But if I keep this up,
radio will be my
death and ruin.
As the three or four of you can tell, I like to read stuff like Bukowski, Dickinson, Vonnegut, Conrad. It’s either an eclectic, elevated palate or a confused one. Either way, I take my literature seriously. Mostly, I read people who are dead. They take their literature seriously, also.
But when it comes to movies, all bets are off. Alexis took me to a serious movie on Saturday – “If Beale Street Could Talk.” It’s about a guy in jail for something he didn’t do. A black guy. Racism, police brutality, undying love and mistaken identity all play into it. It was good, but there’s not a lotta laughs in it.
Before you go,
tell me a lie.
Hesitate, look forlorn,
Crush my soul with a glance.
“You owe me one,” I told Alexis coming out of the movie.
“Whatever. We'll go see one of your movies on Monday to balance the equation."
This is a running topic between lovers. She likes serious dramas and romantic comedies. I’ll sit through the first but not the latter.
What I like, when it comes to movies, is stupid. I want to laugh, watch hot chicks, nice places to live, maybe a couple car chases and crashes that don’t kill people. I want Grouch Marx’s fantasy on the screen.
So today, to balance the equation, we saw “The Upside” with Kevin Hart, a comedian. He plays a guy who got out of prison and winds up as the personal caregiver for a billionaire paraplegic. It’s in New York City, where my daughter lives. I used to hate that city but now I can’t wait to go again.
The crunch of snow
beneath my boot
allows me to feel good.
Alone, at last, with snow,
Peace to us all.
What I did not do today is radio. I deliberately stayed away from my radio stations, which are only 2.7 miles away from where I sit right now. I’m on my bed with a laptop. It’s not altogether unlike Carrie Bradshaw, minus the sexy legs dangling in the air.
Radio will overtake you, if you let it. It never stops, literally. If you’ve got the kind of FCC license that we have for both the AM and FM stations, then you can’t turn them off at night and go to bed. They gotta stay on.
And, in a way, so do I. I am starting to get like I was when I traded. I am never turning off. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that I am halfway through my MBA. This takes a lot of studying. My brother, Jeff, noticed this yesterday.
We texted each other during the New Orleans Saints game. He used to practice medicine in New Orleans, so he’s a huge Saints fan. They got robbed by a bad call and instead of New Orleans rejoicing, it’s Los Angeles. My brother, and millions of Aints fans, are heartbroken.
But Jeff did text me a relative comment.
“Is it doable to work and do an MBA? Some doctors do evening MBAs while still working full time. Sounds like a lot to me.”
“Alexis asks that question on a regular basis.”
Waking by you
is what I do
for 30 years or more.
Winter warmth. Morning makes.
Hard to believe.
The point of all of this is that I’m pushing myself a little too hard again, almost as hard as when I traded. Although, if I did it like when I traded ever again, I probably wouldn’t be here to write this blog to the three or four of you.
I’ve got a lot of things going, not the least of which is I host a three-hour, one-man show every morning. It used to be that I could just roll over, kiss my wife, ride my bike to the station, and start talking.
That’s when it was just radio and not that many people listened. Now, the show has grown. Television makes it so that I’m standing in the canned goods aisle of Strack & Van Til and some woman will say:
“Hey, are you JED?”
It’s a different dynamic. I have to take a shower now before I do the show, wear decent shoes and a clean sweater. Shave, trim my eyebrows, brush my teeth. All of these things were optional with just radio.
fame and fortune,
Airwave requiem. Instead,
a broken transmitter
and a lawsuit.
It’s not just my show that’s transitioning to TV. All of the shows are. And so is our coverage of local college and high school sports. Think about it. How much more work is it to do TV over radio?
So Alexis and I went to see a relatively stupid movie, and then I came home, tried to study, and fell asleep for three hours. It felt great. For the first time in weeks, I don’t feel exhausted.
… My dad and I drove down I-65 on Saturday in a blinding snowstorm to watch Purdue beat the crap out of IU in basketball. It was great, but it almost didn’t happen. Or, at least, it almost didn’t happen in the way that it wound up happening.
I joked on the air that I was gonna go to the game with my dad on Saturday in the same way I had been going with him for 50 years.
“My dad’s gonna pick me up. And ten minutes later, I’m gonna be sleeping – all the way down I-65. And then after the game, same thing. We’ll walk through the snow to the car. He’ll turn the heat on. And before we make I-65, I’ll be sleeping again. It’s a good routine.”
I thought that would be the end of it. It was just another stupid thing to say on the radio. It was mostly true. My dad has been taking me and my brothers and sisters to Purdue games since we were little kids. When you’re little, you sleep in cars. When you get older, you don’t normally sleep in cars. Death is just an instant away and you want to be awake for its arrival. You wind up sleeping in cars only when your dad’s driving.
Life's first scrimmage
At first, the good shall know.
Then hell breaks loose again.
We all get some.
Anyways, I got a call on the air that changed the routine. It was from a guy named Bob. Sometimes, we yell at each other on the air. It sounds like we hate each other. But one time we ran into each other riding bikes on the Erie Lackawanna Trail and had six miles of cordial conversation.
“JED, far be it from me to tell you what to do, but when you go with your dad to the Purdue game this Saturday, don’t sleep the whole time.”
“I used to go to swap meets with my dad. We had to drive a ways, and we’d just talk on the way. I miss that a lot.”
“How long has he been gone?”
“Five years. And I really miss those trips. We’d just drive and talk, kind of easy. I really miss it.”
That was enough for me. Instead of letting my 79-year-old dad drive through a snowstorm, I drove. Good thing, too, because Alexis’s car has four-wheel drive and it was blizzard conditions, especially around Lafayette.
My dad and I – we talked the whole way. And then at the game. And on the way home. We didn’t talk about anything special. We just talked, and Purdue won. It was a day, Bob, that no matter what happens, no one will ever be able to take away.
A game of loons
The sit around a fire
rolling dice for your soul.
That’s all I got for the three or four of you tonight. I gotta finish a “Personal Selling” assignment for class and then read a bunch of stuff in the newspapers and online. That’s how you prepare for class. That’s how you prep for a radio show. Good night.
I dream of this:
Sunday morning stillness.
Coffee. Newspaper. Rain.
Sounds like hell. Yuk.