Posts Tagged ‘The Mothership Connection’

Crashing In Roswell

January 5, 2014

Thursday January 2nd, 2014 – Roswell, NM/Texarkana, AR

The ideal place for me to spend the first night of this year I’m going to devote to marketing and all that goes with it was Roswell, NM. It wasn’t directly on my way from Tucson to Chicago, but it was the closest I’d been in many years so I knew I had to stop. I want to become a regular here.

I’ve passed through a couple of times before, but that was before I was the host of my own talk radio show called “The Mothership Connection” of which UFOs were a main topic. I have had a strong interest in all things outer space since I was a kid, and this is the place where it all started.

Since the last time I passed through, I’ve become friends with Don Schmitt who is an authority on the subject and has written numerous books and articles on what went on in 1947 and beyond. The website http://www.roswellfiles.com has all the information and people can decide for themselves.

What I love most about Roswell is how the town embraces the whole UFO culture and doesn’t back down. There are images of green aliens everywhere, even to the point of the street lights on Main Street downtown having alien heads on them. They get that it’s a great marketing gimmick.

It doesn’t matter what anyone in the town believes or doesn’t, it keeps tourists coming back for an annual UFO convention every July and it’s hot for business. It doesn’t require extra terrestrial intelligence to just sit back and let the people show up, and that’s what they do. It’s not difficult.

Although I had a lot of driving to do, I made time to take a walk through the International UFO Museum and Research Center in downtown Roswell. I honestly don’t recall if I was ever there or not on my last times through town, but I didn’t want to leave this time without making the effort.

I’m very glad I did, as it’s an outstanding place that is well attended. I arrived right after they’d opened at 9am, and I wasn’t the first one there. There were a lot of people there before me, and it was well worth the $5 admission and then some. I knew immediately I made the correct choice.

Not only is the museum itself utterly fascinating, there is also a library of UFO literature for all who care to read up on the subject in an adjacent room. The staff is friendly and helpful, and they are knowledgeable on the topic. I wish I could have spent more time, and I intend to very soon.

On my way out, I passed a wall labeled “The UFO Hall of Fame”. On it was Don Schmitt and also Stanton Friedman, another guest I had on the radio show and got to meet in person. It was a kick to see them listed in the Hall of Fame, and in both cases it’s well deserved. They’re experts.

I’d love to come back for the convention in July, and I’ve been meaning to attend for years. It’s right around the 4th which is traditionally a very slow if not the slowest week for standup comedy in the whole year. I’d love it if I had the opportunity to be part of the festivities at least one time.

I couldn’t help but picture the King of Uranus as part of all this. There isn’t an entertainer that I can think of that is the spokesnut for this genre, and I’d love it to be me. I’d be the ideal ‘butt’ of jokes – pun fully intended. I have a feeling I’ll see a lot more of Roswell much sooner than later.

Whether you believe it was extraterrestrial or not, SOMETHING crashed in Roswell, NM in July of 1947.

Whether you believe it was extraterrestrial or not, SOMETHING crashed in Roswell, NM in July of 1947.

I crashed there too - but only for the night. This was in front of the hotel where I stayed. Note the Green Bay Packer logo on the address of the building at the lower left.

I crashed there too – but only for the night. This was in front of the hotel where I stayed. Note the Green Bay Packer logo on the address of the building at the lower right.

This is proof in the cosmos that "Uranus is behind The Packers".

This is proof in the cosmos that “Uranus is behind The Packers”.

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is well worth visiting if you are ever in Roswell. www.roswellufomuseum.com.

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is well worth visiting if you are ever in Roswell, NM. http://www.roswellufomuseum.com.

These are the streetlights in downtown Roswell. They GET it. I love a town that has a sense of humor.

These are the streetlights in downtown Roswell. They get it. I love a town that has a sense of humor.

My friend Don Schmitt is an authority on the events of Roswell, and has a great book entitled "Witness To Roswell". He is also in The UFO Hall of Fame, and his picture is on the wall at the museum. www.roswellfiles.com.

