Posts Tagged ‘life’

Another Sabbatical

August 2, 2014

Friday August 1st, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I need to take another sabbatical from writing this particular diary. I think if nothing else I have proven that I can crank out material consistently – even if it has a tendency to rattle the cages of some on occasion. I don’t set out to do that or anything else but let my innermost feelings flow.

As I said before my last predetermined break – which ended up only lasting a month – I will be back when I feel I have something to say. I didn’t stay gone long, and I am still flattered by all of the tremendous emails of support I received from so many that I didn’t even realize were readers.

This time my reason for leaving is different. I need to focus on and FINALLY finish a book of the horrific experiences I went through having had to testify in Federal Court against my former childhood best friend that robbed a bank he used to work at – twice. Anyone that has known me for a long time has either heard the story or bits and pieces, and it has without fail captivated all.

The reason I can confidently boast of how great a story it is is because I did not write it. It just unfolded in front of me and all I have to do is report what happened. I guess I really was lucky to have been given such an amazing gift, but it sure was painful to live through as it all played out.

I admit that for years I was avoiding it. I didn’t want to go back there in my head, as it was so torturous an experience. Having to testify against one’s very best friend is as ugly as I ever want to imagine. I still have the occasional nightmare even now, but the time has come to get it out of me once and for all. Putting it into book form will allow me to move on from that painful stretch.

Years from now, all kinds of people will read it and be riveted. Most are. People I have told the full story to often become totally engrossed. When I told it on the Bob and Tom radio show I was deluged with emails from all over the country from strangers who were all absolutely fascinated.

I feel in my deepest heart that this is the project I need to focus on and get it off my plate once and for all. I fully believe it will open a lot of doors for me that aren’t open now, and if nothing else it will give me a product NOBODY else has. It is exclusive unto me, and will set me apart.

For however long it takes to finish this project, I will devote any and all spare time to getting it done. My original intention was to work on it for June, July and August – but here it is August 1 and I’ve frittered away yet another summer. I have made excuses long enough. It has to get done.

My good friend Lynn Miner has offered to edit the manuscript, and he has lots of experience as he has had almost thirty books of his own published. He knows the process well, and it is kind of him to offer his help. I will take him up on it, and he has already made outstanding suggestions.

All the parts of the story are there, as I wrote a skeleton outline about fifteen years ago not long after it all happened. I was not nearly the writer I am now, and all these years of making posts on a daily basis have strengthened my skill level exponentially. I already feel a major improvement.

I spent about four hours today getting the old manuscript ready to revamp. I’ll make occasional posts here if something of note occurs, but that is my focus. If you want to sign up for my monthly comedy newsletter, please send me your email address at dobiemaxwell@aol.com. I’ll let you know when the book is ready. If you enjoy this diary you will love the book. Thanks again for your loyal support! Good bye for now.

I need to take another break for a while so I can finish up a most amazing true life story. Talk to you hopefully sooner than later.

I need to take another break for a while so I can complete my first book. Talk to you hopefully sooner than later. Thanks!

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An Extended Mess

July 23, 2014

Friday July 18th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

My life is an extended mess, and I don’t know how to fix it. It’s not messy like a lot of people, and in fact my mess is pretty boring. There are no drug or alcohol addictions or cheating on my pregnant wife with a secretary. But it’s still there. A mess is a mess, and they’re a bitch to clean.

I am flopping around desperately like a fish in a boat, with a giant hook in my mouth. My eyes are bugged out and I’m suffocating – with water just inches away. If someone would remove the hook and toss me back in the water, I would have a chance to start over. I would like that chance.

The hook in my mouth is being an entertainer. I have given up everything else in order to attain a skill level most never come close to, but it has put me in an unstable financial position. I can no longer earn a living like I have all of my adult life and my eyes are bugging out. I’m suffocating.

But water is just inches away. All it would take to turn my life around is one phone call with an extended run of bookings somewhere. It could be comedy clubs, casinos, cruise ships colleges or I could write for a TV show. I could also do radio. It’s not like I’m a total zero. I have a skill set.

