Monday, August 11, 2014

"So's this your main gig?"

Hey, kids.

I realize I haven't written in over a year and a half. I know. What's worse is that this is going to be the third blog in a row about death. I know. It's a bummer. And why should I be motivated to write by the loss of others? I don't know. All I know is that I want to share this story in its entirety.

It was June of 2002, I was in college and working part time as a security guard for concerts and conventions. I'd been doing it for a little less than a year and must've made some sort of positive impression on my bosses. I called in to schedule some work just like any other time, when my boss gave me the assignment I couldn't have imagined...

Well, that's not entirely true. I'd been arms-length from Elton John at one point previous, but whether Elton knew I was there is unlikely (and an entirely different story that I'll gladly tell you in-person).

My boss told me, while I restrained my joy, that I was to go down to the San Diego Civic Theatre at 4pm, or something like that, early for a show that doesn't start till 8-9pm, that I will be the only one there and that I will be guarding Robin Williams's dressing room. Robin was coming off of doing press for his villain films (Insomnia and One Hour Photo) and gearing up to do his Live On Broadway HBO special.

I got there on-time but I do remember calling the office to figure out how to get in the building. Not many people were there. Just crew guys, lighting & sound, getting things right. I can't recall how I found my way to the dressing room. I think I had to relieve someone who had been there since the early morning. That poor bastard. He didn't get any of the fun I was in for.

I get back to the room and the door was open so of course I looked in. What do Oscar winners eat? There was a simple food platter. Fruits and whatnot, and water I'm sure. Things seem to calm down at that point and I remember the crew heading out. So there I was, in coat and tie, 19 years old, and not a damned thing to do.

It must've been around 6pm that things started to stir again. The crew came back to check their stuff again and up walks Robin's tour manager, whose name escapes me. He tells me that there will be people who have meet and greet privileges and they should have this sort of sticker or whatever. I'm sure I paid close attention to these instructions but I remember that basically everyone was okay to be back where I was. Doubtful I was going to have to physically remove anyone.

I believe Robin and his wife walked in shortly after that. Robin talked with the crew as though he knew all of them, which at the time I assumed he did, but how could he? They're just union guys in San Diego on a gig like any other. They weren't traveling around the country with him. I remember his wife walked up first. She must've seen the earnest thought about asking to see her credentials in my eyes when she introduced herself as Robin's wife, Marsha. I believe I shook her hand and let her by. Robin came up shortly after with his tour manager, who introduced us. He gave me a warm smile from beneath that famous pointed nose. My hands were so sweaty that I didn't dare reach out to shake his, but I'm sure he would've gladly obliged. I also hadn't become jaded yet and felt some need to remain professional and distant.

They went back into the dressing room and shut the door, while I maintained my post. A little while later their two small children were brought in. Zelda, a 13 year old punk girl in Doc Martens, and Cody, a shy little guy about 7 years old. Zelda also had a friend with her. Zelda seemed "old hat" about this whole setup, never keeping her voice down around me (the stranger) and even engaging me in conversation. I remember telling her that I had just worked a Britney Spears concert the week prior (my attempt to relate to a 13 year old girl) and her rolling her eyes (good for you!). She was so much cooler than me in retrospect.

Robin popped out again and talked to more crew guys at one point. And not just talked to them but was "on" for them. Some might think that inhuman but it was actually a gift. They work their butts off for him, he's gonna make them laugh their asses off. It was nice. I remember they talked a lot about the World Cup, which had been going on, and Robin having been a soccer player growing up had a lot to say. He popped back in his dressing room as the crowd dissipated.

People would drop by to say hello, of course none of them having any credentials or the appropriate stickers, and I would just give them a once over and let 'em by. I was vigilant but too nice for security.

It was about an hour/hour and a half before the show, when things got quiet again. At this point Robin popped out of the dressing room and quietly began to survey the various posters on the wall, which were all from cast and crew parties from shows past. Broadway-type productions mostly, particularly one of Hello Dolly with Carol Channing. I knew when I first saw it myself that if I pointed it out to Robin, I'd get an immediate Carol Channing impression which I'd seen him do on TV somewhere.

Keep in mind that I knew that I was going to be guarding Robin William's dressing room. This wasn't sprung on me. So I'd already thought up some ice breakers should the chance arrive to use them. I was after all, more than just some meathead security guard. I was in college, studying FILM (technically I was still undeclared)! Robin's an Oscar winner! We'll get along swimmingly! If anything, I actually predicted he'd hiss and make a cross with his fingers to ward me off like a vampire. But I was prepared is my point, to be bros with Robin.

So he's looking at these photos and no one's around and he eventually sits down on the steps directly in front of me and says, "So's this your main gig?"

