April 26, 2011

Biding My Time Pointedly. Is That Possible?

While I'm waiting to hear from HSBC about my latest loan application I'm applying to full time jobs. I can't afford to have all my eggs in a broken wicker basket. I've come to terms with the possible derailment in my schedule. It's been a difficult transition. But one I should have anticipated and have since grown comfortable with having a less tangible, less immediate goal. So I'll have a full time job in the meantime and make sure Mike and I stay a little more solvent.

I can't help but feel like I'm holding us back from something. He insists that I'm not. That we're not just aimlessly moving through life. We have goals and since those goals are not totally in line with our peers it appears we're totally slacking or something equally inappropriate for a pair of soon-to-be-thirty-year-olds. I'm starting to reach that clarity. But it's been really hard for me to get there. I have this nasty, nasty habit of comparing my life to others'. Oh it's the worst. It's not healthy, not fun and causing irreparable self esteem problems. Time is proving to be generous in its help in this matter. Let's hope Time continues to be helpful in other, equally relevant matters.

April 18, 2011

Maybe It Was That Bad Afterall

So. Sooooo. The problem with the car wasn't just the master cylinder. It's also the transmission. Oh oh oh yeah. THE TRANSMISSION. It sucked when it was the clutch last year. But that's nothing compared to the transmission. With the master cylinder I freaked out. And yet I'm not freaking out about the transmission. It is what it is. Now we have to be without a car for another few days. Our friend offered to lend us her car again and we'll probably take her up on it. But ouch to our pocketbook. Our already empty pocketbook.

It wasn't so upsetting when we were actually without a car for two days. I took the bus to and from work like I always do (It was a little less pleasant because Saturdays don't have the best schedule.) and on Sunday we were able to walk to breakfast, a movie matinee and the grocery store. It was downright liberating. We were able to really take advantage of our neighborhood and all the wonderful things it offers within a mile. That was a Sunday. Starting Monday not having a car proves to be difficult. Especially when one person commutes to another state on a daily basis.

It's not worth getting a new car either like some would at this stage. This car is only seven years old and is in really good shape otherwise. I took really good care of it and always lived close to where I worked so I either didn't drive or drove short distances. I love this car. I want to drive this car until it falls irreparably apart. And it looks like that's exactly what we're doing.

April 12, 2011

What a Night

A month ago I had somehow convinced Mike to check out a band that he didn't really know all that well way out in Boston on a Thursday. And the show started at 9pm. He's a trooper. The concert was three bands with short sets. (You can tell your getting old when you're relieved at short concert sets on a weeknight. The show was so cheap that if the bands showed up and sang "Happy Birthday" we got our money's worth.) The bands were The Royal Bangs (we got there late and missed most of the set),

Group Love

and Foster the People

The show was great. I would most definetly see each of those bands again. Especially Foster the People. They put on one hell of a show. It really gave me the live music fix I'd needed. I was able to dance around and still be close to the bands. The space was awesome and though the show was sold out it was not overcrowded. It was also insanely easy to get to. Mike thought it was funny about how we're turned off by driving to New York to see a show but we had no problem about driving to Boston. The difference being how easy it proved to be to go this show in Boston versus a show in New York. I'd totally go to this venue again.

The night was awesome up until driving home. We left Boston at 12:30am and got to Albany at 3:00am. It would've been a fine drive if our car would shift. Every time we hit a toll plaza I thought I would break my arms trying to get the car in gear. It just wouldn't go. When I hit Albany I had to run through red lights because when I came to my first full stop the car stalled even though my foot was on the clutch. It was pretty freaky. Of course in my mind I'm like, "We're going to need to get ANOTHER clutch a year after getting the last one. The clutch is FALLING OUT of the car. All the fuel lines have COME UNDONE. OH MY GOD WE NEED A NEW CAR!"

After I googled some stuff it appeared that none of those things were truly the case. Turns out our master cylinder needed replacing. I could get the car in gear when the car was off so in order to get it to the shop I had to turn the car off at each red light, get it into first gear and then I could fandangle it into third gear. Thankfully the shop is a mile away and I didn't have to deal with that for too long. So the master cylinder is no biggie. But we don't know if any damage was done to the clutch. So. The car isn't dying and it will feel as good as new once we have it back. Thankfully Mike is on vacation this week and a co-worker is lending us her car while she's away. It worked out better than I was imagining it would.

April 2, 2011

Treading Water

I haven't have much luck with loans for the bookstore lately. It appears I just don't have enough capital. I don't know what my plan of attack should be. Should I take what I've raised, put it in a CD and get a full time job to save up? Or do I continue on the tiring schedule I have now- six day weeks working two full time jobs with a one-way hour commute to each and keep plugging away until I find a bank who will go out on a limb for me?  There are so many pros and cons to each scenario. The biggest con of either being I've been applying to full time jobs for six years with no luck- let alone a job that would pay me enough to save anything substantial. That's why I decided to create my own. I was tired of the rat race.

A friend says my frustration about the situation is because it's not happening on my time table. Part of that is true. But that isn't it. It's that I'm drowning in the heavy what ifs. What if someone else opens a store there? What if the only way a bank will finance me is if someone can put their house up for collateral for me? What if I don't find someone who will do that? What if I can't find a full time job? What if I can't find a full time job that pays enough to save? What if I hold off big life decisions, that affect more than me, to chase after something that might not even come to fruition? What if it just doesn't happen for me?

I really didn't think my personal investment would be the issue. I've heard so many different things about how much banks like to see. There's no industry standards. It doesn't help that the economy is literally a problem. Not too long ago my amount wouldn't have been a problem. The Small Business Administration guaranteed loans that didn't need guaranteeing and now they've tightened their requirements. A few months ago, maybe a year, I would've been guaranteed. Oh, the timing.

I'm not the most optimistic right now. I just can't get my head straight and find direction. There's really no one I can turn to with any guidance or answers. Once I can come up with a game plan I will feel better. In the meantime, I'm putting in one loan application with HSBC. They're a Small Business Administration preferred lender and they're willing to work with the Albany Chamber of Commerce, who could also lend me money. It was really nice to meet with them. They're very nice and it was one of the easier lending meetings I've had. Bankers tend not to make for colorful conversationalists. And the meeting made me feel better about being rejected by a lender that I thought would be one to lend me. I'm filling out the application and I'm reminded about how much I dislike filling out these applications.