The Clan of Ui Briain

It is morning. I couldn’t sleep so I got up at 4:30 and went to Walgreens and got some eggs and then had some scrambled eggs and some otameal. Surfed and ate until 6 and then came here to the coffeeshop across the street to do some early morning writing. I have enjoyed only lifting weights twice a week – giving myself time to rest. And doing half in the morning and half in the evening is nice, too.

Ron and I watched Dreamcatcher which is alright. I’d read the book right before the movie came out. It’s really a pastiche of King’s usual themes and the book was crafty as a page-turner but pretty bland by the end. The reviews were right that the movie is really for 12-year old boys that find icky things fascinating – the lead alien creature busts out of people’s asses similar to Ripley’s alien. Morgan Freeman – with some wildass eyebrows – has a good time playing the evil military leader. The acting and writing is nice – probably since Lawrence Kasdan wrote and directed it. But in the end it just seems disconnected and disorganized. The two best images are Jason Lee sitting on a toilet lid trying to keep something from escaping the bowl and when he and the guy playing Jonesy go outside of the cabin and hundreds of woodland animals are evacuating. It’s more like a chamber piece rather than a full-orchestral work.

Doing some coach shopping. I haven’t had a coach in a long time and it’s sort of silly for me to be one and not have one. I’m courting one of my trainers from my coach training a year ago. She’s a real amazing coach and has a take no prisoners, irreverent style. I’d read an article about her I found on Google where she was coaching in a prison and this one prisoner was all dapper and mannered and tucked in and when she was coaching him she pulled his shirt-tail out and declared, ‘You’re in prison now and you have to deal with that.’ The coaching she did in my training classes was just stunning. I’m going to look at her as a possibility as well as a guy that faciliatated my first coach training. These two are pretty pricey coach-wise but they are definitely at the top of the coaching game and if I really want to pursue this I need to have a mentor, right? I mean the thing you tell people when they balk at how much coaching can cost is to say, ‘Don’t you have a goal or dream that is worth that much to you?’ Because everyone does.

I’m re-evaluating things. Hell, I’m always re-evaluating things. That’s my true nature. I remember when I was in high school I always chided myself for always observing and never participating in things. I think that that has been tempered with a good dose of reality that most things in the world won’t kill you to try or experience and that the things that might kill you, you really don’t have to experience. For example: I rarely hear a 60 year old say, ‘Yeah – I’m so glad I took all those drugs back when I was your age.’

I’m looking at the coaching stuff in a long term trajectory and trying to keep it in line with my creative goals. I think the ultimate goal is to have a career that is as flexible as I need it to be and can also support a family. That and it’s fulfilling. And it uses the same skills as directing and writing. Been trying to examine if I want to be the next Anthony Robbins or Oprah or Stephen Covey. I always fantasized about wearing a headset mic and pumping up a crowd of thousands. Or having my own talk show. I think this was fueled by an early obsession with true crime and tabloid media. I always loved Current Affair and the juicy seedy side of things. It managed to get me to investigate Chappaquidick and other political scandals that I never would have touched at that age – and it wouldn’t be until lately that I’d understand the context of all of those events. But I always thought it’d be a blast to have my own talk show. Either the clean, contribute to civilization kind or the sideshow-freakfest kind – though both are pretty much iterated out, right?

