Afar and Forlorn

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Zombie animated scared sketch pictures, backgrounds and images

Vacuumslayer has an awesome post up, some fine writing and I take back all the snark about her typos I have written. Well, until the next time she makes funny misspellings, because DAMN those are tasty and hard to resist.

But. I am also part of the 99%. And like vs says, we are doing OK.

Almost entirely because Wife Sublime works for a planet-killing multinational corporation that pays zero taxes. Which makes me somewhat conflicted.

I once had such dreams. Such hopes. While I started college as a baby Engineer, very quickly I discovered it was not my thing, and through happenstance found myself talking to a Madison architect. What he told me was “OK, there aren’t any jobs, but being an architect is a good career.”

He was right.  I got a job with a decent local firm, with a specialty in adaptive reuse, and was slotted in as designer. After a rough shakedown period with the a psycho bigot nazi boss, I found my legs and designed some great things for my city. And some mediocre things, as one must to pay the bills.

Eventually, several of us split off.  And since archtiects ARE COMPLETELY WITHOUT EGO ISSUES,  the three of us couldn’t work together.

fuck, I don’t need to get off into digression here.  But what I want to say is that I have designed things all over this fair city, and have won several awards for my work, both for the nazi sumbitch and on my own.

And after 8 years of Republican governance and hideous malpractice by our financial Masters, found that my career was stagnant.  I laid off my last couple of folks, reviewed my debt load, considered the rope, and made contacts with the people in the industry.

Yeah.  right.  Everybody was laying off, not hiring, especially not an older guy with tons of experience.  I had friends who have been seeing year-over-year 10% salary reductions, massive layoffs, and in one particular case, a 50% reduction in salary.

If I didn’t  have that business debt, it would be fucking funny. OK, maybe not so much.

There used to be a cliche in the business, that an architect’s career doesn’t start until he’s forty.  Well, here I am, and it appears that my career will be ending at fifty.

Yeah, we’re doing OK.  Mainly because my wife is better at making life choices than I am.  Our house is paid off.  Our son is nearly seventeen and hasn’t gotten anyone pregnant.  The dog has stopped farting (for the most part).

Yeah, I got an iPhone.  And an iPad.  And yeah, my (laughable) business pays for ’em.  For now.

We are not in danger of foreclosure, or missing meals, or having our cars repossessed.  I fully recognize that there are millions more people not as fortunate.

And that’s the issue, innnit?

Much of the design work I have done in the past few years has been financed through Title 42 (and to some extent, Historic Preservation) tax credits; part of that is requirement that the residential provided be rented to working folks within a certain range, and the maximum rent is also controlled to make it affordable for them.  It’s an effective program, a public-private effort.

Yesterday, we had a ribbon cutting for a project, this one (for those paying attention):

At the ceremony, one of the tenants spoke.  It’s not the first time that a tenant has spoken at one of these dedication events; and when they do, I am reminded that however much my career is sucking wind, it still is contributing to making the lives of the 99 better.

In a better America, we would be doing projects like this as a matter of course.  We would be building things that benefit our citizens, at every turn, new housing, new schools, new infill projects, new infrastructure.

Not new wars.

Yeah, in a better America.

Well, we’re doing OK and my constant whinnng about my career is maybe not the most overwhelming part of teh OWS protests.  My crappy little operation doesn’t matter, live or die.

But for good or ill, my  career has been oriented toward low to middle class urban dwellers, and those seem to be dying out, due almost entirely to the arrogance and malfeasance of the financial institutions and malfeasance and corporate knob-gobbling by our “democratic” institutions.  But I know how to repair our urban environments; I know how to make the suburbs work better.  My work has, without fail, improved its communities.

I always wanted to use my talents and training to improve our built environment, in particular with urban infill projects but also raising the bar for suburban and exurban development; and I have, to some extent.

But it seems those opportunites are dwindling, never to return.  And the blame lays squarely against those fuckers on Wall street, drinking their champagne on teh streets above the protesters, or the ones in Chicago with their fucking window signs.  Yes, you ,  the 1% and the Masters of the Universe.

But we are coming for you.  We are the 99%.

And between myself and a few other people, we know how to bring your buildings down.

You fuckers should have jumped.  We are the 99%.

  1. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Doing okay, but balanced on a knife edge, hoping to avoid calamities- that’s the story of those who haven’t fallen off the edge.

  2. Glue Birl says:

    Yes it is, BBBB. Great way to put it. The Skimmer and I are right there on that knife’s edge with you.

    And ZRM? You should write a book.

  3. Zerm? Can you correct my name? I entered the wrong info into the info fields.

  4. That’s a fine read, zrm.

    (This is for people who are wondering what happened to the market for tax credits.)