This would have been the perfect moment to say that I was in college at SDSU and see where that goes. Instead of course I misunderstood the question and replied, "Well we work conventions mostly. And concerts. That's my bread and butter." I could hear myself say these things in horror. Because the implication of the statement is that I enjoy working concerts better than anything else. Including THIS SHOW NOW. YOUR SHOW. Not to mention that it implies that I have nothing else going on in my life.

Robin responds with an, "Ah..." and then gets up to look at some more pictures. The ones right next me, in fact. In my head I'm yelling at myself, "SAY THAT YOU'RE HAPPY TO BE WORKING THIS SHOW AT LEAST!" I also began to realize that he had asked me the softball question I had been waiting for. At that moment Robin is looking at the Hello Dolly photo, and I say, "I didn't think she [Carol Channing] wore that outfit all the time [the outfit she always wore on TV, the white thing, I saw her on the Muppets or Hollywood Squares]."

Robin kept looking at the photo, as though he hadn't spotted her yet, and then must've saying, "There she iszzzth" in the impression I had expected. He quietly, I can't stress this enough (how quiet he could be), walked back into his dressing room and shut the door.

I didn't see him again till about show time. I could hear the crowd assembled and waiting. He stepped out of the dressing room, after kissing his wife, and walked to a sound man waiting in the wings. The sound man needed Robin to lift his shirt so he could strap a couple of lav mics across Robin's chest. Robin looked right at me and lifted his shirt up on both sides. His face looked like that of a child while their mother is wiping dirt off their face with a spit rag. It was priceless and Robin was doing it for me and I burst out laughing. Me, the dumb asshole, who couldn't get out of his own head enough to have a conversation with a personal hero and a legend.

I still remember the show he put on. It was hard for me to hear it exactly as I stood in the wings because I was hearing both the house sound and the monitors and they were echoing off each other. He had a big chunk about the World Cup and he also had a piece specific to San Diego. During prom season that year, a local assistant principle at a high school (I think she was the AP, fuck her rank, right? You'll see...) was making all the girls attending the prom lift up their dresses in what they were told was a "thong check." Reprehensible to say the least. But comedy gold, absolutely. These topics of course didn't make the HBO special. Still Robin put out an hour and half of what seemed both like completely polished and completely improvised material and sweated enough to fill a kiddie pool. He may have drunk 15 bottles of water while on stage too.

He came off to riotous applause, congrats from his manager and his wife. He met with select guests, as this was a theater and not a club, after a change of clothes. I had no idea who was allowed and who wasn't but it never got crazy. Maybe 15 people all told. After that, he grabbed his clothes, wife, and kids and headed out. We nodded goodbyes at one another and he was gone.

It is devastating to think that he is gone for good today. Of course I've had fantasies about meeting Robin again telling him the story of what happened and what an idiot I'd been. And we'd laugh. I'm sure he would've. I'm sure I'm not the only one. The closest I came to seeing him again was at Meltdown Comics. I can't even remember what show I was there for but I remember there being a buzz of "Robin was just here" and thinking "Oh shit, maybe he'll be on the show!" Unfortunately he wasn't. It is a comic book store, he was likely just shopping.

As much as I wish I could've run into him and recounted this tale, I am all there more shocked at the idea that he could've taken his own life, as the reports are saying so far. It's hard to believe that a guy so funny could be in that much pain. But I know that even I, nowhere near as funny, but generally well liked, have days where I don't know how people tolerate me, that I don't do enough "good," or that I don't like where I'm at. I guess if there's one thing to take from my story is to talk to people about your feelings. If I had stopped Robin and been honest about how nervous I was, he'd have understood. We could've laughed about that. Another thing to be learned, is to be easy on yourself (myself). Yeah, I blew that interaction somewhat. It's not the only one (*cough* Rob Delaney, that was worse actually). And it's not the end of the world. In fact, it's life! Mess some stuff up. It's a story to tell.

R.I.P. Robin Williams

Sunday, December 30, 2012

That Call You Dread

When someone calls me in the morning, it can only mean 1 of 2 things. 1) The caller doesn't know me very well, or at all, because they would know that even 10:30am is too early. 2) They do know me and something important, and likely terrible, has happened. Unfortunately, today I received a 2.

My mother and sister called to tell me that my grandmother had died. She was 88 years old. 

I had just been down in San Diego last week for Christmas. My grandma hadn't been feeling well a day or two prior to our usual Christmas Eve celebration, so my aunt, whom she lived with, took her to the hospital. She stayed in for 2 days while they drained some fluid from her lungs and treated her for anemia. We put off our celebration till Christmas Day.

