Posts Tagged ‘REturned Peace Corps Volunteers’

Friends With Benefits? Catfishing…. Virtual Dating Covid 19

June 25, 2020

I don’t have a boyfriend, but I  am now thinking I’ve had a series of ‘virtual boyfriends’—with none of the benefits and all the aggravation.

It was Adam Smith who addressed the importance of integrity and the ability to trust as part of the economic social contract. When you expect a relationship to be long, you need honesty.

Integrity—a  favorite subject of mine, is out the window.  There is a huge segment of the world population that believes, as people, they are imperfect and bound to make mistakes, but as long as they accept Jesus as their savior, they can sin/do wrong and ask for forgiveness, and get into Heaven.

I tell men straight away that I  do not have a relationship with God, I make moral and ethical choices because I know it’s the right thing to do….& this is why I continue to have issues with Christian men.

To preface this, I want to address something that happened when my friend, Karen, was helping another friend find a roommate.  Janet’s roommate had died and Janet was not in great health herself.  So Karen agreed to advertise the apartment and screen prospective tenants.  A ‘foreign person’ saw Karen’s post on Craigslist, and said they were coming to Chicago, and they’d be happy to send a deposit. The deposit was $500, and they’d make out the check for $5000 and asked Karen to remit the rest.

Who does this?  Anyone you know who was raised in the USA?  No.  People find all sorts of ways to scam, but people in poor countries seem to make up ways.   So, Karen received the check, of course, didn’t cash it, and rented the apartment to someone ‘normal’ and in town.  A few weeks went by & ‘foreign person’ emails Karen, “Where’s the money?”

Karen asks, “Where were you?”

FP says, “Return the money.”

Karen says Janet had medical bills & spend it all on paying those. Now, of course, the check could not be cahsed, but holding out hope….FP was furious and demanded  Karen return it. Karen told them she was a famous violinist, waiting to get paid, and to take her to court, and FP wanted Karen to pay for the trip to the USA. Chutzpah there, eh?

My sister answered an ad on Craigslist for a job…doing investigations and taking photos for an insurance company or some such thing.  The company also sent her a check with a 500% overage and wanted her to send back the surplus. She went to her bank  and told a  banker what was going on. So they opened a new account to deposit this check, and wrote a bank draft for the person who wanted the remittance, and when that person went to cash the remittance, they were arrested.

&—go to any Craigslist in a major city, and the pet section of the list.  The rules state that it is for s rehoming pets—no sales or breeding—but they don’t enforce the rules:  they expect the community’ to flag off illegal posts.  The scammers know what dog breeds are in demand because illiterates post they are looking for:  Golden Retrievers, English sh & French Bulldogs Pembroke Welsh Corgies, Siberian Huskies, and  Yorkies & a Maltese.  but backyard breeders of designer mutts abound.  Most of the photos are copies, and you can tell by the wording of the post that the person posting has no idea what the fuck they are talking about.  Rare colors, micro teeny, AKC registered kittens.  & they put TYPE OUT  YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS to make sure they can ultimately hack you.  & people send them money based on photos as well as not actually reading the post. They actually think they are getting bargains, then they think a breeder ripped them off…but these are not breeders.  They are scammers.

& that’s how dating is when you’re an old ladyIt’s called CATFISHING. someone makes up a profile, but the person doesn’t really exist. Photos are copied. There’s gotta be a template. All these guys were either marine or mining engineers (now why are they in Chicago?), widowed, Christian (although if they go to church, forget it.).  Usually they have just one child—but often that child is overseas with grandma.  You can tell by the language they use that they are not native speakers. or, if they are, they are illiterate.

I am still looking for a muse, and it is not going well. I’ve wasted about 3 weeks on this guy: “Dennis Brown.”   We emailed. He said he was Catholic, but not religious  & didn’t go to church. I told him I was a writer.  He asked me what I wrote, and I told him that I wrote nonfiction, and erotica.  We had a bit of x-rated email.  Nothing as interesting as what follows.  He asked me to download Google Hang out.  I even got a new phone.  I’ve edited this lengthy conversation for brevity (believe it or not!  He repeats himself a lot):

DB: Dennis Brown Active 2h ago : Hello there! It’s Dennis from Plenty of Fish. I hope we connect after work tomorrow….Hello, dear hope the day treated you right! How was work today Yes the day was ok. I’m glad you’ve been able to figure it out now. I hope you enjoy it (edit:  he’s referring to Google Hangout)

RM: I find texting a necessary evil but better than a phone conversation.

DB: Yeah, same here. I’m sorry it has to be this way, for now, we got to manage it on here for a while

RM: & that means….? How much have you invested in this venture? You are self-funded? (edit: he has gone to London to sell jewelry he either made or bought to resell…that’s his story…also, he lost his ophone and had an appenc dicitis attack)

DB: ( edit:  notice—no answer to the above question) Okay so about today, I finally have the stitches taken out, but I think the wound isn’t fully healed so there was a little blood coming out at a point. They treated it and asked me to come back on Monday for a checkup. I don’t often use the app, I mostly use it for business purpose, I sometimes reach some customers on here I feel it’s easier and faster here.

RM: that’s upsetting. So what do you do all day? & again…. how is it you have unlimited funds that this doesn’t seem to be a concern? I want to tell you: after downloading the app, there were about 2 dozen ‘messages’ from sex workers seeking clients and another dozen from men I’m sure I did not know.

DB: I just stay in bed, eat, sleep, and watch some movies. I don’t have to engage myself in any form of stressful activities, I shouldn’t be carrying heavy stuff as well. I’m actually chatting from my Gmail account on my laptop so it’s the same cost. You can try it on your laptop too, it works. You just have to open your Gmail account, you will see your hangouts chats at the left lower side.I hope you didn’t reply any of those messages. I don’t know the people behind this but I once got a message like that

RM: I may do that because the app uses a lot of energy. Now, I asked you some questions. I want to be honest with you, & being evasive doesn’t work with me. Do you know who Manti Te’o is? You can Google him. I keep my profile up on PoF & Tinder. Amazing how so many men are either foreign-born widowers who have been engaged in engineering….& think they have a pretty good story going. But what isn’t a good story is they just can’t say when we can meet. Not even a ballpark idea of the time frame. Or my very favorite….the men who are in the vicinity & can’t give me a straight answer to WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS? I get the religion & political leanings out of the way fast, but if I have the slightest attraction, I address finances, to see if we’re on the same page. My only debt is my mortgage. I’ve invested well & I’ll be ok. A guy would sooner tell me how long his dick is before telling me how he makes a living & how he’s planned for his future. Several guys I have never met wanted me to commit….to what? Trusting the guy I am texting with is who he says he is?  Sorry… but I am a very skeptical person. You really should have suggested this (using the computer) before—it would have been easier.

DB: Sorry I didn’t suggest using the computer earlier but it’s not too late. You can go back to the computer and try what I told you, it’s not really difficult. I think you should try it now so that I can assist you if there is any problem. So the answer to your question, I wouldn’t want you to be committed for any reason especially at this point when we haven’t even met, had a face to face conversation to know if the connection is there, if we click or not. I personally wouldn’t want us to rush things at this point, we take it one step at a time. I’m glad you’re very careful with the financial status of your partner, it really matters a lot. I must say I’m financially stable, I have made numerous investments, I do my own business which is running smoothly, I own two houses, one in Northbrook and the other in Bedford, TX where I was born. I’m actually thinking of selling the house in Bedford because I barely visit the place. I don’t see myself having any sort of financial issue in the future, my future is secure, I’m living my best life.

RM: I’ll tell you what happened today at work………I couldn’t imagine why (X) went off like this but apparently, it was aimed at a coworker. So my manager & I were discussing this and I said, she hasn’t titled a dog in obedience or rally, has she? So I was telling G, my co-worker, that the titles prove you’ve demonstrated to 3 different judges that you have off-leash control of the dog. I’ve put 8 titles on 4 dogs. The(X) has 0 titles and is hoping her reputation based on her family keeps moving her along. Real chutzpah.

DB: I know there are lots of fakes out there but I do believe there are some real good ones out there too, it takes patience and a bit of tolerance to come across them. I mean the reason I had to delete my POF account was that I had enough on there and I just decided to take a step back and focus on us to see how far we can go. (  edit: actually, the scammers take down their profiles because they have to give contact info to the company ‘hosting’ and dating sites…& they have a ‘mark’—you—or me…)

RM: Well that’s good to know. I don’t know if I told you but when I was working in Bosnia, I told my father I was in California. The rest of my family knew. About a year later when he found out, he asked who knew. My sister told him that everyone knew. Then he asked why nobody told him, & my other sister told him,”I think you know why.” We girls, our mantra had been, “Don’t tell Dad.” This is how far we can go if you have no idea when you will return. I have 2 friends who met their spouses on the internet. But they are younger than I am….and I am not looking for a husband. But my bs detector makes me be very direct.

DB: What (X) posted on Facebook is very dumb, she’s just being overconfident. Why did you lie to your dad if you were going to work in Bosnia, at least you were going to do something to earn a living. Most parents will understand. I thought I already told you I will know when I’m returning home as soon as the stitches is taken out and I got it taken out today. Just that it needs some more treatment, that’s why I have to be at the hospital Monday. Whatever happens at the hospital on Monday will determine when I will be back home... it’s good to be direct, I don’t have a problem with that but you got to be a little patient sometimesI’m actually sick and tired of this place, I really want to be back home for good I’m hoping I get some great news from the hospital tomorrow so that I can start packing. 

RM: Regarding (X)—she’ s incredibly arrogant & entitled, and I guess she wanted to one-up G, my co-worker.  I’m not sure why she has a key to the kennel, but she’s not supposed to be there and gets away with it because (Y) is ill right now, but then we have to undo the damage she does.  As to why I didn’t tell my father….He called me once while I was in Malawi, when I had a phone in my house, to tell me I should not have gone. I was in Bosnia during the cease-fire, working on the election, but  I was chosen because more sensible people dropped out. My patience is all reserved for training dogs.  So, would you think you’d be returning within the next 2 weeks?  How is the food?  Seen any shows?  Anything interesting?  I’d go to museums. but I’d probably look for other dog groomers and whippet owners, too. I should be writing. A magazine editor asked me to put something together, but I’m too tired to completely focus, it’s been very hot & humid and we aren’t putting on the aircon until we can’t stand it anymore.

DB: It’s sucks to work around such people, arrogance is something I really dislike, it pisses me off to the max. So she actually posted that because of your coworker That’s childish. If I may ask, is there some kind of misunderstanding between them? The key has to be taken from her is she doesn’t deserve to have it, it’s that simple. You should also reserve some patience for humans as well lol, that actually put a smile on my face, you’re just great with your choice of words. Sure I should be back home within 2 weeks, if my appointment on Monday goes on well, I might even be back home earlier. I really want to get out of here, I chat with my son all the time and he wants me back home badly. The food is okay here, haven’t seen any shows yet, remember Covid is still here with us. To be honest! there hasn’t been anything interesting here so far, it’s been lock-down, stay at home protection and staying safe. Nothing really fun to do. I’m hoping to go visit a few places as soon as my health is back to normal before I leave here. Does it mean you will do some writing tomorrow? Or you got some other things to do tomorrow.

RM: Family businesses….(Y) ‘owns’ the kennel,  but it is actually in his mother’s name. That’s (X’s) grandmother.  (X’s) mother, died of her excesses (as they say) & the grandmother is easily manipulated. (Y) is very patient and very ill… X inherited almost $100,000 & blew it all.  I didn’t know what G was complaining about to my co-worker at first, then I mentioned her post, and my co-worker laughed & we got into a discussion of how you prove a dog is trained, and she has never titled a dog in performance. she’s like. “I want to teach you to speak French. I don’t speak French, but my mother spoke French, so I can teach you.”  Yeah, funny, huh.  I keep forgetting we can’t go anywhere, and to put on the mask (I keep them in my purse or pocket). We don’t wear them at work because it’s just us. Frankly, I’m pretty sick of eating my own cooking, to tell you the truth. Maybe that’s why the demonstrations were so well attended:  people had no work & couldn’t go anyplace else. If I hadn’t been busy, I would have gone to 1 of the demonstrations….& yes…after I do the vacuuming, I will write and do some other  computer work…I can barely keep my eyes open..

DB: .Oh okay, I now understand why this is happening, She didn’t really have to struggle for it. Y isn’t around because he’s ill so she has taken over and she’s doing anything of her choice, am I right? Yeah people came out in their numbers for the demonstration because most people are sick and tired of always having to stay indoors so this is the best opportunity for some fresh air. I can tell you’re really tired You should hit the bed anytime soon, you definitely need some good rest after a long day. I guess you went to sleep, I’m very sorry for the late response sleep sound dear.

RM:Business was ok until Covid19, but we were really affected by the end of the Bush era , because so many of our clients are elites.  In fact, it was just before Obama got elected that I closed my own grooming business that was close to them. I had had a major die-off of old dogs—who were coming in once a week for grooming, and I knew my clients would not replace those dogs.  I couldn’t find a smaller place to rent within 5 miles/ I could have struggled on, but it didn’t seem to make sense. Also, suddenly people were buying Doodles and wanted dog daycare, and it’s just too dangerous.   & I don’t know if I told you, the land the kennel is on is worth at least 5 times more than the actual business, and several fortune 100 companies have their eye on it.  We’re taxed at the agricultural rate, so  I’m sure the township is eager to get it sold. X knows nothing about this. Covid has affected every single business, I hope it goes real soon so that we can got back to some normalcy.

