Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti: Unsung Heroes of Radio

Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti: Unsung Heroes of Radio

I don’t really listen to music when I’m driving in my car — I like to learn while I drive, and I prefer podcasts related to my industry and life.

But if I’m not listening to a podcast, it’s sports-talk radio.

Recently, I wrote a piece on the demise of the American-based operations of 89X, the alternative radio station in Detroit. And if you’ve known me for a while, you know my dad worked in radio for 25 years, and my musical aspirations were inspired at an early age by being with him at concerts and at his radio station.

Needless to say, radio and music, and the production of each, has been a part of my life for decades.

And at a time when streaming is taking over, and terrestrial radio is dying, I’ve found two reasons for fans of great radio to tune in daily: Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti.

Patrick and Valenti are two guys in the sports-talk radio world who I believe are doing radio the right way, two gentlemen who, in my opinion, are unsung heroes in the radio industry today.

Content is King

Think about it: How often these days are you watching TV or listening to the radio, and there is a filler topic, or something which is obviously intended to provoke a reaction (or simply be controversial) instead of educate?

Most sports-talk radio hosts are infamous for filling time with silly, catch-all topics — “Hey, gang! What’s your favorite soup in the wintertime?? We’ve got open lines, people!!”

Instead, Patrick and Valenti look for ways to move a current story forward.

If there are multiple ways a story can unfold, they want the result that gives them the most beneficial content for their audience. They are rooting for radio. If a story is dead, they find the next best story which will resonate with the majority of their audience.

Rather than grab for the low-hanging fruit, Patrick and Valenti choose to elevate the conversation.

That’s not to say they don’t joke around like kids on a school bus from time to time. But they pick their spots. They know that simply being goofy for goofy’s sake isn’t what great radio is about.

Great radio is about CONTENT!

Authenticity Resonates

Both The Dan Patrick Show and The Mike Valenti Show are well-produced, and the show’s producers are part of the on-air (and on-screen) activity. The whole crew knows that content is the name of the game, and they work within their unique abilities to deliver the goods again and again.

And everyone’s personality is encouraged, rather than tamped down and made to fit into a corporate mold. Over time, you get to know their individual personalities. (Even Katy Perry has her favorites on The Dan Patrick Show.)

Dan and Mike are the bosses, and they set the tone. They’ve earned their clout by being their authentic selves, standing by their team, and being inclusive of all of their listeners, save trolls.

Most importantly, they tell the truth to their audience, no matter how painful.

Valenti is the first one to tell a Detroiter that any of their teams stinks. For example, even though he went to Michigan State, he’s not a “Sparty Slappy” — when MSU is garbage (which they’re going to be for a while), he lets you know, with no regret in his heart.

As a result of being forthcoming with the truth and delivering great content on a consistent basis, Valenti’s show has been the highest-rated sports-talk show in Metro Detroit for years, amassing among the best local ratings of any show in the country.

Thought Leadership

In this Age of Spin, so many talking heads maintain a contrarian position in order to sustain attention (I’m looking at you, Skip Bayless).

Patrick and Valenti keep our ears (and eyes) glued by way of their authenticity, their encyclopedic sports minds, their ability to ask the right questions to get to the right answers, their standards of radio excellence, their nods to relevant pop culture, and their depth of knowledge of the human condition.

In my view, sports are the ultimate reality TV. It doesn’t get more real than sports.

Anyone can analyze what’s going to possibly happen to Rick Grimes in the next episode of The Walking Dead all they want, but they must acknowledge that they’re analyzing a fiction which has already been written — the next episode is already produced!

Sports are, for the most part, unpredictable, and athletes are real people, making real money, in a real industry, affected by the real culture we live in. They’re not following a script (unless you count the WWE).

The Dan Patrick Show and The Mike Valenti Show are my Talking Dead.

