It’s been that sort of month

For me, and for a whole bunch of people I love.

So, I just want to say no one asks you to be perfect, and no human beings are perfect, and some of the strongest and best people I know are those fighting the greatest handicaps.  And sometimes the handicap is just the way you are: in your mind and in your sense of honor, in what you can do, and the way the world is setup.

Sometimes it is when you fail and fall on your face that you find the path in which you’re meant to be.

And sometimes it is the fact you’ve fallen on your face that allows you to see things others don’t.

If my health had been perfect in childhood, I probably would be a housewife in a tiny village in Portugal.  I certainly wouldn’t be a writer, and not in English, of all things.

Or, to quote Leonard Cohen “There is a crack, a crack in everything.  It’s how the light comes in.”

Let the light shine.

breakbeforeshine

UPDATE: This just posted at Pjmedia: Mr. Acosta Can You Hear Me Now?

136 responses to “It’s been that sort of month

  1. Good morning!

  2. One minor point for the record: I am perfect.

    It is the unbiased opinion of all who have known me that “perfect” is not what it is cracked up to be.

    • So you have a 50/50 mix of dry and sweet vermouth?

    • Oh I don’t doubt it. That you are perfect is not outside of believing. The question then is: a perfect what?

    • Another one of you?

      • I’m rather fond of the duet with Link Hearthrob performance on The Muppet Show.

        I was unfamiliar with Mac Davis before that, and was charmed.

    • Grandma used to say, “There’s only been one perfect person, and you know what happened to him!” I never was certain if that was a threat or a promise.

    • I seem to have a problem reading all the words in your comment – It looks to me as if you declared that you are perfect.

      As there can only be ONE perfect person (unless they are all exact copies of one another, which I’m pretty sure is not the case here), and you are not me, then your assertion must be incorrect.

      • A: It is not a given that I am a person. As evidence, I could cite several venues in which I am currently persona non grata. Modesty and space consideration forbid my doing so now.

        B: I am perfectly myself, which does not preclude you’re being perfectly you.

        C: Full consideration of the question raises the possibility, the probability even, that what I am is not perfect, that I have been, instead, pluperfect.

    • William O. B'Livion

      Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
      And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
      He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
      And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
      When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
      And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

      Epithah on a Tyrant, W.H. Auden.

    • richardmcenroe

      It’s the modifier AFTER perfect that gives you all the trouble…

  3. John Prigent

    Hey, hang on a minute! I clicked to see your books on Naked Reader Press and found a new Elise Hyatt title – but the entry seems to be dated 2011. What happened to A Deadly Paws? I want to read that, but Amazon doesn’t list it. Please restore perfection to my Hoyt library :).

  4. That sort of month? Yep. That sort of month. Best we be about it then, afore the “things could be worse” bit occurs. *chuckle*

    • I’ll admit it worries me that people are already having that sort of month on the third.

      • Should things not level off by the fifth, I’m prepared to deploy some mild concern. Thoughts and prayers are, of course, already on duty, as are an ounce of preparation and careful consideration. The sky is not falling, but clouds are indeed low. Hatches battened and the compass says we’re not anywhere near the lee shore despite what our lying eyes tell us.

        Y’all take care out there, and pay thrice the attention good people. We’ve only the one life each (save the cats of course).

  5. All months are interesting. Some good, some bad, others in a “Holy Crap! What the hell just happened?” Been having an interesting month myself. And things may get more interesting as well.

  6. August is off to an interesting – and not nearly as productive as I thought – start, but I try to take it a day at a time. Set weekly and monthly goals, sure, but focus on the day-to-day. Some days will be slower, some will be faster, and some will be complete wastes of time. But, forward movement is forward movement. As long as that “forward” is in the right direction, it will all work out in the end.

    Take care, and stay safe!

    • Try getting laid off on the first day of the month….. The Circlebarw ranch axed 400 or so Tuesday, me included, though I was “retired” instead of being laid off, so I cannot file for unemployment, even if I was of a mind to be a parasite.

      • For certain values of parasite.

