Me + 1 Year = Fun

Hey there ‘Redheads… This blog’s usual home is on the fritz, so I figured I’d try my first stab at a post here on the digital playground of MySpace. Even if Blogger didn’t take a shit, that’s no excuse for the near 10 day lag since the last installment. I’ve been busier than usual with what’s turned into a week-long celebration of the big 3-1. But what do I always do when I keep my loyal readers waitng…? That’s right, this’ll be an extra meaty serving of blog-a-roni. Please bear with me, though…alot of my thoughts are still in boxes…

So, the first week of the rest of my life has been pretty cool thusfar. I’ve been basking in the weeklong warm glow of birthday candles stuck in the slightly melted blowhole of Fudgy the Whale. With the revelry, has come mass consumption. I ate so much this week, Kevin Spacey could’ve used me to illustrate Gluttony in Seven. Let’s recap…
MONDAY – The official par-tay for the passage of time as it relates to me. I sent out a mass email to all the people I thought might give a damn to join me for libations at RFD in Chinatown, in the hopes that maybe two or three would show up. Attendance far exceeded my low expectations. It was very cool to see all of my various subsets of friends interacting…sort of like a support group for people who put up with me. Thanks again to my good friends, Chris, Jerry, Pam, Belen, Chrissy, Glen, Caryn, and Chris G (and thanks to MySpace, they can be your friends too!).
Total food intake: 3 Young’s Double-Chocolate Stouts and a bratwurst.
TUESDAY – I went to the Nats/Phillies game with fan of all things Philadelphian, Chris White. The man bleeds cheez whiz. I’m not usually a big fan of baseball…it bores the crap out of me on TV, but any live sporting event is enough to keep me interested. Half the fun was watching Chris tear his hair out, while he watched his dear Phillies’ playoff hopes crack like the Liberty Bell. 3/8ths of the fun is watching the game. That last sliver, for me anyway, was the discovery of my new favorite athlete name: Nook Logan. I’m fascinated by this name. Is he part Eskimo, and it’s short for Nanook? Was he conceived in the breakfast nook? Does he have a sister named Cranny? Not since D’Brickashaw, has an athlete’s name baffled me so.
Total food intake: a chicken tenders basket w/fries
WEDNESDAY – I drove up to Columbia to visit my good friends Seth and Alison and their new daughter, Hannah.

Seth got carry-out from Outback Steakhouse (I have the number on speed-dial) and we did battle on the digital gridiron of Madden. I won’t bore you with the details (yes, I know, why stop now?), suffice it to say his excuse was that he let me win because it was my birthday.
Total food intake: a Bloomin’ Onion, a house salad, and a 12oz. steak w/mashed potatoes.
THURSDAY – I joined my friends, Greg and Melanie, for yet another birthday dinner, at a Gaithersburg institution, Roy’s Place. Home to over 200 sandwiches. If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favor. Here’s what I had:

118. THE DRACULATM (A bloody mess.)
Two Polish sausages wrapped in bacon, with broiled provolone cheese, buried in cole slaw & Russian dressing on French bread

When I described it to my friend, Chrissy, I believe her response was, “That would make me puke before I had my heart attack.” It was deeeelicious. I crapped dark matter afterward, but it was a small price to pay.
Total food intake: a bowl of New England clam chowder, a slice of chocolate mousse cake, and the aforementioned monstrosity.

So, at this point, I’m only a couple pounds away from having my own gravitational pull. I don’t mind, though. This has been a good week. Happy Birthday to me.