The skill set I have is very specialized, and those that are at the top end of the scale are hauling in enormous bank. I don’t need that right now quite honestly. I’d be thrilled with medium money on a steady basis, but entertainment is a feast or famine game. I am smack dab amidst a famine.

There are few if any entertainers that don’t experience this at some point, but many have a nest egg put away to fall back on during the lean times. I had one started, and a nice one at that. Then I had a “worst case scenario” pop up in 2011 and health problems cleaned out every last nickel.

This was after getting blasted out of a radio gig in 2004 that would have paid great money and offered full insurance benefits so the crisis in 2011 wouldn’t have been nearly as devastating as it was. But it was. And ever since then I have been watching everything I have worked so hard for for so long dry up in front of my eyes. I know I’m not the only one suffering, but it’s still a mess.

How does one manage to clean up a life mess? It usually takes a while for one to develop, and it can’t be taken away in one fell swoop – even though that’s what most of us expect. It’s like the dieter that took a lifetime to put on that extra 100 pounds, but expects to take it all off in a week.

It’s not realistic, and in fact it’s dangerous to even try. There has to be a slow steady battle plan in place, and it’s neither pleasant nor easy. But that’s what it takes to achieve desired results, and it gets harder as one gets older because so many other things pop up and become obstacles also.
I’ve got so many problems right now I have no idea where to start. I do a little something every day on as many as I can, but then I look at how high the mountain is and I lose hope. What’s the solution? I sure wish I knew. A steady income would make things a lot easier, but how to get it?

I’m working on getting a resume out to ‘normal’ jobs, but I can’t lie. My heart isn’t in it. I need stability, but I sure don’t want to do it this way. Landing another radio gig that lasts several years would be ideal, but who is passing those out these days? Nobody. Back to cleaning up my mess.

Sometimes I feel like a fish sitting at the bottom of the boat - with water just inches away.

Sometimes I feel like a fish sitting at the bottom of the boat – with water just inches away.

No Complaints

July 19, 2014

Tuesday July 15th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I am by nature a complainer. I think most comedians are to some degree, and that’s a large part of why many of us are attracted to the concept of comedy in the first place. Our minds tend to go that way anyway, so why not pick apart life in general and point out the flaws and absurdities?

It’s hilarious when done right, and I became skilled at it early. I used to pick apart school lunch every day in grade school, just because I thought it was funny. It was funny, at least to the kids in my class. I used to get them rolling to the point they almost choked on the food, and that’s about the best compliment I could ever imagine. Killing a kid would have made me a comedy legend.

Then one day out of the blue one of the lunch ladies got in my face and said she was sick of my smart mouth and told me to shut it once and for all. She said how hard they worked every day on a limited budget to feed us, and then I’d walk in and get all the kids laughing. She said it hurt all the kitchen employees, and they dreaded seeing me enter into the cafeteria. I felt like a giant ass.

I didn’t realize that my bitching had hurt those ladies, and that day I walked in the kitchen and said I was sorry to each and every one of them. I told them I was only trying to get the other kids to laugh, and I didn’t realize that I was hurting their feelings. I don’t know if they believed me at the time, but I absolutely meant it. I still do. From that day forward I never made another joke.

Granted, I’ve done jokes about school lunch on stage but that was decades later and in another state. The chances of any of those ladies being at my show would be astronomical. My luck they would be having a convention or reunion in the town I was playing, and I’d infuriate them again.

I often use this very forum to tee off on something or someone that grinds my gonads, and I’m sure I’ve turned people off with that too. I would love to paint a perpetually sunny picture of the world, but from my vantage point I just don’t see it. There are circumstances that befuddle me.

A big one I am painfully reminded of every day is my roommate Sheri. What a horrible hand she has been dealt off the bottom of life’s deck, and it sickens me to see all the pain and suffering she is enduring. She is out of the hospital after her stroke on New Year’s Eve, but her life is hell.

I am delighted that we were able to pull off a benefit comedy show for her, and I see the direct result of it every day. She has a chair lift that takes her up and down some stairs, and our event is what paid for it. Most of us don’t need to think twice about going up or down any single flight of stairs, but Sheri can’t do that by herself anymore. It’s a major deal for her just to get out of bed.

