It’s officially 3 months of unemployment now

Regardless of what happens with a handfull of prospective jobs this week, that I either interviewed with, or recruiters recommended me for, today is officially 3 months and counting of being unemployed. 🙁

We’ve had to pay for COBRA, Sirius covered us for the first two months as part of their severance package. But the COBRA administrator was supposed to have sent us an application packet for the Federal subsidy of COBRA and STILL hasn’t done it, almost a MONTH after it was announced – surely that’s enough time to work out all the details? Without that help, we won’t last that much longer, it takes a huge chunk of change out of our pocketbook, and with only one part time income, we have not got long at all before we start digging into the home equity loan we took out last year.

We got the utility subsidy from PSE&G a little while ago, it would have helped if it came in the middle of winter; but I’m thankful for it never the less. By the way, those ladies I drew a while ago for drawing practice, were waiting in line with me for that subsidy. That was 3 days of misery – the lines were so long, the building (a converted multi-family house in Newark) could not fit everyone in at the same time. So for about 4 hours each time, I had to wait in the bitter cold with 30 or so other people before we got to go inside.

Our bank (let’s just say it’s one of those being bailed out right now) is reviewing our application to prevent defaulting, we should know in a couple of days/maybe 2 weeks, if they can do anything short term, so we don’t have to worry about liquidity. One of the questions on the form says “why do you need assistance?” followed shortly by “How do you plan to continue payments if we help you?” I dunno, it seems like if you really need help the bank won’t help you (you’re going to default anyway), and if you CAN pay by digging in to savings, then that’s what they expect you to do (thereby crushing your life savings). We’ve asked if they can defer our payments until our income comes back up closer to previous levels. In other words, we’ll end up paying exactly the same amount, (perhaps with a little penalty), and it’ll take us a couple of extra months at the end of the 15 year mortgage to pay it off – it’s just REALLY difficult to pay off the mortgage now on top of living expenses, if they don’t help us.

I *just* finished doing our taxes, we had to get an EIN for the first time this year, because we’re filing electronically, and the Federal form requires it I guess. Pretty simple process to apply for and get an EIN for a sole proprietorship online at the IRS site.

I have to get more traffic to this site, I’ve got to let people know I’m available for drawing and illustration gigs. If anybody out there knows somebody who’s having a Bar Mitzvah and looking for a caricaturist or other entertainment, send them over to my party caricature site: http://partycaricatures.vox.com/ or for banners and illustrations to my “company” site: http://cyclopsnewmedia.vox.com/.

BTW I’m going to try and contact a few Mac-centric bloggers, and see if I can offer free caricatures in exchange for a mention or some real estate on their site. I spoke with one fellow, David Carrol today who gave me some interesting ideas on how to market my business, I really appreciated that he wanted to help me, and not just sell me something, we all need more people like David out there. (thanks again)

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