Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cento by Carol Peters

Loose Veil of Sundown
— a cento

from Poetry in Motion


seeing that blind wall approach
I spend my time tending to the animals in me
stub-dicked boys from the Maghreb
Hildigunna the leech, their sister
the horses have not yet been jettisoned
a man in a skirt is never alone
sounds tend to inadvertently mean while sounding
rendering mystical & hermetical
a meadow for gazelles, a cloister for monks
the hacked out cots of silk bog children
technical matters of lexicography
the importance of never seeming stupid
we who ride a board on the back of the seal
stay interested in the lone man’s liberty
this mountain of people in motion
deny what the text actually said
it can no longer be the nation
lyric is invented in bitter exile
language is not where we perform our thought
when you print a poem on it, the paper’s value is lost
what I love to ask is what I know


I happen to think Carol Peters is one of the most brilliant people on the planet, and her way of looking at the world is often unique (and sometimes exasperatingly alien). She reads more than anyone I've ever known, daily piles of poetry and fiction. And she writes her own as well. The above piece is a cento which simply sings to me in its lush language combinations that somehow make utter sense to my ear. I cannot begin to describe my ardor for her intellectual acumen.

From the Latin word for "patchwork," the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them in with their own, a true cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources. Early examples can be found in the work of Homer and Virgil.

For a daily dose of Carol's wonderful antics, her own and others, see WAY .

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Score!

I am now officially employed. Rejoice. Minimum wage, but hey, another few decades and I might be trading again!

I even get to wear a cap, compliments of the house. Bread on the table, amen.

##

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Another Job Interview!

For those of you who are out of the work force, you'd be surprised how much things have changed in recent years when it comes to finding a job. First of all, they are not all that plentiful. When I see ads for part-time eye surgeons, and part-time corporate officers, I wonder what's become of the world. I kid you not.

Nowadays, job applications are found online, entered by form online, and only and until someone at the other end has an interest in the meager boilerplate answers you give, are you called and a real interview set up. Nobody seems to have heard of essay questions (with room to explain yourself). Instead it's a series of facts only, or inane multiple choice which usually don't apply. I can't tell you how many of these applications have sailed out into the ethers -- never to heard from again.

Birds Released From Bottle!
Much Like Birds Released From a Bottle!


But now I have another interview, for real, up close and personal. Tomorrow. And I'm so delighted! It's at an establishment very near my home, and has a fine reputation and is well represented on the stock market, so I think they'll be around awhile. Here's hoping.

##

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Seniors with Credit Card Problems

FACTS ABOUT DEBT AND SENIORS



The debt collection industry has changed dramatically in the last few years. In the past, most home and car lenders have never hesitated to chase debtors who fall behind on payments. But other consumer lenders, like credit card issuers, traditionally did not tail debtors for more than a few months. As the number of debts in default has ballooned, however, a new breed of collector has evolved, eager to buy up consumer debt that creditors have given up on. Unlike old-fashioned collection agencies that pursue debtors on behalf of a client-company and keep a set percentage of what they can collect, the newer “junk debt” buyers acquire huge portfolios of bad debt at a discount and may keep 100% of whatever they can recover. The result is that the buying and selling of delinquent credit card debt is now a multi-billion dollar industry.

Unsurprisingly, the situation with debt and seniors has also changed drastically since the 1980s. For decades, finding an older American mired in debt was the exception, not the rule. Increasingly, however, the elderly find themselves sinking deeper into debt. In fact, debtors 65 and older are now the fastest growing age group filing for bankruptcy; moreover, their debt does not arise from profligate spending, but simply from trying to pay for necessities on a limited income.

This debt is fueled in large part by skyrocketing credit card debt. Among the elderly with incomes under $50,000 (70% of seniors), one in five with credit card debt is in hardship – spending more than 40% of their income on their debt payments. Medical expenses also play a significant role in the running up of credit card debt, with may seniors turning to credit cards because they cannot afford to pay for their monthly prescriptions in cash.

The good news, however, is that 90% of these indebted seniors depend on Social Security as their major source of income, and that’s bad news for the credit card companies because under federal law Social Security income cannot be garnished. Clients of Debt Counsel for Seniors and the Disabled, however, can rest easy knowing that they are protected from the harassment and illegal collection tactics of creditors and collectors, and that their right to shield their income from creditors is fully exercised.

