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An Extra Classy Weekend Of Comedy

I had two shows in venues that are classier than the places I generally perform in.  The first was Thursday at Tenjune, a New York City club and then at the Mohegan Sun Casino on Saturday.  Considering the last couple of bar gigs I had, simply the fact that no death threats were involved was a major upgrade.  Here’s the recap:

Tenjune Thursday

The gig at Tenjune, which I believe is an ancient term from the Far East that roughly translates to “douchey ‘brahs’ with loot and coke,” was actually organized by Williams College alumni to highlight the charity work of a couple of alums.  I was the comedy interlude in between the open bar hour and the Tenjune gang rape known as “cash bar.”  I was actually surprised to even get in to the club because I just thought these clubs took place entirely outside.  My experience is that you show up with one or two friends, a large black man (these clubs do not seem to hire white bouncers because black men with freedom are the only thing known to effectively intimidate the merchants of arrogance known as investment bankers), looks at you, notices that you are not famous or accompanied by eight women and then says “nah.”  Apparently these establishments do let people inside.

When is this comedian done so we can start some bottles with our Russian escorts?

The event was from 8pm to 11pm so that the club could scrub out our liberal arts college nerdiness before the cool crowd showed up.  I knew I was in a different league when I went to the bathroom.  When I entered the bathroom there was, predictably, a West African man with an assortment of colognes and gums.  He was on his cell phone and standing in front of a urinal.  I said excuse me.  He glanced at me and continued talking into his phone.  I said excuse me again and he finally moved.  I was impressed, “Man these clubs are so cool and exclusive, even their bathroom attendants are arrogant pieces of sh*t!”  Maybe I was not on the list for the urinal.  Or maybe he knew I was a comedian.

After catching up with a few friends I took to the stage aroun 915 and did 20 minutes.  It went great.  I was really happy with the set and even happier to have the club comp me a few drinks because when I actually paid for one I needed a bank loan.  I am not saying it was too expensive, but when I asked one of the bouncers how much a bottle was for a table our of pure intellectual curiosity, he said “Your first born. And $550.”

An even cooler thing than being one-upped by a bathroom attendant happened after the set.  I was talking to some younger alums and a woman from the Class of 2009 (every time someone mentioned a class after 2008 from college I unnecessarily did math in my head to wonder if it was even legal for me to speak to them – worrying signs of both old age and saying perverted things on a daily basis) asked me about my lawyering days (I mentioned being a lawyer in my set as sort of a “this is what can happen if you fu*k up a Williams education/scared straight” sort of message).  I told her my first job out of law school was as an ADA in the Bronx.  She said, “Oh my Dad worked in the Bronx.”  As my slightly impaired mind started to piece it together I asked, “as what?”  She said, “He’s a judge,” and before I could ask (my brain was digging through information 6 years old) she said Judge Barrett.  Here is what transpired next:

Me: Holy sh*t!!!! He was the judge me and my bureau were in front of every day!

Judge B’s Daughter (JBD): Shut the fu*k up (if the Judge reads this she actually said “heck”)

Me: Judge STEVEN Barrett!

Both of us: Shrieking like teenage girls.

Me: Oh my God – I forgot – Judge Barrett was so nice to me and it was definitely because he told me in my first year that his daughter got into Williams and he was so happy.  It had to be that because I was a shi*ty lawyer!

JBD: And I remember him speaking nicely of this ADA from Williams!

ME: This is awesome! (this may be why people of my ilk don’t get into clubs like this.  No one has ever called anything close to this mundane as “awesome” in a shrine of coolness like Tenjune).

(Contrast this entire exchange with my set three days earlier where I nearly got into a fight to the death at a midtown pub – COMEDY!!!)

This is what I looked like when I was appearing before the Judge. He'd probably be less impressed these days.

