Posts Tagged ‘MI’

Across The Water

March 3, 2014

Saturday March 1st, 2014 – Muskegon, MI

From my earliest memory of seeing a large body of water first hand, the first thought that pops into my mind is wondering what’s on the other side. Growing up in Milwaukee, the water I saw was Lake Michigan and I was with my grandfather when I saw it. I was probably six or seven.

I remember asking Gramps “What’s over there on the other side?”

“Muskegon, Michigan.”

‘What’s that?”

“It’s another city in another state.”

My imagination took it from there. From that moment I began crafting a vivid mental image of what I purported to be an exotic faraway Mecca abuzz with rabid excitement and swashbuckling adventure. It was to Milwaukee what the New World was to Columbus – and I wanted to sample a spoon full of its charms. Surely it had to be better than the mundane boredom of my birthplace.

I don’t know why the thought of going there attacked my fancy so much, but it did. The legend of what I pictured Muskegon to be grew as fast or faster than I did, and somewhere in the back of my mind I always knew I would walk upon that soil. There was even a ferry boat that went there.

I assumed a ride on that boat would either be an Ellis Island immigration in reverse situation or a scary sequel to the Titanic or Edmund Fitzgerald. Neither appealed to me, and in all the years I had the chance to take that ferry I just never did. Somebody must have, as it is still operational.

After several years of getting out there as a road comedian, my professional trail eventually did go through Muskegon, MI – and the level of all out crushing disappointment was right up there in my life’s dumpster with finding out professional wrestling was fake and/or that I wasn’t going to ever receive the ten million dollars Ed McMahon promised. Baseball bat blows to the skull, all.

Muskegon, MI turned out to be just another town. Not a bustling city, but not a deserted island either. It’s a lot smaller than Milwaukee, and a lot less exciting – and I find Milwaukee to be not exciting whatsoever. It’s a blue collar working class city that tries to shine in Chicago’s shadow.

Muskegon is like a distant cousin we always heard about, but didn’t get to meet in person until a forced family get together like a wedding, funeral or reading of a will. It wasn’t a very moving experience, and when it was over everyone went their separate ways. That’s how this turned out, but I’m still glad I went there. It wasn’t the raucous thrill packed place I thought, but I got there.

Tonight I had a show in Muskegon at an old movie theatre. They have new owners and want to add live entertainment to the mix. They’ve only done a few shows, but it’s a nice facility. There was a smaller turnout tonight because of bad weather, and I never like to see that. It was a rough drive around the lake to get there, and a LOT longer than if I could have taken that ferry instead. But I couldn’t. Disappointment all around. But I did get paid, and made it home safely. Victory.

No offense to anyone from there, but Muskegon, MI was a lot more exciting in my imagination as a kid than it ever was in real life when I finally got there.

No offense to anyone from there, but Muskegon, MI was a lot more fun and exciting in my imagination as a kid than it ever was in real life when I finally arrived there. BORRR-ring!

Not Just Knee Deep

March 9, 2010

Sunday March 7th, 2010 – Cranberry, PA/Kenosha, WI

Pain. Non stop pain. Excruciating non stop pain. Overwhelmingly excruciating non stop pain. That’s what I felt for the better part of my 666.6 mile drive home from Pennsylvania today. I’m not making that total up either. That’s exactly what the trip mileage ended up.

There is something really wrong with my left knee, and I have NO idea what it is. It was sore yesterday when I woke up, and it got worse as the day went on. It affected my show a little last night, but I was still able to pull it off. The audience didn’t know, but I sure did.

I’m having a hard time lifting my leg in any way, and that’s a pretty major deal. None of us ever have a need to lift our legs in this earthly experience, do we? I figured I could just slide through life and not be bothered. I guess I was wrong. I need to have this looked at.

I wanted to take a shower before going to bed last night, but I couldn’t lift my leg to get in. The pain was that bad. Then, I got up this morning at 5am to start driving and I had an adventure even getting out of bed. Every inch of movement in almost every direction was pure torture, and it would’ve made a hell of a funny scene in some movie if it wasn’t me.

I could barely walk on it, but I managed to limp slowly to my car. Getting in the car was another adventure, and that must have taken twenty minutes. I felt like Tim Conway’s old man character on The Carol Burnet show, but for real. I knew I was in for a painful drive.

The first 50 miles was hell on earth. No matter where I tried to rest the leg, it hurt and it was a constant throbbing I couldn’t ignore. I couldn’t find a position to just let it rest so it was a matter of trying to move it to relive pain over and over again. I knew I couldn’t last doing that all the way home so I stopped and got some Advil as soon as I could find one.

Again it took about twenty minutes to get out of the car, limp to the gas station, pay for the Advil, limp back, get back in the car and start driving. I’m about as impatient of a guy as has ever lived, so this was excruciating on many levels, but what could I do? Nothing.

Kristie Dickinson lives in Lansing, MI and she’s a sweetie. She’s an aspiring comic but used to be a dancer. No, not that kind, a real one. No poles involved. She also bakes some of THE best cookies and brownies I’ve ever tasted. We were scheduled to get together for lunch since I don’t see her very often, and I really wanted to cancel but I went anyway.

We had lunch at P.F. Chang’s and it was great to see her but I thought my leg was going to fall off the whole time I sat there on a high bar type chair. I couldn’t find a comfortable position to sit no matter how hard I tried and it was a total waste of both a great restaurant and great company too. I limped to my car slowly and almost fell down in the parking lot.

The pain is right dead center in the knee, right under the kneecap. I made it to Kenosha, WI to do the Mothership Connection radio show on WLIP but that was torture as well, as all I could think of was the pain. I got a motel room and hope it will feel better tomorrow.