Two Fiddy

Hey there ‘Redheads… Welcome to this blog’s 250th installment. Any other blog of this kind would have about 3 times as many, but I’ve never been about the quantity…or the quality, now that I think about it. Here’s to 250 more chances to mildly amuse you. I’m altering my usual blogging habits for this post. Usually, I wait until about 11:30 or midnight to milk the blog teat, succumbing to eventual exhaustion as I type into the wee hours of the morning. Today, I’m fresh as a daisy and will have one less excuse when this blog barely passes for mediocre.

I’m back from a comedy road trip that took me to Comedy Zones in Kentucky and West Virginia. The hills had eyes and they were smiling in my general direction. This was my second time back to these two clubs, and the shows went better than the stereotypes of the region might suggest. I had the pleasure of working with two time New Orleans entertainer of the year, Mutzie. Mutzie is a cool guy with an interesting look to him that I can only describe by putting it in old school pro wrestling terms. Imagine if George “The Animal” Steele talked like Dusty Rhodes. I’m glad the shows went well, because the weather stunk out loud. I had a 7 1/2 hour drive on Thursday. I didn’t rain for about 15 minutes of the trip. I didn’t see the sun until my drive home on Sunday. The sky was a depressing blanket of clouds…an AIDS quilt of clouds for the entire weekend. In order to at least simulate sunlight, I decided to make a return trip to the Eastern Kentucky Science Center to check out the afternoon planetarium show. I’m sure you’re asking yourself what you might find at the Eastern Kentucky Science Center… Does it house Col. Sanders’ top secret 11 herbs and spices? Well, here’s one item on display…

Luckily, they also have a planetarium which, just like last time, I had all to myself. The program they had this time was about the Hubble. Nothing too fancy. It was like looking into a giant ViewMaster that’d been left in a hot car. Afterwards, I was treated to a complimentary laser light show set to some of today’s crappiest rock hits. I was kicking myself, because one of the choices I was offered was Laser Praise. If there’s one thing lasers have yet to fully convey, it’s irony.

Onward to the next exotic port of call, Charleston, West Virginia. When I got to the hotel, I made the discovery that there was a casino with a poker room about twenty minutes away. Let’s see… Idle time? Check. Extra cash? Check. Horrible judgement? Check. I’m not going to get into specifics, but I’ll throw a quick stat at you. My average per minute in the casino was -$4. From my hopeful entrance to my shameful exit, I lost $100 in 25 minutes. Actual poker table time was more like 5 minutes. I can’t even say I played horribly, because what I did doesn’t qualify as playing poker. I got played. I was a goddamn slot machine with a sweatshirt on. Rather than buy back in to try and win my dignity back, I sulked back to my car, went back to my hotel room, and watched a marathon of Bully Beatdown on MTV2.

As bad as I got beat, at least I could rest easy knowing that I had a sure bet that paid off on Sunday. Go ahead and check the last installment…I called the Chiefs over the Redskins. Two field goals against the worst defense in the league. This team is so inept at scoring, they can barely get in a 3-point stance. I expected to see Snyder fiddling while the fans burnt FedEx down. The Native Americans that are suing the team over the name can just site the last six games as exhibit A that the Redskins are offensive. I do feel bad for Jim Zorn. He’s like Wallace Hartley, bravely trying to make some music while the Titanic sinks into the drink. On Monday, he had his play calling duties forcibly stripped from him, and I’m pretty sure he had his credit revoked at Eastern Motors.

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a huge comedy festival descending on the DC area this weekend. Tig Notaro and friends brings us The Bentzen Ball. 50 comics, from Patton Oswalt to Sarah Silverman to a cavalcade of local comedians. I’m not one of them. Don’t let my veiled bitterness keep you from checking it out.

To be continued…

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Blogtoberfest

Hey there ‘Redheads… Short turnaround from the last installment for a change. I wanted to bolster Blogtober and sneak in a quickie before my comedy road trip this weekend (details to follow). The mornings are starting to get chilly out there…good sleeping weather. The past couple mornings, willing myself out of bed has taken longer than Uma Thurman trying to wiggle her big toe in Kill Bill.

I hope everyone had a swell Columbus Day. I celebrated in the traditional way. By gambling, drinking firewater, and cranking Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills… Sing along, won’t you?

Anyone else find it mildly ironic that most of DC wanted to run the Redskins out of town today? I could’ve sworn somebody was running a blanket drive down at Fed Ex Field. Grab a bucket of popcorn and watch the sky fall when they lose to the Chefs (great googily moogily) next week.

