Posts Tagged ‘JohnVass’

A Radioactive Birthday

March 16, 2010

Sunday March 14th, 2010 – Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

Another birthday comes and goes, and I realize I’m doing pretty well considering where I came from. The years are piling up, but so are the victories – even if they’re small ones. I may not be a household name or independently wealthy, but a lot of other things that are a lot more important are falling into place very nicely. I’m learning, growing and feel good.

What really told me I’m on the right track was the number of emails, calls and texts that greeted me as I got up this morning. I know birthdays are listed on all the social networks, but it still felt good to hear from so many people. I counted over 400 emails, not counting the calls and text messages. They came from friends, comedians, fans and even strangers.

I appreciate every single one of them and I’m going to answer every one, even if it takes until my next birthday. There were a few I didn’t get, but it really didn’t bother me like in the past. None of my siblings sent me anything, and they knew it was my birthday. That’s a wound that is scarring over, and I accept that it just won’t be any different in this life.

I can honestly say I’ve done my very best in trying to patch those things up, and it’s just not going to work out. I said I was sorry for whatever I did to piss them off that much and meant it, now it’s not on me. I also have an uncle who screwed me over on an inheritance I was supposed to get from my grandparents, and I haven’t heard from him in years either.

I hear he has cancer and is circling the drain, and it’s a shame things had to work out as they did. It was a pretty low life stunt he pulled, but that was years ago and the damage is done. I think my father was probably in on it too, but whatever the case, neither one did a damn thing for their family because they didn’t do anything to live their own life’s dream.

They’re each going to have died bitter and alone, with lots of family angst left over. I’ve made more than my share of my own mistakes, but at least I can feel myself improving as the years go by and it’s significant. It won’t be said that I followed in my father’s shadow, and that alone gives me hope for the future. I’m definitely getting by on my own merits.

Lots of other people have family problems, but mine seem so embarrassing and odd. I’ll never understand why I got thrown in with such a bunch of hard headed people who don’t think anything like I do, but I did. I don’t think I’m better than anybody, but I do think my life’s choices were better. We just come from different worlds. I can’t understand theirs.

My cousin Brett and I get along great and always have. He just turned 40 and is coming to his own peace. His father and he aren’t going to get along, and he’s come to terms with that and it’s in his past. It’s still a shame, but it’s not going to change. Ever. That’s life.

I’m learning how to enjoy life more too as I get older. The intense need to stick it in the ass of anyone to prove myself is LONG gone. I really don’t care who likes me or doesn’t, and that’s taken a lot of pressure off. I have enough people who like me that I can be with them and not have to waste one iota of energy on the idiots. That makes life a lot easier.

Today was a radio themed birthday and it couldn’t have gone any better. First, it was an afternoon in Chicago to be on WGN with Jerry’s Kidders at 3pm. We hadn’t been on in a while, and we all were in the mood to have fun. The weather was beautiful and we had an abundance of funny news stories, so we went on the air and let it rip for longer than usual.

We’re normally on for a half hour to close out Jerry Agar’s show, but today we opened because of the way the schedule worked out. Since we had extra stories, Jerry just kept us on the air and we finished when we were done. We were in good form and on point so the time flew by and we had some solid laughs during our time. It was relaxed and a pleasure.

I had to pinch myself halfway through, but as we sat there it occurred to me that I was at one of the biggest radio stations in America on my birthday riffing comedy bits with some of my friends, and no matter what else happens in life – that alone was pretty impressive.

Who gets to do that? Not many, and I don’t care if anyone else appreciates it. I do. It’s a thrill to have the ear of a station’s listeners that’s that big, and I told the guys that after we finished. They know it too, and the feeling of gratitude and accomplishment after we were done pumped us all up as we went across the street to the Billy Goat Tavern for burgers.

We discussed how we can turn this project into money, as we haven’t done that yet. It’s a big challenge, and I’ve always loved challenges so rather than frustration we decided to look at it as opportunity. We’ve all put a lot of work into this project and now it’s time to get paid for it. The burgers tasted great and we were all in a positive mood the whole day.

My next destination was WLIP in Kenosha, WI to do the Mothership Connection radio show at 8pm. We had an extra full house of sit in guests tonight and that was as much or even more fun than WGN this afternoon. The vibe was dead on, and I think we had over a dozen people in the little studios of WLIP. There were about four people to each mike.

There were all our regular callers plus a few new ones, and we had great guests too. Our former co-host Scott Markus was back from L.A. and he’s always a help, so he got Ursula Bielski to come on with us who wrote several books on Chicago ghost lore. Scott has one too, and the whole show just fell together. It was like a three hour on air birthday party.

John Vass is a fan of Jerry Agar’s on WGN, but he asked if he could come and hang out with us and of course I said yes. He added to the show, and that’s always how it’s been as long as we’ve been on the air. I’d like to think I’ve got something to do with creating that vibe, as I’m the one who runs the show. Like George Clinton, I’m just the referee of it all.

I’m going to keep cranking out my little blog for the indefinite future. If people enjoy it, I’m flattered. I heard from my friend Arnold Mukai in Seattle and he says it allows him to live the show business life vicariously through my adventures. That’s great. If I can help a person escape, I’m all for it. Hopefully, I can inspire someone to live their own dreams. It won’t change the fact that I’m always going to be a dented can, but it does help to know it gets better as time passes. This was a fantastic birthday, and I’m grateful for every one.