Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Second Coming

Today, it occured to me that a truly funny moment would be if the second coming came around and, no matter what (fire, flames, lava, four horsemen), everyone the whole world over giggled in unison. I think it would be one of the silliest, most profound, and most disturbing moments in all of history. Maybe we could whistle, too. Whistle and giggle.

Drive Thru...More Like...I Got Nothing.

Today, I went to McDonald's instead of waiting until I got home and making good food for dinner. My "fries" were a little late, so I sat by the window waiting. The McEmployee left the nook, and then I saw something that blew my mind:

1. A plastic cup dropped from it's holder, completely unaided.
2. Apparently, it fell onto a conveyor belt, which proceeded to position the cup under the ice dispenser.
3. I know, you're saying, 'there's no way the ice dispensed itself, too'. Yeah there is. Because it did.
4. I assumed it wasn't done, and was affirmed by the conveyor belt moving the cup along to the soda dispenser.
5. A decent amount of Diet Coke filled the cup 3/4 of the way. After a pregnant pause, the dispenser finished the job.

By this point, the McEmployee had returned with my "fries", and had been holding them out to me for over a minute. But I was captivated and didn't notice. She started yelling at me in her native tongue (I don't really know what it was), I took me food, and spent the rest of my commute home thinking about how all those times I said we weren't like the Jetsons, I just hadn't been looking in the right places.

The future, ladies and gentlemen, is now.

(this is related to the Super Bowl, because I'm sure McDonald's is a sponsor, though I'm too lazy to look for confirmation)
pictured to the right: i have no idea what that is

Super Blog

Alright. I've held back for a whole week, so I think I earned the right to start blogging about the Super Bowl again. First thing's first, there are much better Super Bowl bloggers thane me, not the least of which is Chuck Klosterman on ESPN.com's Page 2. He had this recap of ridiculous Steeler quotes from today's media day:

(2) Ike Taylor: "There will be a tomorrow." (Excellent!)

(3) Hines Ward: "Winning the Super Bowl would help me get solidified."

(4) Hines Ward again: "After losing Plaxico Burress, we proved a lot of naysayers wrong." (Take that, naysayers!)

(5) Ben Roethlisberger: Looking very My Morning Jacket-ed, Big Ben mentioned that we are fighting a war in Iraq. As soon as he said this, about 25 guys wrote it down. Roethlisberger also stated that Sunday's Super Bowl would be much bigger than any game he played at Miami of Ohio; about 30 guys wrote that down.

(6) James Farrior: "Go talk to Jerry Porter."

(7) Joey Porter: "The 3-4 is more complicated for opponents than the 4-3, because the 3-4 makes it harder to count the number of guys in the box. In the 4-3, you know there are four down linemen." (True.)

(8) Willie Parker: "Every day of your life, you need to do something to your body. You need to sit in a cold tub of water, or whatever." (I suspect this might have made more sense within proper context. However, Parker also admitted he elected to play football at the University of North Carolina because he loved Michael Jordan, which seems insane.)

Funny stuff. Far better than I can do. Enjoy the professional blogger doing what he does best from now on.

Sketchfest TV- Episode 4

Chicago SketchFest Part 2, with Karla, Slow Children At Play, and The 3rd Floor.

Check out our fourth episode, the last week of our coverage from Chicago SketchFest... OR IS IT???

Right click (or ctrl-click) on the title link tto download the iPod ready episode. As always, you can also get it from our podcast on iTunes, or the YouTube & Quicktime versions will be ready later today.

Next week, we'll be back with even more live sketch comedy, and the sexiest Stoobe you've ever seen.

Spread the word...

Sketchfest TV.com

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hey did you know...

Just to remind you for the 8,000th time, these two teams are playing in the Super Bowl:


Today on ESPN, I caught a profound Super Bowl Q and A session about who each commentator was looking forward to interviewing on media day. A twenty minute conversation ensued.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

So how cool am I? (not rhetorical)

I have something that might inform your response:

It's Saturday night, and I've spent the past four hours reading about the Space Program on Wikipedia. Highlights of my evening so far:

• Discovering that there was an aerodynamically identical Russian Space Shuttle called Buran.

• Shedding a tear over the touchingness of the Apollo-Soyuz MIssion, then feeling kind of manipulated after finding out it was only done because NASA had leftover parts from the regular Apollo missions, and was at least partially inspired by the 1968 move Marooned! starring Gregory Peck.

• Learned more about Skylab than I ever could have imagined I would; realized that geeks and engineers have an inner bully that comes out when they talk about Skylab. That was kind of fun.

Now I'm going off to a club to dance the night away, and use my newfound NASA facts to impress some fly hunnies. If the laws of Intertemporal Choice still apply, my chances of scoring tonight have just been raised by a factor of six!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dance Dance Do Your Homework

Speaking of innovative techniques in public schools, West Virginia is attempting to combat obesity with Dance Dance Revolution, the interactive dancing game. It's certainly an interesting idea for weight loss. It's hip. You got to give it that. But, how does it compare to other pop weight loss ideas? Let's pit it against Jared and his Subway method and see if it's worth it.

Subway- Eat a healthy low fat subway sandwich.

Dance Dance Revolution- Dance.

Subway- Eat a healthy low fat subway sandwich.

Dance Dance Revolution- Dance.

Subway- Eat a healthy low fat subway sandwich.

Dance Dance Revolution- Revolution.

After three days, I can definitely say Dance Dance Revolution has Subway beat on variety. And, although I'm still not sure whether we're revolting against Dancing or Not Dancing, just the promise of a revolution every three days is pretty impressive.

