Frustrations of Unemployment – Part Three

unemployment-officeIn this third and final installment of Frustrations of Unemployment I want to first touch on the people who work at the Department of Labor.  Generally speaking they really are good people who are doing their jobs despite the fact of how they can make you feel when you are there for orientation.  I only encountered one obnoxious person during the year and a half that I had to deal with the agency.  I made an appointment to apply to the 599 program since I was back in school.  The program allows you to continue receiving benefits after your 26 weeks are up.  You have to be attending an accredited school of higher learning, be a full-time student and headed for a degree that can lead to solid full-time employment.  The counselor that I was assigned to was arrogant, didn’t take the time to listen to what I was saying, and acted as if he just wanted me out of his office as quickly as possible.  The second time I needed to talk to a counselor I did my best to make sure I was not assigned to him again.  Fortunately I was paired with another counselor who was very nice and patient.  She understood the changing job market and what I was dealing with. Continue reading →

Frustrations of Unemployment – Part Two

Unemployment concept in tag cloud

Unemployment concept in tag cloud

Welcome back to Frustrations of Unemployment. If you missed Part One you can read it HERE.

I live in New York State and for many years the maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount that you could collect was $405.00, but this amount is before taxes.  There was a time when unemployment benefits were not taxed and rightly so because the money is already a tax that employers pay when filing their quarterly taxes.  Employees pay their portion of it when employers take it out of our weekly salary in the form of SUI tax.  In 1986, during the Reagan administration, it was decided that unemployment benefits should be taxed and the Tax Reform Act was signed.  Since then unemployment benefits, which come from taxes, became a tax that is being taxed. Continue reading →

Frustrations of Unemployment


I meant to write about this a few months ago after I started working at my present job, but between working and going to school full-time I didn’t get around to it until now.  If you have ever been laid off from your job and then had to deal with the Department of Labor and unemployment insurance, you know how shaky one’s life can get.  First you have to deal with an uncertain future, and then you start to wonder how you are going to meet all of your financial obligations after the regular money flow has diminished tremendously. Continue reading →

Reflections: Second Edition


Madame Blavatsky

For several months, I have been experiencing some very deep feelings about my chosen spiritual path.  I have mentioned here before that the path that I have chosen is not a traditional one.  It is more on the side of new age.   I really do not like to consider myself a part of the traditional new age movement either because, unfortunately, the movement has changed so much since the late 19th century and early 20th century.  There are lots of well-meaning people within it that are simply not giving out information that is helping to move humanity forward.  It also has its share of quacks just as within the traditional religious movement. Continue reading →

Happy Mothers Day 2014

Mommy, Ricky, Xenia passport 3

Brother Ricardo, my Mommy and me.

Today I honor my Mommy.  My mother is the most loving and most generous woman I have ever known.  I still have our passport and once in a blue moon I like to pull it out and look at it.  I scanned just the top portion since my Mom’s signature is just under our photo.  Since my brother and I were little, it was not required for us to have our own passport.  So all of us had the same passport, hence why we are all in the passport photo. Continue reading →


Silvina, Xenia and Daddy

Silvina, Xenia on her father’s lap.

This morning I was speaking with my father on the phone for a little while, and it led me to get a little bit nostalgic.  I went in search of family photos and started scanning them into my computer.  The first photo is me sitting on my father’s lap.  On the left is a family friend named Silvina.  My father will be 86 years old this year.  I remember sitting for this photo.  I did not want to look at the flash bulb because in those days they were blinding.  You would be seeing spots in front of your eyes for a few seconds afterward. Continue reading →