Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Downton vs Downtown

Julie and have been watching Downton Abbey. Then, when she goes to sleep, I watch The Wire. These two shows might seem like an odd back to back combo, but they are in fact surprisingly similar.

Downton Abbey follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants on the fictional estate of Downton Abbey in North Yorkshire.

The Wire follows the lives of the Baltimore Police department and the criminal element that live within the city of Baltimore.

Both have ensemble casts. Both paint vivid pictures of the struggles between "classes" that live within the same society. Neither glorify nor vilify the lives of its characters.

And, I'm not certain that Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham isn't played by the same actor who plays Stringer Bell.

After all, they both have British accents in real life!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hockeytine's Day

Julie and I don't typically celebrate Valentine's Day, but this year I thought it would be nice to do something Romantic ---- watch guys potentially beat each other up.

I contacted a few friends to try and score some Flyers tickets. I don't mind paying for them, but Stub Hub has a tendency to charge you a lot of $ for shitty seats, so I'd prefer to go through friends.

My first conversation has had no response yet, so I guess that's not technically a conversation at all.

The second message I sent has yielded a lot of butt sex jokes, complete with an illustration over facebook messenger.

FYI ---- ()o() is a butthole (although it looks more like Darth Vader's Tie Fighter).

The third conversation, which seems the most likely to end with hockey tickets in hand, may also see a new web series produced from these talks. 

Stay tuned...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bloody Bloody Hockey!!!

I “missed” the NHL’s All Star game in 2003.  I didn’t miss it, I “missed” it.  It was on in the back ground while I talked to Michael Gray (my hero) about multimedia for City Theater’s 2003 production of “Into the Woods.” 

We met on common ground like we were trying to squelch a mafia type war.  My wife Julie drove me to Kerry Kristine’s house on “Suicide Curve,” a great name for a place where one attempts to curb bloodshed.  As I recall, Julie & Kerry went out (drinking I’d assume) while the men stayed home to talk musical theater with the 2003 NHL All Star Game on the TV in the back ground.

Fast forward 9 years.

I fell in love with a musical called Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson last year. 

I started listening to the music in October, so of course it went and closed “off Broadway” in December.  I never got to see it.  Then it’s announced that my own City Theater is producing the show for the 2012 season.  Holy Balls!  I gotsta be involved.  

I plead with my hero to allow me to jump on board.  He graciously lifts the restraining order he’s had in place for a few years, allowing me to come on board with the production. 

My first meeting with the production team?  This Sunday, January 29 for auditions.  It also happens to be during the 2012 NHL All Star Game. 

Well played Gray.  Well played indeed.

On a happy note, Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers has been added to the roster for The 2012 NHL All-Star game, replacing injured Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews.

Smiling Kitty News

Some news is just easier to receive when delivered along with a smiling cat:

 "I'm sorry, the class you need to graduate is full this semester."

 "I found your iPod, apparently it was in the pocket of the jeans I just washed."

"It's not you, it's me." 

From Tattoo artist:  "Wait, how do you spell it?" 

"Well...now we're both orphans!"

"Yep, it's Cancer."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Plague Has Many Victims

Yes Virginia, I am a mere mortal.

After, miraculously, avoiding catching Julie's Plague like flu, I got sick last week. Tuesday I started feeling more and more run down throughout the day. In the evening I went to get my hair cut (insert your lame ass bald joke here) and like Samson, found myself weaken in the aftermath. I called out of work on Wednesday and slept for about 12 hours. I caught up on movies I have missed over the years, including The French Connection (I was WAY behind).

I was feeling a bit better by Wednesday night so I went back to work on Thursday, against my wife's advice. I felt awful all day and was told I could go home at 1pm. However I was so busy, I ended up staying, skipping lunch and even staying late. What a dumbass! So I had NO problem calling out Friday. I slept 14 hours this time and picked up where I left off in my movie watching on Wednesday (I should have watched The French Connection 2).