Virtual School

Chicago's breaking new ground by proposing the first virtual public school. How great is that? We've already got virtual colleges. If we could all just land virtual part-time jobs while in school (you know, so we can kick back and catch a virtual movie once in a while-maybe even with a virtual date or two or three (hey, anything's possible in this unreal reality (take all these parentheses, for example))) and then get
virtual full-time jobs that coincide perfectly with our virtual degrees, we'd be well on our way to becoming a society completed made of flesh and blood robots. And who doesn't want that?
Hippies? Real Robots? Communists? Or Real Robots?

Effecively the Dumbest Thing I've Ever Seen

Move over whatever I said last week was the dumbest thing I've ever seen, lingerie for your iPod is in town. As dumb as dressing dogs up can be, iPod lingerie beats it out, and it wasn't even close. There's not really much else to say except, once again, there's such a thing as lingerie for your iPod.

Why the Musical "Rent" Didn't Play Well In Germany

Seasons of Love tanslated into German

Fünfhundert, fünfundzwanzig tausend, sechs hundert Minuten
fünfhundert, fünfundzwanzig tausend Momente so lieb
Fünfhundert, fünfundzwanzig tausend, sechs hundert Minuten
Wie messen Sie? messen Sie ein Jahr?

am Tag beleuchtet, in den Sonnenuntergängen, im Mitternacht, in den Cup Kaffee
in den Zoll in den Meilen, in den Begräbnissen und in den Geburten
am Fünfhundert, fünfundzwanzig tausend, sechs hundert Minuten
wie messen Sie Ihr letztes Jahr auf Masse?

Messen Sie es in der Liebe.
Messen Sie es in der Liebe.
Messen Sie es in der Liebe.
Messen Sie es in der Liebe. Jahreszeiten der Liebe.
Jahreszeiten der Liebe.
Jahreszeiten der Liebe.
Jahreszeiten der Liebe.

Fünfhundert, fünfundzwanzig tausend, sechs hundert Minuten
Fünfhundert, fünfundzwanzig tausend, Reisen nach Plan
Fünfhundert, fünfundzwanzig tausend, sechs hundert Minuten
Wie messen Sie das Leben einer Frau oder des Mannes?

in den Wahrheiten, die sie erlernte oder in den Zeiten, daß er schrie.
Die Brücken, die er oder die Methode brannte, die sie starb?

Es ist Zeit, jetzt heraus zu singen, zwar die Enden der Geschichte nie.
lassen Sie uns feiern, erinnern Sie sich ein an Jahr im Leben der Freunde.

Erinnern Sie sich die an Liebe.
Erinnern Sie sich die an Liebe.
Erinnern Sie sich die an Liebe.
Messen Sie es in der Liebe. Jahreszeiten der Liebe.

Jahreszeiten der Liebe.
Jahreszeiten der Liebe.
Jahreszeiten der Liebe.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Grossest Thing Ever To Happen Before 9 AM

Today, I combined slamming a frappuccino four minutes after I woke up with brushing my tongue harder than I ever have before.

Yup. I totally threw up while I was brushing my teeth.

Merry Krangsmas?!

i saw this a few months ago (you know, when it was actually christmas?), but forgot to blog it. sorry. now. let me present, gab bonesso's nativity set:

The Cast:
Jesus: Krange
Mary: Lucky Bear
Big Joe: He-Man
The Angel of the Lord: Silver Surfer
The Three Wise Men: MichaelAngelo, Raphael and Leonardo
The Little Drummer Boy: The Tick
The Shepards: The Joker, Spiderman, Robin and The Human Torch
The Prayer: Batman
The Barn Animals: Thing and Donatello
Death/Future: Skeletor

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ms. Jones, Step Into My Office. For the Good of the Company!

Public speaking is stressful, no? Sex is a stress reliever, also no? A British professor (and this is why I want to get back into academia) received a large grant to study the effects of different kinds of sex on stress levels from public speaking. The results? Sex is awesome.

Oh. You mean as it related to the thesis? Yeah, sex with penetration reduces stress for both men and women, but oral, masturbation, all those other "not sex" things that are actually sex things, they don't work so good. So, if you have a public speaking engagement and are feeling a bit nervous about it, go ahead and fuck someone's brains out. Your boss will be glad you did.


i can't believe it's been ten months since i've joined the emusic, but indeed it has. i've caught up on most of the recent releases i wanted, so i took this opportunity to dip into the vault and grab some older albums i've been wanting. here's what wicked this month came:

• the Delta 72: The R&B of Membership
really old album i played a lot during my days as a DJ on WRCT. heavy, blues rock fueled, manic music. it's ass-shaking!

• the vehicle flips: the premise unravelled
"impressed beyond belief" might be my favorite song of all time. i once got in a car crash because i was singing it so hard. this album post-dates that by a few months, and isn't as good (not that it really could be), but it's good old fashioned indie twee pop like they just don't make anymore.

• architecture in helsinki: fingers crossed
"in case we die" was one of my faves last year, and this is the first album from these oz-born unclassifiables. it's fun, it's sad, it's goofy, it's touching, it's just plain good.

Awkward Moment

Today, I had the difficult task of attempting to explain a tricky and complex question from a three year old. There are certain questions that a day care employee shouldn't have to answer. This was one of them. The question had three parts-

Part A: Do you live here?

Part B: Where do you live?

Part C: Why?

The first part is easy.
The answer is, "No." And it's actually pretty obvious to anyone older than five. There are some leads that could sway someone the opposite way, I suppose. Like the fact that I can fix all the puzzles with the extreme expertise that only comes with ownership, over exposure, or being a twenty-five year old playing with preschool toys. I have also read all the books and can sadly sing almost every song in the entire Barney and Elmo
But, all this misguided evidence aside, there's on blaring reason why I can not possibly live in the kid care room of a gym. There's no bed. Not even a cot. There's nothing to sleep in save one of those little baby kick and play things where the baby lies down and kicks at things hanging in front of it (ah, babies. when will they learn?). It is spacially impossible for me to fit in it, though, and if you could figure out that square pegs don't fit in triangle holes you'd understand.

