Friday, December 15, 2006

Know what I’m sayin?


"Know what I’m sayin? You know what I’m sayin! Know what I’m sayin? You know.

"Shit.

"Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Hell yeah. Heeaalll yeeaaah. Can I get a hell yeah? No, that ain’t it. I mean a heeeallll yeeeeaah!

"Wait..what happened?

"She did not just say that to me! Oh, hell no! That bitch crazy! I’m about to get all up on that ho. She wanna fuck with this? She wanna fuck with this? No, no, no, no, no! I will mess this bitch up. I will mess her up. That bitch gonna wish her mama’s baby-daddy never met her mama and had that bitch as a baby. Hold me back! Hold me back!"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Evel Knievel cracks me up



Evel Knievel is pissed off at Kanye West for impersonating him in a video in which West dresses up like the stuntman and tries to jump Snake River Canyon in a rocket car. Knievel's suing him for "infringement on his trademark name and likeness," and "damage to his reputation."

But what's funny is Evel's grouchy critique of the video. The 68-year old stuntman said: "That video that Kanye West put out is the most worthless piece of crap I've ever seen in my life, and he uses my image to catapult himself on the public."

That's sooo Knievel.

This is a guy who doesn't suffer fools well. In 1977, a former promoter of Knievel wrote a book in which he claimed that the famous stuntman abused two things: drugs and his wife. To say Knievel didn't take this very well is understating things. Despite having both arms in casts after a motorcycle crash in Chicago, he flew to California and tracked down the author, confronting him in a parking lot. Never one to mince words, Evel pulled out an aluminum baseball bat and beat the holy shit out of the author. He whacked him in the head, shattered bones in his arms and wrists and ultimately knocked him unconscious -- all the time yelling "I'm going to kill you!"

He didn't end up actually killing him, but the author's mother did die of a heart attack upon hearing the news of the attack. And he did kill the author's semi-professional tennis career. For his outburst, Evel was fined and spent a few weeks in jail, but it apparently didn't do anything to soften him.

Note to Kanye: You don't want to piss this guy off, even if he is in failing health and is currently connected to an oxygen tank. If I know Evel, he'll just use that tank as a bludgeoning weapon.

Evel Knievel. Now that's gangsta.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm moving up.


Less than two weeks after complaining about my downgraded office digs, I am now somewhat happy to report that I've been somewhat upgraded to a better cube. Just look at it! Much cozier, less noisy and few people walking by and saying things like: "Ah, checking out blogs, huh?"

Like my lava lamp? Cool, huh? I've decorated the cube to showcase my taste and pop culture inspirations, neither of which have moved an inch since 1992. Beer, Simpsons, books about prolonged adolescence. It's all here.

So stop on by cube 14-43 if you get a chance. I'll be here. Looking at blogs.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chemical refreshment


Do I look refreshed?

A coworker who shall go unnamed gave me a couple of Ambien yesterday. I took one last night and had a pretty good sleep. It would have been a better sleep, but I had to pee the whole night and was too tired to get up. So I woke up a few times and weighed the benefits of getting up to pee, always deciding against it, then drifted back to chemically facilitated sleep.

So how does this little nightime helper work? I learned on the Web site that it works with GABA, a neurotransmitter that "may" be responsible for "dampening" electrical activity in the brain. It "may" help GABA do its job better, which "may" result in a better night sleep.

I'm here to report that it "may" actually work great. I'll have to give it another try tonight.

I also checked out the side effects on the Web site (having already taken the pill last night). It includes the usual list of headaches and dizziness you expect any time your drug trials include hypochondriacs and woosies, and it also added a few of those ironic side effects that are so entertaining -- like how Ambien may cause drowsiness and daytime sleepiness, the very complaints it's supposed to address.

It also can affect coordination, which I can attest to as I dropped not one but TWO cigarettes on my way to the gym this morning. All in all, though, I feel more energetic today. I think. I won't be sure until I take a couple more. It's sort of like a science experiment.

I wonder what Ambien would be like with a snifter of Knob Creek? Mmmmm. Knob Creek.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Greetings from Cubevania


My meteoric rise in direct marketing is officially over. What remains is a sizable hole in the ground and a rapidly cooling rock.

No, I haven't been fired. And I haven't quit either. I've been ousted from my office and forced to work amongst the common folk.

I'm typing this eulogy from my new cube, which is actually more of a cubicle, but is so small that a passing GCD labeled it a "cubiclet." It's little more than a bit of L-shaped desk space situated in the hallway of a darkened corner of floor 14. If I drilled a hole in the floor beneath my feet, I'd have a top-down view of the cubicle where I sat as a freelancer three years ago today.

If only I could drop a message down to that young go-getter, something to the effect of: "Get out now."

I wasn't a freelancer for long. I accepted a full-time position three months after I began, and was relocated in a slightly cozier hallway on 15. Then I joined a new group and was promoted to a small office, which became a larger office and then a larger office still.

Then we got a new creative head who got into his creative head a creative new seating structure that would revitalize creative: put everyone in cubes. A few understandalbe grumbles aside, I had no problem with the idea. But me and my art director were placed in the abolute worst two cubes ever created. The guys who made these cubes had to be laughing when they made them. It's like when a slum lord bisects a closet with a hunk of drywall and advertises a cozy two bedroom apartment.

I feel like a private who worked his way up to captain, only to have his medals and stripes ripped off so they don't get in the way of his new potato-peeling assignment.

Worst of all is that I'm aware of how petty this sort of grumbling is. This is what corporate life does to you, friends: One day you're a semi-idealistic college graduate full of ideas and bullshit, and the next you're a graying copy-monkey, beating your little chest over the injustice of having no door.

I finally get Les Nessman. I hear you, brother.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mincing toward Gomorrah

Fellow liberals,

Nice job. We managed to convince Americans that we have the moral high ground. Can you believe it? Us! The ones who pee on crucifixes and call it art! We're suddenly the good guys. How awesome is that?

