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Live from New York . . .

Hanging by a thread . . .

It's been two years since I was laid-off from my job at after it merged with ThirdAge.comand then closed down our office. Not only has NYC's job market not recovered from 9-11 yet, but it has gotton progressively worse over the last two years. (The latest NYC unemployment figure is 8.5%, and that's just the people the city knows about.) This is a result of all of the corporate corruption scandals that were revealed last year. They not only destroyed everyone's investments—individuals and businesses—but also led to the revelation of many more fraudulent corporate accounting scemes. With so much investment money lost (or stolen), people are afraid to risk any further stock investments, causing companies' stock value to plummet, which of course, results in massive job layoffs for the workers, while the big honchos who caused the problems still take home millions.

With thousands more losing their jobs every day, consumer spending is way down which hurts both the other businesses (like retail, restaurant, tourism, etc.) and the government's tax revenues. So now the City of New York is also laying off people—3,400 so far— and the raising taxes, subway and commuter train fares, taxi fares, water bills and rent increase allowances (to 12%!). It's a vicious circle of misery caused by the greed and deceit of corporate big-shots and corrupt city agencies. It's bad enough we have to deal with the destruction and threat of fanatical foreign terrorists, but these were people we trusted!  It's absolutely true that power corrupts. We're at their mercy, and they have none.

Do I sound angry and bitter? You bet I am. My present economic situation is not my fault: I was not responsible for the crash of two years ago that caused my job layoff and office shutdown. I certainly wasn't responsible for the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks (just 6 miles down the road from my home); and I had nothing to do with the corporate accounting fraud. And now, on top of all this, I'm encountering age-discrimination in the job market, which I have no idea how to combat. Workers over 50 are being forced into early retirement, and the young twenty and thirty-something business managers don't want to hire older people; they want employees their own age (understandable, but unfair). How does a 50+ person work around that? I haven't a clue, especially when they won't even offer me an interview whereby I might prove my youthfulness, my intellectual sharpness and progressive ideas. This may be the scariest part of it all.

On a lighter note, I keep busy learning more computer programs and website designs. Outside, I still have my Camera Club meetings (the Pres. waived the dues for me this year because I do so much work maintaining its website). I also have my acting classes; I work a few hours each week in the office as a Studio Assistant, which gets me a free class. I've also been part of a (free) playwriting workshop where we do readings of new scripts. And I've been volunteering to help out at the City Center "Encores" theatre productions, which allows me to see the plays for free. So I'm plenty busy. (I even got anti-depressants for free by joining a depression research study at Cornell Medical Center/NY Hospital.) Aside from the high rents, NYC is a great place to be broke because 1) so many other people are in the same boat so there's no stigma, and 2) there is so much free entertainment, especially in the summer.

No progress on my autobiography, lately. I'm stalled at 1985—the year I left San Francisco to move to New York—but I haven't managed to begin the NYC era yet. As much as I love it here, it's been a continuous stream of problems: layoffs, recessions, thefts, swindles, etc.—and no romance to balance out the bad times. So, until my life gets back on the upswing, I find it too depressing to revisit all the gory details of previous setbacks by writing about them. But I'll get there. Strangely enough, I can't imagine living anywhere else. Go figure!



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Things you probably
never knew about me:

Favorite color: Blue
Favorite music: Jazz, Blues
Main interests: History, Culture, Europe, Language, Literature, Why & How
Favorite things:
Fresh air, Flowers,
Wine (dry), Good books
Small band jazz,
my Computer,
Favorite Pastime: Dining out with good wine and stimulating conversation
Favorite Movies: Independent & Foreign
Most favorite movie: Charade (Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn)
Favorite TV: British mysteries, Masterpiece Theatre, Crime dramas
Favorite clothes: Shoes,
Black turtlenecks
Favorite Team:
NY Yankees
Favorite Pets: Labrador retrievers (all big dogs)
Favorite car: PT Cruiser
Pastimes: Acting classes, Photography, Writing, Walking (miles)

Meanness, Violence, Selfishness, Conceit, Arrogance, Injustice, Betrayal, Greed
Foul language
Cigarette & cigar smoke
Rap & Latin music
Daytime TV
Logos on clothes