Monday, March 28, 2011


Did I ever tell you this? When I was little I wanted to be a comedian when I grew up. Seriously.  It's kinda weird how these things come back to you.  My mom is a school teacher, and recently she called me up asking if i remember my elementary school guidance counselor.  "Of course not" I say.  Well she remembers me.  She went looking for my mom, just to tell her she remembers me saying that I wanted to be a comedian.  She had never seen a 7 year old so adamant about his career choice.  Especially a profession so off the wall as a comedian.

But yeah, that's what i wanted to do.  I thought it would be amazing to be able to make people laugh.  Getting up on stage with that one lone spotlight shinning on you.  You can't see the faces off the people out in the audience, just shadows and outlines of people sitting around tables drinking.  But you'd get a sense that they are all focused on you, waiting for the next punch line to drop.  And when that punch line hit, explosions of laughter and hand claps showing their appreciation for you making their night a little better.

But there I was, 7 years old with a speech impediment, cowlicks sending my hair in every direction, practicing my impressions.  I remember trying out Elmer Fudd impersonations.  It made sense because we both couldn't say our "r's" That was pretty much the extent of my repertoire. I mean, how many other characters with a speech impediment will a seven year old know? I guess I could have done Scooby Doo maybe.  But that's about it. And to a seven year old, that what comedy meant.  You do 10 minutes of impersonations, and then a red curtain fall behind you, you throw on a blazer and you finish out your set with some observational comedy Jerry Seinfeld style.

So I had this recurring dream when I was little.  I would be doing standup routines in the Muppet Theater, and out in the Audience were all of my favorite characters from my favorite TV shows. Kermit and Fozzie are in the front row, the Ninja Turtles are in the next row, Bugs and Daffy are a few rows back.  He-Man and Optimus Prime are in the back. And I was just killing this set. Every punch line was met with riotous laughter.  Michelangelo was on the floor, rolling and pounding his fist on the ground.  Statler and Waldorf are up in their box, tears streaming from their puppet eyes.

A seven year old, performing observational comedy in front of cartoon characters from the 80s. I wish I can remember some of my old jokes.  I imagine i had a whole set dedicated to Bugs Bunny.  "And what is the deal with Bugs? I mean, he runs around looking for an excuse to dress up in drag. Practically every time I see him, he's in a wig and a skirt.   And have you ever seen him kiss any girl bunnies? Not that i can remember, But I've seen him kiss Elmer Fudd in like every other cartoon.  A big fat wet sloppy kiss right on the lips.  I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with Bugs's lifestyle, what I'm saying is he's not fooling anyone. Everyone is ready to except you and love you for who you are, its time to come out of the rabbit hole."

Monday, March 3, 2008

ohio weather

Do you know what today was? it was the first truly nice day of the year. it was just about the most perfect weather. it was sunny, warm enough that i could wear flip flops, and roll up my sleeves on my shirt, and with the nice breeze, all i needed was my trusty hooded sweatshirt and i was in heaven.

now normally i really don't like the unpredictability of ohio's weather, but today i realized, that the first day of truly nice spring-like weather feels so good, it almost makes the last 4 months of shit weather worth it. almost.

unfortunately, the first warm day has it's downsides. namely, it doesn't last. i woke up at 1:30 this afternoon, and as i write this 8 hours later, it's dumping down rain, and a cold snap is coming. When i wake up tomorrow morning, it's going to have a windchill of 32, and by noon it'll feel like it's 20 degrees.

well crap.

I guess it's true what they say; all good things come to an end, normally within 24 hours.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


So Barack Obama showed up on campus today for a rally. I figured it was a good chance to get to see the guy i voted for. So I got up at 6am so i could do my laundry before i had to leave for the rally which started at 10:30, doors open at 830am. I figured i had better show up about when the doors were opening cause there would be so many people there. He Gave a Nice Speech, and i'm not regretting that i voted for him, but i did notice some things that kind of put me off of the whole ordeal...

First off, Obama was late. Sure i know he was in cleveland for the debate the other night, and they got bad weather, but still, it doesn't really give a good first impression.

second, I got stuck in the nosebleeds. Because of all the cameras that was going to be there, they decided it would be best to fill up all the seats that the camera would see first, and then fill up the rest of the seats after. To make sure all the "important" sections got filled, they decided to go fill them from the top down. So If were 15-20 minutes earlier, i would have gotten pretty sweet seats, if were 20-30 minutes later, i would have gotten pretty seat seats. But no, i got about the worst seats in the house.

