Tag Archives: KISS

Top ten list of things I would have liked to do in life

Greetings, readers. This is not a list to bash my self-esteem, but it might just serve to open my eyes and let me see some of the jobs or occupations I dreamed about having when I was younger. So here we go, and as always this is not in any particular order, except for #1.

#10. Be a writer with a lot of books and screenplays under my belt. [Over the last fifteen years or so, I’ve had many good starts on writing projects but they all seem to fizzle out quickly. Sometimes it is a problem with the story line, other times people beat me to the good idea, and a lot of times it is my body not cooperating.]

#9. Own my own vehicle again. [After my 2008 crash and other issues I won’t get into, my monetary situation is such that owning a vehicle is impossible. It’s too much money for maintenance, repairs, gas, parking, etc.]

#8. Play sports. [At age 52 and a half, my days of playing a pick-up game of football or softball are long behind me. My legs and knees are stiff and sometimes it is a chore just to jog across the street.]

#7. Have a son to carry on my name. [My plan to have a family young, in my 20s or 30s. is long gone. For me to be a father, I would either have to adopt a child or marry someone young enough to have a child. Most women in the age bracket of 20s or 30s would find it creepy to marry someone in their 50s.]

#6. Be a professional entertainer. [For years I was so shy, I lip-synced in all my musical performances that I did for family, friends, and, later, for my pals in my apartment building. Now that I’ve learned to drop my shields and actually sing, I’ve found out that I am not all that bad. Another chance wasted. I could have been the next member of KISS. Lol.]

#5. Own a house. [Yes, good old pride of ownership. I know it comes with its costs. I’d have to pay property taxes, mow the lawn, and fix the pipes. But I would have loved every minute of it. When I go to visit Dave and family in their house, I feel like I’m home. Here, it just feels like I’m in my apartment.]

#4. Be a TV sports broadcaster. [When I was a child, I loved watching Curt Gowdy call NFL football games. He had a style all his own. Later, there were the teams of Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy, and of course, Dick Enburg and Merlin Olsen. My favorite sportscaster though was the incomparable Howard Cosell. He knew his job inside and out, was incredibly intelligent, and covered every event from football to boxing with style and dignity.]

#3. Be a truck driver. [For a while when I was younger I had the notion of being a truck driver. I would have been able to see the country and do something I love to do; drive. Health reasons killed that idea.]

#2. Be a talk show host or D.J. [When I was a little boy, I had an old-fashioned tape recorder and I would pretend I was a D.J. I would announce the songs and then play them on my record player. It was so much fun. I also loved Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show. I had a fantasy that one day maybe I would have my own talk show or take over for him when he retired.]

#1. Be a pilot [I’ve always been fascinated by aircraft and my dream as an early teen was to be a commercial airline pilot. My health issues at age 16 ended that dream promptly.]

Well, there it is. Again, I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party. I’m just showing you, my readers, and me, my missed opportunities. I’m starting to find my niche in life and it could very well be that I write plays and either adapt them to a novel or give it to someone else to do it. Dialog just seems to be my thing.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

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A short Sunday evening entry for you. :-)

Greetings, readers. I had a productive, but strange weekend. On the one hand I got some reading done on Darren’s novel, but I was fighting depression all three evenings. Tonight seems to be better. As I am writing the first draft of this post, I’m listening to the first KISS album … titled KISS. The title is simple, but it works.

It seems like every time I put on an old album or watch a classic TV show, I find myself strolling down memory lane. The early years that are most precious to me are between 1975 and 1983; 5th grade through the end of high school.

On the YouTube front, I’ve been making myself laugh hysterically with ‘Fail’ videos. You know the ones. They’re the videos where kids wipeout on their skateboards doing stupid and dangerous stunts, or folks swing from ropes attached to trees and the rope breaks before they get over the pond. I’m not laughing at them falling, but I do get a kick out of their buddies with the camera laughing and invariably asking, “Are you okay?”

Well, I’ve got a moderately hectic week coming up, complete with a dentist appointment and my yearly eye exam. I’ll be getting to bed here soon, after some videos or music. So, until Wednesday, take care, enjoy and happy reading.

Morning allergies, go away, come back another day.

