The History of Seymour Swine and “Blue Christmas”

scan0001Dreams don’t always pan out the way we hope… in fact, I’m guessing they don’t most of the time.

In 1985, Sandy and I had dreams of launching an entertainment career.  After “Blue Christmas” had created such a buzz in Charlotte during the 1984 holidays, I was approached by a movie promoter and entrepreneur named Dan Burris.  Dan told us he thought we had a national hit on our hands.

WAIT!!!!  What? – you still don’t own a copy of this holiday “icon?”  Well – just click on Amazon or iTunes below and we can change all that!  For just 99 cents (or what you’d pay for about 3 oz. of latte at some fancy-schmancy coffee shop…) you can own “Blue Christmas” and impress your friends!!

That’s a $1.29 value!!  – Yours for only $.99!  What a deal!



This concludes our shameless self-promotion… now, back to our story….

So on a sticky Carolina afternoon in July ‘85, we met Dan at a popular Charlotte restaurant (Gus’ Sir Beef for you Charlotteans) to discuss that possibility.  The thinking was to first, get the rights to the song from the radio station who played it, then put out a single (a 45 rpm record, not long before those newfangled CDs started showing up).  Through Dan’s tireless efforts, by late October, we had about 20,000 copies pressed, and shipped to record stores (remember those?) throughout the Southeast, ready for the Christmas season.  The first copies (I don’t remember how many) were red vinyl with a pink label.  Traditional black vinyl copies came later.

By the end of Christmas 1985, we had sold a modest 5,500 or so copies of my single – but hey – I was now a recording artist!  Though sales didn’t break any records (pun intended) the song became the #1 requested holiday tune in several major markets like Atlanta, Miami and Nashville!

That’s when the real work started… mostly for Dan.  In early 1986 we recorded an EP (5 songs) at Reflections Studios in Charlotte.  What a blast!  Then Dan (not one for flying) took trains and automobiles to both New York and Nashville, and began diligently shopping the songs to music people:  agents, lawyers and labels.

In late summer 1986, we heard back from the A & R department (those who choose the songs/artists that will be produced) at CBS Records in Nashville.  They left this message on Dan’s answering machine, “We want the pig!”

I was about to get laid off from my construction job, but suddenly, I didn’t care!  I just knew I was moving to Nashville… how ironic.

But here’s where the dream took a hard left turn.

Days after being laid off, we learned that the president of CBS decided against the recording contract.  There was a lot of in-house turmoil, records were being replaced by CDs, and he didn’t feel like taking on a novelty act.

And just like that, we fell off the mountain.  While Dan continued to pursue some pretty big leads, that was as close as we came.  Soon the song made its way all over the country:  Kansas City – Honolulu – Detroit – even Dr. Demento’s show in L.A., where it played once again this year.

Yep, Dan was right – we had a national hit, alright.  In fact since those early days, it has played all over the world.  Places like Kuwait, Iceland, and Australia, to name a few.  We just didn’t get to “ride the wave.”

No, the dream didn’t pan out as intended.  But since hanging out with John-Boy and Billy way back then, I’ve been blessed to entertain and bring laughter to thousands, and “Blue Christmas” has  played only a small part.  I even received a letter once, from a very sick man who used that song to bring laughter- and healing – to his body.  He gives the song credit for helping save his life.  To God be the glory.

Turns out that silly song has done things… I never dreamed of.

And I’m certainly not done dreaming.

Some Very Cold Hump Day Thawts

Mic_Denny-logo3_1920x1080-blackbgBaby it’s cold outside!!

Except for one place we know of… (which ain’t Tennessee!)

Perhaps a little humor can thaw you  out a little… and


even a little Garth? (sorta)

Enjoy!  (indoors only!)  ….Lyrics below…

Well I went outside, and bout froze my hide –                                                                                                 And quickly I slammed the door shut.                                                                                                             Then I really tried, to pick up my stride                                                                                                              And promptly I flopped on my butt                                                                                                                            I hadn’t gone far, ’til I reached my car                                                                                                                   By now I weren’t feelin’ too smart                                                                                                                              I broke the ice free and then turned the key                                                                                                    The flippin’ thing just wouldn’t start!                                                                                                                    So I got stuck in cold places – I got frostbitten toes and a chapped face                                           From a stiff ole breeze, exposed flesh will freeze.                                                                                        (but) we don’t have plows on big salt trucks – So if we wanna drive we’re slap outta luck!     Jist sitting here – in cold places.

