Nov 13, 2023

What I'm Up To - Vol. 76

Here's what I've been up to since Volume 75...

What I'm Up To Volume 76

Hey friends,

Here’s what I’ve been up to since Vol. 75

1. October Happenings

It's been 6 ½ years since I started this newsletter and I’m as thankful as ever. The practice coaxes me to slow down and reflect. To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

The month began on a sad note. Just six weeks after Aunt Ann passed away, my Uncle Bobby went to join her. My earliest memory of Bobby is his taking me and my cousin Greg squirrel hunting on his family farm. Years later, he took my dad and me deer hunting each fall at his Mississippi River club. Bobby had a glass eye. He used it to delight and horrify us as kids. My dad gave him that eye when he released a branch walking through the woods ahead of Bobby. The lesson: Always hold the branch for the next person.

He was a great outdoorsman, educator, watch-repairman and collector, dad, husband, and, for me, uncle. I’m told he was buried with his favorite shotgun and a can of Copenhagen. Uncle Bobby, you will be missed.

Wendy and I took a weekend to do our 17th annual goal-setting retreat. We rented an Airbnb near the Driftwood Winery, just south of Austin. With one in college and another a senior in high school, we know these next few years will bring lots of change.

Wendy enjoying the view at the Driftwood Winery.

I received a surprise package from my Paris roommate, Scott. Back in 1995 he was shopping for craft beers in West Los Angeles and bought a case of 1994 Thomas Hardy Ale, “...the rarest ale in Britain.” Saving them for a special occasion, they followed his various moves for close to three decades. During that time, he only sampled one bottle with a close friend. To my delight, Scott gifted four bottles to me to commemorate our long friendship. In early November, Wendy and I are going to Terlingua with some long-time Austin friends. They also happen to appreciate great beer. Big Bend seems like a great place to pour out a bottle and raise a glass to Scott. I won’t be waiting 28 years!

Wendy and I caught Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at Bass Concert Hall. They killed in a series of skits that follow the chronology of their friendship. My favorite was a special edition of the Weekend Update. I’d never heard of the opening act, Zarna Garg, but would gladly pay to see her on her own.

Mo Bunnell's "MashUp!" Mastermind in Atlanta

I got invited to another author mastermind courtesy of my publisher, Todd, and his next author, Mo Bunnell. Forty-four authors and creators gathered for two days at Mo’s 12-acre property in Atlanta. Stepping into the CEO role for our training and coaching business immediately tossed me into the entrepreneurial deep end. Mo’s gathering (and Donald Miller’s in July) provided much-needed coaching and collaboration right when I needed it most. While in Atlanta, I got to teach a class with an old coworker and friend, Kara, and help Jim Kwik launch a new edition of his mega-bestseller, Limitless.

The view from the tower at COTA.

We also hosted six of Wendy’s agent friends at the ranch and enjoyed the Formula 1 race at Circuit of the Americas. As Ferris said, life moves fast…

2. What I’m Reading

To prepare for Jim Kwik’s book launch event, I read an advanced edition of the newly expanded Limitless. Kwik suffered a brain injury as a child and went on to become an expert on super learning.

I also devoured Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield. As much as I love The War of Art, this is now my favorite Pressfield book. The concept of “shadow work” really spoke to me. You can sample an excerpt here.

3. What I’m Watching

Wendy and I caught The Creator with Gus and Grandpa Milt at the Alamo Drafthouse. It stars John David Washington (Denzel’s son of Tenet fame.) The film was entertaining and visually stunning I’m glad we caught it on the big screen.

Wendy and I wrapped up the second seasons of Foundation (Apple+) and The Wheel of Time (Amazon). I expect I’ll keep watching them both. Good characters and engaging stories. I finished season two of Invasion (Apple+). It feels like the director's cut of a cult sci-fi show you missed initially. They invested two long seasons to develop the three storylines that finally collide at the end. I can’t decide if it’s indulgent or a masterpiece. Finally, I thought Ahsoka (Disney+) was a great addition to the Star Wars canon. That’s it for this month. Please reply back and let me know what you’re up to!

Be well, do good deeds, and eat tacos!


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