Saturday, May 31, 2008

On the subject of Late Night

It's 1:35 in on Saturday morning, or Friday night if you prefer. I am usually working right now, but for the first time in a few months, I actually am not. 

So why am I still up? I guess that the body clock is used to such things, and mine said to stay up tonight. I went to a late night improv show - a farewell performance for one of my old teachers. He was pretty incredible.

So why am I still up? I set the goal of contributing to this blog every day, and this is my contribution to my goal. It seems silly - no one will die from me not writing. No kittens will be eaten (a note that will make one 9 year old girl very happy.)

So why am I still up? The melatonin has not kicked in yet and I am out of ambien.

So why am I still up? I drank a Coke at 10 PM. Pepsi doesn't keep me up, Coke does.

So why am I still up? The thought of doing karaoke crossed my mind and I drove by the place of my proudest moment in karaokedom - Hula Hula on Queen Anne. I didn't know anyone there, and wasn't going to meet anyone, so I just drove by for nostalgia's sake. I cranked up Rehab and sang at the top of my lungs in the car anyway.

So why am I still up? My wife ween to sleep a long time ago. She told me that her computer was not working properly so she went to sleep. She has a big project due and it stinks that it won't work. Technical support--- may I help you. I guess you can call me her own personal Geek Squad... or at least Geek. I am running a defrag on it. I pray it works so I won't feel responsible for her not being able to work, although it would be the computer's fault, not mine. It's the guilt thing you get when you wear a wedding ring - EVERYTHING is your fault.

So why am I still up? I am thinking of the days I used to be up this late every night - working in night clubs in the 80's with some incredibly nice looking people. Even on my nights off, I would get dressed up in costume and go to Confetti, a very cool night club in Dallas. All the employees had a costume of some kind so I was not out of place. Why would I go there on my nights off? Because being alone with a lot of people was better than being alone alone.

So why am I still up? Melatonin is starting to kick in. Maybe I have a better than 50/50 chance of actually getting to sleep. A little KIXI (Music of your life - or more appropriately, my Dad's life) on the radio's pillow speaker. A pillow between the knees. Turned towards my wife's deep breathing. It's a comfortable place.

Time for me not to be up. If you see another entry above this one, with a timestamp close in proximity, it means I am still up.

Good night, Mrs. Kalabash. Wherever you are.

yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On the subject of too much time on my hands"

Too much time on my hands, it's taking away with my sanity.
I've got too much time on my hands, it's hard to believe such a calamity.

I have the next three months off... anyone feel sorry for me? 

Okay, that is not entirely true, but after 40 weeks straight (including all holiday weeks,) I have been responsible in one way or another for a project - or more to the point - projects on deadline. 40 weeks of massive work, little work, too much work. So after 40 weeks, it seems like life will come to a screeching halt.

For most people, finally having time to do things is a very good thing. For me, it couldn't be farther from the truth. I am addicted to doing something.

Something can be work. Something can be getting on the computer (see last blog.) Something can be nothing at all. But as Rosanne Rosanna Danna used to say "it's always something."

Over the next 12 weeks, until my projects crank up into 60 hour weeks again, I will be searching for somethings. I plan to take some time to educate myself in some new programs for work (After Effects, Zaxwerks and 3d Arsenal.) Beyond that, I have nothing planned for 11 of the 12 weeks. 

Oh sure, there will be the occasional meetings, and a little project here and there - but nothing like life in "my busy season."

This is not a pity party. I have a wonderful wife. I have great kids. I need something for me. With that in mind, I want to start a reverse bucket list. 

What the hell is a reverse bucket list? The movie said it was a list a person made of all the things he wanted to do before he died. I am looking for someone else to make the list, so that I can get some new experiences, and I am looking for suggestions.

I am basically a television watching, computer working, couch potato who needs a push.

So here are the guidelines. 

It can't involve more than a couple of hours in travel time (gas prices and having to take care of the kids!)
It has to be able to be completed in 4-6 hours.
It needs to be something that is not illegal, immoral, or fattening.
It needs to be something I can talk about with a fond memory.

