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May 30, 2006

Help Us! Trish And Bill Are In Trouble!!

Now all my readers know The Count's name. It's Bill.

We are in serious financial straits right now. The Count was laid off. I have never brought in a lot of money. Unemployment has already run out. We are in serious trouble.

I never thought I would resort to begging, but I need to do that now. It's either beg, or be evicted. I've already been sent money by family and friends, but we can't keep afloat.

I just put a PayPal donations button at the very top of my left sidebar. If any of my readers are able to send us money, we will be eternally grateful. The Count has a possible job with a game company lined up, but we don't know when he'll be called in for an interview. I have some very good opportunities with about six erotica magazines, but they are new, and they won't start paying for a few months. Two in particular look like they are going to take off. I'm lining up writing and editing jobs with them. They like me. I even found a new erotica magazine in Australia that looks good. One of the six magazines is in the U. K. I already write for Scarlet. They like me overseas for some reason.

I'm glad I found them as they formed. I'm investing my time and talent in some start-ups. I know that some of them will be successful. It will just take a few months before they take off.

The Count and I are heading to the tourist trap shops tomorrow to apply for some job openings we saw. The money we make won't be much, but it will be something. The problem is that it isn't enough. We're strapped.

Until our job prospects work out, we will have to survive on Oodles of Noodles and cheese rice.

I hate cheese rice, but it's tasting mighty good right about now.

If anyone reading this is able to donate money to us using that PayPal donations button, both of us will be eternally grateful. The best I can do to pay it back is to post one of my erotic stories on my blog for everyone once we are out of the Financial Danger Zone.

The main thing that worries us is rent. We live in Massachusetts, where rental price gouging is part of the state's Constitution. We pay out the ass for rent, and now we can't afford it. There are no affordable places to live anywhere in our area or even a bit beyond it. This is as good as it gets, and it bites us in the ass. If you've ever lived in Massachusetts, or read about the obscenely high rents and mortgages here, you know that we are being eaten alive. Help us!!!

I've had a PayPal account for several years, so that's already set up. Just click on the PayPal button at the very top of my sidebar if you want to help us out. The best I can do to show our gratitude for anyone who helps us is to give everyone a scorching good sexy story on my blog. I just wrote one that involves spanking. Har har! It was fun to write. I sent it to Fishnet. I hope they accept it. I'll get paid for it if it's accepted. Not bad for an hour's worth of work. If it's accepted, I'll remove it from my blog, and just post a link to Fishnet so everyone can read it there. I write good, funny, sexy stories. You won't be disappointed.

Help us! We are circling the drain!! Please keep us afloat so that we don't have to live in my mother's house. My mother is moving in a year to a senior apartment, so we wouldn't be able to stay for long anyway. Besides, she's a fundamentalist, conservative, born-again Christian. The Count is an atheist, and I practice Wicca and Voudou. Hey, whatever works. I don't believe that stuff for a moment, but I do get results for some odd reason. Just not right at the moment. My skeptic side is rearing up again. Living with my mother would be Hell On Earth.

PLEASE help us to avoid living with my mother!!!

Anyone who can help us will forever be on our good side. Thanks so much if you're able to throw some moulah our way. We really need it. Otherwise, we have to live with my mother, and listen to Christian radio, hear "Praise the Lord" when she finds a good parking space, and listen to The Cowsills on an old console record player. Please Don't Let Us Have To Live Like That!!!!

The Count and Countess thank you profusely. Cheers, everyone!

Update: I had a nice idea. Here's what I'd like to share with you.

Here's what you'll get if you donate to Bill and Trish. I got the idea from the Save Karyn web site. I saw her web site when she started it in 2002 or so. She ran up $20,000 in credit card debt from shopping too much. Too many lattes and crap, if you know what I mean. Strangers paid her on her PayPal account, and in not much time at all, she paid off her credit debt. She is now debt free. She was covered in The New York Times and People Magazine. She included information about what you'd get from her if you helped her, and I liked what she had to say.

Here is what you'll get from the Count and I for helping us out:

1. You'll get a free sexy and funny erotic story from me. Everyone who has read my blog regularly knows that I am an erotica writer. Hopefully, my new story will soon be published by Fishnet Magazine, a very reputable erotica magazine. If it is accepted, I'll remove the story from my blog, and post a link to it on Fishnet. As you can tell, I have a story in mind. It involves spanking. It's very sexy and funny. I'm sure you'll like it very much.

