In Between Days

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Monday, April 20, 2020. I had to verify what day it was again. I’m frankly not sure I’ll ever get used to the night shift even on part-time. But I’m still employed and that’s something. I’ve indeed been taking things one shift at a time, hoping for the best and expecting the worst, perhaps an unduly fraught perspective but it’s part of doing my best to do my best. Sometimes a little negative projection helps to dampen the potential for disappointment and rash reactions. I just want to earn the $4K and then whatever happens after that I’m allowing to take care of itself. I’ve burned myself too often, that is, by way of (1) attempting to turn a job into something it isn’t and (2) otherwise expecting unreasonable levels of fulfillment out of it.

We were assaulted yesterday by the local (well, it used to be local) boutique grocery that we’ve been frequenting for, I don’t know, decades by now? – they installed a so-called Covid Director a while back – a laughable initiative to begin with but as the tyrannical virus control methods have now attained fascist levels (an employee outside the store shouted us down for not agreeing to don “produce gloves” and then apparently alerted store personnel to our presence as, I don’t know, Covid Criminals? I won’t go on about it except to say that Angie reached her limit and I’ve been close to it so I just sent a vicious rant email to the store informing them we’ll not be coming back. They’d do well, along with all other misinformed, media hypnotized paranoids, to keep their fear-aggressive, fanatical lunacy to themselves and study epidemiology instead trying to invent it.

The job. I spent the first half of the shift stuffing boxes of spray paint cans into any and all empty spaces in overstock, stacking them sky high. Ridiculously inefficient inventory management. Nobody is allowed to buy paint in this fucked up situation so why in hell is it still being shipped to the store? Eventually somebody, probably me, will have to “downstock” (as I think they call it) a shitload of disorganized boxes of what have you throughout the store in an attempt to restock displays and not lose track of product already in the store. But who cares besides me? Why do I care? Well, these days, after decades of giving a shit, I pretty much don’t. It’s not my problem. I get paid to move stuff from the floor onto the shelves, that’s it. It’s akin to my old waste management duties in that I’m just there to make things go away. Out of sight, out of mind, a job well done.

Otherwise, the work is benign enough. And these days, that’s really all I ask for: mostly brainless tasks that make the time go by and help pay whatever bills come due. Employment will never satisfy my yearning for vocational destiny, (the devoted DOP reader will have encountered this theme throughout); rather, it will arrive, if it ever does, by way of my entrepreneurship. I like to imagine at this point that authorpreneurship is my destiny but goddammit I can’t seem to break through to reliable sales. The sense of futility is crushing and it’s all I can do to maintain a measure of patience and to keep finding ways to keep slugging. As such, having thought over my maxed out U.S. Amazon ad budget again, I decided to pitch in another twenty-five bucks and see if the spike in clicks continues. I really am convinced that the increased action without sales has to do with the corona-virus-eye-candy nature of Vixy’s face, that it appears as if she’s wearing a Covid mask (despite being able to see her mouth and nostrils) and they just click on it, compulsively, without paying attention to the details of the cover, the book title or the ad blurb. So, this is just my little experiment as we come to the end of this debacle.

Otherwise, I’m not sure what else to do to tweak the book’s presence. Whenever I reread the description, for example, with an eye to dumbing it down or simplifying it or I don’t know what I’m rather compelled to leave it alone because it jazzes me so much. I love the description. Sure, I’m perhaps not objective but who is when it comes to fiction? My description fired up all those wannabe editors and the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) https://www.the-efa.org/ for a reason: it rocks, it pops, it’s engaging, expressive and veritably leaps off the page with compelling intrigue, imagery and energy. Read it and tell me otherwise. And if you don’t like it? Frankly I don’t know what to say except have a nice life.

So, here I am, not so much stubbornly sticking to my guns but wholeheartedly supporting my vision. Oh, you’re just being defensive when somebody says you need to dumb down the description. No, I’m merely admitting that I love it and I NEED to love it. So that if it needs to change then I’m not the person to change it. But there’s nobody else around to rewrite it, I’ve no literary agent, no connections, no mentor, no advisor, it’s just me and my vision and so be it I’m goddamn doing my best.

