Stupid People Are People, Stupid

Hey gang… Again, I’ve neglected you. Just when I thought I was in a good bloggy rhythm, I went on vacation, got distracted, then just plain got lazy. Before you know it, I’m a week away from going 0 for April. So, in the hopes of getting back on track, here I am for your mild amusement. A quick update before I get started.

Thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Washington City Paper Best of DC 2014 Reader’s Poll. If you look to your right, you’ll see the fancy new widget declaring my runner-uppery. I’m winded from running up. My nipples are chafed. It was a long race. So, the pressure is off this year, since I’m only “one of” the best comedians in DC for 2014. Congrats to my buddy, Jimmy Meritt for taking the top spot. Next year will be the tie breaker.

Onward to my pithy musings…

I saw on Good Morning America that people are getting plastic surgery so they can look better in selfies. These people apparently have low selfie-esteem. Plastic surgery isn’t going to fix the problem because they’re flawed on a deeper level. Since they’ll be under anesthetic already, why not take a melon baller to the part of their brain that gives a goddamn about selfies? I don’t understand the obsession with selfies, probably because I’m old. Maybe they think because artists paint self-portraits that their duck-faced vanity is a form of expression. I think these people would be much happier with themselves if they had friends to take pictures of them.

Another thing I saw on GMA was a segment with chef Emeril Lagasse. They had viewers tweet him the leftovers in their fridge so he could find creative ways to “kick it up a notch”. The stuff people were sending in didn’t take a master chef to figure out what to whip up. The one I saw was basically, “Brace yourself Emeril. I’ve got eggs, bell peppers, mushrooms, swiss cheese, and flour tortillas. I can’t wait to see what you do with that! I’m uncreative and I’m starving.” I want to see what he does with the contents of the average American refrigerator, “I’ve got day old bologna, half a tuna fish sandwich, a six pack of Miller Lite, a box of baking soda, and I heard a voice say ‘Zuul’.” If he can come up with something besides the number for Poison Control, then color me impressed.

For the love of all things holy, please peel the stickers off of your baseball caps. I don’t care what race you are, you look like a moron. You might as well leave the price tags on your clothes and make a boutonniere out of the receipt. Congratulations on your purchasing power.

As I was washing my hands (I know, “Stop bragging.”), I noticed that the soft soap had directions on the back of the bottle. They read, “Use to wash hands as you would use any liquid hand soap”. Listen, if you’re going to assume that someone is dumb enough to need directions to use your soap, then don’t assume they’ve used any other soap. Your apparent target audience is a feral wolf-boy who has only recently entered civilized society. You can’t use the word you’re trying to define in the definition. It’s lazy and if it was genuinely meant to instruct someone to use soap, then give them a three step method or something. Shampoo does “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”. Don’t you guys have the same writers?

Thanks for indulging me. To be continued…


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Big Money, No Whammies

Hey gang. I’ll pretend you both noticed and cared that this entry is late and apologize accordingly. I just got back from a fun show at the Bucks County Playhouse in quaint New Hope, PA. I had the pleasure of working with my good buddy and frequent comedy co-star, Kelly Terranova, the funniest comedian in his price range. A good time was had by most.

Everybody dreams about having a dump truck full of cash emptied in front of their house. Sure, earning money is fine, but we’re a nation of dreamers, and dreaming takes no effort. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve missed out on a possible $1,400,001,500. Let me break that figure down for you. Many of you may have heard that Warren Buffett has offered up $1 billion for anyone who can fill-out a perfect bracket. Through the first four days of the tournament, only one bracket is still eligible for the prize. Some guy named Biff Tannen. That guy has a bright future.

