Last night I watched the movie Das Boot seven times before I finally got up and tried to figure out what was going on. There were some good scenes but I was finding it hard to follow, even after seven viewings. So I went out into the caverns to look for the tattoo boys. They were nowhere to be found.

I came out in a romantic glen overlooking a beautiful vista. There wasn't anyone around at all, so I sat down and had a "krautwurst sandwich." It was refreshing with the orange soda I had with me and when that was done I looked around. There was no way of telling where I was. The whole area was absolutely riddled with beautiful glens and romantic vistas. It was hard to tell one from the other. The railroad people (God curse their souls) may have been right about those matters but I swear to God they were wrong about everything else.

Well, that was that and now I was out in the woods and it was getting weird out. There was thunder and lightning and I saw my old friend Chopper coming across the glen towards me. We ran towards each other in slow motion and embraced, eventually reaching for each other's swollen cocks and the comfort we felt in knowing we had each other's dicks. Trust. Means a lot.

Chopper is in contact with the dead old German solders with the glowing red eyes who have a flying horse guy. He says they will help us get to the house up that-a-ways (expression popularized in the hit series Little House on the Prairie). They want Chopper to take me to this castle where some kind of "madman" will help us reach oneness with the Fuhrer, who is friend to all and will bring order and freedom to the world and punish the weak and the lazy. Ecomonies will become robust. All resistance will end. You will lose one of your limbs but will be allowed to keep it in a very large jar. Fatties will be disqualified from the jar program but will not be exempt from the limb loss program.

Chopper and Behr must plan now. Spend time with your families. They will be reduced by 60% soon (in size if not in numbers).

My friends. Bless you.

It's been a while. I don't think I'll ever contribute here again regularly, but I'll always have a certain amount of fondness for this place. I miss the people. And I can trace my growth as a writer through my own contributions.

What's happening with me:

I work in a converted church near an archtiecturally significant ruin. It's just south of a major river, and as a result the area is often suffused in fog. Nearby is a cemetery that local children in the 50s maintained harbored an eight foot tall vampire with steel teeth; they gathered in their numbers and went hunting for him with homemade weapons. There isn't often lightning here, but it has every other ingredient for gothic horror. It's a cold, gray afternoon. The pavements are all wet and slick, frozen over in patches and treacherous. I have a tedious report to write for the city council on something very important that affects a large number of our service users.

I'm tired, and horrified by the non-fatal lynching of Jussie Smollett. The racism and homophobia underpinning the hate crime reinforces some of my worst opinions about the US and its failure to deal with its historical legacy.

A relatively famous television writer has been harassing and insulting my spouse over the last few days.

My adopted country is moving rapidly towards a massive economic and political change with no real plan in place.

The news on the environment is not good, and I'm afraid we're too late to fix the worst of the damage we people have done.

I have been laboring over a very complicated short story for far too long, and I'm unconvinced I can sell it when I finish.

Despite this, I am in a much better place emotionally, mentally, physically than I was ten years ago. I feel like a much better person.

I have sold stories about mermaids and whaling and am waiting their publication date. They are the latest in a small, but growing, number of publication credits I've had since moving to Scotland. Montag is responsible for getting me to submit more often. People pay me to write things sometimes! One of my favorite artists illustrated a scene from my story!

I like where I work. I'm not paid enough, but I feel valued, and the work we do here has value. Spooky trappings aside, it's a kind place.

I can't say that I'm happy today, but I can say that I'm more often happy than unhappy, and that's as much as I've ever asked for.

Yesterday I met with one of my financial advisors. I have the remnants of an old 401(k) sitting at another firm, it's done poorly, I'm paying custodial fees, and on top of that I'm paying a sales charge. One of the things I love about the place where I'm at now is they don't collect sales charges like many other firms do. Essentially a sales charge is a management fee that ensures someone gets paid whether or not the funds they are managing are doing well. In the past they have tried to justify things like this by saying they were recommending a particular stock be added, or subtracted, and I actually don't have a problem with that, however, there should be some level of accountability as well. I've lost money on paper which doesn't particularly upset me, however I was pretty angry when the gentleman we spoke with yesterday said that they were going to liquidate the fund and send me a rollover check for the proceeds because once that sale is final, so are my losses.

This isn't a terribly large sum of money, but that's also my point. The less money you have, the more carefully you need to track and manage it. My guy discussed my options with me; leave the fund there and continue to pay the sales tax, move the fund as cash, or try to find a way to bring the fund over in kind. This particular fund is one that is designed to mirror the S&P, and this is why I really don't understand the need for a sales charge since there wouldn't be anyone at the fund level managing these assets the way they would in another fund. Once the fund comes over I probably will sell since I can buy an ETF at no cost to myself. Whoever came up with this idea is a genius and I love her, him, or them. Some time ago I got rid of a book I kind of wish I had kept. It was written by a prominent investor, and it had a lot of good things in it, but one of his main points was your portfolio needed some type of a benchmark to see how it was performing.

