Davins Comedy Blog

IT HAPPENED - By Pip Helix (Davin's Den)

I was an innocent, a fairly naïve girl for a seventeen-year-old, working in a diner after school and on weekends. It was my first job after doing odd jobs with my father, helping my brother with his paper route, or babysitting.  This was the first time working for an actual boss, surrounded by strangers.  It was exciting, and a bit of a learning curve about how the world worked.

I was newly thinner, having worked hard dieting to get rid of my baby fat, but I was still just a little bit chubbier than other girls in school, and completely flat-chested.  It made me feel insecure about myself, and I was like a newborn colt, shyly testing out my thinner self in the world.

Up to this point, the only older men in my life, besides my father, were neighbors, uncles,  friends of my father or authority figures, like the principal at school.  They would all treat me as my father’s daughter, and speak to me as a child, or at least be respectful and friendly.  There was never any sense of anything inappropriate in their treatment of me, and I was pretty much unaware that there could be.  Men just didn’t do things like that.

With that in mind, you can imagine my surprise, fear, and disgust at having older male customers eyeing my body, or making comments about it, with a look in their eye that betrayed bad intentions.  I was incredibly uncomfortable with this new and unwanted attention, when the boys my own age wouldn’t give me the time of day.  I didn’t know what one was allowed to say, when after all, “the customer is always right”.  No one said or did something so obvious that I felt in the right to say something to them, or be able to go to my boss for help, so there didn’t seem to be a remedy that I could think of.  I realized, to my great disillusionment, that older men couldn’t be trusted to just be friendly and respectful.  Men my father’s age could have sexual designs on someone like me, a terrible and disgusting realization.

With this in mind, I clung closer to my workmates, and began to feel a subconscious “us against them” feeling about the customers.  I was still friendly and helpful, and I was raised to be and as my boss expected us to be, but there was definitely a guard that came up.  These people can’t be trusted, but the men and women I work with will have my back, I thought.

One of my co-workers was a lanky, greasy-haired dishwasher, probably late 30’s, who reminded me very much of guitarist Steve Cropper in the Blues Brothers’ movie.  There was something behind his smile, something mysterious to me, that made my inner alarm bells go off.  But on the surface, he was just a nice guy I worked with, who smiled a lot and cracked jokes to make the day go by faster. He was a little bit of an enigma, as I couldn’t understand why someone who seemed smart enough would be working as a dishwasher.  Not that there is anything wrong with that job, but I kind of thought he could be doing something more with his life.

One weekday dinner shift, we were very slow.  The last diners left before the place closed, and I was the only waitress there.  We closed on time for a change, and I was finishing up the little chores that we did at the end of the night.  Since we were so slow, the cook, dishwasher and I had been joking around and having a fairly relaxed shift.  As I was in the back of the restaurant, tending to the bread warming station, the dishwasher came out of the back of the kitchen, and chatted with me for a moment or two.  Suddenly, he closed in on me, sort of bent at the knees a bit to lower himself down to my height, and cornered me against the wall.  At first, I thought he was joking around, so I didn’t even attempt to defend myself.  He put his arms against the wall around my shoulders, and kissed me hard, a big sloppy kiss.

I was shocked. Disgusted. Afraid.  I didn’t know what to do, and it happened so fast, I had no time to avoid him.  I had only recently gotten the idea that a grown man would do that to someone my age, but  I didn’t think that one of my co-workers would do such a thing to me. After all, it was “us against them”, and he was supposed to be part of the “us”.  What did I do to make him think he could do that? Why would he betray me this way?

So many things raced through my head, and I don’t even remember what I said or didn’t say.  I ducked under his arms and raced away, because I didn’t want him to continue. I do remember the smarmy, self-satisfied smile on his face as I wrangled myself out of his arm cage.  I can’t  remember the rest of the night. I felt vaguely guilty, like somehow it must’ve been my fault, I must’ve somehow made him think that I wanted that to happen, even though I couldn’t imagine how.   As an adult woman now, I am flirty and love to banter with men and women alike, but at that time, I was truly an innocent, virginal girl.  But the shame was palpable, and the disappointment and disgust immense.

I continued to work there for many months afterwards, completely avoiding entering the kitchen except to put in orders - but I never told anyone.  I’ve never told anyone until now.  Sometimes, women hold onto these secrets because they have so many mixed emotions about them, or they are afraid they will not be believed or will be told that they are making too much out of it. Also, there is nothing anyone can do to make it un-happen.  It happened – and it changed me.

THE RACE TO THE END PART 4 “THE MOVE” - By Joe Currie (Davin's Den)

If you told me five years ago that I would pull away from my house for the last time with Joe’s girl in  a red rape van I would say you were nuts, but that’s just what happened. 
June 15thsince I was six was the day my Father died, I scheduled the closing of my old house that day as closure the day my life and my Mom’s changed forever all those years prior.
As soon as we went into contract in April and set the date for June I worked tirelessly to be ready and with the exception of the one day when my buddy Mike helped me I was doing everything myself. 