Excuse me while I do some blow.

Now that we're in power, allow me to say a few words to all the disillusioned conservatives and trusting Christians who took a chance on us last Tuesday.

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!

Fools! Do you know what you've done? There's gonna be gay nude wrestling on every channel -- even the Disney Channel! We're instituting a law that illegalizes different-sex marriages, except in the case of human-animal nuptuals.

Marijuana will now be sold next to Blow-Pops in the candy isle of every 7-11.

Needle-weilding doctors will be given full access to hospital nurseries so that they may selectively harvest stem cells.

Effective now, we're cutting off all funding to Iraq and will funnel the money toward a program that teaches Evolution in churches.

That's just a sampling of what you can expect. Let the hedonism begin!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Work blog


A month or so ago everyone in the creative department was asked to post a Web page on the internal server here at work. I was going to just throw up a link to my blog, but I decided to post this instead. It's what happens when a copywriter learns just enough photoshop.

Accident Prone

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Random IM thread from 9/16/04

I'm going through all of my old emails and files here at work. Never mind why.

Anyway, I uncovered this rambling gem of an IM conversation between me and Jon Clarke. The idea is that Sony's 2004 purchase of some new properties gave them control over almost half of all Hollywood movies ever made. So how might Sony leverage this to market their products?

Here's the thread (There's a funny skit in here somewhere):

jonflclarke (2:15:50 PM): Including the titles owned by MGM, the Sony group will now control about 40 percent of all movies ever produced by Hollywood, according to some estimates.

Qner (3:47:28 PM): "Nice work, Spiderman. Good thing you had the new Sony Cyber-shot Pro digital camera to document Dr. Octopus' nefarious experiments. Starting at just $399, the 8 megapixel camera is as inexpensive as it is invaluable for capturing life's most infamous moments."

jonflclarke (4:00:42 PM): Can't believe it took them two movies to come up with that one

Qner (4:02:45 PM): Wait a minute. I don't remember Kurtz listening to a Sony Discman in his hut before.

jonflclarke (4:03:09 PM): LOL

Qner (4:11:00 PM): "Mrs. Robinson, my love for your daughter is clear. Almost as clear as the picture on Sony’s new 42" plasma WEGA flat panel TV with enhanced definition screen."

jonflclarke (4:11:29 PM): You're doing way too much research on this

Qner (4:11:37 PM): hahaha

Qner (4:12:05 PM): More than I put into my last project, I can tell you.

jonflclarke (4:33:36 PM): "You could have been Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone and you can be too with the new SONY Plastation 3. 64 bits of family goodness from the old country."

Qner (4:34:46 PM): hahaha

Qner (4:34:57 PM): BTW, I'm on the waiting list for Patton Oswalt tix. They must have went right after you got them.

jonflclarke (4:35:42 PM): Show up anyway. I bet there'll be cancellations

jonflclarke (4:38:05 PM): "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. But I will give you a text message with SONY's new PCS service. AS God as my witness, I'll never go text free again."

Qner (4:41:25 PM): "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore! But if I want to take music with me, I'll download it to Sony's 64mb memory stick. Portable, powerful - and priced for everyone - the new memory stick is enough to soften the most hardened newsman."

jonflclarke (4:41:47 PM): LOL

jonflclarke (4:43:16 PM): Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges. But we do need SONY's new GPS3000. It helps us find our way as we rove the Mexican countryside, sacking, pillaging and murdering Humphrey Bogart. Ariba!!!

Qner (4:43:35 PM): hahahaha

Qner (4:47:54 PM): "Use the force, Luke. The force of a 10x zoom lens and 800mb of storage space that comes with Sony's new digital Camcorder. With data transfer faster than the Millenium Falcon, it's ready to fly out of the box."

jonflclarke (4:48:26 PM): It's the camera that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.

jonflclarke (4:49:54 PM): Throw me the idol I'll throw you the new SONY VAIO laptop. iIt's our lightest yet and with extra battery life you can keep cracking the whip form morning till night. No time to argue.

Qner (4:50:21 PM): hahaha

jonflclarke (4:50:37 PM): This can go on forever

Qner (4:52:15 PM): "What we have here is a failure to communicate. That's why we're switching to Sony ClearVoice wireless phones."

jonflclarke (4:54:08 PM): Scully, thruth is out there.

Qner (4:54:24 PM): ...and with the new handsfree headsets, your hands will stay cool"

jonflclarke (4:55:06 PM): No Mulder, with the new CLIE handheld, it's all in here. The latest games, personal photo gallery and video clips ion vivid color. That's the truth

jonflclarke (4:55:52 PM): This is all bordering on self parody isn't it?

Qner (4:55:56 PM): The truth? You can't handle the truth! But you can certainly handle the new VOA portable tablet.

Qner (4:56:16 PM): Literally could go on forever.

Qner (4:56:24 PM): But it's addictive

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's been a while...

I haven't posted anything in a while. Now I have.

Why the absence? Lot's of reasons, none of them good. Busy at work, that sort of thing. So here's what's new:

I got a new iPod, which is also my first iPod. It's the big one -- 80GB Video. I love it. I love the packaging. I love the little case it came in. On Friday I bought some cables so I can hook it up to stereos and even TVs to output music and video. How cool is that??

I'm still getting to the gym, but also still smoking.

Work has been nuts. No, really. It's been nuts.

My brother's coming into town this weekend to run the marathon. My sister-in-law and niece are also coming in. So we'll proabably do a NYC thing on Saturday. BTW: Lion King = Expensive.

Vote, vote vote! Even if you don't think it makes a difference in your particular district. Vote anyway.

Go to iTunes and download The Feebs. You won't regret this advice, I promise.

Haven't seen many movies lately. Except Little Miss Sunshine, which is very good. Need to see The Departed, Science of Sleep, The Prestige, Last King of Scotland and, of course -- Borat! So looking forward to that one.