DB: Sorry you had to close your own grooming business due to the disaster, so you joined their business after you closed yours? No you didn’t tell me the worth of the land the kennel is on. Wow, that sounds like a whole lot of money, it’s good X knows nothing about it. That lady will surely ruin if she becomes the boss one day lol, that’s for sure
. How has your day been dear? Hope you had a beautiful day,

RM: For some reason, although I got your message on my phone, I can’t open hangouts on my phone.  Maybe it’s because power is down to 50%.  In any case…these service businesses are really marginal and subject to anything that happens in the economy.  We got deemed ‘essential I bet because so many politicians and their employees have dogs. In any case, you can find us using a Google map—but look where it is: it’s on S between L & D,  right by the tollway.  T was across the street from us, We heard there is another company on their campus now. Behind us is D—the credit card company. The land is worth a minimum of $3 million, probably more—It wouldn’t shock me if they were offered $15 million..  And the other problem is this is a family of dog people. They built the kennel. it’s a great kennel, but they know nothing about modern marketing, and it’s suffered a bit because we aren’t replacing older clients who move or die.  Anyways, what did I do?  A neighbor was giving away some stemware, so I went & got that, then, I  wanted vinegar, so I went to the dollar store, it never fails, I walk in there, nobody is in line, By the time I’ve got a dozen things,  2 cashiers are working, but 1 is seeming to have some sort of problem, and it just took forever to t get out of there. But a friend came over & we played Scrabble. Her daughter has been going out with a  guy for over a years & they are probably going to get married next Spring, and K was thinking about the cost.  I worked on an article I’ve been drafting & did laundry, and now I’ve been watching the Last Dance about the 1990s Bulls.  It’s very well done.  Phil Jackson made them into a machine, and it was great to see the old games.  Now I am going to take a bubble bath and try to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live..

DB: Does it mean you are replying from your laptop? Most businesses in the States are subjected to anything that happens in the economy, sorry we both find ourselves in a business like that, I can see the business has a very good location, I understand why it has such a good value. These guy are actually going to make some huge sums from this property. I guess you are going to work with them till you decide to quit. Sorry they wasted your time at the store but then I hope you got everything you wanted.

RM: My computer is old—a desktop, so, yes. I have to get a new computer & I will be.  Microsoft won’t support my version of Word past October.  Yes,  they will make a boatload of money, but Y’s too ill to enjoy it, his mother is too old, and X will ultimately get it. I’ll work until the kennel is sold. I  won’t take Social Security until I’m 70, but I may tap my IRA,  I take care of all housework, as it is the expedient thing to do. He is usually very precise about most things, but his standards are lower than mine.  & yes, I’m still drafting, when you write, it’s best to let it sit for a while &  edit with fresh eyes. Have you ever checked out my blog?   I hope you had a nice day and are out of pain. The pills the doctor gave me are more effective, but I am going to get my hips x-rayed Monday & then have an appointment with a surgeon to discuss options.  & I also volunteered for an experiment with a cosmetic surgeon, so we’ll see how that goes.

DB: I think even with an old computer you might still have your hangouts at the left down corner on the screen when you open your Gmail account. Have you tried it? You got to update your word or get a new one installed if Microsoft isn’t supporting it. Provided you still have enough energy to work, I don’t think it’s a bad idea if you still want to work. Your social security and IRA can wait for now, that’s if you don’t need them. I did check out your blog and I must confess, you’re doing a great job on there, BRAVO. I haven’t really had time to read a lot but with the few stuff I read in Choices, it’s just excellent. Will take some time to read more. I’m. I’m halfway out of pain, I’m hoping for a better response from the doc when I visit on Monday. I’m glad the pills they gave you are more effective. Have a great night dear, hope to hear from you when you’re wake.

Sleep soundHello dear, How are you doing? Hope all is well with youI’m ok—

RM: I am going for an x-ray tomorrow.  I have to email some information to my sister, and then write what she told me, because she’s trying to straighten out both my father’s and her brother-in-law’s estates. She was also editing some of my writing, so that’s what today was.    You seem to have a very zen attitude about your own situation.

DB: As you already know, I will be seeing the doc tomorrow as well, I’m hoping this will be the last time I have to visit the hospital. Are you done emailing the information to your sister, it’s cool how you get along with your sister so easily. How often do you guys visit each other?

RM: I am hoping, ultimately,, that I just need a cortisone shot, but I’ll have to get that far.  Yes, she needed some info on some auction houses.  I  used to work in resale stores and had enough of an eye to know when to check to see if something was worth auctioning rather than guessing at a price to stick on something.  But she wanted to talk about ‘an ethical dilemma’ and it’s so funny I have to blog about it—so I want to draft that.   Some stuff is so incredible, you have to write about it.

DB: It’s best if you just get a cortisone shot, you wouldn’t have to go through much stress with that. Could you provide all the necessary info she needed on the auction houses? You seem to have a different kind of work experiences, this simply showers how smart and hard-working you are. You’re going to blog about it too lol, does it mean you blog about every single thing that goes on around you? That’s what most writers do right. Writers shows**Sorry for the typographical errors.

RM: I’m 66—I’ve either worked in resale stores, groomed and trained dogs, or drafted laws and strategies.  What have been your varied work experiences?  The problem with cortisone is that if they have to keep doing it, it dissolves your bones.  However, I’ve gotten 2 shots in my hand, and although my doctor says he can feel calcification, my hands give me no trouble.  The reason I am going to blog about what Randi’s’  said was that she put it as ‘an ethical dilemma’, and I can understand why she wanted my opinion, but my father set things up in such a way that it was worth discussing.  Yes, Dennis, I am pretty smart and can think things through, but this is all banter. It’s very difficult for me to carry on a conversation with someone I don’t have a natural connection with.  & this isn’t natural.  It’s awkward.   I assumed you had wanted to do this to make it a video call.I’m off to bed. I have to get started early.

DB: I don’t really have a horizontal work history, I’ve either worked in Engineering or Jeweling. I used to be an Engineer in Newmont Corporation and became a full-time Jeweler. I was still into jewelries (sic)when I was working as an Engineer. Oh okay, you’ve already had 2 cortisone shots in your hand, then you need to be careful because too much of it can be bad. Let me know when you’re done blogging it so that I can go and read what you have there for us. Robyn, I understand you’re not comfortable with this online stuff but you should understand this is what online dating is about, I’m personally not happy with this text and response way of getting to know each other but it is what it is, we have to manage it on here at least for now till I return home. It’s good to get in touch while we are a distance apart than not to get in touch at home. Yes it’s awkward this way but we have to manage it, for now, I actually made us come on here because I wanted us to have some video chats because that’s what I mostly do with my customer but I realized the laptop I’m using now has it’s camera broken so I’m planning to get a webcam so that we can start having some video chats. This is a friend’s laptop I’m using, my own dropped on the floor and the screen got broken so I’m not able to use it now. We can start having video call as soon as I purchase a webcam, I hope you are cool with that alright dear, it’s fairly understandable if you want to catch some sleep now, you got to work tomorrow. Have a great night dear, Sleep sound. Talk to you tomorrow all, not at home***Goodnight off I go. 

RM: google Manti T’e’o. 

DB: Manti Te’o, the American Footballer? How was work today?

RM: No work until Wednesday. got an x-ray, can’t see the doctor until July 2. So much for this enhancing conversation…

DB: That’s cool, you have enough time to rest then. Does it mean your appointment with the orthopedic surgeon is canceled? I hope everything went on well at the hospital today.

RM: I  made an appointment but can’t see the surgeon until July 2—that was his soonest appointment.  So I take the pain pills—which are just a megadose of Ibruprofen, every morning. They help some.  I edited some writing today, Normally I’d go to a movie—but there are no movies.  How are you? I am going to bed because I have to be downtown early.  Then, the rest of the day is not really anything.

DB: Sorry you would have to wait until July 2nd to see the surgeon. I hope the pain pills is effective enough to keep you strong until July. The good news on my side is the doc said everything is alright with me now, he only gave me some pills to take for a week and I shouldn’t engage myself in any stressful activity for now

I’m a happy man now Took the picture on our way home from the hospital.  (Edit:  he did say he didn’t have a camera on his phone).Glad you were able to do some editing today, you’re doing a great job with your writing. Does you mean you go to the movie anytime you’re back from work? I guess you went to bed, sleep sound dear. Hope to hear from you tomorrow. Have a great night.

RM: The first show of the day in Evanston is the ‘bargain’ show—if $6 is a bargain—tho now that I’m a senior citizen, they are all ‘bargains’— it’s better to go early when there are no kids.  There is also a theatre 2 blocks from my house that serves alcohol.  I’m not much of a drinker, but sometimes it’s fine, especially for a comedy.  But I usually leave for work by 7, finish around 1 (as long as nothing goes wrong), then often food shopping or anything I have to do up north. I  take Sheridan Road home, that’s a nice ride. Remember, I only work 2 days a week.  I try  to do something creative every day, whether it is editing or writing.  I keep a very regular schedule. If I sleep too late, I wake up with a headache..So you are healed enough to travel?  BTW…how did you start making jewelry.  Did someone teach you? Did you apprentice?  Or did you take a class?  I have a couple of friends who make jewelry but mostly bead stuff or wire.  1 had an etsy site for a white, but she got very sick, and I think she gave it up.  Have you ever been to the “One of A Kind” show at the merchandise mart?  I’ve bought earrings there.  since I like art, it’s a great show.I may try to go to bed early. Tornado warnings & storming from a tropical storm in the gulf.  I have work tomorrow.  Today was …weird.  I  ‘volunteered’ for a  cosmetic procedure (I will be paid) with a doctor who I’ve had a marginal relationship with & he has a great reputation, but he told me, I’d swell up for a few weeks before we’d see results.  He wasn’t kidding, I can’t imagine people pay for this, but the staff says it’s in high demand.  I look like I’ve had an allergic reaction to something.  Masks are only going to enhance this.  & now, you go into a public building & they take your temperature & ask you if you’ve traveled, been tested, know anyone with covid19, lost your sense of smell or taste, had a fever, had any symptoms. Be prepared . are they doing this  in England?&—then they have you sign a contact sheet—so if you do get sick, they can do contact tracing. for real.

DB: How many days do you go for a show in a week? Didn’t know you work 2 days a week, I think it’s good for your age because you will have enough time for yourself. I now understand why you are always writing or editing. Do you have specific days your go-to work or it’s a random selection? I’m talking about the two days you have to go to work. Yes I’m healed now but I will have to wait and finish with my pills then I go for my last checkup before I get on a flight, so I’m going to use this period to accomplish everything I have to do here before I go for my last checkup. I will be seeing the doc on Tuesday which happens to be my last visit then I can finally get on a flight home. About how I started making jewelry, I took a class because I had always wanted to do something relating to Jewelries because I love to see people wear them. But then I started dealing in precious stones and metals after some years when I met a business friend who introduced me to that business. It paid so good that I wasn’t paying attention to making jewelries at a point. As it stands, I still have majority of my focus on these precious materials than making of the jewelries. Yes I have been to the “One of A Kind” show at the merchandise mart, it’s a very great show.I’m very sorry for the late response, have been trying to get myself together because I have to step out tomorrow. I have a few errands to run since I have been staying at home for the past days doing nothing. I haven’t really stepped out since I felt sick so I don’t know how it is like over here when you go into a public building. I see them checking temperature and some other stuff in the news but I haven’t been a victim yet, let’s see what happens tomorrow guess you went to bed. Have a great night babe. Sleep well

RM: I used to go to a movie about once a week, depending on what’s showing.  During the school year, I try to get to Northwestern for  Wednesday lunchtime lectures.  I often get to the Block museum on Friday nights for movies. I have friends who are Art Institute & Museum of Contemporary Art members, so sometimes we go to shows at these museums. I work just Wed & Friday now, but I was also working Monday mornings for a private client. Since even her husband was at home since quarantine, they’ve been grooming their own  7 dogs. they show dogs & had been hoping to place 2, but I think they still have 2 in show coat, and my boss actually grooms 1 a week.  There are 2 breeds that I think are not worth the bother to keep in show coat;  Cotons & Miniature Schnauzers. but whatever.  I had been a court advocate for a nonprofit group, & when things settle down, I’ll go back to doing that 1 day a week..  I’m off to work now, & then I  am going to see my sister since she is not far from where I work. Still dealing with my father’s estate, and I got a notice of a rollover in my IRA, so I am waiting for my financial planner to call me back, as it was for about the same amount  I was supposed to get from 1 of my father’s accounts.  I could have bought uncut gems when i was in Jaipur &  Chang Rai, but since I have no idea what I’m looking at, I didn’t.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf4cea5oObY…  this is from John  Oliver. He’s really spot on. Our mayor, Lori Lightfoot, whom I voted for in the primary (after t looking at the platforms of a dozen other candidates), ran on a platform of police reform.  I hope the aldermen take this seriously. I know my own alderman does, but she is almost too far the other direction without addressing  tha1 reason we have so many poor people in our ward is they can’t afford to live anywhere else—and we have a lot of disinvested housing stock. I don’t think enough white people know how badly cops treat people of color.

DB: Sorry for the late response dear, I have been communicating with some customers on here, I had a long day, How has your day been? Did you go to work today? When you talk about your boss, who are you referring to because I thought Y was your boss and he is sick now, Or I got it all wrong. How does being a court advocate feel? Thought you guys were done dealing your dad’s estate, I hope it’s going well. There are rumors speculating that this whole craziness going on about George Floyd is staged and that Obama tweeted a photo of George Floyd nine days before his death, meaning he knew something about itI’m yet to know how true that is. I also head the police involved have no record of being a cop. This whole thing is getting confusing now

This is what he had on his page nine days before George’s death I’m honestly sorry we don’t get to talk much lately, I will make it a point to spend enough time with you on here tomorrow since you have no work.I guess you are in bed now, talk to you later babe.

