Monday, October 31, 2016

A quiet weekend with GFJ

Sadly, GFJ does not want to deal with the Marian side of me.  We both know that neither of us are looking at the long term until her divorce is final. And then, and only then, will we be in a position to say what we want and need to do with our lives.

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On Friday, GFJ knew that I was going to meet with the FFGoW meetup group to have dinner with the ladies. Since she was having dinner with one of her friends after a divorcee's group gathering, this was not an issue.  GFJ arrived at my place around midnight, and we quickly fell asleep.

The next morning, we both were too tired to do much of anything, so we stayed in bed all day.  We didn't get moving until late in the afternoon, having watched about 6 hours of "Law and Order, SVU", and this limited us to what we planned to do for dinner.  Thankfully, BJ's had pre-cooked hot chickens available after 7:00 pm, and with some veggies and an ice cream cake we bought, we had a nice dinner.

Sunday morning came, and I was cooking breakfast when I got a call from an unknown number in Connecticut.  My cousin (once removed) called to tell me that her mom (my paternal grandmother's sister in law) had passed away.  As much as I wanted to go to the funeral, there is no realistic way for me to drive to Newport, RI for the day - as I'd have to be on the road by 5:00 am to be there on time.  And there was no way I could skip a public co-op board meeting we are holding the night before. So I'll have to send a sympathy card, and say that I'd like to visit when things are less hectic.

GFJ and I got out of the house around 3:30 pm, and took a nice long drive through Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, putting mileage on the car that it doesn't need. Yet, we needed to get out of the house, and this little trip was worth the miles.  Unfortunately, GFJ couldn't stay overnight, so I had to bid her adieu around 9:00 pm.

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What I didn't mention so far is that NYS Unemployment sent me a letter on Saturday, telling me that I had to report to the Department of Labor office in Peekskill.  Seems like they (in theory) want to review my resume and assess my qualifications for employment.  This is a minor pain in the ass, as I know what went wrong in my prior job, and I am deliberately avoiding applying for positions which play to my weaknesses and not my strengths.

Job searching is a big pain, as in a society with structural unemployment for many, we are not able to efficiently match enough people with jobs for which they are qualified.  All too many people's skills become obsolete, and yet, our society does a piss-poor job of redeploying a growing idled workforce.  (Heck, people who look for jobs more than 6 months are considered "discouraged" and not dropped from the unemployed worker count.  This doesn't make sense when there is a shortage of quality jobs for most Americans.)  Yet, many disagree with me.  Since I don't want to make this a political rant, I just want to note that the official statistics are well known not to accurately represent true unemployment rates, and that both Liberals and Conservatives agree that there is a real problem, but can't agree on what that problem is.

When I discussed this letter with GFJ, she noted that self-employed people whose businesses become insolvent are doubly screwed.  Even though they ("in theory") are in control of their work, they must pay into the unemployment insurance fund, and are unable to collect from it when their businesses fail.  Sadly, our system is FUBAR, and there is little that a market based economy can do to soften the blows to the average worker without making them dependent on the government, and no longer subject to what Marx called "The Whip of Hunger."

As I've noted in my first period of unemployment, I am still a very lucky person. And I am still grateful to have the resources that most people in my position do not have....

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