Unexpected adventures with the rent

Yesterday I did 10 minutes on the treadmill. Today, I walked almost a full mile of this hill in 18 minutes and 16 seconds — no shuffling, no stopping, lots of striding, not much slowing down. Woo hoo!

I’d better start scouting trails and footpaths around here. I’m going to need more options soon.

As I calm my breathing in preparation for my autogenic exercise (more on that later), I have to admit that I had some angst to work off, and that probably had something to do with the pace I kept up.

Last night, I realized I’d lost my ATM card. I have one bank, one card, and one checkbook. … Er… had…

The card was gone.

The checkbook was empty.
I’m fresh out of cash.
And rent is due.

Welcome to My Brain on CRPS!

To be completely apt, these should be thoroughly scrambled.

I went to the landlady’s bank to see if we could do a wire transfer.
Turns out they’re closed on Wednesday.

I called a different branch and asked if they could.
No, not without an account of my own.

I asked if I could open an account with a wire transfer.
After 20 minutes on hold, it turned out that I could only open an account with cash or a check.

Rather than repeating myself, I said, “You realize that does me no good.”

I called my bank (a local savings bank) in Massachusetts. They were pleased to tell me that someone had called in my missing card and it had been cancelled promptly. 2 weeks to get another one.

They couldn’t do a wire transfer because they’re rather old-school, and I hadn’t gone into a branch and filed the appropriate form in person.

But — and this is why I stay with them — they didn’t end the conversation there.

After exploring several possibilities, which turned up as dead ends, I thought of Cougar, one of my angels (a word with specific meaning.) He bears a passing resemblance to a slimmer and semi-shaven Jerry Garcia..

A recent photo by yours truly.

But, more importantly, he takes my mail. Why?

In case you hadn’t noticed, I move around a lot. (I’m looking for a place that has an affordable cost of living, good soil, first-rate medical care, and no extra pollution or radiation, and one day I’ll find it.) I’m here in California for awhile for medical care, BUT, no matter where the rest of me goes, my mailing address remains the same.

The benefits are tremendous:

  • Not only is my steel-sieve brain spared the affliction of changing my address every time I move,
  • Not only are my ridiculous paws spared the trouble of wrestling with envelopes and handling papercuts (a task which cougar claws are apparently well-adapted for),
  • But my memory and cognition issues get a real break from having to deal with pieces of effing paper. I have developed a mental block around dealing with pieces of effing paper, so I get them into softcopy as soon as possible.

Or, rather, most of the time, Cougar does… Because he doesn’t just take in my mail, he scans it in and sends me softcopy of anything I ask him to open. This means I have COMPLETE RECORDS of everything I need to keep track of.

He’s the Magnificent Mail Mage, and I’m grateful. Take that, Pain-Brain!

He’s my current Cash Carrier, now. The management staff at my lovely little bank have agreed to work with him as my designated agent, and will provide him with the cash I request — which he will then send to me via Western Union, so I can take care of business here. And with it, I’ll pay rent, open a bank account locally, and try not to let this happen ever, ever again.

Meanwhile, it’s time to get my heart rate down from the clouds and that strangely full feeling out of my tissues. Easier said…

While the excitement is over for the moment, I have a vivid memory of the stress-tracking line on the biofeedback machine, and how bloody hard and bloody long it takes to get the level to drop after it goes up over something as small as one giggle.

This was no giggle. In fact, it was several hours of no giggle. None. A totally giggle-free period.

I found it stressful.

The walk helped. And I hope — when I find some good forest trails to explore — to spot some wildlife.

Meanwhile, I’m off the hook for laundry and shopping. It all has to wait until tomorrow. Bonus!

Everyone should have a little cougarosity in their lives…


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7 Replies to “Unexpected adventures with the rent”

  1. What an awesome friend! Kind of handsome in a fabulous furry freaks kind of way, too! So glad he’s there to lend a reliable helping claw.