RM: I spend a lot of time on Facebook(since all the groups I am a member of use it now instead of having a newsletter, and my overseas friends use it,too, and I’ve seen the rumor, and of course, the right-wingers would start a rumor like that. I’m surprised at how many white people I know who don’t believe that the police in the USA target blacks. In the case of George Floyd, 1 of the 4 cops was only a day on the woman posted a blog about traveling with her black standard Poodle, when she moved from 1 state to another, & how many times she got pulled over by the police (I have it on my personal FB page) for ‘impeding traffic(driving under the speed limit…then not being charged. finally, she was in a diner, and someone told her a black guy was stealing her vehicle—and she realized they saw her Poodle from behind, and it all made sense.  I had a black male roommate years ago, and I was going out with a black guy , and they were always being stopped for either walking or driving while black. The police have to look like they’re doing something, and there’s systemic racism, Google John Oliver on the police, His show on how it is is excellent.  I was asleep. but I got up, but I can sleep in tomorrow.  Y is my boss. His girlfriend is my manager, but on Wednesdays my co-workers & I work alone  We’re self-managed. We know our jobs.  Being a court advocate is actually boring because the court is not like on TV.  Lots of waiting around. sometimes you can’t hear.  You aren’t allowed to read, and for some reason,  judges hear certain cases & court gets adjourned for up to 1/2 hour at a time. You have to look for the prosecuting attorney to learn case status. but, when we’re there, the judge is usually informed, and it can make a big difference in sentencing, and sometimes on whether a case gets continuance.  My sister and I have done it for cases involving animal crime, & my sister Sharyn, who just moved to Tennessee, had done it for abused women. My dad’s estate will probably take about a year, because my father had so many accounts & the insurance companies are slow. Also because he set up a trust, we can’t cash out some assets I got 2  tax notices the other day in the mail for a rollover in my IRA, and I thought—due to the amounts in each account, it was from my father, but it turned out it’s from my own account that my advisor moved into annuities (which I asked him to do)—but for some reason, tax records come at an odd time..  My sister was questioning why I don’t consolidate accounts, since I have a Roth, traditional, and self-employment plan IRAs, and what I did was put them all with 1 financial advisor because it was getting too complicated, but when you add to any IRA, unless it’s all in trading accounts (& a lot of it was), it’s impossible.  I was hoping we’d have more of a chat, but I can’t keep my eyes open, and clearly, We’re on different schedules.

DB: Yes you’re right, the police in the USA target blacks and it’s quite amazing how most whites don’t believe this. The USA police always have their focus and target on the blacks, I have several customers complaining about how the police always stop them and try to find faults on them. They stop them and act like they are doing something when they are actually not doing anything, this craziness must stop, all people must be treated equally. I watched the link you sent me on John Oliver and he is excellent, John seem to be very mad which he has every right to be. How this policy is treating the protesters is just annoying and unacceptable. How many siblings do you have? I thought you had just a sister. I can tell you guys have a lot to do concerning your father’s estate, how long has he had the estate? It might be a  bit tiring when you’re working on such a thing and the insurance companies are slow, yes it sucks too. I was actually wondering why you don’t consolidate accounts.
What have you been up to today? I know you probably did some writing/editing. Did you do something aside that?

RM: I’m watching a movie online now, but I have work tomorrow. I  edited something for a magazine article.  What I did was go to sell my aluminum cans, and Google said the business was open, but they weren’t. when I turned in cans in January, they told me they weren’t moving south (about 30miles!) until November, but they had the land. I guess because of the quarantine, they just said “the Hell with it,” & closed. they are in what will be Lincoln Yards—about the worst thing that could happen  to Chicago, because  Rahm  convinced the aldermen to give money that should have gone to schools & mental health services to a private developer./  I know 1 alderman pretty well, Scott Waguespack, and he agrees with me, & we thought Lori would put an end to this If they couldn’t get private investors, too bad. That’s how capitalism works. Instead, they are going to make a really bad traffic area, because they are really close to the Kennedy, even worse, it that can be imagined.  In any case, I’ll take the cans into a place on Rt.22 after work tomorrow, I have about 50 lb.  It’s a bad habit, picking up cans when I’m out with the dogs,  but they used to be 50c a pound, and they are down to15c. anyways, I had to pick up a check and then went to see a groomer right up the street who I used to work for.  Then, as I was coming home, Lori Lightfoot & Bobby Rush (he used to be a Black Panther, & now is a congressman) did a news conference. I don’t know if it went international, but  his campaign office was broken into last week during riots, and about 6 police can be seen making coffee, popcorn, talking on cell phones, & lounging around his office—on security cameras!  the police union said the damage was already done to the area stores, so they were—essentially—securing his space. How many does it take? 2—not 6.  You just have to laugh at how bad the police ar. They just don’t provide security in minority communities.  You know an ‘estate’ is the assets you leave when you die, right?  I have 2  sisters & a brother. then 2 stepsisters & a stepbrother, but we were all out of the house when my father remarried, so I barely know them.  In any case, when my father died, he had about 20 charge cards, and my sister had to cancel all those, and he had so many insurance policies, and you can’t just consolidate them. He left an IRA, and that has to be divided by the trust, so to cash it out, it gets owned by the trust and them our ‘shares’ get  ‘rolled over’ to our IRA accounts to postpone taxes.  And his trading account also goes into a trust, and it’s hard to determine what that’s worth. We have a ballpark idea.  Then, small policies here & there. Randi keeps really good records because there are so many businesses she had to deal with. My father also had a small cleaning supplies distribution business.  I can’t imagine how he made money last year, but apparently, he did, and Randi says his tax bill is $1500.  The only other thing I  did was I needed a high-resolution copy of my book cover for an ad, and I had to deal with the publisher because the magazine editor said if it wasn’t high resolution enough, it would ‘fade out’ on publication.  Oh, & my sister gave me a bunch of clothes, and I was able to consign a bunch with a friend who has a shop, but I can’t consign the winter stuff, so  I think some neighbors will want some of it & the rest I’ll donate. & I  am going to sell some books on Saturday, but now, after being closed, the buying hours have changed.  See, a lot of busywork.

DB: What movie are you watching? Yeah, are you a fan of movies, What’s your favorite movie? I know you can’t go a day without writing or editing. I did run some errands today, I went to deliver some jewelries which was purchased. That was the last set of jewelries I had on me and I’m happy I have them sold out now. I mistakenly added jewelry to one of the customers’ stuff which was supposed to go to a different customer I had to contacts all customers I did deliver stuff to today, to know who got it, I was so lucky the people who had it came clear, I would have lost a $1600 worth of jewelry today, so that was the problem of the day, glad it was resolved. Do you normally go out to sell the tin cans or it’s something you started recently. You seem to be very business-minded, I really admire that. You take advantage of the least opportunity you get, such a smart woman. Having you as part of my life will be such a blessing. I cherish your level of intelligence. Looking forward to the day we finally meet so that we can take it from there. Quarantine has really affected lots of businesses, I’m hoping we get rid of COVID real soon. No no no, why would money that should have gone to school and mental health services be given to a private developer, this isn’t right and something needs to be done about it. The police really suck and I don’t even want to talk about them now, they drive me crazy. They just need to do their job right and there wouldn’t be much problems in the States, we got to love each other as one person, everyone has to be treated equally. Yes I know an estate is everything comprising the net worth of an individual, including all possessions, financial securities, cash and other assets the individual owns. I was thinking you were talking about a real estate something, sorry I misunderstood that. Does it mean your sisters and brother are all in different States, how often do you guys see each other? About your step-siblings, do you guys get in touch at all? Is Randi your sister? Do you have a high-resolution copy of your book cover now or you are still working on it. I’m glad you consider giving some stuff to your neighbors and making donations as well. You’re helping the people around you in the little way you can which is very nice of you. About you going to sell some books on Saturday, is it going to be the first books you’re selling or you have been selling for a while now I guess you are already in bed since you have work. What time do you normally go to work? Have a great night, sleep sound

RM: Yes, I went to bed & fell asleep immediately. I’ve been meaning to ask you–do you have siblings?  Do you have a favorite movie? I generally like comedies. But the 1 that isn’t is American Beauty.  it was very well produced & acted.  I like  When Harry Met Sally &  You’ve Got Mail, Some Like it Hot, Fantasia, and I’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody several times.  My siblings & I usually only see each other about twice a year unless we make specific arrangements, I was seeing Sharyn about every 3 months because I was grooming her dog & then going to a special warehouse grocery in Joliet, She just moved to a rural place in Tennessee.  She likes where she moved but is at least 20 miles from anything.. Randi is up in Lake Forest, about 5 miles up the road from where I work, and now that she & her husband are retired, I’ll probably see them more. I never see my brother. He’s still mad at me from about 10 years ago when even tho he was foreclosed on and would have been evicted, I had the health department come out because of the description of his place from my sisters.  I’ve been self-employed  for at least 1/2 of my work life. to be self-employed, as you are aware, yu have to be disciplined and when you aren’t working you are looking for work—or income. I’ve been selling books for about 20 years.I also collect books for the Chicago women in Prison Book Project (Sharyn was sending books to men), and another group that sends containers to Africa.  Until about 20 years ago I was sending books M bag to schools in Malawi, but the post office stopped doing that. I guess they do another program now because my Peace Corps group was sending stuff, but the Peace Corps was suspended.  Yeah, I’m a left-over hippie do-gooder, and actually, in Rogers Park, we have a Facebook group to give stuff away, and we have a system of sorts to spread around things to recycle.  I help start a  recycling center in 1984, so I’ve been recycling a long time, but aluminum was selling for a lot more. There are a couple of book stores that I deal with, and I know what they’ll buy, for the most part.  I also consign a lot of stuff. Since my neighborhood is very high density, people put stuff in the alleys. I have some friends who started selling books online and now make more selling junk they find. they also inherited a house, so that helps.  & my stepmother, of course, got the townhouse she shared with my father.  They liked it, but I never like the layout.  My father taught me to be entrepreneurial, but there is a limit to my ambition. I’ve never had more than 2 employees, and even when I had them, managing them sometimes was a hassle.  I’m pretty good at spotting trends, however.    I have to go back to sleep.

DB: No, I have got no siblings. I am the only child of my parents, I have always wanted to have siblings, always wanted to know how it feels to have people you know they always got your back no matter what happens. Here I am with just a son too, I think it’s a family thing. My favorite movie is HITCH by Will Smith, it all about love. I do like comedies as well. I guess it’s fun time anytime you guys come together, it cool you guys still get in touch except that your brother is mad at you which I don’t think you should be bothered about because he might even not be in his right state of mind. To be self-employed you really need to be disciplined, you’re either working or looking for look just to make sure you always have food on your table. I’m glad you make good use of the little opportunity you get, that’s the only way to survive when you are self-employed. Selling books for 20 years means a lot, is that how you developed the habit or writing or you have been selling your own books for 20 years. Yes I know aluminum was selling for a lot more but not anymore, I had some friends who were into recycling so I knew how the recycling business was at a point. Do you also sell some books online? I can tell your dad really worked very hard while he lived so he has a lot left behind for you guys, you all should be proud of him. Your dad teaching you to be entrepreneurial is the greatest thing he could ever teach you, I think being entrepreneurial entails a lot and helps you personally. 
How was work today? Hope the day treated you right.

RM: We siblings are not very close, emotionally.  Yes, Scott is mentally ill, but it works for him R. D. Laing wrote a book called “The Politics of Experience,” and the gist is that it is not up to anyone to say who is crazy.  But all cultures have norms, and some are more sympathetic than others. We have so many homeless people partly because of the economy, but mostly because some people always expect others to take care of them;  some are real moochers, and their support ‘system’ says  ENOUGH.  & then there are those who believe it f they just pray (like, instead of work), they will be ok in the end.  30 years ago, I worked with a young woman who was the sole support of her invalid mother. & then she got pregnant—-with twins, and our  fellow  employees thought we should have a shower for her, because now she had 3  to support, and I asked, “Where is the father of your kids?” & I was the bad one.  In my community, it is appropriate to ask why the father isn’t supporting kids.  Clearly, we are out of step.  In any case,  we’ve all tried to help Scott  & he’s lied and taken advantage, and we are not helping anymore.      I’ve always been writing and it brings in several hundred dollars a year. It’s mostly nonfiction stuff for the pet industry, but when this guy started bullying me so many years ago, I thought it would be a good exercise to write regularly, and these days, to get a book published, you need an internet presence. Today, I just had 3 dogs. In fact, I posted before & after photos of the Bedlington on my Facebook page.  Apparently, Bertie’s people tried to groom her at home, She was a mess. The Bedlingtons have linty coats, and it was all I could do to get her dematted enough to give her a bath.  Then I had a Tibetan Terrier who also got some home grooming, and a giant German Shepherd who hadn’t been groomed in over 6 months, & the owners always want us to cut his hair. I told her I’d clip the hair around his rear,  belly/chest, tail, and feet, but otherwise just deshed him.   If they’d just use a proper brush they could control the shedding, but nobody ever thinks of that.  Then, I went and turned the cans in.  Just under $9 for 51 lb. LOL.  too bad I can’t find any copper or brass. Then the day got away from me.  I answered some emails.  I am about to go to bed.;  I know we have a time difference. Are you just getting up or what?

It’s getting pretty banal…..

DB: In as much as there are so many homeless people because of the economy, there are also people who are moochers, yes there always expect people to take are of them which really sucks. Yes I know there are people really in need who can’t really help themselves but there are others who can help themselves but just refuse to because they feel society has to take care of them.
You probably asking that question will surely make you the bad one in the eyes of these people, how can you give birth without the father of the kids supporting, like how. But they wouldn’t understand it that way. Enough with Scott, I think we should just stop talking about him for now, he’s happy with the life he’s living, we should accept that. Good, you get some little cash from the sales of the books, it supports you in a way. Glad you no longer work with that ungrateful guy who was just trying to take advantage of you, it feels good to be on your own and I’m happy you are on your own now. I think we all need an internet presence in whatever we do, this is what the 21st century is about.

RM:I still can’t believe this is the 21st century and there is so much discrimination and we don’t have single-payer. & we let the environment get this bad.

