Thursday, August 31, 2006
The next morning, you see her in the sunlight. She's a little older than you remember. She's got a five o'clock shadow. And an Adam's Apple.
And that's when you realize; you went home with David Lee Roth.
* * * * *
Joe Piscopo's divorce is getting ugly; he just asked for a restraining order against his wife.
Joe Piscopo doesn't need a restraining order; if he wants to keep someone away, he just needs a sign that reads "JOE PISCOPO PERFORMING LIVE TONIGHT!"
* * * * *
Stalkers, though, that's a different story. I was reading this article about stalking, and it said that most stalkers will bombard their victims with phone calls and letters, no matter how clear it's made that this is unwanted.
And that's when I realized, I'm being stalked by student loan people.
And my grandmother.
* * * * *
Speaking of elderly people I love, here's Bob Dylan's new video When The Deal Does Down, with Scarlett Johanson. It makes no sense, so enjoy!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
In fact, I've never met a Duke and thought, "Now there's a model of class, restraint, and nobility."
It makes me wonder if over in England, they give their royalty names like "Roscoe" and "Lester."
"Your majesty, please allow me to introduce the Viscount Leroy of Moorshead Upon Trailer Park."
* * * * *
I'm now 30, or if you're in the industry, 28, which means that I'm rapidly approaching the age where MILFs become just plain ILFs.
* * * * *
I know a guy who trains seeing-eye dogs. He specializes in pit bulls.
He hates blind people.
A blind lady killed his brother. But it wasn't her fault. her temp agency had an opening for school bus driver, and she needed the money.
* * * * *
That was a hilarious exercise in joke writing. And speaking of hilarious exercises...
As a parent, I know why you'd want to videotape this. It's adorable. But I have no idea why on Earth would you would post it on YouTube...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
So I put on my boxers and my ratty t-shirt and I answered the door, and there were these two guys in suits. And I said, "What the hell do you want?"
And the first guy said, "This is my office. And it's time for your annual performance review."
And that's when I started collecting unemployment.
* * * * *
I don't hate women. However, I do hate the things they make me do to myself.
Like, bathe. Wear clean underwear.
Jesus ladies, relax with your "standards." My last name ain't Rockefeller you know.
* * * * *
This is one of those videos that goes from "Huh, this is annoying," to "Wow, that was hilarious" in literally the blink of an eye. Check it out:
Monday, August 28, 2006
Judging by her karaoke stylings, I hope someone overdubbed her singing voice for The Cheetah Girls 2.
The most excellent thing about that last link is that it proves the best feature of Wikipedia: allowing some poor intern in the Disney publicity office to post official info about its programming in an encyclopedia format. Meanwhile, the Brittanica has to dea lwith all its "standards" for "what merits being a permanent part of the Western canon of information."
By the way, the phrase "hit tween girls" is an excellent idea.
* * * * *
I decided to sample the "nightlife" of Queens. I think I owe Williamsburg an apology; hanging out in Queens is deadly.
The best part about getting a beer at Tailors' Hall, a local with a DJ spinning, or I should say blasting, generic dance music at a volume that did not allow the dozen or so meatheads/leathery bottle blonds/Russian-guys-in-tigh-button-down-shirts to talk to each other, which is all they seemed to want to do. The best part about that was realizing that I was in a bar that used to be the strip club where my buddy Evan and I went at the age of 16 or 17. I think I told that story a couple of times, most recently here.
The only thing it has in common with the strip club is the playing of music too loud, and even back then it at least it was something dumb-but-fun, like Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me.
* * * * *
I attended my buddy Jon Friedman's Delicious Sandwich Social.
It was held in Brooklyn's lovely Prospect Park, which I'd never been to, probably because when I was a young lad growing up in Big Town, Prospect Park has a reputation as a great place to get shooted up with needles, or raped. Or both. Now it's a lovely gentrified park, with a lovely rolling meadow which was a lovely spot not onyl for a picnic, but for an Indian wedding.
It was cool to see the pavilion set up, all the women in their lovely, colorful saris. I think I offended the people I was talking to, because it had been threatening to rain all afternoon, and a guy said, "I hope it doesn't rain."
And I said, "Well if it does at least we'll know whose God is right."
That was met with non-laughter.
* * * * *
I went to see the Neil Hamburger show at Pianos last night. Excellence:
* * * * *
Here's the 1986 World Champion Mets' rock video, "Let's Go Mets Go!" It will take you back to a simpler time, back when Joe Piscopo is still considered a "get."
And because I know that new York City is a two-team town, here's a Yankees video:
Once you've watched the video, please read the comments YouTubers left about it .
Friday, August 25, 2006|
Of course, I get there and it's just the two of us.
My buddy's one of those guys who confuses things that are "gay" with things that are "smart."
Like, he was saying, "You know that guy, Joey? He was telling me he writes his girfriend poems. That's so gay."
And I was like, "Wait, so Joey figured out how to get a woman to sleep with him, and then he figured out a way to get her to continue to sleep with him. Tha's not gay, that's smart. Meanwhile, you, a single guy, invited me over to your apartment for some alone time getting drunk and watching sweaty guys run around scoring with each other, and every time they do you slap my ass. That's kinda - well - gay."
