Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shrink, fade, shrink, fade...

Some (admittedly, not many) may wonder where I’ve been. Well, I’ve been out there trying to live up to the name of my blog. Late in August I quit my shrinking job and faded off to the South Pacific. With a big yellow waterproof duffel bag, I landed in New Zealand, then bounced to Vanuatu (islands in the middle of nowhere), then helped some strangers sail a ketch to Australia, then briefly fell in love with Australia, but flew home anyway. Overall it was a fabulous trip, once I got over the culture shock (The Kiwis, for example, are a fastidious people who disapprove of spitting in trash cans the way we do back home. This change in habits took some getting used to, to say the least.)

As soon as I encountered the first customs officer at LAX, I wanted to leave again. Instead, though, I returned to shrinking, essentially at my old job, but now as an Independent Contractor. The upsides of this new arrangement: I no longer work weekends, I no longer serve on inane committees, I can leave again soon, and I get paid more. The downsides I am still looking for; they are hard to find. Overall, this has been such a good move that I’ve gone on a spree of coaxing other people to quit their jobs too. And I feel I’m having some success. I may start a new business called In this role, I will un-match people from their fancy-pants jobs and assist them with every step of the transition back to the aimless, impoverished, unregulated lifestyle that will bring them actual happiness. My services, of course, will not be cheap. So don’t give up your day job just yet—you’ll need to save up a bit first. And whatever you do, don’t give your notice until you’ve read my chapter entitled “Seven Habits of People Who Quit Their Jobs and Return to The Same Job at Higher Rate of Pay.”

While percolates, though, I’m going to fade back into the sea for a bit. The morning after Thanksgiving (that’s November 25, for my legions of international readers) I’ll fly to Philadelphia (that is where we signed the Declaration of Independence), meet some more sailors, and proceed to Maryland (a state which somewhat presumptuously considers itself the sailing capital of the U.S.) From there we intend to sail a 47’ boat down Chesapeake Bay, then directly offshore to St. Maarten (an island in the Caribbean owned by multiple countries, none of which are the U.S.) This trip will start off cold and end up hot—much like microwaved frozen burritos.

Please stay tuned. And someone remind me to discuss why the U.S. would’ve been better off without the Revolutionary War, and why it’s a bad idea to bless people when they sneeze.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


This is a test of my photo-posting abilities. This is only a test. There is no cause for alarm. This is the beach at Port Douglas, Australia, from my trip last month.