Game Over — Insert Another Quarter

Remember that phrase from the 80’s?  When video arcades were as plentiful as coffee shops are now?  Things trend up and down and Recession writing has definitely trended down for me. It’s not wide enough for all the words and thoughts I have, not deep enough for all the questions and debates that are going on. Not quirky enough for who I am. I need a bigger space.

Thanks for coming along on the ride. I’ll leave this up for a while. I’ll let you know what ‘s going on next. 



Filed under March

The Redemption of the Recession

rainbow keyboard

My daughter learned the first eight notes of Redemption Song yesterday. My favorite Marley song. She’s on her third acoustic guitar lesson. Bob Marley’s Redemption Song is a tale of the journey, of being stolen and sold, and is ultimately a song of faith in oneself.

But my hand was made strong, by the hand of the almighty — We forward in this generation triumphantly  

The archaic meaning of the word redemption is the action of buying one’s own freedom. Bob exhorts that beautifully with these lines: 

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds…

As I read speculation about when the recession will end, how to position oneself for the shifting labor force, how bad things will get before they get better, I think about this song. Marley sings about forward motion, that time doesn’t stop for “atomic energy” and that there will be hard things we must endure, he sings, “some say it’s just a part of it, we’ve got to fulfill de book.”  What I know is that change is uncomfortable. While external forces may  facilitate that change, the real stuff comes from within.

Don’t look for anyone else to free you of this situation. We free ourselves, it’s all in our hands. Waking up is finally knowing that it’s always been that way.    

Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom. ‘Cause all I ever have; Redemption songs.” 

Something spectacular is just around the bend…

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Filed under March

Elope is Recession-speak for Wedding!



My best friend is getting married this summer. He’s a super guy, she tells me and though I haven’t met him yet, I believe her. She’s doing the WEDDING. The dress, the bridesmaids, the flowers and the food. All of this is very expensive. Guests must be flown in, dresses ordered, you know the drill. She called the other day to say in a moment of (I’m sure out of bridal frustration) that she wishes that she could just grab her sweetie and get married under an oak tree. 

“Why not just do that?” I asked. 

“Deposits,” she answered.  

Back in the 80’s and 90’s the trend among my exes friends was to get married out of the country, some place exotic, or European, combining  a honeymoon locale for the nuptials and vacation destination for those who could afford to come.  Folks were hitching up in castles in the South of France, private compounds in the Dominican Republic and on the beach in Costa Rica.

Weddings are expensive, big business for a lot of folks, so no wonder that now the recession is here, elopements are up. Save the money and frustration I say.

I was sworn to secrecy just a month ago when a former co-worker called to tell me that he and his girl were going to do it in New Orleans.  Another friend just told me today that she and her beau decided to to do it. They didn’t want the fuss or the expense. 

On my list of overrated things, I have to admit, that weddings come in first, followed by luxury cars (they have leather), Twitter and Valentine’s Day.

Buck the system, if you’re in love elope. Forget the deposit and create a day with your lovely that you will remember forever. 

Something spectacular is just around the bend…


Filed under March

A Dream Deferred?




What would you do?

If you were over forty and the desire of your heart is to write? To be a chef?  A nurse?

and you had a family to support 

and a graduate program to complete  

and a child to raise 

and you were offered a job, round peg round hole, square peg, square hole, yes, that kind of job. 

Would you chase your dream?  

Would you defer it?  Adults do what adults have to do.  

Is this a mountain that you must push through, or climb over?

Is spectacular just over the top?  

You tell me.  

Something spectacular is just around the bend…


Filed under March

The Ethical Layoff

layoffs 3

How are the chosen ones chosen? Who gets to stay and who is set free to the churning waters and capricious winds of change? I’ve asked those in the hiring position to write about their experience, but I’ve had no takers. I want to insert something smart aleck about not having time between all that head chopping, but that’s not true. The folks I know who have been the ones to deliver the bad news, well it’s pretty traumatic for them too. They know they are changing the trajectory of someone’s life. They don’t sleep well after it’s all done either.

There was an article in the NY Times last week, “When Layoffs Are Immoral.” Randy Cohen, the author, brings up salient points about over-compensated execs, and “equitable methods” that should be tried before anyone is let go, he talks about hour reduction, company-wide pay cuts, etc. His argument is this; large companies must use their political clout to insure a proper safety net for those that have to be let go. That means, health benefits and unemployment benefits that are more substantial than the frayed safety net we operate now. To do anything less is unethical. Cohen gives examples of advanced democracies where this is practiced, health benefits are a given and laid off workers are able to receive 60 to 80 percent of their salary. Cohen notes that a CEO with a million dollar paycheck owes a more “humane management” to the folks who helped him earn it.

I agree with Mr. Cohen, the waters are shifting and I’m still afloat. My hope is that this administration will move us to a more ethical democracy, where the needs of many are considered and the culture of greed is finally dialed down.

Something spectacular is just around the bend…

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Filed under Recession