Greetings, readers. Right now as the leaves are beginning to fall off the trees, my allergies have certainly started to kick up. It also could be that kitty cat Keekee sleeps next to me in my recliner chair. But the first few hours of my day are a sneezy disaster.

No matter what time I seem to get up, which is anywhere in between 5:00 and 7:00, the first thing I do is sneeze. Sometimes I’ll take a spritz of nasal spray, but usually I have to let it run its course. Mornings are my computer and writing time so it does get a bit frustrating when I am trying to concentrate on what I’m doing while being plagued by sneezing and a runny nose. With every passing hour though it does get better. I’m having a cleaning person come in to help tidy up in a couple of weeks and she will systematically get this place in order. Good-bye dust! I think my allergies will be much better after that.

I’ve always been prone to allergies. I can remember some spring and fall days when I was a child, being absolutely miserable. I tried the allergy medicine of the time and I remember it helping a little bit but not completely. I don’t know where I got my allergies from, for neither Mom nor Dad seemed to be a sufferer.

For those of you who know me, I am not giving up Keekee though there are times when she sheds dramatically. Luckily for me, I’m in Maine at that time, and am spared the worst of it. I love my little girl, and would rather wear a dust mask then to give her away at this stage of her life. There are always allergy shots and other drastic measures. It will depend on if my allergies get worse or not.

On a side note, KISS came to the Bryce Jordan Center this past week, and I held firm in my decision to save money by not going, as much I wanted to. The money for the ticket can be better spent elsewhere. It is a shame, since it will probably be the last time they come to State College. Thanks to someone who uploads videos to YouTube, to my great surprise the entire show is there in multiple segments. How nice. I won’t have to miss it after all. The only downer, that person started their recording half-way through the first song … which just happens to be my favorite. What can you do?

Until tomorrow morning, enjoy your day, take care, love one another, and happy reading.

New daily schedule is progressing nicely

Greetings, readers. I am very happy to tell you that my new daily routine is almost set. I’ve been told that it takes about three weeks to make something a habit, so I have about a week left. I’ve awakened at six the last few mornings and want to eventually have five AM be my new, permanent wake up time.

Rebecca will be here at 9:45 today; our new work start time. Work hours will be in the mornings from now on. I can’t wait until the time comes where I can get up, get ready and have pages typed before Rebecca arrives. Then she can become more my editor instead of my primary typist.

I’ve been studying the Amish lately. I’ll be writing a story dealing with that culture. With six books out from the local library, I’ve plenty of research material for my secondary writing project. It’s going to be so much fun. Bear Spring Camps book three is still going to be our primary project.

On a side note, KISS came to State College last night. As I said, I did not attend the concert. Money was a bit tight, and I have seen them live three times. I will admit, I almost broke down and tried to get tickets, but I held firm. I wouldn’t have been able to hear straight for a couple of days. If they ever return before they retire, I’ll go see them. 🙂

That’s all the news for today. Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day and happy reading.

 

To learn or not to learn

Greetings, readers. After many weeks of contemplating whether or not to go back and finish college, I am now leaning towards not. At least not full-time. I know this decision follows my pattern of never finishing anything. But after discussing the topic with my accountant today, we came to the realization that we would probably not make up the $80,000 or $90,000 that it would cost, in the ten years that I would have left to work. Yes, folks, I would be 55 or so by the time I was done. I was all gung-ho for this project a couple of weeks ago, and now once again I am depressed.

An alternative would be to go part-time, taking one or two classes per semester. That would drag it out even longer, but it would be easier on me and with the money. I have three possible majors in mind: Marketing to help me sell the books I already have; Writing to help me write more books; or Psychology in honor of my mother who was a psychologist. The first step will be to see what semester I take the first class in, in August or perhaps in January. The later semester start would give me time to get back from camp, possibly get that job at Panera, and settle in to the new year’s routine. Maybe the job will be enough to make me feel like I am a contributor in life.

Did I really want to finish college? It would have done wonders for my self-esteem and it might have opened up a career or two. Certainly it would have helped me with my writing. I’ve not ruled it in, but I’ve not ruled it out. At age 51, with a brain that sometimes acts like it is in oatmeal, I guess the question is, could I do it? Could I succeed? I guess I wouldn’t know unless I tried, would I? Those who don’t try, don’t get anything in life. Those who do try, sometimes fail, but are usually rewarded.

