Tag Archives: The George and Tony Entertainment Show

2017:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I blame the New Yorker.  I kept getting emails in my inbox from them, teasing me with a few of their intelligent, well-written articles and glimpses of the on-point cartoons (“Love them New Yorker cartoons!” frequently writes a Facebook friend.)  So, in the spirit of supporting definitely-not-FAKE NEWS (which also accounts for a subscription to the Washington Post that I can’t really afford right now), I ordered a trial subscription.  (I also, by dint of some clerical error that I won’t be calling to anyone’s attention, received not one but two fantastic New Yorker totes as a thank-you gift.)  The subscription has caused a bit of a problem in that I don’t have enough “free reading” time – I pretty much only ready on the train going into the city once a week, and really only coming home because I tend to nod off on the morning ride – and the New Yorker articles are so dense and just, let’s face it, LONG, so the magazines were just piling up.  I’m only now getting finished with the November 9 issue.  So I discontinued the subscription when it came time to renew at the regular rate (which, needless to say, I can’t afford).

Apart from overloading my limited reading time, the more egregious thing that my New Yorker subscription did was expose me to all that quality writing, which had the effect of shifting my confidence decidedly back into the “I will never write as well as these people” sphere.  So I blame the New Yorker, but that’s only one of many reasons why I seem to have abandoned my blog just short of three years from its inception in March 3, 2015.  It causes me indescribable psychic pain that I wasn’t capable (for whatever reason) of keeping up with my weekly blog posts, and since November I haven’t posted anything at all.  And yet that discomfort hasn’t been painful enough, evidently, because I haven’t done anything to stop it.

Is it mere writer’s block?  True, I haven’t been writing much in my journal either.  In fact, I have to force myself, most nights in bed before I fall asleep, to even manage to pen a few quick paragraphs to recount my day and beat myself up over how miserably I’ve failed at keeping up with my writing.  (On the positive side, I’m at least somewhat proud of that meager diligence, and also that I manage to write SOMETHING in my joy book every day, even if it’s “No joy today”.)  It’s also the case that my brain hasn’t been particularly brimming with creative ideas or juicy thoughts ripe for squeezing out on paper.  I’ve basically been BLANK for months.  The things that occupy my gray matter lately fall into three categories:  the good (not much – mostly my kid, my pets and volunteering at the shelter – oh, and actually having a parking spot every time I leave the house); the bad (my money woes, hating a job that I desperately need, lacking an overriding “purpose” to my life and continuing to be somewhat of a hermit); and the supremely ugly (TRUMP and the travesty our government has become in the hands of the Republicans).

The fact that it’s winter doesn’t help.  I’m pretty sure I may have mentioned it once or twice in this blog, but I HATE WINTER.  I especially hate when it snows, as it did this past week (nearly two feet in drifty spots), and digging out the carport was no picnic.  Thank goodness Darian had to free her car right away for a trip to Boston to catch a flight to the Cayman Islands (SO JEALOUS!) with her college friend’s family, and then a lovely man with a snowblower and three pre-teen “assistants” with shovels came by the following day to liberate my car.  To add to the snow, the temperatures were well below freezing for nearly two weeks and my front-of-the-house pipes froze, halting the flow of water in my kitchen and main bathroom.  Fortunately, we still had heat and hot water in the small master bath at the back of the house (tiny shower and tinier sink) throughout the frigid snap.  But only on Tuesday morning, as the temps hit 40, did all my water come back.  The short, dark days, the cold, the mess – all of that contributes to my seasonal depression.  Plus the Rangers – usually the only bright spot in the winter months – aren’t playing particularly well (and they’re actually in their “bye week” right now, so there’s been no hockey AT ALL for nearly a week), so that’s become more of a downer than an upper on the mood scale.

Underlying it all is this feeling of futurelessness.  Like, when I try to envision my life in twenty years, ten years, even five, I don’t see anything different than what I see right now, and that is ultimately kind of paralyzing.  Realistically, I know things won’t stay the same – in fact, I can almost guarantee that I won’t be doing this job much longer, which will create a whole different trauma.  I had my worst year, billable-hourly speaking, since I started working there over fifteen years ago.  And (by design) I don’t participate at all on any of our “big client” deals that the younger partners in our group spearhead.  When the senior partner in my office, who has enabled me to finagle my current plum working situation, was removed as practice group leader (“moved up” to global practice group leader, they said, but he and I both knew what it really was) last year, I was sure I would get my walking papers.  Fortunately, the new practice group leader knows me a little bit (although he works on the West Coast) and appreciates my work (at least so far), so he kept me on.  After this past year, though, there’s not really much justification for my retention unless I expand my scope and I am too lazy and unengaged to do that, I’m afraid.

