Friday, December 21, 2007

Secret Santa

Merry holidays from my parents' couch in NC! Here's a holiday card I did for Wunderman. It's a guide to cheating at Secret Santa. We made mailers and emails, both of which quickly set up the premise and sent people to these vids. Check it out.

How to cheat at Secret Santa.

Some good performances here!

Friday, December 14, 2007

This country has gotten way too informal

I just read an article in Forbes about the most expensive restaurants in the country. Surprisingly, only three of the top ones still require a jacket. Americans, the article notes, want the elegant experience but also want comfort.

I say, pick one or the other you spoiled fucks.

I read another article in Time about airline travel. It was one of those little humor bits in the back of the mag, the kind I usually don't find all that funny. But this one was spot on. The author lamented the days when airline travel was special, but didn't expect them to come back. He simply wanted the airlines to make people act less like douche bags (my words) on the flight.

He mentioned all the characters I hate: The passenger who starts squawking into his Blackberry the moment the flight lands. The guy who blocks the aisle while he fastidiously folds his blazer. The dude who brings in stinky food. And all those dicks who feel its completely appropriate to remove their shoes and rub their disgusting feet.

I'll add a few more to the mix. There's the guy in the forward row who immediately reclines his seat back so that his head is in your lap and you have to eat your bag of pretzels with your arms all scrunched up like a T-rex. There's the can't-sit-still guy who has to get up and pace the aisles the second the seat belt lights go off. This guy also loves to "joke" with the attendants, and has also been known to hold up the whole deplaning process so he can ask the pilot if the plane is a Boeing 6432.

Then there's the guy who simply must retrieve something out of the overhead bin after takeoff, and stands there with his crotch in you face as he rummages through his enormous "carry-on." Or the three assholes who, after landing, spring from their seats to seize their precious overhead bags even though the attendant clearly asked everyone to stay seated until the plane has stopped and we hear the little ding.

Finally, there's the cretins who refuse to follow the normal, front-to-back deplaning procedure and come bullrushing up through the aisle as though they're late for a fucking speech at the U.N.

This lack of humanity is sweeping into every nook of daily life, from restaurants and airlines, to movie theaters, retail stores, gyms, the post office, online and basically every other public area. People have lost the gene that tells them to act like people. Private and public are now synonyms.

Like zombies, the assholes are taking over and infecting others.

The author of the airline article made the unfortunate error of calling himself the "cranky reporter." There's nothing cranky about expecting people to think just a little about the fact that there are other people in the world. You're not a crank if you expect a modicum of, if not class, at least civility. Don't weaken your argument by making concessions out of modesty or politeness. They wouldn't.

But that's the power shift that's happening in this country. It's becoming normal to conduct yourself as though you're the only person in the world, attending to your every desire even if it annoys or disgusts others. Used to be you could shame a slob with a withering look of disgust. Now the same look will elicit not shame but defiance and outrage that you dare assert your rules on others. Today, it's the polite who are rude. How exactly did that happen?

I blame it on the Internet. I blame it on reality TV. I blame it on Mr. Rogers and his comfy sweater vests and those shoes he's taking off every two minutes. I blame every parent who thinks correcting a child is a form of abuse. I blame it on sweatpants and drive-through fast food. I blame it on the shrinking spirit and expanding ass of a once great nation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Kip Soundboard


Napoleon Dynamite

This is here mostly so I can play with it.

Woody and Billy



Watch and wonder if this sort exchange would happen on TV today.

Witty, thoughtful and entertaining. At least Woody is.

The Moose



One of my favorite bits of all time. Early Woody genius.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Neil's Letter

Found while watching a Young One's clip on Lantern Fishworks. I love this.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The last three miles is pure pain


That's me about to cross the finish line of the first annual City of Oaks marathon in Raleigh, NC. I finished the hilly 26.2 mile slog in 4:13:34, which equates to a nine minute and forty-one second mile. I'm pretty happy with the time (and the fact that I finished), considering the journey.

Last February on Superbowl Sunday, I smoked my second-to-last cigarette. I'd been meaning to quit for a while -- about ten years, actually. That's how smoking works. It's a short-term habit that lasts a decade. But I had finally come to the realization that it was now or never. After all, if I never got around to making the effort, I would always be a smoker. So I read a book about quitting and threw my last pack away Sunday night.

