Wrapping Up A Boomer Life


 Every journey is a self driving vehicle. With me?  Let’s go.  Autonomous car and Ann at Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA


“Hey Jude, don’t make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better” John Lennon
I like that quote because Lennon puts the power back into our hands by telling us to use our words. (Remember Mom saying “Use your words” or maybe you used it too. Still valid. )

A life review finds that I have always used words.  From youthful  journaling to websites to articles or books, letters to the editor, words are my escape, my catharsis. I recently wanted to move to Santa Barbara so I did the normal thing: I bought a domain name (DearSantaBarbara) and wrote about wanting to live there and my memories of all the times (and coffee bars) that I visited.  Give me an idea, a problem, a necessity, a situation,  and there are my words.

I recently reread my journal from early to mid twenties time.

I was intrigued by what I was writing. It appeared to mirror what I am currently engrossed in reading which is a few self help books.   So,  I had to live a whole life, buy some books and come back to the place I started?  How did I know all this then? My self help gurus as well as age old philosophers might have this to say: “Everything you look for outside of you is already inside you.”

The first scrap of paper that falls out is a tiny poem

How hard it is to reach inside, to be alone and suffer.
How hard it is to face the struggle. How hard the search.
How peaceful the source.

I recently had a cosmic explosion (will explain) that involves Dr Wayne Dyer’s book, The Power of Intention.  I am fascinated with the integration of quantumness, matter, spirituality, intent and all relates to Source.  And there I was, talking Source. Do we all know this and then forget it as we plod on through a life that  seems anything but a peaceful? Is Source taking us along for the ride called Live Your Best Life?

Entire books on how to live are variations on that theme. The source is the ‘possibility field’ as Pam Grout talks about in E Squared, a contemporary look at source.


I recently revisited POWER GUIDE FOR WOMEN, a little ebook I wrote a few years ago:  Find it here: Power Guide For Women

I was touched by the comments:

“A soothing and feisty voice.” 

“I can hear what you say. It’s amazing what happens when the clutter goes.”

I found those words exciting when I first heard them but let them drift off. I need them now. I am in need of hearing what I already know because its time to revisit that place inside me that I call Source.

My boomer life is also yours. How do I know? Because when I was 22 or 23 I started a journal and on the first page I wrote: A journey into self is a universal journey.

And I was right.  (With the unearned wisdom of youth that sometimes arises and surprises.)

Having reached the stage of realizing there is no sudden enlightenment as to the meaning of life instead I bring you a boomer life. Stick around, it might surprise you. Don’t underestimate someone from the generation that brought you sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. (And iPhones and AI and autonomous cars.)

This isn’t going to start at the beginning, have a middle and an end. My neural circuits rebel against the linear traps. This is a messy book because it reflects a messy life. (Aren’t they all?) Trying to capture a life is slightly under the impossible and closer to the improbable. As a boomer I share many experiences and memories with my age cohort. But as individuals we are as different as we are alike.


Must move into tech right now – domains for sale to be exact (here’s a teaser: eGameworld.com ) Contact me if interested…annbradley@gmail.com

Somewhere in here will be  a story of how I made the headlines of the San Jose Mercury News because of my domains and why Good Morning America reached out to my local newspaper to find me so I could be on the show. I declined. (Back to this, I promise)




If you have been in therapy because you did not have a perfect childhood and were told, “Your parents did the best they could.”, get a refund. This is untrue. That line is a throwaway they use to reel you in to disclose. We could have done much much better. But doing your best requires certain ingredients we didn’t have. We’ll get into that.

While on the topic of the kids,let’s go here:

The Beginning Times; Birth of kids

First kid: I looked at this little baby with dark hair and thought: Thank you for the gift.

Second kid: Placed in my arms, ‘Wow, I got what I wanted. She is so cool.’

Third kid: I looked at the doctor and asked: “Does he have poison oak?” There was a particular reason – his dad was covered head to toe- and this translated to “Does my brand new kid have it too?”  Doctor replied, “I’ve been asked many things; never that.”


and some KID  STORIES (upbeat ones on the way, meanwhile click for these)


“The words of the prophets 
are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.”
Simon and Garfunkel



We were young and strong and we were running against the wind.” (Bob Seger)

We were the after the war generation. We may have grown up in suburbs or cities but there was a collective change in the air. So we were ready to pounce when the Vietnam War came whether that meant fighting in it or protesting. We found civil rights and folk music, coffee houses, marches on Washington, the Beatles, love-ins, Woodstock. There were miniskirts, guys with long hair, bell bottoms, and if you were going to San Francisco there were flowers in your hair. We went to college and joined frats or sororities or married young. Or both. We found LSD or it found us. We grew pot or sold it or smoked it. There was Route 66 and road trips. So we went along for the ride.

