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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Greatest Journey Of My Life - Go West Old Fart - On Foot

Sometimes you get an idea and it sees a bit ridiculous at first. Then, over time, it simmers. I've had plenty of time for my big idea to simmer. And in a matter of about 24-hours, it is taking legs. This will be The Greatest Journey Of My Life - Go West Old Fart - On Foot.



OK... to stop your head from spinning too fast and injuring yourself, I'll give you some background information and then clarify my big idea. And I also need to let you know that this post was originally going to be published last year in August, but The Big BaBuska saved me. He talked sense to me like a real friend. So, don't sweat this story... just enjoy the madness.

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At the end of 2004, my wife and I had a successful business in Las Vegas, we had a net worth of just over $1 Million and we had two girls (one we had ourselves and one she had from a previous marriage). Then, she left me in February 2005. A couple weeks later, my father died. And a week later one of my favorite cousins suddenly died. Not a good time for me. 

I was left with a home-based advertising agency called Blazic Design and the "Design" part of it got an attorney and made me pay her a lot of money to keep the "Blazic" part of the deal - which I thought I got at birth. That's the closest I have come to gay sex. And I didn't enjoy it.

From there, things got worse. A really bad highlight was on my 50th birthday, I was moving out of the dream home the designer and I built and the person hauling away our custom bedroom set was lying about paying me on Friday. But I had nowhere to put it and it had to go somewhere. It was an awful birthday. Worst ever.

I swore that I would never go through a humiliating and sickening experience like that again. Well, thank my lucky stars... life has gotten worse... much worse.

With each birthday, I've continued to slide down the slope. And the worst part was I developed severe health problems and my family had to ship me back to the town I grew up, back in Ohio. I've been in the Buckeye state since March 18, 2010.

Today, I have nothing. In fact, I owe a lot of people money and one even got a court judgement against me.

I have no bank account, credit cards or credit. I have $4 and change in my pocket. My family supports me. I live on food stamps. I gained 60 lbs. when I moved to Cleveland from the medication they put me on and it's still here. I live in a La-Z-Boy chair in 200 sq. ft. of space in a 1,500 sq. ft. house that a buddy of mine owns that is full of crap. Every room - crap. Every inch of floor - crap.

I misspoke in the paragraph above the last... "And the worst part was..." The health stuff was only the punch in the balls I didn't need. But I haven't seen my daughter - the love of my life - since December 13, 2009. I missed a couple Christmases. I missed birthdays. I missed fourth grade. And the worser ;) part is that it doesn't look like the path I'm following will get me to her within two years. So, FUCK THE PATH.

I need a new direction. Everything that I came here to do, I've done.

Regarding my recovery, 90% of my problems were stress related. I was grinding my teeth so hard during sleep, I spent all day feeling like I needed 22 root canals - immediately!

We fixed cavities. Then, there were the shakes and the stuttering. Fixed. And the depression. None of the medications have helped, but blogging came back into my life on March 7th, 2011. Fixed. Blogging gave me a purpose and I am damn good at it.

Looking at the traffic on this site, you might be wondering what I drink for a living, but this is only one of three sites I currently maintain. I have a bunch more. Lost count. My main site, went from zero to close to 80,000 page views in four months. I'm rockin' over there (www.RogerBlazic.com).

This site was created the first time my little Apple iBookG4 crashed and I was stuck using the library computer for only 2 hours a day - and didn't have some of my marketing software.

I was without a computer for two weeks and it took me a week to get back into the rhythm of things. Page views on the big site went from 9,300 a week to 1,950 - Ouch! But they just crested 7,000 again today and my laptop officially died two days ago. So the roller coaster is open, I see.

Last week, I had to replace the battery in my truck. For about three weeks now, I've lived in total uncertainty. Every time I turned the key in my truck, I had no idea what would happen. And there were a few times, I was a long way from home. Add to that the computer going black after an hour or twelve hours. It was living on the edge all the time. I'd have a great post going and the screen would go black. I'd have to do something else for an hour so the processor would cool and try again. Then, the computer gods would grant me... ????? It was maddening.

