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Day 7

I’ve been walking the Camino for a week now and It feels like I’ve gotten nowhere. 

 I stopped today at Estella, a full two days behind schedule.  I’m not in as much pain as I was yesterday thanks to ibrubrofen and wrapping my ankles in orthopedic socks, I could’ve went further but for the sake of my tendons, I stopped here.

I’m not at a romantic albergue.  It’s my least favorite so far on the Camino.  It reminds me of the YMCA.  I can hear kids downstairs playing indoor soccer and the echo sounds ethereal and creepy.  Especially when they scream. Like it’s a slow-motion scream.  My ears can’t focus.

I pet a stay kitten today who looked sickly.  I felt so freaking sorry for him.  I was in pain at the time and homesick which made me feel even worse for the kitten because he reminded me of me.  He followed me for a long time despite telling him to”shoo” and “scat”.  

It’s only 7pm.  I ate, washed my clothes, called home.  Calling home was the highlight of my day.  Both my parents pick up the phone and talk to me simultaneously.

I hate how people back home make such a big deal out of my trip.  My brother boasts to everyone on Facebook what I’m doing.  I don’t like it.  It’s not a big deal.  There are hundreds of thousands of others who did it, I’m not special.

I told my parents this today and my Dad responded with “well at least you’re doing what you want to do.  You’ll have no regrets on your deathbed.”

Me- “That’s true.  I just really want to write a book.  I’ll regret never trying to do that.”

Today is the first day I’m really missing home.  I miss everyone.  The first time I did the Camino, all of my friends hated me at the time.  And the ones who didn’t hate me, stopped talking to me.  But this time, each and every one of them are talking to me again.  Amy, Kristi, the girls I went to Nepal with….everyone.  They even threw me a going away party and a bunch of people came!

I don’t understand life at all.  Not in the least bit.  It’s scary how bad things happen without any power to stop or change anything.  Thinking about this will send me into the void, the dark place.  It’s the helplessness that gets me.  Helplessness is the opposite of choice and ayahuasca said we’re here to learn free will.  It’s sort of a big deal.

Physical ailments can really make you hate your backpacking trip.  I remember last time, the day my pain went away during my last Camino adventure, was the same day I started enjoying myself.  And I wasn’t missing anyone since they all hated me.  

But right now, I’m missing people.  And I’m worried about my tendons.  It’s a different pilgrimage than the last one.  Im in a different place mentally and it feels a bit more emotionally erratic.  Like I have more to lose this time around.

I’m strongest when I’m at my weakest.  My life has been vanilla as of late and I can’t  form my mental toughness.  I’m not living in the here and now with a “Fuck everything” attitude.

I love everyone so much but only because I’m scared of being alone.  I hate seeing people/animals suffer because I know too well how that feels.  And I hate feeling powerless to do anything for them.

I’m sentimental, selfish and scared.  Nobody should praise me for that.  It’s the reason why I love and the reason why I care.  It’s the worst way to be, it’s not real.

  I usually find the humor in everything but it’s hard when I’m tired and in pain.  But this is exactly the time when I NEED humor the most.

For this Camino adventure, I’ll find my laughter again.  That’ll be my goal.  When I make a joke out of everything, only then do I feel like myself.  All fear is obliterated.  All that I’m left with is the real stuff.

And this is the perfect time to accomplish this goal.  The best time to complete a goal is when it’s least convenient.  So when you feel it, you REALLY feel it.  The emotional connection to it is stronger and according to ayahuasca, you only learn through emotional connections.

I have 2 YouTube videos to upload but it takes forever!  There’s just not a good time to do it.  

I want to sleep but it’s too damn early!  

An old Japanese man sharing my room is already asleep in his bunk.  He’s so damn cute with his little blue wind-breaker, the billowy kind that all old Japanese men wear. 

 The bright Florescent lights were on when I walked in and he was there laying in his bunk.  I turned off the lights as I left.  

They’re all just too damn considerate, those Japanese.  They’re my number one favorite nationality.  I know I shouldn’t pick favorites….I have a strong love for Koreans too.

I’m so freaking dehydrated it’s not even funny.

