Back In The Saddle

I think Kate’s wedding was the most extravagant one I’ve been to. The wedding was at the Cathedral of the Assumption. She had 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen. An attendance of probably at least 250. An open bar that started right after the wedding and continued into the night. A three course dinner complete with filet mignon that was (as my old buddy Shannon put it tactfully: ‘Jesus christ you could cut this fucking steak with a butterknife!’) very very good. I was nervous about having a panic attack upon seeing all of my old high school chums – most of whom I wasn’t really in their crowd… plus, the being in a church trigger as well. My face was slightly warm for most of the liturgy but once I knocked back my second vodka tonic I was fine. Mom and dad were invited and I sat at a table with them, Susan’s parents, Shannon’s parents and Shannon’s grandparents. I sit next to Shannon’s grandfather and introduce myself – hears my last name and immediately says: ‘Gershwin!’ Referring to when I played Rhaphsody in Blue at our Bacculaureate for high school. Bob talked my ear off about his days as a priest and his love of opera and musical theatre and music and piano and Verdi and Thomas Merton (which my dad joined in on this one) and St. Meinrad monastery in Kentucky and Gethsemane in Indiana. The salad was excellent. The filet was great. I got to meet Scott and Lisa’s little Anna Louise who as Scott said, ‘has my looks and her mother’s attitude.’ Anna didn’t make it through the evening and Scott left the reception to put her to bed at her grandmother’s and then cam back to the party.

I was almost the only passenger on the flight home. The finally found the two other guys that had checked in. I’ve never seen a takeoff from the front row – where you can look through all of the windows because there isn’t anybody blocking any of them. The flight attendants offered me all the liquor I’d want but I’m sticking with Coke for now… Ron wants to go dancing tonight and I’ve been drinking since 3:30 this afternoon. There waS a flight out at 8:30 that I tried to get on but they were going to charge me with a $20 upgrade. I said screw that and I’d wait the half hour. I think we actually left before that flight because it got delayed and the pilot said we just might pass them on the way in.

It was really great to see everybody. Maybe I’m just a snobby asshole. I went over to the bridesmaids table where Susan, Edie, Shannon and Emily were and they squealed my last name and demanded I come up and share a glass of champagne with them. Another bridesmaid says, ‘Oh you’re Andy! They’ve been talking about you so much,’ It was great to talk to them. As dad would say, everybody has sort of bulked up. Especially the guys. Saw Kate briefly a few times and they said she was a basketcase the night before – she choked up during the vows and her mother said she’s been running on adrenaline the past few days. Heard a couple calling my name – it was Kate’s brother and his wife whom I’d met on thanksgiving… years ago… when I ended up at a family dinner with Kate and her family (that was awkward… I think that was before the third and after the second time I’d declared my undying love for her). Everyone wants to know how the playwriting is going and how is Chicago and what am I doing and I look great and how is life… it made me feel really good. As much as I was dreading feeling awkward around everybody – it was really nice to see them. It’s good to be called by my last name again – I sort of miss that (it was because there were two Andys in our class so we were both called by our last name). The coaching intrigues people a lot and they want to know how I came to that and what it is and how it’s going and who does it and how do you do it.

It’s interesting the roles we assign ourselves to play in our lives – versus how we were perceived by others.

Mom and dad and I talked a lot about ROn and I. Good adult talk – just trying to sort out what would be the difficulties of us going long term or living together or having kids or sharing finances. I am always worrying about that. I love Ron a lot and I just keep imagining his little round brown face wrapped in my white down comforter when I get home from the gym at 6 am and I announce it’s time for omelettes and he opens his eyes halfway – so cute. We both entertain visions of taking our kids to their elementary school programs… me holding the camcorder and ROn railing at our little girl in Tagalog because she’s not properly turned out for her big ballet solo. And of course we are hot little stud dads with our tight t-shirts and hunky middle aged bodies and we’re the hit of the PTA when we tell the prissy soccer moms to shove it. And we take or daughter in SCouts to sell cookies in the gay neighborhood where of course she blows away all sales records. All the straight moms sigh and shake their heads as they turn to their own slovenly husbands and we pile into the Jeep (child safety seats of course), all of us wearing sunglasses, crank up the techno and head home – stopping for ice cream, of course. I try to see ROn as wholly as I can and know and demand that I not try to change him. Because we all know that people don’t change once you marry them (or rather, because you marry them). I’ve seen friends marry thinking that just becasue they tie the knot that the other spouse will suddenly have life-focus and vision and purpose and health.

I am sleepy and I presume that he is going to want to go out since he hasn’t been home in four days and didn’t get to go out for New Years.

My HTML classes got sidetracked – the class listings got messed up so I won’t be running them on Monday. I am close to getting all of the scripts done. I do have over a dozen sign-ups for my Excel class that is on Thursday. I think it’s gonna be fun. I’m usually a loose cannon on teleclasses and need to remember to pull back on the profanity until after they’ve bought the paid version of the class. I hope I make some sales from this – I’ve had this damned shopping cart and merchant account I’ve been paying for for quite a while and I need to start recouping that.

It’s snowing in Chicago. Visibility is a minimum. We may have to land at an alternate airport. Eeeek.

I’m glad that holidays and celebrations are sort of done for a while. I don’t have to travel or do anything or go anywhere for a while. That is going to be nice. I got fish to fry. Air travel – or maybe just getting out of Chicago. Always seems to jar my thinking for the better. It reminds me of all of the people that think about me and wonder how I’m doing.

Holy shit. That’s the ground. I thought those were stars.


We landed alright. Called home and mom was surprised to hear that I landed early. It is now 9:20 CST. Called Ron, he was asleep and hungry so I presume we’ll go out to late late dinner upon my arrival home. I’m taking the train home to save money (even though mom and dad gave me dough to take a taxi). I’m goign to take some time. I am always in a super-rush with things and I always note how impatient I am and sometimes I even have panic attacks waiting in line at a cashier at the grocery or a bookstore.

Last night I told mom and dad that I wasn’t sure that I’d ever ‘hit it big’. I guess I realize that – like everything else for me – I’m going to have to do things my way and with my resources, instead of waiting for other people to ‘discover’ me or promote me. Maybe it’s really called growing up. I’m not giving up on my dreams – they’re expanding though – and becoming more restless… like having teleclasses and discussions with any of the authors of any of the essays in that ACLU book. Doing my own investigative journalism. I even have a good domain name for a website already – not that I”m going to tell you just yet… I have too many undeveloped ideas already. Trying to focus on getting these three teleclasses developed and completed so I can just do delivery of them quite easily before I start moving on to other things. I am pretty proud of myself – I’d started planning first quarter two months ago and now that it’s coming to fruition it’s going well. I’d mapped out my class schedule for the first three months and decided the scope of what I was doing. I eventually cut my classes down from five to three which was probably a much better idea. But once a class is developed and scripted and I’ve done the documentation for it – it’s in the can and I can focus on delivering it once or twice a month. Eventually I hope to have a stable of about ten classes that I’m teaching in rotation. If I can get attendance up to about twenty people per class. That brings in about $400 an hour. That would be fantastico. Glorious money. I’d only have to work maybe five to ten hours a week. And this is talking about the one-on-one coaching as I start building that up. One of my old chums at the wedding said, ‘I like the sound of what you’re doing – having lots of different things going on at one time.’ That’s me. I’m easily bored. I look forward to when I can go visit mom and dad for a week or two and still be able to dial in to my business and run it from anywhere on the planet. Or hang out in Prague for a few months and still be able to run my life from this small 2 pound (how many kilometers?) laptop. Running my presidential campaign from an email newsletter and a website. Eventually I’ll be experienced enough to teach a teleclass about putting together telelcasses and form my own program and handouts and approach. That’ll be great. Sometimes I know deep down that all of these thing I can create for myself – and that to start now – before 30 – is something very few people do. I just love the idea of creating all of these things out of nothing – and that all of it is immaterial: computerized, aural, downloadable, streaming… I love that part. That there’s nothing left to carry around. I fantasize about having 1 box of books, 1 box of electronic stuff and 1 box of office stuff. All my CDs are ripped onto my hard drive and my clothes are pared down to just what I need.

My eyes are dried out. I’m gonna need some big-time Visine once I hit the house. I might wuss out and take a taxi from the loop north. We’ll see. I really shouldn’t. Save the money. It is wild when you start looking at every dollar you spend as a vote for something. A vote for an idea, an industry, a lifesytle, a mode of transportation, a mode of energy, a mode of nutrition… or thinking of your time that way. One of the things I learned from my coach is that how we spend our time is the truest barometer of the importance of our personal values in our life.

I still get un-nerved at these private security K9 units with their german shepherd’s with muzzles. Though in the winter they have little booties on for the snow. It’s all so Gestapo.

Did you know that Nazi soldiers were captured on American soil during WWII? They’d landed and buried their uniforms and tried to infiltrate the mainland. This case and how it was dealt with is one of the two cases that delineates how non-US citizens are treated when connected with crimes against the country. For the first time I started re-thinking the lumping together of The Taliban and Al-Quaida. That they really are very different organizations. They both spring from extreme fundamentalism – but one demands tight hierarchy and the other – decentralization. And that I hadn’t really thought of that difference for a very long time. That because Afghanistan was harbouring Al-Quaida – that that was our reason to bomb the shit out of the same country we’d funneled enormous support to in the 80s to contain communism. Al-Quaida is a perfectly engineered construct – that is, the way it is portrayed to Americans. We can’t tell you who they are or where they are or when they’ll strike next but unless you give up all of your privacy and rights we won’t be able to stop them. Even though sedition acts have never ever ever had any success in increasing security in this country.

And Bush’s new tax cut. Right. Like he’s going to write a tax cut that doesn’t bet the super rich motherfuckers. I still have a special wretch of bile for Mr. Kenneth Lay. I’ll believe in a vengeful God if he’d only get medieval on Mr. Lay and his bullshit sorry-ass excuse for a life.






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