So having paid my cable/internet bill with great relief, and being in proud possession of my computer once more, I happily sat down at it - only to discover that it wasn't there any more because they'd turned it off again. I promptly called Time/Warner, only to be told, "Oh, yes, we know you paid THAT bill - didn't you see the one two days later?" TWO DAYS LATER? They now have two day billing cycles?
Ah, well. So I was (as always) bemoaning my moneyless state when the mail arrived. And what to my wondering eyes should appear (no, no, not Santa Claus - I mean Saint Nick - not in June, one sincerely hopes, because I'd just have to get paranoid about Christmas shopping) but a nice form letter from my former office. This would be the law firm that I worked at for eight years and at which I had a 401K. I just left it the hell alone when I left the firm because I couldn't think of anything more useful to do with it and I have a mindset that says money invested should stay invested. And it was sitting there nicely chugging along at around 18,000 bucks.
But this form letter said that since I was past 59 1/2, I could get a loan from it. And I thought, well, now that's an idea. As it turned out, I couldn't get a loan from it because you can only do that if you are still with the firm that gave you the 401K, but I COULD change the 401K to an IRA (this is starting to sound like that song from Hair - "LBJ took the IRT"), so that's what I did. I then proceeded to grab a good chunk of it (no, not even half - just enough to get me sorted out with bills and one other thing that I'll get to in a minute). And I am now precariously solvent again! Isn't that exciting?
(Brief pause to run downstairs for beer...there are certain drawbacks to living to an actual house type house with upstairs and downstairs and all like that. But it's probably very good for my thighs.)
(I have returned - aren't you thrilled?)
However, of course, nothing ever works quite right for me. I went to the nice investment people on Monday in person to set this whole thing up, because when I talked to them, they said, "Oh, no problem. You just get online and...", at which point I cut the nice gentleman off and said, "Well, the problem is that unless I get some cash, there ISN'T any online." So off I went uptown to their office. I got it all done, then yesterday I called and discovered that the change from 401K to IRA (LBJ took the IRT down to 4th Street USA...sorry, it keeps going through my head) had taken place and my money was there and I could have a check overnighted which would arrive today. I fell all over myself thanking them and then spent a good ten minutes impressing them with the fact that they must fill in the line on the overnight letter form that said Signature Not Required because I would be out of the house all day and it could be put through the mail slot. I said this something like seventeen times.
Do I have to go any further with this? The punch line must be abundantly clear by now. I got home, there was no overnighted anything. And, which is even better, and JUST the way my life tends to run, Joshua had managed to lose the slip the UPS people stuck on the door. Luckily, I made him go through the garbage (possibly the ONLY thing that would have amused me at that moment), which is where it was, of course. There followed phone calls to UPS, with me becoming increasingly desperate...and finally it all ended more or less happily with me shlepping to Houston Street, picking up the damned check, getting it in the bank - and taking myself out to dinner. Which, fittingly enough, was fairly vile. Ah, well. Serves me right for being too tired (I couldn't pick the damn thing up until 8 pm and I've been up since 6 and I've been in Harlem all day) to actually think about anything except sitting in a restaurant with a glass of wine and food. I should have been focusing on a better restaurant. Don't ever eat steak poivre at a place which has chicken fingers as appetizers.
The reason I've been in Harlem all day (and will be tomorrow) is that my crazy temp lady elected to send me to a school called the Harlem Link Charter School to help out. I must say that while the company of small children bores me to extinction, this place impresses me. The kids are well-behaved, and the staff is wonderful with them. I could, however, do without the lunchroom job - checking the hungry little monsters in - because they tend to run right through you, and since the school only goes from kindergarten through third grade, you keep getting clocked in the knee caps. But I'm getting paid for it!
The other thing (as mentioned above) outside of the bills getting paid around here, is that I'm using some of my cash to get my damn SAG card back! And then, my darlings, the temp agencies will see me as little as possible because I will be out making $140 bucks a day on background work, thank God. Or, to put it another way, YAHOOOO!
More later - I haven't even mentioned my lovely evening with Tiger Lily and the Boss and my kid and Jill and my pal Caesar, sitting and eating wonderful cheese and bread and that watermelon salad and that divine potato salad and then sitting under umbrellas on the patio enjoying the thunderstorm...
I have to be in Harlem at 8 am tomorrow. Getting there is half the fun, they tell me. Humph. I doubt it.