Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Choosing the Right To Do List

A while ago I sent out a Twitter asking if anyone had any recommendations for an online to-do list... I started my search with this article from TechCrunch. I liked the pull down menus on OrchestrateHQ but it wouldn't let me personalize it the way I needed. Remember the Milk has great functionality and a plug-in for everything, but it had limited categories to place things in. I ended up going with Todoist, which I have been using for the past week and simply love! Why did I go with that one? I like the firefox toolbar plugin, it matches quite well with my delicious toolbar plugin. I can also set up as many category lists as I want but view things as per when they need to be done. This is the closest to my old paper list that was done out on a weekly basis by category. I think that the new tool has added to my productivity this week....or if anything given me a bit of the refocusing that I needed.

Plus....I get to have that satisfying feeling of checking off the little boxes. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

el-mood update

Still haven't cried yet, but can feel it bubbling to the surface and sitting in the back of my throat. I know that I need to call the investigator and see about the appeal process, however, I feeling defeated about the matter anyway and am toying with the idea of just not dealing with it at all. Of course, this rolling over and just dealing with things is therapist would be disappointed in me....and I should be fighting, and I should not be accepting that I been "cheated" yet again in life.

The problem with fighting is that it becomes depresses me more....and I can't get the things done that need to be done. And I wonder if just accepting and dealing with this will enable me to actually focus on things that I need to, like trying to finish my masters degree. The problem with NOT fighting is that it just adds to this underlying identity of resentment that I have that is clouding my ability to have faith in humanity.

What do I need? I thought about this a bit last night. What I need is to have someone just hold me and let me cry. And I will not let that person be my brother or Libby....I just can't do that. For reasons that I can't articulate. So if you are a nice-smelling local boy who is willing to just let me cry on you, please let me know. In the mean time I am going to work on molding my bedsheets into some sort of approximation of a cocoon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mr.3's Loans- The Latest Set-Back

Last Friday when I hung up with the loan investigator it was 2:10 in the afternoon. He was based in Massachusetts and between the phone call with me and the end of his day he wrote a letter. This aforementioned letter arrived in my mail today. Can you guess what it said? Can you?

They denied my claim.

So the three loans (which apparently my math was wrong on before) are for $7,500, $7,500 and $15,000......leaving me to pay $30,000 for Mr.3's education. I plan to appeal, as soon as I can find out what I need to do. But honestly, I don't hold out much hope.

I am not sure how I feel. Libby and Jimmy were here when I opened the mail. All I could do was to pull back into myself and be quiet. I might have teared up a bit, but I haven't cried...yet. I guess that I feel like I have regressed backwards...just when I was starting to feel that I would be able to handle things handle school.

Adding his total to my total of student loans, this sets me up to be paying back close to $90,000 in student loan debt. This means three jobs for a very very long time. This also means that I will not be able to afford to work less as I try to study for my comp exams.

And of course, according to the police, I am not a victim. The loan company is the why am I the one left paying? Because the world is a fundamentally unfair place.

I know that there is more that I want to say....but my mind is turning to mush. Please god, let there be no more hang-ups with the least let me be rid of that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SLC Tweet-Up and Killer Klowns

What do these things have in common? Why they are the way that Jimmy and I spent our evening.

First up, the SLC Tweet-Up, yes, I said Tweet up. Basically a bunch of the Twitterers from the Salt Lake area all met up at a coffee shop. Which was pretty cool and I will definitely go to the next one. One thing that I have learned from blogger conferences is that it is nice to finally to put faces and online personalities together. This was definitely the case here. And it was also very socially outgoing for me....and we all know that I need to make a larger friend base.

Then once we got home, Jimmy and I watched Killer Klowns from Outer Space, which is by far the best clown movie I have ever seen! Jimmy and I tweeted back and forth while we watched it. Unfortunately, I think that Jimmy and I are the only ones who find our back and forth on this funny.

In any case, if you haven't seen Killer Klowns, you need too. It wins bonus points for the following antics: human puppets, balloon-animal bloodhounds, popcorn guns, rainbow mullets, fantastically bad lines ("If you were a clown where would you hide? I don't know, an amusement park?"), shadow puppets that eat people, cotton candy cocoons, and.....

a twisty straw!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Of Human Bondage

Finished Of Human Bondage this morning, and it has been one of those books that I have been attempting to read for years, but never managed to get around to it. I'm glad that I waited, because I wouldn't have appreciated it before Mr.3 came around.

