Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And so...

...things have finally hit bottom.

I'm not going into the gory details, but I have finally reached a point where no option is good. Best case, I will have to do some things that bother the hell out of me and make some major changes in my so-called "lifestyle.". Worst case is, well, worst. Not going into that either.

After hearing the news and seeing my reaction, one of the three people whom I trust enough to tell all sent me home with a Valium and a promise of help. If the help pans out, the next few days will only be hideously unpleasant, not necessarily unbearable.

I owe that friend a lot. With troubles of her own to face, she has been there for me.

I owe those of you have helped a lot, too. If the Desperation Plan works, it will be your help that really helped make it possible.

The Valium? Since I'm not into those things, it has hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. My next stop is bed. At 7:35. Unbelievable.

This journal may go dormant for a few days, maybe even a week. I will be out of touch for that time. I'll try to be back ASAP.

Oddly enough, I was beginning to feel as if I might be able to get through this the "right" way. Had a few articles come in for me to do today, and that always gives me hope.

But then the crap really hit the fan.

And now I get to be a jerk, and be really depressed. Again.

Gotta watch out for Numero Uno, you know. And that is what I fully intend to do.

I'll report in when I can.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the roller-coaster...

...and the ride never seems to get less bumpy.

Friday and early Saturday were the low points. With the help of a friend, I hatched plans that might get things straightened out, and felt better.

This morning, one major element of those plans was torpedoed. It's not gone permanently (at least not at the moment), but is delayed enough that it is far less useful. And any further delay will take it out of the picture. It was central to getting things done the way I thought I might.

As always, I am at the total mercy of other people. And I don't much like that.

I could rant about that, but what's the use?

Now, I have to come up with Plan "C," as Plans "A" and "B" have now failed miserably.

The pressure on my head is almost physical now. And each new idea seems built more on panic than actual forward thinking. When, that is, I can actually string enough thoughts together to come up with anything. Every element of my situation is banging around in the gray mush, never fitting into any logical order.

Should I take this as an indication that I am supposed to fail?

It feels like that right now.

And figuring out a way to cope feels more and more like an impossibility.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

At the park today...

...the annual local gathering of the Kustom Kar and Lowrider crowd. You saw most of the cars here last year. Or the year before.

Overheard: "Daddy, why do they call them "lowriders?"...

Overheard: "Mama, look at the li'l Vato!"...

Two classic Chevy wagons in flames...

Chrome, iron, metal and metalflake...

Guess I wasn't really in the mood today. But it was a nice -- if brief -- diversion. And I need diversions....

What helps keep me sane... the ringing of the telephone.

"Are you by your computer?" she says. "I need you to look up a phone number for me."

I point out that she is (a) 3000 miles away, (b) on vacation, and (c) must have a resource closer to hand. But then I think maybe this is like the last time she asked me for a phone number, when she wanted to "borrow" one of my P.R. contacts to ask a question for an article she was writing.

"I need a phone number for a taxi," she says.

Her voice is bubbling over with laughter, warmer than the weather where she's staying. Which is to say it is full of tropical sunshine.

I can do this. Never mind the logic -- or lack thereof -- of asking such a question of someone all the way across the continent. She wants something, I do it. Simple.

I pull up Dogpile, type in "------- taxis." A page comes up, and I scan the list. "Let me see," I say, "do you want 'The Crabby Cabbie,' 'Sunshine Taxis' or a plain ol' dumb 'Yellow Cab?'"

"No to the Crabby Cabbie," she says, laughing. "That sounds creepy."

I hoot derisively. Where's her spirit of adventure?

I give her two numbers. "Oh, give me your address, too," she says.

She's sending me something. Who knows what? I don't ask. The last card she sent remains on my desk; I read it whenever I'm down and instantly feel better.

I wish I was there, and tell her so. I know the therapeutic value of an unfamiliar paradise, and know even better the healing powers of a familiar, beautiful face and personality.

On a day when all Hell is breaking loose, she brings me a smile.

And I will tease her about "The Crabby Cabbie" for a long time, I think.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

When the fishing boats come in...

...after a long day on the ocean, the pelicans follow them to the docks, where they feast on scraps tossed by the crews and whatever tidbits come out of the scuppers as decks are hosed off.

Pelicans fascinate me.

