Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ever notice?

Ever notice how there are no old women named Brittany or Tiffany?

Of course 20 years ago you could've said, "ever notice how there are no old women named Allison or Catherine?"

20 years before that Susan or Sarah.

20 years before that Opal or Gladys.

20 years from now they'll be saying "Ever notice how there are no old women named Dallas or Dakota?"

20 years from that "Ever notice how there are no old women name RK40-thx 213?"

Monday, May 22, 2006

Eat your heart out Robert McKee

Bazooka Joe Comics are structurally perfect. I attended a performance last night of a friend named Dan Zaitchik who is a wonderful composer. He's one of those people that does something better than you could ever do it so why try.

He was kind enough to put snacks on the different tables including delicious Bazooka Joe Gum.

Here's two comics that have a clear beginning, middle and end.

(JOE and Kid 1 see Billy approaching)

KID 1: Here's comes Billy with his new watch again!

JOE: I'll fix him.

(enter Billy with his nose turned up)

BILLY: My watch is always right.

JOE: Yeah, well this watch fell in the river, a year later it was still running.

BILLY: The watch?

(while walking away)

JOE: No, the River.

~~Ooooooh, Snap!!!~~

(JOE and DUDE are walking to school.)

DUDE: I think I'm going to flunk my history test today on account of sickness.

JOE: You're sick?

DUDE: No, but the fellow I copy from is home with a cold!!


I expect proofs of my thesis in my comments.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dealing with it

I think its been a little over a month since my grandmother, JJ died.

I don't know how to think about it.

My mother and I didn't have a big catharsis. There wasn't the release of "Why? Oh God Why?" We both seemed to have a very subtle sustained sadness. My theory is that my mother and I were both cool with JJ. Every card was out on the table a few years ago and she was a very present part of our lives. So she knew how we felt about her. Most people have a family member pass away and there's that feeling of "I never got to say...they didn't know...I didn't talk to them much...etc." That turns into regret. Or maybe you didn't get along that well with the person or you fought about something that doesn't seem important to you now that they're gone. There might be some resentment. My mother and I didn't have that with JJ. We all were cool with each other.

I'll miss her more the more time that goes by. Right now it still doesn't feel that real. I'm used to being away from her. I'm used to the distance of our relationship. Me in New York and her in Las Vegas. I'm used to not seeing her for months at a time until I can afford to go back home. That's how it feels. Like I'll see her when I go back home. When I was home for the service and such, I kept expecting her to walk in the bedroom and try to scare me awake like she used to. I kept expecting to see her on the computer playing Spider Solitaire and somking a cig when I went dowstairs.

We were very close. She was one of my best friends. One of my two favorite people in this world: her and my mom. Its a very foreign feeling for her to be gone and not partake in her wisdom. She was very very wise. She taught me how to see things from many different aspects. That is part of my comic instinct. Knowing how to see one thing in 15 different ways.

It was sudden the way she died. Which, its strange to say, I think was for the best. It just happened. We didn't have to watch her deteriorate. Apparently, she had a heart attack and my mom and sisters found her in her apt 12 hours after it happened. One thing that haunts me is wondering what that last moment was like. Imagining the look of her face.

This upset me. My mother recently called to tell me that JJ had put my name on her bank account. Meaning that I get whatever is in it. It really bothered me. It felt very final. Like well "here ya go, here's what's left of that woman you loved so very much." And its not a lot of money at all. It'll be spent quickly. I feel horrible about receiving this money. I can't really explain it outside of that.

I got to keep this Dodgers jacket she had. Its in good condition. Maybe she got in the 80s or early 90s: its old school. I said to myself the first time I do stand up on a major TV show nationally I'm gonna where this jacket. Too bad Comedy Central hates me, but that's another story for another time.

I want her to be proud of me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Mind is Clearer Now..

At last
All to well
I can see
where we all
soon will be...

Those are the first words of the Rock Opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I first saw this when i was in high school and I knew once I could sing the way Judas could, I was done. I was a good enough singer. Here's the problem. Bflat above the scale. Its a note Carl Anderson (RIP) goes to in the movie. Its the highest note Judas sings. I can get to A full voice, but i'm straining to do so. Its easy on a good well warmed up day after i haven't had any soda for a month and i've just been kicked in the balls.

Little theatre nerd trivia for you. In the movie of JCS, the very thin Ted Neely played Jesus and the inimitable Carl Anderson played Judas. That lineup, however, was not the original Broadway cast. In fact, you can't easily get the Broadway cast album. You can get the concept album/London cast, you can get the movie soundtrack, a 20 anniversary album, and the last major revival. Last time I checked, you could get the Broadway cast imported from Japan for $60 dollars (I just looked at Amazon and a highlights version is $14.98)!! $60!! Isn't there a way for it to be cheaper? I mean how about a highlights version that i could get on the internet? But no, my friends, that'll probably never happen (No it does, I just said up there....ahh!...getting choked...can't breathe...i didn't play by their rules...i didn't play by their rrrrr...).

