It’s funny how things you write in the past prove just as relevant today. I wrote this entry for an old blog I used to maintain at Comic Related. As I was looking for something worthwhile to say as I cruised past my birthday, I decided to take a look at this entry (originally penned on January 13th, 2008), updated it a little and thought I might share it with you today. Cheers!
There are times when the blog side of the Charlie Tonic Hour has become a blog on a quest for a reason to exist as far as topics I want to cover, a story to tell and a direction to take. Often I discuss things that become segments on shows and sometimes I’ve just written for the sake of writing and show topics have grown out of that.
I’ve talked a bit about music. I’ve talked a bit about politics. I’ve covered some news I found interesting. I’ve even told you a few personal stories and quoted a few people I enjoy. What I haven’t found is the actual course I want to chart with this space on the internet and I believe every space should have a reason to exist.
For the life of me, I’m not sure what that reason should be as I’m not particularly famous and I’m not always particularly interesting (though I can be when called upon). If I were to chart my life here it would read very much the same each day. It would be about my home, updating websites, building the occasional show and working very hard to chart relationships and honoring those I love.
Sure, we do a solid podcast I’m very proud to co-host, but writing for the sake of simply writing just doesn’t seem enough to justify a blog in today’s cluttered internet. Taking stock and looking for a topic or a point, I guess I have lived a little life in my time so far…
I’ve had lunch with Frank Miller and I’ve drank at a bar with Ice-T. I’ve shaken both the hand of David Hasselhoff as he filmed Knight Rider and Nelson Mandela as he exited a hotel in Washington, DC. I’ve walked the trails of Mount Rainier outside Seattle touching snow at the base of its peaks (pictured right, it might just be my favorite spot on this planet).
I’ve slept in the hotel where a would be assassin tried to kill then President Ronald Regan more times than I can count. I’ve walked the halls of the Watergate Hotel. I’ve sat in on congress as reproductive rights legislation was argued and I saw the Pentagon just days after the plane took down its walls.
I listened to amazing music in New Orleans just before Katrina hit and in Memphis well after the days of Elvis were done. I’ve swam in every ocean that borders our fine country and watched at different times legends such as BB King, Lou Reed and Dr. John play before packed halls. I’ve gotten to know interesting people and I’ve also cared far too much for a few uninteresting ones.
I’ve been on the set as movies were filmed. I’ve joked around with Joey Ramone and Ace Fraley in the World Trade Center before it fell and hung out with the Pixies backstage during their first round as a band. I organized concerts for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Violent Femmes. I’ve checked ID’s at a night club door while still only eighteen. I’ve introduced battles of the bands and organized many smaller shows for clubs then years later, put on full conventions. I’ve even taken in a drag show laughing at the humor of Miss Raven in Atlanta with some friends who are no longer with us today.
I was there on the front lawn of the White House when Bill Clinton took his first oath of office as President and stood in Florida as EPCOT Center was in its first few weeks of existence. I’ve watched with pride as my mother charted political campaigns in Ohio and watched candidates I support lose more times than they’ve won.
I’ve joked at funerals, ridiculed weddings, celebrated losses and cried at births.
I was sitting in front of a television watching as MTv went on the air, the bands took the stage for Live Aid, the Challenger explored and the World Trade Center fell.
I’ve owned and run seven comic book stores and given away X-Men #1 twice. I’ve read more comics than most and fewer than some. I’ve been a gamer geek and told a lot of stories about superheroes over the years. I’ve debated the physics of a broadsword on more than one occasion and made some great friendships.
I’ve managed a radio station and even hosted my own radio show (the Hammer Party) for a time. I’ve played music on the radio by bands no one has ever heard of both in the night and during the day. At one point, I had an on-air shift that followed Ashley Judd and I will forever lament the last show of the Resurrected Bloated Floaters.
I’ve walked the streets of more than a few cities at 3AM and rode the subways of New York long past the point of safety and long after the bars had closed. I’ve traveled to every state in the US (excluding Hawaii) and I’ve swayed to the sound of the Butthole Surfers as the strobe lights raged at a New York club called The World while a riot engulfed the streets of Alphabet City.
I’ve worked in sports promotion and I’ve been part of a merry group of travelers who supported the sport of powerboat and unlimited hydroplane racing giving me that feeling of running off and joining the circus. I’ve seen a boat go well over 200 mph on the water throwing a ton of water in the air and ridden in one that took me through a 90 degree turn just after hitting 100 mph. I’ve eaten pancakes with the fine people of Saskatoon, I’ve rolled with the punches in Bay City even stumbling upon an unexpected street concert by Cheap Trick.
I’ve seen powerboats hung from billboards in Florida by accident, shared a meal with the legendary Seebold family, heard tales of testing Mercury engines on Lake X, watched as boats almost flew into crowds during exhibition runs and heard tell of one boat that was actually lost in a rainstorm while driving cross-country. I’ve taken photographs of these fine crafts which have been seen on the web, in magazines and even on t-shirts and been honored with awards for my work.
One foggy morning I watched as a friend died during a testing session in San Diego (farewell George Stratton) and seen more than a few people injured pursing a sport they loved. I’ve attended functions with August Bush IV, CEO of Budweiser, more than once and I’ve worked to support the series both while drunk and while so tired I could barely stand.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a father who laid out the map of the United States at the end of a school year and asked time and again in all sincerity… “Where do you want to go?” I’ve also been lucky enough to have a mother who made sure I had the support needed to get me there.
I’ve watched the sun set on the streets of Anchorage, Alaska at 11 PM at night and spotted a moose walking through those same downtown area well past midnight. I’ve raised horses and been a bit of a farmer. I’ve traveled cross-country by car more than once, gotten lost in the painted desert and woken up on the pier under the statue of liberty. I’ve flown cross-country more times than I can count even taking to the air the day the skies reopened after 9-11 and felt a plane of passengers cheer as that flight touched down in San Diego.
I’ve beat the house in Vegas and lost my shirt once or twice. I played blackjack with a legend coaching me and met a dealer who had worked that same table since before I was born. I fell in love with that city, not for it’s lights and excitement but for the ghost of its past and the mystique of what it once was.
I’ve known the love of the most beautiful woman a man could ask for and thought long and hard about what it means to have a family. I am happy in ways no man should be and driven to do more with each 24 hours than anyone expects. Those same hours always seem to fade away quicker than they should. I never feel like I’ve done enough but then I see how a man like Leonard Cohen can take a year to write a single song that just might change the world, I’m reminded I might be doing more than I should.
Why do a blog?
I don’t have that answer yet, but I know I want to write and I know the answer will come. I’ll find a purpose for writing one day soon. Until that time, I’ll just write. Read if you wish… I’ll try and keep it interesting.