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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Whatcha Watchin'?

It hasn't quite been a full month since I got all my new videos uploaded at my promotional website. However, this being the start of a new month I thought I'd take a look at the stats and find out what has been the most popular of the media files.

Not surprisingly, the plate-spinning videos, particularly the brief clip from the Bozo Show and from Potowatomi Casino are the most watched. Next would be my promotional overview of the plate act and then the video illustrating how the act can be used as a corporate training aid. Since "plate-spinning" and "Bozo Show" are also among the keywords most often used to find my site, it is good to see that those same things are attracting folks to the videos.

The other juggling and variety segments seem to attract a goodly amount of attention, presumably from jugglers as well as prospective clients. However, I've got no kind of Chris Bliss-like frenzy happening. Heh!

There's moderate traffic to the stand-up videos, but I trust more people will click upon them when they are looking specifically for a comedian. I am glad to see good traffic for the Reservoir Dogs video. I've wanted better video of that online from day one and now that it is there, I'm hopeful it will add a bit of new life to the bookings.

What surprises me is that so few people have watched the fire-eating act. Granted, there's not a ton of fire-eating on the clip, but generally the dangerous stuff is the most memorable in the live shows. It seems odd that they are not as big a deal online. More have watched the stand-up comedy about the fire act than the actual eating of fire. Interesting.

I also notice that relatively few folks have found the Suicide Hotline recording. I don't mind this at all, as that was included as a little "Easter Egg" style bonus for people who visit this blog. You'll find it on your own time, if you haven't found it already.

What does all this mean? I've got too much time on my hands to waste online and not enough work. So send people to my website & videos and get me to your home town. ;)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Same Story, Different Species

Seems as though dating is the same just about everywhere.

I got this rather funny comic from Golfwidow. Naturally I've forgotten where it came from so please don't sue the ever-living crap out of me for some sort of copyright infringement. I know Golfwidow will be around shortly to boldly announce who the artist is, a link to the website, and so on. :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Nude Hippo: Your Chicago Show

Yes, my friends I have actually appeared on a program called "Nude Hippo: Your Chicago Show". In fact, the first time I was ever on the program it was called "The Big, Fat, Nude Hippo Show", which is CLEARLY a better name, right? The other one is just silly!

I've done some comedy & juggling segments and have even made a few appearances as a reporter for the program. I've only seen a few of the pieces I recorded. They are a Chicago cable show (meaning: available to Chicago city proper folks and a bit beyond) and I'm not in their broadcast area nor on their cable system. So I've no idea what kind of work I've ever done for them.

I do know, that in the segments I've seen, most of the really funny stuff was edited out. This may just be my opinion, but I always hope to have my own program one day so I can make sure the best stuff hits the airways, regardless of whom I'll offend. Things get cut for time constraints, for content, for all sorts of reasons so I don't ever get bent out of shape about it.

Thanks to YouTube, both you and I can see at least one segment I did for Nude Hippo. Perhaps if they see enough folks clicking on the link or commenting, they'll feel compelled to upload even more Andy Martello segments. Perhaps I could even be a (semi) regular on the show...Just like all these years. ;)

Anyway, enjoy my trip to the Riddell Helmet factory in Chicago.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ten Things Tuesday: Good Things About Having a New Blog Template

  • People will stop asking me, "Why don't you get a new blog template?"
  • Somebody might actually read it now.
  • It is now appropriate for me to ask someone, "Want to check out my skin?"
  • There's cool new software installed that allows me to see you as you read my blog. I can see E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!
  • Seeing the words, "posse" and "whoring" so close together make me laugh.
  • Penguins. Lots of penguins. Chicks dig the penguins.
  • It is easier for me to maintain my blogroll & other links. What? Does everything have to be a fucking joke to you people?
  • It gave me another excuse to hit on, uh I mean talk to Dawn.
  • I can see clearly now. The rain has gone.
  • This is a Del Webb Community now.

Happy Birthday to Me. Happy Birthday To YOU!

I mentioned that this craptacular blog turned two years old on the 27th. I also told you there may actually be some birthday surprises in store for my loyal readers (both of them).

Well, friends...You're standing in it. EEEeeewwwwww!

Check out this MOST EXCELLENT new template! Doesn't this seem a whole lot more "Andy"? I think so and my opinion is really the ONLY one that matters around here. However your feedback and comments are ALWAYS appreciated.

