Monday, January 31, 2005
"Attention people waiting on the platform. There is no V train running on the weekends - ever. You'll be waiting there until tomorrow morning, and I don't want that."
I WAS IN THE MIDWEST THIS WEEKEND
Lots of interesting stuff, and I'll tell the stories in a couple of days.
But for now:
Folks in the Midwest are a lot more reserved, emotionally. I kind of prefer that, to be honest.
Because in New York, you'll get people saying, "Oh my God, Liam, you look fantastic! You look really great! Oh God, you're so great, I love you!"
And it's real flattering. But then they'll see a sandwich:
"Oh my God, that sandwich looks fantastic! It looks really great! Oh, this sandwich is great, I love it!"
But it can be weird talking to them:
"Your dog, huh?"
"No, he was my son."
"Oh, geez, I'm sorry."
"No, it's all right, I guess. There's a couple more where he came from."
It can be weird.
"So, you're married?"
"Oh yeah, Marge is real nice. I like her a lot."
"Oh. I hear you bought a boat."
"Oh yeah! It's a real beaut! It's got a 440 motor, I applied a thick coat of varnish! I love it! I'm going fishing this weekend, 8 am, so I can spend more time with my boat!"
Someone explained that the reason was he'll spend more time in that boat than in his wife.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Pictures of England flash through my mind, large, like slides the size of my bedroom wall. My first day in London - cold and rainy and the end of October; jet-lagged and tired. I'd arrived at nine-thirty in the morning, and since check-in at my youth hostel was two in the afternoon, that gave me plenty of time to get completely and thoroughly lost in Central London for the next three hours.
I checked in early, at noon. I'd rented a lower bunk in the basement, in a room that held fourteen beds. If I had to describe the sensation of walking into a fourteen-bed youth hostel room for the first time, I'd have to ask you to remember all those old Sylvester the Cat cartoons, where he decides to catch that darn mouse once and for all by laying cheese out on a trap. The scent of the cheese drifts enticingly through the mousehole, forms a hand that grabs the sleeping mouse by the nose and carries him gently out. Now imagine that that scent had formed a fist instead, and had punched Sylvester square in the nuts. That's about the way the smell of this room hit me.
This being my first trip out of the country, I expected nothing less from foreign travel than romance, and intrigue, and exotic locales filled with the sort of strange and unusual peoples you would never meet anywhere else.
I entered the fourteen-bed room to find three cleaning women dragging two vomit-soaked mattresses from their bunk-bed frames and cursing the folly of youth in many tongues.
In my bed, passed out, a hungover pilot for American Eagle, who would tell me later that the vomit-soaked mattresses were courtesy two Israeli youths, celebrating their last night in England before returning home to serve in their army.
Living in the basement of a youth hostel is a unique experience, especially when your room is situated ideally in a spot that can only be described as "directly under the bar." I spent many nights awake, listening to the sounds of 3 am furniture-dragging sessions, or what sounded like Olympic Synchronized Jumping Competitions.
My roommates broke down into two categories. The first were the residents. As I was to learn from Tony, an English lad with an easy-going attitude towards such formalities as "working for a living," he paid eighty-five pounds a month for the privilege of living in a relatively private room, with only three or five roommates. However, Tony and several other hostel-dwellers had found these accommodations too cramped, and had "pulled strings" – his phrase – to live in the more spacious rooms like ours.
Other residents included my upper bunkmate Liam – of all the times growing up, wishing I even knew another boy named Liam to take away the sting of having such a novel, teaseworthy name, little did I dream I would some day be sharing a bed with one.
Another resident, Micki, a short woman directly from Italy, sexy and moved in a way that reminded me of two basketballs stacked one on top of the other. If you asked me to explain that, I wouldn't even know where to begin, but it was an overwhelming impression that I could never shake.
Then there were the transients, like myself, just in for a holiday and gone off into another corner of the globe. Like Sanjay Patel.
In the span of a ten minute conversation, he had told me that he was a very successful dealer of Indian-style furniture – whose business, apparently, was so astoundingly successful that he was headquartered in the basement room of a youth hostel – that he was very successful with the women because he knew how to talk to them, that the only place in the world to truly vacation is Bangladesh, to whose wonders New York City stands as a pale shadow, and that as soon as he learned how to read and write, he was going to be the world's number-one best-selling author.
I remember Sanjay's name only because he made me repeat it several times so that I would bear it in mind the day he hit the worldwide bestseller charts.
He asked me what I did, and I told him what I told everyone I met in London - that I was a reporter for The Bayside Times in Bayside Queens. He told me that writing for a living is a very stupid thing, and that I should make my fortune helping him find new markets for his Indian-style furniture in New York. I tactfully turned down this exciting franchise opportunity.
At some point, his near-monologue awoke the napping Micki, who pointedly walked out of the room. He watched her leave - "She's a bitch," not so much saying the words as spitting them.
"But," he added, pointing at my bunk, "she seems to like guys who sleep in that bed."
I shrugged, while surreptitiously continuing to make notes of everything he'd said, word-for-word, so I could someday mock him in a basement theater in the East Village.
But I was to mark those words later that night. It was midnight, and there was no noise coming through the ceiling of the room. I was lying in bed, trying to get to sleep as quickly as possible in this rare stretch of quiet. Then it came:
"Hey Liam," in a whispered Italian accent, from Micki's bunk across the room.
My heart stopped for an excited second; was this it? Was this to be my foreign romantic adventure? Full of laughter, and intrigue, and possibly the clap?
I turned to face her in the dark, and very smoothly and suavely replied – "Whaaat?"
She said, barely able to contain her reciprocating excitement, "No you - other Liam."
I sighed and turned my back to her, as she whispered, "Liam. Liam, I can't sleep."
But Other Liam couldn't hear her; he had his Discman on, tinny second-hand dance music blasting from their speakers.