So let’s say they cut me loose – then what??  I won’t get a severance package because I’m a contract attorney, not an employee.  I guess I could try to collect unemployment, but I have no idea how to do that.  It might force me to start another career, even if I have to begin at the bottom of the ladder.  At least I could explore areas that are more fulfilling to me – ACLU, civil rights work, even some kind of animal law, or perhaps not even practicing law anymore and getting back into the publishing sphere – but that would probably involve having to LEAVE MY HOUSE to work a regular 9-to-6 shift somewhere (to which I would also have to commute).  It’s been so long since I’ve had that experience, I don’t think I even remember how to do it (and I’m pretty sure I don’t WANT to do it).  That is, if I can even get through an application-and-interview process that sounds like the worst kind of hell right about now, given my lack of self-confidence.  I’m way too lazy for my own good.  And don’t even mention the inevitable reduction of income.

So, as you can see, there’s enough “bad” there to choke a horse.  I don’t even want to get into the “ugly” because it fills me with such impotence and gloom and an overriding fear that it’s only going to get worse, somehow, if all the controls come off completely.  I remember when Trump first (inexplicably, shockingly) won the election, the thing that most upset me was that there would be no checks on him, given that the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and he would take advantage of the Supreme Court nomination stolen from Obama (by those same dastardly Republicans) and create a conservative majority (please the gods, no one else dies or leaves while he’s still in office!).  (Alarmingly, it’s largely gone under the radar what a travesty Trump’s judicial lifetime appointments to the lower courts will turn out to be.)  He’s stacking the deck with hand-picked federal prosecutors and even trying to get the Justice Department and FBI, both of which are sworn to uphold the law wholly independent of any president, to swear fealty.  It’s an “American Horror Story,” all right.  And it’s brought out all this ugliness in so-called publicly elected (and supposedly publicly accountable) government officials.  Whatever happened to “You work for US”??  November 2018 can’t come soon enough, and there needs to be waves of volunteers helping everyone who wants to vote, because the Republicans are going to do their damndest to shut out (and shut up) the Democrats.

I’ve never in my life been so obsessed (and not in a good way) with the workings of our government, but it’s probably a civically responsible thing that I am.  In fact, every week I receive an email about the local neighborhood association meeting, and I note it but I never actually go.  (That’s not precisely true – I went once, when they were talking about hiring a “parking consultant” to sort out the parking situation in the West End, which turned out to be a colossal waste of taxpayer money with no apparent results.)  This year I am committed to going to the meetings regularly and maybe even getting involved on a committee or something.  The last president of the West End Neighbors Association went on to win his first election as city councilmember this past November, so who knows?  Maybe I would make a good politician!  There’s a woman I met at one of my Organize Plan Act (OPA) meetings named Elaine DiMasi who is running for House representative in Suffolk County to unseat the terrible Lee Zeldin.  She is a scientist and is operating a really intelligent campaign, getting out to meet her potential constituents and LISTENING TO THEM, which is something that I think this happy flood of women candidates nationwide will do much better, as a bloc, than their male counterparts.  (There are always exceptions – I’m looking at YOU, Susan Collins.)

One of the pundits I follow regularly since Trump came along is Robert Reich, formerly the Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton and an incredibly smart man (who also draws well!).  I saw on Facebook the other day his “GUIDELINES FOR 2018”, which I found encouraging and uplifting and entirely do-able:

  1. Don’t use the president’s surname. [Well, I do call him “Trump” but I never use the word “president” when I refer to him or, like Charlie Pierce of Esquire does, use an asterisk! One of my OPA colleagues always uses a lower-case “t”.]
  2. Remember this is a regime and he’s not acting alone. [And they’re the truly frightening ones – Trump is an ignorant puppet who can be easily manipulated.]
  3. Do not argue with those who support him—it doesn’t work. [I’ve lost so much respect for people I know who support him that I wouldn’t waste my time.]
  4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state. [Again, they’re not necessarily “his” policies since he only parrots what he hears – see #2 above.]
  5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies grow.
  6. No more helpless/hopeless talk. [These two might be tough, but I’ll try my best.]
  7. Support artists and the arts. [YES! ALWAYS!!]
  8. Be careful not to spread fake news—check it out first.
  9. Take care of yourselves.
  10. RESIST.

