Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A friend told me to stop being so positive...I forgot to listen.

If you take the time to glance into the eyes of a passerby…within seconds your imagination is convinced it has them figured out. We’ve become incredibly addicted to assumption without facing the fears of being wrong.

American Idol contestant Siobhan Magnus is a great example—Usher wasted no time saying, “One look at you and I would’ve never thought you had a voice like that.”

A Top 50 market radio station program director told me he couldn’t bring me on based solely on my look—I lacked what a New Rock on-air talent carries with them. Guess I picked a bad day to get a haircut. The majority of my career has been covered by extremely long colorized hair like Ozzy and shaped imperfectly like I just crawled off a tour bus headed toward Unknown USA.

What feeds our rivers of assumption? Should we start wearing T-shirts that read, “Ask before you assume.”

My last five interns look nothing like their personalities. Yet everyone of them have landed a performance inside the four walls that make up our two speaker stage. There’s a trick to it…totally swiped it from author and spiritualist Eckhart Tolle: You cannot enjoy until you accept.

Accepting means: For now this is my current moment. It requires me to do and in that process I must be willing. Anyone who knows me has been introduced to the door that’s always been open—your vocals and loyalty can stink like a pig farmers backyard but somewhere during those required 400 hours of performance I’m going to locate what makes that imagination tick.

Nobody enjoys cleaning out their gutters or having to spring clean the house! How can we accept the day if what is being performed has nothing to do with enjoyment? This is where people leap off the path of peace and do everything humanly possible to seek other means of gaining access to something worth accepting. Which is my way of saying, we sell out to find fun.

I can’t stand cleaning my gutters yet I won’t buy a system that’ll keep leaves and other things from clogging up the drains. My house sits over a hill staring into the soul of a forest blessed with owls, deer, a beaver, plenty of snakes and black squirrels. When I’m on top of that house with my left hand wrapped around that garden hose I can’t stop telling myself to jump.

What must it be like to be as free as the wind? At 15…I would’ve grabbed the tiller out of the garage, ruffed up the dirt below and made my way toward the answer. Since my view of the world is no longer persuaded by a New Rock image with guts the size Mount Mitchell…everything assumed becomes my answer.

Eckhart Tolle explains, “Finding peace is locating a subtle energy—a vibration that flows through you. On the surface, what we accept during our everyday adventures is nothing more than a passive state.”

Beneath the hairs you tend to pluck or shave off is a forever working machine that takes what you accept and turns it into an extremely active form of creative flow. By taking your hands and creating something you in essence are surrendering an action—which is Tolle’s way of saying you’ve accepted it.

Warning: If you can’t locate enjoyment and or acceptance on the paths you travel…stop.

Going through the motions is nothing more than not taking responsibility. How many people have earned those evil comments from your soul while pointing those aging fingers directly into their unaware faces?

In September of 09 I challenged myself to locate an answer: Before a song hits the radio or VH-1’s Top 20 Countdown…where does it come from? Laughingly I called the project My Blonde Rock n Roll Roots are Beginning to Show. I assumed being nose to nose with a microphone in a shut off from the world recording studio would be the coolest hangout since the invention of IM’s and Text Messaging.

We all sing…we were born to perform. We all write…it’s silenced at the first sign of judgment. Taking those words and putting them to music was the game—standing alone in the studio last night missing drum beats and lyrics began the journey down the mountain. Becoming raspy half way through the night forced the un-tuning of a fork which made the steak you assumed was unforgettably great worthless because you can’t cut into meat with a spoon.

Because I’ve lived it…Bono and U2 are looked upon differently. I’ve learned to study vocal paths swiftly hidden by avenues of artistry displayed by Picasso and Peter Max who’ve found tremendous strength taking your eye off mistakes and putting it on something totally unique a half of canvas away. What is seen and not heard in a music recording studio doesn’t always paint the portrait of the true trail traveled.

Accepting means: For now, this is my situation and I am willing.

And in that thought I ask you…what are you willing but refuse to make part of your situation? The longer you wait the harder it is for you to convince yourself to jump.

Steal my art…

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We aren't deaf...nobody's talking.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do you want to be a power in the world? Then be yourself.”

Be myself? That’s totally impossible in a world where 87% of us are actors playing the best available scene in a movie called Survival. The other 13% represent our often ignored, shove it behind the nearest picture frame national unemployment rate.

Like Larry David, employees are given no script, direction and or inspiration, the masses are told where to stand and please do everything within your ability to participate with the process by making sure the carefully researched yet unrehearsed scene doesn’t need to be re-cut. That requires time and time is still more valuable than water or Starbucks.

Some employees have low budget speaking roles while others voluntarily show up in the extremely important background doing nothing more than reacting to the characterization of realization when events begin to unfurl like Meg Ryan’s restaurant lines in When Harry Met Sally.

Gasp! Oh my! Wow! As long as we’re not seeing bubbles over our heads that read, “Punch, boom, pow, zoom and zoinks.” I guess we’re ok.

What was Ralph thinking when he invited people to be themselves?

Lee Iacocca thought for himself. In an age when John F Kennedy ushered in the idea that our nations young people have a voice and the power to make the best and right decisions, the Ford Motor Company took a shot and gambled on a nearly tossed away presentation that invited consumers to invest in being youthful and different. Lee gave us the Mustang.

Openly I admit...I grew up believing I had the meanest parents on earth—being head of the household gave them veto rights. I spent many summer days ripping down houses in the old districts of Billings, Montana because the father figure believed it was cheaper to take the wood from something built in 1924 then rush out and buy it from Hoinky Doinky Lumberyard.

His decision to keep me from playing baseball, football and girl watching built a mindset that looks at everyday and sees a positive in every job created—even if you’re an assistant teacher at a community driven school, being true to its presentation not only reaches out to a budding American but it finely tunes the craft and tools required to make your way through a fog bank nicknamed recession or depression.

Joe has always been himself and he has no problem telling you what’s on his mind. Even while bowling, did he listen to the coaches that begged him to slow down his approach to the foul line? No! He threw that ball so hard we’d receive phone calls from Seattle asking if they can throw it back. Outside of Earl Anthony on the Pro Bowlers Tour, I had never seen anybody roll so many 200 plus games.

So why aren’t we listening to the elders? The only masters we know that have the knowledge to bake a thought within the realms of keeping it real and we’ve chosen as a modern society to sell out, give life away like it’s the single toy at a garage sale that won’t budge unless you make it part of a packaged deal.

Is that what life has become? A packaged deal? Here’s my wife, kids and the dogs…blah, blah, blah…as long as we’re getting a tax break on April 15th we’ll be fine.

This is what author Lou Solomon calls: Speaking from the heart.

Heck yes I get in trouble by being so open. No day passes that I’m not caked with emails and Face Book entries screaming to stop talking about them. Which goes hand in hand with what Master Harris has always preached at Martial Arts University, “If you hear my voice instructing someone and you find yourself thinking that it might be you…the reality of it is…it had nothing to do with you but if it makes you a better person then it was also meant for you.”

That’s the effect that I personally call the echo. How far does an echo travel before it no longer has enough power to change someone’s life and or path? Ralph Waldo Emerson passed away on April 27, 1882. His echo is 128 years old—that’s 875 in dog years…and we all know dogs have better hearing than humans.

Where can we rediscover the self we are? How can we find enough strength in a pool of give it away, give it away to pick ourselves up and wipe the must and dust off our pants and keep walking toward the horizon? If we were born to have this power…how can we be ourselves again?

What better self to be than the set of eyes that stare at you each morning while brushing your teeth? Then again, have you heard what those expressions have been sharing with you lately? I call the conversation in the mirror Yoda talk—your lips never have to move…by believing in the force, you just somehow know what the other is thinking…and that person in the mirror is far worse than father Joe and his mighty way of saying, “Get out there and pull nails from that wood so I can get that stuff up on the my house where it belongs!”

The best way to achieve that level is to speak from the heart. It takes guts and brains to pull your self out of the box. I often wonder how many of us would’ve lived in the 17 and 1800's when some know it all from California spouted, “I found gold in the hills near San Francisco!”

Which person would you have been the go-getting-trendsetter or the person who elected to stay on the east coast because the cable service was better and in some places HBO and The Game Show Network are free? Ever read the true story of Chicago and how the builders of that incredible skyline competed against NYC? They were determined to have the absolute most unforgettable city in the world. While standing on the edge of The Sears Tour you can’t help but believe…they did it.

We aren’t having a tremendous amount of earthquakes during this new millennium…it’s our ancestors rolling over in their graves grumbling something about not having the heart to watch what they busted their backs to create.

Where’s your heart and ability to speak? Do you want to be a power in the world? Then be yourself. Stop reading web pages and start saying something!

Steal my art…

Monday, March 29, 2010

Call them out! Who is taking you down for the count?

Got caught up in three separate stories this past weekend…a dangerous game to play in the eyes of Artist Way author Julia Cameron—her view of the pages we leave behind are constructively created by protecting the person you are before borrowing your energy to any or all who elect to pass you by.

A good example: You get to work early on Monday, you feel unforgettably upbeat—this is going to be incredibly better than ever. Without warning Sobbing Robby or Hang your head Harriett appears at your desk making it your job to pick their tail up and send them down the path feeling all fresh and new.

