Welcome to Wall Street, Main Street and Me


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mid Term Elections (Main St - Wall St)

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that Wall Street and our government are so entwined that all my Obama/Democratic dreams are sinking quickly. There is a system so in place that any smart politician, any smart bank is not going to rock the boat. The Republicans OWN this game, but the Dems just quake in the shadow of it.

I heard Lawrence McDonald speak at UNCA about his book on the fall of Lehman Brothers and it was so clear that the public... Main Street...is too dumb to live. We have NO idea of the huge wars of power and money that go on while we vote and think we have a democratic process. It's a joke
I hate, hate, hate cynicism, but there's little left in the face of Lehman, Maddoff and the like
There are many more indictments to come down. Pandrora's Box is open. The Tea Party crazies are loose like a virus (a natural result of bottoming out) and it's really a crap shoot where we're headed.

Interestingly enough...corporations are thriving...their cash assets are collecting and noone is
giving money away...not the banks..not the employers. All waiting for Obama to fall. It's quite spectacular, and in my view the most subtle racism in the history of America.

But he's already made history. The bastards just can't take that away. I really don't see any other answer to how half of the nation could desert our President in the face of economic failure, other than malevolent racism. I would like to believe it's simply partisan politics, but it just doesn't make any sense. Utterly without reason.

We are living in craziness.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Found and Visited (Main Street)

Via the miracles of Facebook my first cousin who lives in Texas found me quite by accident. He and his wife visit Asheville annually and had no idea I lived here. They came to visit me last week, and we had such a good time.


Jim and Kate at Grove Wood Gallery near Grove Park Inn



Bev and Jim in the Sculpture garden of Grovewood Gallery.



Jim at the Arboretum, next to my new favorite grass called Pink Mulay.



Arboretum trails in October. Bev & Kate.



A tree we particularly loved.



Cousins Jim and Kate who are particularly loved as well.



Cousins Kate and Bev.


Back at my house for dinner and a big hello to the dogs..


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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Rules (a la Bill Maher) Main Street

I truly love Bill Maher (even though he makes me cringe sometimes, a throwback to my mother's prissy ground of being). I realized I have some beefs of my own, so I'm going to start my own new rules. It may take me awhile to get them all down.

NEW RULE

Any political candidate attacking another political candidate in public may NEVER rationalize, apologize, or speak to said candidate or any one in their camp again. THE despicable should have to live with their choices. I am sick of it. SHAME on you. And this should NOT be biz as usual amongst you.

NEW RULE

Any freaking redneck driving a car, a truck or a tractor MUST put on a turn signal before turning in front of my waiting (patiently) car at the intersection. Does that cell phone plastered to your ear cancel all courtesy and driving rules? I really hate when you do that.

NEW RULE

All of you Facebook freaks who find it necessary to befriend people you don't know, have never even heard of, PLEASE get some therapy. Facebook is not the answer. If I befriend you, it is because I am afraid you'll commit suicide if I don't. Give me a break. All those friends of mine who are also your friends? They dont know you either.

NEW RULE

If "60 Minutes" is going to be pre-empted by fucking football games, DirectTV either better figure out their DVR timing thing, or the sponsors of all advertising following the game should just give up their ads, so 60 Minutes comes on, and finishes without interruption. WHERE is it written that sports are more important than investigative reporting? Shame on this country~

NEW RULE

When you travel around the country giving lectures about your Best Selling (for I forget how many weeks) book on the fall of Lehman Brothers (and a fascinating lecture, and most amiable
author), you should really SELL books at the event. People were lined up in the aisles to ask questions in the mics, as I slipped out. Nary a book in sight.

NEW RULE

People standing in lines to ask questions of an author should really NOT tell the room the whole history of their investment/business/economic failures. Coming from you, the "little people" (yes one of you bores actually called yourself that, and numerous times in your long litany of woes) it just sounds like my former mother in law.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Drink (poem) (Me)

Lift the Zinfadel to your lips,
slip your tongue into the glass
as if a mouth awaits your kisses--
such icy, thin stemmed bowls they all were!


That image in the hallway glass
stares back at me as if amused
to see that hag and beauty were
soon too married in a mirror of shame.


The staunch and starched amuse
themselves with my youthful antics
but their judgments do not add shame,
only a kind of heartbreaking milestone


to the foibles of time and antics
in a world so hungry for kisses,
so yearning for fairytale milestones--
left as wet whispers on closed lips.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Trading Divas (Wall Street)


I look forward to my weekly meetings with the Divas, a small group of Asheville women who trade on the stock market. One is the author of "Trading Options in Your Spare Time - A Guide to Financial Independence for Women" - a book which turned my world upside down and I haven't come down yet. She and one other gal mostly trade options. One mostly trades stocks. One is just learning Forex (foreign exchange) and I am doing options and stocks. So there's endless things to discuss.

We bring our lunch to each other's houses, and watch teaching DVD's. We do round robins of sharing our week's successes and failures and set goals to meet. We are a really good group.