The greatest athletes in sports are human beings who: made personal sacrifices to pursue their dreams; set goals to achieve measurable growth to take their careers to the next level; remain accountable to themselves, their coaches, and their teammates; built a reputation for excellence at their craft; spent countless hours of time learning, training, and practicing to be one of the best; operate with a high level of intensity; respect the game they play, and the players involved, including their opponents.

The same can be said of Dan Patrick and Mike Valenti and their respective crews. They are thought leaders in their industry. They’re at the top of their game right now, and they deserve your attention.

Because they may not be around much longer.

An article in last week’s Detroit News says Mike Valenti is being courted in New York City to take over for Mike Francesa at WFAN. This makes sense, considering Valenti’s on-air partner of nearly two decades left the show in April for medical reasons; the only team with immediate impact potential in town — the Detroit Lions — severed broadcasting ties with the station due to Valenti’s criticism; and Valenti isn’t renewing his MSU football season tickets due to their level of suck.

As for Dan Patrick, he has had several surgeries in recent years, and often jokes about retirement.

My point is, these guys aren’t going to be operating in the same capacity at some point, and I don’t know if anyone is going to be able to fill their shoes.

They are unique personalities. And they are true radio men, with values concerning much more than just their show’s ratings.

If you’re not into sports, that’s cool. My girlfriend isn’t into sports at all, and even she watches The Dan Patrick Show with me. Mind you, I don’t force her! She just likes the show and is entertained by it, and I’m grateful she prefers it to the network morning shows with their fake glee.

But the bottom line is, whether you like sports or not: If you want to be entertained but not pandered to, all while enjoying two radio titans riding the crest of the wave of their industry, tune in!

The Dan Patrick Show (9am-12pm EST)

The Mike Valenti Show (2pm-6pm EST)

#DanPatrick #DPShow #MikeValenti #radio

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: https://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, All rights reserved.

10 Reasons Your Uber or Lyft Driver Hates You (and 10 Pro Tips to Fix It)

10 Reasons Your Uber or Lyft Driver Hates You (and 10 Pro Tips to Fix It)

Ridesharing has become the preferred method of transportation for many people living in and around major cities, which has created the opportunity for others to become their own boss and earn a modest living by transporting those folks.

I’m proof: I’ve been driving for Uber (and Lyft) since December 2015, and have given over 2,200 rides in the metro Detroit area. Doing so has allowed me pay all of my household expenses, so that the money I earn with my musical endeavors can be used to further those efforts.

Because of ridesharing, I have total agency and autonomy over my time and energy, and in our current economy, I wouldn’t ask for anything more.

Overall, most of my riders are polite, grateful, and socially aware. And many of those same riders are knowledgable about how drivers earn, and what the pros and cons are when it comes to the gig.

But too many are not. This list is for them.

When it comes to fixing a problem, the first step is to become aware that a problem exists. By being aware of the key habits and behaviors that Uber and Lyft drivers loathe, and consciously avoiding them, anyone can be a 5-Star Rider.

Based on my personal experience of giving over 2,200 rides in the last two years, here are the top ten things riders are doing wrong which either annoys drivers or screws them out of our earning potential.


1. You make us wait. 

Uber and Lyft drivers are technically supposed to wait up to five minutes after arriving at the pickup destination. Riders and drivers are both aware of this.

But unless we arrive less than five minutes from the time you request the ride, why are we waiting?? I’ve had someone make me wait seven minutes for them to get into the car, after it took me 12 minutes to come pick them up. Their ride was three minutes long, and I made $2.88 for 22 minutes worth of my time.

You know the car is coming. You asked for it. You were told how long it would take to get there. There is a clock on your phone, and you are notified as soon as the vehicle arrives. Why aren’t you ready?

And if you have multiple stops, that’s fine, but we are only supposed to wait up to five minutes. Taking you to a restaurant to pick up your carry-out order? No problem. Taking you to a restaurant so you can place an order and wait for it to be prepared? Big problem.

Please be aware, we earn five times less for every minute of the trip than we do for every mile we drive. What do you think we’d rather be doing, driving or waiting??

