Thursday, December 13, 2007

DAAAAAY-VAD, LEEEEEEE

I went to my first professional basketball game with the hoop-savvy Mugwatch on Wednesday night and I'm still wondering why the New York Knicks employ the Monopoly guy as their court-side announcer.

(in monocle and top hat): "A THREEEEE POINT-AH! NAAAAAAAATE ROBINSON!!!!"

followed, of course, by:

"AND REMEM-BAH TO BUY WAR BONDS AND BEAT BACK THE NAZZIES!!!"

Also, I'd like to point out that of all the major sports, I know the least about basketball. Despite my lack of knowledge, I could still make out that the Knicks stink on ice. To be honest, I was wondering when the JV squad was going to hit the showers and the varsity Knicks were going to stop fucking around and come out to entertain us.

Needless to say, the plight of the Knickerbockers (which is a great name for an animated film...or a porn) has put the fans into an incredibly bad mood. They boo EVERYTHING at a Knicks game. Even if, let's say, you were part of the Make a Wish Foundation and your DYING WISH was to take a shot from the foul line at Madison Square Garden, you had better PRAY that you make that shot.

(insert here the sickening woosh of an airball)
"WHY DON'T YOU DIE TOMORROW, KID!!!"

And speaking of fans taking shots, during the halftime show a small collection of thugs urban youths were allowed to take a half-court shot and guarantee their spot as a 15 minute pariah when they invariably missed. However provocative this would seem, the Knicks announcer did the crowd one better by introducing one of the contestants as a self-proclaimed Celtic fan.

CROWD: BOOOOOOO!!!

ANNOUNCER: And, he's wearing a Red Sox jersey! (which he was)

CROWD: BOOOOOOOO!!!!

The only additional factoid that the announcer could have POSSIBLY mentioned to get the crowd four seconds from a massive, sweeping lynching is include that the young man also LOVES 9/11. Regardless of this glaring omission, the largest cheer of the night occurred when the Red Sox-loving Celtic fan missed his shot. The crowd occupied themselves throughout the rest of the game with chants of "Fire Isaiah" and "THROW THE T-SHIRT."

One last thought: all of the food vendors at MSG look like Rick James.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Plane of woe

Achy and chocked full of Mexican food, I took my seat on the Jetblue flight out of Tucson and nervously awaited takeoff. As is custom in my travels, I will invariably be seated next to the saddest, most desperate person on the planet. A woman in her forties sat in my row, turned to me, and asked:

"Are you from New York?"

Ugh. Go fuck yourself. I guess we're talking now and I don't really want to get into the technical stuff like the fact I'm from Pennsylvania nor do I want to get trapped into answering obscure New York trivia for a tourist just before a four hour flight, which would no doubt open up the floodgates for more questions until I find myself telling this woman where to go for the best Brazilian pedicure.

"Yes," I answered.

"Well, my father just died and my mother is suicidal. How long do you think it would take to get up to Connecticut if I drove from JFK?"

Wait...wait, what? There are definitely TWO separate thoughts here. It had a strange blend of personal tragedy and an SAT question:

Jake is on a train traveling north at 4 meters per second. Paul is leaving from the same location, traveling south, at 3 meters per second. If Paul runs out of steam three minutes in, how could you do this to me?

"Uh, well, considering we'll be arriving at 7:30 AM, you'll probably hit a fair amount of traffic. I'd add an hour to whatever you were expecting."

And then I stared at my personal TV screen embedded in the headrest in front of me. Were we done? She didn't want to TALK about this did she? I'm ill equipped to deal my own tragedies, much less the woeful despair of others. I pretended to be enthralled with Animal Planet until I saw her vanish from my periphery. For a long time. So long that it appeared that, maybe, she went into the bathroom to open her veins 30,000 feet above the United States. (It turns out she found a row all to herself in the back of the plane in order to, one would hope, work on her tact in broaching sensitive subjects to complete strangers. Most likely, however, she used the time to figure out how to get into the cockpit and let the pilot know about her father's death, in case he wanted to make an announcement or something).

I suppose some things are so incomprehensible, so devastating, that you can't help but spill your guts to everyone you meet. Or, people can smell my awful fear of awkward situations.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Tucson Marathon kicked my ass

I am sunburned and in pain and it took six hours to complete the Tucson Marathon. However, Arizona is beautiful to look at. I might not try running here again, though.

A full video blog to follow when I return Thursday or Friday.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Can you dig it?

Latest video blog here. I'm going for higher production value, clearly.

Monday, November 05, 2007

And I don't cheese in a bucket

Hanging out in the "Ho - Hy" receiving section after yesterday's New York City Marathon, I observed an entire team of runners from Holland. They were batshit insane. If anyone who reads this blog is familiar with old Dutch adages, could you let me in on what this one means?:



The only thing this suggests to me is something I've suspected for some time: the Dutch are high ALL the time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A-Rod is Available, Pricey

New Fanhouse blog here. I can't wait for the pithy comments of teen deviants hopped up on Jolt cola.

Monday, October 29, 2007

That's not shocking

I called it after the All Star break: the Yanks offered a five year extension to A-Rod and he told them to go fuck themselves. And they deserve it.

This, after winning the Aaron Award AND having been voted most "clutch" player. The press in New York should all jump in the East River.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dane Cook is a delight

I'd hate to keep harping on it, but I love Dane Cook. And his Superfinger. The latest video from Fanhouse TV.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Great Dane!

Thanks to Mike Solomon's tutorial, my dream has come true. This simple video test makes me so happy, previous descriptions of joys by even the greatest odists cannot possibly touch my level of ecstasy. Look for this to be implemented in an upcoming Fanhouse vlog.

Thank you, Mike Solomon. Thank you.

Happy Trails, Joe

Joe Torre was offered a five million dollar contract to return as manager of the New York Yankees next year (with the possibility of an additional three million) and he turned it down. A friend at work suggested that this offer was a public facade to cover up the fact that the Yankees were simply firing Torre and wanted him to be able to save face.

Truth be told, it's a shame that Torre won't be around for the post-Steinbrenner years (which ostensibly begin next year, if reports about his sons taking over are correct), because while the Boss was in charge, it honestly doesn't matter who managed that team. It's funny, I recently rented ESPN's miniseries "The Bronx is Burning" and it paints Steinbrenner as a pigheaded jerkoff. I tend to agree. Even Billy Martin, who was more strong-willed and obstinate than Joe Torre could ever be, had to kowtow to the Boss's authority and watch, handcuffed, as Reggie Jackson was brought in to an environment that had madhouse written all over it. Steinbrenner ran the team like a television network. It wasn't just about winning, it was about drawing people to the stadium with larger than life personalities. Reggie Jackson, Ricky Henderson, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez. Each of these players brought with him a name both famous and infamous. Steinbrenner's looking for pennants and championships insofar as they yield ratings. It was a circus in 1977 and it's a circus thirty years later.

Baseball managers have a tough job these days. In fact, with owners and general managers doing all of the meaningful negotiating, it's amazing that they have any pull in the clubhouse at all.

All that being said, however, the idea of Tony La Russa coming in and taking the reins is a good one. But ultimately, does it really matter?

Oh, and as much as I love Don Mattingly and regard him as my favorite player of all time...I question his readiness, as he himself did, to take over as manager. Plus, it can be painful watching him talk as a manager. Yeesh.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't tell Ellen DeGeneres

I'm gonna wash that puss right out of its hair.

