It's 8:39pm on a Sunday evening and the more things change, and the older you get, the more you turn into that grade school kid who didn't do homework all weekend so now he's got to cram on Sunday night. There's that Sunday night angst that never really goes away because try as you might you still wind up already behind for the week. Go figure. Try, just try, to do all your homework and go to bed early on a Sunday night so you'll be refreshed and prepared for your Monday morning Science test or radio show.
On Friday, after the show, Alexis and I made the yearly trek to Waveland Avenue for a charity rooftop party. We push the hell out of $120 tickets all Spring so that 250 or so Region Rats can sit on top of a building across from Wrigley Field and engage in various forms of gluttony. There's an endless supply of food and beverages for the $120 and an endless supply of interesting and sometimes even weird conversations. And over the years there's been a whole lot of weird and interesting things happen that I can never, ever talk about.
Here's a mild one from Friday. I'm sitting there on the rooftop with my personal group of degenerates from the Tuesday night bowling team, which includes liquor distributor Brian Cook, attorney David Gladish, cabinetmaker Wayne Micka, and Rick Griffin, the X-ray guy. After enough imbibing, we start talking about how much money it would be for a lower level ticket to game 7 of the Blackhawks-LA Ducks game Saturday night in Anaheim. Hmmm. In Chicago it would be about two grand.
But not in Anaheim, where they apparently have a lot of other things to do on a Saturday night than go to hockey games. In Anaheim it was only $450. So these geniuses - with the help of my daughter Jeanie dinking around the internet too on her phone - figure out that you could fly to LA round trip ($328), buy a game 7 lower level ticket ($420), rent an SUV for five guys for two nights ($20 per person) and get a hotel room ($180 per guy for two nights based on double occupancy) for less - WAY LESS - than what it would cost to go to a game 7 jn Chicago.
Go figure. Now this discussion emanated, as things like this often do, from some stuff on my show that morning. It seems that a local attorney - Kevin Smith, who was on WJOB on Friday morning - had turned down a game 7 ticket in Anaheim from his brother, Matt "Money" Smith, the big LA sportstalk host guy. In with the ticket, of course, was a free place to stay, transportation from the airport, free food and drink and so forth. In other words, it wasn't gonna cost Kevin Smith anything but 25,000 United miles to fly to LA for the evening. Plus, he'd be going with his brother to sit in celebrity row and attend celebrity parties, if he so chose.
But Kevin Smith didn't choose. He declined. WJOB morning producer Ryan Walsh got wind of this, called Money Smith, whom we know would be working out at about 8:30 central time, and got him on the phone to essentially embarrass his brother. Suggestions were made that attorney Kevin Smith should turn in his man card (by me) and one insightful texter came up with this - "We know what Kevin Smith will be doing at 7pm on Saturday night - getting a bikini wax."
It's not that I'm not injected in to the story. As we sat on the rooftop plotting to drive straight from the rooftop to Ohare to fly to LAX, I texted Matt Money during his show to tell him of the price differential and that a bunch of Region Rats were on a rooftop trying to figure out a way to see game 7 on Saturday night in Anaheim.
Money didn't text me back right away - he was doing his show, remember - but he did call me right after his show with an invitation to come to Anaheim and, you guessed it, stay at his house, etc. And like his sissy brother, I also declined. That's between you and me. And since nobody, and I mean NOBODY reads this blog, let's keep it that way.
To make a long story short, I wound up driving back to Indiana with wife Alexis, daughter Jeanie, and station manager Debbie Wargo. Before that, though, we did walk across Clark Street to Bernie's, where we sat near the back bar to let the traffic bleed out before trekking across Chicago. And a weird thing happened - I ran in to some guys I used to work with on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.
Let me take that back. It wasn't necessarily weird that former Chicago Board of Traders were hanging out at the back bar of Bernie's. That has been the unofficial Board of Trade hangout for decades. Until I left trading in 2004, there were many afternoons instead of sweating it out in the pits, I'd be sweating it out at the back bar at Bernie's. It would be essentially the same kind of gathering as in the pits - sweating, stinking guys shouting into each other's ears and some pretty, non-stinky gals hanging around either shouting along with us or just sitting there looking pretty.
Anyways, I got a point here so hang on. Alexis, Debbie and daughter Jeanie find a seat on the patio out back. It's crowded as hell with drunk people everywhere, cops, people on bikes selling peanuts, drunk girls pushing through in to the mens room to take a piss - you get the picture. Friday afternoon Wrigley stuff.
"I'll join you guys out there in a few minutes," I tell them. And that's cuz I'm in a conversation with a guy I used to trade with. He tells me that he's left the Board of Trade and that he lost X amount in real estate and Y amount with a couple of restaurants but that he still has Z amount left and that he travels around mostly and that he's leaving for Europe on Monday. Good enough.
Then I talk to another Board of Trade guy - let's call him Mr. Outtrade because he had a lot of miscues on the floor - and he told me that his wife left him after he had an affair with their gardener but that he invested X amount with a former floor trader who runs a hedge fund so he has Y left, which is enough to send all his seven kids to private school, high school and college.
Another guy told me that he lost all his money - X amount - and he drives a limo. He gave me his card.
One gal told me that she works doing nails and that her boyfriend rides a 1967 Harley Davidson that costs X amount.
"So you ran in to some trader people, huh?" Alexis asked.
"Yeah. Same old thing."
"You mean they talked about how much money they have and didn't ask you once about what you're doing?"
That Alexis. She's got some pretty good insight. Anyways, Gladish, Cook, Micka and Griffin went to Anaheim and sent me pics all weekend. I appreciate that. And I also appreciate that they brought home a game 7 victory and now most of June will be spent planning around upcoming Hawks games. It's a great way to spend a summer, if that's what you call it. It was 48 degrees, windy, rainy and dark all weekend. But, you guessed it, it was a steady sunny and 80 in Anaheim, California.
......... Oh, also, maybe since I was feeling a little guilty lately, Alexis, Jeanie and I went today to visit with my 95-year-old grandma, Jean Matson. There's a pic above of us at Debby and Danny's house. How many 53-year-old radio hosts can say they hung out with their 95-year-old grandma today? Huh, how many?