Thursday, April 30, 2009

The neon lights are not that bright on THIS Broadway

If you drive through Ybor City on 7th Avenue and keep heading east, away from Tampa, you are going to see some weird stuff. Well, you will have already seen tons of weird stuff, having travelled right through the heart of a district populated by club kids, drag queens, artists, hipsters, tourists and poseurs. But eventually 7th Avenue becomes Broadway Avenue and you find different kinds of weird. While one thin dime won't even shine your shoes here either, similarities between this Broadway and the legendary Great White Way are few if any...

That is easily the strangest looking robot I have ever seen. Too creepy to look friendly and too goofy-looking to be menacing. Either way, I'm not sure what the message is here.

Admittedly, I am not among the foremost biblical scholars, but I'm reasonably sure that John 3:16 doesn't say, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, for the benefit of whosoever might needeth snappy graphic imagery for advertising logos"

Okay, people we are taking this whole pirate fixation TOO FAR!!

If I were engaged in criminal activities and found myself stuck in jail as a result, I'm sure I would really, really want to get out. In which case I'd probably be really, really glad that this firm is in business. As it is, however...

Eliminate that pesky middleman!

Well, whatever they're calling themselves, you still know what you're in for...

What to do, what to do...

It's almost 5:00AM and any second the phone is going to ring. I told The 23-Year-Old that I would take her to the airport early this morning. The problem is, I can't decide what to do when she calls...

  • Pretend I'm still asleep: "Huh? I thought you were joking. I'm still in bed."
  • Tell her I'll be right down, but I'll actually already be down there, where I will jump out from between parked cars wearing a halloween mask.
  • Ask her if she minds that I'm not getting dressed just for a quick jaunt to the airport and when she says "you mean dressed up?" say "No..."
  • Not answer the phone. At all.
  • Not answer the phone. At all. Call her three hour later and say "How was the flight?"
  • Not answer the phone, watch as she gives up, leaves, and then call her 20 minutes later and say "I'm at your apartment! What the hell!"
  • Not answer the phone and be lying face down in the street when she pulls in.
  • Tell her "Come on up! Flapjacks are almost ready! Can't fly without flapjacks!" refuse to come down until she comes up and eats at least one. Not answer the door after she reluctantly agrees. Let her hear me inside, enjoying delicious flapjacks.

Decisions, decisons. I should have put some thought into this last night.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A short conversation about the song lyrics of Joan Osborne

'What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home'

"Boy, you know what bugs me? That song by Joan Osborne, 'One of Us'. That just chaps me something fierce"

"That song is over 10 years old, but I'll bite. Why does it bug you? Is it the grammar?"

"What? No. It's because it's ridiculous. It's stupid. God isn't one of us. God is God. He can't be one of us. That's like saying what if a dog was a monkey or a cat was a turtle or a chicken was a bird. It's a stupid question."

"Actually a chicken..."

"Something can't be what it isn't. Once something becomes what it wasn't, then it becomes what it is and ceases to be what it was."

"I think maybe you're taking it too literally. To me, she's questioning the hypocrisy many people display in claiming to worship God while treating their fellow human beings so poorly. So she's wondering if things might be different if God were just some poor schlub whose job was being God."

"Being God isn't a job; it's an adventure."

"So to you, God is like the Army?"

"No, God is like the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps all in one because He is ideally suited to perform under pressure in any and all conditions. Also, because His efforts are still vastly unappreciated by many."

"Wow. You've actually put some thought into this one."

"My point is, if God was one of us, He wouldn't be God; he'd be Steve or Reggie or Bill."

"Or Cathy. Or Ahmed."

"Now you're not even taking it seriously."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fab Fours down to their final four

Following the recent passing of Beatrice Arthur, The Golden Girls are now down to only two surviving original members, just like their arch rival supergroup The Beatles.
The topic of which group's concert was a bigger pop culture milestone (Beatles at Shea Stadium vs Golden Girls at Altamonte) will forever be a subject of debate. What is not in dispute is the following collection of historical, comparative facts, most of which are entirely true.