My friend Don Schmitt is an authority on all the events of Roswell, and has a great book entitled “Witness To Roswell”. He is also in The UFO Hall of Fame, and his picture is on the wall at the museum. I’m impressed! http://www.roswellfiles.com.

A Martian Iguana?

November 14, 2013

Tuesday November 12th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by anything outer space related. I love it all from red giant and white dwarf stars to gas giant planets to especially UFOs and beings from the outer edges of the cosmos. It has fascinated me my whole life, and I’m still interested in all of it.

It was great fun to host “The Mothership Connection” paranormal talk radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI for five years, and I hope I get a chance to do it again. I never get tired of talking about anything interplanetary, and the latest tidbit is the alleged “iguana” found on Mars.

There’s a picture that’s going around of an oddly shaped object that people are claiming could be an animal of some sort. It resembles an iguana, at least according to many observers. I looked at it carefully for several minutes and quite honestly I don’t see an iguana, but what do I know?

To me it looks more like a plucked chicken with rickets. Even so, that’s pretty impressive to be roaming the surface of Mars. If we could have sent anyone there in retrospect it should probably have been Colonel Sanders. He could have breaded it, fried it up and fed it to hungry Martians – and I do believe Martians exist. I don’t know what they eat, but I definitely think they’re real.

I’ve always thought that there was life all over the universe – even in our solar system. Doesn’t it seem a little ridiculous that we’re the only planet out of nine that has anything going on? I have never believed that, and I still don’t. I’m not sure where it is, but I’d bet my asteroid it’s plentiful.

Mars seems like a no brainer, especially with all the weird things they’ve uncovered there since the Viking probe went there in the ‘70s. The ‘face’ is no coincidence in my opinion, and I would be shocked if we haven’t already sent people there to explore. NASA is a lot bigger than us all.

The moon is another interesting case. There are all kinds of rumors flying about why we didn’t go back after the Apollo missions of the ‘70s, and other rumors saying we never went at all. I am not sure what the truth is, but it sure is fun trying to find out. These subjects never get old to me.

One of the most fascinating people I have ever met is a lady named Bonnie Meyer. She’s from Neenah, WI, and she claims to be an alien ‘contactee’ for multiple decades. She was an amazing radio guest, and I was riveted to her every word. If she’s lying, she’s the all time queen of BS.

Personally, I don’t think she is. She’s a very nice lady, and unless she’s a total psychopath she can calmly tell some hair raising tales about her experiences on space craft from other galaxies. I highly recommend her books ‘Alien Contact’ and ‘Unholy Alliance’. They’re fascinating reads.

Is it true? Who can say? I’ve never actually seen an alien, a UFO or even a meteor shower, but I can’t get enough about any of them. That’s why my eyes and ears perked up when I saw all of this about the Martian iguana. I guess like a lot of people, I want to believe there’s life out there.

Well, I actually do believe that, but now I want undeniable proof. If there’s an iguana on Mars, can a skunk on Saturn be far behind? How about a platypus on Pluto? And I won’t even think of mentioning anything on Uranus. Who’d believe that? Everybody knows Uranus is frozen shut.

Does the image on the left found on Mars look like an iguana to you? The one on the right looks like Nancy Pelosi.

Does the image on the left found on Mars look like an iguana to you? The one on the right looks like Nancy Pelosi.

This is the alleged 'Face on Mars' image taken by Viking 1 in 1976. It kind of looks like Ozzy Osbourne.

This is the alleged ‘Face on Mars’ image taken by Viking 1 in 1976. It kind of looks like Ozzy Osbourne.

Joking aside, this is a fascinating book from alien contactee Bonnie Meyer. It's worth checking out.

Joking aside, this is a fascinating book from alien contactee Bonnie Meyer. It’s worth checking out.

Breathing Room

November 2, 2013

Friday November 1st, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

I said at the beginning of the year I wanted this to be my best year ever. I don’t know if I made it, but I’m pretty close. Yes there were some disappointments, but for the most part I had a stellar 2013. A lot of exciting things happened this year, some of which have never happened before.