She seemed tired but in relatively high spirits when she greeted us on Christmas Day. I'm sure she was relieved to not be in a hospital for any longer. My Mom confirmed that she seemed a lot stronger and healthier than before she went in. All news was positive. We had a great evening and we were all there, save my Uncle who lives in Idaho. As I left I gave my grandma, or Babcia (bob-chee, the Polish word for grandma), a big hug and then I put my hands on both of her shoulders and said something to the effect of, "You get healthy. We need you alive for next Christmas." She said okay and seemed pretty positive that she would be. Over the next few days, I thought about what I had said to her, and that I would feel like a real shithead if those were my last words to her. And here we are.

As far as anyone can tell at this point, she died peacefully in her sleep. That's obviously the best possible outcome under the circumstances. No pain. No moment of terrified chest clutching or gasping for air. For that I am grateful. She had been through so much in her life already, to go through any more, even momentarily would've seemed a cruel joke of nature.

Babcia grew up in Krakow, Poland. She was very proud that Pope John Paul II was from there as well. At age 16, she was taken from her home and put into a work camp by the Nazis. She survived that and eventually met my grandpa after the war had ended. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure of the details. It was always a conversation I wanted to have, to know more, but always felt uncomfortable breaching the subject because it's hard to talk about and there was still a bit of a language barrier between us. My grandpa had been a POW for 5 years as a member of the Polish Army. When they married, my grandpa's uniform was long gone, so he wore an American uniform. He became a butcher and she a schoolteacher. They had my Uncle Ted (of Idaho now), my Aunt (or Ciocha) Christina, and were pregnant with my Mom when they decided to come to the U.S. Fortunately, they had friends who were coming as well and a sponsor family to help them once they arrived.

One of my greatest disappointments is when I went to New York 4 years ago, I didn't make it out to Ellis Island, where they had all passed through in 1951. I'm sure there's still record of them. Maybe even photos.

They settled in Chicago, IL. They bought a house and a butchershop/corner store. The story goes that Babcia was home alone when she went into labor with my Mom. I'd been told that she gave birth to her alone as well, but I think that's been clarified and I'm not remembering the details. 10 years passed and an unexpected surprise resulted in my Uncle Joe being born. In the late 70's/early 80's, my grandparents decided to follow their sponsor family out to California to retire. They ended up in Alpine, CA, a mountain suburb of San Diego. My parents and sister were the last remaining holdouts in Chicago, where I was born.

When I was 4, my parents decided to be closer to my Mom's family and moved us out to Alpine. I spent my first year as a Californian living in my grandparents' home. It was kind of wonderful for a rambunctious little boy to live in a place with plenty of rocks to climb and ways to get dirty. But it was also terrifyingly quite and remote at night. I'd seen horror films at this point. I'm fairly certain my grandma made the effort to convert me from left-handed to right-handed during this time. I can't be sure but my left/right wires definitely feel crossed during various activities. We moved out a little while after my grandpa's death in 1987.

Babcia continued to live out there, at times alone, other times with either of my uncles living there. I believe it was the late 90s, perhaps early 2000s, when my aunt finally convinced Babcia to sell the house and move into her ever-renovated home overlooking Mission Valley. Babcia survived several health scares from breast cancer to a broken pelvis during the past decade, always showing resilience that I can only hope to have. She could still be found pulling weeds and chasing off squirrels out in the garden as recently as last week. She loved birds, particularly Cardinals which always made me happy.

Oddly or coincidentally enough, she survived her husband by exactly 25 years and 25 days. Even further significant because she was born on the 25th (of April). Maybe I just love stats too much but these came to me almost immediately upon hearing the news. 

Again I must stress, if only to myself, that she lived a long, full life and she died peacefully and painlessly. No prolonged illness. No degeneration. I'm told that she even went with my aunt and uncle to the Auto Show the day before and was feisty as ever. I take what comfort I can from that.

R.I.P., Babcia. I love you.
Waleria Bzdawka
4/25/24-12/30/12
"No take picture!"



Friday, December 14, 2012

Tissue Memories

As news of todays tragedy in Connecticut trickled in at work, my coworker put forth the idea that the children who survived the shooting will be forever changed and affected by the horrific things that they saw. At the time, I had thought that all of the murder victims were in the 4th grade, and that led me to remember the tragic event that befell me at the exact same age...

The year was 1993. I was 10 years old. My classmate, Jonathan Sellers, was murdered. I did not witness it, like the poor children of Sandy Hook. Thankfully. Nor was a gun used in the crime. Jonathan was raped and strangled to death along with another boy that I didn't know. Even now as I write this, a memory floats back to me, seeing him the day he disappeared. He was on his bike, riding towards the group of friends I was with. In fact I believe he and Charlie, whose name I learned later on the news, rode past us, to the top of the hill that dead ended my street and back downhill past us, having built up a good amount of speed. I believe he was smiling.

