Whenever I’m out with my 3 kids, I’ll always hear. You’ve got your hands full. I reply. If my wife allowed an open marriage with Katy Perry, assuming I became a bestselling author, I’d have my hands full, day and night, night and day.
Trying to start your staffing business from ground zero and provide for your wife and 2 kids as an IT Headhunter while sucking up your ego because you finally got your TV writing break at VH1 Classic 2 months prior is a handful. Especially, when you just traded in your Gene Simmons zip drive used to save your scripts, consisting of Heavy Metal video intros for Chris Jericho to use on America’s Hard 100 for new suits from Men’s Warehouse. Which you can’t afford and have to ask your parents money for. Thereby further deepening your parent’s resentment at your prolonged, degenerate dependence on their forced upon financial generosity at 39 with 2 kids under your belt now. Paying them the maintenance rental costs on a one-bedroom apartment. Which used to belong to your grandmother before your parents shipped her off to a home in Arizona, dying in her sleep with nothing but a peaceful gaze according to my father.
Excuse me for questioning the sincerity of my father’s pronouncement. Knowing his self-serving, controlling, bullying approach to my wedding by letting my grandma off the hook by not insisting she attend her own grandson’s wedding. She wasn’t Stephen Hawkins people. Was she bi-polar? Yes, did my dad insist she stop taking her medication because her manic highs became too annoying and inconvenient for him to handle? Yes, so knowing my dad played a domineering, ownership role of his own mother’s emotional well-being despite never earning a PHD in Pharmacology, selling Acid in college doesn’t count. Only to emerge from the experience with your brain intact because you were “smarter” than all the lesser gentile, mush brain counterparts in your fraternity, allegedly.
So, what was my dad’s excuse for not demanding my own grandmother hop in the car for a 2 hour ride up to Woodstock to see her eldest grandson get married? According to my dad, “she would’ve been a handful and he’d have to look after her.” But according to my younger brother, my father isn’t a narcissist despite his best excuse for not insisting my grandma attend my wedding was because her assumed, mope maligned existence would’ve been a perpetual drag on his own good time. Assuming he’d be hanging out with her at the wedding. Reminiscing about how nice it would be if Murray, his dead father, and her 1st husband could be there also because he always loved my friend Newton. Who was the Baptized Minister that got us married in the 1st place.
I became close with my dad’s friend from college Newtown Finn when I attended Lake Forest College for my freshman and sophomore year on the North Shore of Illinois. I’d meet him for an occasional beer to discuss a philosophy paper I was working on. For my paper on how the Grateful Dead parking lot scene encapsulated a self-sustaining, yet community driven, capitalist economy at its finest, minus the taxes on what you made by being able to sell grill cheese sandwiches or from glass bowls of your own making. Allowing Dead Head lovers to live out their hippie working dream to the fullest. By making money from their own creations. And using those profits to follow the Dead-on tour. Make new friends, create colorful memories and become liberated from the cubicle chained existence their parents were slaves to because such an option didn’t exis prior. I don’t recall reading about any teens in the 1950’s selling their mom’s Betty Crocker cookies outside of Giant Stadiuum. So, they could follow Jan and Dean on the road in my history of rock and roll class at Ithaca College. Otherwise known as Cornell’s retarded next door neighbor.
Not once did I think my dad took my feelings under consideration by not insisting my grandma attend my wedding. Did her grandmotherly sense tell her I was out of work again? In the end, did my Grandma blow off my wedding because she thought it was pathetic for a suburban beneficiary of white privilege to be fired more than a Palestinian Sling Shot at 34 years old on God green’s earth?
In retrospect, my dad letting my grandma off the hook infuriated me more than my grandma not attending my wedding because he possessed the power to make Grandma do the right thing. But instead chose the path of zero hassle for himself. Thinking. let’s make this wedding all about my wife and myself. Wearing creamy white at 1st born’s wedding. Insisting we walk him down the aisle, just because we’re cutting them a big, fat wedding check.