A few minutes later, she climbed out of bed and padded over. Standing on my mattress, she leaned onto the Other Liam's bunk. As I heard him shifting and turn over, my heart paused again, and then sank. Was this to be my foreign romantic adventure, listening to the sounds of their burgeoning love directly overhead – full of muffled laughter, and creaking, and wishing I was dead?
He turned off his Discman. "What?"
"Liam," she said, "I no can sleep. Too much noise. Too much music."
He apologized and turned his Discman down. She went back to sleep.
* * * * * * * *
My first day in England, I'd decided that the way to beat jetlag was to stay up all day, walking out and about in the streets of London, forcing my internal clock to readjust.
It took me about twenty minutes to get completely, and utterly lost and thoroughly dispirited – looking at two weeks living on a shoestring in a city thousands of miles from anything I'd ever known, hungry and knowing the only home I had to go back to had all of the welcoming ambience of a Salvation Army Men's Shelter.
If you ever have to pick a neighborhood to wander, wondering if you've made a huge mistake with your travel plans, I would say that the architectural abortion that is southern London along the Thames is your worst bet. As I plodded headlong through the freezing drizzle, one thought kept popping into my head; "If I wanted to vacation among squat, depressing buildings, I could have saved a lot of money and spent the next two weeks in Queens."
I've read about these kinds of moments in books, and they've never come off as convincing for me. They always sound like a lie, a poorly-constructed fairy tale of contrived coincidence designed to prove that, yes, everyday miracles do happen in this world. But it's true.
I was walking along the street, hands in my pockets, head down, wondering what on Earth I could see in London that I couldn't see back home but more comfortably, when I felt it in my sneakers, humming like an angel, gonging deep and clear. I turned a corner, and there was Big Ben, striking four o'clock. Big Ben, which as a poor boy in Queens who had never traveled much further than Massachusetts, I had never expected to see in person, but only in pictures in textbooks and the occasional clip on the old Benny Hill show. And there it was, live and in person.
And I stood in front of Big Ben, and, although every fiber in me that held a born-and-bred New Yorker's contempt for the gawking tourist fought it, I stood in the middle of the sidewalk with my head back, staring it in the face. And I swear to you, as I stand here now, I stood there then, and there was a small break in the cloud cover, and I was in a small pool of sunlight for fifteen seconds, a ray of sunshine fighting through the clouds and embracing me in its temporary warmth.
And after ten minutes of staring, I turned around in time to see the driver of one of those double-decker tour buses hitting a homeless man in the face, smacking him with the open palm hard enough that I could hear the crack from twenty feet down a crowded street, his middle finger out to gouge the man in the eye.
The homeless man stood there, clutching his eye in pain, screaming obscenities at the driver on a crowded street. I was the only person to notice. This was to be my England for the next two weeks.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
What info, you ask? It follows below...
1) - If drunk driving isn't a game, why do they keep giving me points on my license?
Take that, MADD!
2) - Potato chips... delicious to kids.
Paint chips... delicious to kids.
The first man to make paint-flavored potato chips will make a fortune, as will his lawyer.
3) - The Olive Garden keeps running commercials where they promise to treat you like family.
Hey, if I'm going out to a restaurant, they'd better treat me a whole hell of a lot better than my family does.
I'm not paying twenty dollars an entree for a meal of awkward silence and reminders that it's not too late to go to law school.
Also, your server at the Olive Garden won't treat you like family. He hates you, he hates his job, and he really hates the Olive Garden.
All I'm saying is, no matter how awkward Thanksgiving dinner gets, I've never been extra nice to Grandma so she won't spit in my soup.
TSUNAMI BENEFIT DETAILS BELOW:
TUESDAY, February 1st
NYC ComediCares Benefit
Because PS 122 is donating its space and staff, and the comics are all donating their time, 100% of the moneys raised will go to AmeriCares.
at PS 122
150 First Ave. at E. 9th St.
8:00pm - $25.00
Produced by: Karen Sneider & Liam McEneaney
Hosted by: Liam McEneaney (VH1's Best Week Ever, Comedy Central's Premium Blend)
* Christian Finnegan (Comedy Central Presents 1/2 Hour Special, Best Week Ever; writer, Tough Crowd w/ Colin Quinn)
* Jim Gaffigan (Comedy Central Presents, Late Show w/ David Letterman, That '70s Show)
* Demetri Martin (Comedy Central Presents, Late Show w/ David Letterman; writer, Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien)
* Jen Nails (The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The People's Improv Theatre)
* Chris Regan (3x Emmy-winning writer, The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart)
* Jason Trachtenburg (of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players)
* Victor Varnado (Premium Blend, the Montreal Comedy Festival, and the movies End of Days & Pluto Nash)
* and rock band The Domestics
FEATURING THE WORLD'S MOST KICKASS RAFFLE:
* An iPod donated by TekServe
*A copy of "America (the book)" autographed by Jon Stewart and the Daily Show correspondants and writing staff
* Comedy Central CD/DVDs from Jim Gaffigan, Todd Barry, Dave Attell and Dane Cook
* Other very cool Comedy Central stuff
* Limited edition Jimmy Kimmel Live! autographed baseball caps/photos
* From VH1 - 20 '90s long sleeve t-shirts, a couple of Big in '04 t-shirt sets and 1 hip hop sweatshirt
* A pair of tickets to Saturday Night Live
* and more...
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
So the segment they had me on that aired was about reality TV shows that were either spin-offs of other reality shows (Strange Love, which was a spin-off of The Surreal Life) or rip-offs (Celebrity Fit Club, which was a rip-off of The Biggest Loser).
