Wills and Estate Laws

Owning property is a very big responsibility, especially if you have a huge family, you are going to need a will to make sure that everyone gets what you want them to have.  Even if you are young because you never know when your time will come.  I know it’s a grim thought, but it has always been something that I have had to worry about because I have some family members who would clear my room out in 2 minutes like a pack of wolves and leave nothing but bones for Darrin despite the fact that our bridges have all burned to the ground.  Luckily I don’t own property.

If you are in Barrie and Toronto Canada, Stewart Esten Law Firm is the way to go.  They have experienced estate lawyers who are ready to help you create your will, power of attorney and the administration of your estate or the estate of a loved one who has recently passed.

I am not too familiar with estate law, it is way too complicated for me.  I know about trusts because Chips mother had created a trust before she passed away.  She had to make someone the executor of the trust to take care of all of the bills for all of the houses that she owned, and any money that was made on the sale of any property went into the trust.  The rent for the houses goes into the trust and that pays for the mortgage and any upkeep of the houses.  I’m not sure if an estate will is the same, but I’m pretty sure it is.

At any rate, if you own property and you have family members who you know are going to fight over every little thing, be sure to have a will so you know everyone is getting what you want them to have.

Funny story, I think my mother was a bit psychic because when I was 19 she told me that I need to make out a will so that when the day comes that I have burned all of my bridges with my sisters, I can will them $1 so they cannot contest the will.  Isn’t that funny that she would tell me that?

I Am NOT Big Gay Al!

You know how a certain minority always get picked on for being that specific minority?  Well, this is one minority who is 40 and is still being picked on.

I haven’t been bothered by anyone in a long time.  The last time anyone bothered me for being… well… alive was when these people were living in the section-8 apartment building in my neighborhood.  They chose us specifically to pick on because they knew we were gay and we were their way, at least I think anyway, to fly under the radar themselves by choosing someone else to pick on.  That’s what bullies do after all, they know they have their own skeletons so they find someone else to put the focus on to take it off of themselves.  Oddly enough, the guy who was constantly picking on us was gay.  Yes, you guessed it, skeletons.

So they moved out because Darrin found out who the building owner was and contacted him and told him all about the troubles that that guy, nay, that family have caused in the neighborhood, so the whole lot of them were evicted.  It wasn’t just because of Darrin, it was also because the cops had been called one too many times to deal with him/them.

Over the last couple of years that apartment building has had many people coming and going.  Recently however there have been some new people who have moved in who have proved to be nothing but trash.  They sit out in front of the apartment building with music blaring inside.  I normally don’t see an issue with that if they aren’t bothering anyone but now they are bothering me.

I rode my bike to a family members house to go bike riding with her.  As we were riding back to her house when we were coming home they shouted something at us.  I didn’t understand what they were saying and decided I didn’t really care.  If you let them know they are upsetting you then they have the power.  They know what buttons to press and will continue to press that button because it excites them.  When I was riding home from her house they shouted at me again but I still didn’t understand what they were saying because I ignored them.

Not too long after that I decided I needed some groceries so I rode my bike to the store.  That time I understood what they were saying.  They were calling me Big Gay Al.  They were saying it so fast before that I just couldn’t understand but I got the message.

Why are they calling me big gay al you ask?  Well, I’m, for the lack of a better word, Big.  Big Gay Al is a character in the Comedy Central show South Park.  His character at the beginning of the series represented all of the gay animals who had been abandoned by their kind because they were gay.  Big Gay Al rescues them and helps them be who they are by supporting them.

Still… what does that have to do with me?  Well, I have a toy chihuahua who I walk outside in the front of the house at least 10-20 times per day.  Toy Chihuahua’s are typically a dog that you see on tv that rich and/or people carry around like accessories these days as are most small dogs.

So these idiots see that I’m fat and they just assume that I’m gay based on I don’t know what because I certainly don’t act gay and I don’t think I look gay, whatever gay looks like.  They see that I have a gay-ish type of dog and they target me to call me Big Gay Al.

So far it is just today that I was called that but tonight, as I write this, they have taken it a step further by banging on our door and running away like little cowards.  I can see how this is going to end.  I have already suggested to Darrin to call the owner of the building and let him know what he has living in that apartment building.