You’ve lost the war. Go get that candy bar or power drink that reportedly picks you up, then that lonely donut calling your name followed by a quick swig of Diet Pepsi which is ok to drink gallons of because it features the word diet. There’s nothing you can do…your week is shot!

Wet blanket syndrome is a disease. To ignore a friend or fallen coworker isn’t your style. It makes you feel incredible to help others locate the strength to stand up and move forward. But…the 20 minutes to an hour it took to get the story out has now added extra pressure to your day and bosses don’t understand the words late or fallen behind.

Dr. David once said to me, “I know you love to talk about real things with real people but never forget the golden rule of protecting the soul first: Sympathy versus empathy. Sympathy is when you’re friend is in a giant hole and you climb down into it to get them out. They run away while you spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how you’re going to get out. Empathy is throwing them a rope.”

I bumped into three separate stories this past weekend and each were handled by way of measuring how much empathy I had left in the gas tank. Times are extremely tough and anyone over the age of 35 is flat out convinced the business world no longer has any interest in what it is they bring to their success. There can be no success if your failures are based on the inexperienced endeavors of a wanna-be who’ll decide half way through the mission that they’ve changed their mind about the chosen career.

I don’t read books…I study the fingerprints that curve around each word leaving behind thoughts that have the ability to move a community or nation. Instant gratification or lack thereof is what makes our knees weak. Even if you’ve been blessed with gobs and gobs of tremendous value and success eventually the joints required to get us where we’re going need to be replaced and the process to get back up is based solely on what you’re willing to put back into it.

Who wins?

The single, 60 year old father with two boys in college who’s had two heart attacks, a one time blazing career in real estate and now can’t even land a job at Lowes or Home Depot.
The well trained visionary chef who finds tremendous passion in recreating unforgettable meals once blanketed with too much gourmet salt, seasoning and frosting but now carries a flavor that a 90 year old man can enjoy without upsetting the medical world he finances daily through assumed endless amounts of insurance.
The mother of two who grew two inches the moment doctors replaced her knees. Although the recovery is demanding and blessed with pains that close down most thought processes, she’s learned to stare into darkness and hear Yoda whispering, “Feel the force.”
Who wins? Each of them win…

Your only job in life is to be the messenger. Not the fixer. Not the mender. Not even the part time aspirin—nothing more than a Johnny Apple Seed planting newer thoughts and processes into the hearts of someone who rightfully is having a really, really bad day.

The father of 60 who can’t get a job wanted to dumb down his resume. I’ve done that and always wanted to make it look like I’ve never done a day of radio in my life…then poof…the dude who hired me feels like he’s gotten his hands on a ripe one. Ego, ego, ego, ego. I calmly asked him to try something I picked up from Pat Croce’s books, “Take the light off you and ask the employer what you can do for them.”

The Chef has been forced into a position where he won’t cook anymore…its called management. I know this game all too well. I nearly died not getting to do what I wanted most in life…to record music. Taking from the book When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back In the Box…you can give, give, give, give, give and in the end someone will ask, “What do you think he left behind?” The answer………….all of it.

The mother with brand new knees who didn’t have a great time in therapy—yet she didn’t stop. What could I give her? I actually borrowed from her the willingness to look into the eyes of pain and say, “No this is my mind, body and soul and if we don’t figure out a way to communicate, life will be nothing more than a bed with a television set in front of it.”

Nobody jumped into holes. Not a single person I met with yesterday felt as if I stole from their energy supply and none of them took from me. Sympathy versus empathy. Addiction begins when you can’t find the kite that’s going to take you a little higher than yesterday.

Even if you do it once or twice a day for two minutes or twenty...rediscovery isn't just a word. It requires experience and through your challenges, everything seen, heard and felt has the ability to make someone's day brighter tomorrow. Don't jump into the hole with Down in the Dumps David...use empathy. 99.9999% of the time they want no part of it. You created an addiction of giving them an instant high and rarely if ever do they return the favor. Isn't that the behavior of all people who are addicted to something?

Friday, March 26, 2010

We'll never make it to Mars...not until they turn it into a cell phone.

Seriously…what’s next? Venturing into the Lite 102.9 on-air studio and there on the counter sat an Iphone hooked up to a world begging to be discovered, rewritten and bent in ways that make everyday finely tuned and perfect again.

Is knowledge power or are we still trying to keep up with the Jones’?

What’s the next hookup? In an age of fads lasting no longer than the next text message—every walk of life is desperately trying to figure out how to act without making it look as if they’re reacting.

Rollingstone Magazine reports compact disc sales are so low music makers and companies have finally smartened up and elected to explode into a new era of $6 collections of tunes, which is kind of weird since Ipod and MP3 players fit comfortably into our life and style.

Personally, I love what Billy Corgan formerly of the Smashing Pumpkins is doing—write it, produce it, give it away free. The dude gets it…why waste your time trying to build a fan base in an age where 80% of those attending your concert swiped the tune they’ll be singing with you at the arena?

If a civil war breaks out in this country it won’t be over a government that lost touch with the people that elected them—times become hard to handle when the elements that make up what we call entertainment are no longer approachable. Take away the next set of Twilight Movies and war will be had. Slip a device into video games that force them to shut off at bedtime and you might as well wakeup General George Patton.

Cell phones are toys. We aren’t the generation that enjoys the thought of communicating. We talk because it beats boredom. We send text messages because we can’t stand the sound of other people’s voices. How often do you stand in front of someone at work and think, “Please, I beg you…just text me! You’re abusing me by making me stand here and have a physical conversation.”

Guess who’s making fun of our current fad? Hollywood!

Yanked away are the chains that have us locked down in 2010. One jump into the hot tub and poof we’re sent back to 1986, the year when cell phones were the size of a monkey or mother-in-law on your back. Those gifted with the bucks to haul them around constantly spoke of better days ahead…something about being LINKed to an always on the go generation.

Those who lived out the 52 weeks of 86 don’t remember the 80’s as being a wonderful time. It seemed to be in the way. George Orwell’s 1984 didn’t amount of anything so it was time to put focus on something called 2000. Holy cow we might actually make it!

What I loved most about Hot Tub Time Machine is the reality it showcased when the characters hated the idea of cruising back to the 80’s. Although it seemed to be the birthing year of many musical acts and the fads that developed around them…that ten year span was nothing more than added weight to the overstuffed boxes hidden away in the attic.

Life was quickly becoming stale which forced Bill Gates into overplay. It was time to downsize the computer. From this day forward it didn’t need to be three city blocks long.

I still remember talking on my first cell phone…it belonged to the radio station general manager who forgot it in the promotions van. Once my eyes caught onto that talker in a box…I wasted no time to talk, talk, talk and talk some more without realizing in those days you paid by the minute a lot!

When the monthly statement arrived he demanded to know how spent over 2 hours talking to someone in Montana.

Today…we can call the moon and never be charged. You gotta like toys that are created around us. The problem is…technology isn’t keeping up with our hunger. Computers in cars are a joke. We’re not saving gas we’re giving service departments 500 to a 1,000 reasons why they need to see us every 15,000 miles.

HDTV is the biggest con job of the new millennium—the average cable bill is $150 to $250 dollars a month…and for what? Frozen picture frames! Televisions shows may look better but physically seeing Alec Baldwin’s facial pours is gross. Joan Crawford had it down right…blur the lens a little bit…soften her appearance. Actors are like music…the classics will live forever while anyone new on the scene get less than 15 minutes of fame.

Seriously what’s next? Do we honestly have anything to look forward to? James Cameron may have reinvented 3-D with Avatar but was it worth $15 bucks a pop? 3-D television will be available in stores later this year…how close are you to setting aside this months check to the water company to score a deal on a television that looks so incredibly real that you can reach out and touch it. In a matter of months all you’ll see is a picture, there won’t be any words…

Hollywood gets it! They’ll text you the script.

Maybe I’m becoming my mother…she still has a rotary phone and flat out refuses to get a computer. A secretary for 8 different bowling leagues and she’s still pushing the ink from a pen. How old do you have to be when you no longer feel guilty about wanting to keep up with the Jones'?

Am I willing to give up the idea that its all about me?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beware of the junk in the yard!

Paged through Robin Crow’s book Jump and the Net Will Appear…came across mind stumbling quote: Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight.

Say it three times: Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight.

Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight.

Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight.

So whatcha doing today?

I wrote three pages before sunrise, show prepped for the radio show from 10 til 3, do pushups, will voice a movie trailer for a company out of Chicago, write and produce umpteen commercials for local businesses, do more pushups, rewrite wedding vows for Daisy and Jeff that’ll be shared in two weeks, get in another round of pushups, race to Tae Kwon Do, catch the new Miley Cyrus/Nicholas Sparks premiere then do my reports for the movie company.

Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight.

Wait a minute! I think straight! Nobody is more focused than me! Ask me what I did yesterday! Seriously…I have no clue, except I have some major league sized bruises on my forearm, right hand and on the upper inner side of my right bicep.

Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight.

I’ve spent an entire career busting tail on the idea that everything I do is somehow connected to a core energy source. For me to have success in radio I need to write and that requires daily practice. Painting on a canvas is for those moments when the boss says I’m being too creative…it’s gotta come out somewhere! Movie premieres are the tool that keep me up to date, voice work keeps the career valuable and so on and so on.

Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight. Ask me what I did yesterday! Seriously…I have no clue.

Robin Crow believes a path with many outlets creates confusion…success can’t be located if you’re required to be everywhere but up on top, which seems like an old fashioned statement to make in a world that demands multitasking.