We spoke for a little bit more, basically in awe of this tremendous coincidence.  Somehow I brought up Breaking Bad (I have an amazing array of avenues with which to introduce that show into conversation – example: Hey, did you see that Obama’s poll numbers are down?  “Yeah, but you know what’s up – Breaking Bad’s ratings!”) and she informed me that Judge Barrett was a big fan of Breaking Bad.  All I could think was, damn – if I was still an ADA in the Bronx, not only would I have health care paid for by NY, a steady salary,some  pride and a mother who did not worry about me as much, but also ANOTHER thing besides Williams College for Judge Barrett and me to bond over.  Then JBD told me that the Judge was also a fan of Hawaii Five-0 and the good feelings subsided.

So Tenjune went well and like they say the best things in life are free because I did not get paid a cent.  But I was comped three gin and tonics, which according to Tenjune is a $458 value so I guess I made out like a bandit.

Mohegan Sun

Saturday was a trip to Mohegan Sun (via Greyhound/Peter Pan bus lines in conjunction with my endorsement for Poverty) to open for Michael Winslow, also known as the sound guy from Police Academy.  When I arrived to Mohegan Sun a woman at the casino said, “You look just like Dwayne The Rock Johnson.”  I said, “Yeah I get that. And Adam Sandler” And then she howled with laughter.  And I cried inside. Naturally no one would confuse me with either of those multi-millionaires at Mohegan Sun for a number of reasons.  Ballers don’t arrive on Greyhound, don’t make their first meal at the casino a trip to Johnny Rockets and definitely don’t play $5 on the penny slot machine and call it a night.

I went to check in and was informed that I was to go to the VIP check in.  I then asked them to send a reference letter to the bouncers at Tenjune to let them know that I am, in fact, a VIP.  I went up to my room, wrote out my set and then soaked up the Mohegan Sun ambiance:

  • I enjoy casinos.  They are like the south.  People are either bringing their A game physically or their F game.  Not a lot of people putting in B+ effort.  That is where I come in.  My fashion line/taste could simply be called B-
  • Asians dominate the casino!  If you love Asians casinos are a great place (I don’t mean if you want to have sex with ironing board shaped Asian women because you “like” tiny, boyish figures i.e. you have not yet come to grips with your homosexuality).  They are everywhere.  And don’t take this negatively.  It is just a fact.  Which I guess means if you really hate Asians, Mohegan Sun is also a great place because you get to see lots of Asians losing money.
  • A Ben And Jerry’s open until 330 am – noted.

So I got to the Cabaret theater, which seemed like it held 400 or so people (much bigger than a comedy club of that same capacity, but the people are not herded together like slaves on a slave ship to maximize club profit).  The crowd was full by showtime which was cool, but Michael Winslow was not there yet.  He arrived at 915 but said the 6 credit introduction I was given to say when bringing him (only a two person show so I was an emcee/feature hybrid) was “too much.”  So he accommodated me by typing up an 11 credit introduction with jokes for me to read before bringing him up.  And he typed with only his index fingers.  So as soon as it printed I ran out on stage with it like it was a Supreme Court order to stop the execution of Troy Davis (too soon?) and the show began.

I did my set and made only two mistakes.  One was a momentum killing new jokes about halfway through the set.  They were warmed up and I sabotaged myself.  It was like DeNiro in Heat when he is about to escape with his girlfriend, but makes the fatal mistake of going after Waingro – success was right in front of me and I took it off course.

I got the crowd back pretty quickly though and then a few minutes later I got the 5 minute light.  Then I made a decision that ruined my weekend.  I opted to end with my Good WIll Hunting bit, which does well in clubs, but for a big theater-sized space was an iffy choice.  It got laughs throughout, but the final line fell completely flat.  And that was it.  For that crowd my Obama closer was the obvious choice and I just didn’t do it.  Part of me thought, maybe I will have time and part of me must have wanted to to take the risk (the House won per usual).  I knew better and yet I closed with the wrong bit.  I felt like the pitcher in this historic baseball game from 2001:

But unlike that scenario no one was clapping when I delivered my final pitch.  They eventually clapped in recognition for the 26 minutes that we shared that were enjoyable but sometimes, like a sporting event, it does not matter how well you played the game if your final play loses the game.

Michael Winslow went up and crushed and I have to say, his sound effects are frighteningly good (it’s been a while since I saw Spaceballs or Police Academy).  After the show some people went out of there way to tell me I was awesome which felt good.  Perhaps they went to the bathroom for my last three minutes.