It was good to go for a long walk with a friend at sunset after a week that finally reached its absolute worst today. While the coming days -- and perhaps weeks -- will be rough, I think I have evolved a way to get through it all and start making some real progress, rather than simply reacting to whatever gets thrown at me. I'm looking forward to it.

And, for a few minutes, I was distracted by these wonderful prehistoric birds.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another strange day... which nothing good or bad happened. Nothing happened.

That's pretty frustrating. What I want most at the moment -- aside from a couple of things that are flat-out impossible and therefore not worth thinking about, much less discussing -- is to be working.

For me, that means writing. What's more, it means writing stories I can involve myself in, as well as get a fair return for.

There have been times when that was actually possible. In fact, for a few years I took that for granted. I was batting out some reasonably high-quality stuff, and on a regular basis.

It hurts to go back and read the stories now.

It wasn't perfect. I didn't much like the editor I was working for; I found him untrustworthy and far more interested in promoting himself than behaving ethically. But we shared a desire to fill the magazine's pages with good writing, and his bosses set the pay scale, which was adequate for the time.

And he knew that while I was unlikely to hoist a beer after hours with him, I could and would crank out fine product.

It was a hell of a good deal. I was sent off to Oregon on a day's notice --and with a one-week deadline -- to come up with some undefined "story" for the magazine's first issue. If I say so myself, I came back with a winner. I know it had what I consider one of my two or three best ledes in 22 years of published work.

I went to Alaska for that magazine, too, and to Europe and Japan. I always returned home with good stories. But the inevitable day came when I was no longer flavor of the month, and we parted ways.

This is particularly galling because a sizable percentage of my recent work has been, to put it succinctly, swill. Well-written swill, but not what I would want to be remembered for.

Comparing the story currently under construction to some past efforts almost makes me think I've lost the skills I once had. I know that's not true, but can't prove it to myself right now.

That's the biggest reason for wanting to get back into the game for people who care about the end result. Forget money (never mind, that's a lie)...I'm mainly interested in turning out some of those knockout articles again. I need to surpass the Oregon story, which was written back in 1994 or thereabouts, and a few others in which I take considerable pride.

Being too busy to read my old stuff and wonder who the guy was who wrote those stories would be nice, too.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Words fail me.

I spent a few minutes this morning cleaning out the "sent messages" folder in one of my email programs. I still tend to look at such things as taking up physical space, so why save them after they've done -- or not done -- their job?

In the midst of this little exercise, I noted that a message sent to a friend had what I consider a pretty glaring typo in it. Only the occasional inept turn of phrase or badly expressed/inappropriate sentiment bugs me more.

What's worse is that the recipient is the kind of person who will notice. Not that I expect to hear about it; it'll just be another minus score on my Literacy Quotient.

I can explain, teacher:

I was tired when I wrote it;

Since the addition of one letter turned the word I wanted to use into another word, it wasn't caught by my spell checker;

I'm a crappy typist.

Naturally, this person knows I am a fairly decent editor and has indeed made use of my editorial assistance a time or two. Said writing efforts were damn near flawless in my view, so I made very few changes and suggestions.

And now, more evidence that I clearly need an editor 24/7 to watch over my own writing. Yes, even when it comes to things like emails.

There's a good reason no one sees my raw writing, at least before I've had a chance to read it over and smooth out the bumps, and this is it. I don't spend much time refining sentences and stitching up paragraphs. No, I look for the basics: actually typing the words I intended to use, proper English, and all that stuff teachers tried to beat into my head in primary school.

I was actually better about this in the days before spell-checkers and other computer-generated aids to literacy. I would print out everything I wrote before sending it off, attack it line-by-line and word-by-word, penciling in corrections and changes.

Now I just read it on the screen.

I may have to go back to the old ways. I see increasing evidence that even other "professional" writers have lost their edge when it comes to spelling, word usage and grammar, and I have a bad habit of being very critical about such basic flaws.

When society gets to the point where all communication is done via the electronic equivalent of grunts and gestures -- that is to say: strange acronyms, short words badly spelled and click-the-icon instant questions, answers and concepts -- I want to be the last dinosaur standing, the last holdout for proper English.

And I'm losin' it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


New neighbors in the building....

A chameleon...

A "skink" (that's what they -- the new human neighbors) call it...

And a baby python, on its way to a full-grown 5' length...

Do they all taste like chicken?


