Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Place Your Bets




Pros and Cons: Lassos are flammable. And fire is rope-able (if you're a real cowboy).

website down

just so you know, by grossly exceeding our monthly bandwidth allocation, our site is down for the next 12 hours or so. we had to upgrade our hosting package, which takes about 24 hours to go through. once it does later this afternoon, we'll republish with some slightly modified content.

we're also talking about doing a pretty big redesign soon, and some PODs have already been drawn up. it looks pretty nice. if you can remember back all the way to our first website, and how much an improvement the current one is over that, you'll have an idea of the kind of design step we're trying to take.

that's it for the tech news, and since this is technically a comedy blog, here's a picture of brazilian guys playing volleyball with their legs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

i'm bored...

when's the next time quebec can vote for independance?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I <3 emusic part two

i knew you wouldn't be content not knowing what i did with the 30 downloads i had left, so...

new york voices- sing! sing! sing!: my love for jazz often goes un-acted-upon, but i've been wanting to get a new york voices album ever since i heard their track on the grp 10th anniversary collection. as far as classic jazz vocal arrangements go, these guys and gals are the shiz.

lewis black- luther burbank performing arts center blues: lewis black is the most agitated person in comedy. it's simple observations backed up with rapier wit and powered by an uncontrollable disgust for stupidity.

kitty kraft- beats and breaks from the flower patch: her recent ep wasn't much to write home about, but pam valfer's hip-hop inspired debut lp is no longer the glaring omission from my indie pop collection it once was.

The Defiant Thomas Brothers

Last night, Baz, Ruth, Tom 2, and I had the good fortune of hanging out with our friend, Seth Thomas of The Defiant Thomas Brothers at their annual Beaver-Q Bar-BQ. We rolled in at about 11 pm, which made us more than fashionably late (one might just say straight-up late) even though the Q started at 1 pm. We had just missed Paul Thomas, our other pal and the other half of DTB, and Seth had closed up the Q site and happened to be on the sidewalk outside his apartment building when we parked. We would've understood it if we were turned away, but Seth wouldn't hear of it and invited us into the yard, where we sat and talked for almost two hours. And it was just a great night-kicking back and hanging out with a good friend. I suppose there's nothing much to this post really. I just wanted to thank Seth and Paul. It's nice to have friends who maybe we don't get the chance to see very often, but when we do, there's no explaing to be done by anyone about the absences. Theres a hug and then we get right to talking and catching up on life. All our meetings always seem worthwhile. They are both completely honest and have been at our side with advice, laughter, and just general comraderie since we met them back at the 2003 Seattle Sketchfest. And since that day we've considered them our big brothers in sketch comedy and two of our favorite people in life.

So, if you get a chance, check out The Defiant Thomas Brothers website. They've already torn up the HBO Comedy Arts Festival and Second City stages and now they'll be heading to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And we're sure they're headed towards bigger and better things very soon. I don't think you'll find two guys who deserve more in life.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Diving Threat

Graceful or freaky as shit, pigs are now diving just like us. And in Melbourne there's one, Miss Piggy, who threatened to break the world record. How challenging is it to break the existing pig diving record? In Melbourne's Herald Sun, Tom Vandeleur, Miss Piggy's owner and coach, said, "No matter what happens and how far she goes, she'll be the record holder." Pretty cocky aren't we, Mr. Vandeleur? Perhaps. But maybe he's right. No, I know he's right. He knows he's right. Mr. Vandeleur cockily added, "The Guinness Book of Records called me a few weeks ago and wanted to know if I was interested in setting the first one. There's no diving record for pigs anywhere." And now you know he's right, too. What a dick! Why would a pig do this kind of thing? There has to be some kind of incentive. Why pig? Why? Golden slop?

Digging deeper, I found more signs of hubris in an ABC News Online article. Mr. Vandeleur again speaks. "Ian Thorpe was most probably the tallest swimmer we've had for many, many years and he can only go a body length and a half, these pigs are going nearly five times their body length." Ian Thorpe's a pansy? This statement sent shockwaves throughout the Australian Aquatic Sports Community. Prompting Thorpe, three members of the National water polo team, and the entire Australian National Diving Team, including Olympic gold medalist, Chantelle Michell-Newbery to boycott the dive. Australia was in the midst of a diving civil war. Pig or Person?

Meanwhile at the dive site, the crowd stood in silence, eagerly waiting. Mr. Vandeleur walked Miss Piggy out to the platform, removed her velvet robe, gave her a kiss on the cheek, and a pat on the back. Miss Piggy stared intently at the platform that lay ahead of her. She nodded once and began the sprint! When she reached the end of the platform, she snorted into the wind and launched herself straight ahead in perfect form (picture a pig on a spit minus the charring and the spit). She splashed beautifully into the water! The jump was measured and...

