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Random thoughts for a cloudy Tuesday

I’ve been working on my complicated ceiling for nine days now, along with some related projects on the walls and trim. Feels more like nine weeks. And of course, this being an old ill-built house, every step of progress reveals some new problem. I’m making only a few hours progress a day, but at least it’s getting there. Slooooowly.

Why was I not born wealthy so I could sit by a pool sipping a pina colada while someone else gets paid to do this sort of thing?

Oh well, when it’s done, I’ll brim with satisfaction about how I did it all myself. And it was a breeze, really. A breeze.


Speaking of being wealthy …

I love celebrity scandals even when (as is increasingly the case) I have no idea who the celebrities are or what they did to become famous.

Current case in point is a personage known as 50 Cent. Mr. Cent has been for years giving every sign of vast wealth. Not wealth as in “Hey, how ’bout I fund a mission to Mars?” or “You know, I’ll bet I could build an electric car for the masses.” But wealthy as in $40,000 gold chains, multiple Rolls Royces, $1.6 million dollar bets on boxing matches, and a 24-bathroom house with its own private nightclub.

Recently, however, Mr. Cent has declared bankruptcy, apparently in hopes of avoiding a $5 million court judgement against him for posting some woman’s porn video online without her consent. Now he claims and claims and claims again that he was merely pretending to be rich all this time.

Which is more pathetic? Actually being rich and using your wealth to display yourself before a moronic public? Or pretending to be rich because you’re so desperate to win the good opinion of said morons?


Poor Hillary. How much longer can she last when even the WaPo runs op-eds like this about her?

Um. Well, being a Clinton, and being a politician in this age of morons, probably she can go at least until next November. Would be delightful if instead of spending the proverbial “one term in office and one in jail” she took her oath of office from her cell in a federal pen.


That’s all I got today. Ceiling trim awaits. I’m closing in on having the first 1/3 of the total job done. That constitutes my proof of concept on complicated, salvaged ceilings. After that, I move the bed back out of the living room, put away the tools and recoup my sanity before embarking on the next 1/3.

Unless the pool and the umbrella drink materialize in the meantime. Then some other poor, sore, sweaty sucker with sawdust in his hair can do all the embarking and all the overhead hammering and nailing. And welcome to it.


  1. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 4, 2015 7:58 am

    It is possible that Mr. Cent is pretending to be bankrupt to get out of paying the judgement against him. Corporations and their owners do it all the time. It is also possible that all his fancy things were bought on credit with his income maintaining the payments and interest, not actually buying anything permanently. Kind of like the government.

  2. Claire
    Claire August 4, 2015 8:43 am

    Matt — On the contrary, it’s not just possible, but probable, that Mr. Cent is faking his poverty big time to evade the $5 million payment.

    Also certainly possible, and downright likely, that he’s living on credit.

    OTOH, if you read his account of how he’s been faking his wealth, parts of it are so unlikely that they’re hysterically funny.

  3. Shel
    Shel August 4, 2015 9:06 am

    Some friends told me of a resident raccoon in a chimney. They tried loud music, including heavy metal, country classical, etc., without any luck. Then they tried rap. Almost immediately they saw the little sucker running across the lawn. I hate rap. Although I do admit, it’s really poetry to a beat; I just don’t like most of the messages.

    I don’t think Hillary is going to make the cut.

    Her legal problems certainly look quite real.

    Interestingly, Judge Sullivan’s last appointment was done by Bill. What I don’t know is if he feels some ethnic kinship that is causing him to go after one of Obama’s enemies, if he is simply doing the right thing, or if the executive branch is exerting some control over the judicial branch. The last possibility, of course, is the most worrisome.

  4. mark
    mark August 4, 2015 9:42 am

    I feel your pain on the house project. I well remember the fix the hole in the back porch floor job that escalated to a total tear-out and rebuild of kitchen, dining-room and porch/entry. and each little step in the escalation was logical and reasonable. But tell me what does a hole in the floor have to do with replacing the entire electrical system.

  5. Joel
    Joel August 4, 2015 10:04 am

    In re Mr. Cent (If that’s his real name…) Having no idea what the hell he’s even famous for, I have no opinion on his financial condition. Like in professional wrestling, I assume anything in show biz is more false, the more loudly they proclaim it true.