Monday afternoon I bought a new pack.

I walked up and down 40th avenue, whacking the pack with my palm and looking for a place to smoke. I felt a little criminal, or at least juvenile -- like my parents were around somewhere waiting to register their dissapointment. I opened it up and tapped out a cigarette. Lit it up and took about three good drags. Drags that filled my lungs and made my brain tickle with neuronal gratitude. Then I stubbed it out, crumpled up the pack and tossed it. Done.

I'm not going to say it was easy. It wasn't. I still have dreams about smoking. I'll be walking down the street with a cigarette in my lips, telling myself I'm still a non smoker even though I'm smoking. Then I wake up physically feeling as though I'd sucked down a cigarette.

I gained a few pounds back that I'd shaved off over the previous year. That fucking sucks, you know? Getting punished for quitting a filthy habit? But that's the wrong way to look at it, I tell myself.

And it's true, because my clothes no longer smell. My hair isn't smoke-cured and my breath doesn't taste like an ashtray. I don't wake up coughing and no longer have to clear my throat constantly. My energy is good. My eyes don't sting. I can breathe again. And it's done wonders for my running.

So it all led up to last Sunday. I'd done my marathon training. Flew into NC last Thursday. Was all set to do my first marathon. And then I couldn't sleep.

The race started at 7am. I'd set the alarm for 5:45am, enough time to drink a couple diet red bulls, pull my shit together and wait for my brother (also running) to pick me up. But after watching a little TV and lying down, I suddenly wasn't tired. Then I really wasn't tired. Then was positively wired. Tossing. Turning. Thrashing.

At 3am, I drank a glass of old Merlot in desparation. Nothing. Finally I fell asleep at 4am, then woke up an hour later after dreaming I overslept. Fell back asleep for about another 45 mintues.

Turns out it didn't affect me all that much. The excitement of the race pulled me through, along with about eight caffeine-laced gels. I cruised through the first half, hit the park and felt great. The second half was hilly. I mean, really hilly. By the 22nd mile I was hurting. But I kept trogging ahead. I ran slow but I kept running, never stopping to walk.

Got my medal and I'm stiff as hell. I've been hobbling around like an 80-year old. But it was worth it. I'll definately do another one.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Conspiracy

OK, here's the deal. I got an IM saying that a truck had crashed into city hall here in NYC. The IM said it was a breaking story on CNN.

But when I went to CNN, nothing. No breaking news, no top story, no reference at all. Same thing on NY1.com.

That can mean only one thing: CNN and the government have a highly covert agreement of deceit and fabrication that benefits both parties while preying on the fear of the American public.

What happens is this. CNN's editorial staff works with the state department to set up what is known as an "events calendar." This is much like an editorial calendar, with one crucial difference: The events to be reported upon are predetermined by a select committee, then outsourced to Blackwater to execute.

You see, every once in a while the American public requires what is called a "fear adjustment" to keep them supporting the highly profitable and diversionary war effort. The secret CNN/goverment committee decides what those events will be, and when and where they will occur.

THESE ARE COMPLETELY STAGED EVENTS DESIGNED TO KEEP US AFRAID.

The government benefits because the public remains fearful and therefore supportive of the current administration. CNN benefits because they get the early scoop on the events. In fact, so meticulously planned out are these events that CNN often writes the articles days beforehand.

Which is precisely what they did with this story about the truck crashing into city hall.

Only problem is that the story somehow made it onto the homepage for a minute before being taken down. You can be sure whoever made that mistake is already dead.

Check CNN tonight and tomorrow. You will see a story about a truck crashing into city hall. Frightening.

UPDATE: The person just IM'd me again and sent me the link for the story. It happened in NC. I thought she typed NYC. My bad.

Monday, October 01, 2007

RANODM #5

On seeing a small blob of doodie on the toilet seat.

Oh, hello.
You startled me a bit.
How'd you get up there?
Normally your kind stays in the bowl.
I didn't mean anything by that.
But you usually don't make it to these parts.
What am I up to?
I'm actually here to poo.
Yeah, it is kinda funny when you think about it.
Can I confide in you?
This is a little uncomfortable.
I have a dilemma.
I want to clean the seat.
But that means I run the risk of touching you.
But if I don't clean the seat then I might sit on you.
Nothing against you, but you're not one of mine.
That's just how I feel about it.
Sorry.
Don't be like that.
Fine, I'll just find another stall then.
Take that back!


