Saturday December 19th, 2009 - Chicago, IL/Schaumburg, IL/Brookfield, IL
Ever since I moved out to Hooterville, going into the city of Chicago is a major project. It’s exactly 50 miles from where I live to Zanies on Wells Street and 53 miles to get to the WGN studios for Jerry’s Kidders. There’s no easy way to get there and traffic is an issue.
This time of year I have to fight shopping traffic from Gurnee Mills and that can be just as brutal as freeway traffic in the city. There are all kinds of lights and none of them seem to be synchronized so it can take a half hour just to make it from my house to the freeway.
That’s about seven miles. Then, I have to fight either construction or congestion on I-94 which is always clogged up somewhere. I never know exactly where, so that makes stress inevitable no matter when I leave. I try to leave early, but the earlier I leave the more of a hassle it seems to be. Still, I have to get there and many times I’m on a tight schedule.
Today we had a Jerry’s Kidders segment scheduled for 3pm. I left at 1:45 which wasn’t enough time, and I got stuck downtown in Christmas traffic. Boy, did I. I inched along as my stress level rose and realized I wouldn’t make it by 3:00. WGN had a basketball game on that went long so that gave me some time, but I still was late for the first few minutes.
I was talking on the phone at a red light and a Chicago cop on a bike told me to hang up while I was on the air. The guys heard it and apparently were able to make fun of it after I hung up, but the stress of being late wasn’t worth the joke. Punctuality would be better.
After the show I had dinner with Kate Brindle. What a sweetheart she is. She is a comic from Ann Arbor, MI who now lives in Virginia and works for PETA. I’ve always enjoyed hanging out with Kate, as she’s just a wonderful person. She has her beliefs and she sticks to them without inflicting them on everyone else. That takes guts and I totally respect her.
We had a great meal at Sweet Tomatoes in Schaumburg, and it never hurts to run some roughage through the pipes. I need to eat better and it felt good to load up on salad when I really wanted red meat and pasta. Kate doesn’t eat meat so it was a good choice for both.
After dinner I thought Kate was going to come with me to do a set for a benefit show in Brookfield, IL at the VFW but she was tired from her travels. She apologized but I totally get it. The road is tough no matter what reason one is on it so I told her to get some rest.
The VFW show was put on by my friend Eddie Horn Jr. Eddie has a big heart and puts on shows for the vets a few times a year with an improv group he has. I’ve done it before and any time I can help out a veterans’ cause or Eddie, I always do it. They’re worth it.
Eddie puts a ton of work into these shows and has sound effects and costumes and it’s a major event for both the performers and the audience. I’m honored to be asked and it was really fun. The audience was totally into it and the room rocked. More importantly, I was able to help a good cause at Christmas. That’s what life’s about and I’m glad I could do it.