Hump Day – 1950’s Style

1950s-dateSay, kids – dating in the 50s was swell!  Because we had those neato grown-ups to warn us about bad stuff – on accounta, bad stuff was bad for ya –

So, here’s a little nostalgia that never really happened, but coulda,  and that woulda been swell.  With advice on kissing, and featuring that crazy new doo-wop group, The Greasetones – gittin’ you over the hump, 50s style… it’s the coolest!

Over the Hump – for …2014!

Mic and Denny action photoLet’s get past the hump of 2014…because, well…

Some years you celebrate – Ring out the old!!

Some years you celebrate that they’re over – Ring in the new!!! Please?

Last week we arrived in Charlotte for Christmas with family – the first without Dad. We had just visited Sandy’s family ties in WV and North Wilkesboro, NC. During which I found out I’d just lost a high school classmate – with whom I had reconnected with in Nashville after many years. He had even helped us move to a new apartment, just 2 months ago.

Upon arriving in Charlotte, we discovered Mom had broken a bone in her foot. The next morn Sandy awoke with the flu. So I fired up the “ambulance” and escorted them to two different walk-in clinics. Since it was Christmas time (read: both were packed) I went to a coffee shop to wait for one of them to emerge from their respective band-aid stations.

Sipping Jamaican Me Crazy coffee, still upbeat in spite being a first responder to my impaired family, I happened upon a young(er than me) couple from Minnesota, in town for the holidays. We had a pleasant, even funny conversation. But as we swapped stories, it became apparent to them that 2014 had been a rough year.

I did my best to not be a Denny-Downer, but by the end of our convo, the young(er) couple and I toasted (roasted?) the new year – may 2015 be a good year!

Indeed, 2014 has been a …”hump.” But rather than weep in my “cup of cheer” – I’ll just focus on what 2014 taught me.   So… In 2014, I learned:

That “Coming Soon” is meaningless. Because “soon” is nebulous.  We need to set goals – with deadlines.

I have Adult A.D.D. Guess I’m way to “mature” to have ADHD. I ain’t exactly “hyperactive” these days – I’m content with just “active.” And for the first time in a few years, I’m shooting for “focused” as well.

It’s never too late to follow a dream. My Sandy is pursuing an MFA. I said, “A WHAT???” She assured me it meant Masters of Fine Arts. Ohhhh… A year from now she’ll have a Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Creative Media. She’ll even be qualified to be a professor. I’m already sewing elbow patches on all her blazers, and she’s learning how to smoke a pipe. But suffice it to say she may not be the youngest student in the program.

to plug into a town, it helps to move into a town. We moved 15 miles from Mt. Juliet to Nashville, TN. It has saved hundreds of miles and several hours of commute already. But more importantly, we have much easier access to all that Music City has to offer. And thus…

When you live in an upstairs apartment, fewer buggy-wuggies visit – guess those stairs are hard for them to climb too.

…Mt. Juliet gets up earlier than Nashville. You can still find bagels at Panera’s after 9am.  Might have something to do with the commute…

that we need to plug in – and people don’t just knock on your door. We’ve always had it easy, apparently. People – and livelihoods have always sought us out. But now, we have to shout above the din of others all wanting piece of the action.

…that when trying to connect – when someone gets your business card – and says that, since they don’t have a card, they’ll email you… don’t take that chance – get their number and arrange to have coffee with them.

As a writer, I learned that in a film script, character is everything: characters will drive the plot, because characters are what we care about. In radio – people like to say that “content is king.” But online – it seems more like “FREE content is king”  …which is great…unless you make your living creating content…. Bu the way – no charge for that little tidbit.

…and even good script writers can get in the bad habit of characters saying each other’s name at the end of every line, Joan. That’s not how real conversations sound, Suzie.  Right, Denny?