I haven’t heard from Findaway, D.S. apparently isn’t in any hurry to sign his copy and lock in the contract. This makes me a little anxious but what’s the hurry, he’s busy, he can’t get to it until months from now anyway, I get it. But I’d just like to move forward a little, that’s all. With nothing happening, mired in silence and the world’s indifference, with nothing but a part-time job and the editing of TC2 and this blog that nobody reads to keep me busy, I begin to climb the walls psychologically even while my hands and feet and eyes and mind have plenty to do. I only care about the novel. I’m fairly obsessed, admittedly, with keeping its head above the waters of abject obscurity and oblivion.

DOP1 (2010-11) VINTAGE POST: Oh, how painfully apt and ironic and weird it is to read my entries from nine years ago or so and see myself struggling in ways that so mirror my current situation. Freaky. Prophetic? Gads, I hope not. Pressure and time and making different mistakes if nothing else, that is the only way forward as I see it.

Testing Fire

I’m still battling my triggers. Like this nagging “need” to have some sort of “job” that explains what I’m doing to folks who ask me. Like our neighbor: a nice but skeptical lady who asked me today, as I was raking leaves, “Now that cart the cart season is over, what will you be doing besides yard work?” I guess it wasn’t so much the question, which I’m already trying to get used to from everyone under the fucking sun, as the tone of voice. It sounded, as Helen from EAT used to say, “snarky.” But that’ll teach me to get better with my tone of voice – I know Angie has suffered too much from my snarkiness – so it’s a little payback for my own foibles. Also, it may be that I’m just attributing intention, which is another bad habit of mine that I struggle to get better with. Maybe the neighbor didn’t mean anything negative by her question. I MUST get better at my people skills, especially since this hh thing isn’t going to get easier to explain to folks – it’s not something I can expect friends, family or anyone else to fully understand, with the exception of the small niche of in-the-know folks that are in the biz themselves or just understand the struggle from their own life experience, like my brother Kev. I know it’s not anyone’s obligation to identify or understand my biophycomythology – the hero’s journey is our own to be played out solo for the most part. But I know that the action must always initiate with me, or there will be no opportunity for help. That’s the way this shit works and of course it should, I have no issue with this stuff now that I’m getting my biophycomythological “feet” under me – it takes some practice to be who you are.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011. I overnighted my next batch of h-cheese samples yesterday so the following stores will get theirs today:

  • Di Bruno Bros of Philadelphia (I’d already sent one to Scott Case but Emilio wanted one too at one of his other locations).
  • Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Austin
  • The Cheese Shop of Des Moines in Iowa
  • McGinnis Sisters in Pittsburgh (Bonnie Vello wanted it sent to her house in McMurray)

These are all folks who responded with a request for a sample, so we’ll see what happens – they’re getting this stuff during one of their busiest food weeks (the week of Thanksgiving). So, there’s a chance my h-cheese will get overlooked even more than it might in any other week but I can’t control the timing of everything and my gut tells me not to worry about it. If somebody told Ari he can’t send samples out during Thanksgiving week and get any response, I bet he’d send ‘em out anyway AND get a response.

There are so many stories of worthy creative works getting overlooked, ignored, or otherwise lost in the shuffle. Sometimes the work gets noticed only after the creator is long dead. I’ve talked about this stuff already and Campbell addresses it – the “getting your hook in” is what I’m trying to do and really, I think I’ve got my “hook” in. I sold three-hundred pounds of h-cheese at the food court and I have at least an email showing that Plum Market wants to sell it. That IS fucking great. But I still desperately need to find a way to make money at what at what I love to do. I need to ignore everybody, especially during this family-oriented holiday week (or week for that matter) and not lose heart because I can’t explain what I’m doing in a way that makes much sense to anyone. I’ll have to try my best to speak truthfully, from my heart, and just hope these southeast Michiganders can respect what I’m doing. A few years ago, knee-deep in my corporate hell, I would’ve respected someone who was doing what I’m doing, but I would’ve also been amongst the first to question how anyone could make a living at it….

