"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart..." Linda McCartney

Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

Decide! It’s Your Decision

In Despair, Life, Living, Music, Reading, Society, Unemployment on January 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

No temptation has taken you except what is common to men.  But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear..,”   I Corinthians 10:13

I guess this basically means, then, that if you’re like me and have a high threshold for emotional and psychological pain, He can let it go on ad infinitum. But can you?

They say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Is this really true?  Only if you’re Job.  Death is not the worse thing that can happen to you, you know.  God let Satan do anything he wanted to Job short of taking his life.  In the end, Satan had to leave Job just as he found him– alive and only wishing he were dead.

Job’s ordeal only lasted a whopping three years.  Come to think of it, so did Jesus’. So how do you cope when your ordeals are recurring, last much, much, much, much longer and there is not a locust, wild fig tree or even a false friend in sight?  What do you do?

Here’s a few things I didn’t do:  I never turned to drugs (prescribed or otherwise) or alcohol or sexual promiscuity to anesthetize my pain. I have never sought revenge against any other person or been involved in any deliberate acts of unkindness toward anyone. I have never committed an act of violence upon any person, or skulked about in parking lots or back offices plotting to have someone fired. I never willfully set out to hurt anyone or kill anyone’s spirit.  That’s murder as far as I’m concerned.

These are the usual ways the majority of people, (at least almost every single person I have ever met in my life) seems to deal with insecurity, unresolved adolescent issues, undiagnosed borderline personality disorder or “temptation…beyond” what they could bear.

I did take up smoking cigarettes for a time.  The rituals of smoking– the lighting of the cigarette and with what, the having of the cigarette with coffee and after meals, standing outside alone inhaling, then exhaling, watching streams of cigarette smoke disappear into the still, night air…  I did find comfort in that.

It was something to do, a way for me to regain control and a sense of routine during those stark times when I needed to occupy my hands and my thoughts.  But I hated the ash, and the smell of the ash, and the discarding of the ash.  The expense became prohibitive.  It was ridicules, so after a time, I just stopped. I didn’t need a buddy or a patch, or a scary PSA.  I just needed to decide.

Just how much can one person “bear?” What does “beyond” mean? Those filthy, dirty, discolored people you see pushing shopping carts filled with all their stuff and sleeping in subway tunnels–  do they know?  Those people who snap and kill their wives, or boyfriends, or parents, or child, or classmates–  do they know?  Schizophrenics, or people living with mental illness or who have suffered severe mental breakdowns–  do they know?

“…He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…”

What about the millions of people who each year commit suicide?  Is the “what you can bear” threshold beyond life worth living? At that eleventh hour and fifty ninth second, did they cry out to God in their pain, agony and solitude and saw nothing beyond “beyond” at all to be afraid of?  Did they become like God, “KNOWING good and bad?” (Gen. 3:5) Is that why they did it? Could it be death is highly underrated?

” No temptation has taken you except what is common to men.”

Poverty, homelessness, disease, mental illness, abandonment, betrayal, isolation, hurt…  All human conditions “common to men.”  You’re not special, or unique, or being singled out for punishment or future increase.  You don’t get to stop bearing all things life burdens you with.  You don’t get to surrender your torment and become numb. Miracles ceased upon the death of the last apostle, so don’t overstay your welcome during the sackcloth and ashes phase of grief. Is there a limit to endurance?  Yes there is and guess what?  You determine it!

“…but along with the temptation He will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.”

Popularity is people liking you.  Happiness is You liking you.

“Love… bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” I Cor. 13:4, 7

Some people have families who help assuage the pain.  The rest of us do not.  Some people have a circle of friends who help assuage the pain.  The rest of us do not.  Some people have a so-called church home, or a job, or a community or a passion or even a dog to help help assuage the pain. The rest of us..?  Well, we just have to like ourselves more.

“No temptation has taken you except what is common to men.  But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation He will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.” I Cor. 10:13

We just have to endure.

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that’s real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar’s chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

Hurt | performed by Johnny Cash


How Does It Feel?

In Books, Civility, Death, Life, Racism, Unemployment on January 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm

For all the talk about honesty and integrity and authenticity, the most life altering circumstance where these attributes are glaringly absent is during the job search process.  You may be driving on fumes, so hungry your stomach muscles are stuck in a painful concave or twisted up in a knot with fear about the phone and ISP bill that’s past due and you know full well there’s no income coming in this week… but when you show up at that interview you better look like you haven’t got a care in the world. You better act like you don’t need this job.

