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.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Gonna tell a tale tonite, let me see, what shall I use as a name?  I'll use my uncles name, and my granddad on my mom's side, which was going to be my name except my grandmother on my dad's side raised holy hell because there was this long line of Richard James, like 7 of them in a row, so I spent my life known as Dick instead of Jasper and wonder how life would have turned out differently, how much my personality and wit was formed having to defend myself.  Oh well.  On to the story.

Jasper and I met in high school, not really sure if it was freshman year or not, I think it was sophomore year Biology.  We then became lab partners in Chemistry and Physics.  It was Jasper and me that came up with the ingenious way of using calculators to cheat on tests, but that story has been told.  Jasper and I have known each other now for going on over 40 years.  We were roommates for four years of college, well four for Jasper, I took another year and summer to graduate.

I have plenty of funny stories, like the time he left a party in the middle of winter, we were home on Xmas break, and I realized about 45 minutes later he had not come back, so I went out and found him half submerged in a nearly frozen creek, passed out, and he'd thrown up all over the roof of my dad's Gremlin, which I am pretty sure increased it's retail value.  So I hauled him up into the car, drove him home, carried him towards the door, knocked, his two brothers, mom and dad were all there and I said "Jaspers' not feeling well, which way is the bathroom", then took him back, left him in the john, and said "Have a nice evening" and left.  It was pretty funny.

Then I tried to find an open car wash on New Years Day about 2 in the morning.

Jasper and I pretty much have absolutely nothing in common.  We like different music, subjects, movies, girls.  He drank, I got stoned.  He listened to the hard rock crap, I liked the progressive or guitar singers.  He majored in Accounting and has had three jobs, two addresses, and one marriage since 1981, I majored in psychology and have had 20 jobs and lived at close to as many addresses in ten states though some were repeats.

And in all that time, we never had a fight, never had an argument, never got pissed off at each other.  Very weird.

What brought all this to mind was we had a conversation yesterday, we talk maybe two or three times a year, and he is about to leave his current CFO position and is thinking of retiring.  He has a paid for home in Chicagoland, a paid for 2000 sq foot  lakefront home in MI with a bunch of boats, and over a million in savings/market.  What brought all this up is I am filing my papers for bankruptcy and I just added up my life and it comes to less than 5k.

Fifty seven years on the planet and have less than 5k to show for it.  Which should make bankruptcy easier, it's not like they are going to come in and take a 16 year old Volvo, a 20 year old flute, and my dog.

But it's strange how to high school guys, friends for years, can end up so differently.  Of course, there is somewhat of a tradeoff, he has had some serious health issues, almost died a few years ago, and I'm under 200 lbs, swinging kettlebells, no issues with heart, blood, or anything that I know of.   Though carrying two boxes the other day from the mail drop area, a 25lb kettle and a 35lb kettle bell in two boxes, one on each shoulder, across an icy parking lot came seriously close to not being real healthy - would of made a funny video when I slipped on the ice and boxes went in opposite directions, I in a third, but landed in a burpee like squat ok and then carried them one at a time from there.

Jasper is the one person I could turn to and borrow money from twice, paid back once, and will pay back again though he doesn't really care.  It's just nice to know someone on the planet I can trust and who trusts me.

But he and the wife are looking for a home out of country, testing Mexico next, though frankly I think the home in MI would be ideal for the ITEOTWAWKI situations; hard to find, fresh water, fish, game, and with enough people defensible.  Foreign countries are not good, especially south, when things get bad the locals will look straight at the rich americans.

Did anyone else ever wonder why Gandolf didn't call for the eagles as soon as they found the ring in the Shire and just fly to Mordor with the ring on the eagles, drop it in the lava, and be home the day after Bilbo's party?  Sure would have been a simpler solution, and a much shorter book.

So finally moving forward on the bankruptcy, it will be nice to be able to put 500 bucks a month away for the inevitable runaway train of the future than spend 8 years paying them both off and then planning to save for retirement when I was 65.  Also be nice not to be reminded every month of taking care of my dad, it's like spoiled leftovers.  I still feel guilty about it, but it's a no win situation, and I'm sure either way will not workout for the best, but at least this way I can have money put away for a future job loss, car death, illness, etc.

And just signed up for a year long Hebrew Language class.  Just keep plodding forward.  After the bankruptcy, it's back to finish the Masters, God willing.

It's been such a long time
I think I should be goin'
Time doesn't wait for me
it keeps on rollin'
There's a long road
I've gotta stay in time with,
I've got to keep on chasin' that dream
though I may never find it
I'm always just behind it

Well I'm takin' my time
I'm just movin' along
Takin' my time
Hey I'm just movin' along
Takin' my time
Just takin' my time, yeah
Takin' my time
Woh I'm just movin' along
Takin' my time ...