I ended the night how any comedian living free in a casino for a night would end – by walking around looking at machines and tables that would get me in trouble and then settling on an ice cream sundae from Ben and Jerry’s (at midnight, so my finding out that they close at 330 am was a little over-confident on my part).  I sat alone on a bench while eating it and people-watched while people watched me.  What I realized is that if you are a grown man with a bizarre look of comfort and confidence sitting alone on a bench in a casino eating ice cream people (esp women) will only give you two looks: 1) is that guy special needs? or 2) that guy is the coolest customer in this place.  I got plenty of both.

This is what I looked like to fifty percent of the Mohegan Sun guests that walked by Ben and Jerrys at midnight Saturday.

So thanks to the Williams College alums at the show, the people with kind words after the Mohegan Sun gig and the Ben and Jerrys folks.  They helped make yet another week of comedy a fun and interesting experience.  Just kidding, comedy is still misery.

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The Loss of a Great Man and a Great…

This week in Cleveland I received some sad news – Mike Crotty Sr., the father of a friend and teammate of mine from Williams College passed away suddenly.  Although I was a senior when Mike the younger was a freshman, Mr. Crotty hit it off with the entire team.  Present at just about every game he was quick with a compliment for everyone, which was particularly impressive for someone like me since I spent a majority of games riding the pine.

My favorite memories of Mr. Crotty are particularly appropriate to this website however because they both involve comedy.

In September 2005 I was competing in the Semi Finals of the Boston Comedy Festival.  I had probably seen Mr. Crotty only once or twice in the 4 years since I graduated from Williams, but there he was with his son and several former classmates of mine from Williams.  I had a good set and thought I would make the Finals (a recurring theme for me), but sadly did not make it.  I was disappointed, but was just beginning to find out that that is 90% of comedy.  And as all the finalists were announced, Mr. Crotty let out a bellowing “That’s bullshit!”  when it was clear that I was not a finalist.  After the set and seeing that I was somewhat disappointed he reminded me that not one of the other competitors had a dunk like the one I had to end my college career four years earlier (see he could find a hoops highlight even for me).

Now some comedians may read that and say that’s improper or not the nicest way to end a show, but in the grand scheme of things it meant a ton to me.  In a business that increasingly feels like being alone at sea, it was the father of a friend who had the guts to call out what he thought was wrong, all in the name of supporting my comedy.  Outside of my Mother and Uncle I don’t know anyone who would make such a blatant gesture of defiance in defending me on something so small.   As I have continued along in comedy the amount of people standing up for the right thing or willing to speak against “bullshit” seems to diminish with every passing week.  Mr Crotty was not to be counted in that group.

Four years later (this past Fall) I was headlining Tommy’s Comedy Lounge in Boston on Halloween weekend.  The Friday night show on Halloween’s eve had been a success and several friends from Williams (my main Boston connection) showed up, but the Halloween night show was very lightly attended.  But guess who made it to show driving straight from a basketball game a couple of hours away to get there on time?  The Mike Crottys.  After doing stand up for almost 7 years there are few people I can count on to consistently show up for a show.  The fact that Mr. Crotty was one of those people speaks overwhelmingly to his loyalty, kindness and love of a good laugh.

Of the many benefits of attending Williams College, meeting Mr. Crotty was undoubtedly one of them.  I was sad not to attend his funeral, but I’ve been in Cleveland performing comedy.  My next stop next week will be a headlining weekend in Boston.  There will be one big laugh missing for sure.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Mike, his Mom and his sister.  Thanks for sharing Mr. Crotty with a bench-warming comedian.

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A Recap Of The Rock n Roll Hall Of…

Yesterday I went to the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum in Cleveland.  If you have not gone I strongly recommend it.  Perhaps if your favorite team is playing the Cavaliers, Indians or Browns one day/weekend build a trip around that, but the museum was awesome.  It is also geared as an all day experience (I spent about 5 hours there, which is a record for me at a non-school trip museum visit).  It was also relatively empty, which made for a pleasant visit (but it was weird watching all of the various movies and exhibits in empty theaters, except for the 45 minute recap montage of all the inductees – that was too amazing to feel weird in solitude).

