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State Of The Union

WHAT A FUCKING JOKE!!

One of my favorites was about lifting people off welfare. 45 got ’em off welfare, all right. He KICKED them off.

Nancy Pelosi’s ripping the speech in two was PRICELESS!

I’ll be laughing in my sleep.

Ciao.

First Seven Days

So Daisy Mae’s been gone a week.

Really, I’ve been too sick to grieve. Was finally able to drag myself to the doctor last Wednesday, because by then I knew damned well it wasn’t the flu. Doc says it’s bronchitis. Gah. Nothing to do for the cough except lots of cough syrup and drops. Well, lemme tell ya–you know you got it bad when your drink of choice is Nyquil. I must’ve drunk at least a gallon of the stuff over the past 10 days. And let’s not forget I’ve strained my back muscles from all the coughing. That’s really fucked up.

Maybe it’s better this way? I’ve been too busy trying to stay conscious to think about my loss.

Once I reached the state of semi-consciousness, I did some writing in between bouts of passing out. When I took breaks, I’d turn around, expecting to see her lying flat out on the floor. Got a little jolt of surprise to see she wasn’t there. One time, I’d rallied enough so that the brain was just pumpin’ along, and I heard these thumps in the hallway. If you know anything about Great Danes, it’s that their footsteps aren’t exactly quiet. Anyway, the thumping stopped and I turned. She wasn’t in the doorway. I’m like “shit!” and jump out of the chair, hobble to the door and peek into the hallway. Nothing. I walked all around the house, and there’s still nothing. Returned to my office and went back to work.… Continue reading

First Night

I was right.

My bed felt so huge and empty. Half-asleep, I wondered why I didn’t feel that spot of heat in the middle of my back. Then I’d wake up and remember. My puppy girl isn’t here anymore.

I stayed with her until she died. I promised her that. I kept my hand on her, massaging her neck. There came a point where I knew she couldn’t feel me anymore, but I couldn’t let go. And then she was gone.

These past two weeks have been from hell. The job–trying to get this new column put to bed. It was a profile/interview with someone, and what makes it hard is that you’re on deadline and they’re not. Last minute edits, “stop the presses!” stuff like that. The following week, trying to get your work done and you know something weird is going down. Then, on a day you have off, you develop a persistent, nagging cough that’s really annoying but you don’t pay it any attention ’cause you got work to do, places to go and people to see. And the next day…the shit totally hits the fan. Vertigo–can barely stand up straight. Head feels like it’s about to separate from your neck. Your five senses are totally whack. And that annoying cough? Your body is wracked with it. You ever cough so hard you throw up? Muscles clenching until your midsection feels as if someone has used it for a punching bag. Your neck, too. I threw my… Continue reading

So Far, 2020 Is Going…

It’s a bit of a mixed bag, really.

The writing’s great, full steam ahead. The Moreva of Astoreth is with the betas–sent it a full 5 days ahead of schedule–and The Final Victim zipping along. I’m close to finishing it. If it’s not finished next week, it’ll definitely be finished the week after that ’cause I’ll be on vacation. I’m doing a video shoot for a friend. Advertising for her, exposure for me. Win-win.

I have to let my sweet, lovable Daisy Mae cross the Rainbow Bridge. What’s hard is she’s not sick. She’s got plenty of spirit. But her body is failing her. Her spine and hips have deteriorated even more since November. I have to help her up the stairs. I usually have to help her onto the bed. She collapses a lot. I can get her on her feet, but it’s so painful to watch. Tonight I let her out, and went to let her back in about 5 minutes later. I didn’t see her. I stepped out onto the porch and saw her on the ground, struggling to get up. She managed to do it before I got to her, and I helped her up the porch stairs. A couple of weeks ago, I had to go out and my housemate did, too. I was gone for about 2 hours, and got home before he did. Daisy wasn’t on the bed, which was unusual. I walked into my office and she was on the floor with… Continue reading

A Little Something From The Day Job

I write about state and local taxes to pay the bills. Uh-huh. I see your eyes glazing over–yeah, you!

Actually, it’s kind of fun. I work at a high level–my scope is nationwide, and sometimes international. I never get down into the weeds. That would make my eyes glaze over, too. What makes SALT interesting is its complexity. There there are so many different taxes and so many different ways in which they’re applied. In some cases, of the states that impose a particular tax, no two states do it alike. Throw in the constitutional questions, like whether a state tax discriminates against interstate or foreign commerce (article 8 of the federal constitution and there are a bunch of other articles to consider like the import-export clause), what you get is a mind fuck of the highest degree. A mind fuck so mind-blowing you want to get up and make a sammich afterward.

So an opinion I wrote about one of California’s taxes appeared in Forbes magazine on the 19th. Editor’s pick, too. Enjoy.

Ciao.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxnotes/2019/12/19/californias-62-mile-high-taxes/#6f31f5052324

Sittin’ Around Bullshittin’

Editing The Moreva of Astoreth–still. Jesus fucking christ. The pages look as if they’ve been dipped in pee. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, it would have been blue pencil. Anyway, it’d have been nice if Adobe had used a different color, one that didn’t look so much like body waste. Like a nice magenta. Or even green. And just think–once I’ve finished the edits, I have to input them into the ms in Word. Yeah, I know I can directly edit the Adobe version, but I didn’t create it and it wasn’t shared. So I have to do it the hard way.

