December 06, 2010

What Have We Learned

Today is the last day of my stint between jobs.  Specifically, Day 9 of the nine work days I had off, a relatively paltry figure but a welcome respite all the same.  It's the longest vacation of any kind that I have had since Ora and I went to South America in 2002.  I would say parenting is more taxing than the Inca Trail and relaxation is more remote than the Galapagos, but I am not complaining.

Some observations on my time off:

I have two full-time jobs.  It was nice not to be in an office all day, but parenting obligations kept me busy.  The time went by very quickly and most of my days got carved up by shopping, pickup, car issues, etc.  Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are always a very busy time of year, and there were a lot of errands to be run.  Plus we had people over for dinner three straight nights, which was very fun but also a lot of work.  So I was jobless but not carefree.  That meant I didn't go away for an extended trip, didn't stay out late at night, didn't take cooking classes or spend all day on an Arrested Development marathon.  This break was neither unpleasant nor decadent.  It was...not bad.  And I am grateful to have a new job to look forward to.  But the dilemma of trying to be a responsible parent and indulging oneself at the same time proved beyond my capacity.  I think it will get easier in about twelve years, fifteen tops.

Blogs are better when they have a consistent theme.  Sometimes I like to write about sports and sometimes I don't, AND THAT'S OKAY.  However, I have come to the conclusion that a blog that sticks to one field just makes more sense, unless having a polymath's scope of topics and information is the selling point of one's blog.  And not that I am trying to sell anything, but some people tell me "oh I saw you posted on your blog but then the first line was about basketball so I tuned out."  The best solution I have concocted is to start a second, all-sports blog with a different name, since General Rodetsky was not known for his athletic exploits.  I need a good blog name.  Anyone who submits a suggestion will win an autographed copy of my food coop receipt from Sunday morning.  If I use your suggestion as the new blog title, you will win $1 million.  Guaranteed.

I can't wait to win the lottery.  The things I like most: writing, sports, cooking, wine/foodie stuff, reading, movies.  I would never lack for things to keep my attention if I didn't have to work.

I still suck at the piano.  Turns out it takes more than a few weeks to become a good pianist, or even a barely competent one.  I have had offers of free lessons from two masters of the (ebony and) ivory, and hope to take them up on it one day soon.

Our apartment is still a partial mess.  DO NOT LOOK IN THE BEDROOM!  THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE IN THE BEDROOM!  We would need ten Martha Stewarts working round the clock for two weeks just to make a dent.  I decided it would be easier to go through sensory deprivation training so I no longer notice the clutter.

People have much bigger problems than I do.  Unemployment and depression are the two biggies.  Life is hard.  The end of the year holiday cheer can be a huge bummer for a lot of people.  On a personal level, I hope all my friends find what they need in 2011.

On a national level, I hope President Obama finds what he needs: backbone.  If Frank Rich is to be trusted, and I believe that Frank Rich should always be trusted, Obama is about to extend the Bush tax cuts, which means Obama saved $5 billion taking away the annual raise for federal workers but gave away $80 billion annually in the tax cuts.  In fact, today's headline on Yahoo indicates that "Obama prefers a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts because one year would mean a similar debate in six months, and a three-year extension would lose support from liberals."  The extension is being framed as the only way the Republicans can be convinced to extend unemployment benefits for another year.

Here's one option that isn't mentioned in the article: the zero-year extension.

I am starting to think that President Obama and the Senate Democrats really are part of the problem.  I am trying with all my might to support Obama with the same conviction I had two years ago.  But he seems totally unable or unwilling to fight the bad guys, to stand up for what he said he believes in.  It's pretty damn depressing.  Extending tax cuts to the rich while unemployment hovers near 10 percent.  Our United States Government: Brought to you by: Con-Agra Foods!  Halliburton!  Merck!  And by, the Chinese Government, co-sponsors of the National Deficit.  For all your deficit needs, order Chinese!

I like Brooklyn.  I really do.  I like walking places.  I like not having to maintain a house, avoiding traffic, avoiding Republicans, avoiding the Olive Garden, avoiding two cars and raking leaves.  I like the people we know here, the stimulation of urban life for my kids, for me.  I like that Brooklyn is not as crowded or expensive as Manhattan.  And with global warming and the aforementioned spineless dithering of our supposed progressive leader, in 10-15 years we'll probably have 70 degrees year round.  Take that, current tropical zones!

I don't like shaving.  But I never keep the beard, and this time is no exception.  Always fun while it lasts.

And now it's time to get back to the daily grind.  It's almost like I never left.


Normanco said...

Hear hear about other people's problems. Especially those who are going to lose their unemployment benefits. Oh, wait, they're gonna keep them now! Except we have to find a way to PAY for it. Unlike the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Feels like we're living in the twilight zone.....

Mojo Hoops said...

My piano lessons will focus on the ebony. A# for Archie.

Looking forward to your sports blog as I'm the polar opposite of whoever tuned out your blog due to hoops content. That person sounds like a Republican.

Stuart Smalley!

Beard? I didn't even notice a whisker last Thursday.

If I was white, I would write Kucinich in 12 but I'm not so I'll continue to say it to you in private. This blog is private right?

Good luck tomorrow at your new job. It's imperative that you begin plotting a work from home day so we can resume our tennis when warm weather returns.

Alisha said...

So, tonight I'm making dinner listening to FIOS music channels(adult alternative - I'm in my 40's, I can't be bothered with a plugging in an iPod, iPad, whatever!) when I hear a Neil Young song, followed by Elvis Costello, and then I'll be damned if "Almost Blue" isn't followed by Lenny Kravitz' "Heaven Help," and I'm transported to 1993; to Foggy Bottom, Woodley Park, Lerner Hall. After a few long, reflective sips of wine, I decide to do something I've never done... "google" someone online. You certainly weren't hard to find; neither were the sardonic wit and sense of humor I remember well. I'm truly glad to see you are still writing, still love sports (especially basketball), and that you appear to be happy, healthy and blessed with a family. Based on several google headings and your current State of residence, it appears you made the right choices once upon a time. And while I vaguely remember a final parting with words only the young feel safe in uttering, I mostly remember the laughs. I wish you luck in your new job, with the piano lessons, and with BO getting a backbone. Take care Josh, sincerely, AA

Gen R said...

Alisha, while I might not be hard to find, you most definitely are, or are at least beyond my search powers. Your blog comment doesn't seem to have any contact information. You can email me at either or I'd really like to write back. - Josh