Off the top of my head, I made the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show a reality and performed it several times in a fantastic venue, appeared on local, regional and cable television, had a speaking role in a legitimate Hollywood movie and got to meet and hang out with one of my heroes Bob Uecker.

Those are all highlights in my book, and I enjoyed every one of them. I also went to Atlanta to participate in the Laughing Skull Festival and got to hang out with the great James Gregory at his home there. James is also a hero of mine for how he has built his career, and getting to hang with him for an afternoon was a privilege. He treated me like a peer, and I’m an even bigger fan now.

Another feather in my cap this year was getting to be ‘The King of Uranus’ on March 13th at the Milwaukee Admirals hockey game. That was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had, and it went over extremely well. I know there’s something there, and I want to keep working on it.

I got to host some talk radio shows at WNTA in Rockford, IL and I really grew as a host in that format. It was a great opportunity to practice. I took full advantage of it as often as I could. I also hosted ‘The Mothership Connection’ paranormal talk show on WLIP in Kenosha, WI for half the year, and at some point I’d love to get that back on the air somewhere though I need to get paid.

Money was tight again this year, but it is for almost everyone. Summer was a complete disaster financially, but I’ve had a nice run of late and at least have a bit of breathing room. I’ve worked a lot of fun places in the last month and November and December look solid. The money I make is spent before I receive it, but at least my rent is paid with a few bucks left over for the other bills.

Living week to week is SO not what I want to be doing anymore. It’s hectic and a huge energy drain I’d rather not have in my life. Robbing Peter is bad enough, but then not paying Paul makes life a constant shell game. I don’t want to be dodging anybody, I just want to pay up what I owe.

For a while there, I was really in a tizzy. I don’t know how I scraped by this summer, but I sure don’t want that to happen in 2014. The key is to plan ahead, but that’s a lot easier said than done when it’s the end of the month and there’s goose eggs in the bank account. Money is the cushion.

If I can find a way to get some legitimate steady income, it won’t take that long to turn my life completely around in a very short time. I’ve put in my time, and I’m ready for a break. I have no idea what that break will be, but I know I’m ready for something. Nobody I know works as hard as I do for as little a payoff, but I can’t give up now. If anything, I’m going to work even harder.

I know the year’s not over yet, but I’m already planning for 2014 and even beyond. That’s just smart business, and I have to make at least some long term plans even though nothing is going to be guaranteed. I have a much better chance of success if I’m planning for it months or even years ahead, and that’s what I need to do. Money gives me some breathing room to look at my options.

2014 will be here sooner than later. Time to plan ahead.

2014 will be here sooner than later. Time to plan ahead.

Morning Maestro

August 13, 2013

Sunday August 11th, 2013 – Chicago, IL

   I’m starting to get the “radio Jones” again, and it scares me. I’ve been involved in radio almost as long as I’ve been a comedian, so there’s some history there. It started with me doing a comedy bit on a morning show in my home town of Milwaukee in the ‘80s when Miami Vice was on TV.

   It was on the Reitman and Mueller show on WKTI, and the bit was a two minute feature called “Milwaukee Vice”. A comedian friend of mine and I each played cop characters, and used lots of local flavor and references. It was probably a good idea in theory, but the bit was pretty terrible.

   I was in my early twenties then and nowhere near comedically competent or radio experienced enough to know how to pull it off, but it was a great education and I’m glad I did it. The program director was Dallas Cole who I really respected – one of the most creative minds I’ve ever seen.

   We got along great, as he saw the raw potential in me. I wish I could’ve stayed with him longer to develop my skills but he left for a better gig and the new guy and I butted heads. That’s been a much too common storyline throughout most of my radio adventures, and it leaves a bitter taste.

   Like most creative types, I have a distinct vision of what I’m looking to do in a situation. Stay the hell out of my way – especially if you’ve never done it before – and we’ll never have a cross word between us. Sit me down and force feed me your stupid ideas and we’ll fight like roosters.

