Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hey, we went dutch on the popcorn shrimp!

I recently read a news story about a young man accused of date-rape. He was convicted. Good. But I don't get it. Why didn't he just say they weren't on a date? That's what I'd do.

"Your Honor, that was NOT a date. We were just "hanging out." If it had been a date, I would have taken her someplace nicer that TGI Fridays.

JUDGE: That's commendable, but according to her, that was your third date.

"No. The first time we hung out, we went to the mall, and I was going there anyway. Not a date. The second time, we went to the movies, but with seven other people. Not a date. And the last time we got together, it was so she could help with my website."

JUDGE: Not a date. Case dismissed.


Simple.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Held up at badge-point.

Airport security agents are doing nothing more than robbing us blind. Snatching our shaving creams, lotions, and moisturizers. All that's missing is a firm "put your hands up!" Oh, wait, they do say that, if you're lucky enough to get waved by one of their magic wands. It's as if every kleptomaniac in the country had been given a uniform and told to report for work.

I'm for airline safety as much as the next guy, but it's not our planes that are being hijacked, it's our dignity and toiletries. Why nothing more than 3 ounces? Do explosive or combustible liquids only come in 3.1 ounce jars and up? Th
ink of the waste! There must be landfills piled high with hand cream, cologne, and KY jelly. Here's an exchange I had a few months ago when flying home to LA from Ft. Lauderdale:

A TSA agent approached me and said, "Sorry sir, you can't bring this on board." The biological danger he was referring to was my St. Ives apricot facial scrub. Maybe he thought my plan was to exfoliate the entire plane to death.

"Don't you watch the news?" he continued. "No, I read the news," I replied. I then explained there had been conflicting reports over the easing of flying restrictions, and that I had flown in from Los Angeles with the very same container. The guard countered, "Well, I don't know how they do things in Los Angeles, but you can't fly with it out of here." "Exactly," I said. "You don't know how they do things in Los Angeles. That's the problem. If this is a federal rule, then it should be consistent amongst all airports. If it's not, then it's a joke."


"Are you calling airline security a joke sir? Because if you are, we'll get the Head of Security down here and HE can decide whether you can fly today or not." I'll go you one further," I said. "It's not only a joke, but it puts us in even greater danger. What you're doing here, sir, is theater. You are putting on a show. You're making it 'seem' as if there's a system in place to keep us safe. That's dangerous. It lulls people into a false sense of security. A false sense of security keeps people less vigilant and less prepared. Just like we were on September 10th.

"Don't call security a joke, sir." (Apparently, he was still stuck on that.) I replied, "but you know it's a joke. I know it's a joke. The woman behind me taking off her Easy Spirits knows it's a joke. Even my apricot facial scrub knows it's a joke. We all know it's a joke"

Some applauded. Others just threw sour faces at me. The head of Security came. I no longer called their efforts a joke. Instead, as I grabbed my bags, I told the guard he should be ashamed of himself for participating in such silly efforts during such serious times.

"Why put up a fuss?" you might ask. I guess, in the back of my mind, I thought if we all put up a fuss, something would be done. My rational side knows that's not going to happen. Maybe I wasn't really angry with the security rules that day at all. Perhaps I lashed out because I felt emasculated. I mean, the only thing more emasculating than carrying apricot facial scrub around is having another man take it away.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Trade offs.

I had someone in New York who loved me, and who I loved. And now I have things. And I have Los Angeles. Beware of things and Los Angeles.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Florida

I recently went down to Florida for my father's 75th birthday. While it was great to see my family, they drive me crazy. In all fairness, I drive them crazy too. But in Florida, there's never a dry crazy. Or a breezy crazy. It's just one long hot and humid crazy.

I find each time I go down there, I stay a little less than the time before. 4 day visits gave way to 3.5 day ones. Then I was down to 3 days flat. This last visit was 2.5 days. I expect, eventually, I'll just meet them on the tarmac, wave, and get back on the plane.

Ahhh, family visits. Smothered with attention, unable to lash out. Trapped in Florida. I know how this gator feels.

Happy birthday Dad. For real.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Stockholm, USA

Stockholm Syndrome: a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed. A famous supposed sufferer of Stockholm Syndrome was millionaire heiress Patty Hearst. After two months in captivity, she donned an automatic weapon and actively took part in a bank robbery orchestrated by her abductors.


I personally believe the United States government was complicit in, if not directly behind, the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Yes, yes, I know. I sound like some looney toon conspiracy theorist. But let's put all that aside for the moment and take a look at some undisputed activities our government has been involved in:

The outing of America's CIA operatives.

Completely ignoring both the warnings, and the destruction, of hurricane Katrina - leaving dead bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans for days.


Engagement in warrantless surveillance of our own citizens.


Removal of judges who don't fall in line with the Executive Branch's views.


Using our tax dollars to fuel the occupation of Iraq, a once sovereign nation, while our schools and bridges are literally falling apart.


Not providing adequate armor for our soldiers who've been sent to occupy Iraq.

And, most likely, the hijacking of at least one election.