I filled out a bracket, hoping to take my 1 in 9.5 quintillion shot at the contents of Scrooge McDuck’s couch cushions. My chances disintegrated after the first game, when Ohio State lost by one point to Dayton. $1 billion out the window. I’m horrible at picking these games. I had a couple 12 over 5 upsets, but those are easy to pick when 3 of the 4 5-seeds crap in their hat and get bounced. The tournament is great theater. The plucky underdog vs. the national powerhouse, over and over again. Once my brackets got busted for gambling purposes, I just started rooting for chaos. If I can’t be right, let’s see if I can be the least wrong. And sometimes it’s great to be wrong. I had Duke getting out of the first round and I’ve never been happier to watch my incorrectitude. The sun shined just a little bit brighter after the Duke, the Cobra Kai of college basketball, took a crane-kick to the mush and got ousted by a 14-seed. Yeah, so what if UMD didn’t even make the NIT? Shut up!

One digit down from the billion, the $400,000,000 was the size of the recent MegaMillions jackpot. I’m starting to think the numbers you get from fortune cookies don’t mean anything at all. And it turns out the numbers of my anniversary and my birthday aren’t that special after all. It’s hard to maintain a sense of self-importance when the universe seems so oblivious to your demands.

A couple zeroes down the line was my most realistic missed opportunity to cash in. I meant to bring this up in the previous entry. A couple weekends ago, I got a call from a comedian buddy of mine. Someone had cancelled last-minute for a show at a synagogue and he thought I might be a good fit. Unfortunately, I was already booked that night, so I told him I couldn’t do it. His reply, “That’s too bad, because they’re paying $1500 for 30 minutes.”
“Give me the number,” I said. “I’ll find a way to make it work.” I gave the lady organizing the event a call and, unfortunately, they had just filled the spot before I got to her. I was still in disbelief, so I asked her, “How much were you offering again?”
“We have a $1500 budget. Why, how much do you charge?”
“Significantly less,” I said. I told her to keep me in mind for anything they have going on in the future. Congrats to the lucky bastard who snagged it. It’s just crazy how much people outside of comedy think our services are worth is in stark contrast to the money we get at actual comedy venues. Just sayin’ is all.

 For those of you who enjoy pro-wrestling, do me a favor and mark June 19th on your comedy calendar. I’ll be opening for the hardcore legend, Mick Foley when he comes to the DC Improv. The stage will be surrounded in barbed wire. Have a nice day.

Triviera

Hey gang. I had the day off from work today after helping to manage two massive events for the trivia company I work for, District Trivia. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that before in the blog, but I write trivia questions for a living. We’ve been holding a four month long city-wide trivia tournament which culminated on Tuesday and Wednesday, giving away cash prizes totaling $6500. Not bad for answering the ridiculous questions that germinate in my noggin.

Bar trivia tends to attract an odd cross-section of humanity. People who aren’t typically social go to a bar and compete with Asperger’s level intensity over the tangential minutiae that infests the brains of most thirty-somethings like if Hoarder’s did a cross-over episode with I Love the 80’s. So basically I facilitate the social lives of nerds. That’s not fair to classify all of our players like that, it’s just one end of the spectrum, but the one’s that made it to the Tournament Finals might as well have been anthropomorphic cerebral cortexes. Anyway, they’re smart the way LeBron James can dribble a basketball and when their intellect is challenged, they like to argue. One of the bonus questions was, “Who is the only Muppet to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated?” I had more than a few people try to argue that Big Bird, which is the correct answer, is not a Muppet. I counter-argued that these people are soulless monsters.

A good time was had by all, but it was a stressful undertaking by the entire staff and I’m glad it’s in our rear view mirror. If you’re interested in trivia, you should check out one of our 25+ in the DMV area. Follow the link above for all the info.

I’m not sure what else I wanted to cover in this installment. I’m slowly but surely getting back into regular comedic activities. I had a fun time headlining the show over at Benny’s Bar & Grill on the mean streets of Potomac, MD. I’ve got a show tomorrow night at a country club in Avondale, PA on Friday. I’ve been trying to pepper in some new material at these gigs, but my brain is so hard wired with my current routine that when I try to shake things up, the needle skips a groove.

