Saturday, April 29, 2006


There's a great sketch show at CIF tonight: 9:00 in the Lookingglass Studio Theatre, longtime AC pals Elephant Larry from NYC will bring their super-smart, super-fun sketch stylings to shicago. I highly, highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Land Of Knod

From the desk of Shane Portman, Customer Service Representative:

Today I find myself exhausted. Not tired. Exhausted. You ever have one of those days where you keep yawning, but you're not tired? I know for a fact that if I went home this second I would be doing a million other things and not one of them would be sleeping. But, here I stand. Yawning and blinking my eyes open. It's like this strange dimension where I'm always sleepy and no one lets me sleep. Not cool.

In an effort to force the concept and thusly the adventure behind The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe into my life, I reached in desperation. Being a gym, we lack wardrobes. So, I went with the next best thing. I pulled the top drawer open and forced my way into it. And betwixt pencils and pens and staples of various sizes, I found a new land. A land of crumpled love letters and two week notices. A land where post-its roam free, unmarked and beautiful. I bend staples into antelope, moose, and elephants. Oh, and one tiger-just cause. I can make anything I want. What I can't bend from staples, I draw on post-it notes. Two-headed aliens, break dancing turtle doves, and Forest Whitaker. And I can even cut them out with scissors.
Yes, scissors! Can you believe it?
It's all here for the taking. And I can stay as long as I want!
Days, months, years, or until someone realizes I've shoved my head into a drawer and pulls me out.

Elephants In Our Home!

Soon we will be welcoming our pals from Elephant Larry into our home. I expect much of the usual (pillow fights and smores) and a dash of surprise (a couple of extra pillow fights and smores made with those cinnamon flavored graham crackers). Can't really be too sure of anything except that it's going to be a kick ass weekend!*

*Hell Yeah, that's an exclamation point!**

**And that's another one!***

***Damn straight!****

****You guessed it!*****

*****This could go on forever!******

******Or could it?

Bellingham In The News!

Get this!

Bellingham was in the news this week! WHA? Coincidence? I think so! Just to give you an idea of how amazing this place, the news was this: On Monday, Bellingham Christian School declared Monday a free day because it was sunny outside! School officials had decided to give students a day off on the first day of the school year that hit at least 63 degrees!
Oh, Bellingham! Will your wonders never cease?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hidden Lyrics

Today I woke up in one of those cheery, happy-go-lucky-for-no-apparent-reason moods. I left the house, bound for work-still happy as a clam. And from some unknown reservoir in the dark of my brain, these lyrics came flooding:

"Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead "

Yes, Smashmouth's All Star came spewing forth. And I, honestly, did my best to skip over the song during its radio saturated heyday. But, somehow it still slipped in and poisoned me. I forced myself on to see how much I had obtained and verse after unadultered verse shot from me like so much cheesy pop lava. (Somebody once asked could you spare some change for gas...) Why? I'm wondering why and I've got nothing. It doesn't make sense. (I need to get myself away from this place...) I never liked this song, did my best to avoid it, and yet somehow it's clung to some shady piece of brain matter and tucked it's way inside me forever. (I said yep what a concept. I could use a little fuel myself...) Was it used so much in adds and during sporting events that it leaked into my memory and encoded itself permanently in my personal soundtrack? (And we could all use a little change ...) Whatever the reason, I am begging for mercy.
Leave me alone Smashmouth's All Star! Leave me alone!

Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming. Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running. Didn't make sense not to live for fun. Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb. So much to do so much to see. So what's wrong with taking the back streets. You'll never know if you don't go. You'll never shine if you don't glow. Hey now you're an All Star, get your game on - go play. Hey now you're a Rock Star, get the show on - get paid. And all that glitters is gold. Only shooting stars break the mold.

