Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One More Quarter

Tuesday September 30th, 2008 - Chicago, IL

It’s the end of the third quarter of 2008 and I have no idea if I’ve accomplished anything yet. I thought I had a plan going into the year but there have been so many distractions it’s taken me completely off track. Sports games are won in the fourth quarter so this is where I need to suck it up and make it happen. I’ve got three months to make this year a winner.

What would do it? In my eyes I really need to get my website for Uranus Factory Outlet up and running and functional. That’s been on the back burner too long but there’ve been all kinds of reasons for it. Legitimate or not doesn’t matter. I just haven’t gotten it done.

Another project I want to accomplish before the end of the year is getting my classes up on a website and available to be downloaded by students all over the world. Doing it how I’ve been doing it is antiquated. If I don‘t get with the times I won‘t be able to compete.

The pain of dealing with my ex-partner and his pair of backstabbing henchmen has only been rivaled by my dental debacle. Both have cost me time and money and have hurt a lot on many levels. It’s hard not to be bitter at those three lowlife mutts and I have to admit it has really pushed all my buttons but they’re not going to stop just because I want them to.

Nobody else but me cares about any of this and I know that. The only one who may care even a little about my teeth problems is my dentist. It will probably buy him a swimming pool or a nice vacation with his family somewhere. Other than that it’s money I’ve lost.

Getting on the Craig Ferguson show will be a major personal victory for me. It will feel like I’ve accomplished at least a little something as a comedian and it will make my years of struggle seem justified if only for a day. I don’t expect it to make me happy but it’s one step closer to whatever it is success might actually be. I guess it would help if I knew that.

I really don’t know at this point what ‘success’ is. When I started I dreamed about being a nationally touring headliner and I thought that would be ‘it’. I did that and it was fun but it sure wasn’t the be all end all. Now I think I need to change my goal and start chasing it.

I want to be a financially secure world famous multi-millionaire mail order entrepreneur who also does comedy and helps people too. Being a philanthropist is a whole lot easier if creditors aren’t calling every day and I need to know how to make money first before I’m able to give it away to those less fortunate than me. I need to totally learn a new lifestyle.

Tonight at Zanies in Chicago they did a special show celebrating their 30th anniversary. On the 30th of each month they’ve done a stunt and tonight it was ‘30 comedians on stage in 30 minutes’. I was honored to be asked to be one of them and it was a unique event.

Many veteran Chicago comics were there like Larry Reeb and Vince Maranto and John DaCosse and T.R. Benker who used to have the Guiness world record for joke telling. It’s always fun to hang out with all those guys but I know deep inside it’s time to evolve now.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Me On TV?

Sunday September 28th, 2008 - Kenosha, WI/Lake Villa, IL

Big news. I heard from the talent booker of the Craig Ferguson show and she approved my set! Now it’s down to one more hoop to jump through - picking a date that works for us both to fly to L.A. for the taping. I sent her my avails and now I’ll wait to get my shot.

When I saw the email I was almost afraid to open it. Getting rejected would have been a painful blow especially after my Packers got spanked today but I knew deep down I’m not asking for something I haven’t earned. When I opened it a tingle went through my body.

This has been a LONG time coming and I can’t help but be tweaked about it. I really am ready for this and have been for a while now but too many things have gotten in the way. Whatever happened happened but now I’m ready to get into the game and have a career.

I’ve said it before and it’s true - there’s an immense gap between a job and a career. I’ve had a job for my entire adult life but a career starts when others get involved and actually care about what I do and where I work. I’m now ready to play the game of show business at least on a larger scale than what I’m doing now. This could be a giant transitional step.

Getting on network TV without management is a showcase opportunity to find someone who can help me get what I can’t get on my own. One of the reasons Frank Caliendo does so well is he hooked up with a high powered agent who in turn took Frank to a new level.

Talent is of questionable importance at that point. In Frank’s case he was and is a gifted performer who possesses a special skill of impersonations. That will never be what I offer so I’m in a different category. I do have comic abilities and I also have the ability to write. Not everyone has both of those so I could be in a good position - if I find the right people.

I may never be a huge star and in fact that’s a good probability. Very few people are and then there’s everyone else. I wouldn’t mind at all being one of the top ‘everyone elses’ for a few years and develop a loyal rabid cult following. That will keep me busy and working without having to worry about the pressures that go with being a huge star. I like to work.

Getting a TV shot will legitimize all my years of struggle and at least put me in credible position for corporate work and teaching classes too. I don’t know of anyone else who has a comedy class that’s got a recent national TV credit and that will be a great selling point.

I am a seasoned professional and will be able to handle myself if and when I should get a big opportunity. I’m ready as a performer and I’m also not 22 and wild and stupid. I’ve perfected and elevated my stupidity to an art form through the years so it‘s more mellow.

Whatever happens I am going to keep plugging ahead and focus on my gift of comedy. I may have all kinds of other problems and hoops to jump through and past mistakes to get over but no matter what I know I am still a strong comic and that is what I always wanted.

Getting on TV will allow me to continue reaching more people and getting more laughs.
We had an excellent Mothership Connection radio show on WLIP tonight. We had two fantastic guests and both hours flew by. My co-host Scott really has a grasp for this and it makes it easy because he does what I tell him but also has good instincts himself. We also have a third co-host named Lara and she’s very good too. It’s exciting to see it progress.

Eventually I would love to see the show expand for four hours and I think that’s doable but for now it’s enough of a challenge to fill two hours each week. Shows like tonight are proof we’re going in the right direction though. This was interesting and well paced radio.

Scott and Lara really add to the show as does Gary Pansch. We’ll continue to get better.
Guests have been no problem at all and we have now started to get a reputation of being a fun show to do so people are contacting us to be on. There are countless authors with an obscure book about an obscure or offbeat topic that would love to get free radio publicity. Now all we need are listeners and if we keep doing what we’re doing we’ll get those too.

I am finally starting to see the end of the long tunnel as far as a master plan. All of these projects I’m doing are designed to meet in the middle and if they do I’ll have more money than I can spend and more fun projects to work on than I can do. I’m almost to that now.

The King of Uranus character is the key to all this. George Clinton is ‘Dr. Funkenstein’. He presides over the music empire of Parliament/Funkadelic. In his heyday he had record deals with five different record companies but the basis of all of them was a single group. Then he started his own record company but he was and still is at the center of the storm.

I want to do the same thing. The King of Uranus will be a comedian but also a salesman who sells funny products of all kinds in various venues. The Mothership Connection is an excellent vehicle for selling myself and my products and is also an interesting radio show.

One can promote the other if I do this right and I can totally see creating a multi faceted empire of my own. How big exactly is an empire though? I don’t know if I need to have a whole one. My needs are small. I want it to be big enough to make a splash but also small enough to keep it fun and manageable. I’m not greedy. I just want to fulfill my potential.

I’m never depressed when I am working on fun things like this. One would think I’d do only that and be done with it but it’s not that easy. Life has all kinds of lumps and bumps to overcome and all of us have to figure out our own path. I think I’m on a good one now.

The bank robbery story is still there too. Hopefully getting on Craig Ferguson will open doors in Hollywood to get the script seen by someone who can buy it and make the movie before I’m dead. I am putting as many bullets in my gun as I can so when I get my chance to start shooting it I have as many opportunities as possible to hit something. It’s my time.

The Packers lost today but I’m too busy right now to care. I’ve got to keep working on a pile of projects I’ve got going and a few more that are sitting and see how much I can take without wearing myself out. Not a problem. I would much rather wear out than rust out.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Newman And A New Man

Saturday September 27th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

It’s amazing how it takes someone’s death to make others take notice of their life. I was never a particularly close follower of Paul Newman’s career but he was such a household name for so long it was hard to avoid him. Everyone has seen at least one movie that he’s been in and most of us a lot more than that. He was a full blown old fashioned movie star.

I had read a little of where he had cancer and looked like he wouldn’t live very long but he was 83 so how big a tragedy was it really? He’d had a very good life and a long career and was as about as successful as anyone could want to be. Good for him. But what really caught my ear today was that his companies raised $250 million for charitable causes.

There were tributes to him on every form of media that has news broadcasts so it was a difficult task to miss the details of his life. Looking at it as a body of work I’d say he was a true success in every sense of the word. He did what he wanted to exactly on his terms.

By the time he was my age he was a movie legend. I live in a basement like ‘Spot’ from The Munsters. I can’t relate to his successes but I absolutely relate to his maverick spirit. I have done what I wanted to do with my life and didn’t care what anyone else thought of it and that’s what he did too. The only difference is he had millions of dollars to finance it.

He discovered racing and did that as a second career for many years and was good at it. I respect a person who finds his passion and is able to make a living at it. That’s not easy but he did it. What put it over the top for me was hearing of his charitable work with kids. He walked the walk and that to me is what true success really is. He did it the right way.

I bet he gave back more than he took from life and I admire that the most. If there is that next world I talked about yesterday I bet he’s probably got a good start going right away. I never really thought about his life until he was gone. Then it caused me to really respect a person who lived life the way I think it should be lived. Too bad I never got to meet him.

Maybe someday when they fish my bullet riddled corpse out of a swamp a new group of people that have never heard of me will stumble upon my verbal enemas and hopefully be entertained and/or enlightened by them. Either that or the police will comb them carefully in search of the clues as to what made me snap and go on that six state bloody rampage.

Actually doing this every day is a major reason for me not going on the rampage. I have a chance to gather my thoughts and empty my head at the end of every day and I’ve come to enjoy it. It’s a chance to flush my inner toilet once a day and I feel clean and refreshed.

I also feel good today that I took fourteen hours to sort out my computer files. It’s a task I’d been meaning to do for even longer than answering my emails and today was that day. I sorted and edited and deleted and rearranged and added to and I have made progress like I haven’t done since I don’t know when. I organized my projects and contacts and bought some discs and flash drives so I can back up all my data. For once. I feel like a new man!

