Archive for the ‘MONEY’ Tag

7 DECADES SERIES WELCOME TO GATEWAY PART 24A   Leave a comment

Of all the years in my life 1999 was one of the roughest roller coaster rides ever. I was up financially and then looking at my car as a bed. I had a job and then I didn’t and then I got one of the best jobs I ever had. I lost one of my best friends and my apartment was robbed a third time not to forget that once again SS had overpaid me and I owed them money plus problems with the car and overusing credit cards. I had to buy 2 new car tires and an old man came out of a one way street the wrong way crashing into me.

One of the first things that happened was I got a call from St. Joseph’s subsidized housing to come in for an interview but I knew going in–a gated community –right behind a hospital–that I really didn’t want that and I could refuse the first 2 offers I got.

Laurie, what is ‘C-Sat’? I have notes about a week at the Crabhouse and that after seeing Kathleen Turner in “Tallulah” “I went to Crabhouse for C Sat–got there at 8 PM–they were busy. I “weed wacked“—I know what that is LOL–for awhile–they are getting me a carton of cigarettes!” What is all that about??

I filed (called in) my income tax and will get back $165 and I have been working  a lot on the computer. I did get my refund on, of all days, Valentine’s Day so Bob, Jim, Gino and I went to Catfish Dewey’s (still open) for all the ribs you can eat and eat I did. I have started making cards on my computer and started my monthly newsletter which saves me a lot of time. One Friday after work Laurie, Sharon and I went to IHOP for a bite and I gave $10 for Thu’s birthday. Later on during the week Gino and I went for dinner at the Quarterdeck (open) while Bob and I went to eat at the “It’s New York” restaurant (closed). I have a note about mailing shirts to Chuck—Chuck do you remember what that was about?? I have a note about going to dinner with the Crabhouse gang for Thu’s birthday but doesn’t say where which is surprising. Also have a note about picking up the car but nothing about paying a bill.

 I mentioned this in the last blog but I had a run in with some customers. I was very seldom, if ever, rude to customers when it came to tipping because I know if one party under tips me another party will over tip me. This was a party of 4 kids–late teens, early 20s–who drove me crazy with the all you can eat crabs making it hard for me to take care of my other customers. Over the years I have waited on idiots but, as a rule, most customers were okay. When I saw the tip they left on the charge I told them off and, of course, they went running to the manager. I expected repercussions and they came–and I got fired though Cindy fought hard for me to stay. I have another note about getting car out of shop with new headlights and new rear view mirror. Gino and I went for dinner at Piasano’s (closed) and the end of the month Bob, Jim, Gino and I went to the Caldwell Playhouse (closed) and dinner at the Foto (Closed) and I finallygotJunoandwenton line–that was the start of my downfall–it’s all Chuck’s fault! LOL

My first note for March, 1999, is “Spent most of the time on the computer on line!” At least I took a break for ‘Preacher’ Joe to take me to “Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger” (closed on Las Olas. It seems I spent that evening doing e-mail and on the Internet–I wrote that a lot during the month of March and for the next 14 years!

Life continued with movies, shows, eating out but now there were hours being spent on the computer and being on dial up consumed a lot of time but it was something new and I was enjoying it. The car was in and out of the shop with minor problems. Gino and I went for dinner at Wings ‘n Things (open) and over to Home Depot to buy a door to make a computer table for me which I still have  and use. I was going to the Hard Rock with Robert from The Crabhouise as he liked to gamble so got a lot of free tickets for concerts. Without money coming, though since I wasn’t working my SS was a little higher, I went with Jim, Bob and Gino to see “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” at the Broward Center and having dinner at Sonny’s BBQ (closed) and the next day “A Conversation with Gregory Peck” and then the Big Pink (closed) to eat. The following Sunday I took (charged) Nancy and Gino for brunch at the Marriott (closed but not before my17th Leap Year  birthday party) and I have a note I downloaded Juno e-mail so maybe I had AOL first.