The second part is easy, too.........................if you're not three.
Three year olds don't understand simple directions. You can't say a block from Granville, right off Broadway. You can't say up north. Three year olds have yet to grasp the simple idea of opposite poles. The compass might as well be a broken clock or just a clock, for that matter, since Copernicus is just another mispronounced word for them. And you can't say it's off the Granville stop on the Red Line. Subways and Elevated trains all fall under the same category that of, "train-choo-choo". So, you're left with only I live somewhere else.

The third part is impossible to answer.
If, to begin with, you already don't understand that I don't live in a gym's kid care, how in the hell could I explain why I live somewhere else? And even if, for some ungodly reason, you could explain why you live somewhere else, the inevitable "why" would immediately follow, followed by the third, fourth, and a neverending onslaught of "whys" until one of us hyperventilates and passes out.

So, what do you do? All you have left is to sidetrack them into another conversation. A favorite segue of mine: "Hey, do you know cows say?"

Suggested Super Bowl Wagers for the Mayors of Seattle and Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh: 6 cases of Iron City Beer
Seattle: 6 buckets of rain water

Seattle: 1 Boeing Airplane
Pittsburgh: 2 Boeing Airplanes

Seattle: Miniature Space Needle, Bag of Starbucks Coffee
Pittsburgh: Miniature Statue of Liberty, Coffee Mug that says "Delaware"

Seattle: 1 Magnificent Pine Tree
Pittsburgh: 2 Dilapidated Smoke Stacks, 1 Dead Pine Tree

Seattle: The Sonics
Pittsburgh: The Penguins

Pittsburgh: The Animal Club, $400,000 cash
Seattle: Flaming Box of Stuff

Seattle: Mt. Rainier
Pittsburgh: The Monongahela River

Pittsburgh: A four bedroom house in Squirrel Hill
Seattle: An efficiency in Belltown

Pittsburgh: Hope for the future
Seattle: Nostalgia for recent past

This Hasn't Ever Happened To You, Has It?

I just violently recalled something I said when I was four years old. Clear as day. The intonation, the high pitch of my voice, it all came back in one split second for no apparent reason. That phrase, for the record, was "He was flying around with his orange juice, oh my god!"

I remember this as the first time I said the phrase "oh my god" in front of my mom, a devout roman catholic. I'm pretty sure I got in trouble for this. I'm piecing together the image of what sparked this sentence, but it's blurry. There's an older kid flying around with, you guessed it, his orange juice. He's got a scruffy haircut (remember, this is 1983 we're talking about), high shorts, sneakers. I see him either running around the church basement, or galloping around my elementary school gym. I doubt either of these are right. For some reason, this kid having an orange juice didn't add up, and I was dumbstruck. I guess the bar for surprise is set pretty low before you reach five.

I have a knack for remembering random stuff like this, so it's not surprising that it happened at all; the fact that there was no apparent trigger was odd, though. If I see a color, hear a song, pick up on a scent, that could be enough to open the gates to the nostalgia garden, but here there was nothing. I was listening to a pavement song called "Jam Kids", typing on my computer with the standard OS X desktop, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary or remotely related to days gone by. I guess that's the way it goes sometimes. Sigh.

So, if you were a kid fitting my description, and sometime in 1983 you were running around in a public place with a glass of orange juice, go ahead and leave a comment. I'm pretty curious about it all. Wait. A Xerox corporate picnic, maybe? Yeah, I think that was it. Orange Juice. Older kid. Xerox party. Anyone?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yeah, MEAT!

Check that little links section down there, and you'll see that my latest and greatest sketch crush is now representing blogstyle. Welcome to the party, MEAT. I've got my iPod going over here, there's some chips left over from sketchfest in the cabinet, help yourself to some Stella, and if you need anything give a holler.

MEAT's blog


This just in:

Soybeans and, thusly, soybean-based products do not make your heart any healthier as was early reported by the FDA. This doesn't mean that soybeans are unhealthy (I'm assuming they're still loaded with fiber and protein), but in the throws of the mercury-laden fish scandal of '06 and in a world where eggs are safe one day and heart destroyers the next, it makes you think the FDA's process must go something like this:

1.) Identify new product.

2.) Assume it's healthy.

3.) Pick specific assumptions for specific health benefits.

4.) Release data.

5.) Cross fingers and hope no one dies.

Here's some other FDA gambles that I've recently uncovered.

Red Dye #2
Great chemical. Helps eyesight-like manmade carrots. Good for coloring everything and perfectly harmless. Give Zip-Loc bags full of them out to Trick or Treaters for a healthy Halloween snack.

High in fiber, low in sugar. Great for bowel troubles and strengthens infant teeth.

Low in cholesterol, loaded with nutrients and vitamins (niacin, potassium, and calcium-vitamins A, B, C, D, E, B12). Snort, drink, eat, or roll in it. It doesn't matter what you do with asbestos! It's gonna make you healthy regardless. Share with friends. Sleep in it. Cheese and asbestos make a great sandwich and you can even eat it while caught in a trapped inferno-ASBESTOS IS FLAME RETARDENT! Use it everywhere!

Well Done, Kids

Cut That Shit Out, Sports Illustrated

In my ongoing search for even more Super Bowl XL coverage, I discovered that SI is power ranking High School basketball teams. Whatever.

Sense Memory in Overdrive

Everything __________ like a hospital today.

My office lights? Hum like a hospital.
The kitchen? Smells like a hospital.
My honey roasted trail mix? Tastes like a hospital.
My post-it's? Sticky. Just like a hospital.

