...pathetic this year.
Only five vlogs posted in 2011, six if you include this one.
The reason: the Dour Economy has finally caught up with your humble correspondent.
In his novel, David Copperfield, Charles Dickens famously wrote:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.
I am not well versed in British currency, but in American dollars, I think the second half of the following translated quote more accurately reflects my own situation:
Annual income $62,000, annual expenditure $61,000, result happiness.
Annual income $62,000, annual expenditure $278,000, result suffocation.
Author Dickens apparently coming up a twopence short himself on the happiness-misery spectrum.
My friend Charlie H., who killed himself in the midst of the depression phase of his bipolar disorder, used to say the definition of "middle class" was when "expenses equal all income and every available penny of credit."
For too long has this applied to your middle class sucker correspondent, one-time contributing "driver" of the US Economy by my consumer behavior! In retrospect, I can't believe how much money I squandered on ramen noodles, health insurance premiums, and...well, that's most of what I spent, but it was way too much. Why, oh why, did I think I deserved detached retina surgery when I so clearly had the other healthy eye! Spendthrift!
In any event, I have been scrambling around for months now, trying to bring things into some semblance of balance, so far with mixed (at best) success.
The frenzy and time consumption such has required of me has put something of a damper on my leisure time, i.e., those seemingly endless hours I once wiled away watching TV, sampling different types of bonbons, napping to the accompaniment of Power Lunch and/or golf tournaments, and deluding myself into believing things were all right.
Such was the Golden Age of swim vlogging for me.
But times have changed.
Of late, I have become deeply immersed in the Merde Age.
I suspect I am not entirely alone here, but we who at last come to recognize ourselves as Life's Failures invariably sweeten the excruciation of our situation by telling ourselves that we alone have been fools and numbskulls.
In any event, this past weekend, I traveled to Philadelphia with my older son, Ben, who is a student at Temple, and helped him move stuff from his current apartment to his new apartment. We then went to my brother John's house in Ocean City, New Jersey. The next day, I swam the 5K Bridge-to-Bridge swim in Atlantic City.
Two of my new 1776 teammates were there: Vibeke Swanson and Jack Martin. Hopefully, my brother will be able to put together a movie about the race in the foreseeable future.
This event was increasingly typical of the kind of swimming competitions I can (barely) afford these days: cheap, drivable, and in a location where I can stay for free and eat free food.
The Yiddish word for people like me is schnorer.
I am determined to turn my withered fortunes around!
I want, for at least a few seconds before I die, to become whatever the Yiddish word is for mensch!
It is on this note, and against the backdrop of this aspiration, that I am proud to announce the formation of a new company specializing in swimming jammers as an advertising vehicle.
Based on a concept suggested by Thornton triplet, Michael P. McDonnell of Libertyville, Illinois, I thought I would briefly introduce the new venture in today's vlog, then expound upon it at much greater length in the near future.
Ideator savant, Michael P. McDonnell, AKA bzaks1424 [ame="http://forums.usms.org/member.php?u=19682"]U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame] (Drop Michael a line of tremendous gratitude for his contribution to the evolution of swimming apparel.)
For now, here is a visual to peak your
interest and investment dollars:
Investing money you have and/or could borrow in Jim's new suit apparel start-up, result happiness.
Failure to invest money you have and/or could borrow in Jim's new suit apparel start-up, result misery.