Short answer – just not enough days !
Long answer – To use a phrase that I have a hard time with as an agnostic, I am blessed far beyond my imagining.
That said, I figure I should give a few specifics
First and foremost I am grateful to still be alive. And sober. Because, at least for me, iF I did not have the second , it is doubtful I could maintain the first.
Hopefully it goes without saying that I am grateful for my wife, the beautiful and talented Agnes Kane Having her in my life changed my house into a home and my existence into a life. She is the strongest and most positive person I have ever encountered and I am blown away on a daily basis by the grace in which she lives. This amazing woman single handedly made our wedding the most beautiful event I have ever seen, and the fact that I was honored to be a part of it fills me with a feeling that is literally beyond explanation. I thank whatever may or may not be out there every day that I met her, and will spend the rest of my life doing my best to keep both of us happy and safe. She gives my life purpose.
I am also overwhelmingly thankful for music. I have lived long enough and been open enough to have enjoyed and been touched by music from the 70s until this very moment. My entire life revolves around music, whether it is listening to, watching live, or clumsily attempting to play it myself, it permeates every aspect of my existence. In particular I sometimes feel like I owe my sanity to Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson. For whatever reason they/he are/is the only artist I have remained faithful to since the first show I ever went to in 1975. There is literally nothing that I am going through that can not be fixed by listing to Ian and the boys. The message in the song “Nothing is Easy” , sums it up perfectly –
Nothing is easy.
Though time gets you worrying
My friend, it’s o.k.
Just take your life easy
And stop all that hurrying,
Be happy my way.
When tension starts mounting
And you’ve lost count
Of the pennies you’ve missed,
Just try hard and see why they’re not worrying me,
They’re last on my list.
Nothing is easy, you’ll find
That the squeeze won’t turn out so bad.
Your fingers may freeze, worse things happen at sea,
There’s good times to be had.
So if you’re alone and you’re down to the bone,
Just give us a play.
You’ll smile in a while and discover
That I’ll get you happy my way —
How can y0u listen to that message and not change your out look ? I can’t.
In a continuation of my gratitude of music, I was fortunate enough to be able to see the following bands perform live this year
Cake – Primus – Muse – Queens of the Stone Age – Garbage – Willie Nelson – The Postal Service – Pearl Jam – Ian Anderson (shocking I know) – Silversun Pickups – The Reigning Monarchs – The Naked and Famous – The Colourist – Barry Manilow ( ok not all that grateful for that one but it made Agnes happy and that made it more than worth it) – Metric – Paramore (surprisingly good show) – in advance I am appreciative that I will get to see Cage the Elephant – Arctic Monkeys – Kings of Leon – AFI and again the mighty Queens of the Stone Age
Next up on the list of thanks would be that I have the most amazing friends, both real world and cyber. I know doing a blanket thanks is the easy way to go but I feel like I need to single out a few.
First on the list has to be the incomparable Ross G. Besides the fact that he was the best man at my wedding, he has also been there, in any way that I have needed him for going on 2 decades now. I could write a book listing all the things he has done for me and what he means to me but some things go without saying. To sum it up he is my brother and not only would I die for him if needed, I would kill for him.
Speaking of 2 decades, I need to tip my hat to Terri Harrah and Isaac Reddick. Both of them have seen me at my absolute worst and at no time have I ever felt judged or rejected by either of them. Regardless of the distance between us, or the chaos surrounding their lives, if I call and say – I need help – either of them would drop whatever they are doing and respond.
Since I mentioned the length of time of the above relationships, coming up in a veritable tie for next up would be Lane Kennedy-Levy and Sarah Sullivan. I met them at about the same time and oddly enough in the same place – 617 North Robertson Blvd West Hollywood – Now two things that make these friendships unique to the many other connections that I made at that same address, are 1) both of them stuck through the years regardless of geographic distance or losing touch for various periods of time and 2) and this is just kinda weird, they both ended up living in the bay area. I am fortunate to be able to talk to both of them multiple times each week and I never end any of those conversations with out feeling better than when I dialed or answered.
At this point I would like to make special mention of Miss Katie Blank. The fact that her and I connected sort of defies logic. I am old enough to be her significantly older brother – ok old enough to be her father – but somehow we just clicked. Oddly we met at a psych ward – luckily neither of us were patients ! Besides the age, there is also the life style, Katie is by far the “Silverlake” coolest person I know with her hair dyed various colors, her colorful, relatively discreet, multiple tattoos as well as how hard she can rock a pair of chucks, she is the kind of person I feel like a complete “square” around, but somehow she sees past my outer, middle aged nerd, to the kind of cool older guy that I like to think I am. Either way, her and I are connected and I like to think she sees me as an older brother figure because she for sure is like a little sister to me.
Honorable mentions go to Mike Knibbs and Kathleen Kathleen Ressegger and Ashley Beveridge Though circumstances of all of our very full lives makes it difficult for us to spend the kind of time together that I would like, all of them have been around for years and I know that we will continue to stay in contact for many years to come.