Since they have moved into the neighborhood, a few houses have been robbed.  Our tenant and the house next door to us.  Why did they skip us?  Maybe because they see that I’m home all the time so they don’t bother me.  I have a feeling that these jerks are the people who have been robbing houses and wonder how long before they try to rob us now that they “see” me.

We have lived in this neighborhood for 11 years, I don’t see why I have to put up with this bullcrap.  I used to be able to ride my bike (or walk) to the grocery store on Eye St. and back but now I have to ride out of my way to avoid these jerks.  That’s not right that I should have to change my life to avoid anyone.

I’m waiting for the “it gets better” speech…

Our Roku Boxes Arrived Today… They’re Going Back Tomorrow

It was on Christmas Eve, more than a week ago when we were told by Darrin’s family members that we should cancel our cable to get an Xbox to watch Hulu and Netflix instead. I researched my options and found Roku. I researched to find out if it was worth it and when I thought it would be, I rushed Darrin into making the decision to buy some Roku boxes, 1 for each TV in the house so that we would get a $10 discount per box.

I waited on pins and needles all weekend until they finally arrived this afternoon with the regular mail and was like a kid opening up his Christmas presents.

I opened one of the Roku boxes and connected it to the living room TV because I wanted the living room to be the first room that was connected with the Roku so Darrin would have it to watch when he got home. Problem… it wouldn’t connect to our network.

I brought it into the bedroom so that I could at least connect it with the network cable because I figured that maybe it needed to be connected with the wire first, then I could get it connected wirelessly. I get it connected and updated and all seemed fine but when I tried to get it to connect with the wi-fi, it just wouldn’t work.

So I got on the Roku website on the laptop and go to the help page to chat with a technician who can help me figure it out. We’re chatting for maybe 1 hour and 45 minutes and I lose the connection to the internet which means I lose the chat with “Sam”. I reconnected the laptop to the Verizon 3G network because I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t get disconnected again. I had to wait 20 minutes to talk to another person, I told them I was talking to Sam but he was already with someone else so that person tried helping me.

Another 45 minutes later and I finally figured it out, got it online then went into the living room and hooked the other one up to the tv and it connected without much trouble at all. I say thanks and goodbye to the person I was chatting with and I think I had a good 30 minutes to play with it when all of a sudden my internet goes out.

The problem is, “Sam” had me change my network name, the channel it was connected with,change it from WPA2 to WEP, change the password and everything. Now, nothing will connect. I spend the next 2 hours by myself trying to get it all back online.

This just isn’t working out so I unplugged both Roku boxes, roll up the AC wires, tie them up with the twist ties and put everything back in their boxes and spend another hour trying to get the network to work again and it did. I tried going back to my original settings but it just didn’t want to connect.

How I got the Roku boxes connected is with the mac address. I had to force the network to only accept the devices with their mac address. I’ve never had to do that before. I have connected my PSP, Nook, Chips computer and the CR-48 Laptop to the network and have never once had an issue with the mac address so why would I ever think that the Roku boxes would need me to do that?

So the Roku boxes go back tomorrow. We have to call the phone number and tell them that it just didn’t work out for us and we’re returning them. They give us a 30 day money back guarantee minus the shipping charges.

You know, I got to thinking, I can’t live without live TV. We need to be able to see the news or weather alerts that scroll on the top of the screen. It’s just not for us, we like it the way it is, no need to change it. Someone wise said to me on Twitter today “*whistles the old familiar tune* Why fix what ain’t done broke…..*snorts*”. It’s so true. And our system of watching TV on cable wasn’t broken, switching to the Roku only, now that’s broken.

I looked at Hulu plus and they only had maybe 10% of the shows that I watch. I installed PlayOn.tv and it ran so slow on the Roku because my processor wasn’t fast enough. It would’ve been ok for me if that worked but it didn’t.

I am not saying the Roku is a bad product but it just doesn’t work for me. It most certainly doesn’t work with my network but getting rid of cable and going with internet tv is just not what I want now. I still can’t afford $110 cable but we’re going to look into thinning out some of our services to make things easier on me.