  5. vacuumslayer says:

    A shout-out for me? You’ve just assured yourself a thorough reading, buddy! Right now I have to attend to babby…

    And also now I feel bad for calling you a butthole.

  6. blue girl says:

    You are othering me?


  7. blue girl says:

    lol @ cookie cheater.

  8. Jennifer says:

    And after 8 years of Republican governance and hideous malpractice by our financial Masters, found that my career was stagnant.

    99% of our country appears to be stagnant.

  9. Von says:

    I love most of this post.

  10. Dude…between VS’ post you link to, and your post here..I salute both of youse guys..and neither of you need to apologize for still making ends meet, or being comfortable. You are the lucky ones. I don’t mean that nasty or negative either as it only takes a series of events, none of them related, to make any of us poor and/or grasping at straws to keep our families heads above the blink of the proverbial eye, it could be any of us…we all need to remember that.

    And in the ole dayz..when those series of events visited us..we could count on a helping hand to get us through the rough times until we found another job, or our health returned or what-fucking-ever the situation that put us in said economic tailspin.

    Our govt’s..local, state and federal won’t help us anymore. Therein lies the problem, as MOST are not asking for a hand-out..just a helping hand..and there is a big fuckin difference between both of those things because no one wants to be fucking poor. No one grows up wanting to be on welfare or get foodstamps or have to deal with major health issues that keep us from working when the shit hits the friggin fan. Never in my life have I heard anyone say they want to be poor and shiftless when they grow up.

    Awesome writeup bro..gracias’.

  11. vacuumslayer says:

    Another great, heartfelt post by you, zrm. I wasn’t kidding when I said before that you can write.

  12. Laura says:

    Great post!
    I, like you, am fortunate to have married someone with a few brains. We are OK as well-which is good, with 4 kids and all. 🙂


    • Because of my post surgical issues I don’t get around the intertoobs much lately but I do read you, m’dear Zombilicious, Thunder and of course VS every time I make my rounds. AK is another that you guys turned me onto that i read.

      Both you n’ VS are excellent writers when you get all hot n’ bothered about the state of our political affairs and our world in general. We all fear for ourselves as well as those that are suffering because of the big legal casino called Wall Street, and the fuckery perpetuated on us all by them.

    • So here’s where I get confuzzled, Laura. Wife Sublime, with her big brain an all, why did she marry ME?

  13. Laura says:

    LOL~ I also wonder what my husband ever saw in me. He could have done waaaay better than the likes of this!
    Ah well… the heart wants what the heart wants I suppose. 🙂

  14. vacuumslayer says:

    My husband could have had someone NOT a flighty idiot who lives entirely in her head. There really is no accounting for taste.

  15. Also, please note that “Afar and Forlorn” is the title of an AWESOME tune from the latest Mekons album….

    Obsessed? What do you mean by that, doctor?

  16. Jennifer says:

    Obsessed? What do you mean by that, doctor?

    You?? Pfffft…

  17. You need these tags around that image up there. Lower numbers in the scroll amount go slower.

    <marquee scrollamount="8" behavior="scroll" direction="left"></marquee>

  18. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Don’t listen to Substance (IF that is his real name) and his fancy-dancy html.


  19. Jennifer says:

    What about Marquee Mark??

  20. Jennifer says:

    Or perhaps that should be Marquee Marque.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Fortunately, this blog is not valued on a Marque to Market basis.

    That could be a bloodbath…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Odd. Disappearing comments.

    Shan’t be back…

  23. vacuumslayer says:

    in my defense, I wish it to be known that I have always rated for Vacuumslayer’s artistic work.

    And my sense of humor is, what, chopped liver?

  24. Oooh, I’m logged in with my Twit account. How exciting.

    You know, this means I get to act like a twit now. Heck, it’s practically expected!

  25. Oh, I KNEW it! Moderation purgatory! Can’t I at least go to Hell, where I can shove a pineapple up Hitler’s ass or something?

  26. There. Happy now?

    Nonny mouse will have to deal with his/her own problems.

  27. So, I’m looking at my avatar from my twit account and the one assigned me by the oft-fucked WP, and I have to say: the resemblance is uncanny!

  28. We’re all little monsters around here….

  29. Whale Chowder says:

    Glad to see a new post. Thought maybe your fingers had finally fallen off or something. Nice post, nice sentiment. Fuck the 1%ers, the fucking fucks.

  30. […] not on the edge of losing his home or other things we need to live life in the US. You can read it here as well as check out the rest of his […]

  31. […] not on the edge of losing his home or other things we need to live life in the US. You can read it here as well as check out the rest of his […]

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