My last day of working in jobs was August 6th. The next day was the soft opening of my retirement. I figured I needed at least two weeks to assess the damage to my life from unrelenting six day work weeks and make basic repairs. These are mostly maintenance disasters on my knoll and a couple past due filing issues. My dog noticed my increased presence and walk time right from the start.
The official Retirement Grand Opening of my retirement will be on Wednesday, August 24th at the Starry Plough Irish pub on Shattock in Berkeley. This is the longest running slam poetry venue in Northern California. Every Wednesday is slam poetry night. Slam poetry will be one of my top five ongoing projects in a dumpster load of one time and intermittent projects. I’m developing a concept called “race horse slam” to take this performance poetry to the next dramatic level. All I need is time. Expect to see more blogs and video at “tv8point1.com”.
It was such a pleasure to be able to accept a writing project. The old State Granges have been destroyed by an evil corporate conspiracy. Someone familiar with my work asked me to write a melodrama using former Grange members as actors that will point up and satirize the battle that took place. I can videotape the performance and post it on the internet for all the displaced former Grange members to see.
What are the other ongoing projects? There are videoed/dramatic bicycle and kayak runs. I am still in good shape. I will be writing a series of plays and screenplays. Creating a GPS resource of local movie locations and background actor lists to make me the goto person. I will replace the dry book club format with a video publicized “Homeland Security Book Review Hour.” And lets not forget my ongoing writing research in my “meth lab” library, named after the justification used by our rabid police for a warrantless raid.
Before my bus driving gig and after my stint as a taxi driver I struggled in this poor county. Jobs are few and mean. Finding employment had to compete with fighting hoards of homeless tweekers and politically motivated police attacks. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to work, repel thieves, fight City Hall, and pursue creative interests. Fortunately, by retiring early I added 50 hours per week to attend to the latter three’s time demands.
The knoll should be somewhat presentable as a work and show place next week. Not everything will be installed but I should have a visually interesting video location for creatives to visit. I’m certain code enforcement won’t appreciate the knoll’s artistic potential. But that brings up my civil procedure course project that I will be resuming soon. I also have to catch up on filings for my non profit – “Cache Creek Performance.”
In addition to regular treks to Berkeley, I can now hit the monthly open mics at the Catfish Coffeehouse and the last Thursday Writers Read in Ukiah. Upcoming annual events include the Fringe Festival in San Francisco and the Konocti Challenge bicycle tour around Lake County. I spent three years watching these happenings from the sidelines. Six day work weeks are not compatible with activities that are not planned around your work schedule.
The week before I retired I wrote two ballot arguments against a local sales tax. I now have time to participate in debates to defend my position. A previous version of the tax failed with no opposition. They deleted the clear sticking points but now they have official opposition – me. I could not have resumed my role as an involved citizen while being sidelined in a demanding job. From this point on there will be no more free ride for local goobers who think the City is their entitled cash cow and litter box. I will be responding.
My only regret is that most of the people I knew in Silicon Valley have dropped off the radar physically, mentally, and politically. This happens to many people in old age, whenever that begins. But too many people from my crowd have died or lost function before they reached official geezer status. Its probably just as well I moved to a fringe county where someone can reinvent themselves in a slow but evolving scene.
In spite of the time stress, it was good to finish the succession of jobs at the top of my game. A transit driver has to certify their ability, background, drug use, and social skills. Many of my former acquaintances and family could not do this. I left the world of work as a success at my job. Now it is time to complete my success as a life.