Wednesday, February 23, 2022

I was totally right about the Raymond James guy telling Obnoxious Brother that nope, he will not be party to a speculative investment

 Primo just talked to the Raymond James guy about something else, but he asked RJ guy what it's like dealing with Obnoxious Brother (OB).

RJ guy is tactful and nice and he said Oh it's fine!

But then he added that OB had asked about the GREAT OPPORTUNITY THAT ENDS SOON and that he had told OB that RJ does not do that kind of thing.

RJ guy was nice about it, but in his head, I bet he was thinking, Haven't we already been through what a bad idea this kind of investment is you stupid jerk?

That's what I'm thinking.

Primo has finally resigned from the trust but his Obnoxious Brother still won't leave him alone

 It took months for Primo to resign as trustee for the trust for Obnoxious Brother's (OB) kid.

It was DONE and Primo sighed a sigh of relief and I sighed a sigh of relief because dealing with OB is so awful.

"I dread seeing his name on an email or text," Primo confessed to me.

I dread it on Primo's behalf.

So what does OB do now that he is the trustee?

He emails Primo asking him for investment advice.

Which - Primo is brilliant and all but he is not an investment advisor.

He's not even a hobbyist investor.

He left all the money with the financial advisor Sly and Doris used. We can't blame the Raymond James guy for Sly being a jerk. And the RJ guy is nice and has about a thousand years' experience doing this kind of thing and he is very very conservative, which is something you want when you are dealing with someone else's money.

OB emailed Primo yesterday - he has ANOTHER GREAT OPPORTUNITY for the trust!

And he wants to talk to Primo about it!

It's with the same place where OB got Primo to invest the money last year - the place that said they could waive the rules but guess what if you're in this game, you can't waive the rules and it was a pain in the neck for Primo to resolve the whole mess.

OB wants Primo's advice, he says, about another GREAT OPPORTUNITY with his friend's fund.

Why would Primo's advice matter?

Why is OB even wanting to discuss this with Primo?

I have a guess. 

I think it's that the Raymond James guy said "This is a stupid idea and I don't think you should do it" and OB wants Primo to say the Raymond James guy is wrong, which Primo is not going to do. 

Or it's that OB wants Primo to invest some of our own money in this GREAT DEAL because there's something in it for OB.

I will let you know.

I don't trust OB and had hoped that Primo's resignation as trustee would mean Primo would never talk to him again, but I guess I was wrong.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

And now that great investment that Primo's brother asked him to make? It's being investigated

Of course we are not surprised.

I am not surprised.

This seemed shady to me from the beginning.

Primo got a weird email from someone he didn't recognize. Turns out that there is a compliance audit.

(Which is what all financial investment firms know about and should expect. I have some work experience in this area and in the company where I worked, they went overboard to dot the Is and cross the Ts and make sure everything was legally correct because the company's reputation depended on being trustworthy.)


Who knew?

Only everybody.

For this investment, the investor - that is, the trust, has to have assets of two million dollars.

No, I don't know why this is the rule. But it is.

And nobody asked Primo if the trust has two million dollars.

(It does not.)(It has enough to pay the kids' student loans and help them make a down payment on a house.)

Primo's brother's friend lied to him about being able to waive the rules.

I hope he gets fired and gets his license yanked.

But wait! Primo's brother, whom he had to talk to yesterday, which made Primo cranky, has an idea!

"Do you and Goldie have two million dollars?" he asked. "You could be the qualified investor!"

Um. No.

Even if we did have that kind of money, we would not use it for the benefit of Primo's brother and his lying friend. We would not put our names on this crap.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Primo's obnoxious brother offers investment advice he is totally unqualified to give

 Just before Christmas, Primo's obnoxious brother - I can't even remember what I call him here, so we'll just call him OB, asked Primo to invest money from OB's son's trust (the son is mentally disabled and will never live independently) into a venture capital fund run by a friend of his.

OB got his friend to waive the minimum investment of $250K as a favor!

But the money had to be invested with the friend before the end of the year!

Primo asked our financial advisor, who manages the trusts for all the grandchildren, what he thought.

