2:52am on a Friday morning
It's called radio, and it consumes my life. And I'm all right with that. Yesterday I did a four-hour plus show that was dominated by the news that an East Chicago councilman, Robert Battle, may have been a drug dealer and may have shot someone in an alley over the weekend. Nice. It gets even weirder. After the alleged murder, Battle goes to his attorney's office - Walter Alvarez - and sits in another room while Alvarez meets with a load of cops. According to news reports and the indictment, Alvarez leaves the cops and goes in to speak with Battle - but leaves the door open. The cops hear their conversation and use what Battle says during this overheard conversation to charge him with murder.
Now that doesn't make any sense. But it's radio, so it has to.
After four hours of sitting in the same seat, I waved Rick Kubic in to the studio and Geno Sferruzza, who hosts the music show "Region Bandstand." We joked with caller Jen about which detergent to use to take the funk out of your towels and sweatshirts (Tide Sport, says Jen, it smells like Febreze) and how all guys from the Hegewisch section of Chicago are foulmouthed. Rick hosts the 10 to midnight show on WJOB and he's gaining quite the following. Geno has his following of diehards who love bandstand music. I had never been on the air with both at the same time and I really liked it.
After the show, I had to rush home because the wife was feeling sick and there were needs to attend to. After that, I drove the 40 minutes to Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville to attend the "One Region" luncheon where Sen. Donnelly spoke. He said, and I agree with this, that northwest Indiana is on the verge of an economic renaissance like nothing we've seen before. But I wish he would have also addressed one issue, the one that I thought "One Region" is based on, and that is how do 17 different municipalities in Lake County work together for the common good. That's a question for another day.
At about 1pm I drove my five-year-old Ford Fusion to the local IRS office in Merrillville. I need a tax transcript for financial aid and scholarship purposes for my daughter in college. A guy behind a window met with me and gave me a number and told me to wait for an agent. So I dawdled in the IRS waiting room for about three hours, striking up a conversation with a couple from Gary whose kid slept through the whole ordeal. Then at 4:25 the guy behind the window said they were closing the office for the day and I had to leave. I didn't get mad or yell or anything. I just kind of hrrmphed to the car, thinking the whole time that I could write a decent column about how inane our federal government can be at times. But maybe I'll do that some other time. Right now, it's the middle of the night and I'm feeling way too peaceful to get all lathered up about getting a number to wait and then three hours later being told to go home. Enjoy the entertainment.
Since I was 40 minutes away, I didn't drive all the way back home. I parked in the lot of Avalon Manor in Merrillville and waited. My wife was scheduled to get an award from an organization called Influential Women of Northwest Indiana, so instead of passing the time in a bar, I sat in the car and listened to sports radio about the Cubs. It's all about the Cubs these days. They start the NLDS tomorrow and like everyone else around here, I can't wait.
Anyways, Alexis received an award from Influential Women of Northwest Indiana last night, and so did a dozen or so other local women in specific categories. And it was a pretty good party, which is usually what I'll say when a ton of women get all dressed up and get together and start drinking. I even sold an ad package to a local banker and had some laughs with Ron Ware of the Ironworkers union and Kevin Roach of the laborers union, both of whom support the station. That's called good client relations.
But as you know, when I hear a good line, I get all giddy inside and can't wait to put it under my pillow as I go to sleep. It happens a lot. The other day, I reminded Butch Kusiak, a character of characters, of a line he told me several years ago - The things you dream, I do. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you just take it by itself out of context, but believe me, if you're six beers into it and Butchie starts telling you about his escapades in life, it's kinda funny.
Anyways, there must have been something in the October air because it seemed that just about everyone at Influential Women of Northwest Indiana was indulging, including me and WJOB station manager Debbie Wargo and the oldest radio intern in America, Wayne Micka, and a whole lotta other people. We were, in a word, having a good time.. and so were a couple of the people manning (or would that be "womanning") the podium. Now I really am a fan of everyone having a good time and even drinking a little too much on occasion, as long as they don't have a longterm booze problem and aren't gonna drive home. So as more than one woman at the microphone giggled and maybe even slurred a long vowel, like everyone else I clapped and laughed at appropriate times and hoped that they didn't do or say something they might regret later.
Nobody did... but you could tell a couple of the gals had had a glass of wine. So I had a tough time holding in my snicker when Ms. Wargo showed me a text from one of her girlfriends across the room.
Maybe they should call it Women under the Influence of Northwest Indiana.
Now that's a line you can put under you pillow. Too bad that line and all of the other lines stashed underneath there aren't helping me sleep through the night. Like my Polish aunts, I open my eyes in the middle of the night and I'm wide awake. You can lay there and try to trick yourself into going back to sleep, but in the end you're better off rolling out of bed and doing something. So the thing I choose to do is write a blog about my radio life... to all three or four of you.