Tuesday, July 27, 2010


One of the more popular online acronyms today is "FML" which stands for (and I'm going to modify for the sake of gentility) "Frack My Life." I've seen it a lot lately. But I think it's being watered down by being used when it's nowhere near appropriate.

Look, I know things are tough & we all have bad days. But "FML" should only be used as the nuclear option of bad things happening. There are times when it's very applicable...but we should save it for those times.

You get your heart broken by someone you love...FML
There's a death in the family...FML
You lose your job or your home...FML
You lose an arm or a leg (but not fingers or toes, that's just inconvenient)...FML

Pretty much any other usage is just calling attention to day-to-day drama.

Didn't get enough sleep & are really tired? Annoying, but fixable
Video store gives you "Casper the Friendly Ghost" instead of "Citizen Kane?" A drag, but not the end of the world.
DVR didn't record "Big Brother?" It'll be available online somewhere.

To summarize: Catastrophic life changes...FML. Most everything else...whining.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reading For Comprehension

Because these little missives of mine post in multiple places on the Internets, I'm never sure if they're actually being read or just power skimmed. That's actually not a bad thing. It gives me the freedom to say practically whatever I want in whatever way I choose to say it. Mimes ate cheese from expired barrels.

But it does make me wonder just how closely rabbits talk to me in my sleep people are actually reading what I write. I totally get that john travolta somersaults prairie dog bedrooms we're inundated with lots of information every day & it's hard to moose shoes are mostly green filter through it all.

So, if things are really busy mussolini sang tenor in a field of poppies, one might be tempted to skip over yet another self-indulgent the goblins married monkeys on arbor day blog post. But if I've ever written anything marshmallow smoothies reek of cinnamon that has moved you or made you laugh then tarantulas and cicadas wear sunglasses at night it's all been worth it.

In conclusion, turnips on pizza are the wave of the future thanks for taking the time justin bieber is the devil in disguise to read these things. I enjoy christina hendrics and anna kendrick play the spoons in jug band jam bringing them to you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Here I Sit, Broken Hearted...

Look, I know this is a sensitive subject and I'm going to try & be as delicate as I can, but the time has come to discuss a little public restroom etiquette.

Having to perform needed bodily functions in public is stressful enough without rudeness or stupidity making it more awkward. So, if we can just agree to a few simple rules, we can make the experience more pleasant for everyone.

*No Talking. This isn't "Get To Know Your Neighbor" time. Depending on the degree of difficulty, I'm probably extremely embarrassed by the ambiance I'm creating. I don't want to discuss it with you. I don't even want to make eye contact before, during or especially after. Let's just do our business & pretend it never happened.

*The Bathroom Is A Don't Ask/Don't Tell Zone. It's just simple decency. No matter what you hear or see in there, you don't walk out & share it with the room. That violates the Code Of The Pooper. If you must share, use the same 24 hour rule that applies to calling after a first date.

*Own Up To Your Mistakes. If you commit an egregious fouling of the facilities & can't flush the evidence, don't leave it to be discovered by the next guy. I know it's humiliating, but take the time to let someone know you committed the ultimate party foul.

*Friends Bathrooms Are For #1 Only. Unless there's no alternative, don't take the Browns to the Super Bowl at a friend's house. There's too many disasters waiting to happen with this scenario. Better to rupture something than to have to ask The Most Awkward Question In The World: "Do you have a plunger?"

So let's be courteous & discreet when dealing with our private business in public...and a courtesy flush is always appreciated.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Twilight Time

I wish I could say that I was excited about the whole "Twilight" phenomenon. It would seem to be right up my alley...vampires & werewolves fighting it out over the fate of a girl. Sounds pretty gripping, does it not?

Well, it's just not my cup of plasma. I know I'm not the target demographic (which, I believe, is alienated 14-16 year old girls who may or may not have a Hot Topic credit card.) Even friends close to my own age love it & I'm glad they do. It's great to have something to be passionate about.

But I think I'm over the "Sensitive Vampire Just Searching For Love." Because, if you peel away the monster mythology from that story it becomes "Nice Girl Tries To Change Bad Boy." Which is something that, in the real world, rarely ever works or ends well.

I know, I know...we can all point to examples in our real lives of Good Girls who dated the Bad Boy but were able to get him to mend his wicked ways with the power of their smooches. But those situations are exceptions to the rule. They're the small miracles that don't happen but once in a full moon (what, you thought I wasn't going to work in a werewolf reference? Silly you.)

Speaking as a male person, let me give any young lady who's trying to transform her very own vampire into someone she won't be embarrassed to take home to Mom & Dad or have to bail out of jail once a week: Give up. It's not worth the heartache & trashed credit ratings it's gonna cost you to find out that Vlad would rather suck your blood than write you moony poems.

Look, you should feel lucky if you can get a guy to change the channel, much less his entire lifestyle. I know guys who will sit through practically anything for hours if the remote is not in reach. If it's a choice between moving off the couch or watching the Shake Weight infomercial again, well, let's just say the Shake Weight will win every time.