…How to grieve the loss of a loved one. In 2014, I lost my Dad, and I lost another aunt..

scan0001But Mom lost her sister and her husband. And I can’t tell you how proud I am of Mom. She could have thrown in the towel. She has Parkinson’s Disease, she’s got issues of her own. But she’s a survivor – always has been – and she’s going to lunch with other ladies. She’s still going to church – and is getting back in the choir. Church members are making sure she gets to practice – since she can no longer drive at night. And she wants to get back to playing the piano. There’s something special about music. But then, I’ve always known that.

How ‘bout you – what did you learn in 2014? I could use the help – maybe you could too.   Let’s help each other get over the hump. I’d love to hear from you – so we can learn from 2014 – good bad or indifferent –let’s get over the hump – let’s make 2014 – a learning experience! Happy New Year!

Over the Hump for December 17

photo(2)As I try to turn myself around…  I’ll try to get you over the hump by just having fun today – with visits from Jefferson T. Ledbetter, a new product from Billy Blaze and a blast from the past – the Morning Show fave – “Elves in Recovery”  Enjoy!





Looking for that Perfect Gift? Well – This Ain’t It

John and Denny cropped

Well – here’s a little beauty from the John & Denny Archives, featuring our former Morning Show assistant Mary Giovannazzo as the Answer Lady at the Toy Suggestion Box…

When looking for that special gift for that little lad on your list – here’s one that really stinks.  Some action figures have had a little too much action….

Get “Blue Christmas” by Seymour Swine! Now!

It’s that time of year again – time to pull out those holiday classics!  AND…

Time for Blue Christmas – by Seymour Swine – this exclusive video tells the real story – and brings you the song that’s been delighting audiences for 30 years!

What? – you still don’t own a copy of this holiday “icon?”  Well – just click on Amazon or iTunes below and we can change all that!  For just 99 cents (or what you’d pay for about 3 oz. of latte at some fancy-schmancy coffee shop…) you can own “Blue Christmas” and impress your friends!!

That’s a $1.29 value!!  – Yours for only $.99!  What a deal!



Where Ya Been, Den?

photo(2)Hey genius – over here… Where ya been???

Yeah, yeah – I know. I guess 2014 has been a, uhh… pivotal year.

Pivotal is a cool word – It’s derived from the Latin, meaning “I couldn’t find a better word and didn’t feel like consulting my thesaurus.”

Anyway, due to the pivotality of this year, I’ve been slack for the past little while in bringing you the entertaining, high-quality content that 10 or 12 of you have come to expect.

…but with good reason… I hope.

As you may know, a very significant event changed my life forever: the death of my dad, Bob Brownlee, Sr., whom I dearly loved, and dearly miss.  I take after him in many ways – my love of sports, my sense of humor, we’re both Caucasian…

And as the days leading up to his departure turned to days of grief (and celebration – he’s home with God!) when he did pass, nothing else mattered quite as much.

And upon coming back to re-pivotate our “real lives” here in Tennessee, Sandy and I already had it in the works to …pivotally move:  from the outskirts of Nashville to becoming bona fide residents of Music City. We’ve now got our new domicile (this time I did check the thesaurus) pretty well settled, and are diving into our “new normal,” …just in time for the pivotational holidays!

They say two of the biggest “stressers” in life are the death of a loved one and moving.  And while I don’t feel any more stressed than usual, things sure became anything but normal.

All this to say – I plan on pivoting back into the swing of things again. And I need to provide some fun and profundity – and build an audience.  I hope you’ll check in with me as I check back into the pivotude of life.  Please consider subscribing to me, and I’ll consider making it worth your while.

And please – tell a friend (your friend.   Mine already knows.)

And thanks for your patience… with my abuse of the word “pivot.”

Celebrate America with Comedy!

Hey Gang – check out some great comedy on iHeart Radio – The July 4th edition of the  Daren Streblow Comedy Show – featuring funny stuff from:
David Pendleton
Riley Armstrong
Chris Rossetti
Brad Stine
John Crist
Jeff Allen
Tim Hawkins
…and that Denny Brownlee guy.
 Just click on the gobblety-gook below….and …ENJOY!!!!

“What’s on the Refrigerator?”

For at least a generation now, it’s been customary to show off our little darlings’ artwork at the epicenter of our homes – the refrigerator.