2. You'll get updates on our job searches and successes.

3. You'll get tips about how to live simply, without spending much money.

4. You'll get great cooking recipes from The Count and I. Cooking your own meals can be done very inexpensively, and the food will taste much better than anything you'll get from the likes of Taco Bell. The Count and I don't eat at restaurants - first because we can't afford it, especially now, and second because The Count's food tastes much better than anything you'll find in most restaurants, especially family chain restaurants.

5. You'll get delectable chocolate and dessert recipes from me. I love chocolate. It's the food of the Gods. I will post my recipes for X-rated chocolates (I'll tell you where to buy the molds), and delicious chocolate treats like chocolate mousse, pots de creme au chocolat (chocolate custard), sachertorte (a chocolate tart that will swear you off chocolate after one bite. This is one RICH cake.), and other treats like chocolate-covered strawberries, creme brulee, chocolate bark with almond silvers and toffee bits, and chocolate truffles.

6. I'll update you on my erotic writing, including letting you know how the start-ups are doing.

7. Anything else that crosses my mind that I think you'd like to hear about.

I'd like to thank the people who have thus far sent us some money. I'm very humbled at the response we've received so far. I feel a little more secure now. I'm still scared, but I know that people care about us. Thank you so much.

Posted on May 30, 2006 at 06:00 PM | Permalink

Comments

I've lived in MA and ME - I know what rent is like there. Thoughts and prayers from myself and my entire family - may things work out for you, very very soon.

Posted by: Maelynd at May 30, 2006 7:11:37 PM

Thanks so mucy, Maelynd. I love your name. I'm sure things will work out for us very soon. I'm just scared to death right now. We have no money, and it hurts. We have good job prospects, but they haven't materialized yet. I'm hopeful.

Trish

Posted by: The Countess at May 30, 2006 7:24:23 PM

Hi, Trish. I know it's scary (been there, done that, pawned the T-shirt), but just hang in there and do what you can. I found that calling various creditors (including rent, power, etc) can sometimes help. Not sure about Mass, but in some states, as long as you pay *something* like five dollars or more on your power bill, they can't cut you off. Something to check into.

*hugs*

MrsV

Posted by: MrsVeteran at May 30, 2006 9:27:25 PM

Thanks so much for the kind words, Mrs. Veteran, and the advice. I've already called the electric company to set up a payment schedule. Our power isn't in danger of being turned off at least until July. I had a minor scare today when the power blew in the morning. I thought we lost it. We didn't. There was a power outage in our neighborhood for about an hour. It's a good thing we called. We updated our new payment plan, and the electric company is sending us a hardship application to fill out. We need it. Electricity here is outrageous.

I'm still very scared, but some people have been so kind to us to already send us money. I also plan to keep everyone informed on our situation in regular updates. We want to give back, only if it's in information and recipes and erotic stories. I want to give back to the people who have helped us so much. We really appreciate the kind thoughts and deeds.

Posted by: The Countess at May 30, 2006 10:19:02 PM

Back in September of last year, shortly after Katrina, I had been unemployed for eight months and was beginning to get financially desperate. When the call went out for people with my training to go to the gulf region, I couldn't afford it without help. I put a call out to my friends on the internet, and in a few hours, I had enough money to support my family for the three weeks I would be in Alabama and Mississippi handing out relief checks and hope to families devastated by winds and flooding.

Sending a little money your way is my way of paying it forward.

Posted by: odanu at May 30, 2006 11:09:15 PM

Holy crap, woman. CALL ME.

Donating now. . .

Posted by: Sheelzebub at May 31, 2006 9:37:22 AM

Trish, God Almighty, I'm so sorry!! I know the feeling; after ex left me, all that stood between me and street was help from my union's emergency fund. I shall contact Pay Pal today. Hell, it beats sitting in the bleachers at ATT Park and watch Mr. Steroid skip like a five-year-old at routine bounding balls. Good luck and hang in there!!

Posted by: DP_in_SF at May 31, 2006 9:59:56 AM

I'd be happy to contribute my bit, but I don't do paypal. Will you take a check? If so, email me a snail mail address.

Posted by: Kai Jones at May 31, 2006 1:49:47 PM

Heh, very funny. If you're writing for living, you can move somewhere where it is _a_ _lot_ cheaper to live. Because, you know, you can write from home and don't have to drive to work. You save gas money. Maybe even to countryside, grow your own stuff, be closer to mother earth etc.

And why don't you live that one year wiht your mother? You could save a lot of money by doing that and wouldn't have to humilate yourself by begging.

And you can always see some neighbours. Ask if you can do their dishes, clean their houses, take their dogs out, move the lawn etc mundane tasks that everyone can do but you can get a few bucks. Yes it is very humilating to do so, but if you're really broke, what can you do. With 10 dollars you easily eat a couple of days, so it's worth it.

