The Only Thing You Need to Know About Wall Street, Your Money, the Internet, and Life

Here we go again.  It’s buy, buy, buy time or sell, sell, sell time on Wall Street.  Panic rules again.  It’s all about money, money, money.

Leave me out of this mess.  I also don’t trust any of these people on the Internet who are trying to sell you on their specific brand on how to get rich quick.  Just because you’re “published” on the Internet doesn’t mean that you can write.  In fact, your precious writing, photographs or whatever will be published somewhere in the world where people want a fast buck.  Hey!  You’ll even get the shaft in the United States.

In fact, as a writer, I don’t trust the Internet at all.


The Internet was founded on greedPeriod.  Exclamation point. 

Think really hard.  I don’t do numbers, nor do I deal with people who make numbers their life.  Unless they happen to be straight with me and answer my questions.  The “extremely rich and talented” people (engineers, tech heads, financial wizards and anything financial) who do deal with numbers don’t know how to deal with real people who work hard for a living.

I know.  I am highly creative.  I don’t even add columns unless I have to.  In fact, if I had to pass algebra to get a high school diploma in California right now, I’d flunk out and do my own thang.  Yeah, I’d survive without help from Mommy and Daddy footing my “higher education” at Stanford.  Yep.  They had my life all planned from the start.

See, I come from a long line of drunks and gamblers.  Other than my experience with the world famous wine and food in California’s Sonoma County last fall, I don’t drink.   Surprise, surprise!  I don’t even gamble.

In fact, I was always the one who was the designated driver.  I will drive everyone home after a hard night of partying and looking for booty in Sacramento’s Old Sac.  Yeah, us girls and guys hit those bars if we weren’t stuffing our faces at restaurants and buffets.  Sorry, this was in the 80s.  When I didn’t know any better.

But if you were one of my family or friends at that time, I drove you home while you were drunk because you were so drunk that you didn’t notice that I drove like an old lady.  And maybe, when you woke up with a hangover the next morning, did you even remember that I took you to Denny’s for breakfast and hot coffee before tucking you in?

Or maybe you just disappeared from the pack and went home with the boy or the girl.  I get it because I only made it to the guy’s car–then left him after about an hour because he bored me.   Male or female, you have to stand out for one of these drunks to take notice.  Weren’t those the days?   Go to a bar or nightclub and pick up a prized drunk.

Of course, if I took care of you on one of those many weekends, you didn’t even thank me for my service.  You were drunk.  Or maybe you were stoned.  Or you were drowning in your misery by dressing up and looking for someone to spend the night with.  We were young, and we didn’t care because all of us were in the same boat.  We lived in Sacramento, and we worked for the County or the State in horrible, “stable” jobs.  We worked miserable jobs that had no future at all.  During the work week, we showed up and worked.  Come the weekend, we partied hard to forget how miserable we really were.  Yet, we paid our bills and didn’t get arrested.

Doesn’t that remind you of that Toby Keith song?

As for gambling?  You won’t see me walk into a casino and pull the handle on some slot machine.  Or place a stack of money on the red square or rectangle.  The red can be found on any roulette table or crap table.  I’m not going to sit all night long playing poker, then say, “Good hand” when all the chips fall in your lap because you “won” through Lady Luck.  Face it.  The House always wins.  Lady Luck, like any smart woman, comes and goes as she pleases.

I won’t join your pity party when you cry that you don’t have any money for your retirement.  Or if you’re old and your mindset is back in the days of the Depression.  That you can’t believe a loaf of bread costs four bucks when “back in the day” a loaf of bread cost under fifty cents.

My, my, my.  That was then, this is now.  History repeats itself.

Honey, it’s your money.  And money, if you play it right in your lifetime, is meant to be spent.

What are you going to spend it on?

That’s your business.  Why should I care that you buy luxury to feed your insecurities?  Isn’t that feeding into the distorted American Dream?  If you bought into that, I have no respect for you.  I will leave you alone while I do my thang.  Ask me, and I’ll tell you what I do with my money.  Or not.  Depends on my mood at the time.  Or if I even can stand to be in the same room with your sorry, selfish, self-centered American self.