Yes, somewhere around 1980, pre-historic magnets apparently evolved and crawled up out of the tar pits, seeking a new domicile.  Soon, they mysteriously learned to reproduce, often with cute colorful plastic disguises, like ladybugs, daisies, and letters of the alphabet.  Before we knew it, they became hideous mutations, smearing themselves with advertisements for insurance agents, radio stations, ambulance-chasing lawyers – even churches.

Then, somewhere in the night, they began to attach themselves to everyone’s favorite large appliance.  Their appetites insatiable, they would not be stopped until their demands had been met: that they be used to secure the artwork of tiny hands full of crayons, magic markers and primary-colored paints.

And now, in homes all across this great land, 20-cubic foot Frigidaires everywhere have been adorned with adolescent construction paper masterpieces.

And we’ve just let it happen.  Why?  Because it’s become the standard way of showing the wee ones… that we’re proud of them.

When I was a kid, our refrigerator had one color:  white.  And nothing attached to it – not even fingerprints, let alone finger-paints.  So after I’d channeled my inner-Rembrandt in Mrs. Yando’s kindergarten class, I would then bring home my artwork, get the obligatory positive parental feedback, and… that was that.  I now wonder – how many times did Mom run off, sobbing, “OH!  What shall we do with this masterpiece?  If ONLY there was a way to attach it to the refrigerator!!”

ge2drOld FridgeBut no.  Sadly, my elementary art gallery was never displayed, never anchored by… refrigerator magnets.

Now, looking back, there was one particular crayon-creation of mine that actually made quite a stir.  Though my fellow kindergarteners had pretty much embraced the reality of 26 letters, we still hadn’t learned to use them in conjunction with each other.  But I had a big brother, a dad and a chalkboard at home, so I – unbeknownst to Mrs. Yando – had already learned a bit of reading and writing from Bob 1 and Bob 2.

In this particular “piece,” I had drawn a picture of me, flying out of my playground swing, head first toward the chimney of our house, which of course had black smoke billowing out of it – as if my parents burned tires to keep us warm…  The picture implied that I was going to quickly make a Santa Claus entrance – just in time for supper.  But then – I did the unthinkable….

I wrote something along the bottom.  I wrote, “Oops, I have to go home!”  I wasn’t supposed to know how to do that.  But – thanks to Bob 1 and Bob 2 – I wasn’t Rembrandt… I was Einstein.

They thought I was a genius.  Seriously– my teacher, the principal, the 5th graders who quizzed me like I was some sort of mini-science experiment, all thought I was a prodigy.   They even wanted me to skip straight to second grade – all from one piece of “art!”  (I’m not making this up.)

I’ve since devoted the rest of my life to proving them wrong!!

Obviously, they did get it wrong.  Fortunately, my parents and my brother’s first grade teacher all knew skipping a grade would be a mistake.  Thank God, I didn’t end up in Bob 2’s class …for he’s the real genius.

Fact is, though, we all missed it.  It wasn’t about reading and writing, or art (definitely not about art!)  It was actually… a cartoon; my very first attempt at comedy writing… a pre-indicator of who I was to become.

I’ll bet you had similar experiences – not necessarily ones that got all the academics’ undies in a bunch – but flashes of brilliance may have been vibrant illustrations of who you are – who you would become.  Boy, if only someone had noticed….  Maybe Someone did.

I’ve often wondered – what happened to that picture that stirred up all that commotion?  Where is it now?  Gone forever?  Maybe – but upon asking that question, suddenly a thought popped into my not-so-genius mind.

I’ll bet it’s hanging on God’s refrigerator.  He made me the goofball I am, and that crayon masterpiece was one of the first indications.  And He’s proud of me.

He’s got a big refrigerator and lots of magnets.  So, what’s He displaying there with your name at the bottom?  Write to me – and share them!

Photo by Denis Byrne

Happy Father’s Day!

In fairness to my mom – it’s time to pay tribute to my dad, Bob Brownlee, Sr. 

Dad Pic1














Among many other good things, he was my first barber – so it’s only fair to say that he helped to inspire this barbershop… uh, “gem.” (except the singing part – he’s a good singer!)   Happy Father’s Day, Dad. 

Coincidence? Obedience?