Had a discussion with a fan of the American "Office." He likes it better than the British version, mainly because it takes a bit to understand the English accent. I say it's worth the effort. In fact I downloaded some original Office MP4s for my new video iPod. Did I tell you about that? I love it.

I'm sure I'll think of some more stuff to say at some point.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Funk Dat!

Bless YouTube. It's fast becoming the resevoir for things often (and sometimes best) forgotten. Like this little ditty from 1993.

Remember this guy? How he seemed so annoyed by even the most ordinary occurences, like getting a phone call? His whole rap is just a list of cranky complaints. So funny.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Myrtle Beach

Ahhh.

That's how I still feel after spending last week at a condo in Myrtle Beach.

Again, that's: Ahhh.

I left last Friday amidst a shitstorm at work. Major reconcepting of a major campaign. Due in days. And now I was hightailing it outta there for a week, which put them down a writer.

Nick, my art director, summed it up. "Fuck, dude."

I did that little dance where you click your heels together in mid-air.

Actually, I don't shake work off that easy. I was still somewhat concerned about the reconcepting as my taxi nudged toward JFK.

But by the time Lauri and I got to the airport, my concern level had been downgraded from "somewhat" to "vaguely." A blue on the alert scale: Guarded, but don't let the terrorists stop you from traveling or they'll win.

Speaking of terrorists, those bastards got something right for once. After making us wait in endless lines, remove our laptops, take off our shoes, toss our lighters and spread like drug smugglers while some bored TSA official wands us, they actually did us a solid with the whole liquid/gel thing.

Let me explain.

By limiting the amount of luggage we are allowed to bring on the plane, boarding and de-planing is now a lovely experience. Fast. Efficient. No Oakley-wearing douchbags elbowing you in the head as they panic to remove their oversized overhead luggage. No pricks blocking the drink cart, so they can retrieve a Golfer's Digest from their stowed overnight bag. No confused "bag ladies" staring vacuously up and down the isle to be sure they have their purse, handbag, rolling luggage, copy of Vogue, laptop and frilled shawl.

I'm not saying these characters aren't on the plane. They are, but their shit is stowed safely beneath them, so they have nothing to fiddle with. I picture them chewing on the emergency instructions cards, crunching the ice from their complimentary sodas. (Must get to luggage!)

The flight itself was quick. You know: Fasten seatbelts, turn off cell phones. Taxi, takeoff. Soda? Chips? Upright positions, welcome to Raleigh. You'll find your luggage somewhere inside.

My parents met us outside, where I was sucking down a cigarette. By now my work concern level was down to green. All clear: Osama's dead and Iran loves us.

We drove down to Myrtle the next day. My brother and sister, brother and sister-in-law and three neieces and nephews. It was the first time I'd been in 10 years. I actually lived there during the summer of '94. A lot has changed.

I lived in Calabash, NC and worked in North Myrtle Beach, SC. The ride took about 20 minutes on a good day and you passed a lot of nothing on your way. Some BBQ restaurants, scattered strips of shops, a Jesus sign or two. Things didn't get commercial until you were right at Barefoot landing. And they didn't get truly tacky until you were into Myrtle Beach proper.

No more. Like a spreading fungus, the tacky has worked its way up Highway 17, obliterating old landmarks, swallowing genuine trashy southern culture whole in the plastic jaws of molded shark entryways that front the ubiquitous Waves stores. You can't throw a golf ball without hitting a mini golf center. Courses that look like volcanoes, or pirate ships, or that have an aviation theme, or a jungle theme. Then there's the go-carts. A NASCAR go-cart amusement park with six separate tracks. Or, if NASCAR isn't your bag, you can go to the Formula One go-cart amusement park. There's even a place that has both go-carts and mini-golf. It's called "Fun World," a name that conjures two guys sitting at a table kicking around names until one finally says: "Fuck it, we'll just call the goddamned thing 'Fun World.'"

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Headline of the day

Found this on CNN. Seriously, is The Onion even necessary?

Megadeth angry at United Nations

Mustaine on organization: 'It's an abomination what they're doing'

NEW YORK (Billboard) -- Heavy metal maven Dave Mustaine is so angry with the United Nations that he is naming his group Megadeth's next album "United Abominations."

"I was watching TV and saw the trucks that said 'UN' on them and said, 'Man, you are so uncool, ineffective, anything," the singer/guitarist said in a recent Billboard interview.

"I thought, 'Wow, I've got to run with this. I got it -- United Abominations, 'cause it's an abomination what they're doing!'

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

I love this line

"60% of the time it works every time."
It bears a striking resemblance to the claims I'm dealing with right now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Frank and the Steins

Here's the concept: Four Frankensteins form a rock group and have a concet at a local bar. What happens from there is every bit as stupid and funny as the concept.

Great directing by Dave and catchy music by Jon, who penned this ditty with Hector.

Things to look for:
My zombie-like interpretation of how Frankenstein might play bass
Andrew's patented reverse windmill
Searing closeup guitar riffs courtesy of Jon
Hector's Latin jazz-style drum work

What more can I say? Brilliant stuff.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What am I listening to right THIS second on iTunes?

And this is the room
One afternoon I knew I could love you.
And from above you how I sank into your soul,
Into that secret place where no one dares to go.

And your mom would drink until she was no longer speaking.
And dad would dream of all the different ways to die;
Each one a little more than he could dare to try.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Hi Uncle Bart!

Me and Clarissa are staying in a really cool hotel. Bermuda has everything! We scuba dived a reef yesterday and the marine life was beautiful. Clarissa saw a barracuda and almost spit out her mouthpiece. I laughed! I hope you get this email. I know how you hate to use the computer we bought you last year. Anyway, hope you're well. Please send money.

-Baxter

-----------------------

RE: Hi Uncle Bart!

I have received your correspondence on one of the contraptions here at the Sun Sentinel and I am dictating this response through the capable hands of my secretary, Miss Dillers.