The crowd was stunned. "That was it," they seemed to ask. "That was pig diving?" And so ended the pig world's first attempt to cross over into the diving world. It wasn't much, perhaps. The threat of a pig invasion in professional diving subsides once again and Australia can once again sleep well. But know this, divers. They are coming! And come they will!! For today may have just be for distance, but there will come a day when pigs will gainer. AND GAINER THEY WILL!!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2005

scratch my back with a hacksaw

YES #1: the nhl is back, and rule changes will make it a faster, more open game!

YES #2: the penguins won the draft lotery and will take sidney crosby with the first pick!

the neutral zone trap dominated late-nineties/early-aughts pretty much ruined hockey for those of us raised on lemiuex and co's fast moving up and down style (even rick kehoe's left wing lock was exciting compared to that shit the devils used to win a bazillion stanley cups), and some of the rule changes in the cba/competitive balance agreement will do much to remedy this. they finally killed the center red line, so two-line passes are fair game, the offensive zones are bigger and goalie's pads are going to be smaller. (since the pens have the best young goalie in the league in marc-andrey fleury, i say that's fine). honestly, if these things weren't taken care of with the salary cap i wouldn't care quite as much, but now i'm pumped for hockey to come back.

on top of that, the pens have drafted in the past three years fleury(#1 overall), winger yevgeni malkin (#2 overall) and now the best prospect since eric lindros, possilbly since lemieux himself, sidney crosby. lemieux says he's still going to play next year, the new CBA will let the pens spend a little bit of money on retaining their young talent and bringing in some mid- to high-tier free agents, and things are all of the sudden looking up for the one sports team i really cared about growing up. (no offense to the steelers, but having the greatest player in the history of the game ripping shit up right in front of you is just something walter abercrombie and delton hall can't compete with. and don't me started on the fucking pirates.)

so that said, i'll leave you with this. pens announcer mike lange is like the myron cope of hockey. his voice is a little idiosyncratic and his expressions are often non-sensical, conveying the proper emotion (celebration) but without using words that make much sense. so when the pens would score, langue would scream "heeeeeeee shoots and scores...(name of player) gets it past (name of goalie) (nonsense saying). here's a short list of some of his best:

1. he beat him like a rented mule
2. call arnold slick from turtle creek (pronounced "crick" like a proper pittsburgher)
3. she wants to sell my monkey
4. get in the fast lane grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll
5. look out loretta
6. (if the goal seals the deal) ladies and gentlemen, elvis has just left the building

And He's Down For The Count

MIKE TYSON'S GETTING INTO THE PORN BIZ!!! Need I say more? Need I say less? Or need I just say, once again, MIKE TYSON'S GETTING INTO THE PORN BIZ!!!

velocity + face + diving board =

via grandopening-grandclosing


my first day of therapy brought up a horrible memory from my childhood, but not in the way you'd think. i suddenly remembered a filler song from europe's 1986 album "the final countdown" called "cherokee" (itunes). the song's chorus went:

Marching on the trail of tears.
Oh, Oh, Oh

on my way to work, this popped in my head:

Talking through a veil of tears.
Oh, oh, NO!

i hadn't thought of this song since i was single-digits old, and i'll be goddamned if it isn't on europe's "super hits" compilation, further diluting the meaning of the word "hit" as it pertains to music. by the way, i didn't cry at therapy, and asked if that meant i didn't have to pay. my therapist wrote something down, and asked "how does that make you feel?". "unfunny", i replied. "unfunny".

hell no, let us go!

"raging grannies" try to enlist, go to iraq

i struggled with this one for a while. my first reaction was, "great. the heat has driven the elderly, as a whole, crazy." then i read the article, my next reaction was, "shit. you're from the same city ruth is from," which is more a statement of fact than a reaction. i kept reading and found out they did this so their kids and grandkids could come home, and was kind of moved. the article framed the story as a pretty effective act of civil disobedience, or at the very least, a good joke. then, the article closed with this gem:

"This was not a performance, a joke or civil disobedience," she said. "This was an enlistment attempt."

so now i'm just confused. i can't tell if old ladies in tucson want to go kill insurgents or not. and i'm really curious to know if they've ever seen full metal jacket.