Financial advisor gave him a measured, "I don't have access to those kinds of funds," which to me read as, Yeah I don't do that speculative BS because I care about what happens to my clients.

Still, to get OB off his back - and Primo is in the process of turning OB's son's trust over to OB because - why should Primo and not OB be managing OB's son's trust, Primo put $25K in the friend's fund.

Now we are in July.

Primo has closed Sly and Doris' estate. He's getting ready to resign as trustee for OB's son. He'll continue as trustee for his other three nieces and nephew.

And OB emailed Primo and their brother, Second Brother (he can't be "Other Brother" for obvious reasons) suggesting that Second Brother ask Primo to invest SB's kids' money with OB's friend's fund.

Because friend - AS A FAVOR - will waive the $250K minimum.


Because people who take other peoples' money do things AS A FAVOR ALL THE TIME.

Because they want everyone to get rich!

Primo is furious.

1. SB has nothing to do with his (adult) children's trust or its management. (Because Sly and Doris decided to be jerks and have Primo do everything, which, to OB and SB, looks like a slap in the face, which is just what Sly and Doris intended.)

2. OB is not an investment advisor. OB doesn't even do anything. Does he have a job? No he does not. But he thinks he should live the high life.

3. OB is a presumptuous jerk. Oh wait. Did I say that already? Well, it bears repeating. OB is a presumptuous jerk.

How many of you think that this fund is a scam and that OB might be getting some sort of referral fee from his friend?

How many of you think that legitimate money managers offer to waive minimums AS A FAVOR?

I just want OB out of our lives.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The crazy laundry people who told us this was not New York City so we shouldn't expect quiet


Do not worry - Primo has not moved out! We are together and very happy (well, as happy as an extravert and an introvert can be in the same house during a pandemic.)

Read my current blog here

The crazy laundry people live upstairs. They live directly above Primo and do two loads of laundry every single day. One load at 8:00 a.m., another at 4:00 p.m. You can almost set your watch by them. They also do something at 6:00 a.m. - sweeping the carpet? walking on the treadmill? Whatever it is, we hear it.

When they first moved in, they did laundry at 5:30 a.m. You can hear their washing machine in Primo's apartment. Primo, a night owl, did not appreciate being woken after only an hour or two of sleep. He called the apartment management, who informed the upstairs couple that quiet hours are between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

The crazy laundry people comply with the rules. They wait until 8:00 a.m. to start the washer. 8:00 exactly.

They are retired. What are they washing? Maybe they're incontinent. But that's what Depends are for.

Primo is tired of being woken every morning at 8:00. We hatch a plan to ask them nicely to wait until a little bit later, at least on weekends. He is going to explain that he often works late, that he has conference calls to India at midnight, that he would really like a little more sleep.

He is going to accompany the request with a plateful of hot out of the oven chocolate chocolate chip cookies. With Ghirardelli chocolate chips. The Good Chocolate.

We make the cookies. He takes them upstairs. Knocks on the door. Explains he lives downstairs and would they wait until later for the laund-

"We talked to the manager. Quiet hours are only until 8:00 a.m.," crazy laundry person #1 snaps.

"But so much laundry!" Primo protests.

"You have to stay on top of it!"

Then crazy laundry person #1 then tells Primo that they are tired of all the noise we make. You know, opening and closing the patio door, making our late (8:00 p.m.) suppers. "This is Milwaukee," crazy laundry person tells Primo. "This is not New York City! People here get up early."

Then crazy laundry person slams the door. And keeps the cookies.

We are astonished. Two retired people, 14 loads of laundry a week. And they are bothered by our opening the patio door? Plus we totally don't get the New York City reference. Does the crazy laundry person think that it's quiet in New York City? That people in New York sleep late? What's up with that?

Saturday, April 10, 2021

In which we lay Sly to rest in a way that's so, so appropriate

Hi everyone. I know I haven't written forever, mostly because the Sly and Doris story is done and Primo's brother has not been a jerk lately and my nieces are amazing - and even if they weren't, I would not write about them because - well, because they are lovely. And they have always been nice to me. 

Sly and Primo's brother, however - They started it. 

Primo has selected gravestones for Sly and Doris. Their ashes (the ones not in my house) are buried in Doris' family graveyard, where her grandparents lived. 

