Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sold… and staying calm

I am trying to stay calm. Deep breaths.

After much soul searching I decided to sell my piano. I didn’t shed a tear making the decision although I would have loved it (a) if either daughter could play the piano or (b) either daughter wanted the piano. But that was not to be, and I couldn’t see traipsing the piano around with me over the next few years. It was not a sentimental piece of furniture as if would be if it had belonged to my mother or grandmother, both of whom played the piano beautifully (from what I understood). I did shed a few tears the other night now that it has become a final deal. It has found a wonderful new “home” at the local middle school in the hands of Dorothy’s orchestra teacher. I couldn’t be happier. And although there was no profit (I don’t think you make money on a deal like this), we got the asking price. I say “we” because the STBX did all the work to get it sold (since he still lives in the house and was trying to sell it locally). But after the tears, I was fine. It’s where it should be. In its new home.

Ever since 6th grade when I learned to play the piano, I had wanted one of my own. A friend of the family had loaned us one all the years I took lessons, but it had to go back. So once I became an adult with a few years under my belt, one of the first things I bought myself was this piano. At the time, we did not have a joint checking/savings account. Everything was separate. We did not do that until ’86 when we bought the house. My money was mine; his was his. I know that may not have been the best way to be married, but it’s what we did. I remember clearly it was the summer of ’82 as we had gone to The World’s Fair in Knoxville and this Yamaha (not the motorcycle) was the “official” piano of The World’s Fair. WTF? It cracked me up to have a piano that bore a medallion inside that stated such a moniker. I bought it with an overdraft check (which results in a loan) and paid it off for a year. It traveled with us to our first home and our second (and last) home. It filled the house when I had time to play, most specifically during the holidays.

So is it my piano or is it marital property? I guess legally everything is marital property just because it was in the marital house. But I am trying to present this fairly and must ask again, do you consider this piece marital property? So once the deal was brokered, I thanked the STBX profusely and said to send me the check. I was even considering sending him a percentage for brokering the deal. Instead he hit me with an e-mail that he was surprised I would ask the check be sent to me since he considered it marital property and wanted HALF. Deep breaths. Ok, if he had said he wanted a percentage of the “profit” because he brokered the deal, I would have taken it under advisement. But HALF because he considered it marital property??? I don’t think so, Mister.

Ok, I don’t think I have presented the story without bias. I may have slanted it my way. So to sum up… piece of property belongs to Party A (loved and paid for). It resides in the home of Party A & B. Party A & B are divorcing. Party B worked to sell piece of property (since he still lived in the vicinity of said property) and considers profit to be marital property. Party A is grateful for the hard work of Party B and was considering giving him a percentage of the profits but not half. Party B wants half the money. Party A says no fucking way.

So what’s your take?


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bet you didn't know this...

Did you know that a lot of our common (albeit antiquated) terms have origins in nautical history. I love words. I found this interesting and thought I would use this time to teach. It's what I do...

