Friday, February 28, 2014

So, I am going to make an effort to be more positive. Lord knows I have a lot to be positive about. People are funny, aren't they? No matter how lucky we are, it becomes easy to become bogged down in the perceived negatives of our lives. Anyways, the building is almost done. I know I have said that before but it really, truly is. I can't overstate how much of a difference that will make. It turned into such an expensive, time consuming project that it really effected me. There can be no doubt that I am way worse financially for leaving Alaska. However, I am here because I expect that change. It needs to. I just miss Alaska too damn much to have this be for nothing. I was just saying to Jeremy the other day how much my standard of living has decreased. It's not just financial...it is that leaving Alaska meant leaving almost everything that I love to do. Instead of boating or fishing or hunting or camping I work. I just work. I don't mind the work. I don't mind working hard. It's just easy to feeling like it is fruitless sometimes. Oh, I know I am romanticizing it, but I find myself counting the ways to return home. Even Julianne has acknowledged the positives of life in Alaska! On that note, we got some big news. After 14 years of struggle and expense and worry, it looks like J and I are about to get our Green Cards! The Department of Labor has certified me. We have our medical appointment on Monday to be medically cleared. Barring some unforeseen snag, we should be good to go. That is huge....because when I have sucked enough wealth out of California, we can return to Alaska without worry. My challenge is not driving myself nuts while I wait for that day. I must learn to enjoy life here more. I hope, and expect, that will change when I can work a little less. I also know that I will starting spending more time in Alaska. But, in any event, the point of this entry is to remind myself that things are looking up. There is every reason to feel that the rest of my life will be easier, and better, for the choices I have made. Alaska isn't going anywhere and when I return it will be with enough money that I can spend the rest of my life on a boat or exploring the wilderness. All will come right.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

So, I am really trying to feel better.  I just can't seem to do it.  I'm feeling real sick of this.  I don't give a shit if I am complaining....it is my blog and I will do as I please.  This 12 hours a day bullshit just to lose ground every month is beyond the pale.  I am wore out.  That is all.  

Thursday, February 06, 2014

So, I am wondering if I haven't made a mistake.  I'm just so frustrated.  You know, I had some problems with life in Alaska.  I know I did, and this blog contains proof of that.  But if I had known the amount of stress and bullshit that this firm would entail, I'm not sure if I would have left.  I just cannot get ahead.  I just can't.  I work seven days a week, often 12 hours a day.  We get amazing results.  God it's incredible how many people we save.  Yet there is so much government bullshit that just eats me alive.   Everytime it looks like there might be a little left over there is a new bill.  Some new tax or regulation or expense that leaves me with nothing.  I recently lost our health insurance for the family because it got too expensive under the "Affordable Care Act".  I have no savings or retirement.  I live in a rental and my rent is going up substantially in August.  But housing is so expensive here that I can't see ever being able to afford a house.  And every month that goes by, I owe Jeremy another $4000.   We have some big cases pending that were supposed to change everything but there is so much debt now all it might do it make me even.  I would feel better if I was living high on the hog but there is no money for anything.  Yes, yes, I know I am bitching. But here's the rub. I was broke as hell in Alaska. But at least I loved the place. I don't love California. I came down here for a meat run to make some money. I was so naive. I just didn't think about how much the State would take. Real property tax. Worker's Compensation. Bar dues. MCLE fees. Personal property tax. Income tax. Sales tax. Malpractice insurance. Vehicle insurance and registration. Payroll tax. It goes on and on. I am just do disappointed in myself. There is nothing left to do. I am completely trapped. I owe too much and have no money. I feel like I have completely screwed up my life.
   

Friday, December 27, 2013

So, Merry Christmas 2013!  As usual, the kids were spoiled.  I was lucky enough this year to get the kids pretty much every thing they wanted.  Sure I felt a little guilty about it, but how many Christmases do you get with little ones?  Still so full of wonder?  Besides, 2014 promises to be the year where I finally get out of debt and actually have money.  For the first time in my life. Work has been going well. We are busy and the building is getting so close to being done I can taste it.   I am working seven days a week. There are always things to do when you are building a business. In theory I am the managing partner with a smaller case load in order to run the place, but things are always just nuts.  I have every reason to be hopeful for 2014.  I have set a goal for myself: one year from today I will be sitting in Alaska.  Visiting for the Christmas break.  I will be debt free.  All the bankers in the world can just suck it.  The firm will be humming along.  Our immigration issues should be close to at an end.  I have too many things to do to be stuck behind this desk my entire life.  I think that this is the last year where I will be a debt slave.  Stay tuned.  Many trips home are in the works.  Many grand adventures with the kids.  All will come right.    