Dominated pop music for six years between 1964 and 1970, Or eight years if you consider that they actually became big stars in the United Kingdom in 1962, two years before they made it big in America. In other words, six years.

Dominated Saturday night prime time television (was it on Saturday night or Friday night? I don't remember. Let's say Saturday night) for seven years between 1985 and 1992.

John Lennon was often referred to as The Intellectual One
Paul McCartney was often referred to as The Cute One
George Harrison was often referred to as The Quiet One
Ringo Starr was often referred to as The Luckiest Bastard On Earth One

Bea Arthur ("Dorothy") was often referred to as The Intimidating One
Estelle Getty ("Sophia") was often referred to as The Youngest In Real Life, Although Ironically Cast As The Oldest Character One
Betty White ("Rose") was often referred to as The Batshit Insane One
Rue McClanahan ("Blanche") was often referred to as The Hot (Oh, Don't Act Like You Don't Think So Too) One

Broke up because of money, creative differences, money, Yoko Ono, money and money.

Broke up when Bea Arthur decided she'd had enough of working on a sitcom and called it quits. And because of Yoko Ono.

Failed tributes in the form of countless shitty cover bands, most of whom can't even be bothered to cast a left-handed bass player.

Failed tributes in the form of a shitty spin-off called "The Golden Palace" and an off Broadway show called "The Golden Girls: Live!" which ran for about six months in 2003 until ordered to cease and desist by the tv show's producers.

Psychotic pop culture trivia tidbit: In 1970, Elvis Presley tried to convince President Nixon that the Beatles were a threat to America.

Psychotic pop culture trivia tidbit: In 1988, Quentin Tarantino appeared on an episode of "The Golden Girls" as an Elvis impersonator.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The softer side of shopping carts

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to abuse shopping carts mercilessly. We'd take them from the nearby Jewel-Osco parking lot back to our apartment complex and use them to haul baseball equipment or fort-building materials, to ride around in or sometimes just crash them into each other (if you've never done this, I have to tell you they make the most spectacular noise; try to imagine cars constructed entirely out of cymbals colliding at 60 mph). Now that I'm an adult, I no longer treat other people's property in such an irresponsible manner. But those carts are expensive and it's still a big problem for stores who have to tactfully find a way to ask their patrons not to steal or otherwise tear them up.

Here's a very nicely worded notice from the folks at K-Mart. Read between the lines and it says "Here. Go ahead and take one of our carts to haul your stuff around. We don't mind. We bought them for you to use. One thing though; is it too much to ask that you not be a dick and leave it here, in one piece, when you're done with it, please? Thanks."

Sweetbay supermarket has taken a different approach. They know that we love anthropromorphisizing things, most notably pigs, who, if you believe barbecue restaurant signage, are absolutely delighted with the idea of us eating their charred flesh:
"Eat me!"
So Sweetbay wants to appeal to your sense of empathy...for shopping carts. They want you to know that shopping carts are sensitive. They want you to know that shopping carts have needs and desires, just like us. So treat them the way you would want to be treated. Don't do it for us, they say, do it for the carts!
Their sense of purpose...

Their fragile psyches...

Their passion for participating in activities...

And their yearning for something, anything (well, mostly groceries) to fill the aching, empty void inside of them.

Sound like anybody you know?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This week's Clarketplace item

The Clarketplace is closed today in observance of the holiday. I hope you are able to mark the occasion surrounded by loved ones. Please celebrate safely.

(Many of our previously listed items are still available. Perhaps it's not to late to pick up a holiday gift for that special someone?)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Traffic advisory

Denis over at My Tampa Life has a very informative report on the traffic delays that will result from the shifting of traffic to the new northbound lanes on I-275 starting tonight (Friday). Go there now for a summary of what's in store if you're planning on motoring about in your automobile!

