May 25th, 2006



I am half proud, half bemused that I am so totally removed from the "Reality TV world" that I have no point of reference when folks on my FL make excited posts about these shows. Tonight one of my good on-line friends posted a message that was pretty much just a name with an exclamation point, as though that would be all that would have to be said on the subject. As the name in question did not ring any bells for me as far as "ongoing events in her life", I am assuming that the named person was the last one standing from some "Reality TV" show.

It pleases me that I neither know anything about the named person nor have any clue about what show it was on which they just won. Essentially, the less one knows about "Reality TV" the more likely that one is actually interfacing with reality rather than TV. As I feel very guilty about time wasted watching TV, my total ignorance about these sorts of things makes me think I'm doing a pretty good job at focusing on the "real" and not the fake crap that TV feeds us to keep us all "asleep" (in the Gurdjieffian sense).

After all, the more people focus their attention on TV the less they'll think about what's really happening in the world, and the less they think, the easier it is for the MSM to feed them whatever lies prove useful.

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Depressed today ...

Things have not been happy around here.

The Tutoring biz, while "making money" is only making enough money to pay for the advertising, etc., that we need to put into it to keep it going. The Wife is estimating that we're going to clear maybe $5,000.00 profit ... and that's with neither of us getting paid anything. This means that we're "living on capital", and very quickly blowing through the money from my Mom's life insurance. While it would be nice to be able to try to "build the business" over a 2-3 year span, the reality is that we pretty much both have to go out and get "real jobs", and the Tutoring biz is likely to be, at best, a major distraction. Right now it looks like "the plan" is to try to sell it (it does, still, have the best "territory" in Chicago, minimal overhead, and very reasonable client goals) to somebody who is more of a "salesman" than either of us. One thing that we've seen, both in our business and in several of the other franchises with which we're familiar, is that the folks who got into this out of "trying to help people" are struggling, while the folks who got into this as a "under served business niche" are doing fine. Neither of us "have it in us" to brow-beat parents to buy more tutoring than they're comfortable affording ... even though there's a whole "finance your program" thing in place pretty much just for that purpose. We can't see pushing people to get into long-term debt to solve their kids short-term educational problems, even though it is arguable that the latter is ultimately more important than the former. What this business needs is at least one partner who is a "used car salesman" type who will maximize the dollar value of each client relationship. Neither of us is that, so we need to find a buyer who is looking to "milk" the education market.

That in itself is pretty damn depressing.

Also, last night was Daughter #2's "graduation" from Kindergarten, and her school picnic today marked the end of over 8 years of our association with her school. We were one of the first families at that location when Daughter #1 started there at age 2. So much of "our family" is tied up with memories of that place that it is very hard to have it "in the rear view mirror" at this point. The Wife had to sneak out of the graduation thing last night because she was breaking down crying, and I was in tears all the way home today. The one positive there is that we're done paying the very high tuition (which my Mom had paid for Daughter #1), so it's one less point of financial hemorrhaging.

Of course, I think that is more of a "trigger", because my emotional fixation was on how badly I have failed my family by failing time and time again ... first with the P.R. firm closing, then my not being to make Eschaton (either as a publishing company or as a meeting planning firm) succeed, then by not being able to get a job in either P.R. or Meeting Planning or Publishing, then by wasting a year (and $15k) going back to school to learn I.T. skills which went to waste when I couldn't even get a callback on a resume for over 2 years, then not being able to market the Tutoring biz to a level where even one of us was making a salary. I have done nothing in my life BUT fail. Every success I've had has been along the lines of the blue-ribbon pig at a county fair ... he's still bacon next week (so much for graduating "with Honors" from an I.T. program that 95% of folks drop out of ... it doesn't mean shit in the real world).

The fact that the bartending thing has even been a struggle is really dragging me down too. I'm beginning to think I wouldn't even get interviewed at this point were I applying to be a greeter at WalMart or a fry cook at McDonalds. Needless to say, a lot of the time I think my family would be a lot better off if I were just dead.

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Oh, great ...

Now my e-mail's broken.

As noted previously, my main domain has been "spoofed" in the "from" address of a bunch of spam. Tonight I got several dozen identical "bounces" from yahoo Japan and I think they somehow broke my inbox ... suddenly I can't get any new mail (although there is new mail to get on the server) because it's telling me that it can't write to the mailbox, claiming that I either don't have permission (huh?) or that the disk is full (not by a long shot). I'm hoping that if I re-boot ThunderBird will re-set itself and I can get mail again.

I really, really, didn't need this sort of aggravation tonight.

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