Primo's something cousin and her partner live there and have been wonderful in helping get this done. Primo selected the gravestones and has approved the copy for them. This is a small family plot where Doris' grandparents are buried, where her parents are buried, where Primo's sister is buried. It's a Doris-side little cemetary. 

The copy on Primo's grandparents' say, "Beloved husband" and "Beloved wife." (Each of these gravestones also carries the name and birthdays and death days of the person.) 

 Primo's sister's gravestone reads, "Beloved granddaughter." 

Doris' gravestone will read, "Beloved daughter." 

And Sly's will read, "Beloved husband of Doris." 

Oh yes you read that correctly. Sly will be defined for eternity by his relationship to Doris. He was her husband. She is not being defined as his wife. 

This - was not completely accidental. A person can get pretty angry five years after his parents' death, after he's had to clean up their messes and settle their estate and finally start thinking about how they treated him.

(PS You are reading my new blog, right? Nothing about Sly and Doris but a lot of politics and feminism.)

Monday, May 11, 2020

In which Primo is relieved that The Challenger won because she is Killing It with COVID

Hi everyone! I have not forgotten about you, but there has not been anything to post.

I mean, there is crap about the will and the trust, because that will never end, will it? But all I can say about it now is - well, there are good reasons not to drop a lot of money into the hands of young people and although I wish Sly and Doris had designated someone else as the trustee, they were not unwise to hold the money in trust until their grandchildren turned 30. But that's all about that.

No, what I really wanted to tell you was - The Challenger is doing an incredible job as a representative. She is amazing. She is smart and warm and empathetic and she is a wonderful communicator and she is On It with covid issues and really, I don't think we could ask for anyone better.

Primo watches her and says he would not want to be in government right now. Crisis management is not his thing. He likes big picture policy thinking and structural change. He is not about potholes and emergencies. He hates that stuff. He does not want the job right now as it is.

I also wanted to tell you that I met Challenger in person last year and have since become Facebook friends with her and she really is lovely. Primo had initially thought she might be a bit ditzy but HE WAS WRONG.

Alas, he had the impression that men often have of very pretty women.

But guess what?

It is possible to be pretty and smart at the same time.

Challenge is very pretty and very smart. She was not a good public speaker at first, but that is a learned skill. I have not heard her give a speech,  but I have no doubt that if she needed to polish that skill, she has since done so.

She is a very very good writer.  Her political communications are excellent and she is focusing on the right issues right now - helping small businesses get help, helping people get unemployment insurance payments, publicizing minority-owned business grant programs, pushing out medical information.

She is good. She is very very good at her job. And we are lucky to have her in our district.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

And The Challenger won! We are happy!

The Challenger will do Great Things, we hope. She might not have won if it were not for the groundwork Primo laid over the past few years. She told Primo that she focused her campaigning on the areas where he had not been - specifically, she knocked on doors he had not been able to reach.

She won.

It's been a little hard. It was hard. It was hard for Primo because he wonders if he could have won. It's been hard for me because I want him to be happy, but I would really like him to be happy outside of politics.

He did learn that the Big Money County Rich Inherited Money guy was prepared to spend $70K backing The Challenger in a primary against Primo. I don't think Primo could have won against that.

But - it's still hard. We are mourning the death of a dream. It's really, really hard.


1. Primo took the job.

2. He hates working.

3. There's a club for that, etc., etc.

4. As of a week ago, I have a new boss, so - I am not sure. I really really liked my previous boss. I have never had a boss that long - 4.5 years - and I have never been such good friends with a boss. We are the same age and really get along well and it's just hard. I am grieving, I think.

5. Primo does not like working.

6. Duh. That's why they have to pay us.

7. But we really need to figure out what to do with our lives and I hope it never has anything again to do with politics.

8. So there's this, which is kinda fluffy. Not sure what's going to happen with it.

Here's a cat:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In which I take a blog break because I am super busy at work trying to convince the Germans to be happy we are killing their product line

but I will be back soon.

With election results. :)

Everything is fine, I promise. Just super busy and about to go on vacation, so something has to go for now.