I am not going to keep Hulu Plus after my 30 day trial is over nor am I keeping Netflix because I just can’t afford to have this additional expense on top of my cable. I will continue to use regular free Hulu if I miss a show but Hulu can’t replace cable for me.

Who knows, maybe one day I might get an Xbox or a PS3 or even a Blu-ray that will connect to Hulu and/or Netflix. If that day comes then it will be a nice addition but not replacement.

Turkey Day Is Almost Here

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is already here again. The months go by so fast. Next thing you know we will be decorating the tree. Actually, I’ll be doing that the day after tomorrow lol.

Since Darrin is working again, we’re not going out of town so we’re just gonna go to Hometown Buffet like we always do. I don’t mind going there, in fact I love that they are open because frankly I’d rather not have to cook as if we’re having 10 people over for just the 2 of us then have to do all those dishes. I’m quite content going out where all I have to do is get up, grab a plate then fill it up with good food, eat and repeat until I’m about to explode.

I do miss the traditional visit to a family members house (minus all the drama that comes with that) but I think I like it better with just the 2 of us. The holidays seem to be more for kids than they do for me. I guess that’s how you start to feel when you get older, unless of course you have a family to take care of.

As I said, the day after Thanksgiving I’m gonna be decorating the Christmas tree. It’s in the garage, it’s a pre-lit 8 foot tree. I actually have a video on YouTube of me putting it together using time-lapse photography.

Now some people might say that it’s not Christmas with a fake tree. Pahleez! It’s still Christmas to me and I don’t have to pick out a new one every year and pay the high prices that they charge at the tree lots. It’s such a rip off and I have a fear of fire so that’s another reason for me to want a fake one. Some people say they like the smell of the tree, I don’t really care for it all that much. Even if I did like the smell, I’d rather just light a Christmas tree scented candle.

I have several boxes of decorations to get from the garage and who knows, it might put me in the spirit enough to finish making that last stocking that I started earlier this year. I have 3 stockings to send to Chips nephews. Only one of them is complete, another one just needs it’s red felt back sewn on and the 3rd one needs me to finish embroidering it then put it’s felt back on. I have a little bag of bells that I’m thinking of sewing to the stockings in various places. It’s just not a stocking until it jingles.

So tomorrow morning I’ll get up and have a very light breakfast, maybe I’ll get some pop tarts then starve myself until it’s time to go to Hometown Buffet which will probably be around 1-3pm. One thing I look forward to is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that will be on in the morning.

Oh joy, I can’t wait.

Writing My Book Isn’t Easy

I’ve mentioned in here before that I’m writing a book based on my childhood. It’s about the abuse that I took from being beaten with a fire log to being punched in the face at age 13. Also being homeless at 15 and 17.

Edit: It’s not just a few abuse stories but the abuse I took throughout my childhood.

Thinking about these 6 kids who committed suicide has really gotten me to think differently about my book because I too tried to commit suicide, not just because of the school bullies but also because of my parents who bullied me more than the kids at school.

I don’t want to compare what happened to me to what happened to them because I really don’t know what happened to them. Everyone’s story is like a finger print or a snow flake, no two are alike.

The problem that I’m facing though is, I’m not a writer. Yes I write blog posts from time to time but this is different.

I sent my life partner a chapter to read and after only reading 1 paragraph he told me that my sentence structure needs work. I reminded him that I am not a writer and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing lol. Then he said it was too long, I need to shorten some of the stories. It’s a book! I can’t shorten the stories because the only way to understand what happened is to read the long ass stories.

A friend of mine offered to edit it because she loves to read. She didn’t say anything about what was wrong with the chapter, in fact she just said it was good. She doesn’t edit books for a living but I trust her judgement because she loves to read.

I can’t afford to pay someone to edit my book, I can’t even pay a ghost writer to write it for me, all I can do is write and edit it the way I have been and hope that it is readable.

I’m not writing it to make big bucks, I’m writing it to get it all off my chest. I have family members who were cut out of my life until I was 27 years old when I finally met them who would like to know what happened during my childhood that they were not allowed to witness.

It will take some time for me to write because I really have to be in the mood and I haven’t been feeling much in the mood lately. Thinking about those kids who killed themselves has really put things in perspective for me and I start to think, do I really need to write this book? Was my life that bad? I mean, there are people who got it worse than I did, some so bad they actually killed themselves.