I don’t know what the keyword is when it comes to landing the perfect job. I tried for a year in a half to piece back together a radio career and came up 100 miles from the origin of my goals. Rather than kicking the bucket while tossing a king sized fit, I looked at it as being an incredible opportunity to rediscover a new beginning.

It’s always been my passion to find one thing in life: To be in the right place at the right time.

The moment I convinced myself that radio was over—an incredible chance to help write and produce radio commercials opened its arms and screamed, “Get your sorry tail over here and let’s make history!” Being away from the biz blessed me with the entire picture…it’s always been my plan to physically invite impact to a listener’s life. Three decades of being a jock and I learned the bigger message isn’t found over a seven second intro of a song but rather between the songs.

Unless it makes you laugh on a low morning or afternoon, DJ’s rarely say anything that affects your life—it’s the commercials that put flow into your reasons to go. Blame that boogie on Oprah who convinced millions of her fans to pick up the book The Secret. Understanding what you do during your everyday and how it brings energy to another person’s life makes you love what you do more. If there aren’t any feelings…challenge yourself to locate that inner wants and needs and become part of the entire community.

So what does that have to do with: those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight?

As mindless as your workday might feel or the lack thereof…getting to the top of your personal company ladder requires only one ticket—willingness.

To be in the right place at the right time has me everywhere. That’s my chosen life and style and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sadly in Tae Kwon Do last night…I couldn’t find the courage to fly over Instructor George with something that’s as common as my passion to write everyday. Doing an extremely easy as ever front roll became my impossibility. The more I tried, the harder I was on myself. The more I screamed at the inner being the less I wanted to participate. If you haven’t got encouragement from the person that brings you to every party…the end result is the opportunity to shut down. I didn’t get to see the results show on American Idol which affects my radio show today.

Those who walk a crooked path can’t think straight.

I’m not going to tap the letters that spell out the words, “I’m not alone.” One look at our daily workday environments and the actors we think we are can no longer keep up the fake act. You’re tired, confused, ¼ of your gas tank is filled with vigor while the rest is set on just giving up.

Do you know what happens to junked up cars that don’t make it to those lonely old fields on the edge of town? My stepfather Joe would cut em up and sell the metal. How many times during an average week do you stare into those set of eyes in the bathroom mirror and wonder how much more can you take?

I ached when Joe would wrap his hands around the handle of that blow torch and cut into the soul of a Mustang, Camero, Dodge Dart, Roadrunner or even that classic Edsel, the most overrated under purchased car of all time. It was if each vehicle had laid down their love of the land and said, “I can’t take this highway anymore.”

Walking a crooked path is the way of our modern state, thinking straight is based on the final outcome of the products you deliver. Do we have the knowledge to make your engines run without a skip or putter? What’s the best way to get a tune up without putting sugar in the gas tank?

Know what you want then get it.

95% of the interns that come into my studio wanting to become part of this business have no problem explaining to me why they want to play radio, “Because it seems like a cool job.”

400 intern hours with me and their view is 100% on you. This isn’t a job…it’s an opportunity to keep your engine purring or we’re all headed over to Joe’s house.

Now get back to work!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

School's been cancelled and the libary is closed forever...

Master Todd Harris at Martial Arts University teaches, “The average person has the ability to be the master of one thing.”

Nathan Richie will spend hours discussing Bruce Lee’s unforgettable influence on the world of Martial Arts but he was never a master of the art that created his path.

Tom Hanks is an Oscar Award winning actor—one look at the magazine rack at the grocery store and you’ll be quickly reminded of what he’s become a master of; sharing the stories of World War I and II men and women whose words and experiences would’ve been lost forever if he and Mr. Spielberg hadn’t dedicated their lives and private dollars to the preservation of history.

It’s extremely difficult to name your mastered craft. Thinking you know is an extremely dangerous game to play because reality has a bite that leaves marks.

I’m humble enough to admit what I’m not. And by saying that…I’ve opened the door to failure.

You’ll never become if you don’t believe in it first. If I feel doubt while delivering a one inch front kick through a chunk of wood, my energy won’t move through the once living tree. If I’ve convinced myself that doing 30 pushups is a lot of ups then downs…I’ll be tired by the time I reach 10.

As a child I poured everything into becoming a master at radio—I listened to nobody. It was my dream to have and to hold til death do us part. Had I leaped into this career after a college education the death of me would’ve been my first meeting with a program director whose job is to fine tune the talent and presentation of the radio station. I’ve never mastered radio because my roots sing “rebel” too loudly.

Do I agree with Nathan about Bruce Lee not being a master—yes. Jackie Chan and Taylor Lautner are no different—they move swiftly across the giant blizzard white canvas but a true Black Belt knows the way and the way isn’t about destroying or teaching the unknowing how to ignore using good judgment before killing living things.

A banker is no different—CEO’s and decision makers can spend all day in their beautifully designed offices living off the average persons $3 ATM service charge and never think twice about what its like to scrounge up 20 bucks for something other than macaroni and cheese with hotdogs for dinner. They might be brilliant at numbers and creating ideas that’ll inspire hordes of people to move toward their horizon but in the end modern day banking has no clue who you are. They aren’t masters at taking care of people unless it’s themselves.

Native American’s lived a separate path—it’s only natural to assume Hollywood was right when discussing the incredible power and charisma of a single nations Chief. They were strong warriors, fought many battles and have scars that scream, “I shall forever lead these people.”

Chief’s earned their position of power not by fighting in battles but by giving up their lives. They were the most giving people of the nation. They gave to make better for everyone. They lived for their circles of family and friends. They led people not a self to better places to survive. Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce Nation vowed to protect his people by bravely leading them to Canada. It was their lives he protected and felt tremendous loss in the days that would become their final.

He was a master of compassion.

The Crow Nation of Montana is best known for their battle on the Little Big Horn with General George Custer. A quick glance at their history makes the average person assume the Crow were masters of a good fight. Not true. No other nation can top their skills as incredible horsemen. They mastered the art of using horses as a tool.

What are you a master of? It’s ok to guess. Just don’t demand. In a society blessed with wishful thinking and the deep pockets to pay for it—the end result is a community filled with too many Jack’s of all trades. I’m extremely guilty of that art. Need a wooden bowling ball that hooks right before it hits the pins? Give me a week!

I hearda quote that tends to lean hard on how well I listen to reality. Just when you think I’ve got you completely tuned out and locked onto my own barely lit path…along comes a single moment of innocence that stops the world and spins it in the other direction.

“Let me see if I understand what you are telling me. They want to close our libraries to save money…does this mean they aren’t interested in giving children a quiet safe place for us to read?”


A 6 year old from Community Charter School whose parents pay for their children to be bused to the nearest public library because the school doesn’t have one.

What are you a master of? In ten years or less your children will have no clue what mastering a craft is. The nearest library will be located in what little memory you have left. We can dream all day about the web always being available until you stop to look into the eyes connected to the soul of reality…nobody controls how much you’re paying every month to be hooked up to all that information. The unemployment rate is now 13% with no real end in sight. If things don't begin to change what’s the first thing most struggling families are forcing themselves to get rid of? Luxuary...and the web is exactly that.

Get your head out of the present and put focus on the future.

That’s what I’m a master of…

Did you ever see the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Where will they start hiding the children?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Being aware makes you a daily champion.

Thirty one years of radio and I still can’t purchase toilet paper. My kidneys refuse to let me use a public bathroom and forget about me breaking away from the station to have lunch…I can’t stand the idea of eating in front of people. I’m that shy!

Going the route of radio didn’t shock me…it’s acting, being an on-air talent gives me permission to become a separate personality. The writer in me has nothing to do with the radio guy who can’t stand to hang out with the person who paints 48x54 canvases and please don’t let them hangout with the dude who’s suddenly rediscovered his passion to write and produce music.

While walking into a grocery store everyone stuck inside me elects to stay in the car and I’m forced to brave the world on my own. I shoot into actor mode when the cashier looks at the quick fix medicine purchased and says, “I hope you start feeling better.”

“Do you say that to the people buying beer or an oddly shaped bottle of red wine?”

If you think my humor sucks on the radio try catching it live at a grocery store or restaurant. The cashier’s reaction was no reaction…which forced me to spit out another one liner, “Hey you’ve got two chocolate bars there...thank goodness they haven’t passed a law that says you can’t sugar rush and drive.”

According to a published report the fear of buying toilet paper runs right up there with a fear of running out of toilet paper. We all know what happens next; the General Manager at work sends out a boldly printed email wondering whose swiping the wipe.

People fear buying toilet paper because it’s a free advertisement that says, “Hey look everyone! I’m about to do something!”

Is it connected to my fear of using public restrooms? Paruresis, or shy bladder syndrome, affects a surprisingly large number of people. It is thought to be second only to fear of public speaking in the hierarchy of social phobias. Its sufferers are mostly male but viewers of the Ally McBeal show will recognize that it affects females as well. It can compromise a person's social life, make travel difficult if not impossible, even limit job or professional options.

More phobias would come out if people had the confidence to talk about it. Oprah might actually decide not to retire—she’ll have endless amounts of crazy phobias to uncover, such as the fear of what the world is going to be like without Oprah. Been here before, I remember how my mother and her cast of look-a-likes freaked out when Phil Donahue stepped to the side. The entire nation about caved in when rumors in the early 1980’s started flying around that Luke and Laura were preparing to leave General Hospital and how dare Jay Leno leave The Tonight Show…oh wait…he’s back.

