Friday, October 15, 2010

Scary Headline

Now here’s a scary headline:

“Taking Early Retirement May Retire Memory, Too”

As if I didn’t have enough trouble justifying my retirement to Gilda, other family members and friends, the NY Times had to send up caution signals for the world to see (

I could simply ignore the issue. Or maybe joke my way through it. But let’s be serious, for a moment. I am open to working again. Just not the typical 9-to-5-or-longer job I had for nearly four decades. I’m especially not interested in working “for” somebody. That’s one reason I didn’t go to work for my father way back when. I don’t respond too well to authority. I’m more the collaborative type. The big picture type. I can sweat the details if necessary, but I prefer the creative process and working with a team to implement it. That strategy worked before. No reason to think it wouldn’t work again.

Speaking of work, had a meeting today with an old colleague. Perhaps we’ll collaborate on some new projects he is launching. Except on rare occasions, I wouldn’t have to wear socks...

Party Time: I consider myself to be a relatively astute political consumer. I generally know the significant issues and the major candidates from each party running in an election. What galls me this election, and to be honest, for several years now, is the reluctance of candidates from both major parties to identify their campaign messages with their respective party affiliations.

Lawn signs, mailers, radio spots and TV ads—all are in patriotic red, white and blue, with no clue as to party allegiance. Seemingly from dog catcher all the way up to president of the United States, no candidate has the consideration to inform. Or perhaps they are just too scared to openly align themselves, lest voters tar them with contempt they have for the national, regional or local party.

Time to Man Up: Perhaps it’s because I live in an area where Tea Party meshugaas (that’s Yiddish for craziness) is not so prevalent, but I am wondering how it is that presumably sane Democratic candidates for office have not exposed Tea Party nominees and their regular Republican brethren for the reactionary suits they are? Are Democrats not running ads detailing the political agenda of the right wing?

The other day, CBS News reported the GOP candidate in West Virginia running in a special election for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Robert Byrd wants to abolish the minimum wage. How could any non-salaried worker in West Virginia be tempted to vote for him? Is the Democrat candidate not blasting that message home every day?

Tea Party/GOP candidates also want to abolish Medicare, dismantle Social Security; they rail against the government bailout of the automobile and banking industries. It is easy to challenge programs that cost billions of dollars. Democrats have been ineffectual in explaining the benefits of these programs. They have but 18 more days to man up and defend their record.

Last Sunday I saw a profile of Stieg Larsson, the Swedish author of the Millennium Trilogy, the books and movies that have enthralled the public (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest). Larsson died before his books became must-reads.

In the middle of the TV piece, I hit the pause button to note to Gilda with more than a degree of irony that Stieg Larsson’s after-death fame paralleled that of Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent, the rock musical. Jonathan Larson died the night before Rent opened off-Broadway. It shortly thereafter moved to Broadway where it played for 12 years.

I’m not the first person to recognize the similarity of their last names and their deaths before success. But in case you weren’t aware of it, there it is.

Coincidence? Hardly: I can’t remember a time in our near-38 years of marriage when we didn’t have half a dozen or so 8 oz. Pyrex monkey dishes. Gilda broke one a couple of weeks ago, so she asked me to look for some more in the store. I found a set of four slightly smaller dishes, not Pyrex, but more or less the same, with the added benefit of removable plastic tops.

End of story? Not really, given my belief that inanimate objects have a mind of their own. They always know when you have a little extra cash on hand, or when you’re going to replace them. They send messages. They seek revenge (

So I wasn’t too surprised earlier this week when another Pyrex dish shattered as I was trying to balance it atop papers I was carrying in from the TV room.