In addition, the following conditions may or may not exist as well:

  • 10 pm Friday to 3 am Saturday: Drivers traveling from any direction whose eventual destination is the Mons Venus should be utterly ashamed of themselves. Is that a baby stroller in your back seat? Man, that's just sad. Not your finest moment, is it sir?

  • 9 pm Friday: 1 to 2 (of 3) lanes will also close on southbound I-275 from Armenia Avenue to Lois Avenue, but only during even numbered minutes divisible by 7 and if your middle name has a U, but not an M, and/or the sum total of all single digits in your social security number add up to less than 55 but greater than 61.

  • 10:23 pm Friday: The Ashley Drive/Scott Street exit ramps (Exit 44) in another dimension are made of rainbows and never, ever close. Cars are made of candy and are powered by dreams. Everybody is a rock star and a fashion model and a professional athlete and a wizard. This varies slightly from our dimension, where everybody is screwed, specifically everybody who thinks they want to access the Ashley Drive/Scott Street exit ramps (Exit 44).

  • Early morning Saturday: Where do you think you're going? Yeah, I don't think so. Don't you get it? No driving! Go back inside your house and watch television until Wednesday. Go on now.

This is how it will begin

There's a date stamped on the milk carton in my refrigerator that tells me I have until May 5th to finish the contents therein. Where does a plastic jug, a mere, stupid, probably not even bio-degradable container, get off imposing deadlines on me, a sentient, hard-working, tax-paying American human being? I paid for that milk and I'll drink it...or not...whenever I'm goddamn good and ready. Because here's the thing; while I have every intention of drinking it, most likely well before May 5th rolls around, I'm a busy guy and things come up. I can't...and won't...commit to completing the task by that date. I may or may not even get around to drinking any of it by then. What if I don't? What are you going to do about it? Don't judge me, jug.

"Oh, but it's for your own good", it would say if it could talk but won't because it can't. Stupid jug. "The contents will spoil and drinking it could make you ill." Well, you know what really makes me sick? Mouthy beverage containers. First of all, is it May 5th or is it by May 5th? That's pretty important. That's a 24 hour window of ambiguity. You don't even know, do you? Stupid ass jug. Shut up already.

This is exactly how the robot armies of the future will enslave us. "We're doing this for your own good", they'll say, and they will because speech will be a very simple skill for them to master (they already have!). They'll lure us into a false sense of trust, masking their ever-reaching influence of domination behind care for our well-being and allowing us to grow soft under their coddling until our legs retract into our torsos or simply fall off due to atrophy. The next thing you know, they'll be loading our doughy Weeble bodies into trucks and driving us out to their pod farms. Oh sure, we'll bleat loudly in protest but that's all the resistance we'll be able to muster. Because, as I mentioned previously, we'll have no legs...and it stands to reason our arms won't be that much use at that point either, so we'll be able to neither fight nor flee. It will be too late. Our fate of spending the rest of our lives hooked up to brain-milking machinery will be sealed.

The time to do something about it is now! Fight back! Question authority! Don't let your lives be ruled by the plastic tyrants that spew their insidious fascism (along with calcium and vitamin D) from their pour spouts.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How marketing works (sometimes)

"Jesus, Eddie, I'm swamped. I don't know what to tell you. If you can't think of something creative, just call it what it is. Don't worry about it. Just make sure they take a really appetizing picture of it to put on the box. You know, something that doesn't look too much like puke. I'm sure it'll be fine."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bat Dog ejected from game

The fact that this story is 100% true is one of the reasons why I LOVE minor league baseball...