The book is about a man named Phillip Carey who, like many of us, is trying to find his place in this world. He goes from subject to subject in his studies, job to job, feeling lost and aimless most of the time. He meets and falls in love with this woman, Mildred, who is absolutely horrible to him, yet he stays, he endures, and he hopes that one day she will snap out of it and love him.

I completely identify with Phillip. Mr.3 was my Mildred. As I was reading all of the horrible things that Mildred would knowingly do to Phillip, intentionally causing him emotional harm, I kept wanting to shout at him "What are you doing? You're SO Stupid? She isn't going to come back to you!!" And then it hit me, I did the same with Mr.3. When Mildred asked Phillip for money so that she could go away with his friend, how was that any different from when Mr.3 asked me to give him half the rent money for him to go to some "job training" in DC? When Mildred shows up pregnant and destitute on Phillip's doorstep expecting him to take care of her and the baby, how is that different than when Mr.3 was sent to jail and he needed me to send him money and make sure that someone got him out of that hole? And when she leaves him yet again after he rescues her from another horrible poverty, how is that not the same as when Mr.3 finally left me? And when Phillip would see something in someone that would remind him of Mildred, how is that different than what happens to me on most days on campus...when that cap, or that walk, or that step resembles Mr.3. Phillip loved Mildred unconditionally, and I did the same.

And hopefully, as when Phillip learns that there is life without her, that one day he won't think about her future.....hopefully, that will be me too. Now, I'm not expecting Mr.3 to get himself caught with some fatal STD like Mildred, but I can expect him to be sent to prison. And when Phillip realizes that all that he wants in life is right in front of him, I can realize that too.

The more I reflect on the book, the better that it is. Also the more I look at the similar frowny faces between Bette Davis as Mildred and Mr.3, the more sad these antagonist characters become....sad, pathetic, piteous, miserable, lamentable, useless, poor, rueful and any other synonyms you can think of relating to.

For the record though, I don't apply everything I read or see to Mr.3. The movie Teeth for instance....while pretty good, is not something that I identify with......... Of course, I think that it would be a special sort of woman who would want to have teeth in their vagina which they would use to castrate men with. It's an interesting skill-set though, I wonder if she includes that on her CV?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Loan Officer Call aka Karmic Pinch

So yesterday I felt that I wrote probably wrote the meanest post about Mr.3--- mean in the sense that I was sharing gossip about him and giving reasons to validate it. And while I have been assured that I wasn't doing anything wrong in it by multiple people....I still got a karmic slap-back yesterday.

Maybe not a slap, but definitely a pinch. The pinch being that I got the call from the fraud investigator for Mr.3's student loans. For those that don't remember, one of the many "fun" things that he did was to co-sign me on all of his student loans without my knowledge. Now, I've been through the long laborious process of filling out the fraud packet and I knew that I would get a call from an investigator but not sure when.

It was like I had forgotten everything when I talked to this person. I couldn't remember dates and events. I was stammering, and I was so worried that it sounded like I made the whole thing up. Who knows, maybe if I had sounded polished he would have thought that I was lying.

The effect of this half hour phone call was that I was a nervous wreck, taken back to the days where a word would reduce me to tears. I was shaking and felt sick to my stomach....and that was my karmic slap-back/pinch....that just when I feel like I am over this and that I have strength, a small thing happens to remind me of what happened. I'm sure that this will keep happening somehow. And in some ways, I will always feel like I'm a victim. Which is really odd....because the police keep telling me that I'm not a victim, and the credit companies say that I am because I owe them the money. The police won't help me, and the credit companies just want to get paid....this is really why identity theft sucks ass, and why it keeps happening more and more.

At the moment, the decision is still as unmade as it was before that call yesterday. I asked the guy how it was looking. He said that the fact that the checks were cashed into my bank account (as Mr.3 never had ID in order to get one for himself) it looked like I was liable for the loans. He ALSO said that the fact that Mr.3 has a history of this was something in my favor. He still needs to call some more people and finish his report. Then the report goes to his manager, and she makes the decision as to whether or not I'm liable.

How much is this for? Oh, between $20,000-$23,000 of student loans. And while, I am finally in a place in my life where I could make the extra $200 payment a month in student loans, I don't feel that I should have to be sacked with this. As it is, I am paying close to $600 a month in student loans as it pushing that bill to $800-$900 a month that I am shelling out is not something that I want to do. Me finally getting to a financial place where I have "disposable income" is about me getting my life back on track and me planning financially for my future. And more importantly, me leaving the mess of Mr.3 behind.

This needs to be about me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mr.3-Here's Your Gift...Gossip about you!

