All photos from the Internet
I confess, I’ve been watching for the earth-shaking hiccups of three, global, pivotal events cited to change the course of my existence as I know it to be (rather easy, breezy). The first has passed without so much as audible TWEET from the siren of a busy fire engine traversing Newport Road, all night long. I reside in a 55-plus subdivision, located adjacent to the busy thoroughfare and the 215 freeway. My neighbors have an affinity for very small, fluffy, ankle-biting dogs. ANY noise cues the mini-beasts for a collective chorus of YAPPING. Surely, if the world were coming to a cataclysmic end (close your eyes and pick), I’d be forewarned by a canine band of Shih Tzus, Yorkies and Frison Brise, howling in unison.
In the early morning hours of December 21, 2012 (THE DAY of reckoning), I pinched myself, ensuring I was awakening in Heaven. The skies were emblazoned with soft hues of orange, a hint of turquoise and screaming purples, painted over a thin veil of fog. I thought I’d died because I forgot to order and install the $15,000, ten-by-ten, underground, pestilent-resistant, famine-proof, nuclear annihilation-free shelter in my back yard. NOT to detract from survivalist factions preparing for disaster, but KEY words like, ‘the END of the world,’ ‘the LAST day on the Mayan Calendar,’ and my all-time favorite, ‘Carmeggedon’ (the traffic on the 91 freeway is enough to defeat anyone) implies NO SURVIVORS – anywhere. Poof! Gone! Adios, despite the stock of ammo, Spam and bottled water shelved in the garage.
On the Thursday before the fateful forecast, my cousin, Brenda, created a checklist (similar to a ballot) for our circle of COUNTER-SURVIVALIST friends (it’s all good nomenclature). My friend, Holt, has various-sized surfboards neatly stacked in his ‘boardroom’. His stoked thought was to ride the wild-tide-tsunami on a short board, until he couldn’t ride any more. Suffice it to say, he’s been paddling out in the CALM surf near Pacific Beach, ever since.
Samantha desired to choreograph a non-stop, pointe, ballet dance commencing midnight, on the Friday before her heavenly debut; her final, earthly showcase as a talented artist. She unintentionally fell asleep at eight o’clock, rising in the morning to pirouette and prance across the stage in The Nutcracker on Saturday evening.
Me? Well, I checked off my preference to go quickly and painlessly, no matter the cataclysm. But, first, I wanted to drink as much robust coffee as I could. So, on Friday (Dec. 20), I brewed TWO pots of Starbuck’s Arabica and drank each over the course of a few hours. In the event the world ended, my house and all of the baseboards remain spotless; the dishwasher repaired; my Surf Mobile waxed; the clutter removed; the bills paid; my last will and testament written (on a napkin); flash drives were labeled, stored in a plastic baggie and placed in my purse, which I duct-taped (designer) to the sweat shirt I wore to bed. I made a total of 512 amends by email, 87 by phone and 17 in person, to cover all of my questionable bases. I stuffed boxes and boxes of photos in the back of my Surf Mobile (just in case my son and I could escape to Sebastopol). I filled the gas tank. I freely gave hugs and encouragement to my loved ones, to my friends and to my acquaintances I lagged on emptying my storage units, but I deferred sorting through those blessings until after the holidays, distractions and all.
I was pretty calm about the whole, end-of-the-world-thing because I’ve read that WHERE the Mayan calendar ends, Father Time keeps tick, tick, tickin’ anyway.
The many prophesies about beginnings, endings, catastrophes, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, famines, celebrity deaths, (fill in the blank) will never fade. Though predictions of global and localized destruction are documented and calculated by way of substantiated, scientific FACT, prophets’ prophesy, psychic GUESSTIMATES and let’s not forget, the granddaddy of them all, Nostradamus’s Quatrains, I’d do well to pack an umbrella on a cloudy day.
It’s like Roseanne Rosanna Danna’s (old SNL character) grandma used to say: Only cucarachas live forever.
