Friday, January 29, 2010

Home Alone, Not at Home

I recently moved so I rented the movie Home Alone to get some tips on boobie trapping my place. I can't afford a high-tech direct link to the police station alarm system but maybe I can rig up a hot tar and feather trap for would be robbers. The crazy thing is, if I'm not home there's nothing left to take. I take my money, wallet and talent with me. (Just wanted to see if you were paying attention :-) Unless the black market goes gaga over used crock pots. Even my flat screen is the Best Buy brand (open box...Brooklyn, we go hard) And why risk imprisonment when you can go to Ikea and replicate my place on the skinny without a 5-10 stint hanging over your head.

My only worry is that I would rig up some rad traps and forget where the trigger mechanisms are.

ME: Yeah, I can't make that audition today.

MY AGENT: This is a big audition. I had to beg them to see you.

ME: Sorry, unless they're cool with me tracking molasses and blood all through their office. I'm gonna have to pass

MY AGENT: If you killed someone, I can't be your agent anymore...unless you book a sitcom.

I'm going to keep my deterrents simple and controllable. Robbers beware. Now..if I could only ghost proof my place...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Back To The Future

So, last week Wednesday I successfully traveled back in time. Without the aid of a flux capacitor or a magical phone booth I warped back to 1994. Before I get a bunch of emails and phone calls from jealous scientists looking to steal my time travel patent, let me explain how I accomplished this feat...

I left my cell phone home. Ever do that? At first a wave of panic came over me. I was already running late and too far away to turn back. I was cut off from the world. I would have to learn how to eat off the land, start fires, determine which berries are safe to eat. Sure I had money in my pocket, a car full of gas and other cars all around me but how would I contact anyone. More importantly how would they contact me.

As my thoughts spiraled and I began to accept my own personal Armageddon, Lisa Loeb's “You Say” came on the radio. Then I realized that I had basically warped back to 1994 and everything was going to be okay. That's right, there was a time when I drove in my car without the ability to phone home. I made it through 1994 okay, maybe I could make it through a ½ day without my phone. Although, then I started to get upset that I didn't have my beeper on me :-). As I sat at a red light being calmed down by Miss Loeb...

MISS LOEB: ...I don't listen hard, don't pay attention to the distance that you're running
to anyone, anywhere...

Just then a brother walked by my car sporting a bulbous afro, bell bottoms and yellow Chuck Taylors (he had actually warped to 1994 from 1977) Apparently, I wasn't the only one time traveling.

I just may leave my phone at home more often.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Damn Ma!

I like a pretty girl as much as the next guy but this thing of casting way too young women to play older roles is getting ridiculous. I keep seeing TV mothers who look 4 years older than their supposed daughters. It's a mind screw. Obviously, to get on TV, for the most part, you have to be empirically good looking. The programmers have a better chance of the viewers watching if the people being transmitted are desirable. As that means more people will watch the commercials. Good looking people are the bridge between soap powder and the viewing public. Much like stand-up comics are the bridge between watered down drinks, greasy appetizers and people looking for something to do on a Saturday night. Because they're being entertained people will brave a two drink minimum or sit through a life insurance commercial to get another glimpse of that beautiful woman who they were promised would be shown “after these messages.”

So good looking people dominate the television landscape. Fine. But I think some line is crossed when a TV mother of 3 teenagers looks like she's 27. I'm sure there are 27 year old women with 3 teenage kids but that story isn't quirky, charming or heart felt. It's a bit more understandable when the show's angle is that the mom started young. Many times, that's not the angle. The producers are just trying to double up on the show's hotness quotient. A veritable two-fer.