My new desk chairs are fabulous! The old ones were cheap and worn out. The height adjustment thingie didn’t work anymore, I had to roll up a towel and put it behind me for back support, ugh. Now I’m at the right height for working at the computer. My back doesn’t hurt when I stand up. Of course, it would help if I didn’t sit at the desk so much, but I forget and only get up when my ass starts hurting.

I got one of those Happy Lights. How come I ain’t happy? REFUND!!! No, seriously. I’ve been using it while I work–day job stuff, because it won’t fit on my personal desk. Too much shit lying around. The lack of available outlets on this side of the room is also a problem. So is it working? Well, I really can’t tell… Continue reading

Days of Manias Past

Went to see my shrink on Saturday. In explaining my rage and disgust with myself over my current financial predicament, I told her the reason for my intense feelings is that this isn’t the first time it’s happened. The difference between then and now is I hadn’t dug myself in so deep I couldn’t dig myself out.

So I started regaling her with some of my past exploits while manic. Like how I ended up with FIVE full-length fur coats. While I was still commuting, in winter it got seriously cold on those train platforms. When the 7:15 AM express came whipping through, it was like you’d been plunged into the Arctic. It occurred to me that a fur coat might make my commute more bearable. I bought one. It worked. Then I slipped into mania and bought four more. Oh, they’re beautiful, all right. I pay handsomely to keep them up. But I stopped commuting to work in 2008, and I haven’t worn any of them since Obama’s first inaugural in 2009. Yeah–they’ve been sitting either in my closet or at the storage place since then. I also have a gorgeous sterling flatware set, service for eight. Tell me, why would I need something like that? I don’t entertain. Hell, I don’t even like PEOPLE. And then there was the time I went crazy for loose colored gemstones. I had a grand plan to have them made into custom jewelry. Problem is, I don’t wear jewelry. I have pierced… Continue reading

Drawn And Quartered

I can’t believe it’s October-freakin’-12th already.

Shit is pulling me in so many directions I feel as if I’m being drawn and quartered.

The Underground dropped on October 1. Didn’t get as many pre-orders as I would have liked but I’m not disappointed, either. Especially considering I didn’t get going on drumming up pre-launch buzz until the last week of August, or something like that. Last June, my book designer was working on Invasion and worked on it until the first week of August or so, when I interrupted her with the updated The Underground manuscript. So she went to work on that. I took up Invasion and gave it a fine-toothed comb edit. Funny thing is, I don’t remember asking her to work on Invasion way back then. But I don’t remember a whole lot of shit, anyway. I advertised on a whole lot of websites. The preorder price was 99 cents. It will stay at 99 cents until October 31. I’m hanging on to the price that long because I’ve got more ads coming up in the coming weeks. After the 31st, it’ll go up to $2.99. And then we’ll start the process all over with Invasion. And then the Moreva of Astoreth. I can tell you this–once this is done, I am not messing around with these books anymore. I have to stop being a goddamned perfectionist and learn to let go. Besides, I’m itching to write new stuff. But I want to get these… Continue reading

It’s Over. It’s Finally Over.

This has been the week from hell. It feels like last Monday happened sometime last year. In fact, I don’t even remember what happened last Monday.

It seemed things just…fell apart. Me, my dog, my house–everything. Was supposed to have a dental appointment, one that keeps getting rescheduled for one reason or another. So I get into my truck and see that a cable or something has come loose from whatever it is it was supposed to be attached to and now one end is lying on the floor. And I smell gasoline. Well hell, I sure wasn’t going to go barreling down the highway with cables dangling and the smell of gas assaulting my nostrils.

Then Daisy collapses. Repeatedly. The arthritis in her hips and knees is worsening, which is not surprising, given her age. I took her in for k-laser treatment last week but it didn’t seem to last, so I called the vet and said she needed the shots, too. I bought the laser/shots package and she had her first injection the other day. The two together really do help. She collapsed today but that was because she went for a walk in the backyard and it was too much for her. I’m sad she collapsed but the fact she felt confident to walk that far is heartening.

I sold one of my jewelry watches on ebay, the 18K gold and diamond one. Went for a paltry $900, which is really paltry considering what I paid for… Continue reading

The End

It’s coming.

Last June, my 85-year-old mother fell and broke her hip. She’s mending nicely, champing at the bit to get out of the house on her terms, driving, traveling, and all the rest. While she convalesces, my 85-year-old father has borne the lion’s share of the burden of her care. I’ve helped out whenever asked–taking days off from work, whatever is needed. In doing so, I’ve been able to observe them close-up. And I don’t like what I see.

My father and mother are the same age. I watch my father move about the house. He moves slower, now. His steps are no longer as sure as they were five, seven years ago. He doesn’t look sickly–for their age, both my parents are in pretty good health–but he seems smaller, frailer. Taking care of my mother has been hard on him. He’s tired, I can tell. His mind is still sharp, though. We talk about current events and such and his insights always enlighten me. The way he correlates the past to the present. Like I was wondering why the Democrats just didn’t go ahead and start impeachment proceedings against 45. He said it was because they don’t have anything on him, nothing that would stick. He pointed out that when Sen. Goldwater confronted President Nixon, the senator told the president he had a choice: Resign or be impeached. He also told Nixon if he chose to fight, there was enough evidence to convict, “and the Senate will convict… Continue reading