Posts filed under: ‘Unfair Trade Practices‘




A SEASON OF FORGETTING…They do come…

Can’t believe this.  I had started a blog about something… can’t remember what… but evidently I failed to save it.  It is nowhere to be found among thes00120065-0000-0000-0000-000000000000_00000065-0763-0000-0000-000000000000_20121019160939_aae records of things that I have written.  Might be just as well…  I suppose…

Alas…   Nothing to do but to start another 1… and hopefully I will remember to save this 1.  Needless say that over time…these last few months I have gotten a little bit older.   So, though I had never done it before it is possible… that I just FORGOT.

Wow, don’t you hate that… when people start tying your forgetfulness to your age?

It can be annoying.  Like when you were young you never forgot anything.  I used to forget things all the time.  In fact, I had to make it a habit to go back into the house… to double-check if I had unplugged the iron almost all the time before leaving for work.  Or I would always turn back to look down at the lock… to make sure I had taken the key.   Now, don’t tell you have never done that one.

I recall 1 night while in kitchen cooking there was a knock on the door…   In fact, it happened to me at least twice but in 2 1000-awesome-things_keys-on-door_01different apartments that I had once lived in.  A neighbor knocked on my door to inform me that I had come in and forgotten my key.  Luckily, it happened at a time when you could still find people who were honest… and caring enough to knock and notify you.

l_2011-louis-vuittons-black-women-patent-leather-handbag-bd52 What else have I forgotten…

Well, once having to drop off some papers down at the Courthouse… I got all the way down there only to begin digging in my bag only to discover that I had forgotten the papers.

I have also gotten to the gas pump only to remember that I changed jackets leaving my card… and cash at home.

Now, what is my earliest remembrance of me forgetting something?

Well, I cannot remember.  But I do know this I have been forgetting things for a long time… and it didn’t just start when I celebrated my 60th birthday the other day.  So, if you must lay it something do not lay my lack of being able to retain things to mafrican_american_woman_snack_fruit_lady_appley age… simply say I have soooooo much on my mind.   Yes, I think I like that better.  Because truthfully that would be closer to the truth than anything else.

For all of my life I have been busy.  And busy people are subject to forget things from time to time.  Like how I lost my last blog… that I evidently forgot to save.  Or maybe I never partially wrote 1 in the first place.

Now, that would be something huh?

Like me thinking that I had done something which I had not.  Now, that I believe would be an age thing.  Because I can’t remember having ever done anything like that before.B

Could it be… I am getting old?

Oh, well…   I am informed that if you live long enough you too will grow old.  Then I want to see how much you remember.

If I fail to write anything between now and Christmas… let me say it now while I’m still thinking of  it : )…. Merry Christmas…

This case of the missing blog reminds of a dispute I had with 1 of my professors.  At the end of the semester the pro000032755fessor claimed I had not turned in an important essay assignment.  Come on now…  as you can tell I do nothing but write.  I love to write… and that paper was about writing on a subject giving my opinion.  Now, I really like writing things like that.  So, then why did that professor say she never got my paper?

It is a mystery to me.  As I had indeed given the woman my paper.  I never miss class assignments.  Well, not since I’ve gotten older.  You know how being young is… you are carefree.  So, when I was young years ago I was carefree in college… back in the ’70’s I did nothing but stay in the campus radio station.  Which might be why I never quite became that lawyer… but a professional radio announcer w_irma_bw_1972instead.

Well, everybody doesn’t get offers to go professional in their first year of college… but I did.  I never even thought about radio as a profession.  But I guess God did.  And it has carried me wide and far… and paid my bills for most of my adult life.

But going back to that professor.  Until this dispute over my missing grade… because you see she had give me the paper back with a grade of -A.  At that time I used to record the grades I got when my papers were handed back to me on my claessay-paperss syllabus.  I had recorded the grade… but I was later unable to locate the paper to prove it.

The professor, however, said that she had never in her life ever lost a student’s paper.  Which she really had not done… because she had returned the paper back to me.

However, if you have ever seen a teacher’s grading book you would understand how easy it is for an gradebk2instructor to mark your work but give your grade to someone else.  Because the names are all bunched up together.  And sitting over a bunch of exams all night and day you start seeing cross-eyed.  So, yes the woman probably gave my grade to some student whose name was near mine…either before it or after it.  But I never got the grade.  And I have never been able to find that paper.

But what was upsetting to me about the whole matter was the teacher’s attitude regarding it.  This class was 1 I had taken lead_soultrain-378x3547 years ago.  So, it was long after my carefree days.  At this point none of my classes were any real challenge to me imagementally or otherwise.  And I have never really been a dummie.

But the lady acted like she had never ever made an error in her life.  And that really got to me… because I knew she had.

Having been a teacher there is 1 thing I know… a teacher knows her students.  The teacher knows the slackers… and the 2ab-the-bishop-wifecoverstudents who study.  The teacher knows the student that struggle with the subject matter… those who half do the work… and those who breeze their way through it.  A teacher knows the good students from the bad ones.  But for some reason this teacher seemed to have a problem differentiating between the 2.  She didn’t know me at all.

I never missed a class… always participated… and turned in all my work… and on time.  So, why didn’t that lady know me?

Because she didn’t want to is the only reason I surmise.  And maybe to some degree I intimidated her.African-American-woman-working-in-an-office-via-Shutterstock-615x345

Though I was not 1 of those returning older students who took up class time talking about myself… or about how different things were from when I first started college… or ever talked about any of my life experiences or work expertise… or any vacations my husband and I once took…    Because well.. for (1) I never had a husband and… (2) I have sat in classes where older students took up a lot of class time talking about nothing… and that nothing did not even come close to anything dealing with our text… or the class discussion if there was one.

My work and expertise in the various fields I have worked overwhelms most people.  And because I have done so much…  Media Logomost people wouldn’t believe it anyway.

Then too I have always been 1 who believes that I don’t have to whip out my resume… and in my case resumes…  in order to prove anything.  A smart person need only listen to how I speak and what I say… and they will gather it for themselves.

So, there was a dispute because due to that paper which that professor did something with my grade other than having given it to me… she marked me dogradebookwn a whole grade for my class final grade.  While having to fail to inform me that a paper was ever supposedly missing.  It was not until I approached her to asked why I had not received a higher grade than the C+ she gave me… that the woman commenced to tell me about a paper I had not passed in.

Now, as I write this it sounds very shady doesn’t it?

Because I remember being in her class and hearing her reading from her grade book the names of students who owed her papers… and she never once called my name.  But this woman had also said at the beginning of the term that she was not going to accept any papers late.

You know what?christmas_snoopy

I’m glad that I have them in Court right now… because now that I think about maybe it was I who did not know her.

God bless… and I had already said…  I definitely hope you have a very Merry Merry Merry Christmas.  And do remember to be safe.

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends“pass it on…”  www.bsmith101.wordpress.com  ©2012


Add a comment December 13, 2012

Making the most of my day… Mothership and Parenting… Michelle O’ working soup kitchen line…

amr00813I must say…if I have to say so myself…that I am so proud of me today.  Oh…I mean this morning.  I do not know what time I got up but by the time I laid back down…it was only 7:57 AM. 

I got up and had my Cream of  Wheat.   And yes…I am still enjoying it.  I had me a cup of tea…and read my Bible and then laid back down.  A few minutes later…perhaps an hour later…I got up again.  I pulled out my bucket…got the scrub brush…and pulled out the cleaners and scrubbed down the kitchen again…then I hit the doors and wall in the small hall leading towards the bathroom.  I sprayed down and lightly scrubed down the bathroom…and left it bld06569413soaking. 

Wow…yeah….  I think I should be proud of myself…and it is not even noon yet.

There is something about getting up early.  You will get so much more done for some reason or another…if you get up and get started early.  There is just something about getting up early…there really is.  I do not know what…but that makes you work a little bit quicker and harder…and you just acheve more.  And now I feel so good.  And so…so proud of myself for taking care of my parent’s house in their absence.  For me having gotten up early today..and gotten started the very first thing this morning.