(From Greensboro, NC -- There was a bit of embarrassment during the Greensboro Grasshoppers' loss Tuesday afternoon.
Master Yogi Berra, a bat and ball fetching dog for the Class-A team, was ejected after relieving himself on the field during the fourth inning of the Hoppers 9-6 loss to Asheville.
A spokesperson for the Grasshoppers says that Yogi was attempting his usual between inning promotion of fetching a ball shot to deep center field. While running back to homeplate, he stopped and relieved himself on the field. This prompted homeplate umpire Jason Hutchings to eject the dog.
Owner Donald Moore says Yogi was not feeling well today battling a stomach virus. "When you gotta go, you gotta go," said Moore, the Grasshoppers' Team President and General Manager.
Yogi is believed to be the first dog ever ejected from a professional baseball game.
"Yogi's had a tough start to his season, and I hope this doesn't get him down. He clearly couldn't control himself out there. He's such a competitor and he wanted to do his duties as he's been trained," continued Moore. He left the ballpark in the 6th inning with the Team Veterinarian Jason Streck, of the After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic, and is listed as day-to-day.
"We all hope Yogi feels better soon and he returns to us ready to entertain our fans. You know, he's volunteering his time out there, so I hope he doesn't get fined too much (for his ejection). I don't know the Rulebook like the back of my hand, but apparently a dog can't do his business on the field. Let's hope this is an isolated incident, and Yogi can learn from this experience," said Moore.

The Farm Team, playing at Sunscreen

The 4th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival will kick off on April 29th in St. Petersburg. Having done some local festivals in support of "Ten at the Top in Tampa Bay" a couple of years ago, I can tell you firsthand that they're always a lot of fun. If you love movies and are seeking things you just can't find at the local multiplex, you really can't beat a film festival. And that doesn't even take into consideration the various workshops, mixers and panel discussions that are also part of the experience.
I've seen one of the entries in this year's festival, Scott Balzer's documentary "
The Farm Team", a behind the scenes look at a minor league baseball team's grounds crew. Here's the trailer:

As a minor league baseball junkie (I'm still bitter over losing the Tampa Tarpons and Al Lopez Field 20 years ago), I loved it. I asked Scott a few questions about the experience of shooting a film that celebrates the people who love doing the dirty (and dirt) work...

What's your background in regards to sports, specifically baseball?
I eventually realized I would never become a professional baseball player so I decided to be as close to the sport as possible by landing a job as a groundskeeper for three different minor league teams over the course of eight years.

What's your background as a filmmaker?
I discovered filmmaking in college while taking Intro to Film as an elective class. I knew right away this was my calling after completing the course.

Why did you choose to spotlight a minor league team?
I worked for the Mobile BayBears as the Assistant Groundskeeper for a few years and still know some of the personnel. I knew I would probably have full access to the grounds crew and the stadium. Also, with my background in minor league baseball I knew that these were the people I wanted to focus on since I'm well aware of the hard work and dedication these guys must go through to make it through the season with both a small crew and a limited budget.

There seems to be a level of devotion and loyalty among people who work in the minors that you don't see in major league sports. Why do you think that is?
I think it's the camaraderie you develop and the closeness with one another you make with your staff members that essentially keeps everyone focused and dedicated throughout a season in minor league sports. I also think it's the lack of egos and intimidation on and off the field that makes it an enjoyable profession to get into.

Do you know if anyone from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (minor league baseball home office, headquartered in St. Pete) has seen the film?
I don't think so but hopefully someone (from the organization) will come out to the Sunscreen Film Festival and check it out.

How thrilled were you that you had rain on the fourth of July and would you have been able to complete the film without a tarp scene?
That rain was something I was after the whole time I was in Mobile. I went down in June of 2008 and it didn't rain once. So I returned that July and yes, I got a nice typical mid afternoon Mobile thunderstorm on the fourth of July. So yes, I was happy it was raining on a game day for once in my life.

Are groundskeepers wired a little differently than other people?
I think people in all kinds of professions are all wired a little different from each other. But I would say groundskeepers are a little more perceptive of the weather; morning, noon and night.

What's next for you and "The Farm Team" after Sunscreen?
I'm hoping to get into a few more festivals this summer and fall, mostly in the southeast. I'm also interested in making the film available for download online and/or DVD.

