Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On the subject of the 400... yep. I am at it again.

What is a Facebook Friend?

Well, now that the number is 403, I wondered the same thing… so I started answering the question again... and here is what I found.

… a radio host who always says hello when we see each other at a game.
… a crew member who I don’t always remember, but after becoming FB friends want to hire more
… a person who loves her Beatles, and can be very funny at times.
… an awesome singer in Karaoke and someone I wish I lived closer to.
… a former work colleague who married someone else I worked with to make what I thought was the oddest couple, but they are great together.
… a funny woman who I have not met, but have many mutual friends that I hope to meet her someday.
… a talented cameraman who made life a lot easier on a lot of shoots.
… a member of the family who travels the world, one foot at a time.
… a wrestling newsletter writer who is really funny, and I wish I had time to visit with more
… a courageous friend whom I admire, and respect more now than when we dated.
… a fellow who remembers me from working with him on Hockey and now networks with FB
… former game operations person who was one of the nice ones. I still need to return his VHS tape of 2 Unlimited.
… number 401 and a future Karaoke friend who was very nice on our first meeting at Hula Hula.
… she is a funny improviser with a classic accent, who got her feelings hurt once, but remains a frequent contributor to my FB page,
… one of my SMU mates who understands this thing called social media.
… another SMU classmate who I did not know had such a fondness for pro wrestling.
… a staffer at the University I work at that always has a nice thing to say in spite of his always serious personality.
… the head of the original big screen video company… call him the godfather of IDEA.
… former colleague at CNN who was always nice to me and ended up being the boss of one of my better work friends later in life.
… crew member who is willing to play any role he’s needed for.
… another crewmember who loves his high school sports.
… a classmate of my wife’s who is a writing genius and someone I am happy to call friend.
… a fellow improv alum that has a great talent for facial gestures.
… former web guru at my TV station, and now on to national fame.
… voice of the Bears and anything else he can find. Always helpful.
… graphics genius that never questions if I need something… he always provides it for me no matter how busy he is.
… game show wizard who can always make me laugh.
… woman who keeps the Emmy Awards together who I hope to continue a friendship with long after the shine fades on the last statue.
… funniest member of IDEA and a guaranteed life of an IDEA party.
… NASCAR driver who lost his permanent ride, but will no doubt be back in the seat soon.
… king of Key Arena and Comcast Arena video… and someone I hope to be working with a lot more in the coming years.
… talented reporter I knew when he was a young pup, now, one of the big dogs in Rip City.
… she introduced me to my wife, and still helps me with promotion questions even today.
… my closest improv friend, and one I hope to share a breakout dream with in front of a live audience. I really appreciate her unwavering friendship through this past year.
… a classmate at SSS who still makes me laugh with his funny comments.
… veteran anchor and NASCAR fanatic who shares my passion for Washington sports, and keeps my friend Silvi in line.
… one of the rare newspaper people still employed, which speaks for his genuineness and talent.
… improviser who has now become king of all social media… at least what’s worth blogging about – hey I follow brianbrinkman thanks to you.
… a lady married to the above person who has rocked my world with her kindness, and hopefully will be the star of my new commercial!
… the boyfriend of one of my social media friends who is a pretty talented guy himself. Very nice to have made his acquaintence.
… a future broadcasting star, when she realizes that she can take her message to a wider audience. Always happy to pass on the fanmail.
… a Baylor Bear who when I made an April Fool’s joke about deleting all my friends and starting over was the first to volunteer. I hope that meant he still wanted to be friends!
… one of the nice guys back at CNN and still a fun guy to follow on FB.
… queen of broadcast production and someone I was lucky to know through my wife’s radio station.
… inspirational leader of my HS lacrosse team, still inspiring others today.
… the best basketball player I ever had a chance to work with and I am happy he’s finished his eligibility, cause now I can be his FB friend again. Don’t forget me when you hit the big time!
… the bravest lawyer I have ever had… just ask Suge.
… number 400 is a morning personality in Las Vegas who was always great to me as a media friend here in Seattle. Hope he comes back someday.
… SSS alum that I think wanted to add me so he could send me all his applications invites (you know the ones… invite 8 friends, and damn it if I am always one of the 8)
… the divine Miss Bravo who I have the honor of working with in the land of shove.
… afternoon drive personality at my favorite London radio station, and he was nice enough to friend me.
… if you need a voice… especially Tom Brokaw’s, he’s your man. I am looking forward to seeing him at the Karaoke Spectacular on June 7th.
… she makes me happy whenever she sends me just a hello… and she’s a great coach too.
… my homecoming date… and someone I am so happy to still keep in touch with… thanks Facebook!
… he was my first boss in radio… and one that never told me no… which is rare in that business.
… softball buddy who has turned into a good friend, partly because we knew each other casually for a long time.
… worked with him a few times, and wish I could more… one of the funniest actor/producers in Seattle
… she has become one of the experts in Seattle Social Media… she gets it and a lot of people are now following her, literally.
… former fellow producer of sports at a local station… and has found a life after television… well done you!
… his lovely wife who is a colleague at the station I do a show for. Always one for a great inspirational story.
… his double jointed finger distracts me, but he does a really good job as one of the poobas of Jet City.
… television producer and real estate tycoon. I have seen both go south on him, yet he keeps a great attitude.
… the girlfriend of my improv mentor, and a nice woman to boot (talented too!)
… former softball teammate who will forever stay in my heart as a victim of my motivational speaker gimmick in the title game.
… friend from my days in SC.
… person who convinced me to play softball. I may be her only FB friend as she joined just to get in the softball group.
… the woman who keeps the women of Rat City rollin through their bouts, and the only person I have bought a beer for in the last three years.
… one of my closest friends and resident Statler to my Waldorf, especially on my blog.
… she used to be one of my best couple friends and now that the couple is no more, she still is one of my great friends… which can’t be said for the other half of the couple.
… one of the genuine nice guys who I hope finds love again someday.
… he helped me keep my sanity at CNN.
… fraternity brother at SMU.
… head of the creative department at the TV station I work with.
… one of my old improv classmates who I can never get to come out and play!
… one person who is much different than the person I knew all those years ago.
… one of my first FB friends, and to this day, he still hasn’t said a word to me, although I have known him longer than anyone on here… who knows.
… wife of a former colleague who unsuccessfully tried to get her husband to join us here on FB… good luck with that continuing challenge!
… high school buddy.
… I love her, and am not married to her… and nothing more needs to be said.
… a really cool woman who is an amazing help on my Karaoke event, although we have only met once. She understands the Twitter thing too!
… he’s graduated from AI now, so hopefully we can work together.