I lived in a ranch home, however I had a large amount of items in my basement including my collection of magazines. If you recall on the show I have a large collection of car, music, and Playboy magazines. These magazines I plan to catalog and sell on EBay which remains to be seen but none the less they are coming. They are also very heavy and moving them up the stairs and into the POD was exhausting. 

I was thinking during moving all my things how do people do this, and it dawned on me “THEY HIRE PEOPLE” I am so used to doing things by myself it never even occurred to me to hire people or really ask for help. To keep myself from aches pains I got all compression sleeves for my arms and legs and wrists which did help but still at the end of the day I was all aches and pains.

As the closing day was approaching I was getting up every morning with apprehension as I had to get a certain amount of things done to keep on schedule and I would work past the point of exhaustion to keep on schedule. I must say my years as a Roadie then musician and a truck loader came in handy as if there is one thing I can do is pack, I did not waste one inch of space in the POD container and pretty much put four rooms of stuff in a eight by sixteen foot container.

The biggest obstacle was the biggest obstacle in my life, and that was my wife. I was working tirelessly to get ready and she had not even lifted a finger. As I was moving everything of mine out of the house she would just sit and watch TV. A month before the move I sat and told her that she needed to get moving,  literally, I explained that as I never  moved before I have discovered it takes a long amount of time to do, and as we are separating and moving apart I cannot, and will not help her.

She said she would be proactive; well it’s fun to pretend because she waited to the week before our closing to start to pack. I was at my wits end as I am trying to get all my stuff done, and I have this other person doing the bare minimum, and who knows if she will be ready in time.
I was smart enough to put in my separation agreement that if she wasn’t ready to move by the closing she was to forfeit the settlement money I was to give to her.

Two days before closing her movers show up in a truck they must have borrowed from the Little Rascals. They start to move her stuff and it looks like progress is being made. But my wife still has boxes to pack and time is running out and the movers must think I am an ogre because I am yelling at her to keep focused for the most part it was working as she put in a sixteen hour day as I did the day before we had to leave.

The night before our last day in the house my wife already had a place to stay and I worked on packing until eleven that night. 

I always said years before I moved that last night I would sleep in the house I would sleep in the same room I did on my first night there, that room was my old bedroom and for twenty four years after was my office. As I had no furniture in the room I got my sleeping bag and slept on the hardwood floor. About three hours in I realized this was a stupid idea and moved on to the family room floor which was carpeted.

I woke up that morning to go to the front of the house to see the sunrise there for the last time.
The plan was to do the final packing, and pick up one of the vans from the day program which we lovingly call the red rape van. I need the truck as I also got a small storage unit to put my day to day stuff until I got my permanent place.

I work around the house until ten am to get the van and it dawns on me where is  Wife???????
I call, I send texts, and nothing finally as I am heading back to the house in the van she calls and says she is heading to the house to finish packing. I then lose it and tell her that it is eleven o’clock and we have to be out at three pm, I told her that’s four hours and she has five hours of packing to go. When I explain this to her she says “ well I worked late last night and wanted to take it easy today” IT’S THE LAST DAY IN THE FUCKING HOUSE ARE YOU KIDDING ME”.

I get to the house with the van and I see a Harley in the drive way and I wondered who could that be. It was my child hood friend Johnny Dunphy who heard today was my last day in the house and bought me breakfast. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done and I will never forget, so much so when we are at the bar I make sure his glass is never empty.
I get back in the house and I am frantically packing the van as we are three hours away before we have to leave. My wife’s movers are picking up the last of her stuff and she has to go to the storage place and then come home.

We have to be at the lawyers for the closing at three and it is now two pm and she gets back home and I ask her if she cleaned out the refrigerator like  I asked and she says no. I have to stop what I am doing and clean out the refrigerator, she then tells me I am throwing out some of her food. We have to leave in forty five minutes and that’s what she was worried about.

I was still trying to be ready on time and I was putting things outside the house so I could pick them back up after the closing. The last thing to do is throw my kitchen table out as it was shot and neither of us wanted it.

I walk in the kitchen and at a quarter to three wife is still putting her glass ware in a box. That was the last straw I flipped and just started throwing her glasses and dishes in a box breaking a good assortment of shit. She then tells me I never took my pots and pans, what pots and pans? She never told me. I then told her after this day she will never see me again as this is my day of freedom from her and what I have had to put up with.

We leave the house at three which is when we were supposed to be at the closing. My wife went to her car and I wanted five minutes to just walk around the house to be alone and say good bye and close the door for the last time knowing I am not coming back. I have always left for school, work, gigs, etc. knowing that I was coming back home but after today no more.

I call the law office and tell them we are going to be late. I then jump in the red rape van without having the time to change or shower and head to the lawyer’s office and walk in thirty minutes late in dirty jeans, a ripped tee shirt, a bandana on my head and the key to the rape van around my neck.

