It is Monday morning now. I’m at the Caribou. Green tea is brewing and cool enough to drink now. I wrote my morning pages and am watching the traffic start to pick up. I love that it’s getting darker in the morning now. I love walking around in the morning when it feels like night-time. It’s so quiet and peaceful – it’s like the city is it’s humble midwestern self for a few hours each day – before Cubs madness sets in (this place is a madhouse lately). But I like walking to the gym in darkness and coming out and the sun’s up and your ready to Go Take on the Day.
Everybody in my family seems pretty perky and cordial lately. I think dad’s settling into retirement and the notion that he can relax and do things he wants to do. Mom is trying to keep her head above water teaching another couple years before she can retire. Heather seems to be doing great things with her massage business. I’m my usual megalomaniacal self but a lot more grounded since I’m in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Paid. Ron flies all day today and then has a 27 hour (!) layover. Then he has to drive his sister and her baby from Milwaukee to Kansas City. I think his choice to work lots of all-nighter flights is starting to catch up with him. He’s always jet lagging in one way or another.
The Debut movie had some nice features on the DVD, including a documentary about them just trying to raise the money for the film. That they approached every Filipino doctor in the country – every rich Asian-American they could find but none of them would give them financing because the project showed the community warts and all. They told the director that nobody would come to see their movie because it didn’t portray a positive view of the Filipino-American experience – though the resulting film was not only hugely positive but more importantly – honest. Marginalized groups have enough dishonest representation in media – it’s the courage to document and witness the entire breadth and depth of your experience that takes a whole lot of nuts.
I want to call a lot of my brain trust this week. I think that is what I’m going to start calling the group of colleagues that I need to stay in touch with to keep myself motivated and focused professionally. Rob, Lisa, Barb, Steve, Stever… these are all people in the coaching industry. I am having a hard time really crystallizing a brand or niche as far as the personal and life coaching goes. I know that I need to think in terms of marketing results and marketing solutions. That I ask myself what I do better than anyone I know. What’s my passion? At the root of it all – what’s the driving juice? If I look back to kindergarten – I’ve always been captivated by self-publishing and having your say on your terms. All of my creative heroes are usually one-person industries that are fiercely protective of their personal vision and methodical in bringing that vision to live in multiple media and venues. I’m thinking of Rod Serling, Trent Reznor, Ani DiFranco, Alfred Hitchcock, Bertolt Brecht… I think Heather and I learned early on in school that the other kids just weren’t as nuts about academics as we were. I remember I’d sometimes volunteer to do the legwork for a group project in middle school just to ensure that it got done and my grade didn’t tank along with the rest of my team-mates. I’m sure the more athletically inclined kids felt the same way when they rolled their eyes having to pick me for a team in gym class. That one-by-one pick ritual was always so demoralizing. It’d be me and Derek the slow kid that walked into walls left for the draft. If you could just tell kids not to take that kind of bullshit so seriously – it’d save everybody so much stress. To say, yeah – there’s assholes and there are always going to be assholes so you might as well learn how to deal with it now. That’s was the first lesson plan in my dad’s fifth grade class: Life Isn’t Fair. He wouldn’t teach it cruelly but matter-of-factly. He had a little boy who’s parents didn’t teach him hygeine or give him clothes so dad would meet him each morning and stand outside the locker room while the kid took a shower and changed into his ‘school clothes’ and he’d put on deoderant. Or listening to a little girl try to articulate the overwhelming pain that her mom would rather spend time with her boyfriends instead of with her. Such heartbreaking stories – he taught in one of the poorer areas of the county – not rural – just broke – the local high school didn’t teach above Algebra I. Stories like that really ennoble my dad in my eyes. You know, everybody gives their dad a hard time – but stories like that make me re-realize how warm and caring he is and was with his students – and how vitally important it is for young boys to have a male figure in the classroom during elementary school. He braved estrogen-soaked teachers’ lounges for three decades. Or as grandpa – mom’s dad – as his health started to fail – dad was always so gentle and caring with him. This is the father-in-law that gave dad holy hell for years – even demanding that he and mom wait an extra year to get married, ‘just to make sure’. The father-in-law that was a warm sun to his daughters but tough-as-nails with his sons and even tougher with his son-in-laws. I remember when grandpa was in the hospital and dad lifted up the blanket to reveal grandpa’s ankles, swollen to twice their size. Dad got some lotion and gently massaged his ankles until the retained water had moved out of his ankles and feet.
