Monday, February 28, 2011

A Lovely New Week

Sometimes things are better after a good night's sleep. Sometimes they aren't.

This time, I did not awake to find that worries had flitted away during the night. Instead, I awoke to find evidence on my email (I shouldn't check my office email this early, but I do) that the reasons for my burnout and my fury are intensifying. I don't know if I am willing to stand eight days, much less eight months, of this.

But, now, the decision to start a new chapter is being second-guessed. In fact, it's going unclaimed by some of the parties to it. The decision, if it is that, looks old and weak and perhaps on its last legs.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pretend It's All Wonderful

While the rest of the world watches the Oscars, I've started watching an episode of Masterpiece Classic, Any Human Heart, on PBS. It's only the second episode I've seen, or seen in part; I don't know how many others there are. What I've seen so far, in the one lsat week and the one so far tonight, it's spectacularly good. Much better than watching the Oscars.

But I'm losing interest. Well, not interest I'm losing the ability to focus. So many things on my mind. So many decisions to make, or reverse, or pretend weren't made. Everything is just peachy. Everything is wonderful. All's well. That ends well.


It's Oscar night and I'm angry. The two have nothing to do with one another; it's just happenstance. But what little interest I would have had in the Oscars has dissipated, transforming into acrid steam that is swept into the air, but not swept away.

I won't play out my anger here, except to say my plans have been turned on their heads. What I thought was a breakthrough decision apparently wasn't a joint decision. Apparently I thrust it upon the world.

So, now I bide my time and wonder what "my" decision will be in a month. Or a year. I'm angry. Maybe I'm angry at myself and my failure to plan and my failure to comprehend and my failure to get it in writing.

I'm so close to burnout I can taste the ashes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


So, the decision's made. How do I go about implementing it? It's going to be tougher than I expected. And I'm dumbfounded that I feel pangs of remorse. WTF?

And, though it's made, the minutia have not been addressed. That's where the hard stuff starts, I suspect.

Why do I feel a sense of dread that I've made the wrong decision, instead of a sense of overwhelming joy that I'll be free?

Friday, February 25, 2011


I enjoyed watching the Rachel Maddow Show this evening. But it occurred to me while I was watching it that I enjoyed it as much for the fact that it supports my own political point of view as anything else. And it occurred to me that I enjoy and appreciate PBS precisely because PBS seems to have no agenda. Many times, PBS reports what I believe are facts that I don't like because they don't provide ammunition to support my perspective.

I don't consider Rachel Maddow a source of unbiased information. I think she reports facts, but she reports them through a decidedly liberal lens. Sort of like Glenn Beck "reports" through a decidedly insane lens (well, it is). But PBS just tells it like it is.

Rachel massages my ego. Glenn makes me want to kill him and his spawn. PBS makes me think. I like that.


I am concerned that many people who share my progressive political and social philosophies may be allowing their emotional attachments to ideals overcome their intellectual capacity to recognize problems. The stalemate in Wisconsin is a case in point.

Unfunded pensions are problems. I do not understand why it is so hard for my liberal brethren to grasp that simple fact. Moreover, I do not understand why more of us are not asking questions about just why there are "pensions" in the first place, whether taxpayer-supported or corporately-funded.

I'm in favor of a social safety net and an assured stream of income in retirement. That's why I favor Social Security. I am NOT in favor of placing responsibility for an employee's ability to enjoy a lucrative retirement in the hands of the taxpayer. Granted, if employees have been promised a certain level of retirement income, the promises should be met. But, going forward, the promises should not be MADE. They should never have been made in the first place, in my view. Until and unless a mechanism is in place that assures commitments contemplated can be funded without debt financing, they should not be made.

In an ideal world, none of us would have to worry about where the money comes from; it would just be there. This is not an ideal world. We MUST understand that, in our current economic system, there must be means of sustaining revenue streams before committing to their use for the long term.

