Easily one of the most iconic Halloween themed videos of all time! According to billboard.com and Nielsen "it's the most downloaded Halloween-themed hit of all time"! Check out The Top 10 Halloween Songs from Billboard.com
It's looking pretty good that Monday morning we'll fire this thing up and hear how it goes. I do know this, it will be much better than the last time you heard me, Oct 9th. At the same time I know it won't be perfect, or as Producer Jimmy says "restaurant quality." It will likely sound like me, but with a very bad cold. But there are things I can do to compensate, without being painful to listen to. Like talking a little/lot less. I'm sure you're in favor of that!
My latest BIG appointment, a more intense Videostroboscopy, was not the slam dunk that I had hoped. The latest conclusion from the Ear, Nose and Throat specialists is that my throat was attacked by a virus (we knew that), but one which they likened to Bells Palsy, only instead of making my face droop, it messed with my left vocal fold (Wikipedia it for a diagram). Which means it doesn't work in tandem with the right, giving me a bad rasp. But it is doing so much better than it was a month ago, as I hope you will hear. The left is not closing properly, but there is now only a slit for an opening, where it was probably much worse when it happened. And being on the air did not make it worse…it was happening anyway, even if I had been doing something completely different. So it's on the mend, and I'm trying to do things to help it along.
If I have any success at sounding like myself on Monday, it is very much due to Karen Bunce, my Speech Therapist at Buffalo Therapy Services on Flint Rd across from the Marriott. In just 3 sessions, she has given me hope that I can be back to normal in due time. From day one of her teaching me lip trills, breathing exercises, tongue stretches, and laryngeal massages, to someone wanting to speak, she has been nothing less than an angel. Except when she shoves her finger on the back of my tongue to massage the hot points. Sounds disgusting, I know, but when your tongue has receded into the throat to protect the damaged vocal fold, you gotta do some odd things to get it loosened.
If you have ANY need for a speech therapist, they can help with so many things from constant sore throats, to helping you perform better when addressing crowds, Karen Bunce is the FIRST person I would try to see. Soooo worth the co-pay! As I write this, in 3 sessions over 6 days, she has taken me from not speaking at all to sounding, well, like you will hear on Monday. Which at times could really be pretty good. And when it's not, she'll be texting me saying "Breath from your diaphragm…slow down a bit…and do your lip trills to center your voice next time, Bozo!" She has permission to call me that.
I'll try to explain as much as I can on Monday, without junking up the morning w medical talk. I'd much rather play music, and give away cool concert tix. Talk then…would love to hear from you on The Star Lines Monday…have 644-1025 in your contacts! Oh...American Authors will be joining us in studio a little after 12 Noon! #CantWait!
We've all been there, the 3pm slump hits you hard as you head to the vending machine for those BBQ Chips that have been calling your name all afternoon. Instead of going for a salty treat, try these5 Office-Friendly Snacks that will help revive your day!
Still scrambling around trying to figure out what your pet should be for Halloween? You're in luck! This super cuteList of Pet Costumes is hilarious and will brighten up your day! Personal favorite is the Sushi Cat!
In the age where album sales are declining and the future of the music industry is a little more than cloudy, consistently the Foo Fighters can be counted on to sell millions of albums and pack arena shows. They are turning heads with the release of their new album and documentary series on HBO, "Sonic Highways." Each episode of the 8 part docu-series features the musical heritage of an American city. The album mimics the same idea with each track being recorded in a different US city. And in case you were wondering... yes you can buy "Sonic Highways" on vinyl!
Anderson Cooper caught up with Foo's lead singer Dave Grohl for 60 Minutes, an inside glimpse on how the Foo Fighters are managing to keep rock 'n' roll alive!
Had an appointment on Thursday. It went about as I thought it would.
The doctor feels that with another week to heal and getting some exercises/lessons with a speech therapist/pathologist, I will be much closer to returning to work. There is a definite target date, but I won't be sharing it. Probably MUCH sooner than you think…you'll just have to listen to STAR EVERY morning to find out…and I know you already do that!
I'm being as aggressive as I can, starting speech therapy tomorrow at 11am, and will probably have multiple appointments next week.
What I have is officially called dysphonia. Monday morning I will undergo a videostroboscopy...a more intense look at my throat/larynx...just to rule out any pathological problems. I'm so joyously looking forward to having more wires angled through my nose and into my throat. Are you enjoying your breakfast/lunch/dinner?