So, my big idea took legs last night, literally. I'm going to walk to Las Vegas. Yes... I will repeat it so that you don't think your computer is haywire or that was a typo - I'm going to walk to Las Vegas from Cleveland.

WTF?

Don't worry. I have a master plan. Right now, I'm broke. I know there is work I can do in Las Vegas - only part-time, but it is more than I'm making here. If I have the computer I need - a MacBook Pro - I can get all kinds of magical things done. Add to that, I'm a master marketer (having owned an ad agency). I'm the king of branding and packaging.

So, I'm going to see if I can get a computer donated, an iPhone donated - that rounds out my tech side. I already have a great digital camera and a great video camera - just need the digital stick for the video camera.

I've driven to Vegas from Cleveland a couple times. You go Interstate the whole way. Walking, you have to take the back roads.

I am dead serious about this. I want to walk and see and meet and talk and find stories of small town America on a journey to be reunited with my now 10 year-old daughter. It's a love story with a lot of neat people and weirdos mixed in. Does it get any better than that?

I figured it would take me 100 to 120 days to do the 2,300 miles. I'm actually going a more straight-line route than the Interstate. But it might be more mileage wiggling around back roads.

I'll set up a website with Google Sites and use Google Maps to track the trip. (Yeah, I'm going to hit Google up for money, too). I'm going to pitch all the major networks on following the story. This blog will have updates, pictures and videos from the trip.

I'll have a special Twitter account to tweet about the trip. I'll take donations and sponsorships for every mile. Oh... Oh... Oh... I forgot the cause - NAMI - National Alliance for Mental Illness. Half the funds raised go to them. (They came into my life after my bipolar diagnosis.)

The big X-Factor. I have severe neuropathy in my feet. It feels like I'm walking on broken glass - all the time. But I love to hike. And I go anyway.

My mind wanders and I see the sites and I forget about my feet.

I started walking last night. So far, I walked 5 hours today. My feet are killing me and I was going to walk to the Library, a 15 minute jaunt, but I had to drive. I'm in training mode right now. I am planning on walking as much as possible to see if my feet can hold up. I'm giving the test a week. If I can withstand the pain, then the trip is on. I'll start working on all the sponsors and the components.

I'm going to sell my truck. I need about $3,000 to $4,000 to make the trip. Food, medical supplies, new shoes, a few nights in a motel for a shower, etc.

I've only skimmed the surface of the marketing strategy and how I plan to promote The Greatest Journey Of My Life. And there will be a picture book. I never think small.

When I get to Vegas, I'll be without a vehicle and I'll be homeless. I'd rather be homeless in Las Vegas than live in the storage shed I call "home" now. I'll tie into the homeless community and work my way up, taking people with me. By then, ad revenues for my blogs should be up, a lot. And... I forgot the damn merchandise. And the business I want to start.

Here I'm on a death watch - literally. I love my new friends in Cleveland (All My Donuts) - and I'll miss the professional sports I can only see on TV and the museums I know about but can't afford to see and the restaurants that charge money and the bars where I'd only bust up my 4 1/2 years of sobriety. But I'll get away from the morbidly obese.

I used to say, "In Vegas, you see an absolutely gorgeous human - man or woman - every 15 minutes." Here, in Cleveland, you see a morbidly obese person every 30 minutes - they move slower than the gorgeous people. Fat people - shit they everywhere. But the ones that are freakin' scary, you have to wait for every half hour. I've seen eight really attractive people in person here in 16 months. And there's nowhere to go after the bars close, except Denny's and the Emergency Room - and I've done both. The second one took 11 hours for me to get released after I had my blood pressure check - Oooops... another post.

I am dead serious about this. I was thinking of riding my bike, but I want to create buzz, and have people and truckers give me rides. I want to meet people and hear stories. I love stories.

For now, I'm in training for The Greatest Journey Of My Life - Go West Old Fart - On Foot.

Time's almost up at the library. Boy, does this suck.

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And, as I said before... this story... I avoided its reality. However, there is a Twitter Account that survived the fray @Walk2Vegas - and that account will be featuring things you can do on foot in Vegas.

My new life's philosophy is... I never made any mistakes, it was all just research. LOL...

Go West Old Fart - Walk to Vegas... yeah, right!!!

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