I sat up all last night listening to Marc Maron podcasts, drinking V8 and cups of hot tea, and shivering under a comforter the size and thickness of a dead bear. Got the kids to school, shambled home and passed out on the couch, having skeevy dreams in which I destroy my life, waking up just in time to pick the kids back up.
After a late day rally, I sat down, cracked a beer, and started working on some Ebay listings. Within ten minutes, my head was nodding and I was dozing off like a narcoleptic. I crawled upstairs, got into bed, and slept some really good, restorative sleep... till about 3am, when I woke up in a panic, coughing, hurting, sweating.
Mucinex is taking the edge off this thing, but just barely. Now I'm awake and surly, so I'm gonna do more work, probably stay awake till it's time to transport kids again, then come back and pass out for fitful sleep on the couch again. This is a shitty cycle to be on and a hard one to break, but I gotta knock this out quick if I wanna be ready for the next few weeks.
I've got some great shows coming up, and I wanna be ready for them. I feel like they're gonna be the springboard to another level of performance for me, with longer sets and more interconnected stories. Actually thinking in terms of an "act," instead of just starting the clock and spewing out unrelated zingers until the bell rings. I want to be featuring soon, and I feel like I'm getting the chops together for it. These shows will be pivotal for that.
It's also gonna be awesome to have some family from out of town here to see me do standup. My "second dad" Tom and his wife Rhonda are coming up to see me at Connxtions on the 21st. Tom was my dad's best friend when I was a kid, and he helped my family through some of our darkest times when my parents were splitting up and when my mom passed away in 1983. He calls himself our mom to this day, partially to confuse onlookers, but also because he did have a big hand in raising us, keeping us out of trouble, and helping my dad through tough times. It means more than I could say for Tom and Rhonda to see my show - I don't have a lot of heroes in life, or people whose pride I want to earn, but they're definitely two of them.
My sister, brother-in-law and nephew will be up the following week, after Christmas, and they'll get to see my guest set opening for Kevin Bozeman and Joe Zimmerman. My sister and I survived some hellish shit as kids together, and we've each dealt with our own challenges as adults, and I think we've grown into the roles life has chosen for us (and made it look damn good in the process, thank you). Lisa and her husband Ham, a kickass musician and songwriter, are raising Milo, a positively gigantic five-year-old ball of energy and hilarity. He's one of the lights of my life, and I'm stoked to get to see him, and for them to spend time in our home and see the life we've carved out for ourselves here in the rust-belt wilderness.
These two shows won't just be sets for me, they'll be as important to me as those puppet shows you did in front of a bedsheet and a kitchen chair for your grandma when you were six. The people I love have seen me screw up six ways to Sunday, they've seen me redeem myself in a lot of ways, and now I want them to see me getting traction in this next phase of my life, taking the four decades of hair-raising shit I've seen and compacting it into pure mainlined expression that can get a room full of strangers laughing their asses off. I know that sounds really highbrow and pretentious, but dammit, that's how I feel about it, and that's how excited I am to get up in front of some of the finest people I know and figuratively throw pies in my own face for twenty minutes.
Where I write about the stuff I do when I'm out doing the stuff I do.