Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I think someone's licking my mail

Or, maybe it's the steam pipe behind the bank of mailboxes that's doing it. Either way, each day my mail comes to me quite moist. And the longer it sits in the mailbox before I pick it up the more steamed my mail gets.

This causes problems with bills specifically because thanks to the pre-moistening the return envelopes were always glued shut. This gives the distinct impression that someone has snuck into my mailbox, taken out my bills and licked shut all of my return envelopes.

My question then is this: would that be illegal? Isn't tampering with the mail a federal offense? Does licking count as tampering? I shall ask my buddy James the Fed, he knows about this sort of thing.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Friend of the Environment

My home state of Illinois has a series of special license plates, each promoting a certain cause. In exchange for the higher fees for these plates, you get the satisfaction of donating $25 to that cause via the Secretary of State, and a special license plate to show your neighbors that you care about something and are therefore better than they are. The first of these that I remember is the environmental license plate, and it's still a popular choice. This past week, while driving in Lake County, Illinois, I saw one such environmental license plate on a GMC Envoy.

That's right, a GMC Envoy. A big, honkin' SUV.

Apparently there's no Irony plate available in Illinois.

One could argue that someone with a 4x4 is more outdoorsy and therefore more in tune with the environment, but this was a suburban mom who probably hasn't gone camping in her adult life. And if she did give a crap about nature she wouldn't be driving a 16 mpg vehicle to get groceries. If she wants to give her kids asthma why doesn't she just teach them to smoke?

I hope the state of Illinois uses the $25 to tell her she's an idiot.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Live from Rockegan

I'm back in my ancestral home of Waukegan, Illinois to see the family as my sister and her boyfriend of 15 years (a man whom I affectionately call my brother-in-common-law) are getting married at some point in the near future. I still say it's too soon, but I'll be glad to have the addition to the family, though it will ruin that clever little joke of mine.

What's worse is I'm on a win-tel machine. It's running windows Me, and it's only crashed three times in the past 2 hours. Does microsoft produce anything that doesn't crash? I swear, if they made cars there'd be wreckage strewn about the highways of America.

"What's that?" you'd ask.

"Oh, that's just the new Microsoft Inferno" I'd say. "They work for a few months, but if you don't update the engine every year other drivers will exploit security holes and cause some serious problems."

Speaking of flaming wreckage, during the drive in I had my first flat tire while on the interstate. After being a comic for nearly ten years on the road you'd think that would have happened more often. It added a couple of hours to an already long drive but on the upside I got to meet a pretty cool tow truck driver.

She was about 25, long sandy blonde hair and hands dirty from a day of working with cars. She was wearing a dark blue jumpsuit and, from what I could tell from the half undone top zipper, not much else...

Oh, wait. That's the letter I'm sending to Penthouse. Sorry.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


I was all set to go see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants the weekend Star Wars III came out. It would have been my protest vote, hoping to add to the box office take of any movie other than Star Wars.

But TSotTP decided to move their film opening to June 1st so as not to compete with Star Wars, so now I'll have to find another movie to see. It may have to be one released earlier. Monster In Law? Unleashed starring Jet Li? What would irk George the most?

Come on people, let's all see something terrible that weekend and show George Lucas who's in charge! If we're going to waste money on a shitty film, at least we can further the careers of some wacko celebrities or something. House of Wax? That has Elisha Cuthbert in it, we need to keep her in the public eye...

My new love affair with the J train

Oh, J Train. I'm sorry I've disparaged you in the past. It was because you were lumped in with those plebs the M and the Z.

And the Fulton street transfer doesn't do you justice, being closed on the weekends and all.

But since you've been helping out the 4 over the weekends, running from Prospect Park to Essex Street on the lower east side, I've realized how wonderful you are.

The LES was my stomping grounds when I first moved to NYC 9 years ago. I head easy access to the F train and thought nothing of hitting that area between Houston and Delancy. But when the 2/3 became my train of choice, and the D stopped running to Grand Street, it was all over.

Now I'm back. The LES has changed. More frat boys and less theaters, but there is a comedy club and a few good bars so you may be seeing more of me.

Who knows, I may even go to Williamsburg once in a while.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

I'm not buying it

The new Star Wars movie is not good.

No, I haven't seen it. Yes I'm judging it without any evidence. But after making 2.5 terrible movies, and going back and adding superfluous digital dressing to the only 2 good ones, the burden of proof is on Lucasfilm LTD. that Episode 3--revenge of George Lucas' ego isn't going to completely suck donkey balls.

Here are the warning signs:

Everyone says it's going to be better than the first two.

Not a very compelling argument when you could say Jaws 4 was better than the first two star wars movies. Jaws 4 was the 2nd worst movie I saw in a theater until Episodes 1 & 2 came out.

It's a lot darker than the others

The Crow 2--City of Angels is a lot darker than the first 2 star wars movies, that doesn't make it a good film. It was the worst movie I ever saw in a theater and sucked donkey balls only slightly more than episode 3 probably will.

My friend saw it and said it was good

Oh yeah, one of those charity screenings in which people donated several hundred dollars to charity for the chance to see the movie before anyone else. First of all, if I paid 600 bucks for a movie, I'd have a hard time admitting it sucked. Second of all, screening a film for fans before showing it to critics is a huge red flag. That means the movie blows.

Furthermore, this move is closest to the originals in the time period in which it's set, closest in plot and closest in character development, so I dare say that any power the film has will be derived from what we all know about Episodes 4, 5, and 6 and the connections we already have to the characters.

If it's good, it'll be like good fan literature or one of those Star Wars novels authorized by Lucas that contains some of the characters off doing other things.

So I guess I sound like a huge crab-ass, but it's Lucas' fault I paid ten bucks a pop to see two of the most gut-wrenchingly bad movies I've ever seen in a theater.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me...

fool the...


Thursday, May 05, 2005

My Umbrella Budget

People say New York is expensive, and they're usually referring to the cost of real estate. Not factored in are the little things, such as the dozen or so umbrellas you'll buy each year. Seriously, I'm spending about $110 a year on umbrellas without even realizing it. That's like adding $9 a month to your rent.

It's an umbrella, so you think "why should I spend too much on it?" Then you buy an $8 umbrella on the street and a week later you turn a corner into a gust of wind and your umbrella gets blown out like a speaker at a Megadeth concert.

Time to buy another umbrella.

You think, well that last one didn't last too long, I don't want to commit a lot of money to the next one. Another $8 street umbrella and the cycle continues.

In other parts of the country people use their umbrellas to get to and from their cars, so they usually last for years. In NYC you walk everywhere so when it rains your umbrella has to be up for full-time duty. Sadly enough, most umbrellas aren't up to the challenge.

The other day I was in a sporting goods store and I saw a super-high-tech golf umbrella. Not one of those monster ones you can camp a village under, a normal sized umbrella built for the serious golf pro. $30.

"Ridiculous!" I though. $30 for an umbrella when I could get one for $8 on the street.

But then I had flashbacks, a veritable montage in my brain, of all the umbrellas I've had fail on me the last few years. There were images of me in a downpour angrily shoving an inside-out umbrella into a sidewalk garbage can. Images of me holding the umbrella directly in front of me to stop horizantal rain coming at me at 30 miles per hour, only to have the wind shift and the umbrella flip up like Marilyn Monroe's skirt. All of this while "Singin' in the Rain" ironically played in the background.

My friends, my next umbrella will be of the $30 variety. I have to see what life is like on the other side. If it doesn't work out, I'm going the poncho route.