Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Christmas Letter I'd Like To See

Now that I'm out of the pen, I'm enjoying a modest fund-raising success on a street corner here in town.

Whenever I get a cheery form Christmas letter from family and friends, recounting a variety of glorious travel and career exploits, my first instinct is to begin composing a parody of the genre. My wife observed this would reveal my true psychological profile (yikes!), but since you have (mostly) tolerated my various inanities over the past year, I decided to share the results anyway.

{parody initiating . . . launch parody}
Dear Friends and Family:

I hope this holiday season finds you well and in good cheer. Things are certainly looking up here, as I managed to extricate myself from Federal prison last week by hocking the house. It was all a setup--the quarter-ton of Canadian OxyCotin in the trunk of the Cadillac, the empty Jack Daniel bottle in my lap, the "Cheney 2016" bumper stickers, the inflammatory Mo Tzu literature littering the back seat, the Twinkies wrappers, all of it.

You all know I prefer Zinfandel, so it was painfully obvious that the COINTELPRO crew only did a cursory background check. What really fries my fat is that I didn't even rank high enough on the Enemies List to get a quality character assassination--though they did get the Mo Tzu right.

My health is improving after my little adventure in China. I always wanted to try an "extreme sport" before I get too old, so I signed up to climb the 1,000 foot tall bamboo Kroika Tower outside Shanghai. The climb went well until the freak windstorm hit.

As you know, bamboo is remarkably flexible, and as a result the top two hundred feet of the tower whipped back and forth with astounding force. Observers estimated the top was swinging at least 50 feet, a number I can't confirm, as I was flung off the tower and landed in a very surprised farmer's pigsty. Fortunately I missed the pigs and my fall was cushioned by the soft mud.

My flight was somehow recorded by a Chinese film student filming the tower, and I am pleased to note the YouTube clip has been hit over a million times. Woo-hee, fame at last!

Apparently the Chinese authorities discovered my interest in Mo Tzu and the Legalist School of Chinese philosophy, and so I was quickly bundled up as a subversive and put on the next flight back to the States. If it wasn't for the crack legal team of the hugely influential American-Chinese Philosophy Club, I might be rotting in some Chinese gulag instead of enjoying the "Club Fed" Federal Prison where I ended up on Homeland Security Act Violations.

I was just out of traction when I woke up on the U.S./Canadian border in the Caddy with the "hot" OxyCotin. Funnily enough, I wasn't even taking any for my own pain. You gotta hand it to those zany COINTELPRO guys, they have a keen sense of irony!

Now that I'm out of the pen, I'm enjoying a modest fund-raising success on a street corner here in town. I have plugged my trusty Les Paul electric guitar into a portable amp and my sign reads, "Give me money and I'll stop playing 'All Along the Watchtower.'" I got the idea from those endless PBS torture-fests known as "pledge drives". I think the eye-patch and all the barely healed wounds are eliciting the sympathy of passersby, though I do hear some negative patter and have been robbed a few times. But hey, life is good!

I'm hacked off that Mo Tzu's name and ideas are being smeared along with my own, but Christmas is a time for joy and gratitude and I'm trying to look past the business failure that wiped out the last of our savings, my injuries, my countersuit against the government (hopeless, I know) and the fact that I have to tape my left hand to the guitar in order to play.

The pets are doing OK, though my beloved parrot lost a leg in an accident which I won't describe as it is too painful. I probably told you about the house roof, right? I did get a blue tarp over the gaping hole left by that frozen chunk of airliner latrine waste which crashed right through the rafters; bad things happen in threes, I guess, and since I've racked up six, I should be in for some good luck in 2015.

Have a safe happy Christmas! {/end parody}

Thank you, readers, for all your astonishing support of this humble site in 2014. I am greatly honored by your readership and look forward to exploring the adventures of 2015 with you. 

Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle editionAre you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.
You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."

Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 

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