Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Eve Eve

Tuesday December 30th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

I’m still trying to figure out whether 2008 was a good year or not. It went by so fast I’ve lost track of all that’s happened. It seems like it was just turning 1999 into the mysterious 2000 and beyond and now it’s many years into the beyond already. It’s all passing me by.

I think it’s passing a lot of people by. Life as we know it is changing and it’s continuing to change at a pace most people my age can’t handle. We were on the cutting edge of this new technological age but now we’re getting laughed at by our kids for being out of sync.

We’re coming into our middle age years and our memories aren’t going to be anywhere near those of our children’s generation. They always knew computers and cell phones and all kinds of things that are taken for granted today. My grandparents used to marvel at the technology of the ‘70s as I grew up and I laughed at them then. Now it’s me laughed at.

Last night I visited Tim Marszalkowski and his family and they had a Wii system setup. Is that what the damn thing is even called? I think so. I’ve never really cared about any of the video game generation but this one is really amazing. I got to play a few of the games with Tim’s kids and they blew me out of the joint like I was a sick puppy in a dogfight.

It hit me hard that I’m not even close to being hip and trendy or on any cutting edges of anything new and different. I’m old school all the way and that’s not the recipe for what’s going to make money in the coming years. I better learn to reshuffle my cards but quick.

Uranus Factory Outlet will be a success on the internet if I surround myself with people who can help me navigate it. I’m an idea provider but as far as executing it I’m as useless ‘as pockets on underwear’ as my grandpa used to say. I feel like I’m on the wrong planet.

There’s going to be a huge generation gap in the coming years if there isn’t one already. I already feel left behind and I’m trying to stay in the race. Lots of other people are giving up and they’re the ones that are really going to be screwed. The world is changing. Fast.

I’ve got all I can handle to keep comedy gigs coming in regularly. I did manage to keep working this year even though it was a lot leaner than past years due to closing clubs and gas prices shooting up Uranus and beyond. I don’t think I want to keep living like a bug.

Security is looking very desirable to me on one hand but on the other I’ll have to take a big risk to attain it. That’s kind of ironic but it’s a true fact. Doing what I’m doing is not a path to financial security even though it has been satisfying to make a living for all of this time doing something I love. I also love to eat and have a roof over my head when I sleep.

2009 is going to be a pivotal year for a lot of people but especially me. I’m either going to hit something in show business or transition into something else to help give me a little cushion in the wallet. I have simply got to improve my financial situation or I will not like where I’ll end up. I’ve had my years of farting around. Now I need to think about security.

My Polish Christmas

Monday December 29th, 2008 - Milwaukee, WI

I’m trying to get all my end of the year work done but other things keep popping up and I’m falling a little behind. No, I’m falling a lot behind but I can’t ignore the things that are popping up. All I can do is my best so that’s what I’m doing but my schedule is jammed.

Today I received a phone call out of the blue from my long time pal “Polish Thunder” Tim Marszalkowski who was in Milwaukee visiting his mother for Christmas from Ohio. Tim and I have been close friends since we met at a comedy club years and years ago and we’ve always stayed in touch. He’s had his own bumpy ride in life but he’s a great soul.

We did a cable access TV show for a couple of years that was way ahead of it’s time. It was filmed in West Allis which is the suburb of Milwaukee Tim is from and I needed his address so I asked him to be on the show. We ended up forming a lifetime friendship and throughout all my ups and downs Tim has been a true friend and still is. He’s a real ace.

The funny part is we are about as opposite as two people can be. That’s probably why it has been so satisfying to be friends this long. We know each other’s quirks and know how to deal with them. He’s 6’5” and as my grandpa used to say ‘has a heart as big as his ass‘.

He’s huge in size and personality too. His parents used to own a bar in West Allis so he feels totally at home in that scenario. I can’t stand it. I’m very quiet and to myself and am not interested in mingling after shows usually but Tim lives for it. He loves to be the life of the party and he’s like a perpetual nine year old kid. People can’t help but love the guy.

We really hit it off from the first five minutes we met because he’s so real. He’s like me in that if he likes someone he loves them and if he doesn’t he just can’t hide it. We like or dislike most of the same people and as different as we are that remains funny even to us.

Tim has always had a strong family and that’s another one of our major differences. He has two brothers and a sister and they’ve all been wonderful to me for many years. If I am doing a show in town they’ll come out and support and when Tim is in town they always invite me up to be part of the family get togethers and treat me as if I’m one of their own.

Tim’s dad passed away a few years ago and his mother lives in the Milwaukee area and she asked Tim to invite me over for dinner. She’s a wonderful cook and as down to earth as it gets so I couldn’t say no. They’ve all been too nice to me over the last twenty years.

When I first started in comedy Tim would buy me meals because he had a day job with an expense account. He loved it that I treated him as a peer and not look down at him like a lot of the other local comics and club owners did. He was always very giving and kind.

People like Tim Marszalkowski and his whole family don’t come along very often and I will never forget the kindness they showed me. They were nicer to me than my own flesh and blood family and I would do anything for them. The work I wanted to do can wait.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Radiorgasm

Sunday December 28th, 2008 - Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

I just put in a sixteen hour day of solid hard work and didn’t get paid a penny for it. The funny part is I feel excited about it and would do it all over again tomorrow if I could. It’s amazing how doing something for fun can make up for money…at least for a little while.

Today happened to be back to back radio shows and in all my years of being on the air I would have to say this was the most sheer fun I have ever had. The first stop was Chicago for our ‘year in review’ two hour long Jerry’s Kidders special on WLS. That was strange.

I’ve been fired a lot in radio but never have I had a chance to go back on the air after the hammer came down. I never knew when my last show was and on the day it happened the head ‘radiot’ would take me in the office and say the three magic words - ‘Shut the door’.

Nothing good ever happens after those three words and then it’s like I never existed. It’s humiliating and embarrassing and in my opinion doesn’t have to be handled in that cruel and inhuman kind of way but we’re dealing with social retards so I guess that’s how it is.

This time it was different. Jerry Agar got pushed out by Manclown Muller who bought his way on the air and there was nothing Jerry could do about it. He handled it as classily as anyone could and that kept him in good standing with the station so he could still do all kinds of fill in work which he’s been doing. That was arranged by the program director.

Kipper McGee was the program director and then he got fired too. What an ignorant act of pure stupidity that was because Kipper is one of the best there is. He helped nurture the whole concept of the Kidders and we were all very grateful to him for his strong support.

He was the one who signed on to having us do a year end special and we were all happy to do it. We get along great and it’s a fun process to arrange the stories and no matter how insane radio is to get to play around on a legendary station like WLS is not to be missed.

The new program director has enough other things to be concerned with and didn’t pull the plug on us which easily could have happened. Nobody knows why and we didn’t care. All we wanted to do was come in and hang out one more time and go out with a laugh.

Jerry wanted to get there early to prepare and he came and picked me up at 7:30am. We got to the station around 9:00 and all of us went to work arranging the news stories so we had an order and flow. Normally we did a half our show each week but this was a full two hours and we’d never gone that long before. It was a lot of work but we all loved doing it.

Ken Sevara and Tim Slagle are the other comedians and each of us has grown to feel at home with each other both on air and off. It was old friends getting together and we had a three hour laugh fest putting the show together and then we went in studio and it went the way we thought it would. We were prepared and loaded to the teeth and it showed. If this was the way we had to go out on WLS we did both the station and ourselves very proud.

We all got together afterward to have our traditional meal and it tasted very good after a killer show like that. It’s like a sports team after a big win. The drinks are colder and food tastes better and all is right with the world. It’s a positive energy and it feeds on itself in a good way and we all felt like we accomplished something. And we did. This wasn’t easy.

It’s too bad we’re not going to be on WLS anymore at least for the foreseeable future. If Kipper lands somewhere else I’m sure he’d bring Jerry in if he can and if the concept of a bit like this fits I have no doubt we’d be back on the air in a second but that’s not for now.

Kipper and Jerry both have to find jobs first and there’s no guarantee they’ll be working in the same city much less the same station. We all understand that. We also understood it when this concept came together how rare it was. All of us got along extremely well and I can’t remember having so much fun on the radio on a consistent basis. This was a blast.

The second most fun I’ve ever had on the radio is doing the Mothership Connection on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha. That’s where I was tonight doing our big year end program there too. I am growing more and more attached to the whole concept of the paranormal and having a chance to talk about it on the radio two hours every week is very exciting.

I love listening to Coast to Coast AM and maybe some day I can be a fill in host on that show but even if that never happens I’m still enjoying the hell out of what we’re doing on Sunday nights in Kenosha, WI. We’ve had some really interesting guests and I can see the show taking shape with several regular and semi regular characters finding their places.

My old co-hosts had to leave for work reasons but we’re all still in contact and on really good terms. There’s no fighting at all because I’m the one in charge and everyone is up to speed on that. The buck stops with me and there aren’t any power struggles to deal with.

That’s how a successful operation runs. Jerry’s Kidders worked the same way because it was Jerry who ran the show. We all knew it and nobody was upset about it. We all had an understanding of our roles and we filled them perfectly. That’s how it’s working here too.

Lara Shaffer is the current co-host and is doing an amazing job just as Scott Markus did before her. He was the one who invited her on the show and she’s stepped up without any problems. She’s just right for the spot and tonight she added a lot to the show. My friend Gary Pansch adds to the mix as well even though he can only be on for the first half hour.

He’s got a night job and has to leave but he does a weekly feature that has been kicking ass called ‘The Mothership Hall of Fame’ where he showcases a weekly wackadoo and it always is well written and well delivered. Tonight we were all on point and it all worked.

