Friday, August 13, 2010


I'm essentially unemployed right now. The economy has effectively totalled my business.

For those who don't know, in August 2007, Dave and I bought a biz for me to run. We borrowed the money from his parents and bought a recruiting biz that can be run from home. It was stellar the first year we had it, I cleared over $40K working in my basement just 3 or 4 hours a day! My only concern with buying this biz (other then owing Dave's parents) was that the previous owner had taken it down to working with one company. The original owner dealt with about 20, she retired, selling the biz to her office manager - that owner took it down to 5 companies and the man that bought from her took it down to one. I didn't like having all the eggs in one basket.

That basket broke.

The company went on a hiring freeze over a year ago and it still shows no signs of thawing. They are shifting people around and promoting from within and my business is bust. I've had several of the hiring managers call me to say, "I'm not looking but if something comes up..." because they want to leave the company. The company changed their comp packages three times last year and none for the better.

I'm so depressed I can't breathe right most days and I keep thinking how we.... no. How I won't be able to EVER pay Dave's parents back. I keep having nightmares (nearly every night) of being lost or late and also of being deployed to Iraq.

During the day, I look for jobs.

Dave's business (he bought a landscaping biz last August) is doing just OK. It's not doing near the numbers the previous owner was doing but again, that's more because of the economy then anything else. People are opting to take care of their own yards and then there's the schmo's who buy a lawnmower and an edger, have no overhead and undercut our price by, like, half. (We've actually had people in both categories come back to us because Dave does a much better job!) Then there's the slave labor....

Another mom of a kid on Trev's baseball team told me that her neighbor hires a Mexican to do her lawn (that's exactly how she put it). This guy cleans up the poo from their three dogs, mows/edges/trims their front yard and their back yard for the princely sum of..... $15. Are you fuckin' kidding me? The other mom disapproved. She, like me, thinks it's cruel to hire slave labor like that. And then we went on to discuss the illegal immigrant situation and we agreed that they wouldn't be here if people like her neighbor didn't hire them. But that's a discussion for another day.

Anyway, back to me - hah! If I don't get a job soon, I'm going to self-destruct. I have panic attacks some days and meltdowns on other days. We decided in June to shut down my business. It costs money, even being run from home - extra phone, website, etc. From June to July, I lost about 12 pounds. Mostly because I pretty much quit eating. I am so stressed that every time I eat, I get super nauseous. It's not as bad now but June was ugly.

I have all this time on my hands and so I've taken to getting an ass-load of movies from the library. Sometimes I even score brand new releases. I'm on the waiting list for those but they hold back a couple of copies to put on the shelves and sometimes I get lucky.

So I'm going to start doing movie reviews here as well as the rest of the snot I write about. There will be spoilers so I'll put the movie titles at the top of the post each time. If you don't want to know, then skip it, right? Also, I have an unexplainable love for dross. I love cheesy movies and old movies and there's not much I won't watch. You've been warned!

This week:
CopOut, The Crazies, Brooklyn's Finest, Bounty Hunter, The Shield (Final Season), Nip/Tuck (Final Season), The Box, My Sister's Keeper, Adventureland, Wolfman, Armoured, Doctor Who
(Normally there won't be this many but this is what I've seen over the last two weeks or so.)

The Crazies:
This not-a-zombie zombie movie was really pretty good! I love zombie movies and my favorite part is how they explain the outbreak. This movie took steps to insure the zombies didn't look like zombies, because like 28 Days Later (besides Shaun of the Dead, one of the best zombie movies ever), these aren't the living dead. They are live people who are infected with something. The explanation The Crazies gave was entirely plausible and that makes the movie all the more frightening! The characters were likeable and real and compassionate. There was very little gore and lots of jump-out-at-you scares. That's how I prefer my horror films. Excessive gore is, well, excessive and rarely necessary.

Sucked. Don't waste your time. This movie was like a really bad buddy-cop movie from the '80's. And I'm not even sure what purpose Sean William Scott's character served. He was in it briefly to set up a scenario - he stole a baseball card Bruce Willis needed. At the end of the movie, they basically kidnap SWS so he can use his cat-burglar skills to break into the gangster's house and get the card back. So SWS is at the top of a tree about to go in a window, he looks at Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and gives them the thumbs up, then falls out of the tree and dies. WTF? It's a shame as I really like SWS! This movie was beyond stupid and not even very funny.

Brooklyn's Finest:
Excellent movie! Amazing all-star cast and outstanding performances by all. The ending was very Hamlet in that pretty much everyone dies. It sort of reminded me of Crash in that people you thought were good, maybe not so much and people you thought were bad, also, have another side to them.

The Bounty Hunter:
Meh. It was OK. It was entertaining and Gerard Butler takes his shirt off a lot which is always nice! The storyline was predictable and the characters didn't have a lot of depth but it's worth a watch if you want something fluffy and mindless. The only thing that truly annoyed me was at the ending and it's just a petty thing.... There's a gun battle in a police evidence locker and although there's cops downstairs and there's gunfire upstairs, the place wasn't swarming with cops instantly. Also, if you are in a gun battle in a police evidence locker and you happen to find that much-needed extra shotgun in an evidence box (thank you V. Gotti), I'm fairly certain it would not be a loaded weapon. Just sayin...

