Friday, February 25, 2011

Charlie Sheen: Now Made From 100% Bat-Shit Crazy

Charlie Sheen is a poet.

An insane, coke-loving, prostitute-incarcerating, mouth-foaming poet.  But a poet nonetheless.


"What does this say about Haim Levine [Chuck Lorre] after he tried to use his words to judge and attempt to degrade me. I gracefully ignored this folly for 177 shows ... I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can't handle my power and can't handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words -- imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists. I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong.

Remember these are my people ... not yours...we will continue on together..."

Oh that I were an animator.  I would create Charlie Sheen's Octagon, a futuristic gladiator ring with a floor made platforms floating in molten lava.  Inside of the Octogon, Charlie Sheen would do battle with various mythical foes and defeat them using the power of his awesome fire breathing fists. 

Then he would fly away on the wings of a bat made of its own shit towards the setting sun.

Fly on, Charlie Sheen, you crazy bastard.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Get a New Ending Please K THNX

I'll try not to ruin the play for you, but this just drove me crazy and I'm going to vent about it on my blog because that's what blogs are for.  That and naked pictures of myself.  But I'm not giving that away for free anymore.

Anyway, a week ago today I took the Greatest Baseball Girlfriend to Steppenwolf to celebrate (belatedly) Valentine's Day.  We saw Sex With Strangers.  Generally speaking, it was very good.  I had a very good time.  It was a good production of a good play with good acting and everything was good UNTIL the ending.

You know that ending where there's one character on stage and he/she/it is deciding whether to do one thing or another?  Should I stay or should I go?  Should I follow him or shouldn't I?  You know that one, right?  Of course you know it.  It's everywhere now.

It seems like whenever I go see a play or a movie now, there's a 50% chance that it ends with this tacked on, schmaltzy ending.  I know why they're doing it; they want that "OOOOOOOOOHHH!!!" ending; that "let's go talk about this in the lobby ending."

It was clever the first time, people.

The second time, it was still clever because I forgot about it completely the first time around.

Third time, fourth time, fifth time?  Not so clever anymore.  I mean, come on.  Make a choice and just end the play.

Here is my recommendation: go see Sex With Strangers, but when you get about an hour and a half in, keep an eye out for what seems like it might be the ending of the play.  Once you get to what seems like might be the ending, immediately stand up and begin to applaud.  Do not stop applauding until they bring the lights down and go to curtain call.

Hopefully the rest of the audience will join in and the stage manager will end the play early.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Proof - Yes Proof - That Justin Bieber is a Robot

Living in a cave bereft now of even the most basic of network television sometimes has it’s perks.  Oh sure, I might not know what's going on in Egypt, or what sort of zaniness Charlie Sheen has gotten himself into (yet again, am I right?).  But then, up until yesterday I knew very little of Rihanna and the insidious earworm “What’s My Name” spawned by her evil genius. Now I can’t get it out of my head.

Another instance, limited contact with this Bieber creation.

‘Who is this Bieber of which you speak?’ you ask. Are you not aware of the Bieber lore? Allow me to enlighten you.

It came to be one day in the eighth year of the new millennium that a man, whilst searching the Youtubes for electronic video of a singer long forgotten to the annals of time, stumbled upon video of the young phenom known as ‘Bieber’ singing soul music. The man tracked the ‘Bieber’ through the tretcherous twists and turns of the information superhighway, only to find a tiny Canadian boy, living in Stratford, ON.

The Bieber’s mother was intrigued by what the man had said, about how talented her boy was and how they could make a ton of money, however the man was Jewish and so it took some convincing. “God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label! ... you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?” quoth the Bieber’s mother.  At least if Wikipedia is to be believed.

However, this being the recording industry, it was decided Jews would be unavoidable, and so off to Atlanta they went.

It came to pass that the Bieber met the great Usher, a man of angelic voice and devilish hip movement, in an Atlanta parking lot, and the sun shone down upon them and now we have My World 2.0 all over the goddamn place and this kid's face with it's perfect helmet hair is plastered all over the television.

