Second Chances

I’ve always enjoyed watching the reality singing show, The Voice.  The whole concept of their “Blind Auditions” is appealing to me, because it takes the appearance factor out of the equation and makes it truly about talent; giving real people a chance to realize their dreams.
If you’ve been watching the show this season, you know that Meghan Linsey, formerly half of the duo, Steel Magnolia, is competing on there.  It still amuses me that during her Blind Audition, three of the four coaches—Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, and Christina Aguilera turned around to get her on their team.  Blake Shelton didn’t!  And Meghan had toured with Blake early in her career!

Obviously, Blake felt like a schmuck for not turning around, but as luck would have it—he was able to get her onto his team during the battle rounds with a steal.  Meghan is killing it, every time she hits the stage on the show.  Last night, she did a cover of “Love Runs Out,” by the pop band, One Republic.  Her bluesy voice is phenomenal!  I’m hopeful that she will either win the competition, or at the very least—be able to give life to her singing career again.

I saw her perform with Joshua Scott Jones—as the duo Steel Magnolia at Country Fest in Cadott a few years ago.  It was just so sad.  Knowing the pair had a romantic relationship, and they were engaged to be married; it was difficult to watch them unravel right before our eyes on stage.  Joshua was visibly drunk, on drugs, or both.  It was painful to watch him stagger around on stage and be so sloppy.  They were SO disconnected in that performance, and I’m pretty sure that most everyone watching breathed a sigh of relief when it was over; it was THAT awkward to watch.

Needless to say, the two broke up in every sense of the word.  No more band, no more engagement, and no more future; musically or otherwise, it seemed, at least for Meghan, until The Voice.

I’m hopeful that America will support her and she’ll skyrocket back into stardom. I’d like to think that viewers will appreciate her history and talent—and not deny her this opportunity, just because she has already had some success in her life. God has given her such a talent, and in my opinion, she deserves a second chance at making it in the music industry.  

Good, Clean Fun

Yesterday was a strange day for me.  Every year for quite some time now, April Fool’s Day seems that way; mostly because it’s become a tired exercise of lame or cheesy jokes and tricks.  People are more in tune for those antics and the game is diluted before it even starts.  The idea of pulling off another legendary prank, such as the much discussed “Bagging of the Phones,” as executed by Brucie Bumchuckles in 1986 on the radio, is nearly impossible to pull off in this day and age.

Of course, part of the reason for that also lies in the fact that we have become a sue-happy society.  Phil and I were talking the other day that there are so many people who would appear to have lost their sense of humor.  Anger seems to be the new emotion of choice.  Couple that with political correctness, and it becomes a gag order that we execute on ourselves.  Don’t get me wrong—I’m not trying to be a Negasaurus on this, but people truly seem more jaded and easily offended these days by practically everything.  

The internet is still the one place that is filled with creative ideas and plenty of hook, line, and sinker-swallowing, when it comes to April Fool’s Day.  It’s likely a product of people being more apt to believe crap about celebrities or other public figures.  There were actually a slew of stories yesterday that were incredibly amusing.  

Aaron Rodgers being fined $25,000 for going onto the court at the Wisconsin NCAA game last week, had many people shocked and outraged.  My personal favorite, (probably because I WISH it was true) was the “story” of Brian France, Jr. stepping down as CEO of NASCAR.  Quite frankly, I think that organization would be WAY better off without him at the helm.  Apparently, many other NASCAR fans feel the same, as that one got A LOT of traction too, but I digress.

Regardless, it’s safe to say that there are still gullible people out there who will believe things on April Fool’s Day.  For that, I’m grateful, because I feel as if this “holiday” now delivers that let-down feeling kids get when they discover the truth about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.  

It’s actually kind of a shame that we’ve lost the fun in what the day used to be.  Perhaps most of us are just too busy to buy into the shenanigans of yesterday, but it’s probably more likely attributed to what I mentioned before; that people are just so easily offended these days, and quick to secure a lawyer.  Maybe we need to have a spokesperson—to be the face for the holiday, and breathe life back into it.  I’d vote for Brucie Bumchuckles in a heartbeat, and I’d be willing to bet that there are many who would support that motion.

Thank God It's Friday!

I’m not exactly a bible-thumper, but I do believe in God, and think He plays a starring role in my life.  I believe things have worked out as such to lead me where I am today; thanks to Him.  I probably don’t give enough thanks for things big and small.

So, I’d like to take a moment to do just that—and encourage you to do the same.

Thank God for true friends that will stand by you through thick and thin, and don’t allow outside drama or petty things get in the way of that.