R.I.P. Good N' Fruity

If you never got to experience the joy of a Good N' Fruity first-hand, imagine a dehydrated, super-condensed Mike N' Ike, then add a couple of flavor and texture points for good measure and you're still only approximating the greatness of this particular confection. Conversely, if you've never had the gag-inducing displeasure of consuming a Good N' Plenty, taste-picture the combined wretched powers of Necco wafers, black jellybeans, beamins chewing gun and zoo-smell encapsulated in plaster of paris.

The delicious, delicious Good N' Fruity is no longer produced, having been axed by the company that makes it so they could produce higher quanitites of it's disgusting cousin. This is a disgrace. And there's nothing we can do about it.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dinner of Champions

So, we now have a new audio recording from Osama Bin Laden. And tension's rising in Iran and Palestine and Israel are rekindling their hatred officially. I think it's time for all these hot heads and anyone else threatening world destruction to sit down and figure this whole thing out. Seriously, have a nice meal or something. How about Denny's? Georgie, Osama you guys like Denny's?

Setting: The smoking section of a Denny's.

George Bush, Osama Bin Laden, Tony Blair, Kim Jong-il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (President of Iran), Mahmoud Abbas (Leader of Palestine), Moshe Katsav (President of Israel), and George Maxwell Richards (President of Trinidad and Tobago) who just happened to be eating in the same Denny's all sit at a table preparing to order

George W.B.: I know what I'm gonna get. Don't even need a menu. Just need that Grand Slam Buffet. How 'bout you, Osama?

Osama B.L.: I can't decide. Moons Over My Hammy or just french fries with gravy.

George W.B.: That's not even a question, Osama. Moons Over My Hammy. This is Denny's. You can get fries with gravy at any local diner.

Osama B.L.: That's what you think.

(All at the table laugh, except Kim J.I.)

(Cut to fifteen minutes later. All have food.)

George W.B. (to Kim J.I.): What's the matter, Jong? Can I call you Jong? You been sad as a sad dog all day.

Kim J.I.: My name is Kim. Nothing's the matter.

George W.B.M: You need a pair of chopsticks?

Kim J.I.: No.

Tony B.: It's only eggs and bacon, anyway. It shouldn't be too hard to use a fork.

Kim J.I.: I know how to use a fork.

George W.B.: Good. You know, I'm always getting confused. Which stick's the right stick and which one's the left?

(Kim J.I.'s sits in silence, his face turning red.)

Tony B.: I'm feeling a little tension here. So, let's drop the subject and move on.

George W.B.: Good idea, Tony. Osama, I can't remember, you know how to use a fork?

Osama B.L.: Yes.

George W.B.: There you go. We got something in common here. See guys, we got something in common. Now, let's just find what we all have in common. Everyone who agrees with my plan, raise your hand.

(All raise their hands except Mahmoud Ah., who's been sculpting his mashed potatos.)

George W.B.: Ha, ha. I tricked ya'll. Now you have to do whatever I say.

Mahmoud Ah.: I didn't raise my hand.

George W.B.: See, now that's just it, Mahmoud. Get your hands out of your potatos and raise your hand like everyone else.

Mahmoud Ah.: No. I'm busy.

George W.B.: Doing what?

Mahmoud Ah.: This.

(He lifts his napkin and reveals a mashed potato-made nuclear missile. All at the table gasp in surprise.)

Tony B.: Mahmoud, eat your mashed potatos like everyone else.

Mahmoud Ah.: George didn't eat his.

George W.B.: Yes, I did.

Mahmoud Ab.: You're lying. I saw you covering them up with your mozzarella sticks!

George W.B.: There's too many Mahmouds here!

Tony B.: Whoa, whoa. Let's get back on track.

George W.B.: Fine. Once Mahmoud 1 eats his mashed potatos.

Mahmoud Ah.: I can keep my mashed potatos here if you can keep yours.

George W.B.: I don't like mashed potatos!

George M.R.: I'm confused. Are you talking literally or metaphorically?

George W.B.: Literally! I don't like mashed potatos! Metaphorically, I like mashed potatos, but I don't like anyone else to like mashed potatos!

Moshe K.: What about sharing your mashed potatos?

George M.R.: Literally or metaphorically?

