Where did the phrase “too many irons in the fire” come from?
A couple of days ago, I wrote in my status update on Facebook that I was feeling “cautiously optimistic.” That is because after years of suffering borderline depression over living in a borderline Depression (or a “jobless recovery,” or whatever you want to call it), my Inbox is buzzing with new opportunities.

None of them have actually become a reality yet. But something has changed: I look at the future and I see options. And HOPE.

I’ve been crazy busy this week, and surprisingly productive. Man, it feels GOOD.

I am reminded of the drive I took with my family over the weekend, into downtown Los Angeles. We passed no fewer than four huge construction cranes in Hollywood and another three downtown, which means there is a helluva lot of new building going on.

“You’d think this would translate into jobs,” I muttered to my husband.

Maybe it has. Maybe these new housing starts are indicative of an economy that is coming back, one that is finally trickling down to people like me. That seems to be the conclusion of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, at least as reported by local public radio station KCRW: They see our slowly recovering economy gaining steam, to the point where California’s jobless rate will eventually drop lower than the national rate. However, it won’t be enough to make up for all the job losses we have suffered these last six years — and while people with education and skills who want to work may finally be able to re-enter the job market, unskilled and semi-skilled labor will still have a hard time making a go at it.

Also, there will continue to be a geographic divide – not between north and south, but between the coastal, high population counties and the more rural inland areas where there isn’t enough investment to fire the economy back up.

I hope the forecast is wrong on that count. I want to see everyone back to work.

In the meantime, I’m just going to bask in the heat from those irons.


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