And you probably should think why you have let your life to go that way, that you don't have any savings at your age. You've probably seen and heard stories of good and decent people going broke so you should know, that in life you have to have atleast a year's worth of savings. Just in case of emergencies like this.

Posted by: Reggie at May 31, 2006 2:17:03 PM

Thanks, Odanu, Sheelz, and DP. We're feeling a bit more secure now, but we're not out of the hole yet. I'm sorry you had to go through such scary times, DP. It sounded horrible. I know that sometimes bad things happen to people, and it's completely out of their control. I'm glad we're getting so much help and support from fellow bloggers. Y'all have really come through for us. We're not out of trouble yet, but we're not in as much trouble as we were yesterday. Thanks so much!

Posted by: The Countess at May 31, 2006 2:28:53 PM

Hey asshole: not everyone has the luxury of having a savings (i.e. not everyone is middle (upper?) class or above). Same with moving. Why not take your patronising ass elsewhere.

Oh Trish, I am so sorry. I've been in some similar situations myself. I hope that things come through for you and the Count. You're in my thoughts.

Posted by: Burrow at May 31, 2006 2:29:43 PM

I've paid it forward before and will do it again, and did it this time; I hope things work out in the best way for all concerned. I've been strapped (heck, I am now) so I know where you're coming from. Good luck.

Posted by: KitsapRiver at May 31, 2006 3:15:57 PM

Thanks, Kitsap and Burrow. You're both very kind. Burrow, I just ignored the flukeworm. I'm not going to let trolls get me down. Why bother? Besides, it took a troll nearly 12 hours to find my post. I'm getting lots of help from bloggers, so the trolls won't get to see me founder. We may be having some problems now, but in the long run I know we will be fine.

Posted by: The Countess at May 31, 2006 3:52:36 PM

Reggie: Ever think of what would happen to aggregate demand in the developed countries if people had a year's worth of savings? That chestnut you brought up is the same wedge conservatives use when they mutter about profligate Boomers and their supposedly low savings rate; I'd love to know who'd make Andy Grove and Steve Jobs rich if we all put our pennies in the old cookie jar. As for begging, I think what Trish is doing is in the grand tradition of literary luminaries like Henry Miller; check out "An Open Letter to All and Sundry". You do know what 'sundry' means, don't you?

Trish: I'd actually prefer posting y'all a money order to Pay Pal, if it's all the same to you. If it's ok, e-mail me; you've written me before. If not, Pay Pal it is. Thanks for the kind words; Nietzsche was right, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If Silverside is peeking, in 48 hours I'll be holding my daughter!! And some people say there is no God!!

Posted by: DP_in_SF at May 31, 2006 6:37:54 PM

Geez, I'm so sorry, Countess. We have just gotten some really bad news ouselves, so I can't help now, but when I can, I will. But we've been in this fix a number of times and I can give you some advice. Yes, call all creditors and try to get them to cut you a deal on a payment plan. Avoid Consumer Credit Counseling agencies -- too many ways for things to go wrong, and you can often do as well or better on your own. (Actually, there's one I can recommend.) Do you own or rent? If you own, refinance quick, before you miss any payments. I'm sure I've omitted something important, but I don't know what. I've done this for my own family at least three times, for my kids a couple of times, and I'm pretty good at it by now. (I should say, I'm not so much irresponsible as just plain very old, and I tend to take on too much responsibility, if anything.) Call me if you want to talk about any of it (e-mail for the number). Best wishes.

Posted by: Older at May 31, 2006 6:53:52 PM

It's a rent party! Remember in the olden days when folks would put on a rent party? A wonderful invention. Best wishes.

Posted by: CR at May 31, 2006 7:56:23 PM

Never mind all that other stuff for me- you just look after yourselves. Niether to right nor to left. Don't let any mermaids singing lure your ship onto the rocks . I know it's going to have a happy ending.

Posted by: CR at May 31, 2006 8:03:12 PM

To Doug: You're not supposed to put those savings into a jar. Put them into a savings account. Bank will use them (they will not actually be in your account, but flying all over places funding businesses) and you can get them back in no time. And you get interest too! Haven't heard of those?

No matter how much you make, you should always put 10% aside. It you think rent is taking too much, move to cheaper area or smaller apartment. Easy. Life is percentage game. It doesn't take much to master it sufficiently good. Just think forward a bit.

I lived 3 years in 110 sq feet room and made just $300 / month but managed to save money some 8%.

Think about the future, you'll be living there tomorrow.

