Highlights: January-August 2012

Some of my friends know parts of this, some others. So often I have thought about contacting YOU, but there was so much to tell, it demanded consolidation. Here’s a synopsis of January-August 2012.

Let me start with great news!

I was accepted this August to the LL.M. (Master of Laws) Program in Taxation at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. It is an online program. I will not have to move. The program lasts a year.
When I am done, I will have an advanced law degree in taxation law AND become a bean! (Legum Magister) Even if I haven’t passed the Bar, I can serve as an Income Tax Practitioner. People have been paying me actual money to prepare their taxes this year, so I figured I would be doing myself a favor to become more knowledgeable in that area.

Why you may not have heard from me in a while

I got what appeared to be an excellent job in mid-January, helping a tax practitioner establish a storefront office in the Castro District of San Francisco. He turned out to be a lunatic who was running on a shoestring, I discovered too late. He paid me only a pittance of what he owed me, so I quit mid-February. My back went out at the end of February. I decided I had to move in March to a cheaper apartment because the job fell through.

After 6 weeks of hard searching, I found a delightful sophisticated studio apartment just off Park Blvd. in Oakland. I moved here in late April, to be close to my sweetheart. He’s just 4 miles away. It doesn’t matter now. He broke up with me 5 weeks before I was to sit for the Bar.

I love my apartment though. It’s quiet here and the neighbors mind their own business except when you ask for help. The Cordova was built in 1927. It’s a delightful over-the-top Spanish-Moorish turreted and towered building with a nice patio on top. I can see the tops of buildings in both downtown Oakland and downtown San Francisco from my apartment on the third floor. Wonder of wonders: the third floor has level outdoor access because the building is on the side of a hill. I can walk out of my building in the back and onto a parking lot! This is a major health factor for me. I cannot climb stairs. If the elevator goes out, I can still get in and out without difficulty.

It took three months to complete the move. My back locked up on me several times a day. In late May, I had to stop sorting my belongings and start studying for the Hawai’i State Bar. I met with my tutor daily during the last half of June and most of July. He pronounced me more than ready to pass. I was excited.

July 17, the day before I was to leave, I learned that Hawai’i had enrolled me for the February 2013, not the July 2012 Bar. I presented my case. I told them that even if I passed the Bar, they still had it in their power to withhold a Bar card. It made no impression on them.

So, I tried to be brave, but slipped into depression for a few days. Nevertheless, I was able to clear one storage unit and consolidate down to just one small unit before the August rent was due. I was also able to salvage the value of my plane ticket, so I asked my son in North Carolina when would be a good time to visit. He said, “After August 3 Julian’s day care will be closed for vacation. Come hang with us.”

I load my luggage and jump in the car ahead of schedule. As I cross the Bay Bridge, on the way to SFO, the head gasket in my 1991 Toyota Previa blows. I coast off the freeway at the first offramp and park on the shoulder.

I could choose to get the car towed and miss my flight, or hail a cab and not miss my flight. I hailed the cab and boarded the redeye to Greenville as planned. Scot, Julian, and I have a fruitful and fun ten days together.

While I was gone, one of my two budgies (parakeets) escaped through a tiny hole in a screen! Zoe is gone 🙁 Yesterday, I was able to purchase my remaining budgie Zeke a new pet. So I am back to two budgies. The new bird is named Pinkie. They are much happier with birdie companionship.

The day after I arrived back in my cozy little home, my computer hard drive failed. I have two good online backups, but several days passed while I reloaded and configured all of the programs I use. I am still behind on that task.

Snit Fit: By the way, I have not been decimated. I have been cut in half. The word “decimate” means to reduce by 1/10th, not to “largely destroy.” But I am growing back every day.

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