Also, life is uneventful, which is excellent.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Candidate's Wife, or, should I say, The Engineer's wife?

Less than 48 hours ago, one of Primo's former co-workers called to ask Primo if he would be interested in coming back to work.

Primo has since spoke to the woman who would be his boss, a friend he has known and worked with for 20 years. He is now speaking to another former co-worker. 

The job is pretty much his if he wants it.

But - he would like to work in politics.

Which does not pay as much.

And if he returns to his old job, he feels like it would be an admission of defeat (which I can totally understand).

The decision is his, but I am putting my finger on the scales.

Primo: If I go back to work and you're already working, who does the chores?

Me: We would have to re-negotiate.

Primo: If I return to [old job], I wouldn't mind keeping the laundry and the vacuuming because that's easy to do working from home. But I hate cleaning the bathroom. I don't want to do that.

Me: I guess I could take back cleaning the bathroom.  

Primo: Good!

Me: But only if you go back to [old job]. If you get a political job, I'll be making more money than you and I will say you have to do the bathroom.

Primo: But I hate cleaning the bathroom!

Me: I know.

Friday, November 9, 2018

For those who don't believe, Number Nine

I am 54
And this is so, so bizarre because I didn't even think of it as assault, I thought of it as a pass. Who makes a pass at a middle-aged woman wearing a loose sundress?

It's 8 p.m. on an early August evening. I am walking home from the state fair. It's only three miles and Primo is staying late to help with some political stuff. I could take Primo's car, but I don't like driving his car. I could take the bus, but the next bus isn't for 30 minutes.

It's nice. I have time. I can walk.

It's crowded by the fair, but gets less crowded the further north I go.

As I wait to cross a major street, I see a teenager waiting to cross as well.

Because I am such an Enlightened, Good Person, I make eye contact with him and smile slightly. I acknowledge him because are we not humans together on this planet, bound by common experience?

Am I not Noble, to look a young man in the eye, a stranger?

Am I not Good? Am I not Unlike The Others who ignore strangers?

I am! I am Good! I am Noble! I am Enlightened!

I smile in smug satisfaction at myself as I cross.

Finally, I am alone on the sidewalk.

Which I have been waiting for. I didn't mention it to you, but my underwear has been crawling up my butt.

I know! I know! TMI! TMI!

But it's part of the plot.

I am finally alone, so I reach behind me to make the necessary adjustment.

As I pull my hand away, I still feel a hand on my butt.

And I hear a voice say, "Would you like some help with that?"

I turn and  - it's the kid I saw waiting to cross.

He stares at me.

"Stop that!" I order him. "Stop that right now!"

He stares.

"Go away!" I shoo him with my hand. "Go away! This is completely inappropriate! What would your mother say? She would be ashamed of you."

He stares.

"I am old enough to be your grandmother!" I tell him.

I have completely missed the point. Completely.

This? This is not about sex or attraction or flirting.

This is about power and men thinking they can do what they want.

I am not concerned, though. I outweigh this kid by a good 20 pounds and he can't be more than 15 or 16.

"Go away," I tell him. "Just turn around and walk away."

I turn and start walking again.

He follows me.

"Oh my gosh. Would you just go away?"

He doesn't.

I keep walking, but now I am looking at the houses, thinking maybe I should knock on someone's door.

He follows.

"Go away or I'm going to call the police," I say.

He follows.

I turn toward a house and dial 911.

It's a kid following me.

It's not a fire.

I'm not being beaten.

I'm not being robbed.

I'm not being raped.

This? This is not 911.

Yet I call 911.

He follows.

"I am on the phone with the police!" I tell him. "You need to go away!"

As I am talking to the operator - "I am so sorry to bother you with something so trivial," I ring the doorbell.

The kid keeps following, across the grass.

It is only when a man opens the door that the kid decides to leave.

And all I can focus on as I tell my story to the man and his wife is that wait I am 54 years old why would anyone grab the ass of a 54 year old woman?

Saturday, November 3, 2018

For those who don't believe, Number Eight

I am 50
This one - this one I don't even think of as any kind of assault. It's just kind of disgusting.

I wasn't hurt. I wasn't scared. I was more - shocked. And then offended.