March and April ended with no job–a little money and just about making rent and bills and started to use my credit cards again and I was told by my dentist it would cost $3,000 to fix my teeth!!! Ending on a positive note–I went to see a touring show of “Footloose” with Daren Kelly which was a good show but seemed to have disappeared. 13 years later I would see a touring company of “Flashdance”– can never escape the past! I was looking for another place to live as my lease would be up soon and I needed a cheaper place plus after being robbed 3 times it was a message to get out!

Oh yes, poor Chuck–I see notes about my ‘losing’Microsoft Word 6 and Free Cell and bugging him! I wrote that I messed up installing NetZero. It was also the month that Bob went in to get a knee replaced so Jim and I had to make his Fuller Brush deliveries. It was also the month I tried to connect with Mark but I couldn’t find him on the Internet and when I sent letters to his address they came back. I was never to hear from him again.

It was the way life went.

Posted April 23, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES 1997-JUNE 1999 PART 23 D   Leave a comment

April 1998 was just like any other month with going to theatre to see Jim Baily as Judy Garland who was much better in Las Vegas years before, went to see sculptor Hanson’s work at the MOMA, had to get a new alternator for the car (charged the $85), Bob, Jim, Gino and I had dinner at Catfish Dewey’s (open) to celebrate Bob and Jim’s 40th anniversary, had a run in with David who stole my car keys,  Bob, Jim and I went to the Coconut Grove Playhouse to see “An Evening With Jerry Herman” and dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (open) and work, plus my Social Security check, made life a little easier but I was still charging too much and spending more than I was taking in. I did get a call from the Powerline subsidized housing but I didn’t like it and was holding out for Gateway. May was a good month where I finally ended up in the black for a change.

In June Ronnie came down from Waterville, Maine, his home where he moved back to from New York and was currently living. His cousin David lived in West Palm Beach and though I knew him he never got in touch with me when he moved there so I was going to see him and Ronnie the following day. We went for finner at Franco’s (closed). We got together at Chardee’s (closed) for brunch the following Sunday and Ronnie told me he was having heart problems which is why he moved back to Waterville plus his mother had died and left him their house. He had a part time job working for the church catering meals. Bill Doolan, sort of an ex of Bill’s, and I met for lunch at Denny’s (open) and he told me he had Parkinson’s. The day after that Ted and I went for dinner at J. Alexander’s (open) for which I had a “2 Free Dinners” card though I don’t know why or how! On Sunday, the 17th, I took off from work and took Ronnie and David for brunch at the Marriott Marina on17th Street (closed) where in 2004 I had my 17th Leap Year celebration which was one of the best! The 3 of us spent the day walking around the marinas and that evening we went to see/hear The Gay Men’s Chorus of Fort Lauderdale at the Amaturo Theatre in the Performing Arts Center. Little did I know it would be the last time I would see Ronnie. A week later Bill Doolan, Bob, Jim and I went up to Boca where we ate at Tom’s BBQ (closed) and then went to see “The Heidi Chronicles” at the Caldwell Playhouse (closed). By now I had cut back to just working Saturday and Sunday.

Another month another problem with the car which cost $400 plus for rental and needless to say it went on a charge card. I was also having problems with my teeth as it had been over 25 years since I had all the work done including the implant. One of the first things I learned about old age is that your body changes including your teeth and gums which gives you problems but we don’t talk about that, do we? In August I registered to take a computer class at Fort Lauderdale High School and I told the teacher if I just learned how to turn on a computer I would be happy. Hey, come on, remember the first time you saw a computer? Did you see an ‘on’ button? Did you know what to do? In any case I did learn how to play Solitaire which was a good way of learning how to handle the mouse and I did learn how to turn on a computer which was good as soon I would have to know!

September was a good month starting with Marcello, the manager I didn’t particularly get along with, being transferred to a Jupiter store and then Hurricane Georges which was suppose to hit us didn’t! I was paying my bills, not charging as much and, for a change, didn’t have a problem with the car. Everything was looking good and then it got better and worse, in October.