What Seniors Should Know About Debt and the Law



If you are a senior citizen who is having a difficult time repaying unsecured debt, it is vital that you understand what can – and cannot – happen to you if you do not have the means to pay. Knowing how creditors may behave when trying to collect on a debt will give you the confidence to communicate and negotiate with them effectively.

Original Creditors versus Collection Agencies

The first thing you should determine is whether the business you are dealing with is the original creditor or a collection agency. Since these two types of creditors are regulated differently, you’ll need to know the right laws for each, and which agencies to contact if you have problems with their collection methods.

Original creditors

An original creditor is the business with which you started and still have a relationship. It could be a department store, doctor, credit card company, or financial institution. If the debt is still with that business, then that is whom you are going to work with.

Original creditors must comply with state law when collecting a debt. While most states’ laws closely mirror federal law, each state has slight legal variances. Contact your state Attorney General’s office to learn the exact law for where you live.

The collection practices of original creditors are often less confrontational than those of collection agencies. This makes sense, since it is in the company’s best interest to maintain a positive business relationship with you, particularly if you are a long-time customer. If you are unhappy with their collection practices and believe they have overstepped their legal boundaries, speak up! Contact them and explain why you are displeased and that you want the action to stop. If they continue to break the law, however, report them to the Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General, who will investigate the matter.

Collection agencies If your debt goes unpaid, it will very likely be sent to a collection agency. Sometimes collection agencies are under contract with the original creditor (in which case they must abide by your state’s guidelines), other times debts are bought outright. If your debt is sold to such a business, collectors must abide by a federal law called The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this law limits the way third-party collectors do business.

Many seniors – and consumers in general – are intimidated by collectors. Unlike original creditors who want to keep you as a happy customer, these businesses are only interested in one thing: collecting what is owed. However, as scary as they can sound, they really are strictly regulated. Among other things, they are not allowed to:

Call you repeatedly
Call you before 8am or after 9pm, or at any inconvenient time
Call you at work if you tell them it jeopardizes your job
Discuss your debt with anyone other than your spouse without your permission
Use profanity
Misrepresent themselves
Make false threats

You are under no obligation to speak with a collector, particularly if he is making you uncomfortable or frightened. Do not be afraid to excuse yourself and hang up the phone.

Some disreputable collectors may make false threats with the hopes of scaring you into sending some money. However, no matter what he says, rest assured that you cannot be sent to jail for unsecured debts. No one can take money from your accounts or sell your property either, unless you’ve lost a lawsuit first. Making these empty threats is illegal too – and the collector may be fined for such behavior. Report conduct violations to the FTC.

If you really want the calls and letters to stop, the FDCPA gives you the right to send a letter to the collection agency stating that you want all communication to end. This is called a “cease and desist” letter, and should be used only if you are very sure you won’t be sued or you want your day in court. Upon receipt of the letter, the collector has only two choices: end all communication for good, or begin legal action.

Legal Action If you owe money for an unsecured debt, being sued is a very real possibility. If the case goes to court and the creditor wins, you can be held liable for not just the original debt, but also a whole host of assorted court costs. To collect, the creditor may:

Take a percentage of your wages until the debt is paid (a wage garnishment)
Force the sale of valuable assets, including expensive electronics and heirlooms, or take money out of your checking or savings accounts (a levy)
Place a claim against such property as a home or vehicle so when you sell it, the portion of what you owe will go to the creditor (a lien)

If you are concerned about getting sued, know that even if you have a job, a portion of your income is protected from garnishment, as is Social Security income and most retirement plan distributions. And if you don’t own any expensive property or have a substantial amount of cash tucked away, then liens and levies are irrelevant. If you are worried about losing your home in a lawsuit, you can probably relax – forced home sales are very rare.

Many seniors who are in a financial bind are what is considered “judgment proof.” That is, if you have no income or assets to take, then a lawsuit is not going to help them recoup what is owed. This does not mean you can’t or won’t be sued. It means that if you do not have anything, nor will ever have anything, you should make that perfectly clear to the creditor as soon as you can. They may decide against legal action, consider the debt uncollectible, and drop the matter for good.