Driving home I felt a huge feeling of accomplishment and even though I almost nodded out at the wheel because I was so exhausted. I gave both shows my all and worked with a group of sharp creative people and we all respected each other’s space and I don’t think it could have gone any better either time. Now I have to find a way to make this pay bills.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Ain't There Yet

Saturday December 27th, 2008 - Milwaukee, WI

Just when I thought I was having kick ass shows on a regular basis along comes ‘one of those nights’ to keep me humble. I hadn’t had one of these in a long time but tonight sure let me know I’m a long way from being able to get cocky. I’ve got a LOT of work to do.

I was back at the Northern Lights Theatre at Potawatomi Casino where last week I let it rip for two really hot shows. I was happy with both of them even though there wasn’t that many people there to see them. The ones that did come were great and I loved them all.

Tonight I had quite a few old friends and acquaintances and even relatives come out for both shows and I thought I wasn’t even close to being on my game. For whatever reason I had a hard time getting into my groove whereas last week I had a hard time getting out of it. I could do no wrong last week but this week I felt as if I couldn’t buy myself a laugh.

It’s just like that sometimes and I don’t know why. Is it diet or biorhythms or the moon and tides? Who knows? I sure don’t. All I know is after both shows tonight I wanted to be able to erase them from my memory bank and the audience’s too. I didn’t like either one.

The funny thing is I had people lining up after both shows to tell me how funny I was. It was almost to the point of embarrassment. The more I thought I tanked it the more people came up and said ‘I’ve seen you before and you were funny but TONIGHT was the best!’

I had to rip into a couple of front row hecklers and I am way sick of doing that by now. I know how to do it but I don’t like it. Maybe that’s what the other people liked. I haven’t a clue. The wait staff had all kinds of complimentary things to say after both shows and that caught me totally by surprise too. I truly thought I had two of my worst shows in a while.

That’s a part of the game. The staff has always liked me here and that doesn’t hurt. Plus I had several of my regulars come out to support me and they’d like me if I stood up there and read the backs of soup cans. Maybe they said they enjoyed the show because they did.

My friend Mark Krueger and I have been friends for over 20 years. We worked together at 93QFM and he’s one of the most naturally funny people I know. His wife Amy is sharp and funny herself and has been not feeling well for a long time. I admire her courage and I always am flattered when they come out because Mark tells me Amy thinks I’m hilarious.

THAT’S pressure to me. I could eat cheese in front of 2000 strangers and sleep soundly ten minutes later but it really matters to me if Amy Krueger has a good time just because I respect her so much. She has more fight in her than 100 ‘regular’ people and she takes it a lot better than I think I could. Knowing she’s in the audience makes me want to be great.

Mark is also a solid judge of funny. He could have easily been a comic himself but he’s still very creative. He plays in bands and is an excellent guitar player and buys and sells a few collector’s records. Like me he’s got a lot of projects going but he still supports me.

That makes me feel like I owe them both a good show just for coming. Another group who has supported me is from the Tom Green Elvis shows. They all came out last week and brought a few more people this week and it was really flattering to see them as well.

We had dinner before the show and joining us was a guy named Don Schmitt who’s an upcoming guest on the Mothership Connection radio show next week. He’s an expert on Roswell and he wrote some really interesting books on the subject and he thought I was a laugh riot. That wasn’t the show I wanted him to see but he did and he thought I rocked.

My former orthodontist Grace Machi came out too and brought her father Tony. He was the owner of the building on Farwell Avenue that was the Funny Bone Comedy Club way back when I was starting out. I hadn’t seen him in 20 years and he said he had a lot of fun.

Hearing that from Tony Machi really meant something. He played a gruff businessman back then but was really a gentle funny mellow guy and I always liked him. He predicted I would go far in the business because I used to snap back at him when he’d bust my balls back then and I made him laugh. Seeing him tonight again after all these years was great.

Neil Sorensen came out to support as he usually does as did my friend Greg Chadwell. I have a special place in my heart for Greg because I’ve known him since high school days. We worked at a steak restaurant called ‘The Rustler’ and were both cooks. That was not a great restaurant if they were letting ME do any cooking but it did pay my bills for a while.

Greg brought some people and he thought it was a good show as did my old cable show partner Tim Marszalkowski who was in town seeing his mother for the holidays. Tim and his wife showed up to support and it’s always great to see Timmy. He’s a life long friend.

Mark Shilobrit and his wife Tracey came out along with magician Glen Gerard. It’s not often comedians come to see other comedians but those guys showed up to support and it felt beyond good to see them all. I was grateful for all of them but I still felt I stunk it up.

I’m not going to argue. Every one of them came up and said how especially funny I was tonight and I just smiled and said a sincere thank you. I know in my heart I can do MUCH better and I will focus on making that happen. I’m not satisfied with tonight in the least.

What did feel great was that so many people came out to support me. Yes the tickets are free at the Northern Lights Theatre but still to get someone out of the house these days for any reason is no small accomplishment. Whether anyone paid a penny to get in or not is a moot point. What really means something to me is every one of the people who came out.

It’s strange how performers are. Most of the ones I know want to please an audience but we want to do it our way. Maybe they don’t like it that way and want to enjoy the show in their own manor. It’s up to us to let them do that even if it differs from how we see it. I’m not getting cocky and even though tonight wasn’t how I wanted it I am still grateful for all the fantastic people who came out with the express purpose of seeing me. I ain’t there yet.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Losing Card Game

Friday December 26th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

The holidays have now come and gone and I didn’t send out one single greeting card. If you were expecting one and felt slighted or forgotten about please don’t. Nobody else got one either and I have no excuses. Time got away from me this year and it’s too late now.

Whatever my personal feelings about Christmas may be it’s still a golden opportunity to reconnect with friends and especially business associates. Most years I’m very good about sending out cards or emails or making personal phone calls but this year I totally blew it.

I’m sorry I did too. It’s not smart business. Not only is it fun to get mail it’s also a cheap and effective advertisement that keeps my name on top of a booker or club owner’s list to consider for bookings next year. I always try to find the funny cards that attract attention.

Last year I think I sent over 200 funny cards to everyone I could find an address for and it was a very smart move. I received emails and calls back saying how funny the card was and it was a chance to reconnect on a personal or professional level. It was really worth it.

I did receive quite a few cards this year along with emails and calls and even a few text messages too. I appreciate everyone who thought of me and I will answer all of them but I feel like I blew a great opportunity to hit the ground running in 2009 by blowing this off.

I won’t do it again. It just doesn’t feel right. I’m allegedly in the entertainment business. That’s the ultimate people friendly business and if I don’t keep my name out in front of as many people as possible they’ll forget about me but quick. I can’t and won’t let it happen.

2009 is the year I am planning to launch Uranus Factory Outlet. I’ll be in front of many new people I haven’t done business with before and it’s up to me to not blow my chances of getting repeat business in 2010 by passing up a chance to stay in contact like I just did.

This was a wake up call and I got the message loud and clear. Next year I won’t make a mistake like this again. If I’m smart I’ll keep a running tally of who I work for and with as the year goes along and when it’s time to send Christmas cards I’ll have a list ready to go.

The same goes with birthdays too. I’m pretty good at remembering them but if I can get a system down where I don’t let anything fall through the cracks it will serve me well as it has in the past. Many times nobody else remembers a birthday and if I do I’m the genius.

All of this is smart business and has nothing to do with being funny but if I do it I know it will lead to more comedy work. Being an entertainer doesn’t just include being onstage. It’s a complete package and part of that package is maintaining a constant client contact.

Comedy is really just a glorified sales job and I’m the product. There are a lot of people who can do 45 minutes on stage and it doesn’t really matter who’s better. It matters who a booker or club REMEMBERS when it comes to hiring. I can‘t afford to ruin my chances.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Holiday Spree

Thursday December 25th, 2008 - Chicago, IL

Well at least my Christmas wasn’t the worst one in America. Far from it. I learned that when my cousin Brett called and asked if I happened to be in L.A. by any chance. I didn’t know why he would ask that and then he told me some guy my age dressed in a Santa suit there and opened fire taking out several of his in laws. Apparently he’d just had a divorce.

I assured him it wasn’t me. He said he didn’t think so because if it was me I’d have had a much higher body count but he just wanted to check anyway. Any time there’s a flip out crime like this he’ll call and check in to see if I’m still breathing or if I’ve finally snapped.

It’s become a running joke between us over the years and in reality he called to wish me a Merry Christmas and it was nice of him to do that. He’s the one family member that has been constant in my life and he totally gets the big picture and all the insanity it includes.

He’s not a big fan of Christmas either but we plow through and joking about even these kind of sick and twisted things helps to take the edge off our own situation. This is a hard time for a lot of people and that’s why I write about what I’m feeling. I’m not looking for any sympathy. I’m just trying to honestly let out what I feel hoping it helps someone else.

In a strange way it does help to know others are struggling with this stuff too. I’m sorry for the guy’s divorce and apparently it was very bitter and he thought this was the way he wanted to deal with it. We can sit here and look at it from an outsider’s view and think he is the only one at fault but we don’t know the full story. Maybe she pushed him too far.

Who hasn’t been in a heated ugly fight of some kind in life? It could be a bad marriage or a fight over a will or a former business partner who stole money and then tried to steal an idea and open another business right across the street. Sound familiar? I’ve been there.

I really don’t think I’d flip out and shoot anyone though. If I do end up doing it the cops can come back and comb through my daily babblings and see that I haven’t been planning it in advance. I don‘t want to waste my time on idiots. This life is short enough as it is.

That guy must have really felt like he got the shaft to go off like he did. That’s a hell of a commitment. Whether he realized it or not it has a lasting affect not only on those taken out but also those that survive. Future Christmases for them will take on a new meaning.

I always wondered what happens in the next world in situations like that. I picture a line of agitated people waiting at the pearly gates along with the person who shot them. When the line starts moving and St. Peter asks why they came in a group everyone points to the shooter and says ‘Ask HIM.’ Then all eyes are on the shooter who has a sheepish look.