* * * * *
Speaking of dubious entertainment options, my Limey buddy Ed turned me on to Heil Honey, I'm Home, the BBC's attempt to make an American-style sitcom about the home life of Adolph and Eva Hitler.
The problem is, they do such a good job of recreating a terrible Hollywood sitcom that it's nearly unwatchable. Also, what does it say about your culture deeply ingrained with anti-Semitism when an ironic sitcom about Hitler still has offensive Jewish stereotype characters? NICE!
Enjoy. Well, I say enjoy...
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I so desperately wanted to ask, "So, when you guys break up, who gets to keep - looking like an ass?"
* * * * *
In a job interview, the guy asked me, "Mr. McEneaney, where do you see yourself in five years?"
And I said, "On the moon. We have spaceships in the future."
* * * * *
On th street, I saw a Don't Walk signal, and next to it a sign that read, "WAIT FOR WALK SIGNAL."
Here's a question: If someone can't read a stop light with a big red hand, what are the odds they're going to be able to read that sign with all four words?
And, not to sound callous, but why would I want to share my world with that person?
* * * * *
I may have mentioned this, but I don't smoke weed. Weed is a gateway to worse, more soul-destroying habits, like following jam-bands and selling patchouli in parking lots for food money.
I'm just saying, kids, you don't want to find yourself saying something like, "Man, that was a great 90 minute version of 'Theme From The Bottom'."
* * * * *
Speaking of surviving drugs, Neil Young rocks so hard he kicks your ass! Want proof? How about this rendition of "Hey Hey, My My" that blows the roof off:
Still don't believe me? Then check out Neil's rendition of "Fuckin' Up" with Crazy Horse and Pearl Jam:
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Is ever true in poker;
The man who goes for broke,
Will always end up broker.
* * * * *
A "Fistula" - apparently not a gay vampire.
And that's why I failed out of medical school.
* * * * *
Yeah, I'm all cultured and shit. Check it out, I went to a book release party for a guy who knows words and shit. In fact, it was at this party that the bartender gave me my first ever drink of Night Train, the legendary "fortified wine." (True!) It's a little something called culture and sophistication, motherfuckers.
My point is that tonight I went to see The Rocky Road to Dublin, a documentary about life in Ireland at the end of the 1960s. It screened with a documentary short called The Making of The Rocky Road to Dublin, which really added a lot of historical perspective to the film, and its study of, and impact on, Ireland at that time.
(I'm going to point out that only a blog like The Liam McEneaney Experience would be awesome enough to go from the world's dumbest joke to talking about a documentary. Do you think your precious Gawker, or Wonkette, or, um, other famous blog, I don't know, like that mommy blog I can't stand*, would do that? No! Why? Because they don't care the way I do.)
Like most Americans of my age, there's much depicted about everyday life that take I have the luxury of taking for granted. For example, watching author Conor Cruise O'Brien criticize his country's Foreign Minister hewing closely to American policy during the Cold War. Here and now, of course, that kind of thing is pretty routine, even dull (sorry!). But in late '60s Ireland, that was apparently Not Done.
You know, for the kids.
As was criticizing the Republicans' cultural and political reforms after the revolution of 1916. Or the clergy's tight rule over everyday Irish life. In fact these are some of the most memorable parts of the film; simultaneously hilarious and repulsive to modern American eyes is a scene of kids in class robotically repeating the catechisms, reciting the results of Adam and Eve's Fall From Grace through Original Sin (if it wasn't for Original Sin, a child informs us, there would be no war or poverty or disease).
Or Father Michael Cleary, a swinging "hip" priest who communicates with the "young" people by singing songs and joining in on dances and making dumb jokes. A visit from Father Cleary to a TB ward is amazing as much for watching the nurse and patients listening patiently to him sing them a song a cappella as it is for the amounts of makeup the young women clearly put on just for the camera.
Father Cleary is a wild and crazy priest!
Who fathered a child out of wedlock!
This is all followed by a voice-over of a young Irish wife who tells a heartbreaking story that seems downright primitive to modern American ears, of reliance on the rhythym method and coitus interruptus, how this drove her crazy, how she lost a child in birth, and the impact this had on her life - she was afraid to have sex for months after. The only place she had to turn for comfort and advice was the clergy, who have no real experience dealing with these subjects, nor the training to discuss them in anything other than the abstract terms of sin and grace that their faith peddles in. She was told to go dig her garden and forget about it.
This film, like any work that can be best described as a time capsule, for every part that is extremely effective, there are looks at life that are either interesting-yet-irrelevant (the youth dance scenes are an interesting look at class and culture, but they do tend to go on) or just irrelevant (do we really need to watch a guy play the spoons in a pub for four minutes? I mean, really?).
Of course, the message of the film isn't entirely irrelevant to these modern ears; there's a movement in this country to create a Protestant-based government ruled as much by priests as by the government. This movie should serve as a warning for those who desire a return to "old-fashioned values."
Rocky Road ends with a scene of pure joy that sticks with you - the camera on the back of a truck, driving down the streets of Dublin with hordes of schoolchildren giving chase, laughing, running, clowning.
The Making of tells its own compelling story, in some ways more compelling than the documentary itself.