Well, I guess I should find the WIFI to publish this post.  Then I want to look up how to pop my Achilles’ tendon.  I don’t think it can happen just  by walking a lot. I’m fairly flexible.  It probably happens to non-flexible people when their calves get too tight and it pulls too taught.  I’m just suffering from micro-tears and ensuing inflammation.  Inflmmation is what causes real damage, hence the ibruprofin.  It’s the friction from my tendons “sheath” is what I’m feeling.  Like a non-oiled piston.  Yeeouch!

I’m hoping tomorrow will mark the end of my ailments and I can start walking the shit out of this shit.

Im really happy with this IPhone 6 Plus.  I can type forever no problem on it.  Still though, videos capture so much more.

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Day 6

I didn’t get far today. 5 miles at best. Each step felt like someone was standing behind me with a knife, slashing away at both my Achilles’ tendons. With each step.
With each step….
At home I never encountered this problem. I don’t suffer from ankle or foot problems ever.
I’m staying at an albergue in Lorca in my first private room of my trip. I taken a 4 hour nap than ate a pilgrims meal with Johan from Austria. A phychotherapist.
And my Achilles’ tendons still ache when I walk after a long 8 hour rest. I have to accept that I might not make it to Santiago by November 18.
Everything else is in good working order. My knee has acclimated and I’m stronger going uphill without getting as winded. It’s just my damn tendons. And oh god how they hurt!
Last night I had dinner with an older man from Ireland and a woman about my age from Japan. They had absolutely nothing in common with each other which was comical watching them try to communicate with their thick accents.
The Japanese woman knew very little English but she perked up when I mentioned Naruto Uzamaki. I said a few phrases from the show and told her I watched every single episode including the new show about Naruto’s son, Baruto. She couldn’t stop laughing.
The Irish man was a guy loving life. He threw out his TV 10 years ago and refused to bring his cell phone on this trip. He’s the type that appreciates every second and watches for signs on where to go next. Signs from God or whatever. He believes everything happens for a reason and so we were brought together for a reason. And he thanks people for their “gifts” in showning him these signs. 
He’s a tough old geezer that walks faster than I do.
My WIFI doesn’t work in my room so I have to go back out to publish this post. I’m also going to google Magnisium to see how it can help me. Johan tonight told me to get some for my aches and pains.
I’m seriously worried about my tendons. Im tough as nails and stubborn as hell. I only give in when I’m literally crawling in pain to the nearest town. I never EVER give up. I have Naruto Uzamaki to thank for that.
I’m also going to google Achilles’ tendon and Camino to see what pops up. This same ailment happened to me last time but I don’t remember it being so severe.

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Day 5 of Camino

I posted a couple videos on YouTube.  It’s easier to do YouTube than WordPress.  

But let me just tell you how thankful I am for my blog.

I have a horrible memory.  The only thing I remember about my last Camino trip was the pain I felt during the first two weeks.  And that’s it.  Painful as hell and not much else to tell.

I thought I made it to each check point in a timely manner regardless of the pain I felt, but I re-read my day 3 post from four years ago and I was already behind schedule.  Not only was I behind, but in major pain.  And I was too tired to even eat dinner.  It sounds like I was in worse shape back then than I am now.

This is day 5 and I’m supposed to be in Estella but my feets only made it to Cirauqui, a whole 14 kilometers behind schedule.

It has absolutely NOTHING to do with laziness.  I literally can’t walk anymore.  My Achilles’ tendon was starting to hurt and my muscles in my feet are tender to the touch.

I wanted to cry.  I wanted to know everyones secret as to why they’re having an easier time than me (not everyone, but most).

The bones in my feet ache.  My bones!

Dinner is at 7.  I have an hour and twenty minutes until then.  I’m at another albergue, on the top narrow bunk with no sides in case I fall.  Why did I crawl up here?  Am I nuts?  I could’ve had the bottom bunk but then I’d be on the same level as everyone else.  At least this way there’s some semblance of privacy.