Unfortunately there have been way too many situations like this in way too many places and I’m not making fun of it because innocent people often die. But are they all innocent? I don’t know if anyone can say that. There have to be some deeper reasons in some cases.

Other times it really is just a random thing. Some poor bastard happens to be perched in the old ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ scenario and takes a bullet for it. That’s a tragedy. I always hate to see someone die for no reason because that’s a total Mr. Lucky scenario.

I walk in to a gas station quick mart to buy a Pepsi and a newspaper at the exact time a shootout starts and I end up taking two or three to the back of the head. That wouldn’t be out of character for a lot of the things that have happened in my life and that worries me.

I don’t want to kill anybody. I don’t want to hurt anybody. I don’t want anything but my chance to live a good life and make as many people happy as I can by making them laugh. I want to be a friend and a mentor and a leader and a winner and everything else positive.

I want to be a husband and a father and a father figure to children that aren’t even mine. I want to spend my days sharing what I know with those who want to learn and also be an inspiration to other dented cans everywhere who don’t think big dreams can be achieved. I’ve already made it WAY farther than anyone predicted and I don’t want to quit now.

My dream Christmas wouldn’t involve me getting even one present. It would involve an extremely high number of people having an opportunity to experience something fantastic and real and precious to them in a personal way. I want to see lives changed for the better.

I want to see my life change for the better. Why has Christmas been such a torture for as long as I can remember? What lesson am I supposed to learn from this? I still don’t know. I don’t even have a guess. All I can think of is it’s something that needs to be overcome at some point to show myself and others it can be done. Other than that I think it’s a waste.

There was some positive today though. Marc Schultz invited me over for a while and he knows how I feel this time of year. His family is very laid back and we had a fun visit and then I went to Jerry Agar’s house to hang with his family who I’ve known for many years.

These are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and in the past I’ve spent Christmases with people like them and Bert Haas’s family from Zanies and some others too. It’s never going to be the same as my own family but at least I know I’m invited to be somewhere.

Smart business would be to keep giving of myself and try to make every day a little bit of both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m thankful for what I have and always looking to give a gift if I can even if it’s just a kind word or a laugh. My inner pain doesn’t matter.

Or does it? If it gets so bad will it lead to putting on a Santa suit and wiping out a whole room full of people at a Christmas party? I hope not. I bet if there is reincarnation that guy will have to come back and live a whole miserable life all over again until he gets it right.

I’m trying to live a good life now. I don’t want to come back here if I don’t have to. I’m hoping I can learn whatever lessons I need to learn and call it a life. Maybe my next world will have a little more joy in it but for now all I can do is try to live this life to the fullest.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Again?

Wednesday December 24th, 2008 - Milwaukee, WI/Lake Villa, IL

Christmas time is the dented can’s worst nightmare. This is the time all that went wrong backs up like a clogged toilet and settles in the crevices of the brain and festers until it has infected the rest of the healthy thoughts. Some years are better than others and this one is turning out to be a rough one. I feel an emptiness and loneliness I can’t put into words.

This is the time when the laughter of an audience can’t mask the pain. Many entertainer types need to hear that approval from an audience and I’m no different but it’s really just a temporary and less than adequate substitute for the love and approval of a good family.

Humans are wired that way. We need family interaction and support and approval from those who are close to us. If we don’t get it at home we’ll try to find it anywhere else that might have it or something close to it. For entertainers it’s that approval from the crowd.

There aren’t any crowds around today and that magnifies the fact there isn’t any family around either. That really hurts and I’ve been over it so many times I don’t even want to go there again in my head because it will hurt one more time but still not get any better.

All I’m asking for is a chance to reconnect with my siblings while we’re all still alive. I want to look them in the eye and give them a hug and just let some healing start so we’re all able to move on from a miserable childhood under the thumb of a dysfunctional ogre.

I don’t know if my mother is living or dead and at this point I don’t really care. I wish it were different but it’s not. Some closure to all of it would really take a lot of this pain and in my opinion needless angst away once and for all. I have tried every way I know how to get that to happen and they refuse to even acknowledge my existence. This is all insane.

I know I’m not the only one going through this kind of torture and I wish nobody had to including me. I went up to Milwaukee today to visit some people including the lady that’s been in and out of my life for so many years. She’s got her own set of holiday baggage.

She asked if I wanted to hang out today because she’s off of work and her son is over at her ex’s. She’s not very fond of Christmas either and I thought we could just hang out for a while and hopefully have some good food and relax a little. Being alone gets old too.

We went to Red Lobster and had a great meal and hung out for a while and it was a very positive experience. We had some laughs and some crab legs and it was a nice break from the usual Christmas ‘tradition’ but then she had to go visit her other kids and it was over.

I really enjoy her company and she looks absolutely great but I get mixed signals about where she wants to go with all this. She’s got her own situation to deal with and I respect that and we agreed that we’d just see where this goes and play it by ear. That seems fair.

What doesn’t seem fair is that some families get the concept of how it’s supposed to work and others don’t. It’s a huge pain in the soul at Christmas and I wish I could make it right.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Redneck Redemption!

Tuesday December 23rd, 2008 - Chicago, IL/Rockford, IL

All kinds of delightfully positive things happened today and for a minute there I thought I’d wandered into the wrong life. Nope, this is me alright. This was the kind of day people dream about or at least I did. I‘ve been sending out good vibes and today they came back.

Marc Schultz called and said he had a check for me from the afternoon gig I did for him just this past Saturday. That was fast but I’m not complaining. He said he owed one of his other acts a check too and asked if I wanted to have a lunch. Sure thing. It’s always fun to see Marc and it’s even more fun when he buys and then has a check for me on top of that.

Marc’s other client is a very funny comic magician named Dennis DeBondt. Dennis is a funny guy who does magic rather than a magician trying to be funny so he’s great to hang with and he had some hilarious stories. He’s 6’7” and has a bigger than life presence both onstage and off but he’s a very nice guy and funny too. We had a blast and a great meal.

During our meal my phone rang and I noticed it was a Georgia number. I had a feeling I knew who it might be so I politely excused myself and walked outside in the falling snow to take the call. Sure enough, it was Jeff Foxworthy calling just like he said he would. He has always been a gentleman and a man of his word and I never doubted I’d get this call.

Jeff is a wonderful guy and has a razor sharp mind for both comedy and business. I told him how much I enjoyed his act at Pheasant Run and I meant it. He didn’t phone it in and he appreciated it when I quoted back a few of his bits I enjoyed. Comedians love to hear a piece of material made another comedian laugh. It’s a kick to get the approval of peers.

The last person that needs my approval for anything is Jeff Foxworthy but we were on a comic to comic level and we both understand how to communicate that way. I have a very deep respect for Jeff both as a comic and person too and if anyone deserves huge success it’s him. I told him that and he knew I meant it. He’s grateful for everything and it shows.

We’re on the same wavelength on a lot of things. He was telling me how when he first got his book deal and was doing book signings and meet and greets the publisher told him not to personalize anything or pose for pictures. Jeff just laughed and did it anyway and it helped propel him into the stratosphere of show business. He totally thinks the way I do.

He said the same thing I feel - just how hard is it really to sit there and have people line up to tell you how great and funny you are, take a picture with you and buy your book? It doesn’t sound hard to me and that’s what Jeff said too. He knows it’s just smart business.

We talked a little more and then he started telling me how he liked the Uranus Factory Outlet idea and how I was doing the right thing by thinking out of the box. Then he blew me away when he ASKED me if I’d mind if he’d pass my stuff along to his management. Would I MIND? Hmmm. Yeah, I guess I would. I think I’ll stay out here and struggle for the rest of my life working hell gigs and honkytonks. I just about jumped out of my socks.

I told him I’d be THRILLED to have him do that and I’d owe him everything and then I heard some of the nicest words I’ve ever heard from anyone. ‘Nah, you don’t owe me one thing. We’re friends and that’s what friends do. You need to get yourself out there so you can be seen. You’ve been doing this forever and you’re ready to go to the next level.’

I have to say I couldn’t agree any more with any of what he said. I truly try to be a good person and help others whenever I can. I don’t always succeed but many times I have and I know I’ve got some good karma built up somewhere. Today it felt like I hit the jackpot.

All I asked him for was a chance to get in front of someone who might be able to make something happen. He told me he’s been with his management since 1989 and if I would like to have a meeting with them he’d be glad to help arrange it. That’s what I’d LOVE.

He told me he’d get back in touch after the holidays and asked if I’d be willing to go to Los Angeles. I told him I’d hitch hike out there in a pickle truck if I had to and I already have a tentative approval from the Craig Ferguson Show talent booker and also I won the Zaniest Person In Chicago contest and first prize was a trip to L.A. to see a Leno taping.

It just seems like all the stars are lining up at once and I am seeing everything I’ve been working for all these years start to come together. Not only did Jeff call me today but I’ve been going back and forth with Linda Perret about teaming up on an online comedy class.

Linda is Gene Perret’s daughter and Gene was Bob Hope’s head writer for years. Gene has a comedy writing correspondence course which I’ve taken several times and it’s very helpful. This would be something she could sell in addition to that and it would be more of a total package for people who want to try comedy. It’s an honor to be asked to do it.

Then to make it even better I got another call at lunch from Eric Yoder from the Funny Business Agency in Grand Rapids, MI asking me if I could do a fill in at the last minute at L.T.‘s in Rockford, IL for a comic who had car trouble. I was off so I said I’d do it. If I can help someone in a pinch I always try to do it and I could also use the few extra bucks.

This day is one for the ages. One good thing after another kept happening and it didn’t end there. On the way from lunch to Rockford I passed the neighborhood of a woman I’ve always really had the hots for but hadn’t talked to her in a long time. She’s got a couple of THE nicest kids I’ve ever met and I really like them too. I gave her a call and we talked.