She has nurses that come over on most days and help her do the simplest things, and she has to take all kinds of medication that is very expensive. She’s on disability, and some of her medicine comes out of that. My rent money really helps her, and I do all I can to help her in any way I can.

It’s extremely sad all around, and sometimes I look at her situation and wonder why somebody so nice has to suffer such a cruel fate. Sheri is a kind soul and would never hurt a baby flea. I’ve known her twenty years, and feel an obligation to help. Yet through all this mess I’ve yet to hear Sheri complain even once. I’d bet few of us could take it so well. It’s time to shut my yap. Again.

It's easy to complain about just about anything. That's a habit I need to break.

It’s easy to complain about just about anything. That’s a habit I need to break yesterday.

What Is Success?

July 9, 2014

Tuesday July 8th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

The mystery of the way life works never ceases to fascinate me. On one hand, I’m having all of my dreams come true with my family after a lifetime of utter hopelessness and loneliness. But on the other, I’m seeing my career go absolutely nowhere after a lifetime of unbelievable sacrifice.

Which would I rather have? Why can’t I have both? Does anyone have a tight family bond and career success? I have to believe a lot of people do, and I want to be one of them. But if I have to choose one, I’ll take it exactly how it’s playing out. It’s giving me a power I’ve never had before.

There is a major healing process taking place inside me, and I’ve never felt better. It’s building on itself and creating a steady flow of positive energy, just as it was a constant source of pain and suffering before. Chasing the show business dream was a substitute for this, but it never worked.

It’s like the difference between the best tanning booth there is vs. an actual sunny beach. There is absolutely no comparison. The tanning booth is a substitute for the real thing, and quite often a career in show business serves the same purpose. I know it did for me, but this is so much better.

Would I have jumped head first into the rusty meat grinder of the entertainment business like I did had I had a tight bond with a family? I honestly can’t say. Usually having weak family ties is what keeps a person from turning back when the business gets tough. There are no alternatives.

That was definitely the case with me. I look back at all the dues I paid and the crap I swallowed from bully bar owners and slimy bookers, and had I had a loving family support structure I doubt I’d have lasted close to this long. This can be a brutal business, and I don’t know how I survived.

Now it’s to the point where I’m not surviving, even though that’s not my fault. It’s that way for just about everybody these days, and there are a lot of miserable people out there that have paid a lifetime of dues just like I have. There were never any guarantees anyone would be ‘successful’.

And what exactly is ‘success’? It’s different for everybody, and after a lifetime of thinking I’ve been a lowly bum I totally haven’t. I’ve accomplished a hell of a lot considering the place I came from, and I should be extremely proud of myself. But am I done? I don’t see why I have to be.

I’ll be the first to admit I have made some gargantuan goofs career wise. I’ve managed to piss off some people with power, but only on a certain level. I’m not a bad person, and the minute I’d get any heat whatsoever I know those people would come running to kiss my ass and book me.

I used to really want to please those people and get bookings so I could ‘show’ others – mainly my family – that I was indeed worth something after all. Well, now I don’t need to show anyone anything anymore and that has changed my whole viewpoint on life. Now I’m doing it for all the right reasons, and I have to believe the results will be better. And if they aren’t, that’s fine too.

‘Getting famous’ can be a motivator for a lot of people because they want to use it as a tool for revenge. That never has a happy ending. I want to use it as a tool to help people however I can or to help raise awareness for worthy causes. It’s taken a lifetime, but I’m finally starting to get it.

What is success? Everyone's definition is different.

What is success? Everyone’s definition is different.

I wonder what hers is?

I wonder what hers is?

Embracing The Struggle

June 23, 2014

Friday June 20th, 2014 – Sparta, WI

Yet another life lesson I continue to learn is that life lessons never stop at any age – and neither do problems. I’m sure my grandfather told me that at some point in my youth, but I was probably preoccupied with thinking I would be the exception to the rule and missed it. We all think that.

When we’re kids, we assume that life gets better and at some point everything is problem free. I remember being around seven or eight and knowing a couple of families in our neighborhood that had a house full of kids that were all older than me. The Lutes family lived on my block and the McCauleys lived across the street. They were friendly to me, and I knew most of them well.