I should’ve burned that wedding check on the spot. It would’ve saved plenty of aggravation for all of us in the end. But I didn’t get married to receive a big check from my parents. I got married because I fell in love with a pretty, sweet girl from Australia who became the best friend I never had. Although chances are, I don’t pop the question ever, if my mother doesn’t insist on letting her give me money to buy my live-in girlfriend in Park Slope, Brooklyn at the time, an engagement ring, a pink Safire engagement ring to be exact.
I wanted my own earned staffing commission money from my stint at Adam Jacob Associates to pay for that ring. Never happened that way. The only time I made a commission check big enough for an engagement ring was with the IT staffing firm I worked for next from a big rip, I did with JP Morgan Hedge Fund Services. I asked my mom for the org chart for JP Morgan Hedge Fund Services. Cold called the VP of Technology. Scheduled a face to face meeting in Greenwich, CT. Recruited a .NET Architect off an ad I wrote and posted on Monster.com. Placed him at 135K salary, ripped a 7000-dollar commission check after taxes. And used that money on top of my unemployment checks because I got fired from that recruitment job also to throw myself into my writing. Banged out my 30 Rock spec, script, The Kings of Comedy. Paced 3 in a national TV writing contest called the Spec Scriptacular and no longer felt like a poser fake news funny jerkoff performing standup comedy at open mikes throughout stroller mom country in Park Slope no more.
But understand, this was 12 years ago, which feels like light years ago 3 kids later. Think about it. Back then, Lena Dunham had much skinnier arms and wasn’t nearly as full of herself. I don’t know about you. But after Trump won. Lena Dunham said she’d move to Canada. So, I prayed for them to build a wall around the strip clubs in Montreal, so Lena Dunham wouldn’t scare away all the clientele. Also, most people don’t know this. But Lena Dunham was Hillary Hammer Time Cankle’s Social Media Community Manager for her 2-time loser campaign for the presidency of the United States of America. Only Lena Dunham could make Hillary less likeable and relatable in one blubbery swoop, but I digress.
To make matters worse at my wedding, my dad insisted on telling all my friends how much my wedding shoes cost, treating me like his faggy, bridezilla underling. Which wasn’t a fair representation of what makes me flaming gay such as my propensity to jerk off my old high school bud to Taste of Amber and Scandal and the Mansion because a friend at camp introduced him to the harmless practice, of mutual tickle jerks under the covers, together. Still, the obvious low point at my wedding was when my Dad told our wedding DJ to turn down the Star Fucking Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix from Woodstock. The very Woodstock he attended and bragged about non-stop about attending. Although, he never saw Jimi perform because apparently at that the time, all the hippies starving to death, out of cats to eat with tushy rash rott. In addition to images of unreported, drug induced rapes and toddlers tripping on acid became too much bear. Jimi Hendrix had actually unleashed his guitar, carpet bombing, anti-war anthem piece of electric guitar mastery at the Hollywood Bowl before his scene stealing performance at Woodstock post Joe Cocker having performed a stroke in slow motion for Little Help from My Friends. What was my father’s excuse for telling our wedding DJ to turn off Jimi? Because Jimi’s aerial guitar Vietcong bomb drop renditions were too intense for all of his non-serving Jewish friends in attendance to bear. It would be one thing if his Jewish friend Sil from the Bronx served with Ron Kovac or was held captive like McCain and was trigged to jump behind the wet bar for cover. I took personal offense to this asshole, controlling gesture on my dad’s behalf because I controlled the wedding playlist. This was my creation, not his. In case you’re wondering, we closed out the wedding, with Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York and closed with Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind, which just hit. Sorry, Frank, we chose to close our wedding with a more resounding, modern day feeling bang.
If I could do it all over again for my wedding, I would’ve have posted an ad on Craig’s List for a substitute Wise Black Grandma to replace my absentee whiney, Jewish Grandma. The Craig’s List ad would read, “Wise Black Grandma needed for wedding in Woodstock, NY, full expenses paid, Tyler Perry impersonators are welcome. Just understand, we only have 1 black friend attending, so you must be comfortable performing in front of primarily white audiences only.”