Besides being a bit bummed out about the whole college idea, I am currently suffering from mild caffeine withdrawals (pardon my yawn). I have had only decaf today and I missed my time at Panera. I’m sure I’ll go over this afternoon, but because of doctor’s orders I am drinking less caffeine and more water. I’m not exactly a happy camper. Not to jinx myself, but at least I don’t have a splitting headache. Though, I do admit that the experiment is working and the physical issues I was having are dramatically reduced.

For those of you who might be interested, my YouTube vlog is up and running. It is called the Joe Kockelmans Show and the only problem about it is that if I sing with music behind me, the video is blocked in 9/10ths of the world. My point on that is this: yes, I understand about copyright law, but I am not trying to sell it, and I am definitely not the Beatles or KISS. No one will confuse me for those bands or any others that I sing with. There must be some way around that snafu. Time will tell.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m going to forgo the KISS concert

Greetings, readers. The other week, I saw on the electronic billboard outside the Bryce Jordan Center that my favorite band KISS is coming to do a concert in August. At first, I got happy heart palpitations. But after thinking about it for a while, I realized that being a person who has not made budget in six months, there was no way I could realistically expect to save up for a ticket.

I have seen my band in the past. They came to State College in 1996, 1998, and either 2000 or 2001. So if I miss them this year, I will not cry in my beard.

KISS has been my band since 1975. You would think that the urge to go to the concert would overwhelm me and that I would have to get a ticket. So far, not so. I will admit I do suffer from impulse shopping, so I was happy to see that I was able to resist the urge to stop the bus, run up to the ticket counter, buy a ticket, and get back on the bus. Maybe KISS really isn’t the band for a 50-year-old after all.

I think another reason why my interest is low is that none of my friends are big KISS fans. If there were three or four of us who could chip in the money for the really good seats, and make a party evening out of it, that would be one thing. Instead, I would be going alone, for my girlfriend does not like the band, and I would also have to worry about such things as the noise level and blinking stage lights setting off a seizure.

Time will tell if I will call the ticket office just to see how cheap the cheap seats are, but I really do believe that I will not be going to this show. For me, a KISS fan who has every album and most CDs, I call that a budget victory. One battle won, many more battles to go. 🙂

R.I.Ps go out to former WWE wrestler/manager Chyna (real name Joan Laurer) and of course, to pop music star Prince. You will both be missed.

Until next week, I wish everybody a fantastic weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of things that are going on in my life right now – Dec 2015

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I thought it would be a good idea to post a top ten list of things that are going on in my life in the current moment. Most are good things, a few of them are perhaps not so good. I don’t think I would consider any of them “bad”. Life is a journey and a struggle and every once in a while we get a peach pit in our peaches and cream. So here we go.

#10. Fog. [The last four days State College, PA. and surrounding areas have experienced thicker than usual fog. This morning I awakened early as usual, looked out my window, and could not see the buildings across the street. Very unusual. State College is prone to bad weather from time to time, but thinking about it, I must admit fog is the phenomenon we have the least.]

#9. Learning to win on the WWE 2k16 wrestling game, PS3 version. [As my regular blog readers may remember, recently I got a copy of this wonderful video game. It is much more difficult than I was expecting. I am finally learning how to win on it. My overall record is 2 wins, 11 loses, and a whole bunch of just watching the computer playing against itself. Fascinating game. I must be careful, because I can play it for hours, which is not good for my very mild seizure issue.]

#8. Christmas decorations going up and excited about Christmas. [Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Even though I can no longer have the big, real Christmas tree with tons of ornaments and lights, I do try to decorate a little bit to remind myself of the great days when Mom and Dad would spruce up the house and would make it look magical. Pop never let us turn the lights on once tested until Christmas morning, which made it seem more wonderous.]

#7. I am enjoying Spotify music service. [For $9 a month, I am considering Spotify to be a steal. I have found tons of songs and complete albums to listen to. Also, you can click and drag songs into playlists you create. So far I have four lists: my collection of 70s and 80s songs, Beatles songs done by the a tribute band The Coverbeats, my favorite list of KISS songs performed live, and Christmas songs. If you are on Spotify and want to listen to my playlists, drop a comment here or on Facebook and I’ll send you the link.]