The preceding was inspired by a recent events that took place here on the 14th floor.

The idea that doodie on the seat disturbs us because of culturally enforced ideas about where matter belongs comes from the (seriously) excellent book Poop Culture by author and office mate Dave Praeger.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Global Warming will eat your brain

When I think of global warming I think of melting ice-caps, polar bears stranded on ice floes, rising beaches, flooding, heatstroke and Al Gore.

I don't think of killer amoebae eating their way up my optic nerve to feast on my brain.

But that is another grim reality of global warming--dangerous new forms of life blooming in algae-thick lakes and kicking our asses in strange and horrible ways. Like this ameoba that has recently killed six people in the south and southwest.

You get it by swimming in lakes and ponds that harbor the ameoba. They say guys get it more than girls, probably because we splash and flip around like idiots and are more likely to get a blast of infected lake water up our noses. Once the amoeba takes hold you start getting headaches. Then you start to hallucinate. As your brain is consumed, you lose the ability to function. And that all happens in like a week-and-a-half. By the weekend you're dead. Nice.

Did you know there's a postion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that specializes in "recreational waterborne illnesses?" And did you know that the guy who holds that position has the last name of "Beach?" I find that funny. But what's not funny is that Michael Beach predicts more of these kinds of diseases to occur as water temperatures continue to rise. Awesome.

My girlfriend says she's not worred about the amoeba because she doesn't swim in lakes. Case closed, next topic. But she does worry that global warming will ruin barbeque. That's because she read that global warming might be behind the sudden drop in bee population, which could wipe out our supply of honey. And honey, according to my Dinosaur Barbeque Cookbook, is the number one ingredient used in barbeque. What a conservationist.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to snort some pond water.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

YouTube: Knee jerk or just jerks?

An anti-creationist group put up some pro-evolution videos on YouTube. An angry creationist organization sent copyright requests to YouTube, because the videos used clips taken from the organization's Web site. 

Even though it appears the videos are protected by fair use, YouTube jumped the gun and took down the vids. And after the anti-creationist group called foul they banned them completely.

Let's hope YouTube comes to its senses soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From my widget to you.

I've loaded the blogger widget on my laptop, so all I have to do is hit f12 and a panel pops up and lets me type the entry I'm typing now. Then I hit publish post and we're good to go.

Cool.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Eighty-seven pounds crashes to the ground

I think the watering pot threw off her balance.

Like, totally



I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because uh some-a people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh I believe that our a education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. um er should help South Africa and should help the Iraq in the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future...FOR OUR CHILDREN.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chocolate Rain!

Here's a little tune that will burrow it's way into your brain and not leave even though you want it to. It's equal parts bizarre, inane, goofball, catchy, clever and snot-nosed-college-punk-shaddup-you-little-suburban-brat.

His name is Tay Zonday (already annoying) and he sings kinda the way Michael Clark Duncan speaks in Green Mile. That might not be the greatest comparison but you get my point. It's a very old fashioned, affected way of singing that is sort of fascinating. Some of his lines are clever and even nice, but he's also a dopey 25 year old college kid.

By the way, Wasklewicz found this. He always finds good stuff.



Then watch this. Of all lame video responses, this is the best. Some very good lines in here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bruce!

We've been looking at directors' reels at work and came across this Old Spice spot by the Perlorian brothers. Only later did me and my art director realize that (duh!) the guy at the piano is none other than Bruce Campbell! Now the commercial is six times cooler.



By the way, the Perlorian brothers also did this great spot. A pattern emerges?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chophouse

I have no plans to make this a dream blog, but I did have another weird one last night. Scary as shit when it happened, but not so sinister thinking about it now. It's short:

I'm at work at around 11pm. This art director Ryan asks me if I want to get some lunch at "The Chophouse." Instantly my mind conjures a chopped steak and cheese sandwhich and we leave.