    Which brings us to Hilliary, of course. I rather cherish the Clintons, to be honest. Over the years they taught me what decades of sanely corrupt politicians might never have accomplished: There is absolutely nothing a sufficiently shameless politician can’t slither out of. After the first Clinton re-election, I stopped being capable of being surprised by anything a Clinton is capable of doing – especially if it’s sleazy.

  6. Claire
    Claire August 4, 2015 10:07 am

    mark — OMG. There’s nothing more I can say. Just OMG. I’ll keep your experience in mind next time I’m feeling sorry for myself about the complications I’m finding.

  7. Laird
    Laird August 4, 2015 10:17 am

    By filing for bankruptcy protection 50 Cent will have to provide to the court (and his creditors) a complete schedule of his assets and liabilities. He hasn’t done that yet, merely filed the initial petition which indicates both assets and liabilities in the $10-$50 million range. (See, Eventually the complete schedule, with all the gory details, will be in the public record (and if he falsifies that, it’s a felony). Then we’ll know whether he’s really rich or not. Frankly, I rather doubt that he is rich; the transcript from that hearing must be unbearably embarrassing to him, and it has the ring of truth.

    He filed under Chapter 11, which is a reorganization, not a liquidation. It stops all litigation (including the collection proceeding on that $5 million judgment, which is clearly what precipitated the filing) while he marshals his assets and works out a plan with his creditors. She will undoubtedly be one of those creditors, and will probably not receive full payment on her judgment. My bet is that he’s mortgaged to the hilt, most of his fancy possessions are leased, rented or loaned, and his true net worth is minimal. Of course, the future royalties on his existing oeuvre, and his recording company, probably have some value (depending on how the rap-consuming public reacts to his confession of poverty), and he might lose control of them. But any future recordings he makes probably won’t be part of the settlement.

    (BTW, it amuses me to see Jackson called “Mr. Cent”. It reminds me of a Wall Street Journal article long ago about the singer Meat Loaf, in which they consistently referred to him, tongue no doubt planted firmly in cheek, as “Mr. Loaf”.)

    It’s good to see even WaPo turning on Hillary. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. She was the prohibitive favorite in 2008, yet still managed to lose to a relatively unknown Senate back-bencher with zero relevant experience. I expect the same thing to happen this time, even if she isn’t indicted (and she certainly should be). If Biden decides to jump into the race she’s toast. Even if he doesn’t she’s irretrievably damaged goods. Personally, I’d rather take my chances with Bernie Sanders.

  8. Claire
    Claire August 4, 2015 11:33 am

    Thank you for the backgrounder, Laird. And you, Shel for the encouraging news that Obama may be trying to step on Hillary (even if his replacement of choice is that unthinkable dimwit, Biden). I’ve been hearing noises like that, too; wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    And Laird, though I’m sorry to hear the WSJ is ahead of me, I suspect Mark Twain or some other wit was ahead of them, so I guess it all balances out. 🙂

  9. MJR
    MJR August 4, 2015 2:53 pm

    As for Mr Cent… It looks like the poor, poor me defense didn’t work. I became curious and looked around and found this on his wikipedia page.

    On July 17, 2015, the Court issued an order allowing a creditor to proceed with the punitive damages phase of a trial against Jackson in a New York state court, in connection with the alleged release of a private video (Order Granting Relief from Stay, July 17, 2015, docket entry 20, In re Curtis James Jackson III, case no. 15-21233, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut.)

    Wikipedia, true or false you be the judge.

  10. jed
    jed August 4, 2015 4:11 pm

    Since I’m already bored with the entire question of “Why hasn’t Hillary Clinton been indicted yet”, and have so little interest in the fate of rappers, that I can barely manage a tiny bit of scorn for Curtis Jackson, I’ll just drop this link in here.

    How I Gave up Alternating Current. This is the guy behind Soylent, the food substitute. I’m sure he’d blanche at my characterization of it as such. Meal in a bottle? Whatever. Kudos for using his own product as his primary nutritional input.