To end on a positive note, let’s look at the good – and there IS definitely some, and I do my best to remember that.  My daughter is home, at least for a little while, till she figures out her next career steps.  January finds her, first, in the Cayman Islands for a rainy but warm vacation, and then she’s off to Thailand for five days (almost longer in the air than on the ground) to pick up some pups from the Soi Dog Foundation, an affiliate of Posh Pets Rescue who saves dogs from the meat trade and other cruelties in Southeast Asia.  Generous Soi Dog donors periodically offer to pay the round-trip airfare for volunteers to come to Thailand and then accompany a few doggies back to the States to find their forever homes.  It was an ideal opportunity for travel (which she loves to do), so she jumped at it.  She’s never actually been to Asia (apart from a wedding on the Asia side of the Bosphorus in Turkey), so that will be yet another continent represented on her “world travels” map.  I’ll finally get to see her again at the end of the month!

But in the meantime, I have furry children to keep me company.  We’re above maximum capacity at the moment, on the canine AND feline side.  The Posh Pets cat director, Vanessa Vetrano Vaccaro, had a horrible fire at her house just before Thanksgiving and actually lost five of her favorite cats, which was heartbreaking, although the many fosters living with her were saved and shuffled off to various locations in Westchester and Long Island.  In the chaos after the fire, I of course offered to take in one of her foster cats.  As this happened a couple of weeks before Darian’s graduation (on December 15, a day that will live in Lucas Family history!), I had a whole room in which to host him.  Turns out the cat I took home wasn’t one of Vanessa’s cats at all:  He was just a stray that lived in a foreclosed house down the block from her.  But he’s never going to live outside again, as he has become House Cat Supreme, lazing all day on the bed and getting cuddles and pets, non-stop purring and making biscuits.  He’s a big, beautiful strawberry blonde boy we first called Fred, which we had to change when another “Fred” was surrendered to the shelter the same day.  So then we were calling him “Big Red,” but once Darian got home, she decided she didn’t like that name because it reminded her of a girl she didn’t like, so now we’re calling him “Greg”, which seems to fit just fine.  Greg is still officially a foster cat but we are going to have a hard time giving him up.  My daughter is very fond of him as well, and shares her bed with him nightly.  They haven’t even posted him on the Posh Pets website yet as none of us can manage to get a good photo of him (as the below can attest – it does NOT do him justice).

Greg (fka Fred, Big Red)

Greg (fka Fred, Big Red)

And earlier this week I took home a little 7-month old Teddy Bear (bichon-shih tzu mix) named, appropriately, Teddy.  Teddy was one of fifty (!) dogs that Posh Pets saved from a puppy mill auction where they sell these beautiful creatures off like so much merchandise after having lived their lives as breeding machines, stuck in a metal cage with bars under their feet so the poop and pee can fall through, never feeling a human touch or love.  It was harrowing for the Posh folks that actually went there and for those of us here at home, too, as we heard the horror stories.  What a cruel business!  And what’s even worse is that so many of those puppy mill puppies will end up in shelters when the unthinking folks who preferred to buy from pet stores rather than adopt inevitably unthink their way into surrendering an animal whose family membership they didn’t fully consider. (More ugliness, I’m afraid.)  We can’t change people but we can save some lives, including little Teddy’s.  I didn’t have him for long.  He was adopted today by a lovely family in New Jersey and he’s going to have the best life ever.  Housebreaking and separation anxiety will need to be worked on (although he was a pretty quick study with the weewee pads), but he’s so cute and cuddly and playful, he’ll make a wonderful companion.  So now I’ll probably end up taking another one of the 50.  So many dogs!!!  Watch this space.

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Teddy has a forever home!

Finally, the ultimate “good” is this:  I have a roof over my head (and now I even have running water from all my faucets!); reasonably good health (although my medical insurance situation is a whole other nightmare that I’ll tackle in another blog post); a house full of love and barking (and yes, plenty of poop and pee – my garbage men must find me disgusting); good friends and family (even though I don’t see them often enough); and a college graduate daughter whose future stretches out before her like a sparkling (if maybe a little daunting) yellow brick road.  And maybe, just maybe, I can re-start my blog in earnest and resurrect it as the pleasurable pursuit it was intended to be.

