Saturday, August 29, 2009

Crash Test Dummy

So...today was an interesting day. Have you ever stopped and thought, "I must have really pissed off the guy upstairs"? Well...I'm starting to think that I did. Which sucks b/c I really like the guy upstairs!

Anyway....

I got hit by a car today. While I was not in a car. I am OK, just a little scrape on the palm of my hand and my wrist hurts a little bit, but otherwise-fine. I was cold and discouraged from spending a couple of hours walking in the rain (looking for a job) so it partially is my fault for not being as attentive as I usually am.

Typically I cut through the parking lot of the pharmacy next to my apartment because it's just faster. Today when I did that, a man and his girlfriend (?) pulled forward like they were going to drive out of the space but then backed up...and hit me.

Now, I saw them coming so I was able to sort of run away from them, but they still knocked me over. My wrist hurts from me trying to stop the fall. My leg/lower hip where they hit me doesn't hurt at all-so far not even a bruise. I'm just glad that they heard me or saw me b/c if they had kept going, they would have run me over for sure and this would be a very different post-if I were able to post at all.

I shouldn't have been walking through the parking lot-but people really need to learn to check behind them when they are pulling out. Or, better yet-not fake people out by pulling forward and then changing their minds. I still have no idea why they didn't just pull out. There wasn't anything in front of them...I imagine the boyfriend (who was driving) saying, "10 points if I knock this girl down." and the girlfriend laughing and saying, "Yeah, OK." and then he backs up randomly and receives his 10 points.

Oh well. No major harm done. But I think I'll stick to the sidewalk from now on.

Aside: I'm trying to remember what I yelled when I realized they were going to hit me. For the life of me, I can't...it must have been something like, "Hey! Stop!" I know when I hit the ground I did yell stop for sure and then yelled the "F" word. *shrug*

Walking In The Rain

It's a "cold" rainy day here today and waking up to this weather usually would bum me out. But today, it's a welcome change. All of the windows are wide open in my apartment and I'm wearing pajama boxers and a big comfy sweatshirt...one of my favorite things to wear. I so much prefer to be cold than hot & today is the first real day that I can feel this when I walk outside.

And walking outside I will be today...

Today I have to walk around trying to find a part time job. I can no longer make ends meet on my unemployment-even with my pt cooking job. I have already canceled my gym membership (boo!) and will be canceling my current cable/internet package within a couple of days (double boo!). I just can't justify spending that much money on TV-even though sitting at home all day will now be extremely mind numbing...I'll just have to go to the library more often. At least they've got DVD's I could borrow. (As for Internet, I'm trying to find the best plan that doesn't require cable or phone. So far I see a couple of options and will call on them later.)

It's pretty depressing, actually. Especially with new shows coming up now, like Top Chef, Project Runway and Big Brother. And the fall lineup will be here soon. I don't actually watch a ton of TV, but I really do enjoy these shows at night and am sad I will be one of the few people not watching them.

So anyway-today's the day I hope to find a crappy little part time job that will allow me to pay rent, car insurance & car payments, electric, phone & prescriptions. Food & fuel will have to just somehow fit in there.

It's going to get better. It's going to get better. It's going to get better.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Revisiting An Idea

The seller of the cafe we put an offer on emailed me and told me that they are still interested in selling the cafe to me. He said that he and his girlfriend are very busy with other businesses and that is why they did not get in touch with me. Also, he wrote down the wrong phone number. In addition he told me not to get discouraged by his re-posting of the ad because until he has a signed contract it will continue to run.

To all of this I say: bull shit.

1. If you are selling a business and you have gone so far as to accept a tentative offer and request a business plan for the buyer, you MAKE time to contact said buyer to discuss the next steps.

2. He has my email address and can email from his blackberry-something he's done in the past. So when he first got the fax machine (b/c he wrote down the wrong number) he should have emailed me telling me the problem. Right?

3. I get that he's going to run the ad until the cafe is sold. BUT to a buyer who's been left out in the cold, this reads that the seller is not interested in pursuing the deal. Which is what we thought.

Now, in addition to being a little put off by all of this crap listed above, I've had time to think things through a little bit. (His major downfall-I would have just jumped in if he'd acted faster.) The equipment he's got is in good shape (except for an old fridge, but it still works) but not new. And then there's the fact that there is no grill or hood and we'd have to put one in. In addition, the layout is wonky and I'd have to change it to maximize the use of the space. All of these things cost money.

So...I emailed him back. I told him that I'd priced his equipment (which I had) and the cost came out to about $11K (which it did). Then I reiterated that we'd have to install a hood and a grill in order to make any money. This would cost at LEAST $5K. I then sited the fact that he's been closed for some time and therefore has no customer base or cash flow. Last, I told him that the 4 seat thing is unrealistic and that there was no guarantee that I'd be approved for 10-12 seats.

