Money problems? Hire an accountant. Lonely? Flash your money and you'll find it hard not to go home with someone. Legal problems? Hire a lawyer. Hire twenty lawyers! Someone bothering you? Have them dragged off by your security force, put a 20 foot tall wall around your mansion, and have your lawyers get a restraining order or worse put against them. Are you trans and want to transition? Just buy the hormones you need, no waiting, no arguing with Medicare, no diagnosis needed: you're rich, you could buy the entire fucking company that makes the hormones!
Have dietary restrictions like can't eat onions or dairy products? Your fucking personal chef would be glad to make whatever the hell you want with alternative ingredients, even if they have to be air-lifted in from outer Mongolia. Having a depressive episode that makes you feel like not doing anything? No problem, your money makes money for you so you can sit around the house and do whatever the fuck you damn well please any goddamn time you want to, and nobody is going to give a shit. You're not going to lose your housing or starve to death or sit in darkness because your electricity is shut off, not even if you never do an honest day's work in your life. Calling poor people lazy is you projecting your own flaws onto other people, you self-important sack of crap!
“Rich people have problems too”? Well fuck you! “Rich people problems” are pesky annoying flies to be swatted, and you can buy an automated fly-swatting machine. Poor people problems are literally life or death. The problems of poor people cause unhealthy amounts of stress, health problems we can't afford to fix, depression, suicidal tendencies, and all kinds of other nasty shit. Don't tell me “money doesn't buy happiness” when I'm one fucking paycheck from homelessness or starvation, you entitled fuckers. Rich people will take or make any fucking excuse to ignore genuine problems and pretend their own problems are so important because what's a conscience? What's basic human decency? What is a soul? Is a soul something you can buy? If not, they're not interested.
(Yes, I know this post uses dated numbers, but I've been on disability for a few years and I wrote this without any Internet access.)
Go out and about among the people and say "I'll pay you $7 if you clean my toilet." I doubt anyone would take you up on that offer. So when they decline, ask them "You won't clean a single toilet for $7, but you're perfectly fine with companies paying people $7 per hour to clean lots of toilets? Not $7 per toilet, mind you, but $7 per hour. It's easy to clean, like, at least 4 toilets in an hour. If they were paid $7 per toilet, that would be $28 an hour, and yet they're paid only $7 to clean 4 toilets. That doesn't bother you?"
Because honestly, given how much $7 is worth these days... I can't remember the last time I spent less than $7 at a single grocery store trip. So really, an hour's worth of work is only worth the cost of a package of fried chicken at the grocery store? You can get cheap packages of shredded cheddar that cost more than what people are being paid to clean toilets for an hour! And this doesn't outrage everyone?
Oh and hey, guess what? $7 per hour (a rounding of Oregon's minimum wage back when I was working) was considered a HIGH minimum wage for the US. (It's going up to $9.25 in 2015) I think the federal minimum wage was like $5 or $6 per hour at the most, back then (only, like, 3 years ago). You can't even get a halfway decent hamburger at McDonald's for $5 anymore, for fuck's sake! So we're expecting people to clean toilets, or slave over a hot stove, or deal with asshole customers all day long, for the cost of a couple cheap McDonald's hamburgers every hour? You work an 8 hour day and what can you buy with the $40 you made that day? If you scrimp, if you buy the cheapest shit you can find, if you buy from the bulk aisle, if you eat a lot of rice and pasta and beans, you might - I repeat, MIGHT - be able to afford a few days' worth of groceries with that.
So people are expected to stand all day, run around doing things on their feet all day, cleaning up messes and being polite and helpful to assholes all day, for a few day's worth of groceries each day? $40 a day... I dunno about you, but to me that sounds like a modern anachronism, like those TV shows set in the 1950's where someone says "I'll give you a job for $40 a day," and someone goes "Golly gee, that's mighty generous of you, sir!" Back when $40 could probably have bought an entire car (not a good car, but still a car).