Before I go, I’d like to throw two cents in on a story from this past week. The would-be T.O. suicide attempt that’s been downgraded to an accidental overdose. Don’t think that makes it any less serious. Dr. David Banner had an accidental overdose of gamma radiation that altered his body chemistry. Now, whenever he becomes angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs…sorry…got off-track. If T.O. indeed had attempted suicide, and succeeded, I think the Dallas Cowboys should’ve been awarded and automatic playoff bid. Sorta like if your roommate in college offs himself, you get straight A’s. Also, if it was a suicide attempt, I think it unfairly raises the bar for America’s hopeless…
This guy is making millions of dollars, is a superstar in the NFL, and went to a SuperBowl, and he wants to kill himself??…my life must really not be worth living…
The suicidal have enough to worry about without you making them seem more mundane and uninteresting.

A heads-up for all of my ‘Redheads in the greater Bethesda area, I’ll be doing a set on the weekly showcase at the Bethesda Hyatt on Oct. 7th. Make the necessary arrangements to be there…we’ll hang.

Hopefully, things’ll get themselves corrected, and I’ll be back at blog HQ soon. In the meantime, please feel free to take advantage of the ample comment space below.

To be continued…

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Get Happy

Hey there ‘Redheads… Thanks again to everyone who gave the blog a read in its first year. I hope you enjoyed last week’s clipshow as much as I enjoyed doing it…to you. Ever forward. Are you in as good a mood as me? I certainly hope so. The world is your burrito…with extra guacamole. Let me count the multitude of cherries in the bowl…

First and foremost, FOOTBALL IS BACK! After enduring an endless summer of golf, baseball, and the WNBA, the only sport that really matters has made its way into the national spotlight. All the speculation of preseason is finally beginning to play out on the gridiron. We’re starting to see that teams like the Ravens, Chargers, and Saints might be able to make a run. That loud sucking noise you hear is teams like the Raiders, Redskins (somebody take Danny Rouhier’s shoelaces), and Packers shitting the bed in their first two outings. I am a football fan…no one team holds my allegiance. I just like succumbing to gravity on a Sunday afternoon, sinking into the butt groove on my couch, and settling in for a day of hits like this…

Ka-freakin’-blammo. Along with the excitement of real football, of course, is the faux face off of fantasy football. D&D without the dwarves. I find that having a hand in managing a fake team makes watching the real thing all the more exciting, for the simple reason that you have a rooting interest in just about every game on the Sunday slate. Go Steelers D!! Go Peyton Manning!! Boo Plaxico Burress!! My fantasy team is not very good. My current fantasy record: 0-1-1. I’m not sure what that says about my capacity for abstract thought, but it certainly says alot for my drafting ability. I stink.

Speaking of fantasy, the second thing that has Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder is something I told you about back in May. How quickly the time flies. Finally, it has arrived. The DVD release of

And there was much rejoicing…yaaay. No longer do dorks have to put up with the revisionist bullsith that has been shoveled down our gullets by the boxed set. As it was meant to be, Han fires first, the creatures are muppets, and Boba Fett ain’t no clone. Yub yub. Sure, it means another Hutt-sized lump of cash for Lucas’ coffers, but now I can have part of my childhood back. Sounds like a fair trade. Now I can be done with him, right? Wrong. I saw something on TV the other day that may find his force deathgrip on my wallet once again. Something insidious in its mining of nostalgia and dork sensibility. Three little words that could mean the dawn of the merchandising apocalypse… Star Wars Transformers.

We love the 80’s!!

Yes, that would be a Millennium Falcon that turns into Han & Chewie. This is a historic crossbreed of kick ass toys. Not since they spliced a Ouija Board with a Teddy Ruxpin (he spoke in tongues and his head spun around…hours of beyond-the-grave-cassette fun) has there been a one two punch to challenge for the hearts, minds, and allowances of America’s thirty-somethings…that live in their parents’ basement. That is the demographic they’re targeting…don’t kid yourself.

Speaking of giant robots (I was, wasn’t I?), the third thing that has me smirking ear to ear is the assembly of the giant comedy robot that is the DC Standup All-Stars as we descended on the campus of American University. Chris White, Larry XL, Frank Hong, Erin Conroy, and myself combined to form Devastator and brought the funny to the disaffected youth. However, as the saying goes, “You can lead disaffected youth to comedy, but you can’t make them laugh.”