Went out for my five miles' walk this morning. A mistake, the direct sun beating down, concrete sidewalks and other sources of heat, direct and reflected, reduced me to a sodden pulp.

One of my neighbors accosted me when I got home: "we were just about to go in your place to see if you're okay. Your phone has been busy since last night."

It's nice to have neighbors like that.

I went upstairs to find that none of my phones worked. No dial tones, no noise on the line; not even any peeps when I pushed buttons. Oddly enough, the DSL worked fine (or at least as well as it ever does).

So, borrowing a phone, I called 611, the "repair" service.

Like every other service at AT&T, 611 now involves a computer-generated voice asking stupid and not-always relevant questions to which you respond with the few words the voice recognition software knows ("I'd like to pay my bill" seems to be the only one you can count on) or by entering a number, "press one for Spanish"-style.

After 10 minutes of this to-and-fro, the computerized voice said AT&T would send a repairman out on Monday, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00p.m., for a mere $55 "diagnostic fee."

In the meantime, another neighbor suggested I unplug all my phones for 10-15 minutes and let the system recycle itself.

I don't know if that did the job or the "system check" the computer voice claimed was being done actually accomplished something, but when I plugged the phones back in, everything worked. As well as it ever does, anyway.

So I called 611 again to cancel the service call. Apparently, the computer couldn't understand me -- even though I avoided words like %&@# and *^(! and @$$#*/% -- and was, at last, going to let me talk to a human. After 20 minutes on hold, I gave up, and will try later.

I was beyond furious, and still am. I pay $120/month for my phone plan (albeit a reasonably good one) and DSL all rolled together. I expect better service. I expect to be able to talk to a human when things get sticky.

The alternatives available are at least as costly and some, such as cable, are much more expensive here.

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Feeling old this morning...

...which should come as no surprise. After all, I am old!

It's a strange sensation. In many respects, I'm in better shape physically than I was at age 35. I weighed more then, ate poorly -- I was married; my wife had a taste for the kinds of meals that are considered verboten today -- and certainly didn't get as much exercise.

In fact, I feel as if I'm 35 most days, and that is, as it should be, a good thing.

But there are exceptions, and today is one of them.

I look at the road ahead, measure its length and my strength, and wonder how much longer I can continue the battle. Worse, life has an evil way of showing me what I should have seen when I was 35 (or should be 35 now to savor), personal relationships and adventures forever denied to me at least in part because I have too many miles showing on my life's odometer.

Being married when I was 35, and staring into the barrel of an upcoming career change, my focus was on objects at close range. No looking at any sort of bigger picture and, even though I was beginning to realize that a divorce was imminent, no looking around for fresh companionship.

That number -- 35 -- just sits in my mind. Thirty would do; so would 40.

There's a lot of goodness, ability and energy left in this old body. Who will see that? Who will want to see that?

I won't write my answer as it seems to be now.

If nothing else, this shows why I don't write entries early in the day right now. One bad dream (at least I'm guessing that's what did it; don't remember) messes me up for the whole morning.

Maybe the rest of the day will be better. Here's hoping.

Another long-ish day...

...but not so awful. I didn't expect to hear from anyone today, and didn't. The main characters in my attempts to move things along are out of town and no doubt enjoying themselves. No word from the landlord.

Nonetheless, I did get some work done, and am simply relieved that nothing bad happened.

Strange weather today. It was hot this morning, which happened to be when I went out to do my five miles. It was close to being too much; I was pretty well knackered when I got home.

And the views weren't all so nice...

A shower helped.

Tonight, it cooled off, clouded over, and seemed as if it might rain. In fact, the radar images showed a few spatters of the wet stuff out on the ocean, but we didn't get any here.

Friends continue to rally 'round, which is still a strange and wonderful thing as far as I'm concerned. I'd prefer to be helping others if indeed help needs to be provided.

These are strange times. I wish I could see improvement coming faster, but it's pretty clear now that I'll just have to wait and see. Not real swell, but I'm still getting along, more or less. It's terribly frustrating not to be able to concentrate on the things I do really well, though.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

He's the man!

My man "Ernie Borngrime," as MAD magazine once called him.

I hope I can be as forthright, funny, energetic and uninhibited as he is when/if I hit 91....


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wasted day.

Yeah, I blew it today. Tried to start off this morning by looking for other possible jobs, emailing various people and (maybe) doing some work on the few stories I have to do for clients who have shown some willingness to actually pay, but I just plain ran out of energy.