Friday night I decided to stay it. This was a really tough decision because my friend Ben Smith had an album release party that night and The Big Lebowski was playing at The Colonial Theater. But I was still felling rundown and thought it best to "take it easy for all us sinners". Then I called my buddy Jim. I talked him, and myself, into not only doing one of these funtime things, but both of them! I warned Jim I was sick, but he didn't mind. So we met at Milkboy Cafe in Ardmore to celebrate Ben's CD dropping. We only got to stay for about 30 minutes of his set, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Then we headed for The Big Lebowski in Phoenixville in my car. Unfortunately, this flu I had was to display all sorts of unforeseen symptoms, such as getting pulled over by the fuzz!

Now some of you may remember, in a previous blog, I have been a bit lax in getting my license renewed. 5 years lax in fact. I have been busy! Christ I only just saw The French Connection. OK, this isn't entirely true. My license had been renewed, I just never got around to having the photo and the new license made. This often caused issues in bars (insert your lame ass drunken Irish joke here). I handed the copper my 5 year expired license and my registration. I didn't have my updated insurance card so he had to look them both up. He ended up giving me a warning and a notice to present the DL & insurance to the Lower Merion PD within the next 5 days. Doesn't he know I had planned to watch Birth of a Nation? Fine.

I got my DL photo. I was told you're no longer allowed to smile by friends before I went in for the photo. Apparently the people at this DMV didn't know that (or about technology past the 8 track). They let me smile while proudly wearing my Gryffindor scarf. I probably could have gotten away with wearing the goddamn sorting hat for all they cared. I am so pale in my photo I ended up looking like Russell Edgington, the vampire king of Mississippi, from True Blood. Although, I suspect old Rusty would have been a Hufflepuff (they are lazy and have everyone else do their work-but they are allowed to smile!) Julie had our insurance company fax my current insurance card (ironically I had the new card which doesn't go into effect until February). So I was all set!

On Tuesday I drove to the police station arriving about 5:30 pm. They were closed. The police station was closed. Apparently Popeye Doyle's got himself a cushy job. Their hours 8:30-4:30pm Which means as long as you keep your crime spree between 5-9am, you're golden! So, I called the police. Their receptionist instructed me to call back the next morning. I did. And I spoke to a gruff cop.

Gruff Police Employee: "Lower Merion Police Department."
Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "Hi, perhaps you can help me. I received a notice to present my driver's license and current insurance card to your station. Can I fax them?"
Gruff Police Employee: "No. You have to bring them in."
Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "You're hours are 8:30am-4:30pm correct?"
Gruff Police Employee: "Yes."
Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "Hmmm. That's tough for me as a Law Abiding Citizen with a job."
Gruff Police Employee: "Well, as a Gruff Police Employee, I don't give a shit."
Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "Fair point. Can I take the information to a notary public and mail it in?"
Gruff Police Employee: "What would a notary public do?"
Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "Publically note that I have this stuff?"
Gruff Police Employee: "No."
Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "You don't wish to expound on that answer?"
Gruff Police Employee: "No, asshole."

Yesterday, I left work at 3:30pm. I got to the police department about 4ish (I speed - take that fuckers!). A nice woman copied my DL, insurance and the citation. She stamped the citation and handed it back.

Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "That's it?"
Nice Woman With Access To A Copier: "That's it!"
Law Abiding Citizen Regan: "Where's Gruff Police Employee?"
Nice Woman With Access To A Copier: *"He died of AIDS."
*Events may have not occurred exactly as reported.

I am no longer a scofflaw. I still have a cough. Goddamn Plague.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Are You Doing Right Now?

Like right this very moment?

Here's what I am doing:

-Listening to a playlist I downloaded with 26 different versions of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.  Right now, Jeff Buckley is playing, I am looking forward to Rufus Wainwright's version.

-I just finished watching 2 hours of "You Can't Do That On Television" clips on youtube.  I am trying to find a sketch they did about an exploding "overdue" library book.