Have you ever tried to get your significant other to throw out those sweatpants from college? The ones that are now 3 sizes too small & have a permanent funk that no amount of Clorox can burn away? The ones he keeps because he scored a touchdown in intramural football during his Freshman year at State? How well has that gone for you? That's what I thought.

Look, if it's "Twu Wuv" and you're in no physical danger, fine, don't listen to me. Go for it. You'll be the miracle cure for Snake's sociopathic, obsessive-compulsive, functioning alcoholic tendencies. You'll be the Buffy to his Angel (to borrow from another vampire-themed Good Girl/Bad Boy scenario.) I wish you all the best.

Just remember...some things that suck will always suck, no matter how much you wish they wouldn't.

Monday, June 21, 2010

No Day But Today...

As anyone who has taken the time to read any of these blatherings knows, I love the crazy make-'em-ups world of improv. A couple of times a week, I get the unique opportunity to get together with my friends and try to make people laugh. Some nights, I'm more successful than others, but thankfully I'm surrounded by people who are blessed with the ability to make me look like I know what I'm doing even when I don't.

I've often said that improv didn't save my life, but it sure did save my sanity. I think anyone who is involved in any one of the performing arts would say the same thing about their chosen field (and yes, improv is an art...even short form where things can get really silly really quick.) Any time you find a group of people who share a similar passion, you can't help but feel like you're part of something special, especially when being a part of something was never your strongest suit.

But I think there's a pitfall that's often overlooked...the fact that nothing lasts forever. Plays have a limited run, concerts and improv shows are (usually) one-night affairs and then it's over & time to move on to the next thing. It all goes by so fast that I'm afraid we don't take the time to appreciate what we have.

We should be enjoying the time we have right now, because it could all go away tomorrow. If you're given the chance to perform with talented, funny people and you're grateful for that...let them know. I'm just as guilty as anyone of taking things for granted & letting little things get in the way of the big picture. I forget that every show could be my last show. And if it were, while I'd want to make sure the audience had a good time, I'd also want the people I was onstage with to know what an honor it was to perform with them. I don't care if it's for a packed house, a group of 20 obnoxious teenagers or for 6 of our friends who showed up just because we needed them there to have a show at all.

I'm immensely grateful for the people I get to perform & practice with. They've made me laugh when we've been onstage and (at the very least) put up with me on days that I didn't even want to hang out with me. If you're one of these people, I thank you for that and so much more.

Please...take the time to savor the good things in your life. Don't take them for granted. We've only got today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Helping Hand or Here To Be A Blessing

So, I've decided that I've just been to darn cranky & misanthropic lately. I need to be more mindful of my fellow man (and woman.) So, I'm starting a personal campaign to be more helpful. This is my Mission Statement or Manifesto, if you will. I hope if you find it inspiring, you'll join me in making the world a better place

  • I will endeavor to let people know, in the loudest, most direct way possible when they are behaving like a crapweasel. You're welcome, Crapweasels.
  • If I see small children struggling to pick up a tiny object so they can put it in their mouths and their parents don't see what's happening, I will aid said children by handing them said object and, if necessary, guide it to their gaping maws. You're welcome, Parents.
  • If a friend or family member is straying from the path of good taste by having the temerity to enjoy a different type of movie, book or television program than me, I will make every effort possible to guide them back to the correct path, even if it takes mocking them incessantly and thereby risking grave physical harm on my part. You're welcome, Friends and Family
  • If someone on the world wide web endangers their own credibility by choosing to have a contrary opinion than mine, I will use every resource available to let them know the error of their ways, thereby preventing them from being "pwoned" by "noobs." You're welcome, World Wide Web.
  • If someone is busting a quite clearly inferior move on the dance floor, I will show them how to get down with their bad selves, thus preventing them from getting "served" by other "sucker djs." You're welcome, Inferior Move Busters.
  • If I am asked "Do these pants make me look fat?" and said pants do, indeed, make the wearer look like he or she is trying to smuggle two frozen hams in the back of their jeans, I will reply with honesty & integrity from a safe location many miles away with a letter sent 4th class media mail. You're welcome, Husky People
These are just a few of the ways I plan to assist my fellow man (or woman) to make their lives better. You don't have to thank me. I'm just here to be a blessing.

Rock & Roll Fantasy

OK Rock Stars, sit down. You & I need to have a serious chat. There's something very wrong here and we need to get some things straight.

The disconnect began when I (very much against my will, but being a good spouse) went to see Iron Maiden. The show was what it was & I spent most of my time trying to figure out what the last song was going to be, which was no mean feat when you consider (a) I knew recognized about 2 1/2 Maiden songs in the first place and (b) there's not a lot of what you would call "Top 10 hits a band would close their show with" in the second place. ANYWAY...

Bruce Dickinson, Maiden's lumpy lead singer, made a huge point at the beginning of the show to point out that, "We're Iron Maiden. We don't date supermodels...we're all about the music!" I don't know if you've ever actually looked at Iron Maiden, but supermodels not wanting to date them didn't really surprise me. The look like they escaped from a Lord of the Rings reenactment. They looked very working class British. Basically, they're kinda homely.

But what threw me off was that Bruce was saying that they had no interest in dating supermodels. Quite frankly, if you don't want to date supermodels, what's the point of becoming a rock star in the first place?

