Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who sent donations to me. These people are heroes:
- Lynne Austin http://twitter.com/Sportschix1
- Robin Barrett http://twitter.com/BaristaBabe
- Ed Bennett http://twitter.com/BigBadEd
- Debbie Brooks
- Nancy Bross
- Crystal Burnette http://twitter.com/lunar456
- Mike Chase
- Karen Cohn
- Tonianne DeMaria Barry http://twitter.com/Sprezzatura
- Ronny Elliott http://www.ronnyelliott.com/
- John Fontana http://twitter.com/jpfdeuce http://www.rawcharge.com/
- Julia Gorzka http://twitter.com/JuliaGorzka http://www.brandtampa.com/
- Jane Graves http://twitter.com/citizenjaney http://middleagedsuburbandiva.blogspot.com/
- Micheal Griffin
- Kandice Halfacre
- Sean Henry
- Ellen Mueller http://www.ellenmueller.com/
- Lee Nelson
- Patsy Oliver
- Brandi Ottinger http://twitter.com/southernmojo http://brandiandphil.blogspot.com/
- Shirley Outen
- Tara Schroeder
- Donna Sweikow http://twitter.com/LoveBees
- PS: You can still give!!
I also want to thank my teammates, mostly for tolerating me and my bullshit and allowing me to be a part of something great.
And most of all, if your name is on our t-shirt (above), I especially want to thank you, because it's in your honor that we do what we do. Thank you for being an inspiration.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
(Say, does anybody remember the result of the climactic fight in "Rocky"? Yeah, I do too.)
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"Huh? Oh...yeah...well, lots of stuff like this here that you're doing, you know. I like that. Yeah. Just lots of...so many...different...good works and things, you know."
I might be in trouble if I ever have to answer questions from the real Jesus. Geez...I mean, gosh. We made small talk and I wished him well and headed for home.
Later I thought about it. As easy as it might be to dismiss The Jesus Guy as some attention-seeking nutcase, I wonder why we don't see more people dressing up like Jesus. After all, there are people who dress up on weekends and re-fight the Civil War, people who dress up like Elvis or Madonna or Micheal Jackson.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
"Got it, chief."
"Carl, where are you going?"
"Oh, me and Bill and some of the other fellas are going to crawl out of the windows on the second
floor and pose on the ledge."
"Why in the world would you want to do that?"
"I don't know. Inspire our customers? It says, 'Look, we're willing to go out on a limb...well, a ledge...for you'. You know, it's like a metaphor for investments and stuff."
"Plus, it's kind of bad ass out there. We go out there all the time. We want our picture taken doing that!"
"I don't see what..."
"We're not all going to do it. Nathan's a pussy and so he and some of the others are just going to lean out of the windows."
"I am not a pussy. I just think it would be a good idea to let our customers know that the windows on the second floor are fully functional. That's the kind of thing a person wants to know about their bank. 'Hey, do those windows up there actually open up?' They sure do, Miss Parsons, they most certainly do. And that means you can trust your life savings to us."
"Bill and I are going to take off our jackets, showcase the goods. Nathan, you should scream like a woman or a little girl and it will look like we're rescuing you from falling or something."
"God, I hate you so much, Carl."
"Quiet, all of you! Stop bickering! Now, while I do not see the merit in your ideas, I do trust your judgment as professionals in the fledgling fiduciary industry that is destined to set the course of world history for centuries to come, so go ahead I guess. Just tell the photographer to wait to take the picture until I've gotten all the way up on the roof and standing right next to the sign so people will know we're The Bank of Tampa and only the bank president gets to touch the sign."
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The management at the local neighborhood nation's largest chain retailer of books have thoughtfully provided benches in this area for people to sit on and peruse books and magazines, which is very thoughtful of them, considering I'll bet a lot of those people have no intention of paying for what they're reading. It was while I was reading an interview with Tina Fey in Esquire magazine that I had no intention of paying for that I noticed a guy on one of these benches. He was straddling it in the middle, leaning over and reading one magazine with a stack of others sitting on the bench behind him. Now, most of us who have ever participated in team sports at any level know how to sit on a bench correctly (it's okay, admit it).These particular benches could easily accommodate three asses quite comfortably, sitting correctly and reading something, but this guy decided to claim this bench in the name of his ass only.
What a dick.
This is exactly the kind of thing that I should not let bother me, yet I am incapable of abiding (pretty sure this would be a different disorder, requiring a different book, that I will deal with if/after I get the first thing under control).
Friday, March 19, 2010
It's been an interesting, if not productive (I've been working and laying in bed and absolutely nothing else; I'm off today so I'm up long enough to write this and then back to bed I go), week. It started with an opportunity that may still come to fruition but which I have talked myself into believing that I can't possibly be qualified for. After all, they're talking to other people too; what are the realistic odds that if they talk to five other people, they won't find that at least four of them that are much better than me?
