Friday, April 29, 2016

Tuesday's show: Fun facts about the comics!

Next Tuesday, there will be a comedy show in Ybor City that will raise funds to benefit Relay for Life on behalf of the American Cancer Society
Here are some Fun Facts! about the comedians who will be performing in the show. You can always tell when Facts are Fun by the use of exclamation points!
I didn't ask their permission but I'm putting their personal business out there. Because this is raw! This is real! This is Fun Facts!

Tyler Horvath
  • Tyler used to work at Arby's!
  • Other than the United States, Arby’s currently has locations in Turkey, Canada, and Qatar!
  • All together Arby’s has over 3,400 locations all over the globe!
  • There are only two states in the country without an Arby’s branch: Rhode Island and Vermont!
Colin Means
  • Colin is tall! 
  • I don't know how tall he is!
  • He's taller than lots of people!
  • But not all of them!
Melissa Nicholas
  • Melissa is one of two women performing in this show!
  • There are six (6) people performing in the show!
  • 33% of the performers in the show are women!
  • Melissa represents 50% of all women performing in the show!
Zac Townsend
  • As far as I know, Zac has never worked at Arby's!
  • The original Arby’s opened in Ohio and had less than five main menu items available: roast beef sandwiches, Jamocha shakes, Texas-sized iced tea, and potato chips on the side! 
  • The founders of Arby’s were Forrest and Leroy Raffel, who were often called the R.B. brothers or RB’s!
  • Arby’s famous Beef ‘n Cheddar sandwich made its debut in 1978!
Victoria Yepes
  • Victoria's last name starts with Y, which is the reason she's listed last and not because of sexism!
  • Technically, I'm actually the one who is listed last, so there's no issue with sexism at all!
  • Sexism is wrong!
  • Please don't sue me!
Clark Brooks
  • I'm Clark Brooks!
  • I will be serving as your humble host for the evening, and will be introducing the talented young comedians listed above!
  • I will probably wear the same shirt seen in this picture, or one that looks pretty similar because I have a lot of shirts like that one!
  • I'm Clark Brooks!
Now that you know so many deeply personal things about all the participating comedians, how can you possibly miss this show???

LOLZ For A Cause!
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Urban Phoenix Studios
2002 E. 5th Street, Suite 103
Tampa (Ybor City), Florida

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One more dummy for the road

If you've ever worked a 15-hour day, you know that desperate feeling of just wanting to go home when it's finally over. Maybe eat a bowl of cereal before getting in bed, but more than anything else in the world, you just want to get back to the place where you sleep at night already. Odds are at least 50/50 that when you've experienced that feeling, life has thrown at least one dumb thing in your way to keep that from happening as easily as you would like.
A couple of weeks ago, I was leaving work at 1AM, departing a basically empty parking garage. Except for one other random person, a person that just happened to back out in front of me as I was on my way out. Now there are only two people leaving the garage and somehow, we're a line. That's mildly annoying. What drove it up a notch was how this person handled his attempt to exit the garage.
Can you see what's happening here?

He's paying the machine so he can exit the garage.

Did you happen to notice the position of the gate?

That's right. Not only was I behind someone, I was behind someone too dumb to notice that the gate is open and that he could have driven right out if he wanted to.

Look at him. Look how dumb he is. Here he is paying with the dumb money he got from some dumb job, because some company was dumb enough to hire him to do dumb things. And of course he has a fistful of singles because that's probably how he demands to be paid. Dumb people love to have a whole bunch of singles because that way you can have a lot of money even if you don't have very much money.

I yelled at him, because when you want something to happen at 1am after you've worked a 15-hour day, you yell.
"The gate is up! Just go!"
I yelled this twice and then decided to take the picture because he was obviously ignoring me and I felt like this incident needed to be documented. Because what if I told this story and nobody believed me? No, there needed to be some sort of record to prove the existence of someone this dumb.