Posted April 16, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES MONEY, MONEY, MONEY 1990-1995 PART 21 B   Leave a comment

 

In the series Part 20 D I spoke about going into bankruptcy in November, 1992 , and as I look over my diaries from that period I get a mixed message as to how it happened. Though I was changing jobs I was working on a  consistent basis: Corky’s, Sizzler, Bageland, Who Song and Larry’s, The Crabhouse and by the end of the 1990s I was at Big Louie’s so I had money coming in. At the beginning of the decade I had an IRA of $3,000 (from Holiday Inn?) and $500 in the bank. Yes I was gambling at Jai Alai but I was mostly breaking even.

The car was costing me money and I was having dental work done so I guess that accounts for some of the cash going out. Going through the pages of 1990- 1992 I guess I was, once again, spending more than I was making or had in the bank and I really started going crazy with charging things on my credit cards.

Ordered tickets for the Ann White production of “A Chorus Line”–had apartment cleaned for $30–sending out a lot of scripts to agents and publishers–had to get new door on car–new hose for car–sent out queries to publishers (trying to get published was different in those days–spent a lot of money mailing scripts and enclosing self-addressed stamped envelopes, etc.)– spent money on tickets for the touring company of “Les Miserables”–car stolen and have to replace steering column–insurance covered most of it–closing night tickets for ACL in NYC are $500 for good seats–really thought about going but know it could never equal that longest running performance– bought the book “Creation of ‘A Chorus Line'”–saw “Pretty Woman” April 14 and enjoyed it–Bob and I went to see “Oba-Oba”–been eating out a lot at Spots, Chuck’s Steakhouse, Bagel Place, Wings ‘N Things, Olive Garden, Shell’s, 2 Guys Pizza, La Cabana, Catfish Dewey’s, Georgie’s,justtomention a few places and I was paying or charging to my credit cards.

On May 3, 1990, Bill and, his lover at that time, Richard came into town and we had lunch at Dan Dowd’s–I had taken an ad in Hot Spots and was getting a lot of responses–rent is going up–I have $1,169 left in checking account–Bob, Jim, Bud and I went to see “Hay Fever” at the Caldwell Playhouse–we had lunch at Bennigan’s and dinner at Bavarian Village–went to see Joe Napia sing with the Nova Choir–got $500 out of the bank–cashed in my IRA and netted $2,100–Bud and I went to dinner at Giovanni’s on Los Olas–expensive–$97– I picked up the check–my car is being worked on so I rented a convertible to go to Orlando.

June 2-9, 1990, I went to meet Chuck and Chris up at Disneyworld—after coming back I went to see “Lifetime Companion” with Bud–tore me apart –went back to see it 4 times with other people–I was seeing a lot of David and we were going out for dinner–seems I was picking up (charging) the check going to places like The Raindancer, Fisherman’s, Chuck’s, etc., all expensive places–went to see “Bent” at the Caldwell Playhouse–excellent production–went to dinner at Houston’s–went to see the production of “A Chorus Line” at the Hollywood Playhouse–Bud and I went to see Chita Rivera at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

How do you go broke? Eating out, going to the theatre a lot, car problems, taking your time to look for a job when you are ‘in-between’ jobs, going to Jai Alai and losing, picking up checks for others, living as if you have an endless supply of money and you do–credit cards!

What is life like after declaring bankruptcy? Do you (I) smarten up or continue on the same path?

Posted February 5, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES WELCOME TO THE 1990S PART 20 C   Leave a comment

I’ve spoken about my food addiction, alcohol addiction, smoking addiction and my Jai Alai addiction. I’ve mentioned briefly about my sex addiction–hey I have to keep that for the hard cover X rated version–and I believe I referred to the drug incident.  Short version–at 16 my doctor gave me diet pills–I lost 7 pounds the first week so I figured if I doubled the pills I would lose double the weight–didn’t happen–I landed in the hospital 3 weeks later classified as a drug addict! For whatever reason I didn’t get hooked on drugs after that incident though over the years I ‘tried’ something now and then.

