Thursday, January 29, 2009

On the subject of 25 Random Facts

There is a viral game going through Facebook which "forces you" to reveal 25 random facts about yourself. Okay, force is a strong word, but it was a fun exercise in self-realization.

I thought I would share the post here as well... so enjoy 25 random facts about Yours truly, Johnny Blogger. (I can already hear the comments about number 2 rolling in right now.)

1. My favorite color is blue, and to be exact, the shade of cobalt blue, although I won't share where I got the name of the color of the shade from... too embarrassing.
2. The first record album I ever bought with my own money was Helen Reddy's "I am Woman." I know, embarrassing.
3. I was the only one to receive a standing ovation at my school's graduation honors day. Probably the proudest moment of my life.
4. My son and my mom share the same initials. As a matter of fact, the last conversation I ever had with my mom when she was alive was about that very fact.
5. I took an entry level job making 18K a year at age 30 so I could stay in the television business.
6. I never dated anyone from my hometown when I was in high school. Both my junior and senior year girl friends were both from New Jersey.
7. The only time I ever got so drunk I had a hangover was in 1982 in El Paso, Texas courtesy of the hotel bar which was playing new wave music. Thanks Steve!
8. I have never played soccer, but have done play by play for more different pro soccer teams than any other sport I have announced. (Dallas Sidekicks, Washington Diplomats, Washington Stars, Baltimore Bays, Seattle Seadogs, Seattle Sounders)
9. My wrestling stage name was Craig Johnson. I was an announcer in Texas and appeared on over 300 ESPN Wrestling shows. At the same time, I appeared uner my real name doing a show that aired immediately before the wrestling show.
10. I have seen Paula Poundstone do standup twice, and Pat Benatar sing 8 times, but both still are nothing like the 55 times I have seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
11. The presets on my XM are 80's, 90's, 20 on 20, The Blend, BBC Radio 1, Pop2K, The Strobe, The Groove, Soultown and Classic Rewind.
12. While my kids travel one mile to their school, and will have an even shorter trip to high school, my bus trip to school took 45 minutes and included two states and a territory (Maryland, DC and Virginia.)
13. I wore Jordache jeans in high school, and believe I was the only one in my school to own a pair of designer jeans.
14. I had a mustache in college and kept it until I got glasses in the late 80's.
15. My wife and I used to have a routine on Saturday nights after I would work a Husky game watching Trading Spaces, While You Were Out and What Not to Wear... and during the week, we would watch Changing Rooms and the British Version of What Not to Wear.
16. My high school career basketball statistics. 2 Points. 22 Minutes Played.
17. My dogs throughout my life have been named Gregory, Beau. Maverick, Cubby and Bear.
18. My grandfather's signature was on the dollar bill back in the late 40's and early 50's.
19. My first car was a Toyota Celica, blue, with bumper stickers from two different radio stations called Q107 as well as an SMU Mustang Mania sticker and a "Catch the Spirit" Saint Stephen's School sticker, which I happened to have designed.
20. I do a blog that was inspired by the wonderment of Facebook and all the relationships one can have in cyberspace. It does not take on that subject every time, but it does give me a good release (and is the reason why I am actually enjoying writing this...)
21. If I was to have done something different in my life, I probably would have been a lawyer and gone into politics.
22. The place I want to go before I die is Australia.
23. I met my wife on a blind date when we were set up because we were both tall. We set our wedding date within a month after meeting each other, and sure enough, we were married on the date we picked.
24. My karaoke theme song is "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse even though I have not had a drop of alcohol since sipping champagne at my wedding in 1994.
25. My favorite TV channel is never the same... among the past ones have been Speed, ESPN, Bravo, VH1 Classic, TLC and BBC America.

Hoping you have forgotten number 2 by now,

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On the subject of Larry King

I received this comment today.

"Larry,I saw you last night and you were in fine form, you are better then this. You are like an aging rocker phoning it in.Maybe you can do duets with past posts."

Well, in light of this elaborate critique, here comes a plethora of three dot thoughts - Larry King Style!

Will the last one out of business please turn off the lights? Does anyone believe that all the jobs being cut will lead to some bigger profits for the companies doing it... kind of like when the price of gas went up as did the money in the pockets of the oil companies?

Now that most of America celebrated for a week, will we go back to bickering? One look at Washington, DC today says yes.

Saw Paul Blart, Mall Cop over the weekend... actually a funny movie. Kevin James is a much more friendly person than Adam Sandler, who produced the movie. Works with James, wouldn't with Sandler.

Why is it I can have 200 channels on my TV and find a commercial on every one if them?

It's cold in Seattle, and it's the hottest it has been in 100 years in Australia. Blimey!

One of my best friends is about to be a new dad at age 45... good luck with playing catch when he/she is a teenager... still happy for him.

Just started working with the Rat City Rollergirls. Do you suppose that I will be allowed to be Facebook friends with any of them? Actually, I already am apparently.