PRO TIP: Don’t request a ride until five minutes before you are ready to walk out the door, and don’t make us wait more than five minutes anywhere.


2. You touch our radio/temperature controls. 

Part of the joy of driving for Uber/Lyft is having your own traveling office in which to work, and be able to listen to anything or nothing as you wish. I prefer to learn while I earn, so I listen to podcasts and take notes in between riders. It’s my way of maximizing my time.

So when you touch my cockpit controls without permission, it infuriates me.

How dare you?? You’re not in your car — you’re in MY car. And just because Lyft encourages riders to sit in the front doesn’t mean you have the right to fiddle with anything in the cockpit. It’s rude, and reeks of entitlement.

If the radio is too loud or you want to listen to something different, ask your driver to change it. If it’s too hot, or cold, or breezy…again, ask your driver to change it.

PRO TIP: Don’t touch the cockpit controls without permission. 


3. You cancel the trip when we are already on our way to pick you up, and then request again (sometimes via the other app). 

This is incredibly frustrating.

Many times this happens when we are on a freeway heading in one direction, and receive a request which causes us to take the next exit and turn around — riders assume that we’re going the wrong way and cancel after we’ve already exited the freeway and turned around. This is annoying.

OR, you’re simply seeing what the rates are, and you cancel the trip once you find out what it’s going to cost on one app, and then request a ride on the other app.

We know what you’re doing — you’re hedging your bets. Stop it.

Instead, make it easy on yourself and just stick with one app. I recommend Lyft because it is a much more altruistic rideshare platform; it’s better for riders and drivers, hands-down; and over time, even after tipping, using Lyft exclusively will save you money.

PRO TIP: Don’t hedge your bets — pick an app, request a ride, and stick with it. 


4. Your trip is less than a mile.

Understand: The base fare of your trip is mostly absorbed by the rideshare company — the driver makes around 51 cents per mile and 11 cents per minute (Uber), and does not get compensated for the drive to come pick you up.

So, if it takes us 10 minutes to get to you, and you make us wait 5 minutes for you to get in the vehicle, and your trip is less than a mile…we just made $2.88 (taxable) for close to 20 minutes of our time and gas and vehicle wear — a terrible return on investment for us in order to spare you a few extra minutes of exercise you’re probably not already getting.

Just because you can afford to take an Uber doesn’t always mean you should.

If you’re not disabled, why do you need me to drive you a half a mile? Did you forget your umbrella? Can your kids really not walk the short distance home from school? Is this a hey-look-at-me status thing, or a way you flex your dollar for yourself? Are you dying of exhaustion, or otherwise being set upon by the universe??

It’s not all about you — other people have much longer distances to travel, and you are making them late.

PRO TIP: If your trip is less than a mile…WALK. 


5. You eat in our vehicles. 

Yes, I know, people have been eating in cabs for forever.

But Uber and Lyft drivers don’t pick you up in a cab owned by some company who hoses them down every night after the proletariat abuses them. We pick you up in our everyday cars!

For those who pay their bills by driving their cars are their second home. I wouldn’t come into your home and open up whatever random food I brought with me and start eating it, not caring about crumbs getting on your floor, and leaving the wrapper under a chair. Don’t come into our cars and do the same.

I’m not saying don’t bring food into our vehicles. If you’re coming from the grocery store or a restaurant, and you’ve got your bags or leftovers, that’s fine. No sweat.

But to open your food and eat it in our car, especially without asking first?? What’s that about? You’re not going to die in our car from lack of food, so do you simply have no self-control or no respect for others? Either is gross.

PRO TIP: Eat your food at home. 


6. You don’t control your children.

Speaking of food being left in cars, part of the reason that happens is because parents are more involved with their mobile devices than they are their children. The kid is eating some snack or candy of some sort, and the parent is on social media, paying little to no attention to their child’s behavior.

