The Cost of Eating Cheap

Well, it’s payday finally, and that means we’re no longer just this side of starving. Kate still needs her carbs, but the power inverter should be here tomorrow or Friday. At that point, I’ll be able to make her cracker/pancake out of tapioca pearls. Even better, we’ll be able to eat cheaper and healthier.

See, spam may be cheap, but it’s still $2 to feed both of us for a night. Or we can get a bag of potatoes at $2.50, a bag of onions at $2,50, and a pound of chicken cutlets at $1.99 and eat for days. And we’ll have potatoes and onions left over once the chicken is gone, so we can buy more chicken or or mix them with something else.

This is the trickiest part of being homeless for the two of us. Even discounting Kate’s food intolerances, we spend more money buying cheap prepared food than we do when we can cook. That’s why last month was such a huge problem. It took me too long to figure out that we needed a power inverter, and we couldn’t afford one by the time I did. (Thanks again for that, Zob. 😀 ) So we’ve just been scrounging for change and begging from our friends for a couple weeks now just to keep going for a few more days.

This is the month where it all turns around for us. I hope.

 

Please donate at http://paypal.me/tarengrant
Even a single dollar makes a huge difference to us.

Update

The last two days were rough. I’ve had a lunchable so far today. They’re usually out of my price range, but they’re on sale for $1 at the moment. So that was a nice treat.

Due to our late start on getting work done last month, we’re a little strapped for cash at the moment. And thanks to all the holidays this month, we’re a little worried how the next one is going to go. It was shaping up to be better, but we’ve been fighting hunger and depression for about a week now. I’ve been burning through my stock of dried cereal, and Kate’s had almost nothing but bananas and milk. So we’re both sick and half starved, and work is going very slow.

On that note, I’m going to start putting a link to my paypal at the bottom of every post.

And things have taken a turn for the awful. Kate looks like she’s about to start seizing right now, so I’m going to cut it short here.

Please donate at http://paypal.me/tarengrant
Even a single dollar makes a huge difference to us.

Working While Homeless

Money is an obvious thing. We all need it. You can overlook the effects of a warm meal on your state of mind when they’re just the norm, but money is hard to forget. On that note, I do hope to be able to monetize this blog soon. After all, the more money I can make, the faster I can get into a home.

But I’m not relying on the blog, of course. I have a job. Specifically, I’m a transcription editor. I compete for jobs with other self-employed editors. On a really good day, I can make about $50. You may notice that’s $6.25 an hour, which sounds pretty good, right? But first, remember that’s a good day. That’s a day where the market is flush with work, and I’ve worked my ass off to get it and get it done fast.

And second, my days are not eight hours and then go home for the evening. My work day starts when I get up, and it ends when I go to bed.

Now, you may think, “But Car Dweller! How do you find time to blog?”

Answer: by slacking off. The human brain is not capable of focusing on nothing but work for days on end. People who work more than a single job are frequently killing themselves to do it. And then they get called lazy because they’re barely making ends meet.

Well, that’s a tangent I don’t feel like going on right now. I started this post to talk about the important of having a job. You know, for your sanity. Even beyond the need for money, having a job gives you something to structure your life around. It gives you a reason to wake up in the morning and a reason not to drink yourself to sleep every night.

The reason I keep such grueling hours, and the reason why I have to be careful to keep them from actually being grueling, is because this job helps me to overcome the depression that lurks in the back of my mind. I have a job. I have a reason to keep going on. As long as I have this job, I don’t have to worry about being overwhelmed by the fear and anxiety of not being able to eat or afford gas. As long as I can keep making that much, I can keep hoping that I’ll get out of this situation.

Winter

This weekend is going to be brutal for sleeping, the coldest we’ve face yet. It’s threatening to get down to 19 degrees during the night, and the worst we’ve face is like 28, maybe 26. We’re a little worried. We went out and got Kate a ski-mask and gloves, some nice thermal leggings, and some thermal socks. She’s very happy right now. We also found a set of hand, foot, and body warmers that will help if we don’t manage to get indoors. So hopefully, she’s all set.

My problem is that I’m claustrophobic. For me, sleeping at night is a careful balancing act between being warm and not abandoning the car in a panic. I had a dream the other night, it wasn’t even a proper nightmare, that I felt like I was drowning. I flailed awake, shoved my blanket and pillow into the backseat, and started driving off in a panic. Fortunately, Kate was still awake at the time, so my freaking out didn’t cause a seizure.

