It’s Not The Way You Rock, It’s The Way You Roll
So, you wanna know about me do ya?
Alright, if that’s what you want. It’s gonna be a long ride, so if you have the time, I’ve got the story.
It all started the day I was born. I don’t remember much about that day, which is probably for the best since you don’t really want the memory of shooting out of your mother’s hooha.
Anyway, I grew up in a very small town outside of Chicago. This, of course, makes me a Bears, Cubs, Blackhawks and Bulls fan, even though I was born without the sports gene. The first house I lived in was a speakeasy during Prohibition. It was across from a cemetery, which always freaked me out. That might have something to do with my love for horror… who knows.
Going back to prohibition for a minute, my town had a brewery that was once run by Al Capone himself. He would occasionally come to town late at night and check on things. My Grandfather was on the jury that convicted the legendary mobster.
Growing up as a kid, the summers were humid (but the storms were cool) and the winters were brutal (survived the blizzard of ‘78). The girls were icky…. and then all of a sudden, they weren’t. As a boy, I did the things all boys do to get the attention of that special girl, which never worked. But, all that changed in high school. The girls, oh, the girls.
But it wasn’t just the girls, it was the year an older friend played a little record called “Kill ‘Em All” by some band called Metallica. It changed my life. Journey and Foreigner were replaced with Judas Priest, AC/DC and Iron Maiden.
In 1984, I decided it was time to do something with my life. It couldn’t be all about hot girls and metal. Like all young boys dream about, I joined the town’s volunteer fire department, which further fueled my badassery. I was the only 14 year old who wore a pager that didn’t sell drugs.
But, my badassery was soon shot to hell the summer before my sophomore year in high school. My mother decided I was too out of control and moved our asses to southern California. I was forced to leave everything I built behind and start over.
On the first day of school, I walked on to this new, open campus like the badass I was, only to find out nobody gave a shit. Not a look, not a nod of hello. I was invisible. Tough crowd. A couple days in, I made friends with some fellow badasses, which quickly landed me in detention for a week. Yeah, we got caught being in a restricted area of campus during lunch. Nobody said we weren’t supposed to be there. Yeah, fuck you Mr. Workman. Oh well, such is life when you break rules.
I wasn’t going to let this minor setback stop my domination plans. I joined the fire explorer program and continued to save lives and fight fires.
I didn’t know it at the time, but during these years of high school, I met my wife, Kate. We didn’t really care for each other, but we got to be friends in our senior year. She was cute and had a great ass, but I had my eye on someone else (and she probably had eyes for someone else too), so it was nothing more than a “get to class” here, and a playful “fuck off” there (at least I think it was playful).
After graduation, I applied for a firefighter position at the station across from my house. Time to make this shit happen! I went down to Mexico for my senior trip, and when I came back, I was the newest firefighter for Orange County Fire Station 24.
While in Mexico, I fell for this cute little blonde. Yep, that’s right, Kate. Something clicked and I knew that I would do anything to bone her. Unfortunately, she wanted nothing of it.. with me anyway. The pain, oh the pain.
The next couple of years were spent fighting fires, saving lives and earning my E.M.T. certification. Some day I’ll tell you about all the stories of nearly getting burned to death, but for now let’s move to that fateful summer of 1989. It was when she finally saw me, and my badassery.
Kate and I finally started dating. The first few dates ended up being group things, but eventually we got each other alone. She was the one! Not only was she hot, she was smart and determined. She had it all, and she was finally mine and I was hers.
It wasn’t too long after we started dating that a notice came in to the station. It was something about needing firefighters to be technical advisors and extras for a movie called “After the Shock”. Well, this is California, and Hollyweird is right up the freeway, so why the fuck shouldn’t I be a movie star?
A week or so later, I was sitting on a couch chatting with Scott Valentine and Rue Mclanahan. Someday I’ll tell you a funny story about when I met Scott for the first time. This was a crazy experience and as luck would have it, I was asked to star in a prime time show! OK, they just wanted me to play a fireman, but my acting career was taking off! After that, it was on to another prime time show, except, this time it was a show that people actually watched! I arrived at the set of Perfect Strangers to see the stars rehearsing and making everyone laugh. But, for me, the laughter would turn to tears as my career would be murdered by a case of mistaken identity. See, those bastards kicked me off the set for looking too much like Bronson Pinchot in a fire helmet.
After that, I was too crushed to continue on with acting and that was the end. Their loss, nobody sat on the back of a fire engine and ate a hamburger better than I did! Screw ‘em, I could have been Clooney before Clooney.
Lucky for me, it was the uniform and not the acting, as a year or so later, Kate and I were married, and not too long after that our first son was born, followed by three more every 18 months. Yeah, she couldn’t keep her hands off me, the little mynx.
It was around this time that I started to fine tune my skills in crafting Dad Jokes. These one or two liners would make the kids laugh and the adults sigh and shake their head. But the thing that really made the kids nuts, were my infamous hot sauce stories, always told during a meal, and always grosser than grossest gross of grossness.
I retired from the fire service in late 1993. That had been part of my life for a decade. It was in my blood. It was part of me (still is to this day, 20+ years later). It was a sad day, but I had something else in my blood; entrepreneurship.
In true entrepreneurial fashion, I, along with Kate, opened and closed many businesses; a grocery delivery service (Gone Shoppin’), a Daycare, a web development firm (PageCrafter) and an auction company (LikePhate, which became a powerseller and eBay certified).
During all this, it was clear that my hatred for California wasn’t going to disappear. After seeing a show about the Tetons, Kate finally agreed to move to Idaho.
In 2005 we opened up our first entertainment company; Phibble. It started out as a single radio show and blossomed into a full blown thing that worked with independent musicians all over the world. We had radio shows broadcasting from three continents and things were fucking crazy. Have you seen the show “Vinyl”? Yeah, well it wasn’t anything like that.
A year or so into this, we were flying high and it was time to shake things up. How? Easy, a short film. Yep, in August of 2007 we embarked on creating a short horror film to be released on Halloween. Yeah, that’s right motherfucker, we thought it was a good idea to write a script, cast the film, scout the locations and actually shoot the film all within three months without an ounce of experience. Oh, and we had no money, so the budget for this masterpiece was $0.
Did it get made? Actually, it did. We had to fight not one, but two early snowfalls and falling trees, actors who could only work on weekends and breaking the law a couple of times. When it was all said and done, we made 15 minutes of mediocrity that we lovingly called “Crossed”. I guess we still do call it Crossed.
I’m not sure how it happened, but we moved away from the music world. It’s common to blame “life” in these situations, so I’ll follow suit. Kate dove into her writing and I went back to consulting. I wrote two books; Social Media Strategies and Coloring Outside the Lines. But, Kate wanted to do more and I was sick of consulting and kept thinking of those days in the entertainment world.
So, we started BoozeHound. We did a couple shows, some short films and a podcast. And now, we’ve grown it to something beyond our wildest imagination.
I see you there, actin’ like you got something to say. Well, there are two ways to contact me.