I am certainly making progress every day, and will have a better look at how far along I am after meeting with the vocal therapist tomorrow.
Thanks to Sue O for getting up at 4am for one more week (Napa is looking sooooo good to her right now), and to my producers for keeping the blogs and tweets rolling (though they could tweet more…) They need to remind me of the work they have put in next time I get cross with them. "Get cross?" Yes, I've been watching far too much Downton Abbey. Almost done with Season 2! Semi-binge watching! And we now have a dressing gong that sounds when it's nearing dinner time!
Not a lot to report, other than I sound kind of close to what I do after screaming all day at a Bills game. Which is a huge improvement over where I was, but not consistently good enough to be on the radio. But at least I don't have to work at speaking anymore, words come out easily, but not with the fullness of voice I need. See the rollercoaster ride that this is? With every positive, still many hurdles to jump.
But I've still got time to go, to hit the new return to work target date that I have mentally given myself (you gotta have goals!) A lot of time to heal. So until then it's pretty much silence, and a MAJOR appt. with the Ear, Nose and Throat docs on Thursday, that I assume will go a long way in determining when I can come back to work. I'll probably be working with a speech pathologist along the way, regardless of how things turn out. I'll check in with that story at some point Thursday/Friday.
Funny last story: In my last blog, I spoke of my wife and reflexology having a great effect on me. I had a dentist appt. yesterday, with work being done on 3 teeth that have been problems for me for about 6 months. When my wife looked up the teeth I had drilled/filled/resined/shaved, they ALL had strong connections to the larynx, sinus, and neck, my problem areas! Crazy! And yes, there is a reflexology map of dental/teeth & body connections just the same as there is for feet.
Coincidence? Maybe. But If I wake up tomorrow (Wednesday as I write this) and have my voice back, I don't think so…
There are sooo many sides of Tara Sanborn wife of Bills LS Garrison Sanborn. If you remember last year on The Better Half Of The Bills she announced she was pregnant and now their baby girl is 7 months old! We also had no idea that Tara is a Speech Pathologist (maybe she can help Rob out!) Check out the interview
If you follow me on Twitter, @roblucas2, you saw a pretty excited tweet from me about waking up with MY REAL VOICE on Monday. Absolutely true, and so happy for it to happen. But keep in mind, the big progress will be when my voice stays intact for at least a few hours, and then all day. And from there we can work on getting it broadcast ready. It's one thing to talk normally for a short period of time. But to get it to project and last for 4 hours on-air, is another matter. That's what we're striving for.
I've done a pretty good job staying quiet…which is very tough now that I'm seeing progress. It's only natural to see how far you can push it, but you don't want to undo anything that the vocal rest has helped. So laying low for a few more days is job #1. Big medical appt on Thursday…wanna make sure that I'm as good as I can be for the specialists. Thanks for your thoughts and support.
Great quote relayed from one of my wife's friends:
"Everyone wants a magic bullet, but not everyone believes in magic."
I really didn't have a lot to report in this latest Rob Lucas No Voice Social Media Tour update…until Sunday morning. The past few days have been nothing special for voice recovery…two steps forward, one step back. Glimmers of progress between long periods of silence, and a voice that sounded only slightly better than a week ago.
But on Sunday morning, I spoke a clear sentence, actually a few sentences, with very little rasp, and total clarity. It wasn't close to my voice, but it was a communicable voice, that wasn't breathy or forced. It had bottom and more depth. Pretty incredible! I was so excited to have some bottom end and not get out of breath while saying things, that I started to blurt out the bass line of Marky Mark's "Good Vibrations". You know…bumb bumb BUMB bumb, bumb bumb BUMB BUMB! Did it about 3x till my wife correctly told me to shut up and let my larynx heal more! And then it was back to silence, with a few blurbs here and there. And yes, I know doing the Marky Mark thing is something Phil on Modern Family would do. Most days seems like I'm either pulling a "Phil" or a "Sheldon" (Big Bang Theory). So that was the highlight of the weekend…along with discovering that I like receiving Reflexology, which I think has really helped with my weekend improvement.
My wife is working towards her Reflexology certification, along with continuing her studies for massage therapy, and practicing and teaching Reiki (she is a Reiki Master).
