Monday, December 28, 2009

24 New Season Spoilers!!!!!

From a source I cannot name, I've gotten a brief synopsis of the new season of "24" that begins airing in January. Sounds like a radical new direction for the hit Fox show.

"Jack Bauer has saved the day countless times and he's finally had enough. This season on 24, see what happens when the only man for the job...calls in sick!"

Episode 1 7:00am-9:00am
In the thrilling season premiere, Jack decides he's earned a day off. Using all his training, he calls into CTU pretending to have the stomach flu. He spends the morning watching "Today" and wonders if Meredith Viera is really as nice as she seems on TV.

Episode 2 10:00am-11:00am
Jack makes disparaging remarks about Kathie Lee Gifford and the other lady on the third hour of "Today."

Episode 3 12:00pm-1:00pm
Jack dances with Ellen & then makes himself a couple of breakfast Hot Pockets.

Episode 4 2:00pm-3:00pm
Jack spends a tense hour in the bathroom as a result of his poor choice of breakfasts. Screens calls from CTU.

Episode 5 4:00pm-5:00pm
Jack's rage boils over as he smashes his "Guitar Hero" controller when he can't play "Daydream Believer" on easy. Frustrated, he cries about how the game is "cheating him."

Episode 6 6:00pm-8:00pm
Jack's "private time" with the new Lane Bryant catalog. Viewer Discretion is advised.

Episode 7 9:00pm-10:00pm
Jack risks death once again by daring to eat another Hot Pocket.

Episode 8 11:00pm-12:00am
Hot Pocket once again tortures Jack, more bathroom time.

Episode 9 1:00am-2:00am
Facebook status updated, sends friend requests to Jason Bourne, James Bond and Lou Diamond Phillips

Episode 10 3:00am-4:00am
Soothing his pain with alcohol, accidentally drunk dials Chloe. Awkward silence ensues

Episode 11 5:00am-6:00am
Season Finale. Jack collapses into bed, fitfully praying for a snow day. Awakens disappointed to remember that it's May.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Season's Greetings

Seems like we waste a lot of time & stress during December trying to figure out just what to say to people to convey our wish that they have a joyous holiday no matter how he or she may choose to celebrate it (or not celebrate it, as the case may be.) So, I have a modest proposal that might just alleviate some of the headaches.

If you're not sure whether Joe in the cubicle next to you or Susie the barista celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus or nothing at all, but still want to say something, say "Waffles."

Think about it. Waffles are an inherently happy food. They're fun to make, fun to eat and bad things rarely happen when they're part of the menu. When people break up, they go out for dinner. No one gets dumped over waffles.

So the next time you're twisting yourself into a mental pretzel (also a fun food) trying to convey holiday cheer without potentially ticking off a relative stranger, just give them a big ol' grin and say "Waffles."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


It's Thanksgiving Eve, which is as good a time as any to express some gratitude:

*To my family, thanks for always being there for me even when we're far apart

*To my friends, thanks for letting me be myself even when I'm a big, hot mess. You make my bad days godd & my good days better.

*To the creative people behind Glee & The Big Bang Theory: Your shows make me happy & hopeful.

*To anyone who's taken me in over the years...I do appreciate it.

I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever. I don't say it enough, but you're always in my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten

There are a lot of people, places & things that are no longer a part of my life, but I still miss them. Here are just a few...

  • Jerry Orbach
  • Giant Christmas catalogs from Sears & JC Penney
  • Hanging out at Ocean Avenue in Chattanooga after shows at WTCI
  • DeForest Kelley
  • Having only three major networks
  • Johnny Cash
  • My Grandparents
  • Post auction parties at WNIN
  • Watching double MASH with Jim & Steve at MTSU
  • Mr. Rogers
There are many more. Remember, everything changes, nothing gold can stay. So enjoy what you have while you have it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Okay folks, I'm gonna have to go ahead & ask for your patience early. You see, Sunday starts my absolute favorite time of the year. From the first of November through (roughly) 5 pm on Christmas Day, I'm more insufferable than usual because I'm gonna have that holly jolly holiday spirit if it kills me.

I know, I know...November 1st is way too early to start thinking about Christmas. But it's not just Christmas...I love Thanksgiving as well. In fact, most every Thanksgiving has been pretty cool except for 1986, which I like to call "The Great Baloney Thanksgiving." Here's the story...

I was a senior in high school. The girl I'd been dating kinda, sorta dumped me the day before Turkey Day. On Thanksgiving itself, I got called into work early that morning. My parents were leaving after lunch to visit relatives out of town, but my Mother says, "Go on to work, I'll fix you some fried chicken & stuff to eat when you get back." We never were a huge turkey family...anyway, I hustle off to carry golf bags for rich dudes who weren't going to up their tips just because it was a holiday, but I figure I'll have some good grub when I get back.

I get home, parents are packing the car. I innocently wander into the kitchen, expecting to find my Thanksgiving bird all ready. "Funny," I think, "I don't smell anything. What's up with that?" My beloved mother, in her haste to get on the road, forgot to make it. I get an apology, some money for the weekend, and a "Have fun." But no chicken.

So, that was the Thanksgiving that my dumped self ate a baloney sandwich & listened to OMD's "If You Leave" over and over and over again that night.

The weekend improved & I felt somewhat better. I didn't even try and use the guilt angle to improve my Christmas haul, which I thought was very mature of me.

The moral: No moral really...except that a baloney sandwich & pre-emo getting dumped music is a crappy way to spend Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 5, 2009

5 Years At The Worx

Five years ago this week, Grumpy Santa Richard Gardener either (a) made a good decision or (b) took leave of his senses entirely and asked me to join ComedyWorx.

While I won't go so far as to say that improv saved my life, I will say that being a part of the club has been one of the best things that's ever happened to me.

So...if I've performed with you, practiced with you, supported a show with you, taken a class or workshop with you, hung out before or after a show....please know that you've blessed me and made me a better improviser and person in big and small ways.

Thank you for your friendship and support.

To quote the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."

Here's to five more years!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Worms, Roxanne, Worms!

These days, everybody's got an outlet for their opinions. If they're not blogging, they're Twittering and if they're not Twittering, they're Facebooking, letting anyone with a connection to the World Wide Interwebs expound on any number of topics that tickle their fancy (if that's your idea of a good time.)

But there are many things that are difficult to convey in online communication. For instance, there are no emoticons for sarcasm or irony.

For example, if I'm chatting with a friend over coffee and say something like "Sarah Palin would make an excellent President," he would know by my tone of voice & facial expression that I'd rather slide down a bannister made of razor blades into a tub of bactine than see Palin in the White House.

But if I put the same thing on Twitter, I'm going to get hundreds of responses questioning my well I should.

It all comes down to tone. There is no tone in a status update. While you may post about being a little blue on a Monday, what people read is that you're 5 seconds away from slitting your wrists.

So be careful. Words have power and you can alarm or anger people without knowing or intending to do so. Just to prove my point, I'll leave you with one more example. I'll type a sentence that, without tone or context, should freak people out. Ready? Here goes:

"Roman Polanski would be an excellent Teen Choice Awards host."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dirty Bomb

So, according to the report I saw on the CBS Evening News last night, Al Qaeda has a new weapon in its arsenal.

Not to be indelicate but basically they've taken a page from drug mules and are inserting explosives in, umm, let's call it a very uncomfortable place & detonating them with a cell phone.

How effective this method of mayhem will turn out to be remains to be seen. But it has me worried.

I'm not scared of a crazy man with an exploding butt because if it's my time to go, there's not much I can do about it and at least there'll be an interesting story to tell at the funeral.

What bothers me is how airport security is going to react. I mean, when that doofus tried to ignite his Reeboks, we all had to start taking off our shoes before flying. What in the world are we gonna have to go through if they're looking for an explosive suppository?

All I'm saying is, if some poorly paid haphazardly trained security screener is going to poke around my nooks & crannies, I'd better get more than a crummy bag of peanuts!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playing Defense

It seems that it's time for me to once again defend my apathy towards two topics that are near & dear to many people's hearts...sports and reality TV.

The short version is: I don't care about either of these topics. That doesn't mean that I think you're stupid if you like them. If they make you happy, then I'm happy. Please don't jump down my throat if I don't share your enthusiasm. Most likely, I will stare blankly (if politely) during any discussions of who won or lost this weekend or who got voted off.

To be more far as sports go, I have little to no athletic ability whatsoever. I have no depth perception, which means that any activity that involves things being thrown in the vicinity of my face is no fun at all for me. I practiced football for four miserable years in high school and hated it. When you suffer through consecutive 1-9 seasons and your cheerleaders suggest "Things Can Only Get Better" as a Homecoming theme, it tends to dampen your enthusiasm. Also, since I don't get paid by any college or professional team, no matter what the outcome, I find it hard to have a rooting interest.

As for Reality TV...well, I'm a bit of a snob there, I will admit. I love television but see the reality genre as a way for networks to make cheap, disposable programming that they don't have to pay writers, actors, producers or directors to create. Since my sympathies lie with artists who spend their careers trying to make that one special show that will entertain or move viewers rather than trying to see which washed-up celebrity can dance, I don't have a lot of love for the genre.

Also, I can see people act like jerks to others on a daily basis. I have no desire to spend an hour a week watching strangers behave that way on my TV. My rule is: If I wouldn't want to share an elevator ride with someone, I don't want to share my leisure time with them as well.