We go outside, but instead of midtown Manhattan it's a town park in upstate NY, and we're sprinting through the inky darkness of moonless night. I can barely see Ryan. He's a dark shape against a black background. But as we race up a grassy hill another human shape (a sinister shape) passes in front of us. We're not alone and I know we should keep running, but just then Ryan pulls a hamstring and yells out for help. I turn around and see him collapsed on the grass as the other figure now slows to a stop and starts moving slowly toward him.

I want to keep running, but I can't leave him there. So I yell out. "I'm coming to help. Let me just get my knife out. And my gun!" I try to talk all street but it comes out soft and suburban. Comical.

And then I wake up.


Dreams are all about mood. This one, recounted in the light of day, is a fairly bland little story. But it was terrifying at the time. And I think "The Chophouse" is a great touch, don't you?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I gave the most brilliant speech in a dream last night

I don't know whose ghost I was channeling last night. But when I woke up this morning I had the sensation some great unwritten novel had been whispered into my ear as I slept. And I repeated the words of the dream over and over and over as I lay in bed, knowing if I simply remembered them I would have something Great.

Then I forgot the dream completely, only to remember it now. All that remain are it's ruins; like a once great civilization whose ancient pillars sit like broken teeth on a hillside. I have fragments, remembered bits. Phrases. And images of the disapproving looks on the fat faces of my audience.

Here's what I remember. (I can't emphasize enough how fucking genius this was in it's original form.)

This group came in and I spoke with them about the meaning of commitment. “People talk about change all the time,” I began, “but it never leads to actual change.”

“You know the kind of discussions I’m talking about,” I said. “You’re sitting in some meeting room with a bunch of people and it’s like 11:30 and there’s half a stale croissant on your plate from the continental breakfast bar. And some guy wearing a bad tie is talking about how to create a Sea Change in an Enterprise Company as you watch the clock tick toward lunch.

"Everybody nods in agreement at everything this douche says, but they know full fucking well they’re not gonna do a goddamned thing differently than they did yesterday. All he represents is the dickhead standing between them and lunch, and their nodding heads are the key that gets them out the fucking door."

"And why don't people change? Because people are lazy."

Then I told them about how a guitarist by the name of James Marshal Hendrix taught himself how to play the guitar left handed, and how he willingly took a secondary role in an obscure blues group so he could give himself the freedom to master the guitar. “That,” I said, “is the commitment to change.”


I don't know where all this came from. Why did I refer to Jimi as "James Marshall?" Is the anecdote I gave about him even true? And what about the awful corporate phrase "sea change," a buzzword straight out of 1999, filed in the same box as "e-business" and "monetize?" Where did it all come from?

Strange dream. But trust me, it was genius shit when I dreamt it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Four years ago.

The diner is overflowing. People standing in the doorway waiting for a two-top, a four-top, a six-top.

"Two, two" the owner says, wiping a table, his fingers in a "V."

A man and a woman follow him back, follow him back. A man and a woman. A woman and a man. Men, Women, in neat, complimentary pairs. And I'm watching from my two-top (for one) by the window.

A plate slides in front of me. "Two eggs over easy, a side of bacon and white toast. More coffee?"

My, that's a lot of bacon on my plate. And look at all those potatoes. I put my book down to eat, but I'm not happy with what I ordered. I'm never happy with what I order. It's a problem. I get overwhelmed by all of the choices on the menu. I want pancakes and eggs but I don't want to look like a pig, so I only order one. Invariably, it's the wrong one. Then, while I'm waiting for my meal to arrive, someone at a table next to me gets the thing I should have ordered. The hot, fluffy thing that steams from their plate while they hover toward their lover, who also has made a wise choice. Then I get jealous. Jealous of their meals and jealous of their lovers. Jealous, jealous while I spread jelly on my toast. While I jab a yolk with my toast. While I wipe the crumbs from the corners of my mouth in my corner of the diner.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Take all twelve inches of Snow

I've got an old song stuck in my head and I don't want it there anymore. It's "Informer" by Snow, and I have no idea how it got there. It was stuck in my head in 1993 when it first came out and somehow it's come back.

So I'm posting the video here, hoping that by putting it in your head it will leave mine -- kinda like how the devil goes from Regan to Damien Karras at the end of the Exorcist.