Big thanks to Webmiztris Dawn, of
(WOO-HOO! Go, ForYourInfoTech!) for all of her hard work and mind-numbing effort in putting this together. She took my chicken scratch ideas (in BAD MS Paint form), some sketchy thoughts, and an old header created by Riika Magnus of Silver-Logic Web Services and turned it all into a very workable, orderly, easy to use blog. Most importantly, it is a whole lot more fun to look at. Now if only I could come up with interesting content. Ah well.

So this is my present to you, the folks who check in upon occasion and comment every once in awhile. Sure, it pleases me and can really be considered a present to myself, but you benefit from this as well, right?

Head over to Dawn's blog and let her know how much she rocks. Let me know if you find any GLARING errors as well.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

8:30 AM Gig In North Chicago

Up early today, drive an hour, spin plates for 15 minutes, drive an hour home, and probably have lunch with my potential dart store partner.

At some point I may get to clean or work on the Vegas Brothers show or something. Not sure. One way or another I'll let you know what's up.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

You Know You Don't Have Enough Lobster News In Your Life!

Since I get occasional newsletters and e-mail ads from the fine folks at Lobster Gram, I also am privy to some fascinating lobster news items. For instance...

Check out this rather rare two-tone lobster! One half green, one half orange, it is an extremely rare item to pull out of the water. According to the Lobster Facts Blog, the odds of finding one are one-in 50 million to one-in 100 million.

And I bet it tastes great too!

I figured since this is such a special day
(My Two Year Bloggiversary) you deserve some special news. I may have some more Blog Birthday surprises for you shortly. Stay tuned, both of you.

Friday, August 25, 2006

What's That? Did You Say, "The Vegas Brothers Are BACK!"

Don't ask me why I've not had a lot to say about The Vegas Brothers of late. There are many long and maddening stories I could tell, but I'd rather just forget them and hope this is the start to better days.

Yes indeed, The Fabulous Vegas Brothers are appearing at the most excellent On the Waterfront Festival in Rockford, Illinois on Sunday September 3rd, 2006. Sure I know their website makes no mention of it, but rest assured, they're gonna be there.

A somewhat abbreviated show, featuring Lance, Sonny, & Nicky Vegas ( Bobby's running from the mob & Shecky's in jail...Or is it rehab?) will take the stage at 8:00 PM and 9:30 PM. Shows are about one hour in length and promise to be fun-filled, swinging good times.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Time to Go

I bought these 14 gram, nickel/tungsten soft-tip darts some time around 1990 at a now defunct store in Park Ridge, Illinois. While I've not played them as much as I'd have liked over the years, I've always held on to them.

I've kept them in the glove compartment of just about every vehicle I've owned during this time, just in case I find myself somewhere with an electronic dart board and a few quarters to spend. They damn near kept me from dying of boredom back in my circus days. Many times I'd find myself wishing there were SOMETHING to do in Bumblefook, Kentucky or where the hell I was, only to be thankful I had my darts in the car and a bar near by.

Well...The time has come to say goodbye. It's a little like saying goodbye to an old friend I'm actually a little weepy thinking about it. However, the case for these things has become in a bad state and it has to go. Broken hinges, worn out holders for the tips and flights, time to go!

What? HELL, NO I'm not getting rid of the darts! What kind of monster do you think I am? Those still fly straight and occasionally hit the marks I'm aiming for. I love those darts and they're not going anywhere! Zeesh!


I met with Sherilyn from the Passionate Darter today, along with officially meeting Jim of the King of Darts. Somehow, my hope to alert the darters of the world to a great investment opportunity has turned into a ridiculous pipe dream of me owning this shop, either myself or with a Passionate Darter partner. I have absolutely no idea how this would work, since I own NOTHING, have no collateral, have bad credit, and no hope of any lender or issuer of grants taking me seriously. That being said, it would be fun to have something to do when I'm not entertaining. I may just not panic so much during the slow times.

I'd certainly appreciate any information on how to secure funding from someone who has done the same to open their own business.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Our House Crafts - Finest Hand Made Crafts On Earth

I know I've mentioned this place before and I'm probably biased, but if you are a fan of hand made crafts created by good people, then you simply must check out Our House Crafts in Winter, Wisconsin.

Lisa and Randy Hayward have been making some of the world's finest original works of art within the craft world for well over 15 years and they've done it all from the tiny little northern Wisconsin town of Winter. Sheer necessity has driven their creativity over the years and the end result has been actually starting more trends in the craft business than most crafters have ever followed.