What makes us a group of any coherence? The only thread that makes sense for me is music. And let’s put that in context: sex, drugs and rock ’n roll. Throughout you will find the theme of music and it won’t include Justin Bieber.

Let’s start with my mother. She assumed a pre-cognitive nature when she wanted to one up you. She heard Bob Dylan for the first tine in my room as I was playing an early album. She listened and announced in a  haughty voice, “With a voice like that he’ll go nowhere fast.” Fast forward to Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature and I profoundly hope the message of his win has penetrated the cosmos and Mom knows Dylan and that voice got to some mighty good places..

As Bob who taught us, The Times They Are A-Changin’  I bring  some examples:

1969 Where’s Woodstock?
2021 Where did I park the car?

60’s Boomer’s Mother: “You go parking and you’ll live to regret it.”
2021  Adult kid:  Get a parking app Mom. (2022 Note to #3: thx for the AirTag to keep in the car so I can use Find My app to know where I parked. Thx also to Apple.)


The youthful marriage was off to a rather odd beginning but we were explorers. Whatever our parents did we wanted to steer in a slightly different direction.  Married life with Denny was exotic to me. Exotic with new friends, chess, his weekly poker game, huge speakers for nonstop music, ex girlfriends wanting to meet me, male friends around all the time and Denny doing yoga. But maybe the most exotic of all were his jelly omelettes. I was enthralled. Of course when I tell you he came with an original Shelby Cobra you might wonder why I thought jelly omelettes exotic. I was so very young.

Alright let’s stop here at the Cobra and give it it’s due. Must confess the memory of outrunning the NY State Police right at the border between NY and Pennsylvania and having the officer get out of his car and give us the thumbs up was awesome.  We stopped on our side, he on his and apparently this wasn’t an issue to warn another department about.  The good old days.  Here’s more, including the song, of the Cobra story.


Back to marriage with Denny

It was heaven. It was so different from my  grouchy mother who delighted in showing that side of herself to me.

I was happy to be out of the Pine Street house.  Maybe I was too young and too naive and basking in the joy of new love to see any problems.


This is a response to the ubiquitous prompt, “What would the present you say to your younger self?”

“Keep on going girl. The surprises keep coming and the journey is amazing.”

So happy just to be alive
Underneath the sky of blue
On this new morning, new morning
On this new morning with you.
Bob Dylan

ADVENTURES in BLACK AND WHITE: Poetry and Prose Makes Its Mark on Me.

There was a poetry group that met in San Francisco. I was in Palo Alto. Larry and I were living together – and of that I wrote poetry, but we’ll get back to that. First, there was a man I do not remember and met only once:

He wrote to me:
“To the one who writes of demons
contained in love
gone from New Hampshire
and across the room at David’s”

I had no idea who he was and paid no attention.  (actually it was Vermont, Not NH) I am paying the price now as I ache to know who this was and say, “I’m sorry – you saw me, noticed me, picked me out, made love to me through words and I ignored.”

He wrote me prose and poetry and gave it to David to give to me, then eventually finding my name and address. What did I read that night at David’s poetry group that made such a mark?

The first missive? I don’t know but it claws my sinews and opens my heart and brings a smile and wishes I could reach out and invite you here for coffee, right this moment.

He sent me a letter through David. It said:

I never had your name: Maybe I’ll come up with a name to call you – I lose them so easily. Mine will be Jon again today. It’s Hollywood under clouds tonight. Bela Lugosi’s star is on a corner of Hollywood blvd. so unfitting. You have been on my mind these past few weeks – clothed in words and scenes- across a room reading your life.


And we shall return to Jon and more he wrote but there is much else to ponder before we do.


Let’s head to the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford, in particular, cue the time machine to  1980 and Irvin Yalom, M.D. then, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of an adult Psychiatric Clinic at the hospital.

I met Irvin because he sent a runner with a message to me after I gave a presentation at Stanford Grand Rounds. He wanted to do lunch. We did lunch. He argued with me, he disagreed passionately with me for my advocacy for knowing one’s bio/birth parents and denouncing the secrecy surrounding sperm donor kids.

Long story. I could not believe I was talking to the man who wrote Existential Psychotherapy. I had recently read the book, admired it, and here I was with a mirror image of who I thought Irvin Yalom was. We did some more face to face time and he stood firm that, in his words, “I was opening a can of worms.” At some point in that first lunch I figured out his passion for secrecy. He was a sperm donor in med school, NYC and proud of “The many little Irwin Yalom’s running around.”


It’s time for a short story. . So here’s a piece from long ago, (maybe circa 2007,8 or 9) and  still holds true.