I do need to generate some income so that I can continue to feel good about the hh progress – I never expected to rely on the biz for a living right off the bat and things have played out as expected, as I envisioned. I have my business. I don’t want it to be just a hobby, like some rich housewife’s yarn shop or “art” gallery; subsidized completely by the husband’s money. I’m in that situation now with Angie subsidizing hh. Working for nothing is exactly what I’ve always tried not to do. Of course, I used to translate that exclusively into the idea of money justifying my “job” or “career.” I thought if I made what I thought I was worth, then I would be happy. It didn’t work. I started making “enough” money and at the same time my life just about fell fucking apart. I’m writing this crap as a way to try to get through what I call the “southeast Michigan” problem, which is of course not limited to southeast Michigan; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s interminable inquisitions… I’ve already talked about it. But holidays are a trigger for me like they are for so many others. We assume our old roles, fucking ancient roles, that most of us have long since outgrown and moved on from. Parents keep that shit alive. They’re wrong to do that as much as they do, but I can’t legitimately blame anyone else, nor attribute intention to anyone else. The facts remain that I’m 100% responsible for where I’m at in life and I either like it or I don’t and if I don’t then fucking change it. That doesn’t mean apologize, just do what I ought to be doing – get on with it and quit stressing about what the family thinks or what friends think. This shit sounds like a fucking blog. Which means it sucks. Yes, holidays and families are “triggers” that send us back to the shitty past and keep us locked in there, diminishing our energy to manifest our phycomythologies. So break the fuck free asshole. Quit bitching.

I always liked to be able to go into the holidays with a job because it legitimized and defined me. That was bullshit. I’m going into the holidays now with my WHOLE LIFE that legitimizes and defines me. Enough of this. I’m in a transition and so what? I’m glad actually – I didn’t want to keep schlepping the cart – it’s not what I want. I want a food production business, not a restaurant. I’ve been allowed to learn that. All this self-work takes so much time before it becomes anything noteworthy. So be it. I need to stick with it and a new vog will help:

Keith’s Vision of Greatness for Spring 2012

Prouds:

  • I completed the first Mark’s Carts season; all the way to the very last day.
  • The last cart day unfolded per my vog for it – one of our best revenue days.
  • The cart season unfolded per my vog for it – revenue was within the reasonable range and opportunities were generated.
  • Customers are even helping to promote my h-cheese.
  • Ari is helping with zcob and with out-of-state h-cheese retail potential – I’ve shipped 8 samples.
  • Plum Market has said they will order h-cheese – my first wholesale customer!
  • I’ve arranged for 3 ads in the A2 Observer – very cool.
  • I believe in what I’m doing.
  • Others connect with what I’m doing, believe in it and help us.
  • Me and Angie made it through the tough times.
  • My guides continue to work for me (Ari, Campbell, Canfield, Stryker, the pigs, etc.)
  • I’ve engaged my other vocations: walking, tunes, biophycomythology and writing.
  • I’ve met others in the food biz who are very cool and supportive.
  • HH feels like what I ought to be doing – it feels right – it’s my vocation.
  • I’ve enjoyed so many days this past year.

VOG:

It’s April. The winter has brought so many good things for HH that we’ve decided to permanently “park” the cart – we don’t need to be a presence in the food court this year because we’ve got so much h-cheese business to manage.