Ad Hack

New Fanhouse post here. In it, I come off like a mincing shithead. I really should stop talking in public.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Classic FODJ moments

Seeing as the previous iteration of this blog was destroyed, I thought I'd post a bit I retained (to celebrate the 18,000th hit):


HIPPY BUDDHIST VISIBLY PISSED ABOUT ROBBERY

Dayton, OH - Video store employee Carl Tawny, a practicing Buddhist and humanitarian, became uncharacteristically aggressive today following the robbery of his downtown studio apartment last night.

"I am trying extremely hard to remember that the idea of possession is an illusion, an earthly distraction from true happiness" says Tawny, 33, standing at the window of his meager home, which houses eleven of his friends. "But they took the XBox, and that fucking sucks."

"And what about those autographed pictures of Tina Fey I got at the Mean Girls premiere?" Tawny continued, huffily tossing an empty hommus container at his cat, Phishface. "I mean, those fuckers don't grow on trees, although, I guess, spiritually, it doesn't matter."

"I hope nothing but a busy, cluttered lifestyle on those stupid cocksuckings," he awkwardly swore and finished filling out the police questionnaire.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Humans are wonderfully simple

A video my sister Gillian posted on her MySpace page:

Dental UPDATE

Nothing is as symptomatic of the plague that is "blogging" than posting an update about my teeth. Let me tell you about my upcoming oral surgery, because it's fascinating. Seriously.

In a mouth without even a SINGLE cavity, there exists a rogue molar hell-bent on revenge. If a movie were made, I want my molar to be played by a tough, loner type. Like Charles Bronson. Or, I want it played by an asshole. Like Dane Cook.

The dentist's office assistant informed me that the oral "care" for which I was scheduled would total $3500. I laughed at her. She then told me I had horrible dental insurance, a fact I could have let her in on before any of this farce began. She laughed at me. Then, we laughed together and I told her I would seek my surgery elsewhere.

So, I've decided to throw my dental plight at the feet of the student doctors of New York University. After what I'm expecting to be seven clumsy man-hours hammering away at my molars, the deed will be done at a substantially lower rate. For awhile, I entertained the idea of having them replace the old tooth with the tooth of another animal. Like a beaver or sabertooth tiger. I figure as long as it's cheap...

Friday, October 12, 2007

About average

I am wonderfully and perfectly average. I am of average height, and for that height, I am the average weight. There are six possible genotypes for the eye color brown (as opposed to a mere two genotypes for blue and green), and, as my eyes are brown, I'm in the majority. There is nothing remarkable, rogue, diverse, interesting, shocking, eye-catching, breathtaking, novel, or exceptional about me. I'm the consummate Everyman.

And yet, despite how boring that may seem, I feel incredibly lucky. Most things we encounter every day are catered to the average person. I can slip into a subway seat perfectly and when I have to stand, the overhead bars are at just the right height. Clothing stores always have my pants size. I can remain anonymous at almost every thinkable social gathering. I can be subsumed into the masses. I can disappear.

And yet, in the face in the comfort this gives me, I am constantly fighting this anonymity. I want people to look at me. I want to be exceptional. I want to leave a gaping hole in my wake when I leave the room. I want people to notice.

Still, regardless of how much I might struggle and flail and dig and shout, the most I could achieve, the most anyone can achieve, is to be slightly above average. Only slightly.

That makes me smile.

A little bittersweet weekend

My pal Amanda played Chet Baker's rendition of "I Get Along Without You Very Well" on her Wednesday radio show and I had completely forgotten about how much I love Chet Baker. For me, he's that voice that as soon as you were introduced to it, you devoured every song you could find until you were fat and bloated on the stuff. Having spoiled your appetite, you forgot about him only to rediscover him at the perfect time in your life. Or, reminded of. Thanks Amanda.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Beautiful

I was watching an episode of House when I heard this rendition of Cristina Aguilera's "Beautiful" coming from Hugh Laurie's iPod headphones and I thought "that's Costello. That's Costello's voice doing that cover." I searched and searched and searched and I never found a copy. At long last, Fox released the soundtrack and thankfully, the cover is on it. My obsession grows by the minute:

**UPDATE** I added some other songs from the soundtrack.


The whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

I have a pristine set of teeth. When I was a mere boy and a beardless youth, our family's dentist would shower me with accolades and present my mother with a modest bill. Unfortunately, as the pressures of life's incessant barrage of trouble wore on my now adult mind, I began to grind and clench my teeth while I slept, no doubt my subconscious mind's way of reminding me that things are not, in fact, "okay" and that everything's going to shit. All of this jaw gnashing resulted in a solitary fracture in one of my bottom right molars, which I had clumsily repaired by an Israeli dentist in the autumn of 2004. The tooth never really felt "fixed," but having been handed a bill to the tune of $1,200, I was hesitant to ever set foot in a dentist's office again, for fear of losing all of my possessions because of a single tooth.

I avoided medical attention successfully until a few weeks ago, when my molar decided that it had had enough of this shit and unleashed a full out attack on my dumb mouth. The ensuing infection produced mind-numbing pain and a blister on the gum line. Defeated, I went to the dentist yesterday and he assured me I had nothing to fear. Then, he said he may have to perform two root canals and secure a brand new cap. Unless I miss my guess, that sounds like $2000 worth of work. Seeing as my insurance is a cruel joke one wouldn't wish on his worst enemy, my "out of pocket" expense (the term "out of pocket" makes me laugh every time. Who carries around $2000 in his pocket?) will be astronomical.

So, I have a small dilemma to overcome. Living with pain is not exactly a strange phenomenon in my life, but it would be foolish to proceed with it voluntarily. On the other hand, I was just starting to corral my finances into a workable routine and this will rend all of the progress I've made to shreds. Still, it's life. You know?

Ah, to be a replicant:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Kid From Brooklyn makes a point

If you haven't checked in on the Kid from Brooklyn, you're missing out. He's passionate:

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle

This story is hardly shocking.

Friday, October 05, 2007

It's a girl!

Congratulations John and Nic:


Money balls

Hey Joe Torre! BUNT!!! BUUUUUUNNNNTT!!!!

Runners on first and second, nobody out, down two runs in the top of the fifth inning. BUNT! BUUUUUNNNTTTTT!!!! I don't care that Jeter is .500 lifetime against Sabathia. Swinging away in that situation makes no sense. None. And don't give me that Money Ball Billy Bean bullshit, either. Bunting is a waste of an at bat? Oh yeah, is it? Could someone tell the entire National League that? Great.

Don't get me wrong, I love dramatic home runs and clutch doubles late in the game. But, I don't love counting on that sort of fantastical output every time the Yanks take the field. And believe me, I UNDERSTAND that everyone's bored to tears by small ball. Bunting is boring. Well, when Posada strikes out on a high fastball after seeing five of them in the same at bat, you kind of wouldn't mind seeing someone lay one down now and again instead of this highlight reel nonsense that everybody seems to want (in every sport, not just baseball).

Does bunting bore you? Guess what, you don't like baseball, shithead! Pick another meaningless distraction to help you get through your miserable life. This distraction's mine.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

JUDGE: Has the jury reached its verdict?

JUROR: We have, your honor. We the jury find the defendant guilty...of being innocent!

(Wild courtroom laughter)

DEFENDANT: (through tears of laughter) You guys!

JUROR: (after laughter dies down) Ah...in all seriousness, you're going to jail.

I had jury duty a couple of weeks ago and mustered no more faith in the United States judiciary system then I had before I served my time there. Sixty or seventy of us potential jurors, silent and petrified, waited as the Manhattan city hall answer to Tom Cruise guided us through our juror orientation, which consisted of a packet of unreadable paper and a video starring Ed Bradley who is famous for wearing an earring and being dead.