Why does British radio play a better range of songs than American? And for my money, anyone who doesn't have XM or Sirius or Sirius XM is sentenced to commercial hell at 26 and 54 past each hour - no matter what station they are listening to.

What is it about some companies that they are just made up of people that are just plain mean? Why would anyone want to work for those people?

When will I be able to write a question and remember to put a question mark after it instead of a period?

I am going to try to become a sports season ticket holder for the first time since the 80's. It's a lot of money to spend, but I am hoping it will allow me to become a fan again. I hope it will also give me some quality time with my son or daughter when I take them.

Blogging used to be an obesssion, now it is something I enjoy only when I don't feel busy... otherwise it becomes an obligation.

I don't drink, and I don't tend to party, but I sure did miss a great time at the recent convention for my trade. Wish I could have been there... especially for Karaoke!

Speaking of karaoke, my wige and I are hosting a Pot Luck and Karaoke party and in spite of inviting many people, the guest attending list is only at about 20 percent. Did I forget my deodorant or something?

Just burned my dinner... CPK Thai Chicken does not taste as good with burnt crust.

How did I end up with 242 Facebook Friends? (Hey are you one... if not, you can be!)

We have three cats now... one we have named Hall Monitor because she lives in the hall watching everyone walk by.

Super Bowl Week... yea. Um... who's playing?

Gwyneth Paltrow... could be in a top 5, but for my money, still have to give the top spot to Kate Walsh. She reminds me of someone... hmmmm. And when you turn your car on, does it return the favor? My wife says that with heated seats on a cold day, it's possible.

I'm not one for high quality video, but I am watching a sports show that is very jittery because it was done on a very low quality system.

I need a new Karaoke theme... most of the places I go to these days don't have Rehab. Although the best place ever to Karaoke does... I just can't make the drive to go there all the time. Speaking of Karaoke, I did another performance of Arnold-oke, this time at a bar near my house. It was not well received by a pair of guys who seemed to be of the redneck persuasion.

Okay... I think I have covered enough subjects to keep you wondering.

Take care all!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On the subject of checking in

Greetings and felicitations.

Okay... that's all I got.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Friday, January 23, 2009

On the subject of Mystery and History

This week will forever be remembered for two things for me. First the mystery. They examined my head and found nothing... insert joke here.

I went in for a Cat Scan as mentioned in the previous post, and the results did not show any real symptoms of why my head has been in such pain for two weeks. The mystery remained.

In cyberspace though, mention something is wrong, and the good words just flow in, and for me, it was just the right medicine. Did my head hurt any less? No. Did my heart fill with the joy of people thinking of me? Yes! Yes! Yes!

But while my ailments took center stage, people all around me were dealing with change, and that is where the history part arrives.

You might have thought that History would be signified by the Inauguration of our new President. Okay, I will give you that one. However, some of my friends, both close and of the Facebook type, found themselves out of a job or on the brink. While the nation finds hope, some of my friends find despair.

Truth is, both the mystery and the history converge into this incredible time we live in. One can only hope that when we all look back, the mystery will give way to the history. Hope will give way to realization... in a good way.

One final note. I read the following passage on a television industry newsletter which combines the two themes from today: "In a stationwide meeting Wednesday, employees were told that much lower ad revenues than expected are projected in the coming year."

Let's take a closer look at that. What is expected is now projected. We are guessing now what to expect? I guess that I am going to think that this will happen. I used to think that "expectations" were a problem, but now we making projections that those expectations were going to happen.

So with that in mind, I am hereby projecting that expectations of thoughts on the potential future posts of this blog shall be of a nature that could approach critical on either a good or bad note.

The mystery meets the history.

Thanks for the good thoughts everyone... and here's hoping your mysteries are history!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Monday, January 19, 2009

On the Subject of Fear

With the fact I barely post anymore, I don't know who will read this in the first place... but your fun-loving blogger and man about town is not scared out of his wits, just a little afraid.

You see, it's my mind I cherish the most. It's my ability to make other people have an emotion courtesy of something that I have accomplished. Whether it is a video I have made, or a television show I have produced, or a simple blog entry I have written, if it made you feel something, I feel like I am doing it for the right reason.

Today, I am writing for myself in hopes that you will just join me for the ride, and if you do have something to take from it, great. 

About 12 days ago, I got a headache. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary as I get them all the time. You see, I worry a lot. I stress a lot, and after this blog you will see that in spades. However, this headache seemed different. 

Sure, there were some stressers at work, like dealing with an invasion of my workplace by an outside force that seemed too much to bear. There is always the fact that my Dad's house is still on the market nearly two and a half years after his death and with it the ability and responsibility to move forward and leave behind. My late Mom was on my mind a lot as it is her calmness and desire to help that gets me through most of my most challenging days.

Many describe me as a basketball. Just when you think I am down, I bounce back up and give myself an opportunity to do something. I haven't been down lately, so there is nothing I feel like I need to bounce back from... but this headache, this thing in my brain will not let me rest.