But wait, there's more! I was curious about whatever happened to this guy after '93. Turns out he's maintained a moderately successful career in his native Canada. (Not "Informer-successful," but successful) In fact, here's a "hit" video he did a few years back featuring Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys. This is mesmerizing in a way that Mesmer only wishes he could have been.

Funny? Yes. Bad? Sure, but don't give me any of that "he's so white" nonsense. It's no different than any other R&B/Reggae crap out there today.

Bubbles makes it work.

How I love Scientology

The Germans, however, do not. Which is why the country is barring the filming of a movie that stars Scientology's most public, not-at-all-insane member -- Tom Cruise.

Cruise is set to star as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (A name best said while sporting a waxed mustache), a German officer who tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Hitler by placing a bomb under der Furher's table. Hmm, an unsuccessful bomb. How very Cruisian.

Cruise and Co. wanted to shoot in Berlin, but Germany says nein doch!

Here is a typically blunt German assessment of the situation, from a Defense Ministry spokesman: The film makers "will not be allowed to film at German military sites if Count Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult." (I love that: cult). Another statement from Berlin: Scientology masquerades as a religion to make money.

What is comedy, friends? It is the meeting of celebrity Scientology wackiness with humorless German bemusement.

What is Scientology?


Who are Scientologists?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Amazing animal footage

Next time you think your life is hard, watch this. Things go from bad to worse for this little guy, but then the tides turn. Inspiring.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Remember the good times

Perfect ending to one of the most beautiful shows ever. No, Tony wasn't shot, stripped of power or arrested. He wasn't forced to pull a Henry Hill and eat egg noodles and ketchup like some schnook. And his family stayed with him.

So what did happen? Nothing. No resolution, because the point isn't in what happens but in how you accept what happens, and how you manage to be happy despite what happens because you can't ever really control what happens.

So we get the family in a diner as a lineup of potential assassins enters the restaurant -- everyone from the gangbangers who might be hired guns or perhaps representatives of a new power order, to the goomba you'd expect might do it, to the guy who looks like an ordinary nobody so you think, yea, it's gonna be him.

Of course, that would be too easy. But I still squirmed and leaned forward as Meadow struggled to parallel park between two cars you think might go off like a Pinto when she grazes the bumpers.

The camera moves around restlessly between Meadow and the family in the diner. Every new shot looks like the one set up to stage the final violent act -- we've all been trained to look for it, the way the camera lingers, the target slightly off center. It doesn't come.

And when Meadow gets the car parked, and A.J. recalls Tony's wisdom in a moment of understated epiphany that could finally mark his own turning point, in bursts Meadow to what you are sure will be a big explosion that takes out the whole family.

But no. Instead we get ten seconds of black screen without a sound or graphic. And just as you sit up and wonder if the fucking cable went out at a critical moment -- up comes the credits, silently.

And you think, huh? And then it hits you that it couldn't have ended any other way.

Beautiful.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pulp Fiction in Typography

Dave W. sent me this link, and it's fucking great. I remember when Pulp Fiction came out, and what a huge impact it had on me. Great characters, insane situations and dialogue that was so much better than what was being written at the time.

Here's one of the more famous scenes, done as a type treatment. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I don't know. Bored?

Did you know there is a huge segment of Americans who lack the ability to read and write, think critically, perform basic computation skills and even dress themselves? These humans also tend to have an abnormally strong oral fixation despite having no teeth, are bald and tiny, and they poop when and where they please. In fact, they're so helpless and irresponsible that they sleep in a bed enclosed in wooden gates, often with a simple spinning object above to keep their simple brains occupied.

I'm sure you figured out by now what group of little rascals I'm referring to. That's right, I'm talking about retarded, toothless midgets with male pattern baldness. They're disgusting. And they must be stopped.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Don "No Soul" Simmons

We had a voice-over recording session with an actor whose father wrote and produced some really famous music in the 70s and early 80s. He told us about some of the best and worst songs his father wrote, which led to a discussion about some of the worst songs ever. One of our creative directors mentioned a 45 he had of "Honey," a really maudlin single by Bobby Goldsboro.

For a second, I couldn't place the song. Then I remembered this bit from Amazon Women on the Moon.

Enjoy the skit, and watch for Simmons' even sappier rendition of the inexpicable hit from 1968.