        Your (former) employer paid a percentage, based off employee turnover, of the first $6300 you earned every year to fund unemployment insurance. That’s why employers will dispute unemployment claims, to keep that percentage as low as possible.

        Why, yes this is another example of money the government siphons off employers that could go ito employees or back into the business.

        (It’s been several years since I was cursed with handling payroll, so some figures might be off.)

        • I’ve been thinking about how I might go Freelance for a while now, and thus I’ve exposed myself to info on freelancing. Among the info was a warning that freelancers don’t get unemployment — as well as grumblings that they *should* get unemployment.

          I know I haven’t given any thought on how unemployment is funded (even though I had some vague understanding that it involves some sort of fee) but I can’t help but wonder: how many freelancers would go for unemployment, if they had to pay the fees to get it?

          And this concern is well beyond trying to tell the difference between a freelancer who is in between jobs, and one who is unemployed…

          • I’d much rather put that money into savings to have on hand if I need it than depend on the .gov (state, federal, or local) to hold it for me, thanks.

      • They do realize that unless you’ve reached “retirement” age, they don’t get to decide that, right? Check with your local labor board.

        And they’ve been stealing a portion of your income for years under the guise of “unemployment insurance”, so it’s time for the policy to pay off.

        • By the definition of the company retirement policy, I qualified, being over 60 and with over 10 years of service. I’ve seen this before in other situations and I think it is bullet-proof.

          • Like I said, they are using a word that has a legal definition they didn’t get to unilaterally set. Usually “bulletproof” in these settings means “no one ever shot at it.”

  7. I seek out and particularly enjoy your columns and entries across the interwebs so here’s one more person out there rooting for you.

  8. Last month had been hard, but it ended on an upbeat note.

    I am most fortunate with how August is beginning. It has started out with a cold front moving through the area and camping south of us. The air has even been dryish for summertime in the Piedmont of NC. I still have energy and can think after my two hour morning walk. Whoopee! I got much needed yard work done yesterday and am all too pleased with myself.

    On the other hand the vegetation is having a very bad summer. June was far too wet. The ground became so saturated and soft that trees fell. July was bone dry and hot. The plants are now not happy from lack of rain and are showing it.

    Here’s hoping August will prove gentle and productive for us all.

    • Dang it.

      O.K.

      Since posting this I have received a call to tell me that the blood work that I had this morning was possibly contaminated, so they will do it again. This evening I managed to pull the car I just got back from the mechanics into a parking spot when the brakes and clutch gave out. Just because you all were having a bad time why must I?

    • The people who complain about cultural appropriation are, without exception, unredeemed bigots and all around despicable people.

      • Being a “stubborn ox” and “contrary creature” as well a mythical menace and perhaps even despicable (or at least deplorable) person…

        My culture is not being sufficiently appropriated!

        • Truth. Why don’t they ever try and appropriate our culture of hard work, courtesy, and honesty, I ask you? These things are mighty fine, and worth having besides!

    • I would say, “That’s going to leave a mark,” but I have the feeling that our self-righteous “white makeup is yellowface” idiot is incapable of being marked or figuring out why she (or he) is wrong.

      Still, it was awfully satisfying.

      • People like that frequently have the condescending attitude that the poor foreign dears are too ignorant to know what’s what, so they’re dependent on the SJWs who heroically use their own time to find these sorts of problems on behalf of the clueless locals.

        The fact that the locals in question – the Japanese – are quite sophisticated and modern, and fully capable of defending themselves when they feel the need is something that I don’t think their unwanted defenders are quite capable of grasping. Plus, as noted, Japan appropriated a good-sized chunk of its culture from China back when copying other cultures was seen as a good thing.

    • Glorious reply. Obviously, though, that Japanese woman isn’t really Japanese because she isn’t woke enough about her victimhood as the Other.

      It’s scary I can even emulate that.

