October 16th, 2006

Loon

ouch, ouch, ouch ...

Oy ... what a night at the bar!

This was the first real busy night I've had there, and it all pretty much came in one blast ... the bar went from having like 3 people in it to having like 30, and several of them wanting food (which is a bit of a pain in the ass for me working solo). However, due to the big crowd, I made more than twice what I've ever made in tips! I just wish the customers wouldn't show up en masse like that ... if the business was spread out evenly over the 8 hours it would be just dandy. Heck, if I was making what I made tonight five nights a week, I'd be making a nice "professional" wage doing bartending.

My back, legs, and feet are hurting me, though ... and I need to get up in 5 hours to take that rental car back in time for me to take the El downtown to make a 10am meeting at the CTC.

Still no word on the publishing job. I guess (barring the VP contacting me tomorrow about coming up to Evanston on Tuesday or Wednesday) it looks like I'll be going to that "retreat for the unemployed" afterall.


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Loon

Wish there were more books like this ...

I don't know off-hand if I've ever picked up a book with quite this format. Victor Sanchez's The Teachings of Don Carlos: Practical Applications of the Works of Carlos Castaneda is an attempt at extracting the actual exercises detailed in the Castaneda books into something like a manual. Needless to say, there are dozens of teachers whose materials would benefit from this sort of attention!

Now, Victor Sanchez is hardly a "disinterested observer" (being that he has his own series of courses and workshops), but, having at least been in personal contact with Castaneda (it is unclear whether Sanchez "studied" with him or not, or simply had interviews/conversations on assorted topics), he's in a good position to package the materials up like this.

Whether the "donjuanist" material really lends itself to this approach is another question. This is hardly like Serge King's Urban Shaman which has exercises and workings that nearly anybody could do in the context of their daily lives. Much of what Sanchez details here requires significant access to isolated natural settings, and many things are structured to take several months of dedicated work. That is not to say that there aren't immediately useful exercises and instructions in the book, for there are (such as types of breathing, dream work, etc.), but the "take away" I had was that most of this work was for folks who could afford to take off a year and run away to the desert!

Frankly, I was disappointed that there wasn't very clear instructions for "working with the Assemblage Point", which seems to be such a key element in the Castaneda books. Over the years I have done quite a lot of Shamanic "energy work" and, while having a pretty good fix on most of the other "energetic" descriptions in the material, am still unclear, from a activity standpoint, what exactly don Juan means by the "Assemblage Point" and what is involved in shifting it. I had hoped that this book would address this central concept, but it seems to skim past it into materials that are, perhaps, more central to Sanchez's work.

Despite these caveats, this is a very useful book. Aside from the main part (which is "concept descriptions" coupled with exercises), there is a glossary of techniques which references particular page numbers in the various Castaneda book, making it fairly easy for one to go back to the source material even when this is spread out over several volumes.

The Teachings of Don Carlos is still in print, so should be available from your local stores, but can also be had for under two bucks new from the Amazon new/used vendors. If you've read several of the Castaneda books, you might well consider adding this to the mix ... I just wish there were more book following this approach out there for other metaphysical traditions!


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Loon

Gonna be AFK for a bit ...

Well, no news from the VP guy at the publishing company ... he told me not to get too worried if I didn't hear from him until "the middle of the month" due to his travel schedule, though ... so I am still expecting an e-mail asking me to come up there soon for the next round of interviews.

Since I've not heard anything, I'll be heading off to the western suburbs for that "retreat for the unemployed" the next couple of days, so won't be around here to chit-chat and all. I have to get up in about six hours to take the El up to Belmont, and the bus out to Cicero (about an hour door-to-door) to get to the car rental place so that I can get out to the conference center by the 8:30am start time (I'm using that one because they open at 7am ... my drive out to Warrenville should be 45min to an hour, so I couldn't use one of the closer places that open at 7:30!). Bleh ... I am not fond of early-morning stuff.

By the way ... it looks like my Bears lost ... I watched the first half, but it's mighty hard to keep giving the other team the ball in your territory (I saw 2 interceptions and 2 QB fumbles) and hope to win. So much for that and-0 record.


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Bears

OMG ...

OK, I have to admit, because of having to get my act together for leaving here at 6am, and the way the game was going by half-time, I "gave up on it" and didn't watch the second half. In fact (as per my previous post), I thought the game had ended 23-17 Cardinals (mis-interpreting what I was seeing on-line). It was only when I saw topi's post about the Bears winning that I scurried back to the TV and saw the remarkable job the defense did in the second half. Really amazing given that Grossman gave up four interceptions and two fumbles!

  BEARS             24  
  CARDINALS    23  

Not exactly the way anybody pictured us going 6-0 ... but that was one heck of a "save"!


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