I remain as liberal as ever, but I think we all need to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at realities. The governor of Wisconsin, as much as I disagree with his call for eliminating collective-bargaining rights, clearly is speaking openly about the 800 pound gorilla we all need to talk about. I hope the conversation continues, with some real communication about how to solve the problem.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I'm up early, sitting in the bathroom of our hotel room until my wife wakes up. Here, I can have the light on and get access to the internet. I suppose life on the road might be like this; a motel room or a little motor home or pretty much any other place to stay on the road would not provide the room to spread out that I have at home. I'd figure out a way to get used to it.

We're getting closer to the possibility of retirement or, if not that, at least a break for a few months before I look at some other way to make enough money to get by. I personally need to get away from the stress. My wife needs me to get away from the stress, too, and she needs to get away from it, as well.

I promised myself that yesterday would be a good day. Maybe it was. A prospective client didn't come through. An existing client made comments that annoyed me so much I decided I have to get out from under the group. Maybe it was a good day, after all, just in an unexpected way.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Very tired of late. Not sure why. I don't feel sick, just inexplicably tired. It comes on suddenly. Last night, I slept 11 hours, more or less. This can't go on. Can it?

Happy Diamond Merchant Greed Day

I've a mixed mind about Valentine's Day. On the one hand, I believe the day is like any other, except it has been hijacked by capitalist pigs who will stoop to any level to make a buck, including extortion. On the other, it can serve as a reminder that we need to pause and reflect on our romantic love.

As for me, I bend to extortion by buying a card. I do not (at least not TODAY) go further down that primrose path, spending indiscriminately on heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, dozens of obscenely-overpriced roses, and diamond rings. I don't buy diamond rings on ANY days, not because I am a cheapskate but because I believe diamonds are not a GIRL's best friend but, rather, the fuel for greed of the DIAMOND MERCHANT.

I know, if there were a bah-humbug comment for this day, it would be in the dictionary next to my picture. Fine. I can live with that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Alive...I'm Alive!

I'm back in the land of the living. Yesterday afternoon, I started feeling pretty miserable; an odd sort of miserable, like a mix of the flu, a cold, Crohn's flare-up, aching joints, upset stomach, and headache...coupled with extreme fatigue. Fortunately, going to bed before 8:00 pm apparently solved it. I woke up just after 5:00 am and feel considerably better.

So, I may write a book today. Or maybe not.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Tropical Hate Wave

I left the house awhile ago to buy coffee. My supply of good beans was dangerously low; I wanted to avoid a meltdown in the morning. I returned with a full tank of gas in my vehicle and:
  • a pound of coffee beans
  • four boxes of Crystal Light popsicles
  • a bag of amaretto-chocolate-covered pecans, and
  • a bag of pecans covered with dark chocolate.

What was that about eating healthy foods? This followed a day of munching on peanuts, despite the fact that my Crohn's disease has shown signs of a flare in recent days.

I don't know...maybe it's the food, maybe it's the stress. I've had a lot more stress than food lately. I've been thinking about, but have not discussed with my wife, calling it quits much sooner than I had been contemplating. My office space lease is up at the end of October, as is my contract for very expensive telephone service. If I get a new lease, I'm looking at three more years, minimum. Do I really want to do that? The immediate, no-question answer: NO! But the question really is this: can I afford NOT to keep going? I don't know. I just don't know.

So, I'll go grab a Crystal Light pop and mull it over. The temperature tonight will drop only to 28 degrees, a veritable heat wave. Popsicles are perfect for such blasts of hot weather.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Caught Off Guard

The weather wizard on my computer tells me it's 18 degrees. The clock tells me it's 1:45 a.m. The weather forecast tells me to expect a ten-degree drop by daybreak. My brain tells me I should process these pieces of information in some way that varies from the way I'm processing them.

That's as far as it goes. My intellect and my emotion diverge here. I don't know what to think or what to feel. I attribute that lack of knowledge to being tired. That's part of it. As to the other part, I don't know.

