That's Robin in her previous role as foreign correspondent in Iraq.
I'm a journalist by profession and even though most of that time I've been a television journalist I have, along the way, learned to write the English language and thus can also claim to be the author of three books. What do writers do when their lives are full of challenges and they need something to do that doesn't have anything to do with the reality they know? Why, they do that Hemingway thing, and go abroad.
That's my new plan.
My Dad has Alzheimer's disease and spent my most recent visit accusing me of stealing his keys, aimlessly driving his car (though I was doing errands for him), putting regular gas instead of premium in his tank, not changing his oil at regular intervals, stealing his wallet (my mother has done that for safety) and in between telling me he loved me and wished I would move there.
My mother, who doesn't have Alzheimer's, but is a terminal narcissist, accused me of waiting for her death so I can spend up all her money (which at this point we don't even know if she has, since she is clueless about managing money) and in addition accused me of planning to spend all the family fortune (in advance, whenever she actually does die, which does not appear to be imminent) so there would be none left for her great grandchildren (whom she has kept as far away from her as possible) and told me that though my father wants me to move to California to be near him, she doesn't want me anywhere near her. Especially not staying at her house, even while I look for a job. My Mom and I have a challenging relationship to put it mildly and what I did to cause this, other than be born, and have the love of my father, I do not know.
Since I caught the flu on the flight out there (my seventh--trip, not flu--at a total cost to me, including incidentals $15,000 in one year during which they have been in hospitals, nursing homes, had pneumonia, and broken bones) and since I had just given up my lease so I could move out there to a) avoid all the costs of flying there and b) find a better job to support my full time job of making sure they are okay and since c) my mother doesn't want me anywhere near her, I have come home to nurse my flu and revise my plans.
So, my new plans involve putting what my mother calls my "lavish lifestyle" into storage and going to the Middle East to work as a correspondent in what I believe will be the next hot spot. If there is one thing a reporter likes its a hot spot. Can't beat that for fun, and the occasional shot at glory. Course you could die, get blown up, or get your head separated from your body, but from what I can tell, that is much more likely to happen when I'm in close proximity to my mother. Anyway, I have friends in Israel (friends being often kinder to one than one's family) and I think I can get a temporary room with them while I look for a place to live and some freelance bureaus to hook up with. Worst case scenario: I just blog my way through a year and report my experiences here in the blogosphere.
Israel is a fascinating place: kind of a wild west version of America, where everybody is an entrepreneur. And oh, by the way, everybody packs a gun. Can't beat that for a great place to park your computer and dig up a story or two! I love my Dad, and I'll dedicate all my stories to him. He can't help his disease and I think I'm better working at something I enjoy rather than weeping daily as I see the man I adore disappear before my eyes. My mother, as always, will take care of her own dear self. That's her life's work and she is truly expert at it. She spends all of her time looking in the mirror, so she won't even notice I'm gone.