George W.B.: Metaphorically-no. Literally-fine. Unless you've got syphilis or gangrene or somethin.

Mahmoud Ah.: Gangrene's not contagious.

George W.B.: How do you know?

Mahmoud Ah.: It's not.

George W.B.: Takes one to know one.

Mahmoud Ah.: What?

Osama B.L., Moshe K., Kim J.I.: We're confused.

George W.B.: Literally or metaphorically?

Osama B.L., Moshe K., Kim J.I.: Both.

George W.B.: So am I.

Tony B.: Right. Let's take a potty break. Say-five minutes?

(Everyone leaves the table except George M.R. who sits at the table for five then six then seven then eight then nine then ten minutes then realizes he's been stiffed with the bill.)

Monday, April 24, 2006

New Blog


I've been busy setting up the (quiet drumroll) i.O. Blogs, which are now up and ready for readin'. Currently featuring the writing styles of Jason Chin, Bill Arnett, Emily and Brian Wilson and your truly, consider these four more worthy stop on your mid-day internet procrastination tour.

That is all.

Getta Loada Me!

Friday, April 21, 2006


Like most health clubs, the TVs at mine are set on mute, but with the subtitles at the bottom, allowing for multiple TVs to broadcast different channels without mixing the dialogue into garbled nonsense and keeping the ears open to hear the soundtrack pouring over the general PA system (which, bizarrely enough, contains spices of The Cranberries' Ode to my Family and Gary Jules' Mad World for a meloncholy kick unlike any workout experience you've ever wanted to have).

Today, I caught some of Sportscenter. From the picture, I could tell Brett Favre was being talked about. But, the subtitles had a story of their own, going a little something like this:
"U U U U U U Ug Uuuuu UUx Up U U U,< U U UUooUY Ux Ud Uuu U U"

And that's a direct quote. I wrote it down as it was happening.

In a gym, the subtitles really don't matter. All you have to see is Brett Favre and you think, "Hey, that's Brett Favre. He lifts weights. I lift weights. I'm just like Brett Favre."

Also a direct quote.

But, if you're depending on those words for information, it must be pretty frustrating. You have no idea what Brett Favre is doing. Has he broken a record? A bone? Is he retiring? Is the football season starting early? BRETT? BRETT? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? WHAT DO THESE 'U's MEAN?!

This is a national problem that needs to be fixed ASAP. Maybe it's not the most important, but it's at least in the top five.

More On Bellingham

Baz basically said it all, but I just wanted to toss my hat into the circle and agree that Bellingham was amazing. I'd go so far as saying that it's a Valhalla on earth. I mean there are cafes that musicians play in any time they want for a meal. That's pretty wonderful in my book (you should read it sometime). And everyone there seemed to have a job that they wanted to do. It's like everyone who said, "I want a job that inspires me," in high school moved to Bellingham. I can't tell you how many people we met that work at Nature Preserves, with Children in the Mountains (yes, there were more than one), as artists and musicians. It was amazing. And everyone there seemed happier for it. Seriously. I actually observed the check out girl at Rite Aid make eye contact and smile genuinely at everyone in line as she checked them out!

If you're swinging by or through the Pacific Northwest, circle Bellingham on your map and stop in. You deserve it.

Here's a link to The Gallus Brothers. Just one of the many amazing acts to be found in Bellingham. They opened for Bucket and us on Thursday.
Here's a brief description: They play folksy bluegrass while juggling and
climbing on each other.
An even briefer description: INCREDIBLE (in all caps)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sketchingham- Revised with good structure

So. I'm officially home from Bellingham, back at work, and already whimsical for the days recently gone by. A zillion thanks to Andrew and Mike from the Cody Rivers Show, and their whole household for putting us up. Another zillion thanks to the sponsors of Sketchingham for making sure we gots paid and fed, and another zillion thanks to the fans who sold out the whole weekend before we even got there. And the last zillion thanks to Bucket, from Vancouver, who were always on their game. Awesome!