Feeling like Ed Bradley looks right now in his coffin, I scanned my fellow suckers in the room for potential comrades, only to be met with the vacant stares of newly minted American citizens, most from Spanish speaking countries, who really didn't fully understand what their Jury Summons meant until five minutes ago. After their individual revelations, each was currently in the business of either looking for a suitable sharp object on which to impale himself or seriously considering an ignorance of the English language at least for the day. So much so that the Tom Cruise clerk announced at one point, after a heated yet muffled argument with an emphatically gesticulating woman, that "if you don't know enough English, please go to the main jury room and see the clerk."

It came time, then, for the selection of jurors for the morning's first case. Sensing a wave of overwhelming dread, I grabbed my bag and sat at the ready for I KNEW that my name would be called. And it was. And I joined the rest of the damned in Jury Room Three. Then began the juror interview process, called "voir dire," which is French for "how can I bullshit my way out of jury duty?" It is truly unbelievable the lengths potential jurors will go in order to disqualify themselves for a case. For instance, the case we were being considered for was an eye injury at a construction site. When asked if there were any reasons any of us would have for not being impartial in a case like this, people were coming up with fantastic long shots.

"My brother had eye cancer. And it was really hard on all of us. So, I think I couldn't be fair in a case like this." (Had this thought gone on longer, this particular juror might have gone on to say that she has eyes. The plaintiff has eyes. We all have eyes. Therefore, she must humbly decline serving on this case due to eyeball sympathy.)

"My cousin works in construction." (Holy shit! What are you even DOING here?! Sorry to waste so much of your time, seeing as you're clearly unfit to see a case involving construction. I mean, what would your cousin say?)

Seriously, most of these jurors might as well have been saying "I have eyeballs, and one time I walked by a construction site. I CANNOT SERVE ON THIS JURY BECAUSE OF MY UNDYING ADORATION OF BOTH EYEBALLS AND CONSTRUCTION SITES AND PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS!!!!"

Then came time for my questioning. Naturally, I couldn't wait.

PLAINTIFFS ATTORNEY: Mr. Silva. It says on your survey that you went to college for...

ME: ...acting.

(a strange pause. As if I had said "murder. I went to school for murder.")

ME: Well, I don't actually DO that for a LIVING.

(laughter. It's now OK to laugh at the stupid actor and every juror is happy for it)

PLAINTIFFS ATTORNEY: What do you do?

ME: I'm a consultant for a lawyer who acts as adjunct counsel to a pharmaceutical company.

PLAINTIFFS ATTORNEY: And do you have any problems with what we've heard so far about impartiality?

(bear in mind that I was the last juror interviewed)

ME: Well, I've heard some wonderful philosophical and moral sentiments spoken here today and I agree with them wholeheartedly.

(pause)

ME: Because I have no spine.

(laughter. These people would never trust me to be their juror)

DEFENDANTS ATTORNEY: Mr. Silva, if you had your druthers, what kind of acting would you do?

(this really happened people)

ME: I would prefer stage.

DEFENDANTS ATTORNEY: Oh, like Broadway?

ME: (laughing incredulously) No! I don't SING!

(laughter)

DEFENDANTS ATTORNEY: Well excuse me, I just met you.

ME: Oh, you didn't get my demo tape?

And that is how I got out of jury duty. That and a Jewish holiday, of course. Which makes me want to write a song called "Let's Hear it for the Jews" sung to the tune of "Let's Hear it for the Boy."

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE JEWS
DON'T GIVE THE JEWS A HAM...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ecko Effect

New video blog on Fanhouse: HERE
Hollah atcho boi.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Letters from home

Despite my irrepressible anger toward our country's educational system, I firmly believe that public school works. Or can work, rather. As contradictory as that seems, I feel that if our national priorities were different (as well as our financial priorities), our teachers would have a little more incentive to excel. Of course, they're competing against the incessant and far sexier barrage of media from television and the internet. It's like attempting to read Chaucer to someone while in the same room with a Belgian prostitute on fire. As much as one may love Chaucer, he's going to have trouble keeping his eyes off of the burning whore.

Still, for every amazing teacher out there (I can count the number I've had on one hand), there are ten insufferably shitty ones. My family now lives in Arizona and I'd heard from several sources that the teachers out there aren't paid very well and, as a result, the education can be spotty at best. Last night, my little brother reported that he submitted an essay on the "relocation" of Japanese citizens during World War II to his teacher which sported the ubiquitous image of Uncle Sam on its cover page. The teacher studied the wartime icon for a moment, looked at my brother and asked "why do you have Abraham Lincoln on the cover?"

Maybe it was an easy mistake to make. Maybe I'm terrified for my brother's future.

My brother did go on to say that he told a classmate that he had just moved to Arizona from Pennsylvania. The classmate said "Oh, I know that place. It's where vampires come from." Good teachers produce good students.

And believe me, I'm not down on educators. I wish I had the patience for it. I just remember being frustrated with most of my teachers when I was in school. For instance, I argued with my fifth grade teacher after class over whether or not "orb" is a word. Of course it is, but she made me strike it from my short story because she had never heard of it. In retrospect, neither of us had the presence of mind to consult a dictionary, but surely that was her job, not mine. And I cannot BELIEVE the number of times my shortened name, Gabe, was misspelled "Gab" on various reports and essays all throughout school by various and sundry teachers. It's simple phonetic spelling. To make the vowel long, add an "e" at the end. We learn that in first grade, don't we? Is that so much to ask? All I wanted to do was SHOV a KNIF through their dumb FACS.

I think the lesson for my brother or any student is that not all teachers are infallible. It may not be tactful to challenge their every word, but it's certainly within the bounds of reason to doubt them.

Orb is a word, Mrs. Johnson.

Friday, September 21, 2007

HAHAHA

Matt forwarded this to me:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ha ha ha...hell yeah!

Mugwatch's latest post reminded me of this video, which is hilarious:

Friday, September 14, 2007

This is the last straw

This is ENOUGH with this guy.

BWE Presents: Dane Cook's "Forward"

Posted Yesterday

Bestweekever.tv couldn't help but listen to the newest Dane Cook single, "Forward". We loved it so much we made a video for it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, Dr. Cuddy...

...please inspect my area. New season of House September 25th. I'm all over it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

After that, I got nothing

Somehow Matt and I got to talking about months and how they were named. I think it's because Matt mentioned that "November" means "ninth month," which is understandably odd considering that we know it as the eleventh. So, we looked up the months and the derivation of their names (with the help of Wikipedia):

January - named after Janus, the god of the doorway (makes sense, right?)

February - named after the Latin term februum meaning purification

March - Roman god of war Mars

April - no one's certain, though the lead theory is it comes from the Latin word aperire, meaning "to open"

May - most believe it's named after the Greek goddess Maia (fertility)

June - Roman goddess Juno

July - Julius Caesar

August - Augustus Caesar

September - 7th month

October - 8th month

November - 9th month

December - 10th month

Now, regardless of the fact that two months were thrown in somewhere and screwed up the meaning of the last four months, I think it's pretty funny that the whole list seems like a work in progress, an uncompleted bit of legislature. There's something wonderful about the Roman senate sitting around and saying:

"...and this month shall be named after Gaius Julius Caesar, this month shall bear the name of his nephew, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or the beloved Augustus. The next months...uh...shall...be named...uh...seven eight nine ten? Is that...does anyone object to that? That's all I got..."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Checkmate, BITCH

A last minute audition had our hero in Chelsea trying out for some ridiculous product doing ridiculous things. Actually, it wasn't that bad. We were merely asked to play chess in front of the camera for a couple of minutes. We were called in twos, and I was paired with a fellow clad in a tweed jacket and Buddy Holly style eyeglasses. Let's call him Smug McBigpants.

The casting director spun the camera toward me and asked "when did you start playing chess?"