At least, this is the version that the Music Industrial Complex would have you believe.

However, having watched the Grammys last night, I have come to believe more and more that Bieber is not, in fact, a little white kid from the Great White North, which an angelic little voice and devilish hip movement for a young person of his age. Instead I suspect more and more that Justin Bieber is, in fact, a robot.

Proof, you say? You want proof? Behold:

Exhibit A: Pictures from the Grammy performance. Note the use of sunglasses and the robotic mouth piece as an amplification device. He is also standing in a well known robot stance, which indicates that he is ready to accept further programming instructions from Usher.

Exhibit B: His singing and dancing abilities. Having been a sixteen year old boy (and then a seventeen year old boy), I can attest to the fact that no sixteen or seventeen year old boy has the requisite angelic qualities about his voice, nor the basic coordination skills necessary to perform the aforementioned devilish hip movement. The Bieber’s propensity at both reeks to me of complicated robotics and hydraulics, combined with flawless programming.

Exhibit C: The Bieber’s actions when not onstage. In a word, they were nonexistant. Presenter after presenter made light hearted Bieber jokes throughout the night; the camera would cut to his seat in the audience and they would see this:

This look is called ‘Standby Mode’ in the computing world. If you leave your laptop alone for long enough it will adopt a similar, albeit less human expression.  If Bieber were indeed a human boy he would have at least flinched at the sheer unfunny qualities of constantly mining that Bieber-lode for a cheap polite laugh.  But not a squirm.  Why?  Robot, that's why.

Now, can I be certain that Bieber is a robot and not what they say he is based on these three measly points? Is this evidence solid and irrefutable?

Yes, actually.

But, for those of you who still hold doubts in your Bieber-loving heart, I will endeavor to unearth yet more evidence that Justin Bieber is, in fact, an angelically voiced, devilishly hipped robot created to induce teenage swooning.

That is, of course, the Music Industrial Complex would rather silence me with outlandish bribes. In which case, Music Industrial Complex, please email me directly so that we can work out suitable payment for my silence.

Also, Lady Antebellum sucks donkey dong.  No amount of Grammy trophies will ever change that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Damn This Roast Chicken is GOOD

Hot damn, people.  If you're a meat eater, one of the greatest things you could ever possibly do is roast a damn chicken.

That's right, I'm holding your attention hostage and talking about roasting chickens.  This should tell you how awesome it is.  And it's so damn easy that I can't believe it's taken me until twenty eight years of age to learn this.  I mean, you need a pot or roasting pan big enough for a chicken and a meat thermometer.  That's the most complicated thing about it is having a pot.

Want to roast a damn chicken?  Here's how:

First, go to the grocery store.  Buy a whole damned chicken.  Raw.  Put that rotisserie chicken down; no cheating.  Then, get a lemon, a bulb of garlic, and some twine.  Do you have salt and pepper at home?  If not, buy some.  Otherwise, take all that shit home because you, my friend, are about to roast a damn chicken.

Second, pour yourself a glass of scotch.

Third, wash the damn chicken and pat it dry.  Slice a couple cloves of garlic and toss them into the chicken cavity.  Then poke some holes in the lemon and toss it in the cavity.  Then, tie the legs shut, and cover the damn thing in salt and pepper.  Both sides - top and bottom.

Fourth, throw your pot into the oven and preheat the sonofabitch to 425 degrees for a half hour.

Pour yourself more scotch.

Been a half hour?  Throw that damned chicken in the pot, breast side up.  You hear that sizzle?  That means freaking magic is in your oven, and it's doing it's thing.

Wait twenty minutes.  Then flip the bird (yeah I said it) and wait twenty more minutes.  Have more scotch.  Then, flip the bird again (said it twice!) and wait another twenty minutes.

By now, it's been an hour and you've had yourself a lot of scotch and you don't even give a damn you just want to tear into that bird.  But don't do that yet.  Put the meat thermometer in there and make sure it says "This damn chicken's not going to kill you" before you take it out.