I <3

the 22nd of every month is a little christmassy for me, because that's when my emusic downloads refresh. i pay 15 smackers and get to download 65 songs. it's a pretty sweet deal, and it helps me keep in new music (which is tough when you don't listen to the radio, go to concerts or watch tv) and get caught up on stuff i've been meaning to pick up for years but for one reason or another couldn't. my dl's refreshed an hour ago, and i'm already half way through. here's what's up this month:

the decemberists- the tain: a whole ep in one track! boo ya!
pavement- (the rest of) terror twilight: pavement's worst record, westing included. still better than seven mary three's best, though.
pavement- haunt you down: amy mariaskin gave me a sixth- or seventh generation copy of stray slay or stuff up the cracks in 1995 that lived in my 1989 mercury sable until it's death in 1998. i hadn't heard this song since then, but still knew all the words.
okkervil river- black sheep boy: i really love this record. reminiscent of poppier palace music from back in the day, great instrumentation.
the extra glenns- martial arts weekend: john darnielle (mountain goats) and franklin bruno (nothing painted blue) basically doing what sounds like a plain old mountain goats record. not that there's anything wrong with that.
arab strap- i work in a saloon and the first big weekend: back in my days as a dj on wrct 88.3 fm, i picked up "the week never starts around here" and fell in love wqith these two songs. it's nice to have them now.
they might be giants- robot parade: i saw the johns do this on late night with conan o'brien, but never picked up a copy of "no!". since emusic charges by the song, i don't think i'll pick it up just yet, but having this one track is already making my morning scream.

there's an affiliate program at emuisc, so if you like music that's a bit obscure and think this sounds dandy, shoot me an email or leave a comment- you get 50 free songs for trying it out, and i get 50 free songs for introducing you two lovers.

i've still got 30 downloads to go, so back to work.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

gab's blog

i'm not sure it's fair to call her an animal club alum, but there was a time when we tried real hard to make gab bonesso an animal club member. She did join us for our "bargain basement prices" going away show in pittsburgh, and even came out to seattle for our first sketchfest in 2003. now she's a successful stand up in the pittsburgh area, and has joined the blog ranks. love her. here's how:

gab's blog
gab's website

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

front page news

let's take a vote. who thinks the devil rays-red sox series is worthy of the front page of google news? none? okay, who can fathom there are 400+ related articles? no one? okay, who's in favor of shrinking the internet? everyone? motion passed.


in keeping with one word, exclamation-pointed titles, the show in st. louis on august 12 has been postponed. the staff at laughs on the landing told us they'll make it up to us in the future, and we believe 'em. (for the record, the staff at LoL {ha ha} consists mainly of folks from st. louis' other comedy club, the CITY improv. we consider them friends, and we hope they do the same). so, cancel your flights, let the hotel reservations go, and get real comfortable with not seeing any big arches in august. we'll let you know when the make-up date is as soon as it's proper to do so.

on the upside, this means i'll be able to go home to celebrate my sisters' birthdays. marissa turns 25 and krista turns 21 on august 11. they were born on the same day 4 years apart which, aparently, is blogworthy. happy birthday, girls!


seems we're having issues with the website today, possibly related to the french revolution listed below. hang with us, and we'll work it out. or should i say pendre avec nous, et nous le travaillerons hors.


now we're not quite as web savvy as some of the sketch groups out there (ahem, elephant larry and killing my lobster), and as such we don't have sky-high hopes for our web site as far as traffic goes and what not. we thought we were doing pretty good, pulling in a solid 2-3 GB of traffic a month and getting a couple thousand visitors. then this happened.

over 21 GB of traffic in one day (our monthly limit is 20). i used our webalizer to investigate the matter in more depth and found that, all of the sudden, the Bush and Satan videos were very, very popular. how popular, you ask?

now i don't think these sketches suck or anything, but 1500 times? in one day? something was fishy, so i kept digging and came across the referer list. and lo and behold...

it's the french! the french version of the excite video search engine viewed our bush and satan videos a collected 3000 times. since i'm all about the french, i'll take it. but since i have to pay overlimit fees on our bandwidth, i won't. i think it was some kind of malfunction somewhere along the line (seeing as the videos were played 3000 times with zero visits). anyway, technically speaking this is above even my head. if there are any web geeks out there that can explain what happened and can tell my what to tell our web host so i don't have to pay for it, i'd appreciate it. and if by some chance the french really do love us that much, let me just say:
Merci, mes bons amis. Je toujours ai cru que votre pays était mieux que le nôtre, et maintenant j'ai la preuve ! Cette marque il que nous aimons jerry lewis à vous ?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

High School, Schmigh School

The past few days, I've been getting all nostalgic and have been leafing through my yearbooks and reminiscing about life in Grand Valley High School (You can order a current yearbook here and I strongly encourage you to do so. Who knows what memories of others you might be missing?). And while, the stroll down memory lane gave me the expected warm feeling, I also picked up an unexpected reminder of how young I looked. How young my whole class looked, in fact. And maybe it's just me. But, the seniors of my freshmen year look like they're seniors. And some of them look like they could walk into a liquor store without anyone even looking twice at them. My senior class, however, looks like maybe, at the oldest, we're freshmen. Even the kids with facial hair. Is it just me and my class?

