Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roman Polanski – OUTRAGE!!!

Hollywood is freaking out, and they should be. That’s because famed Director (and admitted statutory rapist) Roman Polanski has been arrested for a crime (which he admitted to committing) back in 1977!

1977! That’s almost, like, thirty two years ago or something!

So of course, everyone in Hollywood is up in arms because this brilliant (admitted statutory rapist and druggist of thirteen year old girls) brilliant man (rapist) is being (lawfully) detained (in accordance with an international arrest warrant from which Polanski has been hiding for thirty two years) in Switzerland! The man just wanted to pick up his lifetime achievement award!

That would be a lifetime of achievement in film, mind you, and not statutory rape.

Of course Hollywood should have a right to be upset. People, I ask you: what is the point of being insanely wealthy and famous if you can’t get away with blatant criminal acts?

These people live their lives in the endless pursuit of fame, popularity, and money. This, as you can imagine, is exhausting, soul crushing work, and the put themselves through this why? For the sake of entertaining the public.

The least we can do for these selfless pitiable martyrs would be to let them hump, drug, kill, cheat and harass whomever they like whenever or wherever they choose.

Hollywood has a long history of getting away with shit, dating back to 1942 when Erol Flyn may or may not have slept with two under aged girls – TWO, Polanski, you’re slacking! And Flyn got off – er… was cleared of all charges. Matthew Broderick killed two Irish ladies while he and his BMW were vacationing in the wrong lane on the highway; he paid $175 for reckless driving! Nicolas Cage – I’m not aware of anything specific but I have a gut feeling he’s screwed at least ONE thing he shouldn’t have.

And the worse thing about it all is the crime happened like decades ago! Crime shouldn’t count after, like, ten years. Jesus, thirteen year old girl whose life was inexorably ruined at such a tender age, let it GO already!

Damn it, people from 1977 who are still pissed about this, how are these poor (insanely wealthy) people supposed to (decadently and hedonistically) live their lives with you constantly demanding justice?! Don’t you understand?! He made great movies!

LAY OFF, I SAY!! LET THE GENIUS (statutory rapist) BE!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicago Invades Denmark!

…And there will be no deep dish pizza, so they better get used to seafood. Lots of seafood.

For those of you outside of Chicago who have to spend their time living their own lives and not thinking about things that are essentially trivial, Chicago is gunning for the 2016 Olympics!

The two main contenders are Chicago and Rio De Janeiro with Brazil holding a slight edge because, come on man, it’s freaking Rio De Janeiro. But, if there’s one thing that might be able to sway the Olympic committee, it’s some good ol’ fashioned Chicago political strong arming combined with a healthy dose of star power. And to that end, we’re calling in the big guns.

Yes, the Obamas are taking time out of their busy schedule (health care, Afghanistan, Iran’s nuke program, halting the rapid collapse of the country) to go pitch their home town to a bunch of Danes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to have the Olympics here. I’m just saying.

But, if we’re going to pull out all the stops and invite everyone ever along for the bid, we may as well know what we’re up against.

So, how about some quick facts about Denmark?

Where does Denmark get their name? The country now known as the Kingdom of Denmark was originally named after their first king, King Dan. Think of every weird Scandinavian name you’ve ever heard. Now think of what a coincidence it is that their first king’s name was ‘Dan.’

Denmark was once a Viking kingdom bent on looting and terrorizing the Christian world. It is now home to the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen harbor. In fact, how about a quick game of compare and contrast?

Early Dane: Beowulf.

Late Dane: Hans Christian Anderson.

What the hell happened here?

They might seem like pushovers to the general Chicagoan, but be warned: beneath that polite and friendly exterior lays a seething Viking heritage waiting to come out.

Copenhagen was originally a small fishing village, which has risen to become home to what is widely considered the best public transit system in the world. So, Chicago delegation, please take note. Please.

Things to do in Copenhagen include: riding bikes, eating fish, living a healthy lifestyle and deviant sex.

Good luck, Daley! Enjoy the herring!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dinner For Six

This weekend, I went and saw a play. In the suburbs.

I know, Chicagoists, I know. Calm down. I still love city theatre.

Suburb theatre can be fun too, and I like this particular theatre company - The Metropolis in Arlington Heights. They've actually paid me to be a performer there on two occasions too; I therefore have a soft spot for them.

So occasionally I go back and watch a show there. I never see anything that blows my mind, but nearly everything I've seen there has been solid and entertaining. This is not to say I don't love the edgy, experimental stuff. I do. But still, there's something kind of refreshing about them: they seem to be a group that's perfectly happy to do shows that satisfy their particular audience.

This weekend, the ladyfriend and I saw Dinner for Six, which was written by their resident playwright Scott Woldman. He actually wrote one of those two pay-gigs mentioned earlier.

Scott does a very good job of writing conversational-styled stories. I've seen a couple of his plays now, and this is a recurring theme. His plays are full of character monologues filled with stories about ridiculous things that have happened to them. They're typically very funny and the type of story to which people can relate.

I would love to see an evening of monologues from him.

My issue with his scripts has been that the plot of the play - the actual story happening to the characters RIGHT NOW - always feels more like an excuse to speak these monologues and less like a story in its own right.

He does a better job with Dinner for Six, which is the story of three former college buddies and their wives/girlfriend and a dinner party, but I still think he suffers from the same issue.

Things happen in Dinner for Six - things I won't mention in case anyone is on their way to see the show but that have an actual impact on what happens on stage - but at the end we are left without resolution. And not in an artsy "this play is about how nothing is ever resolved" way but in a "wait, but what about this and this?" way.

You're kind of left with a show that is very funny and that entertains, but it doesn't quite satisfy and it doesn't qute hit home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday: Has Come Down With a Case of the Rudes

Yeah, yeah; I know. Sorry. Here's your Friday post:

It's Like Swine Flu, But Impolite!! Seems like everywhere you turn this week, public figures are being rude!

Saints preserve us!

Joe Wilson accusing the President of lying?! Out loud?!

Serena Williams freaking out at a line judge?! On television?!

Kanye West drunkenly slurring something in front of Taylor What's-her-name?! On MTV, that bastion of propriety?!

Apologies! Apologies all around, you malcontent public figures! Gnash thy teeth and tear thy hair out before the stern disapproval of Jay Leno, thou naughty rich persons! Submit to the flagellation of media outrage!

Do you not know that freedom of speech is prized in every court in this country save one: the court of public opinion?!


Now let me return to screaming obscenities at customer service representatives over the phone.

On a Related Note: who gives a shit? Seriously?

Anyone? No?

Please, Cracker Barrel, Just One More Biscuit For the Road: A Georgian man (the state, not the embattled war torn nation in the Caucasus. You know it's a country too right? No? Educate yourself. Jeeze. Wait, what was I doing? Oh yeah!) has been banned FOR LIFE from Cracker Barrel for allegedly beating the holy hell out of some woman whilst shouting racial slurs.


Hey, want to play a quick game of "confirm your stereotypes?" Guess what the guy looked like!

Here are some hints:

(A) Racist
(B) Eating at Cracker Barrel
(C) From Georgia.

If you guessed...

Then you win a prize! Probably an old timey prize, like a piece of Cracker Barrel hard candy or one of those puzzles they make out of bent nails and horse shoes.

Personally I don't know what I'd do without Cracker Barrel. I rarely ever eat there, but when I'm on a road trip through the heartland, nothing satisfies you like a chicken fried steak and some checkers while you wait.

On a Personal (Plug) Note (Plug plug): rehearsals for Mrs. Gruber's Ding Dong School have been going well. We're about two-thirds blocked after two rehearsals, which is good, and our cast has confirmed what we suspected during auditions: that they are all, indeed, funny. The show goes up in less than a month, so there's lots of work to do. But yeah, come see it. It opens October 16th, and runs to November 21st.

And Finally... just to make up for semi-lame posting around here this week, hows about a picture of our old pal?

Even with the sexy wink, there's still that slight air of death.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Just Tweeted My Pants!

Moran "prematurely tweeted ... before our editorial process had been completed.
That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps
to ensure that it will not happen again..." (link)

Yes, "prematurely tweeted."

When technology, linguistics and idiocy combine.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Can Mondays Actually Be... Okay?

If you see me today and I look like I'm having a good day, it's because of the following events from this past weekend.

(1) My girlfriend baked. She made banana bread and it was delicious. Then, she followed that up by making a banana cake. Why? Because she had a lot of bananas lying around that were over ripe. Bonus for me.

(2) I purchased a little blue ukulele over the weekend. Yeah, I know. It's not exactly a kick-ass electric guitar or anything, but it is a lot of fun to play.

(3) I saw a movie called Cold Souls. It's worth checking out.

(4) Also, the strictures of sporting superstition prevents me from being too specific, but here, here, here and here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Mind dump time, sorry. Comedy show gearing up into full on rehearsal mode, so you might see a lot more of this in the weeks to come. Deal with it.

