fulfilling than what you previously did. Love will find a way, and you are a person of great compassion and empathy for your fellow man/woman. That love will manifest itself in a new direction just as it did the day your little PUMA cub was born. You have many good friends here who will support you in anything you decide to do. Meditate, seek the answer in the world around you, and delve into your spiritual senses and see what they tell you. The answer is there; seek it, and you will find it. Write a new chapter in your book of life and see the possibilities that await you. Let this be a new beginning! Yesterday is gone; tomorrow new ideas, thoughts, and feelings await for you to experience. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you begin your new journey. May whatever comforts you assist you in finding your way; your daughter is your motivation…show her how it’s done!

  12. {{sm}} this sucks.

    I’m going for a bit too. Hang in there, sm!! (I’ll light my candle for you).

  13. Damn it, SM. I am so sorry. You have had a lot to deal with these last few months. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about Hillary and your dream ofher health care plan. In CA there has been a freeze on tax refunds, medicare payments and school grants. Public servants will be next and that will include by diabetic, teacher partner of 24 years. You know we were evicted and now have to pay $900.00 per month in rest. We had hoped for her to retire in 3 years but now our retirement funds have lost 40% of their value. We need to stick together. Perhaps a big commune would be nice.

  14. My sincerest sympathies. I am in a similar situation.

    It’s a very tough world out there, and every day more people will lose their jobs.

    It’s so hard to keep strong, but that’s what we have to do.

  15. I’m sorry about what you’re going through SM. It’s hard as hell out there and the invisible people got screwed but good. Sometime soon my ma is supposed to find out if she’ll have her PT job in the next term. She needs it pretty bad but it doesn’t make her happy.

    This is our trial, SM. All we can do is endure. There is NO shame in asking for the help you need. My mom and I were on them when I was in kindegarten. She used to make me lunch when we made “too much” to afford free lunch and we couldn’t swing it. She’d give me cold weinies and bread. It wasn’t glamorous but it was what we had. We got through that–though, I think we’re on a backslide, we’ll get through this. So will you. You are an amazing chica and I’m so proud to call you my sister. Keep your chin up. If you can’t, I’ll hold it up for youl

  16. Hang in there SM. You are a great person with so much to offer the world. Sometimes it is hard for people who are used to helping and caretaking to allow themselves to be on the receiving end, too.

    Also to other seekers and people struggling right now like taggles, pumalina and arabella – I believe in you guys and I can see your worth definitely. Never doubt yourselves.

  17. So sorry SM. I wanted to send you a little cash thru the paypal button on your Liberalcrat site, but the debit card I use for Paypal has expired and I’m waiting for its replacement to arrive by post….

    Economic insecurity is so hard in times like these- particularly with two people depending on you.
    Just remember that you are a very talented person, with excellent intuition.

    Have you ever thought of working with the elderly? That’s a futureproof profession.

  18. Hey not to go off topic but the previous thread is consistently crashing my browser, just when I want to write in my support for afrocity and for the multiplicity of viewpoints that I read here.

    Heaven knows I went independent this year and I like it – I like thinking previously unthinkable things and reading previously unthinkable publications.

    Have a good weekend everybody.

  19. sm77: I am so sorry to hear about this. However, do not be embarrassed or ashamed to sign up for food stamps, medicaid or whatever else you are eligible for. That’s what the programs are there for. Have you tried looking for anything with the feds?

    http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/

    I know the big Air Force base is there in Tampa but I don’t know about other agencies. I do know that a lot of agencies need employees who are bi-lingual.

  20. SM: You have e mail.

  21. I was unemployed for several years with my son young. It was so hard. I couldn’t even move to find work because that was just too expensive.

  22. Thanks Perries.

    SM,

    I am sorry to hear about this and you are in my thoughts.
    I get paid monthly so I am in between paychecks now but if you need something I will have $$$ at the end of the month and can help out then.

  23. Obie signed the E.O. (while hiding in his office)

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday quietly ended the Bush administration’s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option. Liberal groups welcomed the decision, while abortion rights foes criticized the president.

    Known as the “Mexico City policy,” the ban has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.

    A White House spokesman, Bill Burton, said Obama signed an executive order on the ban, without coverage by the media, late Friday afternoon. That was in contrast to the midday signings with fanfare of executive orders on other subjects earlier in the week.

  24. I was raised on welfare. There I said it.

    My mother frankly had a problem with depression and was lazy (God bless her). We were on food stamps so long that I thought money came in the colors purple, blue and brown. We would go to churches and get food baskets that had expired can goods in them and stale dried Popeye chicken (extra spicy).

