First, I managed to over sleep and wound up being a good 50 minutes late getting to kshandra's place to do what little I could to help them stuff pack up and move some of their belongings to their new place in San Jose. The original plan was to load up the Beetle, but thanks to my total somnambulant overdose that sort of fell through.
Before heading down to San Jose I tried to find a bakery that Michele used to go to on Clement street for some Pork Buns. After searching for 15 minutes, I was forced to give up and rush down the peninsula. I suspect that the Bakery is now a Walgreens.
The funny part is I wound up making it to dafydd's before K'shandra and gridlore, which amused me no end. Even better, after we loaded up D's truck with stuff that had been living there temporarily whilst they waited for the keys to Offhand Manor (don't start, it's THEIR name for it!) we were able to shove the remaining boxes in the big, making it in one trip. So, everything does happen for a reason sometimes.
The new place is kinda funky, but clean and a HELL of a lot nicer than places I used to live in myself. The biggest issue they seem to have is the the majority of the apartment lacks three pronged plugs... you know, that ground plug thing is pretty much a Really Good Idea for those of us with desktop CPU's. At least there were some in the Kitchen.
I wound up back at the house a lot earlier than I could have hoped. Michele was in an excellent mood, which (after all that's been happening over the last few months) was a good thing indeed. We started a conversation that wound up lasting hours in which literally EVERYTHING I've been wanting to talk to her about for at LEAST the last 18 months got covered. As she put it, she had to be on disability 2 and a half months before she could unwind enough to talk about this stuff, so she thought it important to go over it before she returned to the icky job.
One thing she mentioned made me want to bang a head against a wall: It turns out I could have been on short term disability for the last two years and received something like 2 thousand bucks a month... and then I could have gone on unemployment. To put this in perspective, that means my unemployment benefits would have BEGUN this month. I literally cried from the frustration. Michele had just found this out while dealing with her own stuff. The problem now is that it's based on income from 18 months ago... even if I had learned this last November we might have been able to get some cash for stressed out ADHD boy (wave to the audience, Yo). Now, it's pretty much moot.
However, happier news: The tax refund is large enough to pay off the Bug. The truck is paid off as of last month. Add to this me doing the work that Rob is paying BroomHilda's for the bi-weekly cleaning, and that's a cool 900 bucks less a month we have to come up with.
The rest of the conversation was talking about ways we can reduce it even further. By the end of the evening (and with Rob's collaboration, turning this into an actual family meeting... and you have NO idea how important that is!) we had hashed out a whole new way of dealing with the new reality: Yo's not getting a new job any time soon, so instead of everyone stressing about it let's make it work somehow. I take on some of the stuff that makes Rob and Michele nuts, handle some of the financial stuff to bring us even further into the black, and do some of the errands and such that not only cut into their time to get work and school stuff done, but also presents huge temptations that cost money. Like shopping at CostCo, for example. Hell, *I* have a hard enough time myself when it comes to not losing control there.
I'm also going to look into refinancing. While we already have a low interest rate, I want to eliminate the unsecured loan from hell that's costing 600 bucks a month to service. It's the money we used to put the down payment on the house. Stop shaking your heads -- the bay area real estate market, already a bit weird, went totally insane after we bought this place five years ago. Even if I wind up with the same payment each month, getting rid of that alone would make a BIG difference in M's tension.
I also want enough leftover cash to do some home improvement stuff. I desperately want to get rid of that goddamned mauve (yes, MAUVE) wall to wall carpet that's installed throughout the house. We live in the freaking WOODS, where it's damp, muddy, and such... it's impossible to keep clean, gets moldy at the drop of a hat, and is TRASHED by some of the doorways. I want to replace it all with pergo, seal the basement properly (the carpet was installed on top of bare, untreated concrete by the previous moron who owned the house), and a variety of other small tweaks that will help all of us breath better.
We also talked about marital dissolution stuff. In California the law's recently been changed so that any marriage lasting ten years or more is EXTREMELY difficult to dissolve. Before everyone starts freaking out, let me explain: Michele and I hate the idea of the state getting a say in how we handle our private lives. Making us go through mediation (expensive) and the courts (intrusive) in order to make it possible, say, for Michele to go on Rob's insurance, pisses us off. At the very least it makes us want to do a Nolo Press self-filed divorce, wait for the decree, and then re-marry (if we're so inclined) to reset the clock. The polyamorous readers probably understand the idea better than those who confuse the administrative/civil state of marriage from the larger reality that no court or government can ever regulate.
It's twisted that this part of the conversation was the biggest relief: Michele still loves me. A lot. She doesn't want me to go away. I burst into tears I was so relieved. Go figure.
The original plan had been to catch a movie, but after all of this we were BOTH toasted. Onwards to Thursday!