2007 Year-end Review

Email to Friends and Family (January 11, 2008)

Subject: a brief personal update

I knew I had created a set of unrealistic expectations when a former boss wrote me the other day to ask what was going on, that he had expected to hear from me and my “year-end” report by now.

Here are a few important points to bring you up to speed with what’s been going on, and about to go on, with me as 2008 begins.

  • After 15 years as a member and 4 years as Executive Director, I am no longer associated with the Institute of General Semantics. I ended my employment there on December 31st due to situations with certain trustees that had grown, for me, beyond tiresome, way past troublesome, and several months south of tolerable. I gave them an ultimatum and the board determined it was more important to keep the trustees than me, so there you go. I mean, there I go. All indications are that the board will decide to sell our Read House building here in Fort Worth and move back to New York “because of the more favorable intellectual climate” there. (Seriously.) The alternative would be to consider an offer from the Schieffer School of Journalism at TCU to become fully affiliated with the university, but I guess that’s not “intellectual” enough. I commemorated some of my GS experiences, including the move from NY in 2002, the renovation of Read House, through the trip to India, in a 3-minute video you can watch below. It’s time for me to find a new group to hang with.
  • I’ll be moving somewhere by January 31st. For mailing purposes, it’ll be a PO box in Fort Worth. But cable and broadband aren’t available there so I’ll be looking elsewhere to live. For those of you in the DFW area, if you know anybody with a “special situation” where they need somebody to occupy an empty residence, let me know. Or, if you know anybody who might be interested in my personal ad that’s placed under the heading, “Willing to Be Kept,” feel free to forward.
  • I’m still teaching my course in General Semantics at TCU and have 46 students enrolled this coming semester. It’s likely I’ll do some more work with TCU this year, in addition to whatever else I end up doing to pay for the P.O. Box and place-to-be-named-later. (Assuming I end up not being kept, of course.)
  • Other than ending my relationship with the Institute, the biggest thing this year was my 18-day trip to India in October and November.
  • I also had a hand in coordinating the redesign for the Institute’s website. A professional firm (Rassai Interactive) did it, but several of us made some contributions. They’ve since re-designed it again. (sigh)
  • It’ll be a good year if I don’t have to go to court. Last October I was called to testify in a murder trial. Even though I was only on the stand for about 5 minutes, I had been called by the defense and for two weeks I had to wonder why the defense would subpoena me unless they were going to try and point the finger at me somehow. (Thanks, Perry Mason.) The defendant was convicted in about an hour.
  • I lost about 20 pounds using Nutrisystem last summer, gained back 5 in September, lost 5 while I was in India, and just about gained it all back over the past six weeks. That may be TMI, but I’m looking at a big unopened box of cardboard food so it’s on my mind at the moment.

Best wishes for the year to all of you and I hope to resume friendly relations as I remember how. Oh, and I’ve been granted another round as a Community Columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this year, so you can look for my columns on Feb 9, May 10, Aug 9, and Nov 8. My taskmaster there has insisted that we focus on “local, local, local” so again for those of you in DFW, if you have any good ideas let me know.

Until there’s a reason for another update I remain,