The place I’m staying at now isn’t a regular stop in my guidebook, the one everyone else follows.  So there’s not many pilgrims here.  I counted only 3 others and none of them speak English.  It makes it kind of lonely especially after a hard day where I almost cried my eyes out.

Yesterday however, was great.  A fantastic day.  I still hurt but nothing too crazy and last night I had a large cervasa and shared a bottle of wine with a cute gay man from the UK who loves Game of Thrones as much as I do.  

In fact, everyday on the Camino was filled with fellow pilgrims who chatted me up, this is the first day where things are quiet.  I can see why others who speak English like to walk together.  It’s a little less scary.

And it IS scary when you’re in pain walking a path that seems to go on forever under the hot sun with no shade.  It’s unnerving.  

I don’t regret throwing away my boots.  A lump was starting to form on my left ankle from too much rubbing and my little baby toe was getting banged up pretty bad with the skin peeling off and everything.  

The bump is now gone and my baby toe is on the mend.  These $100 Keen Sandals are worth every penny.  

No matter how wonderful your footwear is, your feet will get sore no matter what.  But at least now I don’t have blisters.

Tomorrow I’m walking to Estrella and will most likely stop there.  That puts me a full day behind schedule.  I really hope I toughen up like I did last time.  At this time it feels like I’ll never toughen up.  It’s too impossible.  

My legs are a little less sore than they were two days ago when I had to stop at the monastery.  I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs back then.

I want to close my eyes and sleep.  I’m chilly.

This albergue is really neat.  This town is super old and beautiful.  Hold on, I’ll find a pic…

At first glance it looks run down and dilapidated but up close once you get in town and see the rock buildings up close, it’s something to behold.  

I don’t want to move…..

Alright, I’m going to lay a little bit more in my bunk and zone out until supper.  Tomorrow is day 6.  It should get easier after my short 14 km walk tomorrow.  Day 8 will be the day of truth, sink or swim.

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Interactive Game of Thrones Map

I thought this map was pretty cool.  You can check it out here.

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The Tragedy in Backing Up

As I was backing out of my driveway yesterday, I accidentally backed into our trash bins that were placed behind my car for the garbage man to collect.  It was just a little bump, not enough to knock them over.  Nothing tragic.

“What the hell was that?”  I say as I pressed the break pedal.  “Oh, right.  Trash cans.  How can I not see the trash cans?”

My brother was pulling into the driveway just as I was pulling out of it and seen me hit the bins.  I yell out my window, “Hey can you fix those for me?  They got in the way.”

Brother – “You lazy bastard.”

I never ran into those trash bins before.  Not once in all these years.  Why is this relevant now?  Because yesterday, as I was backing into the trash bins, my cousins husband was backing into their two-year old baby and killed him.

Holy shit.  Big time holy shit.  The biggest holy fucking shit I’ve ever holy fucking shitted about in my life.

How the FUCK??  Why the hell was he playing behind his car with nobody watching him?  How the fuck fuck fuck can that happen?

My Uncle Al is having a hard time dealing.  The baby was named after him.  Little baby Allen.  My cousin in-law, the husband, is on suicide watch.  Everything is fucked up.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next.  I don’t know how my cousin is dealing.

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I just saw this…

img_4636

Do you see it too?  Here’s a hint….follow his arm down.

If you follow his arm, It looks like it extends to rest in the middle of two monstrous legs.  One leg has a towel draped over it.

I’m dangerously sleep deprived.  I’m at my friends house and reading over my gibberish I wrote for the day.

Sleep will be sweet tonight.

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I Just Want To Write This Real Quick…..

Okay, it’s the same day as my last post.  No, I have not started my taxes yet.

Instead of doing my taxes, I instant messaged people and texted people – all stuff that I had to do, not out of enjoyment but more like out of obligation.  Work related crap and helping friends out kind of stuff.

Then my parents came home from the casino and my mom brought me home half her sandwich that she didn’t finish and she wanted me to add minutes to her track phone.

While I was eating her sandwich, I started watching what I thought would be a stupid documentary.  It’s called “The Path Documentary Series Extra’s.”  It’s all the garbage that didn’t make it into the real documentary which I’ve never even heard of.