  2. Adventures

    First I had to get dressed up like Jerry Garcia to go to the bank so they’d know I’m the person you told them to expect and not an imposter. It’s still too cold here for a tie-dye T-shirt, so I went with pinstripes, fleece vest, chimney sweep hat — yes, I look like Jerry Garcia. (Set out running but I take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine …)

    So I marched right into the bank just like a grown-up and was told Shannon didn’t tell us about this, excuse me a minute, which I expected, and Shannon apparently wasn’t immediately available but I expected that too, and while I was waiting I opened up my tablet to review the Western Union instructions. I read the email on my new tablet the night before so I didn’t bother to print it out; I just brought my tablet!

    Well, it turns out that Google in its infinite wisdom decided to program the Nexus 7 so it won’t let me access my email without a wireless connection! Don’t even try to tell me it’s not on the tablet — I read it last night; it’s still in the cache, but Google doesn’t want to let me look at it. The bastards!

    (A few hours later I discovered I CAN read email without a wireless connection — IF I put the tablet in airplane mode. Well, why didn’t they tell me that? The bastards!)

    Then the nice bank lady came back and had me sign lots of things and show my id and confirmed I looked like Jerry Garcia (I was born in the desert, raised in a lions’ den) and gave me a money. HA HA! MONEY! MWAHAHAHAHA!

    Fortunately the bank is right next to the library, and the library has Wi-Fi. I couldn’t get a signal inside the bank, but as soon as I went out the back door I had internet access! Quick — how much is a ticket to Venezuela?

    (continued next comment)

  3. Ackkkkkkkk! I can’t believe the price of airfare these days. If I take the money and run Venezuela

    I’ll have nothing left. Crime does not pay!

    So I went to the Western Union office instead, which is the service desk at the supermarket. The

    service desk lady gave me a form to fill out and I asked, How much is the fee?

    How much are you sending?

    Well, I have less than a thousand dollars here already because I need quarters for the horse wash.

    (When you ride a white charger you always have to be taking it to the horse wash, especially in mud

    season.) I want to send $1,000 minus the transfer fee, minus something for the horse wash — let’s say

    $995 minus the transfer fee. So how much is the fee?

    She says, I don’t know. It’s different every time. The only way to find out is to put it into the

    computer, and I have to know how much you want to send to do that. I can’t even guess. Well, it’s

    usually about $5 per 500 … no wait … it’s usually between 15 and 50 … well, it’ll probably be

    less than 50 … um …

    So we try pretending we’re going to send $945 to see what will happen, and it says the fee will be $86.

    Ackkkkkk! $86??? Well, gotta do it; it’s an emergency….

    So she starts counting on her fingers trying to figure what to guess next … she runs out of fingers,

    takes off her shoes so she can count on her toes …

    I said wait, she doesn’t need all of it right away. Let’s send her $900 and I can send the rest later,

    another way. So she tries that and now the fee is only $76. Why does it cost an extra $10 to send an

    extra $45? I wonder if we’re really dealing with a computer algorithm … maybe there’s another lady

    at the other end and she’s counting on her fingers and toes too … I wonder how many toes the lady at

    the other end has…. Well, it’s an emergency. So I send the $900 and I get the receipt with the

    secret number on it. I was planning to text you the secret number but I see the supermarket has Wi-Fi,

    so I sit down on a bench to write an email. Well, you know that supermarket hires moderately retarded

    people to bag groceries (our old friend Paul organized that years ago) and it turns out they sit on

    that bench for their breaks and they keep coming and going and eating peanut butter sandwiches and I

    just felt like I was intruding on their space, so I dashed off a quick email with the secret number and

    promised to tell you about my adventures later.

    So now I’m home, and I can go to the horse wash tomorrow.

    -Cougar :{)

    1. Our grocery baggers in that part of New England are much-loved members of the community, partly because they have a clearer sense of boundaries than most people and have no problem in speaking up in clear, sweet ways to call the rest of us on our sloppy behavior, when it’s socially egregious enough. I can imagine that intruding on their break space could well be itchily disconcerting, not knowing if you’re about to be sweetly challenged. Quite apart from the wafting sticky aroma of peanut butter sandwiches.

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