A Bus, Two Babes And A Buddy

Monday February 28th, 2011 – Galveston, TX/Houston, TX/Chicago, IL

Disembarkation on ships is always a pain in the poop deck. We have to be up extremely early to get our paperwork and passport details done, then we’re walked off as a group of those on the crew who are leaving. Usually it’s before passengers get off, but not always.

Every ship handles it their own way, and there’s a lot of waiting involved most times as they get everyone there, and then they have to wait for Immigration officers to show up so they can be ready with documentation. It’s not an easy job, and I wouldn’t want it, but it’s a hassle having to wait through it when my part of it is just showing a passport and going.

Today there was an added twist because we docked in Galveston, and there’s a bus that shuttles crew members to either of Houston’s airports at no cost. Just June and I were off the ship by 8:30am, but they told us the bus wasn’t going to leave until 11. We learned of that about 10am after waiting and waiting with nobody telling us what the schedule was.

I took a chance and went to a used book store a couple of blocks away from the port. I’d been there before and it’s a very nice store, and I wanted to exchange some of the books I brought with me and already read. Mainly I wanted to walk around and get some exercise.

Of course, the bus left early and I got back to an empty waiting area. My heart sank as I walked back to the waiting area, but I knew there was another one coming. More waiting, but it was my own fault. My flight wasn’t until 5:30pm but at least I had books to read.

Sure enough, another bus showed up about a half hour later, and I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The plane to Chicago was jammed full, and for once I got to win at ‘seat bingo’. I had a middle seat, but for my troubles I got not one but TWO piping hot babes to sit next to. I can’t remember when that’s happened ever, so I played it cool.

First one started talking to me about seatbelts,  and then the other chimed in with some meaningless drivel. It was as if they were flirting with ME before I could start in on them. Whatever it was, it worked and they were both not only en fuego hot, but sweethearts too.

Only one was married, and of course that was the one I liked. She was a blonde with a razor sharp wit and a sexy southern accent that knocked me out from word one. It’s very obvious when two people click, and we did right away. Of course. That’s so frustrating.

I’ve never been one to chase married women and I’m not saying she was ready to leave the old man for me after casual conversation on a plane, but it just sucks that I won’t get a chance to date her and see what happens. We really hit it off and I found her really sexy.

The other one was no slouch though. She lives in Madison and is a grad student. She’s a little young, but still really smart and funny. We talked for a while and then she had some homework to do, and I went to sleep – hoping beyond hope I wouldn’t snore or crop dust  TWO hotties in the same row. I don’t think so, they were friendly when we said good bye.

I had to check my luggage because of the full flight, but it surprisingly popped right out in the first few seconds as I stood next to the conveyor belt at baggage claim. It threw me for a loop to see it that fast, but I managed to scoop it up and go search for a pay phone to call Jim McHugh for a ride back to my car. I’d left my phone in it back eleven days ago.

That seemed like six lifetimes ago now. I can’t believe how long this trip was. It totally drained my energy to the very end, both mentally and physically. I’m out of juice, and not in any condition to make any trips like this again any time soon. I need time to recharge.

None of this is a bad thing though. Actually, it feels kind of good to have put this much effort into any kind of project. It didn’t make me a big star, but it sure did toughen me up in areas I had no idea were there, much less needed toughening. It was a boot camp drill.

Now, what do I do with what I’ve learned? I thought about that a little between flirting with the two cuties on the plane, but a lot more before that. I need to reboot everything in my life, and restructure it to all be moving in the same direction. That’s much easier said than done, but if I don’t do it I’m just going to die in frustration with zilch accomplished.

What can I do to put everything I have going in the same direction and keep working it into one big project? That’s the master plan, but I absolutely can’t do it myself. I have my list of people I’ve been hooking up with to test their interest in working with me. Several have answered positively, and now it’s a matter of meeting up and deciding what to do.

I’ve wasted enough time already chasing too many things that didn’t pay off. I need the structure of partnerships to keep me focused on the goals, and also to make me have some accountability and deadlines to meet. Doing it all randomly by myself won’t get it done.

Jim McHugh was there to pick me up as he usually is, and I can’t be more thankful for a friend like him. He’s not only a fantastic comic, he’s also detailed in areas I’m not and we work well together. Some would call a guy like Jim’s style intense or anal, but to me he’s very organized, and I can mesh well working with him. I need his style to get me moving.

Jim is in a similar position to me in that he’s evolving in his own comedic journey. The difference is, he has a wife, two kids in college and a mortgage. I can’t imagine that kind of stress, and still having to do comedy. Still, he hangs in there and works his ass ragged.

I felt I absolutely had to take Jim out for a nice steak dinner for all the times he’s gotten up at vampire hours to take me to or get me from the airport. He didn’t have to do that but not only did he, he never bitched once, even as a joke. Friends like that aren’t easy to find anywhere, so I will always appreciate it. I try to be that kind of a friend myself as well.

Standup comedy was a fun ride for many years, and I doubt I’ll ever give it up fully, but now it’s time to stop doing it the way I have been and evolve into a more entrepreneurial and (dare I say it?) stable type of lifestyle. I’ve had a lot of fun, but I’m at the age where it isn’t about sleeping on couches anymore. It’s about finding a payoff for doing it so long.


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