ALRIGHT! The wireless network that’s at the Subway sandwich place two doors down reaches all the way to here. TOTALLY BADASS.
Oh – and my dad is going to be blogging soon – so if you think I’ve got crazy opinions – just you wait. I will pursue my sister blogging once her massage biz is in a regular churn. She is a fantastic writer and I know she’s been brewing some good writing for years. Mom probably won’t blog but she’s going to launch the textiles biz once she retires – I think I blogged that I told them to learn Spanish now and they can hire migrant workers in the office season. It’ll be like a Malay sweatshop in the basement.
DAMMIT! The connection is gone. I bet if I move over to the other side of the coffeeshop it’ll be stronger. Right now it’s going through the wall between Subway and Mailboxes Etc. Then the wall between Mailboxes Etc and Caribou. Then through all of the brewing equipment and the storage room and then 30 more feet to me. That’s one strong signal.
Woo. It’s 7:07. Suns up. Three other patrons.
I’m having a hankering for some Andrews Sisters lately. I bet I could find some good used CDs today. I am pretty alert right now but I usually crash around lunch time. I’ve got at least one long meeting and then a couple teleclass trainings in coaching solo entrepeneurs. It’s a 15 class series – probably taken five of them and trying to fit in some more of them.
I got some more cheap metal shelving – those aluminum cubes – to put in the closet so I am able to organize clothes into bins. With all of my workout clothes – I really don’t fold them and put them away so I have one cube for shirts and one for shorts and pants and I just toss them in there. Same thing with undies and socks. Still not enough room for all the dress clothes to hang – but I don’t wear those very often lately so I’ll probably fold ’em flat. I put sweaters in that big metal houseplant pot that I tried (and failed miserably) to turn into an aquarium. Because once it gets cold I’m not that focused on what kind of sweater or sweatshirt I’m grabbing because it doesn’t matter – and the sweaters don’t realy wrinkle – so I just have ’em in a big pile in the bin. I can feel my mom quaking when I write the words ‘big pile in the bin’. She will go off. But I’m trying to break the habit of ‘just hang it over a chair… just pile it on the chair… just stack it on the table…’
I didn’t put 2 and 2 together last night until I went to Subway to grab some sandwiches for dinner and saw that they are open until 2am on weekends. That would be a great stop for Ron and I instead of always having to eat at Melrose or Nookies for late late dinner. And it’s a lot cheaper.
That massage I had on Friday afternoon was just awesome. Patrick rocks. He’d park his hands on my shoulder blades and just press.
Oh Good song – ‘Give Me One Reason’ by shoot. What’s her name. Oh: Tracy Chapman. I’d love to sing this song on a piano. I sometimes compose my playlist in my head if I ever do a piano recital. I’d like to start with some Chopin and Rachmaninoff and then in the second act dive into showtunes and pop with my friends coming out on stage to sing with me – sorta Dean Martinis… Brigitte doing ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’. Or Alan and I doing ‘Pretty Women’ (or ‘Agony’ from Into the Woods). And Matt and I doing something really strange like Veruca Salt’s ‘Leave Me Lying Here’. And I think it’d be a ball to end with the whole gaggle of us singing ‘Walk this Way’. Oh wait: Brigitte has to sing some Pat Benatar too. Maybe ‘Hell Is For Children’ or ‘Invincible’. She and I haven’t done a road trip lately. Usually Pat Benetar gets us from Indianapolis to Louisville. That and Aerosmith – we usually are howling ‘Pink’ and ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ or ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’. Doo- doo- doo- dude looks like a lay-ee-day! Doo- doo- doo- dude looks like a lay-ee-day!
And as a wise, bigoted, close-minded woman once said: Now Go Take on the Day.