The whole adventure of learning new things and making real money is more thrilling than I can possibly convey. I'm totally chuffed and proud of myself and of every one of the trading Divas.

I only wish I'd happened onto this about forty years ago!

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Darlene Nelson Powell (Wall Street)

Just have to say the DVD's this incredible woman has created (from live seminars) have been the most valuable information in all my learning processes since October last year. I've been trading since October 2009. I can't believe it. I have taken a mentor program with OptionsXpress, and read many, many, many books on trading, charts, and strategies. But I must say, one of the best learning experiences has been Darlene. I am a testimonial! Google me!

The first set of DVD's is "Trading the Q's" and the QQQQ Index can be an entire trading strategy without ever touching another stock! I have made a lot of money on the Q's.

Right now, I am starting another series of her DVDs on LEAPS. I can't comment on these yet, (am watching them as I type). But I already know from the previous set that I am going to grow. There is nothing more exciting to me than learning and growing.

I have had a huge debt (my learning expenses) to recoup. The entire month of September has been a series of wins. I've dug out of an incredible amount of debt. I'm not finished yet, but every day, I am getting closer to getting back to even.

I am very proud of myself. I've worked very hard. And it ain't over yet. To be quite honest, it won't be over until they put me in the box.

Meanwhile, between trades, I'm rebuilding my old blog to be available here. Stay tuned.

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Economic Uncertainty (Wall Street)

Wow, am I ever tired of hearing the Wall Street suits use that "Uncertainty" excuse over and over and over again. What they really mean is that they are greedy and don't want to part with one dime of all their massive borrowings (at zilch interest rates) and hoardings until they are SURE Obama is not going to charge them some taxes over and above their buddy, Bush. It makes me sick that the corporate world takes NO responsibility for the plight of thousands of poeple who are losing their homes, their jobs and their self respect.

Earnings reports have been splendid on most corporations, and yet the market is as woozy as a sailor on Saturday night leave. Again, investors (thems with the money) are standing on the sidelines, petulant with "uncertainty" (i.e. FEAR) afraid to lose a nickel. I laud the brave souls that come on TV and appeal to investors to ...INVEST. Yes, invest in America, you dorks.
It's very clear to me that the "them" and "us" is alive and well on Wall Street. I do think Obama should have taken much of that bailout money and used it to do infrastructure and Roosevelt styled projects. Invest in America and not in the deep pockets of the rich once again.

I will stick with our President because I think his heart is in the right place, and his vision is one of goodness. But in the labyrinth of politics, among cold and steely insiders, he has lost his way. The sad part is, he is losing his supporters. We have two more years to go, and I am hopeful that with the change in personnel, things might sort themselves out.

Meanwhile the election in November is getting to be the worst mudslinging, hysterical madness we've witnessed in a long time. The Tea Party will end up at the bottom of the cup, but it can wreak a lot of havoc until the party's over.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Flash Fiction - Remembering Harry (Me)

Published by Tattoo Highway 2006

Blue Lake, California 2000

The 10 o'clock news irritated me, but then not much pleased me those days. What to do with a world that cleaned up Times Square? What was wrong with the way it was? It was alive, sleazy, reliable. When I was young, I felt safe in its crowds. On trips to Macy's I could strut down 42nd Street in my red slingback pumps, checking out weirdoes, measuring my budding sexuality against the overt smut of the street. Now it's a corporate Disneyland. Depressing. I snapped off the TV and headed for the bath.

In the shower, I folded my tawny arms across my pale breasts, as I let hot water explode down my back. It was late November, and winter gardening had browned my arms up to the elbow, and skunked a stripe of tan across my feet. Except for the paunch of my belly and a pain in my back, my body was lithe for an old woman.

Sonny died Saturday night. I got the call Sunday morning. His sister's voice was starchy, (numb, she said) chatting that she had bought four plots--for Sonny, herself and her two children. I had no rights. Ten years of love was not a marriage. My plot shall be elsewhere, alone. It was hard to focus, her words seared my ears. Sonny does not care where his bones are. He didn't know or care where they put the body parts amputated over the months. I listened and hung up, the room alive with fusing colors.

He was there, right beside me. They all were. All those dead friends, relatives and lovers. Brenda. Janet. Frank. My young father in his aviator suit; my second-husband with his sad eyes. I couldn't see them, but they pushed in on me.

In my terry robe, I rolled the trash can out to the curb for next day pickup, as I did every week. A starry, cold sky covered Blue Lake. Out of the murkiness, a dog bounded down the empty street toward me. Under the street lamp, I saw his loose, wrinkled folds of fur--a big pedigree breed with a pushed-in face--and no owner in sight. He came boldly up to me, sniffed, then turned and wet the bushes beside me with his leg raised high, owning what was mine.

"Don't pee on my plants," I protested. I pulled my robe tighter. Christmas lights blinked from a house nearby. I spotted a rolled penny paper tossed on my lawn, and leaned to pick it up. The dog turned sharply at my move. Agitated, he woofed. I feared he’d bite as he lunged but then backed up, and locked his legs defiantly. I realized rolled newspapers carried another narrative. I hugged the paper to my chest, covered it with my sleeves. My heart thudded. Then, Sonny pushed against me. I filled with his merriment, his teasing taunts--the warm certainty of his large hand squeezing mine.

"Go on home," I said quietly to the dog. Remembering Sonny, I swaggered back up the driveway. Just like it was 42nd Street. My frayed gray slippers slapped the concrete.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

You've come a long way, baby.... (Me)

I'm cleaning out my office and I found a journal from the year 2000. Just 10 years ago. It made me realize how far I've come since then. This is sad, about losing someone you love.

Dec. 22, 2000

It is Friday and Boojum (my cat) and I are curled on the fainting couch (that's what Sonny always called my chaise lounge), listening to Mozart symphonies. it's a gray day in Blue Lake, but the gas fire is cozy. The Christmas tree cheers me. My chest is heavy with the melancholy of Christmas--my annual malady--but Harry died on November 25 and the world is never to be the same.

It seems there should be a course offered in grieving. I clearly don't know how. I think I fear I will come apart--like a dropped jigsaw puzzle--if I allow myself to feel. I'll scatter and never come together again. I refer to Sonny as "Harry" now (his real name)because it keeps him
distant from me. It hurts just a little less with the formal "Harry", even when I think more intimately "my Harry," than to say SONNY. Oh, see it undoes me. I lose all composure.

There -- the movement of the symphony ends. A new one begins. The cat licks her paw. Life goes on.

I have been in Blue Lake five months now. I am hardly here at all yet. I've moved like a tourist through the public streets of Blue Lake and Arcata. It is only in the privacy of my house that I am at home, shuttered in with Boojum from the world.

The process of flying apart or at least the fear of it began before Harry died. It started when I got sick and laid in a bed for five months with no one to care for me. The child in me gave up all pretense of responsible and courageous behavior and went into severe withdrawal from the world. Then Harry got put in the hospital. My friends scattered. Erna went to Florida with her ailing father; Gloria couldn't make the stairs; Valerie was, as always, too busy. None of them were wrong. It's exactly what I would have done in their shoes--but it made me understand in a new way, once and for all, that I am truly alone. Not just some neurotic version of alienation, but ALONE.

This is not a complaint nor self pity. It really isn't. It was a final 'knowing' without doubts that nobody was going to "save" me, help me, keep my life from eking out of me--but me.
And that was also very freeing. Everything else chained me to people. Gratitude, indebtedness, codependence, illusions of intimacy that didn't really exist. A string was pulled and the puzzle began to fall apart.

A voice inside said "Find a safe place, and do what you want to do." Not what I should, could or ought to do but what I WANT.

And so I have. I retired from a thriving business, sold my condo in three days time, packed up and left them all behind. Harry had already asked me not to visit the hospital. His personality change was terrifying. He turned to the wall when I came in the door. I never knew why. So I left. For five more months my body has healed but I've lived in fear and guilt instead of enjoying myself. And grief.

It is time to get off it, but I've never been 'here' before. It's like grieving. I never learned how. How to live my dream. Writing sees me through.

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Covered Calls as Insurance (Wall Street)

I've only been trading a year, so there's SO much for me to learn. I want to share what I find exciting here for those who might be in my shoes.

Got really excited about the "new" use of covered calls I learned from the DVD of Darlene Nelson Powell's "Trading the Q's." When an option isn't going the way you expected, you simply SELL a covered call (same month, one strike price above (for a call) or below (for a put) and it works like insurance. As the stock goes 'down' (on a long call) the short call goes up. Yesterday, I made $244 doing this, and bought back the short just as the trend turned and started going up. So I can then make money on the long call as well. It's VERY nifty~

I have done a lot of regular covered calls on stock I owned, but didn't find that very profitable. It's much cheaper too to simply buy a call, instead of buying the stock! I joined some website that focuses on covered calls, but it was SO confusing to navigate the site and learn their tools that I bowed out. So this strategy was 'dead' for me until I learned this
"insurance" trick.

I need to practice it to make it work well.

Here are the particulars of Yesterday's trade.

I bought 10 contracts of a November Call with a strike price of $48 for 2.58. (At the Money). Instead of going up, the stock started to drop in price, so I then SOLD 10 contracts of a November call (strike price $49) for $1.83. As the price of the underlying plummeted, the short call (the one I sold) got cheaper in price, so I bought it back for $1.59, netting me .24 cents (x 100 shares = $24.00 x 10 contracts=$240.00.) The original call I bought is still active, and as the stock goes up, it should net me another dime.

I am tickled to death that this works! I can see where you can play the Q's up and down all day long, if you wanted to. But my goal of making $100 per day is starting to look pretty easy.

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