She said she was just thinking about me yesterday and was wondering how I was doing and here I call her out of the blue today. Again, I’m listening to that quiet inner voice we all have but too few of us heed. I’ve blown enough opportunities in the past. I’m listening to it now and look at the results! I wish I would have listened to it way sooner than now.

The point is I’m starting to do different things and send different vibes and different and very positive things are coming back to me. Jeff will do what he says he will and then it’s up to me to deliver the goods. No matter what happens getting his call made it a fine day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pathetic Packer Party

Monday December 22nd, 2008 - Chicago, IL

The Green Bay Packers can collectively kiss my untanned fuzzy dimpled Caucasian ass. If that’s what they call professional football then I want out. I want all the years back that I stupidly gave them my allegiance and loyalty and cheered for them to defeat all the other teams in the NFL. I want a refund for all the trinkets, baubles and doodads I ever bought.

I want a written apology from that lard ass goof bag coach who looked on the sidelines tonight like he was either pissy drunk or missing a few important chromosomes. He had a blank stare on his face the whole game and it looked like an episode of Life Goes On out there. Mike McCorky is my age and making millions and I feel cheated as a customer.

Bill Gorgo invited Jim McHugh and me over to watch football and sample some of his world class soup. Bill makes a mean soup in many varieties but tonight it was Navy Bean. It was great fun hanging with Bill who is a Bear fan and Jim who is a Packer fan. Bill also invited his ex wife over who loves the Bears so we were even up cheering at two and two.

The soup was fantastic and we had a lot of fun and laughs during the game but then that quickly faded at the end when the Packers botched the game like they’ve made a habit of doing this whole season. Numerous heads need to roll and if it were up me they’d be gone next Monday morning the day after the last game. These guys flat out suck raw pig ass.

I am officially now a fair weather fan and tonight the weather wasn’t fair. It was brutal - just like the team’s performance. They lost in overtime to a cruddy Bears team and that‘s what makes it worse. They stunk it up the whole first half but still came back to win it.

What a great scam the NFL is. They’ve got 32 teams and it’s like 32 different drugs. It’s not important which one a person gets hooked on as long as they’re hooked. There are 31 flavors at Baskin-Robbins to choose from and the NFL has 32. My flavor is ‘Packer Nut’.

I wish we wouldn’t have even turned the TV on after dinner because we were having an extremely enjoyable evening. Bill is a master cook and we all sat around talking about our comedy memories while we ate and threw lines back and forth and it was all really fun.

There were actually a few worthwhile moments during the game and the Packers were dominating much of it but at the end they just lost it and gave the game away with a lot of stupid mistakes. It’s a lot like life I guess. Some people get on a roll for part of it but then do something stupid and blow it all before they can experience how true victory can feel.

Watching that game tonight was like watching a life go down the toilet. I sure hope it’s not my story. The last thing I want to do is fart around for a lifetime doing halfway decent things and then blow it all in the last minute like the Packers did tonight. What a downer.

Life is supposed to be FUN. Sitting around watching the piss ant putrid Packers puke is not my way of spending quality time with friends. Next time the TV won‘t even be on.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

HOW Long Until Spring??

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

That Old Man Winter sure knows how to make an entrance. He’s managed to get all our attention by dropping the temperature like Madonna drops her panties - super quickly and right to the floor. This is the kind of weather that makes old people flock to move south. I want to move south myself right now and I don’t give a flock if anyone comes with me.

Other than the brutal blast of arctic freeze everything else is feeling good. I’m back in a good groove again and feel in sync with where I’m supposed to be. What I’ve been really noticing in the last few months is that my lows are getting not as low and they don’t seem to last as long as they have in the past. My last low point came and went rather quickly.

I’m taking this as a good sign and I’m claiming it. I don’t expect things to always be as my grandfather would say ‘Hershey bars and Archie comics’ but I don’t want it to be all a big nightmare either. I’ve had my share of bad lumps and now it’s time to catch a break.

This is the shortest day of the year and I’ll use that as a symbolic day to start heading to a higher level. It’s only upward from here. I love a challenge and I’ve got a few on tap for the new year. I spent the day looking over my projects and making plans to get it started.

Comedy classes were the focus today. I made a list of the top twelve people who I plan to work with this year and am calling them ‘Dobie’s Dozen’. I am going to build projects from scratch and I need to have teams of quality people in place. I can’t do it all myself.

I’ve got a dozen really good people in place to help me build the classes up to a higher level than they were before and they were pretty good before. My ex partner is motivating me to do this because he tried to attack my passion. He may have stolen some money and a few of my ideas but there’s no way he or any other con artist will duplicate my passion.

I am surrounding myself with quality people and it’s up to me to find their proper place in the mix. Some of them are just good people and there isn’t really a place right now but I still want them around anyway. As it grows I will find a place to put them if they want.

I’m glad there was no football to watch today because it let me get my thoughts straight. I’ll hang out tomorrow with Bill Gorgo and Jim McHugh and watch the Packers play the Bears but that will be mainly to hang out with Bill and Jim. The game will be secondary.

Tonight I had a fantastic time on WLIP with the Mothership Connection. That’s another project I need to improve in the new year and I found an important piece tonight. We had a great guest on named ‘Dr. Destruction’ who hosts a horror movie TV show and lives in Kenosha. He was on before when the show was in the afternoon and he fit in very well.

I’d been meaning to get him on again but we weren’t able to hook it up until tonight and he was even better this time than last. He’s a very interesting and intelligent guy and I felt us click. He wants to be a regular and he’s going to be excellent. There’s hope for us yet!

A Mess Of Stress

Saturday December 20th, 2008 - Oak Brook, IL/Milwaukee, WI

Stress. High tension. Heart attack in the making tightness. That’s a part of the comedy business everyone faces at some point. Most get shaken up concerning the actual on stage part of the process. It can be overwhelming for many to step out and face a live audience.

Not me. That’s never been a problem. I have other problems but not that. I don’t think I have ever experienced stage fright. I’ve seen others have it and it’s very intense. I’ve been blessed with enough natural ability to not worry about that. I can always pull off a show.

What causes my stress is all the other minutia involved before and after the actual show. It could be who I’m working with or what I’m being paid or where I’m staying that given night or any number of travel issues. There’s always something that isn’t going smoothly.

Today it was travel. I had an afternoon private show for Marc Schultz in Oak Brook, IL which is south and west of the heart of Chicago. The weather has been hellish and it was snowing yet again as I drove from Lake Villa to Chicago to pick up my mail near Zanies.

My gig was at 2pm and according to mapquest.com it was 21.75 miles from the door of the UPS Store to the gig. Mapquest didn’t include blowing snow and backed up traffic on the city streets and even though I left early I got there right at 2pm. That’s way too close.

The people were very nice and I did my show and left immediately to beat the weather. I had a dinner date at 6pm and thought I’d make it with no problem. WRONG. The snow kept falling and traffic kept getting slower and it became an over four hour crawl-a-thon.

What a nightmare. No matter what shortcuts I tried to take every city street was backed up and packed up and I was screwed. I was driving on about 1/64th of a tank and that was even more added stress. Stopping to fill up would have lost more time so I kept on going. I thought it had to start moving at some point and I would fill up as I got out of the city.

It didn’t help that I was driving Drew Olson’s Ford Explorer either. I’m still grateful he let me use it but it has bald tires and spongy brakes and I have to be even more careful so I don’t lock it up in the snow and ass plow some brand new Lamborghini. That would be exactly my luck. I kept an even safer distance than I normally would and just drove slow.

I called my dinner date and told her I would be late and she said it was snowing up there in Milwaukee too. I told her I’d call her when I got to town but then of course I was out of cell phone juice and it shut off. Start-stop. Start-stop. Stop. Start. Wait. It was miserable.

I finally pulled into the parking lot of the Potawatomi Casino at 7:40 for an 8:00 show. I was frazzled and tense and short tempered and frustrated beyond words. I wanted to blow the whole thing off but I was late for work and needed to find the Northern Lights Theatre so I could report to Steve the stage manager and let him know I was there. I wasn’t able to call him and that added even more intensity to the situation. I was totally in the red zone.

I hadn’t worked this gig in a while and since I’ve been here last they built a spectacular new casino right next to the old one. It really is quite impressive but I wandered through it thinking I’d find the Northern Lights Theatre but I was in fact totally on the opposite side.

I finally asked a security guard only to hear the familiar ‘Oh, you’re WAY off. That’s at the other end of the complex.’ Of course it was. Now I was even later and had to wind my way back through where I just came to find the old casino to wind my way through that.

When I finally showed up nobody was angry because it was still before show time and I wasn’t late. The staff is really nice and they’ve always liked me here. One of the security staff walked over and said ‘I’ve been waiting for YOU to come back. You’re the BEST!’

He meant it too. He started quoting bits back and I could tell he was really a fan. That’s very flattering and I shook his hand and thanked him for it and he looked at me like I was Elvis. I always try to be nice to everyone but the staff is the ultimate goal. If they like you it’s always a better experience. The staff at the Potawatomi have always liked me a lot.

I’d have to say this is one of if not the actual best facilities I’ve ever worked regularly. I’ve played some places one night that were fantastic but this is consistently a venue that is top shelf all the way. The stage is huge. The sound is KILLER. The theatre is gorgeous. There’s a back stage area with satellite TV and a refrigerator packed with ice cold drinks.

I feel like I’m in show business. They feed us great food after the show and everyone is professional. The stage manager Steve is easygoing and he tells me how much time I need to do and I always get off exactly on time. Not every comedian does that and he loves the fact that I do. I look at it like it should be - I’m working for HIM. He calls the final shots.

This is how comedy should be in my opinion. I wish I could have a venue like this on a regular basis and not have to travel so much. The people in Branson have the right idea. If I could come to work at a place like this every day I’d be under a LOT less daily stress.

