Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hot or Not?

Okay, so I got sucked in to posting my photo on hotornot.com.

Don't even think about it, you're too late, I just pulled it.

About a week ago, I was horrified by this website called catch27.com which basically made a game of the whole online popularity gimmick, the "I have a million friends on MYSPACE, and only about 1/4 of them are serial killers" had been turned into an actual game where you "win" by associating yourself with more popular people based on their looks and achievements... creepy. Feels like high school all over again. I mentioned the prospect of joining and creating a "pack" (group of 27 "playas") that absolutely no one would want to be associated with, well no one that would play catch27 anyway. The thing is, you can "buy" friendship by buying the playa's card, so they would have to associate with me and my assortment of criminals, alkies and otherwise unsavory degenerates.

I immediately took on the lofty goal of diminishing the value of anyone named Tiffany.

Then, I was invited to do the "Gods and Godesses" radio show at Tufts this week by host Daniel Bromberg and I mentioned catch27 as a possible topic. Bromberg put the kibosh on the idea, touting his college cronies' site, "hotornot.com". While it is mildly less offensive, it still was a study in what I wish our culture were not about.

I did it, okay, I did it. I put my re-touched head shot on the site, and (even more shamefully) waited with baited breath to see what complete random strangers thought of my buffed up, polished photo. Even though it makes me look gay, I hafta tell ya- I don't look nearly as good as my retouched head shot, which I have dubbed "the gay hypnotist".

I was initially pleasantly shocked to see the gay hypnotist cruising at a 9.2 or 9.3. Shocked, actually. I mean, I think I'm sorta cute, but a nine??? Never would have dreamt it. Then disaster struck- a flurry of threes. Okay, am I a 10, no, a 9...probably not, but a fucking THREE? Gime a ^&%$) break people.

Don;t these bastards know that my self esteem is tied closely to housewives from El Paso and bi-sexual college guys from Pasadena with Freud Fantasies thinking I'm at LEAST an 8??? Granted, I would have settled for a seven initially, but that was before I saw the potential for a 9 in the wings.

I didn't want to do it, never planned to do it, still don't believe I did it... but what was I supposed to do, just let some jealous beefhead logging on at Gold's Gym kill my rating? Not when there was still a hairdresser in Deluth yet to see my glorious 9+ rating.

That 9.3 was like a first hit of heroin (I'm guessing, but I have it on god authority that this is a fairly accurate assessment.)

So I, well I... logged on and gave myself a 10.

It was just going to be one extra 10, I swear it was, just to, ya know- tide me over. But one's never enough. A day later, the same phenomenon hit, a flurry of threes, and I had to step in, I didn't want to do it- I OWED to myself to "keep it fair", so I jumped on and shot myself another ten. That was going to be it, I was done told myself confidently, "I don't even care anyway," saying it aloud to no one in particular.

But the next day, the unthinkable happened. The vote count on my picture was up over 150, and some shithead had given me a couple of TWOS, twos for the love of Pete! Could I let this aggression stand? Not on my watch, baby, not on my watch.

I'm a lot better now. I have deleted my account and picture and am currently weening myself off hotornot with Vicadin.

Check out Bromberg's radio show today, featuring ME 5-7pm on WMFO. We we will be covering turning 40, sealing the windows and turning up the gas stove, not neccesarily in that order.

The show is broadcast on the internet at: WMFO, you can find it if you're real smart. I needed help.

Monday, February 27, 2006

NIght Watch

Saw this weird Russian film last night, "Night Watch". It is a classic battle between good and evil, or "light" and "dark". It is supposed to be the first of a trilogy.

The review I read called it a cross between "Mtraix" and "Star Wars" which is why I hate reading movie reviews. The last time I read something that gratuitous it was a review for this piece of shit called, "Things to do in Denver When You're Dead" and the caption was "It outpulps Pulp Fiction!"

I assume the comparison was made becaise the movie tried desperately to mimick the in-and-out jump-around viniette style of Pulp Fiction, but it was void of anything worthwhile in the least. I could barely wait for it to end.

Thankfully, I disregarded the Nigt Watch review, but went in optimistic nonetheless. Well, it was pretty good, but I would love to see it in the hands of Robert Rodriguez or the Wachowski brothers. I'd also say (only if held at gun point) that it was a lot closer to "Highlander" in style and plot than either Star Wars (I have no idea where he came up with that, short of the god/evil thing) or The Matrix. Honestly, namedropping aside, I can;t imagine how The Matrix popped into the reviewer's head when considering comparisons for this film.

Anyway, without giving too much away fr those about to now rush to the theater to see Night Watch, it was interesting, had a great concept from which to work and moved along really well for about 9- minutes. It did begin to drag a bit and I was fighting to stay awake. It had an intriguing end that made me want to see the next installment, and the lead actor was damn good, language barrier aside.

I would say, it out-highlands Highlander, except that it doesn't.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Brown University Gig

So I did a gig at Brown last night. Didn't quite know what to expect. It was a 9pm Friday night show on a college campus, so I'm thinking...drunkfest.

Then again, it's Brown, not Bunker Hill Community College, so maybe not.

The show started right at 9pm, and by a few minutes past, the small auditorium was packed with more than one hundred patrons, 95% of which were students. The show was put on by students as part of a stand up comedy club, which I thought was pretty cool. All the performers, except me, were students there, and they all did a pretty damn good job.

I did a 20 minute set to close the show which went very well, it was just an awesome crowd. They were juiced up, generous and in to the show, attentive and intelligent. I couldn't ask for more. I found out I was doing twenty minutes instead of ten yesterday afternoon, so my set was a little choppy. I really didn't want to use any notes, and as a result of the last minute set I pieced together, I forgot a bunch of the best stuff I wanted in there, but I semeed to get lucky improvising and the crowd was just so good that I would have had to really blow it to not have a good set.

Brown University. Ivy League. Wow.

I went to a fairly prestigious college in Massachusetts myself, Westfield State College. A lot of people don't know this, but Westfield State is one of the top five schools in Westfield. We were in the vaunted MASAC (Mass State College Athletic Conference), which is sort of the Ivy League of Western Mass.

Much as the Ivy League has classic rivalries between opponents, we enjoyed the same fine traditions as Camp Westy. We had a brutal football rivalry with the Franklin St. Detox and Homeless Shelter. Man, those guys protected that pigskin like it was a vile of crack, a tough tough team. I'll never forget the tremendous mens softball league title we won in extra innings over Teddy's Pub.

These kids at Brown today are spoiled rotten if you ask me. For one thing, everybody and their brother has a computer. At Westy, we didn't need all these computers and classrooms and like books and stuff. Upon enrollment we were issued a keg tap and a waterbong and sent on our way.

Brown had seven medalists in the Olympics, all for women's hockey, three on the Candian gold medal-winning team and four on the American squad that earned the bronze. On the bright side, Westfield State is represented in the upcoming Summer Olympics with three memebers earnings spots on the Beer-pong squad.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Why "Brokeback Mountain" will sweep the Oscars

Brokeback Mountain is a shoe-in for best picture. For one thing, there isn't much that really jumps out this year. "Munich" would be my pick, and "Syriana" was good, although admittedly difficult to follow. I loved "Good Night and Good Luck" and I couldn't believe David Strathairn (who played newsman Edward R. Murrow so brilliantly) didn't win the Golden Globe, so I hope he takes the Oscar. "Good Night and Good Luck" would be another fantastic choice for Best Picture, but I'm not sure enough people saw the film for Hollywood to give it the nod.

While as few people probably saw "Brokeback Mountain", Brokeback has other things in its corner, and believe me- the film is going to clean up.