What's your next project?
Well, right now I've taken a full time job as a video editor but would love to do at least one feature film in my career. I'm interested in visiting minor league baseball again but something comedic and semi-self biographical based on my career working in the minors.

The 4th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival runs from April 29th to May 3rd at various venues in St. Petersburg. More information, including an event and screening schedule, and how to purchase passes and tickets is available by visiting the festival's official web site.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wanna know why there aren't more rich people?

I didn't know "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" was still on television, but based on this actual question I saw tonight, they probably don't give away that much money.

If every US senator spoke for exactly three minutes each, how long
would their combined speeches last?
A) 100 minutes
B) 200 minutes
C) 300 minutes
D) 400 minutes

She had to use the "phone an expert" option and I had to use the "change the channel" option before I started playing "Who Wants To Throw A Hammer At My Television?". It's not that terrible that someone obviously has no idea how many US senators there are...okay, yeah, it's at least a little bit terrible...but if you can't find the one number out of four that is divisible by three, you don't deserve to earn minimum wage, let alone a million dollars.

What have we learned from Susan Boyle? Probably nothin'

By now, if you haven't seen the video of Susan Boyle's performance on "Cor, Britain's Got A Right Bunch Of Wankers, Wot?", or whatever it's called, it's because you don't have a television or a computer, in which case you aren't reading this either and why am I wasting time talking to you?
Everybody else in the world has seen it and almost everybody in the world has made some sort of profound comment about not judging books by their covers. Personally, I think, once again, we need to get over ourselves because we're full of shit.
First of all, the publishing industry has entire departments of people at work designing attractive book covers in the hope that they lure you to their product. They have to! Authors, with the exception of J.K.Rowling, don't make enough money to hire people to hang around in shops, whispering "Psst! Come check this one out. It's quite good!" Leave them alone. They're doing what they have to in order to sell books.

Secondly, and more importantly, doesn't the fact that it continues to be pointed out that Ms. Boyle is not as traditionally attractive as many singers who look like their farts smell like rainbows indicate that we're still very much fixated on physical appearance? Think about it honestly and sincerely, and if your mindset is something like this...

"This misshapen lump of gargoyle has taught me a valuable lesson about preconceived notions. From now on I will try to reserve judgment on aesthetically malevolent individuals until I can determine whether or not they possess some hidden, innate quality that pleases me."

...then it is entirely possible that you may not be quite as enlightened and enriched by this experience as you think you are.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Separated at birth?

High drama...or the Miss USA Pageant

I call BS...

Creative Loafing has published The Green 100, "The 100 people, places and businesses leading the way toward a greener Tampa Bay". Included in this list is local radio personality Cowhead for the following:
"After becoming convinced tbt* was stealing his material, Cowhead asked
listeners to snag copies of the St. Pete Times’ faux alt-weekly and bring
them to his studio. The audience responded, burying the DJ in zippy
newsprint. Cowhead called in mobile paper disposal company Shred It, who
reduced the paper piles to recyclable pulp."

I really like Cowhead, I really like Creative Loafing and I really despise *tbt...but this is bullshit.

I don't think for a minute that Creative Loafing believes that a radio show stunt that just happened to draw negative attention to a publication that Creative Loafing obviously holds in low regard is what they were trying to highlight with this list. Too bad they chose to diminish the efforts of everyone else on the list by including it anyway. Come on, guys. You're supposed to be better than this.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This week's Clarketplace item

Complete set of stadium cups - $10 (Tampa)
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]Date: 2009-04-19, 8:32PM EDT
I have a whole set of cups from the St. Pete Times Forum, collected during the most recently completed hockey season. I don't mean four of one kind of cup, I mean one of each kind of cup in which beverages are served. There's a coffee, a small soda, a medium soda, a large soda, a small beer and a large beer (they call the small a medium but how can there be a medium if there's no small?). That's six cups, all different yet all the same in that none of them are dishwasher safe (you're going to want to remember that). All cups were collected by me, walking up and down the aisles after Lightning games. I then rinsed each of them out in the men's room and let them drip dry on the way home. What better souvenir to commemorate a season that made people want to drink? If you act now, I'll throw in a couple of popcorn tubs for free! Cash, checks, money orders all ok. FREE DELIVERY!
Location: Tampa
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 1130383755