I started watching it because I thought I can do my taxes at the same time a stupid documentary was playing in the background.  I wouldn’t be tempted to pay attention to it.  It would act as background noise to help me concentrate.

Now it’s 10:30 Pm.  This documentary is astounding!  I just wanted to write about it super quick.  Not any details, just that everything these people say, agree’s with what I’ve experienced with ayahuasca.  It’s incredible!

And it’s scaring the crap out of me.  I won’t tell you why, I can’t write another 3,000 word blog post tonight.  But man oh man.  This shit is real.

I’m writing about it as a reminder to myself to watch the actual documentary when I have the time.

 

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More of my dreams….

I’ve been falling  asleep listening to audiobooks for a while now.  Before my audiobook craze began, I had intense bizarre dreams beyond human imagination.  Most of my weirdest experiences happened while in dreamland.  But then I started listening to audiobooks and it all went caput.

Last night I decided to fall asleep au naturel.  I wanted to have a dream.  No audiobook, no distractions.

I was so tired, I don’t know why I was tired but I couldn’t fight off sleep.  The images started appearing the instant I closed my eyes and they would not stop for 2-HOURS STRAIGHT!

It was a concentrated onslaught of symbols, textures, people, scenario’s.  They kept coming no matter how lucid and calm I made myself.  One thing after another, I didn’t have time to focus on or understand any of it.  I couldn’t control it.

Things started getting dark and scary.  It turns out that my worst fear happens to be a mad man covered in blood running around with a chainsaw.

Worst fear ever.  And it’s not the first time he popped into my dream.  But it’s the first time there were several of them, not just one man with a chainsaw, but an angry mob of them.

And the chainsaw man never chases me, he chases other people.  My worst fear is not being able to help those other people.  My worst fear is running from him to save my own life.

The first time I dreamt of him, he was chasing a woman down the street in a quiet neighborhood.  I barged into someones home and grabbed their phone to call the police.  I yelled in panic telling them that a woman was about to be murdered.

My worst fear is nobody doing anything about it.  Not even me.  Because we’re all too scared.

Last night when I dreamt of the chainsaw man, I was lucid.  I knew it wasn’t real.  But I wanted to wake myself up to “reset” my dreamscape.  But I was super tired, my attempts were futile.  Slightly opening my eyes only for them to close again and I fell right back into the nightmare.  One of the images in my nightmare was a fish tank full of tiny men in black suits, all of them hanging morbidly from their own noose.  Instead of seeing fish, it was a tank full of miniature business men who committed suicide floating in water.

I decided it was best not to fight or control the nightmare, so I let the journey take me.  This decision changed the dreamscape to be less scary and it became one of my more regular lucid dreams of me seeking sex.  And I found the most handsome man – incredibly sexy.  No shirt, muscular, hair in all the right places and yeah, I totally orgasmed with him.

I have no idea how that’s even possible in a dream.  Nothing is actually touching me, but I’m hypersensitive down there when a dream man touches it.  I also don’t understand how in real life I hate sucking cock, but in my dreamworld I love it.

At one point in my dream, I was being pulled upward.  Up up and up I went and out of the tall building I was in, and found myself floating towards a ginormous dimly lit moon.  It was beautiful.  Most likely this happened after the hot sex.

I have lucid dreams all the time of me floating uncontrollably upward.  It’s never frightening.  The frightening part happens when I descend.  It’s not falling, but an accelerated gravitational pull down.

After getting a glimpse at the moon, I started to fall.  I was lucid, but this feeling always makes me want to wake myself up.  I decided to let it take me however, it’s not worth the waking up for.  I was just too tired.  Tired and curious to see where it led.  My curiosity out-weighed my fear.  At that point, I’ve seen so much morbid shit in my dream that I didn’t think it possible for me to see any worse.

How can I explain this…..it’s impossible to explain it.  Being pulled down, you go through levels of fear.  At first it’s no big deal, but as you go deeper, panic sets in.  The further down you go, the more panic and the more courage it takes to pass through it.

Last night I reached a new level of courage.

