Monday, January 3, 2011

Why Complain?

Here is the introduction I gave to my new students this semester.

Dearest Students,

My name is Ray Halliday and I will be the facilitator for this section of (whatever class this is).

I was raised in Utica, New York, and I got a B.A. in English from SUNY at Fredonia. Later I got an M.A. from the University of New Hampshire in Writing. I've lived in New York state, Boston, North Carolina and San Francisco, where I live now. I've taught English, Ethics, Literature and Media Studies at Northeastern University, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Phoenix and DeVry University.

Other jobs I've had are working as tech support guy for Charles Schwab and Company, and for four years I was a night-cabbie in San Francisco.

I have a bike and I can ride it. I also like to run/jog, whatever you want to call it. I play guitar, keyboards, and the trumpet, but just barely. As you might have guessed, I like reading all sorts of things, fiction and non-fiction and I like writing, and I write a lot.

For awhile, I was eating a lot of fruit, but recently I became afraid of it.

Some time ago, someone gave me a cat.

Sounds neat, doesn't it?

I think it sounds all right. And, it doesn't mention stuff like the bands I've played in, or the stories I've written, or the terrific films I've made. So, it is neat, right? Good for you, Ray, nice life.

People go through their years at the end of the year and look at their accomplishments. I had some. Here is what they were:

I became a better teacher. Hmm, somehow, I must be better. I've been doing it long enough now, that I should stop being so freaked out by it. It is my job. I even got what I believe to be a promotion at one of my jobs. Way to go, buddy.

I made enough money that I did not have to go to the bank of Joel, maybe not even once this year, although I can't remember.

I had enough money at Christmas that I bought a lot of people gifts. Really great ones, too.

I've made an offer on my last remaining debt. But, as of yet, I have not heard from them. Getting this off my plate will really set me free. I look forward to getting this resolved in the new year.

I came up with a project to re-release some recordings of some old friends of mine. It turned into a three-cd mega project. And, it looks it will actually happen, with the three cds being released this month. It was an idea I had, and I made it into a thing. Ray: a doer.

I started making films this year. Little ones, but very significant and important films.

During 2010 I wrote songs again for the first time in a long time. The going was slow and the songs were goofy. Just before the end of the year, I started a new band, although, our first official meeting won't be until this month.

I started writing stories again. I sent out three of them! I started a large writing project. I even rented an office during my two week vacation and worked on it.

I ate right and I exercised. You know I did! My closest relationship this year was with fruit, but as you know, we were on the outs for awhile, but we are trying to mend things. I look forward to my new relationship with fruit in the new year, obviously with some new boundaries.

This seems so great, but I have been feeling terribly anxious the last few weeks. I think I cannot enjoy stuff. Still, what a great year, don't you think?

Please enjoy the rest of your year.


  1. It was a good year, Ray. This inspired me to try to write up my year. Hard to get perspective sometimes amidst the unrelenting chaos.

  2. Ray,
    I think 2011 will be a good year for you and fruit.

  3. But why not mention the bands you've been in? Getting out of debt: congrats. I wish I could say the same. Good year, I'd say. Mine wasn't so good, but it's a new one now.

  4. Thanks for the good wishes, all.

    John, I am not out of debt. Far from it. But, I am making offers and hopefully will be able to breathe freely sometime this year. It's weird, because it is totally up in the air, it seems.

    I don't mention the bands and stuff because it seems distracting. This is the first year I've ever mentioned anything about being a musician at all.

    You'se and me, John and Jonny and Christine, brand new year.