While at the grocery store I cringe when the cashier grabs the box from the cart and reads the ingredients. Holy God she works for my doctor and she’s going to report back to him that I’m still taking in too much salt! I want to hide every time someone asks me how my weekend was. I’m instantly forced back to my childhood where Aunt Louise loudly shouted, “Nobody cares! Ego check little man! Figure out a new way to get people to talk to you!”

It taught me how to become a better listener which I failed at while reporting for television. The producer back at the studio wasted no time to bluntly say, “You freak! The person you’re interviewing completely set you up for the best question and you elected to stick to your show prep! Listen to those you are interviewing…let them hang themselves.”

Is this the reason why I fear buying toilet paper? Does it all boil down to a fear of being judged?

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and scrutiny. Put another way, social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression. If a person usually becomes anxious in social situations, but seems fine when they are alone, then "social phobia" may be the problem.

As a writer I don’t fear. Maybe it’s because I report more than originate. I write to create reaction. I used to play radio that way…called it Info-tainment…research shows it doesn’t go with your flow…so I stopped. Getting the opportunity to write everyday makes me more of a broadcaster than junking up your trunk with another four in a row without talk. It is the perfectly ripe age of communication and yet too many creative minds act as if they’re horrified to purchase toilet paper or can’t stand the idea of munching in front of someone they don’t know.

Feeling nervous about eating around people is more common with men more than women, and children. Social notions tell us that it is not nice to be seen eating in public, mostly for fear that people will think we are eating too much, and will look "fat" or "undesirable." With all the mixed messages we get about beauty, propriety and health, it can lead many to worry about letting a mouthful pass the lips in public.

What makes life perfect is having the courage to say, “I’m not perfect.” The moment I start to think I am, fate slips into a martial arts uniform and invites me to the center of the fighting ring.

As a 2nd degree black belt I’m not afraid of war…what I fear is you hitting the cold lonely hard ground wrong…so I end up letting you kick my tail knowing everytime I rub my cheeks into that stinky mat I hit the floor the way I’ve been trained over and over again. Is that ego talking or someone who doesn’t want you to feel a bad decision become a painful conclusion?

Hey while I’m down here and you’re up there…can you score me some toilet paper?

Monday, March 22, 2010 it really about us?

Do you or don’t you? If you’ve send an RSVP…are you required to attend?

The most common reason given for not showing up, “I totally forgot about having a prior engagement and really felt embarrassed about saying I couldn’t do it.”

It makes showing up forty five minutes late for dinner seem tiny.

In California, being late is accepted. On the opposite shore, if you show up 30 seconds late to one of my movie premieres you aren’t getting in. Being courteous still carries weight in a world blessed with too much of a whole lot of me, me and more me.

But to go silent without placing a call, sending a text or email…not only puts your friendship on the front line of trouble but being asked to come back to a future event sits in what I call The Boa Constrictor Zone: A boa is really close to being blind…I was bit nine times by my 9 ½ foot strong as an ox monster each time I fed him. Why? Because that was the only time he saw my hand and began associating its scent with that of food.

What signals are you sending to those with invitations? Why are you spending weekends sitting at home alone with the remote control in one hand and an empty glass of red wine in the other? How did we get onto this boat?

Being invited to attend an event isn’t a luxury and shouldn’t always be expected…although my neighbors have parties every week…its not my place to assume the front door is open. I’ve earned the hall pass from the principal that states,” Maybe or maybe not but it’s highly unlikely therefore we’ll stop asking.”

Look at the number of events you’re invited to attend on Face Book—how often do you double click the ignore button then sit back and wonder why the cliques you want to be part of never reach out toward your fun loving way?

It’s difficult to be in several different places at the same time!

I’m not saying that you can’t bow out of a celebration and or gathering you RSVP’d…just don’t go silent, expecting them to understand the next time your eyeballs meet.

I took this matter to ethics, morals and good manners expert Anne Marie Sabbath who writes, “Don’t send an email or text…place a phone call to the person who offered the invitation. The best way to say I’m sorry is to send a gift.”

We live in an age of bigger people on the other line, which takes our mind off the people who really count. If I were to cruise over to Myrtle Beach to visit a radio friend of 25 years and stand him up…I would expect him to spend the next six months writing about my lack of love for humankind on Face Book.

Nobody does that anymore! We’ve elected to stop holding each other responsible for the money spent on food and drinks they said they’d help us devour. We’ve become martyrs, “It’s ok…there’s always next season. I’ll be fine. I’m sure you’ll have a much better time. Wish I could go.”

My problem is…I’ll drop the party I’m throwing and go hang out with them, Dude, if you’ve got something bigger and better…I’ve got to be part of it. I’ll leave the two Maltese and the Chinese Crested at home to take care of the guests. Besides, you don’t need someone hanging around the house blah, blah, blahing about why radio listeners tune out of commercials.

So what about that party you toss down where everybody shows up and there’s always that one in the bunch that isn’t loved so much? You completely feel guilty about inviting them into your home and nobody not even the pet boa constrictor is talking to them, so you’re forced to hang with them all dang night.

How the heck do you get out of this nightmare? A new Wii game of bowling is set to begin but you’re stuck babysitting!

Anne Marie says, “Grab your not so open friend by the hand and start introducing them to the others you’ve invited.” Holy cow…she wants you to pass the buck. Truth is, the majority of us can’t stand the idea of walking into a room filled with strangers. Once a conversation begins the one who feels unwelcome begins to break out of their shell and ends up taking everybody on in a game of Wii fitness.

I know you’re busy and busy is good but while being busy don’t take your eye off the game. Friends don’t have to be coworkers and just because you live next door to someone doesn’t mean you have to love them like a brother. Just be fair to those who offer an invitation to join them. If you’re booked you aren’t breaking anybodies heart by saying, “I’m replacing the toilet in the bathroom that day.”

And if you’re new to a group of people escaping our current world of multitasking and boss complaining…do so in the way of creating a welcome mat by making it extremely fun to meet new people. I’m always amazed at the number of couples I meet that wouldn’t have met each other if someone they called friend wouldn’t have introduced them to the soul mate that didn’t exist until that one moment in time.

Being 15 to 30 minutes late is a walk of life in California…this might explain why there are 7 million people in Los Angeles…they keep missing the plane that’ll get them out. I can’t imagine what the average person whose late would feel like if the ATM read: Your money will be located in the bottom slot in about…hmmm maybe…oh lets say…sometime this week.

What about people that talk to you only when they want something then deny it when you stop their motion of moving forward.

Stop! New subject! That’s a completely different book, movie and Star Wars series.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stop consuming and start making fun!

The first day of spring is tomorrow. It doesn’t matter what the ground hog is seeing or believing, it’s no longer about him or his neighbors. The turtles have started popping up their heads while the Canadian Geese are searching for the most odd ball place to create their new family of goslings…and I’m not talking about Kate. Wait a second…let’s do! Except she spells her last name Gosselin.

The former television reality star is currently on the cover of People Magazine sporting the thought, “Why can’t Mom’s have fun?”

I’m so with her! While growing up, the one thing I totally missed out on was falling witness to my mother having a great time. We’re talking about a Wyoming farm girl who refused to hangout with the chickens and cattle because getting an education was first on her list of accomplishments. She looked at life and said, “A high school and college education are extremely important…so I’m leaving home.” And she did.

It takes guts without the glory to stare down the throat of chance and challenge. To be so brave during a time of war and poverty took spunk which at the time in 1940 could’ve easily been looked upon as being too wild and open for girls her age. Not because I’m her son, but wow…to have such courage screams, “I’m having a great time succeeding.”

By the time I was born she was settled in and taking life incredibly too serious. Her view of the world was governed by a rough divorce that left her being the single head of a household that featured a mentally challenged son that my grand parents wanted to institutionalize and another son my playful father called his favorite which left no room for anyone to gain access to a sip of attention.

Mom’s role was to be the hen in the house that constantly kept an eye on the tiny cutout door to make sure coyotes or raccoons didn’t mess up what little she had left to her name.

When humans stay harshly focused on survival too long—the idea of having fun no longer finds its breath on the surface of her innocent skin. I often wonder what my life would be like today if Mom would’ve been a little more playful? It kills me to think the American way of living is to blast our way through childhood and graduation only to become trapped inside an imprisoned state of mind because that’s the way its always been.

I’m jealous of Mr. and Mrs. George at Tae Kwon Do. Each of them make it a point to be actively involved in a fun way with the continuations they’ve brought into the world. It teaches them the importance of being human while exceeding the limits we place on ourselves as to how we’re supposed to act in a grownup world.

Being tied up by a dictionaries description of what a Mom is and shouldn’t be has turned 98% of this nation into consumers and not makers. A world kept hidden from the eyes that follow you become their way to act and react in the chapters they too are writing.

Personally, I live off my mother’s stories of grabbing life by the nap of the neck and saying, “Farming may be the job my father wants me to do but the rest of the world doesn’t work that way.” Call it a bucket list or a willingness to live…if being a Mom or Dad isn’t fun…I challenge you to find it.

The goal is to stop being the person research says you are. The purpose is to reach into the pits of your dreams and pull from the assumed wreckage everything you wanted to be because in the end how you got back to living shall be carried by the children who call you Mom.