I make a point to compliment my riders who are attentive, engaging parents with well-behaved kids, because I see it so rarely. And most of the time, if the kid is of speaking age, they will be attempting to engage the parent in conversation, but the parent only responds with a couple of words or a sentence, immersed in their technology.

Parents, I’m sure there are times when you just want your kid to be quiet so you can do your own thing. But I’ve seen this so often that I think it’s an epidemic that is happening across the country.

If I have to step in and tell a child to stop kicking my seat, or to not get their messy hands all over my car, then you are not fully present as a parent.

PRO TIP: Disengage with your mobile device and engage with your child; reign in their bad behavior — or we will.


7. You’re too drunk.

For the record, I love white women in their 20s — so much so that I’ve been living with one for the past two years!

But I’ve given over 2,200 rides to-date, and by a landslide, my most ungrateful, disrespectful, condescending, self-important, and socially unaware riders are white women in their 20s who are day drunk.

Ladies, I know you enjoy your Sunday Fundays. But please, don’t party so much that you don’t realize how drunk and annoying and rude you are.

The same goes for the guys and any other people who know they’re drunk but are still trying to play it cool. To borrow from the late George Carlin, “You’re not cool. You’re fuckin’ chilly.”

Please believe, I don’t mind picking up drunk people. I actually enjoy that part of the job; it makes me feel like a civil servant of sorts. And many of my riders have revoked or suspended licenses because of DUIs, so I appreciate the folks who decide to open their wallet instead of crashing their car. That’s a good look as a human being.

But if you’re so drunk that you’re experiencing short-term memory loss during our brief conversation, and acting like you’re on top of the world, it’s ugly.

I know you’re not that ugly when you’re sober. You’re better than that, people. have some respect for yourselves.

PRO TIP: Know — and mind — your alcohol limits, and above all, be respectful.


8. You have awful body odor.

One thing that separates Lyft from Uber is their stringent vetting process for their drivers.

I was approved to drive for Uber in less than 48 hours by submitting my picture, driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance; it took Lyft almost a month to approve me to drive, during which time they sent a seasoned Lyft driver out to have me drive them around.

Lyft guarantees that your driver is friendly; speaks English; doesn’t drive like a jackass; and more than likely has a newer and/or nicer vehicle — with Uber, you never know who or what you’re going to get.

Another thing that Lyft guarantees riders is that their drivers do not have awful body odor. Unfortunately, the same guarantee doesn’t apply to riders.

I know, you can’t smell yourself. I get it. But before you request a ride, ask yourself, “When was the last time I bathed??” you may be surprised.

PRO TIP: Bathe regularly! (This should be obvious.)


9. You’re ungrateful. 

One benefit of using Lyft as a driver is that when we rate our riders, if we choose to give someone three stars or less, Lyft guarantees that we will never see that rider again. This comes in handy after an ungrateful — or smelly —rider exits our vehicles.

Most of my riders thank me at the end of their trip. The ones who don’t, I never care to see again.

Even if we didn’t have a conversation, a simple thank-you goes a long way. It means you are aware that you are a member of a civilized society which values being polite to one another and showing gratitude for services rendered.

Sure, you’re technically paying us, so you are technically the customer. I respect that.

But before you’re a customer, you’re a human being, just as I am, and as we all are. You should make your mother proud and act like one.

And if you’re not going to be nice in the way our culture and society has collectively agreed, then I choose to interpret your behavior as being self-important, self-absorbed, and therefore, false — you are lost inside yourself, and I am sorry for you.

PRO TIP: Even if it’s the only interaction you have with your driver, thank them at the end of the trip.


10. You don’t tip.

I saved the best for last…

During my first four months driving for Uber and Lyft, I rarely received a tip.

That may not shock you, but I couldn’t believe it, because for the most part, ridesharing has effectively replaced cabs.

Cabs take longer to come pick you up, they drive under the speed limit to exhaust as much money out of the fare as possible, you feel like you’re in a cop car, the driver isn’t always friendly, the car isn’t always clean…

But when you pay the cab driver, you tip them! Why not us??