#6. Working on a new budget for the new year. [I continue to struggle with money. I keep running out before the end of the month. Here today on the 9th of December I was already talking to my accountant about the slow leak in my wallet. I bought some new pants, a belt, and underwear last night and even though I should have been expecting the amount, the bill gave me sticker shock. I needed the clothes very badly. My old slacks were literally worn out. I need to find a way to get what I need and make my money last longer at the same time.]

#5. New issues with Zipcar. [Up until a month or so ago, my dealings with Zipcar were great. Recently … not so much. The last two times I’ve tried to rent, I’ve either had an issue with the vehicle or none were available despite the reservation I had made ahead of time. The last time, the car that was supposed to be mine for the morning was in for maintenance. I was not told about this – oh joy, oh bliss. The friend I was going to drive to the train station, and who had agreed to pay for the rental fee, had to take a cab. I am picking her up this Sunday, let’s hope all goes well. If not, Zipcar and I will have major problems.]

#4. Doctor appointments for both Keekee and me. [Keekee’s appointment is for a semi-annual wellness check, complete with vaccination, clip nails, and new bag of food, just to name a few things. I have a neurologist appointment in January, to make sure my brain is running the way it should. These appointments made this list not because they are particularly noteworthy but because of the expense it will take to get us there and back. I will either have to take a bus, a taxi, or rent a Zipcar. It is easier to take a cat in  carrier in a Zipcar. Some bus drivers don’t mind, others do, but it is legal. Also, I have a routine dentist appointment in a few weeks.]

#3. Waiting for a notice from the copyright office for my play Kimberly. [We sent in the application, play, and the check a couple of months ago. I want to know that is done by the time Rebecca’s husband Darren is done with the novel based on the play, so that we can then copyright his work.]

#2. Six book sales at the end of November. [Whoot. I was very excited to check my CreateSpace e-store page and find three sales for each of the Bear Spring Camps books. Yay, team! It is not enough to pay the rent, but it is a start. And I am glad that people are still enjoying Picking Up Where We Left Off and Tales from North Bay and Beyond.]

#1. My girlfriend and Thanksgiving with family. [Traci has been my girlfriend since late September, and she went with me to spend Thanksgiving with David and family. Regular readers will know that she got along great with the family and we all had a wonderful time. This is in the #1 spot because Traci was so happy to be introduced to the family and both she and I are happy to have each other, as well as them.]

So, this sums up this top ten list and my life at this moment. Although things are definitely on an upswing for me, I am still grateful for my therapist. She still continues to help me quite a bit.

There will definitely be a blog on Friday, on an as of yet unknown topic. Until then, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Official report on Joe’s September performance

As readers of this blog know, Joe performed a show of music from the 70s and 80s on September 12th in the community room of Addison Court apartments. We have both mentioned it a few times in the past month. We also put the pictures in the Performance Pictures page of this blog. So forgive us if we are repeating ourselves too much. We have a tradition that when Joe does a performance that I write up a report on it afterwards; two weeks after the performance, here is the official write-up.

The room looked a little empty just before 1:00 pm, but it didn’t take long for it to fill up with people ready to watch and hear Joe. He did more singing this time, with just a bit of air drumming and air guitar, and even less lip-syncing than before. As usual, he practiced a lot for the show. When he did his KISS shows, he knew the words to almost all of their songs, since he has been performing to them since he was a kid. He chose an eclectic selection for this show and though he knew and liked all of them, he didn’t have them memorized as well. He told me that one of the songs he had chosen turned out to have different lyrics than he had been singing all this time! So he had to find and learn lyrics to the songs on his playlist.

One of the songs Joe sang in his first set was one he chose because it reminded him of when he and I would hang out in high school. The school library had a place people could listen to music under headphones, and Joe had a Elton John album he and I would listen to, which included the song “Honky Cat”. Eight songs in to the show, Joe told this story and sang this song. It brought back memories for me too.