The film was all but banned in Ireland for the same reason that it was embraced by the student revolutionaries who shut down the 1968 Cannes Film Festival right after the documentary was screened; as director Peter Lennon explains, it asks the question, "What do you do with a Revolution once you have it?" and finds the answer, "You give it back to the bourgoisie and clergy."
it was a true labor of love, shot by legendary cameraman Raoul Coutard in the weeks between shooting a Godard film and a Truffaut film. There's a lot more here, and I don't want to risk ruining either movie for anyone who wants to go out and find it, but both films were reminders that the simple act of taking a viewpoint, of picking up a camera or a pen and telling a story, is as much a revolutionary and dangerous act as picking up a gun or bomb.
For a much more comprehensive synopsis, and a closer look at the events and people depicted by the movie, and the subsequent fallout of the controversy the movie generated, check out this excellent review.
* Why is one woman's complaining about how hard it is to be a mommy so fascinating? I'd rather watch eight more minutes of documentary footage of "A GAME OF HURLING."
* * * * *
Speaking of revolutionary, you must watch this sketch with John Cleese and Marty Feldman from the old British comedy, At Last, the 1948 Show. (You have to wait through a brief Aimi McDonald thing, but trust me, it's worth it.)
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Yes, you do get to be the big-lipped black guy with the bone through his nose trying to outwit a giant gorilla.
If you lose, I think MySpace comes and burns a cross on your lawn.
Here's the screen capture:
And speaking of screen captures, I think I've finally found a design I would wear on a t-shirt:
* * * * *
Speaking of random horribleness, check out what happened to this London tourist. Let's just say, that taxi driver showed her the "bare facts" when he "tore off her dress":
Monday, August 21, 2006|
RE: Service interruptions
Seriously, you've got to call your service provider and get this shit sorted out. I can't be in the middle of an important Nerve Personal message and suddenly find myself cut off. Otherwise, how would SpecsintheCity75 know that I also like "Confederacy of Dunces" and travel?
* * * * *
TO: My neighbor who blasts Metallica at 3 in the afternoon while I'm writing and also constantly hawks up phlegm; by the way, not only I can hear it from your open window, but I can hear it over the Metallica music I just mentioned
RE: See above
I understand you're looking for a job. May I suggest a few career options?
PROS: Thanks to developments in PsyOps over the past 30 years, blasting loud music is now considered an effective tactic for scaring the enemy.
CONS: Constant hawking up of phlegm may lead you to be the most popular man in your unit, in terms of potential fragging targets.
PROS: Will allow you to loudly indulge your love of annoying people with your taste in music.
CONS: Nightly DJ gigs will leave you home during the day.
PROS: When you're home during the day playing your music too loud, you aren't a shiftless waste of space - you're "brainstorming."
CONS: Lack of health care will lead to your throat condition turning into TB.
* * * * *
TO: The other guy in my building who knows who he is
RE: Your stealing my doormat two years ago
Seriously, what the fuck? It's been two years and I still can't figure this one out. I've actually gone to all the floors in my building looking for it, and all I've gotten were suspicious looks from my neighbors.
It wasn't even like it was an awesome welcome mat, just kind of beige and bland and a little dirty.
And you clearly can't ever use it because I'll just steal it back and leave a crackinglingly nasty note in its place. Therefore, I've concluded that you're a dick. Sorry to have to be the one to tell you, only really no I'm not.
* * * * *
TO: The manager at Baluchi's on 6th Avenue
RE: The "ALL EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS" sign in your restroom
Understand, I truly enjoyed the chicken dish I ate today at your restaurant, as I generally have whenever I've eaten at your sister joint on West 3rd Street. I forget what it was called, but the menu described it as a sweeter version of the Tikka Massala. In a word: "Yum."
However, all of the good, contented feelings that were generated by my tasty meal were negated when I went to use your Men's Room and got a load of your "ALL EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS " sign - it was written on a small scrap of paper in black laundry marker, and tucked into the crack between the mirror and the wall.
Our society is run almost entirely on trust:
- we trust the government that the money we spend is backed up by the gold in the Federal Treasury
- we trust the doctor treating us is competent, and not horribly hungover or high on shrooms
- we trust the restaurant where we're eating cares about giving us the most sanitary experience possible.
When you treat the "ALL EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS" sign as an afterthought, it makes one wonder what else you shrug off with the lightness of a spring breeze.
* * * * *
TO: That woman on Queens Boulevard outside the Starbuck's I write in
RE: Your three ponytails
I'm sorry, but just because you're young and Asian doesn't mean you can get away with that.
In fact, I know quite a few guys with an "Asian fetish," and I know this because not only is this something they're not embarrassed by but they're usually fairly eager to share this information with me.
And even those guys, in their most depraved and lustful moments, the moments when they cease to see you as anything other than a small, soft object - even then they would refuse to give you a pass for that. Seriously, cut it out.
* * * * *
Speaking of people I don't know, Fountains of Wayne has been one of my favorite bands since I reviewed their excellent first album, Fountains of Wayne, for my college paper and discovered that they also wrote "That Thing You Do" for the Tom Hanks movie of the same name. They won a contest to write the fictional hit song for the band in the movie.