They utilize items found at estate sales, in overstock bins at stores, things washed ashore from the lakes of Wisconsin, and items lying around when there's nothing "standard" to purchase and turn them into works of art.

Among the things Our House is most known for within the craft world is their nature scenes painted on glass jars, stemware, and ornaments. The subtle brush strokes, vivid colors and lifelike appearance has set the standard for the rest of the industry. At times, Lisa can't keep up with the demand for such beautiful items. However, her artistry is not limited to glass items.

She has been commissioned to create landscapes on everything from walls and doors to furniture items. Her paintings have turned otherwise worthless pieces of furniture into family heirlooms and she has always been very humble when pricing her work for the customer. Check out some of these old tables, once headed for the dumpster that are now valued items in households across America.

Our House can customize per your request or they can sell from common stock items found at their website. All items are 100% unique and many items are practical as well, capable of being used and even washed in the dishwasher (Obviously, I'm speaking of the glass items. Try running a telephone table through your Maytag.).

Whether it is a driftwood sculpture, a customized pine cone wreath, or a beautiful piece of hand-painted glass, Our House has a great gift at an affordable price.

They have set up a blog for you to keep track of their craft show schedule and to get a sneak peek at new items.

Lisa has written a book detailing her envied glass-painting techniques so you can make your own works of art.

Since they are new to the blog world, I know that Randy & Lisa could use a little blogger love in the form of links. I'm sure I'll have to tell them how to add reciprocal links, but rest assured, your linky love will be returned.

Please check them out
and tell them I sent ya. The Holidays are rapidly approaching you know. ;)

If anyone would be willing to add a link or two to them from your own blogs that would be appreciated. Let them or me know and I'll make sure a link back is forthcoming.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ten things Tuesday: Reasons Why I Don't Want to Write a Ten Things Tuesday List

Hello. I'm trying my best to write a Ten Things Tuesday list for you today. Somehow it just ins't working. Here's my best shot.

  • I'm really funny only once a day. Ten times is, like, impossible.
  • Every minute I waste by typing is one minute I could spend jerking off.
  • I'm too busy listening to my Fatboy Slim CD.
  • Even I don't read this damned blog any more.
  • The William Shatner roast will be on again any minute now.
  • I ate WAY TOO MANY grapes today to be sitting in front of the computer for too long.
  • Every time I try to write this list I'm reminded of how much porn I could be watching.
  • I'm trying to figure out how the hell I can buy a dart store.
  • I lost you at "Hello".
  • YOU spend 5 days in Pecatonica, Illinois and then try to be funny!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fatboy Slim - Greatest Hits

Two words...

Don Martello & The Don Martello Memorial Scholarship

Don MartelloSince I've been working like a madman I haven't had the time to create anything new regarding this day, the anniversary of my dad's passing. So if you'll bear with me, I'll link to last year's complete post and reprint some of it here. It all still applies so why the hell not? In fact, do read that post in full as it has a great story about me and dad and Ernie Kovacs. I cut it out here because I'm trying to get a little more attention to the scholarship fund and maybe get a few of his past students to stumble upon this blog.

August 20 marks the anniversary of the death of my father.

Don Martello was a speech & drama teacher at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, IL for 25 years. Prior to that he taught college students in Hamilton, Ohio. He was also a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War, "The Forgotten War" as he would sometimes call it.

Among other things he was an avid reader, a lover of cigars and pipes, a guy who really liked a good bourbon, a huge fan of Thomas Jefferson and William Shakespeare, and a very funny man. He was a loving husband, a fine theatrical director, and most importantly, he was a good father to me, my two brothers, and my sister.

Here lies Donald Martello...and why not?Over the years our family has tried to honor dad in a variety of ways.

At the site where he is buried we placed some of his more memorable taglines and phrases on his headstone. We even placed a bench by his grave so folks can find a calm and quiet place to sit at the cemetery, something that is often sorely missing.

Have a seat and smoke a cigar.When you arrive at dad's grave you see words like "Illegitimus Non Carborundum Est", which is Latin for "Don't let the bastard grind you down." You also get a bit of a laugh when you read dad's standard joke when he was around many people, "I suppose you're wondering why I called you here today." Even if you didn't know dad you could feel relaxed and entertained in a place where entertainment is generally not found.