    There is nothing inherently wrong with welfare and I have no problem with it. I just saw so many people in my black community that expected it. God knows if my mom who sat and watched “As the World Turns” while I worked my paper route could be on welfare, people who are laid off during this pathetic economy should have unemployment extended.

  25. Gotta run for a bit; catch y’all later.

  26. I’m so sorry, SM and wish I could help, but I’ve been in your boat so long I should be commissioned as captain. But, hang in there, you’re in my prayers, I only wish I could do more.

  27. Thank you for giving those assholes the big FUCK YOU!!! I’ve felt like doing that for awhile. Those ignorant fools who elected this fraud, I will never forgive them, they just don’t think they’ll be going down with the rest of us, that’s how stupid they really are.
    Sit around on your fat asses and wait for the welfare check from Obama that will never come!

  28. SM, my heart goes out to you.

    We had a massive layoff at my company a month ago. Right before the holidays they let a third of the staff go. The rest of us, the lucky ones, got pay cuts instead of pink slips. I’ve worked here for going on 18 years, so I’ve seen them through some tough times and we’ve never had a cut like this last one. (And we’re in the supposedly recession-proof DC metro area.) I feel for you and understand the pain you’re going through. It’s a terrible blow. But Fredster is right. Don’t be ashamed to file for assistance. That’s what it’s there for. You’ve paid your share in taxes all these years. It’s okay to get some back.

  29. I was raised on welfare

    That’s nothing. I was a welfare mother

  30. Me too taggles, I’ve been pissy all week. And seeing Rick Warren’s ugly mug all over the news has made me even crankier.

  31. Exactly what gmx17 said. You have paid into the system all of these years. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it., As you live in the Tampa area, try the Seminole casino. They have not yet run out of money. Also, go to workforce One and see what benefits you can get, including retraining. Bless your heart.

  32. myiq,

    That went over my head for a sec. You are a single father?

  33. Gawd, I know how you feel. It sucks where I am, too. Husband in danger of losing pension due to Union investing it with Madoff and now I am hearing words of woe from my part time employer. I am scared to death. There goes my self paid health insurance, which is actually the least of my worries. I am trying to figure out what kind of self-employed business I can start in this economy to keep me afloat.

    Not looking for sympathy, just wanted to let you know you are not alone.

  34. SM- I am so sorry for you I have been there when my company picked up stakes and left town….

    I am planning to be in Tampa weekend for 13-15 February I would consider it an honor to take you and puma cub and grandma puma out to lunch or something. My trip if for the Gasprilla LGBT Softball Tourney.

    You have done so much for us all here -hell there would have never been a PUMA with out you!

    I really wanted to lay into her most royal Hynie-ness Donna Brazillenut but darn missed that thread if RD coud do A Lets Diss Donna part Duex I would so love it!

    Let me know what I can do….

  35. People must be becoming more aware of the jobs problem.
    On my Dogpile Home page there is a link to resume tips.
    There seems to be many websites just about this.
    Good luck to all of you looking for work. May you find better than what you had.
    As I mentioned before do not overlook the transportation field.
    Most cities have public transportation and there are all kinds of skills needed.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  36. My kids are all grown now but there was a time when I was an unemployed single, custodial father.

  37. Sorry sm. (:

  38. sm77 – Thanks for writing this. I, too, grew up on food stamps and was mightily embarassed but well fed. My siblings and I all went on and became contributing members of our country so the welfare was worth it.

    I agree with RD – off to the State Dept with your talents!

  39. Thank you to ALL….

    I already got what I wanted – a chance to SAY and speak what millions of Americans are living at this very moment.

    I know that the Great Universe Mother will find her way to my humble home and bring her blessings (not gov’t related), as SHE has always done in the past.

    ( I’m channeling the great FUZZYBEAR in this comment!)

    I just needed to vent – and THANK YOU to Riverdaughter (Ochun’s daughter) for this space, so people like me won’t feel like they are going through this economic crisis alone.

    WE WILL PREVAIL – we are PUMAs, we snap necks & grizzly bears turn around whence they came.

