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Year of The Dragon

Rod Amis - Unbound

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Baltimore - 8 February, 2000 - We all know that when the man in charge goes from "Steady as she goes, mate" to "I'll get with you in a moment" tremors go through the organization. That's what's happening at The World's Magazine this week.

We're late. It's my fault because I have been on the road for my Day Job and dealing with the vicissitudes of returning to the corporate environment.

It's been almost a decade now since I called anyone "Boss," and I have to deal with that. The old saying about what rolls downhill certainly applies. The ironic twist is that I could very well become wealthy in very few years by doing what has come naturally over this last decade.

**************** FEED THE HUNGRY. You can help someone else in this world and IT WON'T COST YOU A DIME. If you simply remember to drop by The Hunger Site every day that you surf and click a simple button ONE LESS PERSON WILL GO HUNGRY. The food is distributed by the United Nations World Food Programme and paid for through the sponsorship of companies that care. Do your part.

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I have learned to accept that each of these reminiscences is meant to be part of the legacy I leave behind. By finally "coming clean" about the things I have done, good and bad, foolish and visionary, I am hoping to be able to talk about the core issues which have informed this path.

I keep circling and circling around the years in order to finally approach giving an honest assessment of my marriage... if that is possible.

I have approached my marriage from pure Romance often enough. That approach has been a manifestation of putting the women I have loved, truly loved, on pedestals. But I have not been *totally honest* about the dynamic of my marriage, or that of its demise. I am not ready yet.

It is easier to provide you with the bookmarks around it, the affairs, the sexual history before and after, and how I arrived here as Web priest...

I reached the conclusion years ago that I would be much more successful as a fiction writer if I could allow myself to stop sublimating.

Here's the problem: When I cannot consign the excitement to the page, I immediately start to "act out" the adventures in real time. I project the Chinese Curse of "living in interesting times."

So, in the end, I can't blame anyone other than myself for many of the mishaps, fortuitous connections or adventures which befall me.

If I spent more time away from people, I could be a great novelist. But as soon as I stop writing, I move the neurotic and creative impulse onto the "live" stage again. (I don't doubt that Shakespeare figured this one out, which is why is biography is so obscure and so boring.)

But you are waiting for this week's story, are you not?

When Deb, my future wife, and I moved to California in the summer of 1981, it was an interruption of the flow of our lives. We had planned to be married that year, but Fate intervened.

Her mother had been suffering some mysterious malady which left her often disoriented and caused her employers to believe that she might be a drunk. When she consulted the company doctor his prognosis was "nerves." He gave her some pills and sent her home.

We received a phonecall from Dorothy, Debbie's Mom, days later that the second opinion sought in the nearest large town, Santa Rosa, had landed her in Pre-op where they planned on immediately removing her brain tumor.

Debbie flew out the next night, after a night of rocking in tears like a monkey who has lost its mother. I cradled her and tried to soothe her, but knew the best solution was that she be present for the ordeal.

Two days later Deb called to say that I should pack up all her belongings, as upon her return she would move back to northern California to care for her mother, who was now disabled and would need daily chemotherapy treatments in Santa Rosa --- fifteen miles south of the little town of Healdsburg where her Mom lived in the California wine country.

I would have none of this, of course. I was in love. We would both move to northern California, sort out the situation, and care for Dorothy. After all, what would they do for money on their own if daily chemo' was needed?

I was working at the Austin American-Statesman at the time, down in Texas, where Deb and I had met. I was considered a fast-tracker in management. I had already been told that I was in line to take over the Credit Manager's job when the older man holding it retired. I was one of the Young Turks and would be the youngest Credit Manager in Cox News Service's history. It was all arranged.

So everybody who knew me professionally decided that I was out of mind when I announced that I was moving to California.


Hey, Kids! Check out this page. We want you to join us.

Things That Bother Me This Week

  1. That my workload is beginning to exceed the hours in my days.
  2. Feeling under-appreciated as a Web journalist and commentator.
  3. People who make verbal commitments and then forget them.
  4. "Friends" who aren't really and so force you to question your ability to judge character.
  5. How to clean up my magazine rack.

REMEMBER: Tell every single one of your friends about this Web site.

Why do we keep doing this? Because we like you.

Thanks for coming back this week.

"Work like you don't need the money,
"Love like you've never been hurt,
"Dance like no one is watching..."

This is another Web site made on a Macintosh.

Apple Computer's Think Different logo.

EDITORIAL CORRECTIONS: There were a couple of minor screw-ups last week, but I don't remember where they were. Oops!
ROD AMIS has published this magazine since 1990. It first appeared as a hardcopy 'Zine. In March, 1996, he launched it here on the Web. Rod was a Contributing Editor at, where he wrote the " 'Net Publishing" feature. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, NRV8, and at WebLab's Reality Check site. Rod was also a contributing writer on technology for Faulkner Information Services.

Andover News NetworkRod is now a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he writes on web design and development issues every Thursday. He is principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviews technology issues five days a week. His opinions on the Info Age began appearing on MethodFive's HYPER technology newsletter in March. 1999.


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