I really like this video for the song "Mexican Wine" from their last album Welcome Interstate Managers. Even though I think there's better songs on the disc, I can see that they were looking for a broader pop audience. (And considering the fact they found it with the Grammy-nominated single "Stacy's Mom," I'm certainly not going to argue. Even though that's also not one of my favorite songs, anything that gets artists I like in front of a larger audience is okay by me.)
Anyhoozle, enough yakking. Enjoy "Mexican Wine":
Friday, August 18, 2006
WHY THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION "IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU?" WILL ALWAYS BE "HELLS YEAH, SON!"
Now, I live in NYC, always have, and I know that the existance of roaches is one of those things you can do nothing about. You gotta just make peace with the fact and get on with yor life. But the fact that this roach seemed to have no problem with just kind of hanging out while a human being, a creature a thousand times its size and nearly twice its intelligence, is standing a foot away, well, I don't like that kind of attitude in lesser, easily-squashed creatures.
So I reached up with my leg in a classic movie-karate kick and squashed it under my sneaker. Or at least I tried to squash it, but due to some balance issues, at the very last minute my foot kind of slipped, knocking the roach down with my toe without actually smooshing it.
I looked for it on the ground. It was nowhere in sight. Then I looked for its remains on the wall - nothing.
Now, it has occurred to me since then that it just found a dark shadowy part of the place where the wall meets the floor and waited out the time until the elevator came. But at that moment, I panicked: What if the roach had somehow been flipped up into my jeans leg, and was even now crawling up the inside of my pants?
I couldn't feel it, but I figured if the roach was smart, it was crawling up the fabric and leaving my flesh alone, so that it could hitch a free ride into my apartment. Uh-uh, no sir, the last thing I need is a smart-ass roach with no fear of humanity in my pad, ordering Indian food and running up my Pay-Per-View bill. So, on the elevator ride up, I started flattening my jeans against my legs, hoping to crush any hitchhiking insects. I didn't feel anything die in my jeans.
That was when I knew for sure: I had to get this roach out of my jeans before I stepped foot in my apartment. Luckily, I had a plan.
They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I say that the easier-shortcut-that-all-the-locals-know-about-but-don't-tell-the-tourists starts with this phrase: "It seemed like a really good idea at the time."
Because that's what this plan did; it seemed like a really good idea at the time.
I got off on my floor, the fourth floor and you have to understand how my building is laid out; my apartment is situated around a little corner, so that I can hear people coming up or down the stairs about a split second before they can see me. Hoping that that would be enough warning time, I stood outside my apartment door and took off my jeans, standing in the hallway outside my apartment in my underwear, and gave them a good, hard shake. The hope being, of course, that if any roaches were hiding in the pant legs, they'd by shaken out.
But, I dislodged no roaches. Now, some might have taken this as a sign that there were no creatures, great or small, in my jeans. But I'm too smart for that. So I, still standing in the hallway outside my apartment, still in my underwear, gave my jeans one last, extremely vigorous shake. This sent my keys and spare change flying in all directions, which meant a quick and shameful search-and-rescue mission into the main part of the hallway, in my underwear, stooping, picking up coins and keys.
Now, I don't know why a Russian woman in her sixties would be climbing down a flight of stairs from the fifth floor to the fourth at ten to midnight on a Thursday when any decent, law-abiding citizen is well into his or her slumbers. It could be she was sleepwalking. Or midwifing. Or, perhaps, suffering from insomnia, she decided to sip a mug of hot milk and sample the night air before resuming her journey to the Land of Nod. In fact, I'm going to have to say that I will never know, because we didn't speak.
What I do know is that whatever her plans for the evening, they most likely did not include me. In my underwear. In an apartment building hallway.
Now, I'm going to guess that somewhere between her young girlhood in Soviet Russia and her flight from St. Petersburg to the US after the Iron Curtain parted, she had seen stranger things than a guy in a beard and underwear in her building hallway in the middle of the night, crouched over a penny, frozen, smiling in a way that he clearly hoped was ingratiating although it probably came off more like the maniacal grin of an axe-wielding Jack Nicholson poking his head through a broken bathroom door. Because she made eye contact, gave me a nod of greeting, and kept walking to the next flight of stairs without breaking stride.
I don't speak Russian. Which is a good thing. Because my guess, and this is an educated guess, is that for the next few months I really, really, really won't want to. Because my guess, and this is yet another educated guess, is that I'm going to be hearing the Russian word for "jackass" quite a bit for the next few months.
* * * * *
Speaking of nuerotic New Yorkers, check out Woody Allen's genius short Oedipus Wrecks, from the anthology film New York Stories. And remember kids, you can't spell "Copyright Infringuement" without the word "FUN"!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
I mean, sure, if it's at school, great, go nuts, bring your child and let them run around.
But at an adult birthday party? That's not being held at your own house?
Tell you what; on behalf of the birthday boy, instead of bringing a gift, why not take the sixty bucks you were going to spend on a wine recorker and spring for a babysitter?
Maybe then I can get on with getting drunk and lying to a legal secretary about my earning power without worrying about getting sucked into a game of Peek-A-Boo.
* * * * *
They say that Love is the International Language.
Which explains why I failed it in high school.
* * * * *
Apropos of nothing much, here's a clip of Pete Seeger singing his Vietnam War protest song, Bring Them Home on a TV show I can't identify. Sadly, this song is as timely now as it was then.