What in the hell are you talking about, Baxter? Your late father would be angrier than a mullered scuttlepossum if he knew that you left the university to follow a path of decadence and stupidity with some strumpet you met in a tavern. And for the record, your brother, the honorable Judge Jackson, purchased that computer for me. All you did was plug it in and proceed to play games on it for the next four hours! I haven't turned the damned thing on since. What the hell do I need a computer for? I already have a typewriter and a television set (which your brother also purchased for me).

Let me be clear, Baxter. Drop that hussy off at the nearest cabana and get your skinny butt back to the university post haste! I've talked to Dean Chambers and he has agreed to reinstall you in the dormitory so you can continue your studies. I guess that answers your last question, which is the only reason you dried off long enough to write me: No! I will not send you any money!

-Bartholomew Jackson

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Some MILF ruined my computer

Two months ago I clicked on a link (the word MILF was involved), and my computer froze up like a crazy block of ice. (Instant simile improver: add "crazy" before any banal comparison. It lights up wordplay like a crazy sun.)

(No more parenthetical sidebars, I promise.)

Faced with an unresponsive computer, I tried to reboot. No go. So I unplugged it and tried to restart. The computer booted to that screen that says "Your computer shut down unexpectedly," and lists options to boot in safe mode. I tried that and the same screen came up. I tried various other boot strategies, all to no avail. I unplugged my computer again, walked away and watched some TV. I went back, plugged it back in and tried again. Same result.

I opened my computer and checked the connections. I blew some dust from the motherboard. I disconnected the hard drive and reconnected it. I sat and stared, crosslegged on the floor. I put my pants back on. Then I reassembled the computer and started it up. Nothing.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I didn't try everything. I did. You're thinking, but what about that one thing? Yes, that one thing, too. I tried everything, and nothing worked.

So I left it alone for two months.

I did buy a rescue disk, but all it did was show me the files I couldn't access and tell me that my registry hive was corrupted. I used my work computer to find a fix for corrupted registry hives on the MS website, but learned that I couldn't use it on my computer because my OS was factory-installed.

Things were getting desperate. With no computer, I found myself going to bed earlier and rising with the sun. I was exercising and eating right. With no Internet access, my sexual fantasies were becoming normal and healthy. A single box of Kleenex would last weeks.

Well, turns out Jon Clarke had the exact same thing happen with his Sony computer, and he told me about a disk you could purchase from Sony to resolve the problem. I don't know if he was also hunting for MILFs when his problem occurred. If so, it would confirm my suspicion that hot, sexually promiscuous housewives have plotted to destroy computers.

I went to the Sony website, but it was one of the worst user interfaces I've ever tried to navigate. So I called the number and some lady with a MILF voice took my order. I gave her my credit card number and a few days later I got the disk.

So now I have a new computer. Kind of. That's because I had to reformat my hard drive and start from scratch -- with all the factory-installed settings and crapware that originally came with my Sony, but minus the files and programs I managed to acquire over the past year. So it's like new. In a way.

But at least it booted. All it needed was a test. I performed a quick search for MILFs and clicked on a link. It worked.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The way I see it...

"The way I see it..." is a bi-monthly column written by Bartholomew Jackson, the Sun Sentinel's oldest correspondent and the last living member of the paper's original editorial staff. Mr. Jackson's opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Sun Sentinel.

The way I see it...
Coffee ought not be served unless it is prepared with the proper attention. An acquaintance of mine who passed on several years ago once told me of a new "coffee," and I use the preceding quotations as a mark of proscriptive emphasis, that is meant to be stirred into a mug of hot water in the fashion of a peptic powder! Now I must ask you: what sort of self-respecting professional would allow his wife to fix him a cup of mess like that?
-Bartholomew Jackson

----------------------------

"The way I see it..." is a bi-monthly column written by Bartholomew Jackson, the Sun Sentinel's oldest correspondent and the last living member of the paper's original editorial staff. Mr. Jackson's opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Sun Sentinel.

The way I see it...
The United States ought to re-think it's inclusion of Hawaii as state. Along with Alaska, another dunderheaded acquisition, Hawaii makes a hash of wall maps. Here you got this beautiful chunk of USA that looks almost like a cattle or some other large animal, and there's this little box out of nowhere holding up an ugly clump of islands. It looks like that cattle took a turd and out come Hawaii!
-Bartholomew Jackson

----------------------------

"The way I see it..." is a bi-monthly column written by Bartholomew Jackson, the Sun Sentinel's oldest correspondent and the last living member of the paper's original editorial staff. Mr. Jackson's opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Sun Sentinel.

The way I see it...
If man was meant to mess around under the sea, God would've given him gills. My nephew Baxter, whose softheaded adventures I've written about previously, has taken up a new activity with his latest lady friend. They call it "diving" and it involves an apparatus that looks like something out of a Byron Haskin picture. Apparently, they board a perfectly seaworthy vessel, then abandon it to kick around like a couple of damn fool bullfrogs. I tell you, it's going to be the end of society as we know it. And it's all Baxter's fault!
-Bartholomew Jackson

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Make sure you vote whenever voting time comes

We all know why Bush introduced an amendment to ban gay marriages. It's not because the spector of state-sanctioned man-on-man commitment threatens our way of life. There are plenty of real threats out there to legitimately worry about: giant terrorist bombs, gianter gas prices, dumb students, a bi-polar economy, Iraq, etc. The real reason for the new amendment is that Bush wanted to introduce a wedge issue that will motivate conservatives to vote in the midterm elections. Whacko, Old Testament conservatives, that is.

The Republican party is in trouble and they have no one to blame but themselves. They pushed Bush into office and backed him on every ridiculous decision with party-line bullshit. Now that his poll numbers suck, Republicans are streaming away from him in droves.

So Bush, in an attempt to mollify his party, retain control of congress and perhaps deliver a few volts to his critically ailing popularity, is serving up an issue that every daytime TV-watching ignoramus can sink his teeth into--gay marriage.