“People call me rude.  I wish we all were nude…  I wish there was no Black or White, I wish there were no rules…” Prince/Controversy

The hiring process as it stands today makes thieves and liars out 0f all of us. Worse, it transforms otherwise law abiding, tax-paying wives and mothers, husbands and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, Protestants and Catholics, Christians and Jews into cold-hearted murderers of the spirit before lunch at Subway.  Given the choice between having my spirit killed and being shot 42 times, in this economy, I choose the latter.

The 21st century workplace is the new Roman Coliseum.  All it takes is the downturned thumbs of the masses for you, even you, to be thrown to the lions.  You don’t like somebody you work with?  Conspire to make the office environment so unbearably uncomfortable, the disliked person feels compelled to quit.  You don’t like somebody you work with?Don’t like the way they look, or the way they type or breathe? Subscribe to the belief that “most Christians” believe that religion is a cult?   Start a bad rumor about them.  Have them fired!

Never mind that person may have a child or two to support, or a mortgage, or car note, or college loans to repay, same as you.  Never mind that person you don’t like may want to look toward tomorrow with a modicum of hope and confidence, the same as you.

Never mind that every thread that constitutes the fabric of life is completely unattainable when one does not have a job.  You can’t make friends.  You isolate yourself from family.  You can’t own anything or even make plans.  You can’t provide for your children.  You can never let anyone in to know your shame and deprivation.  You are forced to keep terrible secrets.  You’re afraid all the time. You can never tell the truth.

And that’s probably a good thing because the truth is not what prospective employers want to hear from job-hopping, gaps-in-your-resume-having, slow-bill paying, deadbeats like you.  That’s just the way it is.., Right?

Standing in line marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old ladies’ eyes
Just for fun, he says, “Get a job”

That’s just the way it is

Some things will never change

That’s just the way it is
But don’t you believe them

They say, “Hey little boy you can’t go where the others go

‘Cause you don’t look like they do”

Said,”Hey old man, how can you stand to think that way?
Did you really think about it
Before you made the rules?”
He said, “Son”

That’s just the way it is

Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
But don’t you believe them”

That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is

Well, they passed a law in ‘64

To give those who ain’t got a little more

But it only goes so far
Because the law don’ change another’s mind
When all it sees at the hiring time
Is the line on the color bar

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is, it is, it is, it is

Performed/Lyrics Bruce Hornsby, 2004

Let’s just say for the sake of argument all that’s true?  What could anyone in this country or anywhere in the world for that matter possibly do that could be so terrible they may not be allowed to earn a living?  Or eat?  Or have a place to lay their head and store their stuff? To be?

W.E.B DuBois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk “…How does it feel to be a problem?” (page 5, paragraph 1)

It’s How It Feels Not To Have a Job.

Mother’s Little Helper

In Civility, Death, Despair, Feelings, Life, Music, Musicians, Society, The Bible, Twitter, Unemployment on January 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I think I’ll just let these lyrics speak for me here and now.  It’s my story, only without the “little helper.”  But I think on it. We’re not designed to be perpetually alone.  Even Adam had Eve.  I think I’m being conversant. In my mind I want to be helpful or funny. Only year after year, decade after decade, I find I am characterized as a “know-it-all.”   The penalty for this harsh, unsparing indictment is death, first by insult, then some public humiliation, then banishment.  You may not work, earn money or live.  It’s a death sentence. Life without the possibility for parole.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards penned and produced this tune in 1966. Unlike the paradoxes of the bible, the language here is straightforward and impossible for even the lowest level of understanding to miss.  It’s a great song. Mostly because She is Me.  I hope I will find my “little helper.”

♫What a drag it is getting old

“Kids are different today,”
I hear every mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she’s not really ill
There’s a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

“Things are different today,”
I hear every mother say
Cooking fresh food for a husband’s just a drag
So she buys an instant cake and she burns her frozen steak
And goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And two help her on her way, get her through her busy day

Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

“Men just aren’t the same today”
I hear every mother say
They just don’t appreciate that you get tired
They’re so hard to satisfy, you can tranquilize your mind
So go running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And four help you through the night, help to minimize your plight

Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

“Life’s just much too hard today,”
I hear every mother say
The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore
And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day  [clearspring_widget title=”Grooveshark Widget: Single Song” wid=”48f3f305ad1283e4″ pid=”4b4a7000e2ee16a2″ width=”400″ height=”300″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

Up In The Air

In Books, Economy, Feelings, Film, Life, Living, Music, Unemployment on November 30, 2009 at 10:58 pm
Help!  I need somebody,
Help!  Not just anybody,
Help!  You know,  I need Someone…,
Look at me. Still here. Languishing unhappily in this place some might call Hell.  I listened to Jason Reitman today as he discussed, in an interview with Robert Seigle on NPR what he learned from his experience working with “real people who had lost their jobs” for his newly released movie Up In The Air” starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga.