In fact, the anxiety and my miserable, aching back got the better of me, and I had to flee. Walked five miles, which at least brought my jittery pulse under control. It was hot enough to be uncomfortable, too.

Didn't hear from the landlord today. I've written him a letter asking for more time and explaining what I can of the situation; I'll drop it off at his office in the morning.

Not that I expect him to react positively. I've tried to school him on how and why my work got messed up before, and he never caught on. Still, I can hope, and the uncertainty he is causing has made it virtually impossible for me to concentrate on making positive things happen.

Friends are helping a great deal; other circumstances are making things worse.

And it's the "worse" that has been gnawing at me all day.

Fighting off the inertia that fear causes is a very big deal for me. I haven't yet given up; I hope I never do. But I can feel the impulse off in the shadows, and it's closer than I'd like.

Someone committed suicide by jumping off the nearby cliffs this afternoon. Out came helicopters, Fire Department boats and a bunch of police and paramedics, all to no avail.

Can't imagine doing that. It's not fair anyway, because the rescue folks risk their necks to recover the body.

I am lonely tonight, and intensely depressed. In the old days, that would have been to crack open a bottle of Beam and aim toward drowning my sorrows.

These days, it means writing crap like this, cold sober.

I don't see much possibility in tomorrow. I pray I'll be proven wrong.

Did I mention that my back still hurts like hell?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Less stress, but stress nontheless...

...was today's story. I started trying to get things done way too early -- 6:30 -- and of course couldn't get much done. I did do some online job applications -- more about that below -- and sent some emails, then sat there cursing myself because I wasn't getting anything done.

Doesn't make sense, I know, but when you are in a state of near-panic, that's how you feel.

Calls made, messages left. None were returned. The fear that my Sunday meeting was a waste begins to creep up on me. Both of the men I met with will be out of town until next week. Too late.

Nothing in the mail, except an offer from the cable company. I dropped my cable service more than four years ago, and am not about to get it hooked up now.

Messages of support, plus donations. Those improved my mood; how could they not? A donation from "Tony Blair;" will Gordon Brown chip in too?

That people who are in many cases not being treated as well by life as they should be are willing to help me is something special indeed. After listening to/reading their comments (a special "thank-you" to the one who called with much encouragement), I no longer feel that awful guilt for letting them help. I simply accept that they are nice, nice people.

My wish: that I could be on the other side, doing nice things for them.

Didn't hear from the landlord today. Means nothing, except that I spent another day twisting in the wind.

Went to the doctor for a regular checkup: blood pressure, weight, listening to the ticker, etc. All good; blood pressure and weight are both lower now than they were in 1988, heart's doing fine. I'd feel damn good if I didn't feel so bad.

About Last Night (A Break From Fear and Pain):

"Have you seen this job?" she said, sending me a link for a gig that sounded as if it was created for me.

"No...but I'm applying for it now!"

"Here's another," she said. She plays her computer like a piano, and finds things while I'm still laboriously typing search words. She knows where to look, too.

"Look at this one," she said.

I ended up with five possibilities, and sent off applications. Bookmarked the sites she got them from, too.

"Your phone is ringing," she said. It was.

I love her distinctive, sweet voice. Even when she is being caring and warm, there's a playful overtone that makes me smile.

She sang to me. A Lizz Wright song, earthy and enticing. It made me think of dark jazz clubs, and those rare moments when musical wonder is born.

All Heaven needs is a voice like hers, a bass player, drummer and someone on the B3.

I went to sleep hearing that.

She weaved a blanket to keep me warm last night, and it did exactly that.

If fear and bad stuff overcome me, it won't be because people didn't help. And they cannot take away the beauty that the Universe has let me see.

PARENTHETICAL BEFORE-I-POST-THIS UPDATE THOUGHT: One of the guys from Sunday just called. He's already out of town, but is still trying to reach the "rep" he thinks can help me most. He has already arranged to meet with a couple of others who could go to bat for me while he's up in Northern California. I feel a little better....

Humbled... the only word I can use, the only word that fits.

To know, as so many of you are once again showing, that there is love and hope in the world, and some of it is reserved for me, is both a positive and sorrowful experience for me.

Positive is easy to explain. I have fallen, and badly, and a multitude of hands have reached out to me.