… the musician in my first musical improv class and a future mom!
… mvp of the crew this year.
… an ad wizard who is destined to work with me and I with her.
… an IDEA guy who used to use me for all those apps.
… she’s so happy and thankful that I will always be happy to help her out. I hope our fundraiser is successful (June 7th at the HUT – Be There!)
… guru of graphics at the TV station… can talk your ear off… but in a good way.
… I asked her to be a part of my improv group, and she shied away… although I still believe she would be great!
… sang at my wedding and I still hear the song.
… hubby to the above singer and amazing person.
… good guy from improv class who is now blogging and becoming a life skills coach. You go!
… I misidentified him at a recent event, and still feel bad about it!
… he will be the number one guy at a station someday with his ability to still tell stories in a world full of soundbites.
… a guy who shares his talents and some nice words from IDEA, and is helpful in getting the FB word out.
… a former sales guy at my wife’s radio station who once was responsible for us all doing the Macarena… no, I mean you doing the Macarena!
… the EP of local programming at my local station. We once developed an idea for a karaoke show that would have been hilarious, but unless an idea has sponsors, it’s a dead idea.
… he’s dropped out of sight. Qu’el dommage.
… info man for the Mariners who still loves his sports.
… he got laid off yesterday, which isn’t really fair as he actually talked sports on a sports talk station… KIRO, hire him quickly!
… gave GONE a new meaning, and I hope he finds a fun place to work soon.
… an inspirational improv teacher who believes in her beliefs in a big way. Just ask her if she’s getting married.
… wonderfully nice guy from BYU who hopefully is having fun in Cougarland.
… talented athlete from SSS who went back to teach at the school later. Guessing he’s a high executive by now.
… one of the board of IDEA and very nice to a newbie like me a couple of years ago.
… you can call him Caesar, you can call him Groucho. I call him awesome in his craft and as a FB friend.
… still hanging in there as a local sports anchor in a business that is losing a lot of local sports.
… saw him at the golf course the other day, which is strange because he’s always near a football field.
… former CNN anchor who still appears on the air while trying to make a living in real estate.
… my lab partner at SMU in broadcast school. I ended up in Seattle. She ended up on Monday Night Football.
… I was at Hula Hula one night singing a rap version of Amy Winehouse and there she was.. haunting me. I thought she could have been Amy, and hopefully she will someday, but without all the problems.
… former Hokie Backstreet Boy, now a Bengal Backstreet Boy.
… independent producer who gets a lot of good gigs.
… he doesn’t know if he’s a Beaver, Husky or Musketeer, or all three at the same time.
… traveling the country as a free spirit and that’s good for her.
… journalist who is so connected, I think the world must go through his computer.
… childhood friend who is now a gospel singer, and apparently pretty good at it too.
… improv classmate who loves to put the dramatic flair into everything.
… okay, I couldn’t come up with anything better than a Larry King version of the 300 note, but I loved your suggestion for having people meet each other. I still want to work with you someday!
… he loves his football and now his soccer too.
… her name when I knew her was Vice, but she was always nice (working on rhyming for my musical improv class… see Doug, I do my homework.) Now if I could just rhyme her real last name.
… classmate at SMU and SAS and a very happy mom now!
… he used to own a company, now he just appreciates work… real sign of today’s times.
… the generation gap is starting to show with my relationship with this co-worker, but we still work well together.
… the future Mrs. Softy, who from her status updates, really wants someone to tell her the truth. Hope you find that!
… last seen on House Hunters… but that was a while ago he says. Happy guy in an unhappy business.
… IDEA counterpart from the U of Hou.
… promotions guru for a local sports team, who still seems to hit the mark.
… we worked together at CNN, and he always needed a little scratch. He called me a goofball. He’s probably right.
… he has worked hard to make my new favorite sports team fan friendly, and he needs to be applauded for that.
… one half of a great radio team that still brings it every day.
… the head of a great station group here in town… she’s had a tough job lately but does it well.
… capable woman. No, really, that what she was and is.
… politically oriented classmate of my wife, and great storyteller.
… we call her baby girl on the crew, and she sure loves her FB apps.
… mom to a classmate of my son. I think my son has a crush on her daughter.
… smartest guy in the school, now probably smartest guy in the room.
… my wife’s buddy, and a really genuine person.
… former HS PR guru, and I didn’t know until recently that he’s also a dee jay!
… old school girl in a new school world, yet she still gets both.
… used to do PR for my network, and was the first to escape to better things.
… recently added friend who is an old HS classmate, cheerleader, and now talented designer.
… buddy of my improv buddy, and fun person to talk to.
… recently moved away from Seattle before I could see her, and I am sad about that.
… resident philosopher of the Sportatorium, now keeps me honest in blogging and on FB.
… shared the moment when Hulk turned heel.
… she’s my Dawg and she’s moving back home to the land of Chick Fil A and Cherrywine, and happiness for her. Good luck, Dawg!
… he starts a new show next week. Pretty good for someone who wanted to work for free just a short time ago.
(What do you mean I am only half way through… 400 is harder than 300… but I go on.)
… good friend of the Mrs. with a quiet yet wild demeanor.
… young lady who could always make me laugh especially when she shows a state of being uncomfortable.
… she keeps showing up at improv places and keeps making people laugh… travels a lot too.. proves she can never be caught up with.
… he is the person who corrals the M’s media, which sadly does not include me anymore.
… #398 – but pretty much a perfect 10. Actress, Model, Classmate, and a very nice person.
… former intern who I rediscovered recently. Happy to see she’s doing well.
(Okay, now Adina… I just figured out what I should do but I am more than halfway, so I will continue, but I now know what I will do for 500, although I hope I never get there.)
… head of the rival improv group… but not a rival person.
… great athlete at my school, and a great guy now.
… we once were close improv friends, but she has caught the acting bug it seems. She’s great at it… so it’s a good thing. I do miss her though.
… my new improv friend who does so much improv, she worries that it’s too much. I just hope that when it comes to making choices of what to still do, she chooses to stay with the group because I love her talents and personality.
… I wish she could come sing Karaoke with me all the time, but alas, she lives in a place I wish I lived. We can keep wishing I guess.
… the love of my life and my wife. She likes this FB thing sometimes. I love her all the time.
… he used to hang around the improv scene all the time, but I haven’t seen him lately.
… former newsman for KSMU and the Daily Campus… who is surviving in life and in the television industry… and he’s blessed to be doing so.
… former floor mate from SMU who came close to going out with me once, although I don’t think she remembers it quite that way.
… okay Jana, maybe nicknames would have worked better… but yours is Heels.
… graduated from school last year with a spirit that I miss, and I think her team misses as well. Still have the picture too!
… classmate from SAS and one of the gang.
… the most talented woman I know, and happy to be getting to know her a little better.
… show director who was very understanding when we went in a different direction and she became busy… still very supportive and I appreciate that.
