Sunday, July 10, 2011

Back from the dead.

Ok.. going to give this one more try. It's been upwards of three years since I last posted on here.. been a rough and tumble few years, but it's not been without it's high points and lessons learned.

-In early '09, I and a partner opened a "green" transportation company. A step up from a taxi, but not quite as luxury-focused as the Town Car set. It was definitely a learning process, and I made lots of mistakes.. luckily, they were all mistakes I didn't make again.

-In late '09, we ended up closing the company. I was offered a "partner" position with another local transportation company.. it didn't really turn out like that, but it did help me learn what to focus on. Where I was previously putting in 50-60 hours per week, I was now working upwards of 90, with a lot of increased focus on face-to-face marketing and promotion with the downtown hotels and businesses. It definitely served me well in building a client base.

-In July '10, I opened my second transportation company, this time with an increased focus on luxury. I started with a BEAUTIFUL Jaguar XJ8L.. the car made quite an impression on my clients, and was very popular. I found it surprisingly easy to keep my days filled with reservations and marketing work. Another year of 90 hour workweeks.. definitely kept me busy! Unfortunately, the Jaguar's continuous breakdowns ate up a good deal of the profits I realized.. and the business missed during the repairs ate up the rest. This brings me to today.

I have officially reached my "Fuckit Threshold". I closed up the limo biz as of last week, and the Jaguar is up for sale. Damn car is nearly brand new at this point, so it should make someone a lovely grocery go-getter. I'm moving out of the downtown apartment this month. Where to? One word for ya..


I'm moving on board the Sea Witch, a 30' S2 sloop (actually it's a 9.2 meter.. measures out to 29'11"). I lived onboard an old Columbia 34' sloop several years back for a year, and loved every minute of it, so I'm really looking forward to getting into it again. There's a certain indescribable something to living on the water.. there's a beautiful liberation to the simplicity of it. No more shelves full of stuff, no more closets full of clothes that might get worn once a year. Sounds nice.

Anyway, I'm going to be renting the boat at first, while I save up to make the purchase official. After she's bought.. well, I dunno what I'm going to do. I've got a wander-demon in the back of my brain that's telling me the Keys aren't really that far away, and if I can pull off sailing to the Keys.. well, the next thing on the bucket list would be the Bahamas. I've got plenty of time to think about it.. and maybe make some plans. We'll see.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Highs and lows..

It's been a hectic few days around here.. preparing for Hurricane.. no, TS... maybe hurricane? Nope, still TS Hanna.. it's kept me pretty busy. And just when I get the last couple of jugs of water frozen, the last pieces of loose outside trim secured, the last bit of anything loose around my house cleared out.. Hanna's going to miss us. Meh. At least it's done in time for Ike. Hopefully that one will miss us, too, because it's looking NASTY. Fingers crossed.

Went out crabbing with a friend last week, for the first time! Absolutely wonderful time.. we took his two daughters for their first crabbing trip, and watching those two little girls learn about these Carolina blue crabs was almost as much fun as learning to crab! We put the boat in the water in a small town called Rockville, near Seabrook Island. had an amazing day, and caught a couple dozen heavy, beautiful blue crabs for dinner.

Later that weekend we put the boat in the water and crossed the harbor so I could take a few photos (well, really so we could have a chilled adult beverage at Red's on Shem Creek). Honestly, we barely made it there. It was a beautiful day, but Hanna had sent 3-4 foot swells into the Charleston Harbor, and they kicked the shit out of us. We pulled up to Red's looking like a couple of drowned cats. I damn near sprained my knee trying to stay on my feet in the boat! The moral of the story is: PAY ATTENTION when you hear about a small craft advisory!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Semi-yearly update!

Apparently, I'm so uber-slacktastic that I can only update my blog every few months.. hopefully nobody's been holding their breath! Lessee.. Cliff's notes version:

Sold the Harley, paid a few bills, bought an old pickup truck. Apparently it's called a "pickup" truck due to the fact that every time I drive it, I have to call someone to come pick me up. Blech. The upside is, the women in my life are talking to me again since selling the bike. I must admit, I'm a bit confused.. Dad bought my Harley, and Mom still talks to him. I don't know how he gets away with it.

Picked up part time work driving limousines in the evening downtown. Interesting! The chauffer's license was a bit of a pain to get, but the work is worth it. Lots of time to listen to my audiobooks, and the occasional celeb in my Town Car. Beats sitting at home reading the TV Guide!