 

Joe singing during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe singing during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

He started his first set with the Dominik Hauser version of the Love Boat theme, to get people in the mood. He followed that with “Enjoy Yourself” by The Jackson 5 and “Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt. Other artists he sang to included Highway 101, the Beatles, KC & the Sunshine Band, and the Bee Gees. Joe finished the set with a song from the film Rocky, “You Take My Heart Away” by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. It is a duet and he sang both parts.

 

Joe doing a dance move, for the song Billy Jean by Michael Jackson, during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe doing a dance move, for the song Billy Jean by Michael Jackson, during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

Joe started the second set with “Love Me for a Reason” by the Osmonds. Then he had me speak for a moment while he ducked into the bathroom to change his shirt and put on a dress coat for his next number. He came out, put on one glove (black instead of white because that is what he had) and he was ready. He sang and danced to “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. He had more dancing in the show, but found out in a rehearsal that he couldn’t do it very well. So this number represented all his dancing. Afterward, he changed back to the other shirt for the rest of the show. This set included “Knock Three Times” by Tony Orlando and Dawn, “The Hustle” by Van McCoy, and “I’ve Got the Music in Me” by Kiki Dee. He finished the show with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”.

In between the sets, Joe took a break while a friend of his did a song. Mike Weaver sang and performed “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver. It was a good performance, and many of us sang softly along with him.

 

Mike Weaver sang and did interpretive dance to a song by John Denver at Joe's show on September 12, 2014.
Mike Weaver sang and did interpretive dance to a song by John Denver at Joe’s show on September 12, 2014.

 

I grew up with these songs, so I really enjoyed hearing them again. As usual, a good time was had by all. Thank you Joe.

 

Joe doing a drum move during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe doing a drum move during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

Blog update – 1/1/2014 :-)

Greetings, readers. As you may know, I [The Mimic] had an air guitar, air drum and vocals show of KISS songs on December 20th. Today Rebecca and I chose some pictures which we added in a brand new page; Performance Pictures. It’s our brand new tab. Here other photos…, once we get through the 1000 +, may still be added. 🙂

Tomorrow, Rebecca and I will be posting a new blog entry. This was just a quick update note from me. Have a great night, pleasant dreams and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe the Mimic put on another performance of KISS songs

Last Friday, December 20, 2013, Joe gave us another performance of air guitar, air drums, lip-syncing, and singing KISS songs in the community room of Addison Court. He did a great job. We remembered to use Gatorade this time, so he did not get dehydrated like the last concert. Joe was once again his persona, the Mimic. Like last time, Joe arranged with a stylist to have his Mimic face make-up and black fingernail polish put on before the 1:00 pm concert, but this time the stylist couldn’t do it. Joe went up there without make-up – The Mimic Unmasked – like the KISS band in the 80s!

Each table had copies of the playlist. Joe greeted the crowd and pointed out that several of the songs in his line-up were new, songs he had not yet done in any concert. This included his first two songs, “Creatures of the Night” and “King of the Night Time World.” He moved from playing one musician to another, literally moving in the performance space, from left stage for one guitarist to right stage for another, to center stage for the lead singer, to sitting down back stage for the drummer. He would move from one position to another within each song, which kept the audience engaged. Some of the other songs on the playlist were “All American Man”, “I Stole Your Love”, “Firehouse”, “The Oath”, “Move On”, and “Shandi.” His final two songs were “Rock ‘N Roll All Nite” and “Black Diamond.”

During the intermission, a friend of Joe’s performed. Terry started at the piano, singing Christmas carols and taking requests. The audience was encouraged to join in to sing the familiar classics, especially “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Then Terry read one of the poems he has written, titled “The Christmas Star”, about the night Jesus Christ was born. It was touching and inspirational.

Then Joe was back for the second half of the show. Sometimes singing, sometimes lip-syncing, sometimes lead vocal, sometimes back-up vocals, arms always moving with air guitar or air drums, he put so much energy into each song. He filled the room with rock and roll.

Joe had photographs taken of the show and we wanted to have some photos in this blog entry. But, Greg Brown shot over a thousand photographs and downloaded them on Joe’s flash drive. We tried to go through them today, but that is a lot of photos and we ran out of time. We will have some photos up in the gallery soon, probably next week. We picked out a number to choose from already, but have a lot more to go.

Joe told me he didn’t do a good job on a few songs, which bothers him, but he sounded great to me. Rock on, Joe!