Every once in a while, your life gets in a rowboat and floats away from you. Standing on the shore, you shout for what was you. Come back to me, asshole. You’re my life.
This is how I feel on a Wednesday morning when it’s 19 degrees out. My life has floated away from me. I am standing on the shore. Exhausted, beaten, alone and without a reason to walk to the local grocery store for a Diet Coke and a pack of Marlboros.
Look to your left, it’s graffiti on a wall.
Look to your right, it’s a newspaper
on a park bench.
Pretty soon there won’t be any
Pretty soon there won’t be
Pretty soon there won’t be an America
full of free press and free speech.
Pretty soon you won’t be able to
yell "Fire" in a crowded theater.
Oh. Can’t do that anyway. There
are limits to free speech. Find
them at Showplace in Schererville.
Fire fire fire fire.
Shoot shoot shoot shoot.
Journalists under fire,
shoot shoot shoot.
What happens when you get so tired
you taste salt in your mouth?
What happens when you write stuff
that someone powerful doesn’t like?
Say it loud
say it proud
say it all the way
to the bottom of a well.
America is changing.
Could it be that what we thought
would last forever
was only built for a good
Once the dream is over,
so is America.
Goodbye free speech
Goodbye free press.
We don’t need you anymore.
We got us.
We are one.
We think as a block.
Better watch your c---.
Put it on a slab of wood
or keep it in your pants.
Either way, you can get it
chopped off if you speak
too freely without knowing
how to spell.
What if America is only a
What if we last only as long
as we are homogenous?
As one, we triumph
freedom and choice,
Once the Mexicans invade,
there's no more choice,
Our fantasy democracy fades.
How can you write your
destiny and still be a part of
It’s one or the other,
These are things I think about
at the beginning of the
middle of the 21st century. What
once was Nazi is no
longer Nazi. I am
of German descent. Nazi is a
What once was us,
is now fraught with thought
of redefining America. A dream
of freedom for Puritans and
is now a fruitcake of hamburgers
Diversity be damned.
Kill your brother for a piece
of silver. We are born animals
and that’s never gonna change.
Yikes. Glad that’s over. Alexis and I flew back from a whirlwind to New York City to visit our daughter and her boyfriend. We went to the Museum of Natural History and the Secretaries Cup. That’s a football game between the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine Academy. It was played in Kings Point, New York, the home of the Merchant Marine. We froze our asses off, but for a good cause. Coast Guard won 26-12, which it hasn’t done at Kings Point since 1998. My buddy’s kids play for Coast Guard. We cheered our asses off in the New York tundra.
We flew back into Midway. In the past, when money wasn’t as much of a concern, we would park in the garage at the airport. It’s now like 45 bucks a day. Instead, we park at Airways Parking around the corner from the airport, which is once again under major construction. Not as much as LaGuardia, but still, there’s a lot of ironworkers running around the decks of Midway.
If you park at Airways, they come pick you up in a bus. You have to wait for it around the back of Midway. That’s because in the front they’re reconfiguring everything once again. At Laguardia in New York, they’re busting down terminals and rebuilding them. I’ve been through Laguardia a ton of times since they started the project and I still can’t figure out what the general plan is. There isn’t any more land to expand to. Somehow they’re knocking buildings down and remaking them so that it doesn’t look so much like a 1950s bus station. That’s what Laguardia feels like.
My main experience with bus stations was on cross-country trips to and from California in the early 1980s. In one of these trips, my buddy Chris Klyczek, who has been dead for almost 30 years now, drove Heidi Langendorff and me to the Hammond Greyhound station, where we bought two tickets to Los Angeles. That was a long ride across the hinterlands. Heidi had pinkeye the whole way, which isn’t that surprising. Busses are and were dirty. So are the bathrooms along the way in bus stations in the middle of Nebraska and on the southern edge of Wyoming. Try not to go number 2 in them. You run the risk of pink eye.
As soon as Alexis and I got back from New York, I had to skidaddle to class at Purdue Northwest. I am embroiled in a Business Analytics class that’s kicking my ass. As a matter of fact, on the trip to New York I had to take a day out from the festivities to do a five-hour exam on linear regressions. Boy was that a hoot. My daughter and her boyfriend and my rather impatient wife were waiting around to go to lunch while I pulled my hair out trying to do a regression on what happens at a soap factory. It was quite the tension for a Sunday morning. I won’t do it again.
Anyways, when I went into class at Purdue on Monday night, it was clear and cold. When I came out, there was a swirling wind and a quarter inch of snow on the car. Welcome to the beginning of winter.
Yesterday turned out to be a swirl of wind itself. I got up and did the morning radio show, starting by standing out on Indianapolis Boulevard. It was cold. Real cold. And 25-mile-an-hour winds. Winter sent us a message over the weekend.
“I am here. And I am in charge.” That’s what winter said to us at Kings Point, New York. and at Hammond, Indiana.
Verlie Suggs and I did a morning radio show in which we also interviewed Jean Rapstad. She’s a local comic who makes me laugh. Somehow, she is genuine. I can’t put my finger on it.
After the morning radio show, I had to put a suit on. This is one of my least favorite things to do. That and do Business Analytics homework. It was my duty to lead a presentation to a board about a big project. I’ll tell you more about it later when you’re having trouble sleeping and you need something to be a little bored about.
After that, I hurried home and took the suit off. I could have left it on. I was headed to moderate a talk on workforce needs in northwest Indiana in front of 300 people. Instead of a suit, I put on khakis and a blue sportcoat. After the luncheon panel, there was a business exposition in a big hall. Tons of businesses were there, including a couple of places that were giving seated massages. I got one from a huge guy with a really pointy elbow. By the time the massage was done, I was remembering things from a long time ago, like an especially dirty bus station bathroom outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming. And the pinkness of the hills of southern Utah at sunrise. There is something especially inspiring about sunrises, don’t you think?
I hung around the exposition and talked with a number of businesspeople. I learned about their businesses and I told them about streaming video.
“WJOB? Isn’t that the old radio station behind Smith Chevrolet?”
“I’m glad you asked.” And then I would go on with my shpiel about WJOB no longer being a sleepy little radio station.
“We are the pioneers of streaming video in the Region,” I would tell them. Their stares would go blank. Life is short. Enjoy every freaking moment.
My proseletyzing about streaming video is just part of what I have to do. I have to tell people about it. It really is cool and it really is changing the landscape of media here in northwest Indiana. Slowly, but it is changing. With all the time sitting on planes over the past few days, I had time to think. Thoughts seeped into my medulla oblongata that I hadn’t thought before.
And one of them is this – I gotta get out and tell people about our new TV network. I built it. I gotta tell people about it. It’s that simple.
Plus, I’m kinda proud of what we’ve come up with. It’s been a lot of work by a lot of people. Now I gotta take it into another phase.
I gotta sell myself and my vision. Time to quit writing to the three or four of you and go do a radio show. Bye.