… another one of the sons of crew members who work on the crew, and I can’t keep him straight with the other one. Their names are too close.
… if ever I need a great pick me up, this person is always there to provide it with a great FB comment. Kind person, kind comments.
… one half of the studio tandem, the nice one.
… beautiful bartender with an even more stunning voice. Always is there with a wonderful smile on Sunday nights when I try out new material.
… my Brit friend turned Kiwi and finally heard from! She’s loving a simpler life. Good on ya!
… one half of the greatest NBA announcer team of all time, and an actor to boot. Always enjoy seeing him when he’s up for Pac-10 games.
… Lucky, and usually happy.
… host of a show on the Seattle Channel who I hope to get to meet and work with sometime soon.
… 72 degrees.
… photog who is surviving this economy, which is better than many.
… very cute girl in HS who is very nice family woman now.
… head of an NBA team and SMU Alum who still remains approachable.
… keeping things going at TAMU.
… A Canadian Superstar in the ring, who loses nothing in the exchange rate.
… she wants to keep the team together and loves every minute of it.
… former classmate, fraternity brother and leader at SMU. Surprised he’s not a congressman.
… funny lady who can rock some amazing characters, just needs some self confidence and she’ll star someday.
… recently left my station and was an amazing sport about it. He should be able to land on his feet soon.
… cheerleader and frat brother and happy go lucky guy.
… he probably still has Confetti in his hair 25 years later.
… great attorney for my friend, and good friend to my wife.
… often wondered what she would have been like if she was in the showcase.
… she was a manager at my campus radio station and still is in the biz all these years later.
… reporter to be, but has to figure out how to break in first.
… improv junkie that likes improv FB friends.
… went to school with him in second grade through high school. Smart cookie.
… one of the Montana people who make such great crew members.
… my niece who is all grown up now.
… fellow improv alum who just wants to see her old classmates make it up on stage. Reminds me a lot of my sister for good reasons.
… I think I will probably seem him on stage someday.
… Me, Hoya. Him, Terp… and he still reminds me.
… positively the most positive person I know… great blogger too.
… misunderstood talk host in Seattle. I hope they appreciate him more in his new home.
… nice guy and improv talent. Wish I could still be involved in his shows. Maybe someday.
… the graphics guru of the UC who shares his talents, which is really cool for a protective biz.
… Cougar first, cameraman second, but great at both.
… former intern at CNN who has some of my furniture.
… queen of the replay machine who is finding out how much fun producing is now!
… hope he’s finding work as he was one of the unkind cuts by a big corporation.
… ahead of the curve for 30 years.
… host of a talkshow that is about to go from radio to TV… I hope they are ready!
… the only Bulgarian I know.
… one of the people I like at a company I am not too wild about.
… the best photographer anywhere. Period.
… he could easily be a great friend if our wives understood how much we have in common and need the friendship.
… dependable photographer.
… we were really close, but it seems like I haven’t seen her in ages.
… that girl that was a rival in high school, but it turns out she’s great.
… I thought he would work with me in a company someday, but he’s got a great biz on his own.
… if you need a smart alec status report… this guy’s for you.
… she keeps on being nice, which is especially nice in this day and age.
… we went out, but I would not call them dates.
… assistant coach on my favorite team to work with, and always supportive guy.
… once a driven career woman, now a happy mom.
… head of the improv company I am blessed to work with.
… morning man at my college radio station, and funny guy.
… T. She wears heel and smells good, and takes both as a compliment in the right way. Refreshing.
… anyone who can be called Goat Boy and like it, is jakers in my book. Always gives me the nicest pub at the bouts and I appreciate it.
… SSS alum who isn’t sure about this FB thing.
… introduced me to my college sweetheart, and I thank her.
… we haven’t met but I feel like I know her. Groucho is the common thread.
… he’s a geek that says he’s a geek but doesn’t act like one.
… photog who is another one of the Coug brigade.
… improviser who has a great talent for characters, and one on whom I should draw some more inspiration.
… development exec who admitted to me once that she worked on a show that was stolen from me, but I am glad she shared the info.
… PC who is never PC. Glad she’s back in my life, even if it’s just in cyberspace.
… underestimated him. Great musician who I hope I can perform with sometime soon.
,,, member of the 201 family, who disappeared shortly after class. Reemerged for a short time, but now back into hiding.
… one of those girls I looked up to in High School, now all grown up like me with a family.
… hysterically funny member of the NASCAR family who does what I do, except with much faster subjects.
… karaoke diva, softball player, momma. Hope we can be good friends.
… standup comic who gave up on improv, but seems to be doing well. Only person I know who untagged himself from nice pictures.
… if there is someone that plays more softball than this woman, I haven’t found her.
… Illinois IDEA Counterpart.
… photographer who made a music video with me in college. Did the same song recently in karaoke and thought about looking him up and there he was.
… recruiting and basketball guru who survived the same storm as I did, but he moved to Texas to recover. Lucky him.
… member of the 401 brigade who was very nice.
… runs the biggest NCAA pool I know of, but still couldn’t get me to participate.
… saw him just yesterday. Think he’s a great businessman, and a nicer guy.
… no one knows more about women’s basketball than this guy.
… Bellingham based sports producer who has similar interests, but doesn’t seem to call me to work with him. You can you know!
… my nephew who lives in Bend, but apparently has a very busy life there so he doesn’t get up here much.
… shady character, but he is supposed to be.
… former Sonics PR guy who still loves the game.
… former boss of my wife’s radio station who has seen the ups and downs and has shared his great wisdom with me for which I am grateful.
… former NW producer who moved to the Midwest, and I think found his stride.
… professor and great friend when I was 15.
… my counterpart at Cal.
… sound engineer in Hollywood and gets to work with some cool people.
… always gave me a rough time about my Jordaches, but happily reconnected and was really sweet in her note.
… his current profile is Brock Lesnar, although he doesn’t know who he is.
… member of the tall club in Atlanta who was an exec with MCI… still looks great.
… sales manager at a local station group and very great to call on for advice or help.
… character name for a improv friend.
… the big man who is part hip hop, part gamer, all awesome.
… where did he go?
… cheerleader turned cheerleader mom… seems to be living life over again with her daughter and loving it.
… afternoon drive DJ on the number one music station in town… we should have done that show back then!
… women’s wrestling promoter and new partner in HD with the 21st century Bob Caudle.
… happily found me on Facebook! One of my groomsmen in my wedding and damn, do I miss writing with him.
… one of my favorite people and director of my improv show… and could not be a nicer or more talented person.
… owner of an innovative production company. We said we will find a way to work together and I hope someday we will.
… saw him recently in town, and glad he’s hoping to keep one of my best friends sane in LA.
… IDEA counterpart still working it.
… call him Sportscenter
… neighbor who looks like Julia Roberts.
… her husband who is nice enough to let me say his wife looks like Julia Roberts.
… he can’t wait for the DTV switch to happen.
… she can’t wait for the DTV switch to happen so he won’t have to worry about it anymore.