“If you’d asked me before I did this movie, ‘What’s the worst thing about losing your job in this type of economy?’ I would’ve probably said the loss of income,” Reitman explains. “But as I talked to these people, that rarely came up. What people said, time and time again, was: ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ … It was really about a lack of purpose. They would say, you know, ‘After I finish this interview, I’m going to go get in my car, and I have nowhere to be.’ And I can’t imagine thinking that every day.”

“I can’t imagine thinking that every day” young Mr. Reitman said.  We’re not just thinking it, Mr. Reitman.  We’re feeling it and that, I can tell you from experience is far, far worse.

You can’t  imagine getting up every morning with no one in the entire world expecting you.  No one even knowing or caring if you’re  even ALIVE or not.  Days blend into weeks.  Weeks into months.  You check and recheck the calendar constantly to remind yourself what day of the week it is.  Or watch The Today Show.

There is no greater hell than to have to begin and end each and every day having had nothing to do.  Nothing to think about.  No Where to be.  No one to be with.  No one who gives a shit.

No one says “See you tomorrow.”  I  go whole days, weeks and months without ever having to part my lips to make a sound.  I can go equally as long not ever hearing the sound of my own name.

The phone never rings.

Death of a SalesmanYou are absolutely right, Mr. Reitman.  It is not the loss of income that is the thing.  I used to always joke if I wanted to work soley for money I’d be a prostitute.  No, it’s not the loss of an income that we miss most.

Work is the anchor of a life. Look what happened to Willy Loman, for gods sake. Everything you do in life is because you work.   Work is not a privilege.  It’s a RIGHT!  There can be no Life, Liberty or PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS without WORK!  Work is the American dream!

Once you have your job and feel secure in it and have adapted to the routine of collecting and managing the paycheck, that’s when L.I.V.I.N.G begins. Every plan, every decision, every thought, even your commute to and from work each day is dictated by the completion of at least eight hours and the blessed assurance you’ll  repeat that routine again tomorrow.

Before work you may do a load of laundry, drop the kids off with the caregivers, stop at a drive through for a McGriddle, stop at the dry cleaner, plan dinner while you’re driving.  Once you get to work, you chit-chat about those mundane, shared experiences with co-workers, grocery shop on your lunch hour, use online bill payer at work, pitch in for birthday cards and cakes for co-workers you hardly know (or may not even like) .

After work, you complain about traffic, listen to your car radio (or iPod), pick up the kids, stop at the grocery store or Pet Smart or Target or just head straight home because dinner has to be made, the dryer has to be emptied, the floor needs to be vacuumed, homework needs to be done.  Bills need to be paid.  Everybody has to pee.

Meal time, bath time, bedtime,  quiet time.  All the while your mind’s already reflecting on tomorrow’s in-basket, e-mails that need to be responded to, deadlines, projects, special assignments or just the every day joy of the every day routine of everyday people doing what they do every day–  anchoring their lives so they can orbit all the things they really love and care about.  The JOB is the sun.  Family.  Friends.  Food. Music, TV and NPR all nourished by the Sun’s life-giving, life-sustaining  perennial rays.

Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They DoThere is no community without  people who are working. Studs Terkel wrote a book about it.  Real people don’t give a shit about “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”  All they wanna do is work so they can live in the same neighborhood they grew up in, make their parents proud and live close to them, grow their childhood friendships, marry their childhood sweethearts, share the old neighborhood and their most cherished memories with their children and then check out realizing some content with the measure of their life. People have to be working to do that.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

I’m estranged from my family, too ashamed to let them know where I am and how I’ve ended up.  I force myself to be cheerful and happy seeming around my only child because I don’t want to worry him or be a burden to him.  He’s all I have–  That’s human.

And then there is my dog.  He’s what keeps me alive right now.  I will not relinquish him. I will not surrender him. I will not give him up.  I love my dog.  He’s here with me every day.  He sleeps in the bed with me. He keeps me hanging on with hope that tomorow… maybe tomorrow something excellent will happen to me at last.  Maybe I just might survive this depression/recession– decession.

Or maybe I’ll just end up like those elephants in Africa who don’t survive the drought or the long trek toward water.  I’m prepared for that, too.

