Jared Stern and The Search For a Decent Blog

Hey there ‘Redheads… Did everyone have a beer and barbecue sauce drenched Memorial Day weekend? Did your moment of silence happen when you passed out? Way to be. Mine was full of various types of booze, meat, and brightly colored distractions on consecutive nights. I am beat. And the hits just keep coming. On Wednesday night, I’m competing in the Drafthouse Comedy Challenge, matching wits with the likes of Larry Poon, Sean Gabbert, and Tyler Sonnichsen. After that dream gets crushed, I hop in the car and make the 3 or so hour drive to Atlantic City to tangle in the Junkies Poker Open at the Borgata, which starts at 10am on Thursday. Sleep? Pshaw.

Ok, a couple quick hits from my weekend, then I’m going to put a face print and a drool mark in the shape of the Virgin Mary on my pillow. Saturday, I found out, was the birthday of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. As a tribute, jazz station WPFW played all James Brown all day. From the classics to Eddie Murphy doing “Hot Tub”. I also discovered this little gem. James Brown and Pavarotti singing “It’s A Man’s World”. Check it out…

If you didn’t enjoy that on some level, we can’t be friends anymore. It’s a toss up as to who’s easier to understand.

On Sunday, I took my first trip out to the new Nationals ballpark. Impressive. It’s a damn shame that DC fans could give a shit about the team. The place was damn near full and it was quiet. They must’ve recalibrated the digital NOISE-METER to register a dull murmur, because I could hear individual coughs. But, better to hear the players’ chosen theme songs. The one curious choice was that of Nationals pitcher, Tim Redding. When he stepped onto the mound, it was to “One” by Metallica. Picture it: a gorgeous spring afternoon on Memorial Day Sunday, you and the kids have your peanuts and cracker jacks, you sit down to watch America’s pastime, and this is what’s blaring through the PA…

I cant remember anything
Cant tell if this is true or dream
Deep down inside I feel to scream
This terrible silence stops me

Now that the war is through with me
I’m waking up I can not see
That there is not much left of me
Nothing is real but pain now

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please god, wake me

And it wasn’t even the hard-driving, pump-you-up, part of the song. Just a bit odd. Oh, as a side note about baseball, I’m a huge fan of sports in HD. When you can count the blades of grass on the field, that’s cool. Do we have to see sports-casters in HD? These people were not meant to have every flaw on their faces etched out in vivid detail. I saw ESPN’s Peter Gammons doing a pre-game last week in HD. He looked like he chose the wrong grail. I swore there was a puppeteer from Jim Henson’s creature shop operating his mouth. His face was so creased, he looked like human origami. Slather some vaseline on the lens and spare us looking into the face of death. Just sayin‘ is all…

After the game, I went to see the much anticipated Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Let me go ahead and put up the requisite warning **SPOILER ALERT** lest ye read further and find out that Indiana Jones is dead throughout the movie. I did not like this movie. I enjoyed some of the Speilbergian frenetic chase sequences, but that does not a decent movie make. I thought it needlessly leaned on the three previous and superior films. It was a two and a half hour nod and wink to everyone who grew up with those movies, rather than trying to stand alone. Everything had been done before and better, either in the Indiana Jones series, or The Mummy movies, or even National Treasure. I knew George Lucas had lost his ability to tell stories on the screen, but I was sorry to see that he rubbed off on Speilberg. There’s a key rule in cinematic story-telling: Show me, don’t tell me. In the previous three movies, to some degree or another, the opening sequence served as a way to set up the relationships between Beloq, Short Round, or Indy’s father and Indy to give you a context for the future interactions. None of that in this movie. We just have to take it for granted that Indy’s friend turning on him in the first 5 minutes is a big deal. It made it tough to care. The other thing that was lacking was any sort of dynamic villainy. God bless Cate Blanchett for trying, but very little was done to make the bad guy Rooskies worth caring about. When they get their inevitable comeuppance, again…meh. Don’t get me started on Shia LeBouf. Going into this, I was heartened that what I’d read and seen seemed to indicate that he wasn’t going to be Indy’s son. So much for that. Turns out, yeah, he’s Indy’s kid. Boo. Hiss. If they try to continue the franchise with him, I’m fencing off the condo, putting up a flag, and seceding. To sum up, I was hoping against hope that the movie would end with Indy waking up from the black sleep of the Kali Ma…all just a mediocre dream.