Anyway, the original Jesus was Jeff Fenholt (who had some sort of sordid past with the band Black Sabbath and is now a Christian rocker) and the orginal Judas was Ben Vereen. Yes, Ben Vereen. The man. Let us make no mistake. Ben Vereen is the fucking man. He is the real deal. There is a recording of the show Pippin in which he plays the Leading Player where he dances and sings with an enormity that you can only call Ben Vereen. Legend has it that before that production he was in a car accident and was told he would never walk again. He is dancing Fosse in the show. Fosse! The most theatrically specific style of dance in the American Musical!! Never walk again my ass!

Anyway, now that I'm done with that very gay interlude. I will say that late great Carl Anderson did the role like no one else could. His voice is increible and powerful and its effortless to him. I wish I could sing like that. The only other thing I have his singing voice on is "Play On!" the soundtrack of a musical adaptation of Twelfth Night set to the music and time of Duke Ellington. Anderson plays the Duke and good God the man's voice is ridiculous.

I wonder though. Oh how I wonder why its ok for a black man to play Judas. Hmm. In fact a black Judas has become the standard for productions of JCS. Hmm. If they cast a black man as Jesus, I guarantee you people would raise hell, no pun intended. In high school, we almost did this show and people thought I'd be Judas since I was an ok singer, ok actor, and I had a rep for betraying people to the principal for 30 pieces of silver. However, there was no one in my school that could play/sing Jesus: performing arts school or not. That is a high tenor to sing. Rumor was we were gonna cast a girl. The moment the rumor got out, the show was changed. Hmm. Interesting.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rambly McSpambly

Well the door to my apartment has been fixed. THANK GOD. Also, the Metrocard people called and they're gonna refund me $32. Not bad. This is good seeing how the week pass I just purchased stopped working for no reason. Probably got damaged by being in my pocket.

Few Things:

Was watching MTV's new sociological/anthropological clambake entitled "Date My Mom." This is a show when a single person (male/female, gay/straight) goes out with the mothers of 3 different potential mates and makes a decision based on the parent. Um, what?!?! And don't get me started on the very strange incestuous overtones. Um, you're gonna go out with someone because you have sexual tension with their mother?!?! There was one young man who went swimming with the mom of a potential girlfriend. A some point he's rubbing her feet and it cut to him talking to camera going, "Think about the daughter. Think about the daughter."

That same episode contains a line that makes me shutter. This boy looking for the mates is in training to become a fire fighter and one of these possible girlie's is training to do make up on bodies for funerals. When the mother tells her daughter of the boy's occupational goals, the duaghter says, "The people he don't save, I'll make look good." Say it with me: Um, What? And she says it with a perky enthusiasm like its nothing. She just moves on. Nothing to it. That's the kind of thing you say from a dark pensive place. That's the kind of thing you say when you are teetering on the edge of sanity, when you are on the verge of falling into the abyss of man's mortality.

I saw a guy on the subway tonight. Latin guy with a very angry face. He was blasting a song on his iPod. It was "Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson. He was really listening to it. He was mad about it. I wondered who the Diana was in his life.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Compliance...

...with the myth that the pigeons' strike on my head is good luck, I had a bit of luck today. I awoke to find that the front door of my apartment was hanging of the hinge. The bolt in the wall just gave and the door does not close. I had to leave it ajar when i ran my errands today. Luckily, nothing was taken.

Am i still in college or something. Here are some items in my fridge.

Half eaten Chocolate Cake given to me by Collaboration Town on my birthday, December 18th. It's May.

An Uneaten Orange in a Bag.

Some Italian food. At Least that what I think it is. I'm afraid to open it and see.

Some lunchmeats that i can barely see for the bags they are in have fogged up.

And i just came home with groceries. What did i decide I absolutely had to have? Why, Little Debbie's Nutty Bars and Swiss Cake Rolls of course. Also, some milk for my Cocoa Pebbles and Raisin Bran (to balance it out).

