Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Cubs’

$38.65

July 15, 2013

Saturday July 13th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   The gap between theory and reality seems to be widening of late. In my head, I’ve got all these grandiose ideas bouncing around for what I want to get done in life, but far too few have had any tangible results. Those that did have happened so slowly, a snail’s pace would signal an upgrade. 

   A prime example would be my feeble attempt to make a few extra bucks wheeling and dealing antiques and collectibles. I’ve been doing it my whole life and I’m in the ideal scenario with my vagabond lifestyle and plenty of free time. In theory, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be killing this.

   I have made a few nice finds, but nothing that’s going to bail me out of the poor house just yet. I knew going in that with enormous glut of TV exposure from American Pickers to Pawn Stars to Storage Wars and everything in between it would light the fires of treasure hunters everywhere.

   I wasn’t getting in it for the quick and easy buck, because if there’s one lesson I’ve learned on my life’s journey it’s that it doesn’t exist along with unicorns, leprechauns and Chicago Cubs in the World Series. I entered the game knowing I would have to work my way into it gradually.

   The main concern as always is my time outlay vs. income. I can’t afford any hobbies that only suck time right now, and I was looking specifically to turn at least a semi steady buck. I think my picking eye is halfway decent, so I set out to look for a supply of trinkets and baubles to resell.

   I compiled a bunch after several weeks of hunting in my spare time, and then delivered some to a friend of a friend who frequently sells on Ebay. We worked out a percentage deal that we could both live with, and I left him to do his thing. We both agreed it would be a low risk experiment.

   Today I received an email from the guy saying my grand total after fees and percentages was a whopping $38.65. Not everything sold, but what did actually fetched a profit. For example, I had a vintage phone I found in a thrift store for $6 and my share after everything was $15. I’ll take it.

   I also found an old model car kit at a rummage sale for $3 and my final net was $12. Again, not a bad profit and the other guy made his percentage too. We only tried a few items, so it’s not like my whole stash is used up, but at this rate it will be a long time before I’ll be in the Fortune 500.

   Rummage season is in full swing, and I am in a mega ripe area. I can’t drive down any street in any direction near me on a weekend and not see homemade signs everywhere. I’m not finding an abundance of quality items though, and it’s not been worth my time and especially gas to search.

   Everyone else is watching all those TV shows too, so anything even close to old is being listed as ‘vintage’ and priced as high as someone would have to be to buy it for that amount. It’s funny to see the looks on shoppers’ faces when they flip over a junk item and see a sky high price tag.

   Still, there are bargains to be found for those that look hard enough. I’m just not sure if I have a desire to be one of them. By the time I fill my gas tank and put stressful miles on my car sorting through randomly scattered junk piles hoping to find a rare gem, the profit I make isn’t worth it.

   I will still fart around with it only because I like it, but this isn’t the way to make any kind of a steady living. I’d have to get a storage facility and set up at flea markets, and right now I’m just not looking to do that. I’ve got other projects that mean more to me than being a garbage picker. In theory, I had a plan to bring in steady extra cash. In reality, I worked way too hard for $38.65.

No Cubs No

September 19, 2012

Monday September 17th, 2012 – Chicago, IL

   I fully intended to spend the entire day getting caught up on my mountain of mundane minutia, but in the end it remains another undone Monday. But this time I’m ok with it. It was my choice, and I’d make it again – even though what I chose to blow everything off for didn’t even happen.

I received an unexpected phone call this morning from my friend and fellow comedian ‘Uncle Lar’ Larry Reeb, asking if I would be available for a Cubs game this evening. Had it been a call from almost anyone else in the cosmos, I would have politely thanked them but said a firm no.

This was a special occasion, and I had no choice but to say yes. Our mutual friend Bob McVia happened to be in town, and Larry and I hadn’t seen him in far too long. The three of us started a tradition probably twenty years ago now of trying to catch a live baseball game every summer.

Most of the games have been at Wrigley Field, but on occasion we’d switch it up and catch the White Sox or even the Brewers in Milwaukee. We’re all baseball fans, but it’s never been about that exclusively. We’re all good friends that make each other laugh hard. That’s the real draw.

Bob used to bring his son Johnny every year, who was probably 12 when we started. He’s now in his 30s, and has a family of his own. He hasn’t been to the last few games, but Bob has told us in the past how much Johnny used to really love hanging out with us and being part of the group.

There are extremely funny people who never become full time comedians, and Bob has always been one of them. That’s no insult to anyone, but the lifestyle sacrifice it takes to pursue this as a full time career just isn’t for everybody. Quite often idiots stay in the game and talent drops out.

Bob McVia is far from an idiot. He’s a down to earth, well read funny guy who dabbled a bit in comedy but decided to have a life and family instead. Good for him. Larry and I gave it all up for comedy, and we joked about whether it was a good decision or not. Frankly, there was no choice.

Comedy is a calling. Those of us who have that calling can’t do anything else. We need it, and will do anything to get it. Larry and I would do comedy even if nobody paid us, and that’s where things seem to be headed. He’s been doing it even longer than me, and we both see what’s going on and it has us more than a bit concerned. It’s too late to back out now. We’re both in too deep.

We didn’t let any of that stop us from having a great time, and we made each other erupt with laughter just like we always have. In fact, we didn’t even need a baseball game. There was a rain delay, and we sat in the stands from 7pm to 10 and they didn’t even take the tarp off of the field.

Larry’s brother Jim came with us, and he brought his son who is Johnny McVia’s age. We had a blast just hanging out, and nobody was upset there was no baseball game. I don’t know if that’s an insult to baseball or a compliment to the quality of the company, but we enjoyed ourselves for an entire evening and nobody was angry we didn’t see even one pitch. Hanging with friends like Larry Reeb and Bob McVia make life worth living. My pile of laundry will be there tomorrow.