The Graduate

The graduate and her siblings

Happy 2018!

A sad post-script:  My cousin George has officially retired “The George and Tony Entertainment Show,” which makes me very sad, especially as his foray into the podcasting arena was a catalyst for me to start my blog.  RIP, GATES.  You will be missed.  I am encouraged, though, by inklings that his podcast days are not entirely over and that there’s some new project in the works.  I certainly hope so!  Cousin George has shown himself to be an intrepid interviewer and a charming and funny host.  Can’t wait to catch up on some of the podisodes I missed in the last year or so and look forward to his future endeavors.

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Winter

We had our first blast of winter weather on Saturday, snowing all day, bitterly cold.  It was the kind of day when you just want to stay inside and not move from the couch and/or bed.  Unfortunately, I had to do some errands in the morning (including meeting with my painter – work on the house is progressing and it looks like we should be home in February, or at least that’s what I’m aiming for), but I managed to return home before any significant accumulation.  I even blew off my volunteering gig at the shelter – in fact, my daughter was working there, so she was able to ease my guilt a little by saying that the cat rooms were clean and I wasn’t really needed – and just holed up with the fur kids.

While the wind whipped the powdery snow outside, my abode was uncharacteristically cold.  Sometimes my apartment is so hot I have to keep windows and even the terrace door open to allow some cooling air.  But evidently the building’s heating system was either set for conserving energy or on the fritz.  At one point, it was so chilly that I cuddled up in the bed for a brief nap with the boys and also, interestingly, Mimi, who somehow managed to hoist her 15-year-old body up on to the bed.

It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be to dig my car out of a public parking spot.  Luckily I was right in front of the building and the plows didn’t block me in.  The snow probably won’t melt right away because the temperatures are going to be below freezing for at least the next few days (although back up into the 50s by Wednesday – a very odd state of affairs weather-wise) but it was very dry and easily swept aside.  When I move back home, I’ll have covered parking so I will be able to avoid major car-shoveling, although I must admit I was surprised by how much snow had blown into the carport when I was there.

I really hate the winter; I’ve written about it before [“The Blizzard of 2016 and Some Thoughts About My Job,” 1/27/16, among others].  The only thing that gets me through is, of course, my Rangers, who have been giving me more pleasure than pain so far this season.

I don’t know how I feel about this mandatory five-day hiatus for each team in the NHL between the first of the year and April 9, and there will even be another forced break for the All-Star festivities at the end of January.  Ostensibly the bye week was instituted at the request of the NHL Players Association, but it created a situation where the schedule has been condensed and the timing may be unfortunate for many teams – let’s say they’re on a hot streak and now they have to quit for five days, especially coming so soon after the holiday break.  On the other hand, it gives the players a chance to heal from the inevitable bumps and bruises that everyone suffers from at this halfway point of the season.

For the Rangers, they’ve gone into their forced vacation on a high note, with two strong performances against divisional opponents.  In their last game before the break on Saturday night, against the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets, they had to come from behind after giving up early goals (an all-too-common habit that really needs to stop) but showed the grit and fortitude to rebound and put some pucks in the net and end the game in spectacular fashion.  Where I was content for them to protect the point and maybe go for two in OT, speedster Michael Grabner came in on one of his patented once-a-game breakaways and put the contest away with 16.5 seconds remaining.  Yay, Rangers.

Katie Baker, one of my favorite writers about hockey (and other topics), had an article the other day  in The Ringer covering the highs, lows, mosts and leasts of the first half of the NHL season.  [Katie Baker, “The Off-Kilter NHL Midseason Awards,” The Ringer, 1/2/17, https://theringer.com/the-best-and-worst-of-the-nhl-season-so-far-21a5bb91b83b#.1javpov3u]  Her take on the Rangers was interesting.  (She is a fan, it must be said, but fans are often the Rangers’ harshest critics.)  She talked about how they have shown brilliant highs and crushing lows so far this season, potting tons of goals but also occasionally porous on defense (including in that category the usually infallible King Henrik).  I don’t disagree.  But the thing that has struck me most about the Rangers this season is, despite their inconsistencies on the scoreboard, they are remarkably consistent when it comes to winning.  They have more wins (and more games, but still . . . ) than any other team in the league.  They’ve lost two in a row in regulation only once this season (although admittedly those were two colossal tanks).  They have winning records both at home and on the road (although I would love to see them absolutely kill it at home and never disappoint the fans who spend a ton of money just to see them; to have them throw up a stinker like they did against Buffalo the other night is just embarrassing).