This Is A Big Mess

Friday September 26th 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

This is the end of the world as we know it. This whole financial mess is going to be our end of the Roman Empire. I hate to sound like Chicken Little but the sky really is falling. I don’t know who or what to believe anymore but I do think something ominous is ahead.

The evangelists are all saying the Antichrist is ready to rise but I heard that fart gas back in the ‘70s when I went to church camp in the summer. The world was supposed to end in 1982 because the planets were all going to align. Then it was 1988 because Israel became a state in 1948 and Jesus was supposed to be back to put and end to insanity. Too bad the only one then who was trying to stop any insanity was Susan Powter. Where is she now?

Will the world blow up? Will there be one world government? Will we all be slaves for some ominous unseen master or an outer space race of nasty lizard people who only want us for cheap labor? Will Jesus come back? I’m having doubts he was here the first time.

I really am getting skeptical in my old age and I wonder if that’s good or bad? I am only searching for the unshakeable absolute truth and the more I search for it the more theories I read that catch my interest. Having the Mothership Connection radio show has also been a part of this process because it’s causing me to delve into places I’ve never gone before.

Who the hell is really running this joint we call home? Nobody seems to ever be able to nail down that answer, do they? It’s ‘God’. OK, great. SHOW me. This is a beautiful little planet stuck out in the boondocks of the cosmos and I refuse to believe we’re the only one with life on it. Maybe I listen to Coast to Coast AM too much but I really think about this.

It’s odd that all this kind of stuff is hitting me at this stage of my life. I always just went along with the program and considered myself a believer in God and Jesus and that whole racket but I really do have my doubts. I’m sure Muslims and Jews believe what they have been taught by their loved ones but anyone who is smart will question it as they get older.

My grandfather totally did and he told me I would too. I remember him talking about all the religions and how he thought they were all a big scam. He took a class called ‘World Religions’ at night school and I remember him going to the Unitarian church on Sundays right before he died. I never did talk to him right at the end about it to see where he was.

I don’t want to think like this but I’m being honest. I don’t believe there’s some magical guy in a robe who sits on a throne all day and has angels passing out harps and robes for a bunch of people who jumped through some hoops during their lives while everybody else is frying like an egg for being naughty and drinking and smoking. None of that feels right.

This is all going to affect my comedy too. I’m already starting to think of new angles to approach and make this funny because in many ways it is. If there is a God figure He will understand because I’m not the only one who is thinking these things. Hey, at least I think at all. Millions of other humans don’t even try that. They’re too busy at war or boozed up.

There are also a lot of them who like me are trying to live a good life and be peaceful to their fellow humankind. As I get older I marvel at the wonderful souls I’ve gotten to cross paths with during my time here and I really am in awe. So many of them are gone now if I heard I had a short time to live it wouldn’t even upset me. I wonder if they’ll be waiting?

Bill Hicks was a guy I got to meet and found very interesting. He was a few years older than me but not many and he died of lung cancer at 34. He was a comic’s comic and a lot of people tried to imitate him but never really got it. He was a brilliant guy and we did hit it off the few times we met. He was very friendly and wanted to experience all of this life.

I read an interview with him right before he died and he was actually very upbeat about it. He said he looked forward to ‘going on the ultimate journey’. That’s kind of how I feel about it too. Everyone dies and if there is another life after this one I want to experience it to the fullest. If there’s reincarnation I hope I don’t have to come back here. This rots ass.

Nobody is going to know until we get there but I’ve got a lot of people who I’ve known who are over there if indeed there is a there to go over to. I know comedians and a cousin and my grandparents are there too. I have lots of friends who died too and I don’t know if it’s exactly the whole heaven and hell thing but I sure would love to visit them all again.

I remember the psychic I met years ago told me in her trance that my father and I would meet again in the next world and he would ‘come to me with his hat in his hand and BEG for my forgiveness’. I wonder if it will be too late then. I needed him while we were here. I’ve got a lot of other people I want to see and if he came to me I don’t think I’d stay long.

All these are deep rambling thoughts but I couldn’t help but think about it as I shot past every other channel which had the debates on looking for some entertainment. Do people really think either of these two schmendriks are going to have any answers for our world? I couldn’t be any less interested and I’m sad to say that too. This world is not my home.

I still love America or what it used to stand for (or what I thought it stood for) but now I think that’s over. This bail out thing isn’t a bail out - it’s a sell out. Who’s going to put all that money up? It’s not us - we don’t have it. It’s the World Bank or the Federal Reserve.

Depending on who you believe that’s the whole Illuminati thing and we just sold out all our home loans to a world government and nobody owns anything anymore. Did we ever? I don’t know. I’m just glad I didn’t spend my life chasing the almighty buck like many do.

Yes, I tried to get rich and famous too and was a volcanic failure but at least I did chase the things I loved doing. If the economy collapses and we start all over with whatever we start with there are going to be a LOT of disillusioned people who lost their life savings.

I was already disillusioned but at least I got to live my life for ME. No matter what was in my way I did the best I could and made the most of my piss ant little meaningless life. I wasn’t born in the in crowd but few are. I hope I’m wrong but I think we’re in big trouble.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Laugh After Death

Thursday September 25th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

Back at the Blackthorn Grille in Lake Villa tonight. The people who run the place are as nice to work with as it gets but I don’t think shows will fly there on a long term basis. The people who go there to drink don’t want to listen to the show and that makes it impossible to quiet them down for the people who do. It was again a major issue we had to address.

That’s a very delicate situation because if the people are spending money they feel they should have a right to do whatever they want and since this isn’t a comedy club it’s not an easy sell to ask them to keep it quiet while the comics are on stage only one night a week.

There weren’t that many people who were there for comedy either though. There were a pair of baseball games on and there was a singles’ club mingling and they wanted no part of comedy. A few listened but the rest of them drifted off to watch ballgames or cocktail.

It wasn’t a total loss though. My friend Steve Purcell came down from Madison and did a great job for the situation. He is one of my few students that has really tried to chase his dream and he’s developed a lot over his several years since class. He went up tonight and used the stage as practice time and that’s what this gig is for. He sure did a very solid job.

Another guy who showed up was Bart Barello. He is just starting out and is as Italian as one can get. He is a very polite and nice guy but he’s a little na├»ve as to how the business works. He’s only been doing it eight months but thinks he’s a lot farther than he is. I tried to tell him in a nice way he needs to pay some dues but I don’t think he was ready for it.

To make it even worse he told me he’s taking the class of one of the idiot brothers who are trying to make my life hell and he said he really isn’t learning anything in the class. Of course he isn’t, they’re not interested in teaching anything. They’re interested in his cash.

He was still a good guy and he did what he could in that situation. I tried to hide how all of this infuriates me but I don’t think I did a good job of it. He told me he learned more in an hour of talking to me than he has in the whole class so far. It doesn’t surprise me at all.

I’m through whining about it though. I am going to DO something about it. I know I am not qualified to do a lot of things but both being a comedian and helping others to achieve the most out of their ability is something I can do in my sleep. I have the skills to do this.

What I am really lacking is the marketing part of it. That needs to change and I received an email today that just might allow that to happen. Tom Sobel in Louisville has been one of my favorite people in comedy for many years. He is a good person and I’ve always had a positive interaction with him and his entire staff. That’s why I recorded my CD there.

His assistant Kerri is a total sweetheart. She’s very smart and on top of things and wrote me about handling a website for my classes. I was thrilled to get it and I wrote her back as quickly as my fingers would type. She would be someone who could really make this go.

She sent me a return email with about five or six excellent ideas on it and I immediately knew we were on the same page. My old partner had no idea about comedy. He was just a marketing guy who I knew and I had to train him about comedy. Kerri is already around it every day and she’s very hip and understands what I’m trying to do. This could really fly.

Wayne Dyer always uses the phrase ‘When the student is ready the teacher will appear.’ I really feel I’m ready to take these classes to the next level and I feel great about Kerri as a person to help me do that. I think this would be a win/win/win situation. Not only is it a good situation for Kerri and me - it’s great for the future students too. I’m very excited.

Linda Perret is also someone who has offered to help out. She is Gene Perret’s daughter and Gene was Bob Hope’s head writer for many years. They are fantastic people and have been unbelievably nice to me over the years. They see the insanity that’s going on and are both willing to help me any way they can. These are all people I know I can work with.

My friend and ex student Shelley can still help me work on my own site and Uranus too but Kerri is perfect for the role of heading up the comedy class site. When I got her email I knew it was a good match and I will now start laying the foundation to get it all started.

What I want to create is a solid community of like minded funny people who want their comedy skills and contacts to constantly improve. I want to nurture talent and give them a sounding board of someone who has BEEN through the wars, not thinks they’re a comic.

I want to make it fun and entertaining and useful and even something that can be useful long after I’m dead. Just like Laurel and Hardy made me laugh decades after they passed away I want to be one to teach people who aren’t even born yet. It’s ‘laugh after death’.

Technology sure is available for me to do that and everyone else too. We can all write a book or make a CD or a film and produce it ourselves for as low of cost as has ever been. In the past only a precious few ever got to do any of that but now it’s open to everybody.

If I don’t have a fantastic package of my comedy class available with all the latest state of the art technology then it’s my own fault. It might take a lot of work but that’s where I will beat those other jabronies. I’m willing to work at it and I know how I want it to look and sound and be. I’ve got fifteen years of solid teaching under my belt. They sure don‘t.

The real money with this will be in duplicating myself. I have the outline of a book with my class notes and they’ve taken me years to perfect. I also can put the basics of all of the lessons on both audio and video. I can package it for specific needs of specific customers and there are several markets to hit. I’ve had these ideas for years. It’s time to DO them.