Some highights from the trip:
1. On the way out of Chicago, we realized we had a combined $350 between the six of us. Whoops!
2. Andrew is a raw vegan, which meant he was gnawing on avacados all weekend. Awesome!
3. The Rockies and Cascades were still snow-capped, making for a simply awe-inspiring trip from Wyoming through Washington. Americana!
4. There were 100MPH winds in South Dakota on our way home! Tornado!
5. Sketchingjam was the likely highlight of the whole weekend. All three groups got together and wrote the show Saturday morning, performed it Saturday night, and I dare say it was better than our real shows. Fun!
6. Arby's "Roast Beef" sandwiches are made from liquified animal stuff! Gross!

I'm sure other tidbits will trickle in today. I just wanted to put a formal thank you out there for anyone who finds their way here post-Sketchingham. Back to work!

Link to Sketchingham photos by John Meloy

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Indeed. There's revelers downstairs. I'm tired and going to bed. Just wanted to poke my head in the digital room, let everyone know our weekend of shows in Bellingham were great. All three regular shows were sold out, and the "sketchingjam", where we, the cody rivers show, and bucket joined forced to write a show together in 10 hours was awesome.

also, cody rivers made sure we were hooked UP, having a half-dozen vegan friendly resturaunts feed us as we needed it giving new, much more practical meaning to the word "sponsors".

we're back on the road tomorrow, and back in chicago tuesday. sometime between now and then, i have to mail my taxes and right the many violent wrongs i made with regards to my bank account since i left chicago (full deets to follow). anyway, i'm off. see you soon.

sleep now.

Monday, April 10, 2006


So, tomorrow we begin a trek that will end 36 hours later at the first annual Sketchingham Festival in Bellingham, Washington. We are both excited and scared. Mostly excited though. Actually just excited. Not scared at all. Scared was thrown in there rather pointlessly as an attempt to up the drama.

We have traveled this 36 hour trail before, with the result being Seattle. Now, we head farther north. If you're looking for a 36 hour drive, I can think of few better than this one. Come, follow us! We'll caravan!

To Find A Celeb

There's a section in our newspaper devoted to celebrity sightings over the past week. That's right! Not where celebrities will be, but where they were. Why? I mean it's literally a full page of where people had food, which stores they went to, which bathroom they used at O'Hare. How sad is that? I understand being star struck by a celebrity. I've been there. But, even if you sprinted to the place mentioned the second you read the article, you're not going to see Brad and Angelina unless you're reading today's paper yesterday. Besides, seventy-five percent of these reports are filled with people clinging to fame like poop to ass hair. People like Paris Hilton, her latest boyfriend, and the contestants of every reality TV show. And I honestly think the world would be a better place if we didn't know where they were.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I have a class at noon tomorrow.

Something tells me that ain't gonna happen.

Hey Blog!

It's 4:08 AM, and I have a long, long, long list of things to do before AC heads to the Pac NW to do some SS at the IT, but what's stuff to do when your living room is stuffed full of friends, acquaintances, and people you just met forty minutes ago? Apparently not enough, though I'd like to point out that I found time to blog about it all.


Anyway, wish me luck getting my taxes done, finishing a pitch DVD for NBC, balancing my check book, making the animal club DVD for sketchingham, doing my laundry, packing, and finishing the clean up on the Nuclear Medicine project I'm doing at IMV.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Did you know that the wikipedia entry for the "band" the Scorpions is google-ranked higher than the wikipedia entry for actual scorpions?

Shame, wikipedians-come-googlers. Shame.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Actual Conversation With a 65-year-old Co-worker

Dialogue is verbatim, conversation occurred one minute ago:

Him: You still doing those comedy acts?

Me: Yeah. We're going out to the Pacific Northwest to do some shows next weekend.

Him: Oh yeah? That's neat.

Me: Yeah. Beautiful part of the country.

Him: yeah. I went to Wrestlemania out there once.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

This Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Geraldo Rivera's Mustache


The Ghost of Tom Selleck's Mustache

Two Mustaches will enter the ring. Only one will come out!

