Monday
Jul162018

wills and cousins and Amazon Prime

After some thought, I eventually decided to rewrite my will to leave my fortune to my two nieces.

We get on well, they send me birthday cards, and they both have children that will need money for various stuff.  Chances are I won't die in time to put them through college but perhaps I can help their parents pay off student debt.

My family members continue to decrease. Saturday I received a call from an aunt, telling me that my cousin in Tennessee had died of an aneurysm. Rusty was only 62; he had sat down for dinner Friday evening, complained of a sudden headache and collapsed seconds later. By the time he reached the hospital he was gone, although he was put on a ventilator for 24 hours so the staff couldn't say they didn't try.

There were some possibly contributing factors - a bad car accident and some bad drug use when he was in his 30s, plus his current moonshine business - but it's still a shock.

Since my Macbook Pro is eight years old and not functioning with the latest operating system, I decided to check out Amazon Prime day to see if there were any deals to be had for a cheaper Macbook Air. But there are so many others also hunting for deals that the site's not working properly. 

At least my cat the Honey Badger came home after a 10-day disappearance. So the news isn't all bad.

Thursday
Jul122018

last will and distribution of meager assets

I went into my company's intranet to remove my mother from my life insurance beneficiary list. When I was there I realized I didn't know any suitable replacements. I'm not rolling in money, but I have a 401(k) and other odds and ends. 

I don't have any relatives who have done anything to deserve the money.

Ian* can fend for himself and he never even bothers to call me.

I don't trust Rachel* to take proper care of cats as she is poor at delegating, but so distrustful that she'd rather have too many animals than to trust another rescue with a few of them. And since I am on a campaign to remove every cat from my current home, it makes no sense to leave it to her except on an extremely short-term basis.

Add in the fact that I don't trust nonprofits, and I am genuinely stuck for a beneficiary.

* See The Usual Suspects.

Thursday
Jul122018

as Cronauer would say, a hot and shitty month

I apologize for the lack of updates, but I don't like posting if all news is depressing. But here goes anyway. 

I said goodbye to Toby yesterday as his FIP had progressed to where the supportive therapy didn't make any difference. He had lost half his body weight and would only drink water, and was wobbly. The only thing left to do was to watch him starve and this didn't seem fair.

My clearing out the house and my mother's belongings has slowed to a crawl. I am always getting roped into weekend cat-related stuff that I would rather skip. So I spent a couple of hours yesterday composing a letter to Rachel, the other cat group board directors, and the current volunteers who have responsible roles. It was a simple "I need out, and we need a plan to make it happen".

Not all of this is others' faults. I foolish accepted two feral cats from a rural shelter so they wouldn't be euthanized, and one promptly became very ill with something called calici as the rural shelter had zero budget. Not even for vaccines. So every night I give this poor half-grown tabby sub-cutaneous fluids, syringe feed him, and do other things that piss him off.  I have seen no improvement in five days but he's not dead so I shall persevere.

The light at the end of the tunnel is the sale of my mother's house. I finally drowned Medicaid with enough paperwork to convince them to remove their lien on the property and the buyer is still in place. So I am hoping that this will be settled - and I'll receive some cash - by the end of the month. This will help me kick things into higher gear. 

Friday
Jun082018

Now it's really time to speed up my departure

A few days ago, a notice appeared in our break room. It stated that when the current supply of Keurig coffee cups (aka K-cups) ran out, the management would no longer supply them. 

I told this to Ian earlier today and he laughed. "They might have well just put a sign up that says FUCK YOU", he said. He was right.

The company's financial backing is provided by a private equity fund called Lone Star Funds, so this sort of insulting economizing is par for the course. Equity firms have this mantra: Squeeze all the money you can out of your assets, because even one smallish recession might put it out of business.

I should be closing the sale of my mother's house later this month, so that will be a relief, albeit a sad one.

Although the kitten tsunami is frustrating myattempts to rehome my remaining foster animals, Rachel has said that she would live in Ian's house, cats and all, if I departed north for another job. Considering the gig economy, my age and what I do for a living, I'm leaning more toward taking long-term contracts initially.

Keeping busy also helps me cope with a new and painful loss. Toby the cat was recently diagnosed with feline infectious peritonitis, which only gives him a few more weeks to live. His original symptom was renal failure but it cost me over $2,000 for the kindly vet to reach an eventual diagnosis. (I should point out that the vet's rates are quite reasonable compared to others.) 

Toby won't eat properly - he will only lick the gravy off of his favorite canned foods - but still is quite keen on Temptations treats. All I can do is provide the occasional sub-cutaneous fluid drip and a lot of brushing, which he especially likes. 

* See The Usual Suspects.

Tuesday
May292018

time to speed up my departure

Although pay raises were not officially announced, I took a peek at my May 31 pay slip and saw that I got hosed as expected.  I now take home around $120.00 more per month. 

It's tempted to try to figure out exactly why we're so undervalued (my boss should have gotten more, but she got just what I did). But my hunch is that since we show up every day and we do good work with a minimum of complaining, we're considered to be people who will always put up with being badly paid. And the only way to get more money is to go find another job. 

I find this strategy stupid and humiliating, so when I find another job I won't be available for counter-offers.

Other than being fucked on salary, I like this job.  It's too bad about the management.