The Man Called Tomorrow

Hey gang… As time continues its inevitable march toward the new year, I wanted to give you something to distract you from the holiday doldrums. I’m writing from my mother-in-law’s apartment in sunny Florida. Although, that isn’t much of a brag considering that most of the eastern seaboard currently resembles L.A. without most of the self-delusion. Why do I bother spending the holidays in Florida if I can’t shove it in the numb shivering faces of friends and family back home? Oh well. Enjoy frolicking in shorts and sun dresses in December. Mother Nature will balance the scales with a blizzard in March that will sock everyone in for a week and a half. The toilet paper aisle at Harris Teeter will make Black Friday at Best Buy look like Arbor Day at Radio Shack. It doesn’t make sense now, but trust me, the metaphor holds up.

I’m always amazed at the interesting lives led by other people. As the selfie-obsessed ego-maniacs our society has evolved into, we all think that our lives are in the top percentile of interesting. If you take the time to listen to other people and what they’ve done, you realize maybe that fifth picture of the linguini you had last night wasn’t the culinary game changer you thought it was. I attended the Christmas party in my mother-in-law’s building last night and met a couple people who might be the most interesting I’ve met all year, possibly in the last five years. The first guy worked for the Air Force. His job? Packing parachutes into pilot ejector seats. What was my first question upon hearing this? “So, how accurate was the ejector seat scene from Die Hard 2?”

His answer, unfortunately, was that it’s total bullshit. That type of plane had no canopy, and when pilots need to evacuate, they jump out of the side door. I then proved I knew what a canopy was by referencing Goose from Top Gun. Thank goodness movies provide us with a universal language for describing real life. I felt like I was in that episode of Star Trek:TNG telling him about Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. I love talking to people about stuff that I will never do. He has also flown a jet and worn a G-suit. Here’s something I never knew, the G-suit squeezes your body, so that your blood doesn’t all plummet to your feet while you are pulling multiple G’s. Anyway, I found it all fascinating. The second guy I talked to was in a motorized wheelchair. He wore a Harley Davidson t-shirt, a Harley Davidson necklace, and had Harley Davidson tattoos on both arms. The guy was brand loyal. As I got to talking to him, he told me that he rode a 1000 miles a day on his motorcycle, and his goal was to ride 1,000,000 miles. It was cut short at about 600,000 when he fell asleep at the wheel while riding in Alaska, paralyzing him from the chest down. He still rides, though. He’s having a trike built so he can pick up where he left off. He owns 14 motorcycles, including a Harley from 1912. He’s also a member of the oldest motorcycle club in Brazil. Think Sons of Anarchy, but with more plantains. He also told me about breaking one of his legs and not realizing it until someone pointed out that the bone was poking through. Two things about me: 1) I’ve never ridden a motorcycle. 2) I’ve never broken a bone. I was enthralled by his zest for life and was made very aware of the distinct lack of zest in my risk-averse life. When I asked him his name, he told me it was “Tomorrow”. It’s actually Tomauro, but he got tired of explaining the pronunciation to people. Anyway, I could’ve talked to him all night.

I should also share my thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, since that is now the dominant focus of popular culture. It’s mildly ironic that, until recently, Star Wars was just the culture of unpopular people. Well, I saw it, thoroughly enjoyed it, then thought about it, and realized it was pretty much just a retelling of the first movie. Oh, sorry, SPOILER ALERT. I’m legally obligated to put that in front of anything that might give you a hint of what might happen in the movie. It’s been out for a week, people. Don’t get me wrong, it was everything it needed to be. It felt like a Star Wars movie, it had heart, the new characters were engaging, the old characters weren’t just there for nostalgia’s sake, everything fit together nicely. But, it’s another droid with an important message for the rebellion dropped off on a desert planet, discovered by an unlikely hero who doesn’t realize they’re a part of something much bigger, being pursued by a draconian military force with a giant frickin’ laser that can destroy a planet. I liken it to the 2006 reintroduction of Superman to movie audiences. A beloved franchise that newer audiences might not be as familiar with because the last installment, which stunk, came out almost 20 years ago. Superman Returns was pretty much an exact retelling of the first Superman: The Movie from 1978. The folks at Disney wanted to ease the new audience that was raised by parents that grew up on this stuff into the basic story of the franchise. That’s being generous. It could also just be lazy storytelling on the part of J.J. Abrams, who wasn’t above milking original Star Trek nostalgia to make his reboot seem more palatable. Either way, I liked it, I plan on seeing it again to try and catch stuff my teary fanboy eyes might’ve missed the first time.