DB: Do you go to various homes to groom as well? Oh no, 51 lb got you just under $9, too bad. The value for these cans must have really gone down. Yes dear, it is the 21st century but we still seem not to be doing the needful. Let’s hope things get better someday. I guess you will be going to bed anytime soon. What did you have for dinner?

RM: It is now Saturday.  I generally don’t go to peoples’ homes,. The breeders have all the grooming equipment, so I  do, and you don’t have to chase their dogs around.  But several years ago, I walked dogs for a company, & even though I was supposed to know where leashes and burglar alarms were, even that was a challenge.   Mobile groomers are always complaining about people not being ready with their dogs, or a dog being too large. Dinner was salad, I made soup because I had salmon gyoza, leftover rice with tuna.  It’s usually salad, rice or pasta, rarely potatoes, often either broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels Sprouts, sometimes eggplant, and either fish or chicken or tofu.  What do you usually eat?

DB: I thought you sometimes go to their homes to groom the dogs, I was imagining how stressful that will be, having to move from one house to another. Mobile grooming sounds like so much work. I normally take in juice, salad, rice, cauliflower, I’m very mindful of my diet because of the surgery, I don’t have to take in heavy stuff to prevent me from struggle when I have to to use the washroom because it can affect the surgery(hope you get what that means). I didn’t really have a good day today, How was your day by the way?

Finally——

RM: What happened that the day didn’t go so well?  Are you ok?  I cleaned the house, ordered a new rug steam cleaner, and went & sold some books.  They told me they are barely surviving & have to be pickier and pay less, but he did pay me $14 for about 5 books, which was fine.  I will see another vendor in a few weeks, but they have paid the best. Then, I stopped to see another groomer who I’ve known over 40 years, as she was on the way home & I had some of her mail (she had no address for a while as she was living in an illegally converted space), and she asked me to do her a favor & transport soil about a mile from her shop to her space.  She’s growing vegetables along the side of her building—-but it’s a parking lot so she needed soil.  Then I went and played Scrabble with my friend Karen, and for once, I got decent letters most of the time.  Now I’m watching the documentary about the  1990s Chicago Bulls. How long have you been selling jewelry?  How do buyers find you?  How do you know what to charge?

DB: I’m okay but had a little problem. I went out for my last business deal today trying to get some precious stones and metals back home to make some good money from them but there is an increment in the prices which probably exceeded my budget, so I ended up using the money I had on me to purchase them, I’m left to pay for the insurance and other duties before I get them back home. I was thinking I should share this with you to see if you’re in a good position to help me out. I will pay you back as soon as I’m back home. I’m not happy doing this at this point but I don’t have a choice, you are the only alternative I have left. I will be glad if you’re able to help me out. Glad you got yourself busy today, hope you weren’t stressed out in the end. I have been selling Jewelry for 16 years, I already have some buyers here whom I communicate with so I showed them some stuff I had before coming here and they placed their order so my only job was to get it to them when I get here. We mostly chat on hangout that’s why I’m familiar with this app

RM: I was waiting for this, & the answer is no.  I’m disappointed, but not surprised.  You really strung me along.  & I let you. I wondered how many weeks you’d stretch this out.

DB: Excuse me, what do you mean by that It’s cool if you’re not in a good position to help me I’m not happy with you telling me you have been waiting for this, it feels a bit weird excuse me.

RM: but I am sure, if you’ve been doing this for 16 years, you must have some savings, a credit card that would allow a cash advance if you actually need cash, or whomever you’re staying with (using a friend’s computer, you had told me—which was why we could not do video).  Most  ethical business people will take credit cards. We do not know each other.    You haven’t been reading my blog—have you?  I’m pretty transparent.  You can Google me & learn a  lot about me.  You?  No evidence of you, really, or  rather, the Dennis Brown in Northbrook apparently lives with several other people.  You don’t seem to know how fraught online dating is, which is why I last blogged about Manti  Te’o.  When I responded to your post on PoF, it was because you lived close to me. I can’t tell you how many men, when I ask them where they live, can’t give me a straight answer.   But worse, they all ‘temporarily’ out of the country. So, why not suspend your profile if you are? I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but, since I haven’t actually met any of the men who have told me they are out of the country (&—what a coincidence….all Catholic), and I AM NOT DATING ANYONE, I ‘ve had a correspondence with several.  Why do you think I should trust you when I have no real evidence at all that you are who you say you are, let alone dealing gems?  We’ve maintained mostly banal conversation.  I suppose you want me to wire money in some way?   Sure, I could do it—but I’d be an idiot.  I once worked with a lawyer who told me that anyone who couldn’t come up with $5000 in a hurry isn’t credible.  You really have no idea how many men charm women, and women who are lonely and stupid send money to men they have never met. We have never even talked on the phone. You left out a step.  I hope you prove me wrong and understand I am insulted, after all my correspondence, that I am stupid. I can tell by how you’ve addressed me in your responses to me, that you really are not so forthcoming.  I won’t believe you really exist until you  are  in Chicago

DB: I remember telling you I lost my cards and cell phone at a point and that’s why I’m using a friend’s computer. I think I told you all this so why are you saying this now, I wouldn’t have asked for your help if I had all my cards with me. My friend has been the one taking care of me throughout my time at the hospital. I came here on a budget and COVID ruined everything, I have spent more days over here than I was supposed to so it’s obvious I will be out of cash, especially when I have lost my wallet and cell phone I understand we don’t really know each other and that’s why I feel more terrible asking for your help at this point because it’s not healthy for a starting friendship but I don’t have a choice at this point. I’m surprised you’re talking about finding me on google, how is it then? How possible is it. Does it mean everyone is available on google, sounds a bit funny to me but it works for your so I respect that

RM: No—LOL—maybe that was another woman you told that to. You know, you can go to  any credit card office  & even phone them to stop cards & issue emergency cards.  I had a friend who lost her cards in Austria last year & she had a new card in 24 hours..  No Dennis.  Never.   I don’t give men money.   & I guess, if you don’t have cards, you can’t get back, can you? Gee, what a shame. I let you play me.  I was trying to be optimistic, but my skepticism has paid off. These days, if you do business—especially a big-ticket item like jewelry, you’d be on either Etsy, Facebook,or Linked it. There is no way you just approach rich people without some sort of network or introduction. I found a Dennis Brown—and either it’s not you—or you are not the guy in the photos you’ve sent. Really, What’s your first language?  Nasema Kiswahili kidogo sana, rafiki.  You all pick whitebread anglo names.  All of you have run into a bit of bad luck even though you told me you are financially secure. 

DB: It’s fairly understandable if you don’t trust me but saying all these hurtful words to me just because I asked for your help doesn’t seem right. What makes you think I’m here for games, I wish you knew how hard it was for me to ask for your help, I had to discuss it with my friend before going ahead to ask you because I know we just started something new and this isn’t the best thing to do at this point. You helping me out doesn’t make you an idiot neither do it mean I’m not credible just because I can’t come up with the money I need as early as possible, life sometimes hit us with things we don’t have control over, but it’s up to us as humans to stay strong and deal with it, if possible helping each other deal with it. I have been having quite some tough times here so it’s fairly understandable if I’m at this point now. I just need you to help me with the insurance and duties and I promise to pay you back as soon as I get back home. I don’t mind doubling the amount if that’s going to make you happy. I really need this from you dear. Sorry if I didn’t tell you about it which I feel I did because you already know about my missing phone, no need to stress over it now. I’m honestly not happy with asking you for money but I don’t have a choice, I just hope you could understand me. I’m going to come back even without my cards because my friend promised to get me on a plane when it’s time to leave, I will pay him back when I get to the States. Talking about you wanting me to prove myself, what exactly do you want me to do? My first language is German and you know that. Oh Lord, what makes you think I’m not who I say I am? I’m honestly hurt having such a conversation with you. Just because I asked your help doesn’t mean you should call me names indirectly yes it’s not the best thing to do to ask for a woman’s help but here I am now doing this because of the situation I found myself in. This is life, you don’t know what will come at you tomorrow

RM: Honey—if you ever had a credit card, you’d know you just call their international number & they tell you where to pick up a card.  You own 2 houses, remember?  I have 3 credit cards.  I have a Paypal account. If you were actually doing any business, you’d have some sort of account like Paypal or something with your local bank to also get money wired.  You have no idea how to run a scam.  You really need to find a woman who is less educated/sophisticated/who doesn’t know how the finance industry works.  I  wanted to know about your business because I understand business. No way can you have been carrying that much cash to buy or sell gems, and only lost a phone & credit cards—& don’t have them back by now. No way in the modern world, Maybe Africa or Tajikistan. You are either dishonest, stupid or both. If I’m wrong, you can set me right when you return home.  & yeah, there IS a reason to call you out.  Men are always taking advantage of women. We so want to trust you.  I made an emotional investment in you—even though nothing added up.  & Frankly, I don’t want to be having sex with a man who doesn’t know how to manage when tragedy strikes. If there indeed was any tragedy.  I don’t believe anything you’ve told me now. Gems.   I know a lot of Africans. I’ve heard ever scam there is.  Google me.  Ho right ahead. I told you I write erotica.  But this will be good for a laugh.

DB: I tried getting a new card but I don’t have a phone to make the calls neither do I have the details they will need to get me a new card because I have all my details on the phone. I wouldn’t be here asking for your help if I haven’t done all of that. You should understand what I’m going through dear. Hello no, don’t ever call this a scam dear, you have no idea what I’m going through at this point. I’m very serious about this and I really need this help from you babe. I promise to pay back twice the amount you help me with the first thing when I get back home. You talking about me losing my phone and cards and don’t have the back by now but you have forgotten covid was at its peak some weeks back and everything changed. I had to save the little money I had left on me because I had to purchase some stuff, this is about stating my priorities right. I can’t leave here without these stones babe, I really need them. You don’t have the right to call me names because I am seeking for your help, you should respect me at least. Me asking for your help doesn’t mean you should insult me.

RM: You’re staying with a friend—& everyone who travels knows to give a list of accounts to someone—like your ‘friend’. The only people who do business like you all do are living in the ‘third World’. No American man would EVER  call a woman he doesn’t know ‘dear’.   You guys really don’t know how to scam.  Just before I started fooling around with you, another scammer started with me. Another mining engineer, now a consultant. I asked him to send a selfie.   He chose to live in Long Grove. I have no idea whose phone he stole, but he sends me a photo of him and a daughter, & then tells me the daughter wants to text me…& she calls me—texting—Ma’am. American kids would never call an adult Ma’am–& no Ameican father would ever have his kids even talk to you until he felt serious. So, you’ll know for the next old lady. Do you remember how old you said you were on PoF?  I do.  You get to be a certain age, and if you are trustworthy, you have trustworthy friends. Again, Google me. My blog, again:  disparateinterests.wordpress.com   Really, what is your real name? I went to the bother of using hang out.  I needed a muse. I really do write erotica.  You really blew it.

DB: Oh really, what do you mean by no American man would ever call a woman he doesn’t know Dear, but then an American woman would call a man she doesn’t know Honey? That doesn’t make enough sense because you called me Honey and that’s why I replied by calling you Dear. Hello, could you please stop calling me a scammer, that really sucks. We got to respect each other you know. It’s cool if my speech pattern isn’t American because I’m used to the German way which you should understand. I’m not interested in who you’re talking to and what’s happening with him, I just want to focus on us and then see how far we can go. Are you asking if I know my age, for real? Is this some kind of joke. How do you expect me to contact my friends when I’m without a phone, do you really understand the situation I’m in. This chitchat isn’t helping, kindly help me in the little way you can and I promise I won’t let you down. Take my words, I promise I’m not going to disappoint you. I really need this help, please. If you want me to beg for it I’m ready to do that.

RM: I was being sarcastic calling you honey, & I know Geman speech patterns too.   I was an anthropology major. I listen to a lot of foreign accents, and even my roommate’s written English is better.  When you get back to town & we can meet face to face, possibly—but not probably.   You just don’t get it, Your ‘friend’ must have people to help or you are both losers.   You are not getting a dime from me. I don’t give money to men.  We’ve gone as far as we can.

DB: t’s cool you know both language patterns, maybe you should study then well. Listening to a lot of foreign accents isn’t the same as reading them, know the difference. Would love to meet face to face when I’m finally home. I don’t know the perception you have about me but I’m eager to prove you wrong. You will know who I really am when we finally meet. You have made me feel very bad tonight and I’m honestly hurt. My friend did contact some friends but they are not in a good position to help, everyone using Covid-19 as an excuse and some have their money locked up somewhere, so I thought it wise to share it with you to know if you can help but it’s fine if you’re also not in a good position to help.

RM: LOL. Nice try.  You aren’t as smart as you think you are.

DB: What makes you think I’m trying to play smart on you? What’s wrong with me sharing my problem with you?

RM: Dennis—if that is your name—you could not have spent any time in America—or at least not with white folks.  You see, to have traveled. If you travel, you’d know you have to let a credit card company know before you travel that you will be in another country. I  know someone who tried to use a credit card in another country & it was declined based on it being from—the USA. I also know people who’ve lost credit cards. You can go online,  call the credit card company, cancel the lost card & if you are in Europe or Asia, can pick up a new card at a bank the next day.  I also know that if you are in business—any business…but particularly a niche business like gems or jewelry, you MUST have relationships with people who’d give you credit if your reputation is good.  You led me to believe that you are financially secure.  The only way you could have this problem & turn to a STRANGE WOMAN is if you are a scammer.  There is no other logical reason.  Might work in Africa, and I bet if you went after a less educated, more stupid woman, this would work. As far as I know, you can be stringing 20 women along.  & I could have a bunch of men—at this time , you don’t take up that much time, but you keep outing yourself as someone who hasn’t thought the scam through.. If you had read my Plenty of Fish profile, or my blog, you’d know I know all this.  The profession you chose, the story of being from another state,  being in business but not telling me how people find you.  None of it makes sense. I have had other encounters online with other scammers… the same story…had a career in engineering (mining or marine are popular), moved to my area for work, & ‘just happen to be out of the country right now, but will be returning’.  Getting familiar and trying to use sweet talk right away and not answering questions.  & you’re not giving up or admitting it.  You’ll get no sympathy from me.

