This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Monday, December 16, 2013


I was thinking of changing the title of this blog to "Behold, The Obsolete Man".

Job interviewing sucks, don't ask.  Now I am about to hit the high end restaurants to try and find a waiter job.  Which I will actually love, it doesn't involve sitting, I'd work with younger people, and if I can find a really good one, the money will be good.  I just need the job for 3 or 4 years till I finish my masters in theology or apologetics.  Then I can write end of the world biblical books and sell thousands if not millions.

As if.

That is the problem with American Christians, you know.  It's about My relationship with God, as if the arrow points from God to ME.  That is wrong.  It is not about ME, it's about God.  God is not our genie, we are his pets.  Hmm, that might have been a little harsh.

Went to the church Christmas dinner Sunday night and it was nice.  Wasn't planning to go, even as late as 5 I'd decided not to but then about 5:15 I showered and went.  Free meals are important now.

See, what bothers me now is meeting people, and it's always, "What do you do for a living" and I reply "nothing".  And they say "wow, that must be nice" and I usually come back with "sure is if you don't mind lying in bed at night staring at the ceiling wondering if you are going to be homeless in two months or three months".  That is kind of a conversation killer.  Somehow, small talk just bores me these days.

Kind of sad, listening to Croce tonite.  So good, so short a career and life.  Lover's Cross is the first song I ever taught myself on the flute; no reason, it's just that song came along quickly.  And it's the only one I think I actually have memorized.

I read a little more on the Fuku situation today and it reminded me of an old story.  Back in college, I was a bartender at a bar in Kalamazoo called McGonigle's Saloon.  It was  a great job for college, money wasn't that great, but the people were.  Some of the best times were the nights, after the bar had closed, and we'd sit around on after a Friday or Saturday night and the owners, managers, bartenders and waitresses would kick back and have a few and talk.

One of the waitri was a gal named Sharon.  Now Sharon was one of those people that had the unfortunate lot in life of being born about 10 years too late.  Sharon was the quintessential flower girl, yippie, hippie or whatever they were in the 1960's.  Unfortunately, Sharon went to college in the late 70's early 80's when all the 1960's hippies were finishing up their MBA's and about to start their software companies or MLM businesses or whatever else they did to sell out their dreams of youth.

One evening, Sharon was going on and on about saving this or saving that and I finally slammed down my beer mug and said "Sharon, just nuke the f**king whales".  While Sharon's jaw hit the table, everyone else just cracked up and that line became kind of a catch all phrase around the place for, well, not really sure, at least as long as I was there.

I miss those days.  I got that job at McGonigles in one day.  I decided I didn't want to work for Amtrak that summer or live at home, so I drove up to the Zoo one day, walked into the bar, met the owner, and got the job.  Then I got a sub, sat down by the Valley Pond and was wondering where I was going to live and lo and behold an old dorm buddy saw me and said he and another guy I knew were looking for a 3rd roommate for the summer.  One day.

Now I'm 55, oops, 56 now, and nothing.  The Obsolete Man.  Not allowed back in the business world, too overqualified to start over.  Time and credit card balance are running out.  Mid January the way I figure it.  I have paid January rent, so on Jan 1st I will pay Feb rent and give the 60 day notice to break the lease, which means I will be car living in March.  But I suspect the bills being paid will come to and end sometime in January.  Man, I sure hope the 6 months of emergency foods are good.  Unless something changes, like I can go back in time where you can get hired and be an outstanding employee and softball player.

I know what the problem is; the direction of the arrow.  The happiest I've been in life is when I don't think or worry about me, but point the arrow away at others.  The focus is outwards to others, not inwards.  But that damn arrow is pointing at me now, I can't turn it around, and I find myself thinking about the past which is the second sin; never ever think about the past.  Tear out life's rear view mirrors and look forward, not too far forward, just far enough to see the bumps or potholes.  Just the fact I actually know my age is a sign something is wrong.

You know what else I did?  All that reading about Obama and the 'selfie' pics at the memorial and I realized I had never taken a selfie.  So I did and NO I was clothed, it wasn't a Weiner moment, please.  But I look at the picture of myself and I looked so sad and old.  When did that happen?

I wonder whatever became of Sharon?  Did she stay with a life of trying to save the whales or sell out?  Did life just slowly chip away at her or was it one big boulder?  She smoked like a chimney, so maybe she isn't even around.  I don't look up old friends on the internet, just bums the crap out of you when you find someone you haven't seen in years and find out they died.  Or got fat.  Or got fat and died.

Years roll on, seemingly faster each year, and now the nuking of the whales is actually taking place in the Pacific.  Kind of makes a man want to start drinking, smoking, and getting high again.  But I won't.

In life, you catch waves.  When you catch a good one, you ride it for as long as you can and enjoy every minute.  But then in life you also get caught in the riptides and the only thing you can do then is stop trying to swim against it, swim sideways for awhile, and hope you have the energy to reach the end of the rip tide and then try to catch the next good wave.  Just keep swimming.

Now I see you standing with brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there

Now you're telling me you're not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
'Cause I need some of that vagueness now
It's all come back too clearly
Yes, I once loved you dearly
And if you're offering me diamonds and rust
I've already paid

Joan Baez