Monday, January 20, 2014

John Morse - Star Dog Studio


To live is so startling
It leaves little time
for anything else


Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

CBS Streams Football!

Well here I am without Cable TV (or any other kind of TV) and the playoffs are going on in the NFL, and the Patriots are contenders against the Denver Broncos. What to do? Can't afford to hit a Sports Bar. Not content to watch the scores. So, a friend of mine hooked up my computer to my Tv screen, and I am STREAMING the game directly to the screen, just as if it was coming over on Roku. Thanks, CBS. It's not smooth, but I can see the game, at least.

Cool, cool, cool! Brady vs. Manning. Go, Patriots. (but I'm afraid they're not favored. So what, so what.)

##

Aw, shucks. The Broncos are going to the Super Bowl. A well played game. Where is the defense team for the Pats anyway? What a shame. Still with ya', Tom.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lush Life (Ah, jazz)



"Lush Life" is a jazz standard with lyrics and music written by Billy Strayhorn from 1933 to 1938. However, the song was only performed privately by Strayhorn until he and vocalist Kay Davis performed it on November 13, 1948 with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. It is usually performed in the key of D-flat major. The song's lyrics describe the author's weariness of the night life after a failed romance, wasting time with "jazz and cocktails" at "come-what-may places" and in the company of girls with "sad and sullen gray faces/with distingué traces". Strayhorn was only 16 when he wrote the majority of the song, which was to become his signature composition (along with "Take the "A" Train"). One of the most notable recordings of "Lush Life" was by Nat King Cole. John Coltrane also recorded it at least twice, once in 1958 as the title track of an album for Prestige Records, and again in 1963 with his "classic quartet" and Johnny Hartman singing. The Johnny Hartman version is considered definitive. The earlier version was 14 minutes long. But the author once said that the best version was of Billy Eckstine on his 1960 album No Cover, No Minimum.

Sarah's accompanied by Hal Mooney & His Studio Orchestra. Recorded in New York, April 1, 1956. (Mercury Records)

I used to visit all the very gay places
Those come what may places
Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life
To get the feel of life from jazz and cocktails

The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
With distant gay traces, that used to be there
You could see where they'd been washed away
By too many through the day, twelve o'clock tales

Then you came along with your
Siren song to tempt me to madness
I thought for awhile that your poignant smile
Was tinged with the sadness of a great love for me
Ah yes, I was wrong, again, I was wrong

Life is lonely again and only last year
Everything seemed so sure, now life is awful again
A trough full of hearts could only be a bore
A week in Paris will ease the bite of it
All I care is to smile in spite of it

I'll forget you, I will, while yet you are still
Burning inside my brain
Romance is mush, stifling those who strive
I'll live a lush life in some small dive
And there I'll be, while I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely too

##

I remember once, years ago in L.A., requesting this song in a nightclub from a young black jazz singer whose last name was Jackson. (I forget her first name). She drew her sizable form upright in furious outrage and said, "Lush Life? Lush Life? I ain't singing no Lush Life. I'll sing "Jesus Lves You" --how about that?" Ha. I've never forgotten it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Poem by Mark Doty (from My Alexandria)





NO

The children have brought their wood turtle
into the dining hall
because they want us to feel

the power they have
when they hold a house
in their own hands, want us to feel

alien lacquer and the little thrill
that he might, like God, show his face.
He's the color of ruined wallpaper,

of cognac, and he's closed,
pulled in as though he'll never come out;
nothing shows but the plummy leather

of the legs, his claws resembling clusters
of diminuitive raspberries.
They know he makes night

anytime he wants, so perhaps
he feels at the center of everything
as they do. His age

greater than that of anyone
around the table, is a room
from which they are excluded,

though they don't mind,
since they can carry this perfect
building everywhere. They love

that he might poke out
his old, old face, but doesn't.
I think the children smell unopened,

like unlit candles, as they heft him
around the table, praise his secrecy
holding to each adult face

his prayer,
the single word of the shell,
which is no.

##

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Without Need

Photo by McDonald, Dale M., 1949-2007.


