Flight Home, Coachville, Hubris, Bouffants, Slovenliness

(from the Thanksgiving trip – written on Wednesday, November 24)

It is Wednesday morning and I am zooming to Midway in a taxi. It is 6:17 am and it is snowing. Yes, friends, snowing.

One annoyance with this old Sony PCG-SRX87 is that the hard drive never seems to shut up. There’s over half of the hard drive available on an empty partition and it always seems to making lots of clicking sounds.

Ron is still alseep in bed with the cat sitting on his neck, no doubt. Kitty woke me up at quarter to 6 – fifteen minutes earlier than my alarm. I had time to have some oatmeal, peanut butter, apple and milk so I won’t be mean and famished as I enter the airport processing line.

Do you remember the Thanksgiving after September 11th? How there were soldiers with AK-47s all over the place. I sometimes miss that police state motif. Constant visible military power (from guys who are probably completely bored out of their minds).

It is 6:21. I don’t want to watch the taxi drive because it is our first big snow that is affecting the roads at all and every year it is like Chicagoans simply forget that they’ve ever driven in snow before. That or all the new SUV and Hummer owners decide to fulfill their offroad fantasies on interstate highways.

The big major amazing news is that last night my advance for the he book arrived. I held in my hands a check for more money than I’ve ever seen before. I was sort of stunned. My first reaction was to go down to the bank and deposit it immediately – it was late at night though and I could’ve used the ATM but I want this all overseen by a carbon based sentient being. I checked the website for my bank and they don’t have any locations in Indiana so I will deposit the check on Saturday or Monday. It is surreal to see your name to that amount of dough. I feel strange even writing about it – wealth and success sometimes seem like taboo topics. I’ve had people ask me how much the advance is and I feel tacky saying how much – I presume this is a taboo handed down from grandparents who lived through the Depression. I was raised with a big sense of humility.

Shoot I meant to burn a CD of my podcasts to leave with mom and dad. Ron doesn’t like how I whispered so much on the last one. I’m still getting the hang of the levels and how loud to talk and how close to get to the mic.

I working on restarting my fitness blog. After getting measured on Monday, I have the wake-up call that I need to clean up my diet. I think diet is almost always the silver bullet. I want to plan now to look great for the summer – and get it all together in a slow but steady pace.

I did my third radio show appearance yesterday. I’m going to be like Orson Welles and get real famous in Canada (he was in the UK) and then come to the US. I’ve done three morning shows, talking about the book. If I could get up to doing three of those a week as the book release date approaches, that would be fantastic.

My big major concern this weekend is getting the Six Figure Bloogging course polished and ready for our ‘self-study’ edition consisting of transcripts, audio, resourc es and worksheets. People have eben clamouring for it and I hope they sell like hotcakes. Mama needs a new pair of shoes. Of course by Mama I mean Ron.

I have been archiving much of the old content from Coachville. It is fun to see ideas that Thomas was germinating become fully fledged programs in the marketplace – from those he worked with and those he inspired. It takes me back to the late 1990s. There was so much optimism back then. I will alwasy love the headline on Bush’s first term ‘Bush: Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Over‘. Maybe there wasn’t much peace but things held in balance.

I think these past 5 years will be looked at with deep shame by nearly everybody in about 20 years. The conservative movement will be deeply disturbed that they allowed the neoconservatives to hijack their party, the fundamentalist Christians will be disturbed they allowed themselves to  be hoodwinked by the Republicans and the liberals will be disturbed that the Democrats couldn’t grow some nuts in time to stop it. I try to parse out all the dynamics in play in US politics with energy policy, ideologies, corporate collusion with government… there are so many pieces to the puzzle. I theorize in my head how it could get much worse – like much much worse. And I wonder how quickly you could morph this country into a true police state. Not just in sectors or counties – but nationwide. I think the trap is the hubris to think that we are above such things. Trot out the right scapegoat and scare the shit out of everybody and the people fall in line.

I sometimes wonder why there can’t be a ruthless, take-no-prisoners radical political movement that focues on the tree-hugging hippy things like universal health care and such.

7:06 am

So it took me only 50 minutes or so to get from door to gate today. The security line was moving briskly and they had all lanes open.

The one thing that absolutely confounds me about airports is that they still have not created some kind of convenient area to put your shoes back on after you get out of the security line. It is so obvious. I’m betting that they figure ‘we’re a government entity, we don’t have to worry about customer service’ but that is probably a value in other countries. It just seems so super-obvious. But usually the simplest fixesare.

My decongestants finally kiccked in . I didn’t have any generic Claritin for an antihistamine so I had to take Benadryl instead. I’ll probably be out like a light soon.