I replied, "well, I was in Chess Club in grade school and after that, it was quickly discovered that I am, strategically, a moron. I'm a tactical nightmare."

She went on "why did you start playing chess?"

Again, I was honest.

"I suppose I felt it was what intelligent people do. It was with this feigned intelligence I supported my entire academic career."

And we all laughed a little. Now, Smug McBigpants gets his turn to go into his chess history and proceeds to swipe my self-deprecation bit.

"I, too, pursued chess under the same illusions of grandeur..."

Ugh. First of all, it's delusions of grandeur, you fucking moron. If you're going to be trite, at least get the fucking cliche down. But, Smug McModest turned into Smug McBigpants when he proceeded to tell the casting director that he, in fact, had won some chess tournament in college or some shit and that he was particularly fond of the "Latvian Gambit."

I, of course, made a joke about that, asking if that was anything like the "Krakau Gambit." He replied "no, the Latvian Gambit is a real thing."

Yeah, and my joke was a real joke, you pompous, simpering dildo. I hope the next time he tries to pull off his real Latvian Gambit, someone really stabs him in his real chest with a real spear. Jerk.

So, we get to playing our quick game of chess. And Smug McBigpants is making grunting noises like he's either considering the intricate machinations of chess strategy, or he's about to take a massive dump. Either way, I took his queen in about ten seconds. Because, in all sincerity, fuck that guy.

Well, THAT didn't work

I haven't watched the MTV VMAs in about twelve years. I watched them last night, oh BOY did I watch them. What in the fuck happened? Is there anybody in charge over at MTV anymore? To call it a train wreck might be underplaying how truly horrifying every aspect of the show was. That's not to say there weren't some good performances. I'm talking about the overall production design and flow, which appeared to be constructed by a severely retarded preteen with and old Tandy laptop. I understand that the youth of today like things fast and furious, but when your program looks like the computerized visualization of a serial killer's innermost thoughts, perhaps you're going a little too far.

And everything I'm reading today about the whole sorry affair is focusing on Britney Spears' performance. She was the opening act and she looked completely disinterested in being there. While that certainly set a peculiar mood, the rest of the show was equally as disjointed and crazy. No one looked like they gave a shit about anything, and every time the camera cut to someone with a microphone, they looked bewildered and drugged, as if they'd just been dosed with a few syringes of morphine before being asked to defuse a time bomb.

I've been trying to find the name of the artsy douchebag who "directed" this disaster, but, shockingly, I haven't been able to pinpoint it on the internet. I have a feeling this is the kind of project you don't attach your name to. Not your real name, anyway.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wednesday's interesting fact:

From Tony Horwitz's fascinating book, Confederates in the Attic (in reference to the Civil War prison camp at Andersonville):

But the biggest killers by far were diarrhea and dysentery. This was due not only to the camp's lack of sanitation, but also to rations of rotted meat and coarse grain filled with shredded corncob, which irritated men's already weak intestines. There was a cruel irony to this. Pointing to several belching smokestacks in the distance, (Andersonville park ranger) Sanchez said the surrounding landscape was now mined for kaolin, a chalky mineral used to make Kaopectate. "You had thousands of men dying of the runs right on top of one of the world's richest lodes of anti-diarrhea medicine," he said.


And the vaudeville horns sounded. Wah wah wahhhhhhhhh!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

We could be diving for pearls

A little melancholia to go with your post-Labor Day festivities. I had a great weekend. Hope you did too:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Marathon

New video blog up on Fanhouse. Reckanize.

Overheard at an audition

The callback I attended yesterday afternoon was two hours behind. This wouldn't have been a problem had the casting directors not scheduled a different session immediately following ours. Not only was a different spot scheduled to go in, it was a spot for some retirement fund product. So, tens upon tens of elderly gentlemen began to stagger, wobbly and confused, into a space the size of a closet. And, these septuagenarians all knew each other. And, they had poor hearing. Which lead to conversations like:

OLD BLACK MAN 1: I just came back from the Frederick Douglas tour of Europe!!!

OLD BLACK MAN 2: Oh?

OLD BLACK MAN 1: You can go on the tour too!!! Just go to national slavery dot com!!!

OLD BLACK MAN 2: National what?

OLD BLACK MAN 1: (screaming at the top of his lungs to a now silenced room) SLAVERY DOT COM!!!!!

The elderly black gentleman also went on to say, very loudly, that "while I was in Europe, everybody told me to go to Krakau!!! Krakau is the new Paris!!!"

Now, I have not been to Krakau ever, and I'm sure it has a vibrant tourism trade now, but I'm pretty sure I never thought Krakau would be equated to Paris. Paris is the City of Light. Krakau is the City of Gas? Maybe? No? Too soon?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gabriel, the Wrath of God

You bet I am. Wouldn't this make a kickass tattoo?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Feel the burn

I found a pretty awesome route/mileage calculator in WalkJogRun.net. As I train for the Tucson Marathon, this will be an invaluable tool. So will beer. Lots and lots of beer. It's like liquid cereal!*


*9 out of 10 doctors maintain that beer is not "like" liquid cereal. The 10th doctor, however, is Doctor Detroit, and is awesome.

The Bible Belt needs to loosen that shit up

Sad but true:


The winner of fattest state, and still champeen, is Mississippi. Is it any wonder why God and obesity sort of go hand in hand? Maybe it's that "God loves me" complacency that keeps these people stuffing their faces and watching bullshit daytime television which keeps assuring them that their obesity is a disease and there's nothing they can do about it. Maybe it's the depression following the lingering ghost of the Civil War. Maybe Americans are just fat fucks. THERE'S ONLY ONE STATE IN THE WHITE ZONE!!! ONE!!! FUCKING!!! STATE!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

God Bless These United States



Only the United States of America could produce someone as woefully stupid as she. Sure, other countries have their share of insufferable morons, but only in the USA would said moron speak in bullshit television cliches. Just empty language. People in Germany speak flawless English and this girl, raised in South Carolina, speaks like a fucking malfunctioning Stepford wife.

You could argue that it's a tough and loaded question, I guess. The only way to answer that question is to say that the American education system sucks. However, to win Miss Teen USA, you can't say that. I'm sure her tiny mind spun around like a fucking hamster wheel when the question was asked. And you know that her weasel of a mother/manager prepped her by saying in a deep southern drawl "just say South Africa, baby. Just say South Africa."

Gotta be proud.

Over my dead body

Death at a Funeral is one of the few comedies in a long time that has wrenched from my evil, cynical person a genuine, soul-scraping belly laugh. It's a simple, classic farce and it is perfect. Alan Tudyk needs to be in more. Well, I take that back. He is in a lot, but no one knows who he is. This movie ought to turn heads. To paraphrase Dr. Foreman on House: it's dangerous, it could kill you. You should see it.

This is not as easy as it looks:


Sunday turned out to be Waffle Fest 2007. Cuisinart's waffle iron has proven itself the culinary equivalent of an electronic bull. One false move and it will destroy you and all of your blueberries. The first waffle attempt was seemingly smooth, as delicious batter (which is also the title of a porn I once rented) was spread evenly over the griddle surface and the lid lightly shut. The Cuisinart is kind of a pushy little bitch in that it has a red light/green light system that alerts you when it feels your waffle is ready. The green light went up on waffle number one, and the lid was lifted. Terror ensued. The waffle had stuck perfectly to both the top and bottom griddle, giving the waffle maker the appearance of the frothing maw of a goddamned demon, which prompted its user to close the unit in horror, as if slamming a coffin lid shut. However, the lid was in close proximity to a small carton of fresh blueberries that had the hopeful ambition of one day adorning a waffle. This dream was suspended as the blueberries shot through the air like fat purple children, all madly scattering upon contact with the floor. After the plump bastard imps were harvested from their resting spots, the five second rule was employed. THESE BLUEBERRIES HAVE A DATE...A WAFFLE DATE...HIGHWAY TO DELICIOUSNESS!!! Cooking spray was brought in to ensure the demon wouldn't return and there were waffles. Soggy, but waffles nonetheless, damnit.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Have you seen Billy's Baldwin?