But here's the deal. We can laugh or grumble at his audacity -- his constant pandering to the lowest common demoninator and the cynical opinion the administration must have of us -- but it's going to work. Slack-jawed dopes will emerge over the same hilly path they cleared in 2004 to again vote for a non-issue. Which is why we have to vote. Really. We must get out and ensure this douche-bag trick doesn't bite us in the ass.

So vote. Whenever the elections are. And stuff.

Vote!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Where have all the flowers gone?

I don't know, but I can tell you that I've been busy, busy, busy. With this and that. Work. Home. Social. Financial. Lotsa activity in the world of Q'ner.

My biggest frustration: Waiting for my money to wire from my old bank account to my new one. I have cash, my cash, floating around in the ether, waiting to show up in my new account. My money, dammit!

Money is important. It allows you to purchase goods and services and is a key component to paying bills. I can't wait until mine is transferred. Today, I hope!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm ported

Now my home number is my mobile number. So now you can reach me anywhere, anytime. Yeah!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What I thought about on the subway this morning

Reasons J. Mascis can't decide whether he has egomania or low self esteem. (Relevant in 1994)

1) He plays huge, crashing guitar solos, but sings like he's afraid someone will hear him.

2) He named his band Dinosaur (Wow!) Jr. (Oh.)

3) It's not "Jay," but simply "J." Is that affected, humble or simply his name?

4) I swear I had another one.


Spare the whip and spoil the child.
My parents never whipped me. Perhaps if they had, I wouldn't be so damned spoiled. Sure, I was spanked occasionally. I was shaken, yelled at, jerked out of my chair and even punched in the face. But never whipped. Some parents whip. Some parents whip so much that call it whoop, because it's easier to say. Those are the one's that make their kids go and fetch a switch from the yard so they can whoop 'em with it. Imagine that task: Finding the weapon that will used on you. And you know those kids couldn't just bring back any old twig. It had to be young and green and springy and strong. I don't want somethin' that's gonna break on you halfway through the whooping. Get on out there at get me a damn switch that'll last! Somethin' from the maple family or a pricker bush. If it slices through this melon, it's good enough. If it don't, well then that's 20 more whoopin's.

Bet those kids weren't spoiled like me, though. Oh, and I was never punched in the face. OK, once, but I deserved it.

8:27 and Sugarfree RB

8:28
My second sugarfree Red Bull. I have to pick up my laundary, shower and get to work by 10. Have to get comments back on a campaign for the Wednesday presentation. I'm listening to "Quick Sand" on iTunes. Wish I could play guitar like J., or even play at all beyond a handful of chords.

8:30
Wow, took me two minutes to write the paragraph above. Time moves along in the morning. It's 47 degrees out. I have to walk to the laundomat, come home with laundry, shower, put on clothes and depart by 9am.

8:31
One more song. "Feel the Pain" came on. Their commercial breakthrough, skyrocketing them to a video in the early 90s. That was a cool video, with the golf ball flying all over. Love the way the tempo seems to pickup, then just drop back. That's the way I live: inertia followed by a burst, followed by inertia.

8:34
All that profundity took 3 minutes, but the song is still on, so no leaving yet. Great part: wait. The ending guitar. Here it is.

8:35
Now I'm energized. A little Dinosaur Jr. and two Red Bulls. Shit. the next song just came on. "Goin Home." I used to listen to this on my way to Shelly Lake in Raleigh, before my runs around the lake. I waited tables back then. Those were good days.

8:37
No more mucking about. Must leave. Must leave now. I love his mumbling voice, like he can't muster the energy to sing. I can't be late. Promised I'd be in by 10. Cool part here. His songs build. Not all songs do that.

8:39
Song's over.

What am I listening to right THIS second on iTunes?

You know, I don't see why I should be the criminal.
How can something with no recorded fatalities be illegal?
And how many deaths are there per year from alcohol?
I just completed Gran Turismo on the hardest setting;
We pose no threat on my settee.
Ooh, the pizza's here. Will someone let him in please?
We didn't order chicken. Not a problem, we'll pick it out.
I doubt they meant to mess us about.
After all, we're all adults, not louts.

What am I listening to right THIS second on iTunes?

We had no wooden legs
Or steel hooks.
We had no black eye patches
Or a starving cook.
We were just killers with the cold eyes of a sailor.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I've stepped into 1998

Friends,

Things are about to change around the Kunath shanty. Today I received a special package from Verizon. It was a box and the box contained a shiny new cellular telephone. I am now able to make and receive calls from almost anywhere!

Except from my apartment. That's a dead space.

Soon, you'll be able to contact me on my cellular telephone simply by dialing my home number. I am porting that over to my cellular telephone for convenience. Until then, I have a different number, which I shall not disclose here for fear I will soon receive a call from a Nigerian asking me to send money to his beleaguered kingdom. The porting will take 5-7 business days. Until then, don't call me; I'll call you.

Look at me!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

My kind of comedy - Bob Odenkirk

I'm going to write a few posts about the people who inspire me most in my comedy writing. Was that sentence awkward? Wow, the first sentence in a post about writing and it's a bad one. I'll try to improve.

Here's the first in my series of comedy influences:

Bob Odenkirk

There was a lot of smart, innovative comedy in the 1990s, and Bob Odenkirk was involved in just about all of it.


Psychotic rambling at its funniest.

In 1990, he was a writer on the great, unheralded FOX show "Get a Life." He did a brief stint (late 80s-early 90s) on "SNL," where he created some classic sketches, including two of my favorites, "Bad Idea Jeans" and "Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker." In 1992 he wrote and acted on "The Ben Stiller Show" and was one of the original writers for "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." Then in 1995 Bob paired with David Cross to create "Mr. Show," one of the sharpest, funniest sketch comedy shows ever.

