It's 3:55am on a Saturday morning and you get the benefit of me waking up in the middle of the night like my Polish aunts. It's a curse and part blessing, this waking to typing and good thing there's internet or I'd wind up rereading Joseph Conrad tales of ships in the Far East.
Yes, it has been an exhausting week of radio. They all are, pretty much. You pedal fast and furious... you run on the hamster wheel as hard as you possibly can... you pass out from worry and exhaustion and beer... and you do it again. That's radio.
On Friday, I did the show. Interviewed the coach of Purdue Calumet soccer, Ryan Hayes, but for the first two minutes of the interview I thought I was interviewing the coach of Munster High soccer. That's how out of it I was. Immediately after the show I hurried over to the B. Coleman hangar at the Gary airport... and arrived late. Do you know how intimidating it can be to have a hundred or so FBI agents, federal prosecutors, sheriff's deputies, homeland security, local police chiefs, and more watch you walk in late to a meeting?
It gets even worse. It was the meeting of NIISSA, this organization putting together a plan to deal with widespread emergency. Munster police chief Steve Scheckel, US federal prosector Dave Capp and others of us who were around in the 2008 flood just can't get that fiasco out of our minds so we work on this plan to make sure there's a better response next time.
Anyways. as I'm walking in, I notice the leader of the group, Scheckel, who's talking at the podium, give me a little scowl. And then when I sit down he introduces me as the new media liaison - "which has been approved by the board" - and tells me to say a few words. Yikes. I curse Scheckel under my breath (never curse a police chief over your breath) and then I stumble through this idea that we must have a plan to communicate the vision and happenings of the group. This, of course, includes plans to build this new mega-emergency center. And then I sit down.
Still a bit flustered, I look over to the piece of paper sitting in front of this Army guy in fatigues, and there it is right there on the outline - Jim Dedelow, main speaker. Yikes. I'm the main guy today, and I just spoke for 45 seconds. Later in the meeting I tried to give them a little more... but I just kept repeating myself and didn't really add much to the mission. I'm a little pissed at Scheckel for not giving me a heads up that I'm the media person and that I'd be expected to speak to one of the most intimidating groups around... but I'm more pissed at myself in that I'm so freaking beat up and exhausted that I'm not the normal me. Quick on my feet and ready to face it.. just face it. Conrad wrote:
Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it.
When I'm this exhausted from radio and partying, I'm not balanced. And when I'm not balanced, I sound bland on the radio and, if you meet me in person, I can look a little unsteady and confused. It got that way during my pit trading days a lot. That's when you turn to alcohol and other vices. But let's not go there on a peaceful Saturday morning.
It is this extreme weathering of your soul that can lead to it withering. You've got to watch out. You can't push it so hard that you don't make good decisions. That's the real danger. Sure, you can be awkward and unprepared... almost distracted and losing it... but you can't make bad decisions. At all times, you must be plugged in to your own core. If you're not, listeners can tell. If you're not, you pay for it in business.
Enough about bumbling in front of a bunch of intimidating law enforcement types. As far as the rest of my radio Friday... I did what I usually do on Fridays and that is stop for a piece of fish for lunch at Giovanni's. No red wine though. And then back to the studios to work with Christina Cortez on video of radio. That's really how I look at it. We're not doing video. We're doing video of radio.
Above you'll see a little video we did... just to get restarted. We streamed video for years from our old studios... but it always looked amateurish. That's a main reason we spent all this money and time and headache to move in to the new studios at the Purdue center. To do video of radio.
I don't want to do video. You can tell this by the theme of this blog. It's called "My Radio Life." It's not called, "My Video Life." And as far as all of the photos on this site. They're not photos. They're photos of radio. And those podcasts that you see and hear. Those aren't just random speaking into a microphone because I like to hear myself talk. Those are podcasts of radio.
Live streaming radio
Blog about a life in radio
Photos of radio
Video of radio
Podcasts of radio
Are you starting to get the picture? I come at video from the viewpoint of radio. It must be radio first... and all of the stories fall from there. And make no mistake... this is an ongoing story of radio. Of its ultimate death. Of the clarity and sense of beauty and survival that it brings to me and the three or four of you.
It is the journey to video of radio. To tell you the truth, I don't even really like expressing myself in video. It's like changing the furnace filter for me to film something, bring it in to Final Cut Pro X, edit the video, adjust the audio levels, process it, post it, tag it, describe it. Yuk. I really would rather go in my garage right now in the middle of the night and clean out the old freezer.
But that's not what video of radio is. Radio is king, and video and photos and writing about and podcasting it is secondary to the mission of radio. Not the mission of doing radio.. but radio as the mission. I hope that makes sense. It probably doesn't to most people but to the three or four of you, I know that it does.
Do radio, you see... and let all else fall from its bones. The video is nothing but an amateurish talk show... if not for the cover and credibility of radio. The photos are just photos of people and places... if not for the context of radio. The podcasts? Sure, you can podcast from you bathroom while you're taking a shit. But that's not radio, and certainly not podcasting of radio. It all starts and ends with radio, and when I get unbalanced from working and partying too much, I forget that. I really do.
So as for the partying... it started with the Notre Dame game on Saturday. Then Cubs and Bears on Sunday. On Monday night, I hosted the Purdue coaches caravan. And on Tuesday, it was bowling. On Wednesday night, my brother swept in to town and we reverted to type, as a family. On Thursday, I attended the One Region luncheon and then went over to watch Alexis receive an award at Influential Women.
That's a lot of stuff that's not directly radio. By yesterday evening, Alexis and I were able to meet up for a movie - The Intern - and afterwards, sitting in the darkness of the theater, she said - "I am so stressed out. I'm just sitting here worrying and freaking out. Thanks for sitting through a chick flick with me."
She feels it too. Although Alexis is torn by the lure of radio AND the lure of the law. She's gotta carry both hats and put one on, take that one off, put the other one on.. then take that one off. Back to the first hat. It's gotta be just as exhausting for her if not more. That's why there's sappy chick flicks, I suppose.
After the movie, we came home and tried to watch Dateline. Alexis is a lawyer for a reason, and I believe that the reason is Dateline. Or shows like it. She can watch Dateline and 20/20 for hours. It's the thrill of the chase of the bad guy. The whodunit. The lawyers' strategy. The judge. The jury. The evidence. I'll come home from bowling and she'll be watching the story of a murder from 20 years ago with the same rapt attention be looking at a murder in her own neighborhood being reported by the Chicago news.
Ah... but I made my escape. Ten minutes in to the story of a 16-year-old kid serving a life sentence... who may have been wrongfully convicted due to an overzealous detective... I fell asleep. Nice date. Quick movie, a bowl of soup at Miner Dunn on the way home, then I'm asleep within a half hour of arriving home. Radio stud, my ass.
I don't have anything else to say to the three or four of you. I'm thinking of eating a bowl of cereal... and lying down to listen to George Nouri all night on WJOB. Hope it's on.