My problem with Billy Baldwin is that he looks like an Alec Baldwin impersonator:


Kind of like this guy "is" Robert Deniro:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Baby, shake that ass

Either hot or batshit insane:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Welcome back...

...to all our travelers out there.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thanks, Bryan Curtis...thanks...

Slate.com's Bryan Curtis has written the essential critique of America's sweetheart, Dane Cook. I couldn't have said it better myself.

And now Dane Cook is the official spokesperson of Major League Baseball's post-season. There will be a vlog, oh yes, there will be a vlog.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Am I right or Amarilla?...

...man this song's a killa dilla!"

There's a Tom & Jerry cartoon called Texas Tom in which the song "If You're Ever Down in Texas, Look Me Up" makes an appearance. I've been humming this song to myself since I was eight years old, and only yesterday did I realize that the lyric above is said the way it is. In my head was:

"Am I right or am I rilla?"

Which makes little to no sense. The lyric is actually a pretty clever pun about Texas:

"Am I right or Amarilla?"

Conceding, of course, the pronunciation of "Amarillo" as "Amarilla." It seems an easy mistake to make. When I was eight, I didn't know anything about Amarillo, Texas. Now that I have met friends like Davey Jones and Sam Douglas and, as a result, have been beaten to unconsciousness with a map of Texas, I get the joke. But it led me to wonder what other song lyrics I have horribly wrong.

Seal's "Kiss from a Rose":

I always thought the hook line went "I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave." Admittedly, it's a little morbid. You might as well say "kissing you is like hanging out in a cemetery." In fact, several lyrics sites cite this as the correct line, so I'm not sure. The most prominent "correct" line I can find is: "I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey," which makes even less sense. I guess it conjures imagery of, perhaps, the ocean on a bleak afternoon, each melancholy crest lapping contemptuously at a solitary rose discarded in the sand, its petals now faded with the incessant torture of love and love unrequited. But fuck that, I don't have time for poetry.

Tenacious D's "Fuck Her Gently":

A romantic at heart, I used to sing this song to myself all the time. Alone. In my room. I was convinced that at one point Jack Black croons "and fuckin give her some smooth juice too." I assumed this colorful phrasing had something to do with semen or...well, semen. It completely clashed with the sentiment of the song, and I doubt "fucking her gently" included "spilling one in her mug." It was only when Kath corrected me that I discovered the true line: "and fuckin give her some smooches too." Clearly, my mistake.

AC/DC's "Thunderstruck":

When I was 13, I mumbled over the end of one of the lines which goes "could I come again please?" simply because it sounded an awful lot like "could you suck up some bees?" and that didn't sound very rock n' roll. And having no real knowledge of the slang for ejaculation, I just grunted and made devil horns with my fingers. This kind of behavior, coupled with red cheeks and a mullet, contributed to my being wholly unappealing to girls. Honestly, I looked like Billy Ray Cyrus' fat nephew.

Does anyone else have mistaken lyrics they'd like to share?

I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

This is the end of the world

Matthew Bellamy's voice, as it penetrated and caressed the thousands of collected bones and souls at Madison Square Garden, remained impossibly, ethereally beautiful. His band, Muse, is opera and classical composition and rock thrown together with a tinge of urgency. And this is the key element: urgency.

And to hear, cascading over the dire and poignant immediacy of the music, this otherworldly keening is preternatural and strangely comforting. This hermaphroditic voice pierces through the intensity and offers a way out of the maelstrom.

Its swelling, meaningful grandiosity compels me to call it "epic rock." Which Kath assures me has already been said. FUCK!



Monday, August 06, 2007

Good Morning from 1977

The only way to face the incessant machinations of corporate America:

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I am hip...to the jive

And another one:

Dash-a-peppah

The work fellas and I got to talking about Tom & Jerry and I came across one of my all-time favorite episodes.



My sister and I would sing that last song for hours on end.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Get out of here, Nebulon! No one likes your style.

I have tech tonight for the show. Tech is notoriously excruciating. Sitting there. While people focus lights and figure out sound cues. As my grandfather used to say, it's for the birds. To make it interesting, I'll do it naked. Or on fire. Or both.

A bit of dialogue that occurred to me while eating hot dogs at Grays Papaya yesterday:

MAN 1: Do you know the origin of the hot dog, Jack?

MAN 2: No.

MAN 1: Heaven, Jack. The answer is heaven.

I found out today that one of the people I work with is a lawyer. This fact surprised me a great deal because I always thought of him as an incompetent fuckface. Speaking of fuckface, I'm reminded of names my dad used to call me (bear in mind he was never very clever):

1. Fuckface
2. Boner
3. Asshole
4. Shithead
5. No Common Sense
6. Gabriel Don (during his clean phase or when I had done something wrong)
7. Dingleberry
8. Dickhead
9. My son (when he thought he was being pious. Though, he doesn't know what the word pious means)

None of these names were ever said in anger, oddly enough. Not that it mattered. I always took comfort in the fact that I was smarter than he could ever be. And, that he isn't really my father. Still, they were a crude man's lexicon of love and affection.

My favorite and telling ongoing exchange he had was with his brother (my uncle):

UNCLE: What's up?
DAD: My dick! Wanna suck it?!

Good times. Good times.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chivalry really is dead

After rescuing a turkey sandwich from the deli so it could take refuge in my stomach, I opened the door for an older woman who was entering as I was leaving. I'm used to not getting a "thank you," because New Yorkers, for the most part, can't be bothered with trifling things like courtesy or decency. I have never, however, gotten a sarcastic "thank you." Until today. The woman reacted to my holding the door for her as if I told her that her son in the army is a cunt and I hope he gets shot in the face by friendly fire. She then spat the "thank you" at me to the tune of "what have you done for me lately" and hefted her aged girth through the door with the haste of Gabe Silva at a popcorn store (wait, why am I slamming myself? She's the jerk! Jerk).

Anyway, I hope she trips over her own awful feet and lands face first into the buffet, preferably into the macaroni salad because it isn't particularly good there.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Press Play

Matt turned me on to Cee-Lo. If I haven't turned you on, I apologize. Wait...wait, what?

name="myflashfetish" align="middle"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
I made this MySpace Music Player at MyFlashFetish.com.


Clever

Subtle and sweet. For an Axe commercial.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yeah, I'm going to have to ask you to go ahead and eat my stool

As the major pharmaceutical giant, hereafter dubbed, simply, MPG, I work for continues to fire its redundant employees into the East River, the workload I face everyday gets simultaneously voluminous and meager at the same time, an impossible working model of the existential being, an entity that is nothing and everything all at once. The effect this has on our humble office is that of a sense of overwhelming responsibility coupled with the reality that there's nothing to do. It's a lot like being a boxer waiting in the locker room before a fight, and discovering that the bantam weight you were going to take on is being replaced by a rape-hungry android from another dimension. Because you can't even begin to fathom what that even means, all you can do is sit fatly on the locker room bench in a state of suspended, albeit terrified, animation and await the otherworldly ass torture you're about to receive.