So, please, don't be offended if I don't share this passion with you. I'm not saying you're wrong for liking something I don't. I'll respect your right to watch whatever makes you happy if you'll also respect my right to not watch it at all.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Right Word Is Important

As a tribute to both the Beatles & my raging immaturity, I give you some of their very best songs with one minor change...see if you can figure out what it is:

A Hard Day's Poop

With A Little Help From My Poop

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Poop

And I Love Poop

Eight Poops A Week

A Poop In The Life

She Loves Poop

I Wanna Hold Your Poop

Poop Together

The Ballad of John and Poop

Somehow, I think the Fab Four would've approved.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Philosophy 101

I had a friend comment that he enjoyed my musings "Even when I disagree philosophically with them."

Well, thinking that I have a "philosophy" at all is flattering, but nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the time, when I write these entries, I'm cruising on less than 4 hours sleep and jacked up on caffeine. It's a miracle that they're as coherent as they are.

Look, I don't write to try and change anyone's mind about anything...I write to ease my mind about everything. Any big ideas I have about politics or society can be boiled down to three basic thoughts:

(1) Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
(2) Love thy neighbor as you love yourself
(3) Whatever you do for the least of these, you do also for Me

Everything else is just me trying to be amusing (which means making myself laugh & hoping some of you find it funny too) or spouting off about complex topics that I have nowhere near the expertise to have an informed opinion about.

I suppose people reading my ramblings are enjoying them. I enjoy writing them. But please, don't think that I'm deluded enough to believe that I'm making a grand contribution to society by espousing my love of bad movies and good TV. I'm just taking a few minutes every few days to hopefully entertain you.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Got Nothin

So, been awhile since my last post because, quite honestly, I haven't really had anything new to say. "But that's never stopped you before!" I hear you say (and thanks so much for that, by the way.) It is true...usually I'll blather on about nothing just for kicks and a Seinfeld episode without all the funny.

But everything I've thought of in the past few weeks fall into one of two categories: Stuff That's Derivative And Labored Even To Me and Manic Depressive Whining That's So Annoying That I Don't Even Want To Hear It.

So, for the literally single digits of you who haven't really been clamoring for it...I will return to semi-regular posting. Probably. When I think I've got something interesting to say.

Until then...enjoy the rare sounds of silence from me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Career Opportunities

I guess I could be safely classified as a "mid-career professional," which roughly translates to "Watch it buddy...we could get two 20-year old part timers to do your job." So, in that spirit, I've been looking into some potential new career opportunities should one become necessary. After much painstaking research, I think I've found the perfect new direction for me:

Cult Leader. Specifically, a cult leader for rich people.

It's a growth industry. With so many people freaking out about the economy, rogue nuclear weapons, the collapsing environment and disappearing birth certificates, the time has never been better for a charismatic leader (i.e., me) to gather the affluent members of this fractured society and lead them to a place where they can feel safe...I'm thinking Palm Springs or Hawaii.

I won't even have to come up with some sort of catch slogan. Just something like, "Hey...those people who freak you out? They freak me out too. Give me all your money & I'll keep them away from you." Pretty catchy, no? And the best part is, since I'm a cult leader, the fact that I'm actually on the side of the people who freak the members of my cult out isn't an ethical problem. Cult leaders are expected to be liars.

Now, there are a few downsides. The possibility of armed incursion by the government being one of them. I plan to solve this problem by making free cable my only demand of the government. No weapons stockpile, no hostages and no funny business with kids. Just give us free cable & we're all set.

And, since rich people aren't crazy (they're called "eccentric" at their median income level) as long as they have their stories and I base the compound next to a golf course, there should be a minimal chance of me being overthrown in a violent, ideological coup.

So, that's the plan. What I need now is investors and a scary name. So, if you're net worth is between six and nine figures, you have an irrational hatred of anyone different from you and you want a place to call your own, just send me a check and I'll get back to you with the details of where to send your luggage. As for a scary, it's a shame that "Republicans" is already taken.

If this works, I may have franchise opportunities for sale soon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Opinons Are Like, Well, You Know

It seems like every few weeks, a thought will cross my mind and, with the ease of all the social networking options available on the interwebs, I will feel the need to share it. Usually, the gist of the thought is, "Somethingorother sucks." Not exactly eloquent prose, but what are you gonna do?

So, I share this brain nugget and, invariably, people who didn't do well on the "Reading For Comprehension" portion of the SAT will jump down my throat. Somehow, they think because I said something they liked sucks that automatically means that I think they suck for liking it...and then, usually, they want to convince me that I was mistaken and said sucky thing does not actually suck.

Here's the bottom line...there is stuff that I think sucks. Chances are, if I think it sucks, I've given it more than ample opportunity to prove that it indeed does not suck. Case in point: Styx and/or Dennis DeYoung.

When I was in high school (from 1984 thru 1987) and Styx was popular, I thought they sucked. During the years, when they were relegated to the oldies station, I still thought they sucked. When the band reformed with different members at different times and started touring small clubs and state fairs, I thought they sucked. And now, during the 21st century when they fill amphitheatres every summer touring with two or three other washed up 80's bands, I still think they suck. Basiclally, Styx has never broken through my Glass Ceiling of Suckitude.

Does that mean that I think their millions of fans suck because they enjoy Styx? Of course's a big world and a free country. If you want to have "Mr. Roboto" as your ringtone and as your home page, more power to you.

Look, I know the internet tubes are no place for subtle commentary and it's really hard to discern tone in written form without emoticons. But I promise you, if there's a band or tv show or movie that you adore and I think sucks, it doesn't mean that I think you suck as a human being for liking it.

So lighten up Francis!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Rules

We all have our own set of rules, precepts or codes that we live our lives by...bits of black & white in a shades of gray world. Here are some of mine.

#4 Do not talk to me in a public restroom. We can socialize all you want after I'm done with my business.

#4a If said restroom business involves one of us in a stall with the door closed, the rule may be amended to allow one and only one line of conversation: "Is there any toilet paper out there?"

#27 If we disagree on matters of theology or religion, you're not going to change my mind and I'm not going to change yours. Let's just agree to go get ice cream & avoid hours of pointless bickering.

#54 I have reached an age where I don't have the patience or inclination to even muster polite, socially acceptable interest in topics I could care less about. So, if you're talking to me about sports, the bored look on my face isn't going to change anytime soon.

#75 If you are a band that has (a) enough hits for a "Greatest Hits" album & (b) I have paid more than $25 per ticket to see your friggin' hits. Unless I have to go to the bathroom, I have no desire to hear cuts off your new album. Exception: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

#82 If you state an opinion about any topic with arrogance and/or ignorance, I will mock you (Also known as "The D-Bag Rule.")

# 97 Wrestling fans posting on internet message boards: It's spelled "feud," not "fued." Don't ignore the spell check line

#145 Improv and stand-up are two vastly different things. Please learn the difference.

#245 Don't tell me I remind you of someone's dad unless you want to run the risk of getting kicked in the shins

#467 If I am sober enough to drive home, I am too sober to dance in public

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Truth In Advertising

As I write (type?)this, I'm wearing my "White And Nerdy" shirt that I got at a Weird Al Yankovic concert. There's no irony involved: Iam indeed white and am most definitely nerdy, so I consider it to be truth in advertising.

Which got me to thinking...why hasn't anyone come up with a t-shirt that automatically displays the personal characteristics of the wearer?

Think of how much time it would save and the conflicts it would prevent.

*When approaching women, guys could read the shirt that said "Dude, You Have No Shot" and avoid awkwardness and rejection.

*Women on blind dates could see "I Have Intimacy Issues And Watch ESPN All Day" and bail before the appetizer.

*Job interviews could be streamlined with the prospective employee reading "We're Going To Work You To Death For No Money" and interviewers seeing "I'm A Lazy Weasel Who Steals Office Supplies."

There are thousands of applications and the technolgy has to exist.

I may have come up with the way to world peace. You're welcome.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thoughts On A Tragedy

There's going to be millions and millions of words & commentary about the death of Steve McNair. I just have a couple that I want to add.

*If you're somewhere where you shouldn't ought to be with someone you shouldn't ought to be with, bad things can and will happen.

*From all accounts, McNair's "friend" bought a gun two days before the murder. I wonder if she had had to wait longer, had more time to calm down or reach out to friends or family for counselling or help that maybe things would have ended differently.

My thoughts & prayers are with the families and friends of the deceased.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spoiler Warning!

Don't you hate people who give away the ending? With that said...SPOILER WARNING

Citizen Kane: Rosebud was his sled

The Sixth Sense: Bruce Willis was a ghost

Ghost: Patrick Swayze was a ghost

Gone With The Wind: Rhett Butler frankly didn't give a damn

The Crying Game: She was a He

Tootsie: She was a He

Victor/Victoria: He was a She

Godfather II: It was you, Fredo

The Empire Strikes Back: The Empire strikes back

Rocky: He loses

Rocky II: He wins

Rocky III: Mickey dies

Rockey IV: Apollo dies

The Alamo: Everybody dies

Dirty Dancing: Baby gets out of the corner

Soylent Green: It's people

Stand and Deliver: Kids take a math test...twice

Titanic: The boat sinks

The Outsiders: Ponyboy stays gold

Oceans 11: They get away with it

Oceans 12: They get away with it in France

Oceans 13: They get away with making Oceans 11 all over again

Raging Bull: Jake LaMotta was not a very nice man

Alien: There's an alien

Aliens: There's a bunch of aliens

Transformers: They're disguise!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Movies I Want To Make: Superman Forever

Superman has had a checkered history on the big screen. There have been two great movies (the original "Superman" and "Superman II"), two horrible movies ("Superman III: We Got Richard Pryor" and "Superman IV: A Steaming Pile Of Crap") and one interesting failure ("Superman Returns" with a great performance by Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor.) Since (a) Superman is my favorite comic book character and (b) I can bend time & space with my blog, I'm going to put on my fantasy producing hat & make the ultimate Superman movie.

