Friday night. 11pm.
It has been a while since you and I talked and that's my fault. I've allowed My American, Radio Life to fill up with so many events that it's
1. making me do bad morning radio shows
2. keeping me from blogging to the three or four of you.
Today, early before any guests came in, I did a radio show by myself for 90 minutes. I put on the Hammond Marina wireless microphone and walked outside in the dark and stood in the middle of Indianapolis Boulevard and waved at semis going by. They honked back and I just rambled on about how nice it is out these days in the Midwest and told a couple of stories about My American, Radio Life and for the most part just kind of enjoyed the early morning with my seven or eight listeners. It was the most comfortable I've felt on the radio in a while.
On Thursday, however, I did my worst radio show in years. I showed up tired because I've been out partying and going to events associated with the radio station and we moved my daughter in Chicago this week and you get the picture. In the end, I showed up Thursday morning late and unprepared and tired... and to top it off it was one of the slowest news days in a long time. Several people told me that my show was boring on Thursday and they were right.
What this means is that I have to refocus. It starts with prepping for the show. Not so much in the way a lot of detail-oriented hosts might do it. No... my prep is more that I just have to show up balanced, not tired, focussed, in a good mood because I have a great job... Aware, perceptive, patient. I'm best when I ramble and let the show come to me. But to get to the point where you can be passive, you gotta be pretty active to get there.
Did Yogi Berra just write that last sentence? After that Thursday morning fiasco, I pledged to myself to get out of the way of myself and let the show reappear to me. I am blocking, or allowing myself to be blocked, which amounts to the same thing to three or four of you and to the other three or four who listen to my shows.
There are a couple of things business wise I can't talk about... but since it's only the three or four of you and not someone who really matters, I can tell you that I have a couple of announcements coming - I hope - and that's taking a ton of my time. I never really wanted to be a dealmaker, but to be left alone to do my radio show in the morning and then to be left alone to putz around all day creating other stuff - sometimes I have to act like a businessman and write a proposal or strategic plan or work on financing stuff.
And then there's the meeting and social stuff. This week, I attended a lunch at Gamba's in Merrillville for the NIPSCO CAP panel. That's a Citizens Advisory Panel in which the local power company asks leaders of some sort to lunch four times a year to tell them what they should be doing. NIPSCO is a client, for sure (although between you and me they're not as big of a client as I'd like them to be) and it only helps to know more about your client.
Yesterday I took a meeting with the blinds salesman. We're having trouble with the lighting in the studio for our streaming video, so we need to put better shades on the windows. Then the Society of Innovators came into the Purdue center where our studios are and I attended that two hour presentation. Then it was time to high-tail to the Majestic Star Casino for World Civility Day put on by The Times and the Gary chamber. On the way home, I agreed to meet my best and most loyalest caller Carl from Hessville at the Legion Post 232 at Kennedy and 165th in Hammond. That was probably the best moment of the day. Carl served Marines for a bunch of years, and then when he got too old for them he signed up with the Navy Seabees to drive a bulldozer in a war zone. There were other guys who served and I love buying them beers. Some of them listen every morning and that's always cool when a guy who gave his all to defend our country says that he listens every morning and he can recite some of your corny jokes.
Today, I did the show and then went to a meeting for a group called NIISSA. It's 70 or so people from the public and private sector who are trying to get a 50-million dollar disaster recovery and training center built. I left the show and drove in a hurry to Munster Centennial Park, where the last meeting was held... and then when no one was there I looked at the email and realized my error. So I texted the Munster police chief Steve Sheckel, who runs the group, and said I'd be late because I'm not only a morning radio show host but I'm also an idiot.
I did eventually get to the airport hangar in Gary where the meeting was held and gave my presentation as the head of the "Media Affairs" committee, which consists of me and me. I gave a plea for someone to help with management of the website and, lo and behold, someone came up after the meeting and said he'd do it. That made me very happy. Here's how I got the job in the first place. I told chief Sheckel - hey, this group needs a website.
"Great, then make one."
That's just some of the stuff outside of the morning show that I did this week. Alexis and I did go for a dinner at Three Floyds in Munster, voted one of the top five breweries in America. Remember that I said on the air once that they were rude people there and ever since then everyone at the place has been nice as putty to me. I'm not sure if they have just changed their ways or they know who I am (or they're smiling at me as someone in the back is laying a loogie on my red snapper). That's something that you have to worry about as a morning host who pretty much says what he wants. When you order a pizza for pickup, never ever give your real name.
Tonight, Alexis and I slipped out for dinner at Theo's in Highland. Owners Pete and Ted met us at the front door and that made me feel like we made the right decision. When you own the local radio station, part of the gig is that you go for dinner at your sponsors. Alexis had some amazing friend shrimp with sautéed broccoli and I had this yellow snapper with crabmeat on it. On the way in the place Pete told me that they only had one yellow left so he went in the back and made them hold it until after Alexis and I had our warmup beer at the bar.
A teacher from Highland - Rex Thomson - and his wife Laura came up to the table and introduced themselves as loyal listeners. I took a "listener picture" with them. In the conversation, I made comment that when I'm on the air I hold off on the off-color jokes.
Turns out Laura gets the little innuendos and insinuations in my ramblings and the whole time I thought I was just making off-color inside jokes to myself. The secret's out. I did take it a little too far when Rex told a story which involved him making a motion as if he was clearing his face with both hands.
"Looks like you're clearing a place for her to sit," I instinctively said.
Alexis is right that I often take it too far. I just do. And I also let the real world take me too far off of my course... which involves doing a local radio show and writing, as Verlie says, a "meaningless little blog" for the three or four of you.