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Salt Lake City Thriller

Yesterday I was part of a magnificent game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Kevin Durant scored almost at will, but Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer also had great games.  With less than two seconds left in the game Deron Williams hit a game winning shot over two Thunder players to give the Jazz a one point lead.  What is quirky about this is that it occurred on the corresponding season game on my video game yesterday morning as I left for the airport.  Sometimes life imitates art and sometimes life imitates video games. (or another true example –  sometimes a hockey player that “dated” your ex scores a goal on you in NHL10).

The day did not start with good omens.  As I got on my Delta flight to Salt Lake City I observed an Indian family of four sitting in my row of three.  I had an aisle seat because my legs are a long, awkward nuisance and I cannot physically sit in the middle seat or a window seat unless absolutely necessary.  The family, whose English was limited, but whose baby’s screaming was proficient, looked at me with this look like the father in Blood Diamond who did not want to be separated from his family.  I just said, “I can’t switch seats with you because your seat is a window and I am a giant.”  So my trip to Hoops Mecca began with breaking up a family.

When I arrived in Utah I was blown away by the white landscape. And the snow capped mountains as well.  Seriously, the scenery was beautiful and there were actually more minorities than I expected. Granted, it had the diversity of a NYC law firm, but that was better than what I expected, which was the diversity of Friends.

Nice view of Salt Lake City's surrounding mountains and demographic metaphor.

Among the pre-game highlights were standing on the street named after John Stockton and seeing a sign that indicated that drinking was not illegal in Salt Lake City.  Expectations were getting obliterated by the minute!

I'll have a lemonade.

I went to the arena around 6 pm (one hour before game time) to look around and to spend money in the gift shop like a crack addict in New Jack City.  There were also several groups, who apparently did not make the cut for halftime shows – a series of awkward child dancing routines.  I think everyone who knowingly shows up to pre-game early to watch this (that isn’t related to the kids or an unknowing out-of-towner) should be automatically registered on sex offender lists.

Terrible.

Something else I noticed was how many doors I held for people in Utah without getting a thank you.  Perhaps it’s a cultural thing or perhaps I have been too harsh on Manhattan as the King City of Rudeness.  Or maybe it was just a coincidence. 

In the Energy Solutions Arena my seats were so close to the court that I could actually see concern on Paul Millsap’s face when he looked in my direction and saw me wearing his jersey.  His thought may have been – why is that grown man wearing my jersey? And why is he so big and not playing? 

Geeked out.

The pre-game warm-ups featured the Jazz mascot “Bear” who is a anthropomorphous bear who comes into the arena on a motorcycle to greet the Jazz starters.  It sounds weird, but it makes perfect sense for a team called the Utah Jazz.

The aptly named mascot, "Bear"

When the game started I felt like I was at a Tea Party rally.  There were angry white people yelling things at black men they did not support that made no sense.  It seemed like at the beginning of the game the emotions ran much higher than rational thought.  Every call that was made against the Jazz drew jeers, no matter how right the call was.  And the young woman sitting next to me was literally overflowing with bad heckles – her best was shrieking that Russel Westbrook (pt guard for the Thunder) should call himself Westbrick!  The guys next to me were a little better because they kept calling Serge Ibaka (center for Thunder) Chewbakka (which I got laughs for when I did a decent Chewbacca impression).

The game was going well for the Jazz early, but Ibaka (ggggggggggggggg) helped keep the Thunder in the game.  At halftime the Jazz were actually down 1.

There various amounts of intermissions provided humor.  There were the dancers, who shook their breasts and asses with great vigor, but because they were dancing to oldies half the time I guess it is less dirty than other franchises who dance to Whitesnake and Timbaland.  It was around this time that I heard my first and only anti Obama comment from the people behind me.  That was 7 less than I expected.

There was also a brief acknowledgement of the Salt Lake City Bees who were either a minor league baseball team or a separatist militia. Oh wait – there were a couple of brown people with them.

Minor League Baseball or Right Wing Militia? - you decide.

I of course did yeoman’s work at the concession stand, but drew a “You don’t want cheese???” more incredulous than any I have ever received when I purchased some soft pretzel bites.

The second half turned a good game into what may have been the NBA Game of the Year to this point.  Deron Williams got filthy, CJ Miles alternated his play between Kobe Bryant, Dr. J and J-L Cauvin, solidifying him as unquestionably the most frustrating Jazz player. Carlos Boozer started dunking like a madman, but then Kevin Durant  happened.

Kevin Durant is my favorite player in the NBA not on the Utah Jazz.  He is built like Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, but has such an effortless and smooth game.  He will be the chief rival against LeBron’s James’ upcoming dominance because just as LeBron is so physically gifted, Durant has incredibly innate basketball gifts.

An artist's rendering of Kevin Durant.