And sure they edit that shit, so all the "unfunny" jokes are left off the show. But I thought it would be neat to share with you all the jokes I wrote for that segment, both good and bad. Also, that way, I would be able to just throw some crap on my blog and not have to write anything new for today:
UPGRADE/DOWNGRADE - REALITY SHOW SPIN-OFFS/RIP-OFFS
1) There's a TV show called Strange Love, which follows former bad-ass/crackhead Flava Flav (he was the member of Public Enemy who always wore a big clock on a chain around his neck) and Brigitte Nelsen ( from Red Sonja and a lot of straight-to-Cinemax action movies), as they fall in love with each other as the cameras roll.
a) - Finally, VH1 has created a "Joanie Loves Chachi" for my generation.
It resolves all the unanswered questions from the last season of The Surreal World.
What's great is that these two are such freaks that the fact that they're an interracial couple has flown completely under the radar.
They're both divorced; she from Stallone, he from the real world
b) Are they worthy of a reality show?
- YES. I watch Flav, and get the feeling he's a hit series away from scrubbing toilets in a bus station.
- YES. It's the first time I've watched a reality show and felt they were toning it down for the cameras.
- NO. Only because I suspect reality is something they both said bye-bye to a while ago.
c) What are some other celebrity couples I'd like to see?
- Corey Feldman & a mirror – You know he's made out with his own reflection more than once.
- Star Jones & Liza Minelli – I'd watch that 24 hours a day. Plus, they could compare notes on living with a gay husband.
- Anna Nicole Smith & Larry King – It's a toss-up as to who would kill whom first.
2) Queer Eye for the Straight Girl
It's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but with a woman getting made over. And also, um, no - that's the only difference. I'm real happy, because I'm like, "Hey Queer Eye's over. I want to watch the same exact show over again."
Finally, TV has a show that tells young women they aren't pretty enough.
The show features a lesbian named Honey Labrador. The rest of that joke just wrote itself.
b) The show stars 3 gay men and a lesbian. In other words, 3 gay men and a reason for me to watch.
You could have 50 gay guys, it still wouldn't be as gay as that Kenny Loggins On Ice special I saw on NBC a few weeks ago.
I know a lot of young women who've said, "Man, I want to be as fashionable as the Indigo Girls, but how…?"
3) SUPER NANNY
We get Mary Poppin' Fresh, as a British nanny teaches American parents how to make their unruly children behave.
To be fair, this isn't a rip-off of Nanny 911 – it's a rip-off of Mr. Belvedere.
I watch the kids on these Nanny shows, and I want to make a reality show called "Let's Smack This Evil Little Bastard In the Back of the Head, That'll Learn 'Im!"
4) CELEBRITY FIT CLUB
VH1 rips off NBC show The Biggest Loser with Celebrity Fit Club, where superstar celebrities like Daniel "The Forgotten" Baldwin and Ralphie May and Wendy From Those Snapple Commercials go through a weight-loss regimen. On VH1. Why couldn't VH1 rip off a good NBC show, like Frasier? The biggest loser is Viacom for airing this crap.
I love their definition of "Celebrity." Being on Best Week Ever makes me a bigger "celebrity" than Daniel Baldwin.
But the good news is, being on this show means that Ralphie May is no longer famous.
I wish that what happened in Celebrity Fit Club could just stay in Celebrity Fit Club.
5) SPORTS ILLUSTRATED – SWIMSUIT MODEL SEARCH
- It's a rip-off of some other reality show you never watched.
- You know what? You might as well just watch real porn.
- I would watch this if it had the models go through a spelling bee segment.
Monday, January 24, 2005
...and suddenly it's all not so bad!
Sure, it's easy to make a toilet for an elephant, but where do you get a twenty-foot copy of The NY Times for it to read?
In other, more personal news...
My roommate made some stew tonight. Man it smells good. Really, really good.
Like, if God came downstairs in the middle of the night and gave you a long hug, even if it was a little too tight and lingering, you wouldn't mind, because the hot smell of His breath wouldn't be stale beer and bourbon, but rather the smell of this stew.
I know I can't eat my roommate's food that she worked a long time to prepare for herself - or can I? Please post any halfway decent rationalizations for doing the wrong thing in the Comment box below. Because man, I want me some of that delicious-smelling stew.
You know how, in those old Sylvester cartoon, he would lay a piece of cheese out on a trap, and the odour would drift into the mousehole, form a hand, and lift the mouse up and carry it in its sleep to the cheese? The stew aroma also formed a large hobnailed boot and kicked me in the ass with it.
That's a good-smelling stew. It smells like I imagine the lives of those people in the Reader's Digest true-life inspirational stories must smell - good, and wholesome, and the product of clean living.
Friday, January 21, 2005
I think it's called "Nerve" because some of those women got some goddamn nerve.
For instance: I went out with a woman through Nerve. We were having a really good time, walked out of the bar, walked across the street, where we ran into her boyfriend.
Nice guy. Didn't say a lot. As we walked away, she said, "You may be wondering why that was so awkward."
I think it was my fault; in my profile, under "Who I'm Looking For," I didn't write anything like, "Someone who isn't actually in a relationship. Awkward encounters with a boyfriend a minus - awesome encounters with a girlfriend a serious plus."
Not only was that was the best Nerve date I went on, but it might have been the best date I'd been on period in a long time.
MO VAUGHN, MO' PROBLEMS
or, If It's Friday, I Must Be Bitching About the Mets
I'm jealous of Boston Red Sox fans. Truly.
They spent years blaming their team's problems on an imaginary "Curse of Babe Ruth."
Whereas Mets fans can blame all their losing on a too-real "Curse of Being Owned By Fred Wilpon."
Fred Wilpon likes to make decisions that are really really excellent provided his team is in Bizarro World.
Wilpon's decided to fix all the Mets' problems with a bunch of super-expensive free agents. You know, like the way the Yankees were able to solve all their problems after 2000 with Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, and Kevin Brown and not win the World Series since.