Well guess what? This isn't the 1950's, and $40 won't buy much of anything anymore. The dollar is the new penny, and the penny costs more to make than it's worth. The minimum wage should have been called The Living Wage, because at the time, it was designed to be enough that on a minimum wage job you could afford to buy a house, a car, and have kids. Now you're doing good if you can afford a crappy apartment and food for yourself on minimum wage, and even then you're probably on food stamps and getting donations of food from churches. If the minimum wage had gone up as much and as often as it was supposed to, it would be up to anywhere between $15 and $20 per hour by now. That is at least $8 more per hour than Oregon's minimum wage, and $10 more than the federal minimum wage.
Oh, and it gets worse: people who work in restaurants for tips get paid even less than the federal minimum wage for everyone else, because tips are considered part of their wage. And yet people tip so poorly that at the restaurant-in-a-casino I once worked for - a CASINO, where people go specifically to drop loads of cash - they had to implement a mandatory gratuity for large groups because those large groups, which should have been getting the waitresses upwards of $20 in tips, were doing good to get $9 in tips, and often far less.
In this country, we have gone from valuing the common worker who mops our floors and cleans our toilets so much that we wanted him to be able to buy a house, a car, and feed his kids without much problem, to valuing that same worker so little that they can only survive with government assistance, and even on that assistance, their kids are starving and going to shitty schools. And what's the excuse? "Trickle down economy." It's supposed to be crumbs that are trickling down, which is insulting enough, but we all know it's really piss that's trickling down on us all; and piss is a waste product.
And all the while, the rich line their pockets with absurdly high profits, CEOS get paid hundreds of millions of dollars a year, corporations get so many tax breaks that the government owes THEM money, and corporations are moving their money to overseas banks and their headquarters to foreign countries, all while buying their way into American politics. We can no longer pretend these people in these corporations give a shit about any of us. These corporations are American corporations in name only, and the wealthy assholes who work for them are American citizens in name only. We have basically become overrun by people and companies that have made themselves foreign enemies of state, but still see fit to buy their way into our politics. Look to the CEOs of places like McDonalds for the REAL terrorists!
So please, if you wouldn't even clean a single toilet for $7, talk to your representatives in the government and DEMAND they raise the minimum wage to at LEAST $15 per hour. If you aren't outraged by how low the minimum wage is, by the fact that places like Wal-Mart pay their employees so crappily that Wal-Mart is costing this country billions in food stamps and other assistance, then you are a puppet of terrorist corporations. If you aren't DEMANDING the minimum wage be raised, you are aiding and abetting terrorism.
If you're going to give to homeless people, don't give them food, give them money, or else let them pick out something from the store for you to get them. Because you don't know what they like, you don't know what food allergies they may have, and you don't know what someone else may have given them already. And they're probably going to be too polite to refuse your gift, even if it's something they can't possibly eat themselves.
Also, money lasts longer than food; if ten people give a person soup, they either have to eat all ten cups or bowls of soup themselves, or they'll just give the extra to someone else. If you give someone something they can't eat or won't eat because it tastes gross to them, they'll just be forced to give it to someone else. "Beggars can't be choosers" is such bullshit, and falsely implies that hunger will make anything edible. But people still have food allergies and personal tastes, and neither of these things is easily ignored.
Or at the very least, give them canned food, so it doesn't matter how long it takes them to get around to eating it. But even canned food isn't as good as money, because these people don't have a home, so where are they going to put the cans? Generosity and compassion are always appreciated, but should be tempered by thoughtfulness.
"They'll just use the money for booze/drugs!" You don't know that's true, so it's probably just an excuse you give to not help. But even if it is true, giving them money would help them get what they need - and if they're addicts, they do need their drug until they start to wean themselves from it, which helps prevent them from seeking out other means of getting what they need, such as by stealing. Desperate people turn to crime, so by giving a homeless person money, you are supporting their choice to stay away from crime.
So please, give what is asked for. If they ask for food, you can give food. But if they ask for money, give that. Give thoughtfully, please.
This woman (white, skinny, smoker, looked to be in her late 20's physically but her eyes said late 40's at least, comes up to the stop and asks when the bus will be there, as I was just then putting my phone down from checking. Fine, I don't mind simple queries from strangers, so I told her. Then she was like "Can I borrow your phone to make a phone call." Internally I'm derisively laughing, but externally I'm just like "No."