It was a day or two later that I saw the first news reports of their missing, and then eventually, the discovery and their deaths. I didn't know what to make of it. They were a remarkably long way from home for 10 year olds on bikes (Charlie was actually 13). I remembered that only a year earlier I had gone as far away from home as I ever had, on my bike, and with Jonathan. It wasn't even a third of the distance he had traveled, but it scared me none-the-less. I believe that's why I had stopped hanging out with Jonathan. Maybe he was too daring, too bold; but as I befriended and unfriended so many different kids in the neighborhood over the years, for so many different reasons, who could say? It was not lost on me that it could've been me there with him, or my friend Wayne.

I went to Jonathan's funeral with my Dad. A lot of classmates were there. I still have the program and the black lace armband that were given to all in attendance. I remember walking past the open casket at the end of the proceedings and seeing the marks on his neck. He was smiling. Not quite as large as when I'd last seen him but as best as he could under the circumstances.

I don't remember, or maybe I don't want to remember, shedding any tears at the time; though I can assure you I am shedding them as I type this. Our elementary school brought in grief counselors. I remember seeing a 3rd grader, Kenneth (unfortunately and publicly nicknamed "Dickens" by his parents), going to talk with the counselors and thinking, "What could he have to say to them?! He's [Dickens] not even in our grade."

I had already dealt with death by this time. My grandfather died when I was 5, the 25th anniversary of which was 9 days ago. I was watching Saturday morning cartoons with my sister, when I heard my grandmother scream. I was watching ALF Tales. An episode where an animated ALF was doing a Robin Hood parody. I'll likely never forget that. I walked over to where the commotion was and saw my grandmother on the floor of the bathroom with my grandpa. She was zipping him up. He'd had a massive heart attack, while or just after urinating. I'd rather not know those details.

I'm told that at his wake I approached the casket and told my grandpa to "wake up." Puns were beyond me, I can assure you. I have no recollection of doing this. My Mom tells me that my grandpa used to play dead with me for fun but I also have no memory of this. All I remember is being taken outside and walked around and talked to by my Uncle Johney, who distracted me with trivia about the things we saw in the nearby store windows. I remember him telling me about moccasins. There must've been a weird shoe store around that mortuary in 1987. I also remember this being the single reason for declaring Johney: my favorite uncle.

Perhaps that's why I never saw a counselor after Jonathan's death... I certainly had a family support system around me. And maybe by the time I was 10, I'd already accepted that death happened. I can't say for sure.

What is weird is that 3 or 4 years ago, out of nowhere, I was struck with the memory of myself, around age 10, waking up in the middle of the night, going into the bathroom, and crying in pain for what seemed like hours. What confuses me still is the cause. I remember distinctly feeling physical pain. Very generalized. But also a bit like when the guy turns into a wolf in An American Werewolf In London. I don't know. I believe when this memory came to me it was during a discussion with my ex girlfriend about growing pains. The literal pain of your body growing. I'd never considered that to be more than the title of a sitcom. Could that have been what that was...? Or was it the grief? I can't really put together the timeline in my head.

I think that around this same time I had a melancholy obsession with two songs, "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" by Boyz II Men and "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Both come out around that time, or in Queen's case been re-introduced by the movie, Wayne's World. I remember sitting and listening to these songs over and over, sometimes staring at photos in magazines intently. "It's So Hard..." is still one of the saddest recordings ever made. I can't hear it and not think about Jonathan. I recall being very aware and concerned with my own mortality. Partly because I literally felt physically ill at times and I have to assume due to being exposed to death twice in my first 10 years. The lyrics in the verses of "Bohemian Rhapsody" are all about death.

"Mama, just killed a man... Too late, my time has come... Body's aching all the time... I don't wanna die, sometimes I wish I'd never been born at all..." These were all so striking and sad and they just resonated with me at a time when death was all so real. I never got outwardly depressed. I don't think anybody knew. These episodes would happen late at night while everyone else was asleep. I've never contemplated suicide. I may have wished for death once during a particularly bad ear infection though. I just kind of knew death happened and felt like that was what happening to me during these episodes.

I wish I could say for certain that they were caused by grief. I don't recall expressing it in front of anyone in any way. So maybe, behind that bathroom door, in the middle of the night, my body just let it all out. Maybe it was growing pains.? That was definitely in the works at that time.

What I can be sure of is that the events of today reminded me of the fact that I am not, and likely none of us are, that far removed from tragedy in some shape or form. I don't think anyone can tell us how to grieve; one can only be there to help us through it. That in itself can be a tall order. I can say that writing this has been therapeutic.

It will be 20 years this March since Jonathan was killed. The man responsible sits on death row. Some dogs need to be put down is all I'll say on that matter. Perhaps a post for another day...