My abuse stories weren’t even that bad, I mean being punched in the face is nothing compared to one guy who said that he was cinderella, forced to do all the housework, beaten and left to starve in a dungeon like basement. I was treated like a prince compared to that guy.

Well, as I said, I’m not writing it to make money, more to give my friends and family to read. It will probably be offered for $1 on Barnes and Noble once I finish it. I have to set a price and as far as I know Pubit doesn’t let you give your book away.

Ok, I’m done venting lol.

Ultimatums Suck

Has anyone ever given you an ultimatum or have you given anyone an ultimatum? They are not fair. There are certain times when it is ok to give someone an ultimatum like when a husband is drinking, gambling, cheating etc. But family members should never give you an ultimatum to choose your lover over them.

When I was 17 years old, my mother gave me an ultimatum. Leave my boyfriend Robert out in the cold in a strange city without anywhere to sleep and without any transportation back home or choose her and continue living at home. The choice was obvious. I would rather be homeless myself than let a deaf person wait outside for me to never return to help him find a place to sleep for the night. He was DEAF!

How cold-hearted are you to allow any human being to be homeless for the night until they can catch the bus in the morning back home?  I told her to at least let me call his mom to pick him up and she said no, let him freeze.  What a cold-hearted bitch!  I hate saying that about my own mother, rest her soul, but that’s how I feel.

It was 1987 and he couldn’t call his mother on a cell phone and speak sign language with a video call like you can do today. He had to use a TTY which by the way was at his house in Simi Valley. He took the bus to see me after 2 years of not seeing me and waited until the last-minute after the last bus had left for the day so he was stranded without any way of getting home. I asked a co-worker who lived down the street from me if he could stay with her on her couch and she said yes, I just had to bring him there. He was out of cigarettes so I went back to my house to get him a pack and that’s when my mother cornered me and gave me the ultimatum and that’s the night I became homeless.

My cousin just called me and he went to visit his sister in another state with his wife. His wife is 15 years older than he is and because some people don’t approve of such age differences, she was treated like crap. His sister gave him an ultimatum. His wife or his sister. That’s not fair. You know? You can’t make someone make that decision especially when they are married. What if he did choose his sister? What then? Is she going to take him in? No, she’s not. So now that he has chosen you, he’s going to be homeless all because you made him choose you over the love of his life.

Why do that? Why not just suck it up? You don’t even live in the same state, just deal with it. She is the person he chose to be with so live with it. It’s not your decision, it’s his.

I am in a relationship with someone who is 21 years older than me. You know what my sister said to him when she first met him? “How old are you?” And she didn’t ask it nicely either, she had this disapproving tone in her voice. It’s like, who asked you for your opinion? It’s none of your business. This is who I chose to be with so deal with it.

I think if someone is coward enough to make this type of ultimatum then they deserve it when they are the one being rejected. If someone gave me an ultimatum I am going to choose the person they are making me leave for them. There is no doubt in my mind that I would tell them to go to hell just as I told my mom.

My Funny Childhood Phrases

When I was growing up my parents and aunt said the funniest things to us kids. Like for example, when someone farted they would call it “stepping on a frog”. Have you ever heard anyone refer to it as that? The reason they said that was because back in the 70′s the word fart was a bad word. It was such a bad word that we would get slapped (or in my case beat) if we said it. So the nicest way of saying it was stepping on a frog.

Every night when we went to bed, my mother would tell us “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite, if they bite, bite them back.”

When I was in my late 20′s I said that to a friend of ours who lived right on the beach in Malibu just before she went to bed and I got a tongue lashing from it. ”HOW DARE YOU” and that wasn’t from the friend, that was from Darrin. How dare I accuse her of having bed bugs, she’s rich, she lives in a beach house in Malibu. How dare I even suggest that she has any bugs in her house.

It’s funny how despite my best intentions, something from my childhood isn’t quite accepted by anyone other than my family members.

And yes, that is me on the right, the girl on the left is my older sister. I don’t remember the occasion that picture was taken but I think it was when we lived on Holtby Road here in Bakersfield which is oddly enough on my exercise bike route. I pass that house every time I ride my bike to the bike trail.