First read through tonight for Robot vs Dinosaur's new comedy "Mrs. Gruber's Ding-Dong School." I'm co-directing and acting a couple of small parts in the show. We spent last week holding auditions, then this week we've been working on finalizing the script. The last two nights, we've gone line by line through the script to funny it up and cut out what we don't need and hopefully fix any glaring holes. It will be nice to get the script into the hands of other people and hear them read it for the first time. Hopefully, they don't hate it.

'Mind dump' sounds a lot more disgusting than I had intended.

Anyway, so I'm excited about that. And then our first 'rehearsal' rehearsal is Saturday morning. So it's about to be life consumed by show shortly here for your truly.

There's got to be something better than 'Mind dump' here and I'm just not thinking of it. Hunh. Well, maybe it'll come to me.

Anyway, show.

Also, dump.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Know Your Days of the Week: Woden's Day

A lot of times, we take certain things for granted. Monday is Monday and Wednesday is Wednesday, and we don’t really know what Wednesday means other than it is the third day of the work week. Mostly because nobody cares; it’s not important to know why Wednesday is called Wednesday; it has nothing to do with how we live our lives; why would you ever want to waste your time learning something so useless?

I’ll tell you why: because today is Wednesday and I’m lacking inspiration for proper blog postage so this is what you’re stuck with. So humor me. Or go find another blog.

Previous Days of the Week:
Thor’s Day

Wednesday: Woden’s Day

The name for Wednesday comes to us from our Anglo-Saxon ancestors. The Anglo-Saxons are best known as the precursors to the modern English – back before the superiority complex when they were just pasty. In fact, the Anglo-Saxons are one of the few cultures to ever be conquered by the French.

The Anglo-Saxons named their third day of the week after their god Woden. He was their religion’s psychopomp which, though it sounds like a hairstyle out of the 80’s, means that supposedly he greeted the dead when they arrived in the afterlife. In addition to this most depressing of jobs, Woden was apparently also the precursor to our modern day Santa. That only makes sense, right? I mean, with a mug like this I can kind of see why:

We can all be thankful that his catch phrase changed to the Santa-rific “What do you want for Christmas?” from the more Wodenly “Touch this pole and make a wish.”

Incidentally, the Romance Language countries (France, Italy, Spain, etc.) also named their third day of the week after the Latin psychopomp, Mercury. Mercury has much better shoes, though, so I guess score one more for France.

Wednesdays Today:

In honor of Woden the Anglo-Saxon psychopomp, we spend our Wednesdays looking forward to one day passing on from the tediousness of our work week to the joyous heaven of the weekend.

A common nickname for Wednesday is hump day, supposedly because by the end of Wednesday the work week has passed over the half-way mark, and looking downhill towards the weekend. Why it’s called “hump” day and not “hill” or “summit” day, I can only guess.

Wednesday - Your Lucky Day:

At least today it is: September 9th, 2009, or 9-9-09 if you conveniently drop the ‘2000’ from the year. The number 9 is considered lucky by the Chinese. So, go buy a lotto ticket. I’m sure that absolutely nobody else is thinking the exact same thing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Obama Says Students Should Go to School; World Collapses On Itself

I'm beginning to think that the biggest threat to modern civilization is not our government, not the fact that we're spending more than we rake in in taxes, not religious extremism or terrorism; it's the fact that people have apparently just plain lost their freaking minds.

Take, for instance, the President's speech to the children of America that supposedly happened earlier today.

The President decided he wanted to start this school year by talking directly to the students. The message of this speech? Go to school.

That's all. Not, "Hey kids, we need to pass health care bills" or "Republicans want to implant chips in your heads" or any other propaganda. Just go to school. That's all.

Here's the text if you need proof.

But the whole week, grownup adult people with supposedly fully developed minds have been freaking out.

"'Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me,' suburban Colorado mother Shanneen Barron told CNN Denver affiliate KMGH last week." says CNN in their article entitled "Obama delivers controversial school speech."

Seriously? You're really upset? Really?

The only thing controversial about the speech is that Obama felt he needed to say these things because evidently parents aren't doing it themselves.

I don't know, maybe I was spoiled in that I had parents who 'made me go to school' and 'forced me to do homework' and 'expected me to do things' and 'punished me when I didn't do things.' To me, the fact that the President of the United States feels like he needs to take time out from his busy day of running the free world to make this speech is the only ludicrous thing about this.

But to freak about because the President wants kids to do well? Christ, people, give me a break.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's (Finally) Here

Can you feel it out there? That warmth from the sunlight, tempered by just a slight chill in the air that foreshadows the slow but stunning descent of autumn into the cold, murky depths of snowy winter? That feeling of exhaustion in your bones from five day's worth of work, mixed with the excitement and relief of being free for three consecutive days?

