Shedding the Light Fantastic

My mother would sometimes define an optimist as one who could look at a room filled with horse shit and declare, “There must be a pony in here somewhere.”

Up to now, my 2014 has been such a room.

To begin, I was asked to leave the home I’d lived in for 18 months back in February. My laptop has been in a coma for a couple of months. I have not worked at my usual occupation (due diligence underwriting) since October 2013. My year to date income has been far below the poverty line. Tom Lehrer, a singing satirist (and Harvard mathematician) of the early 1960s had a line in one of his songs about “sliding down the razor blade of life.” And yes, my dream man went and got himself hitched to a far better version of me.


And the ring he gave her was close to an imaginary one I “designed” for “These Foolish Things” over a decade. Same platinum setting, same diamonds on the side, but the emerald cut central i imagined was blue, not canary.

my idea.

the real deal.

Okay. My dream came true. What I had imagined and written has manifested. For someone else.

I really need to work on my aim. Nobody would want to see me with a gun.

I’m choosing to look at it this way: all these “losses” are a kind of metaphysical shedding. If you have a dog or cat or horse, when it’s time for the seasons to change, the old coat comes out (all over your clothes, especially if it’s a white cat and you’re wearing black) to make way for the new coat.

The things falling away (and I was going to insert a hyperlink to the Gin Blossoms singing “Until I Fall Away,” but it really doesn’t fit) are things that no longer serve me.

The room I was renting: the relationship with my landlady/roommate had turned decidedly poisonous and the tension was unbearable. Though my housing is not stable, I am no longer a garbage can for someone’s anger, frustration, and resentment. I don’t have to fear walking through the front door. Of course, I I need a new front door PDQ. However, there is now room in my life for it.

As for Mario the Laptop biting the dust, had my finances remained as good as they were 2 years ago, I would have replaced him by now. There is now room in my life for a replace to to appear.

George? I met the man. I made him laugh. I can point to him and say, “There. There’s the floor model of what I want. I don’t need the same exterior, but the head, heart, and humor? Yeah. Those, I need.”

If you’re a friend on Facebook (my personal page), you know I post “good wishes” every night. “May you advance towards your goals today,” etc. I have an ulterior motive ; if what I’m writing is showing up in my reality, then why not put into words what I’d like to have pop up in my life? Side benefit: people take comfort from the messages. I’m spreading good vibes, surely not a bad thing.

Crowded House, “Dont Dream It’s Over.”

This is what’s stuck in my head tonight and I don’t know why. Maybe things aren’t over as far as getting life back on track.

Some precious things that I have retained are friendships, both people here around me and those over the phone and on Facebook. I draw my strength from the love that is shown me. The has been a year where some long-standing close relationships have been irreparably damaged,but then, I never heard from these people unless they wanted something and they showed me numerous times that I didn’t really matter to them (don’t ask me What I want for a gift and then ignore my answer because it’s not to YOUR taste). That’s fine. I’ve got Marie, Andy, Andy, Chris, Kem, Kelly, Kelli, Tiff, Michael, Ant’ny, Dan, Dan, Laura, Brenda, Aileen, Diane,Whitney, Niki, Tami, Brandi and Brandy, Sandy, Mandi, Nan (all three have the same birthday), Sue, Cookie, Kathy, Jim, Ruth, Charlotte, Sherry, Tanya T, Monique, Kristy and Kristi, Danielle, Karen, 2 Jens, Darci, Jodianne, Greg, Kelley, Skip, Debbie, and those are just the folks I’ve talked to this week.

I will close with a classic from Liverpool:

The Beatles “It’s Getting Better All the Time”

It’s Autumn

While the title might indicate a remarkable grasp of the obvious with respect to the seasons, it’s a nod to a Barbra Streisand song that’s been stuck in my head today. It’s off her “People” album (coincidentally, 50 years old this year). I hadn’t heard the song or the album in…46 (?) years. It’s not one of her big hits, but somehow, it stuck in the brain of a three year old. (My mother used to play Sinatra’s “September Of My Years” non-stop until I was as depressed as Frank. She admitted to feeling self-pity over turning 30. Yeah, 30. When I got her the CD, I did so with the proviso that she was never to play it in my presence. This condition pissed her off, but then, her self-pity wasn’t a barrel of monkeys for a 5 year old).