While she was performing reflexology on my feet, which I found TOTALLY relaxing (which is odd for me, I can't lay still for more than 10 minutes), everything was great 'til she got to the gap between my first toe and big toe. Incredibly painful…sensitive to the touch around the base and inside of my big toe, which in reflexology is officially called the "GREAT TOE." "Interesting," she said regarding my pain in that area. "That's where your throat/neck area is on your feet. All connected to where you are in pain."
Pretty amazing…she didn't say anything beforehand about how she would be working on my feet or why. So she continued to really work on the bad areas leading to my throat/larynx.
About an hour after the reflexology session, I spoke an incredibly clear and unforced response to something she asked. I don't think it was a coincidence, especially because since then she has been performing min-reflexology sessions on my pain areas, and each time there has been noticeable improvement, even if just for a short period. Pretty cool!
More thoughts since the last time I checked in:
Being able to project…to be heard in another room, or downstairs to upstairs. Not doing it much, but it's nice when it happens without force.
Knowing that after such a long period of no change, things are getting better. My sneezes are even starting to sound more normal…more human like, not like they are taxing my throat, or a cat sneeze, which they were.
Not being able to leave the house without a pile of post it notes and a pen. Try doing research on cellphones and data plans without speaking…only writing short notes to the salesperson. It can be done…but very clunky.
Not having CONSISTANT vocal recovery. Sounding better in the morning in no way means you will sound as good in the afternoon…even after not speaking all day. I still just wanna hope that someone will throw a switch while I'm sleeping, and I'll wake up all good to go. But it just doesn't happen that way.
If you care at all about what you do for a living, every day you're away from work makes you feel a little less like a part of the team. I've heard so many athletes say the exact same thing…being injured and just standing around watching is the worst. I can identify. You feel awful not being able to contribute. But I do feel better about it after getting some much support from everyone last week.
Even though we've had some progress, and I know there is a whole lot worse that I could be going through, it's still very disconcerting to not know just when my voice will be radio-quality, and how close to my "real voice" it will be.
On tap this week, more silence and vocal rest, with a major follow-up with the Ear Nose and Throat specialists on Thursday, which will probably show if there is a need for a further look at my larynx through a Videostroboscopy. Sounds appetizing. Let's hope we make progress BIG TIME between now and then.
Talk soon. Get it????
Hundreds of local restaurants are participating in Local Restaurant Week. Most restaurants are offering meals for $20.14 and up! Check out the list of participating restaurants here. They've even got a great promo jingle "I'm So Hungry"
Sweetest Day is tomorrow (October 18th). Here are some great, inexpensive ideas for celebrating with your loved ones, relatives and close friends from TheNest.com. I know I wouldn't mind some chocolates tomorrow!
I tried talking yesterday (Wednesday). Was ok for a sentence or 3 at home. Went to work for the first time in a week. Yes, there is a lot we do in radio behind the scenes, that you can accomplish and help with, even without a voice. Had a sit down with Sue O'Neil to catch up. Warbled a few things. Not good. Alright, I know the doctor said up to 14 days to heal my throat, and this is only day 6. But anyone who knows me, knows that If you ask me to do something within 2 weeks, I'll get it done in half that time. But it seems this one is out of my control. Running silent for the next few days (again) and hoping we can make up time in the air (thank you airline pilots for that little gem).
But going to work was A HUGE thing for me. I cannot thank my co-workers enough for their support. Among the first two people I saw were morning show Producers Alex and Brandi. Gave them both hugs. Almost wanted to cry…unable to speak to them. Totally unlike me to do that. When it comes to hugs, and many other things, I'm like Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. I know there is SO much worse that could be happening than being unable to speak, but there is a camaraderie among morning show people, especially in radio, that can't be explained. You often spend more time in one room talking to them than you do your family. That's why they are like family. But they shouldn't get too excited. I hugged Roger Christian too. Hard. Being without alcohol and complex sugars for 10 days will make you VERY sentimental.
And when I sat down to catch up with Sue, the support she gave me, and the stories of listeners being concerned and asking about me at PINK PARTY and our WINEMAKERS DINNER (I've NEVER missed events like that before…I LIVE for those hosting gigs) really were pretty incredible. I've always tried to maintain an even keel and realistic perspective, that instead of thinking I was some hot-damn media personality, thinking that what I do for a living is nice, but in the reality of the real world, not the most important job. But wow, your thoughts and responses, as relayed through Sue and as I've read on Facebook and on this blog page, have been humbling, and inspiring! In return, I hope to inspire you with a few thoughts, even if I'm not on the air.