I have been busy working on building my website for the past couple of weeks…and the pages are coming along well.  I am really impressed with the pages that I have created thus far.  A few years ago I decided to begin taking some graphic arts classes. 

When I was in New York and started my own homebased business, an advertising agency, Queen Bee Multi-Media Advertising Agency.  I used to hire students from the campus right around the corner from my apartment…Pratt Institute, to do artwork for me.  Pratt has a very high reputation as a good art school…which I never knew at the time…but the students on that campus turned out some fantastic work for me.  I never went to see a client without feeling proud of our presentations which they had prepared under, of course, my direction.

I represented schools, furniture stores, boutiques, concert promoters etc…  There is little about advertising that I do not know about…having also a history in radio sales, media buying, telemarketing, product placement…etc…etc…etc…  But I had always had an artistic bug.

When I was a child, I had begged and begged my mother to buy me a home study art school course.  After begging for some time my mother finally broke pr2665112down and ordered it for me.  That home study art school cost $300…and my mother ordered it for me.  As much as I begged for it…I only did one lesson of that course.  

Eventually, I gave away one of the books…of which there had been 3.  They were very big and thick…in a large binder…bound in expensive red binding filled with my untouched drawing lessons…and I gave away one of the 3 large lesson books and never touched those books again.  Something that my mother had sacrificed to buy for me…and that I had begged and begged for it.   And I did nothing with it…short of giving it away…and back then $300 was an awful lot of money…that really had to have been a sacrifice.   But she did it for me.

I guess she always recognized that I had talent…that I was gifted.  Though she would have done no less for any of my other sisters or brothers…and did.  As we all had to take music lessons…and all had various interests.  She had bought us all our own instrutments which she had purchased for us one Christmas

I will never forget that Christmas…which was our musical Christmas.  My mother must have bought everything the music store had.  Whoever owned that music store must have loved her.  That Christmas morning when we awoke…we found a large electric keyboard, piano, drum set, guiatar & amp and accordian all up under our Christmas tree. 

Before the day was out I had mastered that keyboard and could play several songs on it.  The next day that keyboard was gone.  My mother replaced it was a real full size organ.  I think back on that now and believe that she did it…because it had posed no real challenge in order to learn.   Today both the piano and the organ are still here in the house with me…and nobody plays a note on them.  That is not to say that they cannot play them…they just do not bother to do so.

My father, who had a saxaphone, a ukalie and a trumpet…which you could hear him practicing on sometimes late at night…he made me play the accordian.  When he would come home from work…I would have to pull it out  after he ate dinner that is when he forced me to practice…night after night.  None of my sisters or brothers had to practice anything before him…but me.  And he always would fall asleep on me. 

The accordian which was under the Christmas tree was my 2nd accordian.  It was the bigger version of what they had already gotten for me before a year or so ago.  And I went out every week to accordian lessons for years. 

I hated the accordian.  I loathe pokas.  I wanted to play the piano…and in the beginning I had both piano and accordian lessons.  But daddy wanted me to play the accordian…and we never argued against my mother or my father’s wishes.  So, then my piano lessons were stopped.  

As I stated in an earlier blog…our piano teacher was also my mother’s voice instructor…a little white woman who used to pay a couple of visits per week to our home…Mrs. Marlow.   She was a very nice lady…and she knew her stuff.   We were fortunate to have her.   And that she didn’t mind coming to the home of black folks…though we lived well.  At that time my parents had bought their 2nd house.  This house had 15 rooms not including its full basement…and the house sat upon a hill overlooking the waterfront…with a long driveway leading in to our house.

I liked the house…but not as much as our other house.   But it was grand…and it was spacious…but it was far more for us to clean…and especially for me…being the oldest. 

Oh, man…the living room had windows all the way around so you could look across at the water no matter whether you stood or sat.  And it had a very big fireplace…where we used to roast marshmellows…as though we were at camp.   It was fun.  And that house also had a raspberry tree growing in front of it, with a big lawn and all these beautiful trees with branchs swirling within it that yielded beautiful blossoms in the spring and summer.  

I liked it…but it was a lot of work that house…and none of my sisters or brothers had to do more of it than me.  I never held that against my parents though.  But I did against my sisters and brothers though.  They could never just drink from ‘one’ cup…or ‘one’ glass…I was washing dishes all day and night long.  I truly know how Cinderella felt.

My parents were hard working people…who always did things for as1063jemkl_1411other people…and were always doing  for us.    Their lives centered around us.  Which is why I regret never appreciating them as much as I should have. 

I appreciated them…in that I never once caused them any problems…(well…except for the time I thought I could drive…I will tell you about that in some other blog, I am sure).  I can’t say I may not have been a heartache…because I am sure that my being gay was not something hard for them to deal with…though they never once spoke about it.  I am sure they would be surprised that I am no longer in gay life.   But perhaps they had already known that at some point God was going to change my mind and my heart. 

But I never gave them as much as I should have.  Though they gave us the world…and everything else.  There was nothing new that came out that they didn’t buy…from dishwashers on.   As we became of age they bought us all cars.  And we were always going on trips. 

We went to the World Fair

Do you remember that?  

It was here in the states…in New York City that year.  Now, only the big globe of the world remains at that site as a reminder of that very huge event.  The location today is where they play the US Open.  

But we were going to this place and that place…by train mostly when we were smaller…as we grew and learned to drive…mostly by car…and on by plane.  They took us everywhere…and everything was a family thing. 

I guess they lived the life that people who work…live for.  To be able to buy whatever they wanted…when they wanted it…and to do as they wanted.  And then…to be able to educate and provide for their children…which they certainly did.   And they did it well…as well as, for their god children, neighborhood kids, church people…and those in need. 

My parents had 8 of us…and spared nothing…including correcting us when it was called for. 

Today, I think my mother would be proud to know that her $300 investment in me…really didn’t quite go wasted.   As I later taught art in high school…which is so funny that should have happened…but it did.  But I don’t think my mother saw any humor in my wasting her $300 the way I did…because I didn’t even try to pretend to do any of those lessons from that home art school once I got pass the 1st lesson. 

One day…I think I was asking her for something else and she flared up at me suddenly saying-

“You are too talented and that is why you will never do nothing.”

Which was the tail end of whatever else she had said…I cannot remember the first part of it.  But she was mad when she said it.  And I was quite young…but somehow that always stuck with me.  I don’t know if I quite understood what she meant…but I had somewhat of a clue.  That statement has made me look at everything I have ever done…or thought to do…and it governs the things I am now doing. 

Everything I have ever done is in media.  From that day…when my mother told me …‘that is why you will never do nothing’…I have sought to not  half learn anything…or half do anything…but to become proficient in everything I lay my hands to…no matter how long it takes me…or how many hours in a day or night.  But if I set out to do it…then to stick with it. 

I had to learn how spend the time learning to perfect things.  To not get up from anything that I am doing…becoming readily interested in other things…other gifts…practicing something else. 

I do not eat or drink when I am working on something.   Nor do I take lunch breaks…or go to the bathroom…nothing.  I am throughly engulfed. 

Someone, an ex-,  told me that I have tunnel vision.  Meaning whatever it is, at that point or moment of my life, that I decide that I am going to do…I become so emerged and engrossed in it.  So much so…that I only see it…think about it…and in some cases dream about it.   I eat…sleep…and drink thinking about only what I am doing…when I am working on something.  When I had my advertising business…which I still do…there have been many nights when a client’s project concept came to me in my sleep.

A wise elderly woman…my friend who passed this pass August…whom I have wrote about in a couple of these blogs…she told me that my habit of not eating or going to bathroom from morning into the very late hours of the evening was not a good thing.   She told me that I would ruin my stomach…if I continued that practice.  So, I have since been working on adjusting myself…my schedule and my body.  I would hate to cause myself any medical conditions that I could have avoided.  I had always found her wise in her counsel to me.