Then, because I was frustrated, I yelled again. To this, he stuck his dumb head out of the dumb window of his dumb car and yelled back, "I lost my ticket and you have to pay a fee of $9 when you lose your ticket!"
I replied, "I know you lost your ticket". I didn't know anything about this person beyond this situation but of course I knew he had lost his ticket because dumb people can't be trusted to hang on to things that cost $9 when they lose them.
"But you don't have to pay anything. When the gate is already up, it's not necessary to pay anything to make it go up. The fee is actually zero dollars to make that happen. Because it's already happened."
He simply wasn't having it. Nothing was going to stop him from taking nine crumpled one dollar bills and inserting them into the machine, sometimes successful on the first try, usually not. "One...two...three...oops, how many did I already do?"

Eventually, he got all nine dollar bills to be uncrumpled enough and facing the same direction to be accepted by the machine, which caused the gate to do nothing, of course, and he drove off.

I'm sure I'll see him again soon, driving the wrong direction on a one-way street because this is Tampa. Maybe then he'll actually manage to kill me.

Monday, April 25, 2016

LOLZ For A Cause!

Hey, remember how we hate cancer? Remember how we used to do all kinds of silly things in an effort to fight cancer? Remember how I said I was going to continue to use the blog to promote events and stuff? Remember how I do stand-up comedy now?
I don't. 
Good thing I wrote it all down, huh?
Remembering stuff is hard!

Well, let's tie all of those things together...

LOLZ For A Cause!
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Urban Phoenix Studios
2002 E. 5th Street, Suite 103
Tampa (Ybor City), Florida

An evening of stand-up comedy with the proceeds going toward The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. There's going to be food and drinks and prizes and lots of laughs. Featuring the considerable talents of:

Tyler Horvath

Colin Means

Melissa Nicholas

Zac Townsend

Victoria Yepes

Also, me.

I'll be there, too.
(Please come anyway)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince is gone

I've written about Prince here before, lots of times, because I considered him something of a hero, at least to me. I'm not really processing the news of his death very effectively right now; dealing with a combination of shock at his passing and already feeling adrift in the very short time that he's been absent.
I saw him perform live three times. That's as close as I ever came to meeting the guy, but he was still tremendously influential to me.

Over the years, I've encountered a lot of people who didn't understand. "You?? Seriously? Why are you a Prince fan?!?"
He was innovative, imaginative and fiercely, defiantly independent. He did what he wanted to do and didn't allow those who didn't share his vision to hold him back. Things didn't always work out but he refused to let others define what was a success or failure and didn't let the outcome either way restrict him in future endeavors. He believed in himself. A lot of people saw that as undue arrogance, but he had the talent and ability to back it all up. If somebody couldn't or wouldn't participate at his level, they could see their way out and he would do their part himself. He simply refused to deviate from the way he wanted things done for the sake of compromise.

I never dressed (or danced) like him or even know how to play music, but how does anybody who considers themselves in any way to be creative not draw inspiration from someone like that? There are other people like that out there. Not many, but some. Prince was my guy though. He spoke to me through his work. Without following his example, it's safe to say that I never write this blog or publish a book (there's a reason both of those are purple) or ever get up in front of a crowd to tell jokes. He made me want to be better.

I've never needed someone else to write a status update for me on Facebook, but my friend Jim Choquette posted this earlier:
"Prince taught me that it's ok to not conform. Who's going to carry that torch now...
I dont often apologize, but Im feeling extremely humbled today. I can be a real pill at times. If I've ever been a complete dick to you, I'm sorry.
Chances are, it was me - not you. I never meant to cause you any sorrow...."
It was perfect so I copied it and added this:
"Yes, exactly. Same goes for me. Every word of this."
And so now, how does one honor the legacy of someone they considered a leader? Well, JB Ball, another friend, posted the following, also earlier today:
"Don't stop grinding you guys. Don't stop critiquing yourself HONESTLY. Don't be afraid to take chances. I know this message can be perceived as corny but who cares. Do this and you'll be headed in the direction you want." 
I don't even know if this was inspired by the sad events of today but it's really good advice and totally appropriate.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Way of the Emerald

I don't have, as the kids say, "game" with the ladies. I don't know why that is. I don't lack for confidence in most circumstances and I have always felt perfectly comfortable talking to women. But when you have "game", it means you possess that extra gear that allows you to close the deal, if I can cram as many dumb metaphors into one sentence as possible.
I think it's because I lack the level of necessary commitment to pull that off.

Here's an example of a guy with "game", a guy that I could never be.

A friend of mine recently visited the dentist to get some routine maintenance done, where she encountered the incredible Bobbie Emerald Way. And by "encountered", I mean "was hit on by".
She thought this was remarkable because she's never been hit on while undergoing dental work before and I agreed that it sounded unusual as well as inappropriate and unethical. We did some research and this is what we found...

  • Dr. Bobbie E. Emerald Way currently lives in Tampa, FL.
  • He has been "in ministry for over 21 years ministering as a Pastor and Televangelist".
  • He was born in "Jacksonville, Florida to  Bobbie and Edwina Way.  After graduating with honours from Jean Ribault Sr. High School in 1984, Bobbie entered the Marine Corps and was trained as a “Basic Electrician.”"
  • "Upon discharge Bobbie relocated to Tampa, Florida where in 1989 he obtained his Associates Degree in Computer Engineering (Applied Science)."
  • "Bobbie feeling the call of God to become a part of the ministry (and after many years of seeking the Lord and soul searching) he was licensed in 1991 as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the General Assembly Church of the Firstborn, Inc. by the Honourable Bishop Francis S. Davis Sr.  During his tenure at the General Assembly Bobbie served as Minister of Music under the supervision of Pastor Katherine Davis."
  • "In 1993 Bobbie became producer and host of a local television program which was initially entitled “Strait talk.” The program later became widely known as “Bobbie Emerald Live.” Bobbie has throughout his years continued to better himself through education within various fields of study and has gained valuable knowledge, wisdom and experience working in Christian Ministry and also with various Christian and secular organizations located throughout the Tampa Bay area." (all of this was taken from Bobbie Emerald
While combing through his web site, we also learned...

  • He has produced his own music, which ranges from "Contemporary Music" to "Inspirational and Worship" to "Progressive Rock" and "Sultry Jazz" with song titles like 'Glorious Church', 'Pray For The Children', 'Stranger' and 'I See You'.
  • He is the purveyor of "Young and Gifted" apparel, featuring "Embroidered Shirts, 100% Cotton T- Shirts, Ball Caps, Winter Skull Caps, Tote Bags and more" choose from 'Young Gifted Christian', Young Gifted Cuban', 'Young Gifted Black', 'Young Gifted Asian' and yes, whiteys who complain about the existence of things like the NAACP, Miss Black America pageant and BET, you can get a 'Young Gifted White' shirt, in sizes from small to 5XL!
A second web site reveals that his favorite movie is "Guess who coming home for dinner (Original)", which I'm guess is not the 1967 Sidney Poitier film, but a remake by Bobbie Emerald, with an original Bobbie Emerald soundtrack and where all the characters have their names embroidered on "Young and Gifted" polo shirts.
A Bobbie Emerald Joint
Are you sold on this guy's awesomeness yet? WAIT! There's more! 
Behold the list of accomplishments from his LinkedIn profile (keep in mind as you peruse this extensive list that my friend met this guy at a dentist's office, where he presented hilmself as someone who could render medical service)...

Dorcus House Ministries, Inc
Board of Director (Treasurer)
January 1993 – January 2005

The Missionary Evangelistic Training Center, Inc. (The Presbytery of Elders) AKA Dorcus House Ministries 
Board Member (Treasury) who was responsible for oversight and supervision of day to day operational needs as one of the Elders and pastors within the ministry. Official duties: Communication of the word of God to current residence through evangelism, discipleship, prayer, fasting as well as...more

Tampa Bay Community Network
T.B.C.N Community Producer/Director/Host
Pastor and Community Service Producer 1993 - 2009 and Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ/Accomplished, Achievement-Driven and Results-Oriented: I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ that was ordained by The Presbytery of Elders and established through a successful teaching ministry. Host and Community Producer that led many souls to the Lord God through the teaching and preaching the Gospel...more