-Wishing I had season 2 of The Wire.  I finished season 1 and am feeling a bit like my boy Bubs.  I'm jonesing!  I was going to put a call out on facebook, but I already did that with Deadwood and have a few people offering.  I don't want seem like I'm abusing the social network.

-Just removed a shit load of photos from my phone.  They are now in my master picture file.  Odds are, if we've met, I have a file with your name and bunch of photos in it.  I'm like Richard Nixon or some shit!

-Waiting for an email back from "Moose" of "You Can't Do That On Television" fame.  It's possible she won't email back.  It's also possible she'll be on the Podcast.

...Stay Tuned!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

“Totally Butterfingers”

“Totally Butterfingers”

Saturday night was one of the best nights I have ever had doing Improv. 

I played the ComedySportz late show on “The Philadelphia Fighting” Amish with Jason Stockdale, Kristin Finger & Alli Soowal (who was also the Captain).  Before the show began Alli asked me what I thought of playing “Game-O-Matic.”  She knew I had never played it, and probably suspected I had never even heard of it.  Once she explained it, I remembered reading about it, but I had never seen it played before.  Basically, the members of the team line up and invent a game.  The audience decides which game will be played.

So we are a game into the second half of the show when Alli tells The Ref (Don Montrey) we’d like to play Game-O-Matic.  We line up and each of us suggests our game to the fans.  Mine was a simple “switch game” called, “That’s Our Hasselhoff.”  Where we would play out a scene and then replay the same scene replacing all of the characters with David Hasselhoff.  Any other night, that would probably be the winner.  However this night would see the game “Totally Butterfingers” played instead.

Jason suggested a game, where any time a player says the word “and,” they have to woof down an entire Butterfinger candy bar.  Luckily we have snack in ample supply at the concession table.  Don went down the line getting everyone to applaud for the game they wanted to see the most.  The deafening roar when Don asked if the audience wanted to see “Totally Butterfingers” sent Eoin O’Shea, from The New Jersey Turnpikes, running to gather up the candy.

Kristin & Jason started the scene in an office.  Kristin’s character had seen a mouse and was going to get tools to “eliminate” it.  Jason wanted to know which tools exactly, forcing her into eventually saying “and.”  She jammed the candy bar into her mouth.  Jason continued the scene as Alli came in as the supervisor.  Jason said “and” triggering further Butterfinger consumption.  Alli, who I believe is the only one to accidentally say “and”, was in the mist of Totally eating when I stepped in to yell at all my co workers for their lack of production.  I knew full well I was going to say the word“and”…but I waited.  I wanted it to seem to the audience like I might not say it.  I wanted the audience to think, “I think he’s going to make it.”  Finally I gave a litany of issues occurring in the office which included the infamous word. 

The laughter, cheers or general guffaw that rang through my ears, was one of the greatest highs I have ever experienced in my life.

As we continued the scene some of my Butterfinger, or as I call it “Butterfinger dust”, popped out of my mouth causing an abundance of laughter from the front row.  At that point I decided to really try and talk which forced the BF Dust EVERYWHERE!  I looked around and noticed Alli, Jason & Kristin were also regurgitating Butterfingers in exchange for laughter.  Don called the game and luckily brought up a “Brown Bag” for us to rid ourselves of the candy still in our mouths. 

While The New Jersey Turnpikes played the next game, I found myself emptying my water bottle trying to get the now candy cement out of my mouth.

We later learned poor Kristin had recently had work done on her teeth.  This game was a complete NO NO for her, yet she suffered for her art like a pro!

As I think back two things come to the forefront of my mind, one, how amazing it was to know we had the audience right where we wanted them and two, that I NEVER want to eat another Butterfinger again.

Come see ComedySportz, and be sure to stop by the snack table!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

End of the Year Review (December)

12/2 Julie & I took Mason to the Old Fashion Christmas Parade where we met up with Jim.  Later we went to Iron Hill in Media for dinner.
 The little guy checking out the "big man."
My nephew is The Rebel Without a Cause.

