Monday, January 25, 2010


I am of the Beatles, Vietnam, Woodstock generation.  I am nearing the ages when my own parents did not have much time left.  After my parents died I experienced an enormous amount of anxiety lasting several years about the possibility of dying.  Then it subsided for a lot of years and I just didn't think about it.

My husband and I are relatively healthy, take no medications (we hate to enrich the coffers of Big Pharma,) exercise, watch our weight and eat in a healthy manner.
So what is causing me to think about this?  After having just lived through a car crash without major injuries, I am taking stock of what a crap-shoot life can be.  And I think of how lucky that we are here and escaped with just some aches and pains.

Several of my high school and college friends and acquaintances are no longer here. Those I am in touch with seem to be doing well.  Some have a few health issues but none are life threatening (as far as I know.)  I think about those who are gone and wish I could find that  %*&@#  magic wand I thought I had so I could wave that precious life-giving breath back into their lives.

But, we have come to that place and people my age, who should be looking forward to a lovely "fall-winter" of their lives stretching on for several more years of pain-free enjoyment, must also make plans.  And it's the making of those plans that dredges up that old anxiety once again. 

But I will take the cue from my husband's Uncle Max who, at the age of 90, took out a 20 year CD so he would have something to live on for the last 10 years of his life.  He expected to take the whole 120 years given in the bible.  He didn't quite make it but he gave it a really good try.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Two Letters to the Editor in today's Arizona Republic fleshed out what really happened in Massachusetts.  It was not a Republican "win."  As one writer explained, this was not a game with winners and losers.  It was a call for moderation, for moving away from extremes, for deciding on issues not based on special deals, strengthening or weakening one side or the other.  It was a call for legislation that benefits WE, THE PEOPLE, not one party or the other.  Unfortunately, Congress is currently made up of politicians who have lost sight of who should really be in power, the citizens of this country.

The Democratic loss is more a reflection on a very miserable candidate, Martha Coakley. She was a lousy campaigner, an indifferent, cold, ineffective and uninspiring candidate.  A fairly liberal nominee in a liberal state, she offered no fire, only blandness.  Massachusetts voters deserved more.  When the liberal voters in the state realize what they got, they will seek an individual who better epitomizes what Ted Kennedy stood for and will back that contender with their votes.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I have been reading about the "Move your Money" movement and it looks like it is really gaining strength.  I'm all for that, especially after reading some of the god-awful stories about what some of these "too big to fail" banks have pulled on customers.

Then there is USAA, a time-honored military member-owned bank, insurance and financial services firm known for its integrity, soundness, stability, and adherence to the highest principles of business practice.  Starting off as a bank open to officers in the military, it is now open to all military and their families.  Throughout all the years we have been members, we have been treated with the utmost courtesy and efficiency, its advisers intelligent and well informed.  It has its headquarters in Texas with field offices dotted around the country.  Everything we have done with USAA has been by phone, mail or email.  There have been no screw-ups.  The few minor mistakes over the years (I can count on one hand and have fingers left over.) were corrected IMMEDIATELY.

I find it comforting to know that USAA is taking care of business the way it should.  That makes me feel safe.  Can you say that about your bank????

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I went on a job interview yesterday.  I haven't participated in one for decades, it seems.  But the position to be filled looked like a very good fit and I would be able to utilize my experience as a teacher, news anchor/reporter, talk show host and skills working at a legal office.  What could be better than that?

But, times have changed and job interviewing has become somewhat of a "blood sport," considering the state of the economy and the job market in general.  So, the days after I sent in my resume and cover letter and leading right up to the day of the interview, I experienced a growing sense of anxiety which contributed to headaches and stomach aches.  I started muttering to myself:  "I can't do this."  "I must do this."  "What's the big deal?"  "Will there be trick questions?"  "Do I know enough about the 'company'?"  "Will I start babbling?"

My husband, on the other hand, thought my anxiety was funny, he of the very cool and laid-back persona.  Nothing bothers him, he is the exact opposite of me most of the time.  He has been on several informational interviews recently and kept assuring me that I would do well, that I would not be the verbal 'klotz' I thought I would be and to relax and just have a nice conversation.

So, okay, the stomach pains during the night before the interview were awful.  But the day and time were looming and there was no way to wiggle out of this one.  On the drive in I babbled like the proverbial brook.  Best to get it all out beforehand.  I was early for my appointment ( always a good thing) and was greeted warmly by the interviewer.

The interview went REALLY well.  We, indeed, had a very nice, easy-going, unhurried conversation about the position and I was able to offer several ideas during the discussion.  I left that office feeling pretty damn good about myself.  Even if I don't end up getting the position, it was a great experience, leaving me with quite a bit of optimism and confidence .... and THAT made it all worthwhile.

Friday, January 1, 2010


It seemed like a plan. We went to a party last night, about 25 miles from our house, with the thought of going for a few hours and leaving by around 9:15 or so. It was a great time, meeting new people, lively and interesting conversation, great background music and wonderful food to snack on. But, not wanting to be out on the roads with those who imbibe too much, we were back in the car heading home by 9:20 with me driving, as I always do.

We got off the freeway and stopped at the traffic light at the intersection. No sooner had I stopped than a loud crash and a hardy shove sent my vehicle into the lane of oncoming traffic. Before I could even register what happened, my husband was out of the car and running back to the rear of our car to see who crashed into us. Immediately, a good Samaritan appeared at my window and told me he used to work for the PD, he asked if I was okay, told me to immediately dial 911, took my phone and spoke to the 911 operator, requesting police and EMT help immediately. He gave my phone back so I could continue the call while he directed traffic away from our car. In what appeared to be just seconds, we had the police, fire and EMT vehicles descend on us. Within minutes we were checked out for injuries (there were no major ones, just some aches and pains), accident information was taken, paperwork done and handed out and we were sent on our way back home. The efficiency, promptness and courteousness shown to us by all the responders was amazing and so much appreciated.

Thankfully, our rear bumper was only slightly damaged but I can't say as much for the car that hit us. The Hundai was totaled. It appears the young man, driving with his mom, was going a little too fast and driving a little too close when his brakes locked up. There were no major injuries with them, either, thank goodness.

And the good Samaritan? He drove off before we could thank him for his help.

So, what does this episode mean? It means we have left the old year (and decade) with a nasty memory but we're starting the new one with a clean slate. Let's hope it stays that way. And, we're not leaving the house on a New Years eve again unless it's to walk to somewhere in the neighborhood!