Friday, January 13, 2006


Big Move

A far cry from a '74 Ford Pinto...
I lived in 4 different residences while in college, moving back home for the first couple of summers. I remember one particular move, heading back to the folks' house for the summer, everything I owned was loaded into a 1974 Ford Pinto. This is sad for a couple of reasons. First of all, everything I owned fit into a 1974 Ford Pinto. Second, I owned a 1974 Ford Pinto.

On that particular move the Pinto busted a clutch cable. Actually, it broke a clutch cable during 3 consecutive finals weeks. The first time I got it fixed, but this time, the mechanic was unable to find a replacement but told me how to drive this particular car without using the clutch. So not only was I driving west on I-90 with everything I owned in a 1974 Ford Pinto, but I was also doing it without a clutch, matching speeds and shifting on the fly, knocking the car into neutral and coasting into the Roadrunner Truck Stop in Chamberlain for gas, then putting the car into second gear and hitting the ignition to start the car for the rest of my trip.

Twenty years later, I'm moving yet again. No longer will everything fit into a compact car, my Subaru itself much bigger than the little Pinto ever was. No, this time it's a huge Wells Cargo trailer and a big-ass Ford Pickup.

I've accumulated a lot of stuff in the past twenty years. I'm probably a whole lot less happy than I was as a college sophomore, having accumulated a lot of emotional baggage over that time as well.

If things go right, I'll be on the road at 6am tomorrow. I'll be saying goodbye to the RC one more time. This time it's only 300 miles and 300 miles is a lot less distance than it was 20 years ago. I'll be back, I'm sure, either to visit or on a more permanent basis if this newest thing doesn't work out. Hopefully I'll be back on March 11th, to play a little music one more time, providing my near-future employer allows me some time off.

See, I'm already planning to get back.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006


This Is It

With the exception of a handful of weeks, I'm spending my last Wednesday in the RC at the place I've spent every Wednesday for the last year or so.

It's the same thing, big crowd, lots of energy, good folks, damn I'm going to miss it! I'm sure I'll find something else to do with my life on Wednesdays in Cheyenne. Then again, maybe something good will be on TV on Wednesday nights. In any case, life goes on.

Yeah, I'll get back to Dunn Bros. in the future. I've got lots of family and lots of friends in the RC. It will never be completely out of my life. SMB extended the invitation to drop by Cheers on the odd Sunday when I'm in town. Jon Clark told me he was mad I'm leaving. But I'm not gone forever. And I'll try to still be a part of the RC open mic scene, even if I will be a guest from now on.

Best of luck to everyone. I'll miss you all. You can still check up on my activities on the Globex-Corporation Newsletter. I'll try to continue having an interesting life......


Monday, January 09, 2006


Lucky Underwear

Here they are folks! The boxers that
control my destiny!
I was probably 27 or 28 years old before I bought my own underwear. Through my college years my mom bought it for me. I was married from the ages of 23 to 26 so the ex-wife bought it for me during those years. This may seem a little weird, but my guess is that my dad hasn't bought that many pairs of underwear for himself either. That's just the way it goes in our family, the women seem to buy the underwear for the men in their lives.

So I was getting divorced and living alone a long ways from any family members in 1992 or 1993. Most of my underwear were getting pretty torn up from the constant use. I was at a Target store at the mall in Sioux City when I decided to buy some underwear. As I stood there, I realized I had never bought underwear before. I had always worn briefs, but it really hadn't been my choice, it had pretty much been my mother's choice, my ex-wife following my mother's lead and continuing to buy me briefs.

For the first time, I realized there actually was a choice. I picked up a package of boxer-briefs and a 3-pack of boxers. Having always worn briefs, I was pretty much set on white, but I couldn't find any plain white boxers. The 3-pack had one white pair, one white pair with vertical green stripes and one white pair with vertical blue stripes.

After 27 years, changing to a different style of underwear was weird but manageable. I never took to the boxer-briefs, but the boxers became a favorite. I started buying boxers after that. Briefs still have a place in my life, particularly if I'm doing anything active (my boys need a home.....) but for day to day, boxers became my choice.