Maybe having this whole ugly breakup was a positive thing after all. It does free me up to do this how I always wanted to do it but my other partner let it stagnate. He didn’t do a damn thing until I had to amputate him and then he took my ideas and tried to bastardize them behind my back. I won’t let that happen without a fight. Kerri will be able to help.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Timbo, Rocky & Jim

Wednesday September 24th, 2008 - Waukegan, IL

I didn’t do one damn lick of the work I had planned to do today but I still had a fantastic day anyway. I hung out with some people I don’t normally hang out with and the vibe was positive the entire time. It helped keep my mind off the fact that today is the 46th birthday of my childhood best friend Timbo. It didn’t finish the job because I still remembered it.

He’s the guy that tried to blame one of the two bank robberies he committed on yours truly and it does haunt me even now. I still have nightmares about it and I’ll wake up in a cold sweat in some hotel room somewhere and then stare up at the ceiling and rehash it.

Timbo was my best friend for all the important formative years stuff. He was as close as close gets - even closer than my real siblings. Having to wear a wire and get him to admit he robbed the bank is still THE hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and I’ve had my share of difficult things to do. If this life is meant for lesson learning I’ve got about a dozen PhDs.

I know today is Timbo’s birthday just like he knows when mine is. I have been asked if I would ever talk to him again and I can’t answer that honestly. I don’t know. He wasn’t a very good friend to put me in that situation in the first place and then he lied about taking the blame for it like he said he would. He tried to throw me under the bus and it hurt a lot.

I’ve had a couple of people over the years say they’ve spoken to him about it and he has only bad things to say about me but if we were one on one I don’t think he’d be so cocky. There would be a few heated words exchanged I’m sure but he knows he’s the one that is at fault here and I do too. There isn’t anything to argue about. We both know all the facts.

It’s a shame that this had to happen and I don’t know if I believe that there was a reason for it like a lot of people think. What reason could there be? He decided to rob a bank that he used to work at because he was angry he was losing his security job. His intention was to stick it to the bank president who fired him. How is it that I had to fit into all that too?

I don’t know but it sure wasn’t pleasant. In the end who won? NOBODY. He did prison time and I lost a best friend - but he did too. I sometimes will be watching a Packer game in some strange town and know he’s watching it too. We used to call each other afterward and dissect the game and there was a close bond there for both of us. Now it’s a memory.

It’s been over ten years since I’ve seen Timbo and the last time I actually spoke to him I was wearing a wire for the government while sitting in a George Webb restaurant before I was going to testify in front of a grand jury. That’s not really a good way to end things up but that’s how it ended. I remember walking back from the restaurant and crying bitterly.

I’ve had a lot more problems since that day but none of them could match this one. It’s a lingering pain that I probably will always have but if he came to me now and wanted to be friends again I think I would have to say no. It hurts too much even now. But if he saw me on the street and came up and talked to me I don’t know what I’d do. I honestly don’t.

Maybe some of this baggage is why I have been farting around with the movie script for so long. Am I afraid of this story? Again, I really don’t know. Does it still hurt? Yeah. It’s still a heartache even this many years later. I thought about it as soon as I woke up today.

Getting back in touch with my writing partner Rick Kaempfer last week was exactly the thing I needed to get this project jump started again. He gave me a copy of our script and I read it all the way through today. Was it just a coincidence that it was Timbo’s birthday?

I can’t answer that but again I did think about it. It seems kind of weird but this whole damn situation is about as weird as weird gets. I tried to read it from just the standpoint of how funny and well constructed I thought it was and I do have to say I was quite pleased.

There are some laugh out loud funny lines in it and yes it still needs tweaking but it is a quality product in my opinion and I am not ashamed to show it to anyone. That’s the key. If I don’t believe in it how can I ever sell it to someone else? I really think we nailed it.

This wasn’t the major part of my day though. I had breakfast with a former student who is a sales person by trade and was making a sales call not far from me. We hadn’t visited for a long time but cleaning out my email stack put us back in touch again. He’s a sincere and honest and funny guy and I love his vibe. His name is Rocky Ruggiero. Great name.

Rocky and I had breakfast and kicked around ideas and I was thrilled to get back on the radar of a positive guy like him. We both agreed we want to surround ourselves with that and today was a good start. We sat and kicked around ideas and I learned a lot just from a single breakfast. Rocky has excellent organizational skills while mine are akin to a goat‘s.

The first thing I did after breakfast was go to the Office Depot and buy some binders for comedy classes coming up. I have always meant to do that but now I have all I need to get prepared and make sure I have paperwork done and not be running around the day before.

I had a dentist appointment today but it got postponed because my dentist just got back from a visit to Russia where he’s from. My appointment was botched and he apologized but what could I say? I wasn’t angry about it and it will save me the cost of the crown he is going to put in that I’ve been dreading for weeks now. I’ll have another week to wait.

Tonight I went to the car auction in Waukegan with a very good guy named Jim. He’s a reader of my blog and emailed me asking if I wouldn’t mind going along to show him the ropes at the auction. I never mind that and in fact I totally enjoy it so of course I said yes.

Jim drove down from Milwaukee and it was very flattering to hear him say he reads my blog regularly. He’s a smart guy and also a dented can and I hope I helped him get a feel for the auction. He shared a little of his story with me and I could relate to every bit of it. I respect the fact that like me he chose not to let it defeat him and he’s making his life now what it wasn’t as a kid and I respect him beyond words for doing it. He bought me dinner too and didn’t have to do that. I hope I can return the favor. Rocky and Jim saved my day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Patience Test

Tuesday September 23rd, 2008 - Chicago, IL

Every day seems to bring another test of my patience. I was in a great mood after Zanies last night and I stayed up late writing down ideas and reading and deciding what I wanted to do today. I’m in a pretty good space in my head and have been making good decisions.

My test was an email I received from one of my former students saying he sent an email to my ex business partner asking when intermediate classes were and was told ‘Dobie has decided to take a break from teaching for a while.’ I have? When was that decision made?

This ugly situation just will not go away. I wrote back to the student and explained it all and copied Mr. Embezzler and his two henchmen on it. I told straight up what went down and didn’t pull any punches. I also said I’ll out work, out class and out hustle them all and I plan on doing exactly that. They are being nothing short of evil with all this and I hate it.

I’m not the only one to have this kind of problem I’m sure and now I need to solve it in a way that is both professional but also does the job. What exactly that is I am not sure of right now. I don’t want to have to resort to their brand of dirty pool but it’s getting closer.

A few years ago I did a corporate show for Whirlpool. The guy in charge was very nice and we hit it off right away. He was telling me how a Korean company came along with a direct copy of the Whirlpool dishwasher and sold it for WAY less than Whirlpool could. I asked him how they did that and he said they bought a real one and reverse engineered it.

Was it fair? No. Was it right? Not in my estimation. But was it reality? Absolutely YES and Whirlpool had to figure out a plan how to recover from it. I never found out what was decided on but I never forgot that story. It seems like an all too similar scenario to mine.

I’m not the first person to ever teach a comedy class. Quite frankly there are several that have been at it longer than I have. Judy Carter wrote her book in the ‘80s. Good for her. It is very well done. Neil Leiberman has taught in San Francisco for years. He usually has a one on one relationship with a student but he’s done seminars too. That’s not a problem.

There’s Steve North and Greg Dean in L.A., Jeff Justice in Atlanta and my friend Joey Callahan teaches in Philadelphia. What I have a problem with is Chicago was my territory and like old wrestling promoters in the past once a person has a territory it’s hands OFF.

The same thing should happen here too, especially since the people who are trying to do this were TRAINED BY ME in the first place. They are being vindictive and nasty and to sit back and just take it is not my nature. I have always pushed back to playground bullies my entire life and even though I’ve gotten bloodied up many times I just can’t back down.

An honorable thing for all three of them to do would be just go away and do something else somewhere else. I have established a successful relationship with both Zanies and my students for fifteen years now. They don’t respect that. I was here first - just GO AWAY.

This is not going to be the case with this particular situation and I’m going to have to be careful how I handle it or I could find myself in a number of bad places - prison being one of them. If I focus on what they’re doing I’ll end up using a six iron to enhance my point.

That’s not smart but a lot of people in prisons across the world have done things that are not what could be called ‘career planning’. In a split second the mind can make a decision that affects a lifetime and I don’t want to put myself in a position to have that temptation.

I know there is an anger and a rage inside me that is a sleeping giant. Maybe we all have it to a certain degree but mine has been poked at for as long as I can remember. I have had a lot of issues with anger over the years and it’s caused countless outbursts even if a lot of them were very funny…to the outside observer. To me it’s the culmination of frustration.

Drunken hecklers in comedy clubs have long been the target of my wrath. I have a very well earned reputation of not being one to mess with but idiot after idiot tries it anyway. It gets very old after a while and this whole situation is starting to tire me too. Just go away and leave me alone. I don’t want to waste one second having to deal with this. It’s boring.

I’ve been really working on my anger over the years and it’s getting much better. I very much want to be known as a kind person and a giver and a teddy bear - not some evil ogre who is a 24 hour nonstop tirade machine. Many other people who would have lived what I lived would have snapped a long time ago and even I’m surprised I haven’t done it yet.

Having this situation being stuck in my face doesn’t make it any easier. They’re poking a tiger and they’re laughing about it behind my back. They think it’s cute and funny and it makes them think they’re putting one over on me by taking my passion and pissing on it.

I feel like Carrie and it’s about to be prom night. I don’t want to be in that position and I am doing everything I can to avoid it but I know that at least some of that anger is floating around somewhere and even though it’s not up top on the surface it still exists down deep inside my tank. I don’t drink or do drugs because that would be just asking for trouble.