One last thing. I’m getting back on the comedy horse and I’ve been booked to play a show on New Year’s Eve. So, if you happen to be in the Harrisburg, PA area, I’ll be at the Harrisburg Comedy Zone on Dec. 31st and Jan. 2nd with none other than Dustin Diamond, Screech from Saved by the Bell. See you there.

Have a very merry and a holly jolly. I’ll see about getting one last installment up before year’s end.

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And I Feel Fine…

Hey there, ‘Redheads… I wanted to squeeze in a quick blog before I hit the road tomorrow for a gig at the Comedy Zone in Myrtle Beach, SC. I’m bringing a laptop with me, but those things tend to fritz out on me when I try to connect to the interwebs. If I do manage a connection, I’ll be happy to give you a beachfront update when the ocean starts boiling and turns to blood. That’s right, folks. The end of the world begins on Saturday at around 6pm. Apparently, the Bible has a “dates to remember” section in it. Here’s an idea of what’s in store…

According to one wingnut and his band of followers, the Rapture begins on Saturday. Expect the Backpedal to begin on Sunday after absolutely nothing happens. I’d love for the world to turn into a zombie movie, but I’m betting you’ll still have to drag your ass into work come Monday instead. I’m not a very religious guy. I’m a Jew who can’t live in a world without bacon. It is my firm belief, however, that if Jesus was to return, the same thing would happen to him that happens to everyone else who claims to be him. Some nice men in white coats will have a little chat with him, then he’ll be on a thorazine drip for the rest of his life. We’re so jaded and cynical that no one would take him seriously. If Jesus wants to make his grand return, he better do it on YouTube, “Hide ya kids. Hide ya wife. Hide ya husband. Cuz everyone’s gettin’ Raptured up in here.” Seriously, Lady Gaga has 10 million followers on Twitter. Get in line, Jesus.

See you on the other side, Ray.

See Me… Feel Me… Book Me…

Hey there, ‘Redheads… This has turned into a lazy Thursday. No plans. Completely unencumbered with anything to do. And I could’ve gone outside and enjoyed the great weather, but no, I twiddled my thumbs on the interwebs and before I knew it, darkness had fallen with nothing to show for it except two bleary bloodshot eyes staring back at me when I happened to catch my reflection in the computer screen. At least, I hope those were my eyes. Anyway, I decided to fill up this space with some of my upcoming comedy gigs, so if you wanted to see me live and in person, or if you wanted to know how better to avoid me, that info would be at your eager little fingertips. Also, any comedy bookers out there who crave my brand of mild amusement, this information can better help you find out when I might be available to trade some funny for some money.

And away we go:
APRIL 15 (TOMORROW NIGHT): At the Barking Dog in Bethesda, MD for a District Live Comedy Event with Brian Parise, Martin Plant, and Jeff Maurer
APRIL 22 & 23: At the Comedy Zone in Warwick, RI
APRIL 28-30: At the Baltimore Comedy Factory, opening for Bill Bellamy
MAY 20 & 21: At the Comedy Zone in Myrtle Beach, SC
JUNE 10 & 11: At Moxie’s in Statesville, NC
JUNE 24 & 25: At the Comedy Zone in Lynchburg, VA
JULY 8 & 9: At the Comedy Zone in Harrisburg, PA

See you Friday. And hopefully at some of these shows. C’mon, people.

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…

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…

And… Scene.

Hey there ‘Redheads… We’re down to the last day of Blog-A-Day in May. For those of you who’ve stuck around for this long, drawn out, exercise in self-importance, congratulations. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I’ve enjoyed doing it…to you. Don’t consider this last installment a payoff for your diligence… This one will be just as mildly amusing as the previous 30. And away we go…

If there’s one thing I slacked on whilst tripping the blog fantastic (fine…mediocre), it was the pretty pictures to go along with the over inflated wordage. In particular, some people clamored for visual evidence of my sunburn from last weekend. Since I don’t actually own a camera, I have to rely on other people to get the pictures. Well, this one finally came through… Watch. Wince. Repeat.