And this attitude has spread. There was a time when the biggest press rock stars got was when they were partying hard, trashing hotel rooms & generally behaving badly. This scandalous behavior was noticed by 14 year old boys who seemed to think, rightly or wrongly, that it looked like a lot of fun & they wanted to do it so they formed a band & bang! Another generation of rock stars was born.

But today, most rock stars are talking about the causes they support or their efforts to save the environment or what we can do to enact change and make a difference. These are all noble & well intentioned and rock stars, let me say from the bottom of my heart, you need to knock it off.

Seriously...when you & your buddies got together and decided to become famous (whether you could play your instruments or not,) you entered into a social contract with me. The contract basically goes like this: You live the life that I can't & I'll buy your music.

It's that easy. I don't want to hear a lead singer tell me about recycling. I can recycle. What I can't do is party with strippers 6 nights a week. You're supposed to be doing all the stuff that we all secretly would do if we could. I'm aware that there's lots of bad stuff in the world, but the fact that you can destroy a room in the Dayton, Ohio Radisson and not go to jail for it somehow balances that out for me.

So please, I'm begging you, stop taking Sting or Bono's calls when they want you to make a video about the plight of the Western Sea Otter. Fight the urge to make your tour bus solar powered. And for goodness' sake, if your Crib has a compost heap & a windmill, keep it to yourself.

Remember, when one of you dates Heather Locklear, we all date Heather Locklear.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Drinking With The Stars

It's been very trendy lately for celebrities to come out with their own signature fragrances. Because, really who wouldn't want to smell like Britney Spears? (Sidenote...I haven't actually smelled her perfume, but I imagine Britney smells like menthol cigarettes, tater tots & desperation.)

So this got me a thinking about what kind of signature cocktails would celebrities create to embody their essence in alcoholic form. So let's see what I came up with....

Kid Rock: Pabst Blue Ribbon, hot dog water and Mad Dog 20/20

Lady GaGa: Absinthe, NyQuil Wild Cherry and a handful of anti-psychotics

The Cast of Glee: Bartles & James Peachtastic wine cooler, spearmint schnaaps & 4 pixie sticks

Dane Cook: Royal Crown, grape Kool-Aid & 3 slices of Kraft American cheese

Justin Bieber: Yoo-Hoo, Zima & Pepto-Bismol

Mickey Rourke: Vodka, Jack Daniels and Antifreeze

David Hasselhoff: Meister Brau, Wild Turkey & 3 liquified Big Macs

There's a ton of money to be made from celebrity cocktails....and the subsequent bookings on "Celebrity Rehab." I anxiously await your call Hollywood.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I've been thinking about pop Divas lately, which is odd since I'm not all that interested in the music they produce. What intrigues me is how there only seems to be room for one Supreme Diva at a time...like for some reason pop culture and society can't handle more than one.

So, for me, the easiest way to figure this out is with the fatuous male analogy of relating them to:

Cyndi Lauper was the cool older girl that would still hang out with you. She was fun & you could hang out knowing there wasn't any chance that it would last. She was going to go off and spend like, 6 months at community college before becoming a bartender in your hometown that you'd see when you came home on summer break and would let you buy beer even though you weren't 21 yet.

Madonna was the first college girl you went out with while you were still in high school. There was never a chance that it would last, because as soon as she could she'd be dating a professor or some grad school guy with a cooler car. It was a relationship in your mind only that would flame out after a month with you much more in love with her than she ever was in you.

Whitney Houston was the good girl who dated bad boys. It was a relationship that had nothing but drama, because either they were still together, which meant all she would talk about is how she was going to change him (which, by the way, never works. If you can't convince a guy to change out of his sweatpants before a date, you're not going to get him to change his life...but I digress) or they had just broken up & she spent all her time crying about how he was misunderstood & you were such a good friend for listening to her problems. Eventually, they'd get back together & spend the rest of their time mutually destroying each other.

Britney Spears was the wild card. If you took her to a party, there was a 50/50 chance that she'd get wild & rip off her top or drink too much & spend the night in the corner crying because her daddy didn't love her or some other girl didn't like her or the nachos were all gone. The headaches weren't worth the fun.

Christina Aguilera seemed to be the one. Pretty, smart, just wild enough to be fun but not likely to go nuts. She was the one that you couldn't believe was actually going out with you, but you thanked your lucky stars she did. Unfortunately, you'd screw it up because of....

Lady GaGa...the crazy one. We're talking stone cold, batpoop, bouncing off the wall nuts. The art school/drama club girl who would do anything and I mean anything. She was just as likely to give you the greatest night of your life as she was to get you into a fight for no apparent reason. The girl that you would hide any and all sharp & stabby objects from when she came over. You knew it was a bad idea, but you couldn't stay away.

And this is the reason that Christina can't compete with GaGa today. She's settled down & had a child. Xtina still has the chops, but she's not dangerous anymore. For better or worse, the universe prefers crazy & talented to just talented, and GaGa has crazy to spare.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Save The Bandit With Time Travel!

Aside from all the other problems that need fixing, scientists need to get on making time travel a reality ASAP.