      • I know. It’s the same feeling I got when I was reading an academic book and the author lurched into environmental theory of a trialectic dialogue between humans, the physical environment, and the law/legal-cultural environment and I followed along without breaking mental sweat. I think the author is blowing smoke and making up stuff in order to impress the dissertation committee and the tenure committee, but I could follow the argument without effort. Which means I’ve read far too much of that sort of thing.

    • I rather liked “Burn level: Hiroshima”…

      Also, awesome shutdown.

  9. July ended with an Aunt passing, so August starts with being a pall bearer. It’s great seeing people not seen in 30+ years. What sucks it is due to a funeral.
    But Saturday is another chance, and the occasion is a 70th (yes Seventy!) wedding anniversary party. Many relatives not seen in 30-40 years will be caught up with.
    Egad, this is making me feel too damned old, though.

    • Yeah, I hear you; I lost my last uncle last night. He was 92, the only infantryman in the family, and the only one to get wounded (on Luzon) during WWII.

      • My condolences to you.
        Aunt Kathy was 77, and a medical miracle, one of if not the first person to wear out the first style artificial heart valve, the replacement, and later had to have a defib/pacemaker. More issues came at the end so her passing was as such a blessing, and she was fully there until the end telling what dress she wanted to wear (actually hoped to get it herself the day she passed, but wasn’t feeling up to it) and what songs sung at the mass. Unlike the probably next aunt to go, who doesn’t know what is going on.

      • I’m sorry to hear that.
        *hand salute to your uncle*
        Not many left from WWII. And most people nowadays don’t understand what they fought for.

        • A lot f them understand, but don’t want to think about it, lest their miserable little egoes shrivel.

          • scott2harrison

            And many others understand, but don’t want to think about it lest the berserk.

          • I read an argument that even the line “The Greatest Generation” is really a way of protecting those little egos. By labeling the WWII generation as “the greatest,” we’re basically making excuses for why we can’t live up to their example.

            • I have meant no disrespect toward my parents’ generation, but I never liked that “greatest” moniker. Were they greater than the generation of Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and their peers? Were they greater than Franklin and his peers? The generation that fought i 1812 deserves its share of acclaim, as well as those of Lincoln’s and Grant’s era. The generation that raised a great industrial empire in America’s heartland seems as great as that of the Depression and WWII. And I’ve no doubt arguments can be made for any generations in between those I’ve cited.

              Greatness is bred in the American Soul, which is why there is such effort to counter and prevent teaching of our history.

              Arguments about “greatest” generations, like those about favorite movie star or favorite superhero are essentially infantile and scarcely merit adults’ indulgence.

        • Return salute on his behalf.

          Thanks. He was the last of his brothers to be drafted. My oldest uncle and his uncle (my grandfather’s brother) volunteered to “get it out of the way” in, I guess, 1940; they both got sent to OCS (Officer Candidate School). My great-uncle dropped out and eventually made sergeant first class (E-6); my uncle eventually made captain (O-3). My mother’s next brother was drafted into the Army Air Force and worked on B-17 and B-24 instruments (winding up a sergeant, E-5) in England; her youngest brother credited his oldest daughter with his avoiding being drafted and sent to Korea. They all farmed (in addition to other work) except for my oldest uncle who worked for the local telephone company until he retired.

    • Understand that stuff. Mother’s family is scattered hither and yon and at one occasion (can’t remember which) a statement/joke was made that we only got together for weddings or funerals.

      • My cousin Steve said the same thing yesterday, and with his mother (and well, his dad as well) so bad off he joked he might get home just in time to come back up again. Though there is another of our cousins’ wedding coming up soon.

        • That’s the problem with immortality, or longer than normal lifespans. You see a lot of the people you care about die, or change into someone no longer recognizable. I can’t remember which grandparent said it; but I think she said that, “All my friends are gone, it’s time for me to go too.” Which kind of reinforces the need to make new friends as a form of life prolongation.

      • Well, at least you’re in a favorable nuclear dispersion posture.

  10. Pied Beauty Launch Audio in a New Window
    BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
    Glory be to God for dappled things –
    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
    Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

    All things counter, original, spare, strange;
    Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
    He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
    Praise him.