So the Durant show began and he just started pouring in points.  The game eventually was tied by Georgetown alum Jeff Green’s three pointer (as if the Law Center experience was not enough of a reason for me to hate G-Town) with 8 seconds left.

It was at this point that I noticed something odd – as legitimate passion and tension rose during the game:  the fans were not saying stupid stuff.  It seemed once they had to focus solely on exciting action they had no time to make inane and unfunny comments.  I grew to appreciate the crowd’s enthusiasm (though the Korver-to Millsap Jersey ration left some unfavorable in my mind – though I don’t begrudge the chicks for shrieking for Kyle Korver a/k/a Ashton Kutcher with a jumpshot).

In overtime the Jazz had the ball with five seconds left and the atmosphere was electric – just check my 3,898 Tweets during the game (www.Twitter.com/JLCauvin).  Boozer got the ball handed it off to Williams who nailed a jumper over two defenders with 1.1 seconds left.  (Please see that on my Twitter feed I wrote about the ending of my video game an hour before Williams re-played it in real life).  That was awesome.

Life imitating EA Sports.

Kevin Durant ended up missing a game winning shot thanks to CJ Miles gently slamming Durant’s forearm, but Durant was not going to get the call for a few reasons. One – Kevin Garnett had made a public and expensive complaint about Durant getting calls. Two – Durant over-dramatized the foul with leg flailing that only drew attention from the actual foul on his wrist.  Three – it did not happen on my video game.

So the Jazz finish up the J-L Jazz tour in dramatic fashion, giving me a 5-0 season at Jazz games.  It was a phenomenal trip and a phenomenal game.  Now I need my plane to leave already so I can play Utah vs. Houston before tonight’s game.  If it happens again I’m calling Hollywood about a sequel to the Gerard “My native accent always creeps in to any role I play” Butler “film” Gamer.

Stockton & Malone - the reason I'm a fan in the first place.
Blog

A Jazz Fan Returns Home For the First Time

After almost 24 years as a lost Utah Jazz fan in New York City I will head to Salt Lake City on Tuesday to see my first game on the team’s home court.  I felt like this season could be a good one for the Jazz so I decided to finally make a trip out there.  Fortunately, since I am travelling alone, I was able to get a great seat (7 rows from the court, center court).  If this does not seem like a big deal to you, here are some reasons why it is:

1) From the age of 8-19, my main form of coat consisted of two different Utah Jazz jackets, one a subtle purple, the other, an offensively loud purple and gold.  Now the Jazz has switched to a much cooler sky and navy blue combo of colors that will allow younger kids to be proud Jazz fans without having to choose between supporting their team and speaking to girls.

In a show of internal strength and defiant support of the Utah Jazz, this is basically what I looked like going to school from ages 8-19.

2) I had to watch the Jazz lose twice in the Finals, in the home of a friend who was a Chicago Bulls fan, but who quickly jumped ship to the Nets, just in time to support Jason Kidd taking them to the finals twice, once the Bulls became terrible.  And let’s not even talk about the legion of Knick fan friends I have who have only opened their mouths to jeer the Jazz’s non-title years, while ignoring their 10 consecutive losing seasons.  I am already preparing to see their support roar back when the Knicks buy some free agents this Summer.

3) For one day I will not have to answer the question, “Utah Jazz? Why/How are you a Utah Jazz fan?”

Reasons 1 and 2 why I became a Jazz fan.

4) The Utah Jazz are my favorite team in all of sports.  From Malone/Stockton to Williams-Boozer and everyone in between they have always played a great style of basketball that was both educational and entertaining to a hoops fan (ignorant basketball fans might call the Jazz style “boring,” at least before Deron Williams showed up).  They may not have won a championship yet, but they have always delivered a consistently good product.   And maybe it’s because my comedy career reminds me of my two favorite Jazz players of all time – Stockton and Malone: it’s half-white, half-black, has never won anything, but gets strong support from people with the last name Cauvin.

Looking forward to Utah – and the team gift shop.  Shockingly they don’t sell a lot of Utah Jazz merchandise in NYC, so I will be running through that place like the kids in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  I’ll report back on Wednesday.

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LeBron James Must Stay In Cleveland

I went to see LeBron James in person on Tuesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.  It was awesome.  As I have joked with crowds all week, “I want to see him in Cleveland before he follows me back to NY.”  In all honesty I hope LeBron does not go to New York or any other city.  He belongs in Cleveland and as much as any athlete can, he belongs to Cleveland.

The Christ-like worship of LeBron is a bit much in Cleveland, but only a bit.