Executive Producer: Me
Produced by Steven Spielberg
Directed by JJ Abrams
Written by Michael Chabon and David S. Goyer

Brendan Fraser as Superman/Clark Kent
Kate Walsh as Lois Lane
Michael Douglas as Lex Luthor
Jude Law as General Zod
Dean Stockwell as Perry White

Superman has made Metropolis the safest city in America. Under his watch, crime is virtually non-existent and he is beloved by everyone. Everyone but billionaire industrialist Lex Luthor. In his quest to undermine the Man of Steel, Luthor has sent an expedition to the arctic that has returned with an ancient Kryptonian relic that unleashes an unstoppable force on the city: Doomsday!

As the creature wreaks havoc, Superman tries to stop the beast, but is soundly defeated. All hope seems lost when, out of nowhere, Doomsday is stopped by another super-powered hero...the legendary Kryptonian military hero General Zod. While recuperating from his wounds in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman sees Zod take his place as Metropolis' new savior.

When Zod & Luthor release the remaining prisoners of the Phantom Zone to rule not only over Metropolis but the entire world, Superman returns to fight an epic battle to save the world.

The End...cue tons and tons of money on opening weekend.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Convention Season

It may surprise you to know that, in spite of my well-documented love of most things nerdy, I haven't really been to that many conventions. As a matter of fact, I've been to exactly three. Each one was unique in it's own way.

Last year, I went to the Heroes Con in Charlotte. Since I was just there for one day, I didn't get to attend any panels, but I did get my Absolute Edition of "The New Frontier" signed by writer/artist Darwyn Cooke which was the whole reason I made the drive in the first place.

The summer of 2000, I went to the Gateway Convention in St. Louis. This had to be my favorite. The crowd was big enough to make it fun and I got to meet & hang out with people like writer Terry Pratchett, Erin Gray from "Buck Rogers", and Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett and Mary Jo Pehl from "Mystery Science Theater 3000." I also got to (a) try and have a conversation with "Babylon 5" star Claudia Christian while simultaeneously trying not to stare at her Playboy pictures she had for sale at her table and (b) watch a guy in chainmail armor get comforted by his girlfriend as he freaked out while donating blood. Not his finest moment.

I went to one Star Trek convention. The guest of honor was John DeLancie, best known as "Q" but also as Eugene from "Days Of Our Lives." He was great and the crowd wasn't too embarassing...or so I thought. Immediately after he spoke, there was an announcement that the costume contest was about to begin. While debating whether to stay or not, the decsision was made for us as we watched a doting mother begin to but black makeup on her white child to complete his Geordi LaForge costume. Needless to say, that was a train wreck we didn't need to see.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Elvis Has Left The Building

It's been said that most people can be divided into two camps: They're either Elvis people or Beatles people. While I respect & enjoy the work done by Mr. Lennon & Mr. McCartney (and to a lesser extent, Mr. Harrison and to a much, much lesser extent Mr. Starr), I am an Elvis person.

Understand, I was only 8 years old when he died, so when I say "I'm an Elvis person," I mean that I enjoy his music. He didn't have the huge impact on me he had on people of my parent's generation. As a matter of fact, my favorite song at the time Elvis passed away was "The Streak" by Ray Stevens. And the one time I did go to Graceland, I was happier about getting my "I Shot JR" shirt than seeing the home of the King of Rock and Roll.

ANYWAY...I have, over the years, developed a theory that if Elvis had made one small life decision differently, he would still be alive today. No, the decision has nothing to do with has everything to do with Ann Margret.

Take a trip into the past with me to 1964...Elvis is making "Viva Las Vegas", one of his very few watchable motion pictures. His co-star is the lovely, the talented, the pneumatic Swedish redhead Ann Margret. According to legend, she and Elvis had a fling while filming. Obviously, nothing came of it since Elvis would eventually marry future Naked Gun & Dallas star, Priscilla Beaulieu and father future Scientologist nutjob Lisa Marie and Ann Margret would wed Roger Smith and drink away most of the 1970s.

But, if Elvis had decided to stick with Ann Margret, his entire life would have changed. Step away from this blog for a second & Google some images of Ann Margret. It's OK...I'll wait.

Dum de dum dooby dum...

Found 'em? Elvis would still be alive today because no man with even 10% working brain capacity would choose drugs over Ann Margret in the late 60s/early 70s. It's just not possible. Ann Margret would've fired Col. Parker, told Elvis to get over his mother and hauled him to LA where they would've spent many happy years together making a hunka hunka burning love.

Elvis did not choose wisely.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The True King of Late Night

You can have can have can take Fallon & Kimmel and drop them off at Target (where, if there were any justice in the world, is where they'd be working full-time in the first place.) For my money, there's only One True King of Late Night. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Craig Ferguson.

"The British guy from the Drew Carey Show?" I hear you ask. First of all, he's Scottish, not British. Second of all...he's brilliant. Hiding at 12:30 on CBS with no band, no real A-list guests and no sidekick, Craig does what Letterman used to do and what Conan works so very hard to do...puts on a consistently funny show and looks like he's having a ball doing it.

Tune in any night & you might see him doing one of the worst Larry King impressions ever or the continuing "adventures" of Aquaman or opening the show with a musical number complete with puppets singing the chorus or Craig raffling off a crew member for some spackle to fix a leaky ceiling in his studio.

"The Late, Late Show" isn't polished television. Green Day isn't going to be dropping by to sing their new hit single and President Obama certainly won't be dropping by. But none of that matters...watching the show is like hanging out with one of your funniest friends. You talk about nothing important, but you laugh a whole lot and want to do it again as soon as possible.

Craig Ferguson is the True King of Late Night. The sooner everyone accepts that, it'll be a great day for America.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reading Is Fundamental

It makes me sad when I hear people proudly say, "I don't read." To me, they might as well be saying, "I don't breathe."

Books have always been a huge part of my life...and not just because it's one of the only activities you can do by yourself in public without getting arrested or on You Tube or both.

So, just a brief "Thanks" to all the writers of fiction, non-fiction and comics who've made my life better...and check 'em out:

Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Harper Lee, Harlan Ellison, David McCullough, Stephen Ambrose, Jasper Fforde, Peter David, Geoff Johns, Warren Ellis, Mark Millar, Mario Puzo, Bill Mauldin, Brad Meltzer, Jack Kirby, Gail Simone...and many, many more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

One, Please

When I was in high school, I was a little different. For those of you who knew me then (and know me now, for that matter) this will come as no shock. I didn't drink or party and I never had a steady girlfriend. But that's not what really set me apart. What made me seem so odd to some people was my willingness to got to the movies by myself.

I'd always loved going to the movies. It was something special to me. When I turned 16 and realized that I didn't need to rely on my parents to drop me off or pick me up and could go to the theater any time I wanted to, I was happy as a pig in mud. As a result, there were numerous classic movies from the 80's that I saw by myself. I had people I could go with, I just never needed other people to enjoy going to the movies. In fact, some of the crappiest movies I ever saw I saw because everyone else wanted to see them (Caveman and Missing In Action are two that come immediately to mind.) For some reason, my friends thought this was weird. I thought it made my life easier, plus I had the added bonus of being able to recommend good movies to my pals.

So, just for kicks and giggles, here's a list of some of the great (and admittedly not-so-great) movies that I saw flying solo:

Back to the Future
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Die Hard
The Karate Kid
Midnight Run
The Great Outdoors
St. Elmo's Fire
The Breakfast Club
Star Trek III

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nothing Much

So, I don't really have anything on my mind. Well, that's not entirely true...I've got about 7 million things on my mind, but none of them are particularly interesting or funny or really worth writing about. So, I thought I'd take the time to fire off a few things that are on my mind, but don't really warrant a full blog. Please to enjoy:

*My loathing of Duran Duran knows no bounds. Hated them when they were popular in the 80s, hated them when a couple of them were in that band with Robert Palmer, hated them when they sang the sucky theme song to the sucky Bond movie "A View To A Kill", hated them when they vanished and still hate them today.

*NBC has completely destroyed prime time by giving up 5 hours a week to Jay Leno. The show will get decent enough ratings, run as long as Leno wants to do it and eliminate having to take the time to develop & nurture new & groundbreaking shows. If NBC had pulled this stunt in the past, there would have been no Hill Street Blues, no St. Elsewhere, no LA Law, no ER, no Law & Order, just to name a few shows that started at 10pm.

*Glee is a fresh, interesting take on the high school drama & not a remake of an average-to-tolerable show from the 90s (I'm looking at you, CW's 90210 & Melrose Place)...therefore it will be gone by Christmas. Pre-order your "Glee:The Complete Series" now & avoid the rush.

*FX should just rebrand itself "The Scumbag Network." I wouldn't want to share an elevator for 5 minutes with the main characters from "The Shield", "Rescue Me", "Nip/Tuck" or "Damages", much less an hour a week.

*American Idol (or as I like to call it "The 100 Years War") is over & I was really surprised that the lead singer from Green Day didn't win. And by surprised, I mean totally indifferent.

*I'm probably more into social networking (Twitter, Facebook) than is really necessary, but where most people spend their work day surrounded by co-workers, I spend mine sitting in an edit bay by checking in on my friends & acquaintances keeps me from feeling totally invisible.

*Convoy is the greatest protest song about sticking it to the establishment ever written. Haven't we all wanted to crash the gate doing 98 & let them truckers roll, 10-4 at one time or another?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bondage...One Sentence Bond Synopses

Having gone on a mini-James Bond splurge this month (thanks to TCM choosing Original Bond Sean Connery as it's "Star of the Month"), I've created a handy dandy one sentence reference guide to help keep the 20+ film franchise's many installments straight...please to enjoy!