It’s tough to tell which is pastier, my thigh or my sock. The sock is white. The thigh is tragically white.

Had another fun couple of shows at the Greensboro Comedy Zone last night. Once again, it was a tale of two crowds. The early show was great. They laughed in all the right spots. They bought me shots on stage. They were picking up what I was puttin’ down. The late show was not as giving. I’m going to write a book about the late show, called “That Crowd Just Wasn’t That Into Me”.

So, today I had a couple hours to kill before driving to Fayetteville for two more shows tonight. I decided to go to the local Hooters, for some wings and polite ogling. While chit-chatting with my waitress, it came up that I was a comic. Unfortunately, I was within earshot of a couple guys who think thought I could use a new joke for my act. Before I knew it, one of them waddled over and leaned on the chair next to me and told me the following “joke” as I’m eating my wings (I’ll try to type it correctly)…

There’s this teenage girl who wants to borrow the family car. So she asks her daddy, “Daddy, can I have the car. It’s very important.” Well, it goes on and on. The dad says, “I’ll only lend it to you if you give me a blowjob.” The girl said, “What, Daddy?” So, they went back and forth, until the girl finally said ok. So, the dad drops his trousers and she starts going to town. She stops and spits and says, “Daddy, your dick tastes like shit.” He says, “Yeah, I know. Your brother wanted the car this morning.”

Bon appetit. I know that’s the kind of thing I would say, unsolicited, to a stranger. The question is, do I open with it or close with it?

Thanks for reading all month. Now that I’ve proven that I can do this more regularly, I suppose I should. Maybe Blog-Every-Other-Day-In-June…or something. Stay tuned.

To be continued…

Blog Me To Hell…

Hey there ‘Redheads… Sorry for the slipshod nature of yesterday’s post, but any port in a storm… I’ve been chugging along in this marathon, and I’m not going to let a digitally pulled hammy keep me from crawling across the finish line, out of breath, with chafed nipples. With said finish line in sight, onward and upward with Day 30 of Blog-A-Day in May.

Technology continues to be the bane of my blogular existence. I took my laptop down to the nearest Best Buy, so a geek in a tie could tell me there was absolutely nothing wrong with it as he connected immediately. I don’t recall running over a gypsy with this laptop anytime recently, so I’m pretty sure I’m not cursed. Right now, it’s basically a paper weight with a shoulder strap…for convenience. Anyway, I’m at a computer workstation at a goddamn Kinko’s, paying 20 cents a minute to crank this out…see what I do for you guys?

Speaking of gypsy curses, I just saw Drag Me To Hell over at the local multiplex. Two gnarled gypsy woman thumbs up. It’s got a plotline we can all get behind in these troubled times. A mortgage lender who screws an elderly woman out of an extension on her loan gets cursed to burn in the fires of h-e-double-hockey-sticks for all eternity. Nice to see Sam Raimi get back to his roots (the kind that tangle you up and swallow your soul) of scaring the bejeezus out of people with fast zooms, sudden loud noises, and cheap thrills. It’s makes up for the over-bloated pile of CGI that Spider-Man 3 turned out to be. This movie is singular of purpose, grabs you quick, thrashes you around a bit, then deposits you back to the edge of your seat. Fun stuff.

The shows at the Greensboro Comedy Zone went pretty well overall last night. I’m working with a like-minded headliner in Tom Simmons, a local NC guy who admitted to me that he usually does horrible here. You have to slow things down and say fuck a little more to keep the audiences on the hook. The first show went great for both of us, but the second show we were met with mostly slack-jawed stares. I had pockets of support in the audience for the late show, which was enough to get me through. Looking forward to tonight. And, if the stars align, I’ll be meeting up with the fellas from The Geek Comedy Tour tomorrow as they come back from a gig in Charlotte.

Read all about it, on the last day…see ya then.