Years ago, I co-wrote a book for cigar smokers called the Don Martello Cigar Smoker's Journal. It was a family effort with everyone contributing to it's creation and production. This was an informative and entertaining cigar accessory designed to enhance the enjoyment of the gentleman's last true luxury, the cigar. We sold this book at stores across the country and imparted a bit of dad's wisdom to total strangers as they lit up their stogies.

Most significantly we created the Don Martello Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship for members of the Thespian Society. This was set up originally at Maine South High School and is now helping students at Maine West in Des Plaines, IL (another story for another time).

The scholarship, a meager but helpful $500.00, is awarded to the student that truly benefited from his or her experience in the theatre and performing arts programs at their school. It is not an academic scholarship and grades are not a factor at all. We don't even care if the recipient has plans to attend a college or other schooling. Dad never felt that you had to be a genius to get something valuable out of time spent within the arts and we are happy to pass that sentiment on.

The family picks the recipient out of the applicants and we look for someone who went through the theatre program and truly "got it". Past recipients have used the cash to start their own business, attend culinary school, and buy large quantities of beer. All have been grateful examples of what time well spent in the arts can bring to the world.

I rarely solicit anything other than "mojo" from anyone around this blog and I apologize for making mention of this here. We rely on the interest from the scholarship account and the generous donations from alumni and others to keep the thing going for as long as possible. We invite Maine South alumni, former students of Don Martello, patrons of the arts, and anyone willing to help out some good kids to donate & keep the scholarship alive and well.

If you would like to make a donation to the Don Martello Memorial Scholarship, you may e-mail me for details or you can send a check or money order to...

The Don Martello Memorial Scholarship
C/O Wyn Martello
501Mitchell St., Sawyer Village
Gwinn, MI 49841

I'm Number ONE!In the event you don't want to or simply can't donate a few bucks to the scholarship, let me say that I completely understand and neither I nor will my family make any sort of judgments against you. Money is tight everywhere and gas is about to hit $17.32 a gallon so don't feel compelled to help out. However, I should point out that if you were one of dad's students and you loved the guy even HALF as much as you all said you did, it sure would be a great way to say thanks to the old man. Still, if you can't help problem. Dad just wanted us to pass on a little message to you. ;)

UPDATE! June 29, 2007
We've recently decided, for a number of reasons to dissolve the Scholarship. Many thanks to those who donated and helped preserve my father's work and his legacy of excellence.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oh I Wish...

Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener.
That is what I'd truly like to be.
Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener,
Everyone would be in love with me.

Just a little bit more of the fun I had a short while ago at the Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum. If either of my two Jingles get selected for the finals, you can vote online for your favorite. ;)

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Bologna Has a First Name...

My bologna has a first name.
It's O-S-C-A-R.
My bologna has a second name.
It's M-A-Y-E-R.
Oh, I love to eat it every day,
And if you ask me, "Why?" I'll say,
"'Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A"

How's that?

Remember when I was at the Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum & National Mustard Day a short time ago? Well among the fun to be had there was the presence of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

They're there every year, but this year in particular they are having a Sing the Jingle contest. You can sing the Oscar Mayer Bologna song and/or the Oscar Mayer Wiener song for a chance to be in a commercial and make a few bucks.

I have no delusions of winning a darned thing, but I do take great pride in my work, silly as it may be. Moreover, I'm tickled pink to know that you can download your auditions at the Oscar Mayer site and do whatever you want with them. A great promotional idea on their part as I suspect many folks will be adding these to their blogs and providing loads of free advertising. I am happy to play along, if only to entertain you and provide two more days worth of content.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

ATTENTION Illinois Darters! You're Losing The King of Darts

Yes, Chicago darters, you are losing a fantastic store by the end of this year. What's worse is that none of you is doing anything about it.

I used to be somewhat active in the dart-playing world here in suburban Chicago. I would go to a regular, open blind-draw tournament or two as well as spending a little bit of time in a league. Darts is a great game and if you get serious about playing you find that good suppliers of darts and darts supplies are few and far between. I'm sure that the Internet has helped make it possible for darters to find their supplies, but few things can replace the appeal of a classic bricks & mortar storefront and a knowledgeable owner.