And then I made another offer. This one was $5K less than my original offer with the same amount of CASH down. The balance would be paid to him in a much shorter time frame. If he said yes, we'd be signing papers as early as next week.

The offer is almost $10K less than his asking price. But really, he's trying to sell a business that doesn't exist. He's selling me a counter top (that sucks), freezers and fridges (that are old and not of commercial grade) and a sandwich station (that is OK). The only majorly good thing in that cafe is the bakery case-which I found online for about $3500 in the same condition.

Then add in the fact that he can not run it any longer & that it's been on the market for about a year. No one wants this place. Because he's trying to sell a business that doesn't exist.

So I'm in another waiting period. My guess is that he will not accept this offer. I'm OK with that, except that truthfully, I do want this little cafe. With the lower price I could easily swing it (I think) and there is less of a risk (b/c I'd have less debt). It's not worth what he's asking. If he doesn't accept then we move on, and I keep looking.

But I really hope he accepts...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nana's Fish Lamps

These might very well be the ugliest lamps you'll ever see in your life. But when I was little, they were so glamorous and fancy I wanted to steal them.


They used to be in my Nana & Papa's den in New York and while we were in the living room or kitchen, they would illuminate the dark room. Dripping in their "jewels" topped with exotic fish, they were the prettiest thing in the house.

I'm not exactly sure what made me think of them last month, but I asked my mother if Nana still had them. Certainly I know she stopped displaying them a long, long time ago (when her taste improved) but my Nana sometimes keeps things like this. I asked my mother to see if Nana had them, and if so, would she be willing to let me have them.

My mother forgot.

Luckily, my littlest sister was paying attention and while she visited with my Nana on her birthday, she asked. Apparently she said, "Um...I don't really know what she's talking about, but Mags wants to know if you still have the fish lamps?". You see, she wasn't even thought of yet when these lamps were around. :)

As you can see from the photo above, my Nana DID have them and she was more than happy to give them over to me. (Yippee!!!) Unfortunately they are damaged. Both are missing a leg, one of them is missing 2 sets of jewels and one fish has a broken tail. One medallion is missing and one does not light up. I'm going to have to figure out how to restore them. It might be that I have to give up one to make a single complete lamp-which will make me sad.

As I'm writing this post I keep glancing over at them sitting on my side table. Though beaten and battered from years spent in a box in the attic (or playroom aka basement) they are still so pretty to me. Logically I know they are ugly. Really. They are fish lamps with crystals hanging over them. But I can still picture them vividly in my mind, lighting that den.

In my memory my Nana, Papa, Uncle & Great Grandpa are playing cards in the kitchen. The green felt table cloth is draped over the table, amber liquid swirls around turquoise high ball glasses (I wonder if she still has THOSE) and they are laughing. I hear my Papa's fist hitting the table-not in anger but in that "I can't take it, you're so funny" kind of way. My hair is wet-I've just had a bath and I'm in my pajamas. I can smell the distinctive smell of clean sheets (something that always reminds me of my Nana's house). My fingertips feel burnt because even though I've been told they are hot, I've touched one of the fish. They're so pretty, I can't help it.

Throughout this night I'm probably at my Papa's side, watching him play poker, pretending that I know what is going on. He might ask me to spell pneumonia for everyone and if I get it right, I might get a quarter.

Later, I'll return to the den and reach up to where the lamps are and turn the knobs on the back of each one to shut them off. It's time for bed and because I am going to sleep, so are the fish lamps.

Yes, they are ugly-but when I look at them I remember so many wonderful, comforting things and so to me, they will always be beautiful...even in their current state.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Randomivity


Polly Pocket is a cute idea but also, a stupid one. Have you ever tried to put on those little rubber clothes? Ridiculous!

Lemonade with ginger simple syrup, vodka and seltzer is a lovely summer drink.

I'm still kind of bummed that I'm not going to have a cafe within a month. It seemed so real.

I still have not talked to the seller. He was not available yesterday.

I really want a new cell phone. It's not even like I use it a lot, but I just really hate my phone now. I should have gotten the one I really wanted when it was time to trade.

Yesterday at the beach a young-ish guy sat on the boardwalk and talked to an old guy who was on the beach. He had a thick accent...Russian maybe...he said that he could give the old man some of the potato chips he had but he'd have to hide them. I really, REALLY wanted to turn my head to see what the "potato chips" really were.

They may have just been salt & vinegar chips. I'd hide those too.

I haven't yet gotten a call from Target. (I applied for a PT job via the Internet.) I think that means they don't want me. :(

It's nice when a friend says they are going to make you something and then they actually do.

My name and number has been taken out of the call box at the door of my building. When I had guests over the other day, I had to go down to get each of them because of it. It was very inconvenient.

It's hard to know where is a good spot to land.

I'm getting mail today y'all. :)

My neighbor (though much more quiet than my old neighbor) is a douche bag. He clearly doesn't like fraternizing with us.