I guess in conclusion I should say that I hope the survivors of Sandy Hook can be helped, that they're able to reach out and seek counsel, which will be hard to know at such young ages. I know that it can only help to mend the internal wounds of this day. And hopefully, in the future there will be far fewer incidents like these to grieve.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crapple Maps

Well, you ALMOST fucked me there, Apple Maps. And not in the fun way...

I needed to go to UPS to pick up a package. An iPhone cable, ironically. They close at 9pm. I left at 8:15pm. UPS was 13.8 miles away.

Apple Maps led me down all the right freeways but when I got off, it led me to a dead end residential street, and told me to walk to my destination. WALK! Down a dark, dirt road that was fenced off. It was 8:45pm.

I'm too smart to lose to a computer. So I eyeballed the map, ended up down a dark, windy, two-lane road. There I found a cop car that was in the middle of pursuing someone. I busted a very illegal "Uey," luckily was not pursued myself (I should change my last name to Duke), flew BACK DOWN the dark, windy, two-lane road, and found the right way.

I got my package at 8:58pm.

No thanks to you, Apple Maps. *spits at its feet*

:-P Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbth!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why No Vote-O...?


4 years ago (today...?), I drove down to San Diego to vote because our ballots were lost in the mail (ROOMMATES...) and I tend to go to extremes in a crisis. I voted for Obama (suck it, that's what I did), and then drove 2 hours back to L.A., went to work and as they announced Obama had won, I threw a chair on the floor and stood upon it in victory (I said I go to extremes). I nearly cried as he gave his acceptance speech. That's how much it meant to me. To the country.

This year, I renewed my driver's license and changed my address to Burbank, thus voiding my voter registration in San Diego and leaving me a man without a county. As the election approached, I checked my status a few times but not very thoroughly and so I failed to send in a change of address form in time to vote tomorrow. I'm actually kind of bummed. I paid attention, watched my shows (Stewart/Colbert/Maher), and was as angered/befuddled as the rest of you by every word that's crept from a candidate's/candidate's supporter's mouth.

So here I sit "on the sidelines" on the eve of the election, where let's face it, my state's already been won. But still I kinda want to play this stupid game with the rest of you (except my friends in "the joint")... Why not? "Go team" or something, right? I've actually never belonged to any political party. "Who would have ya?!" as my Mom once said.

Well, kids, go out and support equality where it is threatened. Preserve women's rights. Get your weed cards, myaaaaannnn. Keep condoms out of porn. Keep Juan Vargas out of Congress (local reference). Do this for me and we'll all go tip over cop cars and light shit on fire after we've won!

:-P Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbth!!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Year In Review


Hey, Kids! Remember MySpace? Me neither. Remember when we used to fill out survey type things on the internet? Kinda? Yep, that's pretty much what this is. It's a tradition, I guess. The hardest part is trying to remember what the hell happened this year, so if I forget anyone or anything, whoops!

1) DRINKING BUDDY OF THE YEAR
Always begin with the awkward. Good call. I don't drink, so I always have to qualify this. Burritos- Gerry. Nobody does 'em better. Comedy- Cam and Chris (Coleman). We've been to so many shows this year!

2) LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD (longest known friend) -
Wayne. Goddamn, I cannot get rid of this guy! I keep trying by being his polar opposite but we just can't finally tell one another to fuck off. Maybe next year, man.

3) NEWCOMER AWARD - COOLEST NEWEST FRIEND?
Can I just say Cuddlahs? Nah, let's be more specific. I definitely had a lot of good times with Vicky, Lenny, and Coleman. Vicky and Lenny are always so welcoming and I feel like we always have 10 more hours worth of conversations to have at the end of the night. And Coleman, well, there aren't many people you remain friends with that you met while they were in costume. Think about it. Special mentions should made for Alex (Woloby) and Seth. Alex flew across the globe to hang out with me. ME! That's how I look at it anyway. Seth was a great surprise of the Starfish Circus II. His joy and enthusiasm couldn't have been more welcome.

4) HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR?
Oh man... Doing stand up was definitely a high, despite my excruciating anxiety about it. Meeting some of my favorite comedians and being welcomed by them was tremendous. I couldn't have expected it. And being recognized by them, despite how many people they must come across, blew my mind. Greg Behrendt treated me like I had been on Oprah and not the other way around. The Sklar Brothers couldn't have been nicer (Go Cards!). Sadly, Randy was right about Pujols leaving. Graham Elwood knew me by name and didn't Palm Strike me dead. Paul F. Tompkins couldn't have been more welcoming and had I not been so awkward, we would've hung out, man! But I think the ultimate moment of the year was having Dave Anthony tell me that I'm funny. I know that he isn't the type to throw that around and it was validation of what I've been doing both naturally and specifically. To have someone so wickedly funny tell you that they laugh at your stuff, means so much.