It didn't occur to me to think of this as anything other than, "Well, that guy was gross."

It's the middle of the afternoon. I am running on the tree-lined streets in my quiet, middle-class neighborhood.

I notice a car parked and a young man sitting inside it. Odd, I think. It's the middle of the day on a work day (I am working from home). Why isn't that guy at work? Why is he just sitting there?

I continue to trot along. Whatever.

A few minutes later, I notice the same guy parked on the next street.

That's really odd.

Do I notice him a third time? Or is the second time enough for me to be nosy and want to give him a Hey if you're casing the neighborhood, I am watching you. You have been seen.

I try to memorize his car and plates. I'm not good at that kind of thing. I would make a horrible detective.

I approach him.

"Hi there!" I say. "I keep seeing you around."

That's a coded, "Dude. What are you doing? This is not common behavior."

He greets me.

"So - what are you doing?"

He tells me that he wants to start an online real-estate business so he is looking at houses for sale in my neighborhood.

Fine. Whatever. I don't really care what you're doing - I just want you to know that you have been seen because your behavior is not the behavior one expects in the middle of a workday.

And this is where I get really stupid and why I'm kind of embarrassed - no, not kind of - completely embarrassed to tell this story and I almost didn't tell it because I feel like I kind of asked for it.

I joke. I joke to dispel the awkward of, "I approached you because I am suspicious hahahaha but really I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation and this is none of my business anyhow."

I say, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're not just following a chubby middle-aged woman out for a run."


It's embarrassing even typing these words.

I should not have said that.

Why did I say that?

Why didn't I just go along on my way?

I am an idiot.

Because apparently,,  my comment  opens the door for him.

"Oh you got some nice jiggle!" he says.



This is not where I saw things going. I expected him to laugh and be on his way.

But - I stupidly said it.

I laugh nervously.

And he says something about how he likes thick women and is my husband thick --

"We are not having this conversation," I say. I back away.

"No, no, no! Come here!" he says.

And - I see his arm moving up and down.

And. I run.

I am an idiot.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

In which The Woman Fights Back

You guys, run, do not walk, to your bookstore or your library to get my friend Jeff Abbott's new book, The Three Beths. It is worth it just for this scene. (I mean, it's worth it for all of it, but THIS SCENE!)

A young man with a weasel's smile had stopped at the patio's fence along the shopping center walkway and was trying to chat up the solitary young woman, who was trying to focus on her book.

"That a good book?" he asked. "You could turn my pages."

The young woman didn't answer, but she fidgeted in the seat, eyes on the page.

"Question is why a fine young babe l like you needs to fill her time reading when I'm right here, ready to buy you a drink."

"I'm not interested, thanks," the young woman said. "I have a boyfriend."

"Yet here you are alone."

"No, thanks."

The jerk took immediate offense. "Listen, you think you too good for me? You're not."

"Excuse me," Mariah said. She stood and walked over to the table.

"Mariah..." Reveal started to say,  but he kept his seat.

"Please, I'm just trying to read in peace," the young woman said to the jerk. An angry edge in her voice now. "Go away, I'm not interested."

"Listen, books make you into a snotty bitch, from what I can see," the jerk said.

"Hey," Mariah said, now standing at the woman's table, across from the jerk. She was tall, but not quite as tall as he was. "She said she's not interested. Move along."

The jerk smiled. Then he laughed. Mariah watched him study and gauge her  and could imagine his thoughts. Here was this tall, solid, mouthy annoyance, dressed in black slacks, black mock turtleneck, even a black barrette holding back her hair. "Listen, was I talking to your ugly face? Is this patio bitch central? Because all of you need to..."

At the word need he jabbed a finger at Mariah, and a sudden sharp rage rose in her chest. Her hand lashed out and caught one of his fingers and wrenched it. The jerk's mouth opened in pain; he tried to pull the hand back, but with the table between them Mariah had the leverage.

"Another millimeter, genius, and it breaks," she said gently. "Step back and walk away. And consider how you talk to women. I mean, has this idiotic banter ever worked for you? Ever?"

"You whore..." and he tried to yank his hand back.

The snap of the breaking bone was loud.

Oh. Yes. This is so satisfying.