Sure, the 2000 Series the Mets lost to the Yankees, but remember; the Mets were playing with a team that could be described as Bad News Bears-esque. The Mets 2000 team was basically a Yomiuri Giants farm team. I think the 3rd Cavalry sent less men to Japan in World War II than the Mets did in 2001.
Not only was just being there a victory in and of itself, but the fact that the Mets didn't throw their mitts into the dirt around the third inning of the first game and say, "This sucks, I'm outta here" shows a strength of character that, quite frankly, eludes me.
So far, they've spent a combined total of about $170 million on Pedro and Carlos. Which sounds fair, until you remember that in the 1970s, the US government was able to spend six million dollars to turn Steve Austin into a cyborg. Even adjusting for thirty years of inflation, the Mets could easily afford to turn ten mediocre minor leaguers into superhuman man/machines.
Now that they've got $50 million Pedro "Father Time" Martinez and $120 million Carlos "Time to Tighten the" Beltran, the Mets are looking to get Carlos Delgado. Of course, we all remember what happened the last time the Mets tried to patch their holes with super-expensive free agents - Mo' Money, Mo Vaughn, Mo' Problems.
Mo Vaugh - a high-priced wunderkind snatched from the Boston Red Sox - who was so alarmingly fat that I was shocked he never took the field in a Klingon uniform. Mo Vaugh, who made every half-hearted half-bend half-grab for the ball look like a Sweatin' to the Oldies ad.
Mo Vaughn, who was so fat that there was not a sports journalist in New York - including in The Village Voice's old sports section - who didn't manage to sneak in three fat jokes per Mets story. In fact, when the Mets were bidding on Beltran, the Daily News' Mike Lupica brought up the subject of Mo' Vaughn one into his columns just to make a Mo-is-Fat joke.
That was the same year that saw Future Hall-of-Famer Roberto Alomar melt down and morph into Future Local Sportscaster Sandy Alomar. Don't get me wrong; I'd love to see Beltran turn out to be the next Gary Carter, and Delgado turn out to be the next Lenny Dykstra, rather than the next "Marvellous" Marv Throneberry.
Speaking of whom, here's a little Mets-related trivia:
In 1962, old-school New York journalist/legend Jimmy Breslin followed the brand-new and already-dismal NY Mets and wrote a book about it called Can't Anyone Here Play This Game? At the time, this was a quote he attributed to Mets' manager Casey Stengel.
Over thirty years later, Breslin wrote another book in which he admitted making up that quote because it sounded good. He then expressed chagrin, because it became a widely-quoted sports cliche, and he couldn't collect royalties on its use in the titles of plays or movies or TV shows or anything.
And that, oh goyim, is the definition of "chutzpah."
Thursday, January 20, 2005
It's weird; until the age of 13, an imaginary friend is considered adorable.
At the age of 14, it's considered a reason to watch you more closely.
Of course, I had an imaginary girlfriend. She lived in my right hand.
We still see each other.
GROSS! NEVER DO ON STAGE!
* * * * *
Why is it that whenever someone hears voices, the voices always tell them to do something totally f'ed up?
"Why'd you kill those kittens?"
"It was them voices told me do it."
Why can't the voices ever suggest something pleasant, like, "YOU'D BETTER BAKE SOME BREAD. MAKE HOT APPLE PIE OR ELSE ALIENS WILL STEAL YOUR BRAIN."
* * * * *
Jesus always ends up talking to homeless people. That makes sense.
Who else has the time in their busy day to listen to Jesus rambling about stuff?
Talk to an average guy with a job. Sure, he has a great respect for Jesus, but he doesn't want to have to say something like, "Hey Jesus, that's a great point about the meek, but I've got to get this call. My boss hates it when I let her phone ring.
* * * * *
Crazy people are always ranting about the CIA using brain-scan technology to listen in on their thoughts.
What if they're right?
It would make sense that the CIA is listening in on a crazy person's thoughts, rather than a sane person's. Because a sane person is just thinking, "Ho de do di do, better buy some milk on te way home."
Whereas a crazy person actually has a rich and interesting inner life.
Which would you rather eavesdrop on: a guy who thinks he's Abe Lincoln or a Certified Public Accountant?
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Yes, that Leon Russell.
I think it might actually be a toss-up as to which of us is more famous.*
I like to think that that weekend will live forever in town folklore as "The Day Liam Met Leon, and Said Something He Thought Was Innocuous, But Made Leon Russell Cry, and Everyone Just Glared at Liam as He Sheepishly Tried To Explain Himself."
* Eh, who am I kidding? I'm less famous than Leon Russell.
It's true; I won't have it in my house.
I won't have it playing golf with me in my country club.
And I will not have it marrying my daughter.
I don't care what she says - I know that cheese is not Gouda 'nough for her. Don't look at me like I'm some kind of muenster. Sure, I remember being young, summer love down at the ricottage.by the lake. Amd when my father forbade our love, I was left feeling bleu. But those feelings weren't parmesanenant. And now I've found religion; I worship Swiss, which is the holy Cheeses.
I apologize heartily for the above.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
There's a bar in New York City called the White Horse Tavern, which is very famous for being the place where the great poet Dylan Thomas literally drank himself to death.
The White Horse Tavern has decided to deal with this notoriety by putting up Dylan Thomas posters all over the bar. The bartender will tell you something about Thomas, if he likes you.
It's kind of weird, this bar that helped kill Thomas not only not being ashamed of this, but actually kind of proud of it.
The message is - "Here's what killed this guy. Let us sell you the thing that killed him."
No other company on earth does that.
You don't see GE selling "Sylvia Plath Brand Retro Gas Stoves."
Or Jim Beam's "Jimi Hendrix 80 proof Epicac."
Or Oscar Meyer selling "Mama Cass Ham Sandwich Filling."