There is no need to bury me
beneath a Seagrape tree--
dirt already gritty in my eyes--
lips cracked like alligator hide
tanned under a Florida sky-- look how
the heart tilts sideways without
the slightest sign of motion where
once a tom-tom thundered.
Yet grows the very air
all sweetness of rotted fruit
heavy with memory's wisdom--
heavy with regret and yearning--
bursting with stink and fear--
straining to sleep after the sun
has set and evening tamps it down.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dani Shapiro (memoirist) in Salon!

Here's the link to Salon. This is an extraordinary post, an open letter, and much needed regarding memoir!! Thank you, Dani and Salon!

Dani Shapiro (Credit: Kate Uhry)


Dear Disillusioned Reader Who Contacted Me on Facebook,

Let me begin by saying that I’m flattered that your response to finishing my first memoir was to immediately search for more information about me on Google. I can only take this level of curiosity as a form of compliment, whether or not you intend it as such. It means you became involved in the story I told. It means that I left you wanting more. I’m sorry that your Google search for more led to your disillusionment, and, as you say, to your need to reexamine my whole book in light of what you discovered.

Dear Disillusioned Reader, I think it may be time for a literary education about what memoir is, and what it isn’t. Memoir is not autobiography. You did not pick up my 1998 memoir “Slow Motion” because I’m an important, influential or even controversial person. You did not pick it up because I am, say, running for office, or just won an Academy Award, or am on Death Row. No. You picked up my book because –– whether you know it or not –– you wanted to read a good story shaped out of a lived life. You wanted to sink into a narrative that redeems chaos and heartache and pain by crafting it into something that makes sense. You wanted to read a memoir.

Not my memoirs.

Not a memoire.

And most definitely not an autobiography.

I’m sorry that the facts of my life as outlined by Google did not line up in perfect synchronicity with the narrative of my memoir. I apologize, too, for not including what you insist is salient personal information – information to which you feel entitled. I’m sorrier still that this prompted you to compare me to James Frey who wrote fiction and called it memoir, which is something else entirely. That fellow who pretended to have had a love affair at Buchenwald? That young woman who lied about having been part of a Los Angeles girl gang? These are writers who had fictional impulses and – for reasons I can only think of as pathological – chose to break the sacred pact between writer and reader.

And what is this sacred pact, you ask, dear disillusioned reader? What, when clearly I have broken my side of what you consider to be yours? Let me begin by sharing with you what this sacred pact is not. When a writer sits down to write memoir, she is not sharing her diary. She is not confessing. She is not doing some sort of public striptease. Her whole entire life is not up for grabs. Can I tell you how many times I have been the recipient of precisely the gotcha! moment you so furiously leveled at me on Facebook? I’ve had readers angry with me for not writing about certain members of my family. Other readers have been angry that I’ve written too much about certain members of my family. I’ve had readers inquire as to why I haven’t written much about my husband. Or my ex-husband. Or my other ex-husband. (What can I say? Memoirists! We have complicated lives!) Then, I’ve had readers approach me with tears in their eyes, telling me that we are soul sisters. Separated at birth. You told my story, they sometimes say.

Here is what I consider to be my side of the pact, oh Disillusioned One. Each day, I sit alone in my little room. Sometimes I write fiction, and sometimes I write memoir. When I write fiction, I make things up. I enter the world of my imagination, where pretty much anything can happen. But when I am working on memoir, I burrow deep into a small, dark place inside me, no larger than the head of a pin. This dark place contains within it all the sorrows and confusion of my life: the death of my parents, the loss of most of my family, the harrowing illness of my infant son. When I burrow into that place, it expands and becomes oceanic. It fills and fills the room in which I write until it is the air I breathe, the water in which I swim. It becomes everything. I live inside the memory of whatever it is I still need to know. I try to shape a story – the only redemption available to me – from memory. In doing so, I attempt to make my life coherent. Are any of our lives truly coherent? Of course they are not. Screenwriters call this “the second act problem.” Our lives are composed of one damned thing after another. We live in a random, merciless jumble, and those of us who write memoir – along with those of us who read memoir – are looking to make music out of that jumble. This is why we have in our canon magnificent memoirs that are about only one aspect of a writer’s life. Say, William Styron’s depression. Vivian Gornick’s relationship with her mother. Tobias Wolff’s boyhood. The memoirist looks through a single window in a house full of windows. After all, we can’t look out of all the windows at once, can we? We choose a view. We pick a story to tell. We shift through the ever-changing sands of memory, and in so doing create something hopefully beautiful, by which I mean universal. We try to tell the truth – by which I do not mean the facts. Listen to me closely, because here is where I apparently have enflamed you so: it is not the job of the memoirist to present you with a dossier. If you want a dossier, go to a hall of records. I’m sure it will make for scintillating reading.