Admittedly, I haven't actually seen Brokeback Mountain, and it may not be the best picture in the running, but the Democrats will do anything to piss off the Bush Administration... and Hollywood is the last thing in this country they actually have control over.

I can hear the chatter in L.A. now:

Flunkie ONE: "You voting for Brokeback for best picture?"

Flunkie TWO: I sure am!

Flunkie ONE: So you think it was the best movie, huh?

Flunkie TWO: No...FUCK BUSH! That's why!!! Brokeback for best picture, best director, best screenplay...Brokeback for BEST ANIMATED FEATURE!!!

Flunkie ONE: Um... Brokeback wasn;t actually anim...

Flunkie TWO: Hey... you wanna tap my phone??? Well then Brokeback Mountain wins twelve Oscars... take THAT President Bush!

The Demorats might have been humiliated in 2000 & 2004, but see if the vaunted right wing can win an election on prime time television...I don't think so, beyaaaaaatch.

Hollywood andf the liberals have absolutely OWNED prime time, baby. The courageous reps from the left actually put forth an Hispanic candidate on West Wing... gutty, very very gutty. David Palmer was elected on FOX's 24, and the Dem's even managed to get the first woman (in the person of Geena Davis) elected on ABC.

Maybe I'm a tad cynical, but shouldn't these shows be playing on the SCI FI channel in between the X Files and Battlestar Gallactica? An Hispanic? A black guy? A woman???

Would someone please gimme a break? We couldn't even elect a RICH WHITE GUY.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

When Something is funny only to you

I swear, this bit is funny, and I'm going to try it again. Maybe I'll change the tone of my voice from one of irritation to one of confusion, but I know this is funny.

Sometimes, you just have a feel, ya know?

I remember about seven years ago during my first tour of duty in comedy, I went on this incredible rant about Tom Cruise, listing movie after movie in which he played himself, delineating ridiculous plots.

Nothing. I got nothing, well blank stares and nothing. I aborted half way through the bit, baffled.

Two things were working against me. ONE- Cruise was wildly popular at the time. TWO- most people hadn't seen "Far and Away" and some of the other piles of shit he had starred in. Ironically, as someone that despised him at the time, I had seen them all, probably hoping one would be worse than the last.

Though I flew into the side of a mountain in '99 with the bit, now I look like George Orwell, predicting the future. If anyone had heard of those films or cared, that would be a terrific bit.

Example two-About a year ago, there was a picture of Jessica Simpson on a tabloid in a bikini. Keep in mind, this was before she beefed up and got in shape for the Dukes of Hazzard debacle. Anywho- Jessica is there is a bikini, with her ribs sticking out like she posing for advertisement for C.A.R.E. Her hip looks like a makeshift shiv, threatening to put the eye out of anyone that goes down on her.

The caption reads, "How can Nick leave her now, when she's THIS HOT???"

I was thinking, "well maybe he just went out to get her some chinese food or a pizza before she starves to death." (Scattered laughter) Then I go into a dissertation, "LA is the only place that a girl can show up on someone's doorstep with her ribcage sticking out and someone says, hey... let's get some breast implants on you and put you in pictures."

That got nothing, nothing. After the show, three separate women came up and thanked me for the joke. I was thinking, "laughter would have been thanks enough, now why don;t you drop a few pounds and buy a padded bra."


Above joke continued: I have a theory that the guys that determine what looks are hot in the fashion industry grew up masturbating to National Geographics. That's the only way you can explain some of these articles, This Year's hot new fashion trend...FAMINE!"

Okay, so maybe it was more pointed than funny.

My latest funny-only-to-me is this piece of wisdom...

I met a girl on a cruise last week, well I had known her from a previous cruise, but anyway, not important...

We spent a lot of time swimming on exotic beaches, hanging out in hot tubs, etc. I was chatting with her via phone the other day and she mistakes something I said for "what size are you?"