It’s not like Jekyll and Hyde. Dave Thomas from Wendy’s is a guy I would have loved to have met because he had this anger too. He was adopted and it bothered him his whole life even though he got rich and famous. He dealt with his anger in many ways. Drinking was one unfortunately but being charitable was another. I want to choose the high road.

That’s not always an easy decision especially when I have situations like this one. It’s a speck on the grand scale of life but it’s a speck on MY life so it feels bigger. I’ll bet there are people in the financial business that would gladly trade places with me right now and their billion dollar collapse means nothing to me either. I need to put this in perspective.

The happy ending to all this would be for those knobs to have motivated me so much I create THE best, most popular and highest money generating comedy course in recorded history and helps make this cosmic pebble of insanity a lot funnier. We could all use that.

Two Way Respect

Monday September 22nd, 2008 - Chicago, IL

Rodney Dangerfield’s all time classic hook was ‘no respect’ but in actuality he had a lot of it - especially from other comedians. Rodney could spot talent and brought a lot of new comics up the ladder including Sam Kinison, Jim Carrey and a whole flock of others too.

I saw an interview with Roseanne Barr talking about how Rodney was the father figure and mentor to a lot of New York comics when he was around my age and they were all in their 20s. She talked about how much they looked up to him and I could tell she meant it. I looked up to him too and I wasn’t even a comic then. I just knew I was seeing greatness.

When I started in Milwaukee C. Cardell Willis was my mentor. I speak of him often as I think of him often. He instilled the basics of comedy in me that I still use today and I will never forget both his kindness or his lessons. He taught all of us locals how to be comics.

After a long hard road of learning through many mistakes I’m finally starting to feel my own growing degree of respect from the group of new Chicago comics at Zanies. I am an observer of comedy and also still a student and I love being able to be in the mix of all the young talent coming up these days. I love hosting the Monday shows. It keeps me sharp.

It’s been quite a while now since Bert Haas started the showcase nights on Mondays but they’ve really come into their own. Lots of people are using it to build and sharpen an act and that’s part of what it’s for. There are some bright young comics who are really good. I am amazed at both their natural talent and their drive to get better. I was the same way.

I always try to compliment as many of them as I possibly can but I mean what I say. I’m not just pumping sunshine to any of them. I watch their acts and make notes and make it a point to tell them when they’ve done something good rather than just rip them for the bad. I do that too but only when necessary. More often than not I try to just give them a boost.

Well, word is spreading and I now see people who have never met me before come over and say ‘I just wanted to shake your hand. I’ve heard SO much about you.’ I’m absolutely flattered when they do that but they do it more and more. I guess I’m making a difference with someone after all. I’m sure there are those who think I’m a prong but not that many.

It feels REALLY good to have that respect from the younger generation of comics here in Chicago. Most of the older guys wouldn’t talk to me when I started but those who did I cherish even today. Hopefully I will be the same way to at least some of these people and in the future when I’m senile and drooling maybe some will still remember me fondly.

There is a good energy in Chicago with comics like Hannibal Burress and Adam Burke and Bryan Berrey and Tony Talley and a whole lot more who I won’t name because I will forget someone and I don’t want to do that. I like and respect these people and I know the process they are going through so if I can be an encouraging ‘big brother’ type I’ll do that because I know how good it feels to have someone who has done it take time to share it.

Tonight’s show was packed with strong acts and I just sat back and enjoyed how far all of them have come since I’ve met them. I doubt if I had much to do with any of them but if I was able to offer even slight encouragement than I’ve done my job. They were great.

Azhar Usman is a Muslim-American comic who’s part of a tour called ‘Allah Made Me Funny’ along with my old Milwaukee cohort Preacher Moss. Azhar looks like a terrorist with long shoulder length hair and a full beard and dark skin and of course he jokes about it but WOW has he come a long way in a short time. He’s really got his groove working.

His ten minute set tonight was hilarious, well paced but also had a message too. I sat in awe as he went up and bowled the crowd over and I had to shake his hand and tell him. It lit up his whole being and he deserved it. He has always made it a point to say how much I influenced and encouraged him when he started but he’s taken it a long way on his own.

Jena Friedman is another gem. Not only is she stunningly beautiful she’s very dark with her humor and it’s a fantastic mix. She just moved to New York and I predict big success for her in a short time. Tina Fey is gorgeous, smart and funny and so is Jena Friedman.

Beth Stelling is another whiz kid who is deeply talented. She’s only been doing comedy just under a year and she’s WAY ahead of the curve already. She needs seasoning but she knows it and seeing her go up and let it rip tonight was a treat also. I was very impressed.

Ken Schultz is a twenty-something skinny white kid with a deep baritone voice that has all the women swooning. He’s got funny jokes too and he is an up and comer. Closing the show tonight was a kid out of Indiana named Brian Aldridge. He opened for me just a few years ago and was just ok but he’s grown a lot since then and tonight he brought the heat.

These are all comics who are coming into their own and I want to print their names now because I can see all of them doing something good if they stick around. I sure do hope all of them do because the more of them that hit it big the better chance I have to be a mooch and beg them for a job. These newbies are breathing down my neck and I admire them all.

I needed a good night because I thought our Jerry’s Kidders segment on WLS was very weak this morning. The stories weren’t that strong and we were all over the place and it’s the luck of the odds. Not every show can be stellar and some are better than others. Today I thought we mangled it and were talking over each other and wasn’t happy with it at all.

Then walking out of the studio I had a sales guy say ‘Sounding GREAT in there today!’ I smiled and said thanks and then someone else said it too. Like I’ve been saying for the last few days - it doesn’t really matter if we stunk or not. People perceived us to be funny.

I was embarrassed at how bad we were but I could tell those people were sincere so the thing to do is smile and thank them and that’s what I did. It’s not about me or us, it’s the people listening. If they liked it, we’re golden. Today they liked it. I don’t get it but that’s how it worked out. The older I get the wackier the world gets. At least Zanies was good.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Fall Cleanse

Sunday September 21st, 2008 - Kenosha, WI/Lake Villa, IL

I spent this first day of fall cleaning out the constipated festering bowels of my severely backed up email list and I couldn’t feel any more satisfied. That was something I’ve been needing and wanting to do for months but today was the day I finally took some action.

This has been an ongoing problem in my life but I can’t believe I’m the only one who is fighting it. Email is a fact of life in the 21st century and for me it’s more than that. It’s my bread and butter and much if not most of my living is made by emailing bookers for gigs.

Not only that I’ve acquired a ton of friends and acquaintances and former students over the years and they send me things I need to respond to and I only have so much time so it becomes harder and harder to keep caught up once they start piling up. I was way behind.

I got up at 7am and went right to the computer and started working. I weeded out all the ones that concerned events that already expired and unfortunately there were several. I did not get to them in time and it’s over with so there’s nothing I can do other then move on.

Then I took the time to answer as many as I could and I kept typing and apologizing and typing some more and finally by about 7pm I had the list down to under 100. That’s a big jump and even though I didn’t finish I did answer a lot of the difficult ones that required a longer answer and after every one I felt just a little bit better. It was like a colon cleanse.

I can’t guarantee I won’t get in this situation again but I sure am going to attempt to not let that happen. This is like letting a huge back log of dirty laundry accumulate or a lot of yard work. Little bursts of regular maintenance prevent an all out assault like I did today.

There were some emails I’ve been meaning to get to for many months. On the good side I reconnected with a bunch of people I’ve been out of touch with so that’s a huge positive. There were comedians and friends and women I like and now I’ll see who writes me back so I can reconnect with those people who I need to be connected with now. I needed this.

Slowly but surely I’ve been making some good decisions lately. Getting back with Rick Kaempfer and restarting the movie script was a winning decision as was today’s full day of catching up. It had gone unattended far too long and there was only one way to fix it.

That doesn’t mean I’m finished though. I still have almost 100 more to get to and by the time I get back from WLS and Zanies tomorrow there will be a ton of fresh ones to get to. And I haven’t even done a mass emailing to bookers yet even though I did interact with a few in the process of answering the pile throughout the day. That’s next on the to do list.

Tonight’s Mothership Connection radio show on WLIP in Kenosha was one of the best we’ve done so far. We had great guests and it flowed very well all the way through a two hour show. We’ve been improving steadily and now it’s time to start thinking about ways to make this project turn a buck. This was a very productive day and I’m giddy about that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Catchup And Flustered

Saturday September 20th, 2008 - Cary, IL

I don’t like being off on Saturday nights. Period. I’ve had more this year than I can ever remember and part of it is my fault. I haven’t been keeping up on my booking schedule as I should and coupled with clubs closing left and right I’ve got a Swiss cheese calendar.

I did get some work done though so it wasn’t a total loss. I put a dent in my emails and I felt a little better every time I hit the ‘send’ button. I shaved about 200 or so off the pile of 500 plus that built up so I still have a lot more to go but at least I did get the ball rolling.

This morning Jerry Agar called and asked if I wanted to go see his son Tanner’s football game and I couldn’t say no. Tanner is a great kid and this was the big homecoming so that was one I couldn’t miss. Tanner hurt his shoulder and has been out but he played most of the game on defense and did fine. Usually he’s a running back and also returns kickoffs.

Jerry said the kids love it when I come to their ballgames and plays and school pageants or whatever they’re doing and I guess I didn’t really think about it. I’ve known all of them since they were born and they’re all super kids and it makes me proud to see their growth. Their mom and dad show up and I thought that was what was really important, not me.

If I can make a kid happy I will ALWAYS do it. That’s what I live for. Over the course of my life I’ve dated several women with kids and I usually end up liking the kids at least as much if not more than the woman. I don’t know what it is but they are drawn to me.

Seeing all the parents at the game today supporting their kids and cheering them on was very bittersweet. The more I sat there the more bitter it was. I am NEVER going to have it and all the excuses of why I couldn’t play sports in high school are just as stupid thinking about them now as they were back then. I got cheated and there’s no way to change that.