So, five lions walk into a bar…

We gave them a fine show…what they took is another story altogether. One of the highlights of my set was a heckle from some joyless 18-year old. Everyone else is enjoying me, things are going swimmingly, then I hear some garbled shouting from the left side of the room. I look over and say, “huh?” His reply was, “AIDS is funnier than you.” Normally, hecklers fluster me. I don’t deal well with being taken off-script. That night was different. That night, we all got something before the show that eased our minds…our checks. There’s a quiet confidence that comes from having already gotten paid. For the benefit of the rest of the room (and to give me time to formulate a response…good heckler trick), I repeated what he said. Then I retorted, “Yes, if you had AIDS, that would be hilarious.” The kid did have a point. I’ve seen AIDS…it killed. Actually, it opened for pneumonia…that killed.

The last thing that has me all a twitter, is that I’m days away from thirty-something. This coming Sunday, the 24th, marks the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday (it’s a milestone, dammit) . I’m not sure how I plan to celebrate yet, but I’ll be shoving a candle in something. I think I’d like to assemble a small collection of people who care that I’ve aged. Wherever and whenever this celebration occurs, you are all invited. I’ll be accepting cards, well-wishes, large cash donations, and Fudgy the Whale cakes here at Stately Stern Manor. Until then, enjoy my gift to you…

To be continued…

Bloggo Anno Uno

…And they say Latin is a dead language. ‘Redheads, time has flown. This blog is 74 posts old…or 1 in blog years (give or take a day or so). I’d like to thank everyone who has been wading in Lake Me since the beginning and all who’ve decided to take a dip along the way. Born out of a combination of boredom and peer pressure, this has evolved from unfocused protoplasm into a slightly upright cro-magnon of weekly entertainment. I learned, while I was working in radio, to write for the audience you want. If you want to reach a national audience, make a product that’ll be interesting to that kind of audience…even if you only reach a local audience to start out, a polished product will eventually bring more people in. When this started out, I realized I was writing for as few as just myself. Over the past year, the readership has grown beyond my delusions obscurity. For those of you who give a rat’s ass, here’s a brief history of the blog thus far…

9/15/05: The first entry…
I, Jared Stern, being of sound mind and flabby body, do hereby take a flailing leap into the blogosphere. This is the place for one stop shopping of my non-opinions and other non-sequitors. Hopefully this’ll end up being a funny and/or informative…complete waste of time. To be continued…

12/24/05: The hit counter is installed…
Now, going back over the math I noodled through when the counter hit 5000+, I miscalculated (shocker) the average number of hits per blog. For some reason, I grossly miscounted the number of entries since the counter was installed (I’m a writer, not a counter). I shorted myself. So, here is the new math…hopefully correct this time:

Current number of hits (minus the one I used to check it)= 6284
Number of blog entries since the counter was installed= 49
Number of times I check each entry= approx 3

So, 6284 – (3 x 49) / 49 = 125.2

Not too shabby. I’m not sure if you can call 125 people “masses”, but it’s a heckuva lot more than I thought would end up reading my shtick.

1/18/06: The term ‘Redheads is coined…
A few people have asked me what the derivation of ‘Redheads is. Well, my name is Jared…Ja * Red. So, the ‘Red is me. A ‘Redhead is a fan of me. There aren’t alot of those, so I’ll settle for regular readers of the blog.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve pecked out all manner of anecdotes, news items, and crappy jokes. Some are worth briefly revisiting (humor me just a couple moments more) Here now, are five of my favorite chunks of bloggy goodness from the past year…