Honors & Awards
Bobbie E. Emerald Way PHD
January 1984
Biblical Certifications: Doctorate Degree in Christian Education - Master Degree in Biblical Studies - Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministry - Ordained Prophet, Teacher and Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ 

  • Doctorate Degree in Christian Education
  • Masters Degree in Biblical Studies
  • Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministry
  • Associate Degree Computer Engineering (Applied Science)
  • Jean Ribault Honor Graduate

  • Game Design
  • Game Development
  • Online Gaming
  • Social Games
  • Casual Games
  • Video Games
  • User Interface Design
  • iPhone
  • Mobile Games
  • Web Design

Dr. Bobbie also knows about...
  • Mobile Applications
  • Serious Games
  • Monetization
  • Entertainment
  • MMO
  • Mobile Devices
  • Computer Games
  • Agile Project Management
  • Gameplay
  • Writing


Tampa Tech
Associate's Degree, Computer Engineering
1988 – 1991
Tampa Bay Bible College
Doctor of Education(Ed.D.), Christian Education, Biblical Studies, Christian Ministry, 

An impressive list? I guess. But nowhere do I see where he's qualified professionally to mess around in any kind of dentistry-related capacity with people's mouths. Also, when did "iPhone" become a skill?!?

I don't know. Might be totally legit. It's possible I'm just jealous. 
But maybe the next time a dental assistant hits on you at while you're having a procedure done, you may want to consider how close the office is to one of these...

...and whether or not they do a good job of locking their back door before you let some stranger put his fingers (or whatever) in your mouth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Never again, disco ball

"An errant attempt to move a disco ball likely sparked the fire that broke out Wednesday night (April 6, 2016) at the Amphitheatre, a popular nightclub and concert venue at 1609 E Seventh Ave." - Tampa Bay

Yet another senseless disco tragedy. When are we going to learn?!?
Those who forget the '70s are destined to repeat them

  • Some will call for tighter disco ball restrictions, better background checks, disco ball training and limitations on the size and use of disco balls. Extremists will say that's not enough and will demand an outright ban on all disco balls. Enough is enough! 

All Balls Matter

  • Others will counter that what we need is the exact opposite, a proliferation of disco balls. The only way to stop a bad guy with a disco ball is a good guy with a disco ball. If people were allowed to openly carry their disco balls in public, as the framers of The Constitution intended, this kind of disco ball debacle would never happen.

I don't have an answer. All I can say is that I hope we're willing to carefully consider what our course of action should be. Because...

First they came for the Disco Balls, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Disco Ball.

Then they came for the Lava Lamps, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Lava Lamp.

Then they came for the Chairs That Look Like A Giant High-Heeled Shoe, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Chair That Looks Like A Giant High-Heeled Shoe.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Because I am a Novelty Neon Beer Sign Like You Might Find In A College Student's Dorm Room.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Lighten up, Francis, or whatever your name is

There's a lot of talk these days that people are too sensitive about everything. I don't know that I agree with that as a blanket statement. For example, I think people who are upset about social injustice in the form of senseless murder have a legitimate gripe and maybe shouldn't feel obligated to turn their frowns upside down and walk it off for the benefit of those who don't want to hear about it.

On the other hand, yeah, a big chunk of us need to lighten up. A lot.

Exhibit A:
Somebody posted this video on Facebook the other day...

And somebody else replied to it with this comment...
"I think she was just playing and bothering him while he was trying to rest. This did make me think. I know this won't be popular but it needs to be said. I think people choosing animals over kids continues to be a big problem in this world. People choose to get pets when animals have been and continue be fine and independent before and after humans' rule of this world. I have seen many a dog treated better and given more attention by one or both parents than they give their kids, I've heard adults make comments regarding preferring animals over kids, and other horrible comments and everyone thinks its ok. I will from now on call them on it because I'm sure this has a negative effect of the kids. It could also create a stigma for the child. Then as a child gets older and realizes they live in a world where people cry for an animal that is treated poorly or is euthanized, but indifferent to babies being euthanized for convenience."

