Friday, December 12, 2008

See You Later Happy Birthday "Munch"

Solid surf and my daughter's fourth birthday means I won't be trading this market until the late afternoon.

Don't blow up.

UPDATE: Surfing trip cancelled due to the impending Great Depression/riots.

That's right. I left the house pre-dawn, stepping out into a tremendous gale (I think "tremendous gale" sounds very 1930s, no?) and drove to my surf buddy's house. Water had flooded the back room of his house and he didn't look like a millionaire... he looked haggard. Still, we pressed on.

As we sped down the local turnpike, his thumbs were flying all over his Blackberry as he shot emails off to important clients. He's a real estate agent, and he's working on a couple of large deals. Anyway, despite the fact that I left my house without looking at the market on purpose, so as not to be detracted from my decision to "take off," I gave in and said, "Dude, anyway you can get me a futures quote on that thing?"

He looked at me like I was from 1996 and said, "Yeah, it's called CNBC." Seconds later he was staring down at the screen, face blue from the illumination and said, all too calmly, "The futures are down 311 points."

311 points!

"Dude," I said. "I can't surf if the fucking futures are down 311 points," and I made a hasty U-turn, much to his chagrin. His Blackberry flew out of his hands and slid down into the netherworld that exists between my passenger seat and the door. "Fuck man," he said. "Chill out!"

"Dude," I said. "Don't you get it? They're gonna drive the market down to the lows again! Citigroup is gonna die! The fucking REITs are gonna be fucking worthless! My mother is gonna be living in my fucking basement and there's gonna be riots in New York FUCKING City if the fucking terrorists don't blow it up first! FUCK DEVILDOG!"

"Dude.... what???" he said, looking scared. "What the fuck is a "Devildog?"

Perspective washed over me now that I had released my fears. I looked over at him. He seemed so innocent and somewhat naive. "Ah, nothing... don't worry. Look, the Great Depression may come, but the winds will still blow, waves will still break. I'll surf with you tomorrow morning. It's supposed to me nice and clean."

In a span of 10 seconds, I went from "the world is ending" to "the waves will still break" and I understood, briefly, why I'm a daytrader.

For the next few minutes, we drove in silence. I dropped him off and stopped for a coffee in town. I ran the 20 feet from my car to the entrance of the coffee shop, arm up to brace myself against the wind (again very 1930s, no?). The cafe door slammed behind me and it was like I had entered a new world.

The store was overly bright, peaceful, and quiet. The dulcet tones of an instrumental version of "Morning Has Broken" streamed out from behind a speaker camouflaged to look like a Santa Claus. I walked over to the "coffee station" and studied the 6 pots of coffee in front of me, each with a different colored handle.

"Are these all the same?" I asked the man behind the counter. "No, my friend" he said, and pointed to what looked like a "coffee chart" that was in a stand up frame next to the pots.

The hopeful music coupled with the 6 flavors of coffee made me feel like this place was sure to go out of business sooner, rather than later. Still, I paid over $8 for two coffees and a hunk of blueberry crumb cake... so perhaps they'll make it after all.

I got home and crept upstairs. My daughter was still asleep. It's her fourth birthday. Her foot was sticking out of the bottom of her comforter and I kissed it. She woke up.

"Daddy!" she said, beaming. "Happy Birthday, sweetness!" I said, beaming now too.

She stood in the middle of her mattress, chin up and shoulders back to make herself appear "super-tall." "See how big I am now, Daddy?" she asked. "I'm four!"

Judy stumbled into the room, wrapped in a blanket, squinting. "What are you doing home?"

Forgetting about the Dow for a moment and taking a glance at my daughter who was now jumping up and down on her bed I said, "I wanted to wish 'Chela' a Happy Birthday before she went to school."


5holeSAVE said...

Man, I am a complete sucker for this... a trader with a SOUL!!!! What dichotomy! Paradox!!
Seriously man, I like the way you write when you're writing from the heart. Good trading.

JakeGint said...

Nice post. Good to remember the important things on days like this. Surf is definitely up.


PS -- for a second I thought you'd taken the ability to comment down -- the link is so dark I missed it. Just sayin'.


StockHunter said...

Nice writing, I started reading and couldn't stop.

goldendeceiver said...

shouldve gone surfing man....apparently ghettofinger and the union boys think that they are "owed" a bailout. Fuckit, you've inspired me... I'm going to go pick my 3 year old daughter up from nursery school and spend the next couple of hours with her. I'll try to ride the close like the Big Kahuna!

Libby said...


You really should start a blog with that nice writing

Libby said...

This Libby account is me Shane, I use it as a mask when trolling the net

Dinosaur Trader said...

Thanks guys.

Wait a second, Shane... this isn't a blog? What is this thing?

Man, getting a Jake Gint compliment scares me. I'll have to scour this post for a right -wing message I must have inadvertantly sent...


jsp9999 said...

Nice one. My pick for best writing is your Costco episode. Are you going to write Costco episode 2 any time soon? You can sell it for a penny to the reader.

OONR7 said...

wait... CNBC had futures down 311 points????

bloggerdotcom said...

Happy B-day from us!

Joe said...


Anonymous said...

Great post DT, very entertaining!

Attitude Trader said...

Take it from a father of a freshman in college...moments with your daughter like you had today are the ones that will create the relationship you have with her 10 years from now and beyond (never mind that mine just made me rub her feet after our 10-hour drive home from her school today!).

Make sure you fit those field trips and class parties into your schedule before they're done and gone. Sometimes it's hard to see the value in it when you have so many other things that need your attention. It isn't until much later that you will either be glad you did it or sorry you didn't.

I was lucky to have made some choices (and a few sacrifices) that allowed me to do those kinds of things with my daughter almost from the beginning and I'll never regret those choices.

Nice work on the home front today DT. Have a great weekend.


Gio said...

Nice post. Can't wait for more. We got 25+ foot waves on the North Shore, waaaaay outta my league. Have a good one, bastard.


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