Doctor No...The First One
From Russia With Love...The One With The Dude From Jaws
Goldfinger...The One With Pussy Galore
Thunderball...The Underwater One
You Only Live Twice...The Japanese One
On Her Majesty's Secret Service...The One With The Other Guy As Bond
Diamonds Are Forever...The One About Diamonds
Live And Let Die...The Voodoo One
The Man With The Golden Gun...The One With The Man With The Golden Gun & Tattoo From "Fantasy Island"
The Spy Who Loved Me...The One With The Underwater Car
Moonraker...The One In Space
For Your Eyes Only...The One With The Mountain Climbing
Octopussy...The One With Octopussy
A View To A Kill...The Crappy Roger Moore One With Grace Jones
The Living Daylights...The One With That Other, Other Guy As Bond
License To Kill...The Other One With That Other, Other Guy As Bond
Goldeneye...The One With Remington Steele
Tomorrow Never Dies...The One With The Kung Fu Chick
The World Is Not Enough...The One With Denise Richards As A Nuclear Scientist
Die Another Day...The One Nobody Really Remembers
Casino Royale...The One With The Blond Guy As Bond
Quantum Of Solace...The One With The Weird Name

So, the next time you & your friends are trying to remember which Bond film was which, just whip out this guide and settle that argument once and for all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Service Industry

Why do all mechanics, repairmen and service technicians look at me like I'm a moron when it comes to mechanical things? Probably because I'm a moron when it comes to mechanical things.

I'm serious...somewhere along the line, I dropped the male gene for "fixing stuff." Don't know when it happened, probably about the same time I realized that TV was awesome (This was back in the day when TV was awesome. BJ & the Bear, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Buck know, the classics.)

At any rate, I have no aptitude whatsoever as a handyman/Mr. Fixit. The rule is "Measure twice, cut once." Yeah, for me it's "Measure three or four times, cut five or six times cause I measured wrong, cut again, go to the emergency room to reattach finger."

Mechanics also love to see me coming. They ask what's wrong. I tell them, "It doesn't go. The goer's broke. Fix the goer so it'll go." They start pricing boats.

I wish I could say that I was ashamed about this...but I'm not. I figure I'm stimulating the economy by keeping the service industry gainfully employed.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go change a lightbulb & need to locate my living will and first aid kit.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Boss

In honor of getting to see my favorite artist tonight in Greensoboro, I wanted to share my Springsteen stories.

*1991-Atlanta. The concert was to be held during the weekend of my first wedding anniversary. So, the morning tickets went on sale, Sainted Wife & I drove down to Dalton, GA to see if we could get seats. It was a lottery system, where you draw a number & then the record store would get on the phone with Ticketmaster and you'd get what you could get. I drew my envelope...#14. Sainted Wife drew one as well...#2. We wound up with 9th row seats to the Human Touch/Lucky Town tour. I happily skipped my 5 year high school reunion for this show.

*2003-Chapel Hill. I'd snagged great seats...13 rows back at UNC's football stadium. The concert was held one week after Johnny Cash had passed away. Next to Bruce, Cash was the man. I'd grown up listening to his music & even had the good fortune to see him in concert once. So his death, while not a surprise, hit me pretty hard. Night of the show, Bruce walks onstage alone and as the E Street Band files silently on behind him, opens up with an acapella version of Ring of Fire. I was blown away. It's one of those concert moments you read about, but never think you'll get to be a part of. Then Bruce & the Band blew the doors off the place for 3 1/2 hours.

So I'm insanely excited about tonight. I don't care that my seats are in an upper section. I don't care what he plays. I just want the chance to see the Boss one more time.

Like he says, "It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shovel Ready

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the state of my career. And I've come to the conclusion that it is indeed "shovel ready" which I mean it's pretty much in a hole six feet deep & ready for someone to shovel the dirt in on top of it.

This isn't an "Oh woe is me, I have it sooooo bad" kind of post. I don't feel sorry for myself and I'm not asking anyone else to either. It's just a cold, logical statement of fact. The good news is, I have a job that I enjoy doing and where I feel appreciated for my efforts. I'm luckier than a lot of people.

The bad news is have zero room for upward mobility. The only way I could possibly get promoted is if my boss left (and even then, the state would probably just do away with the position rather than filling it.) Also, I love my boss & don't want him to leave just so I might get his job and, having seen his job, don't know that I would want it.

In addition, I have had less than zero luck in applying at other TV stations in this market. When you have over 15 years experience and several awards for your work, this can be more than a little annoying. Logically I know that the primary reasons are as follows: I have no full time experience in news promotions (which doesn't mean I can't do it, just that I don't currently), I'm overqualified for the positions I do have the experience for and most stations would find it easier to hire a couple of 22 year old kids at half the salary to do the job.

So, if the state ever decided that my job was unnecessary, I'm pretty sure it would be time for me to find a new vocation. I don't really want to do that. I love working in TV. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do and I think I'm pretty good at it. But I may not be the one making the final choice in the matter.

Since I love being in Raleigh, this leaves me at a crossroads of sorts. I will send out resumes for jobs that I want (but for some crazy reason don't want me) and I will hold out hope that I can keep the job I have a little while longer....say, another 13 years or so.

Just in case, I'm going out & buying myself a shovel.

Friday, April 24, 2009

An Improvisers Prayer

This is my non-denomenational, ecuminical, all-purpose, all-inclusive improvisers prayer. Non-religious improvisers, please feel free to substitute "Del" for "Lord" where applicable

Dear Lord...
I am about to take the stage.
I am about to make stuff up again.
Please keep my mind sharp.
Please help me remember that the best response is always "Yes and..."
Please help me remember that in the crowd, among the comps, family members, house staff and other improvisers, are a few actual paying customers who've never seen improv before. Help me give them the best show I can.
Please remind me that it's not all about me.
Make my edits timely and keep me from hanging my teammates out to dry.
Should I attempt to steal something from last night's "Office" or last week's "Saturday Night Live," smite me in a way I've never been smote before.
Remind me my fingers are neither a gun nor a phone, but merely pointing appendages.
Help me find a new way of incorporating suggestions like "Jello" or "Elephant" and keep me from flipping off the drunk in the second row who screamed them out.
Remind me a little dirty can be funny and a lot dirty can be creepy and what the difference is between the two.
Make my puns plentiful & painful...indifference from the audience being the valley of the shadow of death.
And finally, no matter how much I want to, stay my hand from killing my scene partner.
Bless my teammates...even when we get on each others nerves.
May we bring laughter & joy & may you bring us all to Improv Heaven one day...Chicago, here we come.
In the name of the True Story, the Harold & the Holy Close...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Musical Epiphany

A few years ago, I found myself at an Iron Maiden concert in St. Louis (Why? Because I'm a good husband, that's why.) Right after having some moron thrown out for using a laser pointer, surly frontman Bruce Dickinson introduced the band. "We're Iron Maiden," he snarled, "We're all about the music. We don't care about dating supermodels." The first thought that ran through my head was: "Then what's the point of being in a rock band in the first place?"

I'm not a musician or really musically inclined in any way. I suppose, if I played an instrument, I would have passion & desire to have my songs heard. But even if you're only marginally talented, you could find a local venue with an open mike night and sing to your heart's content. If you're going to go through all of the stress, work, dedication and potential disaster to take a band to the next level, why would you eliminate the possibility of dating supermodels? I would think having a supermodel even know I existed, much less want to spend time with me would motivate me to become the next big thing.

Even being an ugly rock star doesn't hurt your chances with women. Look at the number of musicians who, quite frankly could scare a vulture off a meat wagon, that have hooked up with women way out of their league: Ric Ocasek & Paulina Porizkova, Billy Joel & Christie Brinkley, Joe Cocker & anyone.

The main reason men do anything at all is to meet women. If you took a survey, 99% of men would say this is true and the remaining 1% would be lying through their teeth. So, yes, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, I suppose you're all about the music. I also suspect this is why you're music is so bloody annoying. Say what you will about Poison or Warrant...their songs may not be art, but they sure had a lot more fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


From time to time, inspiration hits me & I come up with genius level ideas for surefire hit TV shows...and I thought I'd share a few of them with you!

First up, a reimagining of a television classic. America's favorite scary family has left 1313 Mockingbird Lane, moved to Wisconsin and opened a gourmet cheese shop. That's's Herman, Lily, Grandpa and Eddie in a comedy not for the lactose intolerant. It's The Muensters!

Next...He's a cop on the edge, she's a single mother trying to make her way in the world, he's a bionic labradoodle on the run from the government, they're trying to find their way in the world after high school and he's a wacky immigrant working as a janitor in a school full of geniuses. Don't Miss...CopMomRobodogDimitri Lake.

You loved him in "Footloose," recognized him in "A Few Good Men," and saw waaaaay too much of him in "Wild Things." Now America's favorite reasonably famous actor brings a whole new dimension to game shows. Each week, a panel will try and pick out Kyra Segwick's husband from a lineup of contestants who are pantsless. Be sure to catch the excitement on "That's Not Bacon!"

Three men of the cloth from different backgrounds team up to spread the word & run a small town tavern on the hilarious new sitcom "A Minister, A Priest & A Rabbi."

As you can tell, I am the next Aaron Spelling. All I need is the big TV money to come through & I'll be sitting pretty!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Name Game

A brief word to my fellow genre geeks out there who are considering becoming parents. I produce the Kids Club Birthday spots that air on UNC-TV & UNC-KD. Every week, I witness the horrors perpetrated on innocent children by "creative" parents. Names that appear to be spelled phonetically...Names that have all 5 vowels in them for no reason whatsoever...names that have extraeneous consonants...and I have remained silent. "Not my kid, not my problem," has been my motto. But this time it's gone too far and I must speak out.

Some parent out there felt the need, the desire, the motivation to look down at the innocent face of their (presumably) first-born child, a child who has their entire lives before them, a child who has hurt no one, these parents looked at this baby and decided to name this child "Darth."

Geek parents, listen carefully, I'm only going to say this once...You Name. Your Pets After. Characters From. Science Fiction. Films... NOT YOUR KIDS!

Sending your child into the world with a name like "Darth" or "Anakin" or "Strider" isn't doing him any favors. At best, you're adding another level of stress to what's already going to be a difficult adolescence (and every adolescence is difficult. If it wasn't for you, you wouldn't be naming a kid "Frodo" or "Samwise.")

I know these characters mean something special to you. I have the same love for fantasy & sci-fi that you do. I just think that anything that could make a kid's life more difficult should be avoided.

To quote one of my heroes, Dr. Henry Jones, Sr., "We named the dog Indiana."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Keeping The Faith

I spend a lot of time on the Facebook & the Twitter. As it's gotten closer to Easter, I've noticed an interesting trend that, quite frankly, kinda bums me out.

I understand that not everyone shares my faith. That's fine...religion (or having no religion) is a personal choice and one that comes after long periods of soul-searching. As far as I'm concerned, as long as you respect me & my choice, I'll respect you & yours.

But what's troubling is that it seems like it's OK to be disrespectful & rude to people of faith & mock everything associated with it.

I know that in many cases, Christians have behaved badly to people who don't believe. We've brought some of the anger on ourselves by not living up to what we've been taught.

But Christians, like all large groups, are made up of individuals. Many of whom would never think of verbally abusing others or hating people they've never met. It makes me sad to see all of us painted with the same brush just because a few act like jerks.

Of course, the easy answer is, "Stop acting like jerks.". But when dealing with people, there are no easy answers.

Despite what some say, Christians aren't perfect. We struggle every day to reconcile our faith with a world that doesn't want to know about it.

If you don't believe what I believe & I mock you for it, then you have every right to think I'm an intolerant jackass. But somehow it's OK for you to mock what I believe & I'm "too sensitive" if I take it personally? Is a little mutual respect too much to ask?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gym Rat

Almost a year ago, I joined a gym. I enjoy it, but it has led to some...interesting observations.

*Women have coordinated workout outfits. The shorts or pants & shirt match. They're put together. Men grab whatever their wives haven't thrown out or hasn't fallen apart yet. Lots of bandannas, big baggy shorts and "Where's The Beef" T-Shirts.

*Anytime before noon is senior citizen time. Treadmills that barely move, lots of khaki pants, plaid shirts & black socks (little old men dress up to work out like they're going to Golden Corral for dinner), and lots and lots of standing around.

*Why are the guys who primarily lift weights so ticked off? I mean, it's obvious they're strong and muscular and if I were strong and muscular, I'd be in a pretty good mood. Not these guys. They look like they're going in for their annual prostate exam.

*If you haven't been inside a locker room since high school, you aren't missing anything. They all vaguely smell of disinfectant, sweat and desperation.

*Speaking of locker rooms...stop walking around naked old guys. Seriously, just because you won World War II and kept Communists from taking over America doesn't mean you get to parade around in the buff.

*Nothing motivates me to work out harder than having every TV tuned to either CNN, Fox News or Fast Money. I'll kick the treadmill up to 20 just to get away faster.

*There's always that one lady who, either because of her looks, workout attire or attitude that you suspect is actually a stripper.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sparkles Over Peace Street

So, tonight is the Season 2 finale of Super Sparkle Showcase. It's been a gas from the start & I expect it to finish even stronger than it began. I wanted to take this opportunity to give a few shout outs.

To the contestants & their partners in Sparkle: I am so proud of all of you & what you've accomplished. Each week you accepted the challenge to take a simple suggestion & make it so much more. Each one of you have blown me away in one way or another during the past 6 weeks. You're all winners in my book.

To my co-judges: It's been so much fun getting to play with and off of you. You've made my good weeks fun, my bad weeks better & the whole run some of the most fun I've had in the past 5 years. So many thanks, so little time.

To Jason: Thanks for bringing this one-of-a-kind show to ComedyWorx & thanks for letting me be a part of it. You, sir, are the wind beneath my improv wings & never once told me to put on a frigging shirt.

So, once more into the breach...let's get ready to Sparkle!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Free Speech

There seems to be some sort of disconnect these days concerning the privilege of free speech. Specifically, the idea that just because you can say whatever you want should you say whatever you want?

I believe that everyone has the right to have his or her own opinion about any topic that strikes their fancy. I've been known to have opinions as well & to voice them whenever it seemed necessary. However, if you insist that I respect your right to have an opinion then I must insist that you respect my right to think you're a jag-off for the way you express that opinion.

Let's take any topic that could be considered controversial (gay marriage, abortion, religion, politics, Joel vs. Mike on MST3K.) Now, for our example, let's replace the hot button topic with the word "cookies." Here's how it's gonna go down:

If you say that you are not in favor of cookies, but I am, then I'm going to chalk it up to a difference of opinion. Live & let live, no harm, no foul.

If you say that cookies are what's wrong with the world today, I'll probably try and engage you in a discussion on the pros vs. cons of cookies and their effects on society. As long as we're having a (reasonably) adult and (somewhat) mature debate, once again: Live & let live, no harm, no foul.

But if you go around saying things like, "Cookies are evil. Anyone who likes cookies should be beaten within an inch of their lives. Cookies are for ignorant, weak willed morons and I will mock anyone who has ever or will ever support or endorse cookies because I am superior to them. Their opinions don't count. If they had any brains, they would listen to me...I like crackers!!" Then, I'm not going to try and discuss our inherent differences even though I might see the merits of crackers.

What I'm going to do is think you're a jag-off who isn't really so in love with crackers as he is with the sound of his own voice. And if you decide to slam cookie lovers on the internet (the national headquarters of hit & run opinions), then you've moved up from jag-off to d-bag pretty quickly.

I know there are people who live their lives with 100% honesty & refuse to sugarcoat their opinions. But the people I know who are like that will deal with others one-on-one when they have a differing viewpoint. They won't throw a verbal hand grenade & hide behind the "I'm entitled to my opinion" defense.

Sure, you can spout off any opinion you's a free country. But don't be surprised when not everyone agrees with you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Career Opportunity

Are you worried about job security? Of course, we all are! But don't fret...I'm here to tell you about the #1 growth industry for the 21st Century. That's too can become a Cult Leader.

"But Chris," I hear you ask, "isn't leading a cult time consuming & complicated?" Not at all. If you have a few unemployed friends, easily manipulated family members and a cool pair of sunglasses, you too can have an exciting new career that's recession proof and profitable.

With all the strife and unrest all over the world, there's never been a better time to start a cult. If you convince one person that the world is going to end and they should join you in your secluded compound deep in the mountains, and they convince two people & those two people convince two other people in no time at all you'll have more followers than you can shake a stick at (if that's your idea of a good time.)

Want to spend more time with your family? Nothing brings a family closer together like a standoff with the Feds. Teach the kids about firearms safety while shooting it out with ATF agents. And Mom can hone her chemistry skills, cooking up another batch of crystal meth to sell to finance your whole operation.

So act now...just head on out to you local Army/Navy surplus store & pick up your very own Cult Leader starter kit. Just remember to pay with cash so the secret cabal of Shriners and Rotarians who run the shadow government & are in cahoots with Ecuador and the Grand Galactic Leader from Zargon IV to take over the world & implant mood-altering chips in your head can't find you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens...My Review

So, I got to go to a preview screening of "Monsters vs. Aliens" last night. I've been seeing the trailers for the past few weeks, thought it looked funny & was very excited to see it. Unfortunately, this is one of those movies where the individual parts are better than the whole.

The film takes way too long setting up it's premise & introducing the characters. Once Susan (the 49 1/2 foot tall woman, voiced by Reese Witherspoon) is locked up with the other monsters, it's explained to her by General W. R. Monger (Keifer Sutherland) that the government has been capturing and containing monsters for 50 years. Ten minutes later, when the earth is invaded by a probe from space, General Monger explains to the President (Stephen Colbert in a glorified cameo) that the government has been capturing and containing monsters for 50 years. You know, just in case anyone in the audience was suffering from that "Memento" short-term memory loss thing & forgot the speech they just heard.

The kids in the audience (at least the ones last night) aren't going to care about Susan's relationship woes with obnoxious fiancee Derek (Paul Rudd at his smarmiest). I know I didn't care about them. And with all the strong, empowered female characters available today, having a heroine who spends half the movie crying about how awful it is being different sends a troubling message. Yes, Susan does learn to accept & overcome, but it takes far too long for anyone to care.

Worse, the interesting supporting monsters, Dr. Cockroach, Bob & The Missing Link wind up basically becoming a Greek chorus/cheering section for Susan. They never get a chance to become truly rounded characters, outside of a few moments of glory. Which is a shame, because they're a lot of fun and wickedly voiced by Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogen and Will Arnett.

I know, I know, "It's a kid's movie. You're being too hard on it." I don't think I am. Kid's movies today (especially one with so many homages to classic science fiction films of the past 50 years) have gotten so much smarter and strive to be so much more, that "Monsters vs. Aliens" feels like a missed opportunity. Which is a shame, since I think it wanted to be so much more than it turned out to be.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Some Way Out Of Here

I've watched & loved the reimagined "Battlestar Galactica" since it showed up on Sci-Fi just over 4 years ago. I didn't expect to love it. Actually, when I first heard about it I thought it was a spectacularly bad idea. That is, until I actually saw the show. Then I was hooked.