Yes, I was too talented…like my mother said.  I could do a lot of things…and still can.  And there is a trap to being able to do so.  Most people are good at just one thing.  So, they focus on that one thing.   But to be multi-talented or gifted…you have to struggle with balancing your gifts. 

I had to learn to direct all those gifts…or I would have become a ‘jack of all trades…and a master of none.’   

My mother saw that…and that is what caused her to flare up at me telling me what she did that day…and how she told it to me.   From that moment I began to focus upon everything I do…like these blogs which to date I have written nearly if not more…than a 130 of them since starting in mid to late June of last year.   So, if you have just started reading them…you have alot of catching up to do.  And you will have an exam in the morning…

I have always had to direct everything…just so I wouldn’t be all over the place.  Though I do not think I have quite been so successful at doing that…I have endeavored nonetheless.  But the most I can say…is that it has all been media related.  But thank God for my mother saying that to me…and at a time when I needed to hear it…or I would have never been aware of something that was so crucial for me to grasp…and to have graspped it early.

It did not prohibit me from being more or less talented.  But made me aware that I needed to channel those talents and not be flighty with them…but to engage them…focus them…and develop them to their highest levels.  So, through my years that is what I have been doing.  And from time to time…I find myself taking classes here or there…just like my mother.  

That is so funny…when I think of.  That I continue to take classes just like my mother…which is also something that I wrote about….in a blog or 2 prior to this one. 

So, a few years ago, I decided to take some graphic art classes.  The marketplace has changed so vastly with the influx of computers and software…everything is done totally differently today no matter what field you are in.  So, I began taking these classes…and when I take classes I invest many after hours outside of the class to master the thing. 

I do nothing without mastering it…and I invest the time to do exactly that…and the effort.  Which when I decided to learn video production… it required me lugging around tons of heavy and very bulky equipment.   It was not uncoummon to find me shouldering a 3/4″ video recorder deck, tripod, large light kit and large video camera trying to board a bus.  And people wonder why I have muscles now…(smile).   And I learned all that equipment…every piece of it…every cable connector…every cable…every kind of editing system, software etc…everything.

It was a joke then…people would see me coming and say-

“Here comes Spike Lee’s sister.”

They don’t laugh any more though.  No, not today…instead they ask about my film projects and what I’m getting ready to do next.  I am no longer a joke…but it did not come without struggle.  Hours upon hours of vested  time, training, exploring…learning what I was doing wrong and trying to trouble shoot on my own…and sitting there until I got it done.  Never looking for pay…but always looking to assist others so that I could learn more and sharpen my own skills.  But I did what it took…and I still do. 

Sometimes even in writing these blogs…I work on them straight for more than 6 or 10 hours…if not more…and it is usually more dependng upon what I am writing about…including searching for pictures…seeking out errors etc.  

A professional is what I am…but a perfectionist is what I seek to be.  

So, to date the classes I have taken in graphic arts are these…Photoshop, Quark and  Illustrator…and additional software I have learned is FinalCut, Adobe Primere, Director, Flash,  Dreamweaver, Avid,  Fireworks…not to mention being able to write and read html…and having learned also all the latest stuff in radio studios.  Though I played a bit  with Freehand and at some point will try my hand at InDesign.  I love playing with this stuff…exploring the capabilities.

So, I am proud of myself  for having gotten up early this morning and gotten off to an early start with my cleaning.  I am proud that the website is coming along too.  And here is a preview , at the bottom of this blog, of something which I did this past week using the skills I have learned in graphic arts.  Those Pratt students can eat their hearts out now.   But those kids taught me a lot though…when they used to come for our conferences to discuss what my clients wanted.

Thank God for my mother and father…which is why I cannot understand that girl in Florida who killed her daughter and posted drawings of skeltons and other things symbolizing her acts.  Clearly, she was troubled.  But a guilty conscience will trouble you everytime.

There is something about mothers…real mothers…that when their child is missing nothing in this world can contain them.  They act in a certain way…they become obssessed…and there is no consoling itf02506711them.  They are overtaken by grief and concern…and they are not interested in anybody or anything other than finding their child.

Once my son got separated from me.  You will not know the sheer horror that ran all through me during that very brief span of time…but it seemed to me to be enternity.  I was terribly horrorified.  I was overcome and on verge of perhaps loosing my mind.  I had lost my child in a large crowd of people at an outdoor affair which was quite crowded.  One second he was right there with me and the next he was gone. 

I felt someone had stolen him.  And that was all I could think.  I did not know which way to turn.  People were all about me.  I thought to scream out…but suddenly I looked up and across the field.  It was as though a  path had opened up…and there was my son.  One of  our neighbors had found him somewhere in the midst of all those people…and was bringing him back to me.  

I dropped to my knees and embraced my son so hard…I know I must have been crying.   I was so relieved…so happy…so overjoyed that someone had found him…and that it was one of our neighbors.  I never experienced another moment like that…as I learned like every good mother who loves her child or children…how to keep my eyes or hands on my child at all times. 

So, I certainly know the state that a real mother can fall into just believing her child is gone.  She begins grieving immediately…because she will only think of the worst scenario.

That is what I thought about the Susan Smith case.  The mother down in South Carolina…or somewhere south…that said that some black man had leaped into her car while she was stopped at a stop light.  She said that he had stolen her car and drove off with her 2 small children in the back seat.  I do not think that many people had to think twice about that story…but it was her actions following the supposed incident which gave her away.  And likewise…were the actions of this young woman in Florida.  She was out partying and having a good time.  

http://news.aol.com/article/caylee-anthony-documents/373178

When I thought of this young woman’s actions following the supposed disappearance of her 2 year old daughter…it made me think of that teenager who was at the prom and gave birth to her baby in a bathroom stall.  And how she had walked off and left the bady there in that stall.  She had returned to prom dance floor…and continued to dance and enjoy herself as if nothing had happened.  For which she only got 2 years…or something…might have been counselling.

I understand denial.  I understand that mothership may be difficult for many.  But what I do not understand is when someone…a mother…or who be it…commits such acts as these young women against innocence.  I cannot understand it.   I just can’t…I just can’t…   There are so many other options.

Parenting is a process…but some people they are just not equipped or mature enough to handle the responsibilities that it brings.  This is the reason…that I know that young kids should never be bearing children.  Everybody deserves to enjoy their youth…and have a time to grow up before taking on the task of motherhood and fatherhood way beyond the grade school level…and many times even beyond college.  I was 48 years old before I realized that I had become a woman…and that I needed to grow up and start acting like one.  Truthfully.

Not  to say…that I did not mother my child.  Oh, no…  I was at doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment…sitting in the back of  of my son’s classes when I had to…at every open house almost…and when I wasn’t my mother was.  You have to stay on top of your children (just a frame of speech…not literally)…and certainly not in a bad way.  But you have be conscious of them…what they are doing…who they are with…caring of them…and for them.   And you should never feel that they are an inconvenience to you…and k010882811certainly never give them to feel that.  

Therein lays the problem for the 3 young women whom I mentioned above.  They felt that they could just rid themselves of their unwanted burdens by doing away with them.  How sad for their children.  How very very very sad……..  Sad.

I was checking through my blogs today…I watch to see what people are reading and who has linked up with me etc…  I came upon this link in which the blogger found fault with a person who was standing in a soup kitchen line…and that person having a cell phone.  The blogger felt outraged because the person was supposed to be down and out…yet he had a cell phone.

I found that to be as selfish…as a time I was waiting in the grocery checkout line.  I never pay attention to what other people are b1462611buying…but this person near me…I believe she was just ahead of me but after the person who was checking out.  I overheard her saying-

“Did you see that?  She’s buying shrimps with foodstamps.  And do you see her pocketbook?  Honestly, buying shrimps on our money.”