The people in this city may have already crossed into disturbing hero worship, bordering on something out of the film The Man Who Would Be King (look it up), but it is clear that the Cleveland Cavalier fans have a unique and special relationship with LeBron James that has all but been lost in sports.  Derek Jeter has it with NY, but if he had merely performed well, without winning a title he would not have it.  LA Fans love Kobe, but more because of their star worship.  But LeBron is from Ohio. He has yet to win anything, but the Cleveland area loves him as if he is family.  They get angry when you suggest he may leave for NY because they don’t believe he will do that.  If he were never to win in Cleveland they’d be disappointed for him. If he were to never win a title in New York, the fans would feel bad for themselves.

Speaking of New York, LeBron should not go to NY because NY doesn’t deserve him.  Patrick Ewing was the last hoops superstar in NY (and he does not compare with LeBron’s star power), but many Knick fans (especially the corporate douchebags that flood the Garden during times of success as if they were having an auction of 20-something blond Midwestern transplants) consider Ewing a failure, a choke artist and do not recall the fact that he gave everything he had for 15 years to try and get a title to NY (literally millions of gallons of sweat) .  Utah does not treat Malone and Stockton as failures, but many Knick fans still consider Ewing a failure first, a great Knick second. 

In fact the Knicks this year have played above expectation (thanks in part to the exceptional play of David Lee – a rare white American star in the NBA – but who the Knicks have continued to portray as a scrappy hustler, in line with typical white stereotypes), but many Knick fans are waiting for next year to show their support when they get star power (seriously NY is starting to feel more like the stereotype that LA has owned for so long – the sporting event is not as important to people as the event surrounding the sport).  That is what the Yankees organization banked on when they started selling $2500 dollar tickets to Yankee Games: that New York, a city renowned for its grit and character was actually just becoming another Los Angeles (it is – if I see one more salad place open up with a one word name – “chop’t,” “toss’d,” “crisp” I am going to go postal.  These places may very well be in other cities, but they are starting to feel uncomfortably appropriate in NYC).  Well, thanks to the economy it turns out NY was not quite ready for $2500 tickets, but $1250 tickets were not so bad.  And the addition of LeBron will just further push out many Knick fans who can probably barely afford pre-LeBron ticket prices.

However, Cleveland is the real reason for LeBron to stay.  He is to Cleveland what General Motors is to Detroit.  If he starts to pack up I feel like it will devastate the city.  The pre-game theatrics at the Cavs game included incredible movies and pyrotechnics for God’s sake!  I have been to 6 NBA arenas (not yet to Mecca in Salt Lake City) and these were by far the best I have ever seen (though the Bulls’ intros in the 90s are untouchable, as far as I am concerned, for theatrical originality, culminating with the 6’6″ guard from Nooooorth Caaarolinaaa…” 

There have also been rumors that Nike, in light of Tiger Woods’ sexscapades, was encouraging LeBron to go to New York so that they could have Kobe and LeBron on the coasts and build up that campaign further to stem some of the losses that Tiger may/will incur.  It is bad enough that politicians are all owned by corporations, but now athletes are being dictated to by them as well?  I would love to have LeBron tell the owner of the Knicks and any other big market team a la Michael Corleone in Godfather Part II: “We are all part of the same hypocrisy Mr. Dolan, but don’t think that that extends to my family.”

Because Cleveland is like LeBron’s family.  In fact, Cleveland is like LeBron’s wife and children that have stood by him as he built his reputation and skills and career.  They have done everything to make him happy.  If he goes to New York it will be like he is leaving his family for the hottest of the many of the gold digging tramps that roam the clubs and high society functions of New York.  Although Bill Simmons, ESPN’s “The Sports Guy” likes to call Baron Davis Teen Wolf, for this discussion I would like to call LeBron Teen Wolf.  And he has a choice – he can date Boof, the cute, loyal and real person and be a success in life and as a person, or he can go for Pamela Wells, the blond who has emerged only after the onset of Teen Wolf’s new found success.  NYC has enough guys that would go for Pamela Wells – LeBron should do the right thing for everyone and stay with Boof.  But if he leaves, it falls on his doorstep and he will have killed one of the last real fairy tales in sports.

LeBron in NYC. The lesson from Teen Wolf - stay with Boof, stay in Cleveland.
Blog

My Personal Episode of 24

Previously on J-L Cauvin’s 24:

  • I wrote a joke, archived on my blog on March 12, 2009, which I also posted to Twitter and Facebook several weeks before the March 12th blog.  The joke went: “I like Michelle Obama, but she’s pretty big.  I am not saying she’s too big, but Tyler Perry is rumored to be playing her in the biopic.”  Joke was received tepidly by liberal New york audiences, especially in the afterglow of President Obama’s inauguration.  Joke was praised with “LOL!!!!!!!” from a New Jersey based comic.
  • I got booked to emcee for two weeks at the Cleveland Improv.  In an effort to save money I booked my trip to Cleveland on Greyhound – a 12 hour bus trip departing at 5:00 am on January 28th.