I know I wouldn’t have played in the NFL or maybe even been good enough to play on the freshman team at Welding Academy or Diesel Truck Driving School but it would’ve been FUN and all these years later I’d have great memories and not a dark empty void.

I’m still happy for Tanner. He won’t be having these regrets when he’s my age and I’m thrilled about that. Nobody should. I couldn’t control it back then. My grandparents didn’t want me to play sports because they thought I’d get hurt and/or blow off my studies. Ugh.

Whatever injuries I might have had would now be healed and I was an A student for all four years. School was always a breeze for me for whatever reason and I got good grades without even trying. Why couldn’t I have some fun playing football? I still don’t like it.

This makes me even gladder that I never stopped my dream of being a comedian even if it did get hard at times. I know a lot of people that did stop and they must feel about it as I feel about football. There’s an emptiness inside and it never goes away. I don’t want to be that way in comedy too so time to keep working. 300 emails to go and then it’s bookings.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Asleep At My Wheel

Friday September 19th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

I thought I’d really wasted my day today but it turned out OK at the end. I had planned on taking the whole day to get caught up with emails and calls and I woke up early to get started but I was still tired so I fell back to sleep and didn’t wake up until almost noon.

I don’t know why I was that tired and I couldn’t believe my watch as I looked at it when I woke up again. I farted around for a while and checked my email which had now added even more to the pile and I started to answer some of them but my heart wasn’t really in it so I flipped through the TV channels looking for some inspiration or motivation or boobs.

I settled on the Cubs game and watched them get pounded for a few innings and then it seemed like a good idea to take a nap. I’d just wasted the morning so why not make a day of it? I nodded right off and woke up at 7:30pm. Now I’d wasted the entire afternoon too.

This is not like me at all. If I have one trait it’s action and usually I’m out doing at least SOMETHING even if it’s not 100% focused on making me a rich and famous comedian. I usually am hanging out at a thrift store or car auction or sports card show or something.

Hibernating the day away like a bear is not usually something I do and I have no reason for it other than that’s what I did. I don’t feel sick and I don’t feel the blackness of a dark depression spell so I have no excuses. I fell asleep for almost a whole day and that’s that.

I did feel pretty good the second time I got up though. I felt rested and relaxed and sharp mentally so rather than get angry about the day I thought I wasted I tried to figure out how I could salvage it and make it worth my while. I ended up re-watching ‘The Secret’ video.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen it and I fell in love with it all over again. It changed my life when I first saw it and I need to keep filling my head with it and things like it. We all can benefit from the Law of Attraction because like gravity it’s a factor constant to us all. What we think about most becomes our reality. Period. I sometimes let my head wander.

Seeing that video was exactly what I needed today to put me in a good space. Yes I did snooze away the day but I guess I needed to wipe away some fatigue or whatever it was I slept away and now it seems like I’m back in sync with the universe. I feel back in stride.

I’m still going to get busy and put a dent in what I need to get done this weekend but I’ll be in a good mental space when I do it. I have to get ready to teach classes again and put a plan of action together to make Uranus Factory Outlet a reality and reshape my whole life so I can pack in all the things I really want to do and weed out the useless things I don’t.

Sleeping away one day out of my life won’t kill me. I’ve done it before but not too often so if it’s only today I’ll be ok. If I do it again tomorrow I won’t be happy about it so rather than worry about it I’ll just go with the flow. I feel fresh and ready to start working on my dreams. Good thing I’m not married. Most wives would probably not have let me do this.

Time To Make Time

Thursday September 18th, 2008 - Roscoe, IL

Time to make time to make money. I’m having all kinds of time management problems and none of them are new. I’m falling behind on the usual things like answering my email and calls and I’m also trying to squeeze in exercising and reading and that slows me down even more. I’m going to have to make some tough decisions and limit my activities soon.

One thing I have to stop doing is so many time consuming favors. Comics often ask me to ‘look over their tape’ or former students ask advice and I have always tried to help out if at all possible. I’ve given and given and given some more and now I have to stop or at least severely cut back on it. I’m just physically running out of time to get my work done.

Most people don’t abuse it but a few do and they don’t realize they are being rude. I’ve always tried to be nice but nice just doesn’t work. When I do flip out or tell someone it’s over the line then I’m the prong and word gets out that I’m blowing people off. Not true.

I’ve said it before though and it’s a fact - it doesn’t matter what’s true. It matters what is PERCEIVED to be true. All the times I try to help out don’t seem to get noticed but ONE time when I can’t or won’t and it starts the grapevine buzzing. That’s just how it works.

Gay rumors are another thing that work like that. There are some people that swear I’m gay and have spread rumors for years. That’s the perception and I can’t change it. I could have sex with Jessica Simpson on the 50 yard line during halftime of the Super Bowl and those same few would still think I’m light in the loafers. That’s what their perception is.

If I was gay I’d admit it and probably have jokes about it but I swear I’m not. I realize it appears odd to some that I’m 45 and never married but there are other reasons for that and I really don’t care what anyone else thinks. I wouldn’t mind proving it with Jessica during this year’s Super Bowl but I doubt if I’ll get my chance. She never returns my phone calls.

I would love to share a life with someone I love but right now even if I had one lined up I wouldn’t have time to spend with her anyway. It’s killing me but there’s just too much I need to catch up on before I can even think about having any long term relationships with any women. I’ll probably be too old by the time I am so I am not going to worry about it.

I need to catch up on about 500 emails, too many calls to count, income taxes, bookings for comedy gigs and one thing I’ve really been blowing off and that’s the movie script for my infamous bank robbery story that I’ve been working on for far too many years now. It should have been finished way way long ago but for many reasons it’s never gotten done.

That’s going to stop because I’m going to make it stop. I reconnected today for a lunch with Rick Kaempfer who is my writing partner on this project. Rick is absolutely the best partner I could hope for on this and he is as ready to get back to this project as am I. He’s got his own projects he’s working on in addition to having a wife and three great kids and we let this lapse. I wasn’t angry with him and thankfully he wasn’t angry with me either.

We had a nice groove going for a long time and we work very well together. He’s very German in that his work ethic is strong and prevalent and I love that. I have a little bit of the old workhorse in me too and when we did focus on this we made leaps of progress.

We’re on our fourth or fifth version of the script but each one becomes better and better and we both agreed it wasn’t the worst thing to take some time off. We’re both coming at it with fresh eyes and after re-looking at what we’ve written I agree. There are some very funny parts of this script but again that’s not important. Will it be PERCEIVED as funny?

Rick and I are totally on the same page with this and I was thrilled to hear that. He and I agree we need to come up with a treatment which describes the actual story line and all of the characters. Then while we pass that around to anyone we know we finish the script so when someone wants to see a copy we’ll have one to show them that’s completely done.

We both know that even if we sell it whoever buys it will change it significantly. We’re aware of that and at this point we want to FINISH it and offer it up for sale. Selling it is a whole new challenge but both of us have a few possible contacts to help us get started.

This was a very productive way to spend a lunch and I can feel I made the absolute right choice in picking Rick to be my partner on this. He is in a good space and I could tell he’s not going to quit until this project is finished, sold and then we’re going to write the book. First things first though. We’ll get the treatment finished and then start to shop that first.

These are the kinds of lunches and meetings I need to have more of. I felt very upbeat as I drove to Jim McHugh’s house so we could pick up Mike Preston and all drive out for an hour slot on the ‘Stone and Double T’ radio show on ‘105 The X’ in Rockford. We had a show in a small town called Roscoe, IL for a room full of local mayors of nearby towns.

Jim McHugh set it up months ago because he met one of the mayors a while back as he was opening a show for B.J. Thomas. The mayor asked if Jim would bring comedians for their meeting and Jim said yes. Supposedly this was an audition for future gigs. We‘ll see. Nobody got paid but we did get a ‘free dinner’ which wasn’t worth even half of that price.

It was low grade but none of us complained. We all smiled and ate our gruel and had to then go up in the corner of a room that wasn’t right for comedy but we still pulled off one of the best shows we’ve done in a long time. Those people absolutely LOVED the show. Mike Preston was on fire but Jim and I had strong showings also. This was a big success.

But was it? Driving to Roscoe, IL for a crappy meal hoping to get booked for a town’s local fish festival next summer was a reach. Sure, we MIGHT get someone to remember us but basically those people got a free show and there are no guarantees of even one gig.

I love Jim McHugh and it was great to hang out with he and Mike Preston but this isn’t the way to get rich and/or famous. It wasted a whole evening and after this much time in comedy I have a limited number of nights to waste. One for two on my decisions today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Guess I'm Back

Wednesday September 17th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

I guess I’m back again. I have been receiving calls and emails from people I don’t even know telling me to keep going with my diary so I am going to do it. I appreciate all those who took time to pass along a good word but that’s really not why I stopped. I was tired.

Then I stopped and realized I was wrong. I wasn’t so much tired as frustrated. I felt like I was in a mental mud rut spinning my wheels. I know I’m a dented can and have battled, boxed and kung fu fought depression for many years. This was another spat but no matter how long they last or how deep they go I always have a creative surge directly afterward.

ALWAYS. It’s like a rainbow after a thunderstorm. If I slide into the darkness I end up at the other end of it loaded with ideas and can see things I didn’t see before. If that’s the definition of manic then maybe that’s what I’ve got but it’s so erratic I can’t define it with any degree of certainty. The fact is sometimes I slip into a funk and it’s a place I abhor.

The place I am always happy to be is lost deep in creativity. It doesn’t matter if I’m on a stage or in a radio studio or doing a crossword puzzle or writing jokes (or anything else) it focuses my inner hurricane and stops it from wiping out my happiness. I love to be busy.