Friday, April 27, 2007

alluc.org: Brilliant while it lasts

Here's a simple idea. Comb all the various major video hosting sites for posted movies, TV shows, sports, cartoons, anime and the like. Aggregate these links and post them in a well organized manner on a single Web site, so you have TV shows by season, movies by genre, etc. Allow members to update the site with fresh, working links. Make all content accessable with a click or two.

Voila, you've got what amounts to an on-demand menu for produced content. Check it out at alluc.org It's like the old program guide channel on cable, only this points to stuff on the Web. By expanding its reach beyond YouTube to several sites, it maximizes the available content. And by limiting its catalog to produced entertainment, it avoids distractions like "boy picks nose."

Is this ethical? I feel a twinge of guilt for posting this. I know if I spent time, effort and lots of cash creating a TV show, I'd be pissed if its DVD or iTunes sales plummeted because of a site like this. On the other hand...well, it's just kinda fucking cool.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Awful things and Vonnegut

I particularly hated the news this week. How about you?

There was the story about an unfunny shock jock saying something dumb and provoking all sorts of mock horror, apologies and professional bullying, proving again that it is still impossible to rationally discuss issues of race in this country.

There was a crazy fuck with a bunch of hollow tip bullets and no playwriting talent who killed people.

There was the constant reminder that Iraq is still the reigning champion of senseless death.

There was Sanjaya.

And somewhere in there we lost Kurt Vonnegut. He just sort of bowed out modestly amidst all the reality-tv histrionics and lunacy that comprises modern culture.

Vonnegut made writing look easy. He wrote simple sentences. Used plain language. He was one of those authors I would read as a kid and think, "I could do this."

But his type of writing is actually the hardest. You have to be dead sure about what you're saying. You can't hide behind fancy language or the endless, slogging asides that cause me to say, "get to the point, fuck!" If you're truly brilliant, you can be simple. And looking again at the headlines that have dominated the news over the past couple weeks, I'm really gonna miss simple.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wildlife can be disarming.


A Taiwanese veterinarian is crying "what a croc!" after having his arm bitten off by a roughhousing reptile. The zoo doc was simply trying to remove a tranquilizer dart from the beast when the lounging lizard awoke and mistook his arm for breakfast in bed. Zowie! Those weren't crocodile tears our hero was shedding!


Luckily the armless animal expert was escorted to a hospital and had his limb stitched back on. Rock on, doc!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Lynching advertisers

I can't say I've loved everything David Lynch has made, but I still think Hollywood is a far better place with guys like him around. Here's an example why.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

IMDb can be so cruel

You probably don't have to tell Michael Emerson that he's creepy looking. He's making a nice little career in Hollywood out of his "unconventinal look," playing everything from the icky guy on "Saw" to the yucky guy on "Lost." Emerson, who looks a little like Rob Schneider if he got his head caught in an elevator door, is cornering the market on unsavory.

Still, how would like it if you looked yourself up on IMDb (and you know all actors do this), only to find the following headline in the very first post of comments section:

ugliest man ever

You'd click on it, wouldn't you? You'd have to. And this is what you'd find:

"Im sorry to say this but i think this man is soooo hideous. he gave me nightmares after seeing him in SAW. im not kidding either. he looks like he could be some kind of gross pedophile. he also sort of reminds me of steve buscemi!"

I don't care how evolved you are, that would have to hurt.

The comment is a treasure trove of illiterate insults, beginning with a false apology and ending with a added insult against Steve Buscemi. It's a homemade nail-bomb, wounding everything within a 15-foot radius. Terribly written, yet it acheives a sort of brutal perfection. I have to break this down.

"Im sorry to say this"
A bitchy pre-apology that is so overused it's lost its original meaning and now simply announces the coming of an insult.

"but i think this man is sooo hideous."
He doesn't look hideous. He doesn't act hideous. He simply IS hideous.

"he gave me nightmares after seeing him in SAW."
Not because of his brilliant performance, mind you. He's just hideous.

"im not kidding either."
You thought I was being satirical? Ha!

"he looks like he could be some kind of gross pedophile."
The worst kind.

"he also sort of reminds me of steve buscemi!"
Best ending to a comment EVER.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Nick waves goodbye.