I am looking for a support group for my life.  Procrastination before anything is my motto.  That means breakfast at noon, cleaning the MacBook’s keyboard before I write, deciding that sun on a February afternoon is too good to miss and since I’m out I need to stop at Peet’s or Starbucks. I haven’t finished the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall St Journal or The NY Times so how can I possibly work in case I have missed an important piece of trivia? Then there is the L.A. Times online, and CNN and Google sitting there enticing me with more. More blogs, more news, more information.

The good news is that I’m never bored.

I need a support group for more than just procrastination. Where’s my support group for people who exercise and don’t lose weight? And for support replying to advice seekers who don’t want to pay? How about support for my stat-checking habit – look, 500 people on my website by noon! (Then I have to find out what city they are in.) Maybe now it is time for another coffee and let’s sell a domain name and I haven’t talked to my kid in college for 24 hours and maybe DNA tests have come down in price and before I die I can find out what bullets I dodged.

I have my listservs to read and disagree with. Email to be checked every ten minutes. The top of the fridge is probably dusty.

It’s a good thing I found $70.00 in a drawer because I haven’t made any money all day and now I can go out for coffee again and not feel guilty.

I’m still looking for my support group.  Silicon Valley mid-life tech-addicted female, loves to hike and bike, seeks help. Bring Ritalin and coffee, hold the Prozac.

——————-end story————-

“And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar / And say, ‘Man, what are you doin’ here?’”

Billy Joel

Let’s go to tech for a while. It was never my intention to get into tech but cue the time machine back to zero income, 2 kids and grad school. I no longer know how I heard about the job but it was circa 1980 and the job was selling computers at Town and Country Village in Palo Alto at a computer franchise store called OnLine Computers. This was one of the few company owned stores, not franchised.

There’s a lady who’s sure
All that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)

And today in tech, if they don’t have it, they will 3D print it.  Or change its genetic code remotely. And thus will be built that stairway to heaven. Of course, depends on your definition of heaven. Go ahead, take a minute and have that secret thought. Of course there are no more secret thoughts as any tech followers knows.


Let’s get to the interesting part of those early days of personal computers. At one point I was head of the education department back at company headquarters.  Of course that meant starting it which really began when I was asked to go out to bed for school districts. Nearby Sunnyvale Schools wanted computers. They hadn’t a clue what to use them for so I talked to teachers groups and the School Board about the use of computers in the schools. I was making friends and things were looking good for us to get the bid.

Until suddenly no one talked to me anymore. No more requests to come talk, no more queries about what software came with the computers.  And then, a phone call. One of the Board members remembered he had made a friend in me and it might possible be a good idea to explain ghosting me. (Though that word was still in the future, it fits and I’m not writing this on WordStar (maybe 1 out of 10K knows what I am referring to.)

It seems a little fruit company had been born in the orchard of Sunnyvale, CA  to a guy named Steve Jobs, His hometown. Of course he wanted the orchards populated with Apples.  For a very low price, software, training and tech repairs included.  Of course it meant I was out of the running to get that bid for computers in Sunnyvale. But everyone in the Valley has a Steve Jobs story and that is mine.

How To Know Someone  –

Self disclosure and what people choose to share can take you there. About 15 years ago I met someone online. I shared me with him.

This is part of what I shared with him:

One of the things I found out in my decoded genome is why I was never happy smoking pot. I forget the specific snp and gene, but it explained why everyone else was having a good time and I was going, “They enjoy this???”
I don’t recall a snp (single-nucleotide polymorphism) for psychedelics but yes, I tried that too and it just made me anxious and begging the trees to stop dancing and once, for a cow to please, please, stop walking so fast.
Lucky for me because I spent the 70’s as a parent and student and left my Wharton undergrad, Penn law husband who decided to become not the someone I married and I moved here and ended up still doing the things many of us of our age did in CA in the 70’s. I remember a blur of hot tubs and a group of radicals who lived on The Land and amongst the group was Joan Baez, Tom Hayden and others at various times. Saw Joan recently at a movie theater. And one day about 6 years ago found her singing in the park – oh it was lovely. I had been riding my bike and thought someone had the stereo blasting as in the old days, but no – it was Joan doing a concert in a local park. For a cause of course.
When my DMT spilled over from my meditation (I suspect) I had blue light and bliss. I also had out of body experiences. And visitors who downloaded information at a rapid pace and filled me with awe.  When I read the DMT books this year, that’s exactly what Strassman and Narby explained. I take their explanation as mine and give credit to Swami Muktanandu who in ’75 walked up to me in front of a thousand people and told me, “The snakes are ready to uncoil any time you let them.” His translator told me this was special. I ignored it because I was only there with my boyfriend. But I guess they did because I didn’t believe any of this and there I was, begging not to return to mass when the blue light hit. 
Oh, these were wonderful experiences – so much better than lsd. Orange sunshine as I remember.  I’m so ordinary now. I like a vodka martini, dry.