Above board – On or above the deck, in plain view, not hiding anything.
Bear down – Turn away from the wind, often with reference to a transit. (I thought this was a labor & delivery term!)
Between the Devil and the deep blue sea – See Devil seam. (Devil seam – The curved seam in the deck planking closest to the side of the ship, next to the scuppers. A sailor slipping on the deck would be "between the Devil and the deep blue sea".)
Bitter end – The anchor cable is tied to the bitts, when the cable is fully paid out, the bitter end has been reached. The last part of a rope or cable.
By and Large – By means into the wind, while large means with the wind. By and large is used to indicate all possible situations "the ship handles well both by and large".
Cut and run – When wanting to make a quick escape, a ship might cut lashings to sails or cables for anchors, causing damage to the rigging, or losing an anchor, but shortening the time needed to make ready by bypassing the proper procedures.
Footloose – If the foot of a sail is not secured properly, it is footloose, blowing around in the wind.
Hand over fist – To climb steadily upwards, from the motion of a sailor climbing shrouds on a sailing ship (originally "hand over hand").
Know the ropes – A sailor who 'knows the ropes' is familiar with the miles of cordage and ropes involved in running a ship.
Let the cat out of the bag – To break bad news (the "cat o' nine tails" being taken out of the bag by the bosun was bad news, announcing a flogging).
No room to swing a cat – The entire ship's company was expected to witness floggings, assembled on deck. If it was very crowded, the bosun might not have room to swing the 'cat o' nine tails' (the whip).
Poop deck – A high deck on the aft superstructure of a ship.
Scuttlebutt – A barrel with a hole in used to hold water that sailors would drink from. Also: gossip.
Slush fund – The money obtained by the cook selling slush ashore. Used for the benefit of the crew (or the cook). (Slush is the greasy substance obtained by boiling or scraping the fat from empty salted meat storage barrels, or the floating fat residue after boiling the crew's meal.)
Son of a gun – The space between the guns was used as a semi-private place for trysts with prostitutes and wives, which sometimes led to birth of children with disputed parentage. Another claim is that the origin the term resulted from firing a ship's guns to hasten a difficult birth.
Square meal – A sufficient quantity of food. Meals on board ship were served to the crew on a square wooden plate in harbor or at sea in good weather. Food in the Royal Navy was invariably better or at least in greater quantity than that available to the average landsman.
Squared away – Yards held rigidly perpendicular to their masts and parallel to the deck. This was rarely the best trim of the yards for efficiency but made a pretty sight for inspections and in harbor. The term is applied to situations and to people figuratively to mean that all difficulties have been resolved or that the person is performing well and is mentally and physically prepared.
Stem – the extension of keel at the forward of a ship.
Stern – The rear part of a ship, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter to the taffrail.
Taken aback – An inattentive helmsmen might allow the dangerous situation to arise where the wind is blowing into the sails 'backwards', causing a sudden (and possibly dangerous) shift in the position of the sails.
Taking the wind out of his sails – To sail in a way that steals the wind from another ship. cf. overbear.
Three sheets to the wind – On a three-masted ship, having the sheets of the three lower courses loose will result in the ship meandering aimlessly downwind. Also, a sailor who has drunk strong spirits beyond his capacity.
Touch and go – The bottom of the ship touching the bottom, but not grounding.
Under the weather – Serving a watch on the weather side of the ship, exposed to wind and spray.
Wide berth – To leave room between two ships moored (berthed) to allow space for maneuver.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Visual DNA

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Black Panther

Do you know the amazing Shephard of Shephard's Alley? I merely asked him what the Medicine Cards might say for my future. Check his Monday blog posts as he plays with Medicine Cards that I do not quite understand. I am still paying for my STBX to live in our house while it is on the market. While I am trying not to be angry and bitter, it is wearing thin as he has lived there for free since October. He finally got a job in April, but since it's commission, he cannot (or will not) help pay for the mortgage. We need to sell this damn house and soon so we can move on which is why I asked Shephard for some guidance. After grounding himself, he asked, "What is it that Redhead Educator needs to focus on most right now so that the details of her life will fall into place." This will freak your freak. Here is what he drew (with a few editorial comments from Shephard):

Black Panther: Embracing the Unknown.

Facing fears, exploring the inner self that makes you tick.
The card signifies that now is the perfect time in your life to delve into the places within yourself that need healing. Black Panther specifically says not to worry about the future. Trust that you are not supposed to mentally figure it out. These obstacles are merely symptoms. They are not the cause of fears or blockages. Solutions do not come from seeing things as black and white, good and bad. Solutions will come from understanding the choices you made, and the beliefs you have invested in that created those choices. Let go of negative people, limiting thoughts and fear of being alone. Embrace being alone. Because it is temporary. You are your best parent. You have to take charge of your fears as if they were the children you love dearly and tell them to pipe down, quit panicking and sit still. When the fog of fear and worry clears, your head will find clarity, and the decisions you need to make will become obvious as they appear in front of you. But all the what-if's and fears are distractions, and they make it hard to see clearly. You have to see with different eyes than that. Be your own best parent and start taking care of yourself by letting go of those mental limitations. The card says the next step may be leaping empty-handed into the void with implicit trust. That's not an easy thing to do, esp. if life is filled with the new and unfamiliar.

To quiet each fear, follow each one to its worst-case scenario and plan how you would crush this fear. Have a plan for each fear, and you will begin to see the power and control you've always had. Use this time to ferret out the beliefs and choices you've made in life that have not worked out for you as you would want them to. Because as The Oracle in "Matrix: Reloaded" said: "You can never see past choices you don't understand."

This card indicates that now is a time to clean house, mentally and emotionally, and to make sure your head and mind are clear and not being strangled by "what-if's" and fears and resentments. That's your job right now. The card indicates that things do fall into place, and our job is to be ready for it. You'll know when it's time to act. Being ready for it is much easier than trying to force it. "Seems easier to push than to let go and trust." (Indigo Girls).

Can we all have a collective sigh?