The shows tonight were not as packed as they have been in the past probably because of both the weather and the holidays. I still had a blast anyway because I love to work in this venue and because I’m from Milwaukee and can get very local and go off on many riffs. I had some people come back for the second show so I took that as my personal challenge.

I did as much different material as I could so they could be entertained and I bet it was a 90-95% completely different show. The wait staff was really impressed and afterward one of them said ‘WOW, I’ve never seen anyone change their whole act. That was amazing.’

I thanked her for saying it and it made me feel even better. I feel at home here and all of the past demons of Milwaukee have been slain. The people who love me love me and the ones who don’t never will so piss on them. I’ve tried to make up with those people for as long as I can remember but I can’t change their ugly attitude. If they don’t like or support me then it’s on them. I’m going to focus on the good people and there are plenty of those.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cold Weather - Hot Women

Friday December 19th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

I wish that weather genius Al Gore would have been here to help me shovel the twelve inches of global warming that fell on my car this morning. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear we were having WINTER. Sorry Al, I guess I goofed. You obviously know better.

We really got blasted and every weather report said to stay inside but I chose to venture out and run some errands anyway. I wanted to get the Ford Explorer registered to me so I can drive it around legally for as long as I have it. Drew Olson was nice enough to let me use it so I wanted to make sure it was 100% street legal so he wouldn’t catch any flack.

Drew is a good soul. We’ve known each other so long I can’t count the years but we’ve always tried to help each other out. He bought a new SUV because he has a daughter that needs reliable transportation to school and this one was getting a little old for that. For me it fits my needs. It has bald tires and spongy brakes and is exactly the kind of sled I’d buy.

I know he took care of it and it runs really well. It looks nice and he just had it tuned up and he told me to drive it until spring and we’ll see where it’s at then. If it lasts maybe I’ll run it through the Waukegan auction for him. Or maybe I’ll like it and just buy it for me.

Either way it was nice of him to let me use it. The title is now in my name but I’d never do anything dishonest or try to rip him off. He’s been a friend for too long and even if he wasn’t I wouldn’t do it anyway. It’s not worth it. I’ll make sure we work out a fair deal.

One good thing about the bad weather was the DMV was as empty as I’ve ever seen it. I got in and out in about five minutes and marveled at how cool I thought it was but then an idiot in an 18 wheeler tried to make a turn on an unplowed driveway and got totally stuck so nobody could get in or out of the DMV lot. We were marooned helplessly for an hour.

The whole situation totally summed up Mr. Lucky’s character: catch what appears to be a minor ‘break’ and then have something ten times worse immediately happen next out of the blue unexpectedly next that not only wipes out the ‘break’ but puts me in a bad pickle.

I didn’t need to be anywhere so I wasn’t red lining my stress-o-meter but still it was not a picnic sitting in a snowy parking lot watching some toothless hillbilly gear jammer who never saw winter before try to make a snow angel with all 18 wheels. It got old in a hurry.

There was nothing any of us could do except wait it out and that’s what we did. I finally have gotten smart and started bringing books with me for situations like this so I don’t go into a spastic convulsion when I get trapped in one of these situations. I’m getting better.

As I sat there waiting I got a call from my friend Max in Springfield, IL saying how he just had a nightmare situation at a bagel shop where the in his words ‘knuckle dragging orangutan’ behind the counter wouldn’t sell him 12 dozen bagels because ‘it would wipe out my inventory’. Right! Isn’t that why you HAVE it? Max was really in his red zone.

I told him of my plight and we laughed about both of our situations. Some days we feel like we’re bulletproof and nothing can bother us. Other days it seems like the world has it out for us and every step feels like it’s in a minefield. Max was tense about it but after he told me he laughed. He told me he knew I’d be able to relate to his frustration and I did.

After I finally got out of the parking lot of the DMV and was especially grateful my life doesn’t involve driving a truck in or out of snow I went over to WLIP because I was near Kenosha and it was lunch time. I know enough people at the station and figured I’d find a lunch partner somewhere. Wrong. Everyone was either out, off or didn’t brave the snow.

I did get to see my friend John Perry for a few minutes. That guy is amazing. We met at 93QFM back in 1991 when he did overnights and I did mornings. We got along very well and stayed in touch through the years and he eventually became the program director and now the operations manager of both ‘95 Will Rock’ WIIL and WLIP. He’s done well.

What’s really remarkable is that he’s been at the station for years and years. He’s lasted through multiple regime changes when everyone else gets torched but he stays employed and I admire him for it. He does a fine job and really is a good person so I’m happy to see at least ONE deserving radioite keeps a job. I don’t know his secret though. I can’t do it.

He’s the one who asked me to do the paranormal show concept. He lets me do whatever I want because he trusts that I won’t sacrifice a goat on the air or worse and I appreciate a chance to do the show. I wouldn’t want to do anything to make him lose his trust in me.

Over the years he’s helped me out with jobs when I’ve needed or wanted them. I’ve had a few incarnations of working in the building back when they had a country station and as a part time and fill in jock at WIIL too. I appreciate guys like JP and Drew because we’ve had a lifetime friendship and helped each other. I’d go to the wall for either of those guys.

Since I couldn’t find a lunch partner I stopped at the good old Golden Corral in Gurnee on Route 132. Not only is it a great deal but there is an inordinately high number of super hot women that work there. I don’t know what it is but that place is LOADED with them.

I have always liked brunettes as a rule and for whatever reason this particular place has about seven or eight waitresses that are scorching hot. No joke. One wouldn’t expect that a chow barn buffet in Gurnee, IL would be loaded with hot chicks but it’s true. Go there.

The one who takes the cheese cake is an assistant manager who is absolutely one of the most physically perfect human specimens of a woman I’ve ever seen. WOW. I saw her at the register today and almost melted like the snow on my shoes. What spectacular beauty.

She wasn’t wearing name tag but with a chest like hers I wouldn’t have seen it anyway. She has enormous breasts and a petite body that’s perfect in all the right places. She’s got a perfect face and a dazzling smile and I can’t believe she’s working at the Golden Corral. She had a wedding ring on of course but maybe that was to shoo away goobers like me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Uranus Is Way Behind

Thursday December 18th, 2008 - Milwaukee, WI/Lake Villa, IL

Is anyone caught up with everything they have to do? I have to believe even lifers in the joint get behind on stuff and it’s hard to get caught up. Maybe they’re working on a shiny new shank or a tattoo of a snake crawling out of the eye hole of a skull but they’re still off schedule and have to speed it up to get finished. That’s how I feel every day - way behind.

I’ve got a whole lot on my plate and the plate just isn’t big enough. I could probably use a man hole cover or a garbage can lid instead and still have things sliding off the edge and onto my pants. The more I focus on one particular project the more the others gather dust.

Uranus Factory Outlet has been dusty lately so I decided to delve into that today. I know I have a good idea but other than that I really don’t know for sure how to execute it so I’m flying blindly. I’ve had some distractions lately too and I have to make a living before any side projects. It’s not an excuse but it is a reason why I haven’t had time to devote to this.

I’ve been trying to keep a diary on that project too but I’ve fallen behind. One reason for that is I haven’t really done anything to write about. I’m in a slump but I don’t want to let it die and I’m going to force myself to spend some time on it every day as long as I live.

That time each day may include reading a book about business or making a contact that can help me or just sitting down and writing some jokes to be used as t-shirts and bumper stickers but I’m sick of wasting any more time. This is my pet project and I’m blowing it by not watering the seeds every day. I’m the only one who can bring this project to life.

After it’s up and running I can share my vision with others and they can help me keep it going but since I’m the one with the original vision it’s up to me to set it up so others can see what I’m doing. Colonel Sanders had to get Kentucky Fried Chicken going and when he did it went world wide. It’s still going strong today years after he licked his last finger.

I’d love to set up an entity that was going strong twenty years after I’m gone. I will give this my best shot and surround myself with as many creative types as I can and let it grow where it will and see what develops. But I can’t do anything unless I get the project going.

I worked all morning at updating my files and it was going well until I got a phone call from Jerry Agar asking me to take his son Tanner to the doctor because his wife Ann had to use their only vehicle. Jerry’s car got totaled by Tanner and they’re short so of course I helped him out. I always try to help people even though today it took me away from work.

Jerry is way too good a friend to say no and it was actually fun to hang out for a while. I let him keep my car for a while and we drove up to Milwaukee to get Drew Olson’s Ford Explorer he’s trying to sell. Jerry will drive my Toyota and I will drive Drew’s Explorer.

Eventually we’ll figure it all out but for now everyone who needs a vehicle has one and I’m back to preparing for my reign as the King of Uranus. Even kings need to do favors.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Undenting My Can

Wednesday December 17th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

Two weeks to go in 2008. What a year it’s been. Lots of people will look back on it as a turning point in their lives because they lost their job or house or both. Gas prices went up through the roof and back down again and the world seems to be spinning out of control.

As for me I’m holding out pretty well actually. The holidays aren’t bothering me at all. I can remember going into deep depression funks in the past at this time of year but I’m not even thinking about it this year. I don’t know why that is but I’m sure not complaining.

I think a big part of it is that I know in my heart I tried my very best to make things right with my family. My father was an ass pipe and never did change his evil ways but at least I had the cahones to seek him out and have a face to face with him. I stared him down and looked him in the eye and told him exactly how I felt and didn’t leave any thought unsaid.

It was very difficult and uncomfortable to do that and he didn’t seem to understand how much needless pain and angst he brought to all of us but at least I got a chance to tell it to him in person before he died. We never did develop a relationship but I tried my best.

My siblings and I are probably never going to speak again either and that used to bother me a lot but now I don’t even care about that anymore. I tried my best to contact each one of them and sincerely apologize for whatever I did to ever upset them and I meant it very much. They all chose to blow me off and not even answer me so now I guess it’s all over.

