First, the post;
Off The Wall
"I'm struggling. Please say something about Robin Williams. I know you could put into words what people want to hear.. local boy to local us."
I wish I could tell you we were pals. That we hung out from time to time, or played poker every other Thursday. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the man. Like most people in The Bay Area, my contact with Robin was limited to a few random and minor encounters. However, those encounters made an impression.
The first was in 2006 - June or maybe July. I walked into The Roastery down on Chestnut, ordered a coffee, and sat down to read the paper. I soon discovered I was in one of those chairs with one leg shorter than the rest, and resolved to remedy the problem by jamming a folded-up coaster under the offending limb. I bent down, got the thing positioned properly, and managed to smack my head on the edge of the table on the way back up. Hard. The impact was noisy, and sent coffee slushing all over The Chronicle, which in turn lead to an “Ahh...shit!,” a little louder than I intended. A second later, a voice said, “No, I believe that’s coffee. Shit’s the stuff I see you crawling through every time I turn on the TV.”
I didn’t recognize the voice, but when I looked up, there was no mistaking the face. It belonged to Garp, Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire, and so many others. He was just standing there, smiling, waiting for me to say something pithy. I imagined him thinking, “Your move, chief.” But I had nothing. All I could think was “Holy crap - Robin Williams knows who I am!” Eventually, it got awkward, so he said, “Love the show, man,” and walked out.
There was another time a few years later at something called The “X” Prize. This was a very swanky affair at The Lucas Digital Arts Studio in May of 2010. How I got invited is a bit of a mystery, but I was, and I went. I saw Robin on the Red Carpet, chatting with some reporters. I caught his eye and nodded. He nodded back and told me I cleaned up pretty good. I told him he looked very pretty. He chuckled and moved on.
That's it, I'm afraid.
It’s a curious thing isn't it, to miss someone you didn't really know? Maybe it has something to do with their entrance? In show biz, and life, a big entrance can leave a big impression, and Robin made a very big one. He crashed into our lives 36 years ago, and took up a kind of residence. Now that he's left, maybe we miss more than the person? Maybe we miss the version of ourselves that was on hand during that first meeting. Does that make sense?
When I first saw Mork and Mindy, I was sixteen years old, and badly smitten with a girl named Heather. We watched the first episode together in her parents basement, and laughed like lunatics. Then we made out. When I heard about Robin yesterday, my first feeling was shock. Then, a kind of sadness, too shallow to call grief, but to too real to ignore. It wasn't till later that I found myself wondering about Heather for the first time in years, and recalling my sixteen-year old self with a weird mix of nostalgia and melancholy.
Some people enter our lives and become benchmarks in ways we don't realize. Then they exit, and we struggle. Sometimes, those people are high-school buddies, and sometimes, they're strangers who somehow felt like friends. Either way, it sucks when they go.
After reading this I got to thinking about how life changes in general, and with the passage of time how things change, people come and go, jobs change, ect. No matter how much we sometimes wish it didn't time does indeed march on and we're along for the ride whether we like it or not.
Earlier this evening I was looking at my old blog posts (mostly from 2009) and my words at least to me have a different feel to them. I don't know how best to describe it other than to say that it looks like it was written by a happier and more energetic version of myself. You could almost feel my passion in my words whether I was blogging about a new musician, the transition from blogtalkradio (omg remember those days?) to blogtv and so on I was really happy about what I had to say.
As I'm sure everyone knows I've had some serious life events and setbacks over the last couple of years that to put it mildly really threw me for a loop. In thinking about Mike Rowe's words at the end of the post, and I think that he really hit home, when things change and we find ourselves in such a different set of circumstances and sometimes not even realizing how we got there but wishing we were back to where we were.
The saying you can't go home again is to me an absolute truth. When you listen to Pete Berwick's "This Used to Be a Town" one of the lyric's is "time marches on without yesterday" and that is very true. As I sit here tonight just kinda taking a trip down memory lane I find myself thinking about, well for lack of a better way to describe it, but I guess you can say era's of my life while there are more than a few things I would rather not have back, there are some times and moments that I wouldn't mind living again, as well as the few I wish that I could have back and do over. Overall though I guess that if I could go back to at least 2009 when the show began and was in it's heyday and give one piece of advice to myself it would be enjoy the moment because it will never come again.
Actually I guess if I had the ability I would give a whole pile of advice to my 5 years younger self;
Enjoy blogtvt it won't last forever
Spend more time with your mom, you're gonna miss her
Work can always be worse
Don't forget to make the occasional phone call to certain people, they do love you and want to hear that you are doing ok
Keep the show going, you're gonna go insane without it, the music and the friends in the chat
Change your transmission fluid
Don't take the promotion (either of them) it's going to be a worse headache than it's worth
Check the oil
Don't throw away the cast-iron skillet it can be saved
Log into skype more often
Go for a drive to nowhere for no reason just because you can
One day you will have a very intelligent and industrious cat, make sure the screen on the sliding door and the windows are secure, otherwise she will get out. Don't worry if she does, she will have you well trained and will come back when you take the bag of treats outside and shake it
Don't unfriend people on Facebook too hastily
Take a snow day when it snows
Check the mail
Clean the fridge
Don't act like everything is fine when it is not
Be a better listener
Sometimes it's ok to be an asshole
Sometimes it's not
Life is gonna knock you on your ass more than once, don't stay down get back up
Keep the Netflix subscription
If all else fails google it
Turn off the a/c and open a window
Keep the smoking outside, you'll smoke less
Actually try to quit smoking, I think it would have been easier then than now
Check the spare tire
Enjoy the fun times, they won't come again
Don't let people drift away
It's really easy to think about regrets or things we wish we either had back or could change isn't it? Kinda has me wondering about the things that I wouldn't change but maybe I'll save that for a future post.
We've resumed broadcasting on indiespotlightlive.webs.com on Sunday nights at 9 pm (eastern U.S.) and I've been saving the show and rebroadcasting it on our iVlog page. There is no set date or time for the rebroadcast at this time.