So its been a long time...almost 2 months...since I posted here and I didn't want to become one of the many lost souls who post to this blog a few times and then for whatever reason stop doing so, leaving the readers to think something awful happened to them. I've actually read this whole blog by now and there are literally dozens of those people, but rest assured I'm doing as well as could be expected.
There are a few reasons for my absence, first was that there has been a flurry of activity on this board, close to 10 other active posters, and I didn't want to bump something important down where fewer people would see it. I didn't want anybody to miss a post about Jordan and Annette having to switch destinations or Meg and Tyler's "will they or wont they" thing because I was saying how unfair it is to have to wear pantyhose at work when you're bloated. (And it totally is).
Second, I've only got one computer in this house, a three year old laptop that I have to share with a teenager. Ashely is online a LOT, despite having a smartphone. She gets home from school before I get home from work and most nights she's got headphones on, skyping with friends while texting. I can't just say "Sweetie, I need to use the laptop so that I can write a blog post to the people who know I'm not really your mother". Not only would she not believe me thanks to the curse, but because "Sweetie" isn't something that Kari would call her. I'm able to write now because Ashley is at the lake with a friend's family for the Labor Day weekend.
The last, and most important one, is that I've been tired getting used to this new life. My average weekday routine consists of getting up, making sure Ashley is going to get up, getting ready for work, driving all the way downtown, working for 8 hours, driving all the way home, and then cooking. After doing all of that in very uncomfortable shoes I'm ready to pass out on the couch and can barely think straight, let alone write a coherent blog post. Weekends are spent mostly catching up to the things around the house that I didn't have time for: shopping, running errands, paying bills, cleaning. I've thought about asking Ashley to help out, or even just ordering her too but it doesn't seem like Kari is that kind of parent.
How do I know this? Because I found Kari. Or rather she was found for me, thanks to this blog. A very nice woman named Marta, I don't know if that was her real name or her current name, was at the inn at the same time as her. Marta said it took a couple of weeks to piece the timeline together but when she did she realized that the quiet former single mother who had been on the flight back LA with Marta and her "husband" was in fact the one I had been searching for. Through the very useful email address on the sidebar she gave me the contact info for Erica Jensen, which is who Kari had become.
The real Kari is pretty quiet, and didn't seem to want to talk to me in too much detail. I don't know if it was because it was weird for her to talk to her own body or what, but she was mostly one word answers. The gist of our conversation was basically "Send me an email if you need anything, don't screw up too badly." Which is really any of us can hope for from our temporary selves.
I wasn't so lucky with my new self. My body is currently in possession of a 18 year old recent high school graduate named Jennifer. Her plan had been to take a year off after high school to find herself, and she wound up finding my body. In my line of work, one mistake could cost a client millions of dollars if its bad enough and Jennifer didn't even know calculus, let alone finance and I wasn't willing to let her risk my work history by doing something stupid at my job, so I had her quit. As of right now Lane Von Hoekstra is unemployed, but it will be a lot easier for me to get a job when I get my body back after a temporary absence than it would be after a disastrous error. I had enough money saved up for her to survive on or the year, so as long as she doesn't develop a cocaine habit she'll get to have her year off that she had wanted in New York. Maybe I'll see if some of the other Inn folk who live there can check up on her.
I haven't asked her for money yet, it seems like its a bit of a taboo subject among transformees. As far as I can tell the rule is you make do with what you've been given, which for me isn't enough. Kari's job doesn't pay a lot, just enough to cover rent and food and bills but I had to spend the last of the thousand I brought back with me from Maine on back to school supplies and clothes for Ashley. She hadn't asked me to do it, in fact she hadn't really mentioned to me when school was going to start until I found an announcement in the mail. She was prepared to just show up with a torn up backpack and none of what was on the required materials list. Absent any useful credit cards to give her, I gave her what was left of the cash and told her to get what she would need. She seemed grateful, if not a little bit confused. I think back-to-school shopping isn't an annual tradition in the Cruz household, so I was glad to do something nice for her. I think she even smiled a bit, or at least let up on the scowl.
So that means its back to the frugal life for me, which I seem to be managing pretty well. My money-handling training seems to be applicable to a household budget, even if it means cutting out a lot of the "fun" things that Kari used to buy/do. I'm not entirely sure what they were but I'm guessing a lot of the shoes in the closet and bar bills on past credit card statements had a lot to do with it.
While being poor is no fun, being unemployed would be even worse, which is why I've stuck it out at Kari's job despite her lecherous boss. After a couple encounters that were something out of a sexual harassment video, I made it a point never to be alone in the room with him, even if that meant avoiding him by making pointless small talk with my co-workers. On the plus side, a lot of them think that Kari is all of a sudden much more friendly than before, and have started inviting me to lunch with them. I guess they weren't very social with her before, I don't know if its more Kari being unfriendly or them resenting her for the rumored involvement with the boss. Its not a difficult job but its a bit of an icky situation, and if Kari had any sort of formal higher education or qualifications I'd look for another one, but in this economy in this region, low skilled work isn't exactly in high demand.
So that's about it, as far as major stuff goes. Theres a lot of minor stuff going on, typical "I'm someone else" kind of stuff and I'm going to make an effort to post more on this blog. I need to keep my mind straight and my thoughts organized if I'm gonna find away to wrangle me, Kari, and Jennifer to the Inn next year and in the right order, because if there's one thing I've learned from this blog is that one missed detail can cause a world of chaos.