The balcony is closed. I’m going to bed.

To be continued…

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Sit In My Lapse…

Hey there ‘Redheads… Well, it’s official. After a valiant two-weekish effort, JOKE/BIT/PREMISE/TAG-A-DAY IN MAY is dead. A week between installments kinda defeats the whole daily thing. Great timing too. The stunt-blogging gets a mention on DCStandup.com, then I decide to let it stagnate. I have the follow through of a thalidomide baby’s golf swing. I think I got a couple decent comedy nuggets out of the enterprise. As my inevitable apology, I offer you a piping hot batch of cutie pie…






…now that I’ve reduced you to a puddle of goo, let’s get this installment rolling, shall we?

Now for some horn tootage. Tuesday night, I won a poker tournament. I made my way through a field of 80 fellow degenerate Texas Hold ‘Em players and won a buy-in to a tournament at the Borgata in Atlantic City next week. The top prize is in the neighborhood of $30,000. I hope to trick or treat through that neighborhood. That kind of money almost makes it worth it to visit Atlantic City. That place is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. One place I have to make sure I stop by on the way up…the HQ of Spencer’s Gifts. I need to take that tour.

A big thanks to Matt, Tonia, Jeanne, and the rest of the groovy staff at LOL Comedy Club in Clayton, NC for a great weekend. The crowds were small (some shows, they felt more like drunk focus groups) but fun. I got a chance to work with the round mound of profound, Mo Alexander.

Here we are, filling a quota…

Comics in Clayton luxuriate in the lavish accommodations of Jeanne’s house. Which has a 60-inch big screen TV…that can vote, it’s so old. It’s one of those rear projection jobs. This one takes about a half an hour before it warms up and holds a steady picture. Oh, and the cable wasn’t working. You haven’t seen scrambled snow, until you’ve seen it on a big screen. I felt like Carol Anne from Poltergeist. And the feature’s room is pink. Pepto Bismol pink.

While we were tooling around Clayton, Mo and I stopped at a local drive-thru bbq joint, Smithfield BBQ. We pulled up to the menu to check out the bill of fare, when the lady behind the speaker popped on to take our order. We had no idea what we wanted, so we asked her what was good. She said everything was good. We weren’t satisfied with what seemed like the company line, but she backed up her statement with, “I’m a 200 pound woman. I know about good barbecue.” She was right. The bbq and cole slaw sandwich was pork-tastic.
The last night in the house, Mo, Jeanne, and I were lounging on the couches in the den, discussing various mysteries of life. The conversation turned to religion, then turned into me answering questions about Jewish stuff. Jeanne then asks the loaded question, “Can I ask you something without offending you?” Well now she had to, regardless of the outcome, “Go ahead,” I said. I prepared to clear up some misconception about bar mitzvahs or having sex through a hole in a sheet. The question she chose was, “Are you really cheap?” WHA?? That was her burning question. Am I a stereotype. It was like asking Mo, “What’s your stance on grape soda? For or against?” I thanked her for the new material then, after she went to bed, I took this picture with her camera…

No promises on the next bit of bloggage, but I’m gonna try not to veer too far off the path of regular updates.

To be continued…

J/B/P/T-A-DAY IN MAY 14: Almost over…

Hey there, ‘Redheads… I hope you all had a heck of a hump day. Mine was long. I woke up an extra hour and a half earlier than I usually do, so I could take my truck in for service. Then work was way busier than usual. Oy vey, I say. But, here I am, in front of my glowing monitor…for you.

I’m super-psyched, because tomorrow I hit the road for a four night slate of shows in North Carolina. I’ll be at the LOL Comedy Club in Clayton (just outside of Raleigh) with headliner, Mo Alexander. If you find yourself on tobacco road this weekend, come check out a show. Say hi. We’ll hang.