Of that original 3-pack of boxers, I still have two of the pairs of underwear. The plain white ones were tie-dyed by a friend's daughter last week (she was tie-dying underwear for her father and asked if I wanted a pair done as well). The pair with vertical blue stripes have become somewhat special to me.

Of that 3-pack, the blue stripped ones were always my favorite. I can't really tell you why they gained that status initially, but they've become even more special over the years. While at SDPTV, my boss's girlfriend had a friend that she wanted me to meet. We'd never really been able to get together, and frankly, I've never really liked being set up, but I ran into her at a bar the weekend before Halloween one year. We kind of hit it off and she asked me to call her sometime.

I didn't call her, not because I didn't like her or find her attractive, but because I'm a ridiculous procrastinator. Since she knew my boss and knew where I worked, she called me at work. We had a nice conversation and decided to go out that coming weekend. I nearly cancelled because my High School was playing for the State Football Championship on the Fridday we decided to go out. I decided that since I had put her off for a whole week already and hadn't called her when she asked that I should just go out with her as planned.

When I dressed before the date, I picked the blue stripped boxers for no other reason than they matched the shirt I was wearing. I picked her up at her house and we drove to Sioux Falls for a movie and dinner. The movie I chose was Pulp Fiction, a friend had seen it and told me that it was great. I realize that it probably wasn't a good movie for a first date (Forest Gump was playing at the same theater and she was a social worker, but I'd already seen it), but I figured I might as well see a movie I wanted to see.

She ended up loving Pulp Fiction, which told me that her and I would have the same twisted sense of humor. When a character accidentally got his face shot off by John Travolta, we were the only two people in the theater laughing. Damn it, it was pretty funny, I think everyone else was just shocked.

We went to a little sports bar in the same mall for supper. My high school football game was on the TV. She was sweet and told me to sit somewhere that I could watch the game. I told her that I didn't think that would be polite and sat with my back to the TV. We ordered and she went off to use the restroom. I turned to watch some of the game. In the last minute of play, Douglas scored a touchdown to win the first ever state championship for my high school. My date returned immediately afterward.

We had a wonderful time at dinner. She liked beer almost as much as me and could talk intelligently about it. She could talk about a lot of things intelligently, actually, being exceptionally intelligent, and had an amazing sense of humor. I spent an amazing evening with this woman, I saw one of my all time favorite movies, saw my high school win a state championship and generally had the best date of my life. That was confirmed later that evening. I finally got home on Sunday evening, just in time to see the premier of Dennis Miller Live on HBO. Yeah, it was most likely the best weekend of my life.

About six months later I was completely sick of working at SDPTV had broken up with the woman I'd had the marvelous first date with and started looking for another job. I saw an ad in the paper that seemed to fit my skills, sent off a resume and was almost immediately contacted for an interview. I drove to Forest City, Iowa, had a great interview and was offered a job on the spot. I accepted on the spot then drove to my aunt and uncle's for Easter.

It was on the drive to my aunt and uncle's that I realized I had worn the same pair of blue stripped boxers to the interview that I wore on that great first date. Lucky underwear? Who knows, but a little over a year later, when I applied for a job back in Rapid City, I wore the same underwear to the interview. Again, I was offered a job on the spot. It worked again in Oakdale, Minnesota, I wore the lucky underwear to my interview and was again offered a job immediately following the interview. When DirecTV purchased that company and I interviewed for a job with the new company, I wore the blue stripped boxers again. I wasn't offered a job immediately, but I did eventually get offered a position.

I am not a superstitious person. I don't believe that this one particular pair of underwear has any special powers to make things go exactly as I wish them to. In fact, of the exceedingly "lucky" things that happened to me while wearing those boxers, the girl turned out to be the one I wrote Two Condoms about and the jobs in Rapid City and at DirecTV turned out to be two of the worst experiences of my life. But things that I thought I wanted at the time worked out the way I wished. Lucky? I don't know, but I will admit that wearing a pair of underwear to a job interview that has a proven track record does inspire comfort and confidence. Even if the underwear weren't lucky, they couldn't negatively impact any situation they were in, could they?