Thanks to all who read my incredibly long Monday blog post. As my wife said, "That's not a blog, that's a book! I had to take a break in the middle of it!"
Since my wife is tired of deciphering my notes, I've gone to the Downton Abbey style of communication. Whenever I want something, I ring for her. Drives the dog crazy.
How come the dog on Downton Abbey never ever acts up? 20 visitors for dinner, the dog jumps on no one. Follows Lord Grantham at a lissruley pace down the stairs. You know real dogs would bound down and bounce at the bottom saying "Let's go!"
I am seriously thinking of learning sign language. Seems like it would come in handier than learning Italian (I've tried French…too tough). And I will NEVER again question why they have to have a sign language person at major speeches/events. C'mon…tell the truth…we've all made fun of that. Not any more from this corner.
The way you can rate the place you work is how well they will support you in times of challenge. I'm proud of my workplace. (But I still wish I was paid more…who doesn't?)
Back to eating better and not drinking. I cannot tell a lie…I would trade my dog/wife/car/house for a Black Russian right now. Or all for GlenLivet 12. Not really. Maybe.
Not talking has made me a better listener. You would say "of course, you have no choice." But it doesn't work that way. It's made me REALLY listen to what people say, and ALL of it, before I react. And think about word conservation when I do, because it takes time to write it down. In radio, we are trained to react as quickly as possible, lest you get slow and boring to your audience, and sometimes listening can take a back seat. Good to revisit. Finally, I wonder if Alan Pergament cursed me. About a month ago he wrote of me in the Sunday Buffalo News "one of the best voices on the radio," or something close to it. And now, the voice is gone. Hmmmm. I've always had a good professional relationship with Alan. Anyone who has him for a professor at one of the colleges he teaches at is getting top-flight instruction. But I do wonder...Hey Alan, can we test this out…say something nice about Sandy Beach's voice!
From a $17,000 Waterford Crystal Desktop Bar (that's what Rob is getting Sue O...don't tell her!) to blinged up iPhone cases for less than $50, the just released Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalog has something for the Secret Santa on your list!We've got you linked to the INDULGE page...where the good stuff is!
Jill Williams wife of Bills DT Kyle Williams never ceases to amaze us! If you've been following our Better Half interviews over the past few years you know that Jill, Kyle and family are totally into Halloween! This year they're dressing up as the birds from the movie Rio! Check out the interview here --->
"Do we have duct tape?" That's the immediate response my wife gave when the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist asked "Can you go 7-10 days without talking?" Funny. But I couldn't really grasp the hilarity of the response when I was busy with a winding laryngoscope down my nose and into my throat/voicebox area.
That was last Thursday at 1:30. Since then I've done pretty well at not talking. And you might think whispering would be ok. Nope, just the opposite. It's worse for your voice than regular speech…or trying to speak normally!
You've probably noticed I've been on-air only 3 days of the past 10. 3 off those off-days were by design, planned vacation. Which was miserable, as I spent it on meds, hoping that a Z-Pak and Prednisone from my primary doctor would help out. It did, for about a day. But after about a half hour of regular voice use…nothing. You probably heard what it was like along the way. Sorry you had to put up with that. But when I would wake up, the voice seemed fine. After about 15 minutes…gone. So after a week of meds and semi-vacation, and no results, my main Doctor immediately got me into a specialist. Thanks to the staff at Dr. Allyn Norman's office for the quick action and making all the calls to get me into a specialist next day.
They scoped my throat thru my nose. Not pleasant. Though it's a super common procedure, of course I whined. Dr. Christina Pagano said "little kids have no problem with this. Are you o.k? You're sweating a bit." Which made my wife immediately like the doctor. So after she had me make all sorts of sounds (low range "EEEEEEE's" and hi range "HE HE HE's" almost like Michael Jackson would), while the doc is looking at my cords up close, we find they are all good, no polyps or lesions, but VERY rough. A lot of capillaries near the top, when they should be more buried. The cords all move, which is huge, but they need total rest. You know how sometimes an artist will cancel from 2 weeks to a month of touring due to having to rest the voice? This is pretty much the same thing. Only it's for talking, and it should come back a lot faster. Emphasis on should.