I still remember walking around in the neighborhood talking with them and thinking how great their lives were. They all seemed so much older and fully matured at the time, but in reality they totally weren’t. They were regular people going through the same problems everybody else does.

Tim Lutes worked at Sears. I remember thinking he was a borderline celebrity because I’d seen him there on the sales floor with his name badge on when my grandparents were shopping. I was really impressed, and in my mind he had totally ‘made it’. He could buy all the candy he wanted.

His brother Cliff was into cars, and that was my greatest love besides sports. Cliff would work on his old Ford Fairlane in the driveway, and I would often wander over and keep him company. Looking back, he had the patience of a saint and would answer my deep probing dumb questions about how cars worked. He could have chased me away, but he didn’t. I thought he was a genius.

The McCauleys were my sports connection, and they were the first ones to let me play in their baseball games. I’m still not sure how many there were, but I do know they were all boys. I liked them all, and again they didn’t have to be nice to me but they were. They showed me how to not bat cross handed, and how to field a ground ball correctly. To me, they were all sports superstars.

They were all bigger than me, and could run faster, throw harder and hit better. I assumed they would all not only play Major League Baseball, but end up in the Hall of Fame. In reality, it was just a bunch of average kids that played baseball in summer just like the kids everywhere else.

Tim Lutes was never named CEO of Sears, nor was Cliff at Ford. None of the McCauleys ever played Major League Baseball, and as far as I know they’re all still alive and facing the same life problems everyone else does. They might be different problems, but they still need to be solved.

If and when they are, there will be a whole new set just around the corner and the process starts all over again. It’s the perpetual pile of problems that wear us all down, and I don’t see anything on the horizon to break the chain other than death. And who knows if that’s the end of the line?

The current lesson I am in the process of learning is that I will always have problems, and that I might as well learn to embrace them. The obstacles I faced as a kid seem pretty tame compared to what I’ve gone through in just these past few months, but they seemed insurmountable then.

I didn’t realize all I had going for me along with what I was trying to overcome, and I see now that none of us ever are without struggles – at least not for very long. Life is process of perpetual change and evolution, and then we each have to make our individual adjustments accordingly. It may not be fair, but that’s just the way life works. I’m receiving a new batch of problems. Yay!

Welcome to life, where everyone has problems to overcome. NO exceptions.

Welcome to life, where everyone has problems. NO exceptions.

Roller Coaster Maintenance

June 18, 2014

Monday June 16th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

Life’s roller coaster ride continues, but I’m not sure if I want to be on a roller coaster. It would be nice to get off for a while and get a hot dog or something, and maybe take a leak. The ups and downs are starting to take their toll as I get older. How about a ride on something less violent?

I just experienced a super ‘up’ by patching things up with my siblings this year. It was a major victory to get them to all come out for one meal, but that was just the first step. Everything can’t be ‘fixed’ in one sitting, and just like in any long term human relationship work has to be done.

Getting together with my sister Tammy for our barbecue last Friday was nothing short of a life changing experience in a wonderful way. I’d wanted to air those issues out since childhood, and I finally got my chance. We didn’t leave any unfinished business, and it feels like I’m a new man.

Yesterday I called my brother Larry on the phone, and we had a great conversation as well. We never fought as kids, but we have been apart for too long and it felt fantastic to get back in touch and catch up. He’s going through some problems of his own, and I was glad to be able to listen.

Our other brother Bruce is in Florida, and I wrote him a long email updating him on how it all went at Tammy’s, and went down a list of things that I was truly sorry for. It’s hard to admit one is wrong, but I also feel it’s necessary when it’s true. He wrote back a very short response saying we’re all good and that there’s no need to dig up the past. All he wants is for us to look forward.

That’s three for three extremely positive outcomes with three individuals that could not be any more different. We managed to agree that we all came from a horrible place, but none of us want to stay there. We are all on our own individual roller coaster rides, but we still share blood ties.

It mystifies me how life tends to play itself out. When my career has been at its best, my family situation has been in absolute shambles. Now that my family situation is the best it has ever been my career is in the toilet. I find that part funny and part frustrating beyond belief. But there it is.

