This is not a political commentary.  No, no, no, no.  Won’t discuss politics on my blog since I cringe at the very idea of overheated rants, and counter-rants, on my website.  Of course I have an opinion, as everyone does, I’m sure…like: Huh? 

“Sequester” means “to hide away” someone or something.  That’s the verb.  The noun means, “a general cut in government spending” according to Dictionary.com.  But my blog is not about official definitions, or official opinions, or even official experiences.  It’s about my tiny corner of my tiny world—a seemingly vast reality to those who people (and animal) it.

The Sequester.  I’ve been watching the news, and reading the news, and trying to wrap my mind around the news, trying to separate politicking and grandstanding and hyperbole-ing from fact.  And I think I’ve got the meaning of this Sequester thing, sort of.  And that meaning goes something like this:

In my house there is a big whopping deficit.  Not trillions, maybe, but a lot more zeros than I can stomach thinking about.  This very big deficit got double-whammied by that “housing bubble” (another term to contemplate) a few years ago, reducing our nice house equity down to minus numbers.  Add to this pile of crapola are a lot of expensive daily items to buy (such as cat litter, say for six or seven or eight dollars; if you make minimum wage, which thank goodness I don’t, it takes an hour to earn enough money to buy sand for your cat to poop on?), and skyrocketing gasoline, and car payments and health insurance, and death by activity-fees-for-the-kid-at-school, etc.—and the debt becomes really truly untenable, even without credit cards.  So let’s stop talking out of both sides of the mouth.  It’s a ridiculous debt.  We need to reduce spending!

Ouch.

What should go first?  The trash?  No, gotta haul away orange rinds and chicken bones, and that costs money.  Could live without Cable, I guess, though I fear to behold the resulting look in my son’s eyes.  We could certainly live without a phone, if it’s used as a phone.  Like most of us, though, I use my cell as work email and camera and, well, an electronic umbilical cord to the teenager, who happens to use his as a sort of transcendental meditation mantra.  No, keep the phones.  I know!  No garden guy twice a month.  Except…well, who has time to trim dead branches in preparation for fire season?  Anyway, that amount of money won’t make a big enough difference.  And the car is not on the chopping block.  Period.  Nor is air-conditioning, not in East San Diego.  Last time we lived here without air conditioning, it was 114 degrees at 9 pm; even my cats were emo over that.   

Computers and laptops are a must; a person can’t even grade papers or do homework without technology.  Sprinklers have already been cut, for the most part.  Many of our plants are drought-friendly—a good thing.  But showers still require water, as do baths.  And some plants, drought-friendly as they try to be, really hate me when I don’t water them.

Maybe food is the best place to start.  You know, cut coupons, answer annoying customer surveys online for raffles, join food clubs, buy from the list of reduced items.  Or buy at Bargain Grocery, which of course means living without the only kind of coffee creamer that gets me up and functioning in the morning.  Better yet, shop at the Dollar Store to buy really cheap toilet paper (ignore the son’s comments on that too), et cetera.  It would probably be more practical to shop at Dollar Store first, then Bargain Grocery, and then one of those expensive fun places that have really yummy cheeses at one glob of cheese an hour for those minimum wage peons.

I’m getting the feeling that cutting expenditures is a logistical nightmare and generally impractical and unattractive and may ruin the morale around here (not to mention how cranky my animals get when I buy cheap food for them).  So, forget expenditures. 

By “forget,” I mean cut down, but not draconian cuts.  Let’s be real here.  Can’t say to the kid, “No Zoo membership for you this year!”  And what happens when the unexpected occurs: that random, all-too-frequent plumbing fiasco, or vet bill, or weird County Trim-Your-Tree-Off-The-Road-Or-We-Will-Do-It-For-You notice that appears once in a while on the driveway?

I would much rather turn the high beams on revenues.  (I won’t mention that dirty word: Taxes.  Not going there.  Not yet.  Damn, I wish we owned a race horse.)

Back to Revenues.  Shall I get another job?  Already have two and a half, plus motherhood, plus book writing and cat box changer and dog walker and dishwasher, etc. 

How about a different kind of job?  Except I like what I do, and where I work, and I did not become a neurosurgeon after all.  Or a lawyer.  Or an engineer. ..

Maybe I can cut loopholes somewhere so that overall revenues increase without my working more, or getting luckier…??? 

What’s that you say? 

Oh.

Well, no one can agree on stuff anyway, not at MY house.  Everyone has an opinion , and we all talk at the same time, and when we get really frustrated we blame the other guy and then just leave the room.

Then deadlines hit and chaos ensues. 

Bills don’t get paid so collection agencies make arbitrary cuts into my lifestyle.  The IRS gets crabby and starts picking at my paychecks.  The doctors forget their bedside manner (if they had one) and start making prank calls to stimulate spontaneous urges to pay.  In other words, cuts happen anyway, just not ones I really chose, and maybe really stupid ones.  But no one cares because I’m a grown up and this is life and in life Shit Happens.

I mean: Sequester Happens.

 

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