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9:59 AM - Mon 5.10.21

From Target To The Motion Picture Home: The Epic Journey

I am not a happy camper.

Went to Target with Jane R. last night (Ostensibly for her, but I ended up buying more shit than she did).

Among the shit I bought was a big jar of Laura Scudder peanut butter and a big bag of "smokehouse" almonds.

(An aside: As almond flavors go, "smokehouse" seems to have had its day - losing out on the shelves in favor of "salt and vinegar", "wasabi", "habanero" and the like - but what can I say? I love the classics.)

I know these two things - peanut butter and "smokehouse" almonds - can pose problems for me...and sure enough, overnight I had two PBJs and (at least) 5 ounces of almonds, on top of the can of pineapple and cheese sandwich I'd had at midnight (Midnight being the start of my "eating day" since I am counting calories - And yes, I recognize that considering midnight "the start of my eating day" poses its own problems).

So I woke up, a little more than an hour ago, having already eaten most of my calories for the day.

(Have a "date" with Jane tonight, to watch a movie at my place and order from Sweetgreen - And now, even If I eat nothing else till then, which is the plan, what I typically order from Sweetgreen will still put me over my daily limit.)

So the peanut butter and the almonds are in the trash, ready to go down the garbage chute as soon as I can motivate myself to put on pants.

It's not the way I wanted to start my day - Literally had to remind myself I just sent in an audition and, on the off chance I book it, wouldn't want to go in with a black eye ("So stop punching yourself in the fucking face, Jim!").

(Just took a little break to take out the aforementioned trash, so I took the opportunity to do the litterbox and weigh myself as well. And in the process, misplaced a pair of reading glasses, which set me off again - Guess I just woke up with "self-violence" in my heart today...)

Well, I seem to have put myself in a pretty shitty mood...

(Have I talked about pension stuff in here? That's good news, and certainly a bigger deal than misplacing a pair of glasses. Maybe that'll make me feel better about being a fat piece-of-shit who can't control his eating or hang onto a pair of reading glasses...)

I think I mentioned getting something from the SAG Health and Pension people recently? That I thought was going to be either something about some of my recent tests/Dr visits or else the (annual? semi-annual?) report on the finances of the pension plan?

Well, it actually turned out to be a notice informing me I am now fully vested in the SAG pension plan and will be receiving a pension from SAG starting at age 65, should I so desire.

(For the record, I so desire.)

This happy news got me thinking about "the other side of the coin" - the AFTRA pension plan - so I gave them a call.

(Quick history: There used to be two actors' unions, SAG and AFTRA, leading to much confusion and strife. During my time in LA, the two unions merged. But while the two individual health plans eventually merged, the pension plans never have.)

And on the AFTRA side, I learned that, not only am I vested, but I became vested three years ago (Apparently, AFTRA doesn't have the same notify-you-as-soon-as-you've-qualified policy as SAG. I guess if you don't ask the way I did, they send something when you get closer to retirement age - Personally, I would have preferred the peace-of-mind of knowing I'd made it a couple of years ago. But long as it's a thing that's happening, I'm good).

SAG told me how much I'd get at 65 (FTR, it's not a lot...but "better than a poke in the eye" as they say).

With AFTRA, they gave me the option of getting a PDF and/or an actual letter (I opted for both) telling me how much I'd get at X age versus how much I'd get at Y age.

So for "X" I said 62 (Around the time I'm eligible for early Social Security, though I guess they've moved that up a bit since I last looked), and for "Y" I said 65 (When I can start getting the SAG pension).

It'll be interesting to see 1) How much it is (Should be more than SAG, since it was where my Shameless earnings were going), and, 2) If combined with the SAG pension and Social Security - and I'd hope at least dribs and drabs of continued acting earnings - it'll give me that "I'm going to be okay" feeling I've been dying to have when it comes to contemplating my "golden years".

But whatever the dollar amounts, it's nice to know that, should I live that long, there's going to be something coming in (In related news, a short time ago I briefly looked at the website for the Motion Picture Home. But apparently, you can't even apply there until 70 - and I'm guessing there's probably a continual waiting list - so don't know if I can count on that happening. But it actually seems kind of nice - movie screenings, attractive facilities, group activities, good food (If anything, it sounds better than the life I'm currently leading) - and a good place to "run out the clock").

For what it's worth, I don't plan to "retire" from acting ever - why would I? I like doing it - but it certainly seems possible that the business will de facto "retire me" (Or that I might not be able to mentally/physically do it at some point), and it's good to know that, one way or another, I will at least be able to continue to eat food and have a roof over my head (Those are two of my favorite things, really).

And on that note, I should probably call it, because I've got to pick up the place a bit, hop in the shower, and hopefully lie down for a spell before Jane gets here.

Till next time...



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