My clothes still feel like clothes. So there's something.

Weird, weird morning.

Show Me The Exit!


you might have seen ads for the upcoming curious george movie.

if you have seen them, you've probably noticed that the tag line for the movie is..sigh..."Show Me The Monkey".


it's sad enough that they're CGI'ing this wholesome classic, essentially fasttracking it to netflix purgatory, but to use a now ten-year-old catch phrase about greed, greed and greed as your tag line...sigh.

it just doesn't feel right.

almost as embarrassing as that "I'm the king of the world" line form the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie.


Sketchfest TV- Episode 3

Episode 3 is LIVE from Chicago SketchFest with:

- Ten West
- Superpunk

Best one yet. No joke. Spread the word...

Next Week: Chicago SketchFest, Part 2

Sketchfest TV on iTunes

Monday, January 23, 2006

Missing the Orange.

Being a sports fan is not easy. And being a sports fan for a team that is not so good is even less easy. Tack on to that the fact three of the seven people you live with are die-hard fans of your team's arch-rival, and you've got an uneasiest situation-which is where I am.

While I admire the solidarity and the overall never-say-die competitiveness of the Steelers team, I also just as strongly hate the fact that they're Steelers. It something that's been fed to me. Or maybe it's something transfused to me. Either way, it's in my system and has been since I've cared about anything. I am a navy brat and have lived in Connecticut, Virginia, and Ohio. But, my parents are both Ohioans. Each coming from towns an hour outside of Cleveland-Browns country they call it. This being said, no matter where we travel, there is only one home team and they wear brown and orange.

Anyone who knows anything about football knows the Browns and the Steelers have a rabid rivalry dating back to before either of them were any good. While the Steelers are on their way to the Super Bowl, the Browns are still thirsting for their first playoff game in what seems like forever ago. To simply brush this off and cheer for the Steelers, even though they represent our conference is to denounce all that it is to be a Browns fan.

We have to believe that some day soon the sun will rise in Cleveland. And on that day, the Four Horsemen of the Browns organization; Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, and Ozzie Newsome; will gallop into Browns Stadium and free us all from the shadow of these past years of losing. They'll gallop from one side of the field to the other scoring touchdown after touchdown, morning, noon, and night. And they'll erase all the defeats by taking on every team in the NFL, stopping only once they hold the Super Bowl trophy in their hands. You have to believe in that day. It's all we have right now.

Regarding this upcoming Super Bowl Sunday, I'd like to join my three friends in celebration and cheer their team, the Steelers, on to victory. I'd like to make my friends happy, but I fear this would bring tears to my father's eyes. Like any good son, I don't want to make my father cry. So, I suppose all I can hope for is a good game.

Photographic Evidence- Anderson Cooper is a Jackass

The Headline Says it All

Well, the sub-headline, actually.

More than a decade after 16-year-old Amy Fisher had a sexual relationship with a much-older car mechanic and shot his wife in the face, the one-time "Long Island Lolita" and Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco have agreed to appear together in a televised reunion."

It Finally Happened

I spent all morning googling like I haven't googled in years, trying to figure out the name of a song that I heard during sketchfest last week.

It had a 60's R&B sample in the chorus and was very happy, techno-pop-is, i don't know...the chorus kind of went like "everybody, something something, dahh dahh, oh oh!".

Turns out I already have said song. And have had it for over a year. Makes me wonder what other treasures lie amongst the 825 songs in my iTunes library I've never listened to.

The song, in case you were wondering, was "Move Your Feet" by Junior Senior.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sports Writers Desperately Searching For Good Super Bowl Storylines

This article on Sports Illustrated's site is headlined "Super Bowl Showdown Filled with Intrigue", and in it, you can feel the writer trying way too hard to prove that this game is interesting for the casual football fan.

Steelers Go To Super Bowl!

I'm assuming that since this is a comedy blog, and is frequented only by the true sketch comedy geeks who could find it, that the result of the Steelers-Broncos AFC Championship Game would actually count as news to most of you. I sincerely doubt that ESPN.com is a stop on your way to the Animal Club blog, so consider this a service.

The Steelers eliminated the Broncos 34-17 to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years. It looks as if they'll be taking on the Seattle Seahawks who are having their way with Carolina as we speak. I know of one Seattle-ite/Sketch Comic/Football Fan, and don't want to jinx anything by proclaiming the Seahawks winners just yet. Still, you know who you are, and if you'd like to do one of those "I'll wager a pound of our town's famous coffee against one of your towns...i don't know...steel rivets?" bets like mayors do, you know where to find me.

So here I find myself, three hours after the game ended, searching the internet madly for indepth coverage, commentary from the likes of Peter King or Doctor Z, something, anything to get more football into my brain.

And I have two full weeks of pregame hype to look forward to, as well.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Million Dollar Crazy Hermit

You've probably heard about the recluse who died old and lonely, leaving behind a sports card collection worth an estimated $1,000,000. I'm sure you've heard about the rare and valuable cards, like the Mickey Mantles and the Joe DiMaggios. But what got lost in the shuffle was the man's disproportionate pride in some less-valuable cards, which he kept on his night-stand, with annotated reference sheets alluding to their importance to him, and indeed to humankind.

#5:Priates Leaders- 1987 Topps
"I like this one best, because you can really see how much Tony Pena and Rick Rhoden like each other. There's too much hate in this world as it is, and it's really great to see a couple of fierce competitors just holding court at the stadium. Who knows what they're talking about? The weather? "Tango and Cash"? Iran-Contra? Who cares. Baseball makes me smile, and it clearly makes these two modern gladiators smile, too. Bless their hearts. This is my favorite baseball card ever."