I am finding myself really in need of a major vocational change of direction. Being constantly on the road used to be what kept me going and I couldn’t get enough of it. Now, the thought of being more than 100 miles from home makes my poop shoot wink with disgust. I’m SO over it.

I’m also over trying to outshout drunks and deal with lowlife booking agents. I want to do this on my terms, and I think I’ve earned that right. The drunks and the bookers don’t think so, but it isn’t up to them. Neither party will miss me, nor will any of them ever care if I’m happy or not.

The choice is entirely up to me, and I’m choosing happiness – or at least the pursuit of it. I have never been an ass kisser, and that seems to be a requirement in the entertainment game. If I were to decide to acquiesce and kiss an ass, it sure wouldn’t be any of the ones I’ve been dealing with. I’d do it for someone that had real power in the business – not some mediocre gigs in Michigan.

In some ways, I’m sitting in the best position I’ve ever been in. The inner peace I have chased for a lifetime has been caught – just in time to have to find a new way to generate steady income. It’s like I can’t even enjoy what I have waited so long to experience, but right now I can’t. I have to get myself stable financially, and then I need to find a therapist and get myself stable mentally as well. I have put some hard miles on my body and brain, it’s time for a maintenance overhaul.

Life is a roller coaster ride, but after a while we can all use a break from the whiplash.

Life is a roller coaster ride, but after a while we can all use a break from the whiplash.

The Password Is “KINDNESS”

June 15, 2014

Saturday June 14th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

Of all the posts I have ever made and all the writing I have ever done, I’d have to pick this one installment as my definitive work. It sums up who I am and what makes me tick, and when I put it up on Facebook I got unbelievably sincere responses – many from people I hadn’t heard from in years. This is what clicked with me that I am indeed a writer and not some typing schmuck.

It really took the pressure off as well with having to please anyone else with what I’m doing as a comedian. From now on I am calling the shots, and wherever it leads me will be where I go.

– – –

As I get older, I realize that the only thing that really matters in this life is kindness. That’s it. Everything else is pure and utter useless bullshit. We all have hopes and dreams and that’s great, but in the end it’s only what we do for others that really passes the test of time.

I used to think I wanted fame and fortune and all the dreams comedians have when they start out. As time slides away I can clearly see what a waste it is to focus on only that. There’s nothing wrong with wanting – or getting – it, but even if one does it’s no guarantee of happiness or lasting impact.

All too often little gestures or moments are what make the biggest difference, both good and bad. I know the bad side all too well, and there are a few people I have pissed off so badly they want nothing to do with me ever again.

Unfortunately those people are considered big in the comedy world, and it has cost me a lot of work that I could really use right about now. I still don’t know what I did to piss them off that badly, and it was completely unintentional. I said I was sorry, but they wouldn’t hear of it.

I don’t claim now or ever did to be perfect or without fault. My screw ups in life have been many and often. BUT – I like to think there is a heart in there somewhere, and I’m going to spend the rest of my life strengthening that muscle. I don’t know how or what I can do to make people’s lives better, but as long as I’m drawing breath that is going to be my razor sharp focus.

I may not ever get rich, famous or even beloved – but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the giving. My heart is still aching to the core about the passing of Dan Ronan. That kid touched a lot of people in exactly the way I am talking about. He was far from perfect either, but his core was pure.

I have a lot of contacts, and it’s virtually impossible to keep track of everyone. Facebook makes it a little easier, but there are many more that aren’t even on it. And I’m talking about one on one contact – even if it’s just for a minute or two. Planting those positive seeds every day are what life is all about.

When I told Dan’s parents about our road trip, his mother’s eyes lit up and for just a split second Dan was alive again. She smiled broadly as she told of how much that trip meant to him. Well, it must have meant at least a little because he ended up telling her about it.

Quite honestly it was no big deal to me at the time. Road trips are old to me to the point of being an unwelcome grind, but I knew Dan could handle it and he was thrilled to be asked. I remember fondly and vividly how much I was thrilled for my first road work, so I was passing it forward. That’s the kindness I’m talking about. It was little to nothing at the time I did it, and I forgot about it.