I the meantime I hope.  Maybe once again I will be able to do a load of laundry, drop my dog off at the pet sitter, stop at the drive though for a McMuffin, drop off the dry cleaning, eat  birthday sheet cake at the office, plan dinner, save for an Elton John concert…  Be not afraid everyday.  Be normal.
When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now those daya are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me
Help me..,
HELP me…
Oooooo…. ♫♫

I Only Wanna Be…

In Animals and Pets, Celebrities, Life, Music, Society, Unemployment on April 4, 2009 at 9:06 pm
That  ThatOne

ThatOne has once again exposed me to a whole new and different world: The neighborhood dog park. Yep. You read it right.

The neighborhood dog park is the fun, social hot spot especially for our times.  It’s the place to see and be seen. Different breeds freely associate with the only goals being to play and have fun and sniff some butt.

It’s the closest thing to life in the paradise earth in that people love their dogs, people love to talk about their dogs, the dogs make people smile and laughter, smiles, goodwill abounds. Love, love, love. It’s a wonder John Lennon never wrote a song about it.

Dog park etiquette is enforced like the mafia code of conduct. You are expected to supervise your dog. Your dog may not be aggressive. You are expected to pick up after your dog.

If you decide not to observe The Code, the Poop Police, ever vigilant, who caught your dog in the act will make you an offer you can’t refuse. But nicely. No cement shoes or severed horse heads between red satin sheets here. No one gets angry.

There are no flushed red faces, no outbursts of temper, or dirt kicking or pouting. No, everyone dutifully and often cheerfully marches right over to the temporary latrine, crisp, crackling plastic bag at the ready, and removes the offending mass. No static at all.

There are those infrequent visitors who are both indifferent and disrespectful of The Code. In that case, the Poop Police will pick it up, albeit grudgingly and after some bit of discussion, ever mindful of the fact that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

After a while, people are actually  falling over themselves volunteering to pick up the poop. Cooperation is the operative word. Consideration is the next. People don’t want to step in it and no one wants their dog to step in it, track it into the car or home, or worse, eat it.

The small dog park and the big dog park are adjacent, separated by a fence. The difference between big dog owners and small dog owners is like the difference between the blue jeans and tie wearing high school teacher and the multi-pocketed oversized jeans smock dress wearing kindergarten teacher.

“One pair of matching bookends, different as night and day*.”

Big dog owners seem to be a more mixed, more diverse, more inclusive and homogeneous demographic. In the big dog park there are no cliques, no ridicules “My dog doesn’t like your dog” prejudices. Young people don’t seem to mind at all hanging with the OG’s.

Everybody’s protective and tolerant of one another’s dogs. No one manhandles or is rude, or unkind to anyone’s dog. There is no disrespect. There are never any overprotective “parent” outbursts. When a regular is absent for a few days in a row, there is genuine concern. People take the time, not just to make small talk, but if you listen carefully, you may actually witness a whole conversation taking place.

In the Big dog park, people tend to use the entire length and width of the dog park as opposed to congregating in a specific area. It’s important to stand away from tables and chairs otherwise the dogs will congregate underneath and we all know what can happen when a dog feels cornered.

It’s just a great sort of hidden society. I mean, no one ever comes back to the office after the weekend and tells tales of their weekend in the dog park with Daisy or Rufus or Tank. It’s not a subject that keeps people gathered around the water cooler. It’s never a “hot topic” on the View.

People bring their collapsible canvass chairs, their gallon jugs of water and a book, but you will only get to read your book if you’re alone, you are determined to be alone, and there is no other person in the dog park. It’s not like riding the subway in New York City where possessing an open book screams: “Don’t talk to me. Don’t invade my personal space.” Having a book doesn’t convey the same subliminal “back off” message here in Southern CA. You need to stay home if you really want to be alone.

A well attended, well supported community dog park serves a purpose that is especially important in these difficult times when people are increasingly isolating themselves because they’re jobless or are experiencing some sort of personal and/or financial difficulty.

In my case, I find myself enjoying a sense of community I never experienced before and a sort of camaraderie (dare I say it.., even a level of goodwill) I never experienced in any office I have ever worked in; Goodwill that is freely expressed and that with no strings. It not contingent upon regular attendance. There is no tithe. There’s no joining, no public baptisms, no oaths– no conditions. You go and you– just be.

People describe the love of a dog or any pet they have as “unconditional.” ThatOne isn’t concerned about my anxieties or worries. He doesn’t care if I’m young, or wrinkled or whether my breath is minty fresh. He doesn’t care what I do or don’t do for a living. He’s the same in the back seat of a Honda Civic as he would be in a Bentley. He just only wants to be– with me– just the way I am. That’s how it is at the dog park. The only thing you have to do is be– just the way you are. Canvass chair optional.