We are selling h-cheese to ZCoB!! The wait was worth it – the h-cheese hoagie is a huge hit at the z-deli – it’s jazzed up their already famous sandwich board and it’s the talk of the town because that’s what it always was at the court – it’s great food getting it’s due and it’s promoting the welfare of the pigs and the great work of zcob!! H-cheese creates a sandwich buzz at the deli that has helped increase zcob biz all over the city – it’s becoming a well-loved local “classic” sandwich. The resistance within the deli has vanished because of the fantastic customer response – the media is all over this sandwich and Ari and Paul and their folks are excited with another success story in their product line. The z-deli sells the terrine by the pound, with the “baby” terrine often selling whole and they cook up a great version of the hot h-cheese hoagie! Wow, so cool to see the hh logo up on the z-deli sandwich board and they’ve kept the “headcheese hoagie” name with the same great onion, bell pepper and fallots that we had so much success with at the cart. Just like at the cart, the hot sandwich is the most popular way to eat h-cheese and the deli sells twenty-five pounds per week! That’s another $250 in hh profit per week, and sales are continuing to grow.

HH has five out-of-state retailers (recommended by Ari) that are likewise experiencing great success selling hh h-cheese! They each sell five pounds per week, so hh is achieving $250/week profit from these sales. Word continues to spread in the media and I’m looking forward to more customers as I continue to ship samples. Individual customers are ordering h-cheese online, from the hh website – ten pounds per week, so another $100 per week profit.

All this action has allowed me to hire a very jazzy employee that helps us with production, cleaning, paperwork, deliveries, shipping and customer service. This person believes in the pigs welfare like I do and has the skill set and interests that make this a perfect fit for them. The potential for them within hh is spectacular and they love working for us!

HH will be attending the Summer Fancy Food Show to enjoy the vibe and generate even more customers!

It’s so much effing fun because this is what I’m good at – managing my own business top to bottom. The customers, USDA, facilities, finances, operations and of course the pigs – it’s all fucking great – it’s what I’m meant to do with my life and I’m practically jumping out of bed each morning. Money is coming in – the $50K annual is our goal and is going to happen this year at least.

Me and Angie are happy together – we are at our best when we work together and that’s just what we’re doing. She’s jazzed about the growing hh biz and her opportunities in it – she can see that very, very early retirement from NSF is a real possibility if she so chooses and we continue our success.

We are moving next month into a great new space to live – right in line with our vog for our new home.

Speaking of new spaces, we’re looking at moving hh out of Union Hall because we’re just too damn busy and need our own cool kitchen, shipping and office space. We’ve got our eye on a couple great options within A2 – we’re going to keep this hh biz local.

As spring arrives here in late March, we’re happy to be talking to Molly Stevens at the bake house cooking class about our success with hh and she invited me to help her out at the roadhouse dinner the following night – very cool that I get to work in the RH kitchen to help make sure the event does her food justice.

During these transition times, when I doubt everything and I find it more difficult to keep the old mental habits at bay, my guides seem to become even more important. It’s the stop, drop and listen method I wrote about earlier in this book. I’m feeling a little lost in the woods, lost at sea – I can’t see very far in front of me, and what I do see, I don’t trust. But I need to do what feels right. I need to do something, anything, I want to do. Like reading something my guides wrote; communicating with them if I need to; touch base. Make sure I know where they are and verify that I’m indeed still following them, even if I feel like I’ve stopped “moving” forward or moving at all. It’s possible that I’ve passed right by them in my impatience to get somewhere, so I need to make sure to look side-to-side and behind. They will be there and plowing through on my own at this point, or any other point for that matter, lost, won’t get me anywhere but more lost. Molly Stevens is a guide. I visited her website and found that she’s got a cooking class taking place at Zingerman’s Bakehouse on March 20th, along with her Zingerman’s Roadhouse dinner the next night. So I signed me and Angie up for both, though my first thought, since I’ve spent a lot of time and effort the last day or so “looking for work,” was that we can’t afford it. That I shouldn’t go until I earn money. But it felt right and good to sign up for both of those events. Molly has guided us before, from Texas all the way Zingerman’s Camp Bacon I, where the germ of hh might be said to have been planted. I’ll earn the money to pay for the class AND the dinner and much more by then. I need to believe that. I’m doing the biophycomythological and kundalini work and following my guides and we’ll keep chugging.