When I stopped accelerating down, an old man appeared in a grey purgatory-type of place and told me I reached a new level.  Then the dream went back to being ballistic, not making sense, and shoving one symbol after another at me until I said, “fuck this shit” and finally woke myself up for real.

I looked at the clock and it was 4:30 in the morning.  I went to sleep at 2:30 after trying to keep awake for one more episode of Game of Thrones.

2 steady hours of ballistic lucid dreaming with a short spurt of hot sex and a short moment in purgatory.  I was more tired than when I started.

I went to the bathroom, came back to bed and turned on my audiobook.  I slept like a baby until 11:00.

I went to bed last night wanting to dream, but there was such a build-up of them.  My dreams are never like that.  Like a chimp with ADD on acid.

But the part where I was accelerating downward, I intuited that it’s more important to go down than it is to go up.  Going down is where you find courage.  I always thought it was an evil place, an omen of bad luck and that I should fight it, to control my direction and eliminate my fear of it but I was wrong.  I was so wrong about it.  It’s not evil at all.  The journey down is definitely more important than the one going up.

 

Of course you have no idea what I’m even talking about.

I ask around sometime, seeing if other people have messed up dreams as much as I do and no, nobody does.  In fact, more than half of them never even had a lucid dream before.

I don’t get it.  I simply don’t get it.  The stress it put on my brain last night was intense.  Like a big knot looking in a thousand directions.  I wasn’t scared during any of it, I’m not emotionally imbalanced or depressed or anything like that.  It was like I was a voyeur getting a glimpse into someone else’s madness.  But how can it come from me?

Everything has been really peaceful for me lately.  Other than dealing with all the groupons (only 84 left to sell), I’m pretty happy these days.  So I’m at a loss.  My head still feels funky from it.  Like a physical kind of funky, not emotional.  Headachy and foggy.

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Why business owners are dicks

image

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March 2, 2016 · 7:10 pm

What Went Wrong (bad business practices)

When I was in high school, I thought about suicide a lot.  Not me personally committing it, but thinking about other people who wanted to do it.

Me thinking – “How awesome would that be?  To have absolutely no fear of death.  I would be able to do or try ANYTHING without any fear of the consequences.”

My reasoning was that if you’re not afraid to die, that means you have nothing to lose.  You’re at rock bottom.  Complete and utter freedom.

But then depression hit me much later on in life and I found out the truth about suicide.  It’s not about not fearing death, it’s about fearing life.

When you’re suicidal, you don’t care about anything or anyone but yourself, it’s selfish.

And it’s debilitating, like having a physical illness that keeps you in bed all day, keeps you from going out and doing things, learning things.  It’s the opposite of bravery, opposite what I thought it meant in high school.

I had a suicidal friend in high school.  She was a closet lesbian, in love with a girl in her class.  I couldn’t for the life of me understand why she was miserable and wanted to off herself.

Me – “You have no fear of dying.  Don’t you understand how freeing that is?  You can do anything with your life, not fear the consequences, go anywhere, do anything.  Why waste it on killing yourself?  You have no fear now, so why waste it?  Aren’t you curious to see what happens?  You’re already at rock bottom so anything that happens to you would be better than where you are now.”

Her – “Have you been planning this speech?”

No, I have not been planning this speech, but I’ve thought about it a lot.  And whatever I said to her made her think twice.  She had no argument and actually started to feel hopeful.

I’m thinking about this now, not because I’m suicidal, but because it reminds me of what I’m going through with my business.

It’s like I keep fighting for selfish reasons and the more I fight, the more scared, anxious and depressed I become.  Suicide is all about being scared, not brave.  It’s not about being curious about where your journey takes you, it’s about being in control of when it ends.  The ending is all you’re able to control and you want the tourture to stop.

I’m on a journey, that’s all.  Curiosity is the key in this battle, not fear.

I was talking to an old friend with whom I worked with at the Aquaturf (a banquet facility).

Her – “I hated that job.  I hated going outside to see how beautiful it was and I was stuck there working missing the day.”

Me – “I loved working there.  I loved going outside to see how beautiful it was and I was appreciative that I was there working with people I loved, all in the same boat.”