One of my coach-buddies was advising me to really upgrade my expectations of myself. ‘You could have a one million-dollar company by next year.’ And that totally freaks me out. I get locked up in all the logistics. What would the company look like – what would our services be? I keep waffling back and forth between blog hosting or not – but I just don’t want to get wrapped up in doing tech support all the time. Of course, the clincher is that if I do can do things however I want, then I’m not doing tech support. I’m just leery of such stuff sometimes.

I am combining all of my blog-related courses into an overall curriculum which is pretty exciting. I have a few more holes to fill and I’ll have an entire 12 week curriculum that takes people through everything the’ve ever wanted to know about blogs and blogging. It is pretty damned rewarding.

There seems to be a two year gestation period for colleagues I meet. I’ll meet someone and have few touches by phone or email for awhile, and then after about 2 years that relationship becomes deeper. It might midwife a new project, a new client, a new idea… or simply having another soul out there to share the trials and tribulations fo being self-employed.

It is hard to believe that I have been laid off for 10 months. I have had my share of money worries, to be sure. But I miss my old co-workers sometimes – but I can always IM then. And one of them is in my ‘commiserating liberals’ group. Terrance is in that window as well. I always know that if they IM me the phrase ‘OMG’ that I immediately 1) turn on CNN and 2) Go to Daily kos. I also have a collection of pals who are coaches and self-employed service folks that I bond with throughout the day either in the form of a snarky email, IM or prank call.

I actually prank called Maryam a few weeks ago. She does the Emotional Freedom Technique energy work based on the meridians and acupressure points. I know she gets her share of crazies – who doesn’t? So I prank called her in my best Midwestern brogue:?

Hai there. I wuz lookin’ for sum work on the E-Eyeff-Tee. Kin yew help me?

I think that might be a good idea to prank call clients too. Of course, only the ones that I have a fun deep relationships with. It gets a little bit of mischief into your day.

I have tried visualizing the next year for a few minutes each morning when I wake up. I imagie checking my bank balance and what numbers I’d like to see there. I imagine speaking at confeences and who I’m meeting. I imagine new projects and exciting, rewarding work. I imagine how I want to look and feel. I imagine what my apartment looks like – even if by then I’ve got a condo.

Because – what is wild is I imagined my bank account having a lot more money in it than it does now and the next day I got my advance check. As well as good news in the process of selling the foreign rights to the book. Just like I whined to my sister that everybody else seemed to have a book deal and a few days later I was contacted by a book editor.

What are you going to ask for this week? Are you going to be ready to receive it? Will you be on the lookout for any small tectonic shifts that mean it might be coming your way? THat is what I found so amazing about the book The Aladdin Factor, the notion that by simply asking for what you want in your life, it will appear.

I vacillate between this point of view and my media-drenched nihilsm. Everyone knows that I might be a ranter on the outside but that it is all backed up with heart.

I am worred about the economy. I can’t believe GM is laying off that many people. It is amazing to me that the company truly let itself get away from focusing on making cars people want to buy. It is just so odd to see an US company collapsing like this.

I worry about the war and how the soldiers that come home are not going to be given the support and services they need to transition safely back into the civilian world.

I worry about all the young children in Iraq that have seen soldiers playing ball with them but also igniting their cities – and which point of view will shape their futures.

I worry about the fake Christiasn in the fundamentalist movement and how they have recreated Christianity into their own image of materialism and ego.

I worry about the environment and peak oil and the housing bubble.

I was on a seminar call yesterday and some folks said they simply don’t listen to the radio or the news because they don’t want to allow all that negative energy into their lives. That seem dangerously irresponsible and hellbent on managing perceptions rather than examining reality. The corrupt and cruel count on us not paying attention.

I worry about what is my greater mission on this planet. I know it has to do with ‘instant global impact’ or ‘instant global self-expression’ but how do I transition once blogs are so commonplace?

It is also strange to me that they don’t correctly adjust the volume of the sounds sytem that the pilots talk into and we hear. When ears pop from air pressure the sounds is very piercing. Just like at Walgreens. I always wonder why those people scream so loud when they talk into their phones to do a price check.

We are starting our descent. It is 8:49 am CST.

I am sleeeeepy. The Benadryl is doing it’s work. Plus, Ron and I were up late last night watching War of the Worlds.

On second viewing, War of the Worlds is better than I’d remembered. It is truly a one-trick movie though. There aren’t any ‘reversals’ that the screenwriting gurus are always telling us to write in. It is just ‘Tom Cruise runs, Dakota Fanning in peril.’ The effects are fantastic and I’m going to watch that one scene on the highway again to see if I can pick out how they manage to go from the shoulder on the road tracking the van into the front sea, out the window and into the back seet and back into the adjacent lane. I’m curisous to see if it is all one take or if it was done with green screen and then the environmentwas put around them. The movie’s implications aren’t as harrowing as I’d thought.

Final descent.