So, even if you don't agree our government allowed 9/11 to happen, it's clear they have placed our citizenry in danger. Not only that, but we're paying for the privilege when we pay our taxes.
Where is our money going? It certainly didn't go towards protecting NYC, DC, New Orleans, or even our soldiers. It appears our tax dollars are going to fuel an agenda diametrically opposed to what would make us a safe and strong country. You might go as far as to say they're holding us, or at least our money, hostage.

I used to be surprised when I heard other Americans making excuses for our government's behavior. I was astonished I didn't hear more voices of resistance from my fellow citizens. But now I see America must be suffering from a certain
psychological trauma. One in which they've developed a loyalty towards their oppressors, and developed a bond with the very institution doing them harm. One could argue, by fueling this administration with their tax dollars, Americans have become willing participants in the crimes committed against themselves. It all smacks of a psychological sickness. One called Stockholm Syndrome.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Can you find him? (click to enlarge)



















(Which is more offensive - using the events of 9/11 to make a joke, or using it as a pretext to create a war-for-profit, and circumvent our civil liberties? Choose what you're offended by wisely.)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Turned 37.

Went to Vegas with my friend Nic. He came out from NYC for my birthday (July 3rd). Vegas was 116 degrees one of the days were were there. So, we spent much of the time indoors. Here's a brief summary of the trip.

Lost.
Lost.
Won.
Won.
Lost.
Lost.
Lost a lot.
Saw the Cirque De Soleil "O" show.
Won.
Won.
Lost more than I won.
Cooled off in the pool.

Overall, a great trip.





Saturday, June 09, 2007

Please don't watch this if you work for Child Protective Services

Here's the latest episode of Baby in Danger, my friend, Ryan Iverson's, web series. Yep, that's his real baby. I wonder how many he can make before someone comes for his little bundle of comedy joy.



Two Pronged Plug:

Saturday the 9th, I'll be a part of two comedy shows in Hollywood.

For most of the day, I'll be writing for The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater's monthly Sketch Cram show. It's a sketch show written and produced all in one day. This will be my second time writing for the L.A. version of the show. I had a terrific time writing for it last time, and am psyched to be a part of it again. Come check it out - midnight - at The UCB Theater. Here's a link to show details/reservations.

While we spend all day writing the Cram show, I'll be taking a break at 9:30 to head on over to The Second City Theater for a performance with The Engagement Party, the improv group I recently joined. We're opening for Second City Alumni group, Edmund Serves Coffee. Here's the blurb you'd find if you visited secondcity.com to learn more. See, I do all the hard web surfing for you:

9:30pm: Edmund Serves Coffee: An Alumni Invitational
Each week, Alumni from Second City’s resident companies in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Toronto improvise onstage together. With opening act The Engagement Party performing from 9:30-9:55. $10 at the door, call (323)464-8542 for advanced tickets .


Friday, June 08, 2007

Pick a card.

I got locked out of my apartment the other day. After seeing it done in movies, I tried to open the door by sliding a credit card between the latch and the door jamb. It didn't work.

I soon realized why; I was using a Discover Card. Those things don't work anywhere.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A piece of my childhood, found on YouTube. Watch it while you can.

This was produced a few years before I was born, but I had seen it on television a few times in my early youth. It left quite an impression on me. I looked for it from time to time on YouTube, but it was never there. It seems someone posted it there almost 6 months ago. I hope it doesn't get taken down. It's beautifully and artfully executed. Enjoy.





Race relations.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hoax alert.

The Mars landing was filmed on the Moon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.

I've put a couple of posts up before about my growing collection of people with psuedo-sexual surnames oddly linked to their professions. Well, I've found another one to put up on the mantle.

60 Minutes
recently ran a piece about the determiners of sexual orientation. One of the research doctors they profiled was able to grow "gay" rats by altering their hormone levels while they were still underdeveloped. And what was the name of the doctor breeding rats that like to engage in same-sex activities?

- drum roll please -

Doctor Breedlove. (see for yourself - link)

It's as if that great scriptwriter in the sky is just phoning it in when it comes to naming characters in this short story of his.

Here are links to the other items in this collection:

one

two

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Call your mom.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cool video passed my way #3 - Stevie Wonder

Cool video passed my way #2 - James Brown, Michael Jackson, Prince

Cool video passed my way #1 - David Blaine(?)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My latest pictures, and...

So, I haven't written for awhile. That means many of you may have forgotten what I look like. I figured it was time to post a new pic. Rather than go to Sears, I chose to have my portrait taken by one of those 1984 Big-Brother-is-Watching-You traffic cameras that catches people running red lights. This lovely snapshot cost me $382 in traffic fines, plus enrollment in traffic school if I want to keep a point off my license. I think it was worth it. I mean, come on, I look like a bad-ass in this picture. That robot camera really captured my true essence.

I plan on using this red-light-cam picture as my headshot when I audition this weekend for an Upright Citizens Brigade improv house team. Wish me luck. No seriously, if you are reading this before Saturday, hit the comment link below and leave me some good luck. I doubt anyone's even reading this now as I've been pretty derelict in posting. But, I thought I'd put it out there.

