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Funny Messy Life

80 EpisodesProduced by Michael BlackstonWebsite

Stories about life, relationships, and culture delivered in a way that will help brighten your day or at least make you ask, "What is he smokin'?" But don't worry. It's all in good fun and it's family friendly. I'm Michael Blackston and these are tales from my blog - in audio form - all based on rea… read more

16:27

Back In The Saddle - 041

   2021 promises to be a great year for me. Of course, I think I said the same thing at the beginning of 2020 and look what a dumpster fire that turned out to be. But 2021 is starting out with a bunch of stuff in place that I’ve been wanting to implement for a while and so I’ve hit the ground running. That’s what this episode will about. It’s gonna be a kind of update/story time/apology that should get us back on speaking terms after my extremely obnoxious lack of posting episodes of this podcast. I’m Michael Blackston and it feels like I’m finally back in the saddle of my Funny Messy Life.
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   It’s not like I haven’t been thinking about you because I have. It’s just that, like everybody else, 2020 kicked me in the life-junk over and over again and it got hard to find the time to create episodes. I was busy and some things kept happening that directly affected the way I record these things. I got really busy while not going to restaurants or movies or to see my grandma in the nursing home because COVID-19 is a jerk. I thought my business would suffer during the pandemic with people being out of work or quarantined, but it didn’t. I thrived and I got busier than I’ve ever been.
   I know, I know. That’s what I say every time I huge span of time between episodes and it sounds like an excuse. To be honest with you, I have considered cancelling this podcast several times because I don’t like promising something I can’t make good on. It’s like breaking up with someone and saying, It’s not you, it’s me.
   My wife and I have been married for nearly 26 years and these situations I keep finding myself in with you, the listener, sort of reminds me of the time I broke up with her for five minutes. I won’t go into too much detail about it because I plan to have her on with me soon to tell our story - it’s a cool one - and we’ll probably touch on the break up, but let me just say that when I did it, I really thought that’s what I wanted. Then I kept thinking about her and I kept calling her and before I had blinked, I was buying her a stuffed animal and taking her to a concert.
   In the same way, I keep taking time away from you, but I can’t stop thinking about your long hair and the way I feel when we’re together, so here we are. Together again with promises that I’ll treat you right this time.
   At least there’s nothing wrong with us having an open relationship, so hopefully there are other podcasts you listen to for company. I guess it’s similar to the early Mormons, who had multiple wives. It’s what you might call acceptable POD-lygamy ... I’m sorry. I should be ashamed of myself. But that’s what you do to me. When we’re together, I feel like I’ve got the freedom to be myself and say the first thing that comes to mind, whether it’s a good joke, or something that ought to send me to pun-hell. But lets put our past behind us and move on, shall we?
   It might sound like an excuse, but 2020 was busier than I ever believed it would be, despite the limitations of the pandemic.
I finished my second novel, Shoeshine Drop, began to get my music ready for the stage, decided to create a production company for my plays, accepted the position of Minister of Music at the largest Baptist church in my town, became a deacon at said church, and in the biggest change to my routine, moved my business home so I don’t have to travel very much at all anymore.
   You can see why it might be hard to find time to write, and then record, podcast episodes in the middle of all that. The biggest thing that stopped the recoding process was my frustration with my studio. In the past three years, I have recorded this podcast in hotel rooms, the cabs of two different vehicles, and in various places I called a studio in my home. My goal has been to have a dedicated space to record professional sounding audio, but nothing I’ve tried in my house has worked for one reason or another. During those three years, I’ve built, taken down, and rebuilt my studio nine times. Until recently, something has kept me from getting right every time, whether it was outside noise bleeding into the recording, inside noise bleeding in, electronic interference, echoes and audio bounce back, etc. It was something every time and unless you’ve ever tried to do something that should be pretty simple, only to meet obstacle after obstacle, you won’t understand how it can suck the life and desire to do that thing right out of you the same way political runoff campaigns will suck the life out of you and make you want to fly screaming off a cliff like the pigs in the New Testament that had the demons driven into them. As a matter of fact, I don’t know what’s worse, politicians and their campaigns or having demons driven into you. It’s pretty much the same thing. Anyway, that problem has been solved now. This episode comes to you from my brand new studio in one of the second floor rooms of my church. It’s a little room tucked deep into the center of the church at the end of a maze of rooms nobody ever uses anymore. I was able to build a frame along the walls of the interior of the room and hang sound treatment to allow me to control the sound. There is no outside noise to deal with and no inside noise, either. It’s a beautiful thing and not only will it allow me to consistently have a professional environment to produce this podcast and another one I’m planning based on Christian Apologetics, but it finally opens the door to my being able to seriously step my foot into the waters of commercial voiceover work.
   The last thing it allows me to do is record audio books. I have my two novels to record, but also some classics. The first one I plan to record is The Picture of Dorian Gray.
   So what I’m saying is that I’m back in the saddle and things are looking bright.
