Posts Tagged ‘Caucasian’

Low Rider

June 1, 2013

Thursday May 30th, 2013 – Libertyville, IL

   Life is a continuing series of ups and downs. I happen to be stuck in a down right now, but I’ve been here plenty of times before so it’s nothing new. Although it’s never pleasant, the only thing to do is wait it out and try to weather the storm as well as possible. Sooner or later, it will switch.

   I’ve given up on trying to figure out a logical reason, because I don’t think one exists. I think it boils down to a planetary vibe, or something bigger than all of us. Maybe it’s moonbeams or star dust or cosmic dust from Uranus, but some days or longer periods of time are better than others.

   Why is it one day I’ll wake up and everything falls into place? I hit all the green lights in traffic and I go to the restaurant and get the cutie pie waitress to flirt with rather than the 300 lb. sea hag with stale perfume that smells like her sump pump went out. On those days, nothing goes wrong.

   Then, other days I can tell it’s going to be exactly the opposite. I get behind some nose picking Neanderthal drooling into his cell phone in the left lane of traffic who directly causes me to miss one green light while he slides through, leaving me steaming at the red light unable to retaliate.

   That in turn throws me off course and I end up hitting every other red light the rest of the entire day, and then getting not only the ugliest waitress at the restaurant but the newly paroled first day on the job cook with trench mouth and pink eye that sneezes on my omelet. I guess that wouldn’t be so bad, but I’d ordered a chef’s salad. When I’m out of the groove, it doesn’t matter what I do.

   Right now, I’m out of the groove. Sometimes it last for days, sometimes for weeks. Sometimes it’s longer than that. I was in a really good groove just a few weeks ago, but that’s gone now. I’m not sure exactly when the switch happened, but I know it did. I wish I could identify the process.

   One thing that’s really been an annoying issue of late is traffic problems. I got a speeding ticket in January that’s been a festering dingle berry since it happened. First, the fine was $250, and the gig I was going to in Eau Claire, WI paid $200. I was already in the hole, but the rental car I was driving cost me even more. Then I went to fight it in court, and they misfiled all my paper work.

   I eventually paid the ticket after finding out they screwed up the filing, but last week I received a notice from the state saying my driver’s license is suspended. That’s another fine I had to come up with, and the torture is never ending. I’ve never had my license suspended in my life until this annoying little hiccup, but now I’m a criminal because some smug cop had to play Dirty Harry.

   Normally I respect the police, but that guy had a bug up his ass as he got out of his car. I don’t know what his problem was that day, but he sure took it out on me. I could tell when he climbed out of his car I was going to get a ticket by the way he goose stepped to mine. I was out of luck.

   Other days, I’m able to make the cop laugh or just get off with a warning. I’ll admit I’ve gotten off completely several times when I probably should have gotten pinched, but for reasons I can’t identify I slid through the cracks. Was it because I was a nice guy? Caucasian? Without any past criminal record? It could be a combination of all of those things, but I can’t put my finger on it.

   Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t feel like I am doing anything different, but there sure are different results. Right now I’m on a low, and try as I might I haven’t the first hint of a clue as to how to change that. If I could, I would. But I can’t. I’ll have to wait.

Facing The Music

May 15, 2013

Monday May 13th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL  

   Here’s another major life’s regret to toss on my ever growing pile: I never made the investment of time and energy to create music. I really wish I would have taken an opportunity at some point to at least learn the basics of music so I could have added it to my repertoire of creative outlets.

   I’m not saying I would have made a career of it or even attempted to, but I really think it would have added all kinds of interesting angles to everything I’ve already done. It would have been the perfect fit for my already ‘out there’ left handed creative mind set, and I think I missed the boat.

   I can’t sing a lick, and I know it. That’s just not in me, but I think playing some instrument and especially writing songs would definitely have been for me. It’s a craft and art form just like joke writing is, and I think a lot of the same brain cells are used to create each. I live for that process.

   I remember reading somewhere that Steve Allen had written thousands of songs throughout his life – even though I can’t think of even one hit. It doesn’t matter I guess, the process is rewarding if nothing else. It can be financially lucrative too, I suppose. Hit songs are what pay royalties for a lifetime. People want to hear them over and over and over again. Who ever wrote a ‘hit joke’?

   The creative side of the music and comedy crafts may be the same, but getting one’s chops are completely different. A comedian has to go up and suffer constant pain in front of live audiences for years until he or she learns the ropes. A musician can haul out the old bassoon or piccolo and practice alone in the privacy of his or her own room. It’s still difficult, but not nearly as public.

   As a kid, I don’t remember being around live music at all. Nobody in my family plays anything but the radio, so it’s not like I was born into the Jackson or Osmond clan and given a tambourine for my first birthday. Plus I’m very Caucasian, so that may have impeded my progress as well.

   My natural inner rhythm may not be there from the start, but I bet I could have learned the craft and fit in on some level had I been offered more of an opportunity. I remember farting around on a cheap used guitar when I was around ten years old, and then my grandfather bought a keyboard organ from Kmart for some reason. I aped around on that too, but never had any formal lessons.

   Being left handed didn’t help with any dreams I may have had of becoming a guitar hero. Left handed guitars are like left handed golf clubs. They’re out there, but really rare. I never did have a chance to even see if I liked it or not. Maybe I would have hated it, or maybe I’d be a star now.

   One thing I would have been is eccentric and eclectic. I’m already that now, but it’s not a bad thing in the creative arts. I adore artistic kooks, and always have. George Clinton is one of those, and I mean it as a sincere compliment. He’s brilliant, but out there. Other names that pop into my head that did or do their own thing are Sun Ra, Frank Zappa, Alice Cooper and Thomas Dolby.

   I bet I would have written some interesting songs by now to say the least. I have a comic style, and I’m sure I’d have a music style as well. I love a well written song, especially one that tells an interesting or unique story. Was (Not Was) writes a lot of songs like that, as does Bernie Taupin.

   I suppose I could start taking some lessons now, but I think it’s way too late to make any noise on a serious level. I’d be just another half baked hack hobbyist, but I don’t need any more speed bumps in my path. I did what I did, now I have to live with it. Comedy keeps me busy enough.