So I’ll have to find some other sources of entertainment for the next five days, until the boys return to the ice.  Some possibilities?  Maybe some movies or TV series?  I’ve been seriously considering getting Netflix again, especially now that they have so much original content (“Orange is the New Black,” “Stranger Things”), plus it will give me a chance to check out some other series that I’ve somehow missed in their entirety (“Breaking Bad”, “Orphan Black”, “How To Get Away With Murder”).  Maybe I’ll catch up on my podcasts.  I haven’t listened to “Marek v. Wyshynski” all season, nor Greg Wyshynski’s other podcast, “Puck Soup”.  I’ve also sort of abandoned my cousin George’s podcast, “The George and Tony Entertainment Show,” which he has diligently been posting every week for over two years now.  His co-host Tony actually left the show recently, but George has become such a good interviewer, and has developed such a dependable stable of permanent substitute co-hosts (including, most recently, his wife Connie, who was a natural – they sounded like an old married couple, maybe because they actually ARE an old (adorable) married couple!), that he has managed to carry on without the eponymous Tony.

I can catch up on my reading.  I recently finished The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins, and I’m almost done with A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, both of which were lent to me by my friend Marcia from work.  Soon it will be time for a trip to the local library to tackle my book list (always including a bonus graphic novel, usually at the recommendation of cousin George, who is the comics expert).  I could also work on what I call my “CD restoration project,” which involves saving all the songs I have on the computer (or in some cases in the “cloud”, whatever that means)  to CD, so if my computer ever crashes again, I’ll have a recoverable version of every song I currently have in my music library.  I’m also making playlists for my friend Wendy while she’s recovering from a debilitating bout with chemo.  It’s been fun going through my collection A to Z to cull some of my favorite tunes for one of my favorite people.

So I have plenty to keep me busy for the next five days, the next six weeks or so (before I move back home) and the next few months, before the torture of winter will be over and spring will come again.

Time Ain’t On My Side

I should have a stockpile of blog entries that I could post when I was out of ideas (or, like this week, out of both ideas and TIME) so that I could maintain my disciplined weekly Tuesday night postings.  On the positive side, I am determined to post SOMETHING – ANYTHING – so as to avoid disappointing myself.  On the negative side, it’s highly unlikely that I can produce something meaningful and worthwhile in the span of a couple of hours, although I did manage to put together some notes for this week’s post on Saturday morning, which is the time I often find myself to be the most writerly (if I can manage to get my fat butt out of bed, that is).

It’s like being back in college, when you’ve basically slacked all semester but now it’s time to produce a paper overnight so that you don’t flunk outright.  I once took at class at Trinity College called “Color”, which was a really quite interesting examination of color theory for non-fine arts majors like myself.  We had to buy this big box of 5” x 8” sheets of colored paper, like giant paint chips, and lay them out to determine things like gradation and complementary and tertiary color combinations.  It was enough to make you go cross-eyed!  As a course-long project, we needed to re-create a famous painting using little colored bits of paper we had collected from magazines.  I chose Paul Klee’s “Sinbad the Sailor”, which I figured would be easy because it already featured a mosaic of similarly colored squares in the background (representing the ocean) and distinct colors and shapes superimposed on top.  I dutifully collected a file folder’s worth of mostly blue paper over a period of months but, thanks to a preference for play over work and a tendency to smoke too much marijuana, I sat down to start the project – a very LARGE project, I might add – the night before it was due.  It was December 8, 1980.  You may recall what happened that night:  John Lennon was shot.  I sat splay-legged on my living room floor, cramping up periodically, cutting and pasting hundreds of tiny blue pieces of paper on a deceptively and disconcertingly large sheet of oaktag, listening to a never-ending loop of Beatles songs and crying.  Needless to say, I did not do well in that class.

Paul Klee, Sinbad the Sailor [1923]

You know what I wish I could have?  A WHOLE WEEK to do what I want, at my own pace, without having to worry about paying bills or deadlines.  Just unfettered time to play with and pet the creatures, take walks on the beach, troll the internet, read whatever interests me, scribble in my notebooks and maybe organize and read them. Who knows when I’ll ever have the time to do that before I die, and yet why else would I have saved them for decades?  Clearly I think I’m going to get around to reading them and maybe even using them in some way, at the very least to prove that all those hours writing all those words, all that ink and paper (all those dead trees!), had some value and purpose – my LIFE, basically, had some value and purpose, because my writings, my journals, my thoughts preserved on paper ARE my life.  Even though much of it is pathetically repetitive drivel and daily whining, I’ve set it all to paper to the best of my limited ability, awaiting the perfect opportunity to re-address and create from it something worthwhile for the world – to justify my existence, basically.