Overhearing that, my curiosity was pricked…so I leaned a bit and saw that the woman had a Louis Vuitton handbag…a very nice and big one…and very nice expensive coat.  These are things I also never pay attention to.  What do I care about what people have on…as long as they have on clothes…or what type of pocketbook or handbag they have?  

It doesn’t make a difference to me.  

But I thought it a bit aburd of that the woman making the comment…that she was upset about the shrimps being purchased with the government supplied foodstamps.

Now, how stupid is that?

Even if she had gotten upset over the woman’s handbag…that would have been stupid too.

But she got upset…as if  poor people can’t…or should not be allowed to eat shrimp.  And that is not to say that that woman was poor…as none of us standing in that line knew her circumstances.  But to question what people can or cannot eat depending upon what is or is not our preceived notion of them and as to their place or circumstances in life is absolutely foolish. 

Why should that woman in that line…or anyone else in that line…or the whole store, for that matter…care whether or not that woman paid for those shrimps with her foodstamps?

Or whether or not she should eat shrimps or not?

She can eat whatever she wants.  And she had legal tender by which to purchase it.

Perhaps, it is just me.   Maybe, I’m the one obssessing.   Could be…

But I think that some people concern themselves with so many things that really…that they have no right to be thinking about.  As it is simply not their concern…or any of their business…nor their place to assess who can eat or cannot eat whatever. 

Just how dumb is that? 

But that is how I felt about that blog about a supposed poor person standing in a soup kitchen line taking a picture with his cell phone.   And here is that picture…3333560608_160d52c0ab_o11

Yeah, he was standing in a line that Michelle Obama, First Lady Obama, was assisting in at a shelter kitchen feeding needy people in Washington, DC…which I believe she does every Friday.  I imagine a bunch of people were taking her picture including the camera crew that got these shots.  If I was there…I would have taken her picture.  And then asked her-

“Can we get one together?”6a00d83451b46269e201127937de1828a4-800wi12

And whoever wrote that blog probably would have done the same thing. 

How many times do you come face to face with the President of the United States…or his wife?

“Better start snapping, baby.”

But why should anyone feel that other people…black… checkered….green…poor… or otherwise are not entitled to have certain things?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/05/at_miriams_kitchen_michelle_ob.html

That really seems stupid and quite selfish to me…and certanly demeaning.

It is the way I feel when I hear someone say-

“Well, if they couldn’t afford the mortgage they shouldn’t have bought the house.”

 And I have heard this more than a few times…particularly following the last bailout of the banks on Wall Street. 

Did not your parents struggle?

Don\’t we all struggle to pay off stuff?

Most people do.  And they are not wrong to do it.

I believe that everyone wishes they had the money to buy and pay for everything that they want…when they want it…or need it.  But that is not how life is. 

The unfortunate thing about it…is that no one knows what tomorrow will bring.  And we are all looking towards tomorrow. 

When I looked upon house after house..and business after business boarded up in Detroit…I know that those people had been looking towards tomorrow.  But none of them realized that when tomorrow came it would mean that jobs would be cut back.  They did not see that the company they worked for…that their father and grand father had worked before them…that they would be downsizing or laying them off.  Or as they call it now…’re-organizing.’

Who thinks like that? 

 The wrong does not lay with them…most of the people who find themselves in foreclosure…it lays with the mortgage companies which preyed upon people with over inflated interest rates…red lining, offering higher rates to certain people…higher closing costs…a bunch of double talk and small print…with high late payment penalties…and absorbent legal costs which they love attaching to their costs.

I don’t know if any of you have ever had anything repossessed.  But once they repossess your vehicle or house or whatever…the company then comes back at you to extract the money even though they repossessed and sold off whatever it was…and they leave it sitting on your credit reports for years upon years hindering you from getting anything else.   This clearly is double dipping…and these companies…none of them should be allowed to do that. 

Once they have repossess the object…and they have sold it off that should settle the debt.  But no…they come back after you.  And not for the debt minus whatever they got for it…but the entire debt plus all other costs. 

A friend of mine who worked for Greyhound buslines once told me how she had been sold a faulty vehicle.  She said it was a real lemon from the day she pulled it off the dealer lot.  So, she returned the vehicle several times to the dealership who in turn never did anything fix the problem. 

Finally, she became tired of trying to deal with the auto dealer…and just returned back to the car to the dealership where she had bought it.  She said that she drove right up on the lot in the middle of the day and left it there.   She stopped making payments on it…telling them as she left the lot that they could keep their car. 

Years later, however, she noticed that her pay was being garnished…it was the dealership.  They had kept the car but now they were forcing her company to withdraw payments from her pay check in order to pay them for a car which she had given back to them.  And at this point…she just folded her hands and gave up.  She let the company take her money…because she felt that it was a hopeless situation.  

There is something seriously wrong with the system that allows companies to use these kind of tricks to get over on and rob people.  Companies like that dealership abuse…exploit and use the system…to their benefit…a company that knowingly sold her automobile which was not in sound operating condition…and they knew it.

I had asked her if she hadn’t gotten the notice to go to court?   And she told me that she had not.  Without going into court to defend yourself…as I have stated in another blog…the other side wins automatically.  If summoned to go to court…go.  It is scary…yes, but go.

The most that can happen is that the judge won’t decide in your favor. 

There is always a case that you may not receive the  summon…if they have it sent to another address.   These are games that people play.   It is the game that CitiMortgage played against my parent’s property.   But they had not counted on the fact that I knew…by the grace of God…to go into court and file my own complaint against them…to stop the auction…and have since gotten that mortgage nullified and made void.  And believe me when I said…by the shear grace and mercy of God.  That is how it was done.

In closing let me just say…

“Stay away from bad deals.”

If you are interested in something…or getting ready to sign a contract for the purchase of  something and that contract is not in your favor…do not sign it.  Do not go into a deal…or debt…in any type of an agreement in which you are not at least a partial winner.  Or at the very least…where the pain is not so great. 

Sometime, we have all had to swallow a little pain…until we can fix things…like our credit.  But yet beware of the sharks…stay away from them.

In the claim I had to file against CitiMortgage…they claimed that my father had taken a loan against the house for some $27,000 at a 16.20%  interest rate.  This total agreement netted CitiMortgage over $60,000 in interest money…making the total contract for over $97,000 worth of debt against my parent’s house. 

My father would have never made an agreement like that.  And the other part of it is…he wasn’t much of a borrower.  Didn’t have any charge cards or anything like that…because he earned money to pay for what he wanted.  And that is what he did.

Nobody in there right mind would have signed a deal like that.  The company was making 3 times as such as it was giving out…that is robbery no matter how bad your credit may or may not be.  And my father did not have bad credit.  

I knew that document was a forgery even before I saw the signature upon.  So, I took the case to court…claiming that they had preyed upon my father, if indeed he had signed it.  At the time that contract was supposedly sign my father had been diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s which would have rendered him as being legally incompetent to enter any type of legal or binding agreement.  Plus my father had several bank accounts and definitely had at least one which had more money than that in it.   So, I sued…of which I wrote about in a prior blog also.

I continue to pray for you and whatever situation or condition you are facing.  Be encouraged.   And stay away from bad deals.

Well, my little siesta is over…it is time for me to go back to work.   Actually, it ended hours ago.  

I have to finish scrubbing down the bathroom.  And I am getting a bit hungry now too.   But enjoy your weekend.  

I just finished looking out and it looks like snow…again.  But it is bld04609212warm on the inside.  Though it might be that I am running a slight fever.  Been fighting off a dry cough for the past few days…but I am winning.  Well…some times…I think.

Maybe, I will just finish the bathroom…take a shower and crawl back into bed…and forget about mopping the floors tonight.  It’s late now.

Well…God bless…

Oh…yes, here is a taste of what the website will look like.  Now, you book-presentation-design-3a2-21tell me whether or not if  you think some of those classes that I have taken are starting to pay off? 