It made him think, and these are the thoughts he came up with? He's right, it won't be popular but it absolutely did NOT need to be said. There are lots of kids that are treated horribly in the world but laughing at a video where a dog kicks sand on a little brat is in no way contributing to that horrible treatment. Also, thanks for trying to shame those of us who don't treat animals badly by way of making some sort of profound statement about abortion (I guess?).

Naturally, I had to respond to that person's inappropriate outrage with my own inappropriately outrageous comment...

"I'm sure you're a good person who is troubled by the many disturbing events taking place in today's violent and confusing world who felt the need to express your concerns. For what it's worth, I completely understand and I sincerely hope a dog eats you and your children. Seriously. I want a dog to eat your children while you watch before eating you. Or maybe the dog eats all of you in a rotation, like it eats each of your right legs off and then your left legs and so on until you're all gone. Either way is fine. And not a mean dog, like a pit bull or a Rottweiler. I want a Golden Retriever named Brandy to eat your children. You too. Not because she's having a bad day, either. But because she's perfectly happy being a good dog and knows that erasing your existence from the earth would be a nice thing to do. Good girl, Brandy! I want that to happen more than I want scientists to cure AIDS. If God came down and said, 'I can totally make that happen... I have a really sweet dog in mind, too... but in exchange, humanity has to take on five new kinds of cancer', I would absolutely make that trade without hesitation. Because it would be worth it.
Dogs are awesome, you're horrendous.
May a dog eat you and your children, and soon.
Not really.
Kind of.

I mean, if he's going to get upset, let's give him something irredeemably horrible and worth the effort.

What was his response? Who cares.
There's no point in ever reading the comments.

Check out the Coffee and Weddings Show!

Hey look, the episode of "Happily Ever Caffeinated" that I did last week (and teased on Monday) is now up on the Whirling Wild Woopty Doo (aka the WWW.Googlynet)!

  • SEE me keep host Jessie Stehlik on point!
  • HEAR me annoy hipsters!
  • SMELL whatever is in the immediate vicinity of your own personal environment, because this is video not smellideo, you boob.
Behold four minutes and 43 of pure, magical joy juice!

I'm sure I'll be asked to appear again real soon! 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Gloffy's back!

Remember our old pal Jeremy Gloff? He's back with a new album and I was invited to listen to it.
The album is titled "Those Who Survived" and the listening party was held at Disco Dolls Studio, "A hair salon, fashion and art studio in Tampa, FL. Offering a cultivated selection of art, clothing, shoes, accessories, hair products, vintage, and estate finds" and may be the most Seminole Heights place in Seminole Heights.
And why the man of the hour was sitting there looking like he was there to have his 'do did
The album is great. It sounds, to me anyway, like someone who is resigned to his fate...and that's fine. Things may not have turned out the way he had hoped and he's left with what remains but that's perfectly okay. Mourning a little for what could have been but celebrating what is while maintaining a healthy reserve of hope for what's to come. That makes sense to me and I came away from listening to it feeling comforted and inspired.

"When I Was 19" is the first song and sums up the spirit of the rest of the album nicely. It reminds me of Prince songs "When You Were Mine" and "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man"

"I'm way too comfortable
I wanna feel alive again
And I wanna fly again
Like when I was 19"

My favorite song from the collection is "Technicolor" because of this passage:
"Memories of rages
Blank pages empty stages
The Importance of a fail
And those who survived to tell the tale"
Anyway, bottom line, I really liked it. Well done, Gloffy.

Jeremy Gloff's new album "Those Who Survived" comes out on Saturday, April 9.
Check out his web site.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Look at me be on TV!

Okay, it's a show on the internet, but that's better than TV anyway.

This Wednesday, April 6, it's "Happily Ever Caffeinated", a show recorded in front of a live audience of disinterested hipsters (elbow tattoos and fedoras everywhere!) about coffee and weddings and me with host Jessie Stehlik solving everybody's wedding problems. Or something. It's literally impossible to know because I've forgotten exactly what we talked about when we shot it last week. I'm sure I'll be pretty great in it, unless I'm terrible or somewhere in between. Hey, let's tune in and find out together! If your wedding is all jacked up right now, you have nothing to lose!