She offers to pay me 50 cents (oooooh, big fucking money!). I again say "No." At this point, the conversation is making me uncomfortable enough that words are getting difficult; thinking in words is getting difficult.
The woman then says "It'd be 50 cents more than you had before." Still, I said, "No." If I were more able to process words at that point, I would have explained why, but I couldn't.
She launches into some rambling thing about having had her phone stolen 17 times since Christmas, so I respond "Then you should understand better than anyone why I don't want to let you use my phone." She immediately starts backtracking by saying "Well some of them were just lost, not stolen." But this was the point where I decided to leave. I had been considering it anyway, since it would be 23 minutes til the bus came, so I just left without a word. I could hear her shouting undoubtably rude things to me, but if I was able to hear any of it, my brain was no longer processing the words, so it all sounded like Charlie Brown-esque "Wah wah wah" to me. I walked two or three stops down, a distance of maybe 10 or 15 blocks, before stopping, expecting to see her on the bus.
No, she wasn't on the bus when I got on. But she somehow had made it two more stops ahead of me, getting on there. I am certain it was the same worman; I may have partial face blindness but if my brain has reason to pay attention, it remembers faces at least for a few weeks after a single encounter. She didn't look at me, thankfully, or try to talk to me. Still, I wonder how she got so far ahead of me without me seeing her pass me. Unless she went down a side street and ran flat-out. But why?
Anyway, if I'd been able to gather my thoughts enough to be more verbal before leaving, I would have told her the following:
"First of all, lady, my general rule wherever I go is that if I don't know you, I don't trust you. Except for obvious exceptions, like employees of places, and even then it's only so far. If some random employee at Target wanted to borrow my phone, I'd still say No.
"Secondly, not only are you a stranger, you're a stranger on a dark night in a dodgy neighborhood, so even if you were offering $1000, I STILL wouldn't let you use my phone. If you had an emergency, *I* would call 911 for you. My phone stays on my person at all times except when I'm at home.
"Third, even if you were a close friend and wanted to borrow my phone, I would expect more than 50 piddling cents. Even my would-still-be-homeless-if-not-for-my-
"So basically, lady, if you need to make a phone call so badly, either find a payphone in the area or find one somewhere else, or find someone else gullible enough to fall for your obvious attempt at thievery. And anyway, even if I did give you my phone to use and you stole it, the joke would be on you because it's one of those free Assurance phones and is a barely-functional pile of rabbit pellets held together with yarn and faith."
*growls and shakes* Honestly, I have fucking trust issues and don't even fully trust my closest friends. I trust Amy, but when I let Amy use my phone, I hover over her waiting for it back.
Incidents like that make me wish I could fully switch to Alex without The Filter so he could sass her. I think if we could do that, there are interesting possibilities for the way the convo could have gone...
( Scenarios, long. )
Seriously... this is just one example of the many reasons I don't like people I don't know trying to chat me up outside of certain contexts. Basically, if I'm out and about, and I don't know you, I don't want to talk to you at all. I will grudgingly answer simple, inoffensive queries like the time or directions somewhere or when the bus will get to the stop, but beyond that I generally want you to shut your fucking trap because unless you genuinely compliment me on something I'm wearing, especially something unusual like my cloak or my pentacle, I pretty much have no reason to think you're anything other than just another boring, annoying mundane/non-geek.
Now, IF something you say reveals to me that you are a geek, a pagan/satanist/new ager/etc, a pagan, etc-friendly person, and/or a fellow weirdo in some way, or have useful advice for me regarding things to help ease my burden of being so poor, THEN I will at least listen, and MAY even contribute. I have been known to make new friends that way. But otherwise, I will assume you are another boring Normal and passively ignore you.
And obviously in some contexts it is reasonably safe for me to assume that you are safe to speak with, like if you show up to the pagan meetup, and/or are wearing a pentacle or somesuch yourself.
Yet if your behavior towards me is annoying, like the woman above or like that one idiotic extroverted Oedipus that one time months ago, and I have nothing else to judge you by, then I will file you under either "actively ignore the annoyance" or "worthy of naught but contempt."
I have had enough experiences with horrible people in my lifetime to give everyone in the world at least one, so I don't need any more. Understandably, I am very picky about who I give my time and attention to.