5) From 11/22/05… Those of you who are familiar with my act (all two of you) know that one of the jokes I tell is about seeing a bumper sticker that asks, “How Would Jesus Drive?” My answer…he would probably hydroplane alot. It’s on my CD. I’ve been telling it since ’03. Well, at the showcase, one of the comics made mention that if Jesus were driving somewhere, he’d hydroplane. At the same time, he might as well’ve punched my pet hamster in the nuts. Best case scenario? It’s a simple case of parallel thinking. His ten thousand monkeys, hammering away on their ten thousand typewriters, just happened to write a page of Shakespeare and come up with the same joke. He doesn’t know who the hell I am and, but for seeing him tonight, vice versa. It happens. Suck it up, Jared. Worst case? He lifted the notion off of the website where it comes up in the random joke box. That would be disappointing AND shitty. I think what was most disheartening was that he didn’t tell it right and it bombed. I sound petty as hell right now, I know, but it’s like someone took your kid to a party and fed him so much cake and candy that he puked on the gift table, and now YOU get blamed for being a bad parent. Just sayin’…that was not my kid’s fault.

4) From 12/04/05… If you happened to catch the Bengals/Steelers game, perhaps you too heard Dick Enberg say the following: “These quarterbacks are like opera singers. Lots of gesticulating.” Here’s a tip, Dick: Know your audience. Odds are, the closest your average Steelers fan has come to an opera singer is that Bugs Bunny cartoon where Elmer Fudd sings, “KILL THE WABBIT!”. And when most football fans hear that a quarterback is gesticulating, they think he’s jiggling the center’s yambag at the line of scrimmage. Just say that he’s talking with his hands, Dick.

3) From 1/12/06… The cherry on top of this turd sundae was watching my Terps get their asses served al dente by Duke…in HD. Every misstep in vivid detail. The Terps had 30 turnovers. I’ve seen fewer balls thrown away in a dog neutering facility.

2) From 2/16/06… It was 66 degrees today. The area’s worst blizzard was four days ago. Saturday, I thought I was going to have to subsist on toilet paper and milk sandwiches for the next week…today, a penguin knocked on my door to ask to sublet my freezer. Did Channel 9’s Topper Shutt run down a family of gypsies? That’s the only way I can explain this weather. Tomorrow look for a high of 60 and lo…custs.

1) From 8/29/06… Yes, you read that correctly…homeless soccer. There are only 5 people per team, but at least one of them thinks they’re Jesus Christ, so it all evens out. This is inspirational. Think of what these homeless soccer teams have to overcome. The most obvious, EVERY game is away. Some of these guys and gals are actually pretty good. I’m sure there’s a homeless David Beckham…a homeless Mia Hamm…sorta like Bizarro World. Just like in regular soccer, after winning, they take off their shirts…but then they follow it up with a bottle shower and taking a shit on the pitch. I think this would make a great movie, don’t you? It’ll be like Cool Runnings but with nappier hair. If you’d like to find out more about these ragtag competitors, you can find more info at HomelessSoccer.org. Yes, the have a homeless page (sometimes, I amaze even myself). Oh, but I’ve left out the best part…

The best eight players were selected to attend the Homeless World Cup next month in Johannesburg.

There’s a homeless World Cup…it’s filled with soup, apparently.

To wrap up the year recap…

Ok…enough of the self-important horn tootin’. Your comedy homework for the week is to go check out the reassembly of the giant comedy robot, the DC Standup All-Stars at American University’s Mary Graydon Center on Wednesday the 13th (this is being posted on the 13th, so…tonight) @ 7pm. The show is FREE.

Thanks for the year…here’s hoping you stick around for the next.

To be continued…

The Blog Before The Next One

Hey there ‘Redheads… It is my intention to be straight with you, my loyal readers. So, I have to level with you. This installment of the blog is going to be woefully thin. Look closely and you’ll be able to see its ribcage. The next blog, however, will be a blogbuster…the one year anniversary of this exercise in self-important blatherskite. It’ll be jam-packed with all manner of reminiscence about stuff that you didn’t really care about when it happened in the first place. I’m just sayin’…cut this installment some slack, because the next one is gonna knock your socks off (try to remember to wear socks when you read it…otherwise it might skin your feet).