Monday, November 28, 2011. Hopefully this is the last day of the “downtime” as I’m calling it. I’ve used this Thanksgiving week for R&R – to rest, both mentally and physically, from the demands of the cart season. To gather myself for the push into phase two of hh where the focus is marketing, sales and production of h-cheese. Sometimes it all seems absurd. What the fuck am I doing? Why do I think any of this will work? It’s been my life-long goal: to engage my vocation. Some of my earliest memories are of imagining what I’d “be” when I grew up – what job or career would define me. I think it’s a little strange now that I was so focused on this before I was old enough to be legitimately concerned about it. Getting an early start thinking about it certainly didn’t help me figure anything out more quickly. I can remember writing as my earliest intuitive “work.” I never recognized it as a potential job or career. I was focused on all the “standard” childhood visions and dreams of fame and fortune in sports and music. Looking back, I’m amazed at my blindness – my suburban naïveté possibly – that prevented me from properly comprehending my talents and skills for what they were. I remember almost always struggling to become something for which I had very little natural ability, let alone talent. I was “good” so to say at many things and I think I still am, but for the most part, I’ve been suffering from a life-long case of delusions-of-grandeur.

This is irritating to write about. I really hate that I’ve been such a biophycomythological dumb-fuck until so late in life. Everyone has more than a few things that they’re good at but that they know aren’t worth attempting to turn into careers. I always seemed to look to others for approval regarding what I was “good at” because for some fucked up reason I couldn’t or wouldn’t believe it for myself. I wasn’t listening to myself very well all the way back then as a fucking kid. Was it my upbringing? I was self-absorbed but lacked self knowledge – is it because of how my parents raised me? Did I lead too much of an indulgent childhood? Does it fucking matter?

I only ponder this stuff because I feel like I’ve wasted so much time. It’s a mistake not to listen to your heart at any age. The price one pays is significant and can be devastating to a person’s life. It’s like the person “hearing music” and ignoring it – whether it’s “music” calling you to be a tribal shaman or to be any fucking thing – if you ignore it, or more tragically don’t know what it means or what it is, then you will be in schism until you resolve it. I think now that at least some of the damage caused is permanent, but that it can be compensated for and overcome. Like a brain injury. It’s clear that the human brain can “reprogram” or “re-wire” itself following injury, sometimes to a very large extent. Healthy parts of the brain can take over the function of damaged or unhealthy parts – the brain isn’t “hard-wired,” it’s plastic. I think I talk about some of this in the Plastic Fantastic chapter. The brain can be scarred however and maybe the heart too – and that’s what keeps me falling back into the familiar, the habitual, the worthless and unproductive thoughts and actions of my past. Scars are permanent physical evidence of a previous injury. They cannot be removed. They can only be compensated for. There’s the memory of what caused them too, which is also something to be compensated for. So compensating requires additional energy. It’s that additional energy which could have been applied to other, possibly more productive things, that often feels “wasted.” Getting pissed or disappointed about it is another “waste” of energy, yet I do it – we all struggle to some extent with the “existential angst” of what could or should have been. I’ve wasted an entire page of writing and about a half-hour of thought right here and now over it. Success is getting better problems, like Ari and Paul say, so to imagine a life without struggle, without the overcoming of problems, without the compensating for scars that we’ve acquired, is futile. Contemplating things like this has only one worthy purpose: that of clarifying mistakes and misjudgments so that they aren’t repeated in your life. (Gads, this is an appalling page – consider deleting it).

So I got all cranked up and busy with the cart and the USDA production and the shipping of samples and now this empty week, which I thought I might enjoy, has started to get on my nerves. I need some good action. I need to practice unattachment, but I’d prefer to be busy. Not for it’s own sake, but because I suck at the unconventional life. Why do we crave routine when it’s a fucking curse? As soon as shit “gets easier” or more predictable, at least in my life, it’s a sign of trouble. My mind starts to turn in on itself, and I ponder and philosophize to extremes and the doubt and lack of confidence comes back. Like today. I’ve had too much time to think about shit and it’s fucking me up. All the hh work is starting to look like a fucked-up crazy futile waste of time. It’s NOT. Why must I question myself continually? Mandala. Myth. Personal legend. Meditation. Vocations. Biophycomythology. These are all tools to get me through these down times.

