That went fine until I got laid off in late November, 2007, this marking the official beginning of what would become known as the Great Recession (wrongly dated to 2008 in most accounts) and by 2010 I was really close to losing my house; on 2 occasions it was foreclosed and auction notices were nailed to the big oak tree in my front yard. Managed to come up with the $$$ just in time to keep the house from being auctioned, but meanwhile all kinds of other bills went unpaid.
I had had, like, a $75 balance on the Capital One card which went up by $50/month, a la Tony Soprano-type loans, when I didn't make a payment on time. One minute late & you're fucked. So before you know it I owe them $300, $500, $1300, etc. And they're calling me all the time threatening to shoot me (well, not really shoot me), etc, and I tell them to go pound sand but I pay them $$ when I can, but it's swimming against the tide, the amount just grows and grows and then in 2010 I just stop paying them, I'm really really broke, and eventually they stop calling, like a bad toothache that just goes away.
Until about 2 months ago when I get a phone call, Capital One, the Freddy Kruger of banks, and they're going to sue me for $1,700 from ten years ago but they will settle for $1,200 and I say, "let me think about it & I'll call you next Tuesday" and they say "OK" but when I go to the mailbox there's a registered letter from the courthouse and they're suing me. So I say, "well fuck me."
Things are not quite so desperate in my financial universe, thank Fred, but I still don't have a spare $1,700 in my sock drawer to give Capital One (who, by the way, got $3.55 billion in bailout money in 2008. The fuckers.) So I was very nervous about this. I figure the magistrate is going to tell me it's a legal contract I signed & I gots to pay, even if the corporation is a scum bucket. I know it's not high finance to some people, I've got a brother who carries that kind of cash around in his wallet, but it's high finance to me.
I got there today at the appointed time today. Shaved, clean shirt, brushed my teeth, the whole thing. Made notes about what I was going to tell the judge (magistrate) etc, hoping to get whatever slack I could get. But the lawyers for Capital One didn't show up, so the magistrate found for me, I win, yay, and they can't sue me again. What a relief.
Marvin Minsky The legendary AI genius and computer scientist and mentor and teacher has died. In 2003, shortly after I had written a snarky essay in Salon about AI, in which I made fun of Marvin, I took a job at a small startup where two of my co-workers were Marvin's son and son-in-law. We used to work in the garage behind Marvin's house, and Marvin sometimes wandered in & visited with us. I didn't get to know him well, but I became very fond of his children & their spouses and their children. I really like the Minskys. Marvin was an incredible guy and raised some incredible kids and I don't have anything to say about him now, snarky or otherwise, except that I'm sorry my friends lost their father, even though he was old (88) and they of course knew the day would be coming.
Writer's Jello. I"m working on another novel, which has been almost done for 8 months now. It's called Meekman Rising and it's a prequel to my Acts of the Apostles and Biodigital, set in 1975. I don't have writer's block, I am making progress, but it's so fucking slow, like walking through jello, it's so agonizing, this is my 5th one and it's not getting any easier. I always think it's going to be easier but it's just as damn hard. Why the fuck do I write novels? What the hell is wrong with me?
Grandfather Older Daughter gave birth recently to her second child, a daughter. Dear Wife & I and Younger Daughter have spent 2 long weekends with the family, one before new grandchild arrived and then again after baby was here. So I spent a lot of time hanging out with my grandson Spenser, who is 27 months old and talks in sentences and loves dinosaurs, jumping, and fire trucks. Recently he has taking to having his mother call me every day so Spenser and I can chat about dinosaurs, jumping, and fire trucks. Spenser's new sister doesn't say much. She mostly sleeps. But Spenser has become my favorite person to talk to on the phone. We converse at the same level.
So that's my HuSi update. I should come here more often.Must swim through the jello to get here, but I like it well enough.
|< Western Time | Question? >|