I’ll leave you with this very cool conversation between Rainn Wilson and the late Harold Ramis. It’s ten minutes well spent. Enjoy…

Twelve Years a Comic

Hey gang. Welcome to March. I’m usually good about celebrating arbitrary milestones, so I’m happy to tell you that this past weekend marked roughly 12 years as a stand-up comic. *throws handful of confetti in the air* I’ve slowed down in these last six months, but I’ve got some shows coming up this month and I can promise I’ll return to the slow grind of showbiz soon. Following through, is another story, but the promise is the first step on the road to sincerity.

Hey, have the Oscars ended yet? What a steaming pile of dreck that was. I normally like Ellen DeGeneres, but the best thing she delivered all night was the stupid pizza. The writing was lazy, costume changes took the place of clever segues, and it felt like she just decided to wing it at some point. The “this person needs no introduction” gag was cute but tired the first time, but why would you need to use it again? Maybe the rest of America gives a damn about how you’re pals with these superstars, but the patter was awkward and forced. Sure, the star power of the selfie that broke Twitter was huge, but we’re there to celebrate these people in moving pictures. And why did they not give the winners the musical hook? The self-important yammering was endless. It’s fun when these guys talk over the music to thank their kids, but you can’t let these egos go unchecked altogether. What I’m trying to say is it was mildly ironic that a night dominated by Gravity was so heavy and tedious. Ellen will not be winning the Emmy for the Oscars, but whoever worked on Goldie Hawn deserves one for special effects.

Luckily, I didn’t watch this celebrity tribute to the Bataan Death March in real time. My wife and I had tickets to see Book of Mormon at the hungry hungry Hippodrome in Baltimore that night. I had plenty of lead time on the DVR to fast forward past the dumb technical awards. This Oscars had no pop. Say what you will about Seth MacFarlane, but at least it felt like he put some effort into it. Also, if you’re tasked with handing out one of these awards, could you learn to read a a goddamn teleprompter or *GASP* memorize the three lines of cliches before you take the stage? Your purpose on this planet is to make us believe that you’re not a stammering idiot when cameras are rolling. The theme of the night was also half-assed. Heroes. Three stupid montages is all they could muster up. Tell you what, Oscar producers, if you want to celebrate movies and make things fun to watch, play this next year…

And don’t get me started on the In Memoriam segment. Harold Ramis deserved his own tribute for his contributions to movie comedy and kudos to Bill Murray for giving him the extra shout out while he was presenting.

I mentioned that I’ve got some shows coming up. The first of those is this Saturday, the 8th at Benny’s Bar & Grill in Potomac. They made a fancy poster and everything…

Also, if you’re a fan of pro wrestling, I’m filling in for my buddy Justin Schlegel on The Rough House Podcast. That should be available for your consumption on Thursday afternoon.

So, enjoy those avenues that the Mild Amusement Express will be traveling on. See you next time.

Inbloguration

Hey there ‘Redheads… It’s cold outside. The kind of cold that makes people deny global warming because they’re personally freezing. Remember kids: Think Globally, Bitch Locally. I don’t even need to step outside to know it’s cold, because everyone on Facebook is instagramming pictures of their thermostats with captions like, “Wow, that’s cold!” Kind of an Ansel Adams by way of Topper Shutt. C’mon, people, show me, don’t tell me. Snap me a picture of a bobsled on the beltway or a penguin migration down Pennsylvania Ave. Your numbers are not interesting. Snow is in the forecast for Friday, which will no doubt send people screaming frantically to loot grocery stores for necessities, lest they never see the sun again. A word of advice for those of you who plan to ransack your local Harris Teeter for bread, milk, and toilet paper. If they’re out of toilet paper, just buy more bread. I’m not easily fazed by the idea of snow, since my gal left town for a business trip, I’ve been playing a ton of Skyrim, so 3 to 5 inches isn’t terribly impressive unless I’m absorbing the soul from a dragon husk.