… leading lives in the right direction.
… former bartender trying to make it in real estate.
… a great film maker and video producer who took a right turn into a whole other industry.
… I misunderstood him, and he me, but we are trying to work through it.
… he let me “own” his wrestling company.
… former classmate and forward on my JV hoops team.
… producer at FSN, and still pluggin away long after many have gone.
… CEO of a growing web company.
… former assistant SID who is loving the Southern California sun.
… classmate and classy guy.
… number 403 – karaoke diva who is a regular at Hula.
… happy he is part of the breakout team. Can’t wait to get to know him more.
… former talk host who has reappeared on the air. One of the nice guys.
… wife of a former classmate who shared her account with her hubby. Hubby’s not on the account but she kept being my friend.
… he lives for practice but likes the games as well. Keeps Jennifer in line.
… blogger, producer, and needs some sleep. Come to think of it, better hours would allow her to live the life she should.
… Fellow Marylander who keeps the Panthers roaring.
… He sees Stars.
… took 007 to a whole new level in the land of the Seminoles.
300 down… 104 to go!
… keeps IDEA running.
… blogs through the eyes of his infant miracle.
… my physical improv idol.
… friend of my wife who may move closer to us again.
… her hubby who seems to be everyone’s FB friend.
… she is quiet, but when she allows herself to be, can be awesome on stage.
… father of my homecoming date.
… one of my favorite people and I wore the tie he gave me for Christmas at the banquet the other day.
… became friends with him at Denver IDEA… busy guy with lots of kids now.
… news man with a voice I would kill for.
… best fan a team could ever have.
… my 301 teacher who is about to be a dad. Call him the Tweet Daddy!
… number 399… and musical director of the most amazing show you will ever see.
… still in Seattle. Get to NY man!
… survived local TV and now with the big company on the campus.
… headmaster of the School, but an enigma none the less.
… my closest friend in the industry. I just wish he lived closer as we feel like we should be hanging out.
… not a person but a place… one that inspires me greatly.
… former classmate.
… big screen guy before I was in the big screen biz.
… former compadre at Prime… yes, that long ago.
… Arizona’s tech and video wiz who still threatens me with You Tube.
… sales guru at the local sports station.
… most helpful guy when it comes to my HS show… great writer too.
…. Ooh, It’s Gerry Todd.
… ask him about his Freddie Mercury unitard.
… NASCAR fan.
… legendary Elvis Operator, not elvis impersonator.
… one of the funniest women I knew, and happy to have been her pizza date before many a class.
… loves his baseball.
… improv genius and the guy who showed me the starting line to this obsession for which I will always strive for the finish line.
… happy to be reconnected with this wonderful guy. He’s retired and even busier than he was when he was working.
… ESPN west coast wonder, and someone who was always nice to me when we shared shoot locations.
… former CNN Producer and now a professor. I want to teach too!
… still owes me lunch, or me him.
… does this graphic work for you?
… shares name with a Cub although he’s a Cane.
… how can you be friends with a team. Apparently I am.
… friend for only two weeks that has become a friend for a lifetime. Keep on shooting girl!
… improv group that includes two friends.
… the Cat of Fat Cat.
… can tell you more about the Beatles than you ever thought you could know in a way you never knew you needed to know.
… his website may have killed my show… but he still is a nice guy,
… my roller pal who got me into all this, and I am happy she did.
… weather diva for the big 7.
… oooh… we’ll be right back. Hope to see him when he comes to town with the Royals.
… soon to be mommy. Now seen exploiting her baby online.
… had lunch with him the other day. Seems to have an optimistic view of life in transition.
… derby dame who I would love to see again sometime.
… courage personified. Needs to be hired by someone who will appreciate her.
… my youngest FB friend.
… formerly in the NBA and White House. How many people can say that?
… my youngest FB friend’s mom, and dear friend to my wife. Is currently reinventing herself… keep it up!
… her brother in law and coast guard officer… former next door neighbor.
… dee jay on Star and judge of the upcoming Karaoke Contest. Thanks!
… he talks on the radio but you don’t know it. You do but you don’t know it’s him.
… she is trying to make sense of the state of journalism. Good luck with doing that, but you are off to a great start.
… she can organize a successful event better than about anyone. Missed at the Chateau.
… Fannie Tragic who is awesome as a teacher and performer. Needs to teach me more.
… taught me what I needed to know to do my job, thankfully.
… member of the Breakout gang, and I hope she will stay in town instead of going Canuck on us.
… Greek comedy god.
… we trade love letters. Not those kind. The kind where she loves what I do and I love what she does. Call them shove letters.
… just recovered from a heart attack… and we are all blessed that he is still around.
… gym fan and heading to Alaska soon. Good for you!
… rare wife who understands her hubby’s need for improv and karaoke.
… proud mom to Alexis, and future minivan driver.
… traffic queen… Aussie, and most prolific Tweeter I know.
… maybe the most naturally beautiful woman I know, but I don’t think she knows it.
… rival school, good friend. Will we have an interesting work relationship? I sure hope so.
… sports lovin’ hubby of a news producer.
… the other John who I have lost touch with.
… recovering from knee surgery, but seems to be on the path back to fitness and teach others to be fit. Still haven’t changed in all these years. Actually, you’ve gotten better.
… I’m from Chevy Chase, she’s Shovey Chase.
… I hope he gets his smile back. He deserves it and will get to work on the big shoe next year.
… his loving wife who seems to love FB as well.
… Captain Crew-it-all.
… dated a burlesque diva and disappeared. Where are ya?
… actor, sideline reporter. Former colleague at CNN who I had to explain Aussie Rules football to when he had to report on it.
… promotions exec turned board game wizard.
… the voice of VHL, and an infomercial. I had great memories of his work but would like to forget the circumstances.
… now starring in NY or soon will be.
… hypnotic improv genius.
… keeping secrets now when I really need to know. Hopefully, it will be back to normal soon.
… jet setting woman who was, to me, the prettiest girl in high school.
… another victim of the journalism crisis… hope he lands on his feet.
… discovered recently that she did know who I was after I knew who she was for a long time.
… Science has left the building… and I wish she would return.
… take one… take two.
… apparently loving OKC, and a follower of my blog. Happy to see someone happy in that arena.
… Mr. Everything to me… my mentor and teacher… and he probably would be embarrassed that I would say that but I do mean it. Happy to be taking a class from him again.
… Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby Wilson.
… wrestler who apparently has made it to the big time although I haven’t seen him there yet.
(Breathing hard… hitting the homestretch.)
… high school loving member of the crew who is happy to fill any role.
… glossy 8x10 anchor of the local news who knows how to use FB and Twitter to build viewers.
… point guard on my JV hoops team.
… sales guy who works with me on the big screen.
… awesome woman of nighttime sports talk radio… and the only mom I know that could be one of the guys.
… wonder what she’s doing now… she’s been off the radar.
… probably went through one of the most courageous changes I have ever seen anyone go through in life, and he is blessed to know it and live it.
… future reporter in another market who was always nice to me when she was here.
… The grand high guru of all us IDEA college types.
… former Seattle sports TV anchor and current radio guy who is my only Z friend.