How did it happen? Like in your office, everyone at STAR and Entercom alley has been sick. While I was off on vacation. I saw our web guy did a facebook post of the sign on his office telling people to "enter at your own risk, been sick 5 days, and can't shake it." That's what the building has been like. While most had a bad cold/flu/shakes/dizziness/crappy overall feeling, I got none of that. It seems I had a very bad virus without the flu/cold side effects, and when I kept trying to work through it, it just got worse through over-straining and trying to force it. And the doctors could only tell how bad it was when it failed to respond to the meds.
So It really needs rest...I am not to talk AT ALL…not even try to see if it's better 'til maybe Wednesday, and even then if it's better, shut up and get a few more days of vocal rest. It's possible I could be out till mid the following week, but my gut tells me I'll be ready to go by next weekend. After that, it's back to the specialist, get scoped again, and depending on how I do, see if I need to see a speech therapist to coach me on better ways of using my voice. I'm all for that!
The somewhat scary part is, I don't want to be going to a therapist because my voice is permanently damaged, and I have to learn to work with what I have. That has happened to more people than you know of, including former Bengals Head Coach and Bills QB coach Sam Wyche.
So how is it going without talking? Like anything, it' really tough until you get into a groove. The first 24 hours were really rough…my wife was sick of my pantomime when asking something. She also now knows the bain of my producers existence…trying to figure out my scribbled notes. Very often when we're on-air, I'm handing producer's pieces of paper and saying "make sure this tweets at 7:15", only to have them say "I can only read 2 words of this." Ok…they and my wife have a point about my scribble.
And as far as conditioning yourself to not talk, at first you almost end up clenching your jaw tight all the time, like someone on the stand trying not to tell a lie. But then you learn to relax, let air flow through your mouth as normal. And it becomes second nature that you simply can't talk. Until you have to do something like getting gas. Not being able to just walk in say "20 dollars on pump 7" is really frustrating. I've found it's better to write it out on a piece of paper in the car beforehand, rather than do goofy pantomime in front of a bunch of customers, and have to explain what's wrong.
Oh, and I went to the store Sunday morning to get the paper and some bagels. Only about 6 people said "Good Morning", and I felt like an idiot only being able to nod back. Usually I HATE casual conversation at checkout. Just take my money, give me my stuff, don't pretend that you really care about my life, I certainly don't care about yours, and let me go home. But this has changed me a bit. NOT being able to respond has made me appreciate little things like saying "Hi" a bit more. I bet that will last a good week before I go back to "Just take my money and let me go home!"
So that's what's going on, and this is my plight 'til further notice. Everything will be back to normal, probably sooner than I think. But there is a part of me that's a little concerned. Not scared, but concerned. Wondering about Wednesday or Thursday morning when I give talking a go. What will come out? Mickey Mouse squeeks? Full voice and being able to project? Half a voice? Nothing better than what I've had for the past week? The not knowing is the worst part. But I'm confident.
This week will fly by…except for Sue O'Neil who can't wait to get to Napa at the end of the month...thanks Sue for waking up early and cracking the whip on my producers. When you're not exactly sure how long you'll be doing someone else's shift for, it makes it a little tougher. I rarely take sick days, but when I do, I seem to make it big, hospitalization, blood clots, no voice! And thanks to my Producers. The only thing that could make them happy to see me, is a couple of weeks of having to work with the boss of us all!
I'll be checking in every so often with updates…maybe just some things that pop into my head. Last thought for this blog…something I've been thinking, and my wife said out loud yesterday.
We've never played charades, and that's good, because we would be the WORST TEAM EVER! Like how can she NOT know, that when I point DOWN, then make a church steeple with my hands (like a kid would) followed by the #1, it means "Do you want to watch Downton Abbey Season 1 on DVD tonite?" Makes total sense to me...
Tony Bennett is topping the charts with his new album Cheek To Cheek featuring Lady Gaga, but the 88 year old jazz singer seemed to forget the lyrics to 'God Bless America' during the seventh inning stretch at the San Fransico Giants & Washington Nationals playoff game. People are cutting Bennett some slack, all that matters is that he is still out there performing!
What if we told you that Cyndi Lauper's famous 80's hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was originally written and performed by a man?! Yes that's right!! Thanks to VH1 we now know that some of our most beloved songs were copied! Most of these songs may surprise you, unless your a total music-head... Check out the full list of 20 Famous Songs You Had No Idea Were Covers.
If you haven't already thought about your holiday shopping you may want to check out the following articles keep in mind there are a few things you might not want to buy this month! Check out Business Insider's list of the Bestand Worst things to buy during October!