Musings: Six Months (And Change), a/k/a The Best Is Yet To Come

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Happy Saturday!

This is not the epic I mentioned in my previous post; just a quick one to note an anniversary that literally slipped past me unnoticed:

I have been full-time for six months.

Well, six months and change; the actual anniversary was June 13th. But I was immersed in the frantic pace of the past two months and completely forgot until over a week had passed.

That I could forget is testament to how routine it has become to simply be, well... me. :c)

That is not to say I am where I want to be; far from it.

I will write more about this, but these six months have mostly been about recovering from the painful, bruising journey it took just to get to that point.

The ill-advised project I took on that has left me so drained at the moment (I worked nearly 90 hours last week, and averaged 80-ish for the previous 6-7 weeks) represents a turning point for me. It is going to be one of the last times I acted like "him" at his most self-defeating, I suspect. It has been painful, but the lesson will be worth it - once I take steps to make it so. Again, more to follow on this.

For now, I will simply say that not thinking about who I am is wonderfully refreshing. Every once in a while, though, it will hit me:

I did it.

I'm living as myself.

Maybe I'm being read. Maybe not.

But I don't really care.

Because I get to be me now, every minute of every day.

I like myself.

And that's all that matters.

The best really is yet to come, as Tony says.

And I am just getting started.


That photo at the top of this post was taken a few days ago. Here's how I looked on the day I went full-time last December - alternately known as The Day Cass Became A Ginger . lol

 I don't see a great deal of change, to be honest. Well, other than looking much more worn out in the most recent photo. lol Then again, I suppose we really are not the best judges of how much we have changed, are we? :D


My favorite Tony Bennett album is actually two albums - two unique albums in his vast, wonderful catalogue. In 1975 and 1976, he collaborated with the great Bill Evans, a giant of jazz piano, on a pair of duet albums that featured just the two of them: Evans on piano and Bennett on vocals.

Evans rarely accompanied singers, and Bennett typically worked with his own small small ensemble.
Both men more than rose to the occasion. The albums - The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (1975) and Together Again (1976) - are today rightly considered classics.

I couldn't find a video of this song, but here's a link to their performance of "Make Someone Happy."!/s/Make+Someone+Happy/3owI8c?src=5

Those vocals on the last chorus always give me chills. :c)

Both albums are now available as a two-disc set, including a disc of alternate versions that are more than worthy additions to their legacy. It's a treasure.

I'm Still Standing

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greetings and salutations, folks! Yes, I am still here, in body and as much of my mind as is still functioning. :c)

It has been a frantic two months. How frantic, you ask? I have been working on two projects, one at work and one non-work, both of which had/have deadlines this week, for that entire stretch. For the past six weeks I have been putting in 80+ hours every week.  

I met one deadline - the more challenging non-work one, thankfully - last night, the end of a 15 hour work day, coupled with two and a half hours of commute time. 

Today was a frantic day at work, but more of the standard end-of-project-cycle variety. (I know Stace and others can relate!) The other, work-related deadline is tomorrow, but the worst is over in terms of workload. As I kidded a developer colleague today, "Now I get to ask YOU why the hell you aren't finished yet!" lol 

(Actually, everyone has been working extremely hard - and extremely well - together. No hissy fits, no temper tantrums... just a team buckling down to get the job done as best we can under stressful, challenging conditions. It helps quite a bit to know that everyone has each other's back.)

I will write more about how I got into such a stressful, time-consuming situation in my next post. I have learned a hard, hard lesson as a result. 

It is a lesson I have needed to learn for some time. A number of people whose opinion I value a great deal have told me as much, with varying degrees of forcefulness. (Including Kelli - you were correct once again, missie!). 

Fortunately, it has finally sunk in at long last. I get it, finally. And as result, there are going to be changes in my life as a result. Big changes.

But it can wait 'til next time. :) I plan to unwind a bit tonight (if my brain will let me!), get to bed relatively early (I hope), and make one last push tomorrow to cross the finish line. Then I can turn my focus to a subject I have seemed to push aside far too often in the past.

Me. :c)

Until next time, be well, everyone, and enjoy the summer! It's finally arrived here in the Boston area along with the standard humidity. I took this picture one recent morning - AFTER spending 10-15 fruitless minutes trying to straighten my hair. lol (I gave up, needless to say.)

Until next time... be cool!


Here's a great song from Elton John's 1983 album Too Low For Zero that sums up where I am at this very moment:

He reunited with his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin after a recorded the song, and album, with Bernie Taupin once again collaborating on the songwriting and the core band he used on the staggering string of classic albums he recorded in the 1970s. The difference in energy from his previous solid-but-not-inspiring albums is palpable.

Incidentally, for those of you who are not aware, Elton has been on a creative roll for well over a decade now, releasing a string of albums that can stand tall in his catalogue. The first of these albums, 2001's Songs from the West Coast, is a particular favorite, and one I still pull out frequently. 

Here's the album closer, "This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore," which features a wonderful video starring none other than a very young Justin Timberlake, who makes a more than credible Elton stand-in. (And yes, that's Pee Wee Herman playing Elton's manager.) Enjoy! :c)

Musings: Crazy Days & A Lesson Learned (Prelude)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hello all. Just a mid-week post to apologize for not responding to some of the comments and email I've received the past few days. OK, the past week. Few weeks. Oops. It's worse than I thought.

I have been insanely busy for over a month now, with another month to go before it slows down. I had an epiphany over the weekend about why I am in this situation - again. This is not the first time I have been to this rodeo, shall we say.

I have heard it said that life keeps presenting you with the same situation over and over until you choose to pay attention *and* learn from it. Well, I was, and I have.

The bad news? I have another month to go before I can start to do anything about it. The good news? I know what I want to do. And I will do all of them. Bet on it. :c)

Apologies for seeming a bit cryptic; more will come in the fullness of time, as my friend B always says!  For now I am worn out but OK. I will be fine. I know who I am now. And who I want to be. And I will get there.


A quick photo to show you what I am up against now that the humidity is returning with the warmer weather.

This is me after my gym session on Monday:

Halle's reaction was priceless: "Oh dear... your hair really does go a bit squirrelly in the summer, doesn't it?"? lol Just so. :D


And I can think of no better soundtrack that this classic from The Lovin' Spoonful:

 It is SO evocative of how summer feels... you can practically see the steam rising from the street and the sweat beading on a glass of lemonade, no matter what time of year you listen to it...


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