This isn't the first time our office has been expecting unwanted butt sex. We've been reamed many times (and if you knew which MPG I worked for, you'd know they can go all night, baby). What we employees fear most during these business dark ages is not the threat of work but the threat of idle work, an oxymoronic masterpiece of which my boss may be both originator and master. Some of these tasks are so unbearably devoid of skill or difficulty that one assumes there's some sort of trick to it, some hidden snag for which a poor dope of an employee can be drawn and quartered. Surely he isn't serious (is he?) when he says he wants these labels removed, mounted on an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of yellow letter size paper, encased in liquid carbonite, and immediately throw away? No sane, sensible human being could POSSIBLY want that to happen. Could they? But by the time you ask that question, it's too late. Eight hours have fleetingly passed by and you've found yourself high as a kite off of adhesive remover and wrist-deep in your coworker's entrails (adhesive removal having the unfortunate side-effect of lycanthropy which really hasn't been registered with the FDA...and should).

Bear in mind that my boss speaks in cryptic riddles that would make the Sphinx talk lion and shit human. He doesn't just mix metaphors, he purees the fucking things until what was once trite business speak becomes a new, wonderful lexiconic nightmare. The game is easy, take any bullshit corporate phrase, truncate it, add the end of another one, and then throw in a mad tangent. It goes something like this:

1. "Let's run that up the flagpole and see who buys Abe Vigoda's farm."

2. "Let's just think outside the ballpark figure and I think we can all wear a dress on this thing."

3. "Six of one thing, half an Abe Vigoda."

4. "Abe Vigoda!"

I may have gotten sidetracked. Oh well. Congratulations to a certain title holder out there...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Orphans of the Digital Era

I'll be appearing in Jack Condon's "Orphans of the Digital Era" on Saturday, August 4th at 5 PM as part of the Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival. I'll be a cowardly, paranoid doomsayer. And I play one in the play too. Ho ho ho.

Come and vote. Make Jack famous!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I'd be the first to admit that I have a tenuous relationship with my emotions. I suppose it has a great deal to do with the fact that most things aren't worth getting that excited about. Even as Matt, myself, and hundreds of others ran wide-eyed from what we all assumed was the great, groaning collapse of yet another skyscraping giant last week, I remained nonchalant in my terror, barely able to see the logic in running fast enough to dislodge my iPod from its holster. It was a costly item, after all.

Which reminded me of the iPod's purchaser and the gray twilight in which we parted ways forever, our grainy faces twisting in a nightmare diffusion. In those early morning hours, I can remember fighting to care, to summon something beyond mere contempt and incredulity. But it wasn't there. My sentiments were trite approximations. The idea of being upset. The notion of being heartbroken. A child playing at betrayal and affection. And as the curtain fell on that tired old farce of a pairing, I never shed a tear.

All that being said, it's sometimes a bit of a shock when I feel within me a wellspring of emotion that defies logic and control. I learned long ago to never follow your heart because your heart is a fool, and that treacherous path down which your foolheart leads you terminates at the back of the dragon's throat. Unfortunately for us poor dopes, fools can be woefully charming, and we find ourselves singing while we're singeing.

What I have to learn is that having feelings doesn't make me special. We all have feelings, dummy. And what seems like a deep throb of shared passion to some could be a simple warmth to others, nothing more. This is not to discredit either perception. Each is valid. But let's not drag another into the maelstrom with us against their will.

It should be said, though, as a final ambiguous thought, that what I overlook in brandishing an impassioned result is the journey itself. It's that experience, that present essence, that existential now that is most important.

Easy, Gabe. Easy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I hear what you're singing

Last night Colin Hay played the Canal Room with the aid of a small band and a woman who was possessed by the devil, if he were a burlesque dancer. Despite adversity (i.e. s pair of drunken men who "loved" everyone and had to be removed by a poor man's Ving Rhames), Colin Hay delivered a great performance. I'm a big fan of his song "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin," which he played albeit with a more rock based arrangement. Normally, I wouldn't post song lyrics, but these lyrics have always stricken me:

WAITING FOR MY REAL LIFE TO BEGIN

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
and I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, "be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in."
Don't you understand
I already have a plan?
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again

And you say, "Just be here now,
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin."
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, oh so very soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, "be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in."
Don't you understand
I already have a plan?
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

On a clear day, I can see, see for a long way.
On a clear day, I can see, see for a long way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Networking

The Book I Write's own Kath Weems mentioned to me last night that she was watching one of my favorite movies: Network. I got to thinking today that Network's oft quoted line "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" evokes in me a sense of bittersweet nostalgia. Bear in mind I wasn't alive during our nation's more politically charged decades, but culling what I can from various newsreels, accounts, even the fiction of America's past paints a strikingly different picture of this country's willpower, its drive, its purpose. While reading People's History of the United States, you come across tales of workers' rebellions, fights for equality, demonstrations of our collective need to have our voices heard. From the perspective of a 21st century human, all of that conviction seems futile and quaint. Really? In America? Citizens giving a shit? Impossible.

And this loss of conviction among the masses isn't a result of a loss of power. The same forces who ruled the populous from America's inception are still present and they're still scared of that body's potential to coagulate and grow. Unfortunately they've gotten adept at diffusing and diluting the frustration and energy of the people. Why should I care about my fellow man when I have a flat screen TV? Why should I pay extra taxes for national health care so some deadbeat can prosper from my obligatory charity? All I want to do is go to work, go home, turn on the game and have a beer. And the minute, opiate net of distraction tightens its plush leather hold all the while whispering the incessant mantra of fearmongers and kings into your ear. Everything's ok inside the net.

There used to be a time that when we were getting fucked, we'd get angry. And we'd unite. In a country where everything's been bought and sold since the beginning and the voice of the people probably didn't really matter anyway, the ability to unite was our only power. People would DIE rather than suffer mistreatment. This no longer applies to the modern American. When the government unzips his trousers and fires that expectant glare in our direction, we bend ourselves over the bed and take what's coming to us. Because that's how we keep our plasma TV. That's how we maintain that modest income. That's how we insure our own safety in a country we've been told is filled with danger and sin.

With that in mind, I give you a snippet of Howard Beale's speech from Network. This was 31 years ago. As George Carlin says, "When's this shit going to end? When's this shit going to go away?":

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad.

You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,

'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'

Monday, July 16, 2007

I believe premiums are our future...

...pay them well and let them screw your day.

This weekend found our hero in sunny New Jersey, where he competed in several friendly competitions while highly intoxicated with his best friend Paul and Paul's girlfriend Alicia. Results:

Bowling: I won one game out of three! My highest score was 133. Paul's was 148 because he throws the ball overhand, the jerk. My game declined exponentially after the bowling lane implemented the "cosmic" lighting scheme half way through our tournament, replete with black lights and neon balls (which felt a little like being in an alien strip club).

Minigolf: We opted for an authentically posh country club style minigolf course (how authentic? No blacks!) which sported an easy course and a hard one (ooh!). We chose hard, because we like it hard and because it's just minigolf, goddamnit. Right? Wrong. The course was brutal. No cutesy puddles masquerading as water hazards here. Full on, rushing streams and intricate holes designed by MC Escher (which is also a porn I once had...Intricate Holes). Paul and I scored dead even at 70. The par for the course was 65. We stink. But we stink together.

Poker: Paul destroyed me in poker. However, we only played games where I was naked and could only have one card. Then we played cards. What?