  40. I remember momma…and cheese

  41. Afrocity, we are the “working poor” who get up each day and revel in our faith that today will be different. If we venture out to make our fortune, something could come of it. OK, most days it doesn’t. Change resume format to one built around all the skills acquired. Deliver papers, work nights at a security job, take temporary assignments, whatever…in your own mind, it’s most important that as long as there was work to be done, you were on it. Never look back regretful that you might have done more. While the dream of retiring is not realistic, the surreal ungodliness of what’s happening tells me that something else is about to happen. Keep your head up.

  42. Oh on the side Oil companies need to be nationalized they are supposed to perpetuate a free market but look instead of competing with each other to steal each others market share ….

    They have colluded to reduce production of gasoline diesel fuel and home heationg oil to keep the retail price up even while the cost for raw crude continues to decline.

    This is criminal….they claim that the refinery margins have disappeared but what they have done is shift their profit from the refinery side of the busines to the production side of the business…..

    this just sucks…who is in the pockets of Big Oil-oh yeah that Hopey Changey Pampers guy!

    WE F’ckin’ Told You So!

  43. I love afrociry’s pic I am a gay guy and all I can say is what a beautiful woman!

    Oh and for the Obot slow starters-

    She is real smart too!

  44. I just want to echo what many others have said about there being nothing to be ashamed about for signing up for Medicaid and food stamps. That is exacty what the social safety net is there for, to help people who are going through a bad time. (I think the safety net should be bigger and involve a lot less paperwork, actually). Not only have you already paid into the system for yourself and family already, but ‘the system’ gets its money back later on when things pick up for you (and they will pick up).

    I just hope there is a hell where the fire burns hot enough to punish all the *ssh*les who got us into this mess.

  45. Thanks fuzzy (darn all the goods one are either taken by Angie or gay 🙂 )

  46. government cheese? I hated waiting in line for that stuff as much as I hated eating it. 🙂

  47. SM,

    There are jobs for taking the census that pay pretty well. $22. Check out these links:

    http://www.wisebread.com/need-a-job-apply-to-become-a-census-enumerator

    The Census Bureau produces an important set of demographics data about the United States every ten years. The 2010 Census is coming up soon and the Bureau is hiring thousands of temporary workers to help with data gathering. The recruitment starts now.

    The Bureau has set up a great website detailing the recruitment effort for Census enumerators. The Census enumerators are meant to go out into their communities and confirm the addresses of almost everyone. The pay is quite good and varies by the geographic location. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area the pay starts at $22.00 an hour.

  48. Valhalla,

    I did not mean to seem ashamed. I think my tone stems more so from my mother’s apathy towards doing better, 70% in my community were on it.

    My diet consisted of beanie weenies and powdered milk. Pork Chops-Black man’s steak. It made me stronger and a better woman in some ways.

  49. Not to insult farmers, I’m sure some of that cheese is tasty…just never my portion. 🙂

  50. Seriously, the cheese stands alone.

  51. Afrocity – I just saw your new picture under the recent comments section. Great shot!

    Could you go teach Michelle about fashion please?

  52. I was homeless too. For a year. It sucked but the food in the shelter was a helluva lot better than the food I was not getting at home. It was the 1980’s. Mom told me that it was Regan’s fault that we were in the shelter because he wanted blacks to suffer in order to make America what it used to be (i.e. whites only). There were times when I felt that this did not happen to whites but I was surprised when the shelter was full of whites and latinos. All women. All single mothers. Some beaten, thrown out by their families.

    This is what I mean by women empowering women. My mom’s self esteem was beat down by a man. She let it happen. She was smart but she gave up on herself as so many women in the AA communities of Chicago did.

  53. If you don’t like the cheese, you never had the peanut butter. Or the peanut oil it was packed in.

  54. From the office of the Executive Assistant to the The Creator Father-Mother God/dess:

    Dear Faithful,

    The Ceeator Father-Mother God/dess answers all prayers….but we seem to be backed up because she/he has to sort through all the O-bot rubbish that is mixed in with those in real need….

    Seems the Creator has a multitude of prayers of relief from some undisclosed location in a tunnel under DC that are hanging over from tuesday night….what a bunch of whiners.

    I mean against her/his better judgement she/he answered the prayers of these idiots and let this tool be ellected just to get them to shut up.

    Well we have learned a valuable lesson if you give whiney brats what they ask for they never shut up. We appologize for the mistake and promise it will never happen again.

    The Creator Father-Mother God/dess is currently thinking of excersizing her/his nuclear option of calling the Pampers in Chief home or caling home all of his followers.