I explain to everyone in attendance that I am a business person and when I have a meeting I come on time and properly dressed,,,, and then there’s today. 

My wife shows up five minutes later and we sign all the paper work and we are done. After the closing I have four big checks and the bank closing in twenty minutes. I said goodbye and thank you to everyone but not my wife. At this writing it has been five months since I have seen her, we have texted about some business but I can honestly say that after what she put me through from the time the house went  for sale until the closing at the lawyers office that I do not regret us separating or miss her at all.

I get done at the bank and I have to pick up Joe’s girl and head back to the house and pick up the things that are outside. We loaded the truck and I was saying good bye to my neighbor I came back and she told me that there were three cardinals sitting on the phone wire looking down. They say cardinals are rarely seen together and when they come by it is a sign from a loved one in heaven and I know the three represented my Mom, Dad and Grandmother. They also say a bird that does not fly away or afraid is a sign as well and there was one the day before the move and I went up to it a told it I knew why it was here and thanked it.

The truck was loaded and it was time to leave for the last time. I walked around the perimeter of my property thinking of all the memories and the work I have done to the place. Joe’s girl held me as I broke down as the reality of what was happening was hitting me. I don’t know what of I would have done without Joe’s girl she has been my rock and strength through all of this.

We got in the truck, and for the last time I pulled away from the only place I really knew as home in a red rape van with Joe’s girl.  

As I mentioned earlier I rented a small storage unit for items I would be using frequently until I got settled into my new place. The storage unit is on the second floor of the complex and we load the first load of stuff into the freight elevator, as we are riding up the complex manager see us and tells us the elevators are shutting down for the night, I ask when, and he says at six pm, I wouldn’t have minded if it wasn’t TEN TWO FUCKING SIX. The rest of the stuff had to go up a flight of stairs and down the hall. They close the place at ten pm they couldn’t do this shit then.

We get done had dinner and then had to figure out where I am staying, I had been so busy I did not think about where I was staying, I did buy another house didn’t I ??? Not so fast. Stay tune for part five.     

Respectable Statues - By Davin Rosenblatt

I was watching a documentary about George Steinbrenner, the deceased New York Yankees owner.  They were showing Monuments Park which is where the Yankees honor their great players of eras past. Yankee fans were beaming with pride and emotional. Well of course, they are fans of the team. Then I was thinking how when I go to visiting baseball stadiums though I do not take pride in the other team’s statues I do have respect and can appreciate what those players accomplished. I am not filled with dread or sorrow. I am either indifferent or interested to learn more about a player.  But why should this be with only sports teams? Why should any statues inspire dread or sorrow?

Statues are used to commemorate great things or people. They are built by men to honor other men. It is different than a landmark which is often a place where something historical happened. Sometimes those things are good and sometimes they are bad but they are significant. Civil war battle fields are landmarks.  Concentration Camps are land marks.  They are snap shots in time where important things happened. They are not there because of a tribute necessarily but to make sure we do not forget what happened. If it was something good like a launch pad at NASA we can rejoice. If it was something terrible where our serviceman were ambushed like in Pearl Harbor we can reflect. They are in and of themself a piece of history.

These Civil War Statues are not universally respected. In fact, to many people they bring great pain. They are not landmarks as the statue themselves were not part of history.  They are tributes.  Tributes to people that to some people were never great while others who have changed their mind as to their greatness. Some consider them great today. Why? Because they represented a rebellion? Though in their time they may have been considered great today we do not look at their cause as great.

Many were built in the beginning of the 20thCentury as a way to remind black people who still was really in charge. History will not be erased because there is nothing historical about a statue. We will still have landmarks, museums, and text books.  All those are great to learn history from.  I have never gone to a statue to learn history. I have visited landmarks and museums and read text books. I do not forget history and though our history is painful it did happen. We just don’t need to honor the people that were on the wrong side of it.

The statues that I have visited abroad were not great because of whom they depicted. They were great because of the artists who created them. If a statue is deemed great it is not kept outside where the weather and birds can have their way with them. They are moved into museums so as to preserve their greatness for future generations.  The statues in our public parks and squares were not created by renowned artists. They are celebrated by some because of who is depicted. 

There are plenty of people in our history that could be honored that we could all take pride in. That accomplished great things as Americans. Neil Armstrong, Babe Ruth, Jonas Salk, Bob Hope, George Washington, Jim Brown, Jackie Robinson, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Audie Leon Murphy, the Passengers on United Flight 93, George Gershwin, Sojourner Truth. 

Everybody has things in their life that do not hold up well. Our founding fathers were slave owners. We do not honor them because of that. We honor them despite that. There is a difference in honoring somebody who is famous for an injustice versus honoring somebody who while having some dark parts in their past overall did us a greater good.  Let’s keep our history in landmarks, museums, and text books and let’s honor people that all Americans can look to as an inspiration for being one of the best at what they do which lead to happiness or a greater good.