Just started another part time gig designing "social networking" pages.. MySpace, Facebook, etc. The work is fun and a bit challenging, offers a LOT of creative license, and can be done from home. If only I could do it full time, I'd have happy feet!

Not much else going on.. I do have some ribs on the grill right now though, so I'm going to tend to them.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Gots me a HAWG!!

Well, I finally broke down and did it.. I went out last week and bought a Harley. I've wanted one my whole life, ever since riding on the back of my Dad's Sportster back when I was 5 or 6. We were living in Italy at the time, and that Harley was bigger than most of the cars out there. Hell, our family car was an old Fiat 126 (594cc engine).. Dad's Sporty was nearly twice that size! I remember being so proud, in a 6-year old way, when we'd ride down the road and Italian mothers would jerk their kids (the very same kids who'd beat me up because I was the only blond haired kid on the block!) out of the streets in surprise as we rumbled by.

Now I've got my own Sporty.. a 1997 XL1200 Custom. Bone stock, dark purple (for some reason I want to play lots of Prince on my iPod now..) with plenty of room for customization. I've been suburned for a week straight, and you couldn't pry the grin from my face with a crowbar.

Put yer knuckles to the wind!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

37 on Saturday..

This is the first time ever that I've felt shitty about my birthday. I don't know if that's the cause of the shitty feelings, but damned if it isn't on top of me, and at the forefront of my thoughts. Another birthday. A birthday alone. Fuckin yuk.

Depression doesn't fit the ordinary soul. It doesn't fit ANY soul, truly.. but at least with the creative, the glamorous, the literary elite.. there can be a glossing over of its true nature. Beautifully melancholy, if you will. A state of artistic martyrdom, a necessary burden that is tied to creative beauty. It's all magnificently heartwrenching, if you can make yourself believe what is seen on prime time tv. For the rest of us, however, it's just ugly. The loss of purpose, the replacement of free thought with obsessive self analyzation, the smiles that feel so heavy you can't even bear to think about them, much less fake them.. it's all truly ugly. Unnatural. And damn near impossible to swim your way out of. I'm sure it's the same for the everyone, from the inside.

A little gloss would be nice, at times. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm suffering from a vitamin H deficiency, I'm afraid.

'H' stands for hustle, in this case. I swear, I feel like a rube surrounded by hustlers sometimes.. it even runs in my family. The ability to turn gripes into greenbacks is awe-inspiring to me. Sadly, I was born without the gene. I share the hustler's burning passion for a good deal, but lack the killer instinct needed to score such a deal most times. I usually stumble around hoping one falls in my lap, which does happen every once in a blue moon. The folks in my life, however.. look out. They are always on point.

My closest friend is a born hustler. Now, keep in mind I don't mean this in a bad way whatsoever. He just has an innate talent for turning a deal. He does it with everything.. vehicles, real estate, boats.. his father's the same way. They have a knack for seeing the possibilities in a given item, and using them to turn a profit. My girlfriend operates in much the same fashion. She turns stuff into gold. She's got a head for business that's beyond belief, and a dozen ideas in the works at any given moment. Damn near everything she touches scores a home run.. frankly, it boggles the mind.

My uncle, now.. he tops them all off. He operates as an under the table loan shop in a small town upstate. Everyone just knows if they need cash, go see him.. but take something of value. He's got a warehouse full of stuff, and an inventory in his head that's as accurate as an Excel spreadsheet. If he can't turn a buck with it, he won't touch it. Hell, he was even talking a deal on a Mercedes at my grandmother's funeral. With one of the other guests! If it were anyone else, I'd have been mortally offended.. since it was my uncle, about all I could manage to do was grin and shake my head. After all, you don't invite a lion to dinner and then cry when he eats your dog.

I wonder if I could find a vitamin H supplement...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mixin things up..

It's a good thing. I've been feeling a bit stagnant, feeling like I need a little change. I can't afford to move yet, so I painted! Two days to paint one room.. yeah, I'm slow. So what? It looks great! I think it looks great, anyway. I liked parachute pants, too, so taste may be in question.

The job wasn't without its hazards.. I suffered random losses of balance and some vicious attacks from fire ants that were living in the ladder that I used. Made it through without any serious mishaps, though. Hard to believe I did this for a living without causing myself permanent injury.

I went with three different colors.. a deep chocolate brown is the main one, with a sandy beige at one end of the room and a medium gray-blue on the other. All in all, I really really like the result. LOVE my new living room.

There are a few more pics on my Flickr page.