    I promise once we clear all thes “let him be the bestest prezzy evah prayers out of the way will will make the PUMA request top priority.

    thank you for your continued petitions,

    Very sincerely,

    Archangel Artimies/Apollo di Santa Evita
    Executive Assistant extra-ordinary to the The Creator Father-Mother God/dess

  55. Thanks scrubs,
    fuzzy that is funny

  56. ok now you know what a form letter from G-D would look like…..

    actually a letter from one of the heavenly minions…

    if you think that was bad you should have seen the one Pampers got….

    Artimies/Apollo di Santa Evita holds the keys to the executive heavenly wash room and is not one to be triffled with…

  57. I bet Pampers has cigarettes hidden in his executive bathroom.

  58. oh in the pic Afrocity is that your little baby she/he is beautiful….I can see love for you in kitty’s eyes!

  59. It’s inspiring to read the survival stories! The hardest part is the mental battle – Never get so depressed that you give up.

    And remember nothing lasts forever – not bad times and not good times.

  60. Artimies/Apollo di Santa Evita-does not allow ciggarettes in heaven….strict policy…when he is called home Pampers will have to get used to the eternal nic-fits or he can always take spot in the “boiler room” smoking is away permitted there!

    In fact Old scratch insists that all the fallen smoke…

  61. My Persian kitty, l named her Shelly Wallenstein. I love my fluffy fuzzy feline.

  62. I read that Obama was NOT ready from day one. Some staffers did not have passwords for their computers. Signs were missing or misspelled. Obama is having a problem adjusting to the custom that the President uses a new pen to sign each document.

    That last one cracks me up. He has to be up to more than a pack a day by now.

  63. Arabella a pack of pens or a pack of unfiltered lucky strikes a day?

  64. Arabella,

    Everytime I pay for groceries I say a prayer. They just tore down the homeless shelter that mom and I stayed in. It was bittersweet. I can’t look at a block of cheese without thinking of those days. Or that Saturday Cartoon commercial “Hanker for a Hunk of cheese”

  65. fuzzybeargville, on January 23rd, 2009 at 6:15 pm Said:

    Oh on the side Oil companies need to be nationalized they are supposed to perpetuate a free market but look instead of competing with each other to steal each others market share …
    **************
    There is no competition at all….Do you notice that all of the gas stations change their prices at the same time and the same amount. Before Bush, it was called price fixing.

  66. Every time I pay for groceries I say a prayer. They just tore down the homeless shelter that mom and I stayed in. It was bittersweet.

    I can’t look at a block of cheese without thinking of those days. Or that Saturday Cartoon commercial “Hanker for a Hunk of cheese”

  67. I’ll bet they are going to redecorate the Rose Garden to look like a wall in front of a high school. Make it look like the place where the smokers hang out.

    When I was in High School, the tough Italian girls would take over the bathrooms to smoke. They scared me so much I couldn’t pee!

  68. I keep posting something that never posts.

  69. I have cats, too! Hopefully the links will work. I submitted them for the humane society photo contest. So, vote for my cats!

    This is my Himalayan Harold.

    Vote for Harold

    This is my orange tabby cat, Buddy.

    Vote for Buddy

  70. fuzzybear – haha! They are forcing Obama to use a different pen each time. No exceptions allowed.

    I’ll bet the “new pen for each signature” rule is annoying Obama more that “no smokin’ in the White House” rule.

    So, I think he is up to one and a half packs of Newports. Actually, I heard his brand is Newports in a box.

  71. afrocity – How in the world did you grow up to be such a wonderful person.

  72. Arabella,

    My mom was a good person and despite her feeling sorry for herself she taught me to keep my legs closed and the books open. She said that education was a girls first best friend, then diamonds.

  73. I really love the company here. Other blogs I lurk at are just rahrahing Obama and falling for the PR tricks.

    As each day passes more and more regulars report loosing their jobs. Some of these sites are full of college + educated creative types who laugh at the common folk clinging to guns and religion.
    But but this wasn’t supposed to happen to people like me …

  74. SM, I’m so sorry. I wish I knew someone in FL to help. If there is a public hospital (university or county maybe) they might have a financial assistance dept that you could have just the right kind of experience for. Where I work (IL) we have a department that uses people who work getting others the kind of financial help or to get on state and fed. assistance.
    I wish I could help.

  75. afrocity smart mom all mine said was get jewelry always get jewelry….

    I should have listened

  76. SM, that State Department idea is a GREAT idea. My mom worked for the State Department — she spent 2 years at the Embassy in Lisbon. I definitely think you should go for that!

  77. Do you really think that someone on the WH staff would stop Obama from smoking in the living quarters or in the “O” val office?? Peaches was a closet smoker as well, I’m sure that there are WH enablers. He will leave in 4 years (crossing my fingers and saying a quick Hail Mary) with more of a nicotine addiction than he has now.

  78. oh the pampers in chief announced:

    “two bottles in every crib and a rattle in every pram/carriage”

  79. Afrocity – My momma gave me the same advice, but she said it in Lithuanian white woman speak. I come from a Catholic family (Irish dad.) Nine kids.

    My mom told her daughters to value themselves, be able to support themselves, and only date guys who repect women. And school comes first!

    Thanks goodness for the wise mothers.

  80. hey maybe that is what Artimies/Apollo di Santa Evita meant bvy the Creator father mother god/dess excersizing her/his nuclear option on Pampers in Chief he could smoke himself out of exsistence!

    If he does die in office due to a new “Lady Liberty Curse” (which will kill every male ellected to that office in an even numbered year until a woman serves) then dont expect me to attend his funeral….

    I will want to take a sixer up to his grave and piss on his grave!

  81. sm77

    Sorry about your situation at this time.
    There is no shame in finding a way to feed your PUMA cub,
    just think how much you love that child and that you are protecting her and that she knows you are there for her. I like a phrase Sara Palin said when she was campaigning for Governor of Alaska: ” I will work for you and care for you like a Nanook protects its cub”. That is what you’re doing for the apple of your eye (your baby) right now, even if it takes Food Stamps. I would do the same thing.

    Be proud, keep your head up, we all have been through rough
    times at one point or another in our lives. The main thing is to
    keep trying to get out of it, as you are doing.

    We’ll keep an eye.

    A fellow PUMA,

    Amazonia

  82. Obama will wind up smelling like an ashtry, so people will know he smokes.

  83. Amazonia: Thank you for reminding me why I love Sarah Palin. In times like this, that’s how we are going to have to look after each other. Anything we can do for you, SM, consider it done.

  84. SM — I forgot to tell you before — and don’t you DARE cry or be embarrassed about the food stamps — you hold your head HIGH — you put money into that system too with your taxes & that is what it is there for — to help out during hard times. Got it? Good.

  85. sm

    I sure hope the universe has a big break in store for you.

    Hang in there.

  86. There are some bright spots here though that should not go unmentioned. afrocity and Regency to name just two. Both came up “the hard way” and managed to climb out of the despair that was visited upon them early in life.

    Each has managed to find a voice, secure a place, and aim higher than the provisions they first encountered. They may owe this to the women who raised them and offered them glimpses of life far and above what they endured in the beginning but they did it. And continue to do it.

    There is much to be said about facing adversity but what they found was the strength to fight back.

    Enough said.

  87. sm, as you know, you’re not alone. to me it helps a lot.
    I was divorced, years ago, after a seventeen
    year marriage to a leftie man, a math teacher,
    who thought money was bourgeois and superficial.
    I, on the other hand, loved beautiful things, and thought
    money was a good thing, though I was somewhat naive
    about how really essential it is. And I was also a Sixties
    hippie, so part of me thought he was right and my money
    love was shallow.
    I stopped work to stay home with kids, so I was
    dependent on him financially. (people still did
    that in early seventies)
    Surprise, surprise, once we separated my husband
    decided he really did love money.
    At least the money that should have gone to me and
    his kids. He learned real fast how to withhold his pension
    and more from me.
    Since then I’ve juggled and started businesses.
    Lots of times I didn’t think I’d survive.
    At times it was very good, other times very bad. I’ve lost
    everything, thinking it was all over (under Daddy Bush one),
    worked very hard to rebuild, and now in danger of losing it
    again.
    On the other hand, my obot BF, always conservative,
    saved everything, now has lost most of his big nest egg, too.
    So – ya really never know. It helps a lot to know there
    are others going through this. Helps with the ego, failure
    part.

    Also – check out Section 8 for rental assistance, Social
    Services for various programs. Most single moms around
    here get Sect. 8 help. And check state and county jobs.

  88. Okay, somebody just forwarded me this link:

    All I can say is: I’ll never wash the image out of my mind… I just want to know who’s the giver and who’s the taker of this “physical bonding.”

  89. Why is this happening again?! I’m trying to post and the post just disappears. It doesn’t say it’s in spammy… Is it in spammy or should I try again? (It contained a youtube link.)

  90. SM, I’ve been there and I feel for you. When I got laid off in 1992 in California, the letter I received was yes, you’ll get unemployment, but not until we have some money. IOU. I agree with Angie, hold your head high.

  91. I’ll try again…somebody’s eating my posts…

    Watch this:

    I want to know which of the two is the giver and who’s the taker. Is this more than we needed to know about BO and MO’s “physical bonding?”

  92. sm, your courage and talent are evident. I am so impressed that you shared your story.

    I have been subsisting well below the poverty level for a number of years. You are not alone. With your abilities, you will get beyond this. Take the help you can get now. You do and will continue to contribute to your family’s and the general welfare!

  93. Micki!! I voted 5x for each one.

  94. afrocity — I was aiming that towards sm, not you. She’s having a difficult time. You didn’t sound ashamed, you sounded like have a pretty savvy appraisal of what went on in your family and have dealt with it with grace and thoughtfulness.

  95. Social safety nets exist for a reason.

  96. sm77, please stay strong and stay connected. you have your Puma Cub, your big heart, your enormous talents, many friends. the things that define the material world aren’t real anymore. don’t lose a wink of sleep over perceptions or people who don’t matter. everyday that you find a way to endure and “keep going” will be a day that makes you a bit more amazing to yourself, to Puma Cub, to your frineds. i never liked duran duran, but that song cuts me to the core. you like goya, velasquez, el greco the tall one, just like you in spirit and stature. one day at a time.

  97. Micki, they are both gorgeous.

  98. SM: Just hang in there. You have no other choice, Puma Cub needs you. Cry every day if you need to; but try not to let Puma cub see you cry. They worry.

    I haven’t worked since last May and the outlook isn’t very good. My Puma Cub is 19, and that’s the only silver lining in my dark cloud. I’ve already done most of what I wanted to do for her. Although she has had to leave her private college in favor of a local, city college. She wasn’t particularly perturbed fortunately. Seems going away to school wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

    One of my friends found out in the rudest way that she was about to be laid off. Apparently she had put in for a personal day and when she called the HR dept. to find out if her supervisor had approved it, she was told by the H. R. person: actually you’re being let go, I’ve been meaning to call you. The last day of that week was her last day on the job.

    Many people have had rude shocks to their psyche. At least us PUMAs have somewhere we can vent and be understood. This too shall pass. Have faith in God or Godess or whom/whatever you believe in.

  99. This post speaks to the heart. I am training adults in medical billing and they range in age from 20-60. Where are the jobs and how much longer will I have mine? I am afraid for all of us.

    Working people are suffering and meanwhile the dems have become the party of bling and bullshit. I see no difference between the two parties and their contempt for taxpayers becomes more glaring and disheartening during these very difficult times.

  100. DYB, on January 23rd, 2009 at 7:40 pm Said:

    I’ll try again…somebody’s eating my posts…

    Awww geez..did you really have to do that D?

    I’m imagining it’s her with the long (and not opera) gloves on.

    😉

  101. I forgot about the cheese, peanut butter, and powdered milk (all things my mother still waits in line to get). I remember something they called canned meat. Refused to eat it.

    SM I hope it gets better very, very soon for you. We’re teetering here to. Everyone is laying off people: construction sites are empty, law firms are laying off, casinos are laying off, businesses are closing ~ 8 grocery stores shut down a few weeks ago.

  102. Thanks, Angie!!! The animals thank you for your support!

    And thanks to you, too, PumaInSeattle!

    🙂

  103. ((((((SM))))))

  104. SM, I suggest you look for a job in gerontology.

  105. Micki-Buddy is the spitting image of my cat!!

    SM plz keep us posted. If you can, do an unemployed diary. You know, where you have to go, what forms you have to fill in, how long you have to wait to get food stamps. What food stamps look like, what kind of food you get for them-can you get organic? How long the line is etc etc

  106. I appreciate your willingness to share your struggles and your anger, and I hope things turn around for you, fast.

  107. hey SM, I cancelled my subscriptions to the NY Times, the NewYorker, to Oprah and Time and Newsweek all last year. I read just the Confluence and a few other blogs – the writing here is worth a lot more, and not just in $$. I have my subscription money to spare….and yes, you deserve to make as much or more off your skills and your time than stupid O-bot journalists.

    Do you have a blog of her own or a paypal account where we can send something across?

  108. Chevalier-SM’s blog is liberalcrat- on the blogroll here

  109. You and your family are in my prayers. G-d bless you.

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