Normally, I save the obituaries ’til the end of the blog, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the freak death of Steve Irwin. Yes, it’s time to have a moment of silence…with an Australian accent, to have a 21 boomerang salute, and to shed a tear in your bloomin’ onion for the khaki-clad croc hunter. After cheating death by cavorting with some of the most dangerous predators on the planet, he was felled by an unexpected foe. He was filming a new special to be called The World’s Most Venomous off the Great Barrier Reef, when a stingray gave love…a bad name. I need to purge the crappy jokes from my system here, so I won’t be tempted to join the chorus of hacks who’ll use this as an excuse to club the shit out of the dead horse that is his impression. Here’s how short on substance this blog is…I going to cite another blog. That of Jessica Paquin, who crystallized the comic ramifications perfectly. I’d just like to say to Jessica…get out of my head…and into my car…

Worse, and more tragic, than his actual death are all of the hack, piece of shit comics that immediately whipped out their “little journals of big laughs” and began feverishly scribbling down the comedy gold that will shoot them to stardom once they can fully implement a hokey Australian accent. So many will attempt to resurrect the poor, crazy Aussie bastard through a seemingly endless string of shitty impressions with shitty punchlines. Not unlike the comics that have the audacity to pull out the overdone hack Crocodile Hunter jokes before, now that he is dead, the “jokes” that surround him should be buried along with his body, but won’t. Let it go, kids. It wasn’t funny then and it won’t be funny now. Let him just be dead. All I’m saying is: Rest in peace Steve, and may all the shitty comics in the world allow you to do the same. I only hope they can wait for Arnold Schwarzenegger to keel over. That’s a body that will be kicked long after it has gone cold. It’s cheating comedy when you it’s something so easy. I’d rather see death cheated than comedy.

Amen, sister.

From the tragic to the sublime, I bring good tidings from the sold out The Labor Day Poonanza. Kudos to Larry Poon, Jim Marsdale, Randy Ford, Deaf Jim, Ryan Conner, Danny Rouhier, Kojo Mante (the REAL one), Seaton Smith, Jeff Maurer, Justin Schlegel, Jay Hastings, Tom Myers, and Quincy Ledbetter for putting on an inspired bit of comic gluttony. The DVD is forthcoming, and I hope a couple of the sketches make their way to YouTube or some other place where they can get exposure to the masses.
After the show the party moved over to Millie and Al’s, where we were joined by Jon Mumma…who was, oddly, nowhere to be seen during the show (yeesh…paper-thin AND full of inside jokes…stay with me, people). Man, Larry Poon knows how to party. Buxom Slovenian women on both arms, each taking turns pouring vodka and Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper down his gullet as he gargled the theme from Taxi. He is an inspiration to all of us who think that a mug of Miller Lite and whistling the end credits from The Incredible Hulk is any way to throw down. So, after my mug was empty and my lips chapped from the effort, I had to pee somethin’ fierce. As I finished up and exited the stall, the guy waiting his turn remarked to me, “I can’t believe there’re only two urinals in this place.” I shot back, in typical guy-banter fashion, “Yeah, the last thing you want is a line for the men’s room.” He zings, “Or a lion king.” Perplexed, and not wanting to violate any unwritten man-law, I simply affirmed, “You got that right,” as I walked back to the bar. I can’t imagine that women engage in this primitive haiku that guys do. The typical diagram breaks down like this: Two guys who don’t know each other engage in a brief superficial conversation that consists of no less than two, but no more than four lines, the last line of which is always, “You got that right,” or some variation thereof. The first line is typically a quip or observation that isn’t really funny or insightful, but in order to not be awkward, the respondent will force a laugh or break out the, “You got that right,” and be on his way.

We are an odd breed. If he were still alive, Steve Irwin would tag us and track our hapless mating habits. Here’s to ya, Steve.

To be continued…