I’m not saying I’m without fault but I thought that if someone asked for forgiveness it’s supposed to be at least discussed a little. I didn’t murder or rape anyone or commit crimes punishable by the law, I just was a member of a wacked out family that never was close.

This is what being a dented can is all about. It’s not pleasant or easy but making a right choice just because it is indeed the right choice is the correct thing to do. I could’ve easily chose to be a drunk or a druggie or a loser like my father but I sucked it up and did what I could to make some wrongs right. Even though the results weren’t great I’m glad I did it.

The one time it did turn out right was with my grandmother. We hadn’t spoken in eight years but we eventually came back in touch and had a fantastic relationship at the end of her life. It made up for the painful years before that and I hoped to do it with my siblings but now it doesn’t look good after trying many times to reconnect. But at least I did try.

Now it’s just time to move on. And I am. All that past hurt is either healing or so old it killed all the nerve endings but either way I’m not feeling it right now. I’m feeling a new spirit of adventure growing inside me and I want to get out there and make it come to life.

I don’t know if I’ll ever totally get all the dents out of my can but if I can at least pound a few out I won’t stand out so much when I’m on the shelf with others. There’s still time to do something very productive with my life. I don’t want to let my past pain stop that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Radio Misfire

Tuesday December 16th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

The only thing colder and nastier than the weather these days is the radio business. Just when I thought nothing could surprise me I got a call from Jerry Agar telling me our good friend Kipper McGee got fired as program director of WLS. It left me speechless and that isn’t easy to do. Usually I can think of a quip or one liner but not this time. I was stunned.

In all my years in radio I’d have to say Kipper was and is the best program director I’ve ever worked with. He’s extremely sharp and not only gets how radio works but is always on the cutting edge of what’s coming next. He’s a visionary and a genius and not a lot of people in radio can qualify for either of those titles. And to top it off he’s a great guy too.

I was happy to introduce Jerry Agar to Kipper several years ago when Jerry was getting into talk radio. Kipper had already made the jump because as he always is he was right on the cutting edge of what was hot and current. He and Jerry connected and then Kipper got hired at WLS and was able to bring Jerry in soon after. They were on the path to success.

Ratings were constantly going up and they made a solid team. Radio success is possible only if there is someone off air protecting the talent. It’s like blocking for a running back in football. Kipper was blocking for Jerry and they were sprinting toward the goal line but the infamous ‘new management’ decided for whatever reason to break up the team. Ugh.

Jerry should still be on the air kicking ass and Kipper should still be in his office getting free reign to keep making improvements. The station was sounding great and doing really well in the ratings. Why tinker with that? There was no real reason to fire Kipper or Jerry but some pencil pushing pinhead putz who’s never been on the air decided to pull rank.

This really infuriates me. My heart goes out to Kipper and his wife Barbara just as I feel badly for Jerry and his family too. My friend Max in Springfield got boned not only at the Loop with me but also in Springfield too at WYMG. And it always seems to happen right around Christmas time too. Ho Ho Ho - it’s time to go. It’s cold and ugly and SO unfair.

Other than a sports coach I have to believe being in radio is the most barbaric bloodbath of a lifestyle there is with the possible exception of underling in the Mafia. Radio is brutal for no reason. Sports coaches get fired if teams lose. Mafia people get wacked for reasons that coincide with their rule system. Radio has no rhyme or reason. The axe falls blindly.

Jerry Agar had solid ratings in market number three in America. He took them up from the first ratings period he started and they kept going up. Kipper McGee’s tenure there at a legendary station was very successful too. Both are great guys and very professional so why don’t either of them have a job today? I couldn’t begin to think of a legit reason.

It’s just plain STUPID and there’s no reason for it. I’m not the only one who has been a victim of a stupid firing but the more it happens the more it sours me on the possibility of ever doing radio full time again. Standup comedy is way more ‘stable’ and that’s insane.

My Monday Mission

Monday December 15th, 2008 - Chicago, IL

The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field has taken over most of America. According to the weather reports on TV there’s a cold front from Nevada to New Jersey and it’s putting all of us in a deep freeze. Days like this make me really glad I don’t work on a road crew.

It was bad enough I had to go into Chicago to host the rising star showcase at Zanies. If I could have taken the night off I would have but I made a commitment to keep hosting so I’ll live up to it. Plus I do get paid too. Not many comics are making money on a Monday.

I really enjoy hosting the Zanies shows. I get to run them any way I want. I can try out a new bit between acts or up front and I also get to see the new talent coming up the ladder. I think it’s very important to forge a relationship with them for many reasons and I do it.

First, it’s just good business. Knowing as many people in one’s business as possible is a smart move. Yes they’re all younger and less experienced but they’ll grow and go in other directions and become connections at some point. If I’m nice to them now (which I try to be always) hopefully they’ll remember it down the road and it might benefit both of us.

Second, it helps me to know the talent out there so I can recommend it to bookers when they ask me who the new faces are. If I know a few people to suggest it puts me in a place where I can pick my own openers. That makes a big difference in the quality of a show.

That particular example happened today as a matter of fact. Joe San Felippo books a lot of gigs all over the country from Florida to Michigan to Vegas to Milwaukee where I will be working the next two Saturdays at the Northern Lights Theatre at Potawatomi Casino.

He’s a great guy and we’ve been friends for years. He’s getting a few new accounts and not only am I going to get some work he wanted to know of other comics I might know of to use as openers. I gladly gave him some names I’ve been working with lately at Zanies.

After all these years in the business I’m finally starting to get at least a little clout with a few bookers. They trust my judgment and if I recommend someone they’ll use that person and if I don’t they won’t. I try to be totally up front and honest and even if I don’t like one of the comics personally I’d still give a recommendation if I knew they could do the job.

Not all of show business is like that though. I’ve been snubbed for some jobs in the past and I know the only reason was that someone somewhere didn’t like me. I polarize people and I know it. I’m either loved or loathed but enough have loved me to allow me to work for over twenty years so I must have done at least something right. Politics is a part of it.

I’ve had to work hard at playing the politics side of the business and I continue to learn and improve. Hanging out on Mondays and being nice to the up and comers doesn’t hurt at all. It’s just as easy to be nice as it is to be a knob so I choose the former hoping I’ll set a good example for them just like C. Cardell Willis set for me. I’m passing on his lessons.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cards And Kooks

Sunday December 14th, 2008 - Milwaukee, WI/Kenosha, WI

Up early to head to Milwaukee today for the monthly sports card show at Gonzaga Hall. If I can hit it at least every other month I do because it’s just plain fun. It’s a place to hang out with people I’ve known for twenty years or in some cases longer and escape problems for a few hours. All that matters is looking at, talking about and buying and selling cards.

I still love the fact that Gonzaga Hall is a time warp. The same group of people set up at the same tables each month and have been as long as anyone can remember. Then there is another group of the same people who show up and try to pry cards loose at cheap prices.

It’s a constant battle of give and take and wheel and deal and it’s really fun to me. I love to dabble in it occasionally and that’s what makes it so much fun. If I had to rely on it as a main source of income I’d be broke by now. There’s a lot more to it than one may think.

Everything is that way. At one time I thought about being a full time sports card dealer in addition to being a full time road comic. I would set up at card shows by day and be on stage by night. I would find myself rolling in cash and life would be easy. Then I woke up and saw how difficult both pursuits are and realized that hauling cardboard wasn’t for me.

Comedy still is the best job ever. No inventory other than a clean shirt and maybe a few products to sell after the show. No equipment to haul like a band and no ring to have to be setting up and taken down like when I promoted pro wrestling shows. Comedy is the best.
I’m glad I chose that over being a sports card dealer because that’s a business that really gets crushed in a bad economy. Nobody NEEDS to buy a Michael Jordan rookie card. It’s a luxury that not everyone can afford and it’s also an item that doesn’t appeal to everyone.

It’s a hunk of cardboard. What can anyone do with it other than look at it? And it can be destroyed by fire or stolen and it can’t be used as currency either. It may be ’worth’ a big price but that’s only if another person will pay it. It’s all a gamble and that’s why I’m glad I just hang around it as a hobby once every month or two. I don’t have to worry about it.

After the card show I hung out with my cousin Brett and had dinner at Famous Dave’s. I admire how Famous Dave has built his business and if I can use any of his ideas for my Uranus Factory Outlet business I’ll give him full credit. He’s got his business plan down.

Then it was off to WLIP in Kenosha to get the Mothership Connection back on the air. I had to take last week off but this week it was time to start over. The on air cast continues to change but that’s how it is on a once a week show where nobody gets paid. I get that.

I still love doing the show though. I love the topics and it’s fun to delve into things like ghost haunting and UFOs and anything else like that. I wish I could find a way to make it pay off financially and maybe I can in the future but for now it’s just another fun thing to stretch my time even thinner than it already is. If nothing else at least I do what I enjoy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Even 1000

Saturday December 13th, 2008 - Howard’s Grove, WI/Lake Villa, IL

According to the myspace.com counter this is exactly my 1000th entry into my infamous Dented Can Diary. That’s pretty remarkable since I started on a whim just so I could keep track of my adventures and also get some writing discipline into my life. It’s worked well.

I haven’t missed a day since I started and now it’s a daily part of my life like showering or brushing my teeth. If I didn’t do it I’d feel like something’s missing. The fact that there are people reading it doesn’t really come into play at all. I write what I’m feeling. For me.

There really isn’t a reason to post it on a public forum other than to hopefully inspire or motivate other dented cans to continue in their own struggle. Life isn’t easy and if I’m out here slugging it out in the trenches I hope that writing about it can be of help to someone.

The good thing about it is it keeps me honest. I lay out my life warts and all so if I ever flip out and do something monumentally stupid the authorities can go back and sort it all out and see what made me snap. Maybe everyone should start one of these. What if there was a diary of 1000 days in the life of Jeffrey Dahmer? Do you think that would get read?

