Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I thought you'd be bigger...

I don't have a clever way of opening this post today, so I'll just spit it out - a direct to video (DTV) sequel to "Road House" is on its way! Normally I frown upon such films, but this one has piqued my curiosity. For the uninitiated, "Road House" is either reviled by those who have seen it or considered the guiltiest pleasure ever committed to celluloid. It captures Patrick Swayze, at the height of his mulletudiness, as he portrays a professional cooler (basically a bouncer supervisor)who tries to save a bar and its surrounding town from the clutches of the evil Ben Gazzara! This movie is quotable as hell, features Sam Elliott kicking ass and even sees Swayze sporting the shirt portion of a Karate uniform (Gi) tucked into his jeans. While "Road House" rips off "Walking Tall", among other films of its ilk, it stands apart as a time-capsule of the late eighties when men couldn't figure out if they wanted to grow their hair long at one length, or preserve the Kentucky waterfall. Bonus points for having a writer/director whose first name is Rowdy. You must see it to believe it. It is available on DVD, but I suggest you wait for the deluxe edition coming out this summer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

15 Things I Liked About College

I stole this one from R
1. Wearing flannel, a ball cap, cut off khakis and sneakers to breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings. No shower!
2. Sleeping alone and sleeping in.
3. Waking up with someone after sleeping in.
4. Decorating the dorm wing for a Christmas contest. Trey Worthy made a Christmas tree on a wall out of pictures of Morrissey.
5. $1 Miller Genuine Drafts at the only bar in town.
6. 5 hour road trips to Omaha to see my girlfriend’s parents.
7. Watching Letterman at 10:30 at night (CST).
8. Playing CD’s all day.
9. Writing papers on my cool-ass word processor.
10. Everything I needed was a 5-minute walk from my room.
11. Deserted campuses on the weekend.
12. Sitting in the window.
13. Making mix tapes.
14. Playing Nintendo.
15. Singing lyrics to the song the guy next door was strumming on his guitar.

The BBC and Me

British television has been part of my television life since first watching "Benny Hill" over 20 years ago. As my tastes changed, I moved on to "Monty Python's Flying Circus". Dad tried to turn me onto "Dr. Who", but the special effects on "Star Wars" ruined me. Both shows were consumed by me when I had much more free time to watch television. I took a break for 10 years as I went from high school through grad school. Sure, I saw occasional episodes of "Allo, Allo" and "Red Dwarf", but they weren't exactly appointment television.

Now that I've had either satellite tv or digital cable for 3 years, I've become a fan of BBC America. This cable network packages several of the most popular BBC shows and airs them for an American audience. There are classics (such as "Fawlty Towers") and newer shows (which air here several months after the original airdates across the pond).

The comedies are my favorites (I think the six episode seasons ensures quality in some cases) and here are a few that I enjoy:

Father Ted is a taped comedy that follows the misadventures of the titular priest and his misadventures on Craggy Island in Ireland. It isn't the most highbrow show, but I love it. Look for Graham Norton as a fellow priest in some episodes. Favorite Episode: "Speed 3", which finds junior priest, Dougal, driving a milk van with explosives strapped to the bottom of it. If he goes below 5mph, it will explode.

Blackadder was, as far as I know, the first showcase for the talents of Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. Mr. Bean. Each season features a descendent of the Blackadder family, attempting to scheme their way to the top in several English kingdoms through history (Middle Ages, Elizabethan, Regency and WW1). It is amazing to me that co-creator, Richard Curtis, went on to write "Four Weddings And A Funeral" and "Love, Actually". Favorite Episodes "Bells" and "Private Plane" which featured cast members of "The Young Ones"

The Office was the show that the American version on NBC is based on. Not quite as heartfelt as the new version, but still painfully funny to watch. Favorite Episode: "New Girl", in which, Gareth (the inspiration for NBC's Dwight Schrute) is approached to join a threesome with a married couple he meets at the pub.

Peep Show is an R-rated, taped series that tells the story of two 30-something flatmates. Sort of like a really dirty "Odd Couple". The entire show is seen from the point of view from the two main characters. Favorite Episode: "#4" in which the roomies explore friendships with new buddies. Jeremy - the slob, spends most of the episode trying to remember a "bad thing" that happened over a wild weekend. His flashbacks are priceless.

League of Gentlemen is another R-rated series, more in the vein of Monty Python, but episodic and following the same group of characters throughout. Three actors play most of the residents of Royston-Vasey, a small town out in tehe English countryside which holds many dark secrets. Favorite episode: "The Lesbian and the Monkey" which details the post-prison life of unemployment specialist, Pauline as she romances one former client (Mickey) and battles another (Ross). Ross and Pauline share a shockingly funny moment in this episode that has been cut from subsequent airings for content.