This past weekend, I took my first comedy road gig of 2013 up to scenic Harrisburg for a slate of shows at the 2nd St. Comedy Club. I had the privilege of working with Caroline Rhea, who could not have been nicer. It’s rare when a big name headliner takes a genuine interest in the feature’s set and offers advice in a non-condescending (nondescending?) way. She was also very gracious to the 4 sold out crowds that came to see her, taking pictures with half the population of downtown Harrisburg… and me…



I also had another unexpected brush with celebrity. Apparently, Caroline met up with a friend who she hadn’t seen in 10 years who now lives in Harrisburg. That friend was none other than Terry Farrell, who played Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine…

This sent a Trill down my spine…

While I was sitting in the downstairs lounge between shows, I took a moment to check out the pictures of some of the comedy greats they had adorning the walls. There was Steve Martin, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Cosby, and there was this curious picture…

 
At first glance, it didn’t seem out of place. That’s Richard Pry…oh, wait. Yeah, whoever decorated their lounge thinks Smokey Robinson was hilarious. They probably think he was the star of Smokey and the Bandit. He did sing Tears of a Clown, so maybe that’s the connection. Either way, I’m sure none of the drunk Harrisburgers noticed.
 
Before I sign off, I’d like to call your attention to a couple things that are very me-centric. First, please VOTE FOR ME FOR BEST COMEDIAN IN DC in the CityPaper’s Best of DC 2013 Reader’s Poll. It was an honor just to nominate myself, really. Please feed my ego. It hungers.
 
Also, I’ve got a very cool show coming up on Feb. 2nd in the DC Improv Comedy Lounge with three hilarious friends of mine, Tim Miller, Rob Maher, and Jon Mumma. Do yourself a favor and get your tickets now. 

One Way

Hey there, ‘Redheads… As you can see, the resolution to resurrect the blog is 1080p. As for content, a babbling stream of consciousness will do for now.

Andrea and I are looking at potential caterers online for our impending nuptials. As much as I enjoy eating food, reading about it is a bit tedious. To make things more interesting, I started reading fancy menu items out loud in the shrill Monty Python Old British Woman voice. BURMA!

I’ve got the 1960 version of Ocean’s Eleven on in the background while I’m typing. Despite having the Rat Pack in it, it’s not quite as slick as the remake. A bit more musical too. Also, I noticed that Mr. Roper from Three’s Company is in it. And Cesar Romero a.k.a. The Joker from the old Batman TV show too. He’s taller than I remember.

Spotted this walking through DC…

Better than seeing a Dead End sign in front of a funeral home, I guess…

The Blog Rises

Hello, ‘Redheads… It’s been too long. I apologize for my dormancy and I can only hope that you can find your way to pretend to care about my musings again. I realize those muscles have atrophied in the year and change of my negligence. It’s 2013, and with a brand new year I figured why not resolve to bring back the blog and give my imaginary fan base a chance to once again splash around in the refreshing waters of Lake Me. I’m going to be taking baby steps, so this installment will be to serve the main purpose of rehashing some of my pithier Facebook statuses as a half-assed year in review. I promise to provide fresher blog innards as we move forward… If we move forward.

Before I get to that, how about that ‘Skins/Seahawks game? The story of that game was downright Shakespearean. Two rookies carrying their teams to the playoffs. The ‘Skins started off quickly, gutting the vaunted Seahawks defense for two quick scores. Then the Seahawks managed to hobble RG3 and they began to creep back into the game. By halftime, the score was nearly even, with the momentum in Seattle’s corner. The legendary sports surgeon, Dr. James Andrews was on the Redskins sideline and I was hoping he’d be able to clap his hands together and pull a Mr. Miyagi on RG3’s knee. The final turd in the Redskins’ playoff punch bowl came when RG3 fumbled when he twisted his knee on a muffed snap. The Seahawks picked up the ball and scored on the ensuing possession. Kirk Cousins came in, but he just didn’t have the juice to bring Washington back. Fittingly, Seattle took a knee to end the game. I’ll be rooting for Seattle to beat Atlanta in the next round, so the NFC Championship game will hopefully be a rematch of the replacement ref debacle with the Green Bay Packers. If I can’t have Peyton Manning vs. the Colts, please let me have this.

