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Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Every now and again I get the urge to pen another article, presumably a story or opinion I feel is well worth sharing. I KNOW what I want to write about and I know how it will all look, but for some reason I can't seem to get it out of my damn head.

It is not a writer's block sort of thing. This is just a very distracted and restless sort of thing. I can put on music instead of TV for background noise, but both find me going back to them as opposed to writing. It is as if I should be doing something OTHER than writing that COULD be more important, but in reality is just as useless a waste of time.

When I don't write a lot and keep writing continuously I get a little stagnant about writing in general. So it takes awhile before getting back into the game. I'm in the middle of one of these stages and I thought adding to the damned blog, another ego-maniacal "look at me" cry for help as one of my annoying little friend likes to imply, would clear my head. I'll probably just juggle for a few minutes or better PORN!


Monday, August 30, 2004

Ahh, the Show Biz Life!

One day I'm hanging with the guy from Sugarloaf and the next I'm off to tape a TV show with a guy who used to be known as The Stoned Ranger! Tomorrow, I become a Corporate Plate Spinner for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Next stop, superstardom!

Anyway, I'm off to tape a cable show called The Michael Jae Project . I get to talk about issues affecting the world AND juggle! Either I need a better agent or I just need to stop having so much fun doing silly things.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Sex, Drugs, & Rock n' Roll (Minus the Sex & Drugs)

Saturday at the Addison Community Days fest is always the day for their "big name" headliner. Tonight featured The Classic Rock All Stars , a band comprised of former members of Rare Earth, Blues Image, Iron Butterfly, Cannibal & The Headhunters & Sugarloaf. I expected it to be completely lame. It wasn't. It totally rocked!

Listening to songs like "Get Ready", "Green Eyed Lady", & "In a Gadda Da Vida" I realized something...these guys will NEVER suffer from glaucoma!

At least I'm assuming the've had some enjoyment of special herbs and elixirs. You don't come up with a "Ride Captain Ride" without a little help from your friends (your dealer and your bong). I'll have more about the rock stars and festivals in an upcoming magazine piece.

Since I have never used any drugs & I have no #1 hit records to my name, please enjoy an article about my life without drugs. Pardon the typos!

My Name is Andy, and I'm...SOBER!
Originally printed in The Cheers March 16, 2004

As strange as this may sound, I’ve never done drugs. I’ve had plenty of friends that could hook me up if I so desired, but I’ve had no need to smoke, shoot, or snort anything out of the ordinary. I didn’t even start drinking alcohol until I was twenty-three years old. I had a few “sneak-a-drinks” as a kid but I never had more than one drink nor did I ever get drunk. On my twenty-first birthday, I did have a couple of drinks at the insistence of friends. But I’m not talking about alcohol here. I’m talking about DRUGS. Good old-fashioned, piss off Nancy Reagan, start an intervention, waste all your money toking up on…DRUGS!

Most of my friends are shocked to find out I haven’t even puffed on one marijuana joint. I suppose it seems illogical to have a fire-eating friend who has worked for circuses and carnivals, showered with a horse and has never boofed a fatty even once.

It is a hard thing to admit publicly, being a non-user of drugs. I can’t use terms like “clean & sober” or “drug-free”. Those terms are reserved for people who used to abuse drugs and are now free from the bonds of addiction. I fail to get high even once and that doesn’t warrant a “good for you” or a round of applause from people also dealing with painful, constant sobriety.

Drugs are so hip and cool, it is socially unacceptable for me to not be “in the club”. Ask around, most everyone you know doesn’t use drugs, but does “smoke a little pot once in awhile“. Those who don’t use ANYTHING are likely to be the friends you don’t hang out with often. Perpetually sober people are boring and conservative losers. Perhaps this is why so many are actually shocked to find out that I’m “clean”. After all, I am

What’s worse is how people act around me when they find out about my sobriety affliction. Many are afraid to light up or talk drug-speak around me, fearing that I’m some undercover narcotics officer. Others become considerably more polite around me if they do indulge. They ask if I mind if they smoke and are quick to offer me a toke. I’ve even been told that they’d “walk me through” my first time, as if the reason I haven’t had any drugs is because I’m terrified of freaking out. Some volunteer to vent my apartment or spray the Glade to cover up the offending odor. I try and get them to smoke in the bathroom or kitchen hoping that when they leave I’ll have a clean toilet and shiny dishes.

I don’t care if people use drugs. I have no political or social agenda, no opinion about them whatsoever. I prefer that my friends don’t use the harder stuff around me and I really don’t want my precious cigar humidor to be their stash’s hiding place. I don’t care what adults do in the comforts of their own time. Just don’t kill me or get me arrested and DON’T ask me for bail money.

I always have to give an over-explanation for my life without unmentionables as if I’m doing something wrong. There’s my problem with drugs, the stigma attached to NOT using them.
I am already paranoid enough, funny enough, hungry enough, and crazy enough without them. Bizarre things happen to me on such a regular basis that I don’t need drugs to make my life any more interesting. To put it “bluntly” (HA!), most people think I’m already on drugs.

A big reason I abstain is that I have to stay sharp on stage and on my way to the gigs. I have too many talented friends who have shown up late, performed smashed, hurt themselves or lost work because of their habits creeping into their work. Ironically, a lot of these folks are considerably farther along on the “rich and famous scale” than I am. That may be the only reason TO start up. I don’t like working with these guys when they’re high and therefore, don’t want to be one of those guys. More importantly, I eat fire! Should a guy sticking flammable objects in his mouth be strung out?