We followers of Jesus love clichés – we have many.

One that you’ll hear on occasion is, “With God there are no coincidences…” or “with God, nothing happens by accident” or the pithier, “Coincidences are just those times when God chooses to remain anonymous.”   Pretty clever, eh?

So, do we believe them – those clichés – whether good or bad the circumstance?

Many of us believe God is sovereign – meaning the Supreme Ruler.  (Frankly I don’t know how He could be God if he wasn’t) So, if He sees all and is in all… (as opposed to the Deist god who created everything then stepped back and said, “You kids play nice – I’m going on permanent vacation to a galaxy far, far away.”)  …if God is involved here and now – and He’s God… then I’m guessing He doesn’t miss a thing.

He misses nothing.  But does He orchestrate everything?  We love to see “the hand of God” (another of our cool clichés) when things turn out really good, but not when things turn out crummy.  Then we like to shake “the fist of man” at Him and say, “Where were You, God?!”  At least I do.

I think the key is our obedience.  And I DON’T mean the jot-and-tittle rigors of committing to the rules of the Bible, then working – striving – failing – confessing – working harder – striving harder – failing anyway – confessing again – working even harder……UGH….

I mean the obedience that applies these words:  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Here, Jesus is saying obedience means:

789px-Young_oxenResting…learning…and resting some more….

If you’ve ever seen a picture of two oxen yoked together, you get it: there is grueling work ahead.  And if they don’t work in perfect harmony, the job becomes incredibly harder.  But what if Jesus is the other ox…?

So I recently obeyed that voice.  I go to a terrific men’s breakfast twice a month.  Since I’m making little income, I told my friend Lyle I couldn’t afford to go.  He said “I’ll buy your breakfast.”  I said, “But there’s also gas, tips… I can’t afford it anymore.”  He said, “I think you need to be with the brothers.”

Sandy said the same thing.  So I laid my clothes out the night before, (attending  requires me to arise at 5:30 to get to the other side of Nashville in time for chow.)  I laid them out in case I heard God saying I should go.

Next morning I awoke before the alarm…and I hear, “Get up Den.  I want you to go…”

I went – and a new guy sat at our table.  He was energetic, funny, and we bonded immediately.  I reached out to him after, gave him a business card – I didn’t want to lose track of him. He said he’d email me.  Often that well-intended email never arrives.

His did – an hour later.  In it, he invited me to a very exclusive prayer meeting at a remote little stone chapel.

I went – and found myself surrounded by incredibly godly men – true pillars of faith in the heart of a Bible-belt city.  I thought, “What am I doing here with these spiritual giants?”  There were 12 in attendance.  So I felt like Matthias – he was the new 12th disciple, voted into the apostle club after Judas Iscariot screwed up his membership.  But they included me, we sang, prayed, had communion, then prayed over individuals and their needs.

I got prayed over – with hands laid on me, I felt the fervent prayers of eleven righteous men.

So I kept in touch with the energetic guy who invited me.  Soon after, I visited his office.  This was the man to whom I said, “You’re like me.”  Then he told me he has ADD.

Because of that encounter, I’ve read, studied, taken tests, got recommended to a shrink, and now have the meds that might help put my life back on track – and maybe I’ll even be able to earn a living again.

Coincidence?  Obedience?   I submit: both.  Because I obeyed – and attended the breakfast – all the rest happened “coincidentally.”  They would not have happened had I not obeyed.

“Coincidences are just those times when God chooses to remain anonymous, and we choose to be obedient.”   Pretty clever, eh?


Photo courtesy of:  Wikimedia Commons

Mic and Denny say Happy Birthday, Donald!

A cartoon icon – Donald Duck – turns 80 today – On June 9, 1934 – Walt Disney’s famous duck made his first appearance (as a bit player) on film — in “The Wise Little Hen”. Donald went on to quack his way into mischief and stardom in over 100 cartoons and features.  Here’s Mic and Denny’s “exclusive interview” with Donald and his closest buddy.