The King of Darts in Streamwood, Illinois is exactly the kind of store I'm talking about. I only discovered the place this week. I went there to buy April a good set of soft tip darts of her own for our anniversary (which is today, by the way). We've started playing again and I've got plans to get the board back up on the wall in the apartment. Within seconds of being inside the place I got that same "kid in a candy store" feeling I used to get back when I played darts on a regular basis. It's the same feeling I get when I'm a great cigar store, the Mustard Museum, or any other fantastic store catering to one of my silly passions. OK, I also get that feeling at the Admiral Theatre, but let's not sully this important post.

This store was THE place to find darts, dart boards, and supplies of all kinds. Jim Kroll, the owner was not only a friendly and likeable guy, but he knew damn near everything there was to know about the sport & his products. He was very generous with his time and suffered this fool gladly as I asked far too many questions about the current line of darts available.

It turns out that he knows so much about his business because he's been running the store for the last SIXTEEN YEARS. That's a long time for any business, much less a specialty store such as his. Business is strong and the store obviously does well. Lord knows how long the store would continue to succeed were it not for one little problem.

Jim is retiring and moving on at the end of the year.

Now I'm not a regular customer. As I mentioned, I only just discovered the place. What makes me mention the store at all is the fact that he's been hoping & trying to sell the business to no avail. No takers, no investors, no entrepreneurs wanting to carry on where Jim leaves off, no start-up businessmen hoping to change or start a new career for themselves. Most notably, no darts enthusiasts willing to take over the place or even pass the word on to someone who might keep the place alive.

I know that an investment like this requires money and money is something that most folks, myself included, just don't have in abundance. Being one who is spending his life trying to work in a field that makes me happy (as well as a guy who used to be a retail god), I can see the appeal of trying to take over a store like this one. Really, isn't THAT the American dream; to take your hobby and find a way to make a living from it?

Surely, there must be someone out there, a darter, looking to own his own business, dreaming of having a shop of his own and being his own boss. If I had even a little bit of cash as collateral I'd give it some serious thought. Maybe a group of friends, all darts players, would be interested in pooling their resources and taking the place over.

I know it is silly to care about a place I've only shopped at once. However, I plan on being there many times between now and the day it closes and I'm hopeful that someone out there will read this and realize that their favorite store doesn't have to go away. I'm hopeful that spreading the word in this manner will do SOMETHING to help the guy find a buyer. Check this place out. It would be a real shame to lose a high-quality specialty retailer like this one.

Incidentally, if you are a darts player, you really should check out The Passionate Darter. This is a very informative site that helps promote the game of darts well. It seems to be a little more Illinois-centric, so that has lots of appeal to me. Much of the information there applies to all darts players and the site is clean and informative. Plus, I rather shamelessly stole these images of the store and the owner from there and I feel just awful about it. I'll get over it, but you know...Just check them out.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Where in the World is Andy Martello?

As it happens I'm in Pecatonica, Illinois from the 16th through the 20th performing at the Winnebago County Fair.

Since Pecatonica is near Rockford and therefore "reasonably close" to home I'll be back home every day. I can even see my wife on our anniversary this Thursday. We never really do anything all that special for our anniversary so my working is no big deal (So don't give me any crap!). Hell, we never do anything all that special any other time so who cares (OK, you can give me crap for that.)

I'll be working with Don Otto, a great guy with a very funny trampoline act. We're doing several shows throughout the week and I'm sure we'll have nothing but love and adoration from the massive crowds. If not, I'm sure I'll receive a paycheck for my trouble and that's really all that matters.

So, in the unlikely event anyone is A) Reading this and B) going to be anywhere near Rockford this week, stop on by and say HI!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ten things Tuesday: Things Heard at The James Gang Concert

  • How ya doin'?
  • Just because you wrote em, doesn't mean you know how they go.
  • You're probably going to hear a lot of songs that I don't remember writing.
  • That reminds me of something Joe Cocker once said to me. He said, "Grum-mmph-bbmilsblahrghh-auughtrrableommm!"
  • We were pretty well known back when we used to be famous.
  • What do you say at a moment like this? How ya doin'?
  • [question from audience: "What year is that guitar?"] Ummm, this is one of the new old ones.
  • I don't bring any of my really old guitars on the road. I just don't bring my vintage guitars with me anymore because...I don't have any.
  • We considered calling this "The Assisted Living Tour".
  • [after returning for an encore] As it happens we know one more song. This is going to work out well for all of us.

The James Gang!

James Gang - Still Riding.  HELL YEAH!Yesterday, a dream came true. I saw Dale Peters, Jimmy Fox, and my hero, Joe Walsh, take the stage as the one & only James Gang.