Kate Gosselin has made the right choice! Why can’t Mom’s have fun? You spend nearly every minute of everyday racing from this side of town to the other almost never saying no to those you love and protect. Wouldn’t it be great to invite someone into your world of wishes?

Stop being the hen in the house waiting for the sly fox to barge through the front door!

Live life and have fun being who you really are—it creates stories worth sharing. I can’t imagine what the little George’s will tell their children about Grandpa and Grandma, “My Dad helped me love a sport not for its opportunities to win, win and win again but rather to fine tune the art of having fun while constantly learning new ways to live.”

Stop consuming American Culture and start making it!

Make room to have fun. If you can’t find fans then locate new friends. If you don’t think life was meant to be fun ask the giraffe what its creator was thinking. Anteaters, Zebra’s with white stripes rather than black, dolphins that constantly look like they’re dancing. Spring is here and every year it passes without you having fun is another season you aren’t going to get back.

Where do you begin? How do you start? Is there enough room in the world for you to be playful like a kid while still wearing adult rules? What’s the one thing that almost always happens when someone finally retires from their career? They fold in their strong shoulders and wilt away.

Fun doesn’t have to be drinking binges. Fun can be your children hiding the Easter Eggs and you have to find them. Fun doesn’t have to be camping in the great outdoors and your job is to be the fry cook. Fun is taking a Flip video camera and going all out artsy. Hook onto a great digital camera and turn your view of the world into pieces that inspire people you’ll never meet.

There are no rules in the business of fun until the one time you look at your eyes in the mirror and spot the very sadness your parents held during your days of discovery. It’s not selfish to want to be part of their growth but you go ahead, do it, I’ll be waiting for you over here on the park bench.

Make fun happen.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just too damn positive in an extremely negative world.

Musician, author and producer Robin Crow writes, “A giant wooden ship sitting in a harbor is peaceful but that’s not what it was built for.”

Large white sails that bask in the heated passion of a sun racing to warm a body made of water, each plank of the ship held together by the might of many men who laid their trust down in places a passerby would walk, run or stumble across while extremely hungry waves crash hard against the carefully crafted hull forcing Leonardo Dicaprio to scream, “I’ve changed my mind about being the king of the world! This ain't easy!”

The next time you get caught up in a bad day become the pride set within the hollowed out soul of a ship built for those whose passion is to perform. Too many wandering boats already crowd the waterways leaving no room for taller more confident masses of travel to squeeze in a dance on a floor designed for adventure.

If movement isn’t to be had…we slip the ship into a parking space at the dock then rush indoors to down a plate of BBQ chased by an amble collection of chicken wings dipped in blue cheese.

“A giant wooden ship sitting in a harbor is peaceful but that’s not what it was built for.”

The American spirit was created to take a good strong hit. After being knocked down and maybe out, you’re supposed to get back up and do it again. I’ve always believed family squirms and squabbles are nothing more than boot camp for future decisions made combined with everyday challenges. You’re pushed and pushed but never bend until the moment Mom or Dad look away then ka-plunk you land the perfect comeback punch of the day.

We have forgotten how to fail—the thought of it pours on the pounds of worry in our stomachs turning the once hot idea into pale faced sick zombies with no desire to do anything but walk forward.

We fear failure. It’s the giant hairy wolf that’s been chasing Little Red Riding Hood for a billion decades and to this very moment the thought of hearing, “I’m going to huff! I’m going to puff,” throws us into a state of self generated terrorism. It’s a horrible feeling to hold. It eats away at your thought process like fresh chocolate. You are weakened to the point of sacrifice which usually involves losing interest in the original plan.

You weren’t built to stop. Those ribs you wake up with every morning were carefully crafted to protect the heart and lungs required to shoot endless amounts of energy into the veins carrying blood to the muscles begging to be put back to work. There’s a reason why your hamstrings are the largest single element—balance is everything and how you stand in times of tremendous pressure convinces the brain to continue sending messages to other body parts impatiently waiting to harness the willingness to turn a thought, idea or dare into something made of reality.

Sadly…most of us don’t think this way. We’re the person Bruce Springsteen is singing about:

One step up and two steps back.
It's the same thing night on night.

When I look at myself I
don't see the man I wanted to be
Somewhere along the line I
slipped off track.

One step up and two steps back.

It’s not your fault! How can we expect you to be greater than great when the coaching staff of modern day Corporate America has released the idea of making sure you understand the game? You’re tossed into the center of the ring to do nothing more than sink or swim. Painfully you look to the corner in hopes of locating Rocky Balboa only to realize every opportunity accepted has nothing to do with teamwork and everything to do with survival.

The only person offering support or congratulations are the set of eyes staring back at you while washing your hands in the bathroom. The Captain of your ship—the wind in your sails, the oversized wooden wagon wheel that steers you through the toughest storms while popping your tail out somewhere between here and there. And you haven’t even offered a simple thank you.

I get it! Why should you? Every person, job or title is no longer a guarantee in the walk of life. We are trained to make it or break it. That person in the mirror is constantly in the way. My Dad always barked about my friends, “You spend too much time with them! It a wonder you don’t all go into the bathroom at the same time!” In reality, there has been one person always in there with you.

It’s not your fault that you find pleasure or release in looking at yourself in the mirror to find everything wrong. I can’t stand the way my hair looks! I got bashed in the face pretty hard last night in Tae Kwon Do…how vein am I to walk into the bathroom to study the schnooky to see if its bent, broken or just being a big ole baby?

We’ll fight with the beast in the mirror but lay low on the idea of gaining access to a higher level of success outside that sheet of nothingness. For every job open in radio there are one thousand people trying for it. I can’t imagine the odds of landing a performance in the world of banking, gourmet chef, hair stylist, dentist or the next judge on American Idol.

Generations shouldn’t be separated at birth. I may not have the makings of the Wyoming pig and cattle farmer my Grandpa Dobrenz was but I’ve got enough fight in me that might remind him of the bitterly cold winters that struck his land. Learn to look beyond the surface of your skin and locate every reason to be strong again. I can’t imagine what life in America was like when lawmakers rationed sugar and metal and the only job a person could find was making bullets to send over to Germany and Japan in a beat up factory on a dangerous side of town. What about the men who left their families when President Roosevelt generated jobs that created highways through the toughest, tallest and most dangerous mountains in the country?

What about the men and women who never think twice about waking up in places of the world and their only mission in life is to preserve American freedom?

“A giant wooden ship sitting in a harbor is peaceful but that’s not what it was built for.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where are we going? Are we there yet?

Caught the world premiere of Repo Men starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker—two men hired to recover the inner makings of body parts that keep families together and those heading the household alive. Because of this company, patients needing a liver, heart, lungs, kneecap or kidney no longer wait in long lines. The cost is through the roof and there’s no room for those who bail out on their monthly payments.

Is this fantasy or reality? Will we one day walk into Wal-Mart and pick up a big toe crushed while doing flying jump kicks in Tae Kwon Do? How far are we from Rent-A-Center running ads on television that offer arms, legs and a new jaw bone? Short on cash? That’s ok! Next door is Checks-Are-Us who’ll give you the money without questions asked—just pay it back within 30 days or we’ll raise the interest rate to 90% while taking the cute dog you cuddle up to in the middle of the night.

Freaked out yet? I sure was on December 1, 1982 when Barney Clark became the first recipient of a manmade heart. I remember reading the story on KOOK in Billings, Montana and feeling proud about this incredible journey while fearing what might lie ahead. You gotta remember, this was during the day of light sabers and C3PO—was the new decade lifting us toward a George Lucas Empire that would one day strike back?

I love science! What must it be like to hold a vision that one day becomes someone’s first step or breath of a brand new beginning? It’s not their incredible gifts that I am questioning—but rather the consequences of what could happen if something so brilliant lands in the hands of Corporate America…

In Repo Men you have 90 days to pay off three installments of $600,000 or more. I get sick each time I fork out the bucks to Time Warner for cable and internet. When you’re late, they send a nice letter or two. In Repo Men…they hire Jude Law. Gulp!

The greatest thing about America is opportunity. If there’s a need, someone is going to create a business around it. Look at the Beanie Baby rush of the 90’s! If you didn’t score the Princess Di its first day out…you were forced into bankruptcy. I kept waiting for Keith Hawthorne Ford to offer, “Get 3 mint condition Beanie Babies with the purchase of a new Mustang!”

The closest we got were the mini-Beanies from McDonalds. No wonder I had a heart attack! I crammed every kid’s meal burger into my system all in the name of making sure I got every single last one of them. We waited in long lines hoping the new box would be opened. Once set free the crowds would cheer while tossing cash out like it grew on Beanie trees.

What if big business started offering body parts at prices you can afford? Would you allow them to slap a bumper sticker on our forearm that reads: Monkey Joe’s Kidneys without the stones? Heck, maybe they’ll hook up with a NASCAR driver and your new gallbladder features the number 24. You know how big business works, they’ll hit up radio stations with promotions that offer free tickets to the concert and a real New Year makeover that includes a heart and six arteries. If you buy one lung you get the other free.

Wouldn’t it be great to latch onto six seconds of the future and see how close to science fiction Repo Men is? And if it’s truly going to come true then scientists need to get to work on turning every movie into a reality such as The Hangover…no matter what happens in the end…the entire embodiment of people involved are still loving each other like nothing happened. Steven Spielberg can re-release Old Yeller…because the body parts featured in Repo Men could save a dogs life too.