I would be totally remiss if I did not mention my parents, Howard and Joyce. I have put them through hell for most of my life but they have never given up hope for me and I am beyond indebted to the fact that they were able to be there for my wedding and that I was able to show them that I am capable of being an adult and somewhat stable.
Ok so let’s get to my job. I was fortunate enough to have fallen into a a career doing something (Location Scouting and Managing) that I did even know existed before I got into it. I am also flabbergasted that I have been able to bounce back from all the craziness I created in my own life, to continue to be relatively employable. This has led me to by far the best gig I have ever had. I am lucky enough to be part of the Location Department on The Hit TV Show Criminal Minds, and I KNOW we are one of, if not the best, Location Teams operating in the Los Angeles area right now.
Getting into more detail I have to highlight my direct supervisor Jeffrey T Spellman. Somehow he was able to ride out the insanity of my early sober days and cleaning up of the inevitable mess I had created long enough for us to become a very fluid machine. He is the best location manager I have every worked with and he makes it easy for me to show up and give 100% every day to some one who appreciates it. I also am proud to call him a friend and I had the privilege of having him as a guest at my wedding.
Next up on the seemingly never ending list of good people I have in my life is my friend and co-worker Mr David Van Dam. I know I amuse and most likely annoy him. He makes the job fun. Granted his is a closet conservative with a tricky way of distancing himself enough from them to stay out of the kill zone when some of the whack jobs on that side of the fence pull one of their bone-head moves. Either way, he cracks my ass up and has seen me at my bottom and has hung around to see me dig my way out.
Speaking of which I want to single out Gary Watt, without whom I would not even have this job.
Rounding out the group from the land of misfit toys are Walter Roshetski, Jodi Leininger and Leslie Morrow. All professionals in every sense of the word. All good at their jobs and they all look good doing it ! And I would also to add that Walter is one of the single funniest guys I know !
It just hit me that I could spend the rest of the day writing about all the great people I work with but I will make special mention of Erica Meredith and Dania Bennett, both of whom are talented up and coming writers and film makers, who I am able to watch as they move along their paths and both of whom I was honored to have as guests at my wedding.
One more person I want to mention is one of our PAs. Mustafa Harris, he is motivated in his career and he shows up as a father to his son and watching him do it, makes me, to use a lame phrase, want to be a better man. I consider him a friend and I hope he does the same with me.
Before I jump to my cyber friends I have to give a shout out to Greg Behrendt – aka Ripped Like Jesus – I get to watch him chase his dream and I am proud to be his fan and his friend
I know for sure that I have probably missed a few people but the fact that I have spent the past hour just listing so many people just blows me the fuck away !
Before I close this opus out I do have to acknowledge at least two of my hybrid cyber/IRL friends. The inspirational Brook Purdy – Zombie Hunter Extraordinaire and my candidate for Mother of the Year, and the cantankerous Mike One Shot Coulter. I honestly think he and I connected through an argument about the most overrated piece of shit movies in history “The Master” and have since sparred over, NBA vs MLB, The Walking Dead and most recently “SOA”. This fun adversarial online thing we have going led to him inviting me to his water slide party and more surprisingly – ME SHOWING UP – I don’t do that for many people but he is my favorite curmudgeon.
I am now going to try and list just a few of my Facebookers that actually keep me entertained who, besides my pathetic need for attention, are the reasons I stay on the platform. So in no particular order, John W James, the most compassionate, semi angry, right winger I have ever had the pleasure of butting heads with. Mirren Wise, who taught me, after way too many stupid cyber fights, that it is better to be comfortable than right. Elif Erginer Schweizer, one person I can depend on to co-sign my BS, but only within reason. Andrew Erskine Wheeler, his never wavering support of my beloved Los Angeles Lakers makes us kindred spirits. Sharon M Gowen, a fellow Southington CT native who supported me during a very dark time in my life and helped me to see I have value and talent. Jason Christopher, who for whatever reason, I have not had much of a real world connection with, but who, besides being one of my heroes, allows me to watch his little boy grow by WAY over posting photos, every one of which I look at and I already love that little cutie even though I have never seen him in person.
Ok I KNOW I have a missed some people but I am getting shaky from not eating, however I would be re-miss if I did not mention my new “celebrity”, yeah I said it, friend, one Kat Corbett from the World Famous KROQ ! As a general rule I do not click on videos, memes and news stories that people refer to as “amazing” “funniest thing ever” etc, most of which turn out to be mind numbingly lame, but if Kat puts something up, it’s always worth the time to check it out !
Oh wait – Thank you Michael Berba for taking the time and effort to help me right the ship that is my life, I know it’s a new adventure but I really think we will be in each other’s lives for a long time to come.
Anyway, to all of you listed above and to anyone else who I may have forgotten, a big fat