I realize that many of you have not been waiting with breathless anticipation for a James Gang reunion. I'm aware of the fact that many of you have no idea who the hell they are. It is not lost on me that Joe Walsh and the James Gang are just about the closest thing you can get to the quintessential MALE artists (I know of women who like Walsh & the Gang, but not many). Knowing all of this doesn't make me want to sing the praises of this monumental event any less.

I've seen Joe Walsh six times previously (4 solo shows and two with Eagles, which is not quite the same). As I've mentioned before I'd always hoped for a James Gang show to pop up as this was Joe's first BIG successful project. Sadly, with few exceptions, the shows just weren't happening.

I credit my wife, April for calling this one though. We'd seen them get together for a few Drew Carey Shows and tried to see them at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame back in 2001. When Joe got back together with Eagles for a round of tours and supposedly a new album, he was "on duty", seemingly forever and no solo shows nor any James Gang shows popped up. April, noticing the scattered appearances together on various TV shows and so on, boldly and confidently stated that the James Gang would ride again. Her theory: If you spend that much time with Don Henley, eventually you'll want to be with better friends. She was absolutely correct.

The show was amazing. For me it was an even bigger thrill because this was not a solo Joe Walsh show. We only got one classic Joe Walsh signature song in the mix. Instead this was a James Gang show and while I knew many of the songs they played, virtually the entire concert was filled with songs I'd never heard performed live before.

One thing that comes out when watching this act is how much fun they have working together and playing those classic songs. Plus, many people forget that Joe Walsh is one of the greatest guitar players on the planet. A lot of his solo work, while filled with memorable licks, is not what people immediately think of when thinking about guitar gods. Listening to some of the James Gang tracks definitively reminds the world of something that Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and many others have known all along - Joe Walsh should be on the Mt. Rushmore of guitar legends.

I am as happy as a guy can get today and I'm planning on riding this little wave for a few days. This show was the ONLY chance I'd have had to see them play. Thankfully I'm working so much right now I wouldn't have been able to make any other the other shows. The stars came into alignment for me and I got to live a dream yesterday evening. Not a bad way to go.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

For Bud Buckley

So, Bud, I figure if Pat Metheny can play one of these monstrosities, you certainly can.

This thing, called a Pikasso reminds me of a fake guitar I invented (in name only, not actually creating) for the sake of screwing with a guitar-loving friend of mine. I told this huge Stratocaster fan that he's really nobody if he doesn't own the 18-String Fendocaster. I told him that this was a double-neck guitar with a six-string on the bottom and a 12-string on the top, all electric, and completely useless in every way.

Anyway, I found this elsewhere, I believe on Attu's site (Hey Attu! Where'd my link go?). It seemed worthy of a reprinting here, especially since I'm too busy to come up with a real post.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tickets! Get Yer Tickets Right Here!

Check out the way cool ticket people needed in order to attend my Wednesday night performance at the Addison Public Library. Isn't that the coolest?

Just like my gig at the Naperville Library the other day, these folks also had a nice blurb about the show on their website.

This is the second time in the last few years that I've been asked to perform at the library and it is always a good time. As much fun as it is to be asked back, it is fun to do a good show for the families in attendance and leave a lasting impression on the people who are seeing the show for the first time.

Still to come this week: the Wyndemere retirement community in Wheaton, a student film/music video shoot in Niles, the Westchester Park District show, my yearly trip to the Hayward KOA, and a show in Naperville for someone who saw me at the recent library gig and wanted me at their community event.

Oh yeah, after that last gig I'll be heading up to Milwaukee to see The James Gang. Since this thread started with talk about tickets, I thought it worth mentioning that my tickets for that extravaganza came in this week. I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

LONG OVERDUE, New Videos Are Up

While I desperately need to update several things about my main website, one thing that has been needed damn near since the very first day it was up was improving the quality of my videos. The videos play as big a part in selling the act as any other part of the site. You may have seen some of the lower resolution versions of these clips at Stickam.

Thankfully, my website is extremely well traveled and does a very good job at selling the act, regardless of the quality of the videos. Now with the shorter clips and the more diverse examples of what I offer I am confident that the act will sell even better.

There are a few clips on the site that are just better edited versions of the previous footage, but for all intents and purposes, everything is a whole lot fresher, funnier, and easier to watch than before. These clips were all chosen and edited by me. The last ones were edited by my web designers and even though they have sufficed for all these years, they were not ideal representations of my work.