#4: Steve Jeltz (autograph)- Philadelphia Phillies- 1985 Donruss
"When I sent this card off to the Phillies I thought, 'There's no way Steve Jeltz will sign this. How would he find time in his day? It doesn't make sense, you know, because he looks so put together out there. I'd assume he spent a solid 24% of his day making himself look good. How else can you explain that hair? The perfectly pressed uniform? And his face, which seems too perfect to be his 'normal' face. I bet he spends 3 hours a day looking into a mirror and perfecting his look. But he did sign it, so this is my favorite baseball card ever."

#3: Oil Can Boyd- Montreal Expos, 1991 Donruss
"I have a confession to make. That's not Oil Can's signature. I took this card with me to a card show in 1993, and I saw Oil Can signing stuff, so I went over to get this signed, but it was getting really late. I stayed in line for what seemed like forever. It must have been five hours. And even though Oil Can was my favorite Red Sox for a long time, I couldn't understand why there were so many people that wanted his autograph. When I finally got to the front of the line, I realized it wasn't Oil Can Boyd afterall, but Hall of Fame slugger Rod Carew. So I asked him to sign Oil Can's name and he looked at me a little funny, but signed it anyway. This is my favorite baseball card ever."

#2: Juan Nieves- Milwaukee Brewers, 1987 Topps
"I really like the 1987 Topps set. The wood look matches my bedroom walls. Juan was the only player to throw a no-hitter in 1987. I met him once, at a gas station in Wisconsin. He was gassing up his car- a Chevy Citation. I was gassing up my car- a Ford Taurus. I looked at him a few times and he looked back. 'Guess we're just a couple of guys gassing up our cars, huh?', I said. He said something in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish so I assume he said, 'Hey that's pretty funny. We should form a two person comedy baseball team and travel around the country playing nightclubs after I pitch in my professional baseball games.' So i said, 'Nah, I can't do that. I've got a life in Boston. I've got a job. I collect baseball cards, too. It would be really hard to go on the road and still keep all that up. Thanks though.' He said something else in Spanish and hurried into his car and peeled away. This was the longest conversation I've ever had in my entire life. And this is my favorite baseball card ever."

#1: BJ Surhoff- Milwaukee Brewers 1987 Topps Future Stars
What do you get when you cross wood panelling with the cutest catcher ever? You get my favorite baseball card ever. Which is what this is. Can't you just feel BJ's sunny outlook shining through? He's got the world on a string, and it's probably a string of pearls, because he's young, he's cute, he's a catcher and he's cute. I might stop collecting, I like this card so much. I probably won't though, because I really like baseball cards, but I don't see how they can get any better than this. They might add flashy graphics, or glossy prints, but they'll never topp this. Ha ha. Topp. Get it? Because the card is made by Topps? I'm so lonely. This is my favorite baseball card ever"

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

If it's good enough for Aaron...

Might as well release a Greatest Hits Album of my own:
Shane's Greatest Hits
(Because I Say They Are!)

Track 1- Rock and Roll Breakfast (Jimmy Page on a Bagel)
Track 2- Boom Shakalaka
Track 3- Broken Petal Flower (A Sad Song)
Track 4- Kiss My Biscuit, I Ain't Doin' No Crack (For the Kids)
Track 5- Jason and Freddy (Daydream on Elm Street)
Track 6- A Century of Centuries
Track 7- Cover Of Goo Goo Dolls' Iris
Track 8- Broken Dishes (Stop Spousal Abuse)
Track 9- Back in Action
Track 10- Remix of Cover of Goo Goo Dolls' Iris

I wanna be sedated

Aaron Carter just released his second greatest hits album.
I could be wrong, but I think Aaron Carter has yet to make an album worth buying.
Baa Baa BaBa Bu Baa Baa BaBa...I wanna be sedated.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New iPod Accessories

I made one of these up. Guess which one:

1. iBaby Baby Stroller: a regular baby stroller with an ipod dock and speakers built in.

2. iProsthetic Arm: a prosthetic arm with an ipod dock and speakers built in.

I Get To Still Be Ready For Some Football!

The stars aligned, the salt was tossed over the shoulder, hell froze over and the Steelers beat the Colts on Sunday! I was so thoroughly destroyed by Saturday night's sketchfest festivities (which didn't end until 10:00 AM, a mere two hours before kick off), that I slept through the first half and missed a dominating performance by my Men In Black.

When i groggily opened my laptop Sunday afternoon and saw the score, I ran downstairs to throw on the game, and took in another quarter of good defense and opportunistic offense, watching my boys stake out a 21-3 lead.

Then shit got weird. For chronological reference, I will include the text messages between me and Geoff at the time they were transmitted.

Peyton Manning sends his punt team off the field and goes for it on fourth and two. They convert and hit for a big TD one play later. 21-10. The Steelers run six minutes off the clock by going for it on fourth-and-one twice. Craziness.

Manning's got the ball again. Uh oh. He's throwing good, the Steelers are leaving the middle of the field open, and I can feel the game slipping away until INTERCEPTION!!!! Troy Polamalu makes a great play, Steelers ball, and we're up by 11 with 5 minutes to go.

But wait. Dungy threw the red flag. Desperation move, right? There's no way they're going to overturn this...

"The call on the field is overruled. Incomplete pass. Indianapolis retains possession."

Message From Geoff: "Ridiculous. Clearly and Interception"

Peyton rips up the Steelers D over the next six plays and Eggerin James goes in from the 1.

Message To Geoff: "If we lose the game because of that..."

Colts go for two. Make it. 21-18.

Steelers get the ball, can't get a first down. Colts ball. Two and a half to go. You've got to be kidding me.

Porter sacks Peyton Manning on third down, forcing 4th and 18 from their own 3.