The following took place between 9:00 pm January 27th and 9:00 pm January 28th (wooshy sound effects):

On my way home from a show on Wednesday I begin checking Facebook on my blackberry because I left a book at home and was bored on the M15 bus.  I read an update from one comedian, an in your face, Jim Norton-without-the-humor New Jersey comic, who made the above “LOL!!!” comment on my Michelle Obama joke almost a year ago.  His comment was roughly, “American Idol is over, now get ready for Obama and his wife Tyler Perry in ‘Madea Goes to the White House.'” 

I commented back, “I take comedic credit, but not political credit for this joke.”  He replied, “I did not know you used this.  I guess great minds think alike.” I then became very angry. I emailed a friend of mine who then told me that he has recently worked with this comedian and that he told this joke on stage and that it seemed above his paygrade (my words).  The reason I am choosing not to name this comedian is because there are three possibilities as to why he has been using the joke:

  1. He outright stole it the day he saw me post it.
  2. He actually thought of it on his own (unlikely because wouldn’t he have said that when he posted his “LOL!!!!”
  3. He forgot where he heard it and months later thought that he thought of it.  This has happened to many honest comedians and because of this, I believe, remote possibility I do not want to tarnish his reputation beyond this blog.  However, if I ever hear of this individual using someone else’s joke the I will name names.  I hate joke stealing and I look at joke thieves the way porn stars look at sonograms: “This thing has to die.” (he may steal this joke because it’s in his wheel house – this is practically entrapment, but for his propensity for it – see above paragraphs)

So I had trouble sleeping that night because I was so angry, but I was able to follow the Utah Jazz win against Portland on my blackberry.

J-L Cauvin will do whatever it takes to protect his jokes. No more tweeting his material!!

4:08

I wake up, drink a Muscle Milk (nutrients and meatheadedness), pack my third and final bag for Cleveland (I am not a prop comic, but I pack like I am) and head for Port Authority, which is the saddest place on Earth at 5 am.  Every sign in Port Authority indicating the Greyhound buses to Buffalo (where I would connect to the Cleveland bus) say “Gate 24.” So like any normal person I went to Gate 24 and waited. And waited. And waited.  I waited there with only one other person, which did not raise any red flags because IT’S 5 AM TO BUFFALO! Who else would be going besides a self-doubting comedian looking to save money and a chubby black man (the other guy). 

The evidence is damning against Greyhound. Motherfu-kers!

At 541 am we went upstairs to find the only Greyhound clerk working and were told (as i we were stupid), “No that bus leaves at Gate 61 – it is gone.” Of course it’s gone – I should have ignored all the signs and simply guessed Gate 61!  I asked, since it was only a few minutes since the bus left, if she could call it back (after all what’s 5 minutes lost on a 12 hour bus ride) and her response was, “SIR, that bus has left.” I then contemplated going Book of Eli on this woman, but opted instead to murder my blackberry.  I only cracked the face of it, but it still works and has told all the other blackberries that it fell down the stairs at home.

8:48 AM

I book a train to BWI and a Southwest flight from BWI to Cleveland.  It only cost me a shade over $300, so there went my savings and half of my paycheck.  However, I plan on dusting off my diploma from law school and crafting a letter to Greyhound that will demand AT LEAST $300 dollars, probably in Greyhound vouchers, which will ensure more Greyhound trips and battered blackberry syndrome. What’s the colloquial definition of insanity again.

8:35 pm

At the Cleveland Improv I am working on terrible sleep, but a calmer frame of mind as I bring up the headliner.  Unfortunately the Improv had given me a large amount of announcements and the headliner then gave me several more giveaway/contest announcements at the last minute.  And like Married With Children’s Kelly Bundy I apparently could only keep 10 facts in my head, so once a new one went it, one went out.  This time the fact that went out was not an insignificant one: the headliner’s name. 

I shamed dumb blondes with my intro Thursday night. Wait for it....

His name is Alex Reymundo, or Redddddddddddymundo if you roll the r’s.  After delivering the announcements pretty flawlessly I then paused with what Lee, the booker called, “the greatest deer-in- the-headlights-look I’ve ever seen,” and after about 2.5 seconds said “ANDY RONALDO!”  Lee has already instructed most of the staff at the Improv to refer to Alex and Andy Ronaldo for the rest of the week.  Alex was very gracious about it, but let’s just say a repeat of this would be a disaster (like the last 5 seasons of 24).

If Fox were to market this day they would say, “This is going to be the longest day of J- Cauvin’s life.”

I know how you feel Jack, we each had promising shows that went shi*ty.
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My Ten Favorite Things From 2009

No movies made this list (but I have already given you my Top Ten of the Year, so they don’t really need another platform anyway).  Not everything is from this year, but they were read, viewed, worn or observed by me this year.