And I thought cloning was a scary situation. Don’t even take me there—the movie Moon totally waxed me out on the what if factor. Seriously…how would you react if you suddenly bumped into yourself at Home Depot? Forget how Arroe-2 and Arroe-3 comb their hair or wear fancier clothes. I’d bust their tail on the way they speak, “You’re out of tune! Where’s the inflection? I didn’t say volume! I said stretch the word without making it sound like you’re delivering four different sounds. How do you expect to sell cars on the radio if you don’t speak from the tummy? Where are you going? There aren’t eight hours in the workday, you go and go and go until you can’t remember where the beginning began.”

Maybe I’m not ready for the future.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dear Mom, today at band camp I was human.

Singer/songwriter John Mayer’s most recent verbal blunder within the glossy pages of Playboy stole from him the type of respect artists get when they’re old and bent over because their successes are much too big to carry. Spouted were careless words and reckless views that would’ve easily been erased from a reporter’s archives two decades ago when respecting the private thoughts of those who lift our days were protected by a vow and or trust between the interviewer and interviewee.

Allegedly speaking, Babe Ruth would’ve never survived this modern state of news reporting where the above and below average, middle or upper class carry with them a reason to catch in the act their weight in worth, which is usually a cell phone lens full of unmistakable human humility…

Author Lou Solomon posted the subject: Speaking from Intention—putting focus on denial, excuses, missing it, the gap and doubt. What we’re learning from the untrained reporter is that every breath we take, the entire world is waiting to watch you. So Lou wanted to know how people reacted to this statement: I don’t have time to watch everything little thing I say.

In which category do you fit?

I’m already doing everything I can.
I could do this better if I worked with like minded people.
Some of the best outcomes will stay out of reach without intentional speaking.

If you selected A…you are the minority. B received the most votes.

Being at work is no different than growing up in the house you ran away from shortly after turning eighteen. Like mindedness is rarely found within the ranks of family and like those four corners of the world, how many successful businesses raised their potential by being a like minded company? Your gift of performance is expected to fit within the configuration…anything less creates discomfort.

No wonder Face Book and Twitter are currently rocking the giant blue marble called Planet Earth. The new age spiritual journey isn’t to find the maker but rather grip the brim of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones hat then set out to find someone who’s like minded. Not “If” but when there’s a disagreement, hit the button that shouts, “Remove!”

Divorce and separation are no different…the buttons to remove just cost more and usually help finance barely trained lawyers set on owning fancy homes with rich people coffee and creams on a table they swiped from a couple because one of them couldn’t foot the bill.

Should I have put a gap there? You know the gap! That tiny little space that can either create a complete thought or pull off a classic Simon Cowell example on American Idol where he didn’t tell the singer she sucked…the entire sentence didn’t go anywhere near where Talk Soup and other gibby gab Hollywood drama maker’s took it. Simon Cowell’s pause or gap made it look like he agreed with all America, this years collection of players, “S**K.” Did he mean to put a pause in the sentence? Did he realize what he was saying too late and attempt to find a conclusion to a thought already delivered?

The gap is a dangerous place to hang your Indiana Jones hat.

Lou posted and received these reactions: When someone insults me, there’s no reason to wait for the gap.

Great things happen when I choose my words.
You can’t let people take advantage of you.
It’s always wiser to think before you speak.

Without a pause or gap…what’s your reaction to Lou’s statement? If you said “A” you are in the middle. “C” is the king. Think before you speak.

Being an on-air radio junky, a thought provoker over a six second Dave Matthews intro…enormous amounts of thought and preparation goes into every performance. Yet if you were to interview me off the air…the man on the radio is nowhere near being the same. Great conversation begins with amble amounts of space to pour participation. If John Mayer had demanded that his manager or publicist be present during the Playboy interview…the questions and or layout of the interview would’ve been proofed.

In radio...we are protected by a 7 to 35 second delay. If something doesn't pop out right...its our highly trained ambition to reach over and hit the red button that dumps what was delivered.

I work with large microphones fully capable of recording everything that comes to life in the studio. From preachers to football and rock stars, to teachers to chefs and other visionaries set on trying to change the path of the planet…a lot is said, laughed at, mishandled and reshaped but none of it makes it out of my studio. In front of every client, visitor and or vocal motivator, the misquote, blunder, burp, cough, passing of gas and blooper is erased in front of them to never be heard again.

Trust is more valuable than the air we shove into our lungs. Once abused, the lack of trust will shoot your body, mind and soul into a moment of shock where you’ll spend the rest of your life gasping for that invisible something that’s readily available until the day someone decides to profit from your act of being 100% human.

Viral video’s get local news channel ratings. Viral video’s as of late have also served as a weapon of mass destruction on social networking sites that offer videos…and when you open it…a virus not only takes over your computer but everyone connected. What if for a moment we listened to our parents? What if we started to mind our own business? Would life truly get that much more boring?

Nobody liked Mrs. Kravitz on BeWitched. The nosey neighbor was the biggest pause, gap… How does your community of FB and Twitter friends look at you? Before radio I tried to be my mom’s perfect little angel. It got me nowhere, not even in the choir at church. Being a dork, part time loser, freak, weirdo, school boy, nerd, numbers puncher, music geek or pocket protector professor is cool but that doesn’t mean someone has to broadcast it. Being completely human is what we’re horribly afraid to do.

Suddenly we have a new name...we aren't the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y...we are the collection of walkers who got nowhere because we spent way too much time watching what other people were doing. Between the years 1900 and 2000, billions of inventions gifted our lives with brilliant reasons why we should be proud to be American. Between 2001 and 2010...the farthest we've reached is the Send button on the computer screen.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What was I thinking? Stop trying to change the way we are!

Ever do something that shocks the system into carrying guilt not for two days but several that follow? No matter where you stand, the thought process refuses to toss it—from the large open space of a grocery store aisle to flying down the highway at a well displayed suggested speed. You just can’t shake the junk from your trunk!

I was forced into a situation of having to share my disappointment with a restaurant manager…which led to me folding my hands on my chest like the Dali Lama, peacefully bowing by way of showing respect then walking out the door that welcomed me not even five minutes earlier.

How completely un-cool is that?

In his book Selling The Invisible author Harry Beckwith accuses American’s of taking on a new role of settling for 3rd and 4th best. His view of the world paints the portrait of a nation addicted to getting what they want quickly without having to worry about how sloppy the path is.

We’ve learned to accept poor quality and bad service.

I’m guilty of this! Clothing outlets drastically reduce the selling price of shirts, pants and jackets that aren’t perfect. Johnny Depp never looks clean…so why should we? Jude Law’s accent adds class to his scuffed up shirts and fresh from the bedroom hair. George Michael made stonewashed jeans with holes in the knees and butt a totally clean cut.

As a whole…we’ve learned to say, “That’s ok…you’re having a bad day. Today, last Wednesday, the two Friday’s before that and at least ten times last year.”

By doing this…quality no longer carries weight.

Harry Beckwith has been screaming for nearly two decades to stop this disastrous way of living! Being cheap ends up costing you more in the end. People accept low ratings at restaurants with the idea of, “Oh well…if I get sick, what’s the worst that could happen? I could use a day off from work”

Mall stores and major hardware chains feel its ok to put three or less people on the floor. You don’t need people to hold your hand. You just need a store that’s open when you’re ready to buy. American’s aren’t in love with quality…we want cheap.

I buy two weed eaters a year—one that takes gas and oil and the other charges up. The gas and oil machine is the better cutter but decides when it wants to start or to properly send the chord through the tiny hole to knock down the weeds. Half way through the season it elects to take me on…its only weapon…don’t turn on. Do I keep the box and take it back to the store? Nope! Because they won’t take a weed eater back that’s been pummeled by my decision to break out a serious Tae Kwon Do match in the middle of the front yard. Once the fit is over…I reach for the backup battery version spending more time than normal trying to take down what I consistently assume is a nature preserve and not a house in the middle of a city block.

No matter what generation society has placed in you…from movie theaters to cell phone companies and computer makers we have no interest in quality. A great example…a step into the future is about to be unraveled—a leading maker of keyboards and a really cool screen is set to release their latest idea. Not only is it thinner than thin but it’s built in power will last seven hours. Whoa! Does the company have it on display for you to touch it? No! Was the staff helpful in explaining why I should leap from a PC toward their brand? No! They expect us to do it…if not me, there’s always someone willing to accept bad customer service to get it.

When will I learn the “I” in Iphone and Ipad means exactly that…its all about I. There is no we in I. The Ipod has already made us an I. N. dividual…why wouldn’t the staff selling them treat us the same way? “I don’t need to make up your mind for you. I am here to make sure you arrive safely at I.”

Don’t get me wrong. I think Apple is brilliant. I love how they’re single handedly taking us into a realm of George Jetson-ville that nobody wants to be bothered with. The Apple rep on the 1-800 number was incredibly helpful that I assumed it carried to the store. That’s one I that didn’t work out. I can’t find my I box…so maybe I should kick my or I butt in an I match of Tae Kwon I.

If a tree doesn’t sprout the proper amount of leaves…people cut them down. If the rose bushes don’t bud like last year, they’re dug up. If deer happen to walk into your yard we forget who was here first and race out to find poisons to take them out. We want quality in the wrong places!