Porter and Farrior combine to sack Manning. Steelers ball on the 1. 2:10 on the clock.

Message From Geoff: "Congrats!"

I start typing my replay: "Ahhh-

Bettis fumbles, Colts return to midfield. Man in Pittsburgh (not me) has a heart attack.

I finish my reply: "...WHAT?!"

Colts move into scoring position. Vanderjagt lines up to kick the tying field goal.

Message from Geoff: "RIDICULOUS! Sorry I jinxed it"

Vanderjagt badly misses field goal.

Message to Geoff: "That was...exhausting."

Message from Geoff: "I can't imagine. Congrats for real this time."

So I live to be a fan another day, although that heart attack story has me wondering if I should watch. For obvious reasons.

sketchfest week 2

I don't think I can go into too much detail. Several laws were broken. Rules spoken and not went out the window. There was nudity involved. Shortly followed by Dunkin Donuts. Shall I elaborate? No. You'll just have to go to a sketchfest and see for yourself. Bring your cigarettes. Lose the inhibitions, and check your desire to riff at the door.

Props galore to troop!, the third floor, team submarine, and slow children at play for rocking my brain six ways from sunday. there were lots of other good shows, too, but i'm lazy and tired so i'm not going to go through the trouble of digging up links. Just know that what was seen was enjoyed, and what happened after was the stuff of novelized versions of summer blockbusters.

When's the next sketchfest, you ask? I think it's in June in NYC. If you want us to do a sketchfest in YOUR hometown, you're shit out of luck. Sorry!

SketchFest TV - Episode 2

The second episode is heating up with Olde English, Triplette, and TROOP.

It's available on the web, and on iTunes. To download the iPod ready version, just right-click (or ctrl-click) on the title link. Let us know what you think by commenting on this post, or on the iTunes page.

And for those of you without iTunes/iPods, a Quicktime 6 version is available here, and everyone can watch a Flash version on our YouTube page.

Next Week: Live from Chicago SketchFest!

Newspaper Listings

From the Suburban Chicago Daily Hearld (scroll down a little bit)...

• Cocanuts (Cocaine Anonymous), 12 step meeting, 7:30 p.m. every Thursday, Lutheran General Hospital, 10th floor-cafeteria, 1775 Dempster St., Park Ridge. (773) 202-8898.

I'm assuming step one is "Have a Sense of Humor About Your Crippling Addiction".

Related, but without a link:
There was a 5k race/walk for Alzheimer's Disease called "A Walk To Remember". I hope the path was clearly marked.

Fake, not real:
A hospice center was recently renamed "Death House 6: Return of Death House". The nurses carry scythes, and the orderlies are given lessons on how to talk like Vincent Price. An animatronic Crypt Keeper works the front door, and there are black cats everywhere.

Monday, January 16, 2006

sketchfests vs. blogging

it's been a tough couple of weeks for our half-dozen or so regular readers. sorry about that. with great sketchfests come great responsibilities, and being a "host" group this year left us with little time to dabble in the blogging arts.

not to fear, though. with sketchfest behind us for another couple of months and sketchfest TV getting ahead of scheudle (soon), we'll be back to our regular interval at-best-ammusement starting tomorrow. in the meantime, i'll just say...


Friday, January 13, 2006

Higher Test Scores=More Money

Houston schools will be trying out this policy soon which begs the question: if your paycheck was tied to your students test scores, wouldn't you just help them cheat? I know I would. Not only would I be the coolest teacher in town, I'd likely be the richest.

If 32 students get 32 100%'s and that translates into $320,000.00, you bet your ass I'm slipping answer keys to my kids. What are they going to do? Tell their parents they didn't deserve the A+? Right. If there's a monitor watching the testing, I'll pre-make scantrons with the kids names and correct answers already filled in, then use slight of hand to switch out the kids actual tests with the perfect ones.

In the end, I think the school board would be so happy with the high scores they wouldn't even care to investigate. And if they did, I could pay off the investigator.

"How much do they pay you?"

"$27,000 a year. No benefits."

(Slips four hundred dollar bills in their front pocket)

"You work for me now."

Now that this pay-scale teaching program is up and running, I'm off to get my education certificate. And scope out some houses. Apparently in Houston.


The San Jose/ Mercury Newspaper has a special report about Helicopter Crashes in Iraq since 2003, which is exactly what it sounds like. A list of helicopters that crashed and the number of people each one killed.

Since that's kind of depressing, I'd like to suggest something to make the article a little less drab and a lot more British Comedy Show: listen to the theme song from "The Benny Hill Show" while reading it.

Sorry if this came off as insensitive.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Where Have You Gone Bert Blyleven?

Baz reminded me that I forgot about Bert Blyleven, who's apparently the Twins' current color analyst and apparently has his own website. The photo here is actually his '87 Topps Card. I couldn't find a picture of his '88 Topps card or a close up shot of his face from '88. But know this, that simple mustache would one day grow into a magnificent lumberjack beard that would light up the world by becoming part of the greatest grouping of lumberjack beards in a single baseball card set, the 1988 Topps Baseball Card Collection. Buy it and know their beards! You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Germs Be Crazy

Did you hear this? Apparently over-the-counter cough syrups are BUNK!!

So, last night, in a state of mild delirium, my mind for no particular reason (save the mild delirium) leapt to the thought that germs suck. They really do. And while this seems pretty simple and obvious, my mind reached farther and dove into the complex-the hypothetical. Like how the hell do you stop germs from sickening us? How do you reason with these things?
There's no high-pitched squeal languge, no sign language like dolphins or gorillas. But, if we could figure out their method of communication, we could get to know them, get to know how they tick, and dare I say, maybe even actually become friends with them. Take them to dinner and the movies. Hit a bar, drink it up, and tearfully (or the germ-equivalent to tearfully) spill out all our innermost secrets. You know, get them to trust us. And then, we trick them into believing that rocks would be the perfect host for germs-they're docile and an untapped source for hosting. Then, we kill two birds with no stone (no pun intended). Suddently the world is free of all pesky germs and rocks. BOOM! Problem solved!

