Call Me Old-Fashioned

(Sunday Paper, Volume I, Issue 19)

What a week!

I'm happy to report, here on the first weekend of October, that I have made one of my favorite purchases of the year.

I am now the proud owner of a 2017 calendar.

Yes, that's right - a paper calendar.

And I'm not ashamed to tell you about it.

Listen, I know there are plenty of other options these days for keeping myself organized. I know I can pop appointments into my phone...and I can synch that phone calendar up to my computer...and I can get notifications to remind me about when I have an event coming up...or whatever other new stuff that technology has come up with.

But I like the paper calendar.

Partly this is because my dad always had a paper calendar when I was growing up and I kind of liked the idea of writing down appointments. But overall I just prefer the paper version. Even in the earliest days of PDAs (not the kissing kind - the technology kind), when my wife bought me one of those electronic planners with a stylus, I liked the idea of it but I never fully bought in.

So every year since I stopped teaching (I used a binder with a paper schedule to plan my classes - and I wrote about that once too) I get one of these little calendar books. That's where I keep track of my work (I like looking back - there's been more and more work filling the pages with each passing year, so that's a good trend), and my comedy, and the girls' activities - each with their own pen color. (Comedy = red. Work = light blue. Family = purple. Medical appointments = green.)

I love looking at an empty calendar for the year ahead and thinking about how it will fill up. I like to imagine the possibilities for what the future can bring.

I already have ideas about how I'd like the 2017 calendar to look at this time next year...especially the red-inked part, but also the light blue ink.

The next exciting part is actually carrying out those plans.


*Work's been good these days. This past Friday was the deadline for the second of the three assigned articles I wrote about last week...and the last one is due this coming Friday. There's a chance these will appear in a newspaper or magazine near you in a couple of months - I'll keep you posted.

*Also, nothing like a healthy dose of rejection to keep you honest. Had a couple of swings and misses this week - it's been a while since I've had that on the writing end. It still stings a little though, like comedy, it's a little bit less each time it happens.


*September is now over - it was the good month I thought it would be comedy-wise. The month ended with a show Tuesday night at McGreevy's and Thursday night hosting at Speakers in Marlboro. McGreevy's is great - the comedy show there happens every Monday and Tuesday night  in the downstairs bar area and this was the first time I've performed there. I've attended a couple of other shows there - I've yet to see a bad crowd. Tuesday night was fun.

And Thursday was great too. A supporter of the show brought out a nice crowd and hopefully they'll come back often. I'm telling you - every week in Marlboro there's a good lineup and I love having the opportunity to host those shows. The next one I'll be hosting is Thursday, October 13th, but the show will be there every Thursday.

*Hey New York! I'm coming down Columbus Day weekend for some family stuff, which you're not invited to...but I'm also doing some comedy Saturday night at QED in Astoria. So come on out to that if you want to see me. I'm probably going to check out the 9:30 show on Saturday night the 8th, and then I'll be performing in the 11pm show.

What I've Been Enjoying

*I got an e-mail last week from Keane. Let me take a step back here and make sure you know who Keane is: They're a band - three guys, heavy on the piano and drums - famous for "Somewhere Only We Know", which you probably remember from a decade or so ago. They had other less popular hits - and a flash of wide fame (i.e. a song featured in a dramatic montage scene on 'Scrubs'...I'm pretty sure that was 'Everybody's Changing').

Anyway, 'Somewhere Only We Know' came out around the time of our wedding. My brother said to me, "You'd probably like this band." And I did. And Kathy did. And after more than four years together we had a band that we both enjoyed, rather than our singular musical tastes. So Keane has been a nostalgic band for us.

I've been on Keane's mailing list for years, but they've been on-and-off. I think only one split was not amicable, and I think right now, since their last album in 2012, they're on a break to pursue solo projects. So imagine my surprise when the last e-mail included a link to a new song. It's called 'Tear Up This Town', and it's a track for some movie's soundtrack. The movie is called "A Monster Calls" and I don't know what it's about at all. (The music video is interspersed with clips from the movie and I still haven't figured out if it's a scary movie or a sad movie or what.)

Since I heard the new song it's made me go back and listen the past week or so to older Keane songs. I really love their music. I recommend to you all of their albums. (Except 'Night Train'. That one's a disappointment.) And if you're unsure what to start with, this new song is a perfect encapsulation of a classic Keane song. Give it a listen - - and then when you love it and want more, let me know and I'll help you figure out what to listen to next.


*Something else I saw at Staples when I was buying my calendar was a 365-page book where each page was a day of the year. If you know me you know I love daily challenges. I seriously thought about buying that instead of a calendar this year but I didn't feel like I had a good plan for filling those pages yet. (I do have a plan for 2017, as I alluded to above. I'll definitely be writing more about that as this year draws to a close.)

*Also, as you can see in the picture above, I went with a plain gray calendar. Last year they had a nicely designed cover that I liked that had a good font inside. This year the covers and insides were very flowery and it wasn't my speed. I thought about searching on-line to see if they had better designs, but decided to just go with the plain one. This hereby ends the calendar talk. (Sometimes I think it would be healthy for me to have co-workers to talk to during the day. Otherwise I end up, for example, writing too much about calendars.)

*This week is the first of the football season I won't be able to watch the Jets at home. It's one of the stinky ones too, which has been the biggest bane of my football existence since I moved here. (Well, other than the fact that the Patriots have been so dominant.) See - the Patriots and Jets both play at 1pm today. And it's a FOX doubleheader week. And the Jets-Seahawks game would be the 1pm FOX game on TV here - except it's blacked out because it's opposite the Patriots at 1pm. So that's a bummer...because every time that happens I'll believe for most of the week that maybe they'll make an error and put the Jets on here...but then I am disappointed when it doesn't happen. And of course it's not happening today. Still - 4 straight weeks of the Jets to open the season: that's almost unprecedented. And, if you're wondering why I just don't go to a bar to catch the game, there are 2 reasons: 1) I'm with the kids most of Sunday, and 2) I'm kind of in a 4-plus year fight with the Jets where I enjoy watching them if I don't have to go out of my way for it, but they don't deserve me seeking them out and spending a bunch of money on them in what will most likely end up in disappointment. (I have issues with the Jets these days.)

*And the Mets! What can I tell you. I'm so impressed by what they've done this year. When the World Series ended last year all I could think about was how hard it is to get back to that spot. And in order to do it everything needs to break right. And almost NOTHING broke right for the Mets this year. So much went wrong. And they still got themselves into the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for only the second time in their history. (Lots of folks are jumping on the Terry Collins bandwagon right now...don't forget where you heard his praises sung first.) What they've done this year is an incredible accomplishment...and now anything can happen. It starts with Wednesday night's wildcard game....hopefully it won't end for another month or so.