It ended with the implementation of a new policy at work that places new restrictions on taking vacation, and it came out the day before the following week's schedule, during which I had requested vacation time. I never actually planned on taking vacation; I put the request in to prove a point to someone who suggested that I really need to take some time off. So I did so, even though I knew the outcome before I even filled out the paperwork. After all, I'm not allowed to take bathroom breaks. I know they're not going to let me have entire days off with pay.
In between, I was "asked" to work extra hours to cover someone else's time off. Ooh! Irony!"Asked", in the same way you might "ask" someone on a rapidly sinking ship if they'd like to go for a swim. After one of those later-than-already-late shifts, I stopped on my way home to help a lady jump start her car. Based on my previous experience with karma, I believe this means the next time someone screws me, they'll be wearing a festively colored condom.
Hope is a sucker's bet and nice guys finish last, kids.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Awww! Baby bath in the sink! Classic! Doesn't that make you want to just pinch my buttcheeks? Well, good news; you still can! Just send me a self addressed stamped postcard explaining why I should let you pinch my buttcheeks and if you're a lucky winner, I'll let you do it! Or just come up to me and do it whenever you want. Either way is good.
But who doesn't, right? I can't complain. Overall, it was a pretty great childhood. We had family pets...
I grew out of it (thank goodness) but I was still subject to going along with the fads of the day...
...when "Urban Cowboy" was all the rage.
And what does the future hold?
Well, it all depends on the continuing development of my new exo-skeleton...
- I wake up, take care of any prescient *ahem* hygiene issues, start coffee, turn on music and sit down at the computer.
- I do on-line chores (balance check book, read email, look at Twitter, do FarmVille...I didn't say they were all real chores).
- Then I start writing.
- Soon, I'm joined by my little mama kitty cat (mother to three babies, who are all grown up and all still live with me), who may or may not choose to contribute by walking back and forth across the keyboard a couple of times (which has produced such brilliant prose as "jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj") before climbing on top of the monitor, getting comfortable and letting the waves of my creativity wash over her, accompanied by my mastery of the keyboard until she is in a completely blissed-out, contented, peaceful, zen trance.
That's most days.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Your comedy reminds me of Richard Pryor in that it's less about delivering set-ups and punchlines and more about telling stories, often with multiple characters. And you don't do celebrity impressions like Darrell Hammond or Frank Caliendo. Yet you're frequently associated with "doing voices". Why do you think that is and does it bother you?
I "do voices", only about 5 or 6, and it doesn't bother me. I like doing them and it's fun to try new things; it helps change the jokes without rewriting them. : )
You've talked openly about dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other disorders and worked that into your material. You also furnish helpful links on your web site to resources for people seeking help with similar problems. Do you get feedback from people who see you as an advocate on their behalf?
I've gotten a few people write or tell me after shows that they have OCD or have been through a bad depression or had a friend or family member who had those problems and that it helped to hear that someone else out there had similar problems. The reason I put links up or talk about it is because it helps ME. Help me to help me, help me, help you, help me. It helps me to feel like I'm not alone (if people laugh at the material) and that I might be at all useful. The internet helped me find resources to fix this OCD problem I had for two decades and so, I figure, if it helps anybody, then, AWESOME.
Did you pick a side in Conan vs Leno?
Harrumph. I guess I picked Conan because Leno made a promise and the New York crew had all moved their families to LA and it just seemed so ridiculous, like, wouldn't you WANT to move on to a new format of show? And, Leno is less my sense of humor, though he's obviously really great at what he does. But, it's also business and business isn't personal to everyone. I like to know about numbers, but I hope that isn't everything. Oh well.
"The Maria Bamford Show" on SuperDeluxe (which is available in it's entirety in Maria's most recent album "Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome"); did you develop that concept as a web series or did it start out as someting else? I think it would have made a great movie.
It was a one-person show that I performed over a period of 3 years. Thanks for thinking about it as a movie. That's nice.
How long did it take to shoot and produce that series?
We made one a week, so, about 3 months.
How big a production was it (how many people involved?)
Two; myself and Damon (Jones) and then, we'd get notes from Superdeluxe, Dan Pasternack, who's now an executive at the Independent Film Channel.
Do you write every day?
I write these "Morning Pages" most every day, three pages of whatever is in my brain. I take a lot of days off and vacation from comedy and work, so in terms of writing jokes, I usually only write on work days, Monday through Friday or when I have shows out of town.
Do you write new material for your stand-up act exclusively or are there other projects you're developing?
Right now, yes, only for stand-up. I'd like to be a part of a greater project. I am going to be in a Sony Webbisode series with the Sklar Brothers. And I think of ideas sometimes, but haven't had the desire to go out there and PITCH.
For many comedians, the career arc to success seems to follow a path: successful stand-up --> sitcom --> book. Is that by design or does it just seem to work out that way?