Third, signs for the rally were prohibited. But wait, when i watched the clips from the rally on CNN, every other person i saw had a sign, what is up with that? well, the obama campaign committee had specially approved organizations make approved hand-made signs that you see on TV. They handed out the signs before Obama showed up, which gave the whole thing a feeling of being staged, and fake, and overly produced.

Lastly was his speech, yea sure it was a nice speech, but i wondered how many times he had given it before. He really didn't say anything i haven't heard from him before. About the only thing i thought was different was the shout outs he gave before he started the speech. He Got Eddie George to show up, so he had to mention something about buckeyes and heissman winners and whatever. I thought that was kinda cheesy and a poor way to make yourself appealing to the people of columbus.

whatever, it'll probably be the last time i got to a political rally. I didn't even score any cool swag. I just didn't like the feeling that it was all staged. ionno

Monday, February 25, 2008

more movies

So i saw the flick Be Kind Rewind today, and then i watched the oscars, so all in all, it's been a pretty good day for movies.

I gotta say I really Liked Be Kind Rewind. I mean I reeeeeaally liked it. It was kinda funny, it was cute, it was charming, it was endearing. It tugged on my heart strings a little bit. The film is about two guys (Jack Black and Mos Def), who when all of their video tapes get erased from their rental store, decide to remake all the movies in hopes to keep their business open. what makes the movie sooo good is that these guys really care about movies. They understand the power of a movie (it's cliche, i know), and the importance of their community. It's their love for the movies that they are recreating that separates this movie from other films that parody other movies.

It's not to say that the movie doesn't have it's flaws, It seemed kinda rough as a whole, my compatriots thought it was cheesy (i didn't), There were times when it felt like there were scenes cut out that held pieces of information that would help us get jokes, or make the plot move more smoothly, and etc. So i'm thinking about what it was about the movie that allowed it to overcome all these flaws, and i knew that it was the films message about movies that really resonated with me, but i couldn't find the right words that would properly convey the message with out sounding overly cliche. luckily Jack Nicholson did it for me.

I was watching the oscars and Jackie-Boy came out and gave a speech about why he loved movies right before they showed a clipshow featuring all the best picture winners of the last 80 years. In his speech he said that "despite all of our differences, movies touch the humanity in all of us." and i like that. Movies allow us to escape, they can give us hope, they can help us build a sense of community, they give us something in common. Movies can move us in profound ways, and what i liked best about Be Kind Rewind, is that it understood that, and it paid tribute to it.

So go see it. Gimme a call, and i'll come along...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'll Drink Your Milkshake!!!


i saw the movie There Will Be Blood last weekend, and i gotta say, it was kinda weird. it's 2 hours and 40 minutes of Daniel Day Louis speaking crazy talk. He starts of kinda ok, maybe he's just eccentric, but by the end of the movie he is in full blown crazy mode. He's running around a bowling alley yelling about how he's going to drink Paul Dano's milkshake. Paul Dano doesn't even have a milkshake. ionno. As a film, a piece of art that has cultural and aesthetic value, then There Will Be Blood is pretty good. But as a Movie? an entertaining piece of escapism, then maybe not so much. and I am of the opinion, that the best pieces of cinema do both. and if i have to choose between the two, i'd go with the entertaining lowbrow movie almost every time. While i can appreciate the acting, the cinematography and the fine directing, i don't think i'll ever need to see the movie ever again. I'm glad i saw it once, but i'm not going to rush out and buy the DVD, and i can't say i can in good conscious recommend this movie to most of my friends.

So what movie would i recommend? One of my favorite movies that came out last year was "Gone Baby Gone." But Nobody Saw It!!! It's one of those movies you wanna watch and discuss, but if nobody saw it, i don't want to give the ending away. It was beautifully constructed. It got the shaft on the oscar noms. Only one? C'mon academy. Micheal Clayton was good but it wasn't 7 nominations good. Casey Affleck gave another great performance in this movie, i expect to see great things out of him in the future. And his big brother Ben as the director? He was really good. He wasn't overstated or flashy, but he was way better then anyone would have expected, and at times that were indicative that he could have a very good career as a director, and certainly have his next movie proudly proclaim "A Film By Ben Affleck." The film does a terrific job of blending what is wrong and right, and you spend the whole of the movie swimming in a sea of grey and moral ambiguity. It doesn't pick a side, but rather lets the viewer decide for himself what he thinks is right and wrong. We see the choices that the characters make, and we understand the reasons for those choices, and we are left trying to figure out what our own choices would be.

So go out and rent Gone Baby Gone, and tell me what you think. And if you're thinking about going out to see There Will Be Blood, think twice, and make sure you really want to see it...