Yeah.  The terrible, terrible truth about money and stocks?  You can’t take any of that wad with you.  Yep.  Spend it any way you want to before you kick.

When you’re with me, quit asking how much things cost.  It irritates me.  Put up and shut up.  What I can’t stand are people who pinch their pennies until they squeal for mercy.  Further more, don’t insult me and pretend to have money when you don’t.  This girl hates being lied to.  When I feel like I’m being played, lied to or controlled, I walk.  And depending on how I feel, I will not come back.

See, I have two diseases:  common sense and high self esteem.  Don’t get in the way of what I want.  I am the Alpha Mare.  I will stomp, bite and mule-kick you to get my way.

I pick up pennies anywhere because Daddy is sending them to me from Heaven.  Who cares if a car hits me in the parking lot as I pick up my pennies from Daddy?  I love my Daddy.  I wish he was still here with me.

And don’t get me started on the Internet because as a professional writer, journalist and photographer from waaaaaaay back, I do not bow to Google or any of the so-called content sites and mills that feed on your ego and want all these so-called writers to “produce” for pennies.

I tried “working” for these clowns for a year and I walked away after they got a piece of my mind.  I won’t even tell you their names because I ain’t your mama.  Find out for yourself as you work, work, work for pennies using your so-called “talent.”  When you have to network, follow stats or need followers on social network, you’re working way too hard for your pennies.  That’s okay.  You’ll brag about what you make.  What you won’t say is that you work like a dog and don’t leave the house.  For your pain and suffering, you don’t even get vacations and sick leave.  And retirement.

No brag, just fact.  I learn from my mistakes.  If something interests me, the chase is on.  As a guard at Pelican Bay in the 90s, I opened two online trading accounts.  I maxed out my so-called 401k with the State of California.  Why?  I wanted to leave my abusive husband, so I needed the money.  Yes, it took me three years to leave this whack job that tried to kill me twice.  This is what happens when you live in the poorest county in California.  I couldn’t even check into a battered women’s shelter if I wanted to.  Not that I would.

Each time he was abusive to me (mostly by the crap coming out of his mouth and raiding our joint checking and savings accounts before I closed them), I played the game of the good, submissive Filipino wifey and shoved money into my stock portfolio.  I learned to trade on my own.  I gambled because it’s in me.  I enjoyed it because  I took risks and didn’t screw anyone to make money.  I even went across to the border to Oregon (only about 15 miles away from Crescent City) to shove money into a savings and checking account.

Did I know anything about stocks?

Nope.  My parents hoarded their money because both of them grew up very poor in the barrio of San Juan, Illocus Sur.  That’ in the Northern Philippines.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.  I am the daughter of two immigrants.  I was made in America.  I am an American citizen who happens to be Filipino and Italian.  Yep.  I don’t have to look it up.  There is an Italian in my family woodpile on my father’s side.  I was born and raised in California–not Kalifornia.  As far as I know, I will continue to live in California until I die.

In survival mode, the wild animals and Mother Nature will do anything and everything to survive.  The rich and the poor will cling to their money and cry.  I’m in the middle, and I don’t care.

Oh!  I’m so sorry.  Maybe those “rich people” were born with it.  Like those commercials on TV try to tell you.  But that’s another post.

Get my drift?  If you don’t, suffer.  Follow the nation’s sheep and get slaughtered when all the wolves of Wall Street and the Internet  take your money.

Oh, by the way.  I lied.  I do gamble.  With stocks.  And I don’t have to tell you how much I’ve made.  And will continue to make.  I pulled all my money out long before the market dumped in 2008 because I knew it was coming.  Pay me because I don’t do anything for free.  I learned everything about life from my partners and my inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison.  Give or take a sergeant or two.

Yeah.  Those men either wore green or blue.   I learn from anyone who can tell me about their life experiences because I don’t want to repeat their mistakes.  Hey!  I make mistakes on my own with no regrets.