* * * *
Last week, there was a widely-reported gossip item that had Lauren Bacall at some dinner telling a story about what a douche Charlton Heston is for snubbing her and Pedro Almodovar at the Cannes Film Festival. She complained Heston acted like he didn't even who they were.
Hey dipshit, maybe that's because he has Alzheimer's and doesn't even know who you are any more.
He doesn't even know who he is.
I mean, don't get me wrong - Heston is a douche.
But come on...
The second is also VERY important to me because my friend Karen Sneider and I are coproducing a show in NYC sponsored by AmeriCares to benefit the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia. It's an event that has freaked-out and moved us deeply.
Thank you for your attention:
Friday & Saturday, January 28th & 29th
Headlining for the weekend
at The Woodstock Opera House
Woodstock, Illinois, off of the town square
8:00pm - $10.00 SUGGESTED DONATION
On Friday, a local band will be opening for me. On Saturday, a local comedian from Second City. Come out, I'll be doing a full 45-minute set.
The guy who runs the space suggested I write some groundhog jokes. That probably won't happen.
FUN FACT: The Woodstock town square is where they filmed "Groundhog Day." There's a plaque over a pothole that says, "Bill Murray stepped here."
TUESDAY, February 1st
NYC ComediCares Benefit
a comedy concert for the victims of the tsunami
at PS 122
150 First Ave. at E. 9th St.
8:00pm - $25.00
100% of proceeds to go to AmeriCares to benefit the victims of the awful tsunami tragedy in southeast Asia.
Hosted by: Liam McEneaney
* Christian Finnegan (Comedy Central Presents 1/2 Hour Special; writer, Tough Crowd w/ Colin Quinn)
* Jim Gaffigan (Comedy Central Presents, Late Show w/ David Letterman, That '70s Show)
* Todd Levin (tremble.com)
* Demetri Martin (Comedy Central Presents, Late Show w/ David Letterman; writer, Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien)
* Chris Regan (3x Emmy-winning writer, The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart)
* Karen Sneider (metromonster.com)
* Jason Trachtenberg (of the Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players)
* Victor Varnado (from the movies End of Days & Pluto Nash)
FEATURING THE WORLD'S MOST KICKASS RAFFLE:
Prizes include an iPod donated by TekServe, a copy of "The Daily Show presents America (the book)" autographed by Jon Stewart, and more fun stuff like that....
Monday, January 17, 2005
It wouldn't have been so bad, but she called me collect. I felt bad, and then I felt dumb when I got my bill and I was lke, "Man, I can't believe I paid eighteen dollars to find out what a bad boyfriend I am. No wonder she thought I was too distant; she called me from San Juan, Puerto Rico?"
What was worse was I had a woman break up with me via e-mail.
That wouldn't have been so bad, but the subject heading was, "INCREASE YOUR PENIS 3 - 6 INCHES!!!!"
But I think was the worst was the woman who broke up with me via singing telegram.
I had a guy in a gorilla suit show up at my house and say, "Goodbye my honey, goodbye my goodbye, hello my rag-time gal. You were no good in bed..." etc.
Scat-ellite of Love
The phrase-ology of Love is kind of awkward. The words you use to describe love are the same words you use to describe how much trouble you're in.
"I'm deep in love."
"I'm in some deep shit."
"He fell in love for real."
"He stumbled into some serious shit."
"Now to exchange the holy vows."
"Holy shit, I just made a huge mistake."
Same thing applies to love for members of your family.
Like, if your teenage son says, "You won't let me join a sex cult, I hate you!"
And you say, "Tough shit," that's "tough love."
And if you beat the shit out of someone, you pretty much beat their capacity to love you out of them.
Friday, January 14, 2005
The NY Jets - Post-season ends here, guys. Sorry, but you're about to face the Steelers, a team that features the unstoppable and unspellable Ben Roethslisberger, as well as an offensive line that apparently includes Jesus, Muhammed, and the reincarnated Dalai Lama.
PREDICTION: A New York sports press that's spent the last week convincing themselves that the Jets are legitimate contenders will be shocked and dismayed that the Jets lost. Somehow, the Jets making it to the playoffs with a gimpy quarterback whose arm is falling off will be spun as a huge failure for coach Herm Edwards.
The New York Yankees: The Big Unit is now a Yankee, meaning that for the first time The NY Times sports section had the same headline as Hustler. Also, it marks the 8000000th time The NY Post had the same headline as Hustler.
By the way, the reason he's called "The Big Unit" is because he's the biggest prick in baseball.
Frankly, the more he physically lashes out at the press, the happier I am. The only thing funnier than a guy who if it wasn't for baseball would be "Randy, the Guy You Don't Want to Mess With Down at the Feed Store, 'Specially After 6 When He's Had Some Moonshine In 'Im And He's An Ornery Old Cuss" shoving a reporter is - HIS AGENT ALAN NERO (right name, right?) shoving that SAME REPORTER at the press conference introducing "Old Cooter" as a Yankee.
PREDICTION: If Johnson loses more than one game in a row, the press will absolutely ream him.
The NY Mets: Shit I'm running out of time. All I know is, this year's clubhouse is going to be the funniest to watch:
Pedro - the guy's insane. He may adopt Vern Troyer as a mascot, or hey may just pee in a corner himself while muttering incoherently.
They signed a Korean relief pitcher, because New York embraced Jae Seo Wong so readily. Now, I don't have time to look this guy's name up, but his agent spent two weeks telling the world that the Yankees had signed him. The Yankees would then patiently explain to the press that, no, they actually had not signed the guy. Then the agent would say that actually, yes, the Yankees had signed his client but were keeping quiet until the Johnson trade went through.
Well, the Johnson trade went through and - this kid's a Met. I suspect we haven't heard the last of this pair of jokers.