The closest I ever came to actually trying pot was in Jamaica. Pot is everywhere in that glorious land and everyone has some to share or sell. My wife hadn’t enjoyed any in years and thought that while in the land of the leaf she should try “the good stuff”. Somehow I had to be the one to make the purchase. Me. Let me tell you, making a drug deal when you’ve got absolutely NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL YOU’RE DOING is itself, a strange trip. I didn’t know what the going rate was at home so why the hell should I try haggling with the hotel pool guy? What made it funnier was that my wife only wanted one joint, an amount so inconsequential to a Jamaican that he couldn’t help but laughing at my request. “One joint, Mon? That’s not enough to watch one sunset,” he said with a smile. I made my request and he graciously agreed to come up to our room with the goods.

I went back to the room all excited that I’d made a drug deal. I wondered if Fisher Price made a “My First Joint” kit. We waited for our supplier to arrive. After a knock on our door, my connection was there with a quantity of pot sizable enough to cure glaucoma for hundreds of people! He entered the room, happily cut the product and even rolled the joint. Now that’s SERVICE! The joint was as large as my middle finger and from all accounts, would have easily made three or four normal-sized joints back home in the stingy States. Even better, there was plenty of pot left over to make at least 3 more joints of that size. He charged us the equivalent of about 15 US dollars (a bargain, I’m told) and told us to keep the rest. We tipped him for the effort (you tip everybody in Jamaica) and laughed wondering if we‘d tipped the appropriate amount for a drug deal.

That monster-joint didn’t get smoked until the next day. I waited for a review and did not partake. For the next few days I played with the remaining marijuana like a kid with a new toy. I rolled the stuff into two sizable joints just to see if I could make a good joint, having gleaned a little rolling technique from watching a friend of mine once. I don’t know if the joints I rolled were any good. They stayed in the drawer of my night stand, likely enjoyed by the next guest of that room. I’m sure it was amusing to watch me smelling the pot, feeling the texture, rolling and re-rolling joints for a few days, only to pull out a Cuban cigar (as illegal a substance as I was willing to smoke) a few moments later.

Why didn’t I smoke the joints? I have no idea. I do wonder what I was missing then and what I’ve been missing all these years. There must be something to all this drug hullabaloo. I say it’s “high-time” I find out.

I’ve decided to form my own twelve-step program. I’ll call it AL-A-NOT. I’ll help people make the transition into the fuzzy-headed world of narcotics. A signed poster of Robert Downey Jr. will be on the wall. A circle of coherent, non-twitching people discussing Meg Ryan movies will fill the room.

The first step will be admitting that we don’t have a problem. Someone will stand up and say his name. We’ll say “HI” in unison and when the subject admits his sobriety we’ll start booing and throwing things at him, shunning the “BRAIN CELL LOVER“.

We’ll play a vintage copy of the Grateful Dead’s ‘Working Class Dead’ and try to enjoy it without wondering when the songs will end. Eventually we’ll be strung out and broke, watching bad movies based upon bad Hunter S. Thompson books. We’ll wonder why P.J. O’Rourke is suddenly a conservative, and laugh at Pauly Shore and Bobcat Goldthwait. ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Willy Wonka’ and ‘H.R. Puffinstuff’ will take on new meanings and we‘ll be issued DVD copies of ‘Trainspotting‘ and ‘Dazed & Confused‘ . We’ll read Carl Hiasson, Gregory Macguire, and Lemony Snicket books KNOWING what the authors were on when they wrote them.

My God, it will be beautiful!

Look at all the pretty colors. Whoa! Dude, The ‘Banana Splits’ are like, HUGE mutant animals and they all are late for the bus. Dontcha get it, man? We’re the animals and the bus is like...LIFE and we want it to slow down so we can get on and Life won’t pass us by. LOOK OUT! It’s Injun Joe! Hide the stash!

© 2004 Andy Martello All Rights Reserved

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Friday, August 27, 2004

One Bloggy Evening: Another Damn Blog???

Yes indeed, there is yet another BLOG cloggin' up the World Wide Web. Why should my blog be any different from every other one in the world? Because I have no idea what I am doing nor do I know why I even need a damned blog!

I've been writing an awful lot for an online magazine called The Cheers as well as starting work for a new mag called Eklektikos. While I'd never fancied myself to be a writer before, I sure as hell hope I could be one now.

If you found this site through my website you know that I am a comedian, juggler, fire eater, plate spinner, etc. But "writer" is something of a new venture for me. Sure, I've written comedy routines and sketches in the past, but writing an actual column for a magazine or newspaper is just a foreign concept to me altogether. So when I started working for The Cheers I wasn't sure just how my little weekly dose of humor & commentary would go over with the general public.

As it happens, no fewer than SEVEN of my past articles have been included in the "Best of The Cheers" issue and I am very pleased to see some of my work gathering such positive responses from folks I don't even know. Whether or not this all means I CAN write or that I may one day sell any books is still up in the air. What I do know is that I'd like to help build the readership of any place stupid enough to publish my stories, and I certainly want to continue to build my own audience. One night I was introduced to the concept of blogging.

Blogs seem to be growing in popularity throughout the web and I see no reason why I shouldn't join the fold. I can use this place to promote my work, bring my writing to a wider audience, as well as just keep track of the nonsense that happens in my everyday life. PLUS, this place is FREE so how can I go wrong?

Anyway, please check out the above links and of course, check back to see how miserably I screw up all the easy-to-follow templates and instructions provided for me. I'm sure you'll all get a BIG laugh out of my incompetence. In theory I can add pictures, graphics, and all that stuff. For now, I'll be happy if I have no typos.

Oh yeah, if any of you are in Addison, IL and would like to come on out to see me at the Addison Days Festival, I'm there Friday through Sunday.


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