I felt her mind shift and she said – “Yeah, I need to be more appreciative.”

I felt her entire perspective change in an instant.  Just like it did with the suicidal girl in high school.

I have to remember who I am.  I’m someone who appreciates and loves life and can easily love everyone around me.  I’ve always been thankful, always thankful, always loved.  I got freaking employee of the year at the Aquaturf my first year there (out of hundreds!).  That shows you a bit of just how loved I was, and how much I loved the place.

Owning a business takes all that appreciation and thankfulness away and replaces it with anxiety and fear of losing it all, but my advice to the suicidal girl makes me think twice;  Aren’t I curious to see what happens next?”

It’s like saying “fuck this shit” and going off to actually do something about your problems.

Since August, I’ve been doing everything I can to save my business.  I started washing sheets, changed employee’s to independent contractors, cut hours, I’m in the process of downsizing to a cheaper place that just so happens to be an improvement to where I am now.  And I’m not selling online deals anymore.  Fuck this shit, you know?  Shit’s gotta change.

And here I am on the brink of the precipice.  Waiting for the zoning permit to go through, waiting until next month when the last of the online deals have expired.

I’m waiting for the last of my keys, my two last chances, to open new doors;  No more online deals and a better, more visible location.

I just slept for 12 hours.  It’s Saturday and I have no clients.  But my employee’s have 10 altogether, 3 of which are online deals.  I have to pull $60 out of my ass to pay the therapists who massaged them.

Four of the clients today are members – that money is already gone too, but one of them is paying extra for a bonus birthday massage and another is adding a $25 upgrade for a 90-minute massage.  Two clients are random new clients and the last of the ten scheduled today bought a package of 3 massages at my old business, Massage by Melanie, and that money is definitely gone.

According to the schedule, I’ll make about $190 today.  Plus I need to charge John’s card, a member client whom I massaged yesterday for his birthday massage so that brings me up to $245.

If not for the online deals, my employee’s would be massaging more birthday people and random new clients.  I won’t be negative $60, but plus $120.  And when we move to the better location, we’ll be massaging more new people due to better signage.

I strongly believe that my actions as of late has changed the fate of my business.

Where I went wrong:

  • I let my broken armed therapist sit and answer phones.
  • I hired Anthony to replace her.
  • Sold more online deals to cover the cost of my broken armed therapist now turned receptionist.
  • Had to hire another therapist to help with all the new online deal clients.
  • Hired an esthetician and added facials thinking it would bring in more members.
  • Rented the two empty rooms upstairs because I needed an extra room for facials.

One bad decision, turning my broken armed therapist into a receptionist, snowballed into making more bad decisions.  These decisions cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The upside is, I know exactly what happened.  I know exactly what went wrong.

The first three bullet points are taken care of, now it’s just the last 3 to contend with.  The forth bullet point won’t be cause for concern once the online deals are done with.

Once I move, I won’t be renting the two extra rooms anymore which leaves me with my last problem, my esthetician.

One remedy I thought up is to buy an inferred sauna.  Clients who spend money to use it, will cover the cost of my esthetician to be there.

Right now my esthetician is giving facials to mostly online deal people and once those deals have expired, she’d be lucky to get 3 clients a week.  Facials are not as popular as massage – something I wish I knew before hiring her.

I’m paying her over $800 a month to do facials on people who already bought their facial and who’s money is already gone.  Over $800 a month I have to pull out of my ass, until that is, after next month when the deals expire.  That leaves me with my only idea, the inferred sauna idea.  And to have her preform mini eye-lifts to clients after their massage.

I can’t have her do mini eye-lifts now because I’d hate to have her come in only for a 10-minute session – the cost is too great and I’d lose money.  But with the sauna, it’s more likely I’d get a return on investment.  Plus she can answer phones.

Ugh, owning a business…..shit sucks.  Well, right now it sucks.

You want to see what happens when you ignore problems?

teeth

Calcified plaque, hard as rock.  A lifetime of not brushing your teeth.

I have to remember who I am.  I’m actually quite obsessed with oral hygiene.  I’m NOT this person.

And I’ll never give up on anything.

 

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