Don’t go changing, to try and please me,

You never let me down before,

Don’t imagine, you’re too familiar,

And I don’t see you anymore.

I would not leave you, in times of trouble,

We never could have come this far,

I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times,

I’ll take you just the way you are.

Don’t go trying, some new fashion,

Don’t change the colour of your hair,

You always have my, unspoken passion,

Although I might not seem to care.

I need to know that you will always be

The same old someone that I knew,

What will it take till you believe in me,

The way that I believe in you?

I said I love you, and that’s forever,

And this I promise from the heart,

I couldn’t love you, any better,

I love you just the way you are.

I don’t want clever, conversation,

I never want to work that hard,

I just want someone, that I can talk to,

I want you just the way you are.

| 1977

*The Patty Duke Show Theme | TV series 1963-1966 |   



The World Is Closed

In Animals and Pets, Death, Emotional Intelligence, Unemployment on March 24, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I’m a very private person. I don’t put too much out there about myself. It’s easy to talk about feelings or to react to current events, or the arts and entertainment, politics, The View. But for the most part my life’s experience has taught me to be on my guard. Anne Frank wrote while hiding with her family in an attic during the Holocaust that she believed people are basically good at heart. I think she’s right: People are basically good at heart but the caveat to that is they are mean as well.

I’m discovering daily over the past twenty years I am just angry. I have cognition around my anger so I pray about it, I cogitate over it, I devise coping strategies and try very hard to act on these. I smile, I try to be nice, I’m effusive, helpful, knowledgeable, funny, ( I’ve read the bible from Genesis to Revelation), but mean people are not invested in me, my success or my future. It’s their mission in life to rid the world of people like me; to expose me as the fraud that I am. I am an angry person trying to look like I’m just like everybody else.

My anger has been reflecting back at me by my recent experiences at the dog park of all places. Before I got ThatOne, I could go whole weekends without parting my lips to utter a single sound. On Friday after work, I’d drive back to wherever I was living, shit, shower and shave and lie in bed where I remained until Monday morning. I have no friends. If I suddenly died tomorrow, no one would care or notice or come to my funeral. Now, I enjoy whole conversations with people who actually touch me, hug me, laugh with me and who call me by my name.

For Christmas 2008,  I saved $200.00 to entertain my son and his girlfriend. I invited them here where I planned for us to relax in the hot tub out back, swim in the pool out back, have breakfast at the Buffet at the casino a minutes drive from here and to show them around the Inland Empire.

It is really quite beautiful here, surrounded by black, craggy mountains with snow capped mountains off further in the distance, the historic old town, the ducks, the lake, the fountains, the ducks. Only it rained buckets Christmas day which was a Thursday, so out of concern for my son I suggested they come Friday instead.  I waited and waited and waited and waited. No one ever came. No one ever called. Part of the reason I hoped I would give birth to a boy 25 years ago was because I believed then that they’re more loyal to their mothers.

Finally I texted my son and told him I was disappointed. He acknowledged in his response that he should have called but that he just didn’t. I told him I was a big girl and that I would get over it. What do you think?

He came here for the first time this past Saturday. He said he was going to celebrate our not seeing each other in over three months by treating himself to a big meal. I took him to the dog park. He met Sharon, and Nancy and That’s doggie friends. Then we went to Claim Jumper. I had the gigantic chocolate cake and milk. He had top round and lobster tail and the crab cake appetizer, cheesy garlic bread and a mixed greens salad.

I recalled how in November I begged him to lend me $130.00 so I could pay my rent. He couldn’t help me. But he and his girlfriend took a trip to Puerto Rico and in April, (the same week as my #52), they’re going to New York.

All of these things and the crushing sadness I feel daily over my unemployment has made me more verbal than usual about my present circumstances. I have been telling everyone that will listen that I am unemployed and passing out my resume to any and all takers. So you can imagine my elation when I got an email response from a lovely woman I met at the dog park suggesting there may be a place in her office for me. But my experience did not leave me totally gullible. This was too good to be true and it was.

You see, it turns out this woman is trying to organize a team under an MLM opportunity called 5Links (http://www.5linx.com/opportunity/index.html). My heart broke in a strange way. I know now what Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath , Ray Combs, David Foster Wallace, Spalding Gray, Vincent Van Gogh, Jean Seberg, Donny Hathaway, Marilyn Monroe, Phyllis Hyman, Kurt Cobain knew at crisis time. They all knew just like I know now: Your arm’s too short to box with God.

