Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

August 10, 2008

"We will get by, we will survive...." the Grateful Dead says in their most popular and commercially successful "hit", Touch of Grey. Of course that was the beginning of the end for the Dead. They managed to fly under the radar for 20 years till that song came out. Although my first show was in 1988, after Touch came out, seasoned Deadheads realized I wasn't just on the bandwagon or a 'Touch' head. I just never had the opportunity to see them prior to 1988, due to my geographical location, strict parents, age and college. Speaking of the Dead, besides yesterday being Lady Axe's birthday, it also marked the 13th anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death. Man, if ever I needed a show, it's now. We miss it so much.

Anywho. We've had a few days to let the bad news sink in and assess the situation. Something that made us both feel tons better, unfortunately at the expense of other people, was the next day when all the news stations & papers had a stories about Weyco's deep cuts and 1,500 more layoffs yet to come at the corporate HQ building (Brian worked in a satelite bldg, but he and I had lunch at HQ once). So he's just one of thousands of victims of corporate downsizing. It's much easier to accept a layoff when you know it's not because of something YOU did, but b/c of the company's going downhill on skis. And let me tell you, I've never seen a company go downhill, that fast. 2 years ago when Brian was hired, Weyerhaeuser was banging on all cylinders.

I've decided to carry on with the trip to see Julie in Portland. My boss talked me into it. He just doesn't see why I shouldn't get out of town and have a good time, esp. since I've been looking forward to it since I got back from last year's trip. We had such a great time. So we're back on for the weekend of 9/19. I'll just have to be a good girl and not go hog wild at the Portland Saturday Market!! For me, these days, traveling is less about shopping and more about photography. I can't possibly squeeze another poster onto the walls or another knick-knack on the shelves and furniture tops, so that fact alone highly limits my shopping possibilities.

Brian's going to take a few days to decompress and recharge before he starts networking and reviewing the assistance that Weyco is offering to make the transition to new employment. His severance package isn't too bad....although Brian's been calling it 'the clay parachute'. lol Hey, it's better than nothing. I think I've found a reasonably priced health insurance policy that Steve can get for me. It has a higher deductible, but at this point, insurance is insurance. Brian also has his trip to the Bay Area this coming weekend for the voice over "bootcamp", at a studio in Sausalito.

I'd like to thank everyone for your emails, comments and phone calls. I really, really appreciate your love, support and good wishes. I need to hole up for a few days, though, so if I don't answer the phone or respond to IM messages on Facebook or MSN, or respond to emails, please don't take it personally. I need to step back and take care of myself right now. I'll be lurking on the blogs, however, so I won't totally be out of touch. On Wed. I had what was either a major panic attack or a minor cardiac event. I'm not sure which it was, but it was sufficient enough to scare me, Steve and Brian; the latter of which were asking me if I wanted to go to the ER. I'm in no hurry to experience that kind of chest pain & nausea again. So I have a dr. appt. on Thursday, and I leave for San Francisco on Friday for Donnie & Mike's wedding. So for right now, I am focused on both of our trips and trying to get through the first part of this week, before Steve leaves on his vacation to Michigan. I love my boss dearly, but to say we are looking forward to this brief respite is an understatement.

In the meantime, Brian's spending a great deal of time sleeping, which he desperately needs, and we are doing our best to make lemonade out of the lemons. So many people are far worse off than we are. At least we won't lose the house and we can still pay our bills. I feel bad for the families that relied on one income that now find themselves in a real bind. Shit happens. Overall we are very lucky to have each other, a nice place to live, our sweet & funny dogs who make us laugh every day. I still have a good job and a great boss, who wouldn't lay me off now even if work ground to a complete halt. We have our cozy "pod", which is what we call the family room. There's nothing cozier than a nice cloudy or rainy day, in the pod....doggies snoozing, Brian half asleep in his recliner, me making crafts or colouring. Those are the good things that we are focusing on.

We've weathered worse storms than this, and we'll land on our feet again. We always do.

So I'll catch up w/ everyone when I get back from San Francisco a week from tomorrow.




    Your positive spirit in the face of adversity is truly inspiring. You and Brian have handled your joint personal affairs so intelligently, and you both seem so clear-eyed with what you do and don't need, I have no doubt you'll bounce right back up again.

    Hooray to you for following through with your trip! It may be just the medicine you need (along with Brian's xanax, of course!!! :) ) xox-- H

  2. Thanks man. I really do feel like a schmuck, kvetching when we have so much to be thankful for.

  3. Oh honey, I'm sure Brian will be well on his way to new employment soon. Afterall, Karma owes you guys...;-)

    Go and enjoy San Fran....take lotsa pics and wear some flowers in your hair.
    Your attitude is wonderful and I'm sure all will be much better soon.

  4. They managed to fly under the radar for 20 years till that song came out

    Fly under the radar? In what universe? They were one of the most popular rock bands since the late 60s; certainly, I regularly heard of them since I was about 9 years old and started buying my own records when I was 12-13. I went to my first show as soon as I was old enough.

    To me, that song was just an 'accidental hit'. I guess I'm showing MY touch of grey right now, huh? :P

    So glad you are still taking the trip--when things like this happen and I am forced to change my plans? I think: the bastards took that, too! So, glad you didn't let em grind you down even more.

    (((hugs and kisses)))

  5. Daisy - Well, by "fly under the radar" I meant they never had to play stadium shows for 80,000 people before Touch came out. Nor were there the rampant problems with partiers and gate crashers.

    Axe - Oh I'm sure to have a blast. I'm still planning on trying to find Chris Isaak's house. Wouldn't it be a hoot if it was his house and he was home?

  6. Have a great trip!

  7. Thanks Val! I'm sure it'll be a blast.

  8. Hey babe, lurk away. I think everyone can understand the need to introvert yourself now and then. I hope you have a great trip and you come home all rejuvenated! I'm not a deadhead, and I did love that song Touch of Gray when it came out, lol.

  9. You have a great trip and a wonderful time, I'm sure everything is going to be better.
    Hugs to you both, xxx

    PS: Haven't seen Rog yet, but be sure I'll let you know ;-P

  10. I'm so glad you're still taking the Portland trip! If you are doing the Gorge thing, stop by McMinnemins Edgefield. They are big on The Dead there--there is an amazing statue of Jerry Garcia. You could light a candle there. And drink a beer. A good beer. Simple pleasures...

  11. Claire - It's a pleasant song, but Deadheads were always glad to get it out of the way if they did it first song in set one. Although when the lights swept over us at the end when we all sang along, it was a crowd pleaser.

    Madi - Let us know when the concert is!

    DP - Thank you for the tip; I have added that stop to my itinerary!! Have you ever been to that haunted pizza place in Chinatown? I want to stop there as well.

  12. it's like i always say

    it all comes out in the wash!!

  13. Have a wonderful trip Jojo! Can't wait to see the pictures..

  14. Fen & Tess - Thanks. I can't wait to take the pictures!!!! Although I fully expect the morning fog to be in at least till mid-day, so my pics may be a bit on the grey side.

  15. Anonymous10:27 PM

    Bobby's Girl here, So sad to hear of your troubles JoJo. Keep your chin up and hope that trip to see Julie is great. I'll be thinking of you.

  16. Hey bobby's girl! How are you? Good to hear from you!

  17. The Shang Hai Tunnels in Portland? They are supposed to be haunted. I've always wanted to tour them, but so far have not found myself the opportunity.There's also supposed to be at least a couple of haunted radio stations in PDX--right up your alley, I'd say!