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Just $500

23 Oct

A recent survey by, a credit card comparison company, found that more than half of Americans do not have more than $500 in total (cash) savings.


That’s like 1/3 of some people’s rent.

That’s like just two month’s car payments.

That’s like not enough to fix a radiator or a timing belt.

It surely ain’t six months savings.

Talk about living paycheck-to-paycheck.

In the aforementioned survey people also expressed concern and anxiety over the fear of not being able to save enough for retirement.  Particularly those already in their 30’s or older.

A few years back when I sold the one and only house I’d ever “owned” (I use quotes because the bank technically owns it until you pay for it, all typical 30 years of a mortgage. I’ve always been persnickety about the use of the term home ownership. But I digress) I had a great deal of money, all mine to spend how I chose. I had no debt, really and just my monthly bills.  I eyeballed a few things like renovating houses and writing projects but nothing took hold.

Oh, I had great plans to establish myself outside of CubicleVille. What started out as an auspicious road to financial freedom involving land and quality of life turned in to a glorified sabbatical. (Now I have a huge gap on my resume that just won’t close; apparently it makes potential employers chuck my resume into a trashcan. Or shredder.)

After the money dried up as I sat unemployed for what seemed like forever.  What did I do? Did I put all of my trust into a job or the prospect of a job? No, I couldn’t. There are just times when you don’t get hired in enough time to not fall through the cracks financially. Either that or you do get hired but you’re making, oh, $8 working at Macy’s and they’re only gifting you with 25 hours/week.

Hmm. That’s $200/week before taxes. Which would be approximately $800/month before taxes.  

They rent rooms here in the D.C. area for $500-900/month and upwards. Don’t believe me? Have a glimpse at craigslist.dc.

For me, having a huge sum of money mixed with time off mixed with vocational frustration mixed with an innate need for freedom made me look at working differently. I no longer view a job as a potential career or a career as a long-term solution to most of my future needs and desires.

Jobs come and go. Sometimes careers do, too.

So find a way to have enough financially for your own/family’s needs,  a safety net of your own bearings.  All around all of us there are ions of things to make into hot commodities.

Food. Clothing. Sewing. Physical labor. Kids. Talking. Blogging. Fixing computers. Driving. Advertising space. Cleaning. Busking. Tutoring.

And the list goes on.

What I’ve learned from having money and then not having money is that no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT you have to always have a back-up plan, a talent reserve, a side hustle to earn a living.

You cannot always and should not always rely on a mere job to float you straight into retirement. Whenever that is.

And if you’re one of the “half of Americans” with merely $500 in savings, YOU BETTER FIND YOUR HUSTLE.  


No Time 4 Resume Blunders

15 Oct

Certainly you’ve heard of the recent viral resume blunder that was e-mailed by a 20-year-old York University (Toronto) student.


She accidentally attached a photo of actor Nicholas Cage to her resume (not only a photo of the actor but a serial killer-ish shot of him).  The jpeg photo file apparently had a file name that she confused with her résumé file.  It was all over the news, the internet, big hoopla, all that.

Well, even though that was a huge flub, there are similar goofs people commonly make while applying for jobs. Perhaps it’s the fatigue and monotony of Dear Hiring Manager: Please hire me. I can start RIGHT NOW.  

I get it. Oh, I get it.

Over the years I’ve sent out resumes with the wrong company name to the wrong company. (Did that make sense? See what I mean?)

It’s drudgery to apply for jobs.

I mean, you’re begging for something you don’t even want, really. But before I go off on an anti-cubicle tangent, here are some resume flubs or downright resume no’s from around the internet:

1.  Addressing a cover letter with something like “Dear Sir?”  

2.  Putting a smiley face ANYWHERE on your resume. Or any emoticon. This would be cute in third grade, not for a 30-year-old job seeker.

3.  Any questionable e-mail address with your party hard ways or weird hobbies such as “emilyluvsbeer” or “IeatAlligators.”  Even though you may be a weekend-only lush, judgment abounds in the hiring world.

4.  No photos of your cat or dog on your resumes, even when mentioning  hobbies. In fact, don’t mention household or other pets on your resume at all unless you’re applying to work with animals.

5. Even though this is beyond obvious, employers report that they receive ions of resumes with misspelled words, some obvious like “deetail-oriented.”

On a personal note, this has been the job search of my life. I was musing to someone the other day that it was easier for me to find a job quickly when I was a TEENAGER than now. Sure. I just rode my bike over to the local Roy Rogers, filled out an application and was counting chicken thighs in a brown smock within a week.




The flip side is that Christmastime is approaching so NOW HIRING signs are popping up everywhere. Guess I’ll head on over to the mall and stack racks for $8 an hour. When I walk past the soft pretzel stand on my 10-minute breaks I’ll just inhale the scent of dough since I won’t be able to afford any snacks. 

I will soon rise.

Thanks for “listening.” 🙂 

Bald Head = Business Advantage

12 Oct

In the news…

Bald heads are a “business advantage” according to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Who knew?

In business, men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine and dominant and to have great leadership potential.

Now hold on there. We’re not talking about comb-overs, guys, so don’t get your gabardine britches in a bunch. We’re talking completely bald, as in no cul-de-sac look.

We’re not talking about this look, either:

Nope, more like this clean shaven professional look, I’m sure:

Ok, that guy looks menacing, but you get the point.