10. Fred Armisen.  In a year that had some ups and downs, he represented both.  He gave what is the least funny impression ever on Saturday Night Live and he did it week after week.  To quote Forrest Whitaker’s character from The Shield, “It’s like he is pissing in my mouth!”  But the bright side of that is that one year in there is still a void for a decent Obama impression.  If ever there was hope for me in 2010…

You give me hope Fred Armisen.  Hope that SNL will change who does Obama.
You give me hope Fred Armisen. Hope that SNL will change who does Obama.

9. Arrested Development – I know this show is older, but I watched the first three seasons on Netflix this year and it is the funniest multi-season show I have ever seen (important distinction hint hint).  If you have not seen it, you should.

8. Laid Off/Full Time Comedian

According to my biopic script:

I walked out from the law firm that had crushed my soul with a defiant stride knowing that although I was taking a risk pursuing comedy full time I had the confidence of knowing that I would follow my dream and in the end be a success.  I was also touched by the slow clap I received from all my co-workers as I left on my last day.

According to reality:

I planned on going to do comedy full time in 2009 at some point, but given the economic climate and the generally good feeling of a swollen bank account (from a pretty nice place to work as law firms go) I probably needed the push, or shove, of being laid off to pursue comedy full time.  Now my dream still feels attainable, but is starting to resemble a bad acid trip as much as it does a dream on its way to fulfillment.

7. Steeler Super Bowl – This was cool because it was a great game and washed away memories of the only Super Bowl the Steelers had won in my lifetime – Super Bowl XL (40), which was the worst Super Bowl ever played.  I also cannot put the Yankees title on here, because although I like many of the players, something about that victory felt like cheering Goldman Sachs’ bankers when they date rape your daughter and your pension fund.  Of course the Steelers did not help themselves with their “ni-ger” shouting fans this season, but perhaps a poor season will be their punishment for having racist fans.

6. Obama’s Inauguration/Nixonland – Such a cool moment when Obama was inaugurated.  Even cooler was being able to predict how half of America would turn on him as soon as they could and how his young supporters would realize that politics is work and detail and compromise and not a pop culture reality show called For The Love of Obama on VH1.  I always bet on old people in the long term in politics and in 2010 the book Nixonland will prove quite prescient when the Republicans break through the 60 voting block in the Senate and win about 30 seats back in the House.  If you like politics or just want to predict the 2010 election read Nixonland.  But January 20, 2009 was still a great day.  The country was divided on September 10, 2001 and after 9/11 the country rallied around Bush (91% approval, after being dismally low before).  Do you think if the same happened today the country would rally around its President?  I am guessing not.

5. The West Wing – Watched the entire seven seasons on DVD in 5 weeks.  The greatest dramatic series I have ever watched not named The Wire.  Sorry The Sopranos I think you’re great as well, but the detail and the writing of The West Wing was intimidating in its brilliance.

4. New York’s Funniest Comedian – I am still waiting for an e-mail response(to a very politely and respectfully worded e-mail) from a certain comedy club as to why I never got a call back, despite being promised a spot in a showcase and simultaneously being denied a chance to audition because it was unnecessary.  This moment was a low point in my comedy naivete, but also a wake up call that was invaluable.  That is not to say that 40 years from now when I am sitting a lone in a mansion, miserably counting my money in the dark, that I won’t assault, with a bowling pin, some booker or manager or assistant sycophant who shows up to my home.  That reminds me, I think my next CD will be entitled “I’m Finished!”

Sure I will do your show.  But first you have to tell me that bringers and cattle calls are bullsh*t and that you have made false promises.
Sure I will do your show. But first you have to tell me that bringers and cattle calls are bullsh*t and that you have made false promises.

3. The Bonfire of the Vanities – The most enjoyable piece of fiction I have ever read.  Did for novel writing what The West Wing did for me in terms of television.  As Salieri said of Mozart’s music in Amadeus, “Remove one note and there would be diminishment.” That is how I felt about every sentence of this 600+ page novel, which is just as relevant today as it was 22 years ago.  Just don’t see the movie before or after reading it. 

2. Paul Millsap Jersey – I received this gift Christmas 2008, but I did not wear it until this hoops season.  If it’s the thought that counts, then I have never received a better gift in my life.  And I seem to be the only person outside of Utah to possess one, which makes it even more exceptional if you consider things in Utah fashionable. 

The jersey may look ugly to you, but when I got it as a present it made me very happy.
The jersey may look ugly to you, but when I got it as a present it made me very happy.

1. Eastbound and Down – So this is the answer to the question what could be better than great literature, historic national elections, pursuing your dream or seeing your team win a title?  That’s right – a fu-king redneck.  If Eastbound and Down ended after only these 6 episodes it would be like Guns N Roses dying after releasing Appetite For Destruction – a perfect debut to live on forever.  So apologies to my girlfriend, Barack Obama, Tom Wolfe, Jason Bateman, The Steelers, stand up comedy, and everything else that went on this year, but my favorite thing this year was a foul mouthed racist pitcher form Shelby, North Carolina – Mr. Kenny Powers.

