Posts Tagged ‘Alpha Graphics’

Feels Like A Full Moon

May 26, 2010

Tuesday May 25th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

I wonder if there was a full moon today? I’m always afraid to look those up, because I really don’t want to know. I’d rather just fight through whatever goofiness it brings with a blind eye, not going in expecting everything to blow up in my face. I prefer a clean slate.

Today sure did feel odd, though. It was one of those days when I was behind every idiot on a cell phone in traffic who was in a deep conversation and had NO clue they were on a public roadway with other drivers. I’m trying to get better with anger but that really pisses me off royally. Do people really think they’re the only ones on the road? It’s maddening.

I lose count of how many clueless apes are lost in their own little world clutching a cell phone, gesturing like they’re conducting a philharmonic orchestra. Is there an immediate necessity to have such a deep conversation in the left hand lane in downtown Chicago?

If it’s that big of an emergency, PULL OVER. 99.999% of imbeciles I see clogging the toilet in the left hand lane when I’m late and in a hurry either have handicapped plates or a cell phone pressed against the ear of their empty brainless coconut skull that’s probably got a steel plate inside of it. I drive more than the average person, and I see it constantly.

Handicapped plates and stickers are another thing too. Of course I feel everyone should be able to get around, blah blah blah, but dammit DRIVE LIKE YOU’VE SEEN PAVED ROADS BEFORE. I was behind one halfwit slower than the next, and it blew my gasket.

I needed to get to Alpha Graphics in Vernon Hills, IL before it closed at 5pm on the dot. Jay Bachochin is the owner, and he told me he needed to leave by 5 to pick up his young son. Fine. I get that. I wish the hundreds of other mouth breathing Neanderthals did, too.

I fought traffic and missed stop lights and drove on two wheels at about 60mph through the 25mph speed limited downtown main street in Libertyville, hoping to make it by 5:00 so Jay could leave. He’s very laid back and mellow, and I got there at 5:04. He was cool, but I felt bad making him wait. It was just one of those days. I couldn’t catch any breaks.

I’ve given up trying to figure out what causes days like this. All I know is, this isn’t the first one I’ve ever had, and it won’t be the last. I’m sure everyone has them at some point, but when they hit me, I can feel them hit extra hard. To add extra stress, my gas tank was on ‘E’ and the red light was on the whole way. I had no idea if I’d run out of gas or not.

I gave Jay my CD cover art colorized so he could scan it and make posters, postcards or whatever else we can think of. I just needed to get the original to him and today was when I could do it. The time of stress in getting there felt like Steve McQueen’s ride in ‘Bullitt’.

Then I went to Pheasant Run in St. Charles to teach a comedy class for people who had to miss other classes for whatever reason. It was a make up session, and of course the air conditioning was broken and it was a sauna in the club. We were all sweating like pigs.

I was in a foul and salty mood, but it wasn’t the students’ fault. I really do love to teach classes, but today was not the ideal day. I fought traffic all day to get out there and then it was like a steam room inside the club for two hours. I came out soaked with sweat. Yuck.

Then, on the way home I received a call and a text from two different women who had to cancel dates I thought we had, and then the cake taker was getting a call from my good friend Tim Marszalkowski telling me a show in Michigan he booked for this week is off.

That’s not the unusual thing. Getting gigs cancelled at the last minute has been going on for years. Every working comedian has experienced it, but it rots ass big time, every time. This time it had a twist. Apparently, the person I suggested as the middle act got himself booked at another venue in town on the same night. In all my years, I’ve never seen that.

I don’t know him very well, but he’s from the Detroit area and asked if I could ever get him in with any bookers. Plenty of guys ask me that, and I try to help if I can. I know how hard it can be to get gigs, especially when someone is starting out. I thought I’d acquired a lot of good karma by passing countless names along over the years to a lot of bookers.

I thought this was another one, but it seems to have bitten me in the ass and isn’t going to release any time soon. Tim called and told me what happened and my jaw dropped. He was pretty shocked too, and said he’s going to cancel the gig he’d booked me for because people were bitching that the price of admission at the other gig was a whole lot lower.