5) LOW POINT OF THE YEAR?
Bombing was pretty awful. I still contend that the audience should've been more well informed. Rupert Murdoch. Watch the news! I think the lowest points really are those moments of self-doubt that I keep going through. It's stalemated my stand up and really made me step back to try to figure out what it is I want to do. That's not all bad but it's definitely hurt some of my more productive impulses.

6) BEST HOLIDAY?
Easter? There was candy.

7) YOUR SONG FOR 2011?
Shit. I don't know. I think I may have only bought one new album this whole year. Blink-182's "Neighborhoods," for those of you wondering. Can't think of any one song that struck me in particular this year.

8) MOVIE FOR 2011?
I really enjoyed Super 8. X-Men: First Class was really good. I really did enjoy Drive, despite its flaws. Same with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. I really enjoyed Sucker Punch and I don't care who knows that. Red State was great!  I can't say that I have a favorite. Perhaps I'll update this.

9) WHO DID YOU SPEND VALENTINE'S DAY WITH?
It was a Monday, so probably nobody. Nothing's really coming to mind about it.

10) WHAT WERE YOU FOR HALLOWEEN?
For the second year in a row, instead of dressing up I went to a "haunted" thing in L.A. As you can imagine, the effects and detail put into Halloween stuff in this crazy town are pretty spectacular. Super fun with Gerry and Hanah.

11) RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR.
I gotta say I'm still reeling from The Counter. That sounds kinda pathetic considering it's just a burger joint but hey, fuck you, I'm simple. And they had parmesan fries. And fried pickles! I've also gotta get back to Pie 'N Burger and not get weirdly ill like I did on my birthday.

12) KISS OF THE YEAR?
There were some on a ferris wheel that were pretty awesome. I'd like to again apologize to the family of four in the carriage behind us. 

13) BEST DECISION MADE THIS YEAR?
Finally biting the bullet and doing stand up. No matter what comes of it, I can say that I lived down that fear and was successful at it more times than not. I'd also like to add the decision to be more open to new things and people. I never thought I'd make friends on the internet and that meeting them would be such a joy. Clearly, I don't know everything.

14) WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR?
Shit, I don't know. A lot is up in the air right now. I just want to continue to have fun and make good friends.

15) MOST STUPID IDEA WHEN DRUNK?
I don't have those. But my food intake has been ludicrous this year. Goddammit. Get a grip, fatty.

16) TV SHOW OF THE YEAR?
Louie. Jesus... Portlandia also ended up being a surprise. Breaking Bad is amazing. The Walking Dead has not disappointed thus far. Game Of Thrones was great! Justified

17) MOST LOYAL FRIEND?
Gerry is like a brother to me. He's the first person I call when I need to talk. We don't always agree... Do we ever? Eh, it doesn't matter.    

18) BIGGEST DOUCHEBAGS?
RUPERT MURDOCH (look him up!), Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson, Disney Corp., Vischal (sp?) at Universal, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Andy, Kobe Bryant, Nyjer Morgan, Ron Paul, the dude behind me at Starfish Circus II, Fred Phelps, Jerry Sandusky, George Lucas, Dan Lozano, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Sheen, Ashton Kutcher, etc.

19) BIGGEST CUNTS (not literally)?
Michelle Bachman, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin, Shirley Phelps-Roper, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Crickets, Anne Coulter, and those other blondes on Fox News. Update: Almost forgot that cunt Courtney Stodden!

20) NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION?
Be better, do better, give everything I can, and get everything I deserve.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Top 5

Hey, kids!

I've been working to develop a list of my Top 5 women who make me want to do dirty, dirty (but sensitive) things to them.  It's been harder (hehe...) than you'd think.  So here's the list I've come up with (for now, as tastes change with age) in no particular order:

1. Carla Gugino


This woman is just classically sexy.  She can rock short hair, long hair, dark, and blonde.  That's rare.  And she's a great actress.

2. Alison Brie


What's odd is I don't even watch Community.  I actually had no idea who she was till I heard her on one of the early episodes of The Nerdist podcast.  Her personality was so sweet, genuine, and funny that she won me over easily.  And then I saw photos of her!

3. Gemma Arterton


I fell in love with her during Clash Of The Titans (2010).  Quite frankly, she was the only reason I didn't walk out.  She's got exquisite cheek bones and more things I like...

4. Mary Elizabeth Winstead

I don't think there's a man alive who didn't fall for this woman in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.  Why she'd ever go for Michael Cera still bothers me but I digress...

5. Christina Hendricks

Do I really even need to list reasons here?  All two of 'em?  Seriously though, any and all redheads should be thanking this woman for making men forget about how nasty Lindsay Lohan is.