   For a while one of my biggest concerns about this podcast was whether not I had much left to say. I felt like I was getting close to all I had in me, but then I realized that the world gets more and more stupid every day. All I really need to do is check in on Facebook and Instagram to see something that inspires me to write. It might spark a memory from my life or it might cause me to spit out some of my opinions about the today’s culture. A culture, by the way, where a politician seriously ends a public prayer with A-Woman because he thinks he’s showing equal respect for the females of our species.
   Yeah.
   I know.
   And I share the ideal that men and women are equal in worth, I’m saddened that a person calling themselves a pastor doesn’t know that ending a prayer with Amen isn’t referencing men. It’s Hebrew for something like, So be it. Some good has come out of it, though, and that’s the hundreds of new memes to enjoy, making fun of it. My problem is that while 2020 has given me plenty to talk about, you come here to get away from the stuff you get bombarded with on a daily basis, and especially the things that made 2020 what it turned out to be. Now that we’re into a fresh year, if you’re like me, you want to forget about a lot of last year, so i need to keep things fresh.
   I decided that since I was going to ramps things up again with the podcast, it might be a great idea to go back and re-listen to all of the past episodes, mainly because the older I get, the more things I can’t remember like where I put my glasses, why I walked into a room in the first place, and what I’ve already talked about in the podcast. And while i was listening through them, and cringing again at my delivery because I’m never happy with it, I came upon a short update I inserted between episodes when I had, like now, neglected to post anything for several weeks. In that update, I mentioned having guests on to share their stories in the future to make things more interesting, but I never did that. I also told you that I would be delivering my episodes via bullet point instead of writing them out verbatim, so that my delivery was more natural. I did that for a couple of episodes, then went back to writing them out because I noticed that I’m more concise when I write it out. And it’s still genuine when I put in the time to write it out, plus it’s way easier later on when I decide to try and make a little cheddar by putting the episodes into book form, which I have decided to do and will tell you about at a later time. As far as guests go, I realized that it was hard to go very far that way without a great deal of extra work that I don’t have time to do. I still plan to have some guests. My wife will be on soon to tell our love story. My son will be on soon to talk about some stuff and partly as test of our chemistry for another podcast the two of us have been wanting to do for a couple of years and now have a good place to do it. I’ll have my dear friend, Joe Trusty - hi Joe ... he’s an avid listener - to reminisce about our radio days, and there are a few other interesting people I’d like to share with you. But as a rule, it’ll likely be me most of the time, doing what I’ve been doing for the first forty episodes.
   But I do want to extend an offer to you. In the past, I opened the show up to the possibility of sharing stories from listeners. All you had to do was email me, tell your story, and if it passed the mustard, I’d share it in an episode. Well, nobody sent in their stories and that’s okay. I understand. One thing I’ve learned from several years of on and off podcasting is that begging listeners to talk to you doesn’t do anything to help you communicate with them. Unless you’re one of the huge shows like Joe Rogan or the Office Ladies, you won’t get huge amounts of reviews and hearing feedback from listeners is as rare as the planets aligning to make the Star of Bethlehem like Saturn and Jupiter did in 2020. It used to bother me, too, because I really did beg for feedback.
Is anybody there? Hello? Anybody? TALK TO ME!
   And them I realized something. You pull up a podcast to be entertained, not get into conversation with the host. You need someone to talk to you and engage your mind on you commute or during your workout or when your cousin Melvin won’t shut up and doesn’t realize you’ve shoved your AirPods in you ears as far as you possibly can. And you’re choosing me. You’re choosing me over Melvin and I thank you for that. I guess it goes back to my radio days when I had actual fans who couldn’t wait to call me when my shift started. My friend Joe will attest to that, so it feels weird not to hear from you.
   So if you don’t want to tell your story, I understand and don’t hold it against you. The podcasters I listen to never get feedback from me, either. But if you do think of a story that’s really interesting and that you wouldn’t mind having accessible to the world, then send me the details. I might even be willing to record a phone call with you so you can tell it yourself. Who knows? Maybe another segment for the show might be born. But if not, I’m content if you simply sit back and let me do the talking. Because even though it probably seems like I’ve forgotten about Funny Messy Life, the numbers keep growing and a few folks here and there keep subscribing. So that tells me there are people who enjoy what I’m doing.
   And by the way, I’m not saying I’ve NEVER gotten any feedback. I have a couple of listeners who have reached out and to you, I say thank you. As one of f my favorite podcasters says when he gets encouragement from listeners, it puts gas in my tank.
   If your name is Melvin, I hope you understand that I wasn’t necessarily talking about you earlier, unless you’re one of those people who never take a breath and let other people talk into the conversation. If you are, then maybe try listening some. The communication is a whole lot better when you do that.
   And if I go a minute without posting a new episode, just know that I haven’t forgotten you. I’ve just gotten busy or something happened to make my studio unusable and I’m in the middle of moving and rebuilding it ... again.
   If you do have something you’d like to share with me, let’s start out by having you email me at funnymessylife@gmail.com. Keep it PG and we’ll probably be fine.
   Lastly, do me a favor and share the podcast with your friends and loved ones who you think might enjoy it. My best weapon in the battle to be found is you, so do me a favor and be a tank in my arsenal. I’d really appreciate it.

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