Since I was feeling disconnected and isolated from the world – full of anxiety – I went for a walk: a three-hour walk, which is a moderate distance for me. It helped a lot and I got a cell phone call right in the middle of it, and right in the middle of the arboretum’s “prairie” which is a favorite spot. It was Jerry from Sherwood Foods checking in regarding tomorrow’s shipment of pig heads, to make sure I’d be at the kitchen in the morning to receive the shipment. What’s interesting is that I felt like a different, better person as a result of the call. Anytime I have “work” involving the pig’s, I feel engaged, legitimate, “real” and connected to the world. It’s an amazingly powerful and I think important thing that happens – it’s biophycomythology in action – the joyful engagement in life that occurs when you’re being who you are. In this case, the energy surge was as palpable and transforming as when I used to get job offers. I would instantly feel like a respectable and confident human being instead of a fragile, shadowy, inconsequential “cipher.”

Of course I’ve never liked how sensitive I am to having “work” or a job to legitimize me – I’ve wished it was not the case that I need such validation to come from outside versus from within. But for me, I need a hook in – I need at least some acknowledgement from at least one other person that what I’m doing is valid. The difference this time however, is that I now see that the energy I get from being “legitimized” within one of my vocations, in this case the food biz, is exponentially higher than anything I remember regarding getting other job offers throughout my life, and there wasn’t any accompanying “relief” or anxiety regarding the future. In the past, I’d finally get a job and I’d envision being able to tell folks that I had one and to not be embarrassed or humiliated by not having one – that was the overriding feeling and vision; that of avoiding negatives. Versus getting the simple call today about my pig head delivery, which would mean nothing to anyone else, and having it jazz my whole being in a flood of positive energy – an undeniable, spontaneous and intuitive receiving and processing of total positive energy. It made my nut spin. It made my nadi spin. Why go on about this stuff? Because to me, it’s “proof” of the biophycomythological progress I’m making. I can better recognize what the energy is, what is generating it, why it’s being generated and how to use it. That’s good shit.

The pig heads cost more then we thought. So our food-costing is fucked up and I feel like an idiot but I’m convinced the poundages as they appeared on the box labels were showing ten or less in big, bold numbers versus the small kilogram numbers that show on the first shipment and this shipment. Fucking crazy that we even checked online for what a pig head should weigh and we got ten pounds as the answer and goddamn it those labels were fucking different for all those other shipments I KNOW IT. Even though I should know how heavy a head is just be picking one up, I’m just baffled that me, ang and kev all looked at the incoming shipments and saw pounds as the kilogram number but it doesn’t fucking MATTER because I’m fucking FUCKED with food costs and I just can’t see how people make any fucking money at shit. I guess I’m the WORST fucking businessman ever because I can’t even fucking read a meat label? I can’t charge any more than I’m charging because I’ll never get a customer. So how the FUCK do I make this work? This hh thing might just remain a fucking hobby that costs me fucking money, I don’t know, what the hell, I’m just frustrated and feeling stuck and jammed up and fucked up. I’m applying to fucking EHS jobs today and nothing feels right.