Little Britain is new to me and seems to be like League of Gentlemen-lite. Here, two actors play most of the characters in a series of vignettes. Almost all of the characters are recurring I don't have a favorite episode yet, but I did like the scene in Season 3 where politician, Sir Norman Fry explains to the press why pictures of him with other men have been circulating. He makes an excuse about having an accident and landing "inside" another man.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

More Questions, More Answers

Thank you Princess for inspiring me…

1. You have 10 bucks and need to buy snacks at a gas station, what do
you get?
A Frappucino, some diet cola, bottled water, kettle-cooked potato chips and some Chex Mix.

2. If you had to be reincarnated as some sort of sea dwelling creature,
what would you be?
A barracuda in the Keys.

3. Who is your favorite redhead? Preppygirl (real life) and Neko Case (for her music).

4. What do you order when you're at a pancake house or waffle house? Stack of pancakes with a side of sausage.

5. Last book you read? The Works: Anatomy of A City by Kate Ascher

6. Last CD you bought? Twin Cinema by The New Pornographers

7. Describe your favorite pair of underwear? FTL boxer briefs.

8. Describe the last time you were injured: I wrenched my back while simulating tantric yoga at the improv show last week.

9. Of all your friends, with whom would you want to be stuck in the
middle of a jungle with?
Jimmy McJamestown, because we could die slowly from exposure while laughing ourselves silly.

10. Are there any odd things that make you feel uncomfortable? Conflict between friends.

11. Are there weird things that turn you on? French maids.

12. What is the wallpaper on your cell phone? Picture of daughter, son and son of some friends playing in the street.

13. Favorite Soda? Mountain Dew

14. Flavor of pudding? Chocolate

15. What type of shirt are you wearing? Long sleeved, striped oxford – fitted.

16. Prescription medication? I have one painkiller leftover from my kidney stone adventure.

17. If you could use only one form of transportation for the rest of your

18. Most recent movie you've watched in a theater? Curse of the Were-Rabbit

19. Name 3 things you have on you at all times (besides in bed): Eyeglass cleaning cloth, keys, a pair of kicks.

20. Would you rather give or receive a foot massage? Give.

21. Name a teacher you had the hots for: A few teachers I worked with when I was a visiting artist in Florida schools.

22. What is a saying that you use a lot? Awesome!

23. What is your favorite part of the chicken? Breast.

24. What's your favorite city? Key West

25. Favorite kind of cake? Carrot.

26. What's the first word that comes to mind right now? Pill.

27. When was the last time you saw your mom in person? A few weeks ago.

28. What makes you feel like puking? Dread when thinking of work.

29. What did you have for dinner LAST NIGHT? Stuffed pork chops and vegetables.

30. Last item you bought? Gasoline, bottled water and breath mints.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Live In Concert

As I tuned in to the WOXY vintage radio stream, I saw an image of a hand making the “devil horn” gesture so many have exhibited at concerts throughout the land. Inspired by this symbol, I now present to you a hallmark of useless information – the best live acts I’ve ever seen. In no particular order:

1. Tribe Called Quest/De La Soul/Souls of Mischief – Cincinnati
Brother Tim and I saw this tour at Bogart’s up by U.C. Not only was it a great show, but it was also notable for being the only concert I’ve ever attended where someone larger than myself obstructed my view.
2. Uncle Tupelo – Columbia, Missouri
Before Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco and Jay Farrar’s Son Volt, there was Uncle Tupelo. I saw them on almost every tour from 1990-1994. There best shows were as a trio (first with Mike Heidorn, then Ken Coomer on drums). Most fun show was the “Blue Tuxedo” show – Jeff Tweedy: “Welcome to the prom!”. Most memorable were the last two shows they played at the Blue Note in Columbia, Missouri.
3. Mike Watt – West Palm Beach and Pompano Beach, Florida
Both shows were in small rooms and very loud. In the first show Watt played the entirety of his “Contemplating The Engine Room”. Nels Cline (currently with Wilco) played guitar. A couple of years later, Watt returned with two more sidemen and played classic Minutemen, Firehose and Stooges material. He’s a very approachable guy.
4. Barenaked Ladies – Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida
I’d written of BNL’s “Gordon” as a joke record for several years until my old roommate Megan took me to one of their concerts. A Spinal Tap moment occurred when the main curtain in front of the stage didn’t drop at the proper cue during the first song. They’re a band whose music you don’t have to be familiar with ahead of a show. Just show up and have a good time. Preppygirl and I saw them a few years later with a bigger set and costumes.
5. Lollapalooza 1993 – Philadelphia (Rage Against The Machine, Tool)
Rage and Tool weren’t as well-known as they are today. Tool’s effect on the audience was scary – turned us into a pulsating, swaying mega mosh pit. This was the infamous Rage appearance where they stood naked before the crowd with 12 minutes of feedback, saying nothing.
6. Lollapalooza 1994 – Cincinnati (Beastie Boys and Smashing Pumpkins)
Both bands were at their peaks. Beasties set it off with “Sabotage”.
7. Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players - Chicago and Scotland
I’m not going to try and describe this act. Just link up here and experience them for yourself.
8. Blue Mountain/Southern Culture on the Skids – Florida
Some of the best alternative country from both ends of the spectrum. Blue Mountain is defunct, but SCOTS is still touring.
9. Morphine – West Palm Beach, Florida
I was fortunate to see this group before their singer, Mark Sandman died.
10. The Kids In The Hall – Ft. Lauderdale and Buffalo.Alright, these weren’t music concerts, but what the hell! The Florida show in 2000 was the last of that tour – Buffalo 2002, the first. 2000 was fantastic, because none of us had seen them all together since “Brain Candy”. The show began with the theme blaring out before the silhouetted images of the boys dancing behind the scenery. When they emerged, dressed as the office ladies from the Cathy/Kathy sketches, the room erupted.