Sorrowful because I cannot help but feel a failure. My own mistakes -- and there have been many -- poke at me like red-hot wires. Granted, it couldn't have managed to fall so far without the neglect, lack of honor and sometimes outright enmity of others, but at times like this I am acutely conscious of having just plain screwed up.

So many have rushed to my side. One ran away, and that is cause for sorrow too, though I cannot blame that person, who is undergoing severe trials right now as well.

At the order suggestion of a friend, I put up a PayPal account for those who have offered help. The button doesn't work -- I did something wrong -- and I'm tired tonight. Will try to straighten it out in the morning.

PARENTHETICAL I-TAKE-GOOD-ADVICE UPDATE: The "donation" link over in the right-hand column is fixed. Though it no longer says so, it goes through PayPal. Thanks, Wizardress!

To those who are trying to cheer me up and deliver encouragement, I say: it's working.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The vultures win...

...and what I have long feared will apparently come to pass.

My landlord told me today he is leaning toward booting me out of my place.

I can't blame him. I owe him money, and all the explanations, all the good intentions in the world don't put the money in his pocket if people aren't paying me.

Haven't heard from the two people I talked with yesterday. I thought I might. But then, I can't blame them either. Both have busy schedules, both are enormously successful and they didn't get there by spending time on other peoples' problems.

There is no place I can go, no money to get me in another place. Hell, as matters stand, I wouldn't rent to me right now.

With no place to live, I will have no way to work.

The circle closes.

I am going to pay for every mistake I have ever made. Unfortunately, I won't be able to pay in cash.

It's been, well, an interesting life.

A different one, no doubt shorter and much more uncomfortable, is about to begin.

I'm afraid; I admit it. More frightened than I can possibly tell you.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On a scale of One to 10...

...with 10 being the best possible outcome, I'd rate this afternoon's meeting a 6.5-7.

A year ago, or maybe even six months ago when I was fresh out of the hospital and simply glad to be alive, it might have been an "eight." Or even slightly better than that.

The guy I went to see was most cooperative, most willing to help. I've heard that song before, but am thinking it was genuine. Supposedly, he will get in touch with some of his own fairly high-power contacts tomorrow and try to sell them on working with me.

There was someone else at the meeting, another guy who occupies a major-league position at a large corporation I've dealt with (as a writer reviewing their products) for many years. At first I wasn't too happy about his presence; after all, I had to reveal some some things that embarrass the hell out of me in order to explain what I was after and why I was after them.

It turned out he too was a great resource, suggesting another option -- one related to his corporation -- and offering to push me as the one who could handle it.

All this gave me a solid boost in confidence for my long-term future, but did nothing about the immediate crises I have to deal with.

PARENTHETICAL I-GRADE-ON-A-STEEP-CURVE THOUGHT: A "10" meeting would have brought forth a solution to both short- and long-term problems. I wasn't prepared in any way to ask for that, but a small part of me hoped something would be volunteered. I dropped such hints as I thought proper, though. I make a lousy beggar....

The second guy also said something that was, for me, somewhat jaw-dropping: "You have a great name in the business," he said, "maybe you're not exploiting it properly."

I won't say I had no idea -- I have a few fans -- but I haven't heard it said so explicitly by someone as respected and high up the food chain before.

I wish I had heard that a year ago, too. It would have made me feel good. But I didn't know either of these gentlemen well in those days.

Today, his words made me feel incredibly sad. I can only contrast them with the very real possibility that things can still go completely sour, that my reputation won't do me any good when it matters most.

Still, the meeting gave me some slight hope that there will be a future.

My problem: I have to somehow get the vultures to stop circling for a month or so in order that I can relax -- slightly -- and use what energy I still have to appear confident, be imaginative and aggressive, keep doing what I have been doing while offering fresh ideas to a new audience.

That seems impossible. I have to try, though, even if it will involve yet more humiliations that will be hard to endure.

I had to pull the car off the freeway on the drive home so I could (how do I say this discreetly?) part company with my lunch. This was a rough one.

Seems I can't do anything these days without feeling some pain.

Like a rookie...

...I am nervous as hell about this afternoon's meeting.

That's what happens when you realize that this is, almost literally, my last shot. I've been trying to think of alternative moves, other ideas I might pursue.

There aren't any.

Very little sleep last night. Noises outside until after midnight, and the 3:00 a.m. wake-up-in-a-sweat bit.