I feel like Columbus must’ve fired his PR firm, because he’s been getting a heap of bad press these last couple of years. The focus has shifted from sailing the ocean blue and discovering America to that whole decimation of the Indians thing. Some people have started referring to it as Indigenous People’s Day. Others choose to celebrate the life and work of Peter Falk.

Speaking of PR firms, I’d love to meet the team behind this PSA…

Thanks to comedy compadre, Andy Kline for this little gem. Apparently, this new spot was created to address the recent upswing in domestic violence in Memphis. Which begs the question, how annoying are families in Memphis? Maybe they should just make one to run during Blue’s Clues to let the kiddies know, “Don’t wanna die? Don’t cry.” Run one on Oxygen that tells the ladies, “Don’t want to be twitchin’? Quit yer bitchin’.” I’m also available for children’s parties, by the way…

In the last installment, my cinematic pick to click was the gruesome zomedy, Zombieland. It’s splatterrific. But, if an over-the-top gorefest isn’t your cup of bile, might I suggest having the bejeezus scared out of you by an understated demon possession. Go see Paranormal Activity. It’s in the same low-budget vein as The Blair Witch Project, but this one actually lives up to the hype. This flick is nightmare fuel. My only complaint was with the jerky camera work that this style of film making requires. Nothing like some nausea to go with your heart attack.

I’d like to announce that I’m still in the running for the Nobel Prize for Procrastination. Should hear from the committee any day now…

For those of you in the West Virginia area, I’ll be at the Comedy Zone in Charleston, WV this weekend. Always nice to see some friendly faces in the crowd. Click the link for tix and info.

See ya in a few…

Undead, Fundead…

Hey there ‘Redheads… The usual combination of sloth and procrastination has kept me from updating the blog in a timely fashion. September slipped by with only three lousy installments, but I’m hoping for a stout and hearty Blogtober. Much like Christmas takes over all of December, this month gets swallowed by the jack o’lantern’s maw of Halloween. If it’s dead, undead, or screaming its last breath, this is the time to indulge all of your morbid curiosities. If you’re still reading, you’ve probably noticed that the laughter was strangled out of this blog a couple sentences ago…

Among my favorite macabre mascots are zombies, which is why I give two severed thumbs up to Zombieland. Easily, the best zomedy since Shaun of the Dead and a great zombie movie period. It’ll eat your brain and slurp the marrow from your funny bone. From the driving opening credits set to Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” to a brilliant homage to the greatest paranormal comedy ever made, this is the most fun you’ll have watching the world end. After the movie, I bumped into a couple people who thought it was a documentary…

When it comes to zombies, some people are divided on a key issue: shamblers or sprinters? Zombie purists prefer their undead to shuffle toward their prey with excruciating inevitability. The 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead gave us zombies that could full on sprint. It just depends how you want your brains eaten. I kind of prefer the shamblers, only because I’d like to think I could outrun a dead guy. I need to get back to the gym. Right now, the only way I break a sweat is if I freeze some then drop it on the floor. But I digress. One last cool zombie thing before I move on. Check this out…

Right now, that’s just a fan trailer for a book, but here’s hoping that George Lucas is looking to shake a few more nickels out of us soon. I’d buy that for a dollar.

You know who else is hoping that book gets made into a movie? R. Kelly…

R&B singer/songwriter R. Kelly revealed that despite his musical talents, he suffers from illiteracy and barely made it through grade school. The Grammy winner recently spoke at the Midwest Music Festival in Chicago, about the trials and tribulations of starting his career.

I guess that’s one less thing the “R” stands for. Now that I think about it, that probably explains why he shortened it to R. It might also explain the complex metaphor, “You remind me of my jeep.” Anybody else catch the curious word choice in that blurb? He “suffers” from illiteracy. Last time I checked, there wasn’t a book allergy. He can suffer from dyslexia, but outside of that I’m guessing it’s a raging case of stupid. If illiteracy was contagious, it would be impossible to diagnose it from WebMD.

Before I wrap things up, the DC area lost an icon today. Ben Ali, the man behind Ben’s Chili Bowl died at age 82 of congestive heart failure. I’ve enjoyed many a Ben’s half-smoke during this past baseball season. Most times, it was best part of the Nats games. Keep your eyes peeled for a Bill Cosby sighting. I’m sure he’ll be in town to pay his respects…and give a rambling eulogy. Ben, you’ll live on inside us all.

That’s all for now. My illiteracy is flaring up…