Fan Boy

I've ridden a fine line between being a nerd and a jock for most of my adult life. In high school, I played basketball and was homecoming king, yet I spent my lunch time playing euchre and went on very few dates. Nowadays I can easily spend a Sunday afternoon watching an NFL game while reading a graphic novel. A graduate school acquaintance of mine named Sherman Green (looks like Jonathan Richman, and got girls like there was no tomorrow) described guys like us as Geekcore. I assumed this to be a label like emo or punk.

This is Jonathan Richman

I don't have a picture of Sherman Green for comparison, but if he wore a striped shirt and grew a moustache, he would look a lot like this guy.

While I am not keen on labeling myself, I do find certain elements of dork-stereotypes within. I show Fanboy tendencies often. I've even linked up to movie and comicbook fanboy haven, Aint It Cool News. I check this site often throughout the day to see spy photos of upcoming movies or to get plot spoilers for projects I don't plan on seeing. It is a highly addictive site for those of us who can't get out to the movies and forget to rent once they're out on DVD.

I have but two beefs with Harry Knowles' domain, though.

1. Indignant Posts I can't stand the fairly typical fanboy "front" of being unimpressed with some photos or slamming early reviews of films they hope will suck. The fervor with which these people are attacking X-Men: The Last Stand is overwhelming. I think that some of those who post are angry that none of the producers contacted them when realizing the making of the film. Avid comic book reading does not equal creative input on a film production.

2. Narcissistic Film Reviewers. I could really get my geek on here by counting and graphing out the instances of these occurrences, but I'll digress and post my opinion here. It would seem that the guidelines for writing a review on Aint It Cool go something like this: First, fill up the first third of the review with background information about a: Your connection to the film b: Your experience in watching other films by the director c: Some childhood story vaguely connected to the filmmaker, star or screenwriter. Second, spend the middle section recounting how you spent the entire day leading up to the screening. Throw in marathon DVD viewings of other films in the series if it is a sequel. Also, describe in great detail the makeup of the auditorium and its occupants. Finally, write about the film you saw. Liberally throw in comments about how you are above itall and slam the filmmaking techniques and screenwriting errors that no amount of book reading or movie-watching could possibly prepare you to criticize. Post the review for all the world to see and wait for your comrades to join in with their comments!

Despite my hangups with the site, I'm hooked.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Of mop tops and spectacles

I remarked to PreppyGirl tonight about how big our daughter's eyes seem in her new glasses. PreppyGirl said she kind of looks like Robbie Rist (a.k.a. Cousin Oliver of the Brady Bunch). She threw in Paul Williams to boot. Kate is the one with the doll. You decide:

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bathroom Humor

As I sat on the porcelain throne before my shower yesterday, I flipped through the pages of "Bust" magazine. For the uninitiated, "Bust" is the kind of periodical that cool alternachicks from the early nineties would end up making in their thirties. Princess Diaree bought a gift subscription for Preppygirl and it appears in our mailbox every so often. I think it is bimonthly, because I forget we get it until it arrives. Same goes for my subscription to "No Depression". Anyway, this new issue had a movie review for "Strangers With Candy", which is apparently being released this June. I urge you all to catch a rerun of the original series if it airs again on Comedy Central. At least give it a try. The show concerns a middle-aged runaway who returns to her home town and enrolls in high school. Jerri Blank hasn't matured since dropping out of school and behaves as badly as the immature bisexual, former prostitute-junkie she is. The show is sort of a spoof of afterschool specials and the wordplay is actually quite intricate. The material is definitely R-rated (Jerri's liberty bell piercing, bikini-wax and her pining for a donkey named Ramon come to mind). The cast is populated by several Second City alums and stars Amy Sedaris as Jerri. Stephen Colbert fans will enjoy his portrayal of closeted history teacher, Chuck Noblet. If the film is half as entertaining as the series, I'll walk away content. Some quotes:

Chuck Noblet: Can anyone tell me the tragic irony of the Trojan War? Tina?
Tina: Um, that horses are friendly creatures yet a hollow, wooden one was used to destroy Troy?
Chuck Noblet: Wrong and no. Anyone else? Chip?
Chip: That the mighty warrior Achilles was killed by a small cut to his ankle.
Chuck Noblet: Chip is wronger. OK, here it is. The tragic irony of the Trojan War is that though it was fought over