OLD FANGLED - By Pip Helix (Davin's Den)

I used to stay up all night to write term papers in college.  I’d mentally plan out the flow of the paper, but it wasn’t until the sun was down that I would feel ready to actually pull together all of the threads of my thoughts and bang out the full paper.  Back in the days when I was in school, which wasn’t so long ago, but technologically was still in the dark ages, one would sit at a type writer to write a paper.  People are no longer used to using typewriters, so most don’t remember that it would actually take more physical work than it does to type on a computer.  The manual keys were hard to press down enough to make an impression on the paper, so each keystroke was done with force and made a loud “clack!” noise.  The automatic versions were easier on the finger joints, as the keys were rather sensitive, and would react to the slightest pressure. 

When nervous or overtired, I found over the years that I have an involuntary finger twitch, in my right middle finger, and occasionally my finger would just jut out and push the “k” key without my trying to. This weird little quirk caused me hours of extra typing over the years. 

When you had to type papers, it was already important not to make any typos, so that you wouldn’t be marked down for them, but also because making corrections after you had typed something consisted of various degrees of tedious fussing.  If you made a typo with a manual typewriter, you were basically screwed.  Either you typed the correct letter over the wrong one over and over again, trying to make the error less obvious, or perhaps you tried to erase the typo.  Usually, trying to erase it with a pencil eraser would lead to ripping holes in the paper.  Remember, White Out was not in common usage until later, so that wasn’t even an option.  You could put a carrot (^) in front of the typo and write the correction above it in pen, but teachers/professors back in the day did not take kindly to this shortcut.  You would actually have to admit defeat, pull the paper out of the typewriter and start all over again.

I had an especially tedious torture device that came with my electric typewriter – a correction cartridge.  If you made a typo, you would have to pop out the ink cartridge, pop in the correction one, hit the backspace key, type the mistake again so that the correction tape would remove it, then pop in the ink cartridge to type in the correct letter, and continue on.  It would work out something like this:  Typity type type type…crap!  Push the button, pull the thing out, put in another one, hit backspace, type, push button, pull the thing out, push other one back in, and have a 50/50 chance of having a complete mindfart and typing the wrong letter again, CRAP! Starting the whole thing over again.  It was such an inconvenient convenience.

White Out, oh dear sweet White Out.   I was released from my cartridge-switching hell – only to enter a new one.  When making mistakes, I used the white out, and it worked just fine.  Only trouble was that it took longer to dry than I had time for, so I’d use my hairdryer on it to increase drying time.  I didn’t have time to wait, because there I always was, banging out that paper in the wee hours, projecting to finish only in time to hand it in before the end of the class time, factoring in time to drive to school and time to park, hoping that the professor doesn’t leave class early, or I’d have to visit him in his office. 

If you had to use footnotes?  Just add a huge degree of difficulty to the problem.  If the teacher was merciful, and let you put them at the end of the paper, all was good.  However, some sticklers for certain formatted writing styles would insist that the footnotes went at the bottom of the page.  With a computer that would be no problem, but before computers, what a friggin’ nightmare chore.  I hated some professors for adding to the pain of the paper by demanding those miserable footnotes.  Those professors got flipped the bird more times behind their backs than they could ever dream.
Still, sometimes I admire the look of old typewriters.  They take me back to a time in my life when I was young and carefree, except for when I had a term paper deadline looming.  I could stay up all night working on my literary masterpieces, and the work, once done, felt like a real achievement.  It was hard won, that final product, and there is still something about that feeling that makes me nostalgic for when simply fixing a typo was a complex project.

THE RACE TO THE END PART 3 “THE BANK” - By Joe Currie (Davin's Den)

As I was saying in part 2 the whole process in my life change is what I called hurdles. At this point of the game I crossed some major ones, I found a buyer for my house, we went into contract, and two weeks later I found my new house and went into contract. The next hurdle was the bank.

I was preapproved a year prior and for a home that would have been more expensive but when you get into the process of actually making the purchase it is nerve wracking to say the least.
It is amazing what little bit of nonsense can throw a major monkey wrench into things. I always keep a tight rein on my bills to the penny and when I was pre approved even more so. But even being so thorough something stupid happened. I have two bank accounts and I always have paid my Mortgage on time and never late for over twenty years.  I always pay with check from my Chase account which has over draft, when I went to make my February payment I ran out of checks from Chase, I did not want to be late with my payment so I used my checks from TD bank which does not have overdraft. I made the payment and made sure there was enough to cover the check, or did I. Several days went by and the payment should have cleared so during that period I bought coffee and a paper at 7-11 and used my debit card and due to this extravagant purchase it brought my account two dollars and fifty cents less than the check, later in the day the bank processes the check AND THE FUCKING THING BOUNCES for two dollars and fifty cents. If it was Chase it would have not been an issue but it was TD which to me stands for “T”hanks “D”ickheads. 