The Shield (Final Season):
This show has always been sort of a corrupt-cop-with-a-heart-of-gold show. It's very violent and as graphic as basic cable will allow and it's an excellent show. The last season, they made Vic (the show's lead character) and Shane (Vic's right-hand guy) sort of trade places. All along, you kind of root for Vic because he shows glimpses of these small saving graces and all along you hate Shane because he's a total shit. In the last season, Vic becomes this desperate, narcissistic animal who is only out to save his own ass. Shane, equally desperate, keeps trying and trying and failing miserably to pull his butt out of the fire. The difference is that Shane is trying to finally do right by his small family and Vic, though trying to also save his own family, is mostly out to save himself, his reputation, and make some cash. Amazing show the whole way through. The end was sad and harsh and justice was served - keeping in line with the entire series. In the end, Vic gets his just rewards in the form of a living hell for his character. A slow death, chained to a desk, with constant supervision. Perfect!

Nip/Tuck (Final Season):
I've really liked this show so far. I'm not excited about this last season. So far, it's making me just sick of these people and waiting for it to end. So why am I still watching? I hate not knowing the end of a story. So, I'm slogging through this last season but I'm so over it all.

The Box:
This movie was SO much better then I thought it would be! It was excellent! It was imaginative, well-developed, creative, touching, sad, poignant, redeeming, and outstanding. It is based on a short-story by the same man who wrote I Am Legend - Richard Matheson. It was so good, I went to the library and got an audiobook with a collection of his short stories including this one.

My Sister's Keeper:
This movie is one of those ones you rent when you want a good cry. It was well-done and had an excellent cast. I never wanted to read this book because I knew it would destroy me but I figured I could watch the movie and be only marginally wrecked. I was right. I cried through most of it and I highly recommend it.

This movie was good. It wasn't nearly as funny as the trailers made it seem but it had several funny bits and many touching moments. Totally worth the rental.

I loved this movie! It was creepy and well done! It held true to the original 50's movies without resorting to campiness or too much cheese. Anthony Hopkins was stellar as always (I'll see anything he's in just to hear him speak!) and Benicio Del Toro was a dream.

I have a confession to make. I still have the Matt Dillon Trivia book I bought with my allowance from 1984. I'll watch anything he's in! This movie was OK. It was entertaining and they didn't resort to a too-perfectly-happy ending. Most everyone dies or gets severely injured in this movie. Worth the time of you're killing time.

Doctor Who:
I got this series because I was wondering what all the hype was about. We are completely hooked! The kids would beg to see the next episode and even Dave got into it! I have a huge crush on Christopher Eccelston - such an amazing smile! I'm sad he's only in the one season. We are on hold for the next season, anxiously awaiting.....

Watching all this film, I've been doing a lot of knitting. I have a new camera and as soon as I can get his old computer and the new camera to speak to each other civilly, I'll post some knitting.

Next time I post, I'll announce the winner of the contest. The contest is still open until I post about it.

Swimming as fast as I can, Ruth!


Kristyn said...

I'm so sorry about you job situation. It is really tough out there. I will send some good hiring vibes your way.

Marissa said...

I know this is Easier Said Than Done, but why not look at this 'temporary unemployment' as vacation time with the kids? I know it solves nothing financially, but so does worrying yourself into the ground, right? Something will come up; keep your eyes and ears open!

sophanne said...

Time to come up with a new invention as brilliant as your stitch picker upper. We watched some movie about a magician last night (Buck Howard? I don't remember) The point was if you go with your passion, you'll always find the money.

(but if you find yourself short of yarn- don't hesitate to ask for some- I'll send it to you : )

Tammy said...

So sorry to hear you're having job struggles. And I absolutely agree with you about the "slave labor" situation. Something has got to give.

Heide said...

That really, really sucks about your work. Any chance of there being something in the local schools? The pay for being a recess duty, lunch lady or para-educator isn't all that great, but it's wonderful to have the same schedule as your kids. I keep trying to convince my dh that by me working as a para we actually come out ahead, even though I don't get a paycheck during the summer months. That lady who bragged about her "Mexican" laborer should be ashamed. There used to be a time when teenagers could be hired for odd jobs, or heaven forbid, she do it herself. Her decision to pay someone else to do the work is fine, so long as she's being ethical and paying accordingly. My

LaDonna said...

Dude, I'm so sorry about your business. I knew things were slow, but I didn't know you had to totally let it go. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth!

What would it take to get your massage therapy license in your town? Since you know both massage and shiatsu you would be quite employable for a bodywork office or spa. Just sayin'.

Sandy in Tucson

Pretty Knitty said...

Hang in there, Ruth. And way to make lemonade...I love the reviews!

Yarnhog said...

Oh, Ruth, I'm so sorry. We are also self-employed and have taken such a hit in the past year that our savings are gone and I had to borrow money from my mom for the first time in my adult life to pay the bills last month (we have huge overhead we can't cut any more). I'm looking for work outside our practice and hoping I can find something that will at least cover our health care costs and mortgage. It's just awful, isn't it? But you're so not alone.

k said...

It sucks when the universe tells you you have to change. When you find the way you should go, it will get better.
I am truly sorry to be of absolutely no help whatsoever.
(okay. my secret word is propasm. give me a definition.)