I got rid of the old Real Player clips (nobody is using Real Player anymore) and replaced them with streaming Windows Media Player videos. Everything has a uniform look and a slightly more produced look. Some of the video & audio quality is not as "perfect" as I'd like it, but it is a BIG improvement. Plus, these are all the same clips found on my promo DVD, and on gig referral websites where I am listed.

It is just another step towards making my act more accessible and more "bookable". There are many better jugglers out there. I've forgotten more tricks than I remember, but the videos show a very funny, skilled, and polished professional and that's of paramount importance to me.

Once again, thanks to the Show Business Gods for bringing about a busy summer and the funds to make these necessary improvements. Perhaps by this time next year I'll have a whole new to talk about. Maybe even sooner.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ten Things Tuesday: Things Your Hairdresser Should Never Say

  • I know the doctor told me I should wait until the shakes and the D.T.s completely went away before returning to work, but I've got bills to pay.
  • It's a good thing you're wearing a red shirt. Nobody will see the stain.
  • I actually make more money grooming dogs, but they don't tip for shit.
  • Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?
  • You know, my job isn't all that different from a Rabbi's.
  • Don't worry. If you keep your head tilted to the left for about 3 weeks nobody will know the difference.
  • Shame we don't use nitris oxide here. Much easier to fondle the customers that way.
  • I'd have sworn you asked for a crew cut.
  • Look on the bright side. Now that your earlobe is shorter you can wear longer, more dangly earrings. Well, one longer earring at least.

No Post Today

Catching up on business, sleep, and other things. Back to gigging tomorrow.

So nothing really new or interesting, no comments at other blogs, nada! Read what you've missed or please click on any of the links in my side bar.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Don't Remember Where I First Saw This

I think this was at Ole Blue's blog.

It made me laugh and therefore I share it with you.

Spend a day inside the head of Britney Spears...IF YOU DARE!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Today is the Day

My return visit to the happiest place on Earth, the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. I'm performing at the National Mustard Day Festival and as per usual, I couldn't be more excited!

I may even enter the Oscar Mayer Sing a Jingle contest. I'll keep you posted.

If all goes well I'll also get to spend a little time with an old Clown College buddy who's working in Baraboo this summer. For now, I'm happy that I'll be bringing home many jars of tasty mustard!

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Check Out Where I Am Right Now

Bonus post for Friday. Be sure to read the one below it as well.

Currently I'm in between shows at the Naperville Public Library. Naperville is the third largest city in Illinois and it is celebrating it's 175th birthday (It doesn't look older than 150) Every time I work out here I marvel at all of the fantastic amenities & resources found within the town.

Now you should not only be impressed and/or tickled by the big picture of ME on the front page of their website today, or the nice listing for the show they've provided, you should click on a few of the links and check out what an amazing facility this library is in general.

A 14 million dollar project, the place features a cafe, about 100 computers with high speed access, conference rooms, and every type of media allowed by law. ;) There are activities and play areas for the kids, loads of places for the adults to do their work, the place is state of the art in every way.

I've worked a few of these newer libraries in affluent neighborhoods over the years (Elmhurst Public Library comes to mind) and as much as I love the classic older Andrew Carnegie creations, these new buildings are true assets to any community. It is a shame that so many towns don't even fork out the bucks for a basic library, much less one of these palaces.

Oh yeah, my two shows are SOLD OUT (they really only needed a library card to attend, but they expect maximum capacity for both shows) and sponsored byCitibank. Since Citibank owns many of my credit cards (and about 1/3 of my soul) it is good to get a little something back from them.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Bet They Still Stink Up the Room, Though

Who doesn't like reading stories about penguins recovering nicely from an oil spill?

Click for More

By the way, I'm going to try and have something posted every day and will be writing many of these in advance. However, since Thursday marked the start of a run of bookings that will find me with 4 (possibly 3) days off between the 3rd and the 20th, I'm sure you'll understand if I miss a day or two.

Keep checking in though. I tend to be a wordy mofo and should be able to keep you entertained somehow.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hell Yeah!

I've mentioned that with the influx of gigs I've been reinvesting any post-bill surplus into the business, something I don't always get the chance to do. Wednesday was all about that important investing into my hopeful and continual success.