It’s New Year’s Eve. I’M SO EXCITED! 2013 will be rolling in as marked by MY calendar, YOUR calendar, everyone’s calendar, worldwide.
The second, quivering dilemma is The Fiscal Cliff. This terminal, economic malady deserves capitalization as a NOUN attributed to growing, national debt, or perhaps to a heavy metal, rock band. Most 2012, political candidates, pundits and producers have been making this RHETORICAL precipice something of a tag line, at best. At worst, I envision myself (with innumerable Americans) teetering on the brink of a dangerously steep, crumbling ledge with boulders bouncing and spiraling down, down…downward into a deep, dark…I don’t know…empty and wide-open, Federal Reserve Bank vault.
The Fiscal Cliff connotes high, personal, financial DRAMA and an irreparable NATIONAL, monetary crises which (if you read history books) ALWAYS looms. This is way too much to fathom beyond my own, current state of accounting affairs, which have already fallen over one cliff or another at different times in my life. In addition, once I (or the collective nation) fall, trip, slip or once I’m SHOVED over this Fiscal Cliff…then what? Well, c’mon…then what?
Is President Obama devising a strategic, financial, rescue plan with the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, with The World Bank, with The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and with Joe and Josephine Citizen to stomp out inflation? Will the U.S. dollar be worth its weight in nickels on the monetary exchange? Are the politicians conferring with The Rock, with Bruce Willis, with Clint Eastwood, with Sylvester Stallone, or with Arnold Schwarzenegger (disregard), on how to singlehandedly, safely and heroically appear (militia-style) through an exploding pile of worthless greenbacks? Will there EVER be a collective, audible, national sigh of relief as opposed to continuous, noisy, political rhetoric? Will we see an unscathed, husky, silhouette emerging (in slow motion) through mountainous, smoldering rubble, hauling backpacks filled with gold bullion to share with EVERYONE?
(As a side-note, a bar of gold weighs 400 troy ounces (27.4 pounds). One bar measures 39 cubic inches (a tad bigger than a clay brick). At this writing, gold is selling for $1,674 per troy ounce, thus, one bar is valued at $669,600).
Folks, I’ve always wanted the hero to be ME (though a little more feminine, issuing a softer silhouette)! In my own household! On a microeconomic level! Day-to-day! As best I can! Under prevailing circumstances: death, divorce, illness, unemployment, prosperity, promotion, fruitful business endeavors, Craig’s List, eBay… but, I digress, editorializing in Dennis Miller fashion (old SNL fans die hard).
It’s as if the politicians and the reporters are painting a picture of a huge, defiant, mountain (somewhere), while vehemently scolding EVERY U.S. CITIZEN for this deficit, that deficit, everywhere a deficit, deficit, in the trillions of dollars; debt which continues growing by the SECOND. Again, something I can’t fathom, like paying back my mom and dad for everything they’ve ever done for me (before they passed away). In light of all of this turmoil (perceived or real), why do I FEEL so abundantly blessed? Well, because I am. That will NEVER change (though I'll be tested).
This brings me to the third, pivotal, global implication. I’ve a new laptop and a new cell phone, so I’m updating files and deleting archives. ‘The Cloud’ is host to most of my all-important data, now. I’ve been crying for weeks as I wean myself from using paper, pen and an external hard drive because the tools are so comfortably tangible. Technology is ubiquitous (my microbiology professor used that word to describe bacteria), fast and out….THERE. Personal identification numbers are driving me nuts, but that’s another story.
Notwithstanding descriptions of the fiscal cliff and the end of the world, this evening brings us to the end of 2012. I don’t know about you, but my heart is filled with gratitude (for at least 10 things today). I’m ushering in 2013 with great HOPE for all things good and peaceful, including a BLANK, cheapie calendar that I can fearlessly throw over any ol’ cliff (when I’m ready) because the cloud is now home to my scribbled life. Happy New Year!