"Sounds like a great idea," you're thinking. "It would be great to go back & fix history before it ever went wrong." While that is a noble thought, if we've learned anything from Doctor Who it's that the past is fixed & no about of mucking about is going to change anything. In most cases, it would in fact make things worse.

What I want to do with my personal time travel device is very simple & would fix the future. I want to go back to, say, 1977 and grab Burt Reynlolds, Jerry Reed, Dom DeLuise & the whole gang and bring them to 2010 so they can keep making Smokey & The Bandit movies before Hollywood decides to remake them.

I admit, this is a purely selfish move on my part. But when you get your own time machine you can do what you want with it.

Look, it's only a matter of time before some dim-bulb studio executive gets the dim-bulb idea to remake all those great car chase films of that era. And when they do, the law of averages says that they're not only going to get it wrong, they're gonna get it horribly, horribly wrong.

I have a recurring nightmare where they remake Smokey & The Bandit with Gerard Butler as Bandit, Larry the Cable Guy as Snowman, John Goodman as Sheriff Buford T. Justice and Megan Fox as Mouse. All of the chase scenes are CGI and they get somebody like Rascall Flats to cover "Eastbound & Down." Of course, it makes 100 Gajillion dollars, so they go ahead & remake Hooper and Cannonball Run, screwing them up beyond all belief and I wake up screaming.

Were any of these truly landmark works of cinematic art? Of course not. But they were fun. Remakes of them wouldn't be any fun at all. They'd be prepackaged & market-researched to within an inch of their lives. Director Hal Needham didn't need a focus group to tell him that audiences love to see cars get smashed up reeaaal good. Everybody loves that.

Are there drawbacks to my plan? Of course. If history follows, Burt & company will eventually have to make versions of Cannonball Run 2 and Stroker Ace. But you've got to take the good with the bad and quite frankly, I'd rather watch any version of Stroker Ace over any 5 minutes of The Fast & The Furious franchise any day.

So get me my time machine Science Guys. We've got a long way to go & a short time to get there and I sure don't want to make that trip with Shia LaBouef.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ain't That A Kick In The Head?

Apparently, the World Cup started today. Apparently, this is a big deal to 90% of the world, 5% of Americans who love soccer (and I bet I'm being generous with that number,)and 4% of Americans who feel the need to shout "USA, USA" in a large crowd. The other 1%, of which I'm a proud member, couldn't care less.

If you love soccer, more power to you. Have a ball (no pun intended) for the next month. Go nuts. As for me, there's not a device on the planet that can measure my indifference to the game.

I've heard all the arguments: "It's the most popular sport in the world. It promotes goodwill & teamwork. You just don't get it." You're not gonna change my mind.

Look, any activity where you can run for 90 minutes & still wind up with a 0-0 tie is not a sport. It's enclosed cross-country. It's the worst high school gym class ever.

People have been saying for 40 years that soccer's going to be huge in America. Its not. It never will be. Except with that special breed of parents who drag little Caitlin or Katelyn or kate-Lynn out to the field every Saturday for 6 months to watch her run around in circles so she'll get a trophy for "Participation."

This is supposed to be "Character Building." I suspect if you got these same parents slightly buzzed, they'd admit that having little Mackenzie or McKenzee or Beulah sprinting around just wears them out enough so Mom & Dad can catch a nap.

So fans, enjoy the spectacle of the World Cup. Drink it in. Savor it. Just don't be offended by my indifference. It's not that I'm apathetic...I just don't care.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Funny Business

Just some random opinions (and please read that word veeery slowly...oh-pin-yuns, 'cause if you disagree that's all they are) on what I think is funny.

  • While the secret of comedy is timing, the second secret of comedy is confidence. You've got to believe what you're saying is funny or nobody else is going to. Even comics who's character is based on having no confidence at all (Woody Allen is a good example) have confidence enough in that character to make it funny.
  • A bad joke told well is funnier than a good joke told badly. There's nothing more fun than having a joke that is so cheesy or corny and telling it to a friend like it's the funniest thing ever.
  • Puns are awesome. I know people who hate puns & think they're the lowest form of humor. These people also hate puppies & kittens. It takes skill to come up with a really good pun. A
  • Men who say that, "Women aren't funny" are not to be trusted and are suffering from a condition known as Rectal-Cranial Inversion. Don't date these men & certainly don't marry them. They wouldn't know funny if it kicked them in the junk.
  • Things & people that are always funny (to me): Tim Conway, Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Patton Oswalt, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, Bob Newhart, Don Knotts and Hee Haw (What? Hey, make your own list & don't judge me) to name just a few
  • Things & people I don't think are funny, but others do & that's fine by me: Larry the Cable Guy, more than 5 minutes of Steven Wright, Sara Silverman, Richard Lewis and the ending of "Titanic." (Where the old lady throws away a gazillion dollar necklace, not when DiCaprio drowns 'cause I laughed my head off when he went under for the last time.)
  • Yes, I left many people off of the first list that I find hysterical. I left some people off the second list that I don't like either. But here's the thing, you could switch the titles for each of them & they'd still be valid. Funny is subjective and it's better when it's shared. I've seen movies in a crowded theater that I laughed my head off at that didn't make me crack a smile when I saw them at home by myself.
  • That being said, I do believe there should be an Oscar for Best Comedy. The great actor Edwin Booth said, "Dying is easy...comedy is hard." He was right. It takes a special gift to make people laugh. If you're able to do it, you should be thankful. Laughter brings people together & it let's them forget about their worries for a while.
So, if you make people laugh professionally or as a hobby, onstage or outside your cubicle, I salute you. You've been well & truly blessed.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh Robbbbb!