Honorable Mentions:

Elisha Cuthbert

She'd have been on this list for sure, 2 hockey players ago.

Casey Wilson

She's so pretty and extremely funny.  I would date the shit out of her.

Update (7/7/11): Katie Sackhoff

Ever since I saw her on the final season of 24, I've had a thing for this girl.

Update (7/7/11): Kat Dennings

Starting to notice a pattern here?  I wish this girl would smile more though.

Update (7/7/11): Emmy Rossum

Classic beauty, great smile, and she can sing!

Update (7/9/11): Eliza Dushku

Great face, great smile, super cool chick.

Update (10/22/11): Kathleen Robertson
I don't know what it is but when I see this girl, I go a little nuts. Hawt!


Elisabeth Shue

If this were an All-Time list, she'd be on it unquestionably.

Phoebe Cates

Same as above.

What do you think?  What do I care?!

:-P   Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbth!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Podcasts

Hey, kids!

I thought it'd be a good idea to list all the podcasts I'm currently listening to on a frequent to semi-frequent basis.  I'm not going to review them and they aren't in any sort of order.  Well, they'll probably be in alphabetical order.  Here you go:

1. The Adam Carolla Show

2. After Hours Audio

3. ASSSSCAT Podcast

4. Bill Burr - Monday Morning Podcast

5. Blowhard - SModcast.com

6. Comedy And Everything Else...

7. Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast

8. Comedy Film Nerds

9. The Dah Theory!!!

10. The Dork Forest

11. Doug Loves Movies

12. Heidi And Frank Whole Show

13. Hollywood Babble-On - SModcast.com

14. How Did This Get Made?

15. I Love Lard

16. Jay And Silent Bob Get Old - SModcast.com

17. The Joe Rogan Experience

18. The Long Shot Podcast

19. Mike Detective

20. The Nerdist

21. The Pod F. Tompkast

22. Pop My Culture Podcast

23. Sklarbro Country

24. The Smartest Man In The World

25. SMinterview w/ @ThatKevinSmith - SModcast.com

26. SModcast - SModcast.com

27. Tell 'Em Steve Dave - SModcast.com

28. This Week With Larry Miller

29.  Uncast

30. Walking The Room

31. Who Charted? w/ Howard Kremer

32. WTF w/ Marc Maron Podcast

That's all of them for now.  They're spelled exactly as they are on iTunes.  They're also all free, except for the Heidi and Frank Show which streams free weekdays 10am-Noon but I paid to podcast it.

:-P  Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbth!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This Is My Kind Of Shithole

Hey, Kids!

So on Monday of last week, I went to a comedy show out in Hollywood and had the good fortune to hangout with professional comedians, Greg Behrendt and the Sklar Brothers (Jason and Randy, for those interested in first names).  They were gracious, enthusiastic, and welcoming to me both as a fan and a human being.  It was really awesome and if you're as big a comedy nerd as I am, you'll know that this was huge, like in dreams come true sort of proportions.  I think it's the same as getting to go backstage and meet your favorite band. You can also imagine the magnitude of doing that if you were thinking about becoming a musician.  Well that's what standup is to me.  It's something I've thought a lot about doing (probably too much) as a way to stoke my creative fires, much like I hoped this blog would. I mean, I like my day job, but I don't see myself doing it forever and it has little creative output.

Film had been my inspiration (and aspiration) for moving to L.A. but I find that my love for the art wains.  I mean, I love movies, and I could talk your head off about how but it's a much less immediate creative outlet.  Like if I have an idea, and I write it down (or script it), it could still be 3 months to 2 years before I shoot it.  I enjoyed directing immensely.  But it can be a long and grueling process.  Whereas in standup, if I have an idea, I can get up on stage and try it within that week, if not that night.  That's not to say that it too won't be hard.  It will, as is demonstrated by the fact that I haven't done it yet.

I've been close.  I went to my local (Burbank) open mic at Flappers a couple months ago and nearly got up and told the story of how I lost my virginity to about 30-odd strangers.  The only thing holding me back was it's a much longer story than the 3 minutes you're allotted to perform.  Since then I've been keeping notes of potential bits in my phone; musings mostly.  Once I get a few thoughts straight in my head and get over the fact that I might suck at first, I'll get out there.  But that's not what this blog is about.

So anyway back to last Monday.  After I got I home, I received a very lovely (dandy, some might say) message on my facebook wall from Greg Behrendt about the night, and it got some attention from friends of mine.  Envy some might say.  It was then that I further realized (because I'd been realizing it for a while now) that not everybody has the opportunity, just the opportunity, to have these moments.  These... "I love L.A." moments.