Das Experiment Completed

After listening to "We R The Handclaps" 40 times, I no longer looked forward to hearing it. I wasn't yet angry, or disrespectful, but could feel that trend beginning. I got sick in the afternoon, so decided to end the study at 47 listens. This morning, I played "Handclaps" one more time to see if the effects were cumulative or would wear down after time, and found that the latter held true. As of today, I still enjoy listening to "We R The Handclaps", and put the estimated consecutive listens threshold for said song at an even 50.

Dylan Thomas He's Not

As you may have heard, Saddam Hussein took to reading poetry in court, as he was presented with evidence that he had 12-year olds executed.

I've obtained exclusive copies of Saddam's poetry, one of which I present to you now.

If Only Our Mothers Were Sally Carruthers
by Saddam Hussein

If only our mothers were Sally Carruthers
We'd surely be getting on better with others

And then we'd have brothers
They, too named Carruthers
To help us with lawn work
And loan us their putters.

Oh for that tie that binds
rather than smothers
Our family tree painted with leaves of Carruthers!

Our boats with their rudders
So true and aligned
By Nelson Carruthers
Our uncle designed.

With hands on the udders
The triplets Carruthers
Milk cows on our farm to make various butters.

Alas it's not so
But in dreams it remains
Carruthers by night
By day just Hussein.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Brown Recluse

Last night, our room mate showed us pictures of a man who was bitten on the thumb by a brown recluse spider, the most poisonous of spiders in North America. It's pretty nasty stuff. The venom is acidic and eventually eats through your skin. Where are they? Oh, only everywhere throughout the south central and mid-western United States. And they're only the size of a quarter. What sadistic urge drives them to sink their fangs into any ol' hand, no matter how innocently or accidentally it was placed before them? Probably the same split second reaction that sends us pawing for a shoe and squishing a spider the second we glance one, whether it's poisonous or not.

What can we do to keep our thumbs safe from brown recluse spiders? Stay away from brown recluse spiders. The same method of prevention can be applied to smashing your thumb in a car door. Don't put your thumb in between your car and the car door as you're shutting it. Of course, life is full of those little accidents where your thumb's caught unaware, whether it be in a car door or in front of a brown recluse. That's life for you. I suppose it's just as nonsensical to think you're going to be bit by a brown recluse as it is to think you're going to break your hand every time you exit your car. We've got live each day is if our thumbs could go on unbitten and unsmashed forever. CARPE DIEM!!!!!

Crash Day Today. Crash Day Everyday.

The mayor of LA has dubbed today, Crash Day, in honor of the movie. Why? Because Christopher Columbus and Martin Luther King Jr. got THEIR own holidays.
While I do think Crash was a good movie, I don't think it deserves its own holiday. Seriously, Christopher Columbus was a huge part in discovering America (even if only by tradition) and Martin Luther King Jr. was the greatest civil rights organizer this country has ever seen. Crash has yet to discover a new world or gain rights for an oppressed people. All it did was win the Best Picture Oscar. So, in my book, that means no special day for Crash. There's no The English Patient Day.

Dear Departed Elizabeth

Like most of you I'm sure, I start my morning with a bit of random wikipeding, picking one random thing to learn about, then clicking on links until I get bored or have to go somewhere. This morning started off with a quick read on steroids, which was inspired by the recent Barry Bonds saga, and quickly took me to the realm of professional wrestling, including the entries for Hulk Hogan, Dusty Rhodes and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. ed. note: most of my wiki mornings are not so pop-culture based..

While ingesting all I could about Randy Savage, I came across a strange phrase: For much of his tenure in the WWF, he was managed by the late Miss Elizabeth, to whom he was married on December 30, 1984. The couple had twin boys.