Don’t despair. I’m looking for an open door, an open window. This week has a biophycomythological challenge. No money coming in. No word back from Plum. No interest in working in the food “bizzness.” I spent one night at Kev’s because me and Angie thought we were getting divorced. That sucked. For me at least, it’s the first time I ever thought Angie and I were done. The only good thing that came of spending half a day thinking I was getting divorced was that it forced me into Campell’s castrophe thinking – I had to come up with the beginnings of a new plan to survive, and I had to begin with the very next thing that I felt in my heart I needed to do. Things get pretty simple at such times which has too often been the way I’ve made my life work. So I can tell you that I’m sick of paying that price. But there I was. Crapped out. Again. So I applied to a couple Zingerman’s jobs they had posted. That was the first thing. Then I left Angie a note, “No lawyers, we’ll divide things up on our own,” packed up as much shit as I thought I needed to survive for awhile and headed to my brother’s place to at least spend the night. I figured I might be able to get a job at Zingerman’s, which wouldn’t pay shit, but I could share rent payments with my brother until I worked something better out. If ever. Angie called that evening though to make sure we at least got together to talk about it. I might have caught her by surprise with the big “leaving” drama, but she had taken off in a dramatic huff herself that day and I was left to figure shit out on my own. The point is it sucked, it was traumatic, and it put me face-to-face with the possibility of another fiasco. The bullet was dodged, but the drama dented my resolve.

Don’t despair. Yesterday in the kitchen, getting the pig heads, which I thought would be great because I could verify the money I was going to be getting back from Sherwood turned out to be just another exercise in making me look and feel like a dumb shit idiot because the heads HAVE been between fifteen and twenty pounds. After all the talk, verifying, looking shit up online and whatever bullshit we did looking at the giant black printing showing the weights on each shipment and thinking that was the poundage not the kilograms, it appears (since I don’t have any photos to prove otherwise) that me, Angie, and Kev were all fucking crazy for three or four shipments when we checked the numbers on the boxes. Whatever. It’s shit like this – shit that doesn’t make a fucking BIT of sense; that seems counter to reality; like I’ve been unconscious or something, collectively with everybody else in my life or some shit – that makes me fucking NUTS. So the food cost for the h-cheese is now even MORE fucked up and I can’t see ever making a fucking dime. It’s looking more and more like a “hobby business.” What else can it be? I can’t charge any fucking more for the product and have anybody fucking buy it. Maybe I can lower my costs by looking at brine and cooking ingredients, but I’m not fucking going down the road of skimping on every fucking thing and going cheap and trying to fuck up the quality and how I feel about it. BUT. This screw-up probably points out that I need to wake the fuck up and quit dreaming and get down in the dirt and plow through the details of how to tweak the shit out of the costs so it’s nailed down and that’s what a professional would do – not let my ego get in my way and suck it up and maybe get some advice or just do some taste-testing to see if I can maybe eliminate some herbs or veg or something and have it not affect the taste. If I can’t taste any difference after I get rid of some brining or cooking ingredient cost, then maybe that’ll help. More tedious work. More compromise just to survive. I hate the way life makes you peel away any dreamy and innocently earnest thinking and pare your dreams down to their raw essence so you’re left with the cold hard basic core of something and you have to ask yourself if it’s still worth it. Do you have enough of the dream left to make it worth fighting for? Do you want to make h-cheese that is your dreamy perfection as a non-sustainable hobby or do you want to own a sustainable business? I don’t know.

I’m going to make my way through this last order of twenty-four heads somehow and hope something becomes clear. I might be done with this. I might just be in another “testing fire.” But I know now that it’s gotta be great, not just good, and I have to enjoy my life. Except right now I’m having trouble seeing how to do all that. Working for the man again scares the HELL out of me I’m not ashamed to say. I might just be too fucking old and out of it and past it and fucked up – my life might be over; I may have already peaked. That shit happens. There’s no reason to think that at forty-six-years-old I’m finally getting it right. It could be the fucking opposite – I could have had it as close to “right” as it’s ever going to get way back when I had the fucking JCI job and the big new house at 1709. One could look at my life right now and say “Dude, that was your golden age, your empirial period, your peak.” Maybe I just didn’t know it. BULLSHIT. I write these things – these self-absorbed, sorry-for-myself diatribes just to see the words on the page and to see if they indeed make more sense than what my heart is telling me. That’s my rational brain trying to appropriate my life and my heart again – to get back to surviving instead of living. Yes, I suppose it does come down to getting busy living or getting busy dying and while it seems like the choice sometimes is liberty or death, I just can’t believe anymore that you have to be miserable (miserably poor and miserably employed) to engage your dreams.

