The Long Unwinding Road


Friday May 18th, 2012 – Pittsburgh, PA/Canton, OH/Fort Wayne, IN

   I’m not able to describe in adequate words just how stressful yesterday was, and it didn’t let up for several hours. No amount of money is worth that kind of aggravation, but sometimes life just works out that way. Could I have left for the gig earlier? Sure. Should I have flown in? Maybe.

But there’s more to it than that. This is a much deeper issue than just running into a few traffic problems on the way to a comedy gig. That happens to everyone at one time or another, and this was my time. I’ve had countless examples of other times too, but I can’t seem to learn my lesson.

There are just too many things to do, and not enough time to do them all. When that happens, it leads to situations like I just had to endure and ends up draining my entire being. Yes, I ended up making it in time for the show. But there were several hours of living hell when it was in doubt.

That’s not how I want to do business, especially after being in this game for so long. It’s never a perfect world, but it would be nice to have someone to help coordinate my travel schedule so it doesn’t boil down to a literal race against the clock to get there on time. I can’t keep doing that.

It’s funny for me to hear rock stars complain about how hard they have it. They have a tour bus waiting after their shows with someone else driving. They also usually have their meals prepared for them as well. They show up to a catered meal, do the show – and then get on a bus and sleep.

That sounds pretty good to me right about now. I have to haul my own carcass to my gigs, find a way to feed myself from a drive thru window without reigniting my diabetes demons with a lot of sugary junk food, and then have to get myself home when I’m done. No wonder I’m stressed.

I was so tight after the show last night I couldn’t have fallen sleep even if I wanted to. This gig was one of the few that didn’t come with a room included, so I got back in the car and started the long trip west. I’d just spent all day coming from there, now I had to drive back. How frustrating.

I made it back to the Pittsburgh area before starting to unwind. I found a sleazy hotel room that was not worth the $46 price, but that was the cheapest I could find and I was beat so I took it and shut up. I thought about sleeping in my car, but that would have totally destroyed my self esteem.

A hot shower, decent meal and a good night’s sleep can work wonders in stressful situations. It did the trick this time, as I woke up refreshed and ready to head home. I stopped in Pittsburgh for a lunch with Jeff Schneider and we recorded three half hour episodes of ‘The Unshow!’ podcast.

I made it to Canton, OH with plenty of time to hang with my old friend Tim Marszalkowski for dinner at the delicious Mama Guzzardi’s Italian restaurant. Tim is also stressed to the limit on his day job, and told me at least I was working for myself. He’s absolutely right, but stress is stress.

I got back in the car with a full stomach, and made it to Fort Wayne, IN and felt myself starting to nod out at the wheel. I could have tried to make it home, but what for? In the old days I’d have sucked it up and kept driving. Mountain Dew and Hershey bars would have helped a ton, but that strategy is what led to diabetes. Tonight’s choice was a big salad, water and a good night’s sleep.

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