It’s been two weeks of this veiled attempt to throw some comedy pasta on the refrigerator door to see what sticks known as, JOKE/BIT/PREMISE/TAG-A-DAY IN MAY. Where has the time gone? No really, I’m never going to get that back. Here’s today’s bit of dynamite hack…

Since I’ve been trying to strike it rich playing the lottery, I’ve been using the numbers on the back of some of my favorite Chinese food fortunes in my collection. Here’s one I’ll share…

Our first and last love is…Self-love.

That’s a masturbation fortune cookie. No need to add “in bed”. I just wish that the one time that a cookie correctly predicted my immediate future, it could’ve been something a bit more helpful.

See you on Thursday…

J/B/P/T-A-DAY IN MAY 13: Nice shoes…

Hey there ‘Redheads… Lucky number 13 in this month long series of crap-tacular comedy. Thanks to all you gluttons for punishment, who keep coming back only to find that, no, it hasn’t gotten any better. Keep holding out hope. For this installment of JOKE/BIT/PREMISE/TAG-A-DAY IN MAY I give you a small slice of my evening…

I just got back from an evening of high-falootin’ beer and pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown. If you like beer that doesn’t have “Lite” on the label, you should swing down there to partake of the suds for DC Beer Week. While I was waiting outside for my friends to arrive (the visible ones), taking in the lovely sun dressed scenery, I bore witness to a great bit of popped-collar douchery. There was a group of guys milling around outside the restaurant, figuring out where the next stop on their tour would be. A fetching blonde, who apparently knew one of them, came out to say hello. They tried to coax her into joining them at McFadden’s. She said she really need to get something to eat and was about to head back in when one of the guys asked, “Do you like chicken?” She replied, “Yeah.” Then the guy came back with, “Would you like a wing?,” extending his elbow so she might take his arm. Then she went inside and the guys meandered down the road. As she went in, I said very audibly, “Would you like a wing?…whadda putz,” and proceeded to giggle my ass off.

Really? That’s your line? I don’t claim to be a Don Juan, but that exchange was about as smooth as a slip n’ slide in a gravel pit. What, you couldn’t ask her is she was Jamaican, because she’s ja-makin’ you crazy?

And yet, I’m the one at home, blogging alone…

See ya Hump Day, ya humps…

J/B/P/T-A-DAY IN MAY 12: Dozin’

Howdy, ‘Redheads… Happy Monday to ye. I have to admit, I don’t have much for you today. I was hoping I’d have super cute nephew pictures for you but, alas and alack, they aren’t ready yet. I’m also drawing a blank in the jokey joke department. Fear not. I’m not running completely on empty. I’m prepared to give you the shirt off my back in this edition of JOKE/BIT/PREMISE/TAG-A-DAY IN MAY

Here are two t-shirt ideas that I’ve been kicking around:

PRE-OP TRANSFORMER

And, if that wasn’t enough hilarity for you…




J F C
Jesus Fucking Christ

Wow. Could that picture be any more perfect for what I needed? Google image search, you know what I like…

See ya Tuesday…

J/B/P/T-A-DAY IN MAY 11: Yo Mama

Hey there, ‘Redheads… As promised, there was a slight hiccup in the daily blog streak. I was up in Philly for Mother’s Day, chasing my impossibly cute nephew, Mo, around a playground. The little guy ran me ragged. Pictures are on the way. I’m hoping I’ll be able to make it the next couple of days upright. Mo is a booger factory and he coughed in my face a couple of times. I’m not sure what kind of cootie concoction is brewing inside me. I’ll either have super powers or be on death’s door by Tuesday.

So, here’s the reboot of JOKE/BIT/PREMISE/TAG-A-DAY IN MAY
It’s a realization I came to after thinking about my bargain Sharper Image purchase in the last entry…

I finally understand the spend-money-to-save-money mindset. Check it out. The gaming chair I bought was marked down to $40 from $180. When I bought it, I saved $140. If I hadn’t bought it, I only would’ve saved $40. There’s a TV infomercial with a fast-talking Brit to be made.

See ya Monday…