Posted by: Reggie at Jun 1, 2006 12:57:39 PM

Reggie, take your self-righteous twaddle and shove it up your ass. I have saved well over 10% of my pay and still found myself in some nasty financial straights before. And you can't find less expensive places to live here unless you move a couple of hours away, which requires a car (with payments, insurance, and repairs) and funds to pay $3 a gallon for gas. Which, you know, requires more money, and cuts into one's savings rate.


Posted by: Sheelzebub at Jun 1, 2006 1:38:51 PM

Reggie, you missed my point entirely. Advanced economies would collapse if savings reached ten percent per earner. Sure, there'd be an enormous investment kitty, but assuming businesses invest with some sensitivity to demand for goods and services, savings of that magnitude would mean far fewer toys, games and vacations consumed. The effect on employment would a meltdown that would make Krakatoa look like a farting contest. Does that mean folks should not save? Certainly not; even I save. But look at any recession, not to mention depressions and you'll find that the hallmark of the crisis is people not spending enough. That takes care of the basic economics; your sanctimony was dealt with by Sheelzebub far more succintly than I could manage. I'm glad you save, Reggie, but I suspect you're about as interesting to be around as a cracker without butter.

Posted by: DP_in_SF at Jun 1, 2006 2:28:47 PM

Doug, you probably have a point in that economics issue. Although if anyone asks, you should always (almost atleast) give them advice to save. Banks also finances consumers in their daily purchases and there will always be those, who saves and those who don't. I admit that private spending is a key to economy, but I'm not quite sure that it's a good thing to spend a lot of money to interests. If a lot of ones income goes to interests, she has loaned money from the future and accelerated her current spending. That might backfire. If it backfires all western countries at the same time, that's not very good.

Spending good, crazy spending bad.

Interesting though that you make assumptions about my personality by referring me to cracker without butter. I was hoping we could change thoughts of a better world without all this. (ok, I admit I wasn't very polite with the three first words of my first post)

Sheelzebub: I wonder why you have to use so crude language. I'm sure you can deliver your message more politely and with better results.

Anyhow, I'm sure you can rent a car (or borrow from a friend) to move to cheaper area. You can then find suitable job there and can live so that you can save that 10%. If you can't for some reason move, it looks like your skills aren't good enough to make enough money for you (= in your work area you are not good enough to get a job that pays decent money). If this really is the case, I'm very sorry for you and try to give you my best advices. If for some other reason you are forced to stay and can't make enough money to save 10%, please give the reason and tell a little bit more about your situation.

Posted by: Reggie at Jun 1, 2006 5:44:08 PM

Older, I'm sorry you're in such a tight spot. It's amazing to me that I'm hearing from other people having problems. They've written to me in e-mail. It seems people want to talk to me, and that's fine with me. We can give each other support. They're scared, especially with well-paying jobs being hard to find, electricity costs skyrocketing, food costs throught the nose, and gas prices so high.

I've already set up a payment plan with the electric company. We don't have to worry about oil, thank God. That one will be a problem in the fall, but I hope we'll be more secure by then. That one is a tough one. It's ridiculously expensive. I'll check our other bills, and see about payment plans for them. Thanks for the tip.

We're still looking for work. I just came back from some job hunting. I'm hopeful. The problem is that the jobs don't pay very well. We'll take whatever we can get until the good jobs come our way. We're looking at BostonWorks daily. I look at Craigslist all the time. That's where I'm finding so many good writing opportunities. Now The Count is looking at Craigslist.

We don't have much credit card debt, thank God, so we can keep up with the minimum payments. I prefer to dump a few hundred dollars per month on my few credit cards, but we can't do that right now. Of my two credit cards, one is almost completely paid off. I owe less than a hundred on it. The other one is a bit higher, but manageable. I hate credit cards. They scare me. Once we get well paying jobs, I'm paying off those credit cards. I got them for emergencies only, and that's how I use them. It's nice knowing that we have a line of credit we can use when we are in a pinch. I haven't used them lately, and I'm not planning on using them. I know that would be trouble.

I have a very low fee for Typepad, since I started my blog when Typepad was in beta. I'm glad I have that very low price. I don't think I could afford the regular fee. I need to be able to talk to people on the blogs. I get so much support and friendship from them.

I hope things work out for you soon. I'll light a candle for you. A nice blue one. They're very peaceful.

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 1, 2006 6:42:23 PM

Sheelz, I think Reggie lives in La-La Land, where everyone is happy, everyone has a great paying job, gas costs only 25 cents per gallon, food magically appears on your doorstep without asking, rents and mortgages cost only a couple of hundred dollars per month, cars never break down, houses have pipes and rooves that never leak, everyone has family they can move in with, cat litter boxes clean and refill by themselves, there is a turkey in every pot, the worst problem parents have with their children is when Muffy gets a zit on her chin, and all the kids get straight As and listen to their parents.