And feel free to support Kenny Powers with a Kenny Powers jersey: Kenny Powers Jersey

2009 was your motherfu-kin' year Kenny Powers.
2009 was your motherfu-kin' year Kenny Powers.

Have a Happy New Year readers and fans.  All 6 of you.

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Thankful List

This site is usually saved for gripes, but today is a today for being thankful so after some reflection (family, health, etc. obviously) here are the things I am thankful for in no particular order:

1) My Obama impression.  It is not my favorite bit or part of my stand up, but I like Jimmy Chitwood in Hoosiers I do feel like my Obama impression is what could hit the metaphorical winning shot for me in my comedy career.  Of course even if it makes it big, my comedy career will still be the equivalent of a hick in Indiana.  But like money to an ugly man or big breasts and loose morals to a woman I think Obama will get my stand up going places faster than if I was without it.

Me economic recovery is based solely on how long he stays in office.
Me economic recovery is based solely on how long he stays in office.

2) The New York Knicks.  As readers of this blog know I am one of a handful of Utah Jazz fans (22 years and counting) outside of the state of Utah or the Mormon faith.  The Jazz have been a disappointment this year, but the New York Knicks have been nothing short of a disgrace and thanks to ramifications of the trade for Stephon Marbury 6 years ago the Knicks’ first round pick (most likely a top 5 pick) will go to the Jazz.

Dear NY Knicks, Thanks.  Love, Utah Jazz
Dear NY Knicks, Thanks. Love, Utah Jazz

3) My girlfriend.  If only for buying me Adam Lambert’s new CD (and apparently a point on the Kinsey scale) and saving me from one of the more emasculating purchases I could make.  I made no secret of my enjoyment of his American Idol performances and although the album is way too much Lady Gaga-light and not enough Steven Tyler/Freddie Mercury/David Bowie as it should be, no gift has ranked higher on the “it’s the thought that counts” scale, except for her purchase of a Paul Millsap game jersey for me last Christmas.   And a bonus to her is that if in some alternative universe I pull a Sal from Mad Men, she can say, “Dammit, I should have known when he was singing along to that Adam Lambert song.”

Yes, that Adam Lambert is quite the singer.  Wait, you're firing me Don?  What for? A straight man can't like Adam Lambert?
Yes, that Adam Lambert is quite the singer. Wait, you're firing me Don? What for? A straight man can't like Adam Lambert?

Note – this was all conceived before Lambert dragged men on leashes, face-fu-ked and tongue raped other men on the American Music Awards.  While I appreciate his stance that there is a double standard by the heterosexual world concerning lesbians and gay men making out, it was a bit much.  And it detracts from his considerable talent.  Add another Kinsey point. Fu-k.

4) The people running shi*ty open mics, the people who are not taking advantage of struggling, new, or desperate comics and the people who run decent shows for free in the city.   Like a house of worship, the communal strength of the good people trying to do good things in and with comedy in NYC (and elsewhere) make it easier to keep following a tough dream.  So thanks to all you people as well.  To those who are manipulating or taking advantage of even one comic, go fu-k yourselves.

For all my complaints about the establishment in comedy, there are a lot of funny and hard working people making it tolerable.
For all my complaints about the establishment in comedy, there are a lot of funny and hard working people making it tolerable.
Blog

If A Comedian Meets A Stripper Does Self Esteem…

The weekend started off in Philadelphia, as promised, for the Utah Jazz versus Philadelphia 76ers game.  The game seemed to generate less interest than one might even expect, despite our country’s love of Mormons, Jazz, patriotism and athletic black men.  It felt more like attending a conference for Detroit billionaires than an NBA game featuring two playoff teams from last year.

The Jazz won the game easily, which was surprising.  However, due to how close our seats were to the court and the fact that the arena was less than half full I felt uncomfortable shouting or cheering too much because I really believed the players could hear me.

This was taken during the game.  Obviously Jazz-76ers was a hot ticket.
This was taken during the game. Obviously Jazz-76ers was a hot ticket.
So the weekend started off positively with a win for my squad, much to the chagrin of my two south Jersey bred comedian friends who came to the game with me: Pat Breslin and Jim Dodge.   We then went to a Piano Bar in Philly to meet up with some friends I used to work with.  I learned an important lesson that night.  If you have two bartender options – an extremely hot woman in her early 20s or a slightly overweight man in his late 30s or early 40s you get your drinks from the dude.  The bartenderette seemed to be convinced that her breasts and beautiful eyes could get her a pass for making weak drinks.  And of course it did, but she went too far wen she returned $6 in change in the form of a $5 and a $1 bill.  Proper etiquette is six singles.  So of course I left her the $5.  So the lesson here is don’t ever get your drinks, even one, from a hot bartenderette because all her tricks will most likely work.  But I really think she liked me.