And there is a special Bruce Springsteen exhibit on the top floor featuring tons of memorabilia.  Most interesting, at least from my perspective, was seeing items from the late 60s when he was promoting shows with handmade signs  saying “Come see The Bruce Springsteen Band – $3.”  With today’s technology, any as-hole (this as-hole included) can make impressive looking promo materials, but it must be especially gratifying for Springsteen to be able to see exactly how far he has come in every way.

I also had a black light with me to scan the exhibit for any body fluids of my housemates from Williams College.  Nothing was found, but the exhibit is supposed to be there through 2010.  Now I will give you a detailed recap of my favorite things in the museum, in case you never make it to Cleveland.

Best Hall of Fame Classes (in my opinion)

1) Gold Medal – 1989 – Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Phil Spector (for producer and street cred).  This must have been an absolutely incredible induction ceremony.

2) Silver Medal – 1988 – The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Bob Dylan, Les Paul.  Many would claim that this has to be number one, but I like the Stones way more than the Beatles, The Temptations win the Motown battle with The Supremes.  I do like the Beach Boys a lot, but they are cancelled out by Dylan’s mumbling. I did learn a lot about Les Paul at the Museum – they have a great exhibit dedicated to his evolution towards the electric guitar.  It was just great to learn about the guy who invented my Guitar Hero guitar.

3) Bronze Medal – 2001 – Michael Jackson, Queen, Aerosmith, Paul Simon.  MJ is like the LeBron James of the Hall of Fame classes – he could not have the supporting casts of the earlier classes (though Queen and Aerosmith are definitely better than the musical equivalents of Mo Williams and Anderson Verajao), but he alone makes this one of the greats.

4) To Be Determined – 2012.  This is when Guns N Roses is eligible and if the Hall of Fame can get them to reunite then all bets are off. (I was happy to see Welcome to the Jungle as one of the 500 songs that defined Rock according to the Hall of Fame).

5) Honorable Mention – 1999 – Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.  No need to argue the better 70s/80s/90s singer-song writer when they are both on the bill.

Most Awkward Hall Of Fame Moments

1) 1992 induction of Ike and Tina Turner.  Nothing else needs to be said.

2) 2004 Induction of George Harrison as a solo artist.  Not sure he merited it, but it was the Hall of Fame’s way of telling Ringo Starr, “We really think you are the useless member of the Beatles, which is why the rest of them have been inducted twice.”

3) There is an exhibit of a photographer who has captured major musical moments at Madison Square Garden.  The last two photos in the exhibit are from a 2008 Holiday Concert.  The top photo is of Rihanna.  The bottom photo is of Chris Brown.  Did the Hall of Fame not hear about them or did they figure leave it – perhaps we’ll induct them together in 20 years.

4) 1998 Induction of the Mamas and the Papas.  Did nobody think it weird when one of the inductees was grinding his daughter on the dance floor?

Other than personal goals in comedy and seeing a Utah Jazz title, seeing a reunited GNR in concert would top my list of things I want to see

5) 1997 Induction of the Bee Gees.  Have you ever looked at the 4 Gibb brothers?  Clearly Mom fu-ked someone else when she had the ugly twins.  Andy, who died young, looked like a more handsome Heath Ledger and Barry Gibb looked like him.  The twins looked like anorexic Paul Giamattis.  But I will cut them slack since one of them passed on and their music was excellent.

Members That I think Are Overrated

1) Elvis Costello – don’t get him, don’t care for him

2) The Police – Every Breath You Take – great.  The rest of their songs – repetitive and annoying. 