I try my darnedest to look my best, but this worshiping youth has gone too far. We all get to be young and if we're lucky, we get to be old. No one gets to be young twice. That's why we came up with the phrase young at heart. I'm not saying moms shouldn't look good or have ambitions separate from being a mom. But think of the billions of dollars that can be made if you make moms feel pressure to compete with women ½ their age. Maybe the demand for youth is already there and moms would seek out products and techniques to restore youth no matter what. Or maybe turning on your TV and seeing moms that could just as easily be on MTV spring break is creating the youth demand and ultimate discontentment.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. Moms rock.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quaint For Hire

So last weekend I spent some time walking through a very quaint outside mall. (When I say oxy, you say Moron...Oxy...Moron,Oxy...Moron) That's right I used quaint and mall in the same sentence. The people who build malls have co-opted quaintness. The secret? Apparently it's small trees with white lights on them, soft street lights, brick paved streets, throw in some alabaster colored store fronts and voilĂ , you've got publicly traded mega stores with the quaint feel..

SHOPPER1: Take a picture of me in front of the Sunglass Hut.

SHOPPER2: let's eat with the locals...look, a Cheesecake factory!

SHOPPER1: Really? This mall is a hidden treasure off the beaten path.

This realization hit me while at the Funny Bone in the Green Mall in Dayton Ohio. Blog World, I was duped for 3.6 seconds. As we drove up to the club I thought “This is such a quaint town in the middle of this...sub-division?....what a minute!”

Someone went to a real sleepy quaint beach town or a ski town, took a few pictures, went back into a lab and developed instant quaintness.

I guess if Urban outfitter can sell new clothes that look used for double the price, then builders can make throw up “quaint” cities in three weeks and put in a Cold Stone's. Too easy.

Next up? Third World parks. Why go to South America or Africa when you can experience all the third World charm and despair just 1 hour north of Downtown Los Angeles. Kids get in for free.

Actually, you may not have to leave downtown Los Angeles.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Method Acting

One key to success is to multiply yourself. You can't be in two places at the same time, yet, but you can collaborate, delegate and multi-task. Until Best Buy sells cloning machines the aforementioned tactics are the ways to get more life bang for your buck.

I'm all about writing with my talented friends and I've been known to listen to my Espanol tapes while I Tae-Bo at home. So I thought I'd bone up on acting techniques while I sat on transcontinental flight.

I downloaded a book called Method Acting into my smart phone's e-reader. I haven't studied Method Acting but I figure it has worked rather swimmingly for Robert Deniro.

I was about 3 pages in when I finally realized my book wasn't about acting at all. I had downloaded an erotica book about 2 hot and heavy actors. For the first two pages I thought to myself, Method Acting is a lot like soft porn. Then by page 3 I thought...This is soft porn. I'm no quitter, so I read on.

I was amused by the way the author mixed scientific terms with the filthiest street terms. I think actual porn actors should be forced to do this as well.

PORN CHICK: Coital me baby! Give me your cocker spaniel .

PORN DUDE: You like my reproductive organ, don't you?

Turns out the girl in the book was a method actor, hence the title. I won't give away the ending...but...they had sex.

I tried to bone up on my acting and instead got a book about boning...and some pointers. Check out “Method Acting” by Reed Manning.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Please Listen to My Demo

California's Venice Beach has become so overrun with guys selling their home made music CDs that I'm now contemplating wearing my own gaudy over sized headphones when I go there so I look like I'm selling my CD as well. It's like the night of the living dead out there except all the Zombies are trying to score music deals. And how do you stop a Zombie from attacking? You pass yourself off as a Zombie of course.

Venice Beach is like walking in Myspace. Like a movie where you're watching your computer screen one minute and the next minute you're in it dodging bands' friend requests, occasionally gawking a tad too long at plump girls wearing outfits 3 sizes too small, and staying clear of weirdos selling things and/or ideologies lest you catch a virus.

And much like Myspace these indie musicians are making Venice Beach unbearable for me. And much like myspace the scantily clad women are making Venice beach undesirable for women who like wearing outfits that fit and leave something to the imagination. Personally, the jury is still out on whether skimpy outfits in fact stunts or enhances my imagination. Be it virtual or real, I brave the skin show with the non-judgmental, inclusive spirit I was taught as a kid...well, that and binoculars.