Tim’s show was supposed to be a fundraiser for the local area businesses who wanted a chance at government grant money to start jobs. He worked very hard at getting it booked and had arranged radio interviews, newspaper articles, and secured my services to do the show. My Craig Ferguson appearance was a selling point and the people were all excited.

Then, apparently some snaggle puss booker I never heard of heard about it and went to a local hotel and booked a low rent show on the same night. The middle act who I asked to do our gig was listed as the middle act on that show. Tim and I both called him, but he hasn’t returned either call as of yet. I can’t understand what the hell he was trying to do.

Wouldn’t it be obvious we’d find out about it? The shows even started at the same time. How would he be able to do both gigs, and not think anyone would know – especially in a very small town where they rarely have comedy at all? This is way up north in Michigan.

I’m not so much angry about it as shocked. I don’t see the thought process with the guy, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until I talk to him personally. I’m not that close with him at all, and we’ve only worked a couple of times on the road. I’ll hold my tongue.

The guy was supposed to have me headline a show he’s trying to put together in a jazz club in the Detroit area in September. I‘m sure as hell going to think twice about trusting anyone who would go behind my back and the back of one of my best friends like that on short notice for such a small amount of money. The whole day was like this – very weird.

Color Coordination

May 23, 2010

Saturday May 22nd, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

No gig tonight but this time it’s ok. Last night’s show was so hot I got my fix and I have a lot of work coming up in the next few weeks that will keep me plenty busy. My plan for today was to keep tabs on my daily chores like emails and calls and make sure those kinds of things don’t get out of hand as they tend to do quite frequently. It’s a constant struggle.

That was my plan, but I got so far off of it it’s ridiculous. I don’t know how it happened and I sure didn’t plan on it, but I ended up spending about eight full hours today coloring. Yes, COLORING – as in filling in a black and white picture with markers and hoping not to go outside the lines. I thought for sure my coloring days were over, but I was mistaken.

What’s next, a game of hide and seek? Some graham crackers? Nap time? Am I back in kindergarten? I wasn’t very good at coloring back then, so why did I revert back to it over forty years later? Necessity. I needed to add color to the cover artwork of my new CD. It’s been bothering me since I got it, and I had to see what it would look like in living color.

My original plan was to do a tribute to the Funkadelic album “Hardcore Jollies”. I chose that particular one not only because “Hard Luck Jollies” fits it perfectly, but also because it’s a very wildly drawn busy cover with all kinds of vibrant pinks and purples all over it.

Pedro Bell’s style is quite striking, and I have to believe he’s sampled his share of LSD, plus yours and mine too. He must have done about twenty albums throughout the heyday of their peak years, and they really do stand out. One of the reasons why is that they’re all bursting with an array of colors. That‘s what I‘d pictured my project to be, but it wasn’t.

I really feel bad that Pedro’s ink person ripped him off, but I paid for a finished product and I didn’t get it. Whoever was at fault isn’t important. What matters is, I needed to get a product out so I made due with what I had. It doesn’t look horrible at all, and most people who’d probably be fans of mine have no idea who Pedro Bell or Funkadelic are anyway.

Still, if I’m going to do something, I want to do it right. I know nobody cares, but I want to hopefully do another print run eventually, and that one should have a colorized version of the cover. I played around with several versions until I finally nailed what I had wanted in the first place, but it was worth it. The colors just leap off the page and it’s a lot better.

My friend Jay Bachochin owns an Alpha Graphics in Vernon Hills, IL and he said he’ll be able to scan the color drawing and reproduce it as needed. I could see this even being a t-shirt eventually, or maybe even a poster. It’s very unique and I’m glad I took the time to get it finished the way I imagined it to be in the first place. This was worth all my effort.

Hopefully, I’m now done with my coloring career and can go back into retirement. I am glad I did this though, because the results will pay off for a long time. Plus, I also colored a back cover drawing Pedro did, which I think I can tweak into the front cover of the next CD. I paid for it, why not use it? Anything that can set me apart in a good way, I’ll take.