Daddy Take the Wheel

1962 – We lived on a major highway, between Flint and Lansing, Michigan.  It’s now part of Interstate 69.  But at the time, it was a state highway called M-78.  Four lanes – divided – populated by swift 4-wheeled steel titans – some sporting fins on the back that garishly displayed the taillights; with the newer ones having abandoned those “heights of automotive fashion – for 1959.”  Yes, this divided four-lane concrete ribbon displayed Detroit’s finest products of the day – at 65 mph.

Ours was a 1960 Dodge.  The fins had already been dialed back from the previous year.  But with its big chrome bumpers and massive beige finished doors and fenders, the giant passenger tank loomed large – but didn’t exactly turn heads.

1960 Dodge Dart-cropped








And from a five-year-old’s vantage point, the Beige Bomber seemed even more immense.

Now, when you live on a four-lane divided highway, and you’re just a little tyke, Rule Number One is:  “No playing in the front yard!”  We had several ample neighborhood backyards that were safe.  So- no front yard – the front yard was dangerous – it could get you killed… by Mama.

As a good mom, she put the “fear of God” into us about playing near the road.  So it never happened.  It’s like we had one of those invisible fences – there was a “maternal force field” that kept us behind the house.  I never did find out what our front door looked like from the outside.

So by default, we learned to respect both the highway, and the lumbering semi-trucks and speeding automobiles it bore.

Now, Daddy was a professional driver, delivering a truck full of cookies each day to stores all over Mid-Michigan (Yep, my Daddy was the Cookie Guy – there’s nothing cooler when you’re five years old!)  So when we actually did take to the road in our ’60 Dodge – we always felt safe – Daddy was behind the wheel – and Daddy was a professional.

So it was more than a little unnerving when Daddy thought it would be fun for the boys to drive the car!  As she clutched baby Rhonda, Mama made it clear – she did not share in Daddy’s amusement.

That never stopped Daddy.  He pulled off to the shoulder and put Bobby on his lap.  No worries about seat belts… don’t think we had any.  With no traffic in sight, Daddy pushed the pedal and Bobby steered onto M-78, becoming the youngest driver in Michigan.

Until it was my turn.  Of course, Bobby did a great job, and now, somehow I was supposed to equal his effort.  But c’mon!  Bobby was a whole six, fer cryin’ out loud!  And knowing him, he’d probably already read the driver’s training manual and aced the test!

I was afraid… but sibling rivalry wouldn’t let me fully express it.  Daddy pulled off again and Bobby and I swapped places.  Okay, sitting on Daddy’s lap – that was cool…and grabbing the steering wheel – well we’d done that before – playing “racecar” in the driveway.  But then, Daddy pushed the pedal.

We…were…moving!  I was scared spitless, and knowing me, I’m sure I voiced my concerns in no uncertain terms.   But then…

It got a little easier… I relaxed a little.  So then Daddy sped up, and a curve was coming, and I didn’t really know how to steer!  This isn’t fun!  Daddy, I’m scared!

Ever felt like that little guy behind the wheel?  Me, too.  Even now.  Life comes at you – territory you’ve never navigated before –but you’re supposed to plow ahead, all by yourself, gripping a steering wheel with fear and trembling – because it’s all up to you.  And just when it gets a little easier, a little comfortable, life steps on the gas – and throws a curve into your path – hang on –we’re in serious danger!!!

We were never in any danger.  Daddy had just been allowing Bobby and me to sit in the driver’s seat. And learn not to be afraid.  To understand – and trust – that he was still in control.  Daddy had the wheel the whole time.  My eyes, my thoughts, my focus, my worries – everything told me that it was up to me – that I – and I alone – had to keep this all from crashing – my family’s life was in my little bitty hands.

But if I could have peeled my eyes off the road ahead – for just a second – I could have seen that Daddy had his mighty hand on the wheel, too.

Instead of being on our own while life is racing full-speed ahead, the reality is, we’re safely sitting in the lap of a Daddy who loves us.

And lets us steer once in a while.

Photo courtesy of Randy von Liski

1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix 4-Door Hardtop (2 of 9)


My ADD update…focus…focus

So, if you’re wondering how that whole ADD verdict went.  Here ya go.

On April 22, I posted that I’m pretty sure it’s a major player in my inability to gain traction in my life.  I have had a decent measure of success through the years, and to be floundering at this stage of my life is very difficult to admit.  But I do admit it – in the hopes that if my story sounds familiar to someone, maybe that someone will check into it for himself (or herself – though this seems to be about 3:1 guys more than gals.)