Meet Nick Ito. Now you see him. Now you don't.

A week ago or so he up and left this fine DM shop, gathering a few meager possessions and personal effects into a couple cardboard boxes. He's had enough for now, thank you. No more, please.

Ito said Finito.

Now he's preparing to go on an extended trip to Panama/Costa Rica. So when I say he's probably home waxing his surfboard, I am for once not speaking euphemistically.

As many of you thousands of loyal readers know, Ito was my Art Director. He's a very creative fellow, much more serious about work than his dude-ish facade might suggest. He was always very good at steering my unschooled impulses into a direction more resembling actual creative.

We shared many adventures over the years here at this DM wonderland. There were incidents. Shennanigans. Moments of disbelief, flashes of anger, spells of drunkeness and peals of evil laughter snaking through the beige corridors. Ask me about the magic 8-ball concept. Or the time we pitched a commercial to a roomful of ad clich├ęs, who kept barking: "Michel Gondry! Michel Gondry!"

Now the cube next to me is empty. Empty like my heart, you ask? Of course not. Don't be stupid. But it is a bit lonelier around here. There are no more sudden eruptions of hall-filling laughter, for example. On the bright side, there aren't any startling eruptions of cube-filling flatulence either. (He always liked his burritos.)

Anyway, let's all wave goodbye to Mr. Ito as he leaves us for a better place. A warm, happy place filled with waves and sand and weed and cheap beer.

So long, good sir.

And F-U for leaving me with this shit!

Just kidding.


Seriously though.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chuck



Great pic of Bronson in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, probably shot during the filming of Death Wish -- 1973-74.

I like to think that Vincent Gardenia is standing just off camera, maybe to Chuck's left, eating a hot dog.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

There's nothing funny about vomiting.

If Gallup ever polled people about what causes them to vomit, the two most popular culprits would likely be excessive drinking and illness. Somewhere down the list, but certainly not in the top three, would be one of the most embarrassing reasons: overeating. Sadly, this is exactly what caused me to vomit one sultry night in Myrtle Beach a dozen years ago. I puked from overeating.

To clarify: I'm not talking about the Roman version of gluttony-induced regurgitation, where you tickle your epiglottis with a "vomiting feather" before dessert. I mean simply gorging yourself with so much food that your stomach, stretched like overtaxed Hefty Bag, suddenly decides to send everything back from whence it came.

In my case, it happened twenty minutes after feasting at one of South Carolina's more expansive buffets.

First, a quick word about my relationship with the buffet. Back in college, my housemates and I used to breakfast at one of two local eateries: The Ponderosa and China House. Both featured all-you-can eat options on their menus. At Ponderosa, the "salad bar," as it was understatedly called, came for a special price when you ordered one of their low-cost entrees. The trick was to get the entree to go, stuff yourself on the buffet, and then re-heat the entree at home for dinner.

The whole package came to one of the worst six dollars you could spend.

I'd order one of their defrosted sirloin steaks, which often came curled up around the edges like a Shrinky Dink and smelled oddly similar to their fish entree, and go hit the mac and cheese and garlic bread. And I'd wash it all down with a giant plastic cup of Pepsi, which was refilled on demand by one of the most morose waitresses ever to don an apron.

The better bet was China House, where for five bucks or so you gained access to a glistening feast of cheerfully misspelled buffet items. You'd scoop up a serving of "shimps," then help yourself to a syrupy mound of "meatball." And after you were filled to the brim with cornstarch and MSG, you "topped off" with that most ancient of traditional Chinese desserts: vanilla pudding.

All of this is to simply say that I'm no stranger to the buffet. I've had my share of having more than my share. I've lain prostrate on a gloomy couch, paralyzed by a flood of insulin as daylight waxed and waned across the face of a television set. I've felt the paradoxical pangs of hunger that so often vex the buffet enthusiast just hours after the feast. I've even publicly swore off buffets forever, knowing only too well that it was just another damned lie.

But I'd always kept the food down. Which, I suppose, is a point of pride in some counties.