I finally set up an account at Streamhoster and uploaded my new videos. Soon I'll have new streaming Windows Media Player vids at my main website, which is LONG overdue to say the least. You can see the same videos in lower resolution form at Stickam, and I plan on having links to them from my main site as well so the viewer can have some options.

I also managed to get my ad placed on a slick new booking referral site called Gig Salad. I've been wanting to sign up for this place for some time now and I just haven't had the cash to get the listing I wanted. Gig Salad is similar to another referral site, Gig Masters. I've gotten quite a lot of work from them over the years and this new site promises to bring on even more. Check out my new profile page.

Normally, I'd spend all extra cash on the selfish, the frivolous, and the wholly unnecessary. I'm obviously growing in the responsibility department by thinking through my bill situation and reviewing my business needs. This being said, all work and no play makes Andy a loser fuckwad. So today I bought myself a little present.

On August 13th, one of my few days off in the next couple weeks, I will be heading up to Milwaukee to watch a concert by...

The James Gang!

Hell to the Yeah!

I may not have mentioned it here often enough, but I am a HUGE fan of Joe Walsh. Joe is among my favorite guitar players, singers, & entertainers in general. To me, he has always been the human inspiration for the Floyd the Bass Player character in the Muppets. He's funny, intelligent, & capable of living the rock star life to the extreme. He's also very funny, which is always a big plus for me.

It is widely known among my friends that if I'm aware that Joe Walsh is playing somewhere near me and I have the means to see him play, I'll drop everything to do so. I've seen him 5 times before (twice with Eagles & three solo shows) and I lament the fact I haven't seen him more often. As silly as it may sound, after every performance I've always felt that, were I to die for any reason, my life would be happy and complete at that moment. It's been about 7 years since I last saw him perform and I'm way overdue for that kind of contentment.

The James Gang made a few surprise appearances on the Drew Carey Show, which always made me happy, though I yearned for a real concert. They had a couple of special performances at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame some years back and I couldn't get tickets under any circumstances. For me, getting to see Walsh back with the original James Gang is akin to being able to see Cream reunite, something I also missed. ;)

April & I heard about this tour and I vowed to see the show. Sadly, when the tickets went up for sale, two problems arose. First, we completely forgot about the sale date and the show sold out almost immediately. For several weeks not even a single ticket would come up on eBay or at any ticket broker locations. The next issue was that we were both so broke (Remember all the tales of financial woe I've shared this year?) that even if we had remembered the tickets were going on sale, we couldn't have bought them. It was some time before we even would have had the cash for a broker price.

Just the other day, after weeks of DAILY & diligent searching on the part of my lovely wife (I'd had resolved to the fact I was going to miss this show) some tickets finally came up for sale. They were certainly higher than face value, but considerably less than the cost of an Eagles ticket. More importantly, they were happily in the "once in a lifetime, well worth it to me, and still quite affordable given all the gigs I've been working lately" price.

Today, AFTER I'd made sure all my bills were paid, AFTER I'd paid for the new advertising, & AFTER I'd paid to set up my Streamhoster account, I bought a pair of tickets to see the rock band Pete Townshend has called the best he ever saw. My younger brother, Matt, will be making the trip from Michigan to enjoy the experience with me. He's never even seen Joe Walsh once! How has he lived all these years?

I may not be well off and I'm certainly not so busy that I'm debt-free, but for right now, life's been good to me (so far).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thanks to the Showbiz Gods!

I'm FINALLY enjoying the kind of busy season that I'm supposed to be in this time of year. I may actually be doing a bit better than most summer seasons.

Don't believe me?

Check out my website calendar and take a gander at July & August.

I actually started being busy this past June, but some of the checks fell at times when the bills had already arrived, making things a bit dicey for awhile. I swear, this was going to be the year I gave it up and got a real job. I say this often, but I've never really meant it so much in the past. This time around even my wife realized that it was critical and I was too depressed and too broke to keep on being an entertainer.

Thankfully, I am REALLY busy this summer and, barring any emergencies that require all my money, I may be finally able to get things I've needed FOREVER like new photos, plate-spinning promo materials, health insurance (God, I hope so), new props, advertising at the right places, a Streamhoster account - if I can keep things together a little longer and maintain the busy spell, I could even have some money in the bank account to hold me over the next time I'm ready to quit the business.

So with a nod to the showbiz gods and of course all the bloggers who sent blogger mojo, MANY THANKS!

Now let's hope this doesn't jinx the whole thing. ;)