Imagine my surprise when I bumped into a music Zombie far far away in a Coffee shop in Studio City. But the Zombies aren't supposed to live long enough to make it here to the San Fernando valley. Have they mutated? They have my friends, a mother daughter team selling the little girl's demo CD door to door. They caught me sitting down at LuLu's beehive completely off guard and immobile. I caved. And I have the song “Me and My Puppy” in my music library as proof of my slippage. That and 5 dollars less in my wallet.

Shall I burn it for you? That'll be five dollars!...Run for your lives.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Sweet Diabetic

I was in a crammed Borders Cafe in New York City. Getting a seat, like many things in New York, was a struggle. The line to order felt like college orientation. Look to your left and then to your right, one of you will not be getting a seat. Like a massive game of musical chairs with participants carrying pastries and hot beverages, people circled the chairs waiting for proverbial music to stop.

A Brooklynite in Manhattan always has a slight edge...(Brooklyn, we go hard) I skipped ordering all together and mad a dash for a seat that was opening up. Fate favors the bold and I was moderately rewarded with a table I agreed to share with some medical students. Well, they were sittings next to me but I allowed them to place their extra books on the portion of my table that I wasn't using. (Brooklyn, we share)

So I was making the most of my half of the table when another guy came and sat in the empty chair across from me. I was okay with this because he only wanted to use half of the half that the medical students were using. That's 1 half of the table for me, 1 fourth for the medical students and 1 fourth for the new guy if you're keeping score at home.

I guess since we were kinda family at this point the new guy started reading one of the medical students' books. I felt like telling New Guy to play nice. As if he was reading my mind, he preemptively said to me, “I have diabetes so I wanna read up on it...”

Turns out the medical students were studying diabetes. Serendipity I tell ya. The new guy must have been a speed reader because he plowed through the bible sized book in 15 minutes and with his new found knowledge and confident swagger placed it back on the medical fourth of the table. New Guy then told the diligent duo “I have Type I diabetes so if yous need info over there, just ask me over here.”

Who says New Yorkers aren't friendly? The friendly diabetic may not have made it into the medical students case study but he made it into my blog...over here.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

You Dropped The Ball on Me...Baby

Happy New Year everyone. Remember, what you make of this year, the relationships you strengthen or disband, the work you do, the lessons you learn are all infinitely more important than where you were when the new year came in. People feel that whatever they're doing when the new year starts will be what they'll be doing all year. I did a comedy show on New Year's Eve, but for most people this is a silly notion. Do you really want to be in rowdy crowds downing over priced drinks all year? This only works if you go to your place of employment to bring in the new year Which can't work for most professions...

RESIDENT: Hey Plumber Jeff, What are you doing here? It's New Year's Eve.

PLUMBER JEFF: Thought I'd bring the New Year in the right way and install that new toilet you wanted.

RESIDENT: I don't think this is the time to have my toilet out of're welcomed to stay for the party...I guess.

PLUMBER JEFF: I'll stay but can I at least re-caulk the shower tile. I want to be busy next year!

For the first time ever I spent New Years Eve in Times Square. I had a show in a hotel in Times Square. Like most New Yorkers I have never gone to see the ball drop. It's just too hectic and cold. Maybe if the year started in June you could get New Yorkers to show up. We gladly concede that whole scene to tourists and New Yorkers who insist on acting like tourists. This year though, my VIP badge granted me access to the heart of Times Square. I was even allowed to go down and watch the ball drop, from a prime location, with 15 minutes left till midnight. With hundreds crammed into a space more suitable for dozens, my rib cage felt under siege from all sides. This lead to a little game of “Dwayne Displacing People” I pushed my way back to the hotel, went upstairs and brought in the New Year inside like a self respecting New Yorker oughtta. Am I going to be moving people out of my way all year? :-)

Shout out to New Years Nation