DISCLAIMER: This post popped into my head when there was a brief online rumor that Dick Van Dyke had passed away. Thankfully, this wasn't the case. Mr. Van Dyke is still with us as of this writing, but all points made below are still applicable. END DISCLAIMER

With the popularity of Mad Men, I'd become more convinced than ever that I'd been born too late. I would have loved to have been a part of advertising or television back in the late 50's and early 60's when it was truly in it's heyday.

But the more I thought about it, I realized that I didn't really want to live in that era. For better or worse, I'm a child of the late 20th Century, the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation and while I sometimes miss having only three networks, the minuses by far outweigh the benefits. After careful consideration, I came to an inescapable conclusion. It wasn't when I wanted to live...it was who I wanted to be.

I wanted to be Rob Petrie.

Rob Petrie, if you don't know (and shame on you if you don't) was the main character in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and was played by (duh) Dick Van Dyke. Rob was the man. Stylish, classy and funny, he was the head writer of The Alan Brady Show which was an homage to series creator Carl Reiner's tenure on the various Sid Caesar comedy-variety shows of the 50's.

Who wouldn't want to have Rob's life? He wore snappy suits to work. He spent all day writing comedy with Buddy & Sally, then went home to the ridiculously beautiful Mary Tyler Moore who made a pair of Capri pants & a sweatshirt look like a million bucks. Sure, there were irritations: Show producer Mel Cooley was a pain, son Richie was kind of annoying and there was always that stupid ottoman to contend with, but Rob pretty much had it all.

I know it was a sitcom & bears no resemblance to real life then or now. But it all looked so fun. I can't imagine a better job than being paid to be funny all day long or to occasionally put on talent shows with your friends. It was a more innocent time.

I'll probably never get the chance to meet Carl Reiner or Dick Van Dyke and tell them how much creating that world meant to me. It was one of the reasons I decided to go into television and even later improv. While my experiences haven't been the same, I can say that for the most part, they have been fun.

So I raise a glass to Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam and Richard Deacon. I'm going to trip over an ottoman every once in a while in your honor.

"Hey Look At Me!"

I've heard from many female friends over the years about just how annoying it can be when guys pay too much attention to them. I know they're not being arrogant; many men are, how shall I put this, overzealous when it comes to women they find attractive. There's never any excuse for any behavior that can be construed as inappropriate, stalker-like or just downright creepy.

That being said...I've never heard one of my male friends complain about unwanted attention from women. This is because (except in rare cases) to men there's no such thing as unwanted attention from women.

Every single achievement by men in the history of the world can be traced back to one simple idea that's hardwired into males from the moment of their conception..."If I do this maybe a girl will like me."

Does that make men look like simple, ignorant creatures who are only motivated by one thing? Well, that's because we are simple, ignorant creatures only motivated by one thing. We want girls to like us. No guy, no matter how enlightened or post-modern (whatever that means) will deny that fact.

There are countless examples throughout history that back this fact up. Julius Caesar got involved in Egyptian politics for Cleopatra. Columbus crossed the ocean for Queen Isabella. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone just so he could get the number of the future Mrs. Bell.

What's the first thing a boy child shouts when he's about to do something stupid or reckless on the playground? "Watch me!" When a boy discovers the wonderful world of boogers, snakes and frogs, he doesn't show them to his buddies. He throws them at the girls, who, granted scream & run away, but hey, they sure will remember him.

Men crave attention from women. Men are willing to write sonnets, discover continents and (if You Tube is any example) almost set themselves on fire just to make you smile or roll your eyes or simply acknowledge their existence.

It isn't always pretty...but it's the way we are.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Socially Acceptable

For many years, the internet divided its time between being a wonderful research tool & an efficient pornography delivery system. Everybody had their own little corner of it & pretty much stayed out of each other's way.

Then, someone got the bright idea that everyone on the web should know everybody else. Thus, "Social Networking" was born. And, like all cool things, it was actually only super-cool for about a year.

But you're saying, "Chris...aren't you involved in social networking & isn't it a wee bit hypocritical to bitch about it?" The answers to those questions are "yes" and "no, it's not a wee bit hypocritical. It's hugely hypocritical, but I can live with that."

Look, I love (most) of Facebook & (much more) of Twitter. I can keep up with friends & family without having to make the effort to actually see them (don't look at me like that, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about,) plus it gives me a forum to spout off at length about pretty much anything that crosses my mind. I'm all for anything that enables my narcissism.

But there's a lot of pressure there too. Any friend request I get, if I haven't seen them in the past, oh, 10 minutes or so, I've got to wrack my brain trying to remember just how I know him (and it's always a him. Women get a free pass because I'm a man in my 40s & the instances of women wanting to associate with me are getting slimmer every day.) Plus, there's the guilt of the ignored friend request.