In closing, Dear Reader, I am moved to tell you about the boxes and boxes of diaries that are on a shelf in my office closet. In them, every thought I’ve ever had, no matter how shriekingly boring or mundane, is documented on thousands of typewritten pages. I shudder to think of anyone ever reading them. Over the years, they have served their purpose, which has been to keep me very clear about what material belongs in my life, and what belongs in my work. One of these days, I’ll light a bonfire and send all those words up in flames. Had you read them, I am quite certain you would not have searched for me on Google. Why, you ask? Because – after weeping from boredom – you would have fallen asleep.

Yours truly,

Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro's most recent book, "Still Writing: The Pleasure and Perils of a Creative Life" was just published by Grove Atlantic. MORE DANI SHAPIRO.

Monday, January 13, 2014

NPR: What does living in Poverty Really Mean?

On defining and measuring poverty

"In the United States, the definition is an idea of absolute poverty. What that means is we're looking at how much money you need to support a particular standard of living, to buy a certain amount of calories, a certain amount of vitamins, to buy a certain standard of housing.

"Somewhat controversially, that is based on a basket of goods that was worked out by a researcher called Mollie Orshansky over 50 years ago, and while the prices have been tweaked, what's in that basket of goods hasn't been tweaked at all. It's actually based on food, and then there's a rule of thumb that says if this is how much the food costs then you need another allowance for accommodation and for clothes. It's all about the basic standards of living, but it doesn't incorporate any changes in the economy that have happened since the early 1960s [like cellphones and televisions].

On poverty as a social condition

"This goes back to Adam Smith writing in the late 18th century. Smith said that a man would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt. And then he pointed out that the Greeks and the Romans — even the emperors — didn't have linen shirts. His point is that poverty is partly about not having enough money to buy what society expects you to have. If you don't have enough money to meet those social expectations, people will think of you as poor and you will think of yourself as poor. That's not to say that poverty is totally relative, but it is saying it's subjective — it's a social condition. And he's got to be right in some fundamental way about that.

"It's about more than survival. It's also about: Can you participate in social conversations. Are you ashamed to be seen in public or not? There is some controversy about whether that sort of thing should count for the poverty line or not."

On the lasting impact of prolonged unemployment

"What we've discovered is that if you graduate during a recession, that could be a problem for you for five years, for 10 years, even after the economy has recovered, because what's happened is you've had to make compromises, you've had to take a career that really didn't suit you. ... That's absolutely down to bad luck, bad timing.

"The second issue is that if you are unemployed for a long time, you start to be very, very difficult to employ. There was a fantastic study [done by doctoral student Rand Ghayad, where he] mailed out resumes. ... Some had loads of relevant experience and some didn't have relevant experience. Some had recent employment and some were long-term unemployed. What he found was employers care more about whether you had recently had a job than they cared about whether you had any relevant experience or not.

"These are people who could work, who want to work, have the skills to work, and yet employers don't want to give them a second glance. Big problem."

By Scott Neuman
January 13, 2014 Copyright 2014 National Public Radio (Source).

My New Found Interest in Poverty

With hard work and my own efforts, I have had a life of relative comfort. Through a series of events (illness) beginning in 1999, I began a fall into a situation that can only be described as a reversal of fortune. I recovered and then fell into a complex downward spiral again during the latest recession. I've been lucky to have friends who didn't let me drown, but as a result, I am very interested in the elderly poor in America.



Americans often see poverty in stark terms — you’re either poor, and likely to remain so, or you’re not. But the latest government numbers show how much people slip in and out of poverty, and highlight a startling truth: A great many of us become poor at some point.