DB: What questions are there to answer? I answered every question you asked last night. Even though I’m not happy with your choices of words and how you’re addressing this issue, I’m still being calm about it because I truly need your help badly. Never think I never think I’m here for your money or some kind of games, I wouldn’t ask for your help if I didn’t need it. Don’t think I’m not financially secure because I’m asking for your help, if you truly are someone who is into business, you will understand what’s happening I never told you didn’t have money, I only told you I misplaced my cards and phone so there is no way I can even get money out of my accounts until I’m back home, I didn’t inform my banks I was moving out of the country so I don’t blame them if they can’t help me at this point I wish you could trust me just for once, I’m not as bad as you may think. Paying you back your money the first thing I will do as soon as I get home. I promise to pay you twice the amount you help me without stress if that’s going to make you happy. You should see how badly I need this help from you. I give you my wordI’m not able to reach some good friends because of my missing phone, I have a very good reputation for that matter. The friend I’m staying with wouldn’t have hosted me in his house if I was that bad. I just hope you see the truth in this and help me out, I promise not to disappoint you,

RM: Again—you ignore what I told you. Anyone who travels can get a new card in 24 hours. there’s nothing to believe. You are unbelievable. & that you continue to deny….I could NEVER trust you.   You don’t tell me how your clients find you. You ignored that question. Ignored how you can’t get a new credit card. Stupid, Just plain stupid, & now, a waste of time. Go find another victim.

DB: I told you I tried getting a new card but it didn’t work, I’m without a phone now, how do I reach the company and even provide the necessary details when I have all the information on the missing phone (edit:  but he had the phone to take a selfie returning from the hospital). Why do you always come up with negative responses, can you be positive for once. Why would I come on here just to waste our time, I’m not here for games and that’s what you don’t understand. You are speaking based on your past experiences which I honestly understand but it doesn’t mean we are all the same. I’m a man of my words and I wouldn’t come on here to lie to you for nothing. About how my clients find me, I told you I was first in a joint business and my partner was handling the internet aspect of it and I even went on to tell you I will need your help with that when I’m back home, forgotten?I understand how angry you are at this point which I’m sorry for but you should also understand that it’s not my fault this is happening. COVID has affected my trip a lot, on top of it all, I even had a surgery which made me spend some days at the hospital I just hope you will understand my pain and help me out. I don’t mind even if you’re going to give me terms and conditions attached to your help. I really need this help badly, I guess you went to bed. I hope you understand my situation and help me out. Have a great night.

RM: Your friend doesn’t have a phone? So how did you take the photo you sent after you got out of the hospital? You have extraordinarily bad luck to be with such low life people…& to think all old American women are stupid.  Do you still have a passport? Do none of your friends have phones with cameras?    I need you to take a photo of your passport &  email it to me.  If you don’t have your passport, how do you plan to get back to the USA? —& if I send you money—–with no  I.D.—how do you plan to collect it?  How much do you want, and where do I send it? As for terms….LOL   again, how do you plan to get back to the USA (if you even were here)…& have you ever been to court?   btw:https://neighbor.report/address/1624-Longvalley-Dr-Northbrook-IL-60062-USA/20081154_id/  Do you know these people? 

DB: I applied for a new passport, it will be ready on Wednesday so I will send you a picture when I get it. About how you are going to send me money, I will provide you an account to send it to in the States, he will get it sent to me easily or to the organization, I’m purchasing the stuff from, he is a trust friend. I believe you will be more comfortable with that. I need an amount of $7600. I don’t mind paying back twice the amount when I get home, if that’s going to make you happy. Trusted*No I have never been to court and I don’t think I will ever be there. What did you go to do there? What was the problem>?

RM:Who is ‘he’ & if he has an account, why can’t ‘he’ send you the money?    No way would I send you more than $20. You are not a very good liar.  I have been to court for several reasons. I told you, in fact, that I was an advocate.  Dennis—or whatever your name is—you should have done all this immediately when you lost your wallet (as tho this is true).   Do you have any idea how many men do this? Cultivate women, say they live wherever but are traveling overseas & lost all their documents?  At least half the men who post on dating sites do this.  I am blogging about this next week.  There is no way you are paying anyone back.  LOL.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt…& you were raised Catholic?  You WILL rot in hell…..Your luck just changed.  A friend owed me money, his horse came in. I can send you $1000.

DB: Thank you, I really appreciate it but can you please add some little amount to it. I will be very glad if you could increase it a bit for me I wasn’t happy with your first message, the hurtful words in there are just too much, could you please give me some little respect.No.  I don’t care. It’s fine. So can you please increase the money a bit for me, I really appreciate your effort to help but I will be glad if you add some more pleaseHello, are you there?

RM: No. Tell me who is getting it & how to get it to them—& how is it YOU don’t realize ‘he’ will have to send it, so why not give me a way to send it internationally directly?  & how is it, if ‘he’ has a bank, he can’t get access to your bank?  My REAL QUESTION is that you’ve left a son. If you die, how does your son get YOUR ESTATE??

It gets better…..

DB: If you are talking about sending it internationally directly, then you will have to send it to my bitcoin address. That is the only way I can get it without having to go through any stress, and I will get it shortly after you send it, it would take days to get here, it’s easier and faster. You just have to visit a bitcoin ATM around and then send it to my bitcoin address which I will send to you. It’s way easier and faster. If not, I will have to get an account from my friend to you.I think we should go with the bitcoin so that I will be able to receive it easier and faster without having to go through any stress. Do you have a bitcoin ATM around? It wouldn’t take you more than 10mins to send it at the ATMI guess you are busy with work, let me know when you are less busy

RM: To do bitcoin—even via ATM, I’d have to have an account. Not doing it, I have a better idea:  email your son, & tell y him where your bank statements are, and tell him to send your account # & the routing number—to YOU.  Then email your bank, tell them you lost your credit card & can’t seem to get it renewed. They’ll ask all sorts of personal questions that only YOU can answer—including your password. Then you can get your money—but be sure ahead of time you have a place to have it sent.  Or, I can come  to your home—which means you have to send me your exact address, and bring your son cash after I go to the bank.

DB: You don’t necessarily have to have an account before to send it, you can just use your card in any bitcoin ATM, it works easily. All I have to do here is to send you my bitcoin address and it’s done. You don’t need to answer any questions, I used to have customers who make payments that way. You can try it become of the bitcoins ATM’s accept cash deposit but just take your card along to be on a saver side .

RM: Card?  Like a credit card?  I never use ATMs. Sorry–-why at’s wrong with asking your son to access your bank account &  sending you that info so you can contact the bank directly? BTW—you didn’t answer the question I asked:  if something happens to YOU, your son will be destitute if he doesn’t know where all the accounts are.

DB: I sent my bank a mail sometime and they asked me to call the bank but I didn’t have a cellphone to do that. You would have to use your debit card since you are actually sending money. I didn’t answer the question about my son because he doesn’t know I lost my cards, he only knows of my missing phone. I don’t want him to be extremely worried about my situation.
If I will have to tell him to get my bank details, I will have a lot of explanations to do. Also he’s been at the hospital since yesterday, he isn’t well. It will be best you try the Bitcoin ATM for now so we see how it goes.

RM: I don’t have a debit card.    I have a checkbook.  You will have to tell your son because even when my friend gives me a check, the bank will hold it for a week. Then I would have to get you an account to send it to.

DB: If you have a credit card you can use it at the ATM too. The kid has been admitted at the hospital, how do you expect me to stress him with this now.

RM: Well, what a coincidence. A perfect storm of things falling apart. What is he in the hospital for—& who has power of attorney?  Why in hell would you use a pseudo currency as unstable as bitcoin—& why don’t you have your ‘friend’ get the bank info for you?  Dennis—I m  smarter than you give me credit for. You keep making excuses.  I DON’T KNOW YOU. If you cared about your son, you’d do what YOU had to do to get back ASAP instead of attempting to dick me around. With all the jewelry you told me you sold—funny that you don’t have enough $$$$ to pay for your way back. It doesn’t make sense.

DB: Oh Lord, what’s all this? I’m in a deep mess now and all you can to is come at me with such bad energy? You keep talking about smartness when it has got nothing to do with this, you’re just complicating stuff which isn’t really necessary now, if you are willing to help me kindly do so. This back and forth isn’t helping, business is down and my son is at the hospital, please this isn’t the kind of energy I need now. The fact that my accounts have been frozen doesn’t mean I don’t have $$ to pay for my way back. You should learn to listen 

RM:Have your ‘friend’ pay for your ticket back. Take care of your son. Then go back to London or wherever you are with enough cash, a new phone, a list of your accounts & contact info on paper separate from your stuff, and return to get the gems.  End of problem. Not complicated at all. Send a message. You have tried to outsmart me, and it can’t be done.  I’ve been through this several times, having a man cultivate me. In my blog, I call you  ‘virtual boyfriends’:   all the aggravation and none of the benefits. Since I wasn’t going to get laid, it was the only way I could dick you around myself.  Even if all that you have told me could possibly be true, I don’t want a boyfriend with such bad luck.

 
DB:  Hello, will you be mindful of your words at least for a second and listen, having this on your blog doesn’t make any sense, you are grown enough to wise up. Why would you want to make fun of someone’s problem? It’s okay if you’re not willing to help but blogging about it is just childish, you are bigger than that, grow up. And yeah, you are full of filthy words which is very bad, you can’t just be speaking rubbish to people because they are in need. Remember nobody knows tomorrow, it might be your turn
 
RM:”Dennis”  it won’t be my turn if I act with integrity.  You knew I was a writer. You knew what my questions were. You have 1 last chance:  what was your partner’s name?  If he was taking care of your internet sales, HE will have an internet presence, even if he’s dead.  Don’t tell me what is childish. Leaving the country without leaving someone in the USA with a list of your accounts, where your will is, and a way for them to contact you (seeing that you have a son), is irresponsible.  & like I’ve said, I’ve been through this.  I got another guy who claimed he had Covid & is now in Germany.  I wonder how many weeks will go by before he tells me he is in crisis…
 
DB: Vasile M. is now the business owner. Pawn in Private, located at Arlington Heights. I hate to talk about him, we had a little misunderstanding and that caused the separation. I don’t know how you’re going to find him on the internet. I honestly don’t know why you are acting this way, don’t think I’m here for games
 
RM: I found him easily & will try calling him today.  Why don’t you tell me what your ‘little’ misunderstanding was that caused you to separate—as he seems to have an excellent reputation.  Now,  if my kid was in the hospital—I’d drop everything, return, take care of all this & THEN go back to wherever it is you are, because there will always be gems.  You don’t know why I’m acting this way?  How would YOU feel if you were me?  You contacted me & I said I am briefly not where I live, will be back in a few weeks, then go silent, then claim I lost my phone and all i.d. including my credit cards,  please send  me thousands of dollars. How does that sound?  You’ve never heard my voice, nor met me.  Would YOU  send a stranger anything?
BTW—he has a website. Duh!
He’s out of town & won’t return until next week. I called..
 
DB:   understand your point, it’s quite weird sending money to a stranger. If I was in your shoes, I would have acted the way you are acting now but will at least give the person the benefit of the doubt, depending on how bad he/she needs the money.
Life sometimes hit us with unexpected stuff, nobody knows tomorrow
 
RM:  Not to the tune of over $20. Again, accept the loss, have your friend send you home, take care of your son, straighten out your accounts  & make a list so if anything becomes lost or stolen, you can access this overseas, then return & do business.  You don’t realize, I don’t think, that after you got out of the hospital, you sent me a ‘selfie’ (scroll back up) with somebody’s phone—so you DO have access to a phone.  I have an account with a bank that, every time I call, they ask me at least 4 screening questions..  So until Vasile M.  straightens me out, I’m not doing anything.
 
DB: Alright
I’m not happy with you involving him in this, sharing my problems with him now isn’t something I’m happy about at all.
 
RM:  So why not just return & chalk it all up to bad luck since you have plenty of assets?
 
DB:I wouldn’t have given you his details if I knew you would discuss my problem with him. You should know your limit please If you are ready to help me, please do so, if you won’t help me, don’t go round telling people my problem
 
RM:  I’m not happy about a man whom I have never talked to, cultivating me to take advantage of me, as tho i was a fool.  No, I am not sending money to a man I have never even talked to.  What is your address in North brook?  Do you know these people: XXXX N Long Valley Rd, Northbrook:  Dennis Brown (49),  Charles (90), Ruth(88) & Marc (59) Ricard; Linnea Brown.?  This turns up when you Google homeowners in a location by name, You do not.
 
DB: No one is taking advantage of you neither are you a fool. You are just holding on to your past experiences which is making you think this way. Listen, I’m not here for game, is you are going to help me, just do, if you ain’t going to help me, it’s fine. don’t go round spreading my problem to people I’m not in good terms with. This really got me pissed,
I don’t give a fuck about who is on the internet and who is not, If you are helping me, let me know, if you ain’t helping me, let me know
 
 
 
RM:  I have disagreements with a lot of people, but if it’s merely a judgment call and the people act with integrity, & somebody asks, I will say so.  I really don’t care what you think at this point.  You still haven’t answered the questions I asked a few minutes ago. You are not credible.  You don’t remember sending me a selfie after you got out of the hospital?  I have it on hang out.
Since you don’t have access to a phone, how did you take this?  There is only 1 plausible explanation….
 