Link here:
“Autumn” sung by Barbra Streisand

She’s singing of a lost love, not something on my mind.

No, the lines that are sticking with me are “although the breeze is still, I feel a chill, it’s autumn.”

In my own bout of self-pity, the lines resonate, and well, if Barbra doesn’t resonate, I can always go Jay Z and “99 Problems” because a bro ain’t one of ‘em.

The calendar reminds me that I am at the end of a particular piece if good fortune: when I needed a place it live in a hurry, the current roof over my head was offered to me, free of charge, within 24 hours, and I’ve even gotten a 2 week extension on my presence here. However, time’s up. And I need another such miracle.

I found a job in January when my unemployment benefits ran out. It paid poorly and the hours were irregular, but I couldn’t find anything in my usual, much higher-paying field. And 10 months later, I still haven’t. My boss made a dumbass comment the other day when I said something about how closely everything has to be budgeted, including and especially how much gas I use to get to work. I looked him in the eye and told him, “$9.50 an hour doesn’t go very far, even at 40 hours.” He didn’t have a comeback.

Progress I had made at improving my credit has been undone by this situation. Word to the wise: it takes ages, a dispensation from the Vatican, and the intervention of Seal Team 6 to raise your credit score, but that sucker WILL fall by 60 points overnight if you miss credit card payments. It’s a rigged game. Know this as you play.

I am a strong person; given the trajectory of my life, it’s been a necessity. There are times, though, when even the strongest collapse from the weights on their shoulders.

Although one of my friends, who is a world-class psychic, has assured me that things will come through in “the eleventh hour,” in my mind, it’s 11:45 and the clock is running.

“I am where I need to be” has applied, in a literal sense, to my job of test driving cars and making sure I’m in the right lanes to stay on my route or avoid a blocked lane. It has applied, also in a literal sense, to my housing, as I am in a place that matches the homes I’ve daydreamed of buying/renting (so I know it exists) and at an affordable rate. It’s been quiet, beautiful with flowers and fruit and hummingbirds to delight. I’ve felt safe, secure, and until this week, at peace.

“It’s autumn” also refers to the time of my life. I’m over 50. While I have skills, education, and experience (not to mention a pretty solid reputation) to land a good job in due diligence and mortgage banking,…no one’s biting on the resumes I’ve sent this summer. I try to tune out the Facebook news feed items that talk about “50 is the new 65 when it comes to hiring.” I have friends older than me who are getting hired, but they have skills and connections I lack. I’m feeling a chill. Social Security is years away, and I (like millions of other Americans) don’t have retirement savings. They’ve been lived on.

I want to believe that miracles can happen at any time. Right now would be a good time.

Odds N Ends

The Blogger in chief here has spent the better part of the weekend in bed dealing with a cold and fever (either waiting for the Aleve to kick or having hallucinatory dreams only slightly less weird than the ones you get from opiates. It’s why I avoid painkillers). This being the case, this will be a brief, visual post.


You have a week. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I may run a campaign to go with it.


If you’re in the Austin area or want an excuse to go, wait until Feb 7 and I’ll meet you there.


Just plain ol’ good advice.

The WordPress App for IPad…

Reminder: e-books, sale, all platforms, Sept 30.


Need a link?
Buy Now!

We also now have a banner for the Burbank event on October 18. If you are within striking distance, please do come by:


(This has gotten so much easier since I installed the WordPress app. Somewhere, the ghost of Steve Jobs is snickering at me)

And since I’m testing out the “can I actually get this stupid furshlugger ipad to do what I want?”…
promo video

And since I can easily link to YouTube here, I’m going to close with one of. Y favorite things from this year. I don’t really stay up on pop music, but K Allen and company did a heroic spoof of “Talk Dirty to Me” which I’ve watched many times and it still makes me chuckle:

Talk Nerdy To Me