I understand that part of the convenience of using a rideshare app is that you don’t have to carry cash on you, and that we are moving toward a cashless society. These are facts.

But here are two more facts: you are saving money and time by using ridesharing instead of a cab (or your own vehicle), and, generally, having a much better overall experience; and, Lyft allows you to tip in the app immediately following the trip (Uber will have this feature as of August).

The biggest reason that tips are so appreciated by drivers is that 10% of every dollar we earn goes toward vehicle maintenance and repairs. That doesn’t even include gasoline or oil changes, which — for whatever reason — many riders believe Uber or Lyft pays for. HAHA! (Yes, we can write these things off on our taxes, but that’s not the point here.)

Most puzzling to me is that I’ve had this exact conversation with riders, who agree with me in lock-step…and then don’t tip!! People are complicated.

Not having cash isn’t the issue. Tipping your driver is easy. You’re being cheap.

Don’t be cheap. You’re better than that.

PRO TIP: TIP YOUR DRIVER!!!


Bonus: The 5-Star Rider Cheat Sheet

Self-driving Uber and Lyft vehicles will be here before we know it. But until then, you have to rely on us.

Use the cheat sheet below to be a 5-Star Rider, and feel free to forward this to your friends and family because…someone you know probably does one or more of these things!


5-Star Rider Cheat Sheet

  1. Don’t request a ride until five minutes before you are ready to walk out the door, and don’t make us wait more than five minutes anywhere.
  2. Don’t touch the cockpit controls without permission.
  3. Don’t hedge your bets — pick an app, request a ride, and stick with it.
  4. If your trip is less than a mile…WALK.
  5. Eat your food at home.
  6. Disengage with your mobile device and engage with your child; reign in their bad behavior — or we will.
  7. Know — and mind — your alcohol limits, and above all, be respectful.
  8. Bathe regularly! (This should be obvious.)
  9. Even if it’s the only interaction you have with your driver, thank them at the end of the trip.
  10. TIP YOUR DRIVER!!!

 

#Uber #Lyft #rideshare

 

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: https://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, All rights reserved.

Castlevania on Netflix

Castlevania on Netflix

It wasn’t supposed to be good.

Instead, it’s great, and I’m late to the party.

Are you??

Many people I know have been saying how great it is, but they’ve oversold and overhyped things before, so I took it with a grain of salt.

And most video-game-based movies and TV shows are not good, and vice-versa.

So I started watching Castlevania reluctantly, expecting the hype to be overblown.

But it’s not! Before the title screen in the first episode, you’re hooked!

The Hook

Let me set the scene…

Dracula, alone in his castle, receives an unexpected guest — Lisa, a headstrong woman seeking forbidden knowledge in order to become a doctor and aid the weak and helpless throughout the land.

Dracula mistakes her for another would-be witch trying to fool the peasants, to which Lisa scoffs, saying everybody else already does that, but she believes in science, not superstition.

He sneaks up behind her, whispering in her ear, seductively asking what she has to “trade” for access to his knowledge. Lisa pulls away from him and says perhaps she could help him relearn some manners.

Dracula warms to her, and takes her into his laboratory. Lisa is awed at what she sees inside.

“They won’t be peasants anymore if you teach them. They won’t live such short, scared lives if they have real medicine. They won’t be superstitious if they learn how the world really works,” says Lisa.

With a slight laugh, Dracula says, “Why should I do that??”

“To make the world better,” replies Lisa as a matter of fact. (If Castlevania was set in 2017, Lisa would have added a “Duh!” at the end — it’s set in 15th century Wallachia, a town in Romania.)

She adds, “Start with me, and I’ll start with you.”

The Narrative

Do you see what’s happening here???

First, it doesn’t get more ‘white, male oligarch’ than Dracula.