Thank God for family, who have always supported me, and picked me up when I was at my lowest points in life, and cheered the loudest during my successes.

Thank God for our military, police, firefighters and EMTs who make the career choice to put themselves in precarious positions to protect our country and communities.

Thank God for dogs.  The excitement shown when I return home after each workday never gets old.

Thank God for spandex-infused denim, as it prevents me from having to lay on my back on the bed to zip up my jeans.

And finally, thank God for a career that allows me to be creative, write, and talk with people.  Life is good.

And So It Begins

We all deal with things differently, particularly when you’re delivered life-threatening news. For me, it made me want to hold onto my husband very tightly. It also prompted me to think a LOT harder about our financial future. We had virtually nothing in place, should something happen to one of us. And there we were; in the middle of “something.” My husband, Toby had been diagnosed with cancer.  

He had never had a colon exam, and it was something that I essentially forced him into doing. While it may make you feel awkward about having it done, it’s an incredibly simple process for early detection of cancer. I think it’s safe to say that we’d all prefer to not have our lives cut short. I’d like to think Toby’s life has been saved by the procedure, and I remind him of that often; particularly when I want him to do something for me. He will tell you that the worst part of the whole ordeal was drinking that God-awful gallon of noxious liquid designed to get your innards squeaky clean. The procedure itself was a piece of cake.

The good news was, his battle was not as vicious as what some people endure. His cancer was caught at stage 2, so two surgeries later, he was deemed cancer free. He’s back to normal; well, as normal as can be. If you’re at all familiar with my husband, the bathroom has always been a frequent place for him. He says he does some of his best “thinking” in there. I think it’s in your best interest to avoid the room after he’s vacated it.

At any rate, I decided to leave my 20 year career in radio, for something that provided better work-life balance, and a path to a better financial future. That new career was working out pretty well—selling memberships to the National Federation of Independent Business—despite having a territory that was almost two hours north of home. But then came December and January. That’s generally when many business owners put a death-grip on their spending. Working for straight commission, and putting about 1000 miles on my vehicle each week was taking a toll on the finances, so I decided to pull the plug on that venture.

Toby freaked out, but fortunately, it was only one week before the next opportunity revealed itself. I started working at Wehrs Machine & Racing Products in Bangor on a temporary basis. Being a huge fan of racing, it was a pretty awesome job to have. I was applying like crazy for all kinds of other jobs; landing a few interviews, but nothing ever fell into place.

Timing is everything. Several weeks ago, I received a very random Facebook message from Jen O’Brien at Midwest Family Broadcasting. She inquired if I missed radio, or ever thought about getting back into it again. I have to be honest here; I had no intention of returning to radio again. It wasn’t what I thought I should be doing. I wanted work-life balance and that path to a better financial future. In radio? Please! But I agreed to meet with Jen for lunch at Piggy’s later that week. What could a conversation hurt? Plus, she said she would buy, so of course, I was down with a free lunch!

It’s amazing how when you go into something without expectations, just how incredibly relaxed you can be. That was probably the most enjoyable lunch that I have had with someone that I literally just met. (Other than the surprise of KQ afternoon drive DJ, Rachel Chase & Brittany Styles from Z-93 happening to walk in for lunch and spotting the two of us sitting together, the entire meeting was free of any awkwardness.)

Later, I had the opportunity to have a lunch with Phil Costigan at Big Boar Smoker in West Salem, to get to know him, and see if the two of us thought we would be able to work together. (TWO free lunches?!) We had to wait until after he came back from vacation, but as it turned out, we hit it off pretty easily. I’m convinced that over the course of this new adventure in radio, I will be sampling all kinds of wild game, thanks to Phil.

My point here is that this was a very thorough process, that none of us dove right into; instead we methodically explored it, taking our time to fully consider things. I’m sure there will be people from my past who are going to be upset with my decision, but isn’t that part of the lesson in life? You can’t make decisions based upon what others will think. You have to do what’s best for you.

In the end, I was convinced that it was right for me to venture back into radio. Chad at Wehrs Machine was very understanding, and didn’t insist on a two-week notice, so once we had an agreement struck; it was only a short matter of time.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, and incredibly perceptive, you likely noticed earlier this week that I was suddenly becoming friends with many of the characters here at Midwest Family Broadcasting. I am finding that they are a pretty gregarious and fun bunch. I'm pretty sure that I’m going to like it here.  I’m grateful for the opportunity, and amazed at how life takes such interesting turns. And so, it begins… what was old, is suddenly new again.      ~Jacklyn

Mornings with Phil & Travis: Life Hacks

Got some time to waste in the office today?  Check out some of these life hacks and maybe find something useful.  Check it out HERE