After visiting my new friend and seeing the amazing similarities in how we process information – and how we don’t – I got the book he recommended and devoured its 360 pages in four days.  My motivation SO outweighed my lack of focus, that I went into “hyperfocus.”  On a test of 20 questions, according to Sandy – I scored on 18 of 20 in favor of ADD.  Pretty much confirmed… yup.

We contacted our primary doctor – who recommended a psych clinic – who got me in on that same Saturday.  I spent an hour filling out a questionnaire, and spent a good bit of time with a doctor.  My first concern was, “How often do you guys treat adult ADD?”

“All the time,” came the response.  It seems there’s a ton of (mostly guys) my age who were never diagnosed as kids (the diagnosis didn’t exist.) So now these intelligent, often creative guys are walking into psych clinics wondering why their heads feel like human popcorn-poppers.


I liked and trusted the good doctor.  He was pretty convinced, and wrote me a prescription for Adderall.  He told me to start with half the dosage prescribed, and see how that does.  I filled it, and have now been on the drug for a couple weeks.

For those of you who expressed great concern about medication, including a counselor friend from another state who spent over an hour on the phone with me making sure I understood what I’m working with, I say “Thank you.”  I don’t take  the use of drugs lightly.  When everyone else was indulging in the 70’s, I was the kid who was afraid of drugs.  And Sandy’s brother died at 37, much of his problems stemming from prescription drugs.  So believe me when I say I don’t take this lightly.

Yet – a part of me was thrilled – thrilled – at the possibility there might finally be an answer.

I took the first pill before breakfast.  Since moving three years ago, Sandy and I have spent our breakfast time reading faith-based material.  Some call it devotional time.  I always read aloud, for two reasons.  One, as a voice actor, it’s good practice to read aloud each day.  And two, my mind doesn’t wander as much if I’m doing the reading (uh, that should have been a clue, eh?)  As a voice actor, reading well is essential – yet it’s the weakest part of my game.  My eyes skip around, my brain gets ahead of my mouth, and I trip over the words…often.

But not that morning.  After we finished discussing the content, Sandy said, “Do you realize – that in reading this morning – you didn’t make one mistake?”

“Yeah… I sure do.”  And immediately…

To say that I wept, is putting it far too mildly.  I broke down and sobbed for probably a full minute.  I don’t ever recall doing that.  My constipated brain was releasing years of pent up toxins.  My head was throbbing when I finally caught my breath.  And then I was calm…and focused.  For the next two hours I wrote comedy – without wandering – without stopping.  In fact I’ve probably written more in the past two weeks than in the last several months.  And I’ve found a morsel of the one thing I’ve lacked more than anything….


My confidence has been shaken to its foundations over what’s taken place these three years.  The ADD book says that lack of confidence is a classic symptom – for with the utter frustration of constantly falling short of your own expectations, it feeds on itself – The vicious beast who says, “You didn’t – you won’t – you can’t.”

I want to kill that beast more than I can express.  And for the first time in a long while, I’m saying “I can” again.  It’s hard to write humor when you ain’t feelin’ it.  I’m starting to feel it again.  I know it’s early in the game, and there’s still much to be made up for – but for the moment…




The Mic and Denny Show – Snippit in a Minute








Time for the first of many:   Mic and Denny’s Snippit in a Minute!  Fun – in 60 seconds or less!    For Tuesday May 27                                                                                                                                                                         

You can download “Allergies”

Don’t Forget!!!

“Allergies” isTulips in Spring-cropped available on iTunes!

If you’re so inclined, I would dearly love for you to download it – for just 99 cents – heck – that’s about the same cost as a coffee cup (not a cup of coffee – just the empty cup…)

And yet – your download could help feed our imaginary children… and I imagine they eat quite a bit!

Just search the iTunes music store for  Allergies – Denny Brownlee – then look for the DEADLY, hideous picture you see above – Or just copy and paste this link: 

– and you’re there!!!

Enjoy!  And THANK YOU very much!  