Other Thoughts/Observations from the Hall of Fame

  • Based on sheer volume how is Phil Collins not in the Hall of Fame – he seems to meet their criteria.  Then I saw Genesis on the 2010 list of inductees.
  • Frank Zappa – has a musician ever looked more like a porn star?
  • No one has ever rocked a beard better than Marvin Gaye. Except maybe for early 90s Tom Cruise.
  • I used to not get why David Bowie got so much respect in the music world (you mean the guy from Labyrinth that slept with Mick Jagger?).  I wonder no longer – that guy’s catalogue is pretty sick.  And so diverse.  He’s like a whiter, more feminine Prince, but 10-15 years earlier.
  • Tom Petty has the deepest speaking voice and the whiniest singing voice.
  • Even though I usually roll my eyes at “spiritual” people (they generally believe enough to make themselves seem worldly, but really just hate judgment), Jim Morrison seemed pretty cool, at least the way they write him up.  Val Kilmer was a good choice to play him, but if Will Ferrell got in shape when he was younger and wore his Chazz Michael Michaels hair from Blades of Glory I think he could have pulled it off.

 See what I mean?

  • Good God a lot of rock stars died early.  How are Motley Crue and the Rolling Stones still alive given all the drug and plane crash deaths that seem to strike musicians.
  • I don’t want to meet James Hetfield of Metallica. TO me he seems like he’s 7’0″ tall and 350 lbs.  He looks like a monster bad ass on stage and it would be disappointing to stand next to him and dwarf him.
  • Steve Winwood was a member of Traffic, who got inducted in 2004.  Between his solo work, The Spencer Davis Group and Traffic this guy is like the Robert Horry of music.  Good work Steve.

Ok, that is it for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.  Now tonight it’s off to see LeBron in person (19 rows from the court).  And then it’s a good thing shows start up again at the Cleveland Improv tomorrow night because I think I will be out of activities to do in Cleveland.

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Brown Town

With the election of Scott Brown to the United States Senate it appears that the Republicans will get what they have wanted – nothing.  The 59 votes will not be enough in the Senate to pass the health care reform legislation over the 41 conscience-driven Republicans who will be willing to filibuster. 

I have said it before and if you read this blog you really should go on Amazon.com and purchase Nixonland.  The lesson is that the last time a Democratic President tried to push forward a sweeping and needed social agenda – middle class white anger rose up to deliver monstrous losses in the midterm elections.  Lyndon Johnson won big in 1964 and then watched most of his congressional gains disappear in 1966.  And LBJ had the advantage of not being a confident black man in an era of constantly streaming information and misinformation.  Perhaps if Don Draper were running a 24 hour-a-day campaign against the Civil Rights Act and the country had a troubled, centuries-long relationship with Texans then LBJ would have known what Obama is up against.   Seriously – if you have not read Nixonland you are cheating yourself at a chance to predict the future.

What would the Tea Partiers (and their co-voters) have thought of LBJ? "He's bad, buuuuuut it could be worse..."

Martha Coakley certainly ran a poor campaign, which hurts even more given that she is a Williams Eph.  However, just 9 years after George W. Bush took office, I am hearing “Scott Brown drove a pick up truck” and “Coakley didn’t know who Curt Schilling was.”   This stuff still matters? 

Republicans are taking the country to Brown Town.

The Republicans have become the party that cheers when a perfect game is broken up.  Sure you can’t win, but in a sense neither can the other guy.  And that is now our politics – since when did every single piece of legislation of any meaning require 60 votes in the Senate – oh right, 2009.  I don’t remember liberals like Ted Kennedy fighting George Bush on No Child Left Behind – W.’s signature act in his first term not related to unjust war or tax cuts for wealthy people (until Bush underfunded it).  But Scott Brown is coming to town on a “no cap and trade,” “no health care reform” platform.  The health insurance industry has spent $100 million fighting health care reform to convince people that it is a fundamental threat to our society, second only to Islamic fundamentalism.  The Democrats bent to pro-life concerns and to Joe Lieberman and still not one Republican came over.  Republicans have become a party of hypocritical (really – how can you buy the Republicans as the party of populism in practice – it would be like believing those Exxon commercials where their “workers” talk about helping to create fuel efficient vehicles) obstructionists, which I guess if you consider environmental protection and expanded health care coverage the “wrong direction for America” then you probably think these guys are just voting their consciences.