Few things make me as angry as the greedy and unscrupulous preying on those who don't know better. A Twitter acquaintance of mine has written a book on behavioral finance, I always mean to buy it, and never do. The idea, which is not new to him, is that a lot of people are making emotional decisions about their money when they need to be incorporating more logic into their strategies. I'm guilty of this myself. I bought VZN, and sold it prematurely. I didn't like some of the news I was hearing about the company, I did make some money on the sale, but I would have been much better off sticking with it. Another mistake was VG. It went down after I purchased it, rebounded years later, and I hung onto it rather than selling it to my advantage. I need an action plan, and I've been thinking about my future, but also have plans to actually do something about it rather than just write, dream, or complain.

At work I struggle to understand a lot of things. I didn't grow up in the same time frame that many of my fellow employees did, and in one way that puts me at a disadvantage, however, when it comes to finance, I know a lot of how it works, and how to help people. I wasn't brave enough to take the job that was offered to me back in May. Even though I hated the job that I had, I resisted. I didn't take it in September, preferring the reliability of a base wage to the uncertainty of a commissioned job despite my potential new boss telling me he would give me a salary that I could really use. I don't feel ready for this step, but after meeting with my financial advisor yesterday, I realized how foolish I would be to let this skill go to waste. The other day we were talking about an audiobook I had listened to in 2018 that talks about good offense, and good defense.

Good offense makes money. Good defense focuses more on cutting costs and keeping them low. With the baseball HOF voting done for another season, there are conversations about defense and how they are valued. We have a guy at work who is a top sales person. We have another guy who focuses more on operations and inventory. Good offense needs good defense, and vice versa. I appreciate both skill sets. You can't win games if your offense doesn't score any points, and if your offense goes crazy, but your defense is poor, your opponent has a chance to outscore you. It's a fine line that needs to be walked carefully. Right now I'm really mad at myself for not taking a risk I could have, but that is not the way to move forward. The way to approach this is to look into the classes, book one, pay for it, and reach back out to the guy who offered me a job last year. Once he sees that I am serious, then we can talk.

If he isn't interested, someone else will be. I'm not worried about that. I feel bad that I treated him unfairly. I know what I did to him, I owe him an apology, and better late than never as they say. I get so wrapped up in my catastrophic thoughts that I picture the worst rather than the best. The truth is no matter what kind of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing you can imagine, there are always ways to make it even worse. We don't know what we don't know, and too often I focus on what doesn't go well, and hasn't worked, rather than what has. I complain about being single rather than look back on all the dates I've gone on since I got divorced. It's well below zero, and I'm warm inside. Yesterday my boss told me I didn't have to come in until 2:00, that allowed me to get some badly needed sleep, and have a more relaxing and enjoyable day.

Yesterday I went to the art studio and finished a painting I've had sitting in my car for more than a month. There were many times I could have stopped by, but I never did. I can't even say what held me back, I just didn't go. The holidays would be a convenient excuse, but I failed to make it a priority. It's upsetting to see some of the problems that I've made for myself in my life, however I am choosing to be encouraged by the actions that I did take, and to realize that being hard on myself is futile, it's more effective to write out what I am going to do, and when I am going to do it. This Friday I have off, I'm going in for my root canal, and I'm pretty scared about that. Fear prevents me from going forward and taking action. I do the minimum rather than really challenging myself. Doing the things that I need to be doing would help me in every area of my life, and I'm glad I realize that. Every day I can do and be more, there will be ongoing failure, but it doesn't have to keep me down, or hold me back in any way, shape, or form. Excited to be going to work today, grateful for the people at work, and proud of myself for taking that leap of faith when I did.

Xoxo,

J

P.S. I need to get back to the library. Going to make a list of books and get back to audiobooks again. I really miss them.

j

Removed by editor today from name neurosyphillis. Many thanks to the editor who sent me messages about it earlier! And to all editors for the task of dealing with writers.

Reposting as a log for two reasons.
1. It is a reQuest.
2. A noder said they laughed out loud at it. Also asks Why can't nodes be goofy anymore?

neurosyphillis
isn't spelled like this ill is
thistle isn't either
but rhymes with McGyver

reQuest
I totally would have missed the spelling error except that I googled neurosyphillis....so, two nodes for the price of one! A double reQuest fill! Whooo-hoo!

Hooray, winter crud. But at least the love-sickness has passed. I have now been clean from the dark man for about three days now, and feel pretty calm about the same. More for my own comfort than any risk, I've re-blocked him a few places and adopted the attitude from the past two years of avoidance and proper CBT technique in terms of invasive thought spirals.

It continues to be cold, but I continue to be a productive in terms of writing and exercise.

Meanwhile, miso soup is on the burner, the teapot is full, and the cat is cuddled up next to the radiator. Calm day.

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