Migraines... that is what Dr. Google would think. Many of my friends have them and all the symptoms were there... except the blurred vision and lights. Cluster headaches... that is it - right behind my eyes... except it isn't behind my eyes.

I went right along working with them as the intensity grew, but did not keep me from functioning.

Go to the doctor, my honey said, and after 5 days of these headaches, I did. He gave me something to take if they got worse, then told me to keep him up to date. He said from my description he did not have a lot to go on.

Then I got home. I had the day off and went to Costco with the Mrs. but half way through the shopping trip, I could not stand up without wanting to collapse into the fetal position. The pain had become too much, and I took one of the pills the doctor had prescribed for me, and we went home. I just crawled into bed and did not crawl out for any time for the next three days. Every time I stood, it intensified. I lie down in bed, it subsides but still does not release.

Then the real challenge. I had to go to work on Thursday. The doctor had been called with an update but there was no reply. Simply put, it was one of the most stressful days at work I could imagine, yet, there was this peacefulness all around me. I was handling it well, protecting those around me and doing what was right to do. My aches did not subside, but my soul was filled.

The next day, I had a full day of work, but now the pain was down to a 5. Earlier in the week, standing up would be a 9. The aches would peak at a 7 before a pill and go down to a 4.. but never below a 3. I always knew it was there.

The doctor wrote me an e-mail and his assistant called. They wanted to go deeper and check it out. Yes folks, they officially asked me to have my head examined. Yes, the dreams of thousands who have told me before, now substantiated by a request from the doctor - Jon - Go Get your Head Examined. Okay, they did not put it in that way, but they did schedule a CT Scan.

The weekend was a mix of work and watching my kids play basketball. Throughout the weekend, I have found this aura of strange calmness and emotional desire overcoming me. The confident, fun loving guy you all know felt like a gentle old man.

Last night, I rehearsed with an improv group, and all my faculties seemed to be there... we did some karaoke, and laughed. When I got home though... the traces of my ache still there... all I wanted to do was hold my wife's hand and not let it go.

I guess I just felt scared. I am sure they won't find anything, but what if they do? My wife calls this future tripping. I do it a lot. 

I am confident there won't be anything there, but if there is not, then there is no answer to why these things won't go away. There are no classic symptoms to put a label on it... just like the answers given to me about the illness that one of my kids has.

The mystery, my friends, is the real killer symptom. So do I want them to find something? No. Do I want them to find something? Yes. A conundrum of the highest order.

I go in at 4:15... I am guessing it is one of those things that they will make you wait more days for a result. I am fearful of what they will find. I'm am fearful if they find nothing... because it will make me feel this is all just something in my head... which of course it is... but no one would believe me.

I'll let you know what they find, or don't. And I thank you for sharing this moment in uncertainty with me. I will try to resume my regularly scheduled mayhem soon.

Take care,

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the subject of Aches

Sorry I haven't added to the entries lately. Have a nasty and very strange headache that will not seem to go away. So I just send good thoughts to all of you and promise to be back soon.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

P.S. Pass the pill bottle.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On the subject of Disconnecting

Hi, my name is Johnny and I am addicted to connections.

(Hello, Johnny.)

I can't leave my e-mail alone for more than 15 minutes. I am a Facebook addict. I have to be near a computer to read or write a blog. In short, I have to feel a connection through this thing called cyberspace.

Some people call me overboard (my wife). Some call me obsessed (my kids). You can call me your Facebook friend. (I am, aren't I? And if I am not, by golly don't you think I ought to be?)

The fact is that with a pretty tough work schedule most of the time and a family of a wife, two kids, three cats, two dogs and three laptops, I have a lot on my plate. And when there is leftover time, I like to live vicariously through status updates and comments. (Oh how I love those little red dots that notify me of notifications, unless someone has sent me a Little Pea Patch plant or asks me to take a true age test... ignore!)

There is a tremendous appreciation for the status update, and how it makes me feel like I am in a party room where I am constantly saying "How you Doin?" in my best Joey voice. On Facebook, they answer before the question and I like that.

And then there is my cell phone, which rarely leaves my side, and is a constant source of texting and Facebook Mobile for iPhone. I know, pitiful.

However, I have entered a 7 day program this Summer where I shall succumb to a 1 step plan to take me away from all these connections. Today, my wife and I booked a cruise for our family.

You say "now wait a minute there, Skipper! Don't the ships have internet cafes now?" Why, yes they do little buddy. However, I have only paid for internet access once in my life, and that was for work purposes. And as for the iPhone, it's staying at home.

So from now until our country's birthday, it's addiction as usual, but for seven days in July, it shall be wonderful to be disconnected. I wonder if it will change my outlook when I return. Okay, probably not, but there's always a trip to Cyberspace Rehab? But I said, no, no, no.

Yours truly,
Amy Winehouse... er... Johnny Blogger