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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

The Stress-O-Meter

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Sunday March 10th, 2013 – Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

   The stress-o-meter has been cranked up extra tightly in the last few days, and none of it has any redeeming value. It’s always a constant struggle to get somewhere, and no matter how hard I try it always seems to come down to the wire and become a car race. I feel like a one man pit crew.

   Yesterday it was driving up and back to the U.P. of Michigan – much of it fighting the weather. There was sleet, snow and freezing rain, and that always slows down any trip. Today it was a trip in exactly the opposite direction as I needed to be in Chicago to teach a comedy class at Zanies at 3pm. I didn’t get home this morning until 3am, and I lost another hour to Daylight Savings Time.

   It’s always a matter of getting to the next place, and even if I do it well 95% of the time there is still plenty of stressful time wondering if I’ll make it. I’m caught in traffic in a crappy car and it’s absolutely hell on Earth having to wait for lights to change and people to drive with any skill set.

   There’s always some pinhead blabbing away on the phone clueless to the fact he or she can be a total pain in the ball joints of every other driver on the road. They miss lights and that backs up the rest of traffic and everyone ends up getting to their destinations late. It drives me up the wall.

   I know I should leave earlier, but sometimes that just isn’t an option. I needed to get sleep and a shower in, and I wasn’t able to eat a breakfast or take my exercise walk. There’s just too much going on right now even though I’m enjoying all I’m doing. At some point I have to slow down.

   I wasn’t planning on teaching this session of comedy classes at Zanies, but Bill Gorgo has been falling behind in his own work as a high school teacher and needed a session off. Fair enough, as he’s been doing a fantastic job with beginner classes for a while now.  I understand his dilemma.

   It was a fun class with a solid group of nice people, so that always makes it worthwhile. Class lasted until 5pm, and then I needed to drive north to Kenosha, WI for a dinner with my co-hosts of ‘The Mothership Connection’ paranormal radio show on AM 1050 WLIP. Today was our 5th anniversary broadcast, and also my birthday dinner. I didn’t want to miss it, so I left promptly.

   It didn’t matter in the least. Instead of rain and sleet, today’s weather condition was severe fog.  It was thick and everywhere and nobody could see more than a couple of car lengths ahead and it backed up the traffic on I-94 to a standstill. I was stuck in it and there was nothing to do but wait.

   I watched the clock tick and stewed in my own juices as a fun and relaxing dinner with friends turned into a stress filled two hours of wondering if I’d make it in time for the show at 8pm much less the dinner in my honor. I ended up getting to the restaurant about 7pm, completely frazzled.

   I wolfed down my food, and we went over the plans for the evening’s broadcast. We wanted to plan out the path for the coming year, but there was no time for that tonight. We ended up having a fun show as we usually do, but it took a while for me to settle in and relax enough to enjoy it. I couldn’t wait for midnight to roll around so I could get some rest. Stress like this wears me out.

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