Researching tattoos again. As always. I was looking up the Irish heraldry of my clan. People get nuts about this stuff (says the guy researching Irish heraldry for a tattoo). I sort of forget how nationalistic some Irish-Americans get – I mean, I’m generations and generations removed but some of these websites are just crazy. The coat of arms for my clan has three lions on it – they are half silver and half gold. The motto is: ‘The strong arm, uppermost’ and above is a sworded arm coming out of a cloud. I had spent some time looking at Egyptian symbols and stuff – like the udjat or Eye of Horus or even Celtic runes. But I feel sort of poseur-ish appropriating symbols that aren’t culturally mine. Or do I. I guess I just figure the history and mysticism is there in any culture and I have to find it. Also was looking at some pre-Christian pagan symbols as well. Still wasn’t able to find any ancient Greek symbols connected to the playwrights – except for the two masks which is way too obvious. Something about chronicling and witnessing. I still have to see Matt’s big back tattoo that says ‘Schaudenfreude’ which is German for ‘joy in the misery of others’ (our theatre history teacher used to have ‘Schauden-Friday’ where we’d all bring in the trashiest piece of entertainment and theatre gossip we could dig up and let loose with the sleaze – I need to give Bob a call). He’s got it in Olde English script. He’s also got what he calls his ‘trailer trash’ tattoo which is a heart cleft by a lightning bolt on his chest – his dad totally flipped out over that one. So did his dad’s husband. It seems that my prediction is coming true. I always contended that Matt and I were the same person – just different facets of the same prism and that he’s who I would be if I had enough guts and I’m who he would be. And it seems we’re meeting in the middle. I need to schedule a guys lunch – him, Alan, see if I can get Brian in town, maybe Matt, Carp or Charlie too… . We used to have those in college – five of us would ditch theatre history to go have lunch. The theatre program was pretty estrogen soaked and it was nice to just have the Old Boys Club out for a meal. We didn’t really say much catty sexist stuff (we’re all way too progressive for that) but there is a certain importance to being around your own kind sometimes. I’ve noticed that with Ron and other asians – as competitive as he can be with them he’ll talk with a guy at the gym for 20 minutes simply because they share a common hemisphere. I remember Margaret Cho saying she was filming a movie (I think it was during Face/Off) and there was only one other asian in the cast and they’d get together and confess they didn’t always trust white people. And when I lived with Monica, she really felt a strong disconnect being on the north side and away from a nearby black church. I think it’s the same with gays and lesbians too. Americans preach diversity and tolerance but many of us don’t pursue it. I think that’s because diversity as an end in itself is pretty foolish. It’s the open-mindedness to the possibility of diversity that is important. Humans are notoriously tribal and that’s not as necessary as it used to be. Tell that to Syria.

It’s 7 AM now – there goes the streetsweeper. I get paid Wednesday. The accountants finally found the $400 overpay I had already told them about if they’d read any of my emails completely. Looking forward to getting my ankle looked at and getting some physical therapy – I think if I was able to strengthen and stabilize my ankle over the winter I might be able to start running again this next summer. I really missed running along the lake. I am going to go see my rolfer on Wednesday. He’s gonna flip over how big I’ve gotten but be pissed that I’m a big ball of tension again. Though I’m trying to stretch every day – at least my hamstrings and my neck.

Mom and dad aren’t coming up for the SOFA show after all. I do need to my plane tickets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I told Heather that if we don’t go to mass that we should go see Return of the King on Christmas Eve. After all the crap the Pope has come out with this year – I honestly never want to set foot inside a Catholic church again. It’s such a travesty because there are genuinely amazing people working the church organization everyday – many in the shit-pits of the world. Many of them gay, lesbian or bisexual. And for the church to discount any value they can have and consigning it to a ‘lifetyle’ or ‘preference’ – argh! It feels like the word ‘lifestyle’ is used as a euphemism for ‘reckless unprotected anonymous sexual destruction’. That or it’s used to say that gays and lesbians have more money because they don’t have kids. That’s like saying any straight couple without kids is in the same boat. Or that they all have discriminating taste. Sort of the minstrelsy perpetuated by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I now understand how tired black people can get when all their white friends are always giving them afro-centric gifts or mementoes – we’re just trying to be conscious of their heritage and honor it – but is that just a feeble attempt at inclusion instead of just ignoring the whole thing. Identity is nothing and everything. I can’t stand Barbara Streisand. Judy Garland was a reckless druggie. Sarah Brightman has an angelic voice but a face that’s the work of the devil. Madonna can’t sing for shit (but she can market like a master). Self-destructiveness is not cool. I don’t hate women. I never did understand the Pet Shop Boys. Or disco. Or Abercrombie and Fitch. Or cosmopolitans. Sarah Jessica Parker is ugly and I pity Matthew Broderick. I hate shopping for clothes and think designer socks are just silly. On the other hand: Sondheim is a genius, I have turned into a gym-bunny and I’m a playwright and I find myself strangely captivated by Jeeps.

There is nobody in the coffeeshop. Traffic finally picked up outside. The Cubs won last night so the streets were crazed with honking assholes testing out their latest skills at drunk driving. I guess they have to enjoy the winning while it lasts.

Got a good three hours solid of project plan consolidation ahead of me. But that’s alright – it keeps me occupied for a long time.

I think I finally settled on a coaching domain name. The one I’ve got already is more for delivering info to coaches themselves – not necessarily to clients. Once you know how easy it is to register domains it becomes so easy to just snap one up here and there – I mean they’re only $8! I wonder if I’ll ever go back to school. I told Ron that I wanted to go to school with our kids. So he and I can rush the same fraternity as our kids. “These are my dads, they’re getting their Masters.” “Great to meet you – are you all coming to the party tonight? Ron and I got three kegs and it’s all low-carb!” We already fantasize about terrorizing our kids. That must be such an annoyance as a parent when your kids is a dumbshit teenager and is always sighing and depressed (I’m thinking specifically of my black trench coat phase) and you just want to smack them around a little bit but you settle for slightly embarrassing them in public. Though I can’t think of any time mom and did that specifically… but I always think how much it must hurt when your kids have to reject you for a few years to establish their own identities. I’m sure it’s painful. On both sides. I know it is.

Even though I’m in a yuppie paradise in Lakeview – I do still have some sembelance of neighborhood that I like. More so than if I was in the suburbs. Like how I love the cashier at Walgreens on Belmont and Broadway that talks to herself. It seems like a low grade Tourette’s. She talk through everything she’s doing with such verve and zest – it’s very entertaining. Or seeing Lupe in the morning at my Walgreens. As you can tell – I live a Walgreened life. I remember Grandma used to always go to Walgreens by her house and buy Heather and I some notepads and paper for the school year. She did this even when Heather was working on her Masters at Vanderbilt. It’s notable that mom’s side of the family seemed to value hardwork over education. I think they saw education as sort of a luxury (anybody living through the depression might think that). But I think that work ethic and entrepeneurial spirit – coupled with being raised by two teachers really spurred my sister and I on into starting our own businesses. I am so proud of Heather – she had 51 massage clients last month… she’s such a badass and I want the whole world to know that. Mom and dad are planning on starting the weaving business back up to a higher production level. I told them they should learn Spanish and employ some of the migrant workers that come up to work the farms during the off-season.

The wireless here at the coffeeshop still isn’t open yet. Bastards. I haven’t leaned on my boss to see if they’ll pay for me to have a Sprint wireless card yet… that would be BADASS. Especially if they paid for all of it… I love working with tech- whores. My boss has a laptop that converts to a touchpad. Such a geek.

My God, the sun’s up! The sky is clear and blue. I miss going to the Stratford Shakespeare festival like I did in college. It was always so brisk in the mornings and we’d get up and talk with our hosts (we usually stayed in the second floor of a local) and then walk to Tim Horton’s and pal around with friends. Sometimes seeing three plays a day. I sleep so good during Shakespeare comedies. That or Chekhov. Nothing puts me to sleep like Chekhov. It’s like Ambien. I don’t discount his importance to world drama but that doesn’t mask that I find him totally boring as hell. And while I adore the aesthetic of Beckett the whole idea of boredom as a dynamic is a paradox. To have bored characters onstage you first have to bore the shit out of the audience first. And that’s the number one rule of art: never be boring.

I emailed this trainer that wrote a special issue of Muscle Media magazine that I’ve found particularly useful. We’ll see if he writes back. I am trying to be more gracious about writing thank you notes and things to people that make a difference. Like the office manager for my company that steamrolled the accountants into realizing that they screwed up sending my first paycheck to the wrong address and then jerked me around on the direct deposit. And I told Ron I want him to look like Stan McQuay by summer. I’ll probably stay with the no-sugar, no-wheat thinhg for another month and then design a mass-gain diet for the winter months. I think it’ll be fun because I’ll be able to make super-fiber-colon-blow bread in the breadmaker. Make it with whole wheat and oat flour and mix in some spinach. Or hell, just grind up some corrugated cardboard and bake that!

7:38 – on my second cup of iced tea. I drink a ton of tea lately. Mostly green. This is mango of some sort. That and sugar-free lemonade – adding some mint leaves makes it very tasty. I do want to try this oatmeal recipe I read that uses orange zest and extract and some sweetener.

Dumbass went in the wrong way at BankOne – this should be interesting. Dickhead.

Got two web design clients right now. One is probably 85% done. One just got started. Both aren’t huge profit centers but will be a nice kick to the credit cards. And I’m experimenting with all my readings on web standards with them. Moved over most of my sites into this new installation of MovableType that uses a MySQL database so it builds faster.

Eeek – too much tea! Time to go home!






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