And I was out there calling Obama a little arrogant during the campaign (because he seemed to have a few moments), but claims that he is acting arrogantly from some voters I think is coded language and false.  The man was elected with the most votes in United States History and has tried to push an agenda (and will likely fail) reflective of that mandate.  These folks might as well say uppity because I think that is part of what some of the backlash is about, at least in terms of the speed and intensity with which it came.  I don’t think it is a coincidence that in our country’s history there has always been a middle class white backlash following massive strides for black people.  After the Civil War and Reconstruction came the Compromise of 1877 which ceded the South to Democrats (the old pre-Strom Thurmond Democrats, the ones that hated Lincoln) and Jim Crow; The Great Society which yielded The Voting Rights Act and The Civil Rights Act gave way just a few years later to sweeping middle class white anger spearheaded by Sarah Palin’s uglier, smarter, better educated and more paranoid predecessor, Richard Nixon; and then the election of Barack Obama gave way almost instantaneously to zealous anger.

Furthermore, in a society of iPhones, blackberries, YouTube, etc. people say they want change, but are no longer conditioned to wait for it.  As George W. showed, fear from terror makes people loyal to you (at least for a time), but when people’s wallets are hurting it’s every man and woman for themselves.   Our lack of patience is another factor that has led us to Brown Town. 

Of course now most Democrats are running for the hills at this point because the only thing more important in DC than doing what you think is right in the face of manipulative lobbying campaigns is holding on to your power.  So unfortunately, we are all headed to Brown Town soon.

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Gay Marriage, Climategate & Afghanistan Walk Into A Blog…

1) GAY MARRIAGE

If civil unions afforded completely equivalent benefits as marriage, sans the actual title, would gay people still feel unequal?  I think this is a legitimate question.  The argument against that is that the separate but equal classifications creates a second tier of citizens, a la Brown V. Board of Ed.  But is that really true in the case of gay marriage?  If the benefits are identical, why is the term marriage so inherently valuable?  People will use the term married if they want (I doubt a couple would say “we’re united civilly”) and listeners will respect or disregard the usage of marriage in accordance with their own personal beliefs, regardless of what name the state confers upon a gay couple.  For centuries marriage has meant one thing in our culture and language.  Without stating whether this is right or wrong or getting into religious beliefs, my question is is it the word or the benefits or both?  

But make no mistake, it is heterosexuals and our overstimulated culture that ruined marriage, not homosexuals. 

Perhaps the gay lobby simply needs to re-vamp its marketing.  Maybe pay off some of the more attractive homosexuals to get married.  Every time I turn on a protest it’s some ugly lesbian couple or some fat pair of dudes that want to get married.  No one wants to see those people marry and imagine them having sex, whether gay or straight.  So get the happy gay people out of the clubs, gyms, and coffee shops and get them to sign on.

Bizarro villain from Smallville and Bizarro Kato Kaelin want to get married?  Ewwwwwwww.
Bizarro villain from Smallville and Bizarro Kato Kaelin want to get married? Ewwwwwwww.

2) CLIMATEGATE/POLLING AMERICANS

After “Climategate” Americans’ belief in global warming is going down according to polls.  My questions is why do we poll the American people on complex issues (not that climate change’s veracity is really a complex issue)?  I especially enjoy it when they poll Americans to know if they approve of the President’s handling of the economy.  I have a law degree from Georgetown, an undergraduate degree from Williams College and I don’t understand sh*t about economics (a B in my only economics class).  I also have a blu ray dvd collection that does not speak to fiscal responsibility. So if I feel inadequate to speak on economic issues, and the economists and bankers in charge have helped ruin our economy and they are the experts, why do we ask average Americans what they think?   They can have an opinion obviously, but most of the time it will be useless, which is what 77% of the people I asked this to thought.

Sir, sir do you approve or disapprove with the President's handling of - are we seriously going to ask this guy?
Sir, sir do you approve or disapprove with the President's handling of - are we seriously going to ask this guy?

But what if climate change is some elaborate hoax (Dan Brown’s next novel?)?  So what?  Why are goals of cleaner air, cleaner water,(i.e. healthier people) and better usage and replenishing of our resources not enough to motivate people and governments?  But of course, climate change is real.  The opponents of climate change urk me, but none more than the group of Republicans/”Democrats” who describe themselves as socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  They love to preach about science to the religious communities on social issues, but when science indicates climate change this is the first group to question scientific findings.  I do not enjoy the politics of this group of people because often the issue they care about is money.