Does it say "This damn chicken's not going to kill you" yet?  No?  Leave it.

How 'bout now?  Yeah?  Here's what you do.

Take that pot out of the oven and let the chicken chill out for a bit.  Then take the damn chicken, which is now officially roasted, and put it on a cutting board.

If you know how to carve a chicken, you can carve the chicken.  But, let's be honest, by now you've had a lot of scotch and you've been waiting for what seems like your whole life and goddamn it you got to get you some of that damn roast chicken.  So tear into it.  Tear into it and cover your face in crispy chicken skin and chicken juices and just eat.

Tear into it until you've lost your mind and you have no idea what time it is or where you are and you just want to sleep.

Then, in the morning, wake up and look around.  Your kitchen is in disarray - there are pots and pans and knives and bones all over the place and you have no idea what happened, just that the scotch is all gone.  For a brief moment, you think: 'I can't remember what I did last night.  Oh God, what did I do?  Did I kill again?'

But no, you didn't.  You just made a damn roast chicken all on your lonesome, and you go to check the fridge and guess what?  Three day's worth of chicken meat, neatly packed in Tupperware containers, and guess what?  It's still delicious.  And guess what?  It's still cooked and not going to kill you.  And you wonder how, in the name of God and all that's sacred and holy, did you managed to roast a whole damn chicken, without burning your hands and face off?

I told you how.  Didn't you hear me say 'magic?'

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Notes from Rockford

Last Friday, I had a chance to do something that I've always wanted to do.  I got to travel to another city and perform comedy.  And then they gave me money.

Sure, that city was Rockford; it was only about an hour and a half away; and the amount of money was a mere $150 split two ways, but you have to start somewhere.

Here's how everything came about:

Just before RvD's Sketchfest show in early January, I received a random email from someone I didn't know asking if RvD was 'available for booking.'  There wasn't much info in the email, but I had the blessing of the group to at least ask him what the hell he was talking about.

Rockford does this show called "First Fridays" where the first Friday of every month they put on a concert/comedy show/art show.  They usually have a couple of standups, a band and then a local Rockford sketch/improv group.  That sketch group wasn't able to do the February show and, since the people in that sketch group had seen RvD, they wanted to know if we would come out and do the show.  They couldn't offer much, but they would feed us drinks and food afterwards.

Well, it's hard to get a group of seven people to drop everything on a Friday night to run an hour and a half outside of the city to do a show.  Particularly when you would have to put that show together in less than a month.  One would need to be crazy to bother with that.

Well, luckily I know two who are crazy enough.

And so Geoff and I put together some Crassus sketches we had performed previously and off we went to Rockford, our significant others in tow.

We showed up at the event.  It was at a cool 250-300 seat theatre in downtown Rockford.  The event coordinator people whisked us off to the backstage area, told us how excited they were to have us, let us know that we were actually headlining and then got us some water.

We performed the set.  The house was about as full as our sketchfest show.  The audience loved us.  The event people were really thankful that we came out.  They paid us.  They took us next store to this cool bar called Kryptonite (which I would highly recommend if you are in Rockford ever - good atmostphere, live music, great freshly made foccacia) and basically treated us as though we deserved to be treated well.

You contrast that with your typical show in Chicago, where sketch comedy and improv is literally everywhere and you have to beg friends and coworkers to even come to the show.  It's just refreshing.

So here's to you, Rockford.  Thanks for having us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday: Digging Out with Dancing Wrestlers

And lo it came to pass that the city actually did get a ton of snow, and lo I did have a snow day on Wednesday, and I did eat a bowl of cereal and watch old DVDs, and lo yesterday sucked because we were all playing catch up, when even making it to work and finding a parking spot was a challenge. 

But today is a new day, my friends.  I have a show tonight in Rockford with Geoff (yes, half way across the state), and so to celebrate I share with you this piece of artistry: