“You did a good job.”

“You did a good job.” They had no idea. I did things they couldn’t measure. For big hitters, I flew lobster in from Boston, cooked, served, played the piano, told jokes, then cleaned their house afterwards.

I hand delivered Thallium 201 and molybdenum 99 generators. I taught customer’s kids how to play guitar, lift weights and boot up Windows 95.

I fended off gay advances without anyone getting their feelings hurt. I fended off straight advances without anyone getting pregnant.

I didn’t lose my composure when the fat female tech with the mustache said, “How bad do you want this business?

I got naked in a hot tub at UNM so my drunken customers wouldn’t feel awkward. I was a regular stand-in at the Scottsdale Court House when my female tech friends were getting divorced and needed a shoulder to cry on at breakfast.

My big clients had my AMEX card number so I wouldn’t have to drive all the way across town when they got hungry. I was the best secret keeper in the territory.

I knew I was gonna do great things in sales, so I limited myself to a ninth grade education.

Otherwise…it would have been an unfair advantage. 🙂

Doodly-Squat

The head of IT called a meeting for 4:00 o’clock. Four o’clock. The least scintillating person in the building. The guy who has code scribbled on his palms.

You’ve had a rough day. There’s no way you’re gonna stay conscious through his whole hypnotic delivery.

You know you’re gonna doze off in your seat and make that snark noise you’re famous for. You’re hoping to make it through so you can run him down in the parking lot later.

As he delivers his monotone presentation while rattling the change in his pockets, you’re thinking all is lost. It’s not.

The solution: Bathroom Stall Air Squats. (Shown below)

Once the dirge commences, excuse yourself at the 15 minute mark and head to the rest room. Find an empty stall and secure yourself inside. A handicapped stall would be perfect.

You can keep your pants up for this.

I want you to stand in front of the bowl facing the door with your feet spread out as wide your hips. Then squat down, touch the seat and return to the starting position. Try for 25 reps. If you can get 40, even better.

You will feel totally refreshed and ready for anything. You might even skip the gym on the way home.

The rest room is the perfect place for an air squat reboot. Especially if you had the bean burrito for lunch.

Plus, you’re still on the clock.

 

 

 

The Gift of Failure

On paper, I’m a major fuck up. I lost my business, my beautiful home, my 401K, walked away from a high paying, “all you gotta do is show up” job, blew my retirement, got hooked on Xanax and picked up a drink after 40 years.

On August 14, 2016, I surrendered my fat, bloated, beaten and mortified ass to a VA Rehab unit where I was promptly scared straight.

After 14 days, they still didn’t want me on the street because they said I was a stroke risk and they didn’t want me dying “on their dime.” Then I find my life partner was a sneak and a phony.

I ended up in a grungy, depression era apartment in a place called Ayer, Massachusetts. I used to live in the upscale town of Groton next door and would shudder when I drove through.

On my first morning, I walked into my phone booth size bathroom and saw with sober eyes, the havoc I had wreaked on myself. I was a beaten dog. It was enough to make me pick up a drink. But I didn’t.

That was two and a half years ago.

In that time I have totally reinvented myself. I started going to a gym that was so strategically close to my apartment I could roll out of bed and get hit with a dumbbell. Divine intervention.

I became interested in fitness and started studying to be a personal trainer. Then I went after a nutrition certification, then weight loss, and then senior fitness.

I also studied for and passed two insurance license exams. Things I never thought I had the gray matter for.

I went from a 230 pound stroke risk, to a 73 year old elder athlete at 185 pounds. I can give as good as I get, I am physically competent, and my blood work is perfect, I have no aches and pains and I’m on absolutely zero medications.

Yeah, I’m a fuck up, a very grateful one.

 

Superman

When I was a little boy I got very sick. I don’t know what it was but I know I was confined to the couch where my mother could tend to me while riding herd on the other nine kids.

I could pick up by her demeanor that she thought it was serious. Serious enough to call Dr. McSweeney to have him come over. (Back in the day of house calls)

I don’t remember what he did, but in a few days I wanted off that couch.

Besides it was summer and I was missing it.

I remember it was a late Saturday afternoon when I got the nod. I could finally go out. Nora walked me to the back stairs and told me to “Go easy.”

Oh, I remember the warmth of that early summer night. I could hear all the kids playing out on the street, bicycle ring-dingies, the girls singing “One-miss-a-loop, and the crack of the bat at the Hodgkins school yard.

Thought I would lose my mind.

Then I felt my feet take off. Almost without me. I felt so alive. I ran, and I ran, and I ran. Up Paulina, down Simpson, back up Irving to Wallace and almost broke the sound barrier on Holland street.

I had boundless energy. I told everyone I passed that I was Superman. I didn’t wait for a response.

It was an unforgettable moment. All that stored energy and the thrill of being alive. I even remember the jersey I had on.

I bring this up because I had the exact same feeling this morning on my run. 65 years later. It all comes back.

Up, up and away!

 

 

Trying New Things

I love learning and changing. I will do a 180 if I see an interesting diet, exercise, or healthy habit I can glom onto to keep life interesting. So it is with my slow carb diet.

Last week I switched to black coffee and ate nothing but protein, vegetables and black beans. Very enjoyable.

I felt my skin tighten, my muscles harden and my pants loosen almost immediately. I have plenty of energy all day and I crave nothing. What’s not to like?

Well, part of the plan is not to let my metabolism catch on so it can jump in and re-regulate itself. Also known as the insidious “plateau”. Can’t have that. So on the seventh day you are supposed to have a few “cheat” meals to throw it off.

Some people eat donuts, bear claws, ice cream, and maybe even get drunk. I can’t bring myself to commit such foolishness, so I opt for oatmeal and protein pancakes with blueberries and bananas.

Sounds like carbohydrate to me.

I ate that at 3:30 am after my morning run. I immediately felt an energy rush. Then I felt a bit sloshy and a little sleepy. It is now 7:30 am, and I am down 4.25 pounds in four hours. Crazy.

I got me one confused metabolism right now, but I guess that’s the point of what they call a “re-feed”. I do love it when a plan comes together.

I just hope I don’t sneeze in public. 🙂

Workin’ The Faith Muscle

Over the last few rough and tumble years, I’ve developed my mind and body beyond what I thought was possible. I tweaked and nurtured, toned and honed.

I just about re-invented me physically and mentally. I was punching above my weight class.

But I lost my faith.

I forgot to work my faith muscle. I let it atrophy.

My faith turned to horrible fear and doubt. My loneliness compounded with interest. I went from valiant to victim. I was addicted to uncertainty.

Sometimes I was praying for the end. I was going there anyway, why not now? I had reached my bottom.

Then life forced me to confront myself. I couldn’t cower anymore.

Through meditation and the enlightening solitude of my nightly runs, I’ve finally come home to the fact that to be a human being is to be a miracle.

To be a higher form of intelligence on this magnificent orb is a gift.

And to know that through all the disappointment and tragedy life has handed me, I’m still alive and well.

Better than well.

I know now, to be in fear, I can’t be in faith. To be in faith, I can’t be in fear. You can’t straddle that fence.

I’m working my faith muscle harder than ever these days. It’s part of my routine.

And I’m pumped!

Agent Of The Universe

I’m here on a mission. I have no doubt. It becomes clearer as I run in the cool stillness of a full moon. I’m in a moving meditation.

Problems lose their grip and fall away.

I seem to understand…everything.

I’m comforted. I’m assured that whatever didn’t kill me then, will not kill me now. I may suffer, but only temporarily, because my work is not done.

The universe soothes me, yet emboldens me. Answers come when I listen, so I listen. From deep within. In the forgiving darkness, I heed the mission.

I am an agent of the universe.

 

The IRS (THEIRS)

I never get sick. Running in the rain in 36 degrees in just a t-shirt won’t take me down but a well placed threat from the IRS is a potent stool softener.

The missile landed on Friday in the form of a certified letter. By Monday, I was down for the count. Sore throat, congestion, and a wobbly disposition.

It took the IRS to take me down. My overactive imagination had me doing a tour of Leavenworth and washing my celly’s underwear in the sink. (Don’t go there.)

The ball was in my court. It was up to me to call them and plead my case. They were going to place a lien on me after they doubled what I owed.

After two telephone attempts where I was told at the outset that today would not be my day, the queues were too long, I fell back into bed. On the third day I was told I was eligible to wait.

Nothing, not even the end stage malaria I thought I was experiencing by then, would shake me off that phone.

After two hours and change, a Mr. McMillan engaged. When I mentioned the two hours, he assured me that was nothing. It was my lucky day. And it was too.

What are the odds of getting the opportunity to plead your case to a fellow war veteran who also had a spouse divorce him without his knowledge and shut down both of his bank accounts? I shit you not.

I’m thinking the calls can’t be recorded because the conversation we had sounded like two brothers re-discovering each other after many years.

This isn’t to say I got any inappropriately special treatment, it means I got an empathetic ear and didn’t have to re-invent the wheel.

I thought I was screwed, I wasn’t. We were married and filing jointly and she signed on the dotted line. Too bad. For her.

I thought she could take all that money from me, money I gave her in good faith as an honorable end to a long productive partnership, and leave me financially naked and wreck my credit score for eternity.

She can’t. She’s going to have to pony up.

My symptoms started clearing up before I got off the phone.

It’s a Pyrrhic Victory for me though, all the other other debt she left me with has done me irreparable harm.

And the pain of knowing that someone you spent so much time with could be so evil.

When my business started fading, so did she.

It was sad for a moment to think that the very country I risked my life for would have to come after me like I was a common criminal.

I’m grateful now, that’s not the case.

 

 

Podcast test

The perfect time for a new approach is when you’re under the gun. When your world is shifting beneath your feet. Isn’t my timing perfect?

What I’ve been doing these days when I’m mentally overwhelmed, instead of bemoaning my losses, which are huge, horrendous and heartbreaking, is to shift to an attitude of gratitude.

I’m finding things could certainly be worse for your humbled correspondent. When I think of all the skills I’ve acquired, even been certified and licensed for under these conditions, I’m amazed.

I’ve transported myself from a pudgy, pill popping, malcontented prisoner of negativity, to a seventy-something, world wearied, trialed by fire, athlete with some serious positude.

Most of my acts of folly have turned to wisdom. Jewels in my crown. My education has cost me dearly, but I am not lost, only redirected.

I feel now as though I’m on a predetermined path to enlightenment.

I have been chastened, I have been chosen.

For that, I am grateful.

 

Eternally.

 

 

The Shift

The perfect time for a new approach is when you’re under the gun. When your world is shifting beneath your feet. Isn’t my timing perfect?

What I’ve been doing these days when I’m mentally overwhelmed, instead of bemoaning my losses, which are huge, horrendous and heartbreaking, is to shift to an attitude of gratitude.

I’m finding things could certainly be worse for your humbled correspondent. When I think of all the skills I’ve acquired, even been certified and licensed for under these conditions, I’m amazed.

I’ve transported myself from a pudgy, pill popping, malcontented prisoner of negativity, to a seventy-something, world wearied, trialed by fire, athlete with some serious positude.

Most of my acts of folly have turned to wisdom. Jewels in my crown. My education has cost me dearly, but I am not lost, only redirected.

I feel now as though I’m on a predetermined path to enlightenment.

I have been chastened, I have been chosen.

For that, I am grateful.

Eternally.

Surrender

I’m cooked. On paper, I’m done. I’m a 73 year old man with no options left. The IRS is after me, debt collectors are sending demand notices that allow me to see “Pay to the order of” in the window of the envelope just so I’ll open it. Nice try.

The bank where I have my car note is getting an itchy trigger finger. It’s a chest tightening situation.

The job market is a gauntlet.

For more than a year, I’ve been groaning myself awake. I groan myself all the way to the coffee button. I’m totally isolated and I have a fugitive mentality.

I sneak up on my mailbox and I never pick up any of those long white envelopes. The condo I live in is so secluded it wreaks of “Witness Protection”. Sometimes I drive right by it.

I turn my computer off at night, so in the morning, in my darkened mood, I won’t be able to delete anything I’ve written until after a very lengthy boot up. At which time I might have come out of my mental basement.

My only respite is running. My religion.

Running releases energy, it doesn’t solve problems. Sometimes it makes things worse.

It was just after midnight last night when I got up. I think my groaning woke Izzy. The stories that my mind generate are stoking my adrenaline and have made my feet go numb.

The curse of an overactive imagination.

It is freezing. Good. I ease out of my front door at 1:10 am determined to run my demons off. At mile three, it ain’t working. Actually, I’m worse. I pick up the pace to stave off hyperventilation. No help.

When I get to Wells Fargo, I don’t take my scheduled right, I keep going. Taking that right would get me home sooner, but that would only put me face to face with someone I’ve been trying to avoid…me.

I cross R.H. Lawrence, heading to an epiphany or an early, earthly exit. At this moment, I don’t care.

A mile into unfamiliar territory, while gasping for breath, a word leaps into my consciousness…. surrender. Surrender.

Innately, I knew what it meant. I should surrender. Not because I’m tired or weary or disgusted or bored. I should surrender because I honestly don’t know what to do at the moment. I’ve done everything I can. With everything I can.

The outcome is not up to me anymore. It’s out of my control. So…I will surrender.

I stop and start walking a big wide circle on El Camino. Then everything lets go. Water everywhere. I’m howling now in joyous release. Lucky I was in a business district.

Surrender, what a beautiful word. In that moment, my shoulders drop and I realize…. I’m not a loser, I’m enough, I’m worthy, I’m supported, I’m complete, I’m connected, I’m whole and deserving.

Surrender.

I felt peace as soon as I said it.

 

 

A Twist of Fate

Lately, I’ve been wondering where I would be today if I hadn’t decided to twist off the cap on that Bud Light on Mother’s Day, 2016.

Would I still be telling preposterous stories to all the docs in my sphere of uh, influence, that I accidentally left my Zoloft, Xanax, Ambien, Soma and Percocet prescriptions in a hotel while on one of my numerous, “mostly fictitious”, business trips?

Twisting that cap after 40 years at my age, 70 at the time, and under those prescribed circumstances was a dangerous, foolhardy and careless undertaking.

But I thought about it and proceeded with the least amount of caution. The combination of those drugs and alcohol would surely stroke me up to take me out.

What made me do it? It wasn’t clairvoyance, I can assure you. I didn’t know I would turn into a muscle-loaded track star, sans 45 pounds, certified in all aspects of strength, fitness, and nutrition that marveled at the sight of his own feet after twenty years.

It was frustration and bitterness at my plight. My business and my marriage were tanking and I saw no reason not to numb my senses.

I also didn’t know how inextricably bound the success of my marriage was to the success of my business. Funny how that works.

Therein lies the twist.

The terrifying and heartbreaking series of events that took place thereafter changed me forever.

I am now a healthy, clear thinking, (up for debate) grateful elder athlete (73) who is now more productive and creative than ever. Instead being dumbed-down by alcohol and orange bottles.

What would have happened if I hadn’t twisted my own, fate? I try to avoid those kind of thoughts. No time for that.

I did what I did though and I’m grateful I won’t ever have to make that decision again.

One does wonder, though.

Fartin’ Through Silk

So the multi-level-marketing messiah I’ve been following is out of the womb with his sketchy cell cleaning product. He says the miracle he’s hawking will cross cell membranes and clean out all the accumulated metals in your system.

He doesn’t say how you will know, or even if it can be measured. It can’t. You just have to trust him and the two unemployed overnight infomercial docs he has on board.

He won’t post specifics for fear of attribution. Maybe because he just squeaked through a huge bankruptcy a few days ago.

To be included, (because time is running out and you might be tossed onto the trash heap of loser-hood), you have to have a long “Come-to-Jesus” with him on a secure line. (He uses God, a lot.)

I got fascinated when I saw his tagline: “I empower people.” Right there, ya got me.

This is an admittedly tough sell and he knows it. So he makes your inability to get a “yes”, a character flaw. You are so not worthy, you scum.

When I watch him post his hurried little pep talks to his peeps, I roll around my carpet and hug my dog.

Here’s the deal: He needs more followers. Is that you? You have to be brave, you have to be chosen and undaunted and have a passion for Kool-Aid.

If that is you, you will receive a free head scarf like this, and a whole bottle of saki. You’ll need it.

May the farce be with you.

A life time in between

When you think about it, we’re all serving life. I don’t know exactly where I come down on the religion thing, it’s confusing. Some of it makes sense, and some of it doesn’t.

The part that doesn’t, came from people who had their own problems, serious problems. The part that does, came from an opium den in Singapore. 🙂

If this is a one time opportunity, and it’s win-lose-or-draw at the gate, then that’s that. But if it’s a revolving door, and you keep getting thrown back like an undersized trout, that presents a whole list pf problems for moi.

I’m not lyin’ folks, I’m tired. I’ve had way too much fun. I’m a rolling catastrophe. My daddy told me once, “Son, you could fuck up a steel ball.” I’m starting to feel his insight.

If you’ve ever driven to Tucson in heavy traffic with cops and accidents all the way down, and had to turn right around and come back, I think you’ll know where I’m heading with this.

Maybe you should spend the night before heading back is what I’m saying.

After a full life of sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, bad marital choices, catchin’ stuff you can’t wash off, and having the IRS waiting in your bushes next to the Repo man, I can say with total conviction, I’ll take a room with a single, please.

When I go, it will because my endorphin supply ran out and my mojo stopped workin’.

So if It’s all the same to you, and if I have to come back, I’d like to wait a life time in between.

Please.

Sincerity, once you learn to fake that…

Whippin’ up the troops is what it is. I have whipped up hundreds of CEOs to get them ready to move the masses in a two dimensional universe.

I’m watching a half a dozen of them trying to do that right now online. Some got it, some don’t.

The ones who don’t interest me more than the ones who do. The ones who are leading by Facebook are the funniest. They load up the most saccharin, benign and overused dreck from a “dopey sayings” web site then foist it on their “suspecting” victims.

Back in the day, we had one guy who used to put up quotes for 90 minutes. (He drank a lot of Lipton’s). Some will go to any level to reach their victims. I had a VP that I was coaching decide to tear up for effect. I guess he couldn’t think of anything sad enough to produce the water needed, and a big, awkward, honk came out.

He just stood there with a look on his face he could never reproduce for a million dollars.

If I could have transported myself….

When you’re coaching someone on camera, you get the opportunity to get in their head. When I’m doing that, you can take me off the payroll right then, because I’ll pay you.

I call it the Rasputin/Svengali moment. You are then, whispering in the ear of a seven figure nudist.

You have no secrets between you. At that moment, he needs you more than you need him.

No one is not insecure. You two have a bond.

So recently,  I’m watching these two online poseurs trying to whip their MLM troops into a frenzy using every lame tactic from fear to fantasy to fanaticism.

They’re trying to convince their neophytes into thinking that fleecing unsuspecting clients out of their money is a noble cause that entails bravery, dogged determination and a winner’s attitude.

Qualities for which they will surely be rewarded for in Heaven.

One guy holds live Facebook meetings saying “short and sweet, “right to the point”. Doesn’t happen. He keeps saying “Hi” to people that pass him as he’s walking that somehow don’t show up behind him. He needs me.

Now launch is nigh and he needs his liegemen to put their big girl panties on. This Mofo is getting intense.  His eyes are narrowing and he’s getting white stuff in the corners of his mouth. Sounds Koreshian.

Yeah, did I mention this is all online?

Simply delicious.

 

 

Lust Before Logic

I’m down to it. I could use one of my very hard earned insurance licenses to keep me out of the soup kitchen, but, ” not gonna do it, wouldn’t be prudent.” I’m a creative entrepreneur and that’s what’s going in my obit.

I’ve tried numerous straight gigs over the last few years with disastrous results. Squelching contempt causes funny noises to emanate from my throat during job interviews.

I’m starving at the moment but I’m going to hold out for work, no, self expression, that satisfies my lust for the creative. Anything less would be a disservice to the Good Lord and the nice folks at Wells Fargo.

I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in work and life without any of the overly hyped, balance. Because that’s the way ,”uh, huh, uh, huh, I  like it”.

I can sing, dance, write, cook, play, hustle, ideate, create, sell, market and deliver. And none of that belongs on a team.

Because…..great minds think alone.

Running On Diesel

At 1:00 am, as I was running past the Sun City Fire department, a ladder truck and an EMT vehicle were disgorging themselves from their resting place.

There were no sirens to break the night.

A mortality run, most likely.

As they passed me on my left, a large plume of exhaust enveloped me and filled my nostrils with a very familiar smell.

Diesel.

Smell has a memory and it filled my head with mine. The memory of burning shit and 5 gallon cans.

The memory of incredible uncertainty, burning charcoal, spent rounds and faded jungle fatigues.

Of long days, drunken nights, trash bags full of weed and loaded, unguarded, weapons. Of smokey hooches filled with an odor NCO’s couldn’t detect. Yet.

Of “short timers” calendars, erratic behavior and sad stories. Of disappointing mail calls, wily hookers and vengeful First Sergeants. Of Bob Hope.

The memory of the body bags at graves registration. Of bloated, dead enemy.

It was the wild west…..in spades.

What a hell of a time for a young man to be alive.

An M-16 with a full clip could change your personality in a heart beat, while taking someone else’s.

Uncertainty will always change your priorities.

As it does today.

 

Handle This!

I don’t know what I’ll be doing next in my career, but I’ll tell you what I won’t be doing, handling objections. I will never be in a room again talking to someone who doesn’t want to talk to me.

Who will take my free lunch then hide in the bathroom until I’m gone. Someone who only refers to me as “vendor.” Why would I want to do that?

Why would I want to talk to someone who can’t wait to get away from me, and doesn’t want to listen to anything I have to say? It’s like walking a drunk home.

I remember that puny little cardiologist looking over the top of his glasses at me like someone left the back door open. That little shit tried to get me to pay for a new wing of the hospital.

Every time I had to come in and discuss the contract, I had to wade through all the new construction. This guy had more objections than Clarence Darrow.

You guys can give out your valor badges and purple hearts for weathering the storm of rejection, while banging your head on the steering wheel all the way home. No thank you.

I’m not some old whore. (I don’t think.)

I’m going with what the Marvellettes put out in 1962, “I don’t want nobody that don’t want me, there’s too many fish in the sea.”

Oh, look, there’s another objection over there, someone wanna handle that?

The definition of pure risk.

Now, I’ve had some tough jobs in my storied career. I was once a bouncer at Chuckie Cheese’s until my shins gave out and I didn’t last long at Stickney & Poor, where I was relegated to picking fly shit out of pepper with boxing gloves on.
 
But since I’ve been out west and got certified as a Life & Health and Property & Damage agent, I have come to have many contacts and near misses with the lowly and morbidly desperate independent insurance recruiter.
 
These jobs suck so much they should give you a free vacuum just for sitting through the interview.
Some even have the cojones to ask YOU for money to buy leads from them. Feeling the love yet? If Colonial Penn calls, don’t.
 
Your first clue on the phone is they push the work-life-balance angle. Because you will have plenty of time at home not making any money while your being charged for virtual office space.
 
I have 19 e-mails from a guy named Jack Katz, who is now trying to shame me into taking the gig.
He wants to know what I’m afraid of.
It’s you Jack, it’s you.

The Fix

I’ve been around a lot of gyms in my life. You have your usual cast of characters. Some of them have watched too many prison movies, some of them are suffering from I.L.S, (imaginary lat syndrome) and most everybody has “gym face.”

Gym face looks like a scowl with a touch of irritable bowel syndrome. But nobody pays any mind, it’s all for show.

In all the years I’ve been going, I can’t honestly say I’ve seen any dramatic change in someone over a short period of time. Unless it’s a drastic weight loss. When you look, you think you don’t see their bodies changing.

But they are there every day. Taking their iron pills.

What gives?

In my special mirror, I see amazing things. Some days I want everyone to look the other way just for a second, so I can flex my muscles so hard while the blood is in there, I could pop a vain in my neck.

We all think of muscle in terms of what it “looks” like, not giving much thought about what it “feels” like.

When that pumps gets here and your body engorges with blood, there’s no feeling like it. That’s why those muscle heads (me included) are in there everyday enduring someones else’s body odor while they’re getting their fix.

That’s the payoff. The fix. And worth every grip pf the bar.

So when you see some well muscled Adonis hogging a gymnasium mirror, preening to beat the band, yeah, he’s lookin’ it, and you can bet your ass he’s feelin’ it, too.

 

 

“Lay down, you’re tired”

I’m so sick of these armchair warriors who keep telling us that if we want to be a success in life we have to work “really, really, hard.” Just plot your course, put your head down, and work, “really, really, hard.” At what? What if your goal isn’t clear?

What’re you supposed to work “really, really, hard” at? Doesn’t sound appealing to me. I think they got nothing else to offer. Just grunt along mindlessly?

It’s no secret that the Mafia would be running the country, (if they aren’t already,) because they sit in those little social clubs, drink annisette, brainstorm all day and come up with the most incredible ideas to enrich themselves while the rest of us working stiffs are working “really, really, hard.”

Obviously, none of those guys want to work, “really, really, hard.” If they weren’t crooks we’d be saying, “Steve, who?”

I believe in putting in maximum effort. But to something that I’m really driven to do. Then it doesn’t feel like work. Then you have to explain to me that it’s work. Because I ain’t feelin’ it.

But the way these guys are pushing it out, it sounds like they’re reading it off a cereal box. Like I said, They got nothin’.

I’ve had careers I’ve exhausted myself in and loved every minute of it. Didn’t feel like work to me. I had problems I loved having.

Reminds of the time Cardinal O’Connor looked out his office window and saw Jesus Christ walking up the street. In a panic, he called the Pope and said “Jesus Christ is walking up Fifth Avenue, what should I do?”

The Pope said “Look busy.”

 

“Turn that racket off up there.”

I’m a musician. I read it, I write it, and I create it. Music has its place. But sometimes you have to curb the racket upstairs and let some spirit in.

The spirit, that higher form of intelligence that solves our problems, gives us great ideas, brings us peace, and maybe even one of those epiphany things.

They usually come wrapped in the form of good old fashion silence.

You’re going to have to deal with yourself at some point, so how about during a strenuous bout of exercise, when your endorphin damn is most likely to break, or a long refreshing run, or a wondrous walk with a loved one.

Join the world before you miss it. Combined with your iPhone, not only are you blind, you’re deaf too.

C’mon, Captain, why not give up control of the cockpit to your higher form of intelligence? The world awaits.

As your landlady might say, “Turn that racket off up there.”

Can the cans, man.

 

 

Am I On?

Would you attend a high level promotion interview after a three day drunk? Would you go to meet a potential life partner in your bathrobe? Before your bath?

Well, this is what some of these delusional douchebags are, in essence, doing when they introduce themselves to you in a video on their own company web site.

To sell you on the possibility of working there?

The video usually opens with the presenter looking like he’s waiting for a bus and then acts surprised when he is cued. Which doesn’t get edited out?

Then he plays connect-a-thought for five minutes on your dime. And you’re thinking, “Oh sure, I could spent the next 40 plus years with these guys, easy.”

I’ve shot thousands of these spots and it takes a lot of time to make these things look conversational. Unfortunately, the higher level of education of the talent, the higher degree of difficulty, if you catch my drift.

I’ve made my share of “hostage tapes” that I’ve had to doctor up in post. When the talent sees it, they usually ask why their voice sounds so high.  🙂

There was no hope for this guy, though. I’m thinking he drew the short straw on this company effort. His medication probably wore off and he babbled off into another high level meeting.

He was trying to sell me on the benefits of working at the company but he dribbled the ball then fumbled it completely, leaving me hopelessly confused. So I just went back to watching porn and forgot all about it.

Just because you have a camera in your phone, it doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Welcome to Stockholm

I have my ways:

Along with my ex-wife, there are people who think they are going to fuck me over. I can’t let that happen. I have been treated so poorly out here in Arizona, I’ve started to develop “Stockholm Syndrome,” where you sympathize with your abuser.

A few weeks ago, a recruiter was giving me the old “reach around” and in my desperation to pay the rent, I went along with it.

This process went on for thirteen days. In the end, he cold-stiffed me and attempted to laugh me off. He froze me out just before a big interview and left me for dead. Dropped me cold and went on to lower hanging fruit.

He abruptly, and for no apparent reason, disregarded any communication from me from that point on. At the time, I was thoroughly confused and bewildered. Business as usual for him, I later learned.

Until I wrote a blog about my visit to his office and how unprofessional and unprepared he was. What a fat, chain smoking piece of shit he was. Didn’t want to be too rough on him.

In a few days, his secretary called me in tears telling me he was a husband and a father and his office in New York was threatening to terminate him for besmirching their reputation.

Being a repeat victim, I found that extremely satisfying. I left him a text saying, “Next time, instead of blowing me off… just blow me.”

A funny thing happened on my way to the poor house…

….I dropped my iPhone.

Yup, if I wasn’t screwed enough, I just got screweder. Now, how was I supposed to enjoy those job rejection texts?

When I called to cancel my service, I was made aware that I could get an upgraded phone for 30 more bucks a month on my AT&T bill. Why not?

While I’m waiting, I do some research and I’m blown away by the capabilities of these things. They shoot 4K resolution, slow motion, time lapse and you can even make a phone call if you have to.

Plus, they have every kind of accessory you can imagine. I bought a mic and a green screen, moved some chairs in my kitchen and shot my first show. I use a laptop as a teleprompter when I run out of things to say.  🙂

Now, I am a “hard core” video producer. To the bone. I love it. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, mostly successful until the end. I lost some big clients, had some personal problems and had to take a dive.

For the last two years, every time I heard a video production term, I would change the channel. Literally and figuratively. It hurt too much to even discuss it. Such was my loss.

Half of my million or so dollars worth of equipment I had to sell, and the other half is sitting in a PODS container in Nashua, New Hampshire and will probably air on this year’s “Container Wars”.

Just typing that causes internal bleeding.

In my mind, I needed serious bucks to get back in the game. “Au contraire, monsieur.” I realize now I can do serious damage with one of these little gadgets and don’t even have to check it at the airport.

Corporate, small business, Youtubing, and vlogging are back in my sights. Video production has no re$trictions on me now. With my sales, marketing, and in house video production skills, I can keep my costs low and my profits high.

I am on it now, people. If I can make me some money, I’ll see you on “Container Wars”.

 

How To be Successful Telling People How They Can Be Successful (When you’re not)

My bullshit detector is going off.

Ugh! I am so over this personal training business. It’s just a kabuki dance disguised as a workout session. When you look at the trainer and the client, it’s hard to tell who’s more disingenuous.

I busted my butt to get certified, only to find that almost everybody in the business, isn’t. One guy told me he took a weekend course. Hope he has a good lawyer.

Anyway, I’m done. I just have to be grateful for the knowledge I gained going through the learning process just to keep my own skinny ass healthy. At 73, I look twice at green bananas.

So now I have all these prepubescents hooking up with me on LinkedIn trying to tell me I could be spending the weekend in Dubai with my family and life is just so grand. But it’s not just personal training as you know. It’s everywhere.

When I was studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, most of the teachers were actively gigging at night. They were some road dogs I’ll tell you. Hard as nails with nasty habits. One of them said, “You’re either a musician or a musicologist.” The second one’s a phony.”

Now, there are 30-year-olds on LinkedIn that want to help me face life’s obstacles, make me a better public speaker, and get me to an eight digit income in six months. I tell them I don’t think I have that much time.

I’m thinking these people forked over a lot of dough to get certified in something, found out they will soon starve to death, then started enlightening the world on how they can make all the money they never will.

There’s two guys on LinkedIn both named Chris that are so absolutely full of shit, the could blow any minute. They’ve got a multi level marketing scam going on and they’re only letting a few select individuals take part. Makes you salivate, doesn’t it?

I wonder if they take musicologists?

C’est Lavie

 

 

Hoodies In The Moonlight

Every night, every week, every month, all year. I’m out there. Running. When I see my moon reflected hood shape against the tarred road, I know I’m putting the work in.

The work that will help me stay in shape to deal with the mountain of problems I face. The work that will calm my evil intentions and feed my soul.

Like the protagonist in a B rated boxing movie, I move to overcome, to return, to prove.

But it’s more than that.

My cathartic ritual uses no outside stimulation, no music, no phone, no useless, repetitive thinking. Just silence.

It’s when the answers come. It’s when the ideas come. It’s when my spiritual connection gets connected.

Just the padding of my Nikes.

It’s way beyond the physical. It’s the moving aliveness in my body that pulls me to the street.

Creativity gushes like a fire hose. It takes my breath away.

Every night.

I’m a reel phonee!

Have Phone, Will Travel

I used to own and worry about more than a million dollars worth of video production equipment. I would drag it all over the world in order to make the much sought after corporate “hostage tape”.

I even had to speed up some of my talent in post to inject a little uh, enthusiasm.

So enamored was I of the corporate video world, I poured my savings and my 401K into living in the state of that art. I had so much equipment I could barely keep track.

But you know what they say in Vegas, “No balls, no blue chips.” Now I have neither.

Recently, I had to upgrade my phone. I couldn’t believe what they’re capable of now. These little puppies shoot 4K resolution. Without the “01” in the middle. They can shoot anywhere, anytime and anybody. They can do slow motion, time lapse and can be accessorized out the wazoo. The quality would have cost me $10,000 back in the day.

I shot this little mess right here and had the most fun I could have with my clothes on.

I am definitely getting back into the game. I lost everything my last time out but I learned me some valuable lessons. I am a seasoned video producer with a lot of sales and marketing notches who had to lay his pistol down on account of finances. No more. I am back.

Now I even get to shoot my favorite subject, me.

You look like shit!

Eight jobs in a year. Or should I say, attempts. I needed fast income so I aimed low and was appropriately rewarded. There was Caring.com, Verizon, CVS, United Health Care, Clearlink, Health Plan One. TTEC and I.C.E, International Cruise Excursions. (I’m getting depressed.) At each onboarding, the dress code gets spelled out by someone who is violating it.

Garish and gruesome are the two words that come to mind.

I was at CVS when Halloween went off. I think. I can’t imagine coming to work looking like that and not expecting to offend someone. Green hair, hoodies, sandals with no socks, tight, tight, clothing on fat, fat, people, and jeans that have a mind (and a personality) of their own. The guy with the green pony tail had the same clothes on for my whole 30 days.

Coming from the Mad Men era, it’s a shock to my system. How does anyone expect to be chosen for a leadership position when they can’t manage a facecloth and an iron? I always wonder if management looks the other way because they think it’s all their gonna get. Maybe I’m just old fashioned and I ought to loosen up a bit on my world view.

One day at I.C.E., amidst all the sideways, oversized, baseball caps, the bling, the tattoos, the mindless chatter and the sagging drawers, this well composed, nattily attired, rather serious looking young man made his way through the crowd. The contrast was blinding.

I was stunned. Was he just passing through? Interviewing? I had to investigate. So I followed him outside and into a sister building. Then upstairs and down a long hallway which led to his elegantly spacious corner office.

I think I’ve made my point.

Where’s the decline?

Where’s the decline? I’m experiencing my 73rd year on the planet and I ain’t seeing it. Is it just gonna spring up on me on the way to the bathroom some morning? Or will I just not get up?

As I train myself, I only get better, leaner, harder, more flexible, more resistant and more resilient. Needless to say, more determined. My on is on and keepin’ on.

I’m more like a can in the morning than a can’t. I am present and accounted for…..totally.

Sure my wrinkly, receding and world-wearied grandpa face is still staring back at me in the mirror, but my body has news for me. And it’s good.

This whole transformation isn’t just aesthetics, I haven’t had so much as a sniffle in more than 30 months. I always feel like feeling like it. I’m working with a brand new me.

Hate to say it folks, but these days, I’m a fuckin’ animal.