This is not new. But I'm caught off guard by knowing that I know I don't know.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Anything but Work

For three nights running, I've had dreams related to work. One of them was a bizarre one in which the president-elect of a client organization made increasingly aggressive passes at me. I don't know where that one came from; she never has given me any reason to think I need to be concerned about that and I don't loathe the client (any more than normal). Another night's dreams are too fuzzy to really remember; I just know they were based on work. Last night, I spent the night dreaming about trying to find and update the Facebook page of a client. That one is real; someone (not me) created a Facebook page using the client's info/logo, etc. but hasn't updated it in three years but now it appears the board thinks I have been sitting on my hands since creating it.

All three nights suggest to me I need something else on my mind than work.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Right Place, Right Time

On my other blog, I just posted something that I think was about compassion and guilt and greed. But I'm not sure. I wrote it because I felt inadequately grateful for the good things I have. I do not know to whom I'm supposed to be grateful. It's not as if someone or something "gave" me the good things I have. It's more a matter of being at the right place at the right time, being born to the right parents, having the right color skin, living in a society in which education is (or was) considered a right and an obligation, and making a few good decisions.

Should I be grateful for accidental good fortune? Yes. But to whom? I don't know. I just think I should be glad and appreciative. I think I should be glad and appreciative every moment of every day. I'm not, of course, but I should be. And so should you.

If you're reading this, you have access to the Internet. You can read. You are not scraping by to put food in your mouth (or, if you are, you are approaching it with less passion than is wise...stop now and go search for food). You are DAMN lucky! OK, maybe not lucky. You are coincidentally in the right place at the right time.

Friday, February 4, 2011


A Facebook friend, formerly a fabulous blogger who doesn't care that her abandonment of blogging has actually ruined lives, recommended this: Now, of course, I want to eat all the beans this place sells.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Occasionally, I get extraordinarily excited by subjects that are utterly and completely outside my sphere of experience. For a few brief and euphoric moments...maybe a few minutes, maybe a few hours...I allow my excitement to persuade me that I can change my life.

I believe, in those rare moments, I can change things to the extent that this new and astonishingly interesting subject will become my avocation, my vocation...truly the purpose for my existence.

Perhaps because I've just had a second Irish coffee or perhaps because I'm simply unable to articulate my experience in a way that can fully describe it, I can't adequately explain this remarkable experience. I wish I could. For a brief time, my experience makes me feel like my life has value and meaning and matters. Unfortunately, that doesn't last long. I become aware of reality all too quickly. But for a time, I can understand how people can believe the unbelievable. I can understand religion during that time. I can understand the development of myth. I can appreciate hero worship. All sorts of illogical things seem, momentarily, to be based on a beautiful and pure logic all their own.

That all disappears, of course, when reality sets in. The wonder of the world around me fades into dull, grey smudges and I lose that temporary engagement in glory.

But when it's there, it's amazing.

Tonight, I watched a program on NOVA. It was about how the brain works. And I got excited, really excited, about the research explained during that program. For a while, I envisioned myself in a new career, pursuing knowledge about the brain. I saw myself happy and enthusiastic and alive with energy. I saw myself doing research on how our brains work, how they control our lives, and how we can control them.

Oh, it was a sweet fantasy.

But now I know where I am, what I do, and how it all ends. It's painful to see that brilliant light fizzle into a dull sputter.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beastial Chill

The weather took a fierce turn last night, transforming what had been a friendly excursion into Spring into a frigid beast. Howling winds and demonic cold stole my comfort and replaced it with icy pain. Brutally cold winds, horizontal sprays of ice and sleet, and heartless snow have taken hold. I stayed home today rather than face streets filled with ice, hidden beneath a thick coating of snow.

Tomorrow, the world won't permit me to stay home.

Tomorrow, I face the beast head-on.