  11. It is already that sort of month for us. And it is only the 3rd. Praying hard nothing else happens.

  12. June was very good, July was good in a productive way, and we’ve been blessed with rain with more on the way, and cooler temps. My school-related ducks appear to still be moving in linearity.

    I’m probably missing something… *goes to look under the couch, behind the bed, and in the closet*

  13. Perfect people would be intolerable. Hell, just the ones that THINK they are perfect are pretty intolerable.

    • Aye.
      I do rather like some pointed takedowns of some.
      The ones who try the “Do you know I am?!” line deserve the Animaniacs response of:
      “Why, did you forget?”

    • Nah, if someone was perfect, then they’d not only be tolerable, they’d be downright friendly and helpful. (Except for the righteous indignation directed at you — but then, if the person is perfect, and you did something to deserve it, then it’s your own fault.)

      It’s the people who think they are perfect, and thus act condescendingly, that are pretty intolerable.

  14. Some days you really need to hear that.

    Today, wondering how I’m going to be making my tuition payments starting in September, and realizing I’m already $200 overdrawn this month…I really needed to hear it. ❤

  15. Well, here’s some good news; the co-op thinks the power lines feeding Hatteras Island (and from thence to Ocracoke Island) should be working in 1 to 2 days. New cables are to be tested today and then they will be gradually shifting the service from local generators back to supplied power Friday. News article (with neato map): http://www.wral.com/electric-company-estimates-1-2-days-left-to-restore-full-power-to-obx-islands/16857438/.

    • I hope that construction company has good insurance because the accounts we’ve gotten in the Raleigh area seem to indicate that they knew where the buried power cable was and managed to drive the steel casing right through it anyway – Right at the peak of the tourist season.

      • Until I saw the map, I thought it was some vague location in the sound. Nope, right at the foot (approach) of the old bridge.

  16. June was rough. July was better. August starts with a new job and new opportunities. Here’s hoping it continues the upward trajectory.

  17. June and July were Interesting for me, and not in a good way. We sold at four conventions in five weeks, and in there I also had to replace the hard drive in my husband’s laptop (which meant learning a new set of hardware-hacking skills). Then we had two weeks of downtime before we hit the road again, this time for what was supposed to be one of our biggest and best conventions. Except another big convention in Florida moved to the same weekend, so sales were disappointing for the sheer amount of time and effort we put into it.

    And my mother’s health has taken a turn for the worse. They’re now pushing my dad to put her in a nursing home, on the grounds that he just can’t keep up with her care at home any more. So I don’t know what’s going to happen on that front.

    We have almost a month until our next event, and somehow I need to make good on that time. I let way too much of March slip through my fingers, and have never really gotten back to being productive like I ought to.

  18. The PJM link you actually want: https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/08/03/mr-acosta-can-you-hear-me-now/

    I don’t know what the Facebook one was, I ran away too fast…

  19. Yes– I wouldn’t be writing if I hadn’t had my first health crisis in 2003. I wonder why this year has been so hard. I’m back from the hospital and now know that I need to quit neglecting my pre-asthma condition. I think after one incident in the hospital (I had pneumonia) that I had an asthma attack (gasped and basically stopped breathing). I hope there is a reason besides ill-health for all the problems this year. *sigh

  20. Last month was … interesting. Today a neighbor knocked on my door to let me know that someone had also tried to break into their house, so I’m not the only one who’s had to deal with that. They didn’t get in.

    • Y’all need to get yourselves a proper bumper sticker for that door,


      And you won’t have them sorts of problems.

      • With a little sticker right below that one, asking
        “Would you rather be shot by my .44 or my .45?”
        And a smiley face under that.

        • All of those cute stickers and signs are generally considered to be a Bad Idea because it gives crusading prosecutors and plaintiffs’ lawyers material to try to convince a jury that you were just LOOKING for an excuse to shoot someone. (Remember, anyone who actually knows anything about firearms may well be excluded from the jury.)

          • Remember, anyone who actually knows anything about firearms may well be excluded from the jury.