The study panel conducted three experiments testing peoples’ perceptions of men with shaved heads. In one of the experiments 344 subjects were shown the photos of the same men: one photo with hair and the other photo without hair, as in digitally removed to appear bald.

In each of the three tests the subjects thought of the men with bald heads to be more dominant than their “hairy” counterparts.  In one test, men with bald heads were even perceived as an inch taller and about 13% stronger than those with fuller manes.
Rogaine must be very unhappy about this revelation. Very.

The study director, Dr. Albert Mannes of the Wharton School, says he was inspired to conduct the research after noticing that people treated him more deferentially when he shaved off his own thinning hair.

A shaved head not only in the professional world but in entertainment has often been deemed as more powerful, as the look is further associated with hyper-masculine images, such as the military and professional athletes.

See? You don’t have to fight against nature, dudes. Just go with it. And besides, most comb-overs are an eye sore.

Happy shavin’.

“Challenge” Anyone?

25 Sep

So often while job searching throughout the years I’ve seen the word “challenging” in job postings. As in, If you like to be challenged, this is the job for you. 

Or something like Challenging job opportunity for the RIGHT person! 



Who in the world desires a challenge, really? Except for adventurous types who climb mountains with dental floss strapped around their waistbands? Or NASCAR drivers or similar dare devils who dangle from buildings while tap dancing?

I am none of the above. Neither are most people.

Most of us like quiet time on couches coupled with delectable snacks and 258 cable channels and a remote control with strong batteries. With a calm sleeping dog at our feet.

It’s amazing how many employers use the word challenge. 

RUSH HOUR is a challenge, for crying out loud.

Dealing with coworkers is a challenge.

Shaking the vending machine to retrieve my Pop Tarts is a challenge.

Working for less than I always think I’m worth is a challenge.

Matching my clothing to assimilate into the working environment is a downright challenge.

GETTING UP EVERY SINGLE MONDAY MORNING for decades has been a challenge.

So why would I want the actual job itself, beyond all of this other stuff, to challenge me?

My nostrils are flaring.



noun, verb, chal·lenged, chal·leng·ing, adjective

1. a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
2. something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort.
3. a call to fight, as a battle, a duel, etc.
4. a demand to explain, justify.
5. difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.

Even the dictionary states that challenge is indeed an antagonistic word.

A call to fight, battle, engage in any contest.  I mean, the word “duel” is actually used.

WHO readily signs up for this stuff?

(Of course while interviewing I pretend as if I adore challenges. I’m an actress; I just don’t play one on TV.)

If I’m going to have to “duel” at work I’m gonna have to start taking B vitamins again.

The Top 10 Reasons You Should Love Mondays

24 Sep

1.  If it weren’t for Mondays there would be no reason for you to stop gorging on random snacks such as sticky buns and cheesy puffs. And that dip with the spinach garlicky stuff in it. Whatever it was. 

2.  Because it’s Monday offices that were closed are now open. I mean, you can finally reach your doctor to ask him about that “problem” you’ve been having. You know, the one with the… “mole.”

3.  Kids go back to school. What’s the big deal? Well, skateboards in subdivisions can be quite loud.




4.  Your favorite TV show comes on. You know, the one where the guy’s a doctor and he’s secretly in love with the intern and their eyes met last week at the close of the show and teasers for this week made it look like they would hook up. Yeah, that show. 

5.  The banks open up after being closed on Sunday. (I wish all banks were open on Sunday.)

6.  Your favorite coffee place opens earlier on Mondays than it does on the weekends.  I mean, it sucks to drive up to the coffee place only to find that its still closed and won’t open for a whole hour. So there you are in your frumpy bedroom gear with your messy hair sitting in your car alone in a parking lot feeling odd and frumpy.

7.  You get to see your coworkers again. YIPEE!! Yep, even Weird Bob who’s tuna sandwich should never be allowed to enter the company refrigerator because it doesn’t even smell like tuna.

8.  It’s one day closer to your next paycheck.

9.  It’s one day closer to your next higher paying position.

10.  It’s one day closer to your next three-day weekend.

Ok, that list was hard to come up with. I generally have detested Mondays, too. But here’s to your Monday and all Mondays. We will survive. Yes, we will.


20 Sep

I was going to post today about the “popcorn lung” lawsuit, how the guy who sued actually won around $7 million, about the offending chemical diacetyl, all that.  Two bags a day, all that. …I was going to post about it because I had written about it years ago in my book…Yeah, the book on the right side of this post.  (Cough).

But for some reason I decided not to.


Instead I want to share with you this.

Which is far more fascinating AND IN REAL TIME. 

No matter how many times I view this, I cannot decide which counter is more fascinating–deaths? No, births. No, “days til the end of gas”? Hmm.

Check it out. Even though I haven’t figured out how it is they can count some of this stuff, no less in real time, I find it mesmerizing.

I think you will, too.


Monday Blues 2.0

10 Sep

I know. No, really, I know. 

I’ve spent decades of Sundays depressed because my little 48-hour break from CubicleVille was ending.

It’s Monday. You’re probably feeling icky in an anti-cubicle sort of way.

You probably still have night crust in your eyes and it’s almost lunch time.

It is a fact that pets–dogs in particular–encourage endorphin rushes.

Feel better after resting your eyeballs below of dogs in clothes and such: