#74 🪽 I’m gonna PHOENIX ❤️‍🔥

Welcome to the Without a Hitch 👍 newsletter: hilarious true stories of failure + practical methods for success. I made all the mistakes so you don’t have to. 🫠

In brief 🩲

  • Phoenix: What the hell happened?
  • Journal: Pushed when you shoulda pulled
  • Practical: Nearly witty insurance assurances
  • Art: The ashy bird manifest

I’m gonna phoenix ❤️‍🔥

What the hell happened?

The last “fortnightly” newsletter came out in June.

Well, shit happened.

The synopsis includes:

  1. My wife getting seriously ill and requiring major surgery plus months of recovery time. It was an emergency quite suddenly, largely because some sonographer wrote “mm” instead of “cm” in a scan report, so a rogue fibroid that doctors thought was the size of a pea was in reality a melon. Details matter, people!
  2. Our family trying and failing and then trying and barely succeeding to purchase a house before vacating the current one we sold, thinking it would be easy to buy another within a four-month settlement period. It wasn’t. See (1).
  3. Me parenting solo for a couple of months, while my wife recovered elsewhere. Parental performance review: a fiery mess for the first month and then not so terrible for the second.

I won’t go into all the details. I mean, I’ll soon be talking movie options with a Hollywood studio. But in sum: Big Bad Life Things loomed large, time frizzled away, and writing fell by the wayside.

But 2023 wasn’t done with me! Even as I wrote the text above – in November – I was forced to add more points to the calamity catalogue:

  1. I got made redundant from my job, and was thrust into a mad scramble to apply for half a million jobs with ten million others jettisoned unceremoniously from tech companies they’d devoted years of their life to. (Because, these companies all figured: If everyone’s doing it, no one will make much of a deal if we do too, right? It’ll be good for the share price, right?)
  2. I tore (or did something bad? mystery ailment!) a muscle in my groin at taekwondo. Normally I would be able to take out my worldly frustrations – refer (1) through (4) – by heading to sparring and just straight-up fighting someone. But all the fight was taken right out of me.

But now I’m back. Onward! In the words of Smog singer Bill Callahan, singing “Say Valley Maker”:

Bury me in fire 
And I'm gonna phoenix 
I'm gonna phoenix