Take look at the work cited above and you'll notice two things. The first is that, with a couple exceptions, Bob got involved with shows that didn't last very long. "Get a Life" made it about a season-and-a-half, despite a writing team that included David Mirkin, Adam Resnick, Chris Elliott, Charlie Kaufman and Bob. "The Ben Stiller Show" was canceled after just thirteen episodes. "Mr. Show" faired better, lasting four seasons. These shows, while largely unnoticed during their runs, have nonetheless spawned rabid cult followings. Which brings me to my next point about Bob's work. It doesn't really care what you think about it.


A lot of comedians and comedy writers are desperate for your laugh. Desperation in comedy annoys me. It's the leading cause of obvious humor, excessive mugging, applause signs and flop sweat. It caters to everyone, because it's petrified that somebody might not laugh. Robin Wiliams comes to mind. So does Mike Myers.

Odenkirk's comedy is subtler. It rewards those who pay attention. A lot of the humor happens behind the action of the scene or just before the cut. He doesn't announce the punchline; you have to find it. Like in this Mr. Show sketch. Check out Bob's disapproving facial expression during the interview, when words suddenly fail him. It's right on the money but easy to miss.


Three Time One Minus One

It takes guts to write this kind of comedy. Lots of people don't understand it, or won't spend the time to appreciate it. After all, there are plenty of louder and more obvious TV shows out there that provide easy laughs for the lazy and, let's face it, stupid. The fact that Bob doesn't care about these people has probably curbed his mass appeal, but it makes his work all the more special for people who get it.

Since the 90s, Odenkirk has produced plenty of work, some of it great, some just OK. I wasn't a big fan of the indie film "Melvin Goes to Dinner," but I thought the 2003 comedy sketch pilot "Next!" showed huge promise. Unfortunately, nobody in network development seemed to agree, which is why the unaired pilot is stuck flying around the Internet. Here's hoping he gets the recognition he deserves. But not so much that he sells out or something.

And that's the first in a series of posts on my comic influences. Next week: The subtextual subversive humor of Bruce Vilanch.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Heat Vision and Jack

Click on photo to watch.

Here's a great pilot that never took off. Directed by and guest-starring Ben Stiller and featuring Jack Black and Owen Wilson, "Heat Vision and Jack" is both a tribute to and parody of 70s and 80s shows like "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Knight Rider." Well, exactly those two shows. Right down to the cheap electronic closing music.

A bit about the premise. Jack Black plays Jack Austin, an astronaut who developed super intelligence when his space capsule traveled too close to the sun. (The brain is not unlike cookie dough, he explains. It expands under heat.) NASA naturally wanted to study his brain further by removing it. He escapes, but not before his unemployed roommate (Owen Wilson) is shot by an experimental ray gun that merges him with his motorcycle. Now the two are on the run from NASA, which has sent out ex-astronaut, mercenary and actor Ron Silver to capture them. There.

The pilot also features Stiller's now wife, Christine Taylor (hotsie totsie!) and "introduces" Ron Silver as Ron Silver -- a good comic actor, but not so good political thinker. Whatever.

Check it out. Enjoy. It's Heat Vision and Jack!

What am I listening to right THIS second on iTunes?

When they kick at your front door,
How you gonna come:
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun?

Version: Nouvelle Vague

Nothing like a sexy French chick singing these lines.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What am I listening to right this second on iTunes?

And there's blood on my teeth
When I bite my tongue to speak.
Zip me down, kiss me there.
I can smile now.
You won't find out.
Ever.

(punctuation mine)

My next purchase.

I can never decide if I'm a first person shooter (FPS) kinda guy or a fella who prefers the top-down view of a real-time strategy (RTS) game. If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, you're not a video game nerd like me. Stop pulling up my underwear.

Age of Empires III would be great if it worked.

I love games that put you in the management of a castle or city, as long as that at some point you either attack other castles or cities, or defend against invading forces. The Age of Empires series is perhaps the best example of a great RTS game. Except the latest one, which never loaded right on my computer. That one, and everyone involved in making it, sucks.

Car jacking: One of the joys of the GTA series.

On the other hand, I love the immersiveness of first person strategy/shooter games, like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Hitman, Max Payne and Grand Theft Auto. The last two on the list are from Rockstar Games, a maker of controversial titles that are among the most expansive, nonlinear and just plain fucking cool FPS games out there.

Anyway, I go back and forth between the RTS and FPS genres. In my last post I talked about Spore, a first-person game that evolves into an RTS. Really, though, I think of it as an RTS. It has all the hallmarks: a top-down view, large scale planning and management tasks and sprawling environments. I'll definately be buying that.

But my next purchase will be an FPS. A few days ago, EA released "The Godfather," a stunningly faithful-looking FPS/strategy video game version of the film. Lest you smell the stink of past VG/Film failures (ie, Doom), remember that typically it is Hollywood, in its ever cynical and robotic quest for content, that cribs from video games. The result is almost always bad -- with all the complex problem-solving, freedom and originality of the game replaced by a Write-Your-First-Screenplay-In-30-Days-style script, dull actors, blatant attempts at "brand synergy" and represhensible CGI.

This is why I'm buying this game.

But a video game version of a great movie? I'll bite. Especially after seeing this video clip.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What hath God wrought?

Actually, it's up to you in Spore, an unbelievably great-looking game coming out this fall. Designed by "Sims" guru and overall genius Will Wright, the game puts you in control of a single cell organism that you propel around a microscopic world in search of food pellets while avoiding becoming a food pellet to other predators. And if that were all there was to it, the game would be kinda cool. But that's not all there is to it. Not by a money shot.



That's because you get to reproduce, at first asexually, by laying an egg. Click on the egg and up comes a design interface. You get to choose which evolutionary improvements your little character gets. Swap out flagellum for fins for better hunting and faster fleeing. Slap a needle-like horn over your proboscis to increase the food you can access and the predators you can defend against.

As you evolve, your universe will grow around you -- from a dab of primordial goo, to a tidal pool, to an ocean and eventually to land. In all cases, your world is populated by other players' creations, which are carefully selected from a database by the game's logic engine to achieve ecological balance.