LAST WEEK'S ITEM: Custom personal portraits
No responses. Sometimes, people just recognize crap for what it is...and still don't buy it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Amen corner

All this incessant talk about HOPE getting you down? Of course it is. How could it not? Luckily, the folks at the Greater Faith Outreach Center at the corner of Nebraska Avenue and Bird Street in Tampa, Florida, conveniently yet ironically located right across the street from the abandoned dog track, have a message for you.
That's right, folks. Organized Religion, the one societal institution that has never, ever failed mankind in any way shape or form, has it allllll figured out for us:
Do you know what that means? I think you do! I think we ALL do!
Some people are going to Hell!
Some people are going to Hell!
Nya nya na nya nya!
Some people are going to Hell!

Don't say you weren't warned

Expect displays like this on ESPN every time the subject of the New Yankee Stadium is brought up...

...and be glad that most of the time they'll be sitting behind a desk.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

T is for Tampa Party!

Tampa hosted one of those Tea Parties that took place all over the nation Wednesday. I didn't plan on going but I happened to wind up downtown to run some errands so I went for a little while. Once I found out it was a bullhorn friendly zone, I went back to the car and got mine. What's that? Oh yes...I have a bullhorn. I stood near the back and announced, "I have a dream! And a web site, where I make fun of things like this rally." I got some dirty looks and also some high fives from some crunchy granola types who were lurking there along the fringe (not sure why exactly; if this had been their rally, I'd be making fun of them too) but didn't get into any confrontations. Which is good because A) I had things to do and B) I'm a coward.
I don't have much else to say because I feel like all the teabag and various other testicle related jokes have been used. Even FreedomWorks Foundation (the group behind these things) spokesman Adam Brandon got in on that action when he said, "We know of about 600 (similar events) around the country today, and that's low-balling it." So I'll just leave you with a stimulating package of pictures I took while I was there.

There haven't been this many pissed off white people in one place in the Tampa Bay area since the Lightning were mathematically eliminated from playoff consideration.

Geez, look at the idiot there on the right. Hey guy, if you're going to make a sign and hold it up in public for everyone to see, you might want to make sure...hold on...actually that is grammatically correct. Never mind.

"This is the part of the rally where we all turn around and face the other way, but we don't tell Brian. Hilarious! Shh! Hurry up, turn around, before he figures out what's going on!"

3 Girls, 5 Signs
The second one from the right is 100% correct. You know who else wouldn't take this crap? House, Spongebob Squarepants and every other fictional character on television.

YEAH!!! Wait...what now?

Nice to see the folks from the Plan Ahead Department were able to make it out.

I took a picture of this one because it was pretty. The lady who made it was very nice. She offered me a piece of hard candy. I asked her if she made the sign after dropping acid while listening to a Pink Floyd album in a room with a black light bulb. She smiled and said, "excuse me?" and I said, "I thought so" and politely declined the candy.

Not far away, the moderates let their feelings be known through stickers pasted on the back of an H2. I'm not sure Buddha would shoot a sex predator, but I'm not a Buddhist so what do I know?

Get your face in place

When Jessie Stehlik first told me about the opportunity to get a professional headshot, I was naturally intrigued. "But how are you going to make it look like an accident?," I asked. Then she explained that she was talking about
"Faces of the Community", a project that celebrates local citizens and businesses and benefits Tampa's Urban Charette. Even though I've done some acting, I've never had a professional headshot before. Well, I sort of did, once, a long time ago. But I'm sure that portions of my head, specifically portions that might be photographed, such as the face portions, have changed, possibly even relocated, since then. She also explained that besides the photograph, you also have the opportunity to share a story with a Tampa historian and that the stories and photographs will be displayed in upcoming exhibits.
There are still opportunities to participate. Today, as a matter of fact, there are openings between 2:00PM and 5:00PM. Contact Jessie at or
(813) 695-2441 or just stop by Tre Amici @ The Bunker, 1907 19th Street North in Ybor City.