After you have the career, maybe people want to hear what it was like. I read Kathy Griffin's autobiography and it is FAN-TASTIC. I really enjoy hearing about the ups and downs of other performers. Steve Martin's was wonderful too.
Do you think the stereotype of the "sad (or angry) clown" is mostly a myth or apt?
I bet everyone is sad or angry or whatever all the time, but comedians talk about themselves a lot more than non-comedians and negative feelings are probably more interesting in a bar setting than joyful, happy feelings- so, I think it's slightly mythological, but at the same time creative people are supposed to be more sensitive and comedy is an isolated, high-pressure profession where you can be yelled at by radio dj's and drunks, so you might see more of the sad, angry clown in their workplace. I know the guy who works at my corner Copper Keg Liquor Store is a Sad, Angry Clown.
A question I ask of every person I meet from Minnesota: What's Prince like?
This is all hearsay, but he is tiny. Pay it forward.
Growing up, did you have a mentor or role model who encouraged your creativity?
The Theatre teacher, Mr. Blackburn, this creative kids program in grade school and my parents always were pumped for whatever we were doing.
Did you listen to stand-up comedians when you were growing up? If so, any that you would consider influences
Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy and Prairie Home Companion were listened to regularly- and we watched Saturday Night Live every weekend. I still listen to PHC and watch SNL.
Do you still play the violin?
No! I let it go six years ago; finally accepted that I don't enjoy it.
How important do you think utilizing "social media" is for artists in general and comedians in particular?
I used to send out postcards and hand them out to people and now, people can find things out through friends more easily. I think it's important, but it also depends on what your vision or goals are. Maybe you're a steampunk comedian and you only find about about your shows through the Islamic Muezzin's call to prayer.
You gave fans a free special performance as a download for Christmas. I didn't get you anything in return. If I had, what would you have liked?
A couple of chickens.
Many comedy clubs have "wacky" names. If you owned a club, what would you call it?
The Broads-way- LA's Only Ladies Only Comedy Club!
Monday, March 08, 2010
But I've been on a really nice streak since I had pneumonia (and almost did die, thank you) early last year and haven't been sick at all...until now. Anyway, I feel miserable and all I want to do is stay in bed, a lifestyle which doesn't lend itself to great (or even mediocre) writing so I'm going to be laying low for a day or two until this crud passes.
I do have some cool stuff I hope to share with you later this week, but until then I'm going to go sweat, freeze, hack and wheeze and visit the bathroom on my knees.
Take care and see ya when I see ya...unless you happen to have a nurse's uniform laying around and want to help me recover sooner, which would be awesome. Bring orange juice and Alka-Seltzer Plus.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Twice-tranquilized monkey remains on the lam in Pinellas - Tampa Tribune / TBO.com
"...Even after being hit twice with tranquilizer darts, the rhesus macaque that has been on the loose for months in the Tampa Bay area managed to escape again Wednesday afternoon."
My reaction to this latest news: YAY!!!
Now, how about we leave him alone? After all, wildlife rehabilitator Vernon Yates says in the article that The Monkey presents no threat to humans. If he isn't hurting anyone, why are they chasing him? To protect him? "The drugs just don't seem to affect him for whatever reason," said Yates. "We've increased the dosage every time that we've shot him. What we're really doing is turning him into a drug addict." That, or dazed and weakened him so he won't be able to defend himself against other wild animals. Fantastic.
See, The Monkey has come to represent, to me anyway, something more than...well, a runaway monkey. No, to me The Monkey represents freedom. Actually, more like the individual's perpetual-yet-all-too-often-futile pursuit of freedom. Oh sure, we're all mostly free. Very few of us are confined in our homes. We can choose what and when to eat and watch on tv. We get to vote. All that stuff is great, really. And much appreciated. We're fortunate to have it and in debt to everyone who sacrificed for us to have it. But there are a lot of sourpusses out there who like to be pissed off about people who do things differently. And a lot of stuff we want to do, stuff that is utterly harmless to others, is discouraged or at least frowned upon by them. As a result, we don't all have complete freedom when it comes to things that are important to us and shouldn't really matter to other people. In some cases, basic things like expressing love for people with whom we choose to share our lives. And I know we'll never really have that. For everybody who wants to shave half their head and color what's left purple, there will be people who will go out of their way to wrinkle up their faces and call them stupid and ugly without making the slightest attempt to understand. That's part of freedom too. But as long as The Monkey remains free, or rather as long as officials acting in the interest of some sort of vaguely (if at all) defined Greater Good are unable to capture and constrain an individual who is not harming anyone else, there's hope that we can all shake off the tranquilizer darts and be truly free. And also that maybe he'll get around to biting some of those other people in the ass one day.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
We were lucky enough to be seated at the table in the gazebo located in the center of the restaurant. This is an unusual view; looking up at the ceiling from that table. then again, maybe it's not that unusual. They do serve a lot of beer...