Well there you have it… 403. Don’t expect I will reprise this at 500… but I hope you all know that I am blessed to have all of you as a part of my life. As I said before, I don’t collect FB friends, I recall stories and look forward to the new ones ahead. So to those old and new, take care and be well, and I will see you right here whenever you need me.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On the subject of "Becoming a Fan"

They are trying to get traffic number up. I get it. But, why is Facebook trying to get people to be fans of the most inane things.

Sleep. Yes I like it.

Seattle. Seems like you have two choices here. 44 thousand are fans of Seattle's government page. As Seth and Amy say "Really?!?!" How is the government pages image that pops up a Sonics logo. "Really!?!?!" 35 thousand are fans of the travel page. I don't have to travel to Seattle.

How about NOT being a fan. I am NOT a fan of Seattle Traffic.

Staying in Bed. See Sleep. Seems this little number was founded on New Year's Day of this year, probably from someone who was out all night on New Year's Eve. This "non-profit's" mission -Rollover, snooze, adjust pillow, repeat.

Where did this idea come from? I can understand showing your undying love for things that you truly like, such as In and Out Burgers. But Los Angeles?

Pages that promote a product make perfect sense. States of being on the other hand... um... do they want you to sleep more? Where are the things that ask you to be a fan of the following? I think I will search some I think should be there...

Being Nice. I would be a fan of being nice. It seems like being nice has a fanbase of a mere 228 people, none of whom have anything to say as the wall and info are totally empty, as I would believe their capacity to actually be nice might be the same. I guess I wasn't being very nice there.

Love. It's what the world needs now, is love sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just to little of. The funny thing is when you type in love, the first thing that appears for me is the "Pass a Drink" application. Nothing says love like sending her a shot!

Good driving
. How many bad drivers are there on the road, so I want to support the good ones. I guess I am in rare company. Please meet Mr. Chris Williams from Crewe, United Kingdom. He apparently is the only fan of good driving in the world. Oh, now I see. He's a driving instructor. At least his car is air conditioned. Nothing says good driving like an air conditioned car!

Laughing. If we all laughed more, our world could loosen up from the stressed out place in which we currently reside. Well apparently 1,700,690 people already beat me to this one. Okay, I will become a fan. And instantly, the number is up to 1,770,985. I guess we all laughed at the same time.

Twitter. Oh, I guess I am already a fan, however I have to declare my love in less than 140 characters. There are 45 thousand fans, but no posts. An interesting side note is that the Twitter edited picture that shows up only shows "it" which is appropriate since Twitter is the it application these days.

The 80s. What decade should get more fans than the 80's except that most people on Facebook were barely born then and think of this decade as we did the 50's or 60's. Hey now, I can become a fan of this "other business" with 18,850 people. How is it an "other business" though? Credit to the folks who put this one together because it has some great flashback photos and such.

Blue Shoes. Isn't everyone? Oh wait, that's just me. Actually there is a blue shoes fan club, but it seems to be for a high school team.

Blogging. Oh I guess I can become a fan, but there are only 18 right now.

So, show your love for something and become a fan... and I am waiting to see who sets up the fanpage for "Jon's 45 and Lost in Cyberspace." I might even join that one.

Have a great week. Show some love. Be Nice. Laugh. Be a good driver. Live in the 80's for a moment. Blog a little and compliment someone on their blue shoes. That is if you can find one other person with blue shoes!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Friday, April 24, 2009

On the subject of I don't know... a new chapter.

Last blog I said it's more important to know what you don't know.

Here are some of the things I don't know how to do...

I don't know how to use Twitter effectively. I can explain what it is to my friends and watch them RT and # and @ all day long, but I can barely figure out how to follow someone.

I don't know how to effectively coach a kid's soccer team. I took over a team when the coach bailed and the aggregate score of our first two games has been 24-3. And that is with my son getting 14 saves in each game as goalie.

I don't know how to be an auctioneer. A few years ago, I was asked to conduct a live auction at my kid's school's spring arts festival. The item, a quilt, went for 750 dollars. For some reason, this made me the new school auctioneer. In these tough economic times, it's hard to get people to part with their money. Tonight, I auctioned three items and two were purchased at bargain prices, but still a chunk of change. Sadly, it was my wife who bought both.

I don't know how to pick good produce at the grocery store or cook anything other than steak. When I do try to do something more complicated, heaven help the victims.

I don't know how to find places I have been before. The other day I had an appointment at a place I have driven by, but never been to. Sadly, when I needed to find it, it took three calls to my wife, and this was after I found it on my Google maps on the iPhone. Turns out, I drove past the place twice while trying to find it.

I don't know how to stay up past 11 without something to engage me. I have started to fall asleep in the middle of my favorite television shows, just like I used to kid my dad about doing not that long ago. What am I? 70 now? Get me the senior menu. If I am doing something like Karaoke or being at a show, I am fine, but at home, someone must be turning on the sleeping gas.

Sadly, I don't know how to finish this blog as I started with a long list and now it's gone from memory. Must be time for me to go to bed. Getting old... not much fun.

Good night, and good luck to you and you and you.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On the subject of "People You May Know"

Before I start this post, a very special thank you to those of you who wrote me here, via e-mail and on Facebook about the Into the Blue post. I am happy that it inspired so many.

My 9th grade World History teacher entered his classroom on the very first day and introduced himself. "My name is William W. Wanamaker (writing his name on the chalkboard as he said his name.) You are dumb!"

The adolescent throng looked on in amazement. Was he nuts or just a little off?

"You people think you know what you know but what is more important is that you don't know what you don't know. You are dumb."

Yeah Yeah! Okay.. Check, please! I still remember to this day Peter Katson getting up and doing a dead ringer impersonation of "Wally" as the teacher was called out of the room to attend to someone running in the hall.

Over the years, I have realized that Mr. Wanamaker was not crazy. He was in fact right. Knowing what you don't know is as important to life as what you do know.

That brings me to Facebook and "People you may know." This application is a pretty amazing and powerful tool. In the past, I was always amazed at the ability of Facebook to know who I might know. I know what the trick is, it's about commonality. It's about mutual friends. It's a law of averages.

Last week, in its ever changing desire to make Facebook more useful, the People You May Know tool became "Suggestions." Now, it includes not only people I may know, but suggestions for things I might want to become a fan of. I can understand things like "the Chicago Cubs" or even Andy Samberg, but these inane suggestions included "Sleep," and "God." I thought that this was indeed a sign of the Apocalypse, but as Mr. Wanamaker said, I am dumb.