Also, we watched a show called 2057 which explores what the future holds for mankind fifty years from now with the help of physicist and "futurist" Michio Kaku whose head appears on some of those CUNY ads in the New York subway system. Kaku is a genius simply because he has convinced people that being a "futurist" means something. Actually, it was an early 20th century art movement celebrating the triumph of man over nature. And to some extent, that's what this new brand of scientific futurism is: cheating nature with the aid of technology. However amazing the show 2057's medical/scientific/technological predictions are, my favorite episode was one entitled "The Body" in which they simulate how the future's medical teams would handle a near fatal accident. A future man falls out of a second story window (after tripping over a Roomba) and suffers life endangering injuries. Despite cheating death several times during the episode with the aid of future technological marvels, his biggest obstacle is INSURANCE. Yup, in the future, according to 2057, not only will we not have universal health care, but insurance companies will have the ability to monitor us 24 hours a day to make sure they have as much evidence possible to deny us coverage. In fact, the show depicts future man pouring a substitute liquid in the toilet in lieu of his own urine because his insurance company has equipment analyzing his egestion and he wants to keep his premiums down. IN THE FUTURE, WE WILL BE ABLE TO USE A FUCKING LASER PRINTER TO COMPLETELY RECONSTRUCT A HUMAN HEART, BUT THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO YOUR CONTINUING HEALTH WILL STILL BE INSURANCE.

Or, at least, that's the moral I got from the story. I've had a lot of coffee.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

She is...the Highlander

For those who've fucked off to Scotland this week:



I think that's what I need. To yell at my audience more.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It gives us paws

By now, I'm sure you've all visited Cats That Look Like Hitler. But have you been to Cats That Look Like Idi Amin? If you haven't, uganda!

Ugh. I disgust myself sometimes.







As was the fashion at the time

I've had the distinct opportunity and, dare I say (dare, DARE), the pleasure to observe the clothing trends of the Upper East Side lately, and let me tell you, it's ahead of its time. Most New York neighborhoods have their specific style: the delightful dirtbags of the East Village, the frustratingly fabricated hipsters of Williamsburg, the stiflingly tasteful yentas of the Upper West Side. No single area of this metropolis, however, captures that extraordinary blend of an old folks' home mixed with a clown college like the Upper East Side.

I've often wondered where elderly mimes go when they retire, and it's somewhere around East 75th Street and 1st Avenue. Within a forty minute breakfast at a diner, I saw samples from what appeared to be the Super Mario Brothers summer wear collection as well as clothing which seemed to be the result of what happens when a middle aged woman runs crotch first into a curtain store. Seriously, everyone looked like washed up magicians' assistants (I expected someone to be walking a giant white tiger). My favorite, by far, had to be a brightly dressed gentleman who looked like Joe Pesci as an Indian chief (and, who somehow stole Pablo Picasso's shirt).

Of course, the clothes don't make the man. Except in the Upper East Side, where you might overhear things such as:

"I eat a bunch of peanut butter, then I go right to bed."
"Meh, she's on her period!"
"The way she thinks, the first bad thing I eat, BOOM, I'm dead instantly."
"Hand me that pancake make-up, I gotta go outside and scare the shit out of a child by presenting him with a balloon that looks vaguely like a poodle."

Well, maybe I didn't hear the last bit, but I felt it.

I can't get to sleep...

Colin Hay is playing the Canal Room on the 19th. I'm all up INS.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Daunting to say the least

When you're learning to play the guitar, it's sometimes helpful to watch professionals work. However, when that professional is Andy Mckee, it can be daunting not only because he can play the hell out of a guitar, but because he also plays what appear to be boats.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Your moment of zen

At today's audition, I was treated to an epic, Socratic dialogue between two actor degenerates involving "what's funny." I wanted to beat them both to death with the plastic chair I was sitting on.

To top it all off, one of them pulled out what I thought was the motherboard off of Deep Blue, but it turned out to be a cartoonishly big cellphone from which he had to remove a blast shield before using. Just at the peak of my fury, I was delighted to hear the following:

ASSHOLE: Hey, Debra? Yeah, it's Pete Assenfeffer. Listen, I'm a little tied up here at this callback, so I was wondering if I could swing by to your audition a little later. And you're located on 27th right? You know I'm bad with directions. (Jerk-style laugh followed by awkward silence) What? Oh...this is Pete. Assenfeffer. Pete, right.

That's right, baby. No one knows who you are. And that, my friend, is what's funny.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Art Finkelstein

Mike Sanzone is having another art opening (ooh!) on Thursday, July 5th (6 - 8PM). He'll be showing along with four other artists at the Mercer Gallery. The line-up includes:

Eileen Cubbage
Earl Barret Holloway
Ellen Letcher
Michael Sanzone
Taylor Kane Schwarzkopf

Mercer Gallery is on 55 Mercer Street. If you can't make the opening, the show runs from July 3 through July 14, so you have plenty of time to check out some masterful work.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pennsylvania is for lovers

My sister Georgina graduated from Bangor Area High School on Friday and I was not there to hear the woeful guest bloviating of Wilford Ottey who, when I graduated from the very same high school some ten plus years ago, served as the school's superintendent. He now resides in Colorado doing Lord knows what, but whatever it is, I hope it has little to nothing to do with education. Ottey's strength lies in cutting young people down, partly because his embittered faux scholarship won't let him admit to himself that he's a fantastic failure, but mostly because he's just a dick. A sample of his wonderfully trite wit:

MY MOTHER: My son graduated with your daughter Alice. He lives in New York now.

OTTEY: Oh? Does he work in a restaurant? (followed by some tweed covered snort, no doubt)

Go fuck yourself, Ottey. No amount of pretending to fight the good fight for education will cover for the fact that people despise you. I hope you fall down a flight of stairs after tripping over that "Great American Novel" manuscript you've no doubt been working on since the late Italian Renaissance.

Anyway, I may have missed the actual graduation, but I was able to attend the party. I arrived Saturday night and sat on the trampoline watching my brother Gunner take on my youngest sister Gracey in a no-holds-barred wrestling match in which Gunner received a titty-twisted that made him scream not like a girl, surprisingly, but like a 40-something year old adult woman. The aftermath:



As is our custom during family gatherings, my siblings and I hang around each other and run away from other members of the extended family. It's like a game of sorts in which we try to entertain each other at the expense of everyone else. It makes us happy in a totally antisocial way. However, Georgina was in good spirits despite being surrounded by family:



Specifically, being around our sister Gillian:


Gillian, Gracey, Gunner, Georgina, and I then decided to suck all the helium out of the party balloons. This was hilarious only to us.

Also, I met my newest cousin who is adorable. Her name is Brynn and she loves stairs (not the stairs Wilford Ottey is supposed to fall down):


At the end of the day, it occurred to me that I will probably not ever have a need to come back to my home town again, now that my family is moving out to Arizona in a few weeks. I'll miss it. For all its faults, it had a certain simple beauty.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Public Service Announcement from FODJ

For all New York commuters taking the A/C line to their destinations in Manhattan and Brooklyn after 11 PM, you know what? Don't bother. Don't fucking bother. It'd be easier for you to build your own train by carving it out of a solid block of marble. Actually, let me know when you're finished with that, because I would gladly take it over the MTA, which I'm convinced is a company whose sole purpose is acting as the most elaborate joke ever played on humankind ever. And the punchline is you don't get anywhere.

Have a problem with the MTA's service? Confused about why it's taking a half hour for a train to arrive? Why not ask one of the countless Cro-Magnons in blue vests who meander thoughtlessly around the platforms looking for people to annoy? You'd get a more enthusiastic and knowledgeable response from Ol' Shakin' Boots at the Gap (see post below).

Sure, there's track work (I'm sorry, "necessary track work," as opposed to the track work where the contractors bang on a rail with a crowbar for no reason). Sure, this track work is causing delays. You'd think when you ask one of the TWENTY contractors waiting on the platform the simple question "What in the fuck is going on?" at least one of them would know. No. No no no. No, they've made a solemn pact never to read the company memo beyond "TO ALL EMPLOYEES." If company memos even EXIST at the MTA. And what are these contractor's contracting? I hope they're contracting fucking trenchfoot because they certainly deserve it, and God knows they stand around idly long enough to let the sick shine in.