Yeah, so I'm auditioning this weekend. I've been doing a lot of practice with improv, and feel I'm making some strides. Here's me playing at a show with a group called Engagement Party. It's made up of folks from Improv Olympic and Second City.

I also got recommended by The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in NYC to write for their LA theater's Sketch Cram show. That's a sketch show that's written and produced all in one day. We had this show this past Saturday night and it went really well. I really enjoy writing for these under-the-gun shows. A forced deadline combined with some very talented writers (I was really in awe of the other talents involved with the show) make for not only a fun performance, but a kick-ass day of laughs while putting it together. I wrote two skecthes. One about a passive-aggressive GPS for your car. Below is an excerpt from the other sketch. It's based on a real exchange between me and my new therapist I'm seeing for my OCD issues. (I had to get rid of my last therapist after she told me to watch The Secret.) Okay, here it is. Wish me luck. Seriously.


THERAPIST
You know Josh, we all have two inner voices. A critical one, and a positive one. I think your critical voice is doing most of the talking.

PATIENT
How can I balance them out?

THERAPIST
First, let's name them. What's your positive voice's name?

PATIENT
I feel like an idiot doing this.

THERAPIST
You hear that? That's your critical voice. What's the name of your positive voice?

PATIENT
I don't know....The Coach.

THERAPIST
Coach. Excellent. And your critical voice's name?

PATIENT
Uhhh...The Abyss.

THERAPIST
Great. Now, every time your hear The Abyss talking, I want you to..

PATIENT
Can we stop a second? I'm not happy with the name I gave my critical voice.

THERAPIST
The name doesn't matter. You need to...

PATIENT
I know, but come on, "The Abyss?" that's awfully pretentious.
I write bullshit advertising for a living.
I have no right to be walking around with some deep existential name for my critical voice.


THERAPIST
Do you see how you're being crit...

PATIENT
Yes, I get the irony. It's almost as funny as you calling our 45-minute sessions an hour.


THERAPIST
Very passive aggressive.



Monday, March 26, 2007

Useful tips.

Enjoy.

On repressing fake memories.

As is the case with most new places I work, somebody recently called me Jeffrey. I was quick to explain I prefer Jeff. Happily, that's as far as it went. I wasn't so lucky at the last place I worked. At that job, this guy called me Jeffrey, and continued to do so after I told him I really hated it. He figured the more he called me Jeffrey, the funnier it was.

One day, I took him aside and told him my uncle molested me when I was very young, that he used to call me Jeffrey, and being called that brings up a lot of painful memories so I'd be grateful if he stopped. He looked visibly disturbed, apologized, and never called me Jeffrey again.

My uncle never molested me. He never called me Jeffrey either. But from that moment on, whenever I was around this co-worker, I felt I had to take on the persona of a guy who had been molested by his uncle:

"How would a guy who was molested
by his uncle use the water cooler?"

"How would a guy who was molested by his uncle complain about the time-sheet software?"

"How would a guy who was molested by his uncle steal shit out of the office refrigerator?"

It was tough keeping up this charade. I'm glad I have a new job.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Savor this moment of being a reader rather than a consumer.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Will somebody please give this guy a blowjob already so we can impeach him?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The down-side of suicide.

If things got really bad. And the whole universe was against you. And you only had one friend in the whole wide world. And you asked this friend to end it all with you by going into a suicide pact together. The worst thing you could hear would be:

"Sorry. I'm already in a suicide pact with someone else."

That would suck.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Where can you combine your love of soup with the nostalgia of slavery?

Souplantation! - a chain of restaurants here on the west coast.

Why Souplantation? Why not Soupageddon? Or Soupocaust?

While I think it's a awful name for an eating establishment, I do recommend The Indentured Servitude Bisque.

Monday, January 15, 2007

...and I have looked over the mountain, and I have seen...wait, that's my car. Leave my car alone.

My friend drove us out for lunch today and parked at a meter. Being Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday, we didn't feed the meter.

We returned to find a parking ticket on our car! On MLK Day!

Soon after, we came upon the parking enforcement officer who was giving out more tickets. We stopped and asked what was up with that? She turned around and we realized she was black! A black woman giving out parking tickets on MLK Day! We've come a long way haven't we?

– "Uh, how come you're giving out parking tickets? It's a national holiday today. There's no meter parking on national holidays."

– "It's not a national holiday sir."

- "Yes it is. It's MLK Day."

- "MLK Day is not a national holiday."

- (trying to mask my disbelief that I'm arguing with a black woman over whether MLK Day is a holiday) "Yes. Yes It is."

- "Well, not according to the Venice Beach Parking Department."

So, apparently, the Venice Beach local government can decide what's a national holiday and what isn't. They've also changed my birthday from July 3rd to March 12th. Don't fuck with these fellows, they are very powerful.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Belated New Year!

It's 2007!

I mean, it's been 2007!

I rang in the new year snowboarding outside of Vancouver. It was a great mountain, with views of the city below. I went with my buddy Jason and we both stayed with our friends Rob and Kerry who just moved to Vancouver.

If you're ever in Vancouver, and want to be treated like a king, I recommend staying with Rob and Kerry - the best hosts on either side of the border.