What exactly is in "ade" anyway?

Mmm, all the cold, delicious refreshment of lemonade...without the annoying lemon part!!

Seriously? No lemon? None? Like, a little bit didn't just, you know, get squeezed in there, maybe by accident or something, somehow? I mean, it's not like lemons are all that hard to come by or anything. There could have been a couple just laying around the plant and...

Okay! Okay!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nothing to see here, folks

This is a trailer to promote something called "The Glenn Beck Comedy Tour"

Are, any jokes? Because I don't see any here. Seriously. I'm not trying to make a political statement. I just didn't see any jokes. On most comedy tours, something funny happens. I didn't even see any attempt to be funny in this clip. I'm not a fan of Jay Leno, because I don't think he's funny, but at least I know when he's trying. If I saw an ad for "The Jay Leno Comedy Tour", there would be jokes that I wouldn't laugh at but there would be jokes.

All we get here is Glenn Beck referring to himself as "crazy" and sort of implying something wacky will happen and there are shots of him being animated on stage, wearing a "got milk?" tee shirt. Is that the crazy wackiness he's talking about? Because this kind of seems more like a character Fred Willard would play in a Christopher Guest movie about an unfunny person who thinks they are a comedian than, you know, an actual comedian. Buying a ticket to a "comedy tour" based on this trailer makes about as much sense to me as patronizing a steakhouse whose ads don't even show you a picture of a cow.

That Firing Show

This is coming soon to Fox:

The network has picked up the reality (show) "Someone's Gotta Go," which enters real businesses across the country and gives employees the power to decide which one of them will be terminated...Each episode will revolve around a different small business -- usually one with 15-20 employees -- that has been forced to make staff reductions because of the sour economy.
The company's books will be opened up to the employees, who will learn what everyone makes and what's in their human resources files. Employees will also get a chance to say, face to face, what they really think of one another.
Ultimately, the employees will vote on who should be terminated. That person will likely receive a small severance, but that's it. --Variety

It's a show. Get it? You're supposed to come home from work (if you're lucky), plop down on the couch and be entertained by watching this. Ha ha ha ha!!

"It's 'Survivor' meets 'The Office'," squealed reality tv programmer Mike Darnell of Fox, who has apparently never seen 'The Office' or heaven help us all if he ever catches a glimpse of 'Schindler's List'.

"I feel that it's part of the times that we are living in," Darnell, believed to be a limbless, scaly being who secretes a foul smelling oily discharge as he slithers about, said. "It's certainly no worse than watching the news every night and hearing all the statistics and watching what is happening," upholding Fox's long held philosophy that it's those people watching television in an effort to be informed about current events and issues that affect their lives who are the real degenerates.

The show is being produced by Endemol USA, the company behind 'Big Brother,' 'Deal or No Deal' and 'Fear Factor' among other cultural masterpieces designed to give a gentle shove to a society that just isn't flushing itself down the toilet fast enough. "We're always trying to find the next thing that is topical and timely in the zeitgeist," said Endemol North America chairman David Goldberg, presumably from atop a throne constructed of flaming kitten skulls. "What could be more current than the financial crisis and dealing with the realities of losing jobs? This is an extension of that real-life experience." It's believed he then paused briefly to spit venom in a toddler's eyes before using his hairy tail and leathery wings to trip an old woman walking down a flight of stairs.

Have the two masterminds thought about responsibility? You bet they have! "We've consulted with labor attorneys and have covered all of our bases," Goldberg said. "We've got an employment expert and business consultant to work with us through this process. There is a professional involved that brings the show an element of credibility." Well of course lawyers and credibility consultants have been involved. But what about what's left behind at these companies after the show is over? What about the fallout in a workplace afterwards, where employees are going to be expected to work together as colleagues after they tried to get each other fired on national television? "Sounds like good reality television," Darnell says.

