Day 6, February 9th

I got back home early Monday afternoon jet lagged and exhausted.
I had a real early flight, so I only got about 2 hours sleep.
As luck would have it I was sharing the flight with the legendary voice of the octagon, the UFC’s ring announcer, Bruce Buffer. Not only were we on the same flight, but we were sitting right next to each other.
How lucky can one boy be?
I slept as much as I could on the plane, confident that with Bruce in the aisle seat no would-be terrorists would stand a chance.
I planned on doing some writing on the plane, but my brain felt like a dried sponge.
I decided to just listen to cool shit on my ipod and chillax.

I’ve been listening to this audio book on the Law of Attraction.
It’s some pretty out-there shit, because what they’re all about is there’s this woman named Esther Hicks, and she claims that she’s channeling “Abraham” a collective, universal intelligence that explains the laws of positive and negative thinking and their influence in your life.
On paper it sounds completely loony, but she says some really interesting, powerful shit on thinking, and how your focus and energy affects the course of your life.
Of course just the idea of a person channeling seems completely and utterly ridiculous, and there’s no credible evidence that anyone has ever actually done it, but I can’t deny that what she’s saying is very intelligent and interesting stuff.
Who the fuck knows where it’s really coming from, but the possibility that some collective universal intelligence speaking through some woman named Esther is not nearly as hard to swallow as some of the shit I’ve seen on mushrooms.

Orrr… maybe she’s just crazy, but she’s smart and she says some interesting shit.
That’s certainly possible too. Either way, I like to listen to it.
Before you go out and buy it though, please be aware that I enjoy listening to a wide variety of things that other people think are shit.
For instance, I shamelessly enjoy the CD “How to save a life” by the Fray, and I often listen to certain Nickleback songs when I work out.
Please – no emails about my poor taste. You’re not going to guilt me out of it.
I even enjoy country music sometimes, especially the really dopey Toby Keith type stuff. I don’t have any fucking idea why I like some things, I just do.
I don’t think about it or analyze it, I just like what I like.
I’ve had people get into my car, and I’ve got a Cheryl Crow CD on, and they’ll think I’m listening to it to research a joke or something, and I’ll have to explain how I love her voice. Over the course of my life this disdain for the accepted standards of taste has caused me to absorb many a homosexual accusation.
I don’t care. I like what I like, and I’m not going to pretend.

I’ve pretended to not like things to make other people happy in the past. Especially when I was a kid in the early 80’s and I was a KISS fan. When I was younger and KISS was “cool” it was OK, but as I got older and still enjoyed it I could feel the judgment of my peers. After a few stings of ridicule I hid my love for KISS. I would secretly listen to it alone in my bedroom, often with headphones on. Hanging out with other kids though, I would pretend to like whatever bullshit they were into so that they wouldn’t make fun of me. As I got older and wiser, of course I realized this was retarded.
I learned that to enjoy this life, you’ve gotta like whatever the fuck you like. Forget what other people have to say about it.
It was really cemented into my consciousness when KISS made its monster comeback in the 90’s. It was a fucking MASSIVE comeback, and everyone wanted to see them.
Kevin James and I went two nights in a row, and we had the time of our lives.
When you’ve been hiding the fact that you’re a KISS fan for a gigantic chunk of your life, and then one day you’re in the audience with 18,000 other people singing along to “Come on and love me?”
Shit… it doesn’t get much better as far as concerts go.
Part of me was mad, because in my mind KISS was always fucking awesome, yet people would goof on me for it, but here we are 15 years later and now all of a sudden it’s cool again? Fuck you. From here on, I like what I like.
I tivo Ted Nugent’s hunting show, Spirit of the Wild. I don’t give a fuck what anybody says. I like it. I’m retarded.
People see that shit on my tivo and they think it’s a joke. Nope, I like it.

I get home from the airport, stuff some food in my mouth, and take a nap before jiu jitsu class. There’s something extra special about doing a jiu jitsu class when you’re tired and jetlagged. It forces you to control your breathing and teaches you to relax and conserve your energy. I’ve gone to class sometimes after a brutal kettle bell work out, and it’s a moral victory just to hang on and survive. I think that people who have never experienced that level of exhaustion don’t really know how much shit goes through your mind as your body literally fights for survival.
There’s one thing if you get tired in a basketball game – someone might dunk on you, or they could dart past you and make you look foolish, but if you get exhausted in a jiu jitsu sparring session it can be quite horrifying. You’re literally fighting for your own survival, and someone is fighting to kill you. They’re on top of you, and they’re trying to choke you to death. Of course if you tap out they’ll let go, but that doesn’t really change what’s happening on a psychological level.
It’s quite an intense battle raging in your mind while this is going on, and quite and exercise to keep it all disciplined and under control while so many systems are firing off red warning lights and sirens. Rickson Gracie, one of my personal heroes said it best, “Jiu Jitsu allows you to know yourself in a very deep way.”
Fuck yeah it does.