Monday, December 16, 2013

So, I am feeling pretty restless. The building is within two weeks of being done. Tens of thousands of dollars are still owing on it. I honestly feel like I have reached the end of my patience. Yet more must be done. 2013 has been a year of working hard and seeing very little for it. Yes, the building is amazing. But this may be the last decade where I have my health. I just want to start living! That's tough to do when everything is going into the business. Blah. It's the same old complaint. Nevertheless, I am hoping that this year I can pay off some or all of my debt. It is my goal to spend the Christmas of 2014 in Alaska with my family. I have a long way to go before I can get there. But, again, given that I have handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars to start this place, I am feeling positive...when I'not tempted to burn this place down out of sheer frustration. The kids are doing well and are excited about Christmas. Very little else is new. I have started dreaming, and planning, our part time return to Alaska. I have this awful feeling right now that my life is on hold. It's an absurd, stupid way to feel given how quickly time flies. I know that one day I am going to miss this time. The building. The planning and dreaming. The time when my girls were little. I know all that. Yet right now those little green pieces of paper are just so important. I can't wait until I am beyond this....2014 holds a huge amount of promise.  Everything could change this next year.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

 So, happy birthday to my Sasha. She turned three on November 2. I feel bad for her in a way. I was way more active in chronicling life when we lived in Alaska. It's harder now for a couple of reasons. First, I am far more busy at work than I used to be. Second, I am just not as excited about the blog as when I lived in Alaska. Life since I left Alaska has been hard. In particular, this building has drained all of our earnings away. It was supposed to take 6 months and $100,000. It has taken over 16 months and $300,000. That 'extra' $200,000 was money that I could have used to build my life. Instead it has all gone into this place. So I am still renting. Still deeply, deeply in debt. The only good news is that the building should be done by the new year. We have some furnishing to do but I think we are within $70,000 of being done. As God is my witness, 2013 is the last damned year that I will be broke. Otherwise things are fine. The kids are doing well. Growing far too quickly. I have reasons to believe that I will get to spend more time with them soon. I am starting to almost resent this building because of the energy and resources it has taken. But we will have the nicest law office in town. The back is now furnished and looking great. So, despite my frequent despair over the last year as we struggled and fought and worried, there is every reason to feel optimistic. I just can't live with this worry and regret hanging over my head. And, quite frankly, the only solution is money. Lots of it. I'll never understand people who say money doesn't buy happiness. I wish I could punch those people in the face. If I had the money that I could ever spend I would spend the rest of my life doing what I wanted. Where I wanted. And Alaska, of course, would be right up there. To cheer myself up I often look at photos of the Great Land. Then hand my contractor another stack of cash. Dream of the day when every single goddamned penny I earn doesn't go into construction. Adventures in the place I call home call.....my heart aches for it.

Friday, September 13, 2013

So, it is with unbearable sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved dog Becky. Out of 4 dogs I took to Alaska, she was the only one who made it. She circled a brown bear. She swam in the ocean.  She (unwittingly on my part) rode on the bumper of a truck for over 20 miles down a highway because she would not be left behind on a car ride.  She died suddenly on September 11, 2013. It looks like she was poisoned somehow. She and I had many grand adventures together in the Alaskan wilderness.  Her death makes Alaska feel even further away.  The last few days have been filled with tears and heartache.  I am having her cremated and taking her home. I will spread her ashes on Tustumena Lake. There is nothing else to say. She loved me and I loved her. I miss you Becky.

Once again, I quote the closing of Graham Vest.  "The best friend man has in the world may turn against him and become his worst enemy. His son, or his daughter, that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and good name may become traitors to their faith. The money a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.

 The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only to be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune dries his master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege that that of accompanying him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when that last scene comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there, by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful, and true, even in death."