I’m not a fan of HD television! It pops, it sticks, the sound is never right. The government forced us into a world of bad quality. We can’t even get them to patch the holes in the streets or change the bulbs in the light poles. What if radio stations suddenly stopped putting blinking lights on their radio antennas? What if vacuum cleaners came with a guarantee, “We suck so bad that dirt is the only thing that complains.”

I feel so guilty about walking out of a restaurant—it was a buffet. Maybe I should’ve scanned the joint before ordering water with no ice. Once up to the area where the food was to be I heard the manager say, “The chef is eating lunch right now…he’ll put something out in fifteen minutes.” There were twenty people in the restaurant. I scanned the room with my Batman sensors and noticed…everybody was waiting. Placing my folded hands on my heart then bowing…not a fowl word anywhere near my lips or thinking process. I instantly became the jerk who left while eighteen others chose to continue our nation’s addiction to lack of quality service.

What makes the situation worse has nothing to do with the I in me…what becomes of 3rd and 4th best when it’s accepted as the bar being set to high? We’re cruising through this new millennium without a seat belt…that’s ok, the master crafters of things have convinced us that life is invincible and forever and it’s me not I who has the problem.

Welcome to The I State of America. Ouch!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Embarrassing today but filled with pride while it was happening…KOOK radio listeners in Billings, Montana heard these words, “My name is Arroe Collins…and I’ve chosen this day to be my final in what I will forever call the greatest city on earth. I openly admit my personal dreams are extremely large, in fact they might be too big…but I need to find out for myself. That’s why I’m leaving KOOK to participate with a new dream that’s taking me to Charlotte, South Carolina. I will miss you very much…I’ll carry with me every moment we’ve had together. It’s time to reach out and try to grab a different ring and I believe Charlotte, South Carolina is the perfect place for that new beginning.”

I was 23 and naive! Obviously! I had no clue where Charlotte truly was. I just knew I had to get there in three days for the March 11, 1985 debut. 7-Midnight in market number 37. I made it to Top 50 radio with every ounce of my dreams set on making it to Los Angeles by twenty five. All that money dumped into 45’s and 8-track tapes was finally paying off.

The most difficult part of the journey wasn’t leaving Montana but rather trying to get across the extremely wide Tennessee. Even today, that state doesn’t end! You go and go and right before you feel like you’re about to be dumped off the planet the sign reads, “Welcome to North Carolina!”

I remember thinking, “If I can get to North Carolina…Charlotte, South Carolina wasn’t far.”

The giant peach in Gaffney scared the ba-jee-bee’s out of me. After 59 ½ hours of driving with a boa constrictor in the back seat with an Alaskan Malamute peacefully laying next to him, the sight of something that looked like an oversized butt reached out and woke up my 1 AM.

It wasn’t until I hit Gastonia that I realized Charlotte isn’t in South Carolina. I wanted to turn around and go back to Billings. I couldn’t believe my final break on KOOK was a major mistake. I needed to return to apologize.

This story today isn’t about me…it’s about you.

There’s no way any broadcaster can stay in a single market for twenty five years without having the love and support of the community he or she performs in daily. If you hadn’t welcomed me onto your path, this page would be blank.

Several times I had the opportunity to turn my back like I did in Billings and walk away—but my good friend Todd Midgett couldn’t have said it better, “This city, county and state has allowed you to become part of their lives. You’ve planted your roots deep into this market and leaving would mean tearing down a mountain.”

I can’t thank you enough for letting me be part of your journey.

The friendliest people on earth live in the south. As weird as my thoughts can be on-air or blinking through computer screens, you’ve got a way of saying nice things about insanity and I think it starts with, “Well bless your heart.”

You didn’t yell at me when I called Biltmore Estate…Baltimore. You did react when I spoke about plugging your car in to keep it warm in the morning. Totally a northern thing. You didn’t seem upset when I called it Mun-row instead of Mawn-roe. Lan-caster instead of Lankester. And I’ve always had Concord correct…it’s never been Con-kerd. I’ve always tripped over my tongue when saying Rutherfordton, giggle a real laugh when talking about the monkeys in Asheboro and Columbia and wow do I ever love Asheville and Charleston.

I want to thank our local schools and non-profit organizations that didn’t have to invite me over. I can still see the eyes of every child who was forced to listen to one of my 362 DARE Graduation speeches. How could a non-drug person tell people not to take drugs? What the heck did I bring to the table? Then I realized…my drug is radio. So I used my addiction to it to help evolve a shy person into someone willing to become more open with their community.

Gastonia was the first city to let me display my art on canvas. My first parade was in Waxhaw followed by Rock Hill, froze during the Christmas parade in Kannapolis and sweat like a buffalo on the hills of Montana during July 4th celebrations downtown. I got to sit with the Medicine Man from the Catawba Nation…wow! Not because I was the dude on the radio but the friendliness found in this part of the world invites visitors to do exactly what the south is known for, “Ya’ll come back.” And I did and did and today is my 25th year of doing so.

I can’t thank you enough for letting me be part of your day and night.

You stood out brighter than bright when I laid in the hospital this past July…the phones were flooded with calls and the hospital hallways were blanketed with people trying to figure out the secret password that was going to get you beyond security. You made my heart better. You make dreams come true. You are the reason why today is my 25th year and these fingertips that write everyday can’t seem to figure out the best way to say thank you.

Maybe I should write a letter to the Mayor of Los Angeles and tell him the truth: Dear Sir… as bad as I wanted to bring my way, way out there style of broadcasting to your town to compete against Ryan Seacrest…I’m sorry Sir, that isn’t going to happen. You might have the big city lights with Hollywood scraped across the hillside but there’s no better feeling than waking up in a place blessed with endless amounts of heart and soul. This is where real music begins…the rest of you are just listening.

Thank you so much for 25 years! I love the way you communicate! It paints a picture for radio people to share...but the only way to see it is to get to know you and your open door has made these 25 years really dang fun!

Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

With or without....with or within.

Take fifteen steps back and view the number of people who judge their lives and times on the enormous amount of items they’re “Without” rather than taking a moment to locate the treasures found “Within.”

Within and without are what make up the circles we chase.

We hear it everyday, “I can’t get where I’m going without that tool?”

“I can’t achieve your goals without support!”

“Without you by my side there’s no hope for the future.”

If I elected to use “Without” as an excuse during the budding years of my commercial production career I can’t imagine how Fred Story would’ve reacted. The levels of performance he presented served as inspiration rather than destructive criticism. Meaning, his everyday outlook on success didn’t feature a platform for people to use as an excuse not to do what was expected…you were given permission to be creative.

We could go way deeper into that thought…look at the universe and how it came into being what it is today. The outer purpose of the universe is to create form while experiencing the interaction of form. The inner purpose is to awaken its formless effort.

Through expanding and contracting there’s growth. When you allow yourself to be pulled and pulled…you don’t physically snap, the presentation of your performance becomes stretched and out of shape. If put in uncomfortable situations too often, chasing dreams no longer carries weight—therefore we run away from anything that might physically change our lives for the good.

Muscles were made to bend, stretch and break…how many times during an average week do you feel like you’re three to five different people? The weekend arrives and you’ve got one hour to do something for yourself…suddenly Saturday becomes Sunday night and nothing came into play. It’s completely natural to toss that King of Hearts into the pile with higher hopes of clutching an Ace of Spades. Sadly, it's you who pays the price.

We give and give in the name of being accepted. It hurts like a bad monkey bump when you can’t live up to someone else’s expectations. The first thing we shoot from our lips, “I could’ve been but I was without.”

Fred Story took the time to listen not only to the clients but to the producers that made up his team. He educated the staff to build bridges toward radio listeners that never took the time to see eye to eye with the true purpose behind commercials. Not even Oprah Winfrey’s highly touted book The Secret could pinpoint the proper journey.

Everyday I live by one rule: Commercials are the link between your current life and the better life you could be living.

By eliminating “Without” from your vocabulary, you’re given a reason to look within. If we took more time to listen, the end result would be better living. Going inside the core of your dreams, the words you speak and the energy you create…the destination of your next step will be in the direction that not only puts you in better control but makes you a leader for those who sit around assuming they can’t be who they want to be “Without” blank, blank, which is nothing more than a dirty old For Sale sign that screams I’ve allowed my life to be out of control.

How many coworkers spout their stuff on a daily basis believing their view of the world is much brighter and there’s no better way to gamble with success than to do it their way? I love a good leader, especially when leading from within makes the team stronger than what it was five minutes before the meeting began.

In an age where companies are struggling and families are failing—being without tends to be the single element that keep countless amounts of success stories from becoming a reality. Reality is a unified whole. I didn’t say hole. I wrote whole.

Only on earth the sun elects to rise then set. Outside this shell and or education…in space it doesn’t budge an inch…it’s the planet that moves. Where are you in the picture? How many friends can you count that openly admit they’ve located tremendous amounts of happiness being away from the daily grind of out of control bosses with demands too big to fit into book stores? Cutting back has made them happy and worth being with. Gain the courage and bluntly ask…are you without or did you travel within?

Fred Story never seemed to be without an idea and or solution to any situation that unexpectedly came from far away places. Looking within made him the greatest production coach of my twenty five years in Charlotte and the only way to thank him is to continue dedicating my life to making sure clients reach radio listeners who are focused on one thing: a better way to live.

Stop and listen to the commercials sometime…what you think you’re without can easily be filled with something one of these commercials is offering.