“…But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them, otherwise you may perhaps be found fighters actually against God.” Acts 5:39

If  this  pain and decades long misfortune is in fact from God, I may not escape this destiny. The lifelong struggle to escape will only make matters worse as I  become then a fighter against God. Clearly that’s a battle I cannot win or even hope to enjoy a modicum of success at during the brief, fruitless struggle. I’m a fighter against God. How can anything I ever do succeed?

The world is closed. I’ll never work again. I cannot publish a video resume. The world is closed. Like Zack Mayo said in An Officer and a Gentleman: “I got nowhere else to go! I got nowhere else to g… I got nothin’ else …”

“I’ve always taken ‘The Wizard of Oz’ very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I’ve spent my entire life trying to get over it.”
Over The Rainbow | Judy Garland

“And now you know… the rest of the story.” Paul Harvey

The world is closed.

Virus & Rain

In Economy, Life, Music, Unemployment on February 17, 2009 at 6:00 am

People say believe half of what you see.  Some and none of what you hear.  But it’s true what’s been said in that 70’s tune It Never Rains in Southern California.  It doesn’t just rain.  It pours.


We have been experiencing stormy weather since before Thanksgiving.  Christmas day was a complete and utter washout. It rains just about every weekend.


Needless to say this weather has been very hard on ThatOne.  And me.  He doesn’t like the cold and wet, but neither one of us is especially tolerant of heat, so I’ll take this over being hot any day.


He misses fraternizing with the other bullies at the meetups.  There was one scheduled for Saturday, the seventh (7th), but it rained.  I wound up driving to Balboa Park anyway, but I wasted too much time wrestling with deciding whether to go or not.  By the time we got there, just about everyone had already left.


I did get to meet a few owners and their dogs and chat them up a bit, but ThatOne was not having any of it.  It was raining, and he was wet. 


Ironically, he loves water and he loves taking a bath.  He just doesn’t like getting rained on.


I downloaded the latest version of Windows IE and caught the Trojan virus.  Wouldn’t you know it?  This happened on Friday the 13th. How the virus affected my computer was that it kept disabling the browser as soon as I launched it.  My life began to flash in a high speed blur before my eyes.


I thought I would have to take my notebook to Best Buy for the Geek Squad to look at.  I imagined it would cost at least $200.00, and right now, $200.00 may as well be the stimulus/bailout package.  There are so many needs this $200.00 needs to cover.  I’m fiscally paralyzed.


The wish list includes the need for two new rear tires, brakes, and a wheel alignment.  The left outer rear view mirror has fallen off.  I have it taped to the housing. And then there are the bills and attention must be paid to these before even considering anything else. I’d like ThatOne to have his hips x-rayed.  That’s on the wish list too.


Even the state of California is virtually bankrupt.  Yep, it never rains in California, man. It pours.


But I caught a break.  Joel Osteen would say I got rained on by God’s mercy and favor this morning.  I activated my Windows® Defender and the program successfully swept out the virus.


The moral of this story:  Be Careful when you download IE8-ENU and music website, Jango.  That’s how I wound up releasing Trojan.  It masquerades as a Windows based product called Antivirus Pro.  You can’t uninstall it.  You can’t even right click on the tray Icon. 


Thank goodness I also have  Apple’s Safari browser installed on my computer.  That was the only way I could interface with MS Windows and download Defender even though Defender was already preinstalled on my computer when I bought it.  If you don’t already have Apple’s Safari, I highly recommend it.  I also appreciate the newest version of IE.


Well, the rain has returned in torrents again.  I love the rain.  I love weather.  I always have.  We need the rain, and it will be nice to see the landscape hurrying to get green before the 100 degree temperatures turn everything to ash and burnt again.


It never rains in California.  It pours.  Man, it pours. Dig…


Got on board a westbound seven-forty-seven

Didn’t think before deciding what to do

All that talk of opportunities

TV breaks and movies, rang true

Sure rang true.


Seems it never rains in southern California

Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before

It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya

It pours, man it pours.


Out of work, I’m out of my head

Out of self-respect, I’m out of bread

I’m under loved, I’m underfed

I wanna go home

It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya

It pours, man it pours.


Will you tell the folks back home, I nearly made it

Had offers but don’t know which one to take

Please don’t tell ’em how you found me

Don’t tell ’em how you found me

Give me a break, give me a break.


Seems it never rains in southern California

Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before

It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya

It pours, man it pours.


Recorded by Albert Hammond |(c) Copyright 1972 by Landers-Roberts Music.


– HIT PARADER, April 1973.


