Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Drop a dime, get a grand

The Detroit News ran an article today talking about how Crime Stoppers is seeing a jump in tips due in Michigan due to the steadily falling economy and poor job market.

Sumayyah (read the Cast of Characters page), says it stinks of Orwellianism. Personally, if the only thing standing between me and my lights getting cut off is tipping the cops that it was RayRay up the street who robbed someone at gun point…fuck RayRay. You can say I’m a snitch, you can say I’m a sell out, but you can’t say I’m sitting in the dark.

A grand for a tip on a homicide that leads to an arrest. Forget all the moral stuff. Forget doing your duty as a good citizen of whatever city you live in. It’s a grand for making a phone call. Now, that may not sound like a lot to some folks, but that’s rent, electricity/gas, phone and cable with plenty left over for groceries.

So, once again, fuck RayRay.

And while I’m on the subject of crime and criminals: Black people…cut this shit out

(hat tip The Smoking)

WTF kind of Smurf do you skin for hair like that? More importantly, who the hell lied to her and said it was cute? Blue is not the same as blue-black.  Stop this shit now.


Protected: After many deep and profound brain things in my head…

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Dear Winter,


*points to the calendar* See that? March 22. You have officially over-stayed your welcome.


Unemployment blues

Can I tell you how much I hate being unemployed? I don’t like being unemployed. I don’t like being fiscally dependent on someone else. I feel like a drain on our finances because every other day I’m asking for money for something else. I should me making my own money. I shouldn’t have to go to H like some hapless teenager asking for an advance on her allowance. He doesn’t make it seem that way, but that’s the way I feel.

I started working about a month before my 16th birthday, and kept working until I got married back in 2002. I held the same job at the same company from the time I was 15 to the time I was 21 (albeit there were intermittent times when I wasn’t working there, like when I left for college, but I’d work over holidays and breaks as an contingent employee). I never got written up. Rarely had problems with my bosses (though I had the occasional tiff with my co-workers). Other employees in my building knew me and liked me just fine. I was polite and courteous. 90% of the time, if they called me in to fill in for someone, I came. Even when it was the morning shift and I had to be there at 630am but had gone to bed late the previous evening.

But, for whatever reason, none of this matters because I’ve been unemployed (taking care of my daughter) for a little over four years. I ran a business for about two years (and I don’t mean some door-to-door avon type stuff [no offense to avon sellers, but that ain’t for me], I mean I started and ran my own business), by myself. No employees. No assistants. Just me. I bought the supplies, I made the product, I advertised the product, I shipped it. Ok, H helped too in the advertising aspect. His friends and coworkers still bug him for cookies. (Yes I had a business making and selling cookies, largely over the internet) But this doesn’t seem to matter either. All they see is a college drop out (I was in college for three years with no clue as to what I wanted to do with myself…so rather than racking up even more debt with student loans and wasting my time, I quit to take some time to figure myself out) who has been unemployed for nearly five years.

The economy in Michigan isn’t helping either. We’re number one on the list of worst places for employment. How depressing is that? Growing up in Detroit, it was all but written on your birth certificate that so long as you had a high school diploma, you were going to have a good, well paying job –with benefits– with the Big 3. If you had a family member working for one of them (and you always had at least one), you were in. Guaranteed. You’d start at about $15/hour and go up from there. You were unionized, you got health and dental insurance and you got employee discounts on cars. You were set. But this isn’t the case anymore. Factories aren’t hiring. At least they aren’t in the Western Hemisphere. Because the auto industry is such an integral part of our state’s economy (what was that saying about putting all your eggs in one basket?) when the Big 3 take a hit, many other businesses do to. Everyone from parts suppliers to restaurateurs to convenience stores. The Big 3 go down, they’re sinking with them.

I kinda feel deceived. With the auto companies taking major hits every fiscal quarter, life here becomes more uncertain. There are more people on food stamps now (1.21 million I believe is the number they’re throwing around now) than there ever have been in this state. Our unemployment rate continues to rise (though it fell seven points in January, it’s still higher than it was at the same time last year). And the problem with unemployment statistics is that it only counts the people who are actively looking for work. That means those of us who have become frustrated by the sheer lack of opportunities (for whatever reason) and have given up our search go uncounted. Foreclosures are skyrocketing in the Metro Detroit area. 1 out of every 4 fires (in this state) involving homes and cars are arsons because people are taking desperate measures to hold off foreclosures and repossessions. Honestly, I’m sort of surprised that riots haven’t broken out.

The state government is trying, though the Republican lead state Senate seems to want nothing to do with helping those who are in low or lower middle class income bracket. A few years back the Governor passed a bill that allows laid off workers to get re-training or education in a different sector. Which is great. People who have been doing the same job for many years and suddenly find that their particular skill set is no longer viable deserve some sort of assistance in getting a new trade or skill. But with our (continuing) budget shortfall, I can’t see this lasting.

And I won’t mention the massive brain-drain going on. Students coming in for college and then leaving as soon as they graduate.

Tomorrow I’m hopping the bus to try, once again, to find a job. Wish me luck.

Summer time and the livin’s easy

Ok…it’s not summer. Far from it in fact. But today was unusually warm for the beginning of March.

Last month was one of the coldest February’s on record. It’d snow for days and be mild. Then it’d warm a bit and melt, and then, over night, the temp would drop and it’d snow again, this time with icy, bitter winds that made the snow feel like tiny razors shredding you millimeter by millimeter. And just under that hard snow would be a thick layer of ice from the previous day’s thaw. This was pretty much the way all of February went. Week after week.

So imagine my surprise when I stepped outside to take my daughter to school and it was warm.  Not just warm, but really warm. Warm enough to melt the nearly three feet of snow piled up on my lawn turning it into something resembling a marsh. Because we live in a pretty hilly area, all this melting snow made long rivers flowing from one end of our complex to the other. For all the dirt and grime associated with city life, it was actually kind of pretty.

The breeze was the best part of all of it. It was a warm, silken breeze. The kind that just nudged against you and made you want to just walk and walk and walk…It was the kind of breeze that heralded the coming of Spring (PLEASE GOD LET IT BE HERALDING THE COMING OF SPRING!), tinted with the slightly damp, musty smell that comes after the earth has thawed and softened and is getting ready to release its new life. I walked slowly on my way back home, not really wanting to go into the house and leave the beautiful day behind closed doors.

The oddest part of today wasn’t the fact that it topped out at 52ºF, but the fact that, on our way to school, my daughter and I saw a fat opossum waddle across someone’s lawn. Possums are pretty common around here (like raccoons and skunks and squirrels), however seeing one in the middle of the day isn’t. Possums, for those that don’t know, are nocturnal. Initially I mistook it for a stray cat, not really wanting to believe that there was a possum out in the open at noon. But there it was, plain as day, ambling across a lawn and under someone’s car where it watched us pass cautiously.

I have to admit, I have never seen a living possum. Around here they end up as roadkill pretty often, especially when the weather warms and mating season starts. But that possum was sort of cute. In a weird, rat-like, disease carrying scavenger sort of way. They’re somewhat attractive little beasties when they aren’t smushed and lying prone near a curb.