   It really isn’t that difficult, but I’ve had to fight this scenario constantly and it takes the breeze out of my sail in a hurry. I get brought in a situation by someone who gets it, and then he leaves and in comes some pinhead wannabe who never got past reading pork belly futures in Nebraska.

   Under the right circumstances, radio can be unbelievably satisfying creatively. I’ve had flashes of it, and it was enough to make me want to keep coming back. For what it was, ‘The Mothership Connection’ on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI was a wonderful experience. I had a total blast.

   One of the main reasons I did was because nobody told me what to do. John Perry is the person in charge, and he and I have known each other since our days at 93QFM in Milwaukee. We have a very good relationship, and he knows what I’m about. He gave me free reign from the start and never ONCE has he told me how to do the show. Over five years it has progressed tremendously.

   Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to turn a single buck with it. Fun is fun, but we all have bills to pay. If I could just squeak out a living wage, I’d be thrilled. I’ve grown immeasurably over the five year run as a talk host, and like in comedy I’m at my creative peak but it won’t last forever.

   In a perfect world, I’d be able to get one last shot at doing a morning show somewhere. I have paid my dues and then some in radio just as I have in comedy, and I finally feel I’d know what to do if I got the shot. Milwaukee Vice was horrible, but I knew I was green and had to work it out.

   I’m ready now. I could start tomorrow, and build a fun morning show that would showcase my talented friends and sound smooth from day one. Johnny Carson used to bring people on to shine for a few minutes, and then bring on someone else. That’s a proven formula, and I would borrow it from the start and everyone would win. If I have any one talent at all, it’s recognizing talents of others and putting them in place to shine the brightest. I’m the maestro, but they’re the ones that play the actual music. It worked perfectly on The Mothership Connection, and it will work again.

Matters Of Trust

July 10, 2013

Tuesday July 9th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI

   If the average person knew just how much plain old hard work is involved trying to squeak out an honest living in the entertainment business, driving a school bus would seem like a dream gig.  It’s excruciatingly difficult at all levels, and every advancement brings with it new challenges.    

   I’m at a point now where I need to build a network of quality people around me to help me get through, or I’ll have no choice but to quit and do something else. Everyone needs that network to survive, but I didn’t realize that early on. I thought I could do it myself, and it was a big mistake.

   The best running backs in football still need blockers, and the best race car drivers still need to have a pit crew to change their tires and fill their gas tank. I’ve tried to be a one man band for too long, and I can see by my results I need to change that or I’ll never get anywhere close to ‘there’.

   I’ll freely admit a major reason has been trust issues. Dented cans tend to have a very hard time trusting anyone, and it’s been a big sticking point. If my own mother would abandon me as a tot, why should I ever trust anybody else? It is certainly not an excuse, but it absolutely is a reason.  

   I’ve had my heart stomped on way too many times to count, and that pain can be excruciating. Time after time I’ve been disappointed or lied to or let down, and it gets to a point where it isn’t worth trying anymore. One can only take so many wallops, and I bagged my limit decades ago.  

   It’s why I’m not married or in a serious relationship, and it’s also why I’m not farther along in the entertainment business. I’ve never been able to trust anyone enough to let go. I know I’m not the only one who faces this, but if I don’t evolve I’m never going to taste a bite of true success.  

   My needs are changing as I get older, but I still grapple with this issue far longer than I thought I’d have to. I thought things would all just work out in life, but they surely haven’t. I am learning by the hour, and trying extra hard to squeeze the most out of whatever time I may have left here. 

   There’s no substitute for doing things right, and I’ve always tried to do that. My methods might have been a bit off the wall, but my intentions were always good. I see now that that’s not what’s important. Intentions and results are two very different things, and I have encountered obstacles.

   Nobody likes to admit they were wrong, but failure can be humbling proof. When trying to pry open a safe, one must either find the exact combination or blow the door off. There’s no room for ‘almost’, and that’s how I’m feeling now. I have not discovered the magic combination as of yet.  

   I do have a significant number of quality people on my contact list, but I haven’t found the way to best utilize all their useful assets for the benefit of both parties. A deck reshuffle is in order if I intend to see different results, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It will freshen up the energy.