Wait - check that. I love to be busy at something I enjoy doing. One of my problems is I enjoy doing a lot of things and then I let everything else lapse and I am back in a funk one more time. I don’t like that formula but it’s been pretty consistent over the years. It’s time to break through and make my mark in life. I don’t want to die with any fun left inside.

I still have a great opportunity to make a mark in the comedy world. I am a kick ass act and the sooner I believe that the better it will serve me. I know I can hang with just about anyone working today famous or not on an ability basis. Now I have to do business better.

I heard from the Craig Ferguson Show talent booker today and she said she couldn’t get her computer to open the file I sent her so I cut and pasted it and sent it to her in an email. I didn’t make excuses like I have in the past and I didn’t let it go thinking deep inside I’m not good enough to get on the show. I am absolutely good enough and I want to go do it.

This is not only for me but for all the dented cans and underdogs in life who were told it wouldn’t happen or that they’d never amount to anything. I heard that from my father but I never believed it and now he’s dead so it doesn’t matter at all what he thinks anymore.

It never really did. I knew from an early age he wasn’t in my corner so that freed me up to pursue my comedy dreams, many of which I have seen become reality. Now there’s the opportunity to rework that dream and change my direction and take it to a higher plane.

The thing Vince Lombardi talked about and my grandfather and many others who know about achievement all talk about giving 100% TOTAL EFFORT. That’s where to find the true victory in any endeavor. I wasn’t giving that so that’s why I think I felt so frustrated.

It isn’t easy to have a full out effort on anything because it’s HARD WORK. It’s mental and physical work and it requires planning and follow through and one glitch can throw a monkey wrench into everything and wipe it all out. I know, I’ve had it happen frequently.

Tough. It happens to everyone and it’s part of the game. Those that can’t deal with it are never going to see their dreams come true and they’ll be even more miserable than I am. I am not going to make any excuses or blame anyone else. It’s up to me to get myself going in the right direction but it doesn’t mean I can’t surround myself with fun people to do it.

I took a long walk today and thought about a lot of things as I usually do. There is a tiny bit of fall in the air but the weather was more summer like and the sun either baked all my ideas in or out of my head. I’m still not sure. I do know they were flowing all over today.

What I need to do is sort out exactly what I want to do and where I want to go. Then I’ll go through my list of contacts and see who is still on the good side and pick the ones who I think will want to come along for the ride. Contacts are a very important part of all this.

I really am sorry about what went down with the whole embezzlement thing with my ex business partner. That’s going to be an issue for a while but how I handle it will shape the outcome of the situation. If I flip out and do something stupid I’ll wind up in prison. I am not afraid to go to prison and that alone should be frightening to anyone who crosses me.

That’s not what I feel is the right thing to do though. The truth is he and his two minion morons are followers and not leaders. They never had the idea to do a comedy class. I did. I thought of it, developed it, put it into practice and most of all - I enjoyed it. I loved all of the aspects of it but they’re not in it for love. They think they are going to make a fortune.

Maybe they will. Even so, there is enough left over for me. I don’t need all that much to totally change my life in a positive way and if I focus on those three rat terds it will lessen my ability to enjoy my own accomplishments. That’s SO difficult to remember but I need to or it will drive me over the edge. This is the delicate thought balance I need every day.

I looked through my contact list today and there are a lot of names I haven’t crossed any paths with for far too long. That alone will keep me busy for weeks and I need to start the process ASAP. The first thing I need to do is update all my previous list of bookers on my current avails for work. I’ll put some work on my calendar just from that and I can use it.

The Uranus Factory Outlet project is my baby and that is one thing I am not going to let die before I do. No matter if it blows up in my face or makes me world famous I am going to get my head out of the fog and right into Uranus. I have books to read and funny things to sell and smiles to put on faces of people all over the world. This is my true life’s work.

I did not stop writing because I was looking for sympathy or anything else. I thought I’d run my course with this but the notes I got from so many proved me wrong. Now I’ll take it upon myself to prove everyone was right and give them something good to read about.

Wall Street Woes

Tuesday September 16th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

What a mess everything is right now. I’m looking around not only at my own life but at the entire world and I don’t know where to start. The TV and radio are all abuzz about the collapse of the stock market and how it’s like 9/11 all over again. It’s all very disturbing.

What’s even more disturbing is that I have no idea what they’re talking about. I’m not a financial guy and wouldn’t know a good stock from soup stock. That’s totally my fault as I’m sure I could have educated myself if I truly wanted to but I never wanted to. Money is something I always thought would just come to me when I needed it so I never studied it.

How wrong I was. Or was I? I have a few friends who did play the market and they lost not only their ass but the pants their asses rested in. All that’s left are a bunch of bald bare scorched red asses that got burned on Wall Street. They’re broke and so am I but at least I had the cahones to go broke doing what I love to do. I also learned how to live like a bug.

My means have been up and down but mostly down over the years. I squeak by with my comedy income and whenever I’ve had radio jobs I’ve been good about saving and then it all dwindles when I get fired. I had some money from my last job at the Loop but now it’s pretty much dwindled and I’m painted into a corner. I need to make money my ally now.

I know it’s not too late to do that and I also know even if I did make my millions soon I wouldn’t piss it away on ‘Hershey bars and Archie comics’ like my grandpa used to say. I would live way beneath my means and that money would be both a security blanket and a chance to help people who really need it more than me. I’d give most of it away. Really.

There is a total joy in giving and I’ve always known that. Whatever I’ve had I have tried to share with as many people as I could and I will always do that until I die. I’m a giver. It has come back to bite me in the ass more than once but in the long run I’m WAY ahead.

I want to be able to use any fame I achieve or money I make for the good of others and I know that sounds corny but I really feel that way. I guess I could go visit a kid somewhere in a hospital and I’d be happy to do it now but it would mean a lot more if I were famous.

But would it really? This is kind of a chicken and egg argument and I’m not up for that. I know I am not where I want to be in my life in many ways and part of it is that I haven’t done the correct things to get there. Some of it is my own fault and maybe it’s more than I am admitting. I need to build good habits in other areas that have stuck like this diary has.

I received quite a few unexpected heartfelt messages today from a wide range of people telling me they already miss reading my daily exploits. I knew I had a few readers but not as many as who took time to write and offer an encouraging word. I was very moved by it and will answer every one of them when I can. Knowing I have made if even a little bit of an impression on some people in a positive way makes me feel great. I remember hearing in radio that ONE phone call equals at least 1000 listeners. I had a few readers after all.

This Sure Feels Weird

Monday September 15th, 2008 - Chicago, IL

Old habits die hard. I’ve been doing a daily diary for so long now that it has grown to be a regular part of my day like bathing or eating or looking at sports scores. It’s so ingrained in me that to stop doing it feels strange. It makes my day feel incomplete so I’ll keep it up even if it’s just for me. The discipline of doing it this long has become a habit. Why stop?

I’ve been keeping a diary in one form or another since I was a kid. I remember having a blank calendar book my grandfather gave me when he worked as a dispatcher of garbage trucks and snow plows for the city of Milwaukee. It was from the previous year but I was a kid and it didn’t matter to me. All I saw were a lot of blank pages that needed filling in.

I wrote about the first Brewers game I went to and about the wrestling matches I saw on TV and the baseball cards I traded with the kids in the neighborhood. Then as I got older I wrote about my grandparents’ constant fighting and not wanting to go live with my father and all his biker idiots and how things were falling apart at an early age. I kept track of it.

I didn’t write every day and like with exercise programs there were times when I fell off the wagon and stayed off for a while but I always kept coming back to it for some reason. I read somewhere that ‘a life worth living is a life worth recording’ or something like that.

I remember going through the darkest time of my life when I was being accused of bank robbery and it looked like I was going to prison for a few years. I kept an audio diary then and talked into a tape recorder every night for a few minutes and sometimes longer. I let it all go and unleashed my true feelings and again something about that felt worth my time.

I think I still have a bunch of those tapes somewhere even though I’ve never listened to even one of them. Every time I look at them I think about throwing them out but then I do what every radio person I know does - close the box back up and put it away again. I have no good reason why but I’m not alone. All my friends in radio have all their old tapes too.

That’s one thing I did manage to let loose. I kept mine for a long time but then I thought about it and saw how stupid that actually was. It would be like keeping high school work thinking there will be a use for it later other than keeping garbage people in business. No.

The main thing I kept a diary for throughout the years was to let my feelings out. I had a pretty isolated life as a kid and other than my grandfather there weren’t very many people I had a close enough relationship with to share those inner thoughts. I felt it was a healthy way to vent and I still do. It’s kind of like working out daily with a mental punching bag.

Today was another typical Monday as they have been for the last year or so. I went into the city to do Jerry’s Kidders on WLS and then stayed to visit the Museum of Science and Industry because it’s free all weekdays in September. I was just there a few weeks ago but I love that place and it was well worth going again. I saw stuff I didn’t see last time and it cheered me up a lot. Anything that stimulates my mind makes me feel like I belong there.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Over And Out - My Last Diary

Sunday September 14th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

Today is the two and a half year anniversary of when I started doing my daily diary and I think I am going to call it quits as of today. The main reason I started doing this was the discipline of writing something every day and after not missing a single day since I started I think I accomplished that. I also wanted to offer a glimpse into the life of a road comic.

I think I did that too. Any younger comic reading about my adventures can hopefully be better prepared for a difficult life which is just not for everyone. A lot of people think this is an easy and glamorous life and I hope I’ve demonstrated that it’s neither. It’s a grind.

The question of whether I’m any farther along than when I started keeping this back on March 14th, 2006 is debatable. I’ve had quite a few adventures all over North America for the entire time and hopefully I have shed some light on what it’s like to live on the road. I have been doing it for so long it’s all just numb to me at this point. It seems like I blew it.