Thank goodness for a mother who was not afraid to speak truth into the life of her child.

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on “  www.bsmith101.wordpress.com  ©2009

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4 comments March 8, 2009

Court issues…Family dilemma… praising the Lord

Sometimes I just become so overjoyed that I can’t keep it to myself.  And this is one of those times.  I am suppose to be working on launching my website…which should be up this week.  But I just couldn’t not before writing this blog…to tell you just how good God is to me.

I know that many many many people are currently facing foreclosure and until I started taking care of my parent’s property it really never mattered much to me.  But following the passing of my father the 2 mortgage companies which had mortgages against our property put us into foreclosure.  But not being on the mortgages the companies refused to tell me anything…and I was the only out of my 7 other siblings who felt our parent’s property was worth fighting for and eventually paying off. 

But because my name is not on the loans for the mortgage (which of course it would not be…since the house belonged to my parents and it was their loan).  So, the mortgage companies legally did not have to give me any information regarding my parent’s account…and for the most part that is what they did.  They refused to share any information on their account with me…even though they knew that my parents were now both deceased.  And the kind of information I wanted was a copy of the payment history of the entire loan and all other information concerning it…the whole history of mortgages.

Finally, CitiMortgage, one of the mortgage companies…the one with the highest balance and most difficult company to deal with…they sent me a copy of my parent’s mortgage.   After going over the documents it showed that supposedly that mortgage had been refinanced in 1999.  But my father by that time had been diagnosed 67807211as having Alzheimer’s.  Besides his left hand shook badly…which meant that his signature would have been severely affected when he wrote.  But that copy of the supposed mortgage refinanced by him showed no signs of a wobbly hand.  And even if it had my father’s mental capacity being what it supposedly was at the time…he was not legally competent to enter into any such contractual agreement.

So, I filed papers disputing the foreclosure by CitiMortgage against my parent’s property based upon it being a false document…and as being such CitiMortgage’s foreclosure was being based upon a fraudulent document which would nullify that contract and halt their foreclosure based on the amount outstanding due to that document.

Well, after I don’t know how many months…and after receiving information from CitiFinancial that they were in possession of my parent’s property.  I went back to u190337411court.  Because CitiMortgage/CitiFinancial had failed to answer my complaint against them.  So, I entered a default against them.  Today, I received my notification that my default had been granted.

I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am.  Through the grace and mercy of God…I had won.  This decision totally knocks out a mortgage which added over  a hundred thousand additional dollars onto my parent’s prior loan. 

I knew in my heart that my father would have never placed an additional $100,000 of debt upon our property.  That money was supposedly against a loan of nearly $30,000 at an interest rate of over $60,000 making CitiMortgage a mighty big winner in that contract.   My father would have never done…and particularly since he had already had more money than the alleged near $30,000 the loan approved for…as he had more than that already in at least one of his several bank accounts.  So, I went into court Pro-se as a heir to the estate of my father…and went to fight.  But God fought that battle for me.  And I cannot thank Him enough.

I wrote this blog because I know that many people are going through much of the same.  It is very difficult trying to go to bed night after night…and not know whether or not tomorrow you will be deposed and kicked out into the streets…because some bank or mortgage company took over your home.

One of the biggest frauds going…happens when people in mortgage companies find out that there is a dispute among family members following the death of someone of whom they hold a loan against their property.  This opens the door for all kinds of things to happen if the people or a person within the mortgage company is a distrustful crook…that might shock some.   But it is very true…and not just with mortgage companies but lawyers also…anyone sitting in a position they see where they can take advantage of. 

Anybody sitting in a position who can take advantage of  such a situation many times does.  Because they seize upon the family members lack of communication with one another and their inner turmoils and conflicts to keep the family members too busy at each other’s throat…and it allows the cheats the freedom to do whatever they will.   It is for this reason that I asked to see the complete history of my parent’s mortgage from the initial mortgage on.  For which I never got because they refused to release to me.  Nor did any notices of court dates come to house regarding the foreclosure hearings. 

By not getting those notices…the notices regarding the foreclosure hearings…I could not appear in court to defend my parent’s property.  And since none of my other siblings cared…they didn’t go either.  This meant that that by default the mortgage company won their foreclosure because nobody showed up on our side of the table…or who represented us in court.

I tell people all the time…the worst thing you can do in a court case…is not show up.  By failing to show up the other side automatically wins.  Give yourself a fighting chance.  Show up and tell the judge your side of the story…you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  It could make a difference.

If you have been reading these blogs then you also know that I had entered a case in the Appellate Court

Perhaps you are familiar with this…and are guilty of the same.  Though I must say as a rule I am not a procrastinator…but for a couple of weeks I had been walking around with the letter from the Appellate Court unopened.  I get tons of mail…and there are some pieces that I put off opening simply because I don’t want to think about it…and I am afraid of what it might be informing me of.  This was the case regarding my default notification from the court and this letter from the Appellate Court…both of which I finally decided I couldn’t put it off any longer.   So, I opened them up this morning.

It turned out I had been dreading good news from both courts.  The notice I got from the Appellate Court was to inform me that I would not have argue orally our case before the judges.  Though I had requested to do so…I really didn’t want to do it.  But from where I stand nobody can better present my case than me…and particularly since when my son had gotten a lawyer…the lawyer told him to settle for $1,800.   Our car had been totaled, my son suffered back injury (which still plagues him today)…and on top of that the repairs that the insurer of the other vehicle (the one that caused the accident) authorized were not sufficient considering the amount damage sustained to our vehicle. 

So, I filed the papers myself…when you do this it is called “Pro-Se.”  But it was not because of any of the reasons I have already listed that drove me to file suit.  No, I filed because they had returned to my son a faulty automobile which could have killed him…and they didn’t care.  The car shook…the bumper would fall off while he was driving…and at the time of the accident my son was away at college in a town which had no public transportation…not even cab service…which is why I had to buy him a car in the first place.

So, I filed suit in conjunction with my son against Allstate Insurance.  And today I heard from the Appellate Court…because if you recall, also in a prior blog, I explained how my son had really won the case…but how the whole thing had been a set-up and ended up in front of a judge who was friendly with the other side.  Don’t act shock to hear this…it happens everyday…watch LAW & ORDER.  It is regular practice for lawyers to call the clerk’s office to find out which judge is in what court and when. And try to schedule their hearing before judges who are very lenient or favorable to them.

Had we lost our case in court fairly…I would have accepted that decision.  But I could not knowing that we had not been unjustly treated and all our evidence and testimonies had been overlooked.  So, I filed a Notice of Appeal…and to the Appeals Court we were a going. 

One of the most involved documents I have ever had to put together was the legal brief that was required of the Appeals Courts.  It was over 100 pages in length and required many hours of research in a local law library and several days of typing…but I did it.  By the time our case finally got heard…following all the hearings for the various pre-hearing court dates for…Motions to be entered…and Mediation…etc..and all our travelling back and forth…many times when we barely had the money to go and come back.  But we did it any ways by faith…over 900 miles each time.

Now, the notice from the Appeals Court today informed me that we would not have to present our case orally before the Appellate Court.  I had covered everything so completely in that brief…and in great detail…including the court transcript to back up my statements.  I am so happy that we do not have to go down and stand before them.  Standing before several judges dressed in black robes…would have been a bit un-nerving for me.  But if I had to…I would have done it.  I had prepared myself to do it.  Because from the on-set…I had not filed the papers to lose our court case.  And I always knew it was just a matter of how much…because we had all the documentations, receipts, invoices, pictures etc. to prove our case.  Many times in court just having truth on yourself is not enough…you must have hard evidence…and we had both truth and hard evidence.  Then they next thing is to be capable of delivering that evidence before in a logical and as near legal manner as you can master.