With Joy,



A Matter of Perspective

Several years ago I gave myself a minor challenge.  We lived in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  Very scenic indeed.  Big hills – deep valleys… hmmm… quite  metaphorical, don’tcha think?

It was my birthday, but very mild for the end of January, almost no snow (shocking!)  Across the road from us was one of those big hills.  The crest of which was 600 feet higher than our yard (BIGGGG hill)Steep hill

For my “workout” that day, I decided to climb to the top.  (“The bear went over the mountain – to see what he could see…” “What do you think he saw…?”)  Well, he had to get there first…

When I said “climb” – I had no idea how literal that word would be.  It was way steeper than I realized.  My climb became very strategic.  Find a flat spot, gather my bearings, and plan how I would get the next few feet.  I would grasp a tree trunk to pull myself up, then anchor my feet against its base, or rest my back against the up-side of it to keep from losing ground – or even tumbling back down.

Then rinse and repeat.

Along the way, I saw a few deer trails – flat, narrow little highways that stretched like horizontal ribbons of chocolate syrup across a mini-mountain of ice cream.

Rocky road ice cream, of course.

And I could tell they were deer highways – they had… rest areas, if you know what I’m saying.

Onward and upward… ever slower.  Some of the toughest terrain was near the top – steeper, fewer trees to cling to.  More metaphor…

But I made it.  Took almost half an hour.  But when I got there…

(“What do you think he saw-aww, what do you think he saw…?”)

Looking to the north I could see Keuka Lake – one of the Finger Lakes.  Keuka LakeThe southern tip of it was about six miles from my house, but from that perspective, I could see several miles of its length – and the beautiful valley that led to it.

I just stood and surveyed, feeling a bit “Lewis and Clark.”  Wow.  By climbing 600 feet, I had gained several miles of perspective.  Talk about metaphorical!

Climbing much harder than I’d planned, encountering obstacles I didn’t expect, thus problem solving along the way, I had reached my goal – and gained a whole new perspective.

Sheesh – I’m starting to sound like Zig Ziglar or something… but these are words I need to hear myself say…

Real reflections …of a scenic scenario …full of meaningful metaphor.

Habakkuk 2:1 says, “What’s God going to say to my questions?… I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how he’ll answer…”

I’m coming to believe that, if faith is “being assured of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,” then perhaps we need to climb up a little higher – and scan a bigger horizon – expecting to see His plan – to see what we’re hoping for…

And please – it’s NOT that the higher and harder we climb, the more we earn His favor.  No no no!!!  Please don’t think that’s what I’m saying!!!  Let the legalists settle for earning their “hill-climbing” merit badges.

Climbing up a little higher just makes it easier it is to scan the horizon…

…and perhaps, easier to find His answers?  “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?”

Let me know what you think.

And I’ll let ya know how it goes.

But for now, I’ll grab a tree, pull myself up, and “see what I can see.”

April Fools and the Easter Basket


Why be foolish once this month when you can do it twice!   A visit from my friend Dr. Philbetter (that’s 1) leads us to a tale of hostility in an Easter Basket (that’s 2).  Featuring Bob Price, Sandy Brownlee, John Owens, and Randy Snavely in an Easter Basket Playhouse  (enjoy foolishly)




St. Patrick’s Day in Miss Dumpler’s Class

Hump day is a day late and a shamrock short for St. Patty, but never too late for a wee bit o’ blarney.  A blast from the past, it’s a St. Patrick’s Day Morning Show Playhouse from days gone by.  John and Denny early days MS Playhouse- Randy Sandy and Denny Featuring a cast of real characters –

John Owens as the perennial and full grown 1st grader Bobby;

Myself as 1st grade smart-aleck Joey;

Randy Snavely as the barely-house broken 1st grader Jimmy;

All taught by Miss Dumpler, played by Sandy Brownlee






Someone We All Need – to Get Over the Hump!

Mic_Denny-logo3_1920x1080-blackbgWith everyone’s favorite Hump day (tax day ) looming – Here’s how I spell relief:  B-o-b.


When Genius Brother talksIn fact everyone needs one of these!  A tribute to my brother – whose birthday I recently let slip by.    And hoping that flattery will help him feel like doing my taxes again this year!

Because as you can see, when Bob points – people take note.