So, what does my dad being a controlling, arrogant, baby boomer dick have to do with how book authors are fire proof? They’re related because I tried really hard to make a living in sales similar to my father and it never materialized for me. My dad did very well but his career in packaging sales didn’t take off until his early forties. In fact, my mom saw an ad in the paper for a sales manager job which he applied for and got. In actuality, my dad lied about so-called management experience to get the job and the gamble payed huge dividends for himself in the end. Now, his wife, my mother who worked at JP Morgan Chase as a Loan Officer. Who always made more money than him, was no longer in an exalted, leveraged position to belittle or talk down to her lifetime partner in love like her faggy, you only exist because of me underling any longer.
Knowing my father took a gamble to achieve what success he did as a VP of Sales. Who turned a fledging packaging company into the 90 million in sales machine under his direction. It’s not a complete shock to know my Dad isn’t 100% against me writing a book about working from home and falling for Fatherhood as a stay at home, aspirational do it all dad comedian book author. My dad never articulated what his vision was if he decided to launch his own business. Still, his default response for not following through for whatever vision he possessed was because it was too risky and he had my brother and I to support. On top of having to earn enough money to pay for $20,000 a year property taxes in Westchester Country, only 30 minutes from Manhattan by Metro North I get it.
But I know what I want more than ever before. I can articulate my dream for myself which serves my own personal ambition and the betterment of my wife and 3 children. And that’s not to just become a published, parenting book author. Fuck that. My dream is to write the funniest, most readable, most moving, Jewish suburban tale of modern-day fatherhood ever made. I’ll be a big fish in my own pond. Who’s my competition, Philp Roth’s son if he has one? Did Saul Bellow bang out any promising upstart, literary off spring capable of producing laugh yankers on the page and off that I don’t know about? The thing is I tried to make it as an IT headhunter yet never became the Rain Maker like my father did. Me, I was much more a trickler.
Still, headhunting made me the man I am today. There’s no way I could endure the heartbreaking isolation and rejection from old school fake news friends and my own parents as a stay at home comedian author/ Podcast Host/Dad Friendly Entertainment Blogger. Without the congealed inner toughness such a thankless, advance attack forward on mentality the new business development form of IT staffing engenders within in you.
I love all my ex-headhunter brethren because they pushed me to become a better version of me. They respected my fearlessness, my developing comedic writing inventiveness. In short, they couldn’t knock my hustle. My old boss Larry, god bless him, would let me take breaks from cold calling IT directors at UBS and beyond to sample new material on my old school band of recruiter brothers in the afternoon to help break up the day. Even my old boss Dan at Robert Half allowed the same after our morning meetings, yet Robert Half is public traded company so that new morning routine got shut down real fast and it wasn’t because I was producing dead air either.
Nobel Prize for Literature winner George Bernard Shaw said, “hell is to drift, and heaven is to steer.” The key for me is picking my 1st big race to win and not being an all over the place Jew for once in my life. I got into standup because an alum from Ithaca told me it would make me a better writer. But I only got into the dream of writing TV scripts for TV after my ex-girlfriend in LA pushed me to start writing specs for Curb which made me fall in the love with the idea of a creative, fun filled alternative to make a living that didn’t require my compulsory need to use my day of atonement for Yom Kippur in Los Angeles. My 1st year as an IT Headhunter, paying my own way in the word, only to focus on reading the Long Beach Business Journal for new company info to sollcit business from before LinkedIn and smart phones emerged. Eliminating the need to stay at work past 7 every night to get more numbers from 411 to cold call the next morning all over again.
Eventually, I wrote for TV, not the way I intended. I thought I’d be writing Family Guy scripts. Instead, I was writing music video intro reads for Iron Maiden for the host of Americas Hard 100, WWE great, Chris Jericho. I’ll take it. My old producer boss Jay Moran introducing me as the Head Writer for the America’s Hard special he was in charge of producing 100 at Viacom corporate in Manhattan, “my city” as Walt Whitman said back in the day was a heavy metal high moment, I’ll cherish forever. But the stakes are way higher now. Now, I have 3 kids compared to only Singing Rose Matilda. And it’d true, “pressure does create diamonds.” Which explains the comedy tear I’ve been on now since getting fired from Robert Half 3 years ago. Every retweet or blog like has been a win, knowing my aim as has always been laugh generation. But now my goals have expanded past mere laugh generation but into more expressive, beauty terrain. Describing how your baby boy’s hand clench against yours makes up for almost 99% of the poor, poor, pitiful pain in your heart. By describing the shrieks of joy my 20-month-old son makes when I give him playful, falling putzy apple tree head butts into his midsection or roll him into a pink Cubano with our overpriced towels from our wedding I get to reconnect with what I want more of in this new big dream of mine. And that’s to be the Golly Blue Giant dream maker at home as a stay at home dad comedian shooting star author on the rise.
