Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Did I get so Old so Fast?

Comment upon realizing my current crush is 11 years younger than me:
"It would seem that while I was living it up at Lollapalooza he was attending sleep away camp for the first time."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Photo to Cling to

Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.

Karen Ravn

Streaks and Stats

As we come to the end of another year I’ve been thinking a lot about figures.  In a year of almost constant change, frankly, in a year where change was the only constant, I’ve recognized that I had to let go of some things in order to continue to grow and survive.

That said here are the streaks that ended and the stats that jumped out at me during my year end review:

33 years – first time since 1977 I haven’t been in or attended a wedding;

32 years – first time since 1978 that I haven’t attended at least one college football game;

11 years – first time I haven’t had to get on a plane to participate in my family’s Christmas festivities;

8 years and almost 2 months – The end of getting up and heading to work at Wally World (actually, this is the code name for my former employer, but you get my drift);

121 jobs applied to; 2 offers; 1 new job;

1 date that restored my hope in the dating scene.  He wasn’t into me but at least I was excited by the prospect of getting involved with someone.  And that hasn’t happened since the end of the last century.  I didn’t fall in love this year (and I didn’t fall out of love either) but I think I now know that I can again.  Eventually.  This is a big victory in my book.

I continued my streak of annually traveling somewhere I’ve never been before.  This year the location was Nashville, where I even sang with a band.  Can’t wait to go back…and no, I won’t be singing this time.  Trust me; leaving the singing out is a good thing.

I also managed to mark off one of my “must see” musical performers this year.  Van Morrison has been on my shortlist of artists I’ve wanted to see for about 20 years and in May I finally attended one of his concerts.  While it might not have lived up to 20 years of expectation I’m glad I got to hear him live.  Even if I won’t go see him again.

3 months – the longest streak in 2010 in which I didn’t drive a single vehicle

1 childhood friend who I hadn’t seen since the age of 9 that I reconnected with.  Within days of reestablishing contact, he and I were face to face at a cookout.  We picked up right where we left off in 1982.  I don’t think I realized how much I missed him. 

In short, in a year of continual flux, I managed to not spin out of control.  I attribute this to my support system rather than my own efforts.  At a time when I could have felt like a failure, when I could have holed up in my home and disengaged, my fabulous friends and family made sure that I didn’t do either of those things.  And that is what I am most thankful for in 2010.

So I say, bring on 2011.  After this year, it’s got to be an improvement.

And now, onward to adventure.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

MARTA loses riders after cutbacks  |

This story makes me sad on so many levels.

Roda Osman works at an airport shop and is still taking the train -- but at a cost. The train now doesn't start until 6 a.m. on weekends, but Osman has to open her store at 5:30 a.m.

She can’t give up the $10 per hour she makes at her job. So on weekends, the single mother does the only thing she can: She takes the train to the airport the night before, she said, and sleeps in a chair in the lobby.

“What are you going to do,” Osman said. “I have to be here in the morning.”

Read more here -
MARTA loses riders after cutbacks |

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why I Left Georgia - Part II

Georgia’s unemployment rate jumped to 10.1 percent in November from a revised 9.8 percent in October, the state labor department said Thursday.

There has been virtually no progress from a year ago, when the jobless rate stood at 10.2 percent in November 2009. This November was the 38th consecutive month that Georgia’s jobless rate has exceeded the national rate, which is 9.8 percent.

for more on this story, visit - Georgia’s unemployment rate jumps to 10.1 percent

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Have Lots to Write About...

I know I've been a bit radio silent since I made the move to Maryland.  For that I do apologize.

It's not that I don't have things to say or stories to share.  Rather, I have a tons of things at the ready to post about.

Problem is, I can't seem to get motivated to actually write things up.

I am hoping that as I get used to working again (and commuting in a vehicle where I can't flush out my posts like I did on the train) I'll find a way to get back into the groove.

Until then, I ask you for your patience.

Guess I am not the Only one Who Thinks Population Patterns will Shift Thanks to this Economy

After last week's post I thought it was interesting to stumble across this article:

Top 10 States People Are Fleeing

New York, Illinois and Louisiana are expected to lose more residents than they gain this year.

By Jenna Goudreau,
Dec 8, 2010

Police identify man run over by MARTA train  |

Such a sad story.

Police identify man run over by MARTA train |

Friday, December 3, 2010


First road trip since my return to Maryland: NYC...just in time to see it all decorated for Christmas!!  While I do prefer the City in the Spring, there is something magical about visiting during Christmastime.  Maybe it's because the Yankees aren't playing?

Anyway, this is just another perk of my new locale - Manhattan is only four hours away!  Solid.

The Great Job Migration of 2010

I think that when future economists look back at this down cycle they will see patterns crop up that surprise them...but certainly not the people who remember living through it.

A job based migration.  Probably not as pronounced as the Industrial Revolution migration but I think as people face long term unemployment I predict a noticeable pattern shift in where people live.  After all, one must go where the jobs are.  

From the NYTimes:

The longer people stay out of work, the more trouble they have finding new work.
That is a fact of life that much of Europe, with its underclass of permanently idle workers, knows all too well. But it is a lesson that the United States seems to be just learning.
This country has some of the highest levels of long-term unemployment — or joblessness lasting more than six months — ever recorded. Meanwhile, job growth has been, and looks to remain, disappointingly slow, indicating that those out of work a while are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Even if the government report on Friday shows the expected improvement in hiring by business, it will not be enough to make a real dent in those totals.
So the legions of long-term unemployed will probably be idle for significantly longer than their counterparts in past recessions, reducing their chances of eventually finding a job even when the economy becomes more robust.
“I am so worried somebody will look at me and say, ‘Oh, he’s probably lost his edge,’ ” said Tim Smyth, 51, a New York television producer who has been unable to find work since 2008, despite having two decades of experience at places like Nickelodeon and the Food Network. “I mean, I know it’s not true, but I’m afraid I might say the same thing if I were interviewing someone I didn’t know very well who’s been out of work this long.”
Mr. Smyth’s anxieties are not unfounded. New data from the Labor Department, provided to The New York Times, shows that people out of work fewer than five weeks are more than three times as likely to find a job in the coming month than people who have been out of work for over a year, with a re-employment rate of 30.7 percent versus 8.7 percent, respectively.

Read More here:

Jobless rate rises to 9.8 pct. as job growth slows

WASHINGTON -- The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent in November, a seven-month high, as hiring slowed.

Employers added only 39,000 jobs last month, a sharp decline from the 172,000 created in October, the Labor Department reported Friday. The weakness was widespread. Retailers, factories, construction companies, financial firms and the government all cut jobs last month.

Read more here -

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Out of the Mouth of a Bear

Just because an animal is large, it doesn't mean he doesn't want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo. - Winnie the Pooh

If we humans could just remember this and put the sentiment into action every day in our dealings imagine how different the world would be.

Or rather, just imagine how different you'd be.

Ironic that this was the Final Song on My Arduous Journey to Maryland

Heading to NYC on Saturday...9 states in four days....not too shabby for not even really trying...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And the Plan has Changed Already

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” - Woody Allen

So, my plan to get to Baltimore with one solid day of driving has gone  astray.

Given the horrible weather that was in Atlanta all day yesterday and most of last night I've modified my plan and will only be going to Charlotte today.  Thank goodness for Mountaineer hospitality!

Will be good to see my friends there....and given the last minute staging stuff I need to do for my condo, this probably is a better plan anyway.

Will post again when I get to Charm City.