Things happen to your body over the years, though. My ass, in particular, got pretty big from working in a TV operations environment for so long. When I wore the lucky underwear to the DirecTV interview, they barely fit. By the time I was laid off from DirecTV, they didn't fit at all. I was unable to squeeze myself into them when I had job interviews. Even if I could have barely squeezed into them I wouldn't have done it for an interview. I wouldn't have been comfortable, and while I don't believe in luck, I believe the comfort level that particular pair of underwear afforded me was a benefit. If they weren't comfortable, I wouldn't wear them. That said, they were usually in my briefcase when I interviewed.

Back in November, Echostar Communications responded to an on-line application I made on their website. We set up an interview for the next day. After I hung up, I looked for the blue stripped underwear. I had seen them somewhere recently, but couldn't remember where. I eventually found them in a box of stuff in my bedroom closet. Having really cut down on the beer drinking and snack foods due to lack of funds, I had lost a few pounds since moving back to Rapid City. I held the underwear in my hands and looked at them. Would they fit? I tried them on. They did.

I wore them to the Echostar interview in Cheyenne. The interview went extremely well, and I was 90% sure they were eventually going to offer me a position. They did, I've documented my feelings about this in previous posts, but the fact is that I wore my "lucky" underwear to a job interview and I got offered a job. Again.

I wore them Tuesday as I was in Cheyenne looking for Residence #27. I loved the first place I looked at, but ended up looking at other places. By the end of the day, though I was calling back on the very first place I looked at.

I have no idea how this move to Cheyenne is going to work out for me. I'm optimistic, but that doesn't really mean anything. Any place or any situation can end up screwing you over. Things that look good, things that you really want can end up turning into a living hell. We don't always have complete control over how things turn out.

I probably didn't wear that pair of blue stripped underwear from 1999 to 2005. Those were not the best years of my life, but they weren't unbearable. I did get some things I wanted, better yet, I ended up with things I never knew I wanted. I met a couple of guys named Andy at a chance meeting at an open mic and started playing music somewhat seriously. The blue stripped underwear were in a box in my closet, having no bearing on the birth of Patient 957 or Slappy is Jebus, or Bruce's Haircut or whatever the hell we were calling ourselves at the time. I was on national TV, on my favorite TV show, something I had dreamed of since I was in college. I met some of the best people, made some of my best friends over those years.

Good things happen, bad things happen, things turn out differently than you expected. They don't depend on a "lucky" pair of underwear.

I'm hanging on to them though.

Just in case.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006



As I sit at Dunn Bros. Coffee, I realize I don't have many of these Wednesday night open mics left. Sure I can come back, but I won't be a regular any more, I'll be a guest, an out-of-towner.

Chances were good that I wouldn't make it here tonight as I was in Cheyenne yesterday and today looking for residence #27. I found it, a little place a few blocks off of I-80, near F.E. Warren AFB. It seems like a quiet, nicer neighborhood, and the price couldn't have hardly been better. I'm happy with the place, I'm paid up to the end of the month. I've got an apartment in another state. It seems so cosmopolitan, I'm bi-state, even if the states are Wyoming and South Dakota.

But here I am, I've got one Dunn Bros. after tonight, then it's off to Wyoming. I'd like to hit Cheers this weekend, especially if I can talk TSA into it. I'll maybe do Bully Blends next Tuesday. It's sad that I can count RC open mics I've got left before the move on one hand now.

I hope to get some photos of #27 on the net soon. I'll definitely keep in touch.


Monday, January 02, 2006


Twenty-Seven?!?! (No, TSA, Not In A Row.....)