Pretty soon, your critter will be complex enough to crudely communicate, create music and use simple weapons. That's when the game switches from a single-player control to an RTS, allowing you to select groups of your creatures to hunt, dance and defend against other attacking villages.



As evolution continues, you will advance technologically. Sticks and spears make way for guns and lasers and all sorts of cool shit. Soon, you're traveling around the globe and even throughout the galaxy. You can visit another planet and battle the indigenous life forms (Created by other players) or terraform an uninhabited planet (watch flora spread, moss-like, from your view far above the planet) and drop off some of your creatures there to evolve anew.



What's so cool about this game is that it is built by players in a logical, tactical way. It's evolution that you have a hand in designing, or at least guiding.



I had a friend years back who was writing a book that detailed an alternate evolution. The premise was complex, but went essentially like this: Someone goes back in time to the primordial ooze and removes several organisms that were ultimately responsible for life forms as we today know them. Without these alpha critters, other organisms that would otherwise have lost the race evolved -- bizarre-looking creatures that nonetheless had to be biologically viable and logically formed. His book was to include pictures of the creatures and stats about them. This game is basically that, but you're the designer, author and, to an extent, the creature.

Check out the video walkthrough!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thank You!

Brian, Jon, Hector and Andrew
Picture by Rebecca Lloyd.


We had our second annual Play Cole screening at the "Den of Cin" last night. The turnout was fantastic and I want to thank everyone for coming and supporting us. It's a lot of fun to make these videos, and for friends to take time out on a Thursday night to watch them with us is really great. From all of us at Play Cole: Thank you!

It's been a fun year making these films. Jon, Andrew, Bill and Nick are all incredibly talented and I'm lucky to be working with them. I'm always amazed at the energy, commitment and skill they each bring to our endeavor. You guys are the best. I'd also like to thank Jon and Andrew's friends from New York Comedy Club for coming out and entertaining everyone with their standup. It added a lot to the evening, particularly Hector's masterful job as MC.


The Lazarris

Stay tuned for more from Play Cole. We're going to keep on writing and filming, and we hope to get some other talented people involved -- like Bryan "Danger" Murphy, some members of the comedy writing class Jon and I took, the guys from NY Comedy Club and more! We really plan on raising the bar this year, so keep watching us at Play Cole.

Finally, I want to give a special thanks to Renee Clarke for really helping to make our screening happen. We're comedy writers, which means we're easily distracted. So thanks, Renee for keeping us on track.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Amazing juggler

I'm a pretty good juggler. I can do the behind-the-back and under-the-leg tricks and can sometimes catch a ball on the back of my neck. But check out this routine by Chris Bliss. This link takes you to his video page. Just click on the "Big Finale" to watch the juggling.

In the video, Bliss juggles to Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight, keeping in time with the music while effortlessly pulling of a huge range of tricks. It's pretty amazing. I take that back. It's really amazing.

UPDATE: The video seems to be down temporarily. Not to worry, you can catch it at iFilm.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Play Cole is online!

It's official! The video sketch comic troupe Play Cole is up on the World Wide Web -- the information superhighway. Visit our Web site to learn about our group, keep up on the latest Play Cole news and even watch streaming videos. Simply type in the url "http://www.playcole.com" (leave out the "quotes") and use your left mouse button to select "go," which you will find just to the right of the "url window."

Or you can simply "click" here and I'll do all the work for you. So what are you waiting for? "Click" here!

You must have a computer and a modem with an active Internet connection to visit Play Cole. If you do not, you're not reading this. Or someone printed this "web page" out for you and you're reading a hard copy. If that is the case, we don't care about you.

PS: Big ups to fellow Play Cole-ian Bill Monroe for getting us on the Internet. Be sure to send him an electronic mail and let him know how great the home page looks!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Larry David Links - Updated

I'm a big fan of Larry David. If he were writing this, he'd have something funny to say. But he isn't. I am and I don't have anything funny to say. So just enjoy.

Video of David giving a hilarious speech at a global warming comedy special
Earth to America Global Warming Comedy Special

Newsweek story
Happy Go Larry

Interview with David on CBS. Also includes video.
Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Very funny interview from around 1994
Laugh Factory Interview

Funny essay he wrote for the NY Times
Cowboys are my weakness

A two-year old New Yorker article on David
New Yorker: Angry, middle-aged man

An audio inteview with Larry
NPR interview

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A gentle shot in the face

Harry Whittington, the 78-year old lawyer who was shot by Cheney, has suffered what doctors are calling a "mild heart attack" after an embedded pellet entered his heart.

Let's see if I have the official account straight. After "failing to signal Cheney" as he entered his "blind spot," Whittington was "peppered by pellet spray" when his face intruded on the area between the vice president's shotgun and the "covey" upon which he was firing. While authorities weren't notified of the accident for several hours, Cheney expressed "deep concern" for his friend. Friends said the lawyer was "jolted pretty good," but soon was "sitting up" and "joking and laughing" about the incident at the hospital. Then he had some "mild heart trouble" when a stray pellet found it's way to his heart.

Let's replay the account, but this time swap out the word "Cheney" for "Tyrone."

While tracking a covey with his shotgun, respected lawyer Harry Whittington was brutally shot in the face by Tyrone. Whittington went down from the unprovoked attack, and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Authorities say that Tyrone failed to notify police of the attack for 14 hours--which is about the amount of time it takes for malt liquor or crack cocaine to leave the body. Hours later, a brave Whittington was sitting up and preparing to file criminal charges at the hospital. Then he had a major heart attack when one of the bullets fired by the assailant viciously entered his heart.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Way to go Jon!

Went to see my friend Jon Clarke perform his first featured standup at New York Comedy Club last night. He killed! There were about nine other comics up there -- some veterans, many new -- and Jon's performance was among the most consistent, energetic and funny.