When I explain that I hadn't said that, she says, "oh good, because that would be a little inappropriate, you should never ask a girl her size... that's very personal."

Um...okay... but I've seen you in a bikini... I already KNOW what size you are? What is it about knowing the number at Old Navy that corresponds to that size that makes it inappropriate?

I think this is hilarious. I have presented it to a few people, some men some women. The guys mostly laughed, about half of the women thought it was funny, but the audience totally stiffed me, and I brke it out in the middle of a roll, so I can't blame a cold crowd.

A good friend and trusted comedy confidante stoned me... told me it just was't funny. "Where's the joke?" she said.


I appreciate honesty, but I think the joke is obvious. Our society is so programmed into body type fear that even when someone has seen you practically naked, you have to guard that information like you're calling Al Qaeda from the greater DC area.

To me, ad as it is, it's amusing and certainly needs to be talked about.

Then again, I'm a guy so what the hell do I know?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

So long, favorite greasy spoon

I went to Peg's Diner with my dad today. It was okay, but it just wasn't the same. I know life is a constant state of change, but Peg's was one place that had been the same for me since I was a little kid ordering toast, barely big enough to see over the counter.

Personnel changed, but the spirit of the place remained the same.

When I was a kid, it was "Barbara's Place". Barbara was a kind soul with a warm heart. She would occasionally feed one of the local drunks who lived nearby in a building loaded with dicey characters and dirty rooms for rent, cheap. Pete was given countless free meals until his lunch reversed gears on him one too many times, and Barbara couldn't invite him in anymore.

The diner was loaded with local flavor, surly customers, sweethearts and al-around wackos. One of my favorite regulars was a character named Bill Healy, but no one I know ever called him Bill, we called him "Hickey". I didn't know his name was Bill for years.

Hick would sit at the end of the bar, and often pay for other people's lunches quietly on the way out. He had a habit of yelling "GET IN!!!" when he saw you in the street, the meaning of which was explained to me when I was old enough to grasp it.

Another staple at the diner, especially on Saturday mornings, was Donny Blett, a janitor at our local high school. Donny was forever grousing about something, often uttering, "just once... ONCE, I'd like to get what I ordered in this place.

Donny often ranted about the prices, which were and still are extremely low. My dad and I had lunch there today for less than ten bucks, yeah- LESS than ten bucks.

One of the guy's favorite pastimes while eating lunch was to gripe about how bad "Friendly's" was and talk about how if they could just improve to lousy, he'd be a regular there. This would usually be followed by a chorus of patrons rooting for Friendly's to improve both the quality of the food and the service.

I remember one Saturday around noon. Donny ordered a plain hamburger, whipped out a tomato and a knife and cut a few slices, adding them to the burger. When it was time to pay for the burger, he questioned the price. Barbara said, "hamburger with tomato, $2.25."

Blett, a guy that stood about 5'2", pulled out his ace, "But I brought the tomato."

Barbara only pointed to the board showing the prices, "hamburger with tomato, $2.25."

I wouldn't have been surprised if Donny's head exploded and he railed for the umpteenth time, "That's it, THAT IS IT! This is the last time I'm eating in this place."

Gosh, do I miss him.

Barbara's son Steve was a flamboyant, and very funny cook. being it was the 70s and 80s in a little town like Whitinsville, there weren't too many gay chaps hanging out, and he was both humorous and a refreshing change from the same old same old.

Time passed and Barbara retired. Fortunately, Peg had been an employee there for at least ten or twelve years, so the transition was smooth. Peg's son Jim had taken over as cook years before and had the same edge Steve had, if not moreso.

Jim, knowing my dad ONLY eats clam chowder or chicken with rice soup, would occasionally threaten to serve him bean soup and actually tossed a few green beans into his chicken with rice to get a reaction. Peg was a rock, unflappable, and always had a one-liner. If you griped about waiting too long for a refill, Peg would ask you how long you'd been coming to the diner and add, "And you don;t know where the coffee is yet?" as if you were utterly hopeless.