12/3 I put up the Christmas tree, Julie did lights.  We went to Maoz & then saw Fletcher with Peter & Keren (Andrew’s wife).
 Julie taping the tree so the cats can't climb up it.

12/4 Julie bought $1000 in CAT FOOD!  Put the ornaments on the tree.  I went to Cara’s Storytelling Show, then Emily & I saw The Magnet Theater Touring Company.  Julie went to Petra B-Day @ Harvest.

12/6 Went to CSz and then saw Darryl’s stand up at Helium (still using the ticket as a book mark for my GOT's book).  Got Govinda’s for Julie & I.  Lupin ate half her sandwich.

12/7 Went to Sketch Playground and played with Rick & Josh (Beer).  Our suggestion was “microphone.”  The Clink is up (Tat’s)

12/8 Recorded Christmas song with Gordon, Manocchio, Joe, Kerry, Julie, TS, Petra & Jimmy.

12/9 Julie & I went to dinner at Fellini’s in Media.

12/10 Julie & I did crafts with all the Regan kids @ Mom & Dad’s.  Went to Tapistry, the last Fletcher & Tattoo Mom’s.

The end of Fletcher 

12/11 Went to Mom & Dad’s to help load the wood pile.  Mom's & I worked on the gingerbread house. Mom made Taco Salad for Gordon.  Cookie Party 2011! (I was “disqualified”)
 Taco Salad!

 Joel & his bevy of blue cocks (Dr. Midnight, Poppa Smurf & a Navi)

My disqualified "Cancer Wig Shop"

12/12 Julie & I watched MADE with Chris Salt, went to Wilmington to meet Paul (Mayoral campaign meeting), met Bosco @ Stanley’s. 

12/13 Went to CSz rehearsal (well, well, well), left early to meet PODCASTers at Franklin Inst Dark Knight Rises

12/15 TRAFFIC SUCKED!  Filmed A Little Night Music @ CTC.

12/16 The Cheap Seats “Christmas.” Julie took kittens to the vet.  Filmed Hot Breakfast & Santaland Diaries @ CSP.  Went to Homegrown with Julie, Matt, Jill and eventually Andrew & Suzanne.

12/17 Shopping at Total Wine (Madness).  Went to Val’s for Regan Christmas where Joe played Santa.  I locked my keys in the car” was able to get them out by holding down the button.

 12/18 Saw It’s a Wonderful Life at the Colonial with Joel, James & Sharon.  Went to Su Tao & Sherlock Holmes with Julie.  Jack, Sharon, Doodles, James & Joel were at the movie.

12/19 Went to 3 malls with Bosco for Christmas Shopping.  Came home and watched an awful movie about Mexican Wrestling where we both fell asleep on the couch.

12/21 Filmed Ladies & Gentlemen “Jingle Party”

12/22 SECRET PANTS Christmas show @ Johnny Brenda’s

12/23 Half Day, and Julie came with me for CSz (Blue w/ Langston) vs Dan.  We won!  Filmed Ladies & Gentlemen.

12/24 Ran some errands, finished editing Val & Christine’s Weddings, went to Joe & Angie’s.  Julie is getting sick.
I told Crystal I wouldn't show this photo.  I am a liar.

12/25 Christmas!  Went to Regan’s @ 12pm and Snow’s @ 5pm.  Julie getting sicker.  Losing her voice.

 12/26 We missed Snow Christmas in VA because Julie is REALLY sick.  Lost her voice!  I went to see GWDTT at night.

12/27 Saw War Horse in the AM, Julie is sick, watched a lot of Mad Men s2 on the couch.

12/28 Julie & I wrote out our "Things to do in 2012" lists.

12/29 Went to 1812’s “This is the Week That Is” at 8pm with Emily & Peter.  Went to Monk’s afterwards with Emily, Peter & Greg.

12/30 Half Day, then I ran box office for Comedy Sportz

Family Portrait

12/31 Watched Flyers Alumni Game and went to Kerry's for New Year’s Eve Party.

And that was a 2011!