   Today I drove to Milwaukee to have lunch with my friend Dave Hendrickson. We have known each other for thirty years, and he was the very first comedy act I saw at my first comedy show at Sardino’s on Farwell in Milwaukee. He’s no longer a comedian, but he’s remained a good friend.

   Dave and I have helped each other for years, and in evolving ways. His latest contribution was a regular role on The Mothership Connection radio show as his ‘Two Bit Guru’ character. He has a great website at www.twobitguru.com, and his energy is always positive. I don’t know how our friendship will move forward after thirty years, but I know he’s one of the few people I do trust.

Dave Hendrickson - The 'Two Bit Guru' www.twobitguru.com

Dave Hendrickson – The ‘Two Bit Guru’ http://www.twobitguru.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

The Mothership Lands

June 17, 2013

Sunday June 16th, 2013 – Kenosha, WI

   Life is a series of comings and goings, startings and stoppings. I have no idea if there’s any sort of order to any of it, but for some reason Father’s Day has been loaded with significant goings on in my life. Two years ago today, I went into the hospital and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

   What an epic nightmare that whole ordeal was, but for the rest of however long my life may be I will always be extra grateful for my genitals. I was fond of them before, but that incident took it to a whole new level. I was dangerously close to losing my Brussels sprouts – and that’s no joke.

   That was a life changer to say the least, and I’ve changed everything around since that incident. I haven’t had a Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew in two years now, and I don’t miss any of them. I have gotten off all insulin, and haven’t gone back. It was a wakeup call, and I heard it.

   Tonight was the end of a five year run hosting “The Mothership Connection” paranormal radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. It was a lot of fun and I really learned a lot during the run. I don’t regret having done it, but I’ve taken it about as far as I can and it’s time to move on.

   It took a while to get going, but when it did we really got on a roll. People came and went like a band, but I think I got the most out of what and who I had to work with. There was absolutely ZERO budget, and there’s only so far that can go. It was a labor of love, but it has run its course.

   I met some extremely interesting people who I now consider friends, and also lost a few along the way. Unfortunately, most of the people I had the most trouble with were the women. I didn’t want the show to be a total sausage festival, so I included a woman in the mix to give it a flavor.

   It would be the equivalent of a band having a horn section. It’s not required, but the bands that use them have a distinct sound. I felt the same with this mix. What we were basically doing was a hybrid cross between “Coast To Coast AM” and a wacky morning show, and it worked well.

   What didn’t work so well was that most of the women associated with the show eventually got it into their heads they were the star, and acted more than a bit like divas – which flies with me as well as hand grenades fly on commercial airlines. I had to amputate a few tumors, and I hated it.

   Having to fire someone is hard enough, but having to do it from a show where nobody got paid was especially frustrating. There’s a chemistry factor involved in any ensemble endeavor, and no one person is ever bigger than the team – and it includes me too. I just happened to be in charge.

   Sometimes tough decisions have to be made, but they’re the best for the collective even if there are feelings hurt. I had to let the last two women go because they weren’t willing to follow along, and after a while it just got old. It finally came down to just one co-host, the great Greg DeGuire.

   Greg was and is a walking encyclopedia of paranormal knowledge, and he really added to what the show was all about. I think I grew into a competent talk show host, but he knew the topics we talked about like the back of his hand. It was a great mix, and we never ever had one cross word.

   We never ever made one red cent either, and there’s just so long that can go on. I’m not sure if there’s money there, but I can’t do it if there isn’t. I told the station I wanted some time off, but if I can’t squeeze some cash out of somewhere then this was the last ride. I thank all our listeners of five years, but there weren’t enough of them for us to continue. Still, it was a great experience.

Thanks to WLIP for letting the Mothership fly every Sunday night for five years.

Thanks to WLIP for letting the Mothership fly every Sunday night for five years.

Where the name of the show came from - the Parliament album from 1975. Make my funk the PFunk!

Where the name of the show came from – the Parliament album from 1975. Make my funk the PFunk!