It's pretty amazing to think that a gentle folksinger could ever have been thought too controversial for network television, but there you go. It's also pretty amazing to watch all the young people in the audience singing along, and then wonder what they're doing now as adults with money and influence to bring home the kids trapped in Iraq.
On a lighter note, nothing says, "I bought this outfit to wear specifically on TV" like a slightly too-clean, bright canary-yellow shirt.
And here's Bruce Springsteen singing the same song:
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
No, just kidding. She goes out and buys a Hummer. That's right, it's like she was saying, "What, I get treated like a common peon? THEN THIS WORLD MUST BE PUNISHED! I shall destroy the environment until Momzilla's temper be appeased!"
The funniest part of this commercial was the tagline, which was, "Hummer - GET YOUR GIRL ON!"
Which means there was probably a focus group with a bunch of women who were saying things like, "We're tired of being associated with things like gentleness, kindness, conservation. Why do they call that bitch 'Mother' Nature? And what's with all these songs about soldiers where the mothers and the wives are waiting for the boys to return home? We sent them over to the Middle East so we can continue to burn 23 gallons of pure unleaded just going to the gas station to fill 'er up. That's right, I said fill 'er up, because I'm 'bout to get my girl on in this motherfucking Hummer."
* * * * *
My buddy Todd Tremble turned me on to this British program, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, a look back at a fictional British low-budget horror thriller, somewhere between Tales From The Darkside, Ray Bradbury Presents..., and Count Floyd's Monster Chiller Horror Theatre.
Here's the first episode. "Enjoy. Well, I say enjoy..."
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
However, they also announced that they now have the Nick at Night Sanford and Son marathon on tape, if anyone wants to borrow it.
Oh man, too bad I don't write for TV anymore. One more pass at that joke and it would be monologue gold!
* * * * *
I was escorting my blind friend to the subway tonight (it's called being a gentleman, fellas. Look it up), and she was having a domestic dispute with her seeing-eye dog.
Apparently, it gets jealous when she's walking with other people, and starts acting up; going off to dawdle and sniff other dogs' pee, dragging, refusing to move. And so she would get into these fits of yelling at the dog and calling it a brat.
And I have to say, the only thing funnier than watching a blind person yell at their guide dog, is the reaction on the faces of everyone who walked past us, seeing a - as far as they knew - crazy, drunk blind lady yelling at her guide dog, calling it a brat and telling it to behave.
* * * * *
Speaking of working stiffs, my buddy Brody is a comedian in LA. He made this short film, just him drumming alone in a car in an underground garage with his thoughts written in subtitles. It's crappy and low-budget, yet there's something beautiful and artistic about it. Kind of like what happens when you give a gorilla a magnetic poetry kit. (Ooh! Zing!)
Anyway, here's Brody's short film, I Speak The Language of Drum:
Sunday, August 13, 2006
As you may recall, I had nothing but mean, nasty things to say about the group, calling them "The Four Town Drunks Learn Guitar." So I was a bit worried that I was going to get reamed via e-mail (which I would have reprinted on this blog) or threatened with a lawsuit (which I would have launched into a one-man show). Instead, he was really cool about it.
Which was a little disappointing, because crazy stupid rage is always way entertaining. For instance: Seven years ago, I sent out a promotional e-mail for a free show I used to run in a coffee shop.
A guy who once starred in a successful sitcom who is now running an agency for cover comedians (comedians that cover other comedians' acts, like a guy who does Robin Williams, who looks, dresses, sounds, and performs like the guy) sent me an incoherent e-mail threatening to sue me because the subject line of the e-mail was similar to his agency's motto. That was entertaining, and I sent it around to all my friends.
It was also suprising to me, because I think the last time I found something critical about me written online was when I found that Canadian guy's website who reviewed comedian who had been on Comedy Central and found me a bit . . . lacking. (To be fair, I taped my Premium Blend five years ago - gulp! - and I'm a lot better now.) But instead of being cool about it, I whined on my blog.
The Boston comedy scene wound up getting on the guy's case so badly he had to change his website. Although to be honest, that had more to do with his decision to rank someone like Mitch Hedberg, a genius, way lower than Jeremy Hotz, who is a funny guy but he's no Mitch Herdberg. And I mean no offense, it's just that Hedberg was a unique guy.
Anyway, I will admit that as much as I ranked on "The Highwaymen: A Musical Tribute," if I was in the audience of their show I'd probably enjoy it. So, what the hell, I'll give these guys a plug. Why not? If you're in Laughlin, Nevada, you should check them out at the Riverside Hotel & Casino.
* * * * *
Speaking of country-western music, this is the infamous clip from Da Ali G Show, "Borat's Guide to Country Music," the one where Borat sings the "In My Country There Is Problem" song that got so many protests from Jewish groups. Despite the fact that the disturbing part is not the song's clearly tongue-in-cheek anti-Semitism, but how quickly and enthusiastically a bar full of Southerners starts singing along.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Whenever any of my friends get married, especially after a long courtship, I always think the same thing: "Finally, they can have sex. Sure, it was a long wait, but I think they'll find it totally worth it."
* * * * *
I don't think I'll ever get married, but only because they haven't invented a roofie for that.
* * * * *
I like to consider myself an agnostic, in the sense that I don't believe in God, but just in case I'm wrong . . .