I did discover the mistake a week later, and remade the payment and figured all was good, or was it?????  

I just want to start off that my Mortgage broker was a really good guy and was amazing from the day I sat with him from preapproval all the way to sitting with me at the closing on the new place a year later.
When we sat down to write the mortgage he noticed the noted the incident above and because of it I am now a risk,,, I never made a late payment, I have done two refi’s  with the bank and now I am a risk. He said it the bank already had reported it to TRW. (Please note I wrote the bank the explanation above without the profanity and they removed it).
With this new fly in the ointment I had to get everything revised and get a HUD loan and at a higher interest rate. It stinks but I am in the game so let them begin.
The process you go through to get final approved is underwriting, I don’t know why they don’t call it jumping through hoops because I felt like a Rat Terrier in a dog act with all the hoops. I am surprised they didn’t ask for my earnings from my paper route when I was thirteen.

One of the requirements was from HUD, I had to take a new home owner ship test consisting of eight modules which is a lesson with a test at the end which all of it you do online. A NEW HOMEOWNERS TEST, ARE YOU SHITTING ME!!!! I have owned a home for twenty four years. You go to work, slave and toil and run into the bank with a check by the fifteenth, I don’t need to take a test and I told the bank that I am not. The bank told me no test no loan. I said when does school start.

I log on to their site and after forking over twenty five bucks and I am on to the first module. Now several things, these modules are an hour long, I have eight to do, are exciting as watching worms fuck, they have to be completed in two weeks, and due to my schedule they can only be done on a weekend.

In addition I am the middle of moving so after a fun filled Sunday of loading my moving pod with my stuff I sit down completely exhausted at ten pm to do this. To be fair some of it was informative but most of it was bullshit and if you did not get the questions correct you had to take it all over again and not one mention about making sure your check has overdraft. Well after two weekends, twelve cups of coffee and cheating on the test with my I pad to get answers while I was on my laptop with the test I passed all the modules.

The modules were just the tip of the iceberg, there were bank statements, W-2’s, home inspection reports, separation decree settlements, bank statements yeah I said it twice, pay stubs, pay stubs, yeah I said  that  twice too, how much could my paycheck of changed after two weeks.

I was a nervous wreck as if anything was not approved I am screwed because I am out of a large deposit and a place to live.

The day arrived and I WAS APPROVED!!! I got my loan and I got my house, now to set a closing date, and that’s another story so stay tuned.           

THE FIRST PITCH - By Davin Rosenblatt

There are some things that you see other people do that seem pretty cool. Maybe it is something you would like to do. Maybe it is something you never thought about actually doing.  It is something that you really can’t work towards as it has to be an honor or offered and not necessarily achieved.  I put throwing out the first pitch at a professional baseball game as one of those things.   I had seen many people do it. I have seen presidents do it. Rap stars, country stars, radio stars, contest winners, local heroes, military heroes, etc. Hardly anybody remembers the well executed first pitch throw. The only one I recall is President Bush’s perfect strike after 9/11 during the World Series in New York.  The bad ones however can live on forever.  Gary Dell’abate of the Howard Stern show is one of those unfortunate attempts. He is a big Mets fan and threw it high and outside at Citifield in front of thousands of people.  Worse yet, he hit the umpire.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfLIyT8HExY.  Rapper 50 Cent threw out a first pitch. The whole premise behind many of these rap stars is being manly. Surely being able to competently throw a ball is part of being a man on some level.  Here is 50 Cent’s attempt along with some other celebrity disasters. I think for sure there is one in there that will surprise you at how bad it was.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hegWfugYc

When I saw these mishaps I wondered did they get a chance to practice. How did they feel immediately after it went wrong.  Do they still think about it? Do people make fun of them over it? Do they just shrug it off? Would they try again? I mean clearly it is a failure on a very public level.
A few days ago I got a call from the Rockland Boulders which is a professional, minor league baseball team in the area.  They asked me if I wanted to throw out the first pitch at their championship game which is also the last home game of the year. I was stunned. I was flattered. I was honored. It would mean I had to rearrange my schedule but I wanted to do it.  It made me think well maybe on some level all the hard work I put into the radio show and comedy and fighting scammers was being noticed. Many times I think nobody really does notice so it is very nice to feel validated. 

I was also nervous.  I perform in front of a lot of people all the time. I perform on important shows that can effect my career. I perform on shows where people spend their hard earned dollars to see me and if I stink I have disappointed them.  If I fail at this it will not ruin my career. Nobody has come to see the first pitch. They have come for a baseball game. Still for comedy I have complete confidence in myself most nights because I have successfully done the job repeatedly. I trust my ability. I did play high school baseball. I continue to play softball though I have not played in weeks after a two year lay off. I know how to throw a ball well. I am athletic. Still this for some reason felt different. I was nervous even though I knew the feeling was irrational.

