July 30th, 2009


My pack list - share yours! Collaborate!

My pack list:

2 fold-flat laundry bins for camp garbage and recycling. 2 pr. swim trunks. AAA discount stuff. Arts and crafts projects. Army cot. Army kit shovel. Backpack. Bag of day shade panels. Bandages. Bar soap. Big case of Spring water. Big coffee mug that fits in cupholder. Bills. Blackberry. Blackberry charger. Blanket. booklight. books. boonie hat. boots. Bug spray. Bungee cords. Business cards. Camoflage to cover non-period stuff in tent. Canvas folding chairs. Car PC power adapter. Cheap opera binoculars. Checkbook (extra checks?). Clothes. Cooler. Cute blank notebook for people to write comments about arts & science entries. Dark garbage bags. Dark kerchief. Day shade. Dead-blow mallet. deodorant. Detergent. Detour to Ariane (950) off Old Ox Rd. for the shortcut to Dulles. diet soda. Directions to quilt and craft shops, museums, thrift stores, salvage, hotel, grocery store, antique shop to and from hotel. Director's chair. Dress shirt, tie, shoes and socks. Dress shoes. Driving pillow. drumsticks. duct tape. DVDs. Earplugs. Electric blanket. Emergency water. Eucerin. event info from local visitors center. extension cord. extra belt. Extra click pens. extra postcards. Fingernail clippers. Flashlight. Floss. Gallon bottles of spring water. Garbage bags and recycle bags of a different color. Gatorade G2. gifts from gift box for anyone you're visiting. Glasses. GPS. Grocery list for when you arrive & grocery store location. Ground cloth for tent. Gym clothes. Gym shoes. handcart. handkerchiefs. Hand-operated fans. headphones. hotel door club. Ice. index cards. Instant coffee & Nesquik. itch medicine. Laptop. Leather gloves. Liquor and setups. lock for gym locker. multivitamins. Neosporin. nightgown. Park pass. PDFs of all flight/car/hotel confirmations and itineraries to verify prices. Pillow. Plastic forks. playing cards. Prescriptions. Protein powder for cereal. Q-tips. rainwear. Razor. Rubber bands. Sandals. Shoes you wouldn't mind leaving. Shorts with pockets. sleeping bag. sleeping pills/benadryl. Small tarp. Snacks. Spray bottle for misting water. spring water. stamps. Suit. Sunglasses. Suntan lotion. Sweats. Tea candle. Tent. Tent spikes. thermal underwear. toilet paper. toll money. toothbrush. Toothpaste. Tums for spouse. Two sawhorses and a rectangle of plywood for table. travel soap, preferably palmolive. umbrella. USB accessory cable. Dayjob employee badge. Velcro zipties for tent and securing things. Walking Shoes. Washing machine net. Waterproof tape. wine. Wine opener. Wood chairs. www.bbb.org for bed and breakfasts for business trips. Ziploc bags with paper towels for food. Zipper hoodie for wild temp. changes. Take out the garbage! Make LAST DAY list and post with stuff you wanna pack last day! Give neighbor contact info. unplug electric blanket. Mail checks. Turn off AC. Turn off water. Empty kitchen garbage. Pay all bills now!


Share yours! Collaborate!

Why I Quit Comedy

Someone who gave me many of my first comedy gigs asked me why I quit comedy. Answering his question helped me clarify my understanding, so I'm sharing my response here.

Why I Quit Comedy

In May 2007 I was working on the road, mostly featuring, some headlining, and I hated it. I held my performances to the standard of only telling jokes that made me laugh. What made me laugh had decreasing commonality with what made road audiences laugh.

Audiences didn't like me, I didn't like them, and they laughed at other comics whose material did not make me laugh. What made me laugh changed, and I failed to create material that made both me and the audience laugh. My primary motivation to continue performing was my fear of feeling like a failure for quitting.

Then the 2007 Walter Reed scandal sent me to working unscheduled overtime at nights and weekends, so I couldn't guarantee that I could honor bookings. After a few months of not performing, I realized how grateful I felt for the liberation from driving several hours for the privilege of failing to make people laugh, so I formally retired from comedy.

Now I record music, and cook, and I get to choose the people I entertain. I cook the food I wanna eat and make the music I wanna hear. I miss the urgency as a comedian to develop new material every day, so I work to maintain that daily creative work ethic through my music, free of concern about whether it'll sell at the Allentown Ramada.

If the music project develops into gigs, I hope to apply my performance work ethic I learned in comedy to the music. If it doesn't, I'll express my creativity some other way, but I intend to create work that gives me what I want as a customer. I'll try to make it accessible to others, but that's Job 2.