DB: The fact that I don’t have a personal phone doesn’t mean the people around me don’t use cellphone. I took my friends daughters phone to take the picture for you, you can see her seated at the back, you got to think deep sometimes
I’m not happy with this back and forth shit, this whole thing is even stressing me the more. Enough of all this. Are you helping me or not?
RM:  Apparently not!
& I was so looking forward to giving you a blow job. Pity……
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX_
Blossom Dearie will sing us out:…..
Still trying to find out who the guy in the photo really is…._


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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June 10, 2020

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Choices

May 7, 2020

Some people who disregard what I’ve written because it’s…smut. But is it?  When Ann Patchett wrote Truth and Beauty, about her relationship with the writer Lucy Grealy (who wrote ‘Autobiography of a Face’), she didn’t consider it controversial, but the truth.  Yet,  a bunch of protesters, who hadn’t actually read either book, demonstrated against Patchett being allowed to speak at Clemson University because she wrote about ‘the love between two women’. Yes, Patchett did write about the love she had for Lucy, and how Lucy had coped with so much physical pain and romantic rejection. Patchett even wrote about Lucy’s bad choices, including drugs and sexual promiscuity, but there is nothing salacious about Patchett’s book. That’s the problem when Christian men get hold of something & turn it into something else to discredit or debase women. The men remain credible, and the women have to defend themselves.  In any case, what I write is being judged by the larger Christian community.

I am going to defend my choices.  I became acquainted with an attractive man through a dating site.  He seems honest. We haven’t actually met. There are some things that aren’t quite right.  He’s Catholic, and as I’ve said many times, you can’t have it both ways.  Over the past week, he’s tried to find out more about me, and he has asked some interesting questions.  However, in a recent text chat, he mentioned me to his daughter and had her text me.   I just can’t imagine why a man would do that.  If I had kids, I wouldn’t have them meet anyone I didn’t know until I really knew them.

Our actual conversations haven’t been totally clear because of the audio quality of both our phones.   He now has Covid19, is very discouraged and not feeling well (but not bad enough off to be hospitalized).  I asked him what it was he actually did for a living. He lives in a very upscale community, so he must be paid well (he had also asked me if I invested).  He told me he sold mining and drilling equipment. When I asked him, he affirmed that yes, he sold fracking equipment. He was reluctant to explain how he justified helping greedy people ruin the global fresh water supplies just to make money. He said to me, “Don’t judge.”

  I am not rich, but I’ve been able to carve out economic security for myself while not having to compromise my values, for the most part. It’s been tough. A few times I took work for pay doing things I was not comfortable with, but I didn’t make a career out of compromising my values.  I worked for less than a week for a man who resold dogs from puppy mills. He lied to buyers that they were raised by families. Sure, the Amish are families—but make no mistake: puppies are a cash crop to them, like any other livestock. I just couldn’t do it. I am a purebred dog fancier. Ethical hobby breeders who love their dogs don’t sell puppies to be resold. They want to meet the people who say they want puppies.

I’ve worked for veterinarians who lied about how much playtime day boarding dogs got, and how much time dogs spent in cages, especially overnight in their own filth because they didn’t want to pay an overnight person to let the dogs out. I’ve even worked for one who told people he would euthanize a dog, and kept it as a blood donor! I’ve worked for dog daycare owners who didn’t train their staff and allowed dogs to be bullied and harassed, or isolated with no playtime. People whose friends found dogs that were lost, and, instead of searching for the owner, or seeing if the dog was chipped, kept the dog for themselves or resold it.

I’ve groomed dogs for ‘no-kill’ dog rescues that lied about dogs being good with kids, or housebroken.

Briefly, I sold timeshares for a company until I learned that, because they were resellers, most of the buyers had a terrible time booking the weeks they had paid for.

I have many Catholic friends. Most have lapsed.  They lapse for the same reasons I   address in my writing:  a religion that has managed to sustain itself by protecting leaders—and that’s what the church hierarchy is—who have acted for their own best interests, while not just misleading followers, but protecting stronger people who have exploited their flocks.  It’s 1 thing to be culturally Catholic, and another to continue to support these hypocritical people because it’s comfortable and you think it benefits yourself.

I wondered for a long time if I was really out of the mainstream. Having these questions led me to study cultural anthropology. I had a unique instructor who assigned books written by Africans, and that’s where I discovered Chinua Achebe’s books, particularly Things Fall Apart.

So now, I am being confronted, and that is the term, by potential lovers who haven’t ever addressed that they’re characterizing themselves as Catholic. I’ve had the conversation with a few Christians who have denied that this is how it is—but this is how it appears; once you have admitted that you are not perfect, you can make the wrong choice. Then, you ask Jesus for forgiveness, and you can get into Heaven. You can attain salvation even though you knew what the right choice was but chose to do the wrong thing anyway.

Having been an environmentalist…evolving from being a teenaged tree hugger into someone who understood the scientific ramifications of protecting or stewarding the natural environment (or not), I try to act on what I believe.  I helped found one of the first community-based recycling centers in the country. I have lived in places where getting fresh water was a daily struggle. I don’t think I could make the wrong choice and then ask a deity to forgive me. I have no savior. Nobody would get me into their heaven. I could not live with a wrong choice to just make money. This is what Trump and the GOP are doing now.

Yet, that is what I am being confronted with. I am being asked to overlook or discard the fact that a potential lover helps people poison the environment. Does he think there is an ‘away’? That what he does two miles down the road, or on another continent, won’t affect him and his children? I’m waiting for an answer. but, for now, I have to step back. I can’t be giving (or receiving) sexual pleasure from a man who does this, and that was the whole point of trying to get to know him. I am very disappointed. Such is life.

The Fancy is Killing the Fancy (I Learned This Promoting Polyandress)

April 29, 2020

My Saluki as a young dog. Sold as a pet, he finished his AKC championship in fewer than 10 shows. His breeder trained him—& didn’t charge for the training!

I’ve been publicizing my book, Polyandress an erotic romance that a dog fancier( a groomer and trainer), has with a boy who seduced her, the child of a man her grandfather bought as a slave in the 1950s:

Slavery occurs in much of the world, still, and the scenario I wrote is very plausible. In many places, slaves were allowed to buy their freedom which was the debt the slaveowner had incurred to get a servant. As I wrote the store, the character’s father was very clever and learned the business his owner was in. After learning the business, he became relatively successful.  The son became a rock star. It’s an erotic genre.

In any case, I wrote this character young because when I was in my 20’s, in the 1970s, it happened to me several times: a very young teenage boy tried to seduce me. More, I had the experience, as a teenager, learning about sex from a boy not much older than I, and he became my husband.

I had also spent some time in this part of the world and I had an academic research background. That’s why the story starts in Africa. There was no statutory rape in this part of Africa. I heard it from many African men, “If she looks old enough, she is old enough.” Nobody would ever in a million years question if a boy was old enough. He’d know if he was old enough.

Why did I make this part of the story? I was addressing aspects of integrity. I had my female character address it to the teenager:  that he had to keep perspective. To make this part of the story, I had to make him a rock star who would have the money and the means to travel. But the non-sexual part of the story is that the female character is hired to help a guy train his dogs. He thinks he wants to breed them and she tells him what people who really love dogs do. They do a lot.

I didn’t know anything about writing or self-publishing or finding an editor, but I got a story that holds together.

How do I get people to read the story? I have to market it myself, and I selected dog groomers, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and dog people in general.

I’d contact the various kennel clubs, the specialty clubs first, and ask people to buy and read my book. & yes, it’s an erotic romance. Is it smut? Nobody gets hurt. There’s no violence. There’s a discussion about how people learn about sex and sexual expression, and what keeps people from making mistakes, particularly regarding relationships.

Prototype cover without the dogs & title.

I keep defending this, but as much as the ‘genre’ is the issue on ‘the fanciers’ side, the AKC has not assisted the club in marketing themselves at all.

How did I find the clubs? By going to the AKC web database, which is not the most intuitive thing to use. If I didn’t have a background in dogs & know the clubs, and who’s in charge of what, I couldn’t do this.

The biggest problem is that the local clubs don’t generally keep up their links with the parent club: “(The Breed) Club of America” or American (breed)Club.  Sometimes, the pages no longer exist and the domain name is for sale…to any puppy miller. Or it a has been bought (at leas the URL—call your club whatever you want, but do you want the link you forgot about to go to an architectural firm in Taiwan—or a commercial breeder?).   Other problems include; there is no way to contact the club through the website. You actually have to Google the Club by name & they MAY have a Facebook page, but they may or may not have a ‘send message’ or ’email’ link. It depends on who in the club is savvy.

Now I can sort of maneuver the database because I have a good idea of the names of the clubs—but what if you don’t know the actual name of the club?  Say, you Google ‘Afghan Hounds Chicago.’ If a breeder has those Google adwords, the Afghan Hound Club of Greater Chicago won’t show up—or worse, the club website will show up, but none of the links work, so you can’t contact the club. So you go to any breeder, but what if you just want to hang with Afghan Hound lovers? Sorry…you are S. O. L.

Now, what if you don’t know the name of a breed. Say, you only can name a few breeds: German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Dachshund, Husky, Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Pug. You aren’t going to go looking for a Keeshond or Norwegian Elkhound. Funny(not) thing: People know what Pomskies are. Although they are a cross between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, more people know what they are than …Keeshond or Norwegian Elkhounds. So—those club should buy the Googe adwords for ‘POMSKY’…like the Irish Water Spaniel, the Spanish Water Do0g, Portuguese Water Dog, and Barbet fancies should bu all the Google Adwords for all the Doodles: labra-, Golden-, Berna-, Sheepa–, Newfa….doodles. Chances are the people looking for Doodles want the PREDICTABILITY of a purebred dog, but have never heard of those breeds.

There are so many breeds the public doesn’t know.  & yet another problem is…the club doesn’t have a newsletter or even a local listserv. Or worse—a conservative Christian gatekeeper as secretary, who has accused me of peddling smut.

Yeah, I guess it is. Dang me, describing acts of sexual pleasure than don’t involve intercourse or making babies. God forbid a teenager should get a hold of Polyandress and find out you can have great sex without risking health, life, and pregnancy. And— you might learn what ethical breeders do when they love purebred dogs and want to see the breeds thrive into the future.

Covid 19 & Climate Change

March 17, 2020

Well well well. I’ll just jump right in. It was probably around 1968 when I started becoming an environmentalist. The Viet Nam War was raging It was the hippie era. I wast 15-years-old and just getting a consciousness. I was questioning whether we were fighting communists in Viet Nam, why educational (& other infrastructure) services were so noticeably poorer in minority communities, and I was noticing how much packaging there is that gets thrown away. So we celebrated Earth Day with a small march and a gathering. Then, we got the EPA, and some environmental laws that slowly helped the environment heal, and things got better….slowly..

Except for being frugal and mindful, I didn’t do anything. I left my parents home a month after I turned 18, at the end of 1971. I learned to be an adult. I got a job and supported myself.

My parents were horrified that I didn’t go to college and that I learned to groom dogs, but my dream was to someday own a small boarding kennel where I could live, raise dogs, show dogs, and  hold small events like racing or performance matches. Nobody was recycling anything. In the industry I worked in, pet services (dog grooming, mostly), the most environmentally unaware people were running the businesses. Water running all day, lights on in rooms with enough ambient light for a dog (they aren’t reading, for crying out loud—& they remain calmer in low light!). Worse—-working with idiots who would never READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!!!. Why are you not diluting shampoo? Why are you not keeping an eye on that dog with a dryer on him? Why are you dumping dog hair on the floor when the trash bin is right here? Why sweep it up twice? Dog hair could be composted…so can dog shit, but in many cases, it doesn’t even go into the sewer system (where it belongs) but into a trash bin…and landfilled.

What happened was…. a friend asked me if I’d be on the board of a recycling station. It was a new idea. As my father said, “A cute hippie idea,” discounting the importance of actually doing something that needed to be done. But that’s how it was, around 1985. My friend, Judy Freeman, did a lot of work rounding up disparate people(I mean it: people who worked for religious-based non-profits, people from the Cambodian, Viet Namese, and Laotian communities). the Redemptorist Fathers gave us a grant, Ken Dunn, the father of recyclinh gave us the means to start out: he’d sell what we collected. We got a diversion credit for diverting cubic tons of waste from landfills. This–I might add, was part of the visionary thinking of those of us who wanted to move recycling forward: a city employee, and the members of the Chicago Recycling Coalition during the Harold Washington Administration in 1987.

I was on the board for several years, and several board members decided they wanted to remake the board, so, for various reasons, several of us were asked to resign and the project, Uptown Recycling Station, stayed in existence until about 2010. They had a good run. The fact of the matter is, that the city pretty much handed over the contract for recycling (mandated by EPA rules that we have some sort of program in place) to Waste Management. Yeah, we still recycle in Chicago…not even a ton of all the waste (‘comingled’) collected.

In the intervening years, I decided to attend college. I was over 30, and I wanted to return to Africa, and Africa certainly didn’t need dog groomers. I took CLEP exams and got 2 years of college credit, and ended up majoring in anthropology (African and international studies) with a minor in environmental studies. For what it’s worth. i ultimately got a master’s in urban planning, with a concentration in land use.

What you learn when you start studying environmental science is that there are laws of nature, and one of them is the concept of population crash. That is, when too many people live in a location (in this case, it is turning out to be highly urbanized areas), if a disease or other environmental disaster strikes….people will die. They will keep dying until nature strikes a balance. And, since humans will absolutely not rein un their consumption and be mindful of their impact on their own environment (lest the next guy gets MORE), here we are, with a pandemic.

It is actually too late. Why would I be so pessimistic? Small businesses are the backbone of American communities. Yet, so many can’t go two weeks without an income stream. They are going to go under. I know a lot of dog groomers will not survive…but where will they go if the whole service industry is in a state of collapse & can’t recover? All those people: Our neighbors, friends, co-workers, who allow life to just happen to them, or think that if God gave them 4+ kids, that God will prevail…good luck to us all.