Hmm, I don't know. It seems like the greater good would be better served by some kind of reality show that is topical yet offers a far more uplifting resolution in the end. I'm talking of course about MY new reality show, 'Who Wants To Donkeypunch A Millionaire?'

Aw, man...

On a day, a Monday no less, already filled with sad and crappy things, was it really necessary for us to lose Mark "The Bird" Fidrych too?!?
So long, Bird. We may not have had you around for very long, but the world of baseball was a goofier, happier place with you in it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I LOVE weddings!

It's spring time so that means it's wedding season. Yay!! I hear a lot of people griping about going to weddings: "Aw man, I have to go to a wedding this weekend!" and I don't understand that mindset at all. There's food, music, dancing and cake. What's not to like? Don't forget, you're there because someone wanted you with them to share a special moment in their life. And there's cake!
My friend Brenda invited me to her daughter Alex's wedding this past Saturday (both Brenda and Alex are members of Team Daddy-O Alley Katz) and I had a blast!
I didn't know that many people there and I explained to people I met that many of my friends are writers, artists and musicians, and since it was Saturday night, they were probably working their normal shifts at various bay area restaurants. As for me? I told them that unlike my friends, most of whom have made just terrible, awful, horribly misguided life choices, I was, in fact...
  • An archaeologist
  • A paleontologist
  • A radiologist
  • An astrophysicist
  • An afrophysicist
  • A hostage negotiator

This is the fountain in the middle of Ybor City Garden. An ideal setting for a wedding, especially when the weather is perfect, which it was.
I had doubts that a string quartet could pull off "The Cha-Cha Slide" and "The Cuban Shuffle" but they were up to the task.
When the minister positioned himself here, the potential for what was already going to be a great wedding suddenly shot even further up the awesome scale! However, I'm very sorry to report that he did not fall in, probably the only downer of the whole night. Nothing against the minister, you understand. It would have been hilarious if anybody had fallen in the fountain...except me.
Alex, the blushing bride
Jon, the...groom. Why doesn't the groom get an alliterative, modifying adjective like the bride does? Probably because there aren't any good ones that start with the letter G. Giddy? Gracious? Garrulous? No, better to just go without.
Victor, keeping it together. Brenda, making a valiant effort.
Kelly, my date for the evening. How did this happen? I came alone and so did she. Bingo, instant date! The fact that she's intelligent, funny and let me twirl her on the dance floor were all bonus points. At one point, we made an effort to take over the stage and sing a duet for the newlyweds, but the DJ didn't have any of the songs we asked for. I wonder now if he might have been lying to us. Hmmm...
This is Table 12, where I was supposed to sit. Look at that; I would have been all alone (I didn't meet Kelly until I defected to Table 9, where there were empty spots, from which I was then traded along with a conditional draft choice to Table 8 for a lovely married couple). How pathetic would that have been? "Can somebody pass me the pepper, please? Anybody? Hello? Oh yeah, I forgot. I guess I'll get it myself. Again."
This is Table 12, much later in the evening, once people knew I was sitting elsewhere.
Luxury, opulence and the finest accoutrements were everywhere...

Solid gold chairs...
A crystal pimp chalice filled with remoulade...

And a bust of Vincente Martinez-Ybor made out of white chocolate marzipan!

"Hey guys, if we don't want to wait for them to finish posing for pictures before we start eating, there's, like, almost a whole loaf of bread right here. I'm serious! Remember when the bride and groom each had just a tiny piece while that guy was talking during the ceremony? Well, they just left it here! There's even a mostly full glass of wine! Huh? I should come and sit down? But what about the...? All right. Okay."

Anyway, like I said, it was a wonderful evening. Thank you, Brenda and Victor and best wishes and congratulations, Alex and Jon!