That night I crashed at the home of Pat Breslin’s parents.  I literally felt like a kid sleeping over in elementary school, mostly because they were so friendly and because my feet dangled over the edge of the bed I was sleeping in.  But it was awesome and a great way to nurse a hangover.  Sadly I had to run because in a move of unbelievably poor planning I had to go back to NYC to change for Pat’s bachelor party in Atlantic City that night.  So I took an 1140 train to NYC, ran home, watched Live at Gotham, cursed the show Live at Gotham, showered, had some multivitamins and ran back to Penn Station for a 3 pm train to Atlantic City.

When I realized that I would be on a bachelor party trip with approximately twenty guys (dudes and brahs) from south jersey I just assumed that the night would be some shameful mix of Very Bad Things, The Hangover and The Accused.  But then I noticed that I was only one of a few guys not actually married on the trip.  I guess it was pretty standard fare for a bachelor party, but I did have some learning experiences.  Among the things I had said or thought during the adult portion of the night:

1) “I guess?”  My response when a stripper asked me hypothetically what I would do to her and provided me with only one option that I actually had and have no desire to do, but felt that strip club conversations, like Improv games, require affirmative answers so the game doesn’t end.

2) “What’s with all the tattoos on these strippers?” I mean you strip so we already know that you hate yourself and your family, so why be redundant with self-mutilation?

3) “I think I am going to walk in front of a moving car” when a stripper asked me what I did for a living, I said “comedy, its fun, but tough, to which the woman who removed her clothes for a living told me “to follow my dreams.”  When a woman with more emotional and physical scar tissue than the cast of Keeping Up With the Kardashians is in a position to be a motivational speaker, the person being spoken to is making poor life choices.  So apparently my job respect rankings need to be re-evaluated.  I now present you with a correct re-ranking:

1) President of The US

77) gym teacher

133) stripper

134) comedian

135) porn fluffer

After strip club festivities it was time for clubbing.  We all went to Providence at the Tropicana.  I must admit I was pretty impressed with the talent level of Atlantic City (especially after initially seeing at dinner what was unanimously decided to be the ugliest bachelorette party in the history of the Animal Kingdom).  Perhaps the recession has driven out some of the nastier looking women to Foxwoods or the Harrahs in Delaware that the Amtrak passes, but Atlantic city club going couples all seem to fit the exact same profile:

Man – 5’7″, lots of hair product, a striped button-down shirt, a look of slightly misplaced confidence (which may be explained by the woman)

Woman – 5’5″, skin tight, low cut dress, two of the following three add-ons (breasts, hair color, tattoo) – ok so maybe nasty(skanky at least) looking still, but the good kind I guess.

Ice T and Coco sporting the "Atlantic City" look
Ice T and Coco sporting the "Atlantic City" look

Apparently, the strip club, the dozen $14 drinks at Providence and the box of cookies I ate at 230 am were too much for my emotional and physical makeup because I turned into a bulimic at around 3 am.  All in all a good weekend.  This week takes me to Cleveland via Amtrak.  Fun fun fun.

Blog

Breslinapalooza: From Utah to Atlantic City

This weekend will most likely spawn a major post on Monday, so here is a teaser for what is to come.

Friday

I am meeting Pat Breslin and Jim Dodge (together the three of us created the now defunct Internal Laughter, the LFO of comedy show trios) at the Wachovia Center (so I am guessing I will not suffer any ATM fees) to watch the Utah Jazz play the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Dodge, Cauvin, Breslin
Dodge, Cauvin, Breslin

I will be sporting a Utah Jazz jersey (I wore Millsap to the Knicks-Jazz game earlier this week, which leaves me with either Kirilenko or Williams, both likely to elicit less than friendly responses. However, since I am with two 76ers fans, as well as the fact that it is not an Eagles game, and the fact that I am 6’7″ should all be enough to offset the usual barrage of incestuous and sexual orientation related epithets that usually flow at professional sporting events.   However, my planned outfit may still be too provocative:

I will have you know Philly that your famed hero Rocky wore shorts that were only slightly longer than mine.
I will have you know Philly that your famed hero Rocky wore shorts that were only slightly longer than mine.

 

The game is but a prelude, however to Saturday’s main event.

Saturday

Off to Atlantic City for Pat’s bachelor party.  What do you get when you combine one giant comic from NYC, 15 dudes and brahs from South Jersey in Atlantic City?  I am not sure, but I think of what comedian Robert Kelly said about Vegas on his CD Just The Tip: “Atlantic City is like Vegas With AIDS.”  Well you better call me sub-Sahara Africa because I will be betting on black all night.

