textualdeviance: (Button Monkey)
So, since I haven't updated about this since my last bellyaching ...

I first sent mail to my teammate, confirming that it wasn't just me--there's really next to no work for us. In the middle of that, I also discovered something else that's a roadblock for the team, with larger-scale potential repercussions. So, I broke down and wrote a long mail to my boss about it all late last week.

Things post-mail are still settling out, so I don't really know what's next. But it does seem like our workload is slowing down to a trickle--and a trickle of stuff I really don't want to do. I already suggested that if this really is just a one-person job, then I'm happy to train my teammate on the stuff she doesn't know, and let her have it. Having my position go away due to budget reasons would be the best course of action, I think. It'd mean I wouldn't lose brownie points with my agency for quitting/breaking contract (and thus can get another one later if I want) but it'd also get me out of this mind-numbingly boring and degrading position I'm in now.

There is still a dilemma, though, and I've come to realize that it's why, despite the adoption process going well, despite the upcoming London trip, despite the great weather and everything else, I'm actually kind of miserable right now.

Downwardly mobile dog )

It's weird to look around and see how much I have and yet still feel so desperate. I'm sure people look at my life and think I have it all, and wonder why I worry so much. But that's just the thing--I don't have it all. M does. This stuff isn't mine. It's his. And if we split up, it'd all go away. I'd keep some of the material goods, and we'd split whatever pittance we could get from selling the house, but that wouldn't last. He'd be perfectly fine--financially, at least--if we split. I'd be fucked. This is not how my life was supposed to go. I did well in school. I went to college. I worked like a dog as soon as I could, stopped only when my stupid body told me I had to, and started again as soon as I was able. This shouldn't be happening to me.

I suppose this is probably why I have so much sympathy for other people who are on various forms of public support. I know very well that but for the grace of my husband's paychecks, I'd be one of them. Not through any fault or laziness of my own, but just because this is how things are sometimes. Where you get in life is only about half what you put into it. The other half is where you start and fate. People who are fucked on that other half shouldn't be assumed to have fucked off on the effort part. Unless you're lucky enough to have 30 years of living expenses set away somewhere, anyone can come to ruin at any moment--even M could, if he lost his job. Sure, we could've lived closer to the edge all this time and saved more rainy-day money, but it wouldn't be enough to make that big of a difference, long-term (and the mental health benefits of travel, the safe, comfortable house, etc., go a long way to making the rest of it possible anyway. I don't regret what we've spent so far--it's been its own investment.)

So, no. It's not weird that I'm so worried about my future survival when my ability to support myself is so fragile.

At the moment, all my hope lies in one thing: being able to sell at least one of my novels, and write/sell more while I'm home with the little one. That doesn't pay a lot, either, but it's at least possibly steady work if I'm able to sell enough of one to get contracts for more. It's also something I could do while doing paycheck-earning work of other kinds until I got better established as a writer. Best of all, it would be something I could take pride in, rather than something that made me feel like a particularly technical worker bee.

But that's hardly a guarantee. And with the current gig having hit the iceberg, just waiting around for that lifeboat to maybe show up so I don't go down with this slowly sinking ship is agonizing.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Haven't done one of these in a while!

Digest version, for those in tl;dr mode: I wrote another book, our adoption process marches on, I have yet to get an offer for a W2-earning job and I'm dying for a proper vacation.

The long version:

I wrote a book! Now, bring on the revision/publishing angst. )

---

I wrote another book. A while ago. And am also angsting about it. )

---

On to other things which are just as fraught with Social Bullshit angst, but a different kind, at least.

Adoption process update )

---

Not going back to chorus )

---

Still unemployed. Now slightly annoyed by that. )

---

I just need my own private jet so I can go whereever I want. )

---

Other than all that, life goes on. Still playing video games, hanging out in various fan circles, grousing about politics, getting annoyed at the cats, blah blah. Getting things together for spring back-yard mucking, too. Slightly angsty and irritated at the world for big meta stuff, but otherwise in good nick.
textualdeviance: (XKCD Complicated)
Agonizing a bit about difficult life choices. For those who've not followed this saga elsewhere: I'm trying to decide whether to go back to work, and if so, which job and when. There are some big concerns with mental health, bandwidth and money involved:

Job A and B )

Now, in an ideal world, here's what would happen: I'd get Job B, and they'd be fine with me starting in February, so I could survive January's nightmare schedule. I'd work there through our waiting time in the adoption pool, and then either quit entirely or take leave when the baby shows up, or maybe even only take a couple of weeks and then go back, as the schedule is childcare-friendly enough. And if the job turned out to be hell, I could find a way to leave without burning too many bridges. Ditching a contract before its end is bad form, definitely, but not unheard of, especially for parental leave.

Theoretically, I could also leave Job A at any time without too much drama--the open-ended contract helps a LOT with that---but the time/mental-health drain of it in the short term would make doing everything else really difficult. Really, the biggest reward of Job A comes down to one thing: Money. Quite a lot of it. And fast.

The dilemmas:Money vs. time/mental health )

Or, in summary: We don't absolutely need money from me working in order to make this all happen. It would just make things easier, faster and more secure.

Summation and decision making )

The Bottom Line:

The next phase of my life, in my ideal world, will consist of five things: Kid, writing, singing, friends/family and travel. Anything that doesn't fall into furthering one of those five categories is something I don't want to have to spend time/effort on.

I realize how very lucky I am to even have this choice to make, and I'm grateful to M's brain and the luck of the stock market from 15 years ago that made this happen. But I do have this choice, and I don't like feeling that I'm being selfish or irresponsible if I choose to do what will make me happy over what will fatten our bank account. Money for its own sake doesn't interest me. We have enough of it to have and do the things we want, so long as M keeps working. More of it isn't nearly as necessary to me as feeding my soul. And stuff that will take away my bandwith for singing and writing, without giving me anything in return but a paycheck, is actually starving it instead.