No, because my brother's class, only one year ahead of mine, looks young. Not as young as mine, I suppose, but still too young to be graduating. Then, my younger sisters' classes both look incredibly young, too. And I think of Kevin Arnold on the Wonder Years and how young and out of place he looked in high school and that was in the 1970's. But then, to play devil's advocate, all the other people in his school looked a lot older than him. But, to play devil's advocate to the devil's advocate, in reality, all those people were actors of various ages cast between 1988-1993 and some could have quite possibly been in their 30's.

But, to digress away from The Wonder Years and back to my point, I guess we all think of ourselves as too young because, no matter how old you actually are, you still never really feel like you're ready to graduate and leave all that you know. All those who come behind you will always look young because how could they be ready to face the real-world when you're not?

Why do older classes look older then? Maybe to remind us that no matter how old we get, we'll never be as old as them? I'm not sure about that one. Umm...

Let's focus on an easier question:
A table and two chairs all get rabies. They're locked in a steel cage together, but not until after they've had their legs sawed off. Who survives?


if yr in new york this weekend, you should check out the del close marathon for all the improv comedy you could hope to see. big names like tj & dave and baby wants candy will be there, and AC sketch friends the royal we and american dream will be doing improv sets as well.

the big news is that aparently every improv team in chicago is going to be gone this weekend meaning that, at least for 72 hours, sketch comedy will rule the roost. and it figures that we don't have a show. anyway, if you're in chicago, go see some sketch while it's the only game in town.

selection sunday!

minus basketball and it's actually tuesday, but hey! guess who's nominating someone to the supreme court of the united states tonight?! that's right! ME!!

g-dub got a little pissed at me for my continued gentle ribbing of him on the blogwaves, and i was all ready to rip on whoever he chose, so he was all like "you think you could do better?" and i'm all like "well i couldn't do worse." and he's all like "well then fine, YOU name the next supreme court nominee" and i'm all like "FINE. I will, and i'll do a fine job, too" and he's all like "i bet you will" and i'm all like "well fine then, i guess i will" and he's all like "fine" and i'm all like "fine".

so it's all up to me, and i couldn't think of a better nominee than judge joe brown. before you get all pissy about it, hear me out. joe brown is a REAL judge. his TV show has REAL defendants and plaintiffs and the rulings are FINAL. his long standing position on "bull" is famous (he doesn't like it), and among the disputes he's settled, only 64% involve a loan that wasn't legally notarized or repaid. the rest were very important rulings on things like his famous dissenting opinion on the separation of church- and state-based entertainment (in jars of clay v. capitol steps, judge brown famously said "you both suck").

i expect an honest, polite and thorough evaluation process, and urge the house and senate to quickly confirm mr brown to his new position,

blew me up as a double entendre

the register introduced me to a fun new way to combat terrorism- a pro-active posthumous photo database. allows you to pick the picture news sites use when (not if) you are killed by a terrorist attack. it's a new site, and there's not much on there that isn't in the "well fuck you then" vein, but as the site grows i hope to see more of the "well that wasn't very nice" and "but i support a free palestinian state!" variety. i think i'll post one of me that seems to say "i'm sorry, were you saying something?"

not much going on today

it's a slow day in the funny news world. a quick look at google news brought the headlines:

emily barrels on as typhoon hits china!
what will happen when talk on korea bomb is finished?!
olympics bomber gets life in jail :)!!
hewlett-packard cuts 14,500 jobs!!!

and so on. (i added the exclamation points and smiley faces) so i was beginning to think that today was so depressing there wouldn't be one news story with a hint of dry humor to blog. thankfully, old faithful (aka george w bush) is always willing to pitch in and keep america's irony sector moving forward. today's nugget is:

bush will fire anyone in his administration convicted of a crime. well that's awful good of him, wouldn't you say?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Hot Web Tip Of The Day