I also spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with funny things to say so that relative strangers will like me. There's a pathology there that unnerves me sometimes.

Look, social networking isn't going anywhere anytime soon. People have figured out how to make money off it, so it's here to stay. But remember...it's supposed to make life easier & more fun. It shouldn't feel like work & it damn sure shouldn't feel like high school, even though it sometimes does.

Remember, there are real people out there who want to hang out with the real you. Maybe not me, but definitely you. Balance in all things.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sir Patrick

So Patrick Stewart went & got himself knighted...which is awesome. But you may not know there are perks that go along with the title. With a little digging & a heretofore unknown talent for hacking, I managed find a partial list of the benefits Sir Patrick will enjoy with this great honor...

#4 No longer has to flush the loo when visiting Buckingham Palace

#7 Can legally take possession of William Shatner's toupees

#9 Lays claim to official title of "Sir Patrick Stewart, Lord Locutus of Borg and Mack Daddy Daddy Mack of the British Empire Beyotches"

#13 Gets his own TARDIS

#17 May, without reprisal, take a Number Two on Number One anytime Jonathan Frakes is on British soil

#22 Gets Kate Winslet's home phone number

Congratulations Sir Patrick for a well deserved honor.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And I Love Her....

I received and e-mail today from my Sainted Wife expressing concern that my profile on my blog didn't mention that I was married. More to the point, it kinda bugged her. I was taken a bit aback. Out of the approximately 10,ooo things I do every week (day) to bug her, this wasn't one that I was expecting. So, I came here to rectify the situation & lo and behold, there isn't a tab on the profiles to indicate marital status. So I thought this would be the next best thing...hopefully it is.

I met Deanna on the first day of class of our sophomore year in college. August 26, 1988 to be precise. Our professor was what you would call "goofy" and the second thing I noticed about her (besides the fact that I thought she was smoking hot) was that she was the only one besides me laughing at him. I thought, "Gorgeous, smart & a sense of humor. She could be the total package." So, mustering all my courage & charm, I asked her to go get lunch. After unsubtly finding out she was single, I weakly hinted that, if she didn't have any plans that night, that I was also free & that she should give me a call if she wanted to hang out. She did & we did & the rest is history.

I am and continue to be remarkably blessed by her. She puts up with my crap (and those of you who know me know that I generate roughly 25 metric tons of crap a day) with more grace & good humor than anyone I know (including me) would or should. She's been there for me through good times & bad and no matter how many reasons I gave her for not wanting to stick around, she still does.

She's got an abiding love & spirit for little kids, small animals & old people and is quite simply the best thing that's ever happened to me. On top of everything else, she manages to stay sane while being married to an improviser. Anyone who's ever been in any kind of relationship with someone who performs improv knows that this isn't always an easy task.

I've often said that people who get to know us like me, but love her. I'm not being self-deprecating here. She's easy to love & a much better person than I am, but I'm trying.

So, in conclusion, even though there's no spot to say it on my profile, sorry ladies I'm very much taken.

Love you lots.


Monday, April 26, 2010

There's Always A Price To Pay

Guys...did you enjoy taking your girlfriend/spouse to "Kick-Ass?" Did you get out of seeing JLo in "The Back Up Plan" by conning her into seeing "The Losers?" Have you already told her that she's got to get home from work early on May 6th so you can make it to that midnight show of "Iron Man 2." I hope so. Because she's keeping score in her head and there's gonna be a price to pay. The bill comes due on May 27th when she looks at you & reminds you that "Sex & The City 2" is opening.

You may get lucky. She may have a gaggle of girlfriends just chomping at the bit to go see the equine Sarah Jessica Parker & friends head to that hotbed of partying and sex, the Middle East. For your sake, I hope so. Because if she doesn't, you're screwed. You can try and come up with any lame excuse you want, but it's not going to hold water. You're gonna get reminded how many times in the last month she's gone to see people get shot, disemboweled & blown up & it's only fair that you go see Carrie and her gang wear ugly clothes and bond.

Of course this is a gross generalization. I know there are many women who could care less about Sex and the City. There are many women who enjoy a good action flick as much as you do. For your sakes, I hope that you are involved with one of these women. If not, well, may God have mercy on your soul. Look at the bright side...there's a 50/50 chance that between hugs & girl power, there might be a little nudity.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You've Been Warned...

So, my capacity for dealing with stupid questions (especially from people who should know better) is at an all time low. Time was, I'd get asked a dumb question & I would patiently smile and answer and chuckle to myself about how silly people could be sometimes.

But not anymore. In fact, I'm instituting a new policy. If you begin asking me a stupid question (by my definition, a stupid question is one that if you thought about it for 5 seconds before asking, you'd realize that you either (a) already know the answer or (b) shouldn't be asking something so silly in the first place) I'm going to flick you in the ear until you (a) stop or (b) go away. No warning...just ear flicking. If this doesn't make you stop, I'm moving on to a sock full of nickels & will pummel you about the head & shoulders until you stop.