He and Andrew Torres are really taking off with their standup. Great job, both of youse!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

NyQuil makes you delusional

I felt a cold coming on since Monday, but was able to keep it at bay until Friday. Then it hit in all its gluey, runny glory.

Off to the store. DayQuil, NyQuil. Bright orange, blood red. Wakey, sleepy.

Took the NyQuil last night and had all sorts of whacky dreams. I think I doubled up on the dose -- two little plastic cups. I was at my computer when it hit, and it was all I could do to swipe the clothes off my bed and aim my head at my pillow like a battering ram. Out.

Woke up at six and I didn't know who I was. I think I became a middle-aged woman during the night, fighting off a horde of rats in my bright suburban kitchen. They came at me in waves, like a video game, and I bonked each of them on the head with my broom -- 10pts!, 20pts!, 30pts! Level II. More and more, skittering across the gleaming linoleum until there was simply a dull brown blur. One bit down on the hem of my housecoat and I flailed at with my broom, my mouth a cartoon shriek.

I awoke with my arms crisscrossed over my chest.

I'm not a suburban housewife. I am a single male living in Brooklyn. I grabbed my penis. See?

I got up. DayQuil, double dose. Now my head started to clear.

I am definitely a man, and I even have a name: Brian. OK. Back to the world.

I blew my nose. Took a leak. Water. I drank some water. Back to my computer.

Now here I am typing this out. My head is still thick and I have that fluey feeling that is perfectly represented in cartoons by dark bubbles lazily orbiting the head. The DayQuil hasn't kicked in. How long has it been? I dose up again, this time forgoing the little cup and chugging straight from the bottle.

A good cold gives you the universal facial expression of mild resignation, the "whaddya gonna do?" look. My eyelids are floating at about three-quarters mast, held up by the pull of my forehead.

Whaddya gonna do? I'm sick.

Fortunately, it's rainy and shitty out. No reason to leave the apartment except to forage for food. There's plenty of NyQuil left in the bottle. I'll dose up later. I wonder who I'll be tonight?

Friday, January 27, 2006

It's been a long 30-some-odd years.

The arc of the birthday. You can't wait to reach the next year, until you hit your 30s. Then it's all damage control and spin.

I turned 37 on Tuesday. Thirty-seven. How did that happen? Wasn't I just 27? I barely acknowledged I was 30 until I was 34. When I turned 35 I thought: "Well, I'm in my 30s now." Indeed.

Thirty-six suddenly seems so spry. It's mid thirties. Right there in the sweet spot. Thirty seven? Well, shit, forty is just a couple of winters away. Three Christmases. Two MLK days. One more Feburary 29. But I'm not obsessed.

Went to North 6 in Williamsburg on my B-day to see OK GO. Their album's a bit poppy, but good show. Another late night on Wednesday. Our company had its holiday party (try to guess which holiday). Lot's of free drinks and karaoke afterward. And last night our comedy writing class went out for a few drinks after class. I need to sleep tonight.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Play Cole Video

There's an actual company in N.J. called Tension Envelopes. Here's a sketch that explores what it might be like to work there. This one was written by Jon and performed by the usual group.

I like this one. Lot's of manic energy and screaming. Very cathartic after a long week.

Have a look!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Check out these guns

Which way is 34th Street, you ask? That way.

Ohhh! Did you see my bicep pop out when I pointed awkwardly in that direction?

Sweet.

Hey, I can't control these things. It's like they have a mind of thier own. Two perfectly sculpted, rippling minds.

You say you wanna see my belt buckle? Here it is.

Zam!

You see those abs rise up like six yeasty dinner rolls? Wow. Even I was impressed with that display.

Hey, there's an ant near you. I'll just step on it.

Jesus. Did you see that bulging calf muscle inflate like a veiny football when I applied the requisite pressure to crush that tiny exoskeleton? Something to behold.

So anyway, how have you...wait a minute, did that guy just give you a dirty look? Here, let me give him the finger for you.

Bammo! Would you please just stop what you're doing and consider the sheer bulk of the meaty section of my middle finger? Who knew fingers could even get muscular? That's two hundred finger curls a day you can thank for enjoying that view.

Tired of this yet? I'm just trying to say that I've been excerising more over the past couple weeks. It's one of those things I've been meaning to do for a while but have let go for too long. So now I'm back at it. And who knows? Maybe the next time you see me...

Kapow!!

Art of the monologue

A while back I celebrated the death of the joke. Well, now I'm taking a class to learn how to write them. As David Brent would say while pointing to himself: "hypocrite warning!"

Yeah, I know.

The class is called "Writing Comedy for TV," and by the end of it I'm promised to have monologue jokes, skits and a sitcom pitch. That is, if I work hard. Which I have been. The first class was last Thursday and our assignment was to write twenty monologue jokes for the next class.

Now, I'm known as a quick-witted fellow (at least among my slower-witted friends), but it's not so easy to come up with twenty topical jokes. You end up with a lot of groaners and bizzaro punchlines that make no sense. Luckily, the instructor asked us to write some bad jokes so we could troubleshoot them in class. Twenty bad jokes? No problem!

The class seems like it's gonna be a lot of fun. It's full of smart, funny people, including this guy.

I'll probably be writing more about this in the weeks to come.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hanalog

My first post since the holidays. What's up with that? Well, now I'm back on track and ready to tell you about a new blog my friends Todd and Kiyoko just made. Who are these people? Great people, that's who. They used to work with me here at Wunderman and have recently moved to Japan, where Kiyoko is from.

Todd and I used to work together on a few accounts, and he's an amazing designer. He's now working at a shop in Japan, learning the local protocol, language and job -- all at the same time. So if you want a glimpse of what it's like to assimilate to a new culture, check out Hanalog. I don't know what it is about Wordpress and designers/art directors. They know how to make blogs look cool, I guess.

Anyway, check it out. And congrats to Todd and Kiyoko, who just got engaged! Nice goin' you crazy kids.