Sifting through the minutiae of every day life is part of every day's challenge. When Facebook is involved, getting through the crap to decide what is important to me can be a chore all unto itself. The same can be said in spades for the new suggestions tool, until you realize that if you decide to take the time, you can find some incredible stories.

The people you may know in this application ratcheted up the number of people exponentially. Where there were once 8 or 10 people it would suggest, now the numbers were reaching the hundreds. I was thinking "how much longer can I go through this? Is every friend of a friend or people who it says "You and BLANK both went to Southern Methodist University' would be posted.

Off I went over a couple of sessions of time I thought I would never get back. No. No. No. No. Who's that? No. No. No. Who's that? I was like a typical male using the remote when his wife isn't home. Yes, it was that bad. Suddenly, people I did in fact know began to show up. There was a girl who I thought was cute back in high school. And no, I didn't instantly friend her as it was I who had the crush on her, while I don't think she knows I existed. (Those cynical types, you know who you are, are saying - "yeah, Jon... you waited until after you saw her current pictures" - no I didn't even friend her then, and still have not.)

There were many who I knew through organizations (IDEA - the big screen operators trade group,) those current and former members of the media who I wanted to network with (ESPN, local media) and who I have worked with in the past. Then one name came up that I thought would be a fun add. Instead, it rocked my world.

I once wrote about "Same Person, Different Life." It was that realization that many of my friends were very different people than the people I had known before. Little did I know how different life can be for some.

When I worked at a national network back in the 90's, I was blessed to be able to share a workspace with some really nice and pretty famous people; people who you saw in your living room every night on the news or sports. To many, these people were stars. For me, they were just co-workers. You have to understand that it takes a lot for me to get starstruck because of growing up in a household where the President of the United States was a guest at your parent's wedding.

One of the people I worked with was a star on a small scale, on his way to becoming a superstar in the business. He was one of those people that many could do a great impersonation of when called upon, as his style was so unique. He was young, and very driven, but stayed nice to everyone (except when he got competitive on the basketball court, where his constant shirt tugging became a little annoying.) There was no doubt in my mind that this guy was destined to be a star.

On Sunday nights, the one night when we all did not work until 2 AM, he would lead a group of us to a late night dinner where the steaks were good, the Sinatra would be flowing out of the jukebox and friendship moved to the front of the conversation ahead of work. It was where we all let our hair down.

We actually shared our last day on the job at this network. He had received one of the prime spots in all of local television, replacing one of the icons of the market.I was going to Seattle to start a new life as a television producer for a local station.

A few years later, I had moved to a regional sports network, when I heard that our national network had hired my friend as an anchor for its headlining news show. He was going national once again.

There he was in all his glory, back to his bombastic delivery. I can still hear his descriptions of big plays, sometimes with a frenetic pace that made him difficult to understand. His star was shining on national television, and on the rise again.

A few years later, the national network moved in a different direction and he found himself as one of the lead anchors in one of the biggest markets. I had a friend who worked at the same place and told him to say hello to my old friend. He replied "that jerk?" Okay, I know he rubbed some people the wrong way, but I never heard anyone call him a jerk, or in this case something that I just won't type.

It was just a short time later when I was traveling, and I happened to find my friend sitting at the bar at one of my favorite restaurants. He was having dinner between shows and I approached him. He was extremely happy to see me, and we traded stories of the old days. This was no jerk, this was my old friend.

Later, I recounted the story to my friend who had been the one who tagged him as unpopular. He told me other stories, then other friends told me other stories, and each was worse than the last. How could I see one person so differently than the rest of my friends?

In recent years, he has dissapeared from the air, with the small exception of a narrator job on a network show where he did not appear on camera. It was definitely him.

Fast forward to earlier this week, and there was his name in "Suggestions." The picture next to it showed a man happy with a wife and three kids - the perfect family picture. So I instantly hit the "add as friend" button and sent him a personal message (as I always do, I never hit the button without writing something!) I said that I always appreciated his kindness when we worked together and hoped that the note found him well.

The next morning, I was accepted as his friend, and there was a note in my inbox. He told me that he had moved to a place with a much slower pace from the bigger cities he had lived in before, and he told me that he had changed careers and was working for a place that sounded like a bed and breakfast, but then I reread the note. He was working for a treatment center. He continued, "blessed in too many ways to count."

I immediately wrote him back and congratulated him on the courage to change careers and told him that I have been searching for my own "higher purpose," and was pleased to see that he had found his. I told him a little about my life in Seattle and wished him best of luck in his "new life."

Just moments later, I got a beautiful note from him. He told me that his life had gone out of control, and that he was blessed and fortunate to still have a life, a wife and a family. He wished me happiness with my family and then added one of his signature signoffs, which made me smile broadly.

My thoughts immediately went out to him. I thought of the wonderful days we had together in the same workplace. His way that he could light up a room and put a smile on everyone's face, and those stories from others about this "different guy" than I knew. Then the rumors and other stories. None of them had added up, but now suddenly, the calculator of life was not lying.

We all have our journeys. We all take our separate paths. Some of us choose and are blessed to be able to live life without dangerous turns caused by outside substances. Some are not so fortunate. To know what we know is important. To know what we don't can change lives.

To see the wonder of someone who has gone from a sure shot superstar to one that works to help people be the star of a more important place, their own world, is a journey I want to follow. It is the epitomy of Same Person, Different Life.

I hope that he will always know that someone who admired his work as a star, admires him even more now, and that he always has a friend he can turn to should he need one.

"People you may know" --- if I told you his name, my friends, especially my work friends, would instantly know the name and start doing the impersonation. He is definitely one that I am happy I know... and know again.

He discovered that what my teacher said was right. It's what you don't know that can change your life. He knows now and he's blessed for it... and so are we all. I hope you know that!

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Sunday, April 12, 2009

On the subject of "Into the Blue"

Ladies and gentlemen, I will say this is going to be deep. If you are reading to have a laugh, or to make a funny comment, this entry might not be the one for that. However, if you are going through a time in your life that is anything like mine… please read on, Then, if you want to share your experiences, please do.

When I first started to blog, it was to chronicle a journey in my life, one that was taking me through cyberspace. It was a vast uncharted area that took me to a place mostly familiar yet always new. Joining Facebook and beginning the blogging experience brought me home in many ways with reattachments to many friends of the past. Gave me a “Cheers” type place, where everybody new my name, with my new friends from the improv world. It introduced me to new friends and allowed some connections… real life connections with people who are helping me with new projects.

Of all the friends I have made, it is the Journey that has been the most rewarding. When I wrote the 300 note, it was not to show off how many friends I had, it was to look into my own life, and take inventory of the luckiness that had blessed me every day.