Clearing The Air

May 16, 2013

Wednesday May 15th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   I got up much earlier than I had intended to this morning to do a comedy segment on the ‘Stone and Double T Show’ on WXRX ‘The X’ in Rockford, IL. I really like those guys, and we usually do a weekly call in bit on Monday mornings. We missed this week, so they rescheduled it today.

   I have mixed feelings about doing that show, but it’s fun so if they keep calling I’ll keep doing it. The guys themselves are great, but I’m not sure if anyone who listens to that station likes what I do. It’s really hard edged rock, and that’s just not my audience as a rule. I try to be entertaining, but I’ve never once had anyone come to any show I’ve done saying they’d heard me on ‘The X’.

   Does that mean I should stop doing it? That’s a tough call. It doesn’t hurt to get radio exposure, but it’s not helping either. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years on the wrong radio stations, and I think some of my best work has fallen on deaf ears. It’s discouraging, but that’s how it’s been.

    I still can’t believe I’ve worked for THREE country radio stations. Yikes. I’m not a fan of that genre at all, even though I grew to respect it during my tenure. That’s not my audience either, but those are the stations I was able to get jobs so that’s where I went. It makes me have doubts as to the competence of radio in general if they’d hire me three times at country stations, but they did.

   I’m also experiencing serious doubts about continuing to host ‘The Mothership Connection’ on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. Again, it’s great fun but who’s listening? It’s a small station in Kenosha, WI with a weak night time signal. We do have a certain amount of loyal listeners every week who hear us live and a few more on the net, but is it enough to keep doing it? I’d think not.

   I wish the show came with a paycheck, but it doesn’t. How can I generate one? I don’t have the slightest idea. I have a meeting with John Perry from the station tomorrow and we’ll either come up with a plan to earn some money or I’ll shake his hand and thank him for the fun opportunity.

   The ultimate goal is to get on a station that fits my personality, and find a way to stay on the air and get paid. That’s proven to be a whole lot easier said than done, but unfortunately being taken off the air has not been my fault. If I could manage to put together a nice run somewhere that has a listener base in my wheel house, I’ll be set for life. But I’d also be set for life if I hit the lottery.

   Unfortunately, the odds seem to be about the same. Every time I get on a station that would be a fit, something happens to end it prematurely. ‘The Loop’ in Chicago was a perfect fit, but just as we were starting to get some legs we got fired. Then I was part of ‘Jerry’s Kidders’ with Jerry Agar, Ken Sevara and Tim Slagle on both WLS and WGN in Chicago. That was also a winner.

   Had Jerry not been blown out the door, we’d still be on the air and have that coveted following I’ve not been able to attain no matter how hard I’ve tried. For some reason, I just haven’t had the chance to gel at a place that fits. I love being on with Stone and Double T, but they’re not where I’m ever going to get any mass recognition. If they were Bob and Tom, I’d be a national draw.

   I have a hard time figuring out where the radio business is headed as a whole. It’s always been insane, but there was a certain air of mystery about it. Local programming was plentiful and of a high quality. Now everything is pre recorded in another city and it’s very impersonal. I’d love to have a steady job somewhere, but I don’t know of any that exist. The Stone and Double T shows of the world are becoming rarer and rarer, and that’s a shame. Radio’s best days are behind it.

Savoring The Sunshine

May 6, 2013

Sunday May 5th, 2013 – Gurnee, IL/Kenosha, WI

   No time for relaxing, even though today would have been the perfect day for it. The weather is finally starting to break around these parts after a long sloppy winter nobody thought would end – and in other parts it hasn’t. I heard there was a late season nasty blast of snow from Kansas City to Minnesota last week, and nobody would have been surprised had it hit Chicago or Milwaukee.

   All of this combined with everything else going on everywhere reminds me how unbelievably delicate the balance of life is not only on this tiny planet but probably in the entire universe with all its vastness. Sometimes I think too much, but how can one not? There’s too much going on.