Real men will tell you up front.  They get the job done.  In male-dominated professions, this is where I thrive.

So leave me alone.  She retired in 2002, and she will do anything to stay that way.   And that’s pretty good for an overpaid thug.





  1. marlenebertrand · May 29, 2014

    There is something about being retired that I really enjoy – Freedom! I’m semi-retired because I’m trying my hand at a new career right now. But, I’ve had a taste of complete retirement so I’m entering this new career with a “take it or leave it” attitude. If it’s not fun, if it interferes with my nap time, if it interferes with my gardening time, if it interferes in any way with me being me, then I’ll give it up in a heartbeat. I’ll write it up as an experience – a memory that I created for a lifetime. I don’t do anything anymore that I don’t absolutely want to do.

    Regarding internet writing, I still write for HubPages. I use HP as a portfolio for potential clients to go see my writing style. I tried my hand at BubbleWS and earned a few pennies there, but the time spent writing there is truly a waste of time. Most, I say almost all of the writers, need to take some kind of remedial writing class. I just refuse to read bad writing because I believe if I read bad writing then I will become a bad writer. I do well to read writers like you – writers who know how to put a sentence together. I’m not talking about typos; that happens to the best of us. I’m talking about basic sentence structure. I met a lady (let’s call her Judy) who said she wanted to be a writer and so she joined HP. Well, HP is getting strict about what they’ll publish (which is why so many hubbers went to BubbleWS). Judy has written five hubs and HP won’t publish them because they are poorly written. And, I can vouch for the quality of Judy’s writing. I tried to help Judy by recommending a writing tool (she won’t use it). Judy asked me to take a look at her hubs. I did. I actually edited one of them for her and showed her what her errors were. She submitted that hub back to HP and it was published. She asked me to edit her other rejected hubs and I said that was going beyond the scope of our friendship. If she wants to be a writer then she needs to BE a writer. I encouraged her to take writing courses. She didn’t want to do that. Truly, it’s not my job to let her write things however she wants and then go in and fix it for her. No, thank you. I have my own stuff to fix. Judy’s attitude showed me a lot about lazy writers. I see the mentality of people who don’t want to take the time to learn, yet they want to earn money by writing. They want to be able to call themselves a writer. Judy actually refers to herself as an online writer. She has one thing published (thanks to me). She complains that HP won’t publish her stuff. In fact, HP suggested that maybe she should take a writing course before attempting to send in anymore hubs. Really? Oh, I’m not afraid that Judy will read this blog and recognize herself in what I’ve shared here. Judy doesn’t read books or anything else, for that matter. And, we all know that a good writer reads… a lot. But, if by chance Judy should read this post, then she’ll know I’m telling the story as it really happened. Note to Judy (just in case she reads this), please don’t beat me up too bad.

    Well, today is a really pretty day. I’m doing some editing of an audiobook. I don’t have much on my “to do” list, so I might just get out to the rose garden. I need to cut the spent blooms off of them. That’s always such a job, but if I want them to bloom again, I had best get out there.

    It’s gorgeous outside. Enjoy your day, Arlene.

    • Arlene Poma · May 30, 2014

      Girl, I know myself way too well. That’s how I survived in such a dysfunctional family. I read. I question. I write. All of my life. Online, people accuse me of being arrogant. Oh, well! Come and say that to my face. The Internet, television, the media, etc. is sooooo full of cowards. I don’t care. I am so frustrated. My doctors won’t allow me to play with soil. I am busting down my water usage and buying all my produce at the farmer’s market so that I can support California’s ag industry. I am like a caged tiger at home, Girl. Until I dump all my unwanted toys, I can’t write my Great American Novel. Maybe. Maybe not. We lost a great woman yesterday. I read her book when I was in junior high. Yeah. She will always be remembered because she made a difference. Yeah. I know why a caged bird sings. I’m running out of space on WordPress. Maybe I’ll take the summer off or leave permanently. Like you, I don’t force myself to do anything I don’t want to do. That’s retirement! I don’t want to hire a housekeeper because I don’t trust strangers in my house. Doesn’t matter. Playing the stock market costs money. Need to get wheeling and dealing for now! Take care, Marlene.