Ok, as half-heartedly promised, the best of me (as judged by me) from 2012:

I’m trying to make more adult decisions, like going to the gym, but it’s hard to feel like an adult when I see Bullwinkle Moose in the sweat stain on my shirt post-workout…

Just had lunch at Five Guys… On my soda cup, one of the accolades reads, “Voted Best New Restaurant in Cincinnati”… I think that says more about Cincinnati…

I’m confused by Paula Deen’s Diabetes diagnosis because I thought she WAS Diabetes, the buttery 5th horseman…

Irony: Getting trapped inside your Ford Escape…

Irony: Filling up your TiVo with episodes of Hoarders…

I have a friend who’s a mystery writer, but to pay the bills, he works for a pharmaceutical company… He wrote a twist ending to the side effects on a bottle of Tylenol… “Wow… Violent diarrhea… I did not see that coming…”

Someone asked me why there’s no Russia-themed casino in Vegas… I’m guessing the roulette…

Here’s my idea for Fajardo, Puerto Rico’s new tourism slogan: Hey, who Fajardo?

Encyclopedia Britannica has announced they will cease production of hard copies… Someone should update their Wikipedia page…

Today, I’ll be getting a Spaceman Spiff t-shirt and a Muppets lunchbox… Age is relative and, right now, that relative just happens to be my 5-year old nephew…

Someone at my show last weekend commented that my comedy was “top drawer”… I keep my underpants in the top drawer, so that’s a fairly accurate description…

Now that Andrea and I are engaged, there are some serious decisions to make… I’ve been giving it a lot of thought… I think we’re going to register at SkyMall…

A friend of mine said he saw Kathleen Turner on Californication and that she “looked terrible”… I told him, she didn’t look terrible, she was just drawn that way…

I wish I figured this out before I ordered my current batch of comedy business cards, but I know what I want on the next batch: Jared Stern, Antidepressant…

Just got done with a Mother’s Day mini-bbq on the roof deck… As my parents were leaving, my mom said, “Thanks for having us.” No, Mom… Thanks for having me…

A headline in the Washington Times reads “Woman Killed in Love Quadrangle”… So, that’s four people involved… I think I would’ve gone with “Love Rhombus” or “Para-love-ogram”… Maybe if two of the people were in a long distance relationship, it could be a “Love Rectangle”…

North Carolina has voted to further amend their constitution to redefine Words With Friends as Words Between a Man and a Woman…

Robin and Maurice Gibb are gone and Barry is living with the irony of the group’s biggest hit…

The Department of Education has announced that all History textbooks will now contain the phrase, “Spoiler Alert”…

Toyota has announced a recall for all Highlanders… Except one…

I’ve run into so much road construction lately, it feels like Orange Cone Pride Week… I saw a big orange “END ROAD WORK” sign and assumed it was a protest sign…

There’s a place in Bethesda called Stop Aging Now that offers “natural solutions” to halt the aging process… I can think of one natural way to stop aging and I’ll only charge half of what they’re asking, but I’m gonna need that money up front…

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are getting a divorce… That’s what happens when your storybook marriage is written by a crappy sci-fi author…

So, we’re packing up the tent and the sleeping bags and other equipment, and I remarked to Andrea, “That’s a lot of stuff, honey”… She replied, “Well, we want to be comfortable”… THEN WHY ARE WE GOING CAMPING?

Harrison Ford is 70 today… HE BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!

When I get really bored, I like to go to the Hirshhorn museum, put an empty McDonald’s cup against the wall, then sit back and count how many people try to interpret it…

I read a study that said mothers can pass on neuroses to their children… I have a friend who’s pregnant that’s claustrophobic… That kid must be going nuts…

Man, it’s hot outside… I walked past the outdoor display over at Madame Tussauds… Abe Lincoln looked like he opened the Ark of the Covenant…

Kids are growing up too fast these days… The other day, I saw a little girl doodling in a coloring book called 50 Shades of Crayola…

It’s getting late and cut and paste carpal tunnel is starting to set in, so I’ll leave you with an audition video that my buddy Joe and I made for a food challenge show last year. Bon appetit…