3)  Afghanistan

I think if I had more courage I’d volunteer to go to Afghanistan (I still get scared while playing Modern Warfare 2).  I support Obama’s troop increase into Afghanistan, but it makes me nervous.  In my first year of law school I thought that perhaps the fight against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden was my generations WWII and that I might be wrong for not participating.  But then President Bush gave me a moral out by waging war in Iraq. 

But it saddens me that the resolve of the American people seems to be swayed by their boredom with war almost as equally as by the facts of war.  When W. was waging war the country was more behind him for various factors; proximity to 9/11, less time invested in the war and lies to name a few (and by the way W. had one thing going for him – he delivered war speeches better than Obama.  When W. spoke on the war and the threats he really did believe with his whole heart that he was doing the right thing, as evidenced by the fact that these were the only times he could speak with clarity and confidence.  I think Cheney had more nefarious motives, but from all I’ve read Bush really may have been more incompetent than malevolent – more Fredo than Hitler).  During that time our country’s independents/centrists/moderates had no problem being supportive and would disregard evidence to the contrary.  Now they are all too willing to back away from Obama.  No one knows for sure whether we will succeed or fail in Afghanistan, but our societal ADHD should not play a favor in the decision making and I am glad Obama did not let it.

A friend of mine actually said around 4 years ago, “the soldiers volunteered for it” as if it justified the cause (in Iraq) while more recently this same friend tried to play the sympathy for military members and families against me for my support of sending troops to Afghanistan.  We are front runners in this country and it does not just apply to sports teams and celebrities.  Perhaps the surge won’t work.  After all I once bought a puppy to act as a romance surge in a failing relationship.  A month later the relationship was over.  I hope the troops have better luck and I feel that the cause is just.

Good luck.
Good luck.

4) Why does health care for poor people get some people angrier than any of these things?

That’s all I got today.

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Birmingham, Part Threesome

Last night’s show felt like a breakthrough.  It was a really fun crowd and I felt sharper than the previous two nights.  And that was a good thing because I had CD/DVDs to sell, so having a strong performance I hoped would set the stage for some decent sales.  Turns out I was wrong, not to say that I could not have yielded other benefits from my strong performance/muscle t-shirt.  After the show it was clear that I genuinely had a better chance of scoring a threesome (emcee put it at better than 50/50 based on the suggestiveness) after the show than selling a CD (and posed the fleeting hypothetical to myself – if offered a threesome and you reject one and hook up with the other, do they cancel each other out in terms of relationship culpability).  Perhaps this is an odd complaint, but when one is settled and happy in their female companionship situation and looking to advance their career, CD sales are more important (somewhere a past or current member of the Williams College hockey team just involuntary shouted “FAG” and has no idea why).  Right now the hottest thing a chick could do right now is buy my CD and then e-mail me telling me it is awesome.

After the show I went out with the emcee and two of his friends, one of whom is a drummer in a band.  The guy resembles a cross between Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue (the look he was hoping for) and Adam Lambert (the look he is not going for).  We went to see another band, an 80s-90s cover band at a bar/club that just opened.   The funniest thing about the band that was playing was that their bass player was a dead ringer for Johnny Depp (he probably does not have any luck with women – except maybe for his ex-girlfriend who appeared in Playboy who was at the show), which is why his band refers to him as Depp.  The catch is that he looks exactly like Pirates of the Caribbean Johnny Depp (the look he is going for).  I am not kidding – I am very sad that I did not have my camera to prove it.

I literally hung out with this guy last night.
I literally hung out with this guy last night.

The bar was having a special – $15 cover for free beer all night.  Another interesting thing about Birmingham, from my limited experience, is the women.  The women are either stunning to look at or stun you with their apparently considerable appreciation of food.  There seems to be very little middle ground.  Except maybe for the mildly attractive woman who had a large cursive “69” tattooed on the small of her back.

