Since I’ve been chosen to be a judge in an upcoming contest we are doing here at Froggy101, I was asked to write a bio of myself for the website as a promo tease… only to find out that writing your own bio is substantially tougher than it seems.
Try it, I’ll wait… take whatever writing instrument you favor and write about yourself, as a way to inform others about your credentials for a job you’ve been assigned to do. IT’S TOUGH!
I mean I'm not Steven Tyler, or Randy Jackson for Gods sake, I'm Eric from Froggy who gets his picture taken with Scooby Doo and Sully, and on occasion "real stars" with real talent, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I found myself trying to imagine what I would ask the morning DJ of a radio station if I were going to be judged by them... I took a few minutes to soul search through my past, and imagined what would be appropriate for a judge to have done, to have earned him enough street cred to validate him to the post of “talent judge”... I looked at other staff members bios (kinda like sitting next to the smart kid in class) so I could see what they’d written… in other words I blanked out, and was searching for any kind of inspiration.
After a long bout of writers block, and a brief conversation with God, inspiration came… here’s how my bio reads:
-Half of Froggy101s Wake Up Call, Eric was born and raised here in NEPA. -A thirteen year veteran of the radio industry, he’s spent the past five years as a member of the Froggy staff! -A former recording artist himself, Eric is currently working on plans to head back into the studio and begin work on a new project slated to be completed in late 2014. -He is in general: handsome, talented, well versed in the culinary arts and architectural design, loves poetry, and plans to someday become an astronaut.
My work affords me some pretty awesome stuff, but none better than the ability to be backstage at a concert. I love the experience for several reasons… but probably not the ones you may think. Sure there’s usually food and lots of it, occasionally there’s a bar and more often than not its top shelf, and being in the presence of major music industry powerhouses doesn’t make you ever feel like you’re in the wrong line of work… but, they all are reasons that I thought I’d love backstage access, it turns out none of them matter to me.
In my pre-teen years I was in a constant “performance mode”! A “show” of some type could’ve broken out at any time, unannounced, and no doubt would have been my best work. I was sort of like a young Ryan Seacrest, always at the ready for “something to host” to drop at my feet so I could make a performance out of it. Honestly, every family gathering needs an opening monologue right, every picnic needs a song and dance number and doesn’t every holiday deserve a full on musical event? Doesn’t it? Well in the Petersen family it got the star treatment always, and usually to the chagrin of my relatives.
Basically said from the time I could talk, till the present day, I always been “performing’ and that’s why I love the backstage of a concert. I love the way it all happens, like some well-choreographed construction site that rises and falls in about twenty four hours. I love the look of trusses that hold thousands of pounds and millions of dollars of stage lights. I love the smell of diesel fumes that steam out of the busses that haul the band and stars across the country. I love the stage techs tuning instruments and checking set lists. And I love the smell of dirt that just may have been brought here from Atlanta or Tucson or Topeka because the last show was setup on a fair stage that was outside.
The epic and pristine scenes you see on stage pale to the grimy, unseen, usually foul mouthed (they tell the best dirty jokes) stage hands and security folks that I look forward to shaking hands with at every show I am allowed to do so. If you want to be jealous of my backstage access, I totally understand, but know this… envy me not because I am meeting stars, but because I am finally living my dream.
Ah Valentine’s Day… a day to spend “appreciating” your significant other, to spoil them, to treat them to pleasures they wouldn’t normally get, and to provide them with a kiss (maybe a long and passionate one) but be careful where you execute it; PLEASE!
I took my girlfriend Erika to a great, slightly upscale, restaurant that she loves for dinner, and they seated us directly in the center of the dining room. It was dimly lit and aromatic, with cool music and a funky “hipster” crowd that always makes me feel like I’m dining in larger more cosmopolitan city than Duryea, where it’s located.
After we disposed of the menus and settled into a first drink, we both began scanning the crowd in an effort to get a “lay of the land” so to speak; better said: we were seeing who we would be sharing our meal space with. Most of the people there were, like us, dressed well, clean, well quaffed and looking like they were enjoying the place… but just over Erika’s shoulder, seated facing out, directly in the middle of the far wall, both on the same side of the table (as if they were put there like a piece of “Human Art”) was a pair that was enjoying each other, how should I say this, “perhaps a little too much”!
I’ll refer to them as the “mashers”.
Let me give you a visual: the “mashers” was in their mid to late fifties, trying hard to make a good appearance (failing), and drinking what appeared to be their second bottle of red wine. They had already finished their dinner, and were slowly drifting away from the desert that they were clearly no longer paying much attention to. What they were pay attention to, and way too much at that, was each other’s lips!
It seemed innocent enough to see them kiss to each other during a Valentines dinner, but the first led to a longer second kiss, then came the third effort that seemed to last into the next hour… by the time I had looked up from our appetizer, they had started to offend the people at the tables on each side of them, and were drawing a concert of attention from the balance of the dining room. In what seemed like a few seconds later, I looked again; the door of the kitchen was filled with wait staff members wondering if they should change the music to something a bit more appropriate for the show that was unfolding.
The climax, so to speak, came when the completely uncomfortable rest of the wall of tables (the “mashers” still oblivious to anything) asked for their checks almost simultaneously and started departing toot sweet! The “mashers” must’ve caught the drift, for they too paid and left in a hurry.
I get being in love, I’m there…
I get being savagely attracted to someone, I am…
But for God’s sake keep your “mashing” private… it always ends better, honestly.
When I was a kid a snow storm meant sledding, skiing, snow mobiling and best of all… no school! These days with all the hype around everything from size of a soda serving, to weather the Washington Redskins should change their name, a snow fall of over 2 inches is a national disaster! Gimme a break!
As a kid I lived on a rural street, it was not far from town, but also not a main artery to get to the downtown either. Since it was categorized as a “state route”, snow plows came by, but very in-frequently because it wasn’t a high priority road when compared to major interstates. What this of course meant was that if we got a substantial snow fall we were going nowhere for a serious period of time… but, it really wasn’t that serious.
You see, in the seventies there was no priority on getting to the mall, or buying sushi, or doing much of anything that’s trivial immediately , because honestly that stuff didn’t matter; and still doesn’t.
What do we as a collective people care about that can’t be accomplished after the snow melts? Does your job, or friends, or family really need you (except for emergencies) to be on call every day?
I think that Billy Joel’s lyrics for Vienna speak volumes when he says: “slow down you crazy child, take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while, it’s alright you can afford to lose a day of two…”
Father Time has provided me with an awesome perspective of how much time, and effort, we waste being “busy” and not doing much of anything… My advice: enjoy the snow, every flake of it, and hopefully the peace it softly layers down upon you.