I tell you this…because I do believe that if more people sued for wrongs and injustices…maybe some of us others would not have to.  We live in an area where they want to make you feel guilty for having to sue.  But believe me…many times a law suit is necessary to resolve many matters.  The problem is most lawyers won’t take any cases that they believe they won’t make any money on…or that may tie them up for too long.  This leaves those who can’t go into court for themselves with no choice but to drop the matter.  And even I have had to decide whether or not something was a battle to fight or not. 

I have not sued everybody…though my son and most of friends believe I have.  But I have not.  Some of them I have left for God to deal with.  He can do things to them that I cannot.

This reminds me of a time when I was in grade school.  While in the cafeteria one day just as I was about to sit down…this girl took her foot and snatched the stool from up under me.  I fell flat…and everybody laughed at me. 

I was so mad that I began praying to God to do something to the girl.  And a couple of years later I realized he had.  The girl is very unattractive…and I have always thought God did that to her because of me.  Truly, I have.  From that point on I have never prayed to God to take care of anybody else for me.  I thought His punishment to her was a bit too harsh. 

So, for the cases I decided not to pursue…I have just left it up to His discretion if He wants to do something about it or not.  The Bible says…He rights every wrong.

But I will keep you posted on the Appellate Court decision. 

The reason behind this blog is to encourage those of you who are facing foreclosure…or any other problem…legal or otherwise.  Do not give up.  Go back through your paperwork…there may be something in it which can turn your situation around.  You may find a loop hole…lawyers use them all the time.  But if they can so can you.

Always remember that God has the final word in all situations.  And that He is faithful.

My parent’s property is still in foreclosure but now all the  money paid on the property from the date of that refinance date that I disputed to present will have to be reverted to the old mortgage…and with interest. 

The Bible is true…God is bcp045-5311always working it out for our good.  I am just so happy.

God is good.  And I am so happy that he is a friend of mind.

It is still Black History MonthIda B. WellsW.B. DeBoisBillie HolidayBillie Holiday Picture GalleryMarion Anderson...Sweet Honey in the Rock

Billie Holiday Picture GalleryImage, Source: digital file from original neg.Image, Source: b&w film copy neg.http://mirroronamerica.blogspot.com/2009_02_01_archive.html

As I have said in my other Black History Month posts…the reason I have not given you any information on the people that I list is so that you will be motivated to research who they are.  This will prove to far more helpful to you…and to your ability to remember their accomplishments.

Well, God bless…

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009




1 comment February 24, 2009

Water problems… Foreclosure…

It is freeeeeeezing. 

I have been up half the morning trying to get the oven to light up.  And finally it got started…but then I went to turn on the faucet and nothing came out.

Oh, nooooooo!

The pipes can’t be frozen…I left the water running all through the night.  I only turned it off at about 9 something this morning.  I rushed to the bathroom…the hot water was running but the cold water….

I started praying.  

There was no way I could stay in my parent’s house without water.  Then I thought maybe the water had been turned off…and the only reason the hot water was running was because it was what had been left the hot water tank. 

But I kept praying…and trying the cold water faucets.

And finally the cold water started running a little tiny bit…then a little bit more…and finally it gushed through.  I had come so close to the water pipes freezing.   So, bright me…I went upstairs to the vacant apartment upstairs which has been vacant since one of my sisters moved out a couple years ago.  I went up to check the water upstairs…the kitchen and the tub faucets worked…but there was no oemen0341water in the toilet and the basin faucets didn’t work. 

So, I left the 2 faucets that worked running a little…only to be walking downstairs and hear what sounded like water dropping in the basement.  And that is exactly what it was…water was running out of a pipe. 

And all I could think about was how was I going to pay for this?

First, the furance and now this.

And then on top of everything else…I had gotten a letter last week from the lawyer of the mortgage company saying-

“We’re in possession of the property.”

Could it get any worst.  But I am a believer…my faith and trust is in God.

I had already gotten an injunction against the mortgage company and had filed a complaint against them…Citifinancial or CitiMortgage as they call themselves are crooks.  The unfortunate thing is that many people do not know how to go into court and file their own complaints against these companies.  If they could some of these companies would think twice about some of their practices and their treatment of people.

But I will not complain.  As cold as it is…it is still not as cold as it was in this house last winter when the gas had been shut off.   Without gas…there was no hot water in the house.    So, I can bare this…as long as I have hot water.  But now this water problem…that could be questionable.  

But I am believing and trusting in the Lord.

I used to go to auctions…and still do.   But I no longer seek out distressed property.  Because I now realize who the people were who were distressed before that property became distressed.  If people stopped going out to bid on auction property many of these mortgage companies would work harder with people to keep their 284533sdc1property from going into foreclosure.

So, no…now I no longer go to view or bid on distressed property where people were forced out of the property and cast out into the street.   No, I do not want any property like that.  And I am determined to fight for my parent’s property.

I know that there is nothing free.  Bills do have to be paid.  And I understand extenuating circumstances…and many times there are extenuating circumstances behind why people fall behind in their debts.  Everybody is not trying to get something for nothing.  And not everybody is trying to take advantage.  But many people have this attitude about everyone in foreclosure…and it is just not so.

Whatever your circumstances I pray that God opens a door and pours relief into your situation.  There is nothing worst than worrying over something that you have already put into your mind that you are on the loosing end of.  I serve a mighty God…you should try Him.   He was the one…not me who  got that injunction against CitiMortgage…and it was an unbelievable situation.  The lawyers never showed up. 

The judge then sent me out and had me to have them re-summon to court a second time.  And the 2nd time the lawyers failed to show up again.   I know it was God.   I have never been in court where the lawyers didn’t show up.  Lawyers, of course, get paid to appear in court for their clients…but they did not on these 2 occasions…and they probably still got paid.   But I got the injunction…and I have no reason to believe that God did that just so that later on I would loose my parent’s house.  

No, I do not.  I don’t think so.

Be encouraged.

I can’t believe the pipes upstairs are burst.  It never dawn on me to go upstairs and turn on the water up there to keep those pipes from bursting too.   And I would not have realized that the pipes had started to freeze if I had not gone to fill back up the pots I have been boiling on the stove with water…with the hope of aiding in keeping the kitchen to stay somewhat warm.  If  it hadn’t been for that…man…   Thank the Lord.

I don’t care about the pipes upstairs right now…just as long as the pipes down here are not affected.  It just means one more thing I will have to get fixed later.  But first things first…and that is…get my parent’s property totally out of foreclosure first…and settle all the legal matters that need to be settled on this property.

It is soooooo cold.  

I have not been keeping up with the weather…because who wants to 261si_ap0010n0011sit up in a cold house watching television?

But I was just sitting up trying to type this…and my baby toe on my left foot started freezing.  It has to be terribly cold outside.   And if you know anything about a cold house…it is always colder inside than it is outside.

Once, Iwent to visit someone…I can’t remember for what but I think it was during a time when I was doing door-to-door sales.  The woman answered the door…both she and her husband were wearing coats inside the house and I could tell why.  Their house…or apartment…whatever it was was freeeezzzzing.  And I really couldn’t see at the time how they could bear it.  But I understand now…you do what you got to do when you have to do it.   And you do it when you can’t do any better.

God bless…

Boy, what I wouldn’t do to be cuddled up in front of a big beautiful warm cabin fire…right about right now.   That day is coming.  But for now…I am happy to be here…on and in my parent’s property…just keeping watch over it. 

But I will tell you one thing…living in an apartment…and trying to maintain property are 2 different things.  Having for the most part grown up in this house until my parents decided to purchase a second house…one that was bigger by at lease 9 additional rooms and sat on a hill overlooking water.   But my father did everything.

I could not imagine marrying a man who couldn’t do anything. 

Daddy was the plumber…the electrician…dry-waller…painter…wall paper hanger…automobile mechanic….bike fixer…    Daddy was eveything…including a great cook, great  Kool Aide, lemonade and ice tea  maker…ice cream maker…gardener…   Wow, there was  nothing that daddy couldn’t do.