I don’t plan on killing or eating anyone so maybe nobody other than the people who are reading it now will ever see it in this lifetime but maybe future generations of dented cans will be able to use it as inspiration to keep going. I know there are people who need that.

Lots of people are dented cans. I wish that weren’t true but unfortunately it is. Abraham Lincoln is the ultimate example in my book of one that succeeded beyond the expectation of virtually everyone else including himself. He overcame his dents and built a solid life.

That’s all I’m trying to do with mine too. I’m not looking for pity or sympathy because I know I’m by far not the worst off of anyone out there. I never thought that but our pain is personal and unique and all of us have varying degrees of it. Dented cans have a lot more.

Someone who isn’t a dented can is Jeff Foxworthy. I’m still on a buzz from the show so he’s fresh in my mind but he’s a perfect example. Does he have problems? Absolutely but they’re not the problems of a dented can. He’s a good looking guy with an education that married a beautiful woman and then pursued and succeeded at his dream. That’s amazing.

Who doesn’t dream of doing something like that? We all do but precious few of us ever come even close to attaining it. Jeff did and I’m happy for him. He’s truly a great guy and is not phoning it in at all. I watched his show yesterday and could see the effort he puts in and was very impressed. Even after all his big success he continues to work on his craft.

Jeff is a guy who is very grateful for what he’s been given and says it freely. He’s got an unbelievable life and he appreciates it. Good for him! I think that’s how it should be in all of our lives but it totally isn’t. Jeff had good parents and in turn is a good parent and has a great relationship with his wife. His can isn’t dented and those are the ones people BUY.

It takes a lot of special circumstances to get someone to buy a dented can in the store. It has to be either marked down drastically in price or put in a special place in the store with all the other mangled and dented products or there has to be a disaster where the store has no way of getting more supplies and it’s an emergency. That’s the category I seem to fit.

I know I’m a wack job and I’ve never denied it. There are different degrees of crazy and we all are to some degree but there’s a difference between cutting the crust off of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to putting severed human heads in a freezer. I’m in the middle.

A lot of this boils down to the old heredity vs. environment debate. We all have unique circumstances and how we respond is up to each of us. Jeff Foxworthy had good parents and he was and is a good guy so that produced positive results. What if Jeff Foxworthy’s parents had raised Jeffrey Dahmer instead? What would the result have been? Different.

We all get what we get in this life and then it’s a matter of having to deal with it. I had a set of circumstances to deal with from birth that a lot of other people didn’t. Plus I had an individual personality that matched up with it and that had made me who I am right now.

My siblings had similar circumstances in some ways but they’re totally different people and they reacted differently and we’re so far apart at this point I doubt if we’ll ever even speak to each other again. I’ve tried and tried but none of them will respond and it hurts.

I don’t claim to be without faults and that’s another part of why I write this every day. It helps me lay out my weak points so I can hopefully improve them. Getting it out of where it’s hiding in my head and in on a printed page helps me keep a positive flow and not rot.

It’s amazing how things can change so quickly. On Thursday I felt about as low as I can imagine and thought I was in a major rut. Working with Jeff Foxworthy on Friday put me right back in a great space and has lit all kinds of hope candles in my darkest mind ports. I needed a major boost and totally got it. THAT’S what I hope can pump up all my readers.

Tonight it was right back in the middle ground again. I had a holiday party in Howard’s Grove, WI which isn’t far from Sheboygan. My friend Marc Schultz got this gig and I had it on the books for a while. It was in a place called ‘The Wagon Wheel’ for 60 people that work for the Kohler Company. What a difference that was from working the night before.

They had a sound system that appeared to be from the Korean War era that immediately blew out about three minutes into my show. The bartender got me the mike they use when they call bingo and it sounded horrible but that’s what I had to work with. I did my best to entertain the people with the situation I had and I did that. They laughed and applauded.

Had I had this gig right after the one on Thursday I don’t know what mental state I’d be in but the high from the big show is still flowing so it didn’t bother me at all. I got paid to act like an idiot which I do for free anyway. Now my focus is getting more of the kind of shows I had on Friday and less Wagon Wheel Christmas party gigs. That’s my mission.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Opening For Jeff Foxworthy

Friday December 12th, 2008 - St. Charles, IL

Today may very well have been by far the absolute most significant day I’ve ever had in show business. Or it could turn out to just be a Friday. I’ll have to wait and see. No matter what happens I had the most fun I’ve had in years and it turned my frown upside down.

I was asked to be the host of the Jeff Foxworthy show at the Pheasant Run Mega Center in St. Charles. I was at Zanies there last week and Cyndi the manager said Jeff was going to the big room this week and mentioned they might need an emcee. I couldn’t wait to get a chance to see Jeff again because I haven’t seen him in a few years. He’s a fantastic guy.

For those few who don’t already know the story I worked with Jeff many years ago and we hit it off very well. Most people do because he’s such a nice guy. He took me to lunch and bought me a hamburger and ran his ‘You might be a redneck if…’ idea past me and I told him I thought he was wasting his time. Yeah, right. But that‘s what I told him then.

He talks about in his book that he worked at a bowling alley in Michigan that had valet parking and that’s exactly the week we worked together. The place was Chaplins and it’s still there today in Fraser, MI. He said when he saw that he knew there were rednecks all over and not just in the south. He started writing his jokes and the rest is comic history.

I’m the first one to admit I was young and stupid and na├»ve and had no idea what public tastes were back then. Obviously Jeff did and it’s paid off handsomely and I’m not angry or jealous or anything else but happy for his success. He had a vision and it was brilliant.

I’ve been in touch with him over the years and we’ve crossed paths several times and he is always nothing less than gracious and kind and classy all the way. He is a true southern gentleman and I can’t ever remember another comedian saying anything bad about Jeff.

He was in the right place at the right time but he also worked very hard and he deserves all the good things he’s gotten. He’s always worked hard at his act and still does. He has a solid work ethic and obviously the public loves it or he wouldn’t be packing giant venues.

My luck factor kicked in in a very good way last week as I was the headliner at Zanies. I saw that Jeff was coming and asked Cyndi the manager to be considered for the host gig. I don’t think it even occurred to her but when I asked she lit up and knew I’d do the job.

Last Friday she brought a woman named Rachel out to see me and Rachel was in charge of the whole concert project for the resort. I had a monster show and she loved it and after that show she agreed that I would be the person to hire. We shook on it and made a deal.

I really do think I was a good choice for this gig for many reasons. There were bands on before Jeff and they needed someone to make announcements and stretch when necessary but they also wanted someone with (preferably) country radio and live hosting experience to keep the show going in case anything went wrong. I’ve got experience in all of those.

Cyndi was with me most of the night as my liason from Zanies and she would cue me to either stretch more time or cut it and bring up the next act. The promoters needed to keep a tight watch on time because Jeff had to catch a flight out of town right after the show. It was pretty hectic at times but I’ve got lots of experience and I knew I could pull it all off.

I made the announcements and got the audience to laugh and cheer and clap loudly as a new band would come to the stage. I know how to host shows. I’ve been doing it so long it’s second nature by now. I’ve paid my dues and nothing rattles me in that scenario even if it’s a night like tonight and there are several thousand people there. I’m not intimidated.

The challenge of the evening came after the three opening acts had finished a couple of minutes early and Jeff was still upstairs doing his meet and greets. Since he was on such a tight schedule after the show he couldn’t stay so it was an awkward situation for all. They asked me if I could stretch and I told them I could. Their look of relief made me laugh.

I’d been training my whole life for this opportunity. I went up there in front of however many thousand people there were and just let it rip for about 25 minutes. I told them that I would be gone just as soon as Jeff was ready but that I had to fill time until he came down from his meet and greet. Nobody booed and I just started into a bit like it was my show.

I’ve always thought my material didn’t always appeal to the masses but Jeff’s audiences are about as mass appeal as you can get and that’s not an insult at all. They are blue collar hard working solid American citizens and they like to laugh. I leaned into it and let it fly.

I got on a nice roll and what an indescribable jolt of electricity it is to be on that stage in front of thousands of people who snap off big long loud laugh after the next. It’s magical. It’s electrical. It’s what keeps me going whenever I get down like I was last night. THIS is what I’ve always pictured and at least for tonight I got my chance to live it. It was special.

The whole time I was up there I knew that’s where I belonged and while I was watching for a wrap up cue from Cyndi I also focused on how I felt being up there. WOW. It was as much fun as I’ve ever had and I relished every single second of it. This is what I was born to do. The dynamics of a huge room is tricky but when it goes well it’s THE best it gets.

Before the show I took some time to write Jeff a sincere letter. I hadn’t seen him since I was working on the radio in Utah and he and the Blue Collar Tour came through. I hadn’t filled him in on the bank robbery story or anything else so I gave him the short version of it all. I also asked him if he could help point me in the right direction for merchandising.

I help people whenever I can and Jeff is that way too. It’s not his job to help me but I’m sure he’ll call me and point me in a direction. I’ve got a movie script based on a true story that has a killer plot and I also have the idea for the King of Uranus. I’m ready to connect with someone and all I’m asking Jeff for is a suggestion. All I need is ONE. I told him it’s uncomfortable for me to ask for anything and it just is but no asking means no getting so I better change my method or I’ll never break through. This was one of my best nights ever.

Friday, December 12, 2008

WAY Off My Mark

Thursday December 11th, 2008 - Waukegan, IL/Eastman, WI

Hot streaks don’t last forever apparently. The one I was on before my car wreck is gone and I’m starting to slide back into the mud and am pissed off at the world. It kind of feels like I was wearing a pair of funky grimey shorts and hadn’t scrubbed for a few weeks and then I took a piping hot shower and cleaned up nicely but now I put those shorts back on.

It’s been one annoying thing after the next since the wreck and I’m still trying to figure out how the tide turned so quickly from kicking ass to sucking it. I felt bullet proof for the previous couple of weeks and today I feel like putting a high caliber bullet in my skull.