Second, Lisa values science above superstition and ignorance, and isn’t afraid to walk right up to the door of the most powerful man in the world, and ask for the keys to his secrets in the name of the greater good — when he tries to grab-her-by-the-…neck, she calls him rude and says she’ll help him relearn how to be a better human being!

Dracula reforms. He falls in love with Lisa. They marry.

Fast-forward twenty years, and a corrupt bishop has Lisa burned at the stake as a witch.

This is all before the title screen!

So, there’s the setup, and the plot develops over the four episodes in the first season, and centers around ensuring Dracula doesn’t wipe out humanity in a vengeful rage.

But then there’s the underlying narrative.

Feminism…religious ignorance…science deniers…oppression…war…

Even Big Data is a subject: without giving anything important away, there is a certain group of people who place great value on speaking and saying things to each other and remembering what was said, passing it down through generations, rather than writing it down for posterity. (It’s a commentary on our bureaucracy- and social media-driven culture, and how we feel compelled to document everything.)

But the biggest narrative is that of oligarchs in power suppressing the populace by withholding knowledge and information, and using violence to extinguish any would-be agents of change, of progress.

As the fire engulfs Lisa, the mayor of Wallachia approaches the bishop, revealing that he too has dabbled in some minor science studies from time to time — but just studies; he assures the bishop he would never think to actually practice such things.

The bishop looks at the mayor sternly and says, “The Archbishop would prefer that life in Wallachia be kept simple, Mayor,” as Lisa screams in agony.

“…simple.”

The Verdict

The show is a referendum on the rich and powerful’s attempt to keep the world in the dark, to keep wisdom from people lest they use it to make their lives better, to make the world better.

And it’s a referendum on religious ignorance.

Both are relevant now, and you can finish the whole season in less than two hours…

Watch it!

https://www.netflix.com/title/80095241

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: https://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, All rights reserved.

Nelsan Ellis Is Dead…Am I Next?

Nelsan Ellis Is Dead…Am I Next?

True Blood fans are mourning right now, and I’m worried about my heart.

My total True Blood viewing experience amounts to less than 10 minutes. It was too campy for me.

But I know who Nelsan Ellis is…er, was.

At least, by face. I don’t know of his work. He was always featured in the promos for the show, and I watch HBO for a few of its other original series. (No, not Game Of Thrones.)

So when I learned that he had died today from “complications with heart failure,” at 39 years old, I was taken aback.

Thirty-nine! For me, that’s less than three years away!

And I’ve been having these things recently, where my heart feels as though it beats a little faster for no reason at all, or a brief moment of lightness in my chest that I’ve never felt before.

It scares the hell out of me. This is the first I’ve mentioned it publicly to anyone.

We can’t see inside our bodies, and our inner workings and machinations are mostly on autopilot. (Imagine if you had to concentrate on breathing or digesting food.)

And to get a view of what’s really going on, our only recourse is to go to our doctor and tell them what’s troubling us, and they put us through the system. “Try these pills for 30 days and report back to me,” “Still the same? Let’s up your dosage,” “Not helping? Maybe we should try this medication instead,” and so on.

Why can’t we just get in the damn MRI or CAT machine from the get-go???

I want to get scanned for EVERYTHING.

I want a brain scan, so I can see for myself what’s happening to it and correct any issues before they become truly problematic.

I want an MRI exam to find out what, if anything, is deteriorating in my body, whether bones or tendons, ligaments, organs…anything.

But I can’t. It doesn’t work like that.

Well, then again, maybe if you’re rich.

The rich can afford a la carte medical services. The poor have to jump through all of the hoops — and if the GOP has their way, 22 million of us won’t have any hoops to jump through.

To that point, have you ever seen the movie As Good As It Gets?? It’s one of my favorites. Since it came out twenty years ago, I’m not worried about spoiling it if you haven’t seen it…

Helen Hunt plays a waitressing single mom, Carol, with a son who has a unique medical condition which her “fucking HMO bastard pieces of shit” doctors can’t pin down.