            FIFY

            Remember, anyone with common sense or the ability for critical thinking may well be excluded from the jury.

            My days working in the legal system may have left me a little jaded and cynical.

    • I was house-sitting a few years ago, and the owners said, “If you think someone is trying to break in, call [local lawyer and friend of family]. He’ll come check on you.” I was thinking, “No, I’m going to get ready to defend myself if needed, call 911, and then call [local lawyer] if I have to defend myself.” But I didn’t say that. Sequencing is important.

  21. So far it’s been a week of Mondays. And it isn’t likely to get better soon.
    My husband hasn’t found a job since getting laid off in February. He’s “overqualified” for the entry level jobs, and there’s too many IT people looking here. Since I’m looking after Dad . . . The ‘best’ options are looking pretty bleak.

    • Sorry. It’s been like that.

    • And as you get older as an IT person you hear “overqualified” even more, though the interview questions (if you get an interview) make it clear that either they don’t believe that an Olde Pharte kept up with the latest stuff or that there’s something wrong with you because you LIKE IT and want to stay in Operations and not become a manager.

      • Well, that, and the fact that there are always newbies willing to do the job for peanuts, so why should they hire you? You’re experienced enough to see through the BS, therefore you’re a liability.

      • I actively avoided turning toward the management track from the very beginning of my IT (well, technical writing) career. Because I liked very much what I was doing. The which pretty much sealed any chance of getting work again in the field after being laid off (along with 3500 or so of my associates) after I turned 60. Retired involuntarily.

        Working now part time (still have to finish out the interior of the house we built here in the Minnesota woods) in the hardware department of a midwest home improvement chain is turning out to be interesting; the best part is helping customers work out solutions to their building/restoration/repair issues. Problem solving successfully is fun.

  22. John Prigent

    I’m not an IT type, but I hold the rare distinction of being turned down as ‘overqualified’ to be an unpaid volunteer at a local school. They wanted someone who could find out why the fee income was dropping, which was right up my street with a track record in detecting fraud. Oddly enough, the chief accountant shot himself a few weeks later and it turned out that he’d been diverting into his own pocket the fees paid by parents.

    • As horrible as it is that the chief accountant was embezzling student fees, I can’t help but wonder if your investigations would have saved his life, had the school actually let you investigate the dropping fees.

      What I don’t get is the concern about being “overqualified” for an unpaid volunteer position. I understand “overqualified” being a concern for hiring someone — in addition to the expectation of having to pay a lot to keep you (and possibly more than they are prepared to pay), there’s the concern that someone might hire you away — but for an unpaid position? The first consideration is moot (even if you expect a 50% increase in your wage every day you work) and the second…well, by the “McDonald’s can pay more than this position, for an entry-level position”, pretty much *everyone* is overqualified for the position…

      Sigh. Bureaucrats. Can’t live with them…but is it *really* the case that we can’t live without them?…

  23. So on the subject of immigration, what do you think of today’s news about the Mexican gang-style murders of those two Coronado High School students?

    • I haven’t seen the news. Which Coronado? Texas? Younger son graduated from Coronado high school in CO, so that would hit a bit close to home.
      And damn it, you’re (probably) not a leftist. You know the difference between legal and illegal immigration.
      I think we need to stop the invasion from South of the Border (this might be logistically impossible, but I hate the only other option: invade Mexico and turn it into a client state, so we can clean it up.)
      Then we should accept ONLY immigrants that meet the “what can you do for us” criteria.
      Sure, some refugees too, but prove they’re in real and immediate danger, and give them a trial period to fit in or fuck off.

      • Yep, it’s that high school. Two teenagers, one with a juvenile record and the other her younger friend, got coldly executed off a country road near Fountain. Their big crime: someone thought the first teenager took a purse. The murderers look like they could be from a Mexican cartel news story from Breitbart Texas. The Daily Mail has pictures (as always).

        I think Trump’s immigration plan is a great idea. Canada does merit-based immigration. Why is it “racist” for the USA to do so?