Naturally, there are exceptions to every rule. If you can (a) divorce me, (b) fire me or (c) kick the crap out of me (or any combination of the three) I will continue to answer your stupid questions with grace, but reserve the right to mock you mercilessly behind your back for a period of no less than 3 months.

Have a nice day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Jeffrey Story

I couldn't verbalize this last night, but I wanted to share it.

Last January, for my 40th birthday, we had made plans to go out of town. For a variety of reasons, those plans fell through. So, we decided to just hang out at Frankie's & let people know we'd be there if they wanted to come by & help me celebrate this milestone.

Since my birthday that year fell on Super Bowl Sunday along with all the other things that people had going on, coupled with the fact that it was so last minute, I wasn't terribly surprised when after a couple of hours no one had shown up. Except that Jeffrey did.

We hung out for a while, played some games, won some tickets & had a nice visit. The next week, I mentioned to Richard that I appreciated Jeffrey coming by while he was home to visit. Richard told me that Jeffrey had driven in from Greensboro just to come see me for my birthday.

That meant a lot to me then & it means even more to me now.

Anyway...that's my Jeffrey story. Rest well, my friend. I'm gonna miss you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Driving Me Crazy

Dear Other Motorists...
I know we've had a rocky relationship lately. We just can't get on the same page and it's causing us stress. I've examined our relationship & have come to one conclusion: It's not me, it's you.

You seem to be bipolar, especially the last few days. You see, either you're in front of me going 10 miles under the speed limit or you're behind me trying to go 10 miles faster than me while ignoring the basic principle of physics that states that two objects can't occupy the same space at the same time.

The slowness I don't have a huge problem with. Yes, it's annoying for me, but something that I can ultimately get over. It's the second trait that's causing me worry. You see, in the first place, I drive a large truck. Often, when you think I'm just leisurely cruising along, I actually have another vehicle in front of me and, since I have no desire to send their back seat flying suddenly into their front seat, I need to keep a little space between us. I know you can't see this, but we've been together long enough that you should trust me on this once in awhile.

In the second place, the idea that you're so much more important than I am hurts me deeply. I know there are times when I'm driving a little slower than you. Believe me, it's not to annoy you. It's that I have this ridiculous aversion to either (a) get a ticket or (b) slamming into inanimate objects like trees, guard rails and other cars just so you can save a few minutes. As someone with a fairly large ego, I understand the concept that you are the center of the universe. Trust me on this...you're not.

So, dear other driver, I'm asking you seek help & be patient or there may be consequences. Consider this...my truck is 9 years old, fully insured and I don't particularly care what happens to it at this point. Keep pushing me & you may find out what someone with nothing to lose, transportation-wise, will to to end a relationship.

All the best...

Monday, March 1, 2010

An E-Pip-phany

Everyone loves Gladys Knight. You know why? The Pips, that's why. Who wouldn't want a group of smooth background dancers following them around, choreographing their daily lives? Nobody, that's who. And, using the Pips method, I've figured out how to solve both the rampant depression and unemployment problems facing our nation today.

It's very simple...we take all of the people who are unemployed and put them in groups of four. Then, using a database of everyone in America on anti-depressants, we assign the groups of four to be the depressed person's Pips. The Pips spend their days following the depressed person around and dancing behind them in a very, well, Pip-like fashion.

Since it's impossible to be sad when you've got your very own Pips, the depressed person will be happy again. The money they used to spend on Xanax and the like will go into a fund to pay the Pips salaries. As an added bonus, the Pips, who were undoubtedly depressed at being unemployed, will now be happier individuals, thus eliminating their need for anti-depressants in the future.

Everybody wins...everybody gets Pips. You're welcome, America.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Fever

By now, the whole world is wrapped up in the spectacle that is the Winter Olympics, celebrating the best that athletics has to offer. And yet, I still feel like there's something missing. I couldn't put my finger on it until today. What the modern Olympics is lacking is the sheer terror of imminent death.

Back when the USSR was a world power, there was a certain tension among the athletes from the Soviet bloc countries. A look that said, "If I screw this up, I'm gonna die." Every time a prancing pony gymnast from Belarus didn't stick the landing or a Polish ice dancer fell on his sequined butt, everyone watching knew that it was all over for them. It was the ultimate in reality television.

These days, it's just not as exciting if you know that the only consequence of missing the triple salchow is that the pairs skaters might have to go to couple's counselling.

But I have a plan to bring back that edge & apply it to American reality television. Up the ante for the losers. Think how much more thrilling it would be if, say, the losers on "Survivor" didn't get to meet Regis & Kelly, but instead would meet Boris the former KGB interrogator. Or, if after finidhing second on "American Idol," Clay Aiken had been sent to Siberia instead of making crappy records.

So let's reclaim that Schadenfreude that we've lost & make people who think they can dance be very, very certain they can before auditoning.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So, "House" creator David Shore & Steve Carell of "The Office" are producing a remake of the classic 70's detective series "The Rockford Files." As a fan of both the show and original star James Garner, you might think that I think that this is a terrible idea. And on one level it is. The original was pitch perfect and completely tied to its era. You had the trailer by the beach, the cool Camaro, the original model answering machine that opened every episode and the cooler than cool James Garner. It wasn't perfect, but boy was it entertaining.