Quite frankly I feel tired and disappointed and that I missed out on what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I have sacrificed a lifetime to get good at comedy and now I feel like the entire business is crumbling and I wasted my life and will never get a fair payoff.

The truth is that ‘fair’ is a word that doesn’t have anything to do with life on this planet. We get what we get and some of us get more than others. I was blessed with an ability for making people laugh whether on stage or on air and I’ve done everything I can to polish it but I also made a lot of mistakes in other areas and all of that combines to find me here.

I may be on the verge of a shot on the Craig Ferguson show and that would be a boost at a time when I could really use one. I know I’m ready for a TV shot but it doesn’t matter at all what I think. The talent booker has to say the magic word and I really hope it happens.

Whether or not it happens I’m going to continue to do comedy as long as I’m here. I am not sure how long that will be and the way I feel lately a trip to the next world would not be a bad thing at all. This one has been very difficult and I’m tired from all the struggles.

I’m still on WLS on Monday mornings but I’m not sure for how long. I don’t feel that it means anything and unless we can draw some people on November 13th in St. Charles at Zanies I will probably fade out and move on. I need to find better uses for my time now.

I am also still struggling with the embezzlement issues from my ex business partner and his two evil minions who are stealing my comedy class ideas as well. That’s a major bone of contention and I’m trying to stay calm and positive but it’s really getting on my nerves.

I would love to make my Uranus Factory Outlet idea come to life but there have been as many blocks in the road as road itself. Maybe having extra time to do that instead of this I will finally get it going. I need something. I feel like I’m drifting through life without any support. This may be the longest suicide note in history. I hope someone learns from it.

This life sure is a hell of a ride sometimes. The older I get the more I see I had a rougher start than most and it’s taking it’s toll on me now. I’m hurting on many levels and haven’t been able to find my stride for any period of time. Just when I think I’m starting to get my groove going something comes out of the blue and obliterates all the progress I had made.

Radio jobs have spanked me the hardest. I dare anyone to move across the country with no guarantees of anything and get blasted out for no real reason and see how you like it. It has left a bad taste in my mouth and I have to admit I wish the people who make people’s lives that unnecessarily difficult get a tropical butt fungus and die of a violent diarrhea.

My life has always been a mess so I didn’t have that far to fall but my friends who were with me at the various stations I worked at had it much worse. I still stay in touch with my partners from the Loop in Chicago Max and Spike and they’re still hurting from our giant bloodbath the week before Christmas in 2004. They’re both super people and it rots ass.

It doesn’t seem to matter who’s good or not, does it? Since I have started writing this on a daily basis I’ve seen my father and Saddam Hussein die in the same year. Both of those idiots never did anything to help their fellow human kind but they died quickly without an iota of pain. I saw my mentor C. Cardell Willis die in a hospice suffering the whole way.

I saw comedians Hugh Neary and Pat Brice and Ken Swann die way too soon and none of it makes any sense to me. I can feel any faith or belief in a God slide out the door and it becomes stronger and stronger every day. I don’t want to feel that way but I absolutely do.

This is not what I want to be spewing every day but it’s honestly what I’ve been feeling. I haven’t met a lot of others who can feel my pain but those who do feel it along with me because they’ve got inner pain too. That’s what all of us share as dented cans. We HURT.

There are a lot of people in the world in pain and they deal with it in different ways. An awful lot of them drown that hurt in booze or snort it up their nose or shoot it in a vein. It isn’t easy slugging through this life without good looks or money or the energy of youth.

I am without all of those things and the older I get the more I realize I’m not going to be able to undo my family mess either. There are a whole lot of unresolved issues there and I have sincerely tried to make up for my mistakes and offer an olive branch of peace but the other people involved just don’t want any part of it. All I can do is move on now. I tried.

I also tried to offer some honest insight on what it’s like to be a real live road comedian. I know a lot of people wonder what it’s like and a lot of people wish they were able to get a chance to do what I’ve done for a lifetime. It had it’s lumps but it still was a lot of fun.

Two and a half years is a long enough time to get a glimpse into what’s inside my head. I am the first one to admit I’m nuts and don’t deny it. In fact I embrace it. Nuts are always the most creative people around. I’m not afraid to die and if I do blow my head off maybe this will get read in hindsight. Whatever. I wrote from my heart, warts and all. Dobie out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Not Just Me

Saturday September 13th, 2008 - Trevor, WI

I’m not the only one having problems figuring out the insanity of the world apparently. I went up to Trevor, WI tonight to a place called Michael’s Pub which does comedy shows once a month to visit my friend Mark Shilobrit. Mark and I go back twenty-five years but I hadn’t seen him in a while. His whole world is crumbling in and I was sorry to hear that.

Mark is absolutely without a doubt THE hardest working guy I can think of. He is a few years older than me but we go back so far I feel like I’ve known him all my life. He isn’t a great comedian but that’s ok. Very few are. He does have a great work ethic though and it has been there as long as I’ve known him. He busted his ass and then some to make a life.

He is a licensed meteorologist and that’s no easy task in itself but he’s a licensed airline pilot too. He has always been going to school in some form or another and he invested his comedy money over the years into furthering his education. He had a very smart life plan.

The bad part is it all blew up in his face as he got let go by his airline after clawing up a huge mountain to get there. Through no fault of his own he is now on the street and has a new house to pay for that he may lose. His wife also lost her job and the worst possibility has come through for both of them. I was really sorry to hear of it and we talked about it.

He has always said he admired how I stuck with comedy and didn’t give up even if my whole world blew up and many times it did. Now his is in shambles and we both couldn’t figure out what the secret path to success really is. We both took different paths and we’re much in the same place so what IS the right way to do it? Neither of us could answer that.

Mark brought his friend Mike out who’s also a very sharp guy. He’s 48 and never been married and we hit it off right away. Mike is a licensed attorney in addition to also being a pilot and he got laid off too. He joined us after the show and we all were whining about life but at least we all could feel each other’s pain. We worked our asses off but for what?

The world seems to be getting more and more insane by the minute. The people that get that seem to be losing faith like I am but I wonder if it’s just happening now or if it’s been like that the whole time and we’re just now getting old enough to grasp it? I don’t know.

A lot of people are really hurting right now in America. We are far from being what we once were and it doesn’t look like we’ll ever get that back. I am sickened by what I see on every newscast and I don’t even want to watch those anymore. Am I turning into what my grandparents were or am I smartening up? I sure don’t see things getting any better soon.

Do you? I wish I had hope that this was just a little slump but I highly doubt it. There is a big feeling of disappointment and disillusionment taking over the middle class and it’s a very ominous feeling. Jokes are nice but they can only divert the pain for a little while. To say nothing is wrong is just plain stupid. It IS wrong but who’s going to fix it? Neither of the political parties will be able to do it. It’s going to take a major effort from all of us.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Little Big Stuff

Friday September 12th, 2008 - Muskego, WI

I’ve said it before and it’s still true - little things please me but they also drive me nuts. Big things don’t really shake me either way but the small stuff does it big time. I know it shouldn’t be that way at least according to that book but I know myself and that’s just me.

Tonight I did a show in Muskego, WI with my friend Steve DeClark. He found a theatre that just opened in an industrial park type of area and they were looking to try new events. Steve has always been a hustler and an excellent sales person and he sold them on having a comedy show. I never would have found this place so I was glad he asked me to do it.

The people who own it are a married couple and the woman used to work in L.A. in the television industry apparently. Steve’s wife Gail did also and was successful but when the kids starting showing up they decided it would be better to raise them in the Midwest and I think that was probably an excellent decision. I couldn’t imagine raising kids out there.

I could sense the owners being a little tense before the show but they’d never seen either of us before and I can understand that. The theatre isn’t huge but it’s very comfortable for both audience and performers and there was a healthy size crowd even if much of it were friends and family and work mates of someone involved with the theatre. It was still full.

Steve went up and did a nice warm up set and I could tell they were into it. I knew what to do and how to do it and I was on for an hour and ten minutes and still had material left over. I worked very clean and loved the fact they were listening and not drunk and stupid.

These are the kinds of audiences I’d love to play for every night. I would like to do it in a larger venue but the vibe in there tonight was really good. They got it and after the show I was sitting behind a curtain toweling off and drinking a water as many of them filed out.

I could hear all of their unvarnished comments because they couldn’t see me. They were lined up and gushing to the owners with things like ‘He was REALLY funny!’ and ‘When is he coming back?’ and ‘I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.’ It was fun to listen in but it also let me know that maybe I do have an audience for what I do after all.

These people were not comedy club patrons per se. They were just regular people living in a smaller town but they’re not hicks. Muskego has 21,000 people according to the sign. There are towns like this all over America and if I can get them to like me I’ll do alright.

These people sure liked it tonight. It wasn’t a huge audience but they were great and I’m very content with how everything went. It’s not a career maker and nobody who’ll be able to help me in Hollywood was there but even still I enjoyed it anyway. It was a total blast.

I stopped at a Salvation Army on the way and found an art design maker from the ’70s called Spirograph. I hadn’t seen one in years and I got it for a buck. I didn’t hear from the Craig Ferguson show today but I did find a Spirograph. To me that was just as exciting.

9/11 Ramblings

Thursday September 11th, 2008 - Milwaukee, WI/West Bend, WI

I love my country. I really do. I’m grateful and proud to have been born in a place where there is so much abundance of opportunity and I don’t take it for granted for half a second but I just can’t watch any more coverage of 9/11 on TV. It makes me both sad and sick.

Whether there was any kind of conspiracy or not is a moot point. It ended up with moot people who are now dead for no real reason other than they were in the infamous ‘wrong place at the wrong time’. Boy do I know that feeling all too well. I‘m still alive but barely.

