The Blog Has Moved!!!

Hi everyone :)

I’ve moved the blog, and in the process have split it up:

Bookmark one, two, or all, and check back whenever :)

Cheers, and I”ll see you on the other side(s)!!


Ok, ok, so I know I said I was quitting, but …

I had to share this.  The story’s interesting – but it’s the comments afterward that are truly priceless; really the national debate on a personal scale.  They don’t get good until 20 or so in…

The Blog is on hold

Hi everyone.

I’m in the process of revamping the blog and a few other things; I’m putting the blog on hold for a couple months. I’ll be back after the New Year. 

Cheers :)


Douglas Adams was right all along

I don’t have children, I don’t have a mortgage, I don’t have major health concerns, and I’m not (yet) 55.   If you do (or are), I don’t have the slightest clue what you should do over the next few years.  Read the Motley FoolAsk your mother. Move to Mexico.

But if you’re a member of Generation We (under 28, all about the ‘greater good,’ and ‘really jazzed up about the environment and the energy crisis…’), then take out your copy of the HItchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, dust off the cover, and repeat after me*:


For those of us who are (or were in the very recent past) passionate, broke, and still trying to decide what we want to be when we grow up  – a financial crisis shouldn’t be that scary, because, let’s face it: we’re still  flexible (i.e., uninvested) enough to deal.  We’d be wandering the world, half-destitute, even if Wall Street were on its way up instead of down.  We’d just be complaining about something else ….

So here’s what I think our reaction should be:

You’ve always wanted to go green?  Now’s the time.  Sell your car. Buy a bike. Take the bus.  Walk.  You’ll look better, you’ll feel better, and your wallet will thank you.  I walk a mile to work and back, every day, and I wouldn’t trade that walk for anything.

On that note, exercise more in general – no, really.  Go to the gym instead of the movies. Find a willing victim and practice your persuasion; it’ll give you something to do (instead of buying the shiniest new ipod), you’ll save money, and you’ll be happier.

Happiness also comes in cup sizes. And it’s more expensive than gasoline, even today’s gasoline.  So… Buy a coffeemaker. Buy a nice travel mug. Use them.  Make food to go with.
Incidentally, I’m looking for a coffee maker that does steamed milk and coffee, and nothing else — if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears . . .

And so as not to be in up to your ears, do add to your savings.  Pay off your credit cards. Don’t pick up any new credit if you can help it.  Set enough money aside to pay off your student loans for the next few months, in case you lose your job.  Standard advice.

On the flip side… If you have money to burn: Invest in the stock market.  …. No, really.  There are some real bargains out there at the moment.  You’ll almost certainly lose money now, in the short term – but if you pick strong companies, you’re almost guaranteed to make money in the long term.  As I read it.  Just don’t plan on getting any of it back in the next five years.

And finally, rethink your priorities.  Invest in your community; they’ll catch you if you fall, and they need you to be there for them, too.  Write your grandmother a letter.  Call your oldest friends.  Go home for Thanksgiving.  For real perspective, volunteer at a homeless shelter.

Oh, and if all else fails, you can always use

*If this doesn’t mean anything to you, reading the book is probably a better first step than anthing I’ve outlined above . . .

This Prisoner Reports

“Across this country, this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners and the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent.”

He said it, not me.

Brilliant at Breakfast has a rather interesting (if somewhat inflammatory) post on the subject.  I can’t seem to link to the post, but it’s titled “A Freudian Slip For the Ages,” (10/9/08).

Freudian slips are a window to a part of the brain even the speaker doesn’t know about.

Perhaps in McCain’s subconscious, we’re all prisoners (of the economy, or the senate, or the war?), and he wants to break us free, give us our freedom back.  Perhaps he sees himself as a prisoner, and has since Vietnam; helpless, surrounded by enemies, nothing left to him but loyalty to his country, and his fellow men.

Perhaps it means something else entirely.  Or nothing.

But I have ask myself: what effect will this subconscious have on my life, if or when he’s elected president? On foreign policy? On internal politics?

If we’re all prisoners, does it reallty make a difference if political activists wind up on terror lists?  Or if we have terror lists at all? If we’re all prisoners, will our collective wishes make any difference, if he discovers – or thinks he’s discovered – a way out?

Economic Flowchart


Do you like PhD Comics?

I think this one is brilliant :)

You probably will, too, even if you have no idea what PhDComics is …

Advice for the Aspiring

So here I have three advice blog posts:

Each offers advice on how to effectively sell one’s services without selling one’s soul – and they all say the same thing.  You have to look out for #1.

Trunk writes (in bold!):  Take care of yourself—have the basics covered.

I think she has it right; no matter what happens in life, you have watch out for yourself, because nobody [else] cares. Do it for yourself. (MacLeod).


Making sure you’re physically and emotionally healthy/safe (says Debauchette) is the only way to be sure you’re making good choices.

…Protect your body. Be healthy, exercise, get tested, and be sexually safe…

… Protect your emotional well-being.

Trunk agrees, regaling us with a hospital/anemia story, result of her non-attention to personal health.

You have to know and protect your limits; says MacLeod,

The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.

Debauchette agrees:

Don’t hesitate to walk out if a client treats you badly. Don’t assume that because he’s paying, you’re obliged to do something against your will. Always have a plan for a worst case scenario. Know your boundaries and protect the **** out of them.

You must remain financially independent:

MacLeod says: Remain frugal.

Debauchette devotes three separate points to the issue:

– Save your money. There’s a lot that goes into upkeep, but if there’s money left over (and there should be), don’t blow it. Save it and put it toward a goal.

– Never allow yourself to become financially dependent on the clients. You absolutely, positively must be able to walk away at any time, for any reason…

– Pay your taxes. This is important.

Trunk says,

Giving back to the world requires a sense of personal well-being and stability that only people who have a roof over their head can manage. … So before you worry about meaningful work, you need to be able to support yourself. Your first job in life is to figure out how to do that.


I could go on but the point isn’t that there’s good advice in these three disparate blogs (there is); it’s that there’s exactly the same advice in three such disparate blogs; a careerist, an artist, and a call girl all agree – if you want to be fulfilled, content, and able to control your life and bring everything you can to your job, your calling, and others, then you must – absolutely must – look out for yourself first.

Making someone or something else your #1 invites nothing but disaster and burnout – and it’s nearly impossible to help others, or even to enjoy life – once we reach that state.

On the flip side, this is exactly the justification we’ve all been looking for! Go have a cookie. Call your mother. Read a book. Go swimming, sailing, or scuba diving. Go to the gym. Heck, go into your room, lock the door, turn off the light, and lay down with a pillow over your eyes.


I’ll see you on the other side!