Thursday, April 25, 2013

State of the Biz
 spring 2013

batman and batman

Where was I. Forging your idea of a tree from an actual tree.

So first the idea was, get your certification and then quit your job and get a job folding towels at a gym. Then it was, okay, forget the gym, keep your job, get some clients and then quit derby after this season and put more clients there. But then I adjusted my work schedule, I'm embarrassed to say that three days a week was too much. So now I work three days every other week, which I can deal with. And and, I have a new client. I'm never quite sure how to count my clients. I have a two long term partner clients who work together, a long term personal client, a short term group class of six, a short term coaching client who could be long term, and now this new hopefully long term personal client. Where the game is to collect long term clients, I suppose. In any case, my group class and my new client are on Saturday; that officially makes Saturday a work day for me, and makes me less embarrassed about not being able to deal with all the Fridays.

SO NOW, the idea is keep your job, keep your clients, load up Saturday as much as I can with clients and classes, and keep playing derby for another season. That's kind of what I want to talk about, the idea of having to quit derby. Which is about what. Like it's about thinking, I've only gotten this good in four years and it's time to throw it in. I only have this much time to build a business, which should look like this. And see, that's making a tree from your idea of a tree. Whereas the actual tree is like, one, they say it takes ten years or ten thousand hours to develop mastery of a sport. So what gave you the idea that you had to get roller derby in three years or out? Because roller derby is easier than the other sports? Right, having wheels on and playing defense and offense at the same time. Which I am just now starting to get, and by just now I seriously mean like in the last three weeks. Two, did you start your own business because you want to write your own ticket or not; so write it how you want. I didn't really love my job when it was forty hours a week, that's why I started studying for my certification. Whereas two days a week, perfectly amusing, and actually I know where it tips over, three days a week, here I am thrillingly balanced on the tipping point, three days every other week. Which also pays just enough extra that if I get just one more client—not ten more clients, not forty hours a week of clients, which sounds both impossible and exhausting—I will be in the black for the first time in two years.

Which is about what, doing exactly what I want to do at the moment, sustainably.

Yeah, I know about the other foot. I know about a sunny day waiting for your rollerskates to be delivered and your brother-in-law calls in tears about your sister's cancer being back. Lord, have I ever told you that story?

Peek and Shriek
a story from when there was MySpace
also when you had to return DVDs to the video store

This week I was going to do even less than last week because I have just enough patience to run out the clock before Wednesday, when I go to New York, where "just enough patience" actually means I'm absolutely out of patience. I'm not going to get anything done, and I'm not even going to try. This isn't the most positive thinking --but you know, Know Thyself.

My to-do list for the week is:

  • call Com Ed
  • be home when skates are delivered
  • return DVD
and also "clean kitchen," where cleaning the kitchen is definitely optional, calling Com Ed is probably optional, returning the DVD is probably not optional because it has to be returned to the actual video store, and being home when my skates are delivered is definitely not optional because if I don't get them in the house before I leave for New York they'll be shipped back to Las Vegas.

Sunday night I check UPS online and my skates are on the truck for delivery. I go to bed happy and excited.

Monday morning I wake up at nine, skip tidying the kitchen --"tidy kitchen," which I do every morning, is different from "clean kitchen," which I do every month-- and get into the shower. I think after I get my skates, I'll go to the video store. I can't think about doing anything that's probably or definitely optional. Around three I check my gmail for any livejournal or myspace notifications, and instead I have an exception from UPS that says THE RECEIVER WAS UNAVAILABLE TO SIGN ON THE 1ST DELIVERY ATTEMPT, all caps like I'm being yelled at. I fling open my front door, and there's the brown and yellow post-it stuck to the door during the twenty minutes I was in the shower.

There's a funny interlude here where I fly into a rage and fail to get absolutely anything else done that afternoon, and call Deric to help me decide if I should go out and see my friend's band. And Deric being an introvert tends to think the best thing for a bad mood is to stay in, as do I, which is why I called him. And I let him talk me into staying in, and I get off the phone fired up DAMN RIGHT I'M STAYING IN all the while storming around the apartment fixing my hair and putting on lip gloss and getting on my bike. Oh and, I went to the video store.

Tuesday the 12th I check online, and my skates are scheduled for redelivery on the 13th. Which is Wednesday, when I am fucking going to be on a plane to New York. Insert second interlude of raging and failing to get anything done. Around 11:30 I make myself call Com Ed, just to confirm that their meter reading matches mine and it does. So at least I know how to read the meter. They still say that I owe them $400; and maybe I do, but I have an appointment with a technician when I get back and will cross that bridge then. And just as I'm crossing call Com Ed off my laughable to-do list, I see Brown pull up and fling open my front door and scare Brown half to death. So I have my skates. And a minute later I hear the mail drop through the slot, and there's a little package from the U.K., and it's The Last Vampire, which I hadn't realized I was ordering from the U.K., which explains why the shipping was so much.