With or without....with or within.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What if you could do it over again? Would you run or take it on?

It’s a known fact…we create with our thoughts and words. Problem is we’re so busy participating with everything else in life that none of what we say or think is making it beyond the surface of our skin.

My very good friend Tony from Wyoming has always been one of the finest guitarists I’ve known. Being part of his late 70’s teenage punk rock band fascinated my imagination by way of inspiring dedication and loyalty to take an important seat inside the halls of do it but do it right.

As much as it irritated a few of us to watch him practice his guitar licking over and over—hindsight becomes the master on the chessboard of life. Not only did Tony think about how he’d make a cover song his own but vocally he demanded that every sheet of already written music was presented as if it fell from the tip of his own writing instrument.

From bankers to receptionists to mechanics to ballroom designers—we all create with our thoughts and words. What makes us who we are doesn’t just happen…the canals that make up your lake front have carefully put into play the steps that make your world a reality.

Sadly, that roadmap has been irritated by an infection called motivation through intimidation. Forced into a life and style controlled by multitasking, everything you want to be doesn’t have room to be. We’ve become so dedicated in making sure our kids never get bored that 80% of us will enter the state of old age wondering what life would’ve been like if we had put a little more attention on us.

Baby Boomers are creatively basking in the warmth of retirement because they’re the final group of American’s who didn’t have to sell their souls to pay for HBO and out of control energy prices. Generation X and Y won’t know what to do because we’re no longer trained to think or plan ahead.

Financial advisors earn astronomical amounts of money protecting what little you’ll truly have. I constantly argue with my guy because he’s not going to have to live my life. I’ve already picked out the dog food I’ll be living off. I beg him monthly to please, please, please do everything possible to make sure I don’t get hooked on a buy three get one free can of whatever it is a dog eats. I want the good stuff!

Why is he in control? Because my thoughts and words are buried in a suitcase in an attic called everyday demands. According to author Lou Solomon, we’re too busy forgetting to participate in the creative process sewn into our words.

I can’t argue…while celebrating my 25th year of radio broadcast in the Carolina’s this week I stand 100% completely empty handed. I have nothing more than a torn paper sack of broken dreams to show where loyalty and dedication got me. It makes an incredible story to share with future talkers at schools of broadcasting but to the rest of the world…life as a jock is no different than selling used cars on a lot called Pete and Son’s where we never ask for a credit check.

Somewhere during these 25 years I totally took my eye off personal thoughts and words and gave my energy away for others to play with.

I love interviewing old school Broadcasters—to hear their journey ignites the fires required to keep on keeping on. Those blessed who properly displayed their sails while soaring across ocean waves 5,000 feet high carry with them a single tone and or ambition…it was and still is…all about them. And that’s the book I forgot to check out at the high school library.

Too often the bank teller feeds the pockets of the CEO. It’s the only way to get ahead! Is it? Ask the thousands of former bank employees who were kicked out the door a year ago. It didn’t matter how many hours you poured into the veins of the FDIC and its followers…the bottom line is the bottom line. They weren’t paid to think and create words of their own…they were trained to be actors inside an already prepared world.

Tony from Wyoming was recently asked to participate with my current recording project. He shot back at me, “I can’t be ready. I need maybe a month or two.”

Instantly I became furious. Selfishly I cleared the way for his gift of performance to make it onto a recording project and what I assumed was laziness didn’t play with the rules of a modern day America—never let the client wait, someone will always do it bigger, better and faster. Use it or lose it.

After hitting send…I realized how unimportant that letter was to quality.

I shattered Lou Solomon’s golden rule—I allowed my cruising through life to interfere with Tony’s way of thinking and creating words. Lou explains, “Great things happen when you choose your words and make a stand.”

Tony did what came natural; he dug in, grabbed the reins of everyday life and kept the power on his side of the fence. While holding true to his sport and the feel of the wooden bat…the pressure I put on myself ended up being what stalled the music project. Too much was being given to everything else leading the system to a seven week war against sinus infections and everything else that came with it.

We create with our thoughts and words. Problem is we’re so busy participating with everything else in life that none of what we say or think is making it beyond the surface of our skin.

Absolutely it’s a humbling experience. I tried to make the music project all about me and ended up losing in the end. What if I had done the same with my 25 years of broadcasting in the Carolina’s? Might I be doing a show in Pocatello, Idaho today?

Practice thinking. Create words then back them up. Olympic Gold Medalist Sean White is the world’s greatest snowboarder because he not only envisions his flips, twists and jumps but he puts his entire focus on feeling it by way of making it his reality.

Life would be so much easier if we had only one thing to do. The power of choice fills the plate followed by two scoops of guilt. In the end, the only thing we’re doing is teaching our kids not to think for themselves.

Tell them to get outside and tip the dog house over…then turn it into a space module headed for Mars. That isn’t just any bike they ride…it belongs to Batman and your child is one of the 7 marvels keeping crime off the street. Tell them to toss that tennis ball up against the garage and pretend they’re in the World Series and every pitch and catch counts. Instead of shooting hoops do play by play, it’ll challenge their imagination to think fast while speaking clearly for others to understand.

I failed in radio because I expected success to be handed to me. At 47 I’m convinced it’s not too late to get another chance. The goal is to play a smarter game. Winning is a choice.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why do we treat our everyday like a 24 hour Monday?

If you were to suddenly stop…where would your feet be left standing?

It’s Monday, springs in the air…the idea of continuing to push down the unlimited number of obstacles faced hourly raises higher than the cloud maker. One quick glance outside and without thought a giant sigh is released in the way of hoping that it’s cold enough to freeze time…to make it stop…if but for only a moment.

If it was to suddenly stop…where would your feet be left standing?

Are you near or far from a dream? Does it matter anymore?

Growing up, Mom constantly told us the number of steps she was behind yet I never saw her run. Maybe this is why I run all the time—never a game of catch up but rather caught up. Catching up means I fell behind. Caught up requires trust in the way of turning visions into reality…staying ahead of the game knowing if set aside then we’re playing pick up…from where you left off…if you’re lucky.

Seven months ago…when everything stopped, I quickly realized how unimportant 99.9% of the journey was. I wouldn’t read a book, I’d study it. If everything in life is a classroom, where’s the enjoyment? Music is no different—it’s my job to be in the know but you rarely if ever caught me listening to music outside radio’s four walls.

See how this game works!

I watch American Idol because it’s my job. I go to three to four movies a week because it’s my job. This is where you participate…where do you over exceed on your daily chores and choices that steal from the inches you wish and or want to grow? How do you correct the car that’s now out of control?

Click, click…32,000 computers suddenly bolted from this web page.

Nobody wants to deal with a flat tire, a shot timing chain or a low battery. Johnny Depp’s new flick Alice in Wonderland shows how we can’t stop the rock from falling off the rugged mountainside. The stuffy folks in the financial department felt Depp would steal $70 million from our pockets this past weekend…the final tally was $117 million.

And you wonder why the world of big brother corporate business refuses to believe there’s a recession taking place. They know you’ve got the cash and figure the best way to it is to cut back, cut back, cut back…because the more pain you endure the looser you are with your money. Nobody likes to feel bad and tiny mindless junk makes you feel richer than Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

They won’t be happy until this nation stops…that’s when we’re going to be forced to look down at the dusty trail and figure out where are feet are currently standing.

A very dear friend stopped in for a visit—he’s not had a good life these past five years. Lost it all…I mean everything and more. I watched as he moved from neighbor to neighbor…he measured each of our paths with an invisible ruler, comparing every memory to this current state of reality only to realize the only difference any of us shared was the oldest child on the block had grown three inches. To him…nothing else changed.

He didn’t notice the 400,000 foot tree was missing from the front yard—the very limbs he and I heatedly argued for months over. My spiritual connection to trees meant nothing to him while his vow to protect the houses it could fall on carried no weight in my book. He didn’t take note of Bob missing from the pack…he passed a few months back, nor did he jot down a couple of notes about how silent everything seemed caused by fighters in the hood who’ve battled breast and lung cancer and heart attacks.

He was completely blasted away by three inches. Which made me think: If you were to suddenly stop…where would your feet be left standing? If you were completely honest with yourself…how far have you truly traveled?

We hold pictures of a much skinnier self. We laugh about the moments easily called the good or better times. We slightly talk about the future knowing if we give it our everything your final page will still be written by the hand of a decision maker you’ll never meet. Bottom line is everything in the world of business—in the real world being in the back of the line is what created self check outs at the grocery store and Wal-Mart.

If you were to suddenly stop…where would your feet be left standing?

For a billion years we’ve been warned about this country reaching a turning point—there’ll be two classes of people: Rich and poor. As much as we want to believe its taking place…we’re being overshadowed by sharper thorns on the paths of success: Want and don’t want.

We want it all but don’t want to do anything to get it. Then one day we suddenly stop…only to notice our feet are aching but the path is nonexistent.

Who won the Super Bowl? Who won American Idol last year? Who is the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director? Where did you spend your money this past weekend? Name five things you did fun this past weekend! In two seconds tell me your second grade teacher’s name. If breathing is so important why do we rely on short breaths to get us through our day?

If you were to suddenly stop…where would your feet be left standing?

A coworker laughed out loud at the top of his lungs when asked that and said to me, “It doesn’t matter where you’ll be…you’re dead!”

Is that the new American dream?