I want him to know we cool.
* * * * *
And speaking of "cool," what better way to bring you guys into the weekend than one of my favorite singer-songwriters on one of my favorite shows. Please enjoy Tom Waits on Fernwood Tonight:
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The reason I didn't take one wasn't because I fear that putting food I got from a stranger on the subway means a sudden, painful death.
Or, to put it more honestly, it wasn't just because I fear that putting food I got from a stranger on the subway means a sudden, painful death.
No, it's because if I put one more thing in my mouth tonight, I'm going to die.* That's right, if it's Wednesday, then it's Shameful-Overeating-For-Dinner Night!
Tonight, my friend Bob and I went to a Brazillian steakhouse on Avenue B called Carne Vale for dinner. The name comes from the word "Carne," which means "meat," and "Vale," which means "that you will stuff into your mouth until the idea of getting up to go to the bathroom gives you the same kind of dizzying, nauseous pain that joggers report when they 'hit the wall'."
Now, first of all, I've been hanging out down in the East Village for a good ten years. (Okay, a good five years. The rest were painful/boring.) And I have to say, it blows my mind walking past restaurants on that street with hostesses at podiums outside, like they were restaurants on Rodeo Drive. It took all the emotional strength I had to walk up to these - okay, I exaggerate. Let's just say, it was weird to be on that street and have to talk to someone in the doorway to get into a restaurant. Or at least, someone who wasn't demanding a quarter to get out of your way as he peed himself.
Now, if you're like me and you've never been to a Brazillian steakhouse before, here's how it works:
Each person is given a card. One side is red, the other side is green. When the red side is up, you're telling the server you don't want them to bring you anything.
But if the green side is up - ah, if that green side is up. Then, a man carries a big sword impaling a huge slab of meat, and he tells you what you're about to stuff into your mouth, and he carves a piece of that meat right there onto your plate. Then he comes back five minutes later with another slab of meat, from which he carves another piece, until it turns into a game of "self-control chicken," only that chicken comes wrapped in a piece of turkey bacon.
In the words fo Charles Dickens, were he born in the twentieth century and channeled his talents into food criticism instead of long stories of poor people who eventually make good:
"It's the best of ideas, it's the worst of ideas."
It's so awesome, because just when you think there's no way you can possibly eat something more delicious than a piece of rare flank steak, out comes the ribeye steak, so juicy and soaking in its fat. Seriously, I loved that ribeye so much I wanted to take it home to meet mother and grow to a ripe old age with it.
It's the worst of ideas, because it presupposes that I in any way have any self-control or ability to know when I've had enough. Sometimes you need a bartender to take your keys and say, "Alright pally, you've had enough meat for one night. Now why don't you get into a cab and go home, sleep it off, huh?"
The upshot? Once again, here I lie, blogging in bed with a sore tummy. However, I am looking forward to seeing all the new friends I make with today's headline!
* How many times has Paris Hilton said this?
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
* My friend Wendy Spero released a book called Microthrills, which you can order from Amazon here. I just finished it, and I highly suggest picking it up. The fact that someone I started doing shows with accomplished something like an engrossing, fun book is amazing to me.
Also, my friend Adam Felber has a book coming out mid-August, Schrodinger's Ball, which as it so happens, you can pre-order here. I haven't read it yet, but Adam is a talented, prolific man, and I expect nothing but great things from this work as well.
Enough of that. Now on to the cool shit:
* This is pretty amazing. A family of Star Trek fans in a Universal ride that puts them in a special eight minute episode, where they're given the video of the episode as a souvenir which they've generously shared with the rest of the world via YouTube. (Although they disabled embedding, dang it!)
By the way, their acting is only marginally worse than the Star Trek cast members they've been edited in with.
Thrill! to the exploits of Captain "Your Name Here"!
Discover! which actors from the series needed a paycheck! (HINT: Most of them.)
* I'm not a big fan of porn, and I would normally feel weird recommending it. That being said, there's a movie coming out called The XXXorcist, and from what I can tell from the trailer, it follows the plot of the movie it's parodying pretty closely, up to and including sprays of vomit coming out of a possessed woman's mouth while she's blowing a priest. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that this will be the hottest movie featuring a woman with a horribly deformed face having sex in a vomit-caked bedroom since the Paris Hilton sex tape. Hee hee.
NOT SAFE FOR WORK, unless you work at Viacom, which is a business already run by suitcase pimps. (Just kidding! I love being paid to be on TV!)
* One of the worst "Tribute Bands" I've seen, it's a cover band doing legendary country super-group The Highwaymen, which featured Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings.
This video should be called "The Four Town Drunks Learn Guitar."
"WIllie Nelson" clearly can't sing and play guitar at the same time, "Kris Kristofferson" isn't even trying to sound anything like the guy, "Waylon Jennings" sounds like he's doing a pretty good Pete Seeger impression, and "Johnny Cash" - Yikes! Please enjoy, "The Highwaymen: A Musical Tribute":
* Meanwhile, the real Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan duet on Pancho & Lefty. Excellence:
* Young Bob Dylan being interviewed by a reporter for Time magazine (from the legendary Don't Look Back documentary), and being a total asshole. I know you're supposed to come away from this interview thinking what an iconoclast Dylan is, and how he wouldn't bow to the pressures of the mainstream media, but I just felt sorry for the reporter. He's just a guy trying to do his job.