None of us are ever going to know the true story of what really happened and why and I don’t want to get into any arguments because like with religion and abortion and politics I am not going to change anyone’s opinion. I have my own and so do you but who’s right?

I think we can all agree that our hearts go out to every innocent person who had to be in the line of fire seven years ago today no matter how or why or who had a finger in making it happen. I wish life didn’t have to be so random and I’m just disillusioned with it lately.

I heard from a high school classmate named Wendy Stanz out of the blue. She wrote me a nice email telling me how she has been doing and it struck a sour note that she does not have any children. If anyone in this world should have been a mom it was Wendy Stanz.

All she ever talked about was how she loved kids and wanted to be a wife and a mom of a house full of children and what a mom she would have been. We went out a few times a long time ago and looking back on my life if I should have married anyone it should have been her. She was good looking and sincere and smart and a sweeter soul there never was.

It’s none of my business why she couldn’t or doesn’t have children but she said she has been married 16 years now and that’s just so wrong to me. Idiots and pinheads pound out babies by the dozen and leave them in garbage cans and behind Walmart dumpsters but a wonderful soul like Wendy Stanz has to go without something she really wants. It’s sick.

Wendy is very Catholic and I can tell by her email she’s still very into all that. I think it is all hogwash and that’s my own opinion but I know if I talk to her she’ll run all of it past me and I’m just not up for that right now. She wants to talk on the phone but I don’t think I’m up for a lecture on how the Catholic church is going to make up for my cynical bent.

I wish there was something to be hopeful about but I can feel myself sliding into the big abyss of cynicism my grandparents swam in as they raised me. Gramps was always funny but still would make his points and as a kid I thought he was nuts. Now I know he wasn’t.

There is something wrong with this world. Any free thinking person can see that but the fact is none of us can change it no matter how hard we try. We can change a few things in our own little corner of it sometimes but not everything. I’m sure Wendy Stanz would not be childless and neither would I. I’d have that family I always wanted but still don‘t have.

A person who does have a great one is my old comedy buddy Dave Rickert. I finally got a chance to hook up with him today since I was up in Milwaukee appearing on the D-List radio show on ESPN Radio 540. I told him I’d call and I did and we got together for a bit.

He looks exactly the same as he did the last time I saw him and it was great to reconnect with someone from so long ago. He’s still a firefighter and his wife is a physician and I’m thrilled that his life turned out so well. They have three great kids and it was fun to visit.

Dave is a very sharp guy and always was. He’s still funny but he has found a life doing what he really loves. I didn’t realize being a firefighter could be a passion but I can see it is for him and that’s fantastic. I always thought stopping fires was just a necessary chore in life like being a garbage man. Someone has to do it. No offense. Dave loves his job.

I’m sure there are some garbage pickers who must get into that but I never met any. My grandfather was a dispatcher of garbage trucks for the city of Milwaukee and his brother drove a garbage truck for years and they hated it. The only reason they did it was money. There was never any passion there. Dave and I talked of how important passion really is.

I still have a passion to be an entertainer. I love the show part but everything else is just a warm up to doing the next show. That could be a radio show or a comedy show or even a baseball card show. I just love the show part. Entertaining people who enjoy it is a thrill that never gets old. Dave still gets that concept and it felt great to talk about it in detail.

After visiting with Dave and his family I drove over to pick up Steve DeClark. Steve is another guy I’ve known forever and he has us both booked tomorrow at a small theatre in Muskego, WI. I knew he was off tonight so I asked if he wanted to open for me at a place called ‘Jug’s Hitching Post’ just outside of West Bend. It was their first night of comedy.

This came through Marc Schultz at the last minute by way of another booker. The club owner had a show booked through some fly by night oil can he met on the internet out of Florida of all places but that guy disappeared and he had spent money on ads for a show.

I had to replace myself at my show in Lake Villa at the Blackthorn Grille I started doing last Thursday but money is money so I did. I spent time on the phone yesterday and today rounding up people to do the Blackthorn gig while I was up in Milwaukee doing the radio show, visiting with Dave Rickert and picking up Steve to make the drive to West Bend.

All of this is a lot more hectic than it sounds and what ruined it was getting to the gig to find nobody there. ZERO people showed up. That’s always awkward and we waited for a little while and then the owner paid me and I paid Steve and we drove back to Steve’s car.

This is not why I got in the business. I want to WORK. I wish there was a packed house so we could do a killer show for them. Yes I got paid for doing nothing but that’s not very satisfying even though it sounds like it should be. I felt bad for the guy but a deal is a deal and he cut it with the other booker who called Marc and he called me. I took the money.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Delicate Decision Day

Wednesday September 10th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

Lots of running around today trying to squeeze too many things into too little time. I am trying to keep everything straight but I feel like I’m building a house of cards and I have a guy throwing pepper in my face trying to make me sneeze it all down. It’s very delicate.

No news from the Craig Ferguson show today but that’s ok. I didn’t expect it. I did look over my set again and I really think it represents what I do pretty well. It isn’t what I open or close with in a regular club set and that’s good. If and when I ever get to appear again I will have an even stronger and more polished set to deliver. This one’s safe but still solid.

It’s time to get moving on my other projects too so I had lunch with Shelley my website host and her daughter Greta. Greta is about four and a cute kid and I love cute kids. I even love the ugly ones too. Farting around and making a kid laugh really soothes my soul. It’s never hard either. Their standards are WAY low but when I hear them giggle it’s the best.

Greta was a good giggler and that made me feel like I accomplished something. Shelley and I talked a little about how we are going to move forward with my website restructure and also about the Uranus site too. She’s behind because her sister in law is behind and it trickles down to me. Her sister in law is the one with the web business and I have to wait.

That’s been ok up until now but it’s time to stop talking and start doing. My other site is down and has been for months. That whole situation is really eating at me and I got a call from Joey Callahan in Philadelphia about it. Usually Joey calms me down but today it did exactly the opposite to me. I know he meant well but he ended up putting gas on the fire.

Yes I know I should ‘let it go’ and ‘put it in God’s hands’ and ‘just forget about it’ and all the other Hallmark Snoopy poster slogans but I admit I’m having a problem with that. I am trying to be upfront and honest but that is one thing that gnaws at me and won’t quit. This is what an ugly divorce must be like and in a way it is. We were business partners.

I told Joey it would be like putting a plate of broccoli and some heroin in front of John Belushi in 1982 and telling him ‘John, you know you shouldn’t do that heroin. Eat some broccoli instead. It’s better for you.’ Sure it’s better but I don‘t think he‘d take one bite.

I feel the same way. Sure I am aware I should just ‘let it go’ but how difficult is that? If I could I would but I can’t. I was really stung by not one, not two but three guys I thought were my friends but the main one was the guy Joey and I both know. We knew each other since working at WQFM in Milwaukee back in 1990 and that makes it even more painful.

By him doing what he’s doing with the other two goofs they’re diluting what I’ve put in place for fifteen years. It will probably end up killing both and that would really make me sad but it could happen. When I was involved in pro wrestling in Milwaukee in the ‘80s it was a lot of fun and ran smoothly. Then in the ‘90s it split into various sliver groups and a lot of fighting started happening and none of them ended up lasting. I fear the same here.

This is a delicate situation and I thought about it a lot today. It’s like the computer game Free Cell I like so much because one subtle play of a card can win or lose the game. It’s a big challenge when the games get difficult and I look at this as one big Free Cell game. If I win it or lose it it will be by the way I play these cards and this is a difficult game now.

There is a part of me that wants to go and get a large piece of wood or metal and beat all of them into one big pile of viscous goo and be done with it. They are attacking me at the very weakest place in my psyche that has been picked at by many idiots before them. I am not proud of it but I can totally see an ugly result if we should happen to cross paths now.

I don’t want that to happen and I will do all in my power not to have to be in their space if I can help it but sometimes I can’t help it. What’s really grinding my pelvis is that they are all smug and snickering about it and think it’s funny that I’m so angry about what they are doing to something I’ve spent so many years perfecting and polishing. They taunt me.

If I could call the police I would but I can’t. I still can call the IRS on them and I’m to a point of anger now when I seriously thought about doing it today but I just don’t want that kind of vibe around me right now. I wish they’d just quit and go away. I know they’re not making any money at it because I’m not and I started the damn thing fifteen years ago.

It is all a big rusty knitting needle up the urethra of my inner sanctum and I can’t take it much longer. I know Joey was trying to help but today he didn’t. He lit me up even more. I went out and took my walk and if ever there was a day to do that it was today. I calmed down a lot and then came back and started to think about what the next smart move was.

Calling the IRS was not it. As a last resort I could do that but I hope it never has to sink that low. I just want to move on and do good things. I decided to sit down and look over a calendar as to when I could do classes at Zanies again and I mapped out a plan of action.

I also have some interest to teach up at Giggles in Milwaukee. I think that could be a hit if it’s marketed right even though a few other wanks think they’re ‘teachers’ up there too. I still don’t get it why people with limited to no comedic ability want to teach classes. Is it to hide that fact? I do it to give back but I have ability. Even my enemies will admit that.

This is all a lot of unneeded BS in my opinion but it’s real and I’m dealing with it. I will have to play my cards very gingerly if I am going to win this game but I do think it can be done. The first thing is to stay positive and busy and not dwell on the three evil stooges. If I do that I’m sunk. It will fester and gurgle and then divert me away from all the fun stuff.

Teaching classes is FUN to me. I love it. I sent my dates to Zanies and I wrote an article that can go on any club’s website so any comedy wannabe can start learning about it and also learning who I am. If I am going to beat these other guys I have to market myself. It’s all about the marketing and I know that so if I don’t do it it’s my fault. Those three pukes are lazy and have no real credibility with anyone. I am definitely not lazy so I have to like my chances since this has now turned into a war. I wish it hadn’t. It’s all so stupid to me.