Like if I go for a walk at work, I pass the line to get into the Tonight Show w/ Jay somethingorother.  To me, it's a side walk.  To them, it's a tourist attraction.  It's funny because I grew up in San Diego (a tourist destination) and worked at the Convention Center (a tourist destination) and so it's like I've become numb to it.  It's routine.  It's my day, whether it's a good one or a shitty one.  But it's a place where people WANT to BE.

The major difference between L.A. and San Diego, besides the sheer volume of people and the traffic, is people often call L.A. a shithole.  My friends in San Diego all did.  The people in San Francisco all do.  And I'm pretty sure people all over do.  And they're not entirely wrong.  There are shitty people here.  Probably more than average.  But I'd bet the same could be said of any major metropolitan, e.g. New York.  Obviously celebrity culture has given Hollywood a black eye.  But to have had my experience last Monday and to have tickets to see Prince this Friday (MOTHERFUCKIN' PRINCE!), I can draw no other conclusion than "Where else are you gonna get THAT?!"

The entertainment possibilities are endless in this town.  If you are a fan of anything, you need to be here because it is here.  IT is.  I'm not trying to be braggy.  I just want people to understand that despite whatever reputation this town has, there is a ton of awesome going on here.  I figure I miss more great shows on any given day than your town will see all year.  Everyday here is Sketchfest if you know where to look.  Everyday is Comic-Con.  Everyday is Coachella.  I can go to a comedy show one night, an art gallery the next, and an indie rock show the next, and on and on...  It's almost overwhelming.  And you know I'm not a terribly prideful guy, nor am I a "rah-rah" my city's great your city sucks guy.  I could usually give a shit.  But I don't know, something about L.A. speaks to me in a way that I can't quite understand, and most people usually scoff at.

I guess my hope is that the next time you think about L.A., you'll have a better understanding as to why people come here.  It's not all about becoming a star.  There's just as much opportunity for greatness as a spectator as there is for performers.  If you know what you like and find it, you can be around it and be a part of it.  Every city has a bit of that, but L.A. has all of it.  You just have to part the smog to see it.

:-P   Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbth!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

No Glee For Me

Hey kids,

So I was at a party about a month ago and a friend recommended that I watch the show Glee.  I tried to politely decline but was bombarded by the rest of the party guests who were Glee watchers or "Gleeks" as they're known by themselves.  Needless to say I didn't get a chance to properly state my reasons so here we go:

First off, when I was in high school I had an interest in taking drama classes but the only plays that they put on were musicals.  I cannot sing.  Not remotely.  Well, that's not entirely accurate.  I can carry a tune but I have no desire to sing publicly.  So effectively, musicals ruined any aspirations I might have had about acting.  Musicals in general don't bother me.  They're certainly not high on my list of shows to watch though.  I have an older sister so I've seen Grease and West Side Story more times than I'd like to admit.  I've also gone and seen productions of these shows that my friends have been in.  But I've never seen myself in them.

Secondly, and most importantly, I'm 28 years old and I couldn't give a shit about high school kids.  There.  I said it.  There seems to be a fascination lately about teenage celebrities like Miley and Bieber and shows about teenagers like Glee, 90210, Gossip Girl and so on.  When I was in my teens I'm sure this shit was fascinating to me too.  But "I'm a grown ass man, dawg."  So why would I watch a show about people whose biggest problems are whether or not they get to go to prom with Johnny.  Waa-waa-waa!  Who gives a fuck?!  If that's your idea of drama, you are either trying to escape all of the real issues of today or you are so privileged that these meaningless pursuits are all you have to worry about.  This probably the same reason that shows like The Hills were popular too.

I've been to high school.  I've been a teenager.  Believe me, it's all bullshit.  Much like the no bullying campaigns say, "It gets better," well it gets worse too.  Life, I mean.  Problems multiply, financial strains, mature relationships, figuring out who the fuck YOU are, and that's just staying within the personal level.  If you pay attention even marginally to the news, you'll see war, genocide, poverty, starvation, and general nincompoopery.  So when Sally gets a big zit before her big speech in home ec., you can see why those problems might fail to ruffle even my ball hairs.  Sorry for the visual.

And no, a bunch of kids singing popular songs is not enough for me.  The original versions are fine.  Song writing is more impressive than song performance.  It always has been and it always will be.  If you've ever tried to write a song, you know how hard it is.  Everyone of us has been in a chorus.  Because it's not hard, and it rarely sounds good.

So I'll pass, Gleetards.  Well, that's meaner than I meant to be.  Same goes to you, Twilight and Harry Potter.  As George Carlin once said brilliantly, "There's too much attention paid to children."  And as the proverb goes, "Youth is wasted on the young."  And get off my lawn.

:-P    Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbth!!!