Sunday, August 22, 2021
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
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.
AS A FAVOR!
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
THIS IS AN OLD STORY THAT I REPOSTED BECAUSE I NEEDED A LINK!
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
Monday, May 11, 2020
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.
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Saturday, February 2, 2019
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.
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
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
And if he returns to his old job, he feels like it would be an admission of defeat (which I can totally understand).
Friday, November 9, 2018
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!"
"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."
"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?"
I keep walking, but now I am looking at the houses, thinking maybe I should knock on someone's door.
"Go away or I'm going to call the police," I say.
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.
"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
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
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."
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.
Friday, October 26, 2018
I am 24 and I have had a few boyfriends. I think this happens after Friends' Boss, but I can't remember. I remember these events by where I was living at the time. Friends' Boss and The Broker Who Kissed Me both happen while I am living in the apartment off Steck Ave in Austin.
I date the Turkish guy when I rent the house on Indian Trail with my friend Rebecca.
The Dentist happens when I am in the duplex on Stamford.
Nobody while I am in the duplex on Windsor.
I am 24 and I dated my college boyfriend - Calvin, the one I almost married, and a sweet, sweet man for about six months in Houston before I move to Austin.
And maybe Friends' Boss or maybe he is after.
I can't remember.
I work for an insurance company. We work with brokers. The brokers bring us the requests for proposal. I am paid a salary, but I get a bonus for every new account I sell. It is in my financial interests to develop and maintain good relationships with my brokers.
A broker comes to us for a bid. My boss tells me to work with him. So I do.
I like Broker. He is funny and nice.
He is also old. So so old. He must be at least 50. Like - he is my dad's age.
Ancient and married and someone from work which, I have learned, is not a good idea, as sweet, sweet man in Houston works for the same company I do and working with someone I date was not the problem. It was working with someone I used to date that was not so great.
Don't get your honey where you get your money. I learned that lesson and have abided (abode?) by it since.
Let's list the facts again:
- It's WORK
- He's OLD
- He's MARRIED
- It's WORK
Monday, October 22, 2018
I am living in Austin. I meet my friends' boss. He is in his early 30s. I think he's kind of hot, but - he's old and he's my friends' boss and he has a girlfriend anyhow.
Friends' Boss (FB) quits his job to return to school - out of town - for a master's degree. He comes back to Austin for spring break and shows up at a party I am attending with my friends. We talk. A lot. He has broken up with his girlfriend. So I flirt with him, as much as I know how.
(Remember, I am the girl who was not asked to a single high-school dance - except the ROTC ball, which is still weird, because I never had one nice conversation with the guy who asked me.)
In retrospect, I see that youth is its own beauty. Twenty three is gorgeous. Twenty three is firm and unblemished and glossy.
This one is the hardest to write. I don't think I have ever told this story to anyone in real life. (I may have written about it here before.)
I told it to Primo last week and his first reaction was, "But - but why did you see him again?"
And Primo is the person who loves me most in the world outside of my mother, my brother, my sister, and my other blood relations.
When the person who loves you the most questions your actions, how do you not question them yourself?
This is the one that causes me the most shame. The one that makes me question myself the most. The one that makes me blame myself.
And then I get angry because WHY DO MEN PRESUME? AND WHY WON'T THEY JUST TAKE "NO" FOR AN ANSWER?
All I want is for my space and my voice to be respected. All I want is to sit in a seat and not be bothered by some man who decides that his desire for company overrides my desire not for company. All I want is to be able to tell a man to leave me alone and have him LEAVE ME ALONE.
No. All I want is NOT TO HAVE TO TELL HIM THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE. What makes some men think that they get to decide everything? That just because THEY WANT, I have to listen?
So FB calls me from Houston after the party. He wants to see me again.
Stupid me. I think he means take me on a date. Sure! I tell him.
He knocks on my door the next day. I don't remember what we do - maybe we do go out to eat. When we return to my apartment, I ask him - out of politeness, more than anything - where he is staying.
"With you!" he says.
That was not my plan.
"No," I tell him.
And what ensues is an hour-long conversation - and I use that term lightly - in which he convinces me he can stay - "I guess you can sleep on the couch" - and then convinces me to let him into my bed -
DO YOU SEE WHY I AM SO ASHAMED OF THIS? DO YOU SEE WHY I FEEL SO STUPID?
This is why I don't tell this story. This is why I know this is my fault.
Because I let him.
I let him into my bed.
And then I let him - you know.
And - this is where Primo was in absolute disbelief - I let him visit me again in the summer.
This is the part I don't even understand myself. If he didn't respect my wishes from the outset, why would I let him back into my life?
He was funny and smart and - I was going to type "nice" but how nice are you if you don't respect a woman's "No!"
I liked him.
And maybe by letting him return I don't have to admit to myself that he did not treat me well? That his talking and talking and talking until I finally just wanted him to SHUT UP constituted - what? - is that a form of date rape? I don't think so. I don't. But --- I had no intentions of sleeping with him. None. I hadn't even thought he would stay over at my place, even on the couch.
This one still confuses me. I still don't know what to think.
Except I am still angry.
After visit number two, he writes me passionate letters.
He asks me to move to California with him once he graduates.
I ignore his letters. I ignore his phone calls.
He writes more letters, telling me "not to be afraid of [my] passion," which simultaneously pisses me off and makes me roll my eyes. I'm not afraid of my passion. I'm afraid of him.
He calls one day to tell me he's leaving St Louis and will be in Austin in X hours. I hear the message on my answering machine and look at the clock in a panic.
I grab my purse and leave. I don't come home until after dark.
I never hear from him again.
Four years later, my friend Cathy asked why I hadn't warned her about my former boyfriend.
The only former boyfriend I can think of is Calvin, who is getting married to my former college roommate in a few months, so I am very confused.
No! she says. FB!
Right! She is in that same group of friends who worked for FB.
"He wouldn't leave me alone when I tried to break up!" she said.
I google stalk him every now and then. What would I do if he were nominated for some important position? Today, he just rolls on his very liberal credentials (he's super big in renewable energy). Would a story about his behavior discredit him? Would my story? No. No, it wouldn't, because just re-reading what I wrote, I can see that almost everyone in the world would say that I was asking for it.
This. This is why women don't tell.