Did I misread that, or did the wiki refer to Elizabeth as the late Miss Elizabeth? Sure enough, Miss Elizabeth, the mute beauty of the WWF, met her maker by way of madcap mixology May 1st, 2003. Not being one to mock a fallen hero of my childhood, I'll refrain from making any jokes about her death. I just wanted to point out that Wikipedia has taught me more than elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and four years in the workforce combined. Is this the end of education as we know it?!!!??!!?!

Das Experiment Update: 28 plays, and still doin' fine. Sing it with me! We R The Handclaps (Clap Clap!) / We R The Handclaps (Clap Clap!)

Das Experiment

At long last, I've begun my great experiment; perhaps the definitive study in my great career. Ever since I joined the digital music revolution, I've wanted to determine, scientifically, how fast you can get sick of a song. First, I needed a song that met the right criteria:

• written exclusively in a major key
• unbelievably catchy, pop chorus
• danceable beat
• not popular, so as to maintain control of exposure

Next, I needed to ensure that I could be constantly exposed to said song, which means it has to:

• wake me up in the morning (iPod)
• play continuously during my commute (iPod)
• play continuously at work (laptop)
• play continuously at home (stereo)

Those being the standards, I sought to fill in the blanks. The test song is "We R The Handclaps by Danish dance stars Junior Senior. The song is not to be found on iTunes, but take my word for it- it's liquid dynamite. Here at 9:34 AM, I'm up to 16 plays, and I'm NOT sick of it yet. Updates to follow.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Content To Delay

It's storming like a banshee in Chicago right now. I've got a zillion things to do, but mother nature knows my weakness. I'm happy as hell to just sit back and watch the fireworks. Well done, cold front. Well done indeed.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Short Yet Complete List of Movies In Which Paula Cole's "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone" Could Be Appropriately Featured

Cowboys Don't Cry (2002)

Cowboys Don't Kiss in Public (2001)

Cowboys and Indians Fording a River in a Wagon (1904)

Breaking Baseball News!

Opening day is a few scant hours away, and the Pirates were just eliminated from the post-season.


Looks to be another pop-up to shallow left field kinda season for the Buccos, my favorite baseball team by default. It's a step up from the foul-bunt for third strike season we had two years ago, and the double play to end the eighth last year, but it's still going to result in the same thing: a losing season.


A few years back, Reggie Sanders joined the Pirates and was on pace to hit 274 home runs through the first week of the season. That was the last time we Pirate fans were allowed to muster even pretend-hope expressly for the purpose of humor. Yeah, shit's been dark, dark, dark since the Killer B's left for greener pastures. My way of dulling the pain is delivering three can't miss, 100% guarunteed predictions* for the season ahead, and stake my first born child** on them. Here goes!

Zach Duke on the DL by July
Word from Pirate City in Bradenton is that Zach Duke has looked very "meh", which isn't a good sign. Good arms in the Pirates organization tend to have great rookie seasons, a meh sophomore spring, then blow their elbows out. Watch for The Dukie to rip apart his arm when the weather gets warm, and don't expect it to heal until he's eligible for free agency.

Brad Eldred's 401K plan
A friend of mine labeled recent Pirate free agent signing Jeremy Burnitz a bunch of big swings and misses. With Burnitz to mentor him, Pirates 1B and power prospect Brad Eldred should easily reach the 401K milestone, and by that I mean he will strike out 401 times. Watch some tape on the kid and you'll see I'm only 10% kidding.

Pirates Win NL Central
Every team plane will crash, killing every professional baseball team before the All-Star break, with the exception of the Pirates. The lose in the wild card round to the pesky AAA-come-Major League Dodgers, who in turn lose to the pesky AAA-come-Major League Nationals, who in turn lose to the pesky AA-come-AAA-come-Major League Devil Rays (the team plane crashed again when the AAA guys were called up). I think I've said this before on another blog, but whatever. I stand by it.

So there you have it. That said, I've still got some team spirit around here somewhere. After I do my taxes, I'll see if I can find it, put it in the laundry, and if it doesn't shrink too much, I'll bring it out.

*guarantee is not a guarantee. **i reserve the right to substitute a child of equal or lesser value