Of all my problems–and I don’t know if it is an addiction and if it is what kind it is!–money has always been my biggest problem. When I had it I had to spend it, when I didn’t have it I had to spend it and in most cases I would spend it before I got it. I was raised by a mother who constantly said we would end up in ‘the poor house’ while my father always went first class. Yes, I was the guy with a beer pocket and champagne tastes.  With no matter what I did I managed to pay my taxes and in the 1970s I was paying the highest tax rate but I had so much money I could go first class and still get that check off.

In April, 1990, I was fired from Holiday Inn. I am not sure of the exact figures but I did get the money from the HI IRA which I think was about $3,000. I had about $2,000 in my checking account. By the end of June I had $500 in that checking account after not working 3-4 months, going to Disneyworld,  going to see touring companies of “A Chorus Line”, had a dental problem which I paid with cash and I was still eating out. I was okay with my credit cards.

I had started a new book, had an article published in “Florida Living” and sold a story to an anthology that would be published in 1995 called “My First Time”. A columnist, Gary Stein, now an editor at the Sun-Sentinel, in September, 1990, wrote a column about servers, tips and tipping, in response to my “Letter To The Editor”. In October I started work at a deli called “Corky’s” which was a hard job as most delis are with those serving ‘buckets’ of pickles and Cole slaw. I wasn’t making great money but at least I was meeting my expenses and still had a few dollars in the bank. My only New Year’s resolution for 1991 was to ‘cut down on spending and save money’. I was doing okay weight wise after a little set back so at least that wasn’t a problem.

Going through my diaries I see remarks such as, “Paid bills for month–so far so good”, “got new top on car”, “Got first chapter of my new book “The Gay Pariahs” sold to The Advocate”, “sent out “Looks of Love” and “…And the Oscar goes to…” to the National Writers Club”, “bought tickets to see “A Chorus Line” at the new Broward Performing Arts Center after buying tickets for “Phantom of the Opera” which officially opens the Center”, so all in all things seemed to be going smoothly.

And then I went to work on March 4, 1991 and Corky’s had closed! Even with that life went on as I knew it with a few gestures from friends. Gary and Tim (who I can’t recall) took me to dinner at Catfish Dewey’s for my unbirthday and Shirley and Donnie, Michael’s mother and aunt, took me out to the Olive Garden, also for my unbirthday. Mike, his sister Nancy, aunt Donnie, mother Shirley and I went to Wings ‘n Things. On March 20 I went back to work at Wag’s and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I was writing a new book called, “The Whole Man” and the Wag’s crew and I started going out for dinner once a week at ‘better’ places. FB Bob, James, Joe, Herman and I went to see “Jerome Robbins’Broadway” and the next night we went to the Park Cafe and the Ann White Theatre.

The first note I see as trouble was June 28, 1991, “I am counting pennies. Cancelled American Express card and Showtime and I am not happy at Wag’s”. Knowing better, that one should have a job before quitting a current job, I quit Wag’s July 22, 1991. It would be a year later that I would go to a lawyer to get started on declaring bankruptcy.

It was this July 30 that our friend John, a married fireman, died of AIDS. The next month I got the worst job I ever had as a server and that was at Sizzler’s Steak House. An aside–it seems I had had sex with the manager of Sizzler’s many months before–that was the only bright side of that job, not that it helped. The following day the car top was ripped and the following week I was assigned to open a new Sizzler’s and I have a note in my diary, “I HAVE TO GET A NEW JOB!!!!” 

Looking at my diary now I can see how I started to go downhill, such as cashing Visa and Master Card checks that I was getting in the mail. I was working at a job I really disliked but of all the events that happened in the first 3 years of the 1990s it was facing the fact that I was losing a real good friend to that scrounge AIDS that started some major problems in my life.

Posted January 28, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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