Tomorrow is Mr.3's birthday, and he would be turning 35 under the name I married him under, 40 under the name that Kathy knew him under, and 39 under his birth name.

He's been on my mind alot lately: partly because of working on the divorce paperwork and my impeding legal single-ness next month; partly because of news of friends and colleagues getting married, having babies, and buying houses; and partly because of some juicy gossip that I heard about him which I will share with you today, as my birthday present to him. Oddly enough, when he has been on my mind, I seem to keep seeing him everywhere. Or rather I notice certain physical traits in other people that startle me into thinking that that person might be him.

Anyway, my birthday present to Mr.3 (and this might be one of the meanest things that I have said/done to him on my blog) is to share some delicious bit of gossip about him. My mom was searching on the internet the other day and discovered a forum for people who have been taken advantage of by identity thieves. The post originated from Kathy, but that isn't the surprising thing, the surprising thing is that someone who worked with him from the Eurasia group responded back to her. From the sounds of it, Mr.3 was quite the subject of office gossip. Here are some of the allegations (and I am not going to post the address that it came from in order to protect Kathy's privacy).

Hi, I came across your post and i got really intrigued because a man by the name of [Omitted to protect my brother] worked with me in DC before he was fired for plagiarizing, among other things. I now would like to know whether this is the same person. He claimed that he had received a PhD from the University of Utah.
Please let me know if this rings a bell.

And of course, it does ring a bell, because (according to the information from Kathy---which I haven't fully disclosed here-you'll have to wait until I write the book) Mr.3 wrote in resumes that he completed his PhD here at the U. His undergrad being at Florida State, his MA at Texas A&M, and his PhD here. The reality: he completed his Undergraduate here at the U and was accepted to the Masters program here with a pretty nice scholarship, but messed the whole thing up.

Continuing the forum Kathy replied that this was the same person and that she wanted to know more information about why he was fired. Here is the response:
No one knows where he is.
But it's clear now that everything he told people was pure invention, including the fact that he was a widower. Also, his entire resume was made up. Before coming to that firm, he was simply in jail.
He was essentially fired after several blunders that clearly showed that he was not qualified for the job. He went as far as making up information and pasting sections from Wikipedia into reports.

It now all makes sense. He always invented an excuse to avoid meetings with government clients, because he would have had to present a valid ID. He also avoided flying, taking the train instead.
Quite skillful.
I wonder how much more damage he has done. And I wonder how dangerous he can be.

Ah, what fun. Let's tackle this point by point.

Mr.3 was a addition to me becoming his sister in the new story, Mr.3's former wife was a Kurdish woman who died of brain cancer. Anyone who knows me well, can see where some of this has come from my personality: my work with the Kurdish political movement, my fascination with the brain and it's workings, and the fact that I lost two family members to cancer in the year preceding his new fictional life.

We've already covered his fake resume, but I love how the guy wrote that he was "simply in jail" before being fired. Just imagine the uproar that that caused. They hired him less than one month of him being out of jail.

His being fired for "several blunders that clearly showed that he was not qualified for the job". This is the part that fills me with mirth. Mr.3 is a smart man, no denying that, but he is also a stubborn man who insists that he is right no matter how good of an argument that the other side makes. He is someone who believes that he should automatically have authority in any setting. When you are not the one on top, this comes across as being "pushy". I've heard this said about him from his time in the Terrorism Working Group here on campus and it doesn't surprise me that his superior attitude was not taken well in a office setting. The louder and more Mr.3 pushes on subjects, the more that he insists that he is right, is normally a time when he is wrong.

The plagirization issue...hee hee hee, this so makes me giggle. Now, I've read every paper that Mr.3 has written while he was a student here. While reading one of his last papers he wrote before he left, he had an awful lot of book quotes in it. I remember advising him to not have as many quotes. His response was that the authors said it better than him. I also remember him saying that he wasn't at enough pages written in his papers and that he needed to "pad it up" with some book quotes. Now, this behavior is not that unusual in the life of a student...and well, it was his academic career, so I let him do what he wanted to. But in the outside world, and in a world where it is assumed that you have enough work and knowledge behind you in a subject that you can give your own opinion and analysis with authority, this behavior doesn't work. It doesn't matter how many smart people you have read in this situation. The allegation that he copied and pasted from Wikipedia cracks me up. I can't say if this is something that he did or not....but I think that he probably did. Especially after I heard from Kathy that she remembers him ranting and raving one day about someone at the office copying/pasting from Wikipedia and that HE told them not to do it.