For all you guys who say "go to a strip club" or the ladies who "want me to take up knitting," those will be placed in this bin I have here marked "File 13" or as one coach would want me to mark it, "File #13."

I am blessed to have some wonderful clients who give me great work to do. However, sports (my main industry) is a fall/winter business for many of us. I knew what I signed up for when I got into the business. I just never knew how much creativity can take creativity out of you, so I am asking for a little help.

The summer will not be filled with fulfilling these list items, but I will tell you which ones I do accomplish.

I think it just an accomplishment making it to day two of a daily blog... so I guess there's hope for me yet.

yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On the subject of friends

Over the weekend, I began my journey into social networking with a trip into MySpace. I had no idea it could become the TakeEveryMomentofmyTimeSpace. My wife is working feverishly on her final project for school. The kids have playdates. I have the computer. 

Now I should have a real life, and go out and do something. I used to play golf, but when Dad died, it became hard to go out on the course without thinking of him.
So how about calling a friend? It was Memorial Day weekend. My writing partner was in New York. Other friends were out of town. Hey, I'll call my friend, Ken! Sorry, plans.

I guess I felt it was time to get some new friends. So I opened the computer and began writing on MySpace. First the about me... which I felt was a compelling introduction to who I am. Then, interests. Then, music. Then, start looking for friends.

It became obsession rather than just fun. How many people could I get to be my friend? On MySpace, I would start with my Improv classmates. We just finished class and we all seem to miss each other. So I reached out to a few of them, but before you can have a friend, you have to be approved.

Confirmation. That is what I was looking for. Confirmation, and I was going to get it any way I could. And then, it happened. My first friend appeared from class - comedian Randy Pop. Then my closest friend from class Amanda. 

This was good, but on MySpace, you can have celebrities be your friends as well. I started with the people I most like, musicians and comedians. Amy Winehouse wants a friend right now, wouldn't you think? Well she was my first request. (I am guessing she might have been getting into or out of trouble. Amy will be a blog subject on her own soon.) Realizing that she was my favorite artist now, I moved to my first favorite artist - Pat Benatar. And would you believe it... my first celebrity friend - my first boyhood crush and obsession - there she was Pat Benatar! Oh, and her husband was there too. Hey, it was Pat Benatar!

I may be naive (this is where you say yes, Jon, you are) but I think a couple of my celebrity friends might be from the people themselves. Some actors and comedians I think try to foster their fan base. I hope in some way when they know their fans are out there, they appreciate the connection.

The people who have responded the most has been the pro wrestling community. I used to be a pro wrestling announcer, and a lot of the people I have worked with in the past are on here. But it leads to an interesting situation. How do you explain to the wife when one of your friends is posing with a stripper pole and another is in a very sexy outfit? Missy... I have some 'splainin to do.

Yes, the Train of Thought people have it right (see their Facebook news report on YouTube - it's very funny)... you keep hitting that refresh button to wonder if you have been validated as a friend... but when you live a family life with work and responsibilities galore... it's nice to think someone wants to be your "friend."

Then, I heard Facebook was actually cooler than MySpace. Oh no, more cybercrack! Two straight days getting reattached with old friends and current acquaintances. Amazingly to me, this social networking has actually found me friends I never thought I would have.
 I was having old fraternity brothers and little sisters brought to me. I had a high school classmate who was even lost to the reunion committee, say hello to me. Then it started mushrooming.

I spent a day working through the network of people I know, who I might know, who I want to know, and oh, my business contacts. In one day I went from 0 to 22 friends. 

MySpace feels cheated on now. It's like the old girlfriend who was really good looking, but now I have a sleek simple classy mistress. Should a married guy use that term?

That has led to this. I need an outlet for my thoughts and ramblings. So here it is. Will anyone read it? Probably not. 

Will anyone comment on it? Well, they have to read it first.

So if you read this, please comment. I need the attaboy. And oh yeah, when your finished, could you become my friend on Facebook and MySpace?

yours truly,
Johnny Blogger