People never understand why I eat out so often.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

this one goes out to the class of '06

i have a thing about me that makes people think i'm younger than i am and older than i am at the same time. i was class of '03, so there's a clue.

i recently went back to Boston to see some friends from my old alma mater, BU. These guys were freshman when i was a senior. Now they're seniors and they graduate sunday. i went back to show some support see some shows and such and to participate in a few dialogues about the future. i stayed in my regular hotel: Chez Futon of Lee and Therese (hi, peter) and hung out.

i felt like a burden. Everyone was in that mindspace of leaving school. And i mean leaving school. Its a weird feeling to have your entire existence wrapped up in school. Everything you do and everywhere you go is pretty much motivated by school. Suddenly, no school. To some people, its a very emotional experience. Especially at my school where you become very close with your class. There were less than 40 people in my class. The same people everyday in every class for four years. Obviously, you build very close friendships.

in boston, i was surrounded by people who i would say needed space. A lot of people had family in so i jetted. Also, its the last time I can visit Boston without a solid reason. No one at that school (outside of profs) know who i am and now i'll be that sketchy guy that graduated years ago who keep showing up to parties. So unless I'm doing shows (Walsh's, Yaffe - I'm talking to you), I won't be going back to Boston.

and to the class of '06 i'd like to quote my friend Josh Grosvent from our recent upstate college jaunt "there's nothing for you out there, no one is waiting for you." Oh, funny cuz it's true.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bon of a Stich Part 2: War on Me.

After having lost my wallet this week (which has opened me up to criticism in my comments), I had another very New York thing happen to me today.

After leaving a cafe on 28th street after being accused of stealing Arizona Iced Tea ("why don't you have any napkins?" why would i need that for a drink?), I walked toward the west side. Then I was struck. Not in the face by a stranger, that would have been better. "Hope that was water," said a nearby police officer. Oh, snap! Didn't know to serve and project meant I would get served. "So do I," I returned.

I finally got up to a bathroom in a building to look at the damage. Now I should have mentioned this was no simple shit. The cop said I hope that was water meaning there was a lot that fell out of the air. There was shit on my left knee, both my wrists, my left shoulder, right shoulder blade, a little on my sleeve, and my hair. My hair which I had actually combed out today. Shit. In it.

Now I have to be clear that this is one of two things. Either pigeon asses are similar to changeable shower heads and they can go from spray to focused stream to massage depending on the mood that day, or a disgruntled group of birds assaulted me as a team. I'm gonna go with assault. It felt like I had been shitbombed. It felt very organized and deliberate.

What have I done to deserve this? Has it been the many times I've spoken out about Bush and his policies? No, who doesn't do that nowadays? Its tre chic. I know. It must be the many times in public I've spoken out about the movies Valiant and Chicken Run that prompted a retaliation from the groups represented therein. Well FUCK ya'll. Gotta go bathe now.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bon of a Sitch

Well I lost my wallet. For the second time since I been in NYC. Both times were in the worst possible situations.

The first time was after getting a haircut up in Harlem on the opening night of this little thing I did ON BROADWAY!! I came to NYC with a show in tow which is rare. This was our opening night which meant the performance was early so that we could hit the party afterwards (actually its early for the press). After waiting for a bit and finally getting in the chair, the actual haircut took 30 minutes longer than I expected. Suddenly, I find myself running down 125th St toward the 2/3 station. I have my hair freshly *quaffed. I have a bag full of shit - don't remember what on one arm and my rented lavendar tux complete with tophat on the other arm. I'm running down the street carrying all this and reach into my pocket to get my card for the, no wallet. Oh my God. Not only do I not have my subway card, my IDs were in there and some other things I can't get back. Not cash. But smaller things of sentimental value. I track back a little, but to no avail: I DROPPED IT ON 125TH STREET! I go down into the station hoping i have enough money for a $2 single ride. I put all the change i have in to the machine and I have...ahem...$1.95. I'm like "Someone, please help me. I only need a nickel." I sounded like a beggar so people walked by me or ignored me until the first woman who walked by must have replayed what I said in her head adn gave me a nickel.

The point is I lost my wallet on the street in Harlem.

Yesterday I was exhausted. I sometimes do that New York thing of falling asleep on the subway and waking up at my stop and jumping out of the car. Anyone, who has done this know its very disorienting. You are asleep and suddenly you are walking. I was on the train yesterday with my shoulder bag on my lap. I was holding my cell in one hand and my wallet in the other. I fell asleep. I get to my stop and jump out the car forgetting my wallet was on my lap. It wasn't until 20 minutes later that I realized I dropped it. Now, this is my theory of what happened. I assume this is what happened because it makes the most sense. I cancel my debit card. I'm gonna try to see if I can get my metrocard refunded.

The point is I lost my wallet on a subway train.

Some people freak out badly aobut something like that. I just let it go. I realized there was nothing I could do about it at that time and to freak out would serve no purpose. My New Age inclination tells me I was supposed to lose it for some reason. Maybe the reason is to feel shitty at a later date.

*quaff means to drink a beverage heartily. I really need to do more research when using other people's expressions.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Moment of Clarity #28

The only thing worse than a man with nothing to lose, is a cab driver with nothing to lose.