Bought my kids a telescope from Goodwill for 28 bucks for the 1st night of Chanukah. And just learned about Blue Giant stars. Basically, they shine brightest because they’re condensed with the most loaded, compact material. And that’s what I’ve poured into my book that you’re reading right now, Stay at Home Comedian. I wouldn’t have been capable of producing this book 4 years ago because I didn’t know what I wanted out of life outside of sticking with my goal of writing for TV and proving to myself I could do it.
As a bestselling author, I become the functional Dead Head I’ve always wanted to become. Making money off my own creations, Assuming ownership of my own ideas. Profiting off my own self-driven hustle, not out of fear from getting fired for some job I’m just doing to provide breathing room to write jokes to do on stage on the side. That chapter in my life is finished.
God didn’t give me 3 kids to have a panic attack over it. As a book author, I’m fire proof because I’ll never act like an entitled dick the majority of the time. As a book author, I’m fire proof because I don’t have the luxury or time to be an aspirational, functional pothead on the side with 3 kids to co-raise and house to co-manage either. As a book author, I’m fire proof because any quotas I set for myself, I’ll exceed because the only thing limiting me from writing my way out of poverty into literary glory is mere time to sit my ass on the chair. I also bought from that 7000-dollar commission check to bang out more free flowing prose on my pleasure machine.
The meaning of Hanukah is dedication. And no miracle of light can happen without the combination of dedication and unwavering faith in your hard work materializing by the grace of divine powered blessing when the all mighty makes the timing right. I just learned about getting 19 blogged chapters of the Stay at Home Comedian republished on the Good Men Project. It’s my time to shine.
Book Author are fire proof unless, my book Stay at Home Comedian doesn’t sell and my wife kicks me out of the house for good. But I’m in the driver seat of a life of my choosing now. I’m writing a bestselling book, Stay at Home Comedian and already have my next 2 follow up books planned. I’m in it to win it as a bestselling parenting book author and face of the new remote good men, dad, remote work revolution. Because at home on the page, I rule my destiny.
My old sales boss at a recruitment agency in Manhattan Beach, said to me. “Michael, you’re very eclectic. I see you as a thoroughbred but in order to become a winner, you have to pick your race. I finally have Terry. Thanks for the words of wisdom and sorry about acting like an entitled, arrogant, NY dick Doing 0.0 to reverse the perception of my people as a whole, meaning New Yorkers in general. Your killer farmer’s son work ethic rubbed on me Terry. Not that I was slacker working for you. Still, you always said. “What do you want your tombstone to say when your time on this earth is complete?”
Finally got the answer Terry. Michael Kornbluth, Author, although knock kneed putz turned Pulitzer prize winner has a nice ring to it also. I know Terry. Focus on winning one race at a time. But I must dream bigger like my daughter says. Most can write a best seller, but it’s the ones who never gave up. Whose will to win reigned supreme such as Charles Bukowski, Rodney Dangerfield and Secretariat, the horse, who became living legends in their time. Just because my ego got tripped up at the starting gate, from being a prematurly branded, learning-disabled slow poke brain student in the 5th grade. Doesn’t mean I can’t launch a comeback around the bend, kick up dirt into my dream detractor faces now behind me with enraged delight and fly past that finish line as a successful, bestselling book author winner. Then, getting my wife a new set of boobs for my birthday will be the most selfless gift ever. Because if my wife forgets to buy me something special after my book Stay At Home Comedian becomes a best seller. She’ll be off the hook. And Katy Perry will have to wait.