Hooray, I think. All my pigeons are home to roost. It's nice to have everything in order before you go on vacation. And now I don't have to worry about my skates getting delivered when I'm at my hair appointment with Ludwig this afternoon.

Then oddly, my cell phone rings. It's my brother-in-law telling me that my sister's cancer is back.

Scott breaks down at the end of our conversation and asks me to call Grace for him. You know that I'm being honest when I tell you that my first thought is, Fuck no, followed by a big sigh and which part of his wife has cancer do you not understand?

I call Grace and, er, leave a message that our sister has cancer on her answering machine, which is hilariously callous and so me. But see, I figure that Grace pretty much knows that I wouldn't call her unless I'd died. To leave a message that just says "Call me" would actually be cruel. I mean, I didn't just say "Ruth's cancer is back," click.

I've been thinking about Richard lately, and quashing thoughts like Should I call him about the new Harry Potter book? because half of the Harry Potter books he has are his and the other half are mine, and who should get the seventh book, to which Meg says, concisely, "Library." So I think, Should I call him about Ruth's cancer coming back? and I think that the answer isn't obvious --my life isn't his life anymore-- and decide to ask Meg when she comes over for craft that night.

I walk to the salon debating whether or not to tell Ludwig.

When my sister had cancer before, I didn't tell anybody. It's like... you exist as a character in everybody's mind who knows you. I guess this is another part of othermind, and you are the sum of undermind and mind and overmind and othermind. So when people say what do you care what other people think about you, I think this is a little bravado on their part. On my part. What people think of you is part of who you are. This is why I don't love talking about my problems until they're solved. I don't want my unsolved problems to exist in othermind; I think that it magnifies them. Then again if you don't tell people, it becomes this huge lump in your chest of something that you haven't said. The thing to remember is that people are mostly concerned with their own drama, and not so much yours. I mean this as a good thing. You spit out this lump in your chest, and then it sort of gets dissolved in other people's drama. So it doesn't get magnified. How lucky am I that I get to try it both ways.

When Ludwig sees me, he says "That's funny, I'm seeing Richard at 4:30 this afternoon." Ludwig is friends with both of us. I used to cut Richard's hair; now Ludwig does, and it looks much better.

Ludwig wants to know, "Is he still being mean to you?"

"He's not being mean to me," I sigh. "You know Richard. He's being cold."

"No," Ludwig says, "he told me that he's being mean to you."

"He's aware that he's being mean to me?" I struggle. I struggle. I lose. "What did he say?"

Ludwig either genuinely can't remember exactly how Richard said this, or has decided that he's said too much. He changes the subject. "Are you on MySpace?"

"Yeah," I say.

"Well, add me!"

"Okay," I say, thinking where my myspace says In A Relationship. "You can see my new boyfriend."

Ludwig mentally drops his shears, but doesn't actually. "Pauline, I hate you for being able to keep a secret!"

"It's not a secret," I say, deciding to keep my mouth shut about my sister. "It's still new."

"How new? Since the pageant?"

"Uh yeah, since the pageant."

"Tell me about him!"

I pause.

"Oh my god, is he a criminal that you can't think of anything to say about him??"

"Quiet. Gorgeous. He lives in New Jersey," which is apparently what's top of mind to say about MJ. I'm about to say that he skydives, but Ludwig interrupts to ask me how often I get to have sex with him, which is the other thing that's top of mind that I wasn't going to say.

I don't know why he then asks, "Is your boyfriend a boy or a girl?"

"Uh, my boyfriend is a boy. Though I'm okay with girls."

"Do you think Richard would be okay with boys?"

Lord have mercy. Though I'm okay with boy on boy! I mean, he knits? "Boys are okay with Richard, I know that."

I get home and write this story up to this point; and oddly again, the phone rings. It's a male voice that isn't Scott or MJ --it's Richard.

Susan says at craft, "Ludwig told him that you have a boyfriend."

"No," Meg says, "Richard already knew about MJ."

"Maybe it isn't so weird that he called me," I say. It's just weird that I didn't have to call him, after all. I'm telling them about my conversation with Richard --the upshot being that after I sign over the mortgage and get the rest of my stuff and give his car key back, he doesn't want to talk to me again. "I feel like I want to write him sort of a valedictory letter, you know, I just want to say..." like I'm sorry that I can't seem to have a conversation with him without fighting like a two-year old, and that I truly wish him the best, and godspeed, something like that.

Meg says, "That he's being a dick?"

Susan says, "That he should pay you for half the car?"

"You guys," I say severely. "That is not what valedictory means."

"You know, I never knew what that word meant," Meg says. "It doesn't mean like victory?"