That being said, if Carell and Shore can remember a few important facts, a remake might not be so bad. Here's what needs to happen for it to be good:

  • Jim Rockford is not House. He's not tortured or anti-social. Yeah, he's a little ticked off at being sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit (a theme that producer Stephen J. Canell would exploit a few years later in "The A-Team.") but he's a well adjusted professional doing his job. There are no deep, dark secrets. It's an old-fashioned detective show.
  • Jim Rockford doesn't like guns. He never carried one in the 70's and he sure doesn't need to carry one now.
  • Don't screw around with the theme song. No remixes, no reimagining, no new orchestration or lyrics. Just have the answering machine beep and hit the music.
  • Don't srew around with the car. You can have your General Lee's and your Kitt's and your A-Team vans, for my money the gold camaro was the quintessential cool TV show car.
  • Rockford is cool, so think about that when casting. Sam Rockwell would be a great choice, if you could get him to do TV. If not him, Michael Weatherly from NCIS is practically playing a version of Rockford every week.
  • His dad Rocky is an integral part of the show. You could do a lot worse than throwing a bunch of money at Bruce Campbell to play him.
  • Seriously...if it gets picked up as a series, DON'T SCREW AROUND WITH THE THEME.
So good luck David & Steve (if I can be so bold as to call you that, since we're old pals & all.) Don't mess this up. Make it fun. Make it exciting. And please, please...don't screw around with the theme.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Over The Hill Gang

Since I turn 41 on Saturday (and officially, in the words of a good friend, go from "Old Fart" to "Old #$%&") I thought it would be a good idea to take stock of what I like to call:

  • Shop at Hot Topic, or even walk past the store without looking like a Narc
  • Become a cast member of "Saturday Night Live"
  • Drink like I'm 25
  • Drink like I'm 35 (which is essentially the same thing as 25, but with the added pressure of needing to (a) get home and (b) having to pee every 15 minutes)
  • Dance in public without the aid of alcohol (technically, I've never been able to do that, but now I can blame it on my age rather than being, shall we say, "rhythmically challenged")
  • Use hip-hop slang credibly
  • Drive a sports car without looking like a middle-aged dorknozzle having a mid-life crisis
  • Play a professional sport (although my complete lack of athletic ability could also have something to do with it)
  • Wear a baseball cap backwards in public (see sports car above for why)
  • Die young
On the plus side, my advancing years do afford me some perks that I didn't know about:
  • I can watch shows on CBS unironically
  • My long, rambling boring stories can be seen as age-related rather than simply raging narcissism
  • I can use the phrase "Back in my day...." and really mean it
  • I can wear sweatpants 24/7 and out in public and nobody cares
So it's not all bad. I don't even feel guilty standing on my porch and yelling, "You kids get off my lawn!" while shaking my fist. Being a codger has its advantages.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome To Con Air

Last night I revisited one of my favorite bad movies: the Michael Bay/Nicolas Cage extravaganza "Con Air." Oh Holy Night...this is one fantastic bad movie.

Now, by "bad movie," I don't mean it's not entertaining. I mean a movie that's so over-the-top and committed to it's goofiness that it's ridiculously fun to watch. I'd forgotten how gloriously stupid and funny "Con Air" was. I mean, when Steve Buscemi gives the most subtle performance in a film, you know you're in for a wild ride.

How do I love thee "Con Air?" Let me count the ways...

  • Nicolas Cage with a goofy accent and even goofier mullet
  • John Malkovich spitting and snarling like a rabid labradoodle
  • Not one, but two scenes of people walking away from a fireball in slow motion
  • The constant repetition of John Cusack's character's name (Vince Larkin) as if the audience is going to forget who he is
  • The beginning of director Michael Bay's love of extreme close-ups of sweaty men (a motif that also rears its head in "The Rock" and "Armageddon.")
  • The seizure inducing editing that makes you wonder if Bay's been tested for ADD
  • A climax that has the villain stabbed, thrown through the air, electrocuted and having his head squashed, Wile E. Coyote style.
  • John Cusack being the only action hero to ever help save the day in Huraches.
"Con Air" isn't just your average "turn off your brain" action flick. It's a "drink a bottle of tequila, smoke crack and give yourself a lobotomy with a screwdriver" action flick...and I dearly love it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Greatest Network Ever

One of Time Warner cable's newest offerings is RFD HD. I stumbled across it when I found out it shows "Hee Haw" (my love for which knows no bounds & for which I feel no shame.) But looking over their schedule shows me that RFD HD may be the Greatest Network Ever.

Ostensibly catering to rural viewers, RFD offers country music shows like the aforementioned "Hee Haw," "Pop Goes The Country," & even Nashville Netowrk vets Crook & Chase and Ralph Emery have shows. But where the hay really meets the bailer (to mangle a metaphor) is in their other original programming.

This is a network that gives an hour of prime time to a show about growing soybeans...another to a look at the 2009 cotton crop...not to mention something called "The Big Joe Polka Show.". It's like the farm shows that used to come on before cartoons on Saturday morning, only 24 hours a day.

It's so old school & charming that, while I'm mocking the programming, I admire it's earnestness. Goofy or not, RFD knows its market.