I obld0484751nly wished I had recognized it before…I might have bought him less neck ties and socks…and more of  more expensive things.  He truly was worth it…and so much more.

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends… “pass it on” www.bsmith101.wordpress.com ©2009 

1 comment January 17, 2009

Self-Publishing woes…

Well, it is about 4 o’clock and I was suppose to go to the bank today.   Guess I won’t have much money for the long weekend.  I’m trying not to use my bank card too much…because frankly I can never trust my balance when I do.  I did a transaction for a couple of thousand with my card…but later there was a disbute between me and the company.  At the end when I just couldn’t take it any more…and yes, I’m talking Xulon Printing…after one obstacle after another…I finally said enough is enoug and-

“Give me all my money back.”

I think that they were kind of tired of me anyway…but I never complained without good reason.  I do not like any company who feels they have you over a wheel barrel just because they have already gotten paid.  Perhaps you have experienced a simular situation.  But when you have paid $2000 plus dollars…even tolerance for the sake of just getting it done soon will fall by the wayside if the company is flagrant in their dealings.  And that is just how Xulon is…flagrant in their dealings.

Believe when I tell you-

“They only want your money.”

“It’s all a game.”

What else do you want to hear…because I could tell you a lot more.

So, I recently went over the internet to check my bank account balance after giving them the axe last Friday…and yes…they have yet to reimburse me any part of my $2000 plus.  But from the on-set I did realize that they would want to keep as much of my money as they could on  their side of the table. 

In fact, Xulon is only going to reimburse my bank account some $300…but I knew from early in the game…and had realized that I was probably going to have to go down to Florida and sue them…and that is not so bad since they are located near Orlando.  But based upon the facts…I am entitled to every dime of my money back…as Xulon failed to fairly meet any part of our contract.  And the kicker in the whole thing was as they not only wanted to rob me…but wanted me to say it was okay to rob me by having me sign off on our contract.  They wanted to rewrite our contract by getting me to sign off on an email that they had sent me.  

To have signed off on that email would have meant…had I signed…that I would have been writing away any chance of every later taking legal action against them.

I really was not born yesterday…but I think Xulon thought so.

If I had signed off on that email…they could have also printed up my book any way they pleased and just thrown it at me.  Because in essence really that was what they were trying to get me to sign off against. 

Since Xulon had failed to provide me with an original cover…as the cover they sent me to approve was actual a cover they had used for a  prior author’s book…yet they charged that design against my funds.  I had also paid for rush service which was to take about 45 days…what a rip-off that was.  That was way back in March and my book to this date had not even gotten into the print room…due to one hang up after another on Xulon’s part. 

Then they have this author’s site where you supposedly retrive your proofs and inter-office emails.  My access code…provided to me by Xulon never worked.  When I informed them that it did not…I was told they had thousands of other authors and none of them had any problems with their’s.  So, I could not use that service…for which they charged against my money…I am sure.   After going over the Galley twice…upon which the last time I thought this time it was really going to go to print finally…but this is when they held up the printing…yet again…and told me that if I didn’t sign off on that email that they had sent me they would not print my book until I did.

So, I sent Xulon an email concerning several issues…(1) since Xulon did not want to reimburse me my rush fee money ($299)…a service they never provided me…I told them I wanted 30 books instead of the contracted 10 in exchange for my money.  Now, that is fair…as the charge to authors for their books printed by Xulon is $5…at $5 a piece I come nowhere near my $299.  But I felt I was entitled to something for my money…and I was not just going to let them rob me and me not try to get something out of the deal.

I also said I wanted my cover printed on quality glossy cover stock…really is that too much to ask for?    Besides, Xulon claimed that they did that anyways.

So, then why did they want me to sign off  on the printing of my book…if they already provided all of that?

Because I told them that if the printing of my book didn’t meet with the quality and expectations I had paid for…then I would not be satisified. 

And why should I?  

I had afer all paid them more than $2000 to do the job…for which they had breached every term and condition concerning the services that they claimed to provide.    Such things like…a professionaly designed original book cover.  Xulon even goes as far as asking you for your suggestions for the cover…of which they follow nothing.   I said put the title in thick bold fonts…not.  I said no people in the design…not.  I said something classy and ritzy…very not.

So…I said it in my very first blog…and I am going to say it again.  You will never know the type of company you are dealing with until you actually go into business with them.  Some people may fair well with a company…but that may not be your experience.   We weary of the sharks.

However, look out for my book, “THE BISHOP’S WIFE”…once I get it published…and it will be published.  I know you will enjoy it.  It is my second piece of fictional work…about woman in the mid-fifties who can’t put out of her mind a pass love though she marries a Bishop who is not what or who she expected him to be.

Oh, forgot to tell ya’ that Small Claims in Florida allows you to sue for up to $5000…that gives me plenty of money to fly down and soak up some sun too as I visit with relatives.  But I will be going down…and soon to get my money.

Check the comments below…someone commented that she had a similar experience with Xulon.  Where was anyone writing stuff like this so I could find it when I was trying make a decision on who to get self-published with.  It certainly would have been helpful.  

Currently, AUTHORHOUSE has my contract to publish my book.  I must say…I like them already.  They even create you a website as part of you deal for no additional money.   They have a legitmate contract…something that I never got from Xulon.  They have a payment plan…and their rates are nowhere’s near Xulon or some of the others depending upon what package you buy.  And if you use them…well, they have a referral plan as well.   I know…I know…shameless of me but I want every $100 I can get…I can help to finish paying off my publishing fee since Xulon ripped me for all of my money.   So, send me a comment if you decide to go with AUTHORHOUSE…so I can collect my referral fee.  And I am not kidding.

Had something else I wanted to say but it has fleed from me now.

The other reason I am trying not to use my bank card too much…is because of the current financial situation.  I have always been told –

“A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bushes.”

I know what I have and I intend to hold onto my money…what little I have after my $2000 Xulon investment…until I’m sure which way this thing is going.  With these banks threatening to cumble you really can’t be too sure about anything.  But since the gas prices are down…keep your tank filled.  Because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Enjoy your weekend.

God bless…  ‘pass it on…’    www.bsmith101.wordpress.com 

God bless…and thanks for reading  ©2008

3 comments October 10, 2008

Tired…

It is 2:30 in the morning and I am just now getting up.  I did a marathon yesterday…I stayed up all night without sleeping in order to push out some paperwork that I should have done long ago.  Have you ever had something you really needed to do but just could not bring yourself to get it done? 

Though I stayed up all night to do it…I never once touched what I was suppose to do until about 6 o’clock in the morning.  That’s how much I really didn’t want to do it…something that I should have gotten done back in May.  But as the legal clock was ticking, I could not afford to get out of this month, June, without at lease attempting…and I say that because I may have missed the deadline already.  But I just couldn’t drive myself to do it when I really should have…and I am usually not a procrastinator.

After one legal battle after another this year, 7 classes, 21 credits this past semester…and what seemed to me to be one controversy after another…I am tired. 

So, dealing with yet one more legal affair, which by all accounts should have been done away with last year…I just…I just did not want to do it. 

Call it frustration.  Call it laziness…call it whatever you want.  But I just did not want to do it. 

So, I stayed up all last night realizing that if it was going to get done…this was my absolute last chance to try and get it in. 

It had been a legal issue dating back to 2002, dealing with an automobile accident in which my son’s car was pretty much totaled while he was away at school…since which we had been back and forth to North Carolina in trying to get the matter resolved.  And since we had gone this far and to not see it through…  Well, I had to force myself.

What lawyers count on…is that you will give up…grow tired and concede.  They bank on it in fact.  So, they keep you tied up for years running back and forth. 

Most lawyers won’t even take a case that they don’t perceive is worth it (in time and/or money).  So, unless you have a little knowledge and possess some willingness to sit in law libraries doing a lot of reseaching…you are out in the cold.  You may have a case but no lawyer is willing to take it…because they don’t want to take the time or the frustration of handling a case which might get drawn out in court for years…of which there is not real money involved in it.  And then nobody wants to go up against the giants…because the giants have plenty of money and don’t mind trying to wear you down.