I was searching for some info on Steven Seagal's breakthrough album, SONGS FROM THE CRYSTAL CAVE. So, I googled his name and what to my Nancy Drew eyes did appear? expired on June 23rd of this year and has yet to be renewed. It's totally up for grabs!!! Yep, that's right! Now, you can own a website named after the man who brought you cinematic masterpieces like Hard To Kill, Marked For Death, Under Siege 1 and 2, On Deadly Ground, Exit Wounds, and Half Past Dead! You can even buy the site and turn it into a site totally dedicated to professional boxer, Eric "Butterbean" Esch, shown here seconds before getting kicked in the face by a man much taller than him:

Hurry, though! There's bound to be fans of both Seagal and Butterbean battling for control. only opens up once or twice in a lifetime! If you act now, you won't have to wait for that other life!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Little Hand Waving

There's a little fellow that I watch at the kid care of the gym where I work. We'll call him Sebastian (because that's his name). He's two years old and, although I am twenty-five, I have come to think of him as one of my friends, albeit a very small one that wears a diaper and sometimes runs in circles, giggling, until his little legs have become too disoriented to hold him up anymore. Our conversation probably doesn't make much sense to the outside ear, but it's the most amusing and cutest thing to see this little guy enthusiastically talking with his few-word vocabulary. He's always just happy that someone's listening.

On Monday, when Sebastian was leaving, he waved goodbye and walked into the elevator with his mother. But, before the doors closed, he quickly walked back out with an 'Oh, and I almost forgot' look on his face. He said simply, "Twuck". I said, "Truck?" And he said, "Yeah". I said, "Sounds good to me." And he nodded his head in a firm affirmation, turned around, and left.

It was the best piece of conversation I've had all week. There are so many words to know, but Sebastian knew how to wrap everything he needed to say into 'Twuck' and 'Yeah'.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

sorry again

i haven't posted in a while, and once again it's because i was in the hospital. i'm still working on that crippling depression thing, too, but the heart problem became pretty pressing again last week.

i went back into northwestern last tuesday, and had surgery on monday. using a superheated catheter, doctors burned around 30 little holes in my left ventricle, in an attempt to electrically isolate one of the parts of my heart that freaks out and causes runs of ventricular tachycardia (or v-tach). i guess things have been going pretty good since then; the doctors think they may have made some progress with this last procedure, so here's to them. and the nurses (especially katie in the day and margaret at night) put up with a LOT of my shit, so i owe them props as well.

and let me just say that the ccu at northwestern (8th floor) is the coolest icu i have ever been in. they let yr friends come all hours of the night, they don't bat an eyelash when you order pizza from yr room, they have starz edge and a&e on the tv, and the rooms have a view of lake michigan.

if any of you were wondering how i might look with seven days growth in the facial hair arena, have a gander. (spoiler: it's pathetic):

then yesterday, i kept having these non-dangerous irregular beats called pvcs, not to be confused with the dangerous kind i also get. i thought the non-dangerous ones were cute in all their irrelevance, so i took a picture:

if this post seems to be referencing something you don't remember, check this out. there's not much back story there, but maybe it's enough to fill in the blanks.

thanks to everyone who sent well wishes again, and if anyone wants to make a donation to a worthy, related charity, feel free:

american heart association - they help coordinate efforts to defeat all facets of illness facing the heart, and provide both clinical research and patient support assistance. a wonderful organization.

make-a-wish foundation - they grant gravely sick kids a wish, in what might be the purest of all charities. i received my wish in 1997 at the behest of the late nick jalomo, who convinced me that i could do the foundation more good by receiving a wish and spreading the word than by just letting someone else get a wish. sounds clunky and stupid, but i'm still a little fucked up about that whole thing to put it very eloquently. if you can't give money, give time. give, give, give.


Monday, July 04, 2005

nice dress, schmuck

thanks to zimv20 @ macrumors

Saturday, July 02, 2005

caring-free rubber bracelets

if you're like me, you've been wanting to get in on the rubber bracelet fad, but you hate all those charities and disease foundations. lucky for us, the rubber bracelet has been freed of it's meaningful shackles, and is now available as a simple token of fashion. don't care about breast cancer? how about a pink bracelet that says "flirt"! can't stand to help defeat AIDS?, how about a red bracelet that says FLAMETHROWA!.

as a result, actual causes have been forced off the cheap market, and are now making more elaborate bracelets that show you care more than a buck or two about whatever. here's some fancy schmancy breast cancer bracelets, and another one for heart disease in women. and here's a whole bunch of other ones.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Trying To Deal

It's been a hard couple of months for me. I recently lost two friends, who meant a great deal to me. I apologize that this is a little sad, but I wanted to let people know about them.