Back to my story. As I already recounted on this blog, I spent the summer of 1994 in Myrtle Beach. One night my friend Paul and I decided to go out to eat. As I recall, we decided on a place called "The Captain's Buffet." This place was the Disney World of food. For volume and variety, it had no rivals. Giant crab legs, chicken wings, egg rolls, salmon, burgers, endless sides, all drenched in butter, and a separate dessert station for the truly obese...or foolhardy.

I was over stimulated, like a six year old on Christmas. Pacing nervously up and down the isles off food, afraid that I might overlook the steamed dumplings or spare ribs, I heaped serving after serving on my plate. I ate so fast my body didn't have time to register the fact that I was full. I must have had four full plates of food and a couple desserts.

And then, I didn't feel so good. I sat back and sort of pursed my lips, hitching my thumbs in the pockets of my acid-washed jeans. All the myriad smells that had tempted me an hour before were now palpably revolting. I felt thick and off balance. Paul, who had exercised more self-control during the meal, was amused at my discomfort. We paid up and left.

The plan was to now go to a bar and have several drinks. We crossed Highway 17 and made our way along a parking lot lined with rows of U-Haul Trucks.

The early stages of nausea are disorienting. You don't quite know what's happening and your expression conveys this bemusement to everyone around you. I kept wincing and crooking my neck as though trying to hear some far away music. My tongue felt fat and I kept swallowing. Paul walked along beside me, asking me if I was OK.

One more thing I should mention: Paul thinks vomiting is the funniest thing ever. Ever.

We kept walking. The bar was a few blocks away. I could smell exhaust from the fleet of trucks to my right.

Suddenly -- and it always happens suddenly -- I felt that awful swirling sensation. My stomach was a washing machine and my head was the dryer. I leaped behind a truck and started vomiting. Copiously. Uncontrollably. I was pitched forward, clutching my arms around my waist, undulating like an untended garden hose as the spray issued forth. I would stop, thinking it was over, only to start vomiting again. It went on and on.

During all of this, I'd lost sight of Paul. It was getting dark now, but I could no longer see his shape by the side of the road.

That's because he was on his back, rolling back and forth in a ditch and laughing as hard as I ever seen him laugh. He laughed longer and more violently than I'd vomited. And he kept laughing, hours and days later, every time he thought of me vomiting. And when he was done, he'd wipe the tears from his eyes and say: "Too funny." And then start laughing again.

We never made it out that night. I was exhausted and Paul couldn't have ended the night on a higher note. But really. There's nothing funny about vomiting.

When not to die

MTV had it all wrong: The real celebrity death match happens when two or more luminaries die within a week of each other and the world sits back to watch which one will get the coverage. Apparently, the hot list continues even when the body is cold.

I first noticed this when Princess Diana died in a car crash, and five days later Mother Theresa slipped away quietly from a prolonged illness. Both women were great, both mourned, but it was the 36-year old Princess who got all the press. Didn't seem fair to me. Mother Theresa set the standard for selflessness. She defined it so completely that people used her name as shorthand for kindly people, the same way we use Einstein to describe brainy people. She was a real Mother Theresa, that Mother Theresa was.

But by the time she died, the Princess Diana media mourning machine was running so hard, Mother Theresa barely graced the cover of the NY Post. If she had just held out for another few weeks, she might have got the sendoff she deserved.

When you're famous, timing is everything, in life and in death.

Which brings me to the current batch of deaths: President Ford, James Brown and Joe Barbera. A president, a musical genius and the guy who drew Huckleberry Hound.

With all respect to Barbera, the real media battle was between Ford and Brown. The former prez got nearly a week of painstaking, 24-hour, blow-by-blow coverage on cable news ("The car holding the casket appears to be coming into view now. Once again, the former Michigan football star and president whose controversial pardoning of Nixon may have helped heal a nation, appears to be in the second car from the front..").

The Godfather of Sould got a slew of musical retrospectives on VH1, preempting their usual line-up of smart-ass B-listers making wisecracks about Modern English and the Rubik's Cube, and histrionic ho's bitch-slapping and defecating their way to Flava Flav's oversized heart.

Winner: Ford, but Jamie Foxx may already be negotiating the rights for a bio pic, which could tip the scales back to James.

As for Barbera, he would have done himself a huge service by hanging in there until all this hoo-ha settles down. After all, most of us have had more exposure to his work than that of Ford or James Brown.