When you hadn't been in in a while, Peg would say things like, "good to see you, boy that parole is a wonderful thing isn't it?" or simply, "whenja get out?"

Did I forget to mention, they used the same coffee urn for about thirty years, and the coffee was magic, the omelettes perfect, it was the ideal greasy spoon, and the lunch menu had a terrific home cooked meal or two every day.

All good things come to end, sadly, that's the way life works. After many years of waking up at 4 a.m., Peg has finally retired. Jim is no longer there either. Peg's son-in-law Mike has taken over the day-to-day management of the place. He's a nice enough guy, tries to smile, but joshing with him feels like trying to high-five an accountant.

I ate there today with my dad, and while the food was good, there was spice missing. Hick passed away about ten years ago. The drunks that used show up are long gone, and though a few of the locals pop in and say something goofy, you can feel that it is the end of an era, and it doesn't feel good.

Eating in Peg's today tought me an old lesson all over again. Really sweet things in life have a lofe span. Sometimes the life span is long, sometimes it isn't, but all things are finite on this plane.

I sit in one of my new local digs, The Diesel Cafe. It is one mf my favorite hangouts where I now live, in Somerville, Massachusetts. The coffee is okay, the food is a touch weird, the desserts yummy, but I feel like this place is part mine, like I have helped shape it in some small way just by showing up and being myself, chatting up locals and doing the do.

I don't feel a comraderie like I did at Barbara's/Peg's, but those things are very very special and don;t come along every day.

Thanks Barbara.

Thanks Peggy.

Thanks Hickey, Donny and Pete.

I hardly knew ye.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Cruise Tradition

Back in November of 2004, I took my first cruise in about ten years. It was great, but the lone drawback was losing my cell phone. I left it in the shuttle bus, realizing it about twenty seconds after I got off the bus. They could never seem to reach the guy driving the bus, even as I chased it down the parking lot.

I am a sucker for tradition, so I carefully planned to have someone swipe my cell phone from my baggage.

The worst part is, of course, losing all the phone numbers stored in the phone.

One of my favorite local comics says it best:

"Losing a cell phone is like losing a child... a child that knows the names, addresses and phone numbers of all your friends...

... It's like losing an autistic child".- MYQ Kaplan

So I have lost my second cell phone... *sigh*

Friday, February 03, 2006


Okay, I know NOBODY wants to hear me whine about being in Aruba, especially my northern brothas and sistas, but seriously, I can't wait to get back to, well... home.

This two vacations in a row stuff isn't for me, I am friggin' exhausted. I don;t think I have recovered lag-wise from the European time difference. I am still staying wide awake (though tired) until 3 or 4 am, then waking up at 9am dazed and confused (I mean MORE dazed and confused than usual.

I did comedy on the ship last night for our group. It went okay, but not terrific. I got a good reaction, but of course, I always want a great reaction. There were a lot of older folks, so I went cleancleanclean, but couldn't get away with the one semi-dirty line I tossed in.

Amusingly, a lot of people came up later and told me that was their favorite joke.

I am soooo tired I can't even write a decent blog right now. I prmoise, I'll get the edge back upon my return.

lata gata.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Diminished blog entries

Okay, I realize that it looks like I've gone from a once-a-year blogger to a prolific blogger and reverted to the once-per-year thing, but I swear it isn't true. The internet rates on the ship are brutal and I just coudn't justify the "special package deal" that brought down the internet rates to 55 cents per minute.

So I popped in here in Barbados, where I am practically stealing the time at 20 cents a minute, I don't know how they stay in business.

There is a perception that these third world countries sell everything on the cheap, but they nail you with the accessories.

Case in point- Dominica... prostitutes? Very reasonable. But the penicillin is outrageous. See what I mean? Always a hook.

Will promise to be prolific again upon my return.

Over and out.

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