I'd really like to call someone a douche bag in real life. It's very underused.

Fruit Loops would rock my world right now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Toosdae ?'s

Good morning! Sorry I'm a little late posting questions today. I had people over for my supper club last night and I stayed up late to clean up which meant I slept a little longer than usual. And of course, I had to have coffee first! :) Enjoy!


1. You are invited to a friends house and are asked to bring something to eat. What are you likely to bring? (Do you make it, or buy it?)

2. Do you believe in alternative medicine? If so, what have you tried (and have they worked?)?

3. When you were little, did you look forward to going back to school or did you dread it?


1. This is always a hard choice for me because I have so many things I love to make and also so many things I want to try. On top of that, everyone expects my "something" to be delicious. The last thing I made for a party was my "famous" artichoke dip. But for my dinner party last night I made cupcakes filled with Dulce De Leche.

2. I do and I don't. I wouldn't use an alternative for infections and such but I believe that there are vitamins and herbs that can enhance your health. I also whole heartily believe in chiropractic care which some consider alternative.

3. Mostly I dreaded it. I didn't have a lot of close friends in in high school especially (they kept moving away) so I would worry who I was going to sit with a lunch. When I got to college however, I did look forward to going back because it meant I could be with my boyfriend, who also went to that school.

Ruby Tuesday


For more Ruby Tuesday participants, visit Mary's blog today.

This week I'm going a little "abstract". These are pictures of my family party at my parent's house this weekend. The first picture below includes my Aunt Anne (in the black shirt standing next to me) who my Papa called "Red".


This picture features my Great Aunt Gloria (far left) who used to dye her hair bright red like Lucille Ball...also, my Aunt Marie has on a red shirt.

My cousin Michael (in plaid) is "Red's" son and also sports red hair. This picture shower my favorite aunt (Sue) at the computer looking up the term "wenis".


My NY family makes me smile and I love when we're all together crowded in one room like this. They're a bunch of funny, funny people. I am lucky to have such a big family like them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Final Decision....

I know at least a few of you are wondering about where we stand with the cafe. Up until this evening I had not heard from the seller but saw that he re-posted the for sale ad on 2 different websites. Just before my friends were about to arrive, I got an email from him asking me to call him when I get a chance. I will call him tomorrow.

At this point I think I am going to walk away from this particular cafe. Though I really want to get started with my own place, I also want to be successful and at this moment I don't feel like this is the one. I'm kind of sad b/c it's definitely do-able and I could easily own this place, but I just am not feeling confident that I could be as successful there as I could be elsewhere. So I am going to keep looking. It's my full time job, so hopefully I'll find something fast.

I'm not sure if the seller is going to tell me he's decided not to go forward with the sale. At this point, it doesn't matter though. If he did decide he doesn't want to sell it to us, he's crazy. Like I said-it's been on the market for over a year, has no customer base, no grill...I was willing to take a chance that not too many people would. He may have just lost his only real opportunity to sell this place.

At least I have his signature for my non-disclosure....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pride

You know what really gets me? Bank fees. Especially overdraft bank fees. I understand why they exist but at the same time...when someone doesn't have money, adding a $35 fee on top of that really hurts. Especially when several of those hit the account. This is what happened to me because my unemployment check was not deposited on Monday of last week like it usually is. It hit on Thursday. After all of my automatic bills were paid. And so, my account is severely overdrawn.

Calculating the money I will be getting between now and rent day, I realized I would be very, very short because of what happened. I worked every which way to figure out how I'd get that money, but honestly couldn't come up with anything realistic. And so I had to do something I absolutely hate doing. I had to ask for help. But more importantly, I had to ask for financial help. From my dad.

When I realized that I had to do this, I started crying. I'm 33 years old and though my current situation and lack of savings is not really my fault (I've been looking actively for 8 months!) I still feel like a loser. My father is the most generous person I know. He'd give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it and most of the time he'd do it with a smile. And I know that his business is doing well and that though giving money out is not ideal, I know that he can afford to lend this to me. But I still feel like a shit.

I said as much to him when he handed me the check. He told me not to worry about it and that he didn't care. I said that I did and he responded that it was ridiculous for me to feel this way and that the whole country is hurting-he just happens to be doing well and so he doesn't mind helping. He's a good guy, my dad. But I still feel bad.

In fact, when I got into my car to leave, I cried for about 20 minutes. I don't know why it's so hard for me to ask for help. I know it's mainly because I'm fiercely independent and pride myself on being able to survive when things are rough. And also, I feel like as an adult, I shouldn't have to rely on my dad to pay for things.

I relieved that he was able to help. But sad I had to ask.

When I got home, in addition to looking at today's FT postings, I applied for cashier jobs at Target and the local grocery store. (I'd done another store earlier and not heard back.) Hopefully I'll get something like this until I find out about either a real job or the cafe. Something has go to give. I will not ask him for money again. He deserves to keep what he works so hard for.