Wednesday, July 26, 2017

(Last) Christmas in (this) July!

Jeff Vinik, the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team for whom I work, gets a lot of attention for his philanthropic efforts in the Tampa Bay community. One of the things he does that doesn't get any attention (because it's a low-key, in-house staff initiative) is he authorizes an amount of cash to be made available to each Lightning employee, who is then allowed to go out and spend that cash on some charitable endeavor of their choosing. Theoretically, you could take that cash and just drop the whole lump sum in the first donation kettle you come across. Or you can choose to do something more elaborate. Whatever you want. The organization doesn't scrutinize you, trusting each individual to honor the spirit of the endeavor.

I tend to skew toward the elaborate because that's much more fun.

So for the third year in a row, I enlisted the help of shopping expert Lynne Austin and we invaded a dollar store in search of items to help The Volunteer Way, a non-profit agency that helps people in need in Port Richey. brought along our mutual friend Kelly to document the proceedings (she also edited the finished product, which she just finished yesterday and is why this is just coming out now).

And here's how that went down...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Billy's Brain is almost Bad enough

We're getting close to living in a world where everyone can watch Tony Gaud's film, "Billy's Got a Bad Brain"! In 86 days (on October 15) the film will premiere at a gala event to be held at the Tampa Improv. In 100 days, on Halloween (October 31), it'll be available to stream everywhere.
It's a horror-comedy, shot entirely here in the Tampa Bay area with a cast and crew comprised of all local actors, most of whom are stand-up comedians.
Here's the link to our IMDB page with a full list of cast and crew.
And here's the link to purchase tickets ($10) for the premiere event at the Improv.
And here's the link to the special episode of The Spike On The Mic Show where we interviewed many of the people involved in making the film.
More to come as we get closer to the big date(s)!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I don't get men

Right up front, please let me state for the record that this is not a shallow, gratuitous attempt to ingratiate myself with women. Because I don't need to do that. I get along just fine with women, I always have. I've always had far more female friends than males and I've always preferred their company doing whatever to hanging out with a bunch of dudes watching sports or porn or sporn (that's sports porn, which may not be something that currently exists, but if it ever does, I named it and you saw it here first).

Men confuse me, with their words and actions not exactly meshing with what they claim to stand for and represent. I realize this is a broad generalization and that I should probably mention at this point that I'm mostly talking about the tough guy types. The ones who happily embrace all the dumb "No son of mine is going to play with dolls!"® brand of stereotypes of what REAL MEN (bold, italics and increased font size applied for the sake of referencing implied penis size or something) are. The kind of guys concerned with these kinds of things:

First, I'm confused that REAL MEN care about stuff like that because four of those things are dealing with either comic books, science fiction or art, all of which falls under the jurisdiction of nerds, not REAL MEN
Second, why would REAL MEN be threatened by these things, when the virtue with which they most want to be associated is a stoic strength that comes from self-assured confidence? I mean, if I had an ingredients label stamped somewhere on my body, you wouldn't find any of the last eight words of that previous sentence anywhere on it, and I don't even care enough to actually read the whole articles found at the links, let alone be bothered by what those articles are about.

These guys won't be seen crying during a sad movie, but they'll whine like infants outside of a theater showing a single "women only" screening of 'Wonder Woman'? I just don't get it. 

And before anybody feels the need to explain, let me state for the record that I also don't care about that either. So don't waste your time.

Hey, do what you feel you need to do with your "guys nights out" in your "man-caves" or whatever. I'll be with the girls at the mall. We're going to go shopping, have lunch and maybe catch the matinee of 'Wonder Woman'.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The John Jacobs Cinematic Universe


John Jacobs is a comic who lives here in Tampa and he, along with Josh Santos, another local comic, makes funny videos. Recently, I've had the privilege of being in some of them (see below) and hope to be in more soon. You can watch all of them here and you should. Because they're hilarious. It's like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, except with unusual characters doing strange things. Pawn shops, roadkill, shark books, gay dogs, treasures found buried way deep under the Tuscans. You won't find Thor or Iron Man dealing with any of that stuff.



Thursday, July 06, 2017

Is it in the stars?


Remember when I was in that stand-up comedy tournament at Side Splitters last year, as one of 64 participants and I made it all the way down to the Elite Eight? Remember? I sure do! Gosh, that was a lot of fun!

Well, I'm doing it again. My first match-up in this year's big blowout is Sunday, July 16th at 7:00 PM. You can get tickets for less than $5 by purchasing them online and using my initials "CB" as the promo code when you check out. Local legend JB Ball will be headlining that night.

I did pretty well last time and that felt good, but I'm not so sure what my prospects are this time around. So I decided to visit a psychic and see if I could get an idea of what my chances might be...


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Another failed attempt to save us from each other


That's right, it's the return of the podcast that truly lives up its name (last published: August 8, 2016)!