I only had a few days and no chance to practice. I had heard some celebrities practiced for quite some time before throwing a first pitch. I hadn’t picked up a baseball in years. A softball is bigger and heavier than a baseball. I remembered several weeks ago the first time I threw a softball in years. I threw it over the person’s head.  Soon enough I got my control but that first throw was terrible. Fortunately that was in practice.

I invited some friends and family to the game.  I considered this an honor and I thought it would be nice to share this with them.  As I arrived at the stadium I noticed a nice crowd was forming. It was also starting to rain. The last thing I needed was a wet baseball. The nerves amped up.

I got ushered into the Boulders dug out where I struck up a conversation with Danny who would be singing the national anthem before the game. I grabbed a loose baseball just to get the feel of it. I worked on my grip. I stretched my throwing arm as best as I could. I watched from the dugout as a college baseball team got honored before the game.  Then they had two other celebrity first pitches. The first was a lady who did not come close to reaching home plate. The next was a man who did a decent job.  I heard them announce me over the loud speaker. It is quite the build up. I was surprised and impressed. I did not know if I was throwing from the pitcher’s rubber, the front of the mound, or someplace else. I was kind of hoping from the pitcher’s mound.  It was in front of the mound. Now I was once again concerned I would throw it high and long. The catcher squatted in position. I was given the signal to throw. It was straight down the middle…and ten feet over the catcher’s head to the backstop. He jumped. He tried. He was no match for my wildness. I did not even throw the ball hard.  I just must not have gotten on top of it because I wasn’t loose.  All I could do was laugh. There is no place to hide. You just stunk in the middle of the field. At that point it is time to embrace the suck. I did. Me and the catcher hugged.  There is a video of the pitch on the Davin’s Den Facebook page of the pitch.  https://www.facebook.com/davinsden/  My friend Walt recorded it complete with his commentary. I had texted him before that I was nervous. He said I would be fine. He was wrong.

I found my daughter. She asked me if I practiced before I pitched. I said no. She said she could tell.  I am sure on this coming Tuesday’s Davin’s Den that will seem tame compared to what my co-hosts and the Den Pen have in store for me. I wonder if 50 Cents entourage busted his chops.  Would 50 try again? I would…with practice.

Am I a Schmuck or a Mensch? - By Pip Helix (Davin's Den)

As listeners who are also my friends on Facebook know, the past year at my “day programs” has been rather fraught with ups and downs.  I worked at a position with one employer, with whom I dealt with a hierarchy of Evil Overlords that made my days miserable, and my nights sleepless and full of doubt.  The Evil Overlord chronicles were a rather popular item on my Facebook page, as it seemed that people could either relate to my pain, or for the terrific schadenfreude it offered. (If you don’t know that word, Google it, because it’s a great word).  After I left the long-time position at the Palace of the Evil Overlords, I went on to (Temporary) Sanctuary, a job that I thought I would really enjoy and which would cause so much less stress – only to be told that I wasn’t the right fit after the three month probation period was over.  OUCH.  So much OUCH.  I was embarrassed and hurt.

Recently, one of the Evil Overlords texted me from the Palace, and asked for advice on one of the more complicated programs we ran while I was still working there.  I knew it wasn’t something that could be explained over the phone, so I agreed to meet with him after work and explain it.  During our conversation, we realized that I had made a mistake in doing the report the last couple of years, but he wasn’t meeting with me to blame me, he wanted to understand what happened and correct it.  It was a very civilized meeting, and even though I didn’t give him the answer he wanted, he was grateful for my time. It felt bad to realize that I had made a mistake that would be a slight pain for them to correct, but it felt good to be finally treated like a professional by the Evil Overlord.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Shortly after that, one of the people I worked at Sanctuary with, a really good friend, let me know that due to a scheduling conflict, she would be on vacation with her family the same time a major annual project needed to be done.  When I worked at Sanctuary, I guided her through it, and this year she would be on vacation and my replacement was inexperienced as well.  The head muckity-muck, who fired me, asked her to sound me out about coming in and working with my replacement to show her what to do, and to get the whole thing done on time.

I knew that refusing to help would put my friend in a difficult spot, trying to take her family vacation on the one week that all parties were available to go away, and I didn’t want her to not be able to take her vacation.  And, as much as I want to, I just do not hate the guy who fired me.  I would rather find out that it was a bad fit, at the time that my current position was available, than afterwards, when I would be well and truly stuck for a job.  So, I agreed to go to (No Longer) Sanctuary and work for a few hours with my replacement, who I’d met at an industry gathering, to help her through the project.  We banged it out in one evening, and I will get paid for my time.
I wonder if other people still keep in touch with their old places of employment, and work for them/meet with them if needed, or am I just this schmuck who can’t seem to burn employment bridges?


THE RACE TO THE END PART 2 THE NEW HOUSE - By Joe Currie (Davin's Den)

During the whole part of my life changing ordeal there was so many frustrating moments in selling my house, such as the home for the disabled making an offer on my house, leading us on for three months and the day before going into contract walking on the deal. As I say in my act, ‘The first time they can walk and it’s on me”, we have an open house and no one is showing. People are scheduled to look at the house and they don’t show up, top that off with an estranged wife that made every step a struggle.

