The L.A. Report – Part 18



Hey Everybody,


Note:  Despite the date, this is no April Fool’s joke!  It probably sounds like one, though.


I usually write these L.A. Reports when I have a lot of news to share.  This time, I don’t have much to report in the way of happenings but a lot to report in the way of “pendings”.


A lot of you have already heard a lot of this so please forgive my regurgitation – just skip the parts you’ve already heard.


I didn’t mention in my last report that my unemployment claim was denied by the State of California.  Every two weeks they send you a Continued Claim form on which they ask you if you looked for work, were able to work, were sick or injured, etc.  One of the questions is "Did you begin any kind of school or training?"  I proudly checked "Yes" because I took that pre-license training for life and health insurance sales.  Well, that put an immediate halt on everything and they called me to find out what that was all about.  I explained that I took a self-study course so that I could get my state license and would be authorized to sell insurance.  A few days later I received a letter from them saying that I wasn't eligible to receive unemployment because "you have placed limits on your work because you are engaged in activities preliminary to entering self-employment".  Can you believe that???  It's not as if that will guarantee any income!  Or even if it did, I would report those earnings on my Continued Claim form.  And since I did it on my own time, I still could have accepted a job and worked on it at the same time.  So I appealed it the first week of January, had my hearing March 2nd, heard that I won on March 17th and finally received all the pay that I missed on March 21st.


The unemployment checks allow me to eat and pay a few bills but they’re not nearly enough to pay my mortgage payments so I got very close to foreclosure.  To try to prevent that, I decided to do a “short sale”.  Here’s the Web site my realtor created:  I’ll still have to move out eventually but I’ll get plenty of advance notice and it won’t be quite as devastating to my credit rating as a foreclosure would (although that could still happen).  In the meantime, I can live here for free (well, almost; I’ll still pay my $275 monthly HOA fee).


Some of my friends have (legitimately) asked, "what about your savings?".  Well, my finances have been very tight for the last several years because I'm always trying to dig out from previous bouts of unemployment!


On February 28th I had a phone interview for a programming contract at Farmers Insurance in LA but didn’t get the job.  Then on March 3rd, I had a phone interview for a contract at WPS, an insurance company in Madison, Wisconsin and they did offer me the job the next day.  Apparently, the interviewer was impressed with my knowledge because at one point he said, “geez, do you have all the answers in front of you?”  One of the systems I’ll be working on is an insurance system for the military called Tricare.  Since it's a military system it falls under the auspices of the Department of Defense so I need a military security clearance (God forbid if the Russians or the Chinese find out how we do our co-pays and deductibles!).  I had to fill out a 15-page application and it can take several weeks to get approved.  They're still working on it (4 weeks now) so they haven't even given me a start date yet.  My membership in probably slowed them down – just kidding – it’s – just kidding again.


While I've been waiting I did four (background) acting jobs.  I worked on a pilot called William and Kate about Prince William and Kate Middleton, an HBO show called Luck starring Dustin Hoffman (boy, he's short!), NBC show Parenthood (I was cast as a mailman but they ended up not even using me) and today I worked on a pilot called R.E.M. starring Jason Isaacs (best known as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter movies).


Other than that I haven’t been doing as many California things lately because they’d just make me miss California more when I have to move to Wisconsin.  I did go whale watching in February, though (didn’t see any whales, but lots of dolphins and sea lions).


My health is still good (knock on wood) but apparently I didn’t knock hard enough when I recently wrote that my car is doing great (knock on wood) – I just had to shell out $1200 for a new clutch and new battery.  L


So much activity but so little resolution.  I’ve started packing to move out and for moving to Wisconsin but there’s only so much I can do because I still need so much of my stuff!  You wouldn’t believe how often “the waiting is the hardest part” from the Tom Petty song goes through my head!