Seriously, if you're a company with a virtual monopoly on transportation, I understand the strong urge to fuck with your customers. I mean, what are you going to do? Ride a bike? Not at 11 PM, Lance Armstrong. In fact, let me know how that pans out when you get jumped and viciously beaten with your own handle bars. But come on, there are simple customer relation techniques that even CHILDREN SELLING LEMONADE ON THE ROADSIDE have a better grasp on than the MTA. For instance, when the kid runs out of lemonade, she puts up a sign that reads "NO LEMONADE." We, as customers, appreciate that. It saves time when you're not waiting for a product that's never going to come. So, when the ridiculous "track work" is causing major delays, why not mention that? Why not put up a few signs or say something, ANYTHING? Maybe your customers would like to plan an alternate route, most likely on another train WHICH YOU ALSO HAPPEN TO OWN. Maybe your customers will start a rebellion and throw their own shit at the token booths.

It's funny how certain topics can render one inelegant. But the MTA is a not-to-delicately constructed pack of retards.

(It took two hours for me to get home a couple of nights ago. It takes less than two hours for me to get home to Pennsylvania. I'm sorry for the trite post, but I get upset...)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Can that be enough with Catherine Hepburn already?

I'll preface this post by writing that I'm all for equal opportunity employment. Regardless of how much of a lie that is, I feel it needs to be stated for obscure legal purposes. Still, it is a nice, warm feeling to know that somewhere in this country, a below average citizen is making his/her mark in either the food service or retail industry. Provided, of course, that their level of involvement is kept to doling out pleasantries, making sure all the antifreeze is facing front, and staying away from the normals. It's when this last task is ignored that problems arise. When I go shopping, which is rare, I don't like being nagged by the staff. To extrapolate from there, I don't like being nagged by retarded staff. It's bad enough to have some disinterested teen who just flunked Earth Science recommend a cute blazer for the summer, but to have someone with a crippling disease encouraging you to try on a pair of slacks while they're in the throes of whatever havoc their horrible flesh-eating hair cancer is inflicting on their bodies does NOT make me want to buy things.

Just before I traveled to Munich, I went to the Gap on the corner near where I work to stock up on clothes because I dress like an Irish potato farmer. They had recently hired a woman who clearly has Parkinson's Disease. Well, initially I suspected she was just excited about clothes. Who wouldn't be? But her quaking continued to the point where I started to feel uncomfortable. Now, here's where most people argue "well, that's your problem, sir. You have an issue with her terrifying disease." And my response is yes, you're goddamned right. I do, in fact, recognize that it's entirely in my head that the situation is uncomfortable. And as I see it, the Gap has done this to me. I spent $250 that day because I couldn't say no to this quivering old woman, admittedly because I am chock full of guilt and fear. Did I think she'd have a major episode if I didn't buy the blazer? No. But I did suspect that her manager privately beats her with the ol' switch in the employee break room when she's not playing up her malady to sell Polos. "Make it shake, Suzy. Or no bonus."

All I'm saying is when have you EVER heard of ANYONE talk about wanting or needing store staff to assist them in a clothing purchase? Besides specialty places like sporting goods shops or dildo emporiums? Never. People like to be left alone. In fact, I can't imagine asking an employee at the Gap anything that could possibly help me decide on a garment. Except maybe:

"Can this shirt be used to strangle a medium-sized person, roughly your weight and build?"

"Do these pants come in a size you?"

"I like snuff films. Will these t-shirts go with that?"

"I'd like to wear what you're wearing right now."

"What are a 'clothes?'"

"Why don't you drop dead?"

And even when someone has been helpful, they dissolve the entire illusion by bringing you up to the counter, like a freshly caught salmon, in order to mark you as their commission. The friendship's over, baby. I want my money. In fact, I'll be damned if I didn't see the Parkinson's lady get eerily still after the sale was made. I suppose it could be a trick of the light. Or a conspiracy. In the Gap. What am I talking about?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jump to the jam boogy woogy jam slam...

...bust the dialect I'm the man in command.

Sorry I haven't posted in some time, but I've come over all queer. I got myself involved with a li'l play. If you like New York in June, how about me? What the fuck am I even talking about?



The play is:

Carlo Goldoni's "The Liar" (a commedia dell'arte farce)

Where: SEA (Society for the Educational Arts), 107 Suffolk Street (bet. Delancey and Rivington), 2nd Floor

When: Thursdays and Fridays 8pm, June 7th through June 29th
Contact: 212-591-0358 for reservations

I'm told there are additional matinees on Saturdays at 1pm. I'd call, because I have my head way up my ass.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I like the melody but you can't dance to it

Insane, hate-mongering religious fanatics are hilarious. So is bashing Canada. So is co-opting a popular benefit song from the eighties in order to spread paranoid, delusional notions of shit-eating ignorance and Armageddon. I give you "God Hates the World:"

I'd hate to point out the more glaring contradictions in this chart-topper, but the biggest question I have is, if God in fact hates the world and it's "too late to change His mind," (in re: the hellish and violent destruction of said world), then why do these vicious sinners, who are from what I can tell limited to homosexuals (and BELIEVE me, I live in constant and sweaty fear of homosexuals, ESPECIALLY in Washington Heights. They'll steal your sneakers, man), need to repent at all? Isn't their ship pretty much already sunk? And if it is, don't they essentially win because they've brought the Apocalypse to your door with their actions? If I were one of the "sinners" mentioned, I'd be laughing in the streets. Sure, I'd be going to Hell, but I'd take a little pride in the fact that I had a hand (or a penis in a man's ass) in ending the ridiculous bullshit the mortal world has in it by the truckloads. And you know what I'm talking about. Football, Hot Pockets, Axe Body Spray, obesity treated as a disease, the word "resilient," Tyra Banks, parent/teacher conferences, competitive consumerism, Tucker Carlson, guys named "Chad," the FCC, morally irresponsible spiritualists who post superstitious garbage on Youtube. It would all go away in a giant ball of fire. And let me tell you, if heaven had some of the earthly delights of this world waiting for its true believers, like heavenly Starbucks or heavenly McDonalds, I'd opt for Hell any day. Especially if Dane Cook's going to heaven.

Also, check out how they're flying the Canadian flag upside down in the background. Nothing worse than CANADIAN homos.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I don't know much about art, but I know what I like

My familiarity with Glenn Beck is limited, but his opening monologue here about the freedom of speech and its endangerment is one of the more concise digests of the subject I've seen. This is important. Believe me, I understand the fight against bigotry and hatred, but taking away one's ability to TALK about that bigotry and hatred doesn't make it go away. In fact, the less bigots are able to opine on ideas prejudicial, the more likely they'll strap a crude collection of M-80s and newspaper to a Baptist church. Like it or not, certain groups will ALWAYS hate other groups. However, those groups should be allowed to speak their minds.

Humor, however, is a different story. Humor, for some, is the only thing that makes life remotely livable. To mistakenly observe that our modern humor has become crass and insensitive is to ignore thousands of years of comedy. You're different, I'm different, we laugh about it. That's the way it's been for centuries. It's these very observations of how different we are that bring us together, whether it be flaws, quirks, generalizations, idiosycrosies, trends, desires, dreams. Jesus Christ, even those nauseating videos about the comedic power of pets are only funny because animals AREN'T humans. Are we going to have a fucking special interest group protecting the defamation of cats now?

Anyway, here's the clip. It's the first few minutes that are worth the viewing. After that, we get analysis. And we all know how shitty analysis can be.