That world exists only in fantasies and bad '70s sitcoms.

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 1, 2006 6:49:10 PM

DP: "Advanced economies would collapse if savings reached ten percent per earner. Sure, there'd be an enormous investment kitty, but assuming businesses invest with some sensitivity to demand for goods and services, savings of that magnitude would mean far fewer toys, games and vacations consumed. The effect on employment would a meltdown that would make Krakatoa look like a farting contest."

God, that last line just made me blow water out my nose.

No, I am not subsisting on bread and water. I just like to drink water. We don't even drink soft drinks around here anymore. The Count, The Royal Spawn, and I are devoted water drinkers. We have very good skin. ;)

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 1, 2006 6:51:43 PM

Reggie: "Anyhow, I'm sure you can rent a car (or borrow from a friend) to move to cheaper area. You can then find suitable job there and can live so that you can save that 10%. If you can't for some reason move, it looks like your skills aren't good enough to make enough money for you (= in your work area you are not good enough to get a job that pays decent money). If this really is the case, I'm very sorry for you and try to give you my best advices. If for some other reason you are forced to stay and can't make enough money to save 10%, please give the reason and tell a little bit more about your situation. "

I think I know who Reggie is. He doesn't fool me for a minute. I think he's had much to say about me elsewhere.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Reggie has never lived in Massachusetts. Sure, we could move to western Mass, where rents and mortgages are lower, but there are NO GOOD JOBS out there. Living in western Mass. would require a three to four hour one way commute to where the good jobs are. There is no public transportation from western Mass. to the Big City Where The Good Jobs Are. Think of all the $3.00+ per gallon gas we'd be spending. So much for saving anything.

My husband's skills and my skills are just fine. Reggie was so smarmy in insulting us that way. He's made his condescending point. Jobs are hard to come by, especially well-paying ones. Reggie isn't interested in giving us good advice. He's only here to bash us. My regulars know I can handle someone who bashes me. I deal with angry, vindictive fathers' rights activists all the time. Reggie is a neophyte compared to those clowns.

I don't owe him a reason why we aren't moving. I know he's here just to condemn and judge me. I'm having fun with him now. That's the only reason I'm responding to him. I must be bored.

Reggie: "Spending good, crazy spending bad."

I hope he's not assuming that we have done "crazy spending", but I'm not holding my breath. We haven't done that. We live very frugally. I don't like his insinuations. He don't know us, but that doesn't stop him from condemning us.

I will say why we won't move. I couldn't move out of Massachusetts because my son is a senior in high school. I am not uprooting him for a month or two to move out of state just because some SNERT (Snot-Nosed, Egotistical Rude Twerp) looks down his nose at me and thinks I should move to please his oh-so-condescending sensibilities. Once The Royal Spawn is in college, we can move if we want. We're looking for good jobs anywhere, including locally.

I think Reggie should take his sanctimonious opinions and shove them where the sun doesn't shine. But that would be an insult to assholes.

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 1, 2006 7:11:57 PM

I'm so sorry to hear you are in a bad patch--I just visited paypal. I've been a regular reader for a long time, though never commented before. I hope things improve for you soon. All best wishes, Seacrow

Posted by: seacrow at Jun 2, 2006 3:32:32 PM

Sheelzebub: I wonder why you have to use so crude language. I'm sure you can deliver your message more politely and with better results.

That's fummy coming from someone who was nothing but preachy and rude in his comment to Trish. If the only comeback you have is a criticism of my language, you shrinking violet you, I'll take that to mean you don't have anything of substance to rebut me. Since I've been in the same boat and am a saver and a worker--did all of the "right" things according to you and then some. Here's a hint: self-righteous moralizing doesn't do a thing.

Anyhow, I'm sure you can rent a car (or borrow from a friend) to move to cheaper area.

No, renting a car costs more. And if they don't know of someone with a reliable car they can "borrow" indefinitely--?

You can then find suitable job there and can live so that you can save that 10%.

Jobs in outlying areas actually pay less.

If you can't for some reason move, it looks like your skills aren't good enough to make enough money for you (= in your work area you are not good enough to get a job that pays decent money). If this really is the case, I'm very sorry for you and try to give you my best advices. If for some other reason you are forced to stay and can't make enough money to save 10%, please give the reason and tell a little bit more about your situation.

She's given plenty of reasons. How about you get a clue?

Posted by: Sheelzebub at Jun 5, 2006 10:43:33 AM