Carlos Beltran - New York sports culture, which is hungrier for young flesh than your average shark, is going to give this guy exactly twenty seconds to be the next Mickey Mantle. I hope Beltran can handle the pressure, because otherwise we're going to see a Chernoble-style meltdown. I'm going to be honest; I have a fairly thick skin, and i don't think I could handle the Post back-page headline writers, which has already dubbed him a "YANKEE REJECT" (because god forbid one section of that paper be free of Pravda-style propaganda; remember it's the flagship paper of the Murdoch FOX media empire).
Alright, gotta go. Hope you enjoyed this.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Photo: Robyn Chapman
EL CRITICS HAVE SPOKEN
* Here's a Spanish-language review of this blog (you have to scroll down a bit). I'm not sure, but I think it's postive; if I haven't forgotten all the first-year Spanish I never studied, this guy calls me "the Buddhist Woody Allen."
Also, it's nice to see that the phrase "GOO FELLAS" is universal.
I SOMETIMES THINK THERE SHOULD BE A COMEDY "SCARED STRAIGHT" PROGRAM
A program that would bring youngsters to open mics so they learn the horros of trying to be funny, and are encouraged to find other, more positive ways of spending their lives.
If there were, this video clip of "Angry Bob" as his character "Satan Claus" dealing with a heckler at an open mic at four in the morning would be central to it.
THEY SAY THAT SEX IS ALL ABOUT CHEMISTRY
I believe it; I failed at both in high school.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
In case you don't know, the streets and subways of New York City swarm with kids selling candy, ostensibly for their schools' basketball teams or whatever. Generally, when you see a kid approach you with a yellow cardboard box with the M&M's logo, you can keep your head down and avoid eye contact.
One sunny day, I was waiting on the southern edge of Union Square, waiting to cross 14th street. A little kid, probably no older than nine, approached me with a yellow M&M's box and said, "Excuse me mister, would you like to buy some candy?"
And I said, "No thanks, I don't eat candy." And turned away from him to face the trafic.
He replied, "It's only fifty cents and it goes to support my school's baseball team."
I turned back again and said, "No thanks, sorry."
Then he said, "I bet if I was a little white kid you'd buy candy from me."
Now, there's nothing that makes me angrier than randomly being accused of racism for absolutely no good reason other than someone wants to pick a fight with you. It's ugly, and I don't stand with it.
So I turn to say something angry, but as I turn, it occurs to me that I'm dealing with a nine year-old kid, and therefore, I can't just curse him out. There's no winning a fight with a nine year-old kid on thestreet, because just being eighteen years older than him means he wins automatically.
So I turned and said something incredibly coherent:
"You - just - be quiet."
To which he replied:
"Fuck you nigga. You be quiet."
My first inclination was to explain to this modern Oliver Twist all the levels on which calling me a "nigga" was wrong.
Then my second, yet much stronger inclination, was to smack him upside the head.
However, I suspected that he had a Fagen nearby who would have beat the shit out of me - and then stolen fifty cents from my pocket and shoved M&Ms down my throat.
So I went with Plan C - I turned away and walked across the street.
Sometimes being a bigger man means having to be a bigger man.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
They're having iPods.
It's weird to see them at a party, because they get a little - odd - about their iPods:
"Look who I brought to the party."
"Oooh, a mini! How cute! I didn't bring mine - it was feeling a little wonky. But I brought some pictures!"
"How cute. A 20?"
"Graduated to 40. He's holding three months of music right now. We're so proud."
I suspect my mom wants me to give her grandkids. Maybe because she drops little hints like, "Hmm, England is so much fun, I'd love to take my grandkids there some day, if I have any."
Or sometimes, she'll say something even more incredibly subtle like, "I wonder if my children are going to give me grandkids some day. Because I'd love to have some before I die. What do you think, Liam?"
And i just say, "Hey mom, if you think you're ready to support me and my kids, just let me know. Until then, let me get to a point where I can keep a houseplant alive for a month first."
Also, I think I'll probably have to have a functional relationship that lasts more than three months.
My attempts at dating are a lot like those old FOX "World's Craziest Car Chases" shows:
"This guy thinks he's about to get away with a goodnight kiss. Little does he know there's a big brick wall up ahead - uh-oh, she's a strict Mormon?!?! Crash and burn! Bet he didn't see that coming!"
Monday, January 10, 2005
Now, I know not engage in these conversations. Nothing good ever follows the phrase, "Hey yo my man."
No one ever comes up to you and says, "Hey yo my man, you want some chocolate ice cream? Have some hot apple pie."
And if they do, eat it, because - street pie = YUM!
So I just said, "I have no money," and kept walking.
This enraged him:
"Yo! Why the fuck you think I'm asking for money? Because I'm black I got to be homeless? What kind of racist shit is that?"
And I thought, he's right. Maybe he wants directions or something. No reason to assume he needs my money. There's a very good chance he has more money than I do. A very good chance.
So I turned and said, "Okay, what do you want?"
And he said, "Oh, uh - you got - a cigarette?"
"I don't smoke."
"You got - money for a cigarette?"
And then we laughed and laughed.
HERE'S A PROMO E-MAIL I SENT OUT FOR A SHOW I'M DOING TOMORROW:
I'll be doing a twenty-minute set at the Knitting Factory, so please come on out. It's gonna be a good one:
Tuesday, January 11th
The Knitting Factory
74 Leonard St
(Between Church St & Broadway)
8:00pm - $10.00
RESERVATIONS: (212) 219-3006
With: Goldstein (Writer MTV's Boiling Point), Jason Reich (Emmy-winning Writer, The Daily Show), Bob Wiltfong (Daily Show Correspondent), Stuckey & Murray (comedy music duo), and of course, your pal Liam McEneaney. PLUS MUCH MORE!
Simply reply with an e-mail in the form of a Shakespearian sonnet entitled, "Here's the better thing I have to do with my life."