But there’s so much minutiae of life that occupies our days, and I personally have two terrible afflictions that contribute to my time-wasting:  my inability to get out of bed in the morning and a proclivity for procrastination (see “Procrastination Station”, 10/14/15).

I envy so many of the guests I’ve heard on one of my favorite pop-culture podcasts, The George and Tony Entertainment Show [https://www.facebook.com/George-Tony-Entertainment-591652040911328].  Just to name a few from recent weeks:  Vivek J. Tiwary, the author of the multi-award winning graphic novel, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story (illustrated by Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker), Broadway producer and proprietor of a multi-platform arts and entertainment company, Tiwary Entertainment Group (www.tiwaryent.com and www.thefifthbeatle.com);  Phil Rosenthal, the creator and executive producer of the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” and currently the star of his own PBS travelogue series, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”; Darrell Taylor, a podcaster extraordinaire with a slate of entries on his own Taylor Network (http://taylornetworkofpodcasts.com/); Mara Wood and Maria Norris, two of the co-hosts of comics podcast The Missfits (http://talkingcomicbooks.com/category/podcast-2/the-missfits/); even the host of the podcast, George himself (though Tony is a bit of a slacker!!).  I’m constantly amazed at how these folks are able to engage in so many fascinating projects – both of the money-making and self-fulfilling varieties – in the limited number of hours in a day, days in a week and weeks in a year.  We all get the same number of hours (although the number of years may vary):  How is it that some people are able to achieve so much in those limited hours and some of us do so little?  Time is relative, they always say.  It goes faster when you’re older, or when you’re having fun.  Maybe instead of incessantly complaining about “where did the time go?” (both long- and short-term), I should be filling every hour with equal parts things I enjoy and tasks I abhor but that are necessary for my existence.  (Sleeping qualifies as both, but sleep is also a bit of a problem for me [see “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream”, 9/16/15].)

Unfortunately, multi-tasking is not my forte.  For years I’ve observed my boss, who possesses one of the sharpest minds I’ve ever known, carry on myriad simultaneous activities with seemingly no loss of effectiveness, but lately I’ve noticed that even he is no longer able to multi-task like he used to.  He might be slowing down with age, but frankly I’ve never been one of those folks who could walk and talk and chew gum at the same time.  EVER.  I get flustered and discombobulated when forced to hold too many thoughts in my head at once, and then I just break down and lose track of everything.  Even listening to music in the background while I’m drafting or reviewing contracts can be a distraction, because I’ll hear a new song that appeals to me and then I have to stop what I’m doing to (a) listen more closely and (b) find something to write on to remember the name of the song, or the artist, or the thoughts it invoked in me.

Unfortunately, making money has become the driver of my life.  I’ve got too many expenses, even though – trust me – I do not live extravagantly.  (In fact, I find people who do live extravagantly to be a little gauche – see “An Excess of Excess,”, 6/24/15.)  But I do appreciate a comfortable life and being able to get what I want when I want it, and to pay for things I need, like pet care and my daughter’s education and food and my TV.  Yes, there are things I could live without, but I don’t WANT to live without them.  Ergo, I have to make money – a lot of money – just to afford it all.  And that means devoting a large chunk of my time to mercenary pursuits.  Fortunately, all my years of education and (sort of) hard work have made it possible for me to earn more money than I ever thought possible 15 years or so ago.  But I also never imagined that I’d be so miserable doing it.

Such is my life these days.  I don’t enjoy it even though I know I should be savoring every moment, because you never know when it could all be taken from you.  I don’t want to end this post by getting all dark and depressing, but I feel like I’m wasting valuable life here.  I need to find ways to sneak in some snippets of joy when I can:  cuddling with a kitty or a pup, watching the Rangers win a good game, eating some yummy food guilt-free, talking to a dear friend on the telephone, discovering some gorgeous new music.  The moments are there to be grabbed – I just need to grab them and let the happy times outweigh the drudgery.  Tomorrow!  I’ll start tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another new day, a fresh new 24 hours to work (and play) with!