So, here are a few thoughts & observations on the final episode....Spoilers ahead:

*Overall, I enjoyed the finale. I'm still torn on the "give up technology & live off the land" twist. On one hand, what better way to break the cycle of violence & alienation than by having to rely on other people & nature to survive. On the other hand, who wants to live without antibiotics & toilet paper?

*Everyone, more or less, got the ending they deserved. Lee finally gets to be his own man & do his own thing. Chief gets to avenge Cally. Laura gets to lay her burdens down after getting her people home. Ellen & Tighe finally get to be together. Baltar & Caprica Six (who were together at the end of the world) get a second chance at the beginning of a new world. And Starbuck (who was never my favorite character) gets to go away.

*Poor Felix Gaeta. If he'd just held on a little longer, he would've been "Admiral Gaeta", if only for a little while.

*I want a Tyrol action figure with Tory Neck-Snapping action.

I was most surprised that this show, which could be bleak on it's best days, had a more or less happy ending & a much smaller body count than I imagined.

My thanks to Ron Moore, Edward James Olmos, Michael Hogan & the rest of the cast and crew for one of the best shows of the past 5 years. So Say We All!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

United We Stand

Who could have ever guessed that the one issues that would unite our divided population, that would bring together every race, color, creed & gamut of the social and political spectrum, that would heal the divide and have the entire country come together as one, would be the morons at AIG giving out millions in bonuses after taking bailout money from the government.

Seriously guys...when the dudes who burned the house down at Enron are looking at you & saying, "That's seriously not cool.", then you've perpetrated jackassery of the highest order.

Me Tube

As a person with an unhealthy love for television (if I don't turn my set on, the cable company will call and ask if I'm OK), I've often dreamed of programming my own network. Because I know you've been sitting around asking yourselves the burning question, "What shows, past & present would Chris put on his channel?", I'm gonna tell you.

The Big Bang Theory
WKRP in Cincinnati
Northern Exposure

The West Wing
Law & Order: Criminal Intent

The Andy Griffith Show (Black & White episodes only)
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Star Trek

30 Rock
The Office
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Battlestar Galactica

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Doctor Who
The Rockford Files

Dragnet (68-70, Dirty hippies version)
Andy Richter Controls The Universe

The Simpsons
King of the Hill
American Dad
Night Court
Hill Street Blues

There were a lot of shows I love that didn't make my prime time schedule. Rest assured, I would find slots for them in other dayparts. But this is a schedule that would keep me glued to my seat every night of the week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

Usually I'm not one of those people whose mood is adversely affected by the weather. If I'm gonna get whiny & emo & moody, it's because I'm broke or tired or it's a day that ends in "Y." But the weather, I can take or leave.

However, after four days of cold, gray and generally miserable weather, I have gotten into a funk that makes Morrissey look like Mister Rogers. I'm thisclose to shopping at Hot Topic. My Chemical Romance is telling me I need to lighten up. In short, I'm a bit bummed out.

But there is hope (there's always hope)...the one/two combo that is "The Big Bang Theory" & "How I Met Your Mother" made me laugh last night. It wasn't raining on the way to work this morning. There are unsubstantiated rumors that, at some point in the next 24 hours, a big flaming ball of gas will appear in the sky (no, not Rush Limbaugh) and it's actually going to warm up. I have coffee & new episodes of "The Daily Show" & "The Colbert Report" to look forward to. New comics come out tomorrow and the end of the week brings ComedyWorx's 20th anniversary shows & Week 4 of Super Sparkle Showcase.

So all is not doom & gloom. Things will get better. The sun will come out & rainbows & puppies & unicorns will frolic like they've never frolicked before. I'll put away Bob Dylan, throw in some Jimmy Buffett & head for Margaritaville and be my usual happy least until we hit a day that ends in "Y."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Long & Short Of It

I've been asked by a few people why I don't perform long-form improv at ComedyWorx. Is it because I hate it (No.) Is it because I think short form is better (Again, No.) Is it because I sucked at it when I did it (That's a matter of opinion, but I hope, No.)

For me, it was a question of time & availability. I took levels 1 and 2 and enjoyed the classes. I felt they helped my overall development as an improviser. But I had to make some decisions before level 3 started.

I knew that potentially adding another night of practice on top of my regular Thursday night ComedyWorx practice was going to severely test the patience of Sainted Wife. She's been very gracious & accomodating these past 5 years where shows and practices have been concerned. There have been many weeks when I've been gone three nights in a row and two of those were weekends. Any additional time commitments (coupled with the fact that it's about a 25 minute drive from Durham to the club) would be asking an awful lot of her.

Secondly, while I like long form, I realized that I truly love short form. I get a huge kick out of performing in the 8:30 makes me happy. So I decided to stick with the form that brought me the most joy.

I'm thrilled that ComedyWorx offers something for lovers of all kinds of improv. I also marvel at the talent I see onstage during the Late Night at the Worx shows. That's the cool thing about improvisation as an art form...there's something for everyone!

My 100th Blog Super Special Edition

Wow, my 100th blog. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on me to make it extra special. I've gone through my mental list of possible topics, but I just can't decide on the right one for an event of this magnitude...

*100 Ways America Has Neglected The Poor & Downtrodden Since The Industrial Revolution: Nah, too much of a downer. Plus I'd have to do research & learn stuff about, well, America's neglect of the poor & downtrodden since the Industrial Revolution.

*My 100 Favorite Simpsons Episodes: Who can pick just 100, really?

*100 Reasons Why I'm Awesome: Who can pick just 100, really?

*100 Ways To Leave Your Lover: Paul Simon got it right, there are only 50.

*My 100 Greatest Improv Scenes: When I get past 7, I might come back to this one.

*100 People I Would Hate To Be Trapped In An Elevator With: Almost finished this one, but Rush Limbaugh took up like 60 spots on the list & Ann Coulter took up 37 more, which left no room for the cast of The View, so I had to punt.

*100 Best Internet Insults: Worked on this for a couple of days. FAIL

*100 Funniest Moments From Mad TV: I got nothing at all for this one.

So, there you have it. 100 blogs about stuff I think is interesting and/or funny. I know it's not always been interesting and/or funny, but if you've taken the time to read it (even if you weren't related to me) and maybe enjoyed it once in awhile, I thank you. It's been cheaper than therapy and a whole lot more fun. Keep reading!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lay Your Hands On Me

Just saw a commercial for a local Lasik provider. One of the ladies in the spot said it worked so well that it was like, "Jesus just laid his hands on my eyes and said "You're healed."

Just a couple of observations:

1) I don't think those were the healing hands of Jesus ma'am...that was a laser cutting into your eyeballs.

2) If it was Jesus who healed you, I don't think Our Lord & Savior would ask for $2,500 because your insurance company wouldn't cover elective surgery.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who's Watching The Watchmen?

Just a few thoughts on the not-yet-released-but-long-awaited film adaptation of Alan Moore's "Watchmen."

*What we're getting is not Alan Moore's "Watchmen." It's an adaptation. There are going to be differences (some minor, some major) from the graphic novel. Rabid fanboys, and I say this with nothing but love & affection because in many ways I am one of you, GET OVER IT. I know you won't & I know you're going to waste an inordinate amount of time over the next 72 hours or so yelling and screaming about how Zach Snyder destroyed a national treasure & calling for his head on a platter. Save yourself the grief. Nothing Snyder does will change one word or image in the copy of "Watchmen" on your bookshelf. It's there any time you want to read it.

*I truly believe there's going to be no middle ground when it comes to reviews. People are either going to love it or despise it. It's not the kind of material that lends itself to "That was OK" reviews.

*There are also going to be any number of critics who won't have bothered to familiarize themselves with the source material. I predict that they definitely won't get it.

*No matter how it turns out, there's only one shot at this. Thankfully, "Watchmen" doesn't lend itself to sequels or a franchise. So whatever is up on the screen on Friday is the best we're going to get (at least until the longer Director's Cut DVD is released.)

*As for me...I'm going to see it. I can't wait & I'm hoping for the best.

In the immortal words of Rorshach..."Hrm."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Song & Dance Man

For someone who can't sing & can't dance, I've got an inordinate love for Broadway musicals.

I think this is because one of the first films I fell in love with was "West Side Story." I saw it when I was in elementary school and thought the Jets & Sharks were ridiculously cool.

Growing up with Disney movies like "Mary Poppins", where people bursting into song was commonplace, helped develop the necessary suspension of disbelief to buy into musicals. It didn't hurt that I was taken as a child to the Cumbeland County Playhouse to see live versions of shows like "The Fantasticks", "The Music Man" and "Bye Bye Birdie."

So naturally, I grew up thinking that nothing could be better than getting the opportunity to sing & dance onstage. And then, life played the first of its many cruel tricks: I discovered that not only could I not sing well enough to fulfill that dream, but also that rhythm had also been genetically bred out of my family pool. Oh, cruel fate how you mock me!

So I'll never be a Broadway star. But I'll always be a song & dance man at heart.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brave and the Bold"ly Going

If you're not watching "Batman: The Brave & the Bold" airing Fridays at 8pm on Cartoon Network, then you're missing a show that's 12 kinds of awesome.

From the Dick Sprang inspired art design to the team-ups you never thought you'd see on TV (Blue Beetle, Deadman & Kamandi to name just a few) to the solid voice work of Diedrich Bader as The Caped Crusader (Bader straddles the line between gruff, Kevin Conroy "Dark Knight" & Adam West 60's classic perfectly), B&tB has something for every comics/Batman fan.

This week's episode opened the door to the infinite earths of the DC Universe & had Bats impersonating Owlman to take down that earth's Injustice League. It's a 2-parter that wraps up next week and I can't wait.