I am not a religious person. I was raised in an Episcopalian family, but we were not regular church goers, at least as a family. My access to the church was always limited to Chapel services on Friday morning in the school cafeteria, where we would all sing our hearts out about “the Saints of God, patient and brave and true.” As a matter of fact, the last time I went to a church service of any kind, I heard that very hymn sung. It was the memorial service for my Father.

Patient and brave and true. Those words mean a lot right now. Emotions have guided me through the last few months since cleaning out my folk’s house. There has been a lot of sadness in mourning, even these three years later. As the world is as it is, sadness has taken shape in other things. Transitions being the most apparent.

I have lost parts or all of projects I have held dear to my heart, thanks to the economy. Things that have defined myself as being, a producer of a high school show, the leader of a college big screen show, the head of a small company, seemed to move into a blurriness not ever experienced by me.

All the while, I have been talking to my wife about a higher purpose for me. What is it out there that is going to help define me as a person of this world? What kind of legacy can I leave that will have a meaning for the rest of the world when I am no longer there?

Everything I thought of keeps coming back to writing. Would it be a book, or a movie or something I don’t even have a concept of yet? The mystery of the journey was haunting me every day.

Patient and brave and true.

I can’t rush into decisions in this time. Life of all kinds is so fragile, so precious, that it can change in an instant. I know that can be said for any time, but right now, it seems even more so.

Take for example the guy who worked with me on my high school show. Here’s a young guy, newly married, with a new house and a job he loved. His world changed in a single moment when someone else in another city had not done his own job in a “brave and true” manner so he gets to pay for it by losing his job. I went to this guy’s going away party and there were nearly a dozen other people who had also lost their livelihoods. They all had smiles on their faces, not of despair, but of relief. It seemed their journey was just beginning.

When I arrived home, I rushed to the Emmy Awards site to see if my yearly Emmy nomination was posted, and alas, for the first time in 15 years, my name did not appear on the sheet. I did not feel disappointment, instead, relief.

Which brings me back around to this journey… the journey of my own life, a life defined not by who I am, but what I do – at least in the perspective of the guy I see in the mirror.

So on this Easter Sunday, I woke up from a dream. To give proper perspective, every dream I have had over the past three weeks has been a nightmare, some of panic attack proportions, and sleepless rest of the nights. This one looked to be going the same way.

(Note to readers… I took notes on this dream when I woke up – and I realize some of this seems a little out there… but please bear with me, I promise it means something.)

I was part of a group on a bus. Many on this bus had chosen to take some sort of drug to make their life easier, to make their reality different. I am not talking acid or LSD, but something that eased their pain. As we were driving along a dark road, I alerted the driver that a young lady needed to get off the bus. She was British, and had long passed her stop, but she new she needed to get home. Against his judgment, and that of the group, he stopped and let her off, and I got off the bus with her, through the back emergency door, like the one you find on a school bus.

We were dropped off not on a dark street, but in a 30’s or 40’s kind of town classic signage. It was an inner city type place, but not a ghetto. There were people all around us, who seemed to be doing all right, but this was not really a happy place. The woman’s name was Sarah, and all she had with her was a guitar case, and I assume a guitar inside. I asked this lady why she needed to be here and she said she needed to find a place that could allow her to be who she was.

As I looked out on this city, there were many signs on top of businesses that looked harmless. They identified stores and other businesses. Sarah and I were standing on the third or fourth floor on a verandah or balcony, and I had a good view of everything around me.

About that time, a matronly lady rushed the two of us and told us that we were different and we did not belong here. She told us that if we were to stay, we had to take these pills that were issued by the local jail. When we refused to take the pills, the lady rushed off as though she needed to call in authorities.

Sarah and I looked at each other. We saw that everyone else was just going about their own lives without a care, and we were the only ones who seemed to be worried. That worry turned to panic.

Then she said, whatever is about to happen, go with it as though my life depended on it, and she disappeared. As she did, sirens went off, and panic hit the streets. The signs on the building fronts flipped. Some of them said, “Run! Keep Running.” They were Big Brother like in their call to action.

I took them at their word and Sarah’s and looked to escape this place. Being on a higher floor, I found myself jumping down stairwells and sliding down poles to get to the ground floor. A fire truck’s ladder, which happened to be near the building helped me escape the structure.

Then I began running. I had no sense of where I was going, but it felt like it was away from something. The first obstacle I could remember was going through a neighborhood with chain-linked fences that I needed to leap over to keep going.

Then a series of white grand pianos were lined up and I dove like Superman sliding across the top of them into the yards next door, but when I landed, it was more like landing in a pool. However, I kept running.

Then details of where I was began disappearing one by one until all I saw ahead of me was a sea of blue. This was not water, but rather the color blue… like I was running into a giant soundstage painted this color.

For those outside of the television business, this is the color blue (sometimes green) that is used by weathermen to do their forecast in front of. It is called chromakey blue. When seen on televisions, anything blue can be replaced by literally anything.

I had quite literally run “into the blue.” It was then I stopped, and looked around and then woke up. I was calm, not panicked. I did want to write down what had happened, so I did, because this had some sort of meaning to me, and I knew what it was.

For years, I have thought there was only one thing I could do well in my life, and that was a sports television producer. My work defined who I was, and who I was going to be.

To me, running into the blue was a wakeup call. Remember, in television terms, this blue can be replaced by anything, and that was when I understood what was going on.

The blue represented possibilities… limitless possibilities. The “jail issued drugs” represented going with how everyone else wanted to define me, through their limited expectations of who I am or what I could be. Being on a higher floor represented that I had reached heights in my life that allowed me to look down and see what it was I had accomplished. Getting off the bus with a stranger was my desire to help others in their journey. Being on the bus with a bunch of people familiar to me, some of whom wanted to take those drugs represented my current life.

I have wanted to find this “higher purpose” in my life and it turns out that all this time, I was being blocked by not looking “into the blue,” and not seeing the possibilities that life had in store for me. It’s ironic for someone whose company is called “Flying Colours.”

I had written in my Facebook status update this week I was declaring this “Breakout Weekend,” as that was the name of the improv show I am starting with a new group on this Sunday. Breakout was the name given to the show for many meanings, one of which was a new beginning.

So in the early morning of an Easter Sunday, it was not someone or something that showed me the way. It was something of a higher source that allowed me to begin a trip “into the blue.” I now can begin to imagine the possibilities of life because they are limitless. It’s not the end of the journey, just the beginning, and I wanted to share that with you in hopes that you can find the “blue” in you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On the subject of a Tough Day

Yesterday I posted a status update that was unlike any other. It was simple and straight to the point.

"Jon is having a tough day."

A lot of times, I will admit I write status updates to get a reaction, and on the surface, this one would seem to be one of those occasions. However, when I wrote it, nothing could be further from the truth.

For once in my Facebook life, I just told it like it is. No comedy, no cleverness. Just honesty. It's rare for me. Hey, hold it... not rare for me to be honest, just rare for me to be blunt.