But sometimes you just have to go for it…for yourself.

This issue was one of those.  It involved my son’s life and wellness…and I could not let it go without a fight.  It was never about money…as we were entitled to money.  But the issue was they had endangered the life of my son knowingly.  And when nobody would take the case to represent my son fairly…I stepped in as a party to the case since I had purchase the vehicle and had been the one responsible for paying it off long after its demise.

Our giant was Allstate.  And though they sent out teams of lawyers against us…the facts bore us out.  We won.  And we had no lawyer representing us…and we made every court date though it was a 12 hour drive from our home…and there were over 10 court dates plus mediation, hearings for motion after motion…of which against all those lawyers…for the most part we still prevailed.

There is nothing like being blessed and highly favored.

But last year June was finally due to be our trial date.  And…BAM!  A surprise ruling just before seating the jurors.  I was removed from the case and told I was not a rightful party to the case.  Now my son was placed in a position of having to present our case. 

Now, understand this…I was the one who had filed the suit on “our” behaves.  My son had no involvement in the case other than being the person behind the wheel at the time of the accident…of which he clearly was not at fault.

As the judge was unwilling to hear my arguments as to why I should not be removed from my own case…and was unwilling to allow my son any time to prepare to move forward with our case….there was nothing that we could do. 

My son looked at me with a gleam in his eyes and whispered…”I can do it, ma.  Ma, I do it.”

I said, “____, this is not Judge Judy.”

And he said again, “Ma, I can do it.”

Well, even if he couldn’t…we had no other options in light of the Judge’s decision.

My son was amazing.

I could not believe it.

In all those various trips back and forth to that North Carolina courthouse, my son had never said one word in the courtroom…it had all been me.  Every argument, every document, every motion…everything having to do with our case including bringing the law suit had been me.  And there was my son in that courtroom, on a beautiful sunny day last June, going through jury selection like a champ, submitting evidence, questioning witnesses… like Perry Mason.  He was astounding.  I doubt that I could have done a better job.

And the best part was when he himself took the witness box and the Judge questioned him.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house…not one in the courtroom.  Even the other side…as they watch their case go out the window before them by a couple of amateurs 

My son was great. 

And I say that beyond being just a proud mother.  I never would have thought he would have been able to carry it off…but he more than carried it off.  He swept through it…and stole center stage doing it…like a pro.

With each time we had to gone back and forth into the courtroom…each time we came back a little bit better and more prepared than the last time.  So, by the time the case was finally bought to trial we were so up on it…in terms of big posters of the pictures of the car etc.  Even down to knowing what other cases had been brought against our defendants that were similar to points in our case. 

BUT.  There had been something that we had not been prepared for.

After the Judge dismissed the jurors telling them they would have to return to the court the following day to deliberate their verdict in the case…the judge turned to my son and asked him to “show damages.”

My son didn’t have a clue what the judge was asking him for.  And then the judge commence to dismiss our case.  Meaning that it was…it was all over. 

After all those years of preparing for our case and going back and forth to North Carolina…our case was now thrown out of court.

Therein lays my frustration…we had won.  There had been no rebuttal of our evidence from the other side.  No cross testimonies or witnesses to the contrary.  We, my son and I, had successfully crossed over the bridge to the other side.  So, then why now should I still be faced with having to generate yet more court documents concerning this case?

We had won.

But we had not been prepared for the other side to steal our win from us.  We had been set up…and it had all been a sham…the whole hearing…to an unforeseeable end.  That is what it was that they swung in our direction…a sham.

Lawyers look to see what judge is going to be in what courtroom…they look for judges who are favorable to them, who belong to their country club, whom they play golf with etc…etc…even in some cases may be related to.

Don’t let anybody tell you that justice is blind.  It is a lie.

Now, we are on our way to the Appellate Court.  I will keep you abreast.  But thank God…I finally got our paperwork together. 

I had intended to make the post office yesterday…but it wasn’t until after 3 in the afternoon on Saturday that I finally had everything printed out and copied.  By that time all the post offices here in our town were long closed. 

In New York City, at 34th and 8th Avenue the post office is always opened.  It never closes…except for on legal holidays…in fact it may not even close then.  Outside of that 24/7 that post office is always open…but not that way here.

So, I missed the post office and almost missed UPS.  Got there just seconds before they locked their doors.  Didn’t want to spend all that money…but had to get my documents to the court before this month was up.  And it still might be too late.

Sometimes you just got to get over your frustration and do what you gotta do no matter how you feel about it.

Easier said than done.

I will let you know how the Appellate Court goes.  Looking forward to our 4th…June certainly blew by…in fact this whole year.  July is beating at our door and soon it will be August and back to school…some more aggravation.  An issue I have to settle there…I had put that off too.  Sometimes you just don’t want to be bothered.  You would rather not face some things. 

I hate controversy.  I dislike having to deal with them.  But I guess as long as we live there will always be one controversy after another.  Some matter that you have to tend to…or contend with.

It is now 5 o’clock in the morning.  And I didn’t have anyone else to talk to.  Well, that is not quite true…that may have been the case once upon the time.  Or what I thought was true back then…but certainly not now.

And I think I am going to consult Him right now…and read a little. 

Planning on being in Detroit during our 4th…and I’m so happy I was able to get that document out to the Court of Appeals.   What a weight…

I was so tired by the time I got through with it…not to mention how I kept finding myself dozing off at the computer while typing it up…along with rushing so much just to get it done…over a 100 pages of text I had to generate…and as the court required it to be done.  So, I really had to push myself…luckily I had done all the legal reseach in advance.  Otherwise it would have been impossible to do in one night.  No, it was several days of culinated work.  

I am just so happy to be through with it.  So much so…that I never even checked any of it for errors.  One reason being… I could barely see anything anyways…as my eyes were so crossed by 3:40 yesterday afternoon from lack of sleep that it would have served no purpose for me to even try…because I could not see anything much less a bunch of errors on over a 100 pages of court documentations.  (Just a note…I finally, did check it a day later…and had to send a revised package to the court ASAP…and plead upon the court to accept the amended document.   You only get one crack at it…so, it has got to be your best shot…and the high court…as well as, any court is no joke.  Long before you walk through the door the judge…and in this  case the judges…have read and make all kinds of decisions based upon the points of arguments in your documentation)

On my way home after getting the package off…I was so tired I had to fight to stay awake at the wheel as I drove out to the airport to deliver my package to UPS.

I was so tired…that I even forgot to get the address to the courthouse where I was to send my package.   So, I had to end up calling information just to get the address…more time…more money.

So, no political commentary…no, not this morning.  Or any discussion on hot news topics…noooo, not today.   Because…I’m just toooooo tired.

And now…I’m too tired to even go any further with this blog.  I hope some of this made sense.  I am not going to even bother to read it.  As I can barely see…   goodnight…or maybe I should say good-morning.  Enjoy your Sunday. 

And…God bless

ps…well, I did go back over this.  And happy I did…though I had to almost put my nose to the screen of my computer in order to see… but I am just too vain to have posted this blog without first trying at least check it for errors.  Of which there were many.   Though I must admit…I made a lot of spelling errors and forgotten words here and there while writing these blogs. 

Since I am mentioning it…let me say sometimes to pays to mis-spell a thing or 2.  On the day I wrote my blog about those 17 girls and their pregnancy pact…I spelled pact with a “K”…it was also the way that many people spelled it as they searched for that story over the internet.  So, on that day due to my mis-spelling over 240 people found their way to this blog site.

Now, that is truly something.  And so wasn’t my son whom I love dearly.  He is just the best person.  And I say this often…and it is the truth.  He is a far better person than his mother.  And I should know.

Thanks for reading.  ©2008

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