Jack Nicholson is Melvin, a rich, ornery, anti-social, best-selling author who frequents Carol’s restaurant daily for breakfast, and will only sit in her section — Melvin has a debilitating case of OCD, and everything has to be exactly as he expects it.

When he arrives at the restaurant one day and discovers Carol isn’t at work because she has to take care of her kid, he panics, and pays a busboy $20 to give him her address.

The next day, Carol arrives at home to find a doctor there, played by the late Harold Ramis. Ramis tells her that his wife is Melvin’s publisher, and that he was told to take great care of Carol’s son because Carol is urgently needed back at work.

Ramis hands his assistant a blood vial, telling her he wants the results back today (TODAY!), and then asks Carol if her son’s doctors have performed certain standard tests. She says she asked them to, but was told “it’s not covered under my plan and it’s not necessary,” which amazes Ramis, and causes Carol to spew the above quote regarding her HMO.

Carol asks if there is someone she can reach in Ramis’s office once the test results come back, to which he responds, “Me. My home number is on this card.”

His home number! When’s the last time you called YOUR doctor at home??

Finally, Ramis assures Carol that her son is going to be feeling much better very soon. When she asks about the additional costs, Ramis replies that they’ll be considerable, but that Melvin wants to be billed.

The bottom line: All it took for a poor, single mother’s son to get well was a rich guy’s daily routine being disrupted, and his subsequent (selfish) generosity.

I have no idea if Nelsan Ellis was rich, and I don’t know if he was aware of any issues with his heart. I don’t know what his lifestyle was, whether he had a healthy diet or abused drugs or whatnot.

All I know is that I read the headline today, and knew he died too soon, from heart-related issues.

That is one of my biggest fears: dying sooner because I didn’t take care of myself.

I do my damnedest to eat healthy daily, exercise regularly, sleep the right amount, etc. Still, I know death will come at some point, as it will for all of us.

But I don’t want to die at 39, or even 69, as Harold Ramis did. I want to live forever, experiencing everything the universe has to offer.

Nelsan Ellis’s sudden death is a reminder that we never know when it will be our time, and that we need to take care of ourselves and each other, and make an impact in our short time.

May he rest in peace.

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: https://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, All rights reserved.

The Text Message Break-Up

The Text Message Break-Up

Has it happened to you??

I ask because it’s happened to me too often, most recently with two would-be band members.

I’m not trying to put them on blast, but…they’re both on my mailing list, so I may get some blowback.

I still love and respect them, it’s just amusing to me at this point that two people whom I’ve known for years — one since we were in middle school together, the other for whom I produced an EP over a decade ago — would say, in so many words, “I quit,” via text message.

We had our first band meeting back in March, and everyone was on board, we were all on the same page. Our first rehearsal was during the second week of April, and it went quite well.

A couple of days after that rehearsal, the former recording client messaged me, saying the band wasn’t what he thought it would be. The other didn’t return to any rehearsals, and after two and a half months (!!!) finally messaged that he couldn’t continue on with the group due to family and work, two issues we discussed at length prior to his initial involvement.

Since that first rehearsal, I haven’t seen these two gentlemen, although I see them posting on Facebook all the time.

What it all comes down to, regardless of what industry one is in or what type of job needs to be done, is something called “GWC.”\

“GWC” stands for Gets it, Wants it, and has the Capacity to do it.

The former recording client got it, and had the capacity, but didn’t want it. My good friend from school got it and wanted it, but didn’t have the capacity in his life to do it.

In order to build a great team, everyone has to get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it. There are no exceptions.

But why break up via text message?? Why not call me? Were they afraid I’d try to talk them into remaining with us? Did they not want to hurt my feelings? I may never know because…

We are living in an age where it is easier to not have the difficult conversations required in life.

People would rather email than meet up, would rather text than call, rather “ghost” somebody than say what’s really on their mind.

I hate fence-sitters, and I’d rather hear “I hate you” than nothing at all. At least I’d know where I stand.