Sometimes, once in a blue moon, I can sleep with my coat on. I do sleep with socks, sometimes even my shoes, and a sweatshirt, and even that relatively little amount of clothing is too constrictive. So I’m a little worried about myself. I might borrow a pair of Kate’s socks for the night and try to wear my coat. Or I might go to McDonald’s and just try to stay up if it’s too bad.

I really wish we could get a little battery powered heater this month, but I have a feeling it’ll be useless. Anything powerful enough to overcome 19 degrees would probably be a dangerous fire hazard in a car. Ah, well. We’ll make it through. We don’t have great options, but we do have options.

Next month, though. Maybe some better blankets. The ones we have don’t trap heat very well.

And We’re Back

More or less. And not a moment too soon. And of course, now that we’re back, there’s no work to be had. So today, I’m attempting to find other routes. Like promoting this blog so I can maybe start a Patreon.

It’s a weird day. I wish I had a house, but only so I could start streaming on Twitch. That’s been a dream of mine for like a year now, but I never could in that hell house.

I don’t have a whole lot to say. Let’s see…

I tried out a website called sliceofpie.com today. I listened to a three-minute song, typed out what I thought of it, and made one whole penny for my time. >< OK, but that’s OK. You make more as you get better, so I figure I’ll keep going. I listen to another three-minute song, type out what I thought of it, and get an error message that my review doesn’t appear to be in English.

sliceofpiereviewhelp.png

So I guess I subconsciously began writing in Japanese or something there.

Kate and I are looking into alternative parking locations. She read that churches are a good place to park, so we’re planning to check around and make some calls. The parking lot at the gym just…it’s no less safe or anything like that. It’s just…people staring. Every single time they walk by the car. You’d think we haven’t been doing it for weeks already or something.

Also, I started a Twitter, as you can see by the widget in my sidebar there. Thinking of starting a tumblr or instagram as well, but I spend most of my time either driving or sitting in a library. Not many options for a good photo shoot.

I’d like to start fiction writing again. I haven’t written much since about 2004. I was working on this huge fanfiction series and having just a ton of fun. It was my little escape from Wal-Mart, and I wrote between 1500-2000 words almost every day for like a year, year and a half.

But then I left Wal-Mart. They’d been ignoring my stated availability since day one, and when I started going back to school, they decided to start making it ridiculously hard. I had to submit a form to change my available hours. They continued to ignore it, so every class day, I had to call management about an hour before it was time to leave and ask to take the rest of the day off. I did this two or three times a week for six months, and they never just worked it into the schedule. They made it as difficult as possible for me to get a higher education. So one day, I lined up another job and left. And then my other job informed me they had never heard of me, and I ended up working at Domino’s.

Well, Domino’s didn’t last long. The economy was rapidly going to shit and gas prices had just started climbing. Pretty soon, I wasn’t making enough money to continue making deliveries. I was practically paying them to let me work there. So I quit and went to work for my grandpa.

Some years earlier, my grandpa had wiped out my college fund to start his own business. It was a sure thing, he said. He already had customers. He did good work. It would be easy. As you can probably guess, it went to crap. Specifically, it struggled along and barely broke even for about five years, after which it started losing money.

I became my grandpa’s secretary a few months before the end. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, he was cheating me of wages. I wasn’t even making minimum wage there. Honestly, that’s fine because I also wasn’t doing any work. He didn’t train me at all. He just said here’s the accounts, here’s the checkbook, have fun. I figured out most of the computer stuff, and I answered the phone and took messages. But that was barely a third of what I should have been doing, and he’d get pissy with me for screwing up. It’s like he thought women just instinctually know how to be good secretaries.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what he thought. It’s just the latest in a long list of things he never thought he needed to teach me.

Anyway, that harrowing, soul crushing experience went on for a couple months before he hired my mother to replace me. He didn’t actually let me leave, though. Mom actually does know how to be a good secretary, so she took over pretty much my whole job, leaving me sitting in front of a computer browsing the internet for eight hours a day. Periodically, they’d try to give me make-work. They got pissy if I took a day off, but didn’t have anything for me to do. I tried to spend my time writing, but it just got harder and harder and harder. I finally quit in the middle of a story and didn’t finish it for about five years.

I try to write on occasion. 1000 words here. 2000 there. Then I delete it and give up for another year. My family broke me.

Huh. Guess I found something to blog about after all.