  2. marlenebertrand · May 30, 2014

    Running out of space on WordPress? I thought it was unlimited. Oh well… if it isn’t, I guess I’m just out of luck. I suppose it costs some kind of money to get extra space, right? I would just have to stop writing. Or, find some other free platform to share my thoughts. Arlene, I hope you struck my name from the list of online people who think of you as rude. I was immediately attracted to your candidness. I like associating with people who say what they mean and mean what they say. Life is so much easier when we don’t have to speculate about what someone said. I’ve been accused of being “overly” candid in real life. I just can’t allow myself to hedge around what I really want to say. OK, I’m not tacky. I do have some class when it comes to letting people know how I feel. I don’t just blurt stuff out. I take people aside to say certain things. But, say it, I will. That way, when people see me they know exactly how I feel about them. I may not know how they feel about me, but they will surely know how I feel about them. Don’t get me wrong, I love most people, I just don’t take any mess off of people.

    Oh, rats! My husband is calling my name. We’re going grocery shopping. I’ll catch you later.

    • Arlene Poma · May 30, 2014

      No worries, Marlene. What’s interesting about the Internet is that when you do meet people that you would like to possibly meet (as your lovely self), there’s a chance that you may only communicate with them by little zingers. As what we’ve been doing since meeting online. Writing brings me together with the most awesome people because I am very selective when I “write” my fan mail. To write or to really do anything worthwhile in life, you have to have that tough, tough skin. People are so cruel when you have a gift(s) to give to the world. I am a very honest person, but I am also very diplomatic about the people I have around me. I am very sensitive to their feelings. I also have what my father used to call “garbage mouth.” I use profanity out of frustration, but I strongly believe that it does not belong in my writing. I fight to keep my blog G-rated. I do not want to be accused of “ghetto mouth” because I heard a lot of that in prison. Mixed with “He disrespected me!” I wish I had a dollar for each time I heard all that. You got my number. Writing and loading all my work has earned me the next $$$ level of WordPress. I bought it–then cancelled. If I take SheRetired to, then it would become a business. Most likely, I would be in front of the computie for at least 40 hours a week. Maybe more. I don’t think I want that. Writing is a solitary life. I don’t mind having a solitary life, but it has to be on my terms. If you turn your passion into business, then it becomes W-O-R-K. Right now, I’m looking for something else to do because this blog is no longer any fun. Tonight, I am cleaning out my two e-mail accounts. Busting them down to only the people and businesses that I want to deal with. I am tired of having the emails pile up with all these people trying to get me to buy something. Or their business (in the name of their writing or blogs). When you have “followers,” they can disappear at anytime. Or they have something to sell you. Like: I’ll show you to make lots of money with your blog. Uh huh. When I wrote for a statewide newsletter or a newspaper, at least people came up to me to talk about my work. Or they wrote glowing reviews. I still have all my fan mail or hard copy that dates back to the 70s. You can’t get that on the Internet because people are looking for information or a way to make them #1 on Google. Also, all it takes to lose my work is unplugging everything. Or one big crash. So I’m taking some time to find something I can do besides sit in front of a computer. There’s a very nice $400+ bicycle that I found this month. I want one in red, so I need to wait for it to be ordered. Why kill myself in front of my computer when I could be out riding around in the countryside? I’m a chameleon when it comes to doing new things. Otherwise, I sit around and pout. Don’t want to do that, either. Shopping? I love shopping! I just got back from shopping with my husband, and he treated me to dinner afterwards. He’s working very hard, so I spend as much time with him once he’s home. Yeah, I’m pretty much on to my next gig. I’m pretty excited about it, too! Whatever it may be! You read my mind!

    • Cherry · May 14, 2017

      Good points all around. Truly apecdriatep.

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