An English or Shakespearean sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines, where four divisions are used: three quatrains (each with a rhyme-scheme of its own, usually rhyming alternative lines) and a rhymed concluding couplet. The typical rhyme-scheme for the English sonnet is abab cdcd efef gg. The couplet at the end is often a commentary on the preceding quatrains, and an epigrammatic close.
Here is an example of a Shakespearian Sonnet:
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
[Line 9]* - The friend's 'summer' or 'prime of life' will remain eternal because the poet immortalizes him in verse. Lines 10-14 confirm this reading. For more on this theme, see sonnet 55.
[Line 12]* - Because of the poet's verse the friend will actually grow as one with time ("to time thou growest"). For similar imagery, see sonnet 15, line 14.
Sonnet 18 is perhaps the best known and most well-loved of all 154 poems. It is also one of the most straightforward in language and intent. The stability of love and its power to immortalize the poetry and the subject of that poetry is the theme. The poet starts the praise of his dear friend without ostentation, but he slowly builds the image of his friend into that of a perfect being. His friend is first compared to summer in the octave, but, at the start of the third quatrain (9), he is summer, and thus, he has metamorphosed into the standard by which true beauty can and should be judged. The poet's only answer to such profound joy and beauty is to ensure that his friend be forever in human memory, saved from the ultimate oblivion that accompanies death. He achieves this through his verse, believing that, as history writes itself, his friend will become one with time (or, more informally, keep up to time). The couplet reaffirms the poet's hope that as long as there is breath in mankind, his poetry too will live on, and ensure the immortality of his muse.
Mabillard, Amanda. "An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18". Shakespeare Online. 2000. http://www.shakespeare-online.com (day/month/year).
Friday, January 07, 2005
I did a show this week, and tried out my Starbucks joke.
A drunk woman at the bar who had been heckling started yelling: "You should buy - "
I cut her off, "You should buy another drink and put it in your mouth and stop talking to me."
After I got off-stage, this punk-rocky lady came up to me and said, "You drink at Starbucks?"
I replied, "Well, once every few months I'll go in to write."
She rolled her eyes at me and said, "Yeah right. Well, when you get firebombed in a Starbucks, don't say you weren't warned."
I think that if I get firebombed in a Starbucks, whether or not I was warned will probably be one of the last things on my mind.
Don't get me wrong, I'll probably be surprised.
But the thought process will probably go:
* Ouch I'm in pain.
* Hey, I'm on fire.
* Oh shit.
* I'm gonna die.
* So many things I regret.
* Great, now my ashes will be mixed up with these Butternut coffee grounds.
* Do you think that girl notices I'm on fire?
* Did I leave the stove on before i left the house?
* I wonder who's coming to my funeral. Josh better come, I showed up at his birthday party.
* Four bucks for a Mocha-something?! These fuckers do deserve a firebombing.
* Who would have thought Forest Hills, Queens was such a hotspot for anarchists?
* Now I'll never find out how The Mystery of Edwin Drood ends. If only I'd been able to finish it!
* What a surprise. If only someone would have warned me ahead of time.
* Wait - is that my cell phone ringing?
* * * * * * *
GIANTS STEP FORWARD
The NY Football Giants managed to actually not lose their last game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys.
A team spokesman said this was a sign that next season will be better than 2004.
First of all: Well, duh. What'd they lose, 12 games in a row? They could be reassigned as an Arena League team, and they're gonna have a better season in '05
Secondly, what the hell else would a team spokesman say? He's paid to act like he believes the Giants have a chance. I'd love to see a team spokesman just be completely honest at the next press conference:
"Well, we've basically wasted our money and draft picks on Eli Manning. All the players hate Coach Coughlin. Our offense is about as effective as The French Resistance. Our defense couldn't stop a broken refrigerator from running. Our best player is Tiki Barber, who is already taking retirement gigs like writing a childen's book. And for the first time, Jeremy Shockey's legs are actually running faster than his mouth. To be frank, my resume's hitting more desks this week than the 2005 Dilbert-A-Day calendar. In fact, I think I'd like to work for a newspaper. I have writing skills. Do any of you know about any job openings?"
* * * * * * *
OMAR'S MINAYA-CAL PLAN TO DESTROY THE METS
I was going to write this whole thing about how dumb the Mets are to offer Carlos Beltran $100 million dollars over six years based on two stellar weeks in the 2004 playoffs (which his team, the Houston Astros, didn't even win).
However, last night my friend Paul Sullivan, who was recently seen on HBO in the Curse of the Bambino Red Sox documentary, sent me an e-mail summing up the whole situation nicely:
I agree that Beltran is overrated.
If ANYONE is going to pull a Bonilla/Alomar tumble in Flushing it is Beltran.
The Astros are a team he has played for, he loves the city, he loves the team, he loves playing in that market, his family is happy there, they have a terrific chance to make the World Series and they are offering him $95 million
You can see why he has having trouble resigning there
If Beltran does end up at Shea (not too likely), it will make the Mets THE team to watch implode this year. Oof.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
So I don't watch much TV. My roommate got Arrested Development, Season 1 on DVD, and I spent an entire night watching that until 6 in the morning, but for the most part TV gives me a headache. Plus, I have commitment issues - I can't promise TV that I'll sit through an entire half-hour, let alone stick around next week to catch what happens next.
Sorry TV, but I'm a busy man. I'm seeing books, and comedy. I mean, I like you, but not enough to rearrange my whole life around you. What about my needs??!!! (Three hours of sobbing and suicide threats later, I leave TV. TV screams, "You think you're done with me??!!! You'll be back! And when you come back, I'll be worse to you than ever! And you'll love it!" And the thing that makes me saddest is, I know TV's right.)