All my older friends, who partied and drank their lives away, where will they go? The government can just print money and find housing for them, but the government will bail out industries—like the airlines this time, and banks again before they help you or me. Don’t forget that Trump has run up a huge debt to finance his golf junkets.  We still have a chance to elect Bernie Sanders, but that’ s not gonna happen. We’re going to elect Joe Biden, because he’s not too radical…as though his plan will actually help us out of this economic hole.

The Christians are getting what they wanted: the end of days. I am so glad it will take a bunch of them to the rapture. Because these people felt abortion was murder, but would not commit to caring for those unborn that get born—they don’t adopt kids en masse (they just have a philosophically held belief), and if we need more stuff, we’ll go get more stuff, no matter who owns it or how taking it affects them.

We certainly won’t pay teachers of science more, and attract more people who might want to teach science. We don’t trust them! We apparently trust ignorant politicians.

We will never get out of this hole of ignorance. there will be no resources to pay for the damage giant storms do—like flooding, or drought and wildfires, because we don’t believe in science, and not taking more than we can put back in.  this is what climate change looks like.  Very sad.

 

 

OMG!!!! We May Have a Socialist for President!!!

February 25, 2020

Saigon, Viet Mam. socialism….

Back in eighth grade, in the last century, we learned about socialism and communism. We pretty much were taught that it was the same thing. We were not taught anything about economics, but that these were forms of government. It wasn’t until I was radicalized (the Conspiracy Seven trial taking place in Chicago did a lot to convince me to educate myself) did I learn that ‘democracy’,  ‘dictatorship’, and ‘monarchy’ are forms of government. Those other terms are types of economic philosophies.

After reading Marx and Engels, I thought I was a Marxist, but as I matured, I realized that they were writing about the times and what they had experienced. We also learned that Marx never appeared to have worked a real job, and was supported by Engels, his father-in-law. That’s not really cogent, but it helps to have a context and realize that never has there been an ‘all or nothing’ economic system in any government.

What I did learn was that basic economics is basic economics. To have a business, you need materials, labor, overhead costs, promotion/’marketing, and profit. How much is allocated to each is a personal choice (unless you are a cooperative)…but without profits—a surplus, you can’t reinvest, and chances are, you can’t sustain yourself. It doesn’t matter what the economic system is. Add taxes to the mix—that’s where we get into controversy.

I have a degree in urban planning. That doesn’t make me smart, but it does mean I’ve explored what a public ‘good’ is, and why we need them to have economic vitality in our communities.

In the early 1900s in the USA, urban areas were becoming crowded, and due to population density coupled with no knowledge of disease vectors, people were getting sick with cholera, flu, all sorts of icky things. Lots of it had to do with no access to unpolluted drinking water, but sewage was a big issue as well. If you’ve ever visited a less-developed country (compared to the west—especially India), you still see people urinating and defecating all over. People with influence started addressing public health to elected officials.

Of course, the response was (as it is in Trump’s America) “Why should I care?” These politicians seemed to think that diseases would not affect them and their families. Well, they do. Nobody is immune to air and water-born diseases. That’s why you should care.

Do you think public education is expensive? Libraries are a waste? Public hospitals? How about roads, public water supplies, communications infrastructure? When public ‘goods’ as these things are called, are distributed equitably, you have less crime and less disease. The problem is, our politicians have always been racists, and public goods have never been distributed equitably.

Ther are some people, like followers of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, who think the invisible hand of capitalism always keeps things going smoothly—but it doesn’t. if you study environmental science, you learn about the ‘law of the commons’: the ‘commons’ used to be public area where people could graze livestock. What happened is that some wealthy people grazed more livestock than others on a finite parcel of land, pushing out poorer owners of livestock, and in the end, due to lack of stewardship, the ‘commons’ became barren and could support no livestock at all. That’s what happens when you don’t have laws reining in the  bulliesmore powerful.

The USA had gone through many economic depressions when capitalism got out of whack: goods became too expensive because the owners of the means of production valued exorbitant profits over the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats. A particular cause was land speculation, but also gambling—I mean investing in a future of profit based on nothing real. if you look at the history of stock markets, the concept is there so people who have faith in a company or industry—without really knowing how those who manage the industries behave can share in profits. That’s for real. That doesn’t change.

When FDR became president, we were in a profound depression. There would be no way out without using the Keynesian idea of the government investing in the economy. Obama did this as well. But FDR floated the idea of Social Security for old people and paying taxes to fund it.

Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare law  https://www.medicareresources.org/basic-medicare-information/brief-history-of-medicare/ when Rep. John Conyers (rep from Michigan)actually introduced the idea of single-payer. Johnson & Congress knew the health insurance industry would NEVER ALLOW that & we got Medicare for seniors. The Health Insurance industry continues to lobby our congresspeople about how awful single-payer would be—-as though they manage things any better!

It appears Senators Jackson and Miller started the ball rolling for the EPA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Environmental_Protection_Agency#History, signed into law by Richard Nixon. Lots of people younger than 60 do not remember how bad out air and water had been. Certainly, Trump doesn’t, but he was most likely living ina high rise or fed bottled water. No matter. Public health improved and our economy continued to thrive. That is, until speculators started an inflation bubble again.

In any case, these were all considered radical socialist ideas. And look: now we consider these ideas, investing in the public good, as rational, not radical at all. We have a homeless problem in our country. No matter what the cause—mental illness, drug abuse, poor planning…homeless people affect us all. We’d all be safer and healthier if we didn’t have people sleeping, urinating, and defecating on our streets.

So here we are, and it’s 2020, and  we have a bona fide socialist—Bernie Sanders—a Jew, no less, campaigning on public goods. We all know what he wants, and for many of us who have been affected by Trump’s far-right agenda, Bernie’s ideas sound better…except to the people who fled socialist countries, or who have been miseducated.

First of all, Bernie will have to deal with Congress, and if Mitch McConnell is still in the Senate, he won’t be able to do anything unless we also elect a Democratic congress. That’s a fact. Even so, everyone will ask, where will we get the money to implement our dreams?

I suggest we all start looking at our foreign aid budget which is put together by lobbyists. No joke. We give bazillions to both Egypt and Israel—which they repackage to win friends and influence other countries. Why should Israelis have single-payer health care & not Americans? You’d weep if you knew how much we’ve spent on the war in Afghanistan—and they still can’t manage a corruption-free democracy. I can go on and on:  https://www.newyorker.com/books/ask-the-author/ask-the-author-live-dexter-filkins-on-afghanistan.

Israel, England, and Sweden are socialist economies, and capitalism is thriving.  The socialist or mixed economies where socialism is not thriving tend to be one-party  states.  Google it.  So don’t tell yourself your choices are between sliding down a razor blade banister or being boiled in oil. Calm down….because if you choose to not vote,  we are giving  Trump four more years to ignore the countries needs, lie,  be corrupt000as he has proven to be…and destroy the natural environment, That last thing—y9ou know, the climate change thinging—we will never recover from.

 

 

 

Can RPCV Influence Foreign Policy?

January 1, 2020

a colorized version of G.P. Murdock’s ethnic map of Africa

In 1992, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer  (PCV) serving as a Town Planner in Blantyre, Malawi.  This was a very tumultuous time in Malawi history…the end of an era.  PCVs are not supposed to be in ‘politically sensitive’ positions, but there I was, tasked with encouraging residents of ‘traditional housing areas’ (unplanned, squatter communities) to organize to develop recycling programs,  working on development control issues,  enforcing planning guidelines,  and making sure regular city services were provided.   I also was tasked with taking over records and rent collections for public housing in my geopolitical area—‘Local Authority,” from Malawi Housing Corporation.   I was told to do all this by the ODA—Overseas Development Assistance. This was the British equivalent to  USAID funding  Malawi government operations.

Lots was going on.  The ‘European Community’ was putting pressure on Hastings ‘Kamuzu’ Banda to allow for a free press and to schedule multi-party elections.  Corruption, of course, was endemic.  Just about everything I did was being sabotaged by a government employee who feared I would uncover a major corruption plan that worked very well for himself and a few friends.    Business people who had ties to the Malawi Congress Party constantly complained that I was meddling. 

I tried to get others to take responsibility for some of my more unpopular, but clearly legal, decisions, but I was the only one who really was not in danger of being ‘disappeared’.

‘.

What I really wanted to do was make a difference.  I had two plans that would have really helped low-income residents of the city townships set their communities on the road to sustainability:   One plan was to give them rate (real estate tax) rebates for planting fruit trees and buying energy-efficient ceramic lined cookstoves.  The other was for them getting titles—  recording their plot ownership—with nobody being allowed to own more than one plot in a Traditional Housing Area (to prevent people from becoming absentee landlords).

Unfortunately, there was no political will.   With the squeeze on for political reforms, foreign aid was frozen.  The Malawi Kwatcha was devalued by over 30% (although government high-level managers were immediately compensated with raises), causing a general strike.

 I was finally threatened by a Host Country National, who complained directly to Peace Corps, because I had demonstrated that I had the capacity to take down illegal developments.

30 years have passed.  I visited Malawi three years ago.  Not much has changed, and what has changed has increased social stratification. Yes, more people have access to credit, but deforestation and overfishing are really taking a toll.  Social indicators have barely improved, but even very poor rural people have access to cell phones..

I believe that once most PCVs have a base in the place where they are serving, they realize that good intentions are not enough.  In some cases,  teachers are really making a difference.  In other places, volunteers are being used as  ‘place fillers’ or technical support, and underlying issues are not being addressed.

I started thinking about this again, just recently, when Ambassador Daniel Foote, our man in Zambia, said what needed to be said:  This is an excerpt from a report on National Public Radio:   ”…..  it started last month with this court ruling where they sentenced two men to 15 years in prison for having sex with each other. The ambassador said he was “horrified” by Zambia’s jailing of same-sex couple Japhet Chataba and Steven Sambaand.  The Zambian government basically told him to mind his own business. And Ambassador Daniel Foote then unloaded. He released a diplomatic statement, that I have seen, you know, few as pointed as this one was.

And he said that the U.S. had saved more than 1 million lives in Zambia with just its HIV programs, and then he went on to accuse the government of being hypocritical, of outright stealing millions of dollars intended to go to important welfare programs. He said that while the corrupt officials doing that don’t even get a slap on the wrist, two men having sex get 15 years in jail. And then he said that everyone should just stop pretending that the U.S. and Zambia have cordial relations.”

 

Long story short,  “…..Zambian President Edgar Lungu was seething mad, and he essentially declared the ambassador persona non grata, and the U.S. had to pull him out of the country.” Oh, btw (from Wikipedia) In 1992, Foote became a Peace Corps volunteer in Sopachuy, Bolivia.

We do-gooders, American citizens,  naively believe our foreign policy upholds human rights and fights corruption. We also believe we are donating money so people can get on the road to both economic and environmental sustainability.  This would be laughable were it not so tragic.  How can Peace Corps Volunteers serve in countries with so little regard for basic human rights?  Certainly, our gay brothers and sisters are not safe.

We all come to consciousness about what is ‘right’, ‘fair’ and ‘tolerable’ in our own time.  Many of us do not remember legal racial discrimination, or that inter racial relationships were illegal in many parts of the USA.  Many of us have never heard the expression that “Rights are never given. They are always taken.”

Going back a bit further, in the USA many women (and people of color) could not get access to contraception without the permission of a husband, or credit without a man co-signing (I have personal experience with this).

Now, many of us might laugh at how stupid and unfair, even counterproductive such laws were.  They were developed by (white) men who wanted to legally restrict those not like themselves.

Is there not a PVC who has not said, “If only the policymakers acted with integrity”?

Being from Chicago, where we had a political machine for over 60 years, I’m in no position to say whether a country is more or less corrupt than where I live.  Because I’ve traveled, I’ve experienced being with people who live in communities that have benefited by the mindset that when wealth is shared and opportunities are equalized, everyone benefits.

How can we tell where the policies of equalization work?  We can look at the improvement of social indicators since the end of WWII, with the correlation of the introduction of Peace Corps Volunteers into countries.  Why is it literacy rates, improvements in infant and maternal mortality, flourishing communications infrastructure,  and access to credit in places like Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Costa Rica have improved life outcomes in those countries, as well as economic growth, but Nigeria, Mauritania, Malawi, India, and Bangladesh still have such a high percentage of people living in poverty, with no in improvement in social indicators?  Obviously, it is not just a lack of political will, but being rewarded with foreign aid no matter how corrupt they are.  We used to justify this because they weren’t ‘communist’ countries, but what does that really mean?

I’ve joked that the Danes should be in charge of all foreign aid, because, according to Transparency International, Denmark is the least corrupt country on the planet. hpps://www.transparency.org/cpi2018

Is it really too much to ask for transparency, a free press, and respect for RULE OF LAW?  Shouldn’t foreign assistance of any kind ( that is not humanitarian or crisis aid) be linked to accountability and ‘best practice’?

What good does it do us as volunteers when we ignore human rights abuses?  We look disingenuous.

Obviously, the Trump Administration, with his bloviating over the corruption in  Ukraine, isn’t really concerned about corruption in other countries, or even are own when  ‘swamp dwellers’ as most of us would have identified them have been put in charge of government agencies and purses.  Isn’t it time that we, who have served,  address our responsibilities as global citizens?

I am sure most of us who are not involved in the sausage-making wonder on what basis it is that funding is offered to any foreign country. The late George Crile, in his book, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” described in well-researched detail who got what and why over  30 years ago.  Not much has changed:  From the Rapid City, South Dakota, Journal, we got  an interesting piece of information that  Crile addressed: https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/sd-republican-leader-receives-k-monthly-for-pro-saudi-arabia/article_b1352b18-3685-5515-b103-05f3536fcbbe.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR0EnV8VdpFBTcT1uR3KjUDZxVu2_AVPMi5n_npBX9wKcvU5NOMXLYE8zQ8

Now, granted, Dan Lederman is not an elected official. He is merely a lobbyist for a foreign country and also happens to be the head of the GOP  in…South Dakota.  One has to wonder how he got connected to the Saudis, but never you mind.  This is how our foreign aid budget is allocated.   Can you say Quid Pro Quo?