I don’t like living off my wife’s money. I don’t like not running my business in an unsustainable manner. I want to get something the fuck right for fucking once. Fiascos. I HAVE HAD FUCKING ENOUGH OF THEM. Time. I feel like I don’t have time for any more fiascos. Can you get you biophycomythology straight and still have a shitty life? No. The answer is fucking NO. But you do have to strip everything down to what it is that you really, really, REALLY fucking want. Which may not include anything besides the one or several things that you NEED to be doing. I know this, because I’ve done my homework – my biophycomythological homework.

As I told Angie, it’s again like I’m being forced to figure shit out more completely and thoroughly before life allows me to move forward. I must have some unresolved shit keeping the resistance portion of my success equation fucked up. I hadn’t found what it was, but maybe now I’m finding it. Maybe it’s my stubbornness. Maybe it’s my ego and not wanting to be wrong or not wanting to change something I need to change. Maybe I’m impatient. THAT’s hitting home – I’ve been impatient to succeed it seems my whole fucking life and while it’s helped to drive me towards what I want and it keeps me from sitting on my ass wasting time, it does get me off on worthless tangents that in fact DO waste my time. I need to unattach. To hold on more loosely. To really look at what I’m trying to do with my whole life, not just with the business of hh – it may be that I’m pouring too much energy and desire into hh – there may be something else that I’m supposed to be doing or some other way of doing it. I think it was in a film that we recently watched where somebody said it can be difficult to live the life you have versus the one you dreamed you’d have. Or the one you envisioned maybe? The visioning isn’t without flaw, without imperfections, so maybe that’s what’s happening: my visions are either unrealistic – too grand, or maybe, not fucking grand and great enough. Maybe I’m hanging myself up on the small-ass details that don’t fucking matter? Stop, drop and listen to your heart. I need to follow my own advice. I’m following my guides and keeping my eyes and ears and heart open to try to evaluate whether my guides have maybe changed – are they still my guides? Ask the fucking question to yourself. Answer it according to what your heart says. Meditation helps. “Still” the mind and allow the world and your heart their time and space to connect as they are meant to, not as my mind and my ego may be trying to manipulate them rationally. What makes “sense” so often with me is just what I think would make sense to others. My life may just keep getting crazier and that’s the way it is. The myth must be played out honestly and with complete surrender to it otherwise I don’t have a fucking chance at bliss. So I have some biophycomythological work to do….

Money. I keep spending it. I got the ad “proof” that the Ann Arbor Observer did for me (free ad design for first-timers who buy at least three runs for the ad) and it looks fine. It doesn’t blow me away; it lacks the subtlety and finesse I envisioned, but it works and if these folks spend the days looking at ads for their newspaper and they think it looks okay (compared to all the other shit that everyone else probably micro-manages) then I’m good with it. I’m hoping that if it stands out and looks catchy to them, with their jaded eyes, then it might work at least as good, if not better, than anything I’d do. In the end, I don’t think a 1/16th page-sized black & white ad in a local paper (albeit a quality one) deserves to be fucked with too much, especially since I’m getting the design help for free. They got the logo in, they got my copy in (just the word “headcheese”) and they included the website. Done. The fonts they used are questionable and the ad doesn’t completely “pop” if you ask me but hell, I’m not a designer and I’m not going to bother my brother with such small-time shit. The logo and the copy are mine and it’ll be in print and we’ll see what happens. I like this stuff. I’m good at it.

So, since I have no response to my last two emails to Kellie at Plum, I’m just going to forge ahead, make the assumption that she’s busy and not just blowing me off and that soon we’ll connect again to get some h-cheese actually in the store. Versus me just making shit, spending money and “playing” like I’m in business. Cripes, I’ve already admitted that hh hasn’t got past the “hobby” stage. YET. Patience is a virtue and a pain in the fucking ass.