ANOTHER QUICK NOTE: I just realized that this is the very worst kind of blog entry, the "What I Watched on TV Last Night Entry." I apologize. Back to the action:
But my laundromat has a TV that's on all the time. Partly to entertain the patrons, mostly to distract us from killing each other over dryer time. because even the most passive, apathetic person who normally wouldn't stop an old lady getting mugged in broad daylight will get into a fistfight if someone dares take his laundry out of the dryer, even if he's left the laundromat for three hours, and just let his laundry sit there taking up precious dryer space. What a douchebag.
The other day, I walked into my laundromat, and on TV - Tony Danza's cooking show.
Tony Danza. Has a cooking show.
Then I read a story about the NY Football Giants' miraculous non-defeat to the Dallas Cowboys.
I will have to address the end of the NY Football Giants' season in tomorrow's entry. I started writing a small paragraph about it, and it's already getting ridiculous out of hand.
My point is, I look up from the newspaper, and The View is on. Now, there's some shows I've never bothered to watch. I've never seen The Survivor, never watched a minute of The Apprentice. Someone once asked me who I was rooting for in The Survivor, and my answer was: "I'm rooting for starvation leading to cannabilism."
Sure, I followed The Surreal Life Season I - because there are very few people in this world I feel superior to, and Corey Feldman embodies three of them. And I did catch the beginning of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here until I realized there were more productive uses of my time, like hitting my head with a small ballpeen hammer.
But I have to say that The View is quite possibly the greatest show in the history of television, because the women who host the show clearly hate each other. It's like every group of horrible women I was raised around; they act like they're listening to each other, but about a quarter inch below their incredibly shallow smiles lies a completely obvious hostility.
I'd always assumed that the reports of Star Jones being pissed at Joy Behar were just cheap publicity for the show (basically, at Jones' wedding to her gay husband, there was a strict NO CAMERAS POLICY - because Heaven forfend that pictures from that bacchinalia get leaked to the public. I'm sure Hello! is going to pay a ton of money for a picture of Barbara Walters making bored polite conversation with the head of ABC Daytime Programming. Anyway, Behar took some pictures anyway, and Jones was pissed), but man, these two can barely look at each other.
At one point, Jones was talking about how her New Year's resolution was - um, some bullshit about using things in her environment to create a positive mental space or something like that. To be honest, I wasn't taking notes. I was paying attention to her cohosts. If Love is the Universal Language, then Absolute And Utter Loathing must be the Universal Body Language.
At another point, and I really wish I could remember how this came up, but the youngest, blondest co-host started talking about how "I've really been thinking about this, about how people used to have really strong senses like animals, but we use machines to help us and they dull us. Like, people used to have a really strong sense of smell to help us hunt, but since we use computers to help us, we can't. We used to have strong senses to help us sense danger..." (this is paraphrased, I don't remember)
And her cohosts looked at each other like, "What the fuck...?"
Anyway, The View is awesome; it's like the coffee klatsch from Hell. In fact, if the producers are watching, I have one suggestion to improve the show - handguns. And in each gun, one bullet. Now that's a Survivor I'd root for.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
And so I got up off my ass and left the house - the second that the Leif Garret Behind the Music special was over. And when it turned out nothing good was on any other channel.
I don't follow music much, either. Actually, I started listening to New York's local alt. rock station (K-ROCK) because I thought it was ridiculous that I'm a fairly young guy, and yet I have such a horrible grasp of what's going on in the world of music that whenever the conversation turns to any music from the last ten years, I sound like an 83 year-old man:
"What? Mighty Mouse is in a band? The superhero? Modest Mouse? In my day the dad-blanged rock-in-roll music bands had good solid respectable names, like Poison! And Anthrax! And Guns n' Roses! You kids today with your sensistive singer-songwriter types! You don't know fun until you see a degraded supermodel draped across the hood of a car, while third-rate hair metal drones in the background! Get Grandpa his whiskey and he'll tell you a story about a girl I like to call, 'My Cherry Pie'."
I also listen to K-Rock because I love that Jet song - I think it's called "This Sounds So Exactly Like Every Beatles Song Ever Written, You'll Assume It's By Oasis" - I love that Jet song so much that I absolutely need to hear it seven times an hour.
My point is, I have a horrible grasp of the pop culture. I recently auditioned to be on one of those VH1 "Talk to the Camera About What's Going On In US Weekly" shows, and I had to write jokes about some topics going on in the world around me.
And so I got this packet with topics I had to make jokes about, and I realized that it might as well have been about News From Mars.
I literally fell asleep halfway through writing jokes about Julia Roberts' twins.
Okay, I was going somewhere with this, but i've rambled on for far too long. Tomorrow - my point about television!
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
* WITH SEX YOU GET LEGROLL
* JIZZ SAIGON
* 3 MEN & A BOOBY
* 3 MEN & A LITTLE PERSON
* MANDINGO ATE MY BABY!
* FLIGHT OF THE ANAL INTRUDER
* GOO FELLAS
* LEZ MISS OR BALLS
* Y TU MAMA LESBIEN
* THE OMEGA CO-ED
* TONGUE YANKIN' STEIN
* SNATCH GAME '75
* CUM-SHINE OF THE SPOTLESS 'HIND
* BILL COSBY: DOES HIMSELF
Monday, January 03, 2005
It's always something like, "Hey, did you hear about Tim? He writes his friggin' girlfriend all kinds of poetry and crap. He's so friggin' gay."
All right, let's break this down; Tim has a girlfriend who has sex with him, and he's found a way to get her to keep having sex with him. That isn't gay, that's smart.
You, on the other hand, haven't had a girlfriend in eighteen months. You feel the need to tell me all about these lesbian porn videos you watch - why, so I get a boner with you? That isn't smart, my friend, that's gay.
These are the same guys who always need to preface a statement with, "I'm not gay or nothin'..."
Hey, I know you aren't gay; women don't talk to you in bars.
If you were gay, you might actually be getting laid.