Friday, February 15, 2008


There are very few artists that are as controversial as Madonna. She's been hanging around since the early 80s and she is turning the big 5-0 later this year. She has reinvented herself more times then anyone has a right too, but no matter what your thoughts on her very long and very successful career, no one can deny her impact on popular culture. An impact that still is very apparent even to this day, as i found out today...

It all started this morning at about 5am. I'm working the front desk, and i'm a little bored, so what do i do? i pop onto youtube, and start watching music videos. I'm all over the place, but i really like listening to stuff that people never expect. So i pull up one of my favorite videos from the 80s. "Like A Prayer" by Madonna. It has every thing, a really catchy bubblegum beat and black jesus in the music video. I'm singing and dancing along, and Abbie Z. (the girl i'm working with) and i start talking about Madonna. we're watching her videos, talking about what are our favorite songs, and how HOT she looks for a 50 year old. Abbie says she really likes about every song madonna has ever done, except for "Like A Virgin." But especially the stuff around the late 90s, you know, "Ray of Light" and "Don't Tell Me"

So tonight, my buddy Sarah and Akira and I went out to BD's Mongolian barbeque for dinner, and afterwards we stopped into the BuyBacks store next door. We are perusing the used CDs and since i had Madonna on the brain, I decided to look her up and see what the store had. Well they had about everything, apparently people like to sell their Madonna Cds....Can we say guilty pleasure? No one wants to admit they have Madonna ripped on to their computer so they sell the evidence... I'm excited cause they have the Immaculate collection for 5 bucks. I'm so excited i show Akira what i found. He rolls his eyes "No. Don't even talk to me about Madonna....I don't even know you who you are."

I step up to the counter to make my purchase, and i'm really excited, i'm grinning from ear to ear and humming "Lucky Star." The guy at the counter looks at the CD, then at me, then back at the CD, starts shaking his head and lets out a sigh. "You know," he says "this is my least favorite CD in the whole store. I mean, what right does she have to use the word Immaculate? it's offensive." I tell him, "C'mon, it's Madonna...It's EARLY Madonna, everybody likes early Madonna." He says "the music may be ok, but that word, she has no right to use that word."

Oh well, Whatever, I got my CD and I'm Happy, "Hey Sarah! Can we listen to Madonna on the way home?!?!? Can we Can we Can we?" Now Sarah's smiling, "only if we can sing real loud." Well that goes with out saying, right? Akira starts his groaning. He says that he can't believe we're going to be listening to Madonna and he promises to put his MP3 player in and do his best to ignore us.

We're all in the car, and Sarah and i are singing pretty loudly, Akira is in the back seat (without his headphones on. He says it's because the music is so loud he wouldn't be able to hear his headphones over top of Madonna, but i think he was actually enjoying it, and just waaaaay too manly to admit it.) We cycle through all the classics, Like a Virgin (i was reminded of the movie Reservoir Dogs), Cherish, Borderline, Lucky Star, Holiday, etc. We're almost home and i'm thinking this has got to be the Feel-Good CD of the millennium. Akira looks at me with much shame and a little bit of disdain and informs me that no straight guy should ever sing Like A Virgin. Just then Vogue comes on. Sarah and I look at each other "Strike A Pose!!!" Akira promptly adds Vogue to the list of songs straight guys should never ever sing.

Come on Akira, like you've never struck a pose. Everyone has Vogued at least once in their life.

So yea, I got my fill of Madonna today and personally, I'm loving it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Attractive Today

I love music... I love the chords, the rhythms, the melodies, and i especially love good lyrics. Often times i am completely overwhelmed by how wonderfully certain words can sound, and how their meanings can convey emotions that so often mirror my own. And no matter how i'm feeling, when the right song comes along it always makes me feel good about my place in life. It makes all the stress, and bad shit that is twisting my stomach up in knots go away (at least for for a little while), because i know someone out there felt the same as me, and look at them, they were able to make something out of it. Today, the song "Attractive Today" by Motion City Soundtrack was the song that mirrored how i felt. I took the liberty of putting into bold the lines that really described how i felt.

I am wrecked. I am overblown.

I'm also fed up with the common cold.
But I just hate to say goodbye
To all the metaphors and lies
That have taken me years to come up with.

Say it's true. Say you like me.
(I like you.)
Just for the night
For me it's been eternity..

And as I gently sip this drink,
I think about my lack of future,
And all the places I could learn to fall in love.

I know I shouldn't waste my time,
Wishing I'd been better designed,
Yet for some reason still think.

I am wrecked. I am overblown.
I'm also fed up with the fucking common cold!

When I just want to feel alive
For the first time in my life,
I just want to feel attractive today.