Bruce Sutter

Chicago rejoices today as former Chicago Cubs star Bruce Sutter was picked for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Mr. Sutter was only the fourth player in the Hall of Fame to be inducted primarily for his work as a relief pitcher. As for me, I'll always remember Mr. Sutter as tied with Jeff Reardon and Rick Sutcliffe for favorite lumberjack beard among my collection of '88 Topps cards.

Bruce Sutter

Jeff Reardon

Rick Sutcliffe

sketchfest watching assignments, part 2

Friday 13th:

9:00- the habit
10:00- troop!
11:00- cupid players

Saturday 14th:
6:00- us
7:00- dark eyed strangers
8:00-uphill both ways
10:00- defiant thomas brothers
11:00- third floor

fill in other slots as you so desire.

that is all.

To Sleep, Perchance to Blog, Once More

Yes, it's taken me this long to recover from Sketchfest/SketchfestTV this weekend. In short, this was the most social of all the sketchfests I've ever been to- the incredible talents of MEAT stayed with us, and they just so happen to be the nicest, most interesting, most generally awesome, most "having a DVD of R. Kelly's "Trapped in Da Closet", people in the world, which forced me to lower my already dangerously low sleeping plans.

All told, i got about 7 hours of sleep all weekend and it was more than worth it. Unfortunately, sleep is the power pellet of wit, which leaves me at a loss this week. I'm exhausted and actually wish we didn't have a show this weekend. But we do, so you might as well come (saturday night at 6).

Maybe if I try really hard I can think of a funny way to end this post.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Sketchfest '06 Week 1

So, the first week of Chicago Sketchfest '06 is over. And to even attempt to describe it is ludicrous, but never the less, it was a sleepless, laugh-filled, salsa and chips fed, alcohol consumed, Trapped in the Closet watching weekend of inspiration. We housed Meat, Becky and Noelle, and, for a couple of nights even, most of Elephant Larry and we loved every moment.

Sketchfests happen only four or five times a year and the more you do them, the more friends you make, and the more they become like family reunions (I just realized how much union looks like onion). And it's this amazing feeling of seeing all these people that you rarely ever see. People from New York and LA and Seattle and North Clorton-which isn't even a real city, but you get the point. You meet up with friends that you only really have because of sketchfests because of four or five meetings a year. And yet, they're still so strong and meaningful. There's still a hug instead of a handshake. And the conversation is comfy and nourishing (like a pillow filled with granola bars). Everyone seems so alive and we're all riffing on each other. We're all making each other laugh without that competitive feeling of having to make someone laugh. It's incredible. I've got nothing more to say except that these meetings with our friends are all too brief.

Thanks to Brian and Jill and all the organizers of the festival and to all our friends in all the groups for so many laughs.

Friday, January 06, 2006

so tired...

sketchfest is clearly underway.

late nights. long conversations. too many laughs.

hard to wake up. didn't go to work. struggling to work the brain to make words and stuff...right.

giving up. having another drink.

Edit: Shane's embarrassing Superman Dork Comment/Spoiler from the future:
"I mean, he picked up a kryptonite continent and threw it into space with a piece of kryptonite jammed into his back! Gawd!"

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Chicago Sketchfest, also

Just got an email from Ruth saying that there is a life size picture of half naked Tom 2 blowing a trumpet into Ruth's face, with a loin clothed Dave Droxler kneeling between them. If you want to see it, you'll have to pick up this week's Time Out Chicago, who we thank for this glamorous spread.

New Jersey Netting

There was a time in my little chronicled life, although I can't recall exactly when, that I didn't know why New Jersey's NBA team was called the Nets. And deny as you will, but I'm sure we were all there at one time. You may have been unable to walk or talk, but there was a time where you thought New Jersey's basketball team could be used to catch tuna. Sure, this seems like a pretty stupid team name in hindsight, but in foresight, isn't the real team name just as stupid even if the definition is different?

Seriously, if we were to go by that rule, than the MLB would have the Atlanta Baseballs and the NFL would have the San Francicso Kicker's Tees. And who wants sports where the size of a league depends on how much equipment is used?

What to do?

The big Chicago Sketchfest is upon us. Here are your watching assignments:

Heavyweight- 8:00
Animal Club- 9:30

Becky and Noelle- 8:00
Ten West- 9:00
Elephant Larry- 10:00
MEAT- 11:00

Skecky Kulhan- 8:00
Superpunk- 9:00
Triplette- 11:00

The other time slots you can fill as you so desire.

That is all.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Conversation With A 2 Year Old (Part 1)

A Two Year Old Points At His Boots.

Me: Those are your boots.

Him: Boots.

Me: Yeah.

I Point At My Shoes.

Me: These are shoes.

Him: Boots.

Me: Shoes.

Him: Boots.

Me: No.

Reptiles and Reptiles and Reptiles-OH MY!

Check it out-on reptileauction.com you can bid on a two-headed albino rat snake. Oh yeah. Also, there's a reptileauction.com! The World Aquarium in St. Louis is putting the snake up for sale, with bidding to start at $150,000.

The name of this rare creature- We

The amount of time spent on naming it- .05 Seconds

The other names shouted out in that .05 seconds- Them, Those, Two-Head,
and Freaksnake

The amount of time for emotional issues steming from We's name to heal- A

*(The picture is of another two-headed rat snake. A non-albino one.)

Back to the Future!