To this point in my life, I've lived in 26 different residences. I grew up in a military family, but I can't blame my transient nature on that. My dad got to his final military assignment when I was in second grade. He retired from Ellsworth, AFB and bought a home in nearby Box Elder when I was in high school. My folks have been in that home ever since. After four years of living with them there, I went off to college. It seems I've been moving ever since......

Residence #1 was a small house in Austin, Texas. I was born at nearby Bergstrom, AFB (now the Austin airport) in 1965. My parents had been there for quite a while. I remember nothing of living in Texas.

Residence #2 was a house in Orlando, Florida. There was an Air Force base in the area then. Dad was stationed there, but spent most of his time TDY in Guam. My mom, sister and I lived there. We were right across the street from an orange grove that our landlord owned. We could take oranges any time we wanted. There was a small orange tree in the back yard. It had never produced fruit until we tied our dog to it......

Residence #3 was on my grandparents' farm outside of Howard, South Dakota. We were staying there before heading off to Guam from Florida. It was a couple of months that we were there, my sister actually started school at Howard Elementary.

Residence #4 was off-base military housing on the US Territory of Guam. I can't think of a better place to be a four year old. It was absolutely amazing. We had a coconut tree in our back yard and were pretty much surrounded by jungle. We lived on Guam from 1969-1970, and though World War II had been over for 25 years when we left, there were still a few Japanese soldiers on the island who thought the war was still going on.

Residence #5 was in Sunnymead, California. Dad was stationed at March, AFB. Having lived in SoCal since then, I found that the area is known as the 'Inland Empire.' It's hot and smoggy in the summer. It was surrounded by mountains that were nearly invisible due to the poor air quality. I started Kindergarden at Sunnymead Elementary School. We purchased our favorite family pet, a cocker spaniel mix at the Sunnymead Pet Shot, which, ironically was in neighboring Edgemont. While driving to Vegas from Long Beach a few years ago, I thought I'd try to find the old house. I got off of the freeway, and though it had been 30 years since I'd been there, I drove right to it.

Residence #6 was in Howard, South Dakota. Dad was sent to Thailand for a year and though he could have taken the whole family, chose not to. My mom had grown up in the area and we had lots of family around. It was a nice little town, I guess, but since I had lived other places, I never really fit in.

Residence #7 was right across the street from #6 which we were renting when it was sold to a teacher at the high school. My mom had no idea what we were going to do. She didn't really want to move back in with the grandparents. A nice old woman who lived across the street died and we were able to rent the place for the rest of the time dad was overseas.

Residence #8 was 9927C Lead Drive, Ellsworth, AFB, South Dakota. I was just finishing up second grade when we moved. Due to Federal cutting of something called 'Impact Aid,' the Douglas School System shut it's door about two weeks after I started school there. I ended up going to Zion Lutheran School in Rapid City. I still blame attending 3 different school in second grade for my lousy handwriting. Dad retired from the Air Force in 1979, just as I was finishing junior high. So....
Residence #9..... they bought a house just east of the base. They still live there and it's paid for. It was the first home my parents ever owned, having lived in a string of rentals since dad joined the Air Force. I still look on the place with a great deal of pride. It's one thing in my life that has been somewhat permanent.

Residence #10 was 314 Mickelson Hall on the campus of the University of South Dakota. I actually kept that room for my Freshman and Sophomore years. All in all, a nice place. I sometimes get hits on this blog from Mickelson Hall. THIRD FLOOR REPA-SENT, YO!!!!!

Residence #11 The moves come pretty fast and furious now. 211 Center Street #3 was my first apartment ever. It was really close to downtown which was nice, and not to far from campus. Another nice place though the kitchen was pretty small.

Residence #12 was 2 1/2 East Main #3 in Vermillion. I was above my favorite bar which was adjacent to the video store and if I went down the fire escape it was less than 100 steps to the liquor store. I didn't have enough money for a phone or cable TV, but in truth I really just slept there. It was an efficiency, but it was huge, I had two couches that folded out, and I could actually fold them out at the same time!