Today, I'm nothin' but nerves.

I know I'll have on my calm, professional, got-it-all-together face when I sit down with the guy. But right now, I'm on thin ice, and I can feel it cracking.

It's damn pathetic when a 22-year record of doing quality work adds up to nothing, isn't it?

I think I'll go wash the car. It's either that or sit here and feel the fear eating me up. Some mindless labor may help.

At least it'll be a preview of what I may end up doing if the meeting doesn't get over the way it should.

I never wanted to try mountain-climbing, but I understand the sensation of dangling from a precipice with nothing between you and the rocks far below but a thin and frayed rope.

Not a pretty sight, Jim.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


...about the guy I've been trying to reach, the one who might have some suggestions for me about work.

Finally got hold of him, and will be meeting with him tomorrow afternoon.

To me, my idea more or less sells itself, but I've learned that's not enough these days.

If you have any space left in your prayers, I can use all the help I can get.

I'd be very grateful.


...for the phone to ring. For the mail to arrive. For something good to result from all I've done to try to improve my situation.

It seems a forlorn hope that today is going to see any positive changes.

I have been trying to contact an individual who can, I think, point me to someone who can help me with selling my work and putting demand for it on a consistent basis. Unlike the time earlier in the year when he was readily available to me -- to talk to me for an article I was doing that gave him some ink -- he is hard to reach now, and is not returning my calls.

Is it the school-of-fish theory, in which the fish showing signs of weakness is shunned by the rest?

When matters get to this state, there are no days off. I can expect those seeking blood from me to call without hesitation; they are not respecters of weekends.

That would be okay, if I had concrete answers for them. But they are simply not convinced that I want every last item on the list of negatives resolved at least as much as they do, and when I can look at things realistically, I can't really argue with their logic.

They want what they want now. So do I. They have ways of going after it. I don't.

Again, I'm trying not to place blame or be bitter. Bitterness is not good for one's health, and stress is already doing enough to injure me.

A very supportive and kind friend lost her job yesterday. The end came without warning.

One of the many reasons I would so love to be enjoying the success I believe I have more-or-less earned is that I could then help people like her in tangible ways. It hurts to stand by and see someone getting a bad deal without being able to step in and do something meaningful.

In fact, beyond providing a basic amount of comfort and security, I believe this is the best thing money can do.

If only I could work without having to constantly look over my shoulder to see who is coming after me!

You might think I'm being too dramatic. After all, no one is looking to kill me.

But they are threatening the next worst thing, which is my ability to keep trying to provide for myself and do the work I'm good at doing.

Looked at that way, they are threatening me with death in a way.

At the moment, all that has happened is that I have been pushed into a state of near-24/7 anxiety, which makes it nearly impossible to accomplish anything, for myself or anyone else.

That's bad enough.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Not the best of times... fact, I would have to say this has been, and is continuing to be, the worst of my 58 years on this planet.

At the moment, I am on the brink of total catastrophe and, as of now, have not been able to find a way out.

A friend, one of the few I trust enough to have made her privy to all the sordid details (sorry, I won't do that here), gave me some ideas. I have pursued them this morning, and none will provide any sort of relief.

That's not to say I was unhappy about receiving the advice. It just means that I, while in circumstances almost as awful as hers once were, do not meet the same criteria she did. Bureaucracy, and all that.

I have several notions about what can be done. Making them happen will be the hard part.

I can psych myself up to deal with people on a businesslike basis, but it becomes more difficult and tiring by the day. That's doubly so when the bad things keep hitting at me. Obviously, no one is working to my schedule (and I don't expect them to) so the laws of misfortune suggest that while coping with potential good situation "A," I will get a call from angry bearer-of-bad-news "B," who gets doubly irritated when I am unable to give a clear and full answer to his issue right now.

I can't do what I can't do, which is predict how other people -- e.g. clients -- will act. For good and obvious reasons, I don't trust a damn one of them at the moment.

I am not, at least as of now, angry. Nor am I bitter. The effort needed to project a positive attitude where needed seems to have burned all that out of me.

I'm still left with plenty of anger at myself. It's easy to say "don't blame yourself," but so difficult to do.

Back to the battle.

Aside from a trustworthy friend or two, the only weapon I have in this battle is me.

Now if I can just figure out the right move for me to make....

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Some cats do fine... a black away from the ocean...

...while other cats don't fare so well....