I've been working on a story on futurism, and have been kind of moved by some of the things I've been researching. So I'd like to share them with you.

EPCOT: Not the theme park, but rather Walt Disney's City of Tomorrow development project cut short by his death. You can watch a distinctly 1960's quicktime clip of Disney's last film, which he produced two days before dying of lung cancer.

Xanadu House: Not Charles Foster Kane's mansion, but a styrofoam constructed House of Tomorrow (not likely to appear in Disney's City of Tomorrow) that featured the best in 1979 computerized automation for the home, and introduced some interesting concepts to home construction and planning, none of which were incorporated into the homes it was designed to replace. You can watch a kind of sad quicktime clip of the tour.

Horizons: This is the attraction that made it into what EPCOT would become- a future/world travel themed amusement(?) park in Tourist Hell, FL. As a ten year old, I remember going on this ride and being taken with it. It almost hurt to hear that it was shut down and demolished in 1994. For those of you who do remember it, you can check out a Real Video clip of the entire ride. (courtesy of intercot.

Had EPCOT been built as Disney planned, it most assuredly would have had the same problems that are inherit when humans gather in large numbers. Likewise, the Xanadu House would have been plagued by viruses and software crashes. In that sense, it's a sweet affirmation that they remain only ideas- simple, innocent, naive reflections of humankind's greatest hopes and most immediately pleasant ambitions.

Sketchfest TV

It's finally here! Sketchfest TV premieres today on iTunes and at sketchfesttv.com. This free weekly video podcast is produced by Elephant Larry's Alexander Zalben and myself, and is hosted by Stefan Lawrence's brilliant character, Stoobe. Most importantly, it brings the brilliance of all the groups that make Sketchfests so unbelievably awesome right to you every Tuesday.

We've got a lot of great stuff lined up for the next few weeks, and we're super excited to get this out there. So go on over to iTunes to subscribe, and you can check out the Sketchfest TV blog for all the deepest dish on upcoming episodes.

This week: Elephant Larry, The Animal Club, and Fearsome.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Save Our Bluths (Or Why, Fox? Why?)

Check this page out. Fans are raising money Arrested Development now!


So, last night I witnessed my first National Spelling Bee on ESPN. If you haven't seen one of these yet, it's high time you do, but you're gonna have to wait until next year. The highlight reel of moments of glory from spelling bees past was enough to get you pumped. Kids pushing up their glasses, looking up to the heavens, and pulling out letters from deep inside them. Some with the nervous tension of say a rookie relief pitcher called upon to save the game in the ninth inning of game seven of the World Series and some with the cocky bravado of Muhammad Ali. Maculature, succedaneum, prospicience. And all these moments underscored by Queen's We Will Rock You and R-O-C-K in the USA.

As if that wasn't enough to get you excited about competitive word spelling, well then, the actual competition definitely gripped you and forced you to repages from your dictionary during commercial breaks. All kidding aside, it really was intense. I wasn't expecting it, but you get caught up watching these kids. You're completely drawn in. Their struggles, their stories become yours. You don't want any one of them to experience a loss because they've all worked so hard and they are all so damn young. But one by one, they're taken down and 18 rounds later one kid holds the trophy, a smile as big as an aircraft carrier spread cross his face. He's spelled exsiccosis, hodiernal, and ornithorhynchous to get there and saw the defeat of thirty-six other kids. And you look at his USS Yellowstone smile; tears of joy streaming past the aircraft carrier smile, the tension of an 18 round struggle finally erased from his 14 year old face; and you think, "Who ever uses these words outside of spelling bees?"

eMuisc, NO! (auf deutch, eMusic nein!)

Merry actual music Christmas, Baz. Here's what you got yourself:

Deerhoof: The Runners Four- I promised myself I'd stop listening to Post-Rock in 2006, but this album is way too good. If I'd heard this before, it would have made my top ten list for 2005.
Various: The Late, Great Daniel Johnston, Disc 1- A motley bunch covers DJ's classics, including Clem Snide's great take on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grieveance" and Bright Eyes sounding more Bright Eyesish than ever doing "Devil Town". Also featuring Tom Waits and TV On the Radio.
The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema- Plodding indie pop, a little dab of that synth, new wave stuff the kids are so crazy about these days, a lot of rock. Good stuff.
Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock and Roll- Good old fashioned indie rock album. From Britain. That isn't Clinic. Wha?
Babyteeth: "Rich Girl"- awesome. Babyteeth is this terrific R&B/Pop/Soul act from Chicago, and this cover of the Hall and Oates classic is just as awesome as it is sloppy (which is what makes it awesome in the first place. that and the wurlitzer. f'ing classic)

Start the Presses


Please pick up a copy of this week's Reader, which features a picture of yours trulys (what is the plural for that?) ahead of the annual sketchfest sidebar. Or look at it online here.

Then see if you can pick up on the subtle photoshop job I did on Tom's right eye- it was half closed a la Sloth from the Goonies, so I "digitally" opened it for him. I think I'm getting pretty good, but I can handle criticism.

In other press news, Animal Club was the featured sketchfest show this week in Time Out Chicago, and some random suburb newsrag that Ruth sent a press release to. I don't know what it's called. Success!?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Elections And The Like (Regarding State Animals)

Illinois lawmakers tried to slip one by us recently by naming the Eastern Tiger Salamander the official state amphibian and the Painted Turtle the official state reptile. Who do they think they are? They never even asked anyone (well, at least they didn't ask me). I refuse to bow to these creatures until a proper election has taken place. Until then, I will practice a bit of slight anarchy (you know like shelving all your library's Studs Terkel books in the psychology section) and refer to the Blue-Spotted Salamander as the official state amphibian and the Ouachita Map Turtle as the official reptile. I urge you to do the same.