Thankfully, now that we have the internet, it is easier for all of us to get this information in a timely fashion.  But  I also know that because so many  PCVs returned disillusioned, and feel that we can’t overcome this, they’ve become less politically active.

I think the ideas of accountability and sustainability, as well as respect for human rights should now be part of the discussion. We are invited by host countries to serve. We’ve demonstrated our value.  Shouldn’t Peace Corps state that this is what we want in return?

What Ever Happened to Chemistry?

August 15, 2019

Me (Robyn) at Vic Falls

So, I’m  on a few dating sites, including ‘Plenty of Fish’ and ‘Match’.  I bet I also appear on other sites these companies own.  I am on a few other obscure sites, like Elite Singles , but never, ever do I get responses from any men remotely suitable.  That said, I’ve had a few friends who met their husbands on dating sites, but they were younger than I am now.  From Match and POF, however , I’ve been getting responses from men who look at my posted photos, do not read my profile, and it’s  pretty much a waste of time. Why?

Often times, , even if they are younger than I am, they look like my father.  No thanks. Then, there are the guys who  clearly live over  an hour away, and haven’t put much thought into travel time.

I was an anthropology undergraduate, and what I learned about forming relationships—-especially romantic relationships—-is that personal attraction/’chemistry  is important, and you can’t determine that online .

So…. several very attractive men have told me distance is no object. Really?  You  know,  it is to me, I would be reluctant to schlep out to where you live, and that you might be hiding a wife or girlfriend.   But I do  tell them my zip code and 2 cross streets a block away, and suggest they get in the car and tell me how long it takes from where they live. They disappear…

Then, there are they guys who think being Christian (Catholic, even!) to my  Judaism/other, should not be a big deal.  What they do not understand about being an ‘other’ is that Jews don’t  prostelytize. I’m not religious at all, but  why wouuld I give pleasure to a man who supports  evangelism, and worse—- paying legal fees for a bunch of pedophiles?  That’s what identifying with a religion like that means to me.  Are they viewing me as an adventure?  So they can sin with me but ultimately settle down with a nice Christian/Catholic girl?  I’m 65…that’s a really big risk —to be vulnerable to such a man.

But we also have the guys who  tell me they are not religious…but they want to get to know me better before meeting in person.  Yet you ask, “In what way?” and they  don’t have a response.

One of my very dear friends describes me as ‘bitchy.’  Well, I’m not sweet and ladylike, that’s true. If I had been, I could have never accumulated any wealth, owned a home, or  trained dogs.  I’m a pretty tough broad.  That said, because am not ladylike, I learned to be a good lay.

I was a founder of one of the first community based recycling  centers in the USA.  I still source separate my garbage. I was also active implementing public school reform and community policing.  I’m pround of these accomplishments, and that I was a ‘judge of elections’ for years.

So, how much  history do these ‘nice guys’ need?  How many sibblings  I have doesn’t matter. That I have no debt except my home (I owe under $30,000) & pay off my credit cards  every month does matter…& I want to know this about them.  I want to know how old they were when they first had sex.  I want to know  their kinks, if they admit to any.  I don’t want to be tied up, spanked, or a few other things involving pain or force.  Have they ever seen an illustrated copy of the Kama Sutra? If sex isn’t important to them, what do they want?

In my profile, I stateI have lived with the same male roommate for over 18 years. He’s like a brother except he’s  more reliable and sober.  I rarely dine out alone, but I often go to movies and exhibits on my own amd I’ve traveled many times myself.   I don’t want to have to accomodate another person who has strong opinions about how to do things, not if I am relaxing.

I was wrongly arrested once, before we had community policing. It could happen again, but the  commander apologized and I had my arrest record expunged.  I’ve had  3 tickets in my life for moving violations.

In my 65  years, I’ve owned 8 dogs.  They mostly lived—-6 of them— to be old and unfortunately, I euthanized them when their quality of life became bad.  Nobody  lingered.  People who understand dogs understand that most people wait too long.  Now, 1 dogs is 8 and the other is 11.  I’ve made most of my living grooming and  training dogs, but I’ve also been a prudent investor.

I am a left over hippie.  I took  LSD, peyote, and mescaline in my younger days, and when marijuana is legal again, I will probbly keep a stash.  I rarely drink. Alcohol is not my drug of choice.

I am a Wobbly in arrears…Industrial Workers of the World, an anarco-sydicalist.  If you saw Warren Beatty’s move, “Reds,’ you  know a little of the history.  Yes, in my heart, I believe in small economies…but infrastructure doesn’t pay for itself.  Also, I’ve worked in  businesses that were run as ‘collectives’ by default because an owner  didn’t think having a manager was important.  Even if elected, somebody has to be the manager—the fall guy.

Finally, I have a portfolio of nudes of me: drawings, paintings, photography.  One of the photographers I worked for got me an assistantship to graduate school.  It’s a persona.  It was a job.  So this blog is about all I  can think of. I’m afraid  these do guys are not as adventurous  as they say they are or think they are.

I give as good as I get.  I am, actually, trying to scare off the ‘faint of heart’.  I hope this works.

Mayor Lightfoot: Here’s Your Chance!

June 3, 2019

I am sure most people in the rest of the country, let alone Chicagoans, wonder “What the f**k happened?” A true long shot whom hardly anyone knew, got elected mayor.

Let me give this a bit of context. Our mayor, Rahm, who sold himself as a ‘progressive’ (after all, he was Obama’s Chief of Staff…). made things worse, if that was at all possible. Our biggest problem was and is paying for running the city. Shootings? Please. Yes, there are a few pockets of neighborhoods that are totally out of control, but there is no mystery about why this is: absentee landlords who don’t do credit checks on landlords, lots of poorly educated adults who can’t make a living wage bearing children they can barely parent, no jobs for the unskilled… a true lack of both literacy and numeracy…and police designating that, since they will never eliminate crime, ‘containing’ it to certain neighborhoods.  Yes…that’s right:  the police know who the problems are…they  just don’t  make arrests because they do a poor job of collecting evidence & they  know  too many judges give probabtion (meanwhile, we have  non-violent people taking up space for drug violations…,.go figure…)

We had about 14—yes—14 candidates running for mayor, and virtually all had either (Democratic) machine ties, or were outliers: Not funded well, unlikable supporters (Amara Enyia— Kanye West and Dorothy Brown. Dorothy has been under indictment…Amara, you blew it…). Where had Gery Chico been all these years? Bill Daley? Totally clueless. He felt there would be enough white people votes, and that everyone would forget his father and brother. I had voted for Susana Mendoza for comptroller, but she really offered nothing new. I was leaning towards former school teacher Toni Preckwinkle. I was almost ready to forgive her support for corrupt assessor Joe Berrios, and then it came out she put Alderman Ed Burke’s totally useless son on her payroll at $100,000 for doing virtually notnhing but harass and annoy people (while cutting other county jobs).

So, essentially, due to so many candidates running (Unless you went online and looked at their platforms, you wouldn’t know what their actual platforms were), and a very low voter turnout, Lori won by default.

We all know what the problems are, and many of us know the solutions, In fact, Ken Dunn, of Resource Center, who started out as a Peace Corps Volunteer, then developed a reputation as a community-based recycler, has helped to create more income generating projects for marginally employable people than just about anybody in Chicago. Yet, because he’s not an elite and doesn’t contribute to political causes, he’s virtually ignored.

But I digress. Rahm declined to run. He would have won based on inertia, But he bowed out, leaving us with a bigger mess in terms of debt & the proverbially underfunded pension funds than he came in with. He had the intelligernce and the means to fix this. He just chose to enrich elites. Several great examples of this are:

  1. His predessor, Richard M. Daley, bought a shuttered hospital for….? Oh, right… the city was acquiring land for the Olympics before we got the bid to host (we didn’t—-dodged a bullet there! Ask any city that has hosted since the 1970s if they made or lost money on hosting!). So with taxpayer money, Daley bought Michel Reese Hospital for way more than it would have sold for. It sits there, akin to a shuttered nuclear power plant. Then, Rahm decides that the city needs a $9 million training center for the police—-way across town. Why? Why couldn’t this site be reconfigured? Nobody gives a clear answer. I partly blame the press in Chicago for pandering. In fact, Georg Lucas wanted a site for a Star Wars museum. This site would have been perfect! Very easily accessible by public transportation. No, Lucas and his wife, who don’t live in Chicago, wanted a site on the lakefront. It was the lakefront or nothing. So, it turned out to be nothing. They took their toys and went home because the lakefront belongs to all of us. Rahm tried to get his way for them, but a fluke, democracy prevailed.
  2. By having an appointed rather than elected school board, Rahm got us Barbara Byrd Bennet, a military veteran who had been a school administrator with no apparent record for improving educational outcomes anywhere. Worse, she committed massive fraud. She cost the citizens a huge amount of money (she was convicted) and closed down many schools instead of improving them. We had implemented Local School Councils over 20years ago, which never got enough support from CPS, but no matter. Rahm should be held as accountable as BBB, and we need an elected school board.
  3. The pension fund shortfall. What sense does it make to have about half a billion dollars (according to journalist Ben Joravsky and a few others who have analyzed the budget) sitting there in a Tax Increment Financing Account, and then issue bond funds to pay for what this TIF $$$ should be paying for?
  4. In fact—- did nobody in city government at all DO THE MATH of giving $900,000,000 to Lincoln Yards developers? Forget about the traffic, and that any jobs to be created for our proverbially ‘low income/unskilled’ citizens would be temporary in nature. How much does this actually add to the cost of each housing & business unit…and how do we get paid back? The reason for TAX INCREMENT FINANCING is to support a project that—but for the lack of money—-would not be built. This complex only benefits elites. If the developers could not get financing from the private sector, it should not have been approved. That’s how capitalism works. For our aldermen to approve this project shows that they are grossly overpaid…. and arrogant, and innumerate. I don’t know if we will be able to overcome this because we also have…
  5. The pension funds being underfunded…hello! Wasn’t Tony Rezko, the politically connected fundraiser for both political parties, for some reason on the committees that approved pension plans for public employees? No matter. Karen Lewis, Chicago Teachers Union members and teacher had a great idea: tax trades at the Chicago Board of Trades. I know from working for elites that they’d never miss the money. they may ultimately move out of the city but until then… what’s the alternative? To continue adding to the hotel tax?

 

Mayor Lightfoot— embarass the incumbents who got re-elected—for being arrogant, innumerate, and failing their constituents. They waste money and reward their friends. They pander.You really have nothing to lose!

Refugee Children

June 22, 2018

I am generally uncomfortable around a gang of children.  I can manage  one to one conversations, but  a bunch of  kids under age 5 leaved me flummoxed.   There are a number of reasons I never had children of my own.  My parents  didn’t seem to be overly thrilled with the four of us.  I could see how much work a child would be, and what if I bore a handicapped child?  It was all I could do to keep myself afloat.  I had thought at some point I might foster, but when I looked at the economics of it, and the time constraints on all other activities, I knew I couldn’t manage this.

I was able to become a Peace Corps Volunteer because I didn’t have children.  In the country I served in, Malawi,  about 10% of the people living in country were refugees, mostly from Mozambique. And since everyone was dirt poor, it made no difference.  People farmed what they had as best they could.  I could not  imagine the strain of uprooting, the fear.  After I was out of Peace Corps, the Rwandan genocide happened, and there was ethnic cleansing in Bosnia,  I’ve met a lot of refugees.  You have to admire their determination.

But, in 2018, in the United States, the President—Trump—and the Republicans have turned desperate people into evil-doers.  I’ve met so many white Americans who think these people should ‘get in line’ & not cross ‘illegally’.  Americans  have no idea how many wealthy people ‘jump the queue’ and , while it is legal, they have often cheated people  in the countries they came from & continue to do so.

First of all, if you own a small business, you constantly meet foreigners who came ‘legally’ & overstayed their visas…who then finagle. Virtually all these people speak English and have  friends/relatives who might sponsor them, and they are mostly white, so they have a leg up.

Now, imagine you can’t read, and you don’t have access to a radio or TV…or the television stations are run by  your government.  You get all your info as either rumor or propaganda.  Men come to your community and know you are vulnerable, and they harass and threaten you and your children. Maybe your  husband has gotten into debt with them, or killed one of them, or caused 1 to lose a job. Your government won’t help you.  Worse, your government has been getting aid  from the USA (my government) to strengthen ‘civil society’ but has never been asked for an accounting.  The rumor is to go north to the USA ans ask for asylum.  You don’t know that there are ‘official crossing  points’.  You just go.  You are walking with  very young children.  Are you walking a mile?  No.  10 miles?  No.  You are walking hundreds of miles with kids, risking your lives, because  you would for sure be hurt or killed had you stayed.  You’re dealing with  finding food, a place to sleep, maybe transportation.  Gambling with the odds?  These people don’t know from the odds.  Can you imagine being this desperate?

Then, for reasons you don’t understand, you are separated from your children & told to wait.  So many Americans really believe these refugees knew they were breaking the law and would lose their kids.  Not true.  So this serves as no deterrent.

And can you imagine the terror of the children—some so small they can’t speak any language?  I remember the terror and panic I experienced  several times as a child. I am in my 60s and I still remember the physical feelings.

So, in the name or ‘rule of ‘law’ we have traumatized thousands of people for no other reason than enriching a  major GOP donor who charges my government over $700 a night per person to incarcerate them.

My government is raiding  Social Security & Medicare—-monies taken out of our paychecks for  security in the future, to pay for the  lavish lifestyle and  wants of their  leader…the president…and trying to make us think this all benefits us American citizens.  We should really be ashamed that we allowed the president to lie about this.