So, if you want a weekly Batman fix with a Darknight Detective that isn't, you know, an obsessive jerk then "Batman: The Brave & The Bold" is for you. Check it out!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Art Without A Net

Why do I love improv?

It's the only art form ('s an art) that gets created as it happens.

Books and movies take years to complete. Songs, symphonies and plays are written and rehearsed many times before the public sees them. Painters slave over a canvas alone before exhibiting a piece.

But not improv. Improv springs forth fully formed, like Venus from the forehead of Zeus, as soon as the performers hear the suggestion. It's raw, primal and immediate. It's art without a net.

That's the thrill of watching & performing improv. Anything can happen. It's the rush of the unexpected meeting the spark of inspiration.

It's an adrenaline rush that's hard to beat. If you're not already a fan, you should check it out. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Step Away From The Eggs

I'm not a regular viewer of the Food Network. But my only other treadmill viewing options at the gym yesterday were CNN and Fast Money on MSNBC, so I went with the channel that was least likely to make me need anti-depressants. What I saw shook me to the core.

Food Network Lady (or "FNL" for short) was attempting to "spice up" scrambled eggs. First of all, next to bacon, scrambled eggs are the perfect food...there's no reason to "spice them up." And secondly, according to Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Ph D and his intensive scrambled egg research, "Scrambled eggs are as good as they're ever going to get." This, of course was right before his breakthrough work with bioluminescent goldfish. But I digress.

ANYWAY...imagine my horror when FNL unveiled that her secret ingredient for "spicing up" scrambled eggs was...wait for it...asparagus! Friends & neighbors, I almost fell off the treadmill.

Now, I'm not one of those Amish food people who believe that any deviation from the norm is the work of Beezlebub. I've been know to throw some bacon bits on my peanut butter sandwich (shut up...I like it) and Lord knows that hash browns go to a whole 'nother level when they get scattered, smothered & covered.

But there is something so stomach-churningly wrong about adding asparagus to scrambled eggs that words fail me. Adding asparagus to anything is bad enough, but what did those poor eggs ever do to deserve that?

Oh, yeah...she made a special drink to wash down this gastrointestinal WMD she created...Pineapple Margaritas.

Somebody get me some Maalox.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Movie Firsts

In celebration of last night's Academy Awards, I thought I'd share a few of my very own "Movie Firsts."

Song of the South
Controversial, polarizing, insensitive...all words that have been used to describe this Disney classic. But to a 5 year old, it was opening the door to a whole new world.

Gone With The Wind
My parents took me to a rerelease when I was 6 or 7. I remember asking at intermission if it was over. I never fell as in love with it as some people have, but it holds a special place in my heart.

I don't remember the circumstances that led me to being dropped off to see this cute puppy movie. What I do know is that I was having a grand old time until the mean kidnappers kicked Benji's little girlfriend & I lost it. Everything turned out OK in the end, but it was the first time (but not the last) I got sucker punched by a kid's movie.

When I turned 16 & realized that I didn't have to rely on other people to get me to the theater, I was as happy as a pig in mud. Technically, I might have seen the Bond flick "A View To A Kill" before "Fletch", but since "A View To A Kill" sucked & "Fletch" was awesome, I'm declaring "Fletch" the winner.

The summer of Fletch was also the summer that a girl started talking to me of her on volition at the mall one day. We hit it off & met that weekend to see "Cocoon." PG rated shenanigans ensued. Thank you Steve Guttenberg.

Raising Arizona
Spring break, senior year of high school. I took a lovely young lady to see this Coen Brothers classic. I spent the whole two hours laughing my fool head off. She spent it looking at me like I was a fool for laughing. Discussions ensued. I picked the Coen Brothers over her. I regret nothing.

Married To The Mob
Technically on our second date, I still don't think this was a great movie but the company was so good we've been together over 20 years. So, thanks Dean Stockwell, Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine and a very young, very thin Alec Baldwin.

And just for kicks & giggles...not so much firsts as interesting facts....

A) I got to see Star Wars the first time because Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo was sold out. The Force is strong, but apparently not stronger than Don Knotts.

B) My dad & I went to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Once again, sold out. So we saw Steven Speilberg's 1941 instead. I still think it's underrated.

Top Gun
I saw the Tom Cruise as naval aviator epic four times with three different girls the summer it came out. What can I say...I had the need, the need for speed.

Iron Eagle
Yes, that "Iron Eagle." The one that Lou Gossett, Jr. should be forced to return his Oscar for appearing in. The theater was packed, so I sat on the floor. In my defense, there was a girl involved.

Full Metal Jacket
Good Morning Vietnam
My friend Daniel & I would work a simple scam our Freshman year of college. A new theater opened up that had midnight shows on Friday & Saturday nights. We would go to the 9pm show, pick a movie on the same side of the theater and attend the midnight show for free. Since we were broke college students & a lot of the movies we saw free sucked (Loose Cannons with Gene Hackman & Dan Aykroyd ring any bells), we were untroubled by our ethical lapses.
ANNNNYWAY....For my birthday that year, we ran the gauntlet & saw Kubrick's Vietnam epic on campus at Vanderbilt (I still maintain that Full Metal Jacket is half a masterpiece. The half devoted to training the recruits is miles better than the "find the sniper" second half), went to Fountain Square to see Moonstruck because (a) I had faked a review of it for my campus paper & actually wanted to see it (there was a girl involved) and (b) needed a little lighter fare and then wrapped up the day with more Vietnam highjinks.

So there are a few of my movie memories. Hope you enjoyed them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

True Story

Last Friday, I was hanging out at Hiberian while waiting to meet up with some friends when something very unusual happened (at least it's unusual for me)

Sitting at the bar sipping a Coke when a lady walks by me on the way back to her seat. She stops, looks at me & says, "You look like my best friend Michael. He's very handsome." and then she walks away.

Now friends & neighbors, I've been called a lot of things over the course of my four score years: Funny, nice, cute, sweet and a few things that weren't so complimentary. But I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've been flat out called "handsome"...and never, ever by a total stranger for apparently no reason at all.

To be completely honest, I totally dug it & quite frankly actually believed it for awhile. And before you ask,no she wasn't drunk, blind or least I don't think she was.

So thank you total stranger for brightening my day and boosting my self-esteem at the end of a long, tiring work week.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Flirting With Disaster

It has been brought to my attention that I am a bit of a flirt. I plead guilty to that. I am a flirt and I expect to be until the day I die. In fact, if I'm not flirting then someone should really check my pulse, because I'm probably dead.

While I do enjoy flirting with women, I do not hit on them. There is a very definite difference and woe be unto the man who doesn't know it. Flirting is fun and should be enjoyable for both parties. Hitting on someone (who isn't interested) is creepy, off putting and makes you look like a jerk. As a public service to all my male brethren, here are the inherent differences between flirting and hitting on.

(Why am I only addressing the men? In the first place, I happen to be one & have some experience in the matter and in the second place, it's a sad but true fact that men don't care if they're being flirted with or hit on as long as a woman is paying attention to them)

A. Flirting, when done correctly, can be done anywhere & anytime. It's always complimentary and with totally innocent intentions and expectations. You're not trying to "get" anything. As a matter of fact, if you are skilled enough, you can flirt with someone in front of their significant other without getting you teeth kicked in. The reason is simple and bears repeating: You are not trying to achieve anything other than making the flirtee feel better about themselves. There is no agenda to flirting.

B. Hitting on is done with the intention of some sort of personal gain. If you and the lady are both unattached (and the lady is receptive), then no harm no foul. However, if you're seriously hitting on someone in a relationship then you're a scumbag who deserves whatever butt whoopin' you get. Some of the slimier forms of this tactic include trying to plant seeds of doubt, slandering the boyfriend/husband or generally saying things like, "You could do so much better than him." There isn't a circle of Hell deep enough for men who use these tactics.

If you find yourself confused about your intentions, try this little tip: If someone said what you're about to say to your sister, would you stab them repeatedly with a spork without fear or regard for retribution or jail time? If the answer is "yes", then you might want to rethink your approach.

Flirting is a wonderful thing...we all want to feel attractive and desireable. Use your powers for good, because with great power comes great responsibility.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Friends & neighbors, I have seen the heart of darkness. I have stared into the abyss. I have crossed the barren wastes of armageddon. I spent Saturday afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese and lived to tell the tale.

My beloved sister asked if we could have our shared birthday celebration at the home of Mr. Cheese. Because I love her dearly and knew that 18-month old Sainted Nephew Colton might have fun, I agreed. Hanging out with them, our parents & Sainted Wife was fun. The pizza was surprisingly edible (or at least didn't try & violently escape later) and Colt did seem to enjoy himself. So all that was good.

But the dead-eyed looks of existential angst on the faces of the employees was a sight to behold. The sheer desperation and agony at being forced to lead around some pour soul stuffed into a smelly mascot suit could just break your heart. I saw employees playing rock, paper, scissors to see who would clean up a wet bathroom (and with roughly 12,500 kids in the building, you couldn't have gotten me in one of those bathrooms at gunpoint.) We asked one of them who cleans up the munchkin habitrail that was so popular with the kids. The answer: "That's a fun job...sometimes it gets cleaned & sometimes it doesn't."

The teenagers I could understand. This was just a part time gig to make a little folding money. It was adults who worked there who broke my heart. You could see it in their did it come to this? Perhaps they turned to the bottle in their youth and this was all they could get. Perhaps they majored in Elizabethan poetry or Conversational Klingon in college. But how do you get up every single day knowing that all that lies ahead is 8 hours of screaming kids and animatronic rats? If it were me, I'd have to lock up all firearms and sharp objects.