But when it came back from her memory at such a horrific time it was healing and cathartic for us both. Little moments like that are what I want to create more of with as many people as humanly possible until the day when I am in a coffin of my own. That could come at any time, and yesterday drove that point home deeply right through my already downtrodden heart.

If I have pissed you off even a little in our dealings – please accept my deepest and heartfelt apology. I was wrong, and I am very sorry. Dave Stroupe, Colleen Quinn and Al Canal from the Funny Bone chain and Bob and Tom think I’m the devil, and try as I might I can’t change it.

I said I was sorry, and I truly am. Nobody can make anyone accept an apology, but even they can’t change what’s in a person’s heart. I know I have one, and all I can do is move on and do the best I can. I’m sorry they’re so angry, but that’s on them. I’m not the dastardly scum bucket they seem to think I am.

My comedy career is going nowhere, and unfortunately that’s true for a lot of people – many with considerable talent. Talent is never the determining factor. It’s nice if one has it, but not the top requirement. Getting to the top echelon of show business is extremely rare for anybody. Hard work and luck are huge ingredients, and talent and timing are in the mix as well.

I’m really sorry to make this long rambling post, but I have so many raw emotions charging through my veins right now I can’t help it. I am still at the house of my friend Sheri who had a stroke before she was 50. She is alive, but every day is a struggle just to get out of bed and get dressed.

Perspective is everything, and I’m finally gaining some in life. The comedy game is brutal, and I fought through it for thirty years only to learn what’s really important – kindness. I hope I can make the most of whatever time I have left, and that time will be spent following my heart rather than trying to please some idiot in Hollywood I don’t respect. I’m playing a much more satisfying game now, and it’s one that everybody can win.

I’m sorry it took the death of such a vibrant soul to hit me this hard, but I don’t intend to make it in vein. Dan’s life has breathed new inspiration into my own, and has given me a razor sharp purpose I only partially felt before. I don’t intend to make long posts like this often, but I felt I needed to do this one and get it ‘out there’. My mistakes sure are, and those that hate me like to tell it to anyone who will listen. I can’t change that, but I can change my inner source of power, and I am doing that now. It’s all about the kindness. Period.

– – –

It may have taken years for me to find my voice, but after this particular post I think I finally have. It flowed out of me when I wrote it, and it got touched people’s hearts. That’s the goal.

Amen!

Amen!

Preach it, Aesop!

Preach it, Aesop!

Back From The Dead!

June 15, 2014

Saturday June 14th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

Hey blogosphere, it’s me! I thought I was going to be out of commission a lot longer, but I can’t stay away. Old habits die hard, and after years of writing as a discipline I find I can’t live without it as part of my daily routine. Actually, what I need more of is any kind of routine at all. I’ve been all over the place in the rest of my life and anything but disciplined. Writing has been my constant.

The first thing I am going to do is FINALLY admit to myself that I’m actually a writer. For so long, all I ever pictured myself as was a comedian. No wonder my life is in shambles. That’s like trying to complete a marathon on a pogo stick. It seems fun in theory, but not at all practical.

I still love comedy, and always will. I don’t ever intend to stop doing it altogether, but trying to base my entire living on it is just not going to happen for the long haul. That haul is over and I’ve hauled it to the limit. I squeezed more out of goofing off than anyone I know, but it’s time for an evolution. Hopefully it will be an upgrade. Working the road like a gypsy is a real energy sucker.

What stinks is that I am at my absolute performance peak right now. I can rock a room with the absolute best of them, but the rooms I have been rocking are half full or less and in places where nobody powerful will ever see me. If I want change, I have to get myself seen by a gate keeper.

That ship may or may not have sailed, but if it didn’t I won’t be riding in the honeymoon suite. I will probably have to stow away in the guts of the ship and sleep on a potato pile, but hopefully I will still get myself there. Where “there” is, I’m not really sure – but I know it’s not where I am now. I am at one of if not the lowest point of my adult life, and the next little while is uncertain.

I can handle that, as my whole life has been uncertain. I have been stuck in exactly this kind of predicament before, and quite honestly it doesn’t scare me in the least. I’m not thrilled about the prospect of having to start all over yet again, but I can do it. I’ve done it before, and I survived.