Why is everybody so afraid to say the hard thing?? The truth will set us free!

At this point in my life, I’ve learned that nothing is permanent. Every relationship, job, event, belief, etc. has an end somewhere down the line, it’s just a matter of when and how.

Some things end badly, but not all things, and things don’t have to end badly unless you make it so.

Needless to say, the two would-be members have each returned to their own personal status quo. They are content and happy with their lives, and the stress of embarking on a new and different musical journey is no longer weighing on them.

Moreover, they have both been replaced by members who share the core values of the group — sacrifice, measurable growth, accountability, reputation for excellence, time, intensity, and respect.

Everyone is happy.

Still, I would have appreciated a phone call.

Wouldn’t anyone?

———
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com

Website: https://therealjohnkay.com
Music: https://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, All rights reserved.

Take Out the Trash

Take Out the Trash

“Nothing’s changed.”

Those who are connected with me on Facebook see that phrase every day.

Each morning, I go to the On This Day app within Facebook (many others use the Timehop app) and look at my posts from previous years. I use it to assess my progress and foster a sense of gratitude first thing in the day.

When my old posts are still relevant, I comment with “Nothing’s changed.” Those types of posts are usually centered on my core values, my humor, the way I feel about my family, my ambitions and goals, my love for music — these have never changed.

But when my posts are irrelevant, I take out the trash.

I created my Facebook account in early 2009, and I’m the same person, but not the same personality I was eight — or even five — years ago. Plus, I’ve learned a lot about social media and privacy since first joining (God knows what’s still on my MySpace account).

For most of 2009-2012, I was drunk. Not just on alcohol, which I was, but also on my nascent audio engineering career and the success of my band at the time (Bat On Fire), along with the subsequent praise I was getting from my growing network of peers and colleagues at shows, on the radio, and especially on social media.

I got caught up in the idea of being a local celebrity: getting into all the good concerts for free, getting drinks bought for me, getting invited out to everything, being with women.

Because of my personal headtrash, my Facebook posts from 2009 to mid-2011 mostly revolved around my band; clients I was recording, mixing, or producing; partying; being an audio engineering blowhard; and “bad decisions” (getting laid).

The problem was I felt like I had power. It’s quite embarrassing to read some of the things I posted back then.

I was lost. That is not who I really am, or ever really was.

So, I get rid of it all. I delete the posts, or I remove myself from being tagged in them.

I don’t do this because I’m afraid a future employer will find it, or my girlfriend or family will think less of me if they see it (hell, they’ve known me this whole time).

I’m doing this because I don’t want to remember any of it. Certain episodes, events, and chapters in my past, in a way, disgust me. I want to forgive myself for being a douchebag, forget it, and move on.

It’s not that the past is burdening me, or that I have closure issues — I’m putting as much goodness out into the world as possible, which I hope outweighs my past transgressions; I’m at peace, and karma works in wondrous ways.

The issue is my photographic memory.

When I see these old posts, my mind catapults me back in time to the circumstances surrounding the post, how I felt at the time, what my diet was like, what my belief system was caught up in, how ego-driven I was. The trash posts drum up old feelings of guilt and shame.

But again, these posts are accompanied by many other posts which are positive in nature and timeless in their value. They remain relevant to me and my life, and remind me that even though I made some bad decisions or behaved like a jerk from time to time, I’m still walking a righteous path.

I want to focus on the good, not the bad. In order to improve that focus, I take out the trash. Not just on social media, but in real life, too. Anything that takes away my focus from the present and moves me further away from my goals, I eliminate it.

My mom taught my brother and I from a very young age to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Maybe it’s a testament to her that I do that exact thing every morning, first thing…

Nothing’s changed.

———

Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com
Email: blog@therealjohnkay.com

Music: https://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Podcast: Get After It w/ John Kay on iTunes
Twitter: @TheRealJohnKay
Instagram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /TheRealJohnKay

Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates

Copyright © 2017 John Kay, all rights reserved.