Across college campuses, you can hear faint drums and the muted sound of trumpets riding the slight breeze. People are buying school colored shirts. Beer pong is probably being played outside on collapsible tables.

College football is here, my friends.

And, depending on how things go, I am going to be bouncing anywhere from irrational exuberance to irrational despair.

Should you catch me on one of these days, likely a Saturday night or a Sunday or on into Monday and Tuesday, depending on the severity of the game, I just want you to know that it's nothing personal.

I'm not pissy because of anything you did. I'm just angry about the outcome of a game I can't control that's played by a bunch of eighteen to twenty-two year old kids.

And before you ask whether or not it's kind of stupid to tie my happiness or displeasure for the day (or for days, or weeks, or months) to the movement of an oddly shaped brown leather ball around a big green rectangle, and stupid as well to base my opinion of people entirely on the color of their shirt or design of their helmet, you should know that I am already aware of the absurdity of my situation.

And that the answer to your question is 'no.'

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fictional Me is Awesome

"Nat is an enthusiastic and generous lover."

Proof, damn it! Proof!

Now, granted that's taken from a fictional sketch comedy piece written by fellow RvD member Joe Janes. And, sure, the fictional character named Nat is not necessarily a portrayal of or even necessarily inspired by yours truly. And, fine, nobody's ever accused me of being an "enthusiastic and generous lover" in real life.

But damn it, you take what you can get!

For an explanation of what I'm talking about, head over to Joe's 365 Sketches blog. It's a cool project, and I can think of at least one sketch that is well worth reading.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Collection of Random Words Meant to Alleviate Residual Guilt Feelings Caused by Not Posting Anything for Two Days

You made it through the title. Now what say we do a little rambling diary like action? Any objections?


I don't know why: whenever I miss like more than a day of regular posting I'm compelled to write some sort of apology post, as though the three people who actually read this blog are somehow offended that I failed to provide them with ridiculous pictures of medieval torture and idiotic commentary and quasi-story like posting and griping or what have you. So I guess this is it.

Allow me to explain myself.

Towards the end of last week, I was sick. And somehow, inexplicably, during that illness I managed to somehow, inexplicably, pull some sort of muscle in my chest. Don't know how I did it. No memory of it. I just know one morning I woke up and it hurt to stand up straight. It hurt to twist my torso or lay on my side and it even hurt to take a deep breath unless I was hunched over while breathing, in which case my lungs wouldn't press against whatever the hell I had managed somehow, inexplicably, to strain.

Saturday I had planned to go see my girlfriend in the suburbs. This did not happen because I was sick and huched over like an old man. Instead, I spent the day withering away in my studio apartment with the shades drawn like some sort of hermit; passing in and out of consciousness; laying in bed on my back where the pain couldn't find me; analyzing and reanalyzing myself as though I were some sort of medical professional.

'Am I sure it's a muscle thing? Could it be a heart problem or a lung problem? Are there alien eggs in my chest? Should I go to the emergency room? Do they handle alien egg infestations? Would they ship me to Area 51 instead? Would they perform some sort of experiments? Would they cut me into pieces and then analyze me and then lock the reports away for a hundred years and that's the last anyone hears of me?'

Crazy shit like that, just running through my head.

Around 9:00 PM Katie called me (Katie the greatest baseball girlfriend ever, that Katie) and we determined that I am probably losing my mind. So she came and rescued me.

There is nothing greater, when you live by yourself and you have some sort of illness, than to be taken care of by someone you love.

I don't normally post on the weekends. That's no excuse.

Okay, well let me see. We also have auditions all this week for our new Robot vs Dinosaur show. I'm codirecting it with Greg (Greg Wendling, old timey singing Greg for anyone who saw Greatest Stories. Anyone? No? Nobody saw it? To hell with you then.) and I'll be playing a couple of tiny parts in it too. So that's pretty exciting.

We spent Monday after work figuring out the transitions between scenes. I love them. I love the show concept. I love the scenes. I'm really looking forward to this show.

So, a lot of mental energy expenditure on that. I couldn't get to sleep Monday night for lack of shutting my brain up on that very topic. Talk talk talk, Brain. I'm trying to sleep here!

Fucking cortex!

And then, of course, there's college football coming up. Which the Detroit Free Press is trying to ruin for me and the fanbase to which I belong. I would mention details but for fear of the dread Clever Title sports curse. Luckily, I have found solace here.

And then, of course, I work a job. Which, hey, pays the bills. Which, oh shit, I have to pay those this week too.


Okay, enough of this foolishness. Long story short: I've missed you, readers. Also, come see our show in October. Details will follow.