In typical Mr. Lucky fashion, this past month that I have not been making daily diary entries as I have since 2006 has been one of the most fascinating and action filled months of my life. I don’t know where to start, as so many significant events have happened I can’t keep up with them all. It’s never been this crazy.

Mother’s Day really sent me over the edge, and I put out a plea for help with some selected friends. Holidays like that have always been torture, and some years are better than others. This year kicked my ass with steel toed boots, and it took me by surprise. I was feeling very low, and needed to get some help.

The result was a series of events that were so both horrific and yet life affirming that I feel there needs to be an entire book devoted to that subject alone. I won’t get into it here, as I just want to move on and be positive. I’m still sorting it all out, and it’s yet another part of my tangled web.

That was the lowest of lows, but there was also a highest of highs. Last night I had dinner with my sister Tammy and her husband Jake at their home in Racine, WI. That meeting was something I have been wanting since childhood, and I got a lot of closure to a lot of issues that have been eating at me since my earliest memories. It took twenty years of us being apart, but the payoff was SO worth it.

I have also been devoting my entire life to the mission of daily kindness. That’s all that matters in this out of control world, and I have experienced some tremendous examples that I will share as I can by recycling posts I made on Facebook in the last few days. I feel I have been on a writing high.

I make no promises (or threats) that I will make daily posts like I have for so long. I’ve proved to myself I can do it, and that’s enough. I will write whenever I have inspiration, and be eternally grateful to any and all who may read it. I feel like I’m back from the dead, and it feels fantastic!

This is the first picture of me taken when I was dropped off at my grandparents' house. I was initially supposed to be sent to an orphanage, but they ended up raising me. I'm not sure if that was a good choice or not, but that's how it went. I thought it would be a good picture to include as I dust myself off and start my diary again. Thanks for reading, and I hope I can make it worth your effort.

This is the first picture of me taken when I was dropped off at my grandparents’ house. I was initially supposed to be sent to an orphanage, but they ended up raising me. I’m not sure if that was a good choice or not, but that’s how it went. I thought it would be a good picture to include as I dust myself off and start my diary again. Thanks for reading! I’ll try to make it interesting.

Where’s Allen Funt?

April 29, 2014

Saturday April 26th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

This was the Saturday off I didn’t know I had until two days ago, and I chose to shut my mouth and just work through it. Complaining about it isn’t going to change anything, and it’s more than just one lost gig that’s the problem. It took years to get to this point, and I am really in a corner.

I didn’t choose the safe route in life – if there even is one. What I chose was the adventure trail, and that’s exactly what I got. There were a few thrills along the way, but I trusted everything that I had always read about “do what you love and the money will come” and “everyone with talent will eventually get their shot.” I’m losing hope about all of that faster than the Cubs lose games.

It just floors me how nice people get crapped on time and time again. It’s not just me, and I see it so much it makes my gag reflex go off. How about at least a LITTLE break for the people that have kind souls? I’m just not seeing it anywhere, and it sure makes me question life’s existence.

The whole God thing is a very sore spot with me. We all want to have one, just like as children we all wanted a Santa. I have to believe even Jews and Muslim kids were up for a guy that brings them free toys. What kid wouldn’t love that? Then we find out it’s all a lie, and it’s devastating.

I am seeing the whole God vs. “The Devil” scenario the same way. I used to believe there was a God and I hoped to go to “heaven” after I died. Then one day – just like my grandpa predicted I would – I woke up and realized it was a bigger made up tale than Santa. But I wasn’t devastated.

It just makes me wonder, why all this huge potential on such a beautiful planet filled with such monkeys but most never gets fulfilled? It might make sense someday, but I don’t think it will for the living. If there is indeed a “next life” – and I’m having severe doubts – I guess we’ll find out.

The latest example that makes me scratch my head is a friend of mine that is a former comedy student. I can’t think of a more gentle soul, and I know a lot of people. He has always supported me and said kind words at every opportunity. He loves comedy, and just enjoys being around it.

