Three Birthdays

Monday December 21st, 2009 – Chicago, IL

I enjoy December 21st for several reasons. First, it’s the Winter Solstice. That means it’s the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. Ground zero. The days are going to get longer if even for a few seconds, and pretty soon spring will be here again. I choose to use today as a symbolic starting anew, and I really need it. I’m not in a groove right now.

The other reason I like today is it happens to be the birthday of three friends, all of them as different as three people can get. Still, I think very highly of them all and I didn’t forget to recognize them. The first was my web person Shelley. She’s helped me a ton since my ordeal with my ex business partner and if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have a website up.

She’s a former comedy student and has a huge heart and I really appreciate her attitude. She’s adopted and understands the dented can concept and she’s a big kid herself. She has two sweet daughters 9 and 6, and is in Iowa right now picking up a puppy to give them on Christmas. She was excited to both be doing that and that I had remembered her birthday.

Pete Lipsey is another one on the list. He’s someone I’ve known over 20 years and he’s done very well for himself. He did comedy for a while and still does occasionally, but his real life is with his family. He’s got a great wife and three kids, and he’s in the real estate business. I don’t talk to him as often as I’d like, but I was able to remember his birthday.

Preacher Moss is the last one. I’ve known him even longer than I’ve known Pete and he has also done himself proud. Preacher is from Washington D.C. but went to Marquette in Milwaukee and started doing comedy in the 80s. He’s a couple years younger than me but has been doing comedy forever. More important than that, he’s a person of high character.

Preacher converted to Islam many years ago and that’s not an easy mix with comedy. In all my travels though, I’ve never met a more sincere person who lives his faith without an axe to grind with anyone. He doesn’t force it on anyone and has had to endure all kinds of ridicule but he takes it with dignity and is a true winner. He’s someone everyone respects.

It’s funny to me that three people so different could all share the same birthday but they do. Preacher is Muslim, Pete is Jewish and Shelley is Catholic, at least I think. I know she isn’t Jewish or Muslim, that’s for sure. Still, all three are wonderful people and I’m proud to know all of them and count them as friends. I’m glad I could remember their day today.

I had a fun lunch with Marc Schultz and Larry Reeb. Marc had my check for the show I did last Friday, and one for Larry too. We ate at Barnaby’s Pizza and had a great meal and a lot of laughs. Marc and Larry had never met in person, and we sat around for two hours talking sports and comedy and what we could all do to get more gigs coming in for 2010.

Tonight I drove to Milwaukee to have dinner with my cousin Brett. I hadn’t seen him in a while and it was one of the few days we were both available. Neither of us are much on Christmas so this was ours. We made each other laugh and that’s the best present of all.


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