My favorite part of the evening (possibly even more so than having a strong set) was that the emcee, myself, Nikki Lambert and Captain Jack Sparrow went out to eat after the show.  Keep in mind I thought a few suggestive compliments after a show made me feel slightly rock star-ish, albeit a rock star having a hard time pushing merchandise.  One of the two rock guys’ bands opened for Candlebox and Hinder (two bands who have each had one viable hit – the comedic equivalent of saying I opened for Gallagher on the road and the bitches loved the fruit smashing!).  Here is a sample of some quotes that they offered:

“That was such a bad threesome.”

“That guy’s girl came on our bus and blew so and so.”

This quick sample indicates that even up and coming or aspiring or just decent musicians can live rock star fairy tales.  When you can rate your threesomes comparatively you are living in a different, probably clinic-filled visit world than most people I know.  I then jokingly added, “Yeah, there was this one time my girlfriend came to my show and she thought I was really good so we did it back at my apartment and then snuggled.” 

Night 3 in Birmingham definitely the most interesting and fun.  But now just 3 nights left to sell at least 15 CD/DVDs.  Perhaps if I offer cuddles free of charge with every purchase I will do better. 

So seriously, you guys promise you'll download my albums off of iTunes?
So seriously, you guys promise you'll download my albums off of iTunes?
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Indefensible: The Ascent Of The Adult Gummy Vitamin

I saw an ad recently for One-A-Day (the multi-vitamin seller) Gummy Vitamins.  These vitamins are for adults.  Because after all haven’t you ever been having a multi-vitamin with a glass of juice, coffee or water in the morning and just thought, “God, if only there was a way to get my vitamins and minerals without putting up with all the fu-king bullsh*t that comes with a multi-vitamin!”  Well now, finally, grown adults don’t have to suffer the indignity and hardship of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for 1-3 seconds without enjoying a piece of candy. 

You have six months to live.  I am sorry, if only they had gummy vitamins when you were younger you might have gotten the minerals you needed.  No one could expect you to handle a hard, cumbersome pill every day!
You have six months to live. I am sorry, if only they had gummy vitamins when you were younger you might have gotten the minerals you needed. No one could expect you to handle a hard, cumbersome pill every day!

I thought purchasing condoms, lube and childrens’ toys at the same time at Duane Reade was the most demeaning thing I could do at a pharmacy, but I don’t think it’s anything next to purchasing adult gummy vitamins.  And why are scientists working on this?  Who is not taking a multivitamin because it’s just it’s just too unpleasant an experience?  Chewables already exist for those people with poor gag reflexes or traumatic step father incidents so why are the gummies necessary?  Is there even one person with decades of mineral deficiencies who is treating these vitamins like a Kathy Griffin fan club that just found out a cure for AIDS has been found?

I also just read an article in the NY Times style section about how people in my age group are clinging to their youth (the most offensive example was of colleges, including Princeton and Williams College safety school Middlebury partaking in Quidditch tournaments).

Seriously, just kill yourselves.
Seriously, just kill yourselves.

I have been told that I am too negative sometimes with my blogs and comedy.  First off, fu-k you.  Secondly, if you open your eyes and ears for all our technological advances it keeps looking like we are going backwards.  Adults playing Quidditch and eating candy vitamins may not seem terrible, but it just reminds me of those early 90s Jenny Jones or Jerry Springer episodes where mothers in their 40s would walk out dressed provactively (known today as business casual) their embarrassed daughters would cringe as the mothers did turns shouting things like, “You wish you was as hot as me!  I can have any man in here!  That’s right baby!” and other white trash affirmations. 

Now that we have moved beyond demonizing these trashy people and have given them more respectable terms like “cougars” and “middle school teachers,” we have to continue to compete with youth so we don’t feel older and responsible and like our time has passed.  So we have gummy vitamins for adults only a few months after Flintstones released their gummy vitamins (who the fu-k are these 6 year olds that think they can have all this fun?) and we play Quidditch as college students.  Granted, I am sure these kids are still properly considered losers, but since plastic surgery can only keep you young on the outside while your soul decays underneath I guess now is the time to start acting the age we wish we were.

Time to get back to my Nintendo Wii.