That being said, it is pretty damn funny:
Monday, August 07, 2006
And I was thinking, if He does hate the gays so much, why are you the one he took teeth away from?
Also, if God hates gay people, why does He keep letting them live in nice neighborhoods?
* * * * *
If babies are so great, why do poor people have so many of them?
If I wanted something poor people have a lot of, I wouldn't get a baby. I'd get tuberculosis.
Not that I'm rich, by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that a baby's a lot of responsibility, and some people should maybe start off a little lower on the responsibility ladder before working their way up to getting a baby.
You know, start off getting something a little easier, like a job. Or three days sober in a row. And then, if you can handle that, work your way up to the care and responsibility of another human being.
Friday, August 04, 2006
A good comedian thinks of that while the conversation's still going on.
One of the keys to being a good person, on the other hand, is to have this ability and not use it, no matter how tempting.
For instance, last week I was in lower Manhattan, and walking by City Hall. A bald, paunchy Russian man in a dress shirt approached me and asked, "Excuse me, you know where is 280 Broadway?"
Now what I didn't say was, "It's funny, I was going to memorize the exact location of every single address in this city, but then I thought an even better hobby would be hanging out by City Hall and answering your stupid questions."
Nor did I say, "Oh my God, I have some amaziing news! We have this new system in New York called 'sequential numbering,' where address numbers go up and down, so that anyone can find the address they're looking for without bothering peopel who have things to do with their lives."
Instead, I pointed the guy towards Broadway. I was rewarded with a rolling of his eyes and shrugging of his shoulders, as if to say, "Oh Lord, why did you place this idiot in my path if only to thwart me?"
Oh, you're welcome douche.
Here's my point.
I was in Starbucks a couple of days ago, sharing a table with a crazy middle-aged guy, trying to do some writing of a screenplay comedy that no one would want to buy unless they want a movie that would probably be enjoyed by the kinds of people who go to movie festivals. In other words, not a dumb guy or grossout comedy designed to pull teens off of Myspace and into the movie theatre. The plan is that once I get it out of my system I can write a big sellout screenplay that buys me a house somewhere where I never have to interact with the kinds of people I meet in Starbucks in my neighborhood.
During the day, the neighborhood Starbuck is like a slightly more upscale version of the public library.
Of course, if you've been lately, the New York Public Library system has become a Mad Max post-apocalyptic wasteland, with homeless sleeping, children screaming to be heard over the loud conversations of the elderly, and if you check out the 300s in the Dewey Decimal system, you can get a handjob in exchange for whatever amount of money will buy a rock of crack.
Starbucks, on the other hand, you have to be able to afford a ten dollar latte to hang out at their tables all day bothering people. So at least, these people are likely to have bathed, if not use deodorant. (To a guy who knows who I'm talking to: Dude, it's 96 degrees, time to break out the Old Spice.)
So this guy wouldn't stop talking to me, asking what I was writing - his sister's writing a novel! So's her husband! But (disapproving tone) even though she's a lawyer she's not writing a novel about the law. And by the way, what's the novel I'm writing about? I told him I was a freelance writer doing work-for-hire for celebrities who need to make speeches but aren't terribly good writers. I made up three celebrity-sounding names (Max Tyler, the singer, you've heard of him?) as my current project.
Then, and don't ask me why, he started talking about scary movies, and I made the mistake of telling him the first semi-witty thing that came to my mind: "The scariest movie I've seen in a while was An Inconvenient Truth."
And down came what I like to call "The Blank Wall of Ignorance."
The Blank Wall of Ignorance is the steel gate you can see close behind someone's eyes the minute the conversation wanders into territory where bringing up a set of facts or responsible opinions in anyway contradicts the worldview they've adopted.
The first example that comes to mind is a young lady of my acquaintance who undoubtedly considers herself a good liberal. She was going on and on about how California was stolen from the Mexicans, and how it's time to give California back. I finally pointed out that Mexico was founded by Spaniards who had stolen the land from the natives who had been living on it, and unless she was willing to give California directly back to the Indians, what's the point? That's not justice, that's just dumb.
And down came the BWoI, and every sentence out of her mouth started "Yes, but..."
Now, I watched the Blank Wall slam shut behind this guy's eyes, and he asked me, "In this movie, did Al Gore explain why there were ice ages thousands of years ago?"
As a digression: I don't get why people get so passionate about disputing the idea of global warming. Over the past ten yeats, we've seen record-breaking heat wave after record-breaking heat wave - shit, this guy and I were in Starbucks taking refuge from a record-breaking heat wave - and they still treat it like some crazy theory that's being thrown around by liberals to scare everybody into, well, whatever an evil liberal's reasons for faking climate change would be.
This isn't a matter of faith open to debate and interpretation, like the abortion debate, or supply-side economics. This is a scientifically-proven problem. Remember how the hole in the ozone layer wasn't really a problem in the '80s because it was just something treehuggers made up, and okay it was real but since it was only over the Antarctic where no one lives so who cares, and okay, so maybe some holes in the Ozone are opening up over the President's home in Kennebunkport Maine and okay, maybe it's time to do something about this problem? And then, lo and behold, we did.
