Tuesday, October 15, 2013


My friend, Steve Phan, has been writing a daily haiku during the government shut down. It brings a smile to my face every day. Yesterday's post made me feel like I'm not the only one getting pissed with this silliness.

Government shutdown
Nothing resolved, still furloughed
Frustrated today

I've learned a bit about myself since the shutdown. First, let me say that the shut down effectively means no income for me. None. Nada. Zilch. I tend to eat out a lot. That has completely stopped. I've been cooking and shopping on a budget. I'm thinking about how I spend (and don't spend) money. Really, when life is normal, I am a conservative spender. I think about what I buy before I buy it and I don't shop often. Now all I want to do is buy things. I never buy cosmetics at the mall. Ever. I wanted that Clinique bonus set - so unlike me. I really want to get another aquarium. I don't really need it but I suddenly want it. Normally I don't think about money so much - I make enough to live on and it's just another part of my life. Without it, I obsess about it.

I heard my kids talking about what they want for Christmas the other day. Never did I think my 12 year olds would say "well, if the furlough ends, I will ask for (whatever it was). But if it doesn't, I'll ask for a book." My kids are very aware of how this is affecting us.

There's a small handful of friends who are like me - single moms with kids and little to no support from our exes - who are shitting bricks and figuring out what to do. I wonder if the folks on capitol hill have to do the same - figure out how to feed your kids and pay your bills when no money is coming in. Oh, by the way, we don't qualify for unemployment (at least not now and not in MD).

The politicians on both sides bear fault. Yes, I think one side is more guilty than the other but really, I DON'T CARE. I don't care which bully is wrong any more. I want to work. Though, in reality, the time off hasn't totally sucked. All my laundry is done. I have a bunch of stuff up on ebay and craigslist - getting rid of things is good. I've taken a few car loads of stuff to the donation place. My bathrooms have been cleaned regularly. As I said before, I am cooking. I am looking at recipes. I am envious of the extreme couponers. I have baked. The smell of banana bread does make my house smell yummy.

One of the things that has made my heart glow is the good side of people, especially those in my industry, that have come to light. Now, I know interpreters are generally good people but caring that has been shown lately is amazing. I saw a post from one interpreter who generally doesn't work in the federal arena offer interpreting hours to those of us who have been screwed by the shutdown. I've seen that happen a few times. Another group of interpreters started a fund to help those of us who aren't working ( How awesome is that!

It has to end at some point, doesn't it? Maybe this is the Universe's way of telling me I should get a job at World Market. But then there's that whole living wage argument. Maybe it's time for Plan B for the Judi's Life Plan.

Now, off to make a Plan B......

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