A footnote about M )
textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
So, a couple of nights ago, D mentioned that he and a few of our other friends were discussing the income tax measure coming up for a vote this year (1098, which would create a state income tax for the first time in WA, but only on individuals making more than $200k, or couples making $400k.)

Said friends apparently asked him, "Well, you live with rich people. What do they think?"

D told them that no, we wouldn't be affected by the tax--not even close--but still, the whole thing did kind of take me aback when he told me.

Perspective is everything )

So overall, even though we're definitely a few steps above a lot of folks, including locals, we're not really in the upper echelons on an apples-to-apples level. The chances of us ever getting to a point at which that law would affect us, for instance, are basically zero (hell, we only occasionally cross into the 28% bracket for federal, depending on what our Schedule A adds up to.)

But really? If we ever did cross that line, or if they changed the law so we counted, we'd be happy to do it. Because not only do I realize we're lucky, but I also realize that we'd never, ever have gotten here without a lot of taxpayer-funded programs that helped us out when we were skint. Everything from free public education to Pell Grants to food stamps has helped us along this path, and I'd never want to deny those opportunities to anyone else.

Whether I'm rich or not is a matter of opinion, but regardless of how one defines that, I'm happy to do my share, and would be no matter how much or how little I made. Personally, I wish far less of my money went to fund new and better ways to kill people overseas, but aside from that, eh. A measure like this, whether it would affect me or not, is designed in part to help save school funding and other critcal services that are suffering due to the overall downturn (which started ages ago, and one can thank GOP economic policies for it.) That's worth it, and any "rich" person who thinks it isn't doesn't deserve a dime of what they have.

No-one--absolutely no-one--is entirely self-made and didn't have to rely in part on the efforts of others to get where they are, and paying back what you've received is part of the bargain of living in civilized society. The more you've recieved--such as, from the efforts of minimum-wage workers in the factory that's lining your pockets with profit--the more you need to pay back.
Tags:
Jun. 25th, 2010 03:21 am

Oh, dear

textualdeviance: (Can't Talk)
So, I scheduled my trip to Dragon*Con (my first) on a very thin rumor that there would be Primeval people there (including Andrew, of course.) As yet, this hasn't been confirmed, and I suspect it might not be until the last minute because they're filming right now. It's also, of course, possible that they won't be there (there will be a ton of other people I wanna see, though, so it's not a wasted trip at all.)

However, I just saw a note that there WILL be Primeval people at another con in February.

Said con, naturally, happens to be in England.

I get the feeling that if they don't go to D*C this year, I may well be SOL for ever getting to meet any of them unless I go do one of the UK cons (if not this one, mebbe another.) I suppose it's possible they may do something else to promo the show here in the US (since it'll be airing on BBCA), but I'm not hopeful on that.

There are a millions reasons why I shouldn't do this. Money and my lack of tolerance for long flights in particular.

But I still wanna. I've never been to Europe, and the chances of going anytime in the next decade are pretty slim since by this time next year, we'll likely be deep in the heart of buying a kid. February is low season, so it'd be cheaper, and I may have another contract between now and then to add funds for both kid-buying and crazy impulsive behavior like this, but...

Gah.
Aug. 18th, 2009 04:30 pm

Worrywart

textualdeviance: (Uprooting)
We're nearing the end of negotiations on the house--we should know for certain tomorrow.

I should be excited and thrilled, but instead, I'm wracked with stomach-churning anxiety. Partially just worry about whether we'll actually get the place, but also a bit of, "OMG, I've never spent so much money on one thing in my entire life."

The latter is compounded by a few things.

It's always more expensive than you think )

I shouldn't worry much, I guess. Yes, it's a lot of money, it's more or less draining our current reserves and will tighten our budget somewhat, but it's also a really nice house, and it's in a great location, which means we'll be able to see folks more often. And that alone? Is worth the price. :)
textualdeviance: (Uprooting)
No link because I don't want to jinx it (I'm silly that way. Sue me.) but...

With barely a moment of warning, we started drawing up an offer today. Our agent had a company meeting today, so we couldn't go over it to officially put it in, but we'll be hearing from her tomorrow.

GAH.

There are several catches: )

The thing about this place, though, is that it's the only one of the realistic possibilities that's really evoked an emotional reaction from us. We have two other options we may offer on this week if this falls through somehow, but neither has really fired us up the way this one has. They're not terrible or anything--both are perfectly lovely, and one certainly has some "wow" features--but they lack some of the "holy crap!" factor this one has.

Any good thoughts or wishes you may have available would be appreciated. I'd love for this to go through and work out for us!
textualdeviance: (Uprooting)
So, late last week I saw a couple of nice houses in Kenmore come on the market. I went looking at them Thursday and we stopped by yesterday afternoon. Three out of four of them were pending as of then.

What the hell? I thought we were supposed to be in a slow market?

This has been happening to other places we've looked at, too. Two weeks after listing, they're gone. There are plenty of houses that have been around for a lot longer, but the nicer new construction in our price range is just utterly evaporating.

The good part of this is that it means we should be able to sell our current house pretty quickly. The bad part is that it means we need to get on that ASAP so we have cash in hand (or at least the possibility of such) to be able to get what we want.

I'm sure some of this is just the usual spring/summer upswing, but still, I really don't want to be stuck in a bidding war or something. Part of why we're doing this is to find a bargain, but I guess everyone else is looking at that, too.

What this really means is that I need to light a fire under my ass and hurry up and get the damned house cleared out and spiffed up so we can get it on the market. This is really, really taking much longer than it should. I could just throw everything in boxes and be done with it, but I want to clear out the excess and not be stuck with it forever.

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