Autorretarto con Collre de Espinas y Colibri

In Unemployment on June 21, 2008 at 4:01 am


What a difference a week makes.  Last Saturday I was so optimistic.  My expectations for this week are somewhat more diminished. Must stay in faith!  Yesterday, a black cat ran across my path, about three feet in front of me.  Just as I pulled into my parking space, I saw the cat run from my front lawn.  It stopped by the base of the mailbox.  I could see it crouching there.  I got out of my car and just as I began my approach towards the mailbox, the cat darted out in front of me and crossed the street.

Black cats have been running across my path since I was 26 years old.  That’s when the phenomenon began.  I was 26 and I was pregnant.  A neighbor owned a black cat she called Pepe Le Pew. This night, I was driving home.  My house was the middle house on a cul de sac of six homes.  Just as I hit the driveway, the cat leapt from a nearby tree and across my windshield before scampering away into my backyard and into the darkness.  

Several months later, the cat disappeared.  The owner posted fliers.  She went to all our homes asking about her cat.  I always had the feeling she thought one of us took him.  The neighbors all felt the same way.

Once I was in Seattle walking on the side walk with an acquaintance.  Black cat walked out of his yard crossed our path and sauntered on across the street.  Same thing happened when I visited with someone I used to know in San Diego, and the capper— a merchant left a ladder outstretched on the sidewalk and we had to walk under it or risk being run over in the street.  I could not make this &%#! up. 

This was not the first time this cat has crossed my path. There are a few feral cats in my neighborhood. This is only one of them.  This is the season they begin to congregate and soon their low, long, throaty bellowing will pierce the nighttime silence disturbing many from their slumber.  Yesterday’s encounter was especially upsetting because of the “the disappointent.”  Is this an omen?  

I had to subject myself to a drug screen this week.  No biggie. I didn’t anticipate there would be a problem and there wasn’t.  I also needed to consent to a background check.  I was told the procedure would begin on Monday.  Wednesday I had to call to find out what the timeline was. I was hoping I could begin this assignment on Monday. This is how I learned the background check had not even been initiated.

“Well if you’ve lived in different states that makes the process take longer.  Do you think you’ve lived in another state other than California?”  she asked.  This is when I knew to abandon all hope.

“I don’t have to think,”  I began. “I went to college in Virginia, so I lived there for six years, then I went back home to New York.  I moved to Seattle and I lived there for seven years.  Then I went home to New York.  Now I live here.”  Southern California is the perfect place to die.  Even Jed Clampett  knew that.

“Let me call you when we get the results of the background check,” she said.  

“That sounds good.”  I said.

It’s Saturday.

There ought’a be a law.


*Autorretarto con Collre de Espinas y Colibri | Frida Kahlo | 1940

Craig Kilborn

In Blogging, Feelings, Life, Television, Unemployment on June 2, 2008 at 12:13 am

I guess this is what you’d call a turn down day. Nothing’s on my mind. I expected my first unemployment check but it did not arrive. I expected it to be for two weeks but it’s only going to be for one. I’m encouraging myself and keeping busy even as the specter of Job’s wife (…curse God and die!!!)* is beginning to loom,  but I say No.., No.., No!

Another bother– I have been sitting and sitting in front of this computer and I realize I have a block. Could it be I’m not unhappy enough? Are there more words to express sorrow and pain than joy and happiness? I gave this some thought and now I have a theory. Sad and painful feelings need release and so these unleash a torrent of words, while happiness is its own release. Kind of like how the human body’s immune system gets rid of foreign matter it encounters.

Obviously, I am concerned about many things at this time, yet I don’t feel down hearted. In fact my thoughts have been sort of nonsensical. I thought about Craig Kilborn today. Craig Kilborn. Why? But since he has come inexplicably into mind, it begs the obvious question: Where in the world is Craig Kilborn? Anybody remember him?

Once upon a time he was the host of The Late, Late Show. He was sooo funny and not in that sophomoric, (well, ok, maybe just a tad sophomoric),  sorta sight gag, noisy, slap stick, pleading-for-a-laugh kinda way. His show was hip, his material and delivery fresh and caustic, and at 6ft 4′ he was a tall, lean, cool drink-a-water. Not to mention funny. I mentioned he was funny, right?

I went online and googled him. I was surprised there’s not that much out there on the Craiger. I didn’t expand my search to YouTube, though. I found out one thing I did not know: Jon Stewart was not the first and only host of The Daily Show. Craig Kilborn was. He left The Daily Show when David Letterman hired him for The Late, Late Show gig.

Now, I watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He’s all right. I dislike his silly, annoying, girly giggle and his sorta mug-for-the camera approach to comedy. He’s sorta one note. It’s the peripheral cast members of the show who really bring it like Rob Riggle and that guy who also does the Apple commercials, and the guy with the British accent, and the adorable and funny Samantha Bee.