   The fine line required to sustain life as we know it is fascinating to me. Our planet hosts a huge array of plants, animals and us, and that entails a lot of environment variables. There has to be an ample amount of fresh air for us to breathe and enough clean water to drink and use to generate a renewable food supply. One itty bitty tweak could easily throw it all off and we’d all be history.

   On top of that, Israel is launching missiles at Syria and one wrong move there could easily lead directly to the dropping of bigger ones closer to where we call home. I’m ashamed of my species with our warmongering ways, and I wish someone with power would put a permanent end to the insanity before these idiots put a permanent end to everything. It would be nice to just enjoy life.

   I’m trying to do my very best to do exactly that, even though I’ve been pounding the pavement pretty hard of late. I’m trying to squeeze as many positive things as I can into the days I have left – and nobody knows that number. Every one of us is living on borrowed time, but not many of us are really living. We’re busy farting around with all sorts of meaningless tripe, and I’m there too.

   What really means anything? It’s different for everybody, but I think it boils down to enjoying each day as it comes. It’s hard not to worry about the future, but nobody promised any of us will live to see the end of even this day. As for me, I’m going to savor all the sunshine while it lasts.

   I was scheduled to attend a storage unit auction this morning, but I must have gotten some bad information. I showed up at the place and there was no auction going on. I’d heard about it from my friend Karl Newyear, so maybe he heard it wrong. Whatever the case, I was out and about on a sunny day so it was no big deal. I didn’t have any spare money to buy a storage unit anyway.

   I just went because Karl suggested it, but at some point I’d love to dabble in that area. It has an appeal because of the treasure hunting angle just like hitting flea markets, thrift stores and estate and rummage sales. There’s something exciting about finding a trinket and selling it for a profit.

   I’ve only done it a precious few times, but it was a lot of fun when I did it. In the big scheme of life in the universe, my finding a doo dad for a few shekels and flipping it for a few more doesn’t put the slightest ripple in the cosmic fabric, but it sure makes me feel a thrill for a few minutes so who or what does it hurt? Since I was already up and outside, I spent the rest of the day junking.

   I didn’t find a thing to buy today, but I still had fun in the sun just observing the freak show we call life. I browsed and talked to people and just took everything in that was around me. It was as fun as anything I’ve done in a while, and just being in the moment felt great. I did get to squeeze in a nap, and then went to have dinner with my Mothership Connection co-hosts before doing the show from 8pm to midnight on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. I savored the sunshine all day.  

Smart Business

April 8, 2013

Sunday April 7th, 2013 – Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

   Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but not in my busy world. I had a comedy class to teach at Zanies in Chicago this afternoon, and then ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show tonight at 8pm on AM 1050 WLIP. I love doing both of those things, but my mind was focused on Schlitz.

   I’m thrilled with how the opening night went, and all of my energy needs to be centered on this for at least the rest of the run. I’ve been notorious for not being focused and other bad habits, but it doesn’t mean I have to repeat the pattern. This is my chance to do things right, and I intend to.

   The main thing I know I need to change is my attitude toward the actual show. I’ve been such a stickler for the onstage content throughout my life, I’ve missed out on several giant opportunities I totally should have gotten. That’s not going to happen this time. I’ve got a much clearer vision.

   The truth is, the public doesn’t care anywhere close to how much I do about how any particular show happens to go. They’re MUCH more forgiving than I’ll ever be should I happen to forget a joke or do something out of the intended order. The only one who cares is me. I have the power.

   This is something I’ve had problems with for a long time, and have seen others succumb to as well. I have come off stage countless times to thunderous applause, only to pick apart what went wrong with the set I just did that the crowd loved. They loved it, but I didn’t. That’s acceptable.

   It’s only a problem if it’s the other way around. I’ve seen performers with an exaggerated view of their own abilities, and they think they’re superstars when in fact the audience sees them a lot differently. I’ve never had that problem, and I hope I never do. I’m about constantly improving.

   There’s a fine line of how much energy to devote to the actual show versus the business, and I feel I’m right on track with this project. I’m glad I went to Atlanta last week and got to see things from the perspectives of excellent business minds like Steve Hofstetter and James Gregory. They are both light years ahead of me when it comes to handling their business, but I’m catching up.