So beware...count your blessings. The next time you're tempted to think that your job sucks & nothing could possibly be worse, say to yourself "It's not Chuck E. Cheese. It's not Chuck E. Cheese."

Unless it which case, may God have mercy on your soul!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Justify My Love

I've spent far too much time over the course of my 40 years explaining, defending or sometimes outright apologizing for movies, music & TV shows that I enjoy. Well, not any more. The crappy things I love (and make no mistake, some of the stuff I love is pure unadulterated crap) are crap, but they're my crap, dagnabit! Confession is good for the soul, so here's a few things that I have adored and, in some cases, still do:

Bruce Willis' "The Return of Bruno"
I listened to the cassette so much, I wore it out. If it was available on CD, I'd wear that out as well

"Rhinestone" starring Sylvester Stallone & Dolly Parton
There's nothing funnier than Stallone trying to be a country singer...except Stallone making his debut singing "Drinkingstein." I had the soundtrack to this as well

Grease 2
I liked it better than Grease & watched it at least once a day the summer I taped it off of HBO

"Convoy" by CW McCall
The ultimate truck driving song. I even bought McCall's Greatest Hits CD.

Hudson Hawk
Bruce Willis strikes again! A complete mess of a movie that entertains me every time I see it.

"Patches" by Clarence Carter
Maybe not as well known as "Strokin", but this "dead father places burden of family farm on son" song is awesome on so many levels.

Necessary Roughness
I love this Scott Bakula/Kathy Ireland football epic like a fat kid loves cookies.

Hee Haw
Grew up watching it. Still love it. The Hee Haw Honeys were my first crush.

There are many, many more that I could list...and still might. Some would say that this is my "guilty pleasure" list. They would be incorrect. I don't feel guilty at all.

I love this crap!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best Birthday Ever!

David Kross, who co-stars with Kate Winslet in "The Reader", had to wait until he turned 18 to film his steamy love scenes for the film.

I think I got a shirt & some sunglasses when I turned 18.

Kids today have it waaaaaayyyy better than I did.

Stupid kids.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Karma Can Be A, Well You Know

Four years ago, we had to get new windows. After a lengthy sales pitch from Sears Home Central (A name you can trust), we decided to go with them.

We were told we had one year to pay with no interest (which if you've ever priced windows, you'll know why we laughed & laughed), so we asked what the monthly payment would be after that. The first bill came & it was indeed the quoted price. Subsequent bills were higher & we discovered that the salesman hadn't revealed that we had an adjustible interest rate (something that is out of the question for us.) Long story short, we went to the Credit Union, paid 'em off & vowed never to use them again.

So tonight, a nice young man from Sears Home Central (A name that means "We'll rip you off."), offering free quotes for home improvements. I asked if they were still sticking people with adjustible rates without telling them. He said they'd gotten a lot of feedback about that & that's why they were "giving back to the community by offering these quotes." I told him politely, "Thanks but no thanks."

Karma sure can be a %i&$~.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Guess Who, Indeed.

It's the day millions of people have waited for for eight years and the day millions more have been looking forward to since November. The fanfare and hoopla which everyone is knee-deep in (with apologies to Starship) is everywhere. There's going to be wall-to-wall television coverage of today's historic inauguration. But it's important to make sure that the little moments don't slip through the cracks.

On this momentous day, what movie do you think Turner Classic Movies is showing to celebrate the new President?

"Guess Who's Coming To Dinner"

I love irony.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Taking The Pledge

I'm not going to do it. I got out...I was clean. I'm not going to get sucked in again.
I will not watch the last season of "Battlestar Galactica."

It's brilliant television. A stellar cast, great writing, deep mythology and riveting three dimensional characters that you care deeply about.

It also can be one of the grimmest, darkest, most depressing hours of TV you'd ever want to see. You could use up a years worth of anti-depressants on one episode and never crack a smile.

Granted, a show that starts out with the annihilation of the human race isn't going to be a laugh a minute but absolutely no one on BG ever has a good day. Which is why I had to give it up last year. There were episodes of Galactica that made Oz look like The Muppet Show.

I'm going to stay strong...I'm not going to be lured back in. I'm done. I'm out. I don't need compelling drama or intense action or literate science fiction. I'm a rock. I'm strong. No, no, no!

Who am I kidding. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool, full-blown, five-alarm geek. A Buffy loving, Star Trekking, Comic reading, Web slinging, Tardis riding, Quantum Leaping nerd with absolutely no will power and I have no shame in admitting it.

I'm reporting for duty Admiral Adama...take me home!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Idol Chatter

It's finally here. Can you feel the electricity in the air? American Idol is back on our TV machines! Bad auditions! Dreams coming true! Crazy Paula! Jerky Simon! The New Girl with no distinct characteristics yet! The culmination of all that is good and wonderful in the world!!!!!!

And, just to clear things up before the big premiere, I don't give a crap.

When I say I don't give a crap, I mean I really, really, really don't give a crap. I don't give a crap about the psychos who don't have a shot but humiliate themselves for the chance to be on TV. I don't give a crap about the final (what seems like) 200 who spend (what seems like) nine months being whittled down to the final two. I don't give a crap about the judges, the song choices, the guest stars, the never ending media obsession, the eventual winner, the eventual winner's crappy debut album or pretty much anything associated with the show. If possible, I give even less of a crap about Ryan Seacrest.

Now before you Idol fans start losing your minds, let me be clear: If you enjoy the show, good for you. I am in no way, shape or form suggesting that there is anything wrong with being a fan. If it brings you joy or happiness, then more power to you. Feel free to watch & vote & root, root, root for your favorite contestant.

I however, as stated above, don't give a crap. Knowing this up front will save everyone some awkward moments in the coming months. I don't have to pretend to be interested in the show just to avoid being rude. We can find other topics of conversation that don't involve you trying to convince me that American Idol is worth my time and attention. Trust me, you're not going to convince me of that.

So enjoy the new season, Dawg! I'll just sit over here & enjoy the shows that are probably going to be canceled simply because they had the misfortune to be scheduled against Idol.

Ayers Out!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Early Oscar Predictions

Based on the just completed Golden Globes, here are my totally unscientific predictions for this year's Academy Awards...

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke

Best Actress: Kate Winslet

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger

Best Supporting Actress: Someone other than Kate Winslet

"Wait," you ask, "Just how are these bold predictions?" Good question...they're not. The Oscars aren't about surprises. They're about safety. Which means I'm wrong about Best Actor & Best Picture, cause the Academy probably won't let a wild card like Rourke finish his victory lap for "The Wrestler" and will choose to honor something more homegrown than "Slumdog."

There are really only 3 safe bets: Kate Winslet for either Best Actress or Supporting Actress, Heath Ledger for Supporting Actor and "Wall-E" for Best Animated Film.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Age Like Wine

Many people dread turning 40. Not me...I'm anxiously counting down the days. I can't friggin' wait. It's going to be the most liberating experience of my life, because I will have finally achieved that which man has dreamed of for invisibility.

The path to invisibility began the day I turned 36. The most attractive demographics for marketers are between the ages of 18-35. Once I passed my sell by (or sell to, as the case may be) date, my opinion no longer mattered in the grand scheme of things. I no longer had any influence over what was "hot" or "cool" or "trendy." People who have known me for any length of time might argue that I never had any influence over what was "hot" or "cool" or "trendy. They're pretty much correct...only now, it's official.

Being off the marketing radar has completely freed me from all the pressures of caring what people think about what I watch, buy or listen to. I can now fully embrace CBS's lineup of crime procedurals like "NCIS" & "The Mentalist" without feeling like an old fart. I can watch nothing but "Law & Order" reruns 24-7 and no one will think it's the least bit odd. I've even started talking back to the news & referring to shows I regularly watch as "my stories" just to get used to it.

Musically, it doesn't matter what I listen to. It's all gonna be classified as "oldies" or "classic rock." So if I stuff my CD changer with The Statler Brothers Greatest Hits followed by Green Day followed by Convoy followed by Dean Martin, I'm not being "ironic" or "retro"...I'm just another old dude who likes weird music.

I can wear whatever I want. The only purpose clothes have for me now is to keep me from being arrested when I go out in public. I could have a hoodie/sweatpants mix and match combo for every day of the week (making sure I have a black or blue pair for church on Sunday.) I can pull my pants up to my armpits, eat dinner at 4:30 and go to bed at 6. I can use phrases like, "Back in my day...." and they'll actually mean something. I can tell & re-tell the same stories over & over & over again and not care if the person listening has already heard them or not. They're my stories, dagnabit, and I'm gonna tell them. See, I used "dagnabit" in a sentence...I'm getting good at this already!

I have many close personal friends who are going to point out that I've pretty much been doing everything I listed above since I was 16 years old...and they're right. But from the ages of 16 to 39, people were still paying attention. My age is finally catching up with my lifestyle and I say, "Bring it on!!"

Now what are you whippersnappers wasting your time trolling around on the internets machine? Back in my day, we didn't have no fancy internets don't know how good you've got it. I've got to's almost time for my stories.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Random Thoughts

Tso is the only General best remembered for being a chicken

Revenge is a dish best served cold with a house salad & side of fries

You may not always want to dance, but it's nice to be asked

You never know who your friends are until you run thorough background checks on them

Self-absorption is the privilege of the elderly or the unwell...if you're neither, you need to knock it off

Being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things

Don't drink poop in it

You can say a lot while still saying nothing at all

Even negative attention is better than being ignored

Nirvana killed goofy hair metal & took the fun out of rock and roll

No one needs to know what you're doing every minute of every day

If you have one person you know you can truly depend on, you're luckier than most

Every good thing is finite...everything changes, so enjoy the glory days while you have them