But I didn't say all of that, because I have the hope that you can actually talk reason to the willfully ignorant. So I said, "Actually, yes, in the movie he said - "
To which the guy added, "Years before the internal combustion engine?"
And I continued my explanation of Gore's response to this charge. (For the full explanation, see the movie.) Then he said, "I read somewhere that Al Gore was a D student, his grades were worse than Bush's." So I finished my sentence, because it's rude to ask someone a question, and then interrupt when they're answering you.
So he repeated this statement again, and I said, "Actually, that's something that was on the Internet about John Kerry, but I don't know if it's true."
Then he said, "Well, I can't argue with the man who invented the Internet," and smiled smugly, like he'd scored some huge rhetorical point. And that's when I realized that I was arguing with Republican talking points. These are little one-liners, not even information but zingers that can be used instead of communicating information. They're e-mailed from where these things originate (think tanks? The sweaty folds of Karl Rove's ass?) to FOX News or conservative talk radio show hosts and disseminated to the general public as honest public debate.
You can't argue with a crazy mind, as either Shakespeare or Billy Joel once said (I get those two confused!), so I put on my headphones and ignored the guy, which is what i should have done in the first place.
Monday: Enough of this shit. More adventures in cooking!
Thursday, August 03, 2006
The only problem was, I couldn't find it. I walked around, looking, but apparently, despite my long-held belief, I don't have a photographic memory that can glance at an address in an e-mail once and store it in my brain until I need it. Don't get me wrong; I do have a photographic memory, but it's more like one of those early primitive pinhole cameras that, after hours of focussing on a single object, captures its silhouette and some rudimentary details..
Which was a problem, because the last thing I wanted to do was walk around Harlem asking people on the street where the fried chicken is. At the very best, that scenario ends with me looking like the world's biggest asshole.
(At the very worst? Well, considering that NYC has been experiencing an insane heat wave, think Do The Right Thing. Only instead of a trash can being thrown through a pizza shop window, it's me.)
So I spent some time walking around 125th Street, something I don't normally do, probably because somewhere in my childhood, Harlem took on a mental image of somewhere between Vietnam and the Khmer Rouge's skull pile. And don't get me wrong, there's parts of that neighborhood I woudn't walk around in after dark, but it's not exactly the anarchic nightmare of legend.
At one point, I found a Soul Food restaurant, and I don't omit the name to protect anyone, I just didn't spot it on the sign. As far as I could see, it was just a dingy yellow sign above a dingy little restaurant on 125th Street. I decided nothing from nothing is nothing, and I walked in, ordered up a plate of barbecued ribs, pecan rice, and potato salad.
A note about this place's jukebox. Although it was stacked with lots of Jimmy Smith, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Donnie McClurken and other artists who had played at the Apollo Theatre down the street, it also had both volumes of Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits. Which means that the only place in New York City that still has Kenny Rogers on the jukebox is a little soul food restaurant on 125th Street. Weird.
Anyways, about the food: Jesus Christ was it delicious. The BBQ sauce was on the perfect border of tangy and sweet, the rice was, well it was okay, but the potato salad was so good, and I hate potato salad. I was so super-hungry and the food was so super-good that I shoved it down my throat as fast as possible. Which means that now it feels like there's a big bowling ball in my gut, and drinking water doesn't help.
You see, when you overeat, sometimes water will help dilute the food. And then there are times like when I took a cab ride home after stuffing myself with Indian food and then drinking a bunch of water, and I could literally feel the water sloshing around the top of my stomach every time the cab came to a stop because the food was not absorbing it.
That's how I feel. There's a reason they say this stuff sticks to your ribs.
Anyway, that's my food review. The next time you're on 125 St., take a left off of the ACBD train stop, and go to this restaurant. If you can't find it, just ask a guy on the street where the Soul Food is.
* You should read Ritch's blog, American Hockey Fan. Even though I could personally not care less about hockey without losing brain function, his writing is always consistently entertaining. I especially enjoyed his list of the Top 40 Basketball Players of All Time.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
* * * * *
I was walking down 9th Street the other night, from First Ave. to Ave. A, and as I passed a stoop, one YWWSBATATEVYMTPTREMACATIACDTDWHPWFAL* was introducing a guy to another YWWSBATATEVYMTPTREMACATIACDTDWHPWFAL* this way:
YWWSBATATEVYMTPTREMACATIACDTDWHPWFAL: And of course, you know my soul sister, Sasha.
Please note, the above was said very seriously without any sense of irony or joking-around-ness, like yould say, "And of course you know the Vice-President of Marketing." I really want you to understand that, probably due to mild undiagnosed OCD.
My question I put to you, my reading public: is being a "Soul Sister" an official thing among young white women now?
Are there twenty-somethings cutting each others' thumbs so they can be sisters of blood before doing "I must I must I must increase my bust" exercises?
Am I at long last becoming the old fart I've always known I could be?
Here's what I do know:, someone's going to owe Tina Turner an apology before this is all over.
* Young Woman Who Shouldn't Be Able To Afford The East Village Yet Manages To Pay The Rent Every Month And Can Afford To Eat In A Cafe During The Day While Honest Persons Work For A Living. Please don't steal his catchy acronym, as it's all I have.