I wasn't fishing for sympathy, I was just telling it like it is.

What is a tough day?

Many people who know me well say they are few and far between, as in "he couldn't be having a tough day, he's smiling too much." Or, "Jon must be in a good mood, he's funny today."

To the people who talked to me through cyberspace yesterday, I was just that. One chat to help organize a fund raiser, was full of smileys and funny lines, as if nothing was wrong at all. It was a conversation that one would imagine from a smiling, wiggly little kid who just had the funniest joke. The fact that the lovely person on the other end of the conversation was so bright and optimistic, the yin to my yang, more than helped. It was sunshine on a sunny day.

This was a mere respite to the rest of the day, whose sole task was to do something to others that I had had done to me three times before.

The first was in college. I was just a junior, but I thought I was becoming a great sports announcer. My job, which I don't think I ever got paid for, was to be a color commentator for two great HS programs, Hurst LD Bell and Euless Trinity. We were doing the games on KXOL, and while play by play was my forte, the guy who organized the broadcasts was raising the money so he got the prime job. One day, about 7 weeks into the season, he casually told me that desipte the fact we were using most of my equipment to make the games happen, my voice was no longer welcome on the broadcasts. I was asked to leave.

Fast forward to the early 90's. I moved my life back to my hometown of Washington, DC to develop a program on my childhood's favorite team, the Washington Redskins. The show, "Redskins Weekly," was the first ever syndicated show on the team and starred local personality Johnny Holliday (a person I grew up listening to call the Terps and the Senators) and the legendary General Manager Bobby Beathard. The team was coming off a Super Bowl season, and the show was one of 11 Redskins shows on the TV at the time. The show was a modest success financially, huge success critically, and everything was set up to move from an independent station to the ABC affiliate. Through contacts I had made, we were all set to talk to the station, but when the meeting took place, I was asked not to attend. I was told it was just an informational meeting.

The show was sold to the ABC station, with one proviso. I would not come with it.

Now, it's 1995. The station I was working for had a bright new shiny coat of paint on it courtesy of its new affiliation with CBS. Everyone was excited about the move as little ol' KSTW was now "Northwest Eleven." I had moved there two years earlier to produce their Sonics programming as the station held the rights to the Sonics and Mariners at the time. It was May, right around my first birthday as a married man and the Sonics were just eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for the second time in two years. I stood up in my newly remodeled man room and looked at my wife and said, I have a bad feeling.

The next day I walked into work and was told that "Northwest Eleven" would no longer be doing the Sonics, and thus I would no longer be needed at the station.

(A footnote: A few years later when the station lost its CBS affiliation, the station held similar meetings with 67 employees to say that they would no longer be doing news, and thus would no longer be needed at the station.)

Just a few months later, one of my first jobs at the local cable network I was new to was to help him with an edit of a story of a Seahawks coach who could not stop saying Um. (That same coach is now the head coach at, um, Hawai'i.) I watched as this editor/producer put together a piece on this new thing called a non linear editor. He taught me how to use this newfangled machine called "the Cube."

When I had the opportunity to start my own company, one of the first calls I made was to this very friendly and professional producer/editor. At the time, he was a very rotund guy who moved amazingly well for his size. The greatest thing about him was his hustle. Make that the second greatest thing.

I hired him to be a segment producer... make that a miracle worker, for my new show. He would go out with his own camera and shoot three stories and come back to my house and edit them. He would also handle the tough overnight edits of the final show in the den at my house while I prepared to go on the road to cover another team. The constant smell of roasted chicken was always in the air as he had the oddest way of eating.

One day, the chicken smell was gone, and he called me on a day that I would usually see him. He said, I have a surprise for you. He walked up to the house and handed me a tape. He said, here are this week's segments. Perplexed, I looked down and wondered how he had done it. Cheerfully he replied, "I just bought a new edit system."

For the next few years, I would look into the mail box for the envelope, or await the Fed Ex or UPS driver to deliver the tape... and it was always there... like the faithful Saint Bernard waiting to rescue me. It went on that way for five more years.

That chicken smell? This rotund figure went on the Atkins diet and lost over 85 pounds. Not only was he a hustler, he was healthy as well.

Never once while delivering those tapes did he ever say a cross word. Never in those times was he ever less than absolutely excellent. He was the heart and soul of the team, albeit a small team. I couldn't do the show without him.

So how do you make a call to say that you can't hire a guy like this. It tore me up all day, and was only made worse by my first attempt reaching only voice mail.

As I was about to drop my rent check off at the landlords, the phone rang and the caller ID displayed his name. My heart sunk. I was up front with him, much like that status update had been earlier in the day. I told him that, while it's not 100 percent final, that it looks like the show we had worked on for all these years, more than 200 shows and 600 segments, was coming to an end.

His reaction? "Oh, that's okay. I had a hunch. Maybe it's run its course. Thanks for the opportunity to work with you."

Oh my god. Is there someone out there really like this? He was so understanding as I said, "the station is not going to do the show, thus he would no longer be needed." The same kind of words that devistated me more than a decade earlier were difficult words for him to hear, but seemingly just a small bump in the road, not something to drive off the cliff for. It was the first time I had ever had to deliver the words after hearing them delivered to me all those times.

That was why it was a tough day, made amazing by two very understanding people... one who I have only known for a short time and one that have depended on for years. KD and MC, I thank you both.

And to the large number of people who did comment on the status on Facebook with beautiful words of encouragement, thank you. I didn't ask for it, but as it turned out, I sure did need it.

Thankfully, no one chose to click on "like" on this status.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger

Friday, April 3, 2009

On the subject of Closing Windows

I huge part of my life came to an end yesterday. I was told "it's not official" but it was an official sounding phone call. The television show I have been producing for 8 years has been canceled. To be more accurate, the current Emmy Award winning Outstanding Sports Series, ratings leading sports show is ending without even a goodbye. As a matter of fact we ended the last show with a message to the viewers saying "See you September 5th."

So I guess it's time to retire the jackets, throw away the hats, make the shirts into work shirts. And so it goes.

I got the call in the last moments of vacation, putting a sour end to an otherwise wonderful week.

Returning home, I instantly went into "get work" mode with some e-mails, phone calls and two meetings scheduled for today.

My Dad wrote in his book about when a window closes, a door opens. That might have happened with those meetings, scheduled before I left for Long Beach.

The first was with one of my main client who is working with a high level advertising agency. We talked over the ad campaign and they asked me to produce it. What a wonderful opportunity, and one that might lead to others down the line. I have wanted to get into advertising more as my career has proceeded, and now I might get the chance.

The second one was with a sports team here in town to become the team's official production company. I thought it went well, and will learn more next week.

So after a large step back, I am already moving forward, and hope that the new avenues on which to travel become the first leg of a new journey. Cue the door opening.

Yours truly,
Johnny Blogger