   This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for me to implement what I learned, but also harvest the decades of hard work I spent out on the road learning to be a performer. I nailed those shows on Saturday as far as the audience was concerned, even though in my head I know I can make it better by leaps and bounds. I intend to do exactly that, and it will grow organically in due time.

   The old me would have looked for a small venue to do this and piece together a masterpiece of a product over years of struggle. WRONG. I did that with my standup act and am nowhere close to getting the results I hoped for. That was the wrong way to do it, and I won’t repeat that error.

   Getting on the big stage and working out the bugs is the way to go, and I’ve got three weeks of work ahead that I’m really going to focus on. These next six shows will all be better than the last, and by the end of the month I hope to have another run scheduled so I can keep it all rolling.

   I love working at the Northern Lights Theatre, and hope to continue. If the numbers keep up at the rate they were last week, I believe I will. Still, that was only one week. Now word has to get out, and it will take time for it to take root. All I can do is keep working to improve, and I will have a kick ass show to deliver for anyone who decides to take a chance and come out. I can feel myself being much more mature than I’ve ever been, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Pleasant Problems

March 26, 2013

Sunday March 24th, 2013 – Spencer, IA/Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

   My grandpa used to tell me it’s better to wear out than rust out, but I’m closer to feeling inside out right about now. I’m pushing myself harder than I have in a long time, and I feel every bit of my age. In my 20s, I could stand this pace and more. I was bullet proof then. Now, I’m just shot.

The shows the last two nights were beyond great, but that’s only a small part of my day. Today was the most hectic trip of all as I needed to be at Zanies in Chicago by 3pm to teach a class and then up to Kenosha, WI by 8pm to host the Mothership Connection radio show. I knew all along this would be the roughest day, and it didn’t disappoint. I made Indiana Jones look like a slacker.

I laid down at 1:30am after hanging with the comedians and it seemed like mere minutes when I checked my watch and it was 4am. I’d gotten just enough sleep to make me cranky, and that set the tone for the drive. I drove south on US 71 out of Spencer, IA and it was snowing just enough to make the drive even more brutal than it already was. It added tension to the mix I didn’t need.

Iowa is a lot bigger to drive through than it is to look at on a map. It seemed like Texas as I had both hands on the wheel in the pitch black early morning hoping I wouldn’t slide off into a ditch for a final curtain call. It was icy, snowy and windy – three dwarfs that didn’t make the final 7.

I had a lot of time to think as I drove, and did exactly that. Here I am all these years later after a lifetime of chasing a dream, and I have to admit I got exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be a full time headlining comedian who worked all over North America and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

Nowhere in that dream did I picture driving in a 1994 Nissan with a cracked windshield and no spare tire across two lane highways in Iowa during a snow storm, but that wasn’t in the equation. I wanted to be a real live professional comedian, and I’ve done it. Nobody can take that from me, but I must admit it sure didn’t come about like I pictured it. I assumed my problems would end.

The only time anyone’s problems end is when the coffin lid clicks, but even that’s no guarantee for any of us. For all we know that’s when a whole new set of problems arises. Personally, I have all I can handle and then some with what’s going on here. I’ll worry about the great beyond later.

Today I had to make it to Chicago, and I did. I was beat like an egg yolk in a French restaurant when I got there, but I made it. Class started at 3pm, and I showed up at 2:57. Again, that kind of stress wasn’t in my initial dream but I made it nevertheless. The students made it worth the drive.

I made it to the radio station in plenty of time for the show, so I stopped to get a salad to try to maintain a halfway healthy lifestyle. Road life is hellish on one’s diet, and that’s why I have had my issues with type 2 diabetes. I totally see how I got that way, and I don’t want to do it again.

The radio show was good, but I had a hard time staying awake for those four hours. I thought I was going to nod off a few times, but I held it together. If everyone has to have problems, I love the ones I’m having. Trying to squeeze too many fun things into each day is what life should be.