But I told Joe’s girl that I knew in my heart that I had a gut feeling that these things were happening because the house that I wanted was not up for sale yet.
In April a week after I went into contract on my home in Huntington the house I knew was waiting came on the market. 

Joe’s girl found it on line, the price was great and it was in a community I fell in love with years ago but never pursued further to move to because my wife wanted to stay in Huntington.

No photos of the home were available and due to the price we thought there may have been something wrong and we were about to pass, but we didn’t.
We went to the open house and when I pulled up to the house there was this inner voice telling me that this will be my new home. It was beautiful on the outside, but what would it look like on the inside??? It was in mint condition and immaculate with nothing really to do but repaint two of the bedrooms and a bathroom (they were pink and as of this writing one of the bedrooms are done). As we were walking through the house Joe’s girl asked me what I thought of the place? I told her, you know the house that I told you that was waiting for me? Well we are standing in it.

This was the house, the reason there was no photos is the home just came on the market and the photographer had just left.   

I was planning on getting an apartment after I moved and really was going to start to look then. But this was the house and I could not let it get away.
I grabbed my real estate agent the next day and we made an offer which was the asking price. I was a purchasing agent for years and I know how to haggle and negotiate but I also know when something was a flat out steal. It turns out the women selling the place had health issues and wanted to join her son in Florida and wanted a quick sale. When we made the offer the selling agent said the price is firm three times and we had to tell them we understood and we are making an offer.

We are now in what I call the “hurdles to jump”. In the entertainment business you are trying to make impossible stuff happen day in and day out and I realized that this situation would be difficult but possible. The first hurdle was they were going to have another open house that was already scheduled and I prayed that no one would outbid me. It turned out that no one made an offer on the place and they accepted mine.

The next step was the home inspection to see the condition of the home. If you remember from part one this day was a very sad one in the sense that we interred my sister in law into the mausoleum that afternoon, I said goodbye to people and places that were a big part of my life for twenty five years and I had to leave my wife sitting alone at the mausoleum as I went out to meet with the home inspector, the real estate agents and Joe’s girl. It really was the official day of my old life coming to a close and the next stage coming to life. With all the strife of the day the house passed the inspection with flying colors. 

  Now I have jumped two hurdles and there were plenty more to go.
Next hurdle, I had to put down a down payment but cash was not available until I closed on my old home which was a month away. 

If you know me you know I don’t ask anyone for help but I decided this was not charity but a chance to get a home that I could not let go. Thanks to the generosity of several people that hurdle was jumped.

The next hurdle was going into contract. The seller’s lawyer was a nice enough guy and a friend of the seller but not really versed in real estate and moved excruciatingly slow. We waited almost two weeks to get the contract to sign but finally they came and I signed. 

The next hurdle?? The bank. Stay tuned for part 3

NINE WEEKS IN - By Davin Rosenblatt

I am in the middle of my ninth week of the 21 Day Fix workout program. They call it 21 Day Fix because after 3 weeks it all just repeats. I don’t know, I am not paying very close attention to be honest. I just know every day of the week is a different work out. So for instance every Monday is something called full body cardio which means cardio with weights. Ugh. There is a meal plan and shakes (which I have mentioned previously). So how am I doing?

I don’t do the meal plan. Haven’t even looked at it. I am eating less and drinking less.  I figure that would be part of meal plan. I am having much less ice cream. I figure that would be encouraged. I have replaced my morning Pop Tart with their shake. The shake is pretty filling and I was never much for breakfast anyway. My appetite has shrunk.  I will eat a meal and think I have stuffed myself to the gills and then later look on the scale and realize apparently I did not eat that much. So my own food strategy is at least having the effect of me eating less.

Now there have been a few occasions when I went off the eating reservation. When you go to a Bobby Flay restaurant you are going to eat. It is expensive and more importantly it is delicious. I did show restraint and have only one Mojito. I wanted another but I am trying. I also did not finish my dessert. It was great. I was stuffed. In the old days I would have powered through and finished it. I left it there to melt. Yay for self- restraint but boo for the loss of deliciousness. That meal fit for a king cost me a week’s worth of weight loss. One damn, beautiful, calorie packed, sumptuous meal.
During the course of the 21 days they want you to increase from one 30 minute work out a day to two 30 minute workouts a day. Listen, if I wanted to spend an hour working out I would not have picked the 30 minute work out program. I also would not pay for a gym membership I haven’t used in years. I don’t have time nor desire for that. I know I am cheating myself. I cheated myself in Spanish class too by passing and not really learning. It’s ok, I’m fine with it.