Back to once and for all to make a concerted effort on behalf of white people to get to the bottom of our racial issues in America. In under two minutes!

CLICK HERE FOR THE SHOW

Thanks as always to PW Fenton for his invaluable assistance.




Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Let me out!

A friend of mine is getting a group together to do one of these escape rooms that are very popular right now, because she enjoys group activities. And because I like dreading things and complaining about them before I even have a valid reason to do so, I'm already stressed out.
The very definition of what it is implies that it's supposed to be stressful:
"An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms." - via Wikipedia
The waiver she sent over (There's a waiver??) backs this up:
"I certify that I understand this activity has potential risks including but not limited to:
  • Mental stress and anxiety from simulated game events
  • Mental stress and anxiety that may be triggered from my teammates actions and behaviors
  • The possible failure to escape in the allotted time"

Insert exasperated groan here. I just don't know that this a good team activity for me, in large part because it's a team activity.
It does give me an idea though...

RELAX ROOMS

"A relax room is a non-physical, non-adventure game in which players sit on a couch and read books, maybe watch TV or just sack out." - Me.
FAQ
Are there riddles to solve?
Nope.

Will someone be there to help us figure out clues if we get stuck?
There are no riddles so there are no clues.

How much time do we have?
Take as much time as you need, man.

What if I don't like what's on the TV?
The remote is on the coffee table.

What if I start to freak out and have to be let out?
The door is right there, just past the TV.

Is there some kind of puzzle or trick to open the door?
Dude. No.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Twelve years!

As of this past Sunday, June 18, this blog has been around for 12 years. That's almost as old as some children! Specifically, 12-year-old children.
Not much has changed since the beginning, but I don't write left-handed anymore. And who are those two other guys?

Look at all the things that were cool in 2006 but aren't anymore (unlike this blog)
Wow!

The traditional anniversary gifts for 12 years, representing luxury and comfort. I'm gonna get some of those and take a nice long nap. I deserve it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Guest blogger: Kelly Hickman!

You've probably heard the axiom "never read the comments" and you probably already know why that's a good idea. Just in case you don't, or you just want some validation, my friend Kelly Hickman took it upon herself to document some of the real-time comments that showed up on Facebook last night as news of the fire in London was breaking. The names have not been changed, nor have the egregious spelling and syntax errors, to protect those of us who aren't as stupid as this collection of morons. 
Please enjoy your sure-to-be cringe-inducing experience. - Clark


Good evening ladies and gents! It's time for a new show called "Obnoxious Live Video Comments" curated by your host, the lovely and very sleep-deprived Kelz Hickman
On tonight's show we will be reviewing Facebook comments during the live video of the fire in London.
As always, we want to be clear that we are in no way making light of this very devastating situation. We are, however, making fun of the stupid mother fuckers who comment on live videos. Is my audience with me?
Ok great. Let's introduce our contestants...
First to respond is Jessica.. Everyone say hi to Jessica!
*audience says hi to Jessica*
Jessica was too lazy to read the one sentence description of the fire, so here is her comment...
Nest up, we have our predictable group of folks who know their terrorism!
And of course there's our moderates who don't believe that *everything* is a terrorist attack. I mean, c'mon guys.


We introduced those guys first because we know that they will be there and what they will say. Yes, boring and at the same time comforting? Let's continue...

We also have the wino...

...the honesty keeper.

Captain Obvious...

The nursery rhymer...

The veteran...

The Fox News Watcher... (PS We can guarantee you, Lisa, that it did not start on the second floor)

The "News-is-so-Unfair" guy...

The philosopher...

Ricky Ricardo...

The pragmatist...

The Emoji Police...




The OCD...


The poet...


The stroke victim...

The exhausted...


The movie buff...


The conspiracy theorist...

The NRA...

The smart ass...


The one who doesn't know how to use a clock or a calendar...

The bat-shit crazies...



The chemist...


And last but not least, those who are sending out prayers. From literally every corner of the universe...
Hugs and kisses, burning London!
And that concludes tonight's show. We hope you enjoyed it and we'll be back soon with more live video comments! Stay tuned!




Thanks, Kelly! - Clark

Monday, June 12, 2017

You know what to do...or not do. Whatever.

Look.
It's time for this again...
"It's that time of year again! We're gearing up for our annual Best Of The Bay issue and party, and it's time to nominate your favorite Bay area people, places, businesses and events for our Readers' Poll awards!


We're looking for the folks you want to single out for voting in these four areas:

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink

People, Places & Politics"

Go there, do that. If you want to.
These are nominations, not votes. It's to decide who gets votes later. It's a whole process, with this being the first part of it, the non-voting part. I'll bug you about the voting part later.

And honestly, gosh, it's just such an honor in and of itself just to be nominated.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!