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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stayin' In and Catching Up

It is a chilly Saturday night in Chicagoland, the last day of February. The Mystery Band had no gig this evening. I thought about hitting the clubs to hear some of my buddies play, but my energy failed me - I stayed home with my girls and my dogs (the picture above is a demon-eyed version of Jenna and Brandy, the house canines). There was a big pile of mail that I ignored all week; it is now processed and dealt with. I got on YouTube and called up President Obama's February 24th speech to Congress, which I was too busy to watch live. Whooooo! That dude sure can speechify. I bought a big 120 gig iPod to replace the one that was lost/stolen at the Evanston YMCA. It took a long time to synch the 10,000 songs in my library to the new device. Now I am enjoying Nina Simone in my earbuds. I paid bills. I started getting my 2008 tax return organized. I had a couple of adult beverages. I practiced on my E-flat chromatic harmonica. I basically stayed in and fiddled around. Now it is almost midnight and I am ready to sleep.

I feel schizophrenic. On a personal level, I feel pretty optimistic. There is no discernible disaster lurking. My day job is OK because my little company is nimble and we are finding ways to make money in spite of the economic crisis. But then I read the papers, or talk to my friends that work at big companies, or listen to the news and I feel pretty pessimistic. This economy hasn't hit bottom yet. The massive debt reduction that is going on ("de-levering" is the business buzz word) is unlike anything we have seem in well over a generation. The savings rate of the average American is moving quickly from negative 1% to positive 10% (10% was close to the average in the 1960's through the mid-1980's). This process will mean a whole lotta pain - less spending, more debt defaults, higher unemployment. But the only way out of this is through it.

As I said earlier, I am ready to sleep. Goodnight.

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