Return of the Groundhog

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Sorry for not writing sooner, but I’ve been extremely busy, even by my standards. One weekend that comes to mind, is my trip over Thanksgiving. I had a show at The Palms in Ft. Madison, Iowa, on the day before TG- sometimes called Black Wednesday. The next day, I stopped in again for a pretty nice spread before my 4-hour trip to Kansas City. That meal, plus the braised short-rib grilled cheese on sourdough from Beer Kitchen in KC- helped shoulder some of the agony of being away from family. One highlight – I’d had LC’s BBQ on my hit-list for quite some time, so I stopped in before my show that night. I’d passed it several times in the past for other BBQ joints. LC’s was pure BBQ heaven. As an added-bonus, my family agreed to move our normal turkey dinner to Sunday afternoon, after making the 8+ hour haul back to Chicago. In case you’re wondering, all my food-pics are now on my Instagram page. I closed-out 2017 with a private show in Fontana, Wisconsin for NYE.

You might recall from last year- my Groundhog Day show in Ishpeming, MI – at the last minute- the owner got locked out of his business due to a dispute with the landlord, and the venue had to be switched. The fact that it was a fundraiser made it especially challenging. I’d ended-up getting ram-rodded on the way home by the state police in the form of a speeding ticket. I’d been sick, and they took my license, which made it even worse. I was livid, cause I was at the most, only going a few miles over. My high-fever went into high gear at my hotel in Madison after my show that night, and I was tortured all-night by what seemed like ghosts of the hotel. I had a free night on one of my Wisconsin runs in early December, and the owner of that same venue wanted to do another show. We promoted it as Groundhog Day in December, and finally got to do it at our initial intended location- Cognition Brewery.

It’d been about 21 years since my last trip to San Diego. I’d gone out to visit my Uncle Joe, and Aunt Lily when I was a young teenager, and ended-up falling in love with the town. So in 1989, after my first year in college at Illinois State University in Normal, IL I loaded-up my 1980 blue Pontiac Catalina, left my girlfriend behind, and made the long journey to San Diego. I took some classes at Grossmont & La Mesa College, and also had a few at San Diego State University. I had no interest in comedy back than, so after a few years of fun in the sun, and working part-time at some interesting telemarketing jobs – I realized that if I wanted to graduate, I better move back to Chicago.

It was great to be back. I was fortunate to string together 4 shows while in town. The first one starting on Valentine’s Day in Santee – just East of San Diego. The next morning, I woke-up to a gorgeous view of the mountains, and had a fantastic breakfast burrito. After a brief lunch with family, I headed out to Palm Springs for a show, and got to take the aerial tram 8500 feet-up thru the Chino Canyon to Mt San Jacinto State Park. The rotating tram is advertised as the world’s largest. I was low on energy, and time, so I didn’t get to do any exploring in the park. The next day, I stayed with my friends Brad & Karen for my show Friday night in Rancho Santa Fe. I ended up eating as many tacos, burritos, and In & Out burgers as I could while in Southern Cal, but it still wasn’t enough. I could live in San Diego just for the Mexican food alone. It was great to see my Uncle Joe, Aunt Lily, cousin Golda, two of her kids- Ashley & Brandon, cousin David, cousin Rachel, her husband Salomon and daughter Sara, who came to my Saturday night show in the Bay Park area of SD at Deft Brewing. I also got to see my friends Alex and Jen – and even made some new friends. I fell in love with San Diego all over again. Hopefully, I’ll get to come back again soon.