If Atlantic City were a boxer.
If Atlantic City were a boxer.

Sunday

Church-Shower-Repeat until I feel better.

Non-incriminating recap to come on Monday.

Blog

Anyone But The Lakers

The Utah Jazz crush me for the 22nd consecutive year.

Last night I watched the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz in 5 games.  I wish it could have been to any team other than the Lakers.  And as the Jazz generally do, they did not give up and made a valiant comeback (down 22 in the 4th quarter, they cut the Lakers to 6 with 3 and a half minutes left).  But all that does is put crazy thoughts in my head like, “they may win!” 

This is a franchising altering year for the Jazz – their owner has died, their longtime announcer has retired and Coach Jerry Sloan, the longest tenured Coach in professional sports is getting older and even crankier (although it was great seeing him go after the referee last night mouthing motherfu-ker as he got ejected – at least he still has some fire). 

Fu-k you LA!!!
Fu-k you LA!!!

But this is about the need for someone other than the Lakers to win the NBA title.  I like Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom on the Lakers and that is it.  I am indifferent to Andrew Bynam.  I hate the rest of the team.  Let’s go through it:

Kobe Bryant – This blogger has a strong policy of not supporting anal rapists, regardless of how funny the reference of Kobe has made one of my jokes.

Defenses and young women are helpless against my will.
Defenses and young women are helpless against my will.

Pau Gasol– It is bad enough that he is missing an L on his first name, but he looks like a really tall homeless piece of Eurotrash.

Is that Paul Gasol or the world's tallest homeless European?
Is that Paul Gasol or the world's tallest homeless European?

Luke Walton – No one likes the rich kid who skates by on his father or parents’ wealth and/or Hall of Fame status and Luke Walton is no exception.  If his name was Luke Murphy he would be an assistant coach somewhere.

The Tommy Boy of the NBA
The Tommy Boy of the NBA

Trevor Ariza– Once again a firm blogger rule – can’t like people with neck tattoos.  And he is a former NY Knick, which, like herpes, is something that is never really gone.

You are a decent player, but there's no cure Knicks-itis
You are a decent player, but there's no cure Knicks-itis

Sasha Vujacic – Literally my least favorite person in the NBA.  I really think I would be tempted to sucker punch him if I ever saw him on the street.   Part of it is because he is a flopper and annoying, but part of it is that he has some unknown, but very unlikeable arua around him.

Sasha Vujacic - is he from a war torn country?  Well, why did the war tearing miss him?
Sasha Vujacic - is he from a war torn country? Well, why did the war tearing miss him?

Laker fans  – I have a problem with Laker fans, especially those outside of LA.  I know I am a Jazz fan outside of Utah, but unlike Laker fans it would be difficult for someone to call me a fair-weather fan if my favorite team has never won a title and did not even make a finals appearance until my 10th year as a fan.

After the game my fat rolls have a date with an anorexic skank.
After the game my fat rolls have a date with an anorexic skank.

So now I must hope that someone, LeBron James most likely, can stop this team from claiming a title.  Good luck King James.

Felons, Eurotrash, and Nepotism are the Axis of Evil for Lebron in the finals
Felons, Eurotrash, and Nepotism are the Axis of Evil for Lebron in the finals

 

And yes I am very bitter about the Jazz losing.

Blog

The Curious Case of J-L Cauvin

I get older and taller, but things remain the same.

If anyone saw the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button then you know that the plot focuses on the adventures of one man as he ages in reverse.  As I stand on the cusp of entering my 4th decade on Planet Earth I realize my life has sort of played like a remix of that movie.  Each decade I get older, but my life does not seem to change.

Where's my Utah Jazz jacket?
Where's my Utah Jazz jacket?

April 24, 1989

I turned 10 years old on this date.  I was 5’5″ tall.  I owned a purple satin Utah Jazz Starter jacket that I wore religiously.  I was honing a Jean-Claude Van Damme impression that would make me more popular.  I did not have a job, but knew I wanted to be something famous.  My favorite movie was Amadeus.

April 24, 1999

I turned 20 years old on this date.  I was 6’7″ tall.  I owned a puffy purple Utah Jazz Starter jacket that I wore religiously.  I was perfecting impressions of my basketball coaches which would make me more popular.  I did not have a job, but I felt like one day I could be famous.  My favorite movie was still Amadeus.

April 24, 2009

I turn 30 on this date.  I am 6’7″ tall.  I own several Utah Jazz basketball jerseys that I wear occasionally (as people get older they sometimes get less religious).  I have perfected an impression of Barack Obama that has made me more tolerable.  I sort of have a means of employment, but only one that people will take seriously if I become famous.  My favorite movie is Amadeus.

Fine, I'll watch Amadeus, but I probably won't like it.
Fine, I'll watch Amadeus, but I probably won't like it.