    I would have difficulty doing without a refrigerator. Yes, I know, people survived for millenia (and still do) without them. Cold beer. Nuff said.

  11. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 4, 2015 5:45 pm

    Oh, I think Hitlary is just the thing for a crumbling empire. I do hope it’s not Biden, that would be a disaster. Don’t you all remember the Bill regime, a new joke every night? The perfect man for bringing the presidency into disrepute (more than it already was, anyway). I’m just panting at the prospect of Bill as First Man. All the maids in the White House must wear short, frilly dresses and no underwear.

  12. Dana
    Dana August 4, 2015 8:18 pm

    Mr. Cent should be nominated as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. He seems very qualified for the position.

  13. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair August 5, 2015 4:39 am

    At least Bill Clinton was a joy to listen to. Every word from his mouth was a lie, but such slick talk. I never missed a speech. Hillary on the other hand makes me retch. I’d sooner vote for the Lord of Darkness (not that I vote).

  14. LarryA
    LarryA August 5, 2015 10:26 am

    How I Gave up Alternating Current

    Hilarious, with some good points. (Like the real mileage for “electric” cars.) But if you go out every time you want a real meal you haven’t “given up” AC, you’ve outsourced it. Did he really name his food substitute after the movie?

    What we really need for interesting times is a Joe/Hillary co-presidency. Joe wants the Pomp, Hillary the Circumstance.

  15. Claire
    Claire August 5, 2015 10:58 am

    That Soylent guy sounds like somebody who, if he lived in your neighborhood, you’d be very careful to be polite to, but equally careful to avoid getting into long conversations with. I mean, seriously, he hates going to the grocery store because of the smell of rotted flesh? Um … NOT terribly well-balanced, that fella.

    I predict someday his mummified body will be found in a back room of his house, having lain there for months with no one noticing he’s gone. If he had cats — which of course he wouldn’t because they’re made of actual flesh — they would eat him.

    But agreed, LarryA — in many senses he’s just outsourcing and making excuses. One thing I noticed was buying custom-made clothes and having them shipped from China. For cryin’ out loud, if you’re worried about resource use, buy your clothes used at the thrift store!

    But I’ll bet he’d be too worried about used clothes having the smell of rotting flesh on them. Some other human’s cooties, OMG!

  16. Claire
    Claire August 5, 2015 11:08 am

    Oh, and BTW, I realize a lot of people feel distaste at the idea of buying used clothing. (Which leaves more for me, bwahhaha!) I just suspect Soylent Guy would take distaste to the point of phobia and obsession.

  17. Karen
    Karen August 5, 2015 11:25 am

    Claire, I was thinking of you and your “old ill-built house” the other day. We had to have a new electric service box put in our new-to-us quirky house built in 1951. When the electrician pulled out the old box, the wall was insulated with crumbled up newspaper from 1946. Too bad it was too crumpled to flatten out and read. I’m sure some of the news and ads would have been a real hoot.
    I can’t wait to see your new ceiling!

  18. LarryA
    LarryA August 5, 2015 11:17 pm

    One thing I noticed was buying custom-made clothes and having them shipped from China.

    He also has them made out of synthetics, and bitches because they’re “hand-made” instead of automated. He doesn’t like kitchens because sharp knives? It would be interesting to see him trying to survive a minor disaster.

    And I still want to know if he’s seen Soylent Green.

  19. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2015 6:32 am

    Oh, Karen. 1946 newspapers used for insulation. I’ll bet that was a crumbling, cracking mess (not to mention a fire hazard). But what fun.

  20. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 6, 2015 9:18 am

    A friend of mine was renovating his old house and ran into a coffee can full of silver coins. I thought that was pretty cool but nothing like that ever happened to me.

  21. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2015 10:01 am

    Paul — I keep looking for those cans of silver or sacks of gold, too. But no luck. I hauled literal tons of stuff out of the last old house I had and, knowing that the owners had been interested in survivalism, I half-hoped there would at least be a coin or two amid all that broken furniture and rotted wood. But nope. Just junk. And a lot of cigarette butts and beer bottle caps. 🙁

    RG — Um … you know, I don’t really think I do need that. I’m not sure anybody needs that, actually. But … thank you, though … 🙂

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