Residence #13 was at #38 Elms Apartments in Vermillion. I moved in with my girlfriend who I later made the mistake of marrying. Shortly after getting married, we moved to.....

Residence #14 ......#28 Elms Apartments. It was still a one bedroom, but it was quite a bit bigger. While living there, I got a job in Sioux Falls. I commuted for a couple of months, the 65 mile one way commute pretty much destroyed my 1981 Chevy Citation (easily the crappiest car I ever owned, and I had a 1974 Ford Pinto!). So yet another move was in my future.

Residence #15 was just off of Russell Street in Sioux Falls. It was near the airport which made the ex-wife unable to sleep at night. Having grown up near airplanes all of my life, I found it kind of comforting actually.

Residence #16 was off of Westport Ave. in Sioux Falls. It was ridiculously close to KDLT-TV where I was working at the time. I did videotape for the 10pm news, if I had everything together, I could actually be home before the start of Johnny Carson. Our news end-break was 94 seconds in lenght.

Residence #17 was in Vermillion again, in fact it was in Elms Apartments again. I separated from the ex while living at #16, and since I was unemployed at the time, I spent a couple of months living with my folks. I got a job with SD Public TV in April of 1991. It was weird living in the same apartment complex I lived in when I was married, but I got over it.

Residence #18 was with a friend in Vermillion. He owned a house on the west side of town. As an added bonus, his family was in the beer distribution business in Minnesota, so I drank a whole lot of beer while living there. We built a really cool little bar in the breezeway between the house and the garage and it sort of became the hangout for the 'cool' people at SDPTV.

Residence #19 was in the basement of the Super 8 Motel in Vermillion. The friend in the beer business moved onto another gig, I found this place. Actually it was great. It was another efficiency, but I got to use the motel pool and I had the cable TV package that they had in the rooms at no cost to me. It was also really controlled access, so I could duck people whenever i wanted....

Residence #20 was a two bedroom apartment in Forest City, Iowa. I was working for Cycle Sat, Inc., a division of the Winnebago corporation. Nice place, two levels, I had a grill out the back door. Pretty cool place to live, too bad I really didn't care much for the town, even if it was probably the best job I ever had.

Residence #21 was in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. I had moved back to Rapid City on extremely short notice, starting up a new TV station. I probably couldn't even have taken that job if I hadn't been able to live with my folks. The job was really shitty and I only stayed in the RC 8 months that time before taking a job with USSB in the Twin Cities. I was living with the guy in the beer business again. So I started drinking a lot again. The place was OK, a pretty big complex, over-priced and further from work than I would have liked.

Residence #22 was in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. I was still working at USSB when the beer guy and I decided to change places. I really liked this place, right on a little lake, a really short drive from work. I was sitting in a control room at USSB when, for the first time, I counted the number of places I had lived. I came up with 22, I was 33 years old. That's an average of 18 months per residence over my lifetime. I ended up staying in White Bear Lake for 18 months.

I stayed in Residence #23 exactly 18 months as well. A little place in Long Beach, about 7 blocks from the beach. I really liked it, it was quiet and somewat difficult for others to find. It got sold while I was living there and I had a pretty short amount of time to find someplace else to live.

Residence #24 was a condo I lived in with a guy I worked at both USSB and DirecTV with. It was a good fit as we were both midwesterners who just couldn't believe all of the bullshit we had to deal with in SoCal. Still, it was a nice place to live.

After losing my job at DirecTV, 5-55 found Residence #25 for me. I was romantically involved with 5-55 having gotten together when I was home visiting for Christmas one year. It was going well enough that I thought a move was in order. We had a fight on my first day back in town. Other than helping me move in some, she was only in the place with me once.

Residence #26 is a very nice trailer in a park in Rapid City. I think I'd really like living there, but I'm moving on to Cheyenne in two weeks. It's really weird to move all your stuff from one place to another and try to only unpack the bare essentials.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Cheyenne, trying to find Residence #27. I'm 40 years old, #27 will put me a little ahead of my 18 months per residence average in my lifetime.


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