Man, my life would be very different if Alex could take over at times like that, unencumbered by The Filter. And my life would have been very different if Alex had existed when I was a child, before The Filter even developed. *wistful sigh*
( Pictures under cut )
Others that are cool.
And these for spring and autumn wear:
( More dresses under the cut )
( More dresses )
I also want enough armored rings to have one on each finger. I have wanted at least one of these for 15 years! Preferably the kinds with a clawed end.
And bubblegum-pink hair. I keep meaning to do that, but I keep putting it off.
Lately, I've been thinking about super-powers and have been feeling that while I would love to be a shapeshifter or be able to be in more than one place at a time, I would settle for the ability to create clothing of any style, color, and substance by magic. Then I'd use that power to fill my wardrobe full of all kinds of unusual clothing!
Hell, if I even had one bit of "garb" as it's called, that was nice. But the one dress I do have, is in need of repair (if it's even possible).
I put $11 into the account, and that should have been the end of it. But apparently I didn't do that until the end of the one-week grace period during which they'd waived the $36 overdraft fee, so they hit me with another overdraft fee and thus was still $17 in the hole. (I have never understood overdraft fees; it is absurd to charge someone that much money for not having any money in their account. Maybe a $10 fee every time it overdraws [excepting the fee charge], but $36 is an obscene amount for an overdraft fee!) So I borrowed $20 from Brooke to get in the positive again before they hit me again, and got back a receipt telling me I was $2 positive.
That should have been the end of it. And technically it was, but last night I got a piece of mail from my bank saying I was $28 in the hole. Since my account had never, at any point in this thing, been exactly $28 in the hole, I had to get Shao-Kehn's help to escape a panic attack, because I was convinced this meant that they'd hit me with some other damned fee, even though I had put the $20 in less than three days after putting in the $11.
Went to the bank today at about noon, because the night before I'd been so tired I went to sleep about 1 am. (From having gotten very little sleep the night before.) Found out that the account was still positive. Tried telling the bank teller I was relieved by this news because I'd been panicking the night before, and why, but she misinterpreted and got her manager. Through a series of other funny misunderstandings, she said something about a $25 fee, and then waived it for me, and now my balance is $27. (Even though I had just been happy and relieved to still be in the positive numbers, but I wasn't going to argue with this.)
But then the best bit: she explained to me why I'd overdrawn. I hadn't made a mistake in the math at all, I'd just been missing some information. They had started charging me a $6.95 maintenance fee that they'd conveniently never mentioned before, so no wonder I overdrew! Well from now on, I am going to try to keep a cushion of at least $15 in it.
Oh also, between overdrawing when I thought it was impossible to do so and the reason for it being a fee they'd never informed me of, I've decided I am going to start shopping around for a credit union to switch to. Because every single fucking bank I have ever used has fucked me over in some way at some time. Goddamn for-profit greedy money-grubbing soulless bastard maggots! So yeah, I'm gonna start looking for a credit union to switch to. But I'm not just gonna switch to the first one I find, either. Gonna find the best one with the best policies and offers. So this will take more time than the switch from KeyBank to US Bank did. Because US Bank told me its overdraft policies were better Key Bank's policies, but they turned out to be worse; a nearly $40 fee (waived the first time) and then $25 fees every seven days is NOT better than Key Bank's policies. It is disgustingly worse. (And this will make the second time I'll have switched away from a bank for insane overdraft policies.)
I wish more than ever, now, that I had Internet at home. If I'd had Internet at home last night, I could have checked my bank account online and would not have had to spend an hour fighting a panic attack.
Oh well. Ever since the Occupy movement began, I've been in support of the "move your money from banks to credit unions" thing, I just never needed to bother about it before because until recently, US Bank was pretty damn good. Now it turns out they lied about their overdraft policies and also lied when they said they would never charge any maintenance fees. Ooooh, a corporation LYING, what a new development! What next, a corporation caring more about profit than about the environment? Perish the thought!
And since Amy actually has the patience to read through things like leases and bank policies, I might see about getting her to read through things for me before I choose a credit union.
After that, though, every time I would call they would say they were going to deliver the food, and that they would call back to schedule a time to deliver the stuff. So I'd wait for a few days for them to call back, but they never would. I would call back, get the same response, wait, and still nothing.
