Thursday, October 27, 2005

Why the White Sox Sweep is Good For Everyone

First and foremost, because now Fox can air Maid in Manhattan tonight. If you like your romance completely predictable, this is the film for you.

Secondly, the Series is over and doesn't have to go back to Chicago. It was cold and rainy enough the first two games of the Series, if they went back a week later they'd be playing on the set of The Day After Tomorrow. Chicago's a great town, but broadcasting 4 hours of 50,000 people standing outside on a cold October night is not a great showcase.

Why can't they play a World Series game in the day, anyway? It'd be 60 degrees, fall colors, it would be gorgeous. I'm sure Chicago fans would take a day off from the Bears to watch their team win its first world series since The Great War.

So anyway, congrats to this years World Champion Sox, they bested last year's champion Sox and now the Cubs stand as the uncontested best worst franchise in baseball.

I guess we should just be happy there wasn't a riot.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Rockin' on Strong Island!

This is a picture of from the comedy trenches.

In case you're wondering where the comedy trenches are, well, they can be anywhere. In this case they were found in a bar called The Bold O'Donoghues in East Rockaway, NY, a lovely pub fifty yards from an L.I.R.R. stop.

The show was actually fun, but it was work because the crowd was rowdy and there's an open passageway to the bar area where, as is people's wont at a bar on a Friday Night, it was damn noisy. This is where being a rock star comes in handy, noisy bars are the norm in the rock world.

Getting there is none of the fun.

So, about 3 miles into my drive, the "check engine" light on my dashboard lights up. I've had this car over 10 years and have put over 260,000 miles on it and this light has never come on, so I didn't know what to expect. Does it mean there's a small problem that I should check in the near future or does it mean "Run for your life! The car is on fire!"

The car sounded fine, ran fine, smelled fine. I had to make the gig so, in the absence of flames, I decided to press on and check the engine when I got to East Rockaway.

I made it to the pub and pulled into the L.I.R.R. station. I popped the hood to check the engine and it was in fact sitting there where I had left it. There wasn't anything glaringly wrong as far as I could tell, so I hoped it would make it back to Brooklyn after the show. Before I left the pub I took Joe Devito's number so he could be my 'phone a friend' in case I needed help. He was another comic on the bill and he lives right by the bar.

After checking the engine again I started up the car. The check engine light didn't come on.


Wait, was this a good thing or a bad thing? If there was something really wrong with the car it didn't fix itself while I was entertaining the rowdies in the pub. Can fanbelts reattach themselves? Is my car a cyclon? Is my "check engine" light now broken?

I started to drive home. Carefully, patiently, not phased by the aggressive drunks on the road, cutting me off, weaving into my lane. They can't piss me off, I'm just happy for the locomotion.

Well, I made it home and even found a decent parking spot. This week when I have time I will 'check the engine' again. Maybe the elves who fixed it left me a note.

Or a bill for the repairs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Line Must Be Drawn >Here!<

As far as "the grid" goes, I'm probably all over it. I have credit cards, I order things from catalogs, I pay taxes, have a car, bank accounts, Columbia House record club card. So in the vast pile of information out there in the servers of corporate and governmental America there's enough on me for someone to easily find out where I ate lunch today.

And yet I'm still reluctant to join the world of online bill paying. Chase has been trying to entice me to do just that lately, even offering $25 (payable via paper check) if I paid three bills online. The ease of payment attracted me, as did the thought of avoiding using stamps and, more importantly, trips to the post office to buy stamps. And the writing of paper checks and mailing them seems so... 20th Century.

I don't have the spinach on me old bean, might I write you a draft on my account?

But the language in the "terms of use" agreement gave me pause.

Damn the terms of use agreements and my inability to just click 'accept' and have faith in corporate America!!!

Somewhere in there it said I would be authorizing Chase to give information, including Social Security numbers, to the payee for verification purposes. I'm sure most of my payees have my Social Security number, and by the time I reach whatever the retirement age turns out to be there probably won't be Social Security anyway, so it shouldn't be a big deal.

I guess I just don't understand why a payee would need to verify that I'm the one paying my bill. Hell, if anyone out there wants to pay my bills without my advance permission be my guest. It'd be nice to have someone else pay my bills for a change, then I would know what it would be like to be one of those people that lives off of their parents. Those people have time to perfect their lifestyles and tastes in music.

Anyway, I'm on the grid, but I'll still be using paper checks. Besides, it's the only place I get to use fractions anymore.

Friday, October 14, 2005

From Chicago to the lobby of the Radisson in Norfolk

No, Gilbert Gottfried's not here in Norfolk, the pic is from last Thursday at Zanies in Chicago. It was great to meet a comic I've admired since before I started doing comedy, and someone who's known to the new generation as the AFLAC Duck. It was also a lot of fun to be back at a comedy club in downtown Chicago. That's one cool city.

Now I'm in beautiful Norfolk, Virginia where I picked up a last-minute gig at Old Dominion University, where I did a show with Tim Young, known to many as the Jet Blue guy.

This all makes me wonder what commercial I could be known for. I'd like to think that it would be something cool, extreme and youth-oriented like Mountain Dew, or maybe something with hipster cache like the uber cool iPod, but it would probably be something lame like Cracklin' Oat Bran cereal or I'd be some befuddled dad or dorky husband in a Home Depot commercial.

This is really why I say I won't do commercials, it's not because of my philosophical opposition to our consumer society, I'm just afraid of looking like a dork.

I mean, more of a dork than I usually do.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ricky Tiki Tacky

Kickin' it in the tiki lounge of Otto's Shrunken Head. Last night's show, hosted by Lianne Stokes and Susie Felber (from the left) featured comedians who have worked in the advertising world in some capacity. And that's Josh Comers on my right as we pose in front of a P.A. speaker that's encased in a tiki head.

The fact that they actually built the P.A. speakers into tiki heads was so cool I almost forgave them for changing the place from the drug store-themed Barmacy.

So why was I in a show of admen and adwomen? Apparently my desktop publishing work in the catalog world counts as working in the world of advertising. I won't complain, it was a great lineup and I was happy to be a part.

And yes, I've done desktop publishing in the catalog world. It's sad to think that after years of being an independent musician and comedian my one marketable skill comes from making flyers. Oh well.