As I have mentioned before, I have done other weight loss programs. The most recent ones have been eating programs where to be honest I lost a couple of pounds a week. The ones with pre-made meals were the easiest. I know people say it is a lifestyle change. For me once I hit my goal weight I did not eat according to the program. Because…cake. Because pizza. Because ice cream. Because anything yum. They made me thinner which was awesome but there was no weight training. I eventually gained all the weight back and more.

I do not like the daily work outs. They are not getting easier. They are not fun. Fun is playing ball. Fun is watching a movie. Burpies are never fun. Full body plank is never fun.  I still curse at Autumn (the trainer) when she says “let’s do a bonus round.” Bonus round means more pain but I do the damn bonus round. I do it all some days better than others. I don’t do the yoga on Sunday. I go for a walk on those days. Me, the hills, and my music. It makes me happy and I am not just lounging eating pancakes.

So what are the results with my half-assery of kicking my ass into shape?  I am averaging about a pound of weight loss a week. My pants are looser. I am wearing shirts I have not worn in a while. My face does not look as fat in pictures. I have my American Greed appearance on TV coming out next month and I know I will look huge unfortunately. My stomach is a bit flatter. I still have much more to lose in the tummy.  This work out is very core intensive so I know I will continue to lose weight there. It is also very shoulder intensive which will broaden me out and make me look thinner than I am.  I get frustrated that the pounds are not falling away quickly. I, like many of us, like instant gratification. This work out, the half ass way I am doing it, does not give that. The way I am doing it this is more of a body shaping program and in that regard I think it is working. I have a long way to go and I would much rather eat cake but 30 minutes of pain daily for a pound a week while body shaping seems to be a fair trade.  Just once I want Autumn to say, “how about a bonus round of cake.”

PAPER ROUTE - By Pip Helix (Davin's Den)

When I was a child, my brother had a paper delivery route. His route was larger than the other kids’, and the weekend delivery was even larger, because some people only subscribed to the Sunday edition.  So,  on Sundays, my father, brother and I would wake up at some ridiculous pre-dawn hour, and go to the home of the woman who was in charge of local distribution of the newspaper.  We would crowd into the garage and help put the “inserts” (advertisements, the comics and the Sunday magazine) into the papers, count them out, and stack them in the back of our family van.  My brother and I would then sit on the edge of the van, with the sliding door open, and Dad would drive us around the delivery route. He’d stop when we needed to jump off of the side, and run between houses, bulging Sunday newspapers under our little arms. 

I can only imagine doing this today, and seeing some child welfare office throw my father in jail for letting us ride around town like that.  But even though we worked our little asses off, it was fun, and I enjoyed every last bit of it. Stealing off into the dark, feeling like the only people awake for miles, watching the sun come up as we snuck through the sleepy town quietly opening and closing their screen doors, getting the paper in without letting it flop back out onto the stoop.  It was an acquired skill, and I was strangely proud of how quickly and efficiently I could cover my assigned half, or probably more like one third, of the route.  I was five years younger than my brother, and he was taking more papers at a time, and covering more ground, surely, but I hustled as fast as I could go.
After the route, my Dad would treat us to breakfast at a local diner.  For some reason, my father had a fondness for the eccentrics and broken people of the world, and I remember that we went to the most broken down, lonely diner in the world.  I used to order a disgusting little kid meal, a jelly omelette with hot chocolate.  The man in the eye patch always seemed to be there, sitting at the counter, talking to us about whatever, and making comments about how much of my omelette I left on the plate. Another man with a cane sat at a booth, trading quips with the eyepatch guy and the cook.  I don’t remember thinking that any of this was odd, as we were a rather eccentric family to begin with, but I became aware of it as I grew up, and my brother made jokes to my Dad about the weird place he brought us to eat each Sunday.  For some reason, we upgraded to another diner eventually, but I didn’t mind the old one.

Sometimes, to let my hard-working father sleep in, my brother and I would set off alone to do the route by ourselves.  We walked to the distributor’s house with a little red wagon in tow, and then stacked a ridiculous amount of newspapers onto the wagon, and did the route by foot.  It would take hours and hours, but it was worth it to let my father get a break once in a while.  I think about how different things were, that two really small kids were walking around alone in the dead of night, and no one even thought anything of it. Imagine your 11 and 6 year old children leaving the house at about 3 a.m. without telling you, and walking the length of your town on their own, going door-to-door with newspapers.  

I am horrified thinking of it now, because it is not something we would allow today, but at the time it didn’t seem odd at all.  That freedom of being outside while others slept felt like we were the only humans in an amazing world unknown to others. While everyone else slept, we were enjoying the company of nocturnal animals, the occasional milkman or other delivery truck, and the blanket of quiet that enveloped the town.  Dim street lights, stars, and the occasional porchlight or inside lamp were the only things disturbing the darkness, and we were careful to be quiet as we snuck through their neighborhoods, so the dogs wouldn’t begin to howl. As the morning sun began to light the world, my brother and I staggered home, satisfied that our work was done, and that we had saved our tired father one chore of many.