I eventually gave up on calling them, and just went in to the place like I did when I first found the place. And naturally, they give me grief about how I should have called. I explained to them that whenever I call, they say they'll deliver, and never do. I was told Saint Vincent de Paul only does deliveries to people in wheelchairs, which contradicted what I'd been told before, but whatever. They said I have to call in and then come in anyway, so they know how many people are coming in.
So I called this last Monday to let them I knew I was coming. The person on the phone said I'd be called back about delivery, and I basically was like "Okay" while secretly thinking "I'll believe it when it happens." Never got a call back, of course. Frankly, I would have been astonished if they had. Thus, I should have been able to go in today to get my stuff without an issue.
If you guessed that the idiots on the phone failed to inform the people at the pickup place that I was coming, well... no prize for seeing the obvious. *Sigh* And Brooke called the same number the same day and got a call back THE SAME DAY SHE CALLED. Is it just me that gets this kind of bullshit, or what?
I suppose the sneering mobs think such "luxuries" should be sold for food. Idiots.
It also infuriates me that people tell her stupid things like "get a job." She's been trying to get a job for years and years, and has not had any success. (Except for one place that wanted her to do illegal stuff and fired her when she refused.) She's filled out and returned hundreds of job applications, with no luck. So all those fucking sneering idiots need to either fucking CAN IT or DIE IN A GODDAMN FIRE.
(Mama tiger is protective of her cub, yes indeedy.)
All of this is especially infuriating considering that we have the resources, technology, and networking to end poverty and hunger RIGHT NOW but the damned souls that profit off of the evil monster known as capitalism won't let us.
Grrr! I just will never understand anyone who defends capitalism. It is an inherently evil system that promotes greed and sneers at compassion. It can just fucking go to Hell.
1 = Spanges pronounced spain-jez. Spanging pronounced spain-jing.
What makes it stranger is that this is the same woman who puts normal leavened bread in bread boxes. Which, I'm sorry, is stupid. Put a loaf in Thursday and it'll be moldy by Sunday. I'm not just making up a for-instance, I have literally seen a fresh loaf put in the bread box on Thursday and seen the same loaf on Sunday, maybe two or three slices used, and it's as green as the lawn from mold. There is nothing quite so heart-wrenching to someone as poor as I am as having to throw out a whole loaf of bread that could have been perfectly good if it had been refrigerated, because she was using a fucking bread box. Why do they even MAKE breadboxes anymore? Grrr.
Anyway, put a loaf of bread in the fridge and it will last WEEKS (as long as you keep it wrapped up in plastic)! Hell, I've betimes found things like bagels in my fridge that had been in there for months, and they were still good. Not simply edible; good. Bread is weird like that; keep it out, and it's the food equivalent of a mayfly. But refrigerate it, and it's the food equivalent of Methuselah! Granted, cold bread does get stiffer than room-temperature bread, but not by much.
For a woman who is constantly complaining about saving money and about how much things cost (despite the fact that by my standards, she and her husband are filthy fucking rich), she sure doesn't have any real idea about how to save money. She could save soooo much money on bread just by putting it in the fridge!
Oh, and she leaves fruit out, too, until it goes bad. And leaves out leftovers at times. (Granted, they're usually for Lilla to eat as soon as she gets home, but who knows how many hours these things were sitting out in the meantime?) With all the food she leaves out, I'm astonished this house isn't infested with fruit flies!
And I just remembered that it gets even more WTF: she freezes loaves of bread. I've seen them in there. It's a WTF because she knows to do this but doesn't know to refrigerate them. o_O What. The. Fuck. Is. WRONG. With. This. Woman?????
EDIT: I nearly cried the time I saw a bowl of rotting tangerines in her kitchen. And she KEEPS BUYING THEM. *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*
Let's see, that makes how much found/salvaged/free furniture in my apartment now?
1. Microwave stand
2. Unfinished wooden desk acting as a TV stand
3. Black wooden desk acting as a side table/storage thing/laptop computer stand
4. Computer chair
5. Comfy chair
6. Wooden chair that I don't really use
7. Now the two nice wooden chairs