I won’t mention his name because I don’t want to get him in trouble, but he’s going through an absolutely hellacious divorce and isn’t allowed to see his son. It’s ripping him up, and I can’t see how this happens to such a laid back nice guy. If anything, he should be asked to talk to the sons of countless scoundrel fathers who never get the time of day from their old man. They need him.

And don’t get me started on women liking “bad boys”. The last woman I really cared for threw me aside like a bag of lawn clippings for some greasy maggot that will cheat on her without any guilt. He told her he would, yet she fell for him anyway. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t lived it.

And I know it’s not just me. It goes on all the time everywhere, and I’m begging for some kind of relief. Prove to me there is a God and all of this is just a big joke. At the end of our life we get taken to a big room and St. Peter looks mysteriously like Allen Funt, and all our friends are there to greet us. I said I wasn’t going to complain, but I guess I did. Oh well, nobody hears it anyway.

I'm showing my age, but Allen Funt hosted a show called "Candid Camera" when I was a kid.

I’m showing my age, but Allen Funt hosted a TV show called “Candid Camera” when I was a kid.

Hopefully if there is a next life, Allen will play the role of St. Peter, and tell us this life was all a big prank.

Hopefully if there is a next life, Allen will play the comedic role of St. Peter, and tell us this life was all an elaborate prank.

Leo Durocher was right about 'nice guys'. Why is life like that?

Leo Durocher was right about ‘nice guys’ finishing last. Why does life work like that?

A Little Fairness Please

April 19, 2014

Thursday April 17th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

Is it just me, or is the entire world more insane than it’s ever been? Has it ever been sane, or am I turning into my grandparents faster than I thought? From where I sit, I really can’t tell one way or the other how the downward slide started, but it’s hard for anyone to deny it’s painfully here.

As children in America, we are taught that this is the greatest country in the world. At one time I believed that with all my heart. Now, I am not so sure. I can see where we are POTENTIALLY the greatest, but I can see it for everywhere else too. Humanity itself seems to be the weak link.

Nobody seems to be able to get it together and make life work for the long haul. Every time we seem to get something halfway decent going, it fizzles and reverts back to ground zero due to the flaw in our basic makeup. Well, there are probably many flaws but the main one I mean is greed.

No matter what ‘system’ happens to be the flavor of the day, the greedy bastards in that society find their way into power by any means necessary and proceed to dismantle it for their own glory and selfish best interests. Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, it doesn’t matter. They all end up the same in the end. “Corruptionism” becomes the main ingredient, and then it’s rich vs. poor.

It sure has worked exactly that way in my own personal life’s experience in comedy and radio. Most of the idiots at the top of both of those industries are anything but benevolent good hearted souls that put the business first and focus on nurturing talent and making the entire world better.

They’re obsessed with one thing and one thing only – their own ass – and how to not only save it on a daily basis but prevent anyone with a clue from getting anywhere near it in order to reveal to the world that they are indeed incompetent imbeciles that should be replaced by someone else immediately if not sooner. Those are unfortunately the moles that dig in and don’t go anywhere.

I read somewhere that “nobody gives up power willingly” and I find that to be overwhelmingly true in my circles. Not everyone at the top of comedy and radio are bad people and incompetent, but there are quite a few bags of slime that could leave tomorrow and nobody would miss them.

If it’s this way in two offshoot businesses of the entertainment field, how much worse must the craziness be in mainstream governments not only in America but all over the globe? I see how it works in my tiny little world, and it’s rotten to the core. The big picture must be purely horrific.

What really scares me is I can’t help but wonder if the whole universe isn’t like this? There has to be life on at least some of the countless billion stars and planets out there. I hate to think aliens have all the same twisted policies fueled by greed we do. If that’s the case, why does life exist?

All I’m looking for is a little fairness somewhere. Is that too much to ask? It must be, as I don’t see it anywhere I’m looking. My grandfather used to have a favorite saying “Cream and bastards rise to the top.” Boy was he right, and I’m sure he wishes he wasn’t. I wish he wasn’t. But he had it nailed, and it’s not getting any better. We’ve had thousands of years to fix this, but we haven’t.

Is it just me, or is the world getting crazier by the minute?

Is it just me, or is the world getting crazier by the minute? I just wanted to point that out.