(1:03 pm)

Sitting here surfing the telly at home. Came across a disturbing fundamentalist Christian broadcast called Mannafest – I think the guy preaching was Perry Stone. His main points where

America is like the Roman Empire. We wage war so that we may have peace and our country is dying from the inside because of moral decay.

The Christian countries of the Western hemisphere have got to stay in power compared to the non-believers in the Eastern hemisphere.

There will be a 7th and 8th kingdom as we approach end-days. The EU is part of this 7th kingdom and I think this is the one where 10 kings give their power to the anti-Christ within an hour. There was something about ten toes and the 7th kingdom.

The Muslims are essentially violent people that must be brought to war because of their conflicts with Christians and Jews.

This was very frightening to see – the sheer rage in this guy’s sermon was chilling. I mean, I know poeple think this stuff but to see it for real on braodcast TV was stunning.

I just can’t believe people think the book of Revelation is anything other than a sign of it’s times. Sure, I think we are at risk of slipping into a secular version of end-times with perpetual war for perpetual peace but I think so many Christians don’t get the social context of their sacred scripture. These are the same people that read The Da Vinci Code and don’t do their own investigation to see what parts are based on fact and what parts are based on conjecture. This kind of goes back to my writing about peopel that refuse to hear any negative news because it might wreck their white ball of healing light they live in all the time.

There’s a wireless network nearby that I can’t connect to. I even tried doing the 192.168.1.1 thing too.

Dad and I ran by Krogers and got some more groceries for tomorrow festivities. I am always sort of amazed at the time warp my homeland seems stuck in. Boufants still rule the day and people seem much less concerned about their physical appearance. There’s an overall element of slovenliness. It isn’t good or bad – it is just odd. I wonder if it is tied to expectations of success and signs of wealth.

I would like to start doing a decade by decade study of the economics of my home county. To see where the jobs started leaving and how the economy turned into primarily a support for out-of-town franchises leaving little room left for small businesses and creating acres and acres of asphalt parking lots.

Wow. There’s a Bikram Yoga center in southern Indiana! I’m stunned! I wasn’t sure that this are could support that. I just saw an ad for it.

My sister is on her way in and mom gets done teaching in a couple hours. Dad went to go visit my uncle Jack. I had a nice nap here on the couh. I alwyas sleep like a log at home since it is so damn quiet. I’m used to sirens and neighbors.

Ha – they just had a commercial for Restless Leg Syndrome – RLS – also known in Seinfeld speak as ‘the jimmy legs’. My sister and brother-in-law call this the ‘herky-jerkies’ because you jerk awake in bed, awakening your sleeping partner.

Dad is back.

(1:29pm)

I forgot to say that the funniest two things on televsion this week were:

An episode of The Family Guy where Margot Kidder has dinner with the Griffins and all she does is scream and throw furntiure at Lois.

Another episode of The Family Guy (the new one on Fox for this week) where Brian tries to cheer Peter up by dressing up as a giant banana and screaming IT’S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME. I got a headache I was laughing so hard.

Okay, three things.

The third is on Drawn Together where Ling-Ling, the Pokemon lookalike character, is getting ready for a hot date and attributes his shiny hair to his ‘worst lingual enemy.’ He then points to a bottle of Prell and tries to pronounce it with his heavy asian accent and it comes out ‘plerrr..’ I made Ron watch the whole episode just for that. Other highlights was Foxxy Love frying chicken on her nether-regions and pleasuring herself with a jackhammer while doing a Xena war-cry.

(2:05 pm)

Just did some work on an application for a coaching conference in Brussels. I’d met the organizer of it down in San Jose and she lit up when I talked about blogging. Ron is already getting excited even though I haven’t submitted the application yet.

I was thinking about what if I could replace this fat with muscle? What if I was 180# of muscle? That would be pretty frigging amazing. That would be gaining about 30 pounds of lean muscle mass. I’m going to first get my body fat down to 10%. I think I can do that by mid-January. That is about a pound and a half a week. I bet if I did bikram three times a week and kept my blood sugar regulated I’ll drop a ton of weight.

Something I keep telling myself is that you have to open your mind and open your possibilities. Yes, it sounds airy-fairy and fruity but you have to start somewhere. I visualize myself with 30 more pounds of muscle: powerful shoulders, a proud chest, bulging arms, a sturdy back, thick legs and ripped abdominals – my traps like aircraft cable. Sinewy and strong like a jungle cat. Of course I’ve got whitened teeth and a slight glow and some tight tattoos ornamenting my body.

I visualize a spacious, sexy condo of steel, marble and leather. A view of the glowing city, candles burning, electronica pulsing lowly and hundreds of friends drinking and having a good time.

I imagine a global business that awakens people to greater things and gives them the business tools to get there. I imagine checking my bank account and having eighty-thousand dollars to do whatever I want with. I imagine a secure retirement fund that puts me at complete ease about the future.

I visualize being the go-to guy for my topic and appearing on television and radio.