Thursday, July 31, 2014

At The Close

SCRITTI POLITTI Anomie & Bonhomie (1999 French 11-track promotional CD)

Riddle me this, BatPeople:  Why do my stocks invariably announce their stunning earning reports on a day when the market, overall, does not wish any investor well, and the DJIA is down over 1.5%?  The stock in question got an appreciated bump of just over 3%, but imagine:  What if earnings announcement day had been one when the prevailing winds were deemed favorable by all the made up and convoluted standards of The Street?  I mean, unprecedented GDP numbers had just been released for the previous quarter, a real boost to our national financial health!  In my scenario based on economic logic, might I have made enough money to actually pay off some of my accumulated debt (not that I accumulate debt)? Might I have been able to send my half sister for her much needed three group therapy sessions (with "me, myself, and i"), followed by the less expensive, fiscally responsible psychosurgery of the "ice pick" variety?  Done on an outpatient basis, it's a real deal.  Might I have been able to rebuild, respecting its long history of dilapitude, the original Pottery Barn that bordered the matchy-matchy pear-and-apple orchard between Haddock lands and the holdings of the Roman Catholic Church, upon which our fruit-loving brethren next door, the Cistercians, base so many of their amuse-bouches? We're talking pear and apple concoctions, a little tartelette to see you through from confession to mass. They've even cordoned off one of the confessionals for diabetics, who may need a boost of insulin. Anyway, the original Pottery Barn burned down in an overzealous run of its always questionable kiln.

Incinerated more than burned down, really.

To be exact.

Now how do you like that?  My stock just ticked down to 2.9%.  I had plans.  Big plans.  They involved maybe a name brand Greek yogurt and not the usual plain blended low-fat generic tub.  A new yarn ball to replace the smushed formerly round thing that the cats love to bring out to show visiting dignitaries. That Community Center evening course on Cooking With Cannabis (and the instructor supplied the mangoes!). My goal had been to add a surprise goodie, Green Fudge, to one of the vendor tables at ManorFest 2014, but, sadly, ManorFest 2014 isn't happening.  My Green Fudge, as it now stands, is a bit too literal, much too sweet, and... well, the green could use some shade-tweaking, some tint-shadowing...

Pot not figuring [yet!] in my approved formulary, I couldn't have produced much Green Fudge to begin with. A pipe dream!  Something that promises much but recalls nothing so much as saccharine floral foam -- perhaps purchased on clearance.

Whoop whoop, back to a gain of 3.08%.  Maybe we will be able to swing renting a movie that wasn't released before 1980 from Xfinity On Demand.

I've been stuffing pillows -- the softer ones -- in my mouth, screaming, having spasms, not sleeping, or sleeping in a Bizarro World where overhead fans are, as a matter of course, a metallic hodgepodge of helicopter rotors and a very bloody Edward Scissorhands. Weeping, as a matter of course, because what else is there to do when drugs, music, and weird formations of one's malleable hospital bed have all failed you.  However... I withdraw music from the Cauldron of Failure, for two songs actually pulled me from the abyss, one via wonder (wonder floats nicely above abysses), and one via belly laughter (belly laughter trumps any danger, and gives a jolly chuckle at the mere idea of an abyss).  The first song was Springsteen's Jungleland, which mostly just washed over me until my mind sparked to the final lyric:

Outside the street's on fire 
In a real death waltz 
Between what's flesh and what's fantasy 
And the poets down here 
Don't write nothing at all 
They just stand back and let it all be 
And in the quick of the night 
They reach for their moment 
And try to make an honest stand 
But they wind up wounded 
Not even dead 
Tonight in Jungleland

The other, the next song to pop up on my wicked and oh-so-tiny mp3 player was from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album.  I had forgotten I'd even loaded the thing, and the internal Shuffle Censors seemed disinclined to play any of the songs.  It took but 30 seconds before I was busting a gut laughing through my ridiculous tears, for what did the Shuffle Censors let through but... "I Shall Be Free."  Wikipedia soberly notes:

"I Shall Be Free" is a rewrite of Lead Belly's "We Shall Be Free", which was performed by Lead Belly, Sonny Terry, Cisco Houston, and Woody Guthrie. According to Todd Harvey, Dylan's version draws its melody from the Guthrie recording but omits its signature chorus ("We'll soon be free/When the Lord will call us home"). Critics have been divided about the worth of this final song. Robert Shelton dismissed the song as "a decided anticlimax. Although the album has at least a half dozen blockbusters, two of the weakest songs are tucked in at the end, like shirttails." Todd Harvey has argued that by placing the song at the close of the Freewheelin' LP, Dylan ends on a note of levity which is a relief after the weighty sentiments expressed in several songs on the album.

Well, I took me a woman late last night
I’s three-fourths drunk, she looked uptight
She took off her wheel, took off her bell
Took off her wig, said, “How do I smell?"
I hot-footed it . . . bare-naked . . .
Out the window!


Anyway, it's after the close now, and my little bit of wickedness closed with a gain of 3.26%. Now the big ass wheeler-dealers can have their way with her, and give me a surprise, lookie-here opening several dollars down tomorrow morning.

I don't care about the money, except that it's meant to keep Fred together, body and soul, after my timely demise.  The man is not gifted in financial matters, not that I am.  I'm just a tad bit more organized and reality-based.  I know how much it costs to live and I pay most of the bills that filter through the kindly net of generosity provided by Archibald Haddock and Company.  It terrifies me, the thought of Fred penniless. When I was able to work, I was able to sock away savings and the market was happy, so I felt proud of the nest egg I was building him.  Then there was Bush, and 9/11, and those of us who just watched our money go down the tubes, feebly waving a furtive good-bye.  About then, the reality of life with CRPS and such schtuff set in, as did the unlikelihood of molding, melding, and melting minds left in my charge in the guise of imparting an education based on foreign languages and literatures.  Then, when BCBS decided that my health care coverage should consume over 96% of my private disability income... well, the market became an ugly necessity, rather than just another fair-weather friend.

As things have evolved, I look at Fred, check the investment account, and opt for hope and maybe a lucrative late-life career in gambling.  He would love Nevada, though I am sure, as well, that The Captain would retain him as Carekeeper Extraordinaire of -- O, so many things -- the Manor Garderobes, the moat and the health of its wildlife (mostly, but not all, marine), the wormhole in the moat, and the maintenance necessary to the miniature submarine fleet.

I sometimes think that the Captain awaits only my departure before coming home to roost.  It will be a good fellowship:  Haddock, Fred, Sven, Abbott Truffatore, and communion wine dregs.  Bianca Castafiore warbling from under some table, aided and abetted by Sven's son, Cabana Boy.

Bonhomie.  A better goal than financial security?

[The next day's addendum: My savvy stock pick lost its entire 3% gain. O, giggles!]

© 2013 L. Ryan

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