What went wrong? Part of it was buying the ‘new’ Toyota at the auction. It’s a chunk of Japanese dragon poo. I needed a car so I forced it rather than letting a good deal come my way like I usually do. I shouldn’t have bought it but I did and now I have to deal with it.

I made another mistake by taking it to a garage in Waukegan that was recommended by my friends at WIIL radio in Kenosha. The place advertises on the station and I’d met the owner a while back and decided to take it there to get it looked at. My first big mistake.

They upsold me on getting brakes and a radiator and a major tune up put on it which is a lot more than I’d planned for. My last Camry didn’t need a damn thing and it was great. This one needed a lot of things and since I already bought it I decided to just get it fixed.

The garage promised me I’d have it yesterday by 5pm and I was still sitting there when they closed at 6. THAT’S when they told me they wouldn’t have it ready and I went nuts. I wouldn’t have had the work done if it wouldn’t have been ready and to add insult to it I was expected to pay for a rental car for the third straight day. I flipped out at that point.

The owner ended up giving me a ride home and tried to make jokes which I absolutely didn’t want to hear. He seems like a nice enough guy but his hatchet man at the counter is a flat out LIAR. He’s just like my old man who used to paint flowery word pictures of an end result which was never going to happen and disappointment was always the outcome.

The hatchet man swore on his honor and promised me the car would be ready by 10:00 this morning. I called my friend Shelley who was nice enough to help me out and came to pick me up around 10:15 just so I’d give a cushion so as not to flip out again. On the way there the hatchet man called and told me there was a ‘slight problem’. I was FURIOUS.

I don’t care about any ‘slight problem’. FIX MY DAMN CAR you lying fat tub of axle grease. Then I was told to get there at 11:30 and ‘absolutely 100% your car will be ready then’. Ok, sure. I ended up getting out of there at 12:10 and I was pissed beyond words.

None of this should have happened and those slithery bastards didn’t even thank me for my business. I’ll be dipped in piss if I ever bring a car within five miles of those guys but the damage is done. Like it or not I now have invested more than I should have in this car.

It seems like the ‘worst case scenario’ bug is starting to bite me again. I’ve said it before that Mr. Lucky is a fun character to play on stage but not in real life and it’s true. I bought the wrong car this time and it hurts even more since the last one was such a cherry. I can’t even sue anyone because the lowlifes who hit me fled the scene. The whole situation rots.

Then to make it worse I stupidly took a gig in Eastman, WI tonight which is way on the western part of the state by Prairie Du Chien. It came up earlier this week and I could use the money so I said yes. Another mistake. I should have stayed home and kept working on any number of projects that are all slipping away as I get cars fixed and ride to hell gigs.

Eastman has a population of under 500 and I can’t believe it’s that high. Who in the hell would want to live there? There are four bars in the downtown ‘strip’ and the show was at one of them. We were late because the opener showed up late and then wanted to stop for a meal in Madison. I was hungry too so it was partially my fault but I agreed to the deal.

Another mistake. By the time we ate and got back on the road there was the biggest and longest traffic jam I’ve ever been in in Madison, WI. It did NOT move and we were stuck in a mess for about an hour. Now we were late and I just despise that feeling of having to rush to get there knowing there was no chance of making it on time for the show. It sucks.

We were supposed to be there at 7:30 but there were long windy roads through the hilly western part of Wisconsin and we didn’t get there until 8:15. The room was not even half full and there was a weak sound system and horrific stage lighting to boot. This was not a gig I needed to be doing after all these years in the business and I felt like a gigantic loser.

I looked around the room and there were a lot of ball caps and hunting gear and they did not even turn off the TV. These were not my fans and I had to plow through another night of drunken babbling to make a couple of bucks so I could start paying off my car repairs.

There was a boozed up shlub in a cowboy hat and Harley jacket right in front that had a loud rambling comment every twelve seconds that threw the opener off and I just was not going to let that happen to me. I lit into him for about thirty seconds right as I got up there so as to establish my turf. I had to. There were no security guards to shut him up for me.

This whole scenario depresses me and I’m angry at myself for taking the gig. It’s totally my fault and I take full blame. The booker is a nice guy and the lady who owned the joint was very nice too. There were some friendly people besides that drunk cow poke but none of that mattered. I am beyond gigs like this and the thrill is totally gone. I hated all of it.

I’ve done way too many of these over the years and my patience is totally gone. I’m just not interested in fighting drunks in a saloon in a small town who have never seen comedy before. Am I snobby? An elitist? Too big for my britches? All I know is this wasn’t fun.

This was a big red flag tonight and all the way home the opener tried to cheer me up but I knew deep in my heart I’ve lost the fire. This was a long hard ugly day. I‘m out of sync.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

C.C.-Ya Later

Wednesday December 10th, 2008 - Lake Villa, IL

C.C. Sabathia signed the richest contract for a pitcher in baseball history today with the New York Yankees. He’ll get seven years and $161 million which will average out to the paltry sum of $23 million a year. Times sure are tough. How can a guy squeak by on that?

The auto industry in America is crumbling before our eyes and the economy has taken a major dive but this kind of a deal is made and people are happy about it. I don’t think he’s a bad guy at all and who wouldn’t take that kind of money but it does seem pretty stupid.

What the hell is wrong with this planet? Why is there so much insanity going on on one tiny little pebble in the universe? I have to believe this isn’t the only planet with life but it sure doesn’t seem to be ‘intelligent‘. I think we’re flattering ourselves by calling it that.

The whole mess with Rod Blagojevich is unfolding and he is looking like a total chunk of human sludge. I know a person is innocent until proven guilty and all that but this does not look like one of those times. I think he abused his power and deserves to be torched.

But will it happen? Maybe he’ll lose his job but is he connected enough to keep money coming in? I would bet he’s got some stashed somewhere and isn’t about to starve in the near future. He played dirty and got caught but I doubt if he’s the only one who’s playing.

Chicago and Illinois politics have always been dirty and guess who came through it to get elected president? You can’t tell me Mr. Obama is Mr. Clean. I’ll bet he’s got tales of his own to tell or be told by someone. The whole dark side of humanity makes me sick.

There are good people and there are scumbags. Are good people perfect? Of course not but I think they try to basically do good whenever they can. I know I do. It’s a mindset for daily living. I try to think of the other person like myself just like the golden rule says and when I fail it really does bother me. I don’t think Blagojevich is bothered by this at all.

He just oozes a vibe of sliminess to me. Maybe it’s his pompous pompadour hairdo or a misplaced letter ’j’ in his last name but something doesn’t sit right with me about the guy. He’s using our tax dollars to help himself while the rest of us are out here earning a buck. It sure seems to me like those are the kinds of wankers that are attracted to political life.

C.C. Sabathia is a different story. By all accounts he’s a wonderful guy and I’m glad he got paid the biggest contract ever but I’m sorry to see him leave Milwaukee. He made his mark last year and the whole city loved him like no other baseball player I can remember.

The team supposedly offered him $100 million for five years which boils down to a $20 million a year insult. Yeah, I would have to tell someone to pound sand for that kind of an insult too. What’s wrong with people? Don’t we know baseball is the biggest priority? An economy in the toilet or a governor auctioning off a senate seat doesn’t matter but paying some guy $23 million a year to throw a baseball does. Who’s in charge of our priorities?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Internet Radio Potential?

Tuesday December 9th, 2008 - Chicago, IL

Snowy days have long lost their appeal and today was another one. Maybe I need to go sledding or something to appreciate it but at this time in my life the thrill is long gone. If it never snowed again I wouldn’t be upset but I’ll have to move if I want that to happen.

Then if I do move I’ll have to deal with other things like earthquakes and scorpions and who knows what else? It’s comfortable living in the Midwest and a few months of snowy weather is the price I pay for that. It goes with the territory and today I had to deal with it.

I live right between Milwaukee and Chicago and for some reason there is more snow in that area than there is in either city. I can’t figure it out and don’t really want to. It just is. I drove to see my friend Marc Schultz this morning and I heard on Chicago radio how the rain would continue and where I was there were several inches of nasty wet sloppy snow.

By the time I got into the Chicago area it was only rain and that was nasty to drive in as well. One would think people would put a cell phone down in such hazardous conditions but one would be wrong. I wanted nothing more than to see one of those halfwits slide off the road and hit a light pole at full speed jamming that cell phone right in their eye socket.

But I’m always the optimist. Unfortunately no such luck today so I had to wait an even longer time for traffic to move because idiot after imbecile had to describe the situation to someone else on the other side of their phone. It’s maddening and WAY too many do it.

After my recent wreck I admit I’m a little gun shy and was extra careful to leave a space between cars as I drove to see Marc for lunch. I had to sign a contract and get information for a gig I’m doing for him in Sheboygan this Saturday night so I had to brave the snow.

It’s always good to see Marc but even better when there’s work involved. After lunch I went to meet Jerry Agar at a place in Morton Grove that does internet radio shows. Jerry has an idea for an internet version of his talk show and I think he’d be able to pull it off.

It all boils down to money though as it does with anything else. Who will finance it? If he can get a sponsor he could be on the cutting edge of something big and losing his WLS job may have come at the right time. Eventually I think radio will morph onto the internet just as a lot of other things will like newspapers, magazines and TV too. It’s an evolution.

I met the guy in charge and liked the operation a lot. Apparently Chicago is a big player in this industry and there are a couple of operations like this here. I’d love to develop my own ‘King of Uranus Comedy Hour’ type show and I talked about it with the guy today.

He is looking for programming and I’d have to pay a weekly fee but I’d get access to an actual studio with a phone line to take calls and I could broadcast the show from websites other than the one they have. I could generate traffic for www.uranusfactoryoutlet.com. If I could find a sponsor to cover my costs it would be a great way to advertise my products.