Roughly one in three Americans (31.6%) was living in poverty for at least two months from 2009 to 2011, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau that covers the tail-end of the recession, which began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, and immediately after. In 2005 to 2007, only 27.1% of Americans experienced poverty for two or more straight months.

Not only did more Americans slip into poverty in the recession’s aftermath — those who did had a tougher time. The typical length of a “poverty spell” was 6.6 months, up from 5.7 months in 2005-2007. And “chronic” poverty, or the share of Americans poor for the entire period studied, rose to 3.5% from 3% in 2005-2007.

America’s official poverty rate, which Census said last September was unchanged in 2012 at 15% of the U.S. population — well above the 12.5% level in 2007 — comes from a government study called the Current Population Survey. This survey showed some 46.5 million Americans were below the official poverty line of $23,492 for a family of four. (A more comprehensive, supplemental measure put poverty at 16% in 2012.)

But these measures offer only a snapshot of poverty in time, one based on the size of the respondent’s family at a given point — and don’t capture how much Americans are moving into and out of poverty, often within a single year.

Indeed, according to Tuesday’s figures, which are based on a separate Survey of Income and Program Participation, 44% of Americans’ “poverty spells” in 2009 to 2011 ended within just four months.

“A small fraction of people are in poverty for more than one year, while a larger percentage of people experience poverty for shorter time-periods,” writes Census poverty analyst Ashley Edwards. “Most individuals experience relatively short spells of poverty.”

Of course, these movements in and out of poverty may give a misleadingly rosy impression. Roughly half — 49.5% — of the people who escaped poverty within 2009 and 2011 continued to have an income that was less than 150% of the poverty threshold that applied to them given their family size. In other words, many of the poverty “escapees” remained fairly close to the poverty line.

Of the 37.6 million people who were poor in January and February 2009, just 26.4% stayed poor for the next 34 months; and 12.6 million people, or 35.4% of those poor in 2009, weren’t poor in 2011. And yet, at the same time, 13.5 million people who weren’t poor in 2009 fell into poverty by 2011.

In addition to tracing these movements, Census also has interesting findings on demographic groups. Hispanics were more likely than black Americans to enter poverty in 2009-2011—but also more likely to exit it.

While poverty among the elderly has fallen dramatically in recent years — the New York Times pointed out this past weekend that the poverty rate among older Americans has fallen to 9% from 35% in 1959 — the latest Census data show that once the elderly do slip into poverty, their “exit” rates aren’t that different from children. In fact, the typical length of their “poverty spells,” at 8.3 months, is longer than for both children and working adults.

from the Wall Street Journal

I am determined to come out of this "poverty spell" and return to my earlier life before the real estate bubble popped and blew me straight to hell. But meanwhile, it doesn't hurt to be aware of what the rest of the elderly in America are going through.

##

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

One Room at a Time #3

I give you Before DINING ROOM:

I give you After DINING ROOM:

The art studio (the other side of the dining area) will likely not be organized for a long, long time. If ever. Just the nature of the beast. But at least I can get in and sit down now!

One Room at a Time #2

I give you Before LIVING ROOM



I give you After LIVING ROOM

Thursday, January 9, 2014

One Room at a Time --

I give you Before KITCHEN:



I give you After KITCHEN:



If you're wondering about that old green hutch, I bought it years ago at The Tobacco Barn in Asheville, and have asked a handyman to "fix" the doors that no longer close. I love the piece which has tin inlays on the sides. It is now my new pantry!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Moving Memories

New Kitchen
New Dining Room/Art Studio
110 v. Current for 220 v. Dryer
Before Furniture van arrives

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

I don't actually believe in them. Never worked for me. Even when I resolved not to do them.

But, here goes:

I am so sick of my life at the moment that I resolve to not say anything unless I am conversing in person with someone who is appropriate. Who that might be is yet to be seen.

So that pretty much leaves only good news left to write about. I'm afraid this blog may die on its feet right now.

To add to all the rest, it's pouring rain and 60 degrees in Florida. Just when the sunshine might make a difference. After all, isn't that why I moved here in the first place?

One piece of quasi-possible-good news is that I have an interview for a job on Wednesday. Watch this space.

Or don't.