Monday, March 23, 2009


SO HERE IT IS--my 69th birthday, my first one out of captivity in 13 years, the first one spent absolutely alone--and one of the happiest ones I can remember. I know the title doesn't make much sense, but I sort of like the rhythm of it, and can imagine Johnny Cash singing a song to me about enjoying a Big Bad Birthday Bash (for writers, alliteration sometimes gets almost annoyingly addictive).

I feel weird being 69, because I don't feel what I always thought being this age would feel like. People never guess how old I am, even the ravages of prison life did not do that much damage. I thought about deducting ten years from the total, which I think I could easily get away with (other than there being a lot of public records available now online). But no, I'm one of the people who has talked about age irrelevance over the years, and I may as well own up to the fact that I have reached an age at which my grandparents were definitely "old" people. And taking my daily large does of Resveratrol in my healthy dark chocolate will guarantee that I'll be around for a long time.

I feel great this morning, definitely awakening with "robust expectations."
For lunch, it will be lobster tail at Red myself so I won't even have to be concerned about chewing with my mouth closed. When I was at Folsom and would see the commercials for LobsterFest on TV, I would actually taste the flavor of lobster in my mouth as it watered. A lot of e-mailed birthday wishes have been coming in all weekend. Almost everyone I know and love is living somewhere else, as I would be if it were not for the conditions of my parole this first year of freedom. I suppose I could have flown somewhere to be with someone, but I have been enjoying being on my personal mission these past few months too much to want to interrupt it right now.

That mission involves a three-part agenda, and doesn't leave much time for a so-called social life. I say so-called, because it feels like I do have a social life, it's just mostly spent online. The parts are writing my book on the health benefits of dark chocolate, which seems to be expanding into the history, business, and psychology of chocolate; getting my own chocolate business off the ground; learning all that I missed by being without a computer or Internet access for twelve years--which seems like being in school full time. And I am thoroughly enjoying all three parts.

Life is about discovery, and on these terms this is one of the richest periods of my life. Every single day it seems there are new discoveries in each of my current activities. One of the things I will talk about in my book on the 12 Essential Freedoms, which will come after my chocolate book and perhaps before my prison memoir, is how The Freedom of Anticipation keeps us alive and well. To always have something you are looking forward to, and to plan your life so you are guaranteed this anticipation.
In prison, I would look forward to my quarterly packages of treats from friends on the outside, to responses from the cartoonists I was sending gags to several times a week--first word that they would draw up this or that idea, then I would be waiting for word of sales, then the actual check.
It wasn't a large amount of money, sometimes as little as $6.25, but it went a long way at the prison canteen and gave me a lot to anticipate--and, of course, I would look forward to this--finally being outside those gray stone walls.
And now I am looking forward to getting my book proposal to my agent in a few weeks, then finding out his reaction and that of editors he shows it to. And some powerful, successful people are seriously considering joining me in my dark chocolate adventure, so I await their decisions. And today I am going to buy some pre-scored card stock for printing business cards and start exploring creating my own cards in my new word processing program on my new computer. And there's that lobster tail, and an unopened chocolate treat that was the one thing I bought this weekend at the International Chocolate Salon. It's from a lady named D, who had samples in tiny plastic cups, one of which I grabbed and carried as I walked through the many chocolate company booths. I took one bite and knew I had to go back to her booth. It's an old family recipe egg custard tart, almost like pudding in its texture but firm enough to lift up to your mouth, and one taste tells you it was made with love. Maybe it wasn't the healthiest choice (I'm definitely not a fanatic in that area), but this crust-less chocolate egg custard tart lives up to D's slogan, "You'll be tempted to eat the whole tart." Check out
Maybe I'll go to the refrigerator now and sneak a breakfast bite.

Happy birthday to me--definitely.


If you want more information, even a sample of delicious healthy dark chocolate,
contact me at:, or check out my website, Or watch a fantastic thirty minute video that will tell you all you need to know about why I'm excited about this business opportunity. That's
The 5 Reasons video at

1 comment:

barryd said...

Hi Jerry, I just loved the way you said:

"Life is about discovery, and on these terms this is one of the richest periods of my life."

You are an inspiration and considering what you have experienced in recent years, there is absolutely no doubt that you walk your talk.

Happy Birthday Week Jerry