Avoiding clients because he didn't have valid ID: and how many times did I bug him about getting valid ID? Mr.3 definitely proved that you can get pretty far without having one....hell, he managed to get married didn't he? By the skin of his teeth. I can totally see him making up some excuse not to meet with a client because of the ID issue. And while you might be able to avoid seeing a client if you are a higher up in the organization, as the entry level person that Mr.3 was in this organization, it is behavior that doesn't fly.

"Quite skillful." Very true. The deceptions that Mr.3 managed to pull off have all been quite skillful, but it is also true that skill will only get you so far. No other information from this person was given to Kathy, but just this little bit is enough for me to change some ways of my own thinking about Mr.3. I originally thought that he might still be in DC. But after reading this, I realized that (with the traveling that he did and the contacts he made) he has burned whatever bridges were available to him. He won't be able to go back into that world until he really finishes his PhD and people there forget his face. The name will be different, but people will remember the face and the attitude. So this also means, that he isn't in DC. While the New York option may be there, I think that in the course of work with the Eurasia group he will also have to avoid the Middle East analysts circles there as well.

So where is he? Who knows. But I have a feeling that his stint in DC might be the highest he ever gets. I think that he is probably enrolled in school somewhere again, trying to start over....trying to start over with another woman who will take care of him....but stuck. Stuck in a world where he will never be able to get someone to take him seriously. It is a sad life. One that I think that he deserves.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Explaining the Summons on the Sidebar

When I originally posted the summons on this blog, I don't think that I fully explained what I was doing with it. And now that I am including it on the sidebar of this blog, I should probably go more into it.

I filed the divorce papers in June, and there is a 90-day waiting period between then and the divorce being finalized. The waiting period serves as a time to make sure that all the original paperwork was filed properly and also to ensure that the other party has been summoned.

How do you summon someone when you don't know where they are? Besides sending emails out, and a certified letter to his mom's house (which will be sent today), one way to attempt to notify a respondent is by public notice. And my most immediate form of public notice is this blog. I am pretty sure that Mr.3 has seen one of the emails, and has seen this posted here....and while I am satisfied that he has been given notice, I also have to ensure that the court is satisfied as well. This is definitely a case where I feel that this process should be made easier, as I am already a victim in this, but the court-in their fairness- wants to make sure that Mr.3 is being treated decently in this.

So as September looms nearer I have to attend to yet more divorce paperwork (I'm going back down to the courthouse today to file more stuff)....and of course, this means the re-appearance of the summons. Originally I thought that I would just repost it rather than make it a sidebar feature (and this was due to a bit of embarrassment on my part), but now, I just want to make sure that this thing can be all over with that I am willing to do what it takes to satisfy the courts. I hope that it works.

See, Told You!

Reason why I like the White House Twitter feed..... a transcript today of the Costas interview I bitched about. See here.

Here is my favorite part because the look on the President's face when he said this was priceless!

Q Are you going to go to a few more events before you leave?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to swimming here -- if you'd ever let me off this set.
Take that Costas....the President didn't like your interview either.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Confession of the Week....

.....and maybe I should do something like this every week.
So, like a lot of people, I have been religiously watching the Olympics (that is not my confession) and of course, like a lot of people, I regret not being more athletic in my life (also not my confession), but possibly unlike everyone out there....I'm totally digging all the coverage of the President attending Olympic events and stuff.

While I have not agreed with a lot of the policies of his administration....I find that the older I get the more that I am in awe of the office of the President. And while our President is for the most part a goof-ball...I kinda like that personality quirk in him. Nice to know that we have a human for a president and not some robot (one reason that I didn't like Hilary for prez). I didn't mind him checking his watch in the opening ceremonies, because I had checked mine a few minutes before. I thought it was funny his silly attempt to pick up some beach volleyball pointers. And I think that it is pretty cool that the President is cheering at the swimming events.

Did you see the Bob Costas' live interview with the President? What was up with that? I completely think that Costas was trying to go for some hard hitting political interview journalism award....lame in my opinion. I really just wanted to hear the President talk about sports, because for once, that is something he actually knows about. I now seem to get all my news via Twitter feeds, the White House is on Twitter. It is sorta cool that it updates with Presidential speeches, the House and the Senate have feeds too.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I was told once that I was worth 50 camels, if you take inflation and currencies into accounts, which is worth more? - I am for sale!

Monday, August 04, 2008

BYU Bias?

Dan's grocery, a local chain, has the following ad:

The Crimson Club is an campus institution for all of those that love the University of Utah's athletics program. Seeing that their ad suggests that their red fruits and vegetables are better, you can't help but wonder if the ad execs for Dan's are fans of the U's rival school, Brigham Young University (BYU).