On a scale of 1-10, his turn as host of the Oscar telecast this year was a three. He was too in awe of the audience, not relaxed and irreverent like Ellen. He’s a good interviewer, though. Sharp.  Observant.  Smart.  I think he’s stronger as a political pundit. But I digress…

I figured out why I’m OK. Again. Even this trivial discovery was a learning experience. I experienced the same spike of exhilaration over this as I do anytime l learn something new. As long as you’re learning new things you never feel overwhelmed by self-doubt which leads to uncertainty which leads to insecurity, which leads to preoccupation with self, which leads to depression which leads to botox, pilates and an unhealthy attitude towards food. Or too many shoes.

Concern yourself more with the wrinkles on your brain, not your face.  Make that change.  Decide to become a lifelong learner and you’ll never feel let down. Oh, and a nice, brisk, daily forty minute walk doesn’t hurt either.  Yep, I’m back in the walking groove!

I heard Joel Osteen say “Even if you’re on the right track, if you sit down long enough, you will get run over.” Get it?  I say a change will do you good**.

*Job 2:9

**A Change (Will Do You Good)/Sheryl Crow

Summer And The City

In Life, MoodzStrike, Racism, Unemployment on June 1, 2008 at 12:35 am

Well it’s June. Kids are counting down the days to summer vacation. You’re looking forward to the heat, the sun, the sand, the surf. Not me. The bugs, the humidity, the sweating, the traffic, the crowds. Ughh. I was never a sun worshipper. I tend to soak in sun and get really dark in the summer. I don’t look quite like myself to me.

I prefer it cold. I’m physically more comfortable when it’s cold. More active, more energetic, more attractive. My mood is better. I like to pile on clothes, not take them off.  I also love weather.  Rain and snow; the marvelous diversity of the change in seasons.  

What on earth am I doing here in Southern California? My son has found his niche and is thriving. I feel unsettled and lost. I can go for months without ever seeing another Black person. Since I have been here, I have never worked or been in an office where I was not the only black person there. At my last assignment, a company that boasts its having been in business since 1911, I was the only Black person there. I was not a staff employee so the company actually employs, in 2008, not one Black American descendant of slaves. 

I can go to almost any public place here and count on one hand how many Blacks I see alternatively enjoying the space as much as everyone present there is. On Thursday, I decided I was going to start these two business, but today I began to worry about the racial “climate” here. Where are all the Black people in North County, California? Or is North County the region of San Diego time and experience has taught Blacks to avoid?

My son lives and works in San Diego. I live 40 miles north in North County. In New York, Blacks know what sections of the city are comfortable and safe and what sections of the city it’s best to avoid. It’s like that everywhere you go in this country, but I have never encountered the level of resistance I experience now so thinly veiled and so close to the surface it cannot be disguised. I can feel it.

I knew I was in trouble at my last assignment whenever I found myself in the same room as the owner and company namesake. A customer service rep who had worked for the company ten years had tendered his resignation. Company employees gathered in a common area for an afternoon send off for him. Whenever I caught the owner staring at me, he would quickly divert his eyes. I experienced the same behavior at the Halloween gathering and again at the Christmas gathering. The familiar internal flashing red lights and alarm bells immediately went off at each occurrence. In December I notified the placement agency of my fears but I allowed myself to stay there and endure. Gas is $3.98 a gallon here. I prayed time would work its usual healing magic, but I was wrong as you all well know.

I am always stunned when I hear stuff like this:

I want to believe that the subtle racism that comes from ignorance and a lack of human contact with black people is the most common form of racism in America. That is not so bad, relatively speaking. Once people like that actually get to know some people of different races, they tend to change their tune real quick.

But, if it’s more sinister than that, and it seems to be (at least in some places), then it makes me (at least on this issue) ashamed of my country. We haven’t done enough. I don’t know what else to do, exactly, but something is wrong.”


I actually have to glance at the calendar to make sure it’s still 2008 not 1978.

I like the home I have made for myself here. I like this neighborhood and this community. I like my rituals and routines. I don’t want to move. The problem is most insidious because it specifically targets employment practices here and the lack of opportunities extended toward Blacks. I have not experienced any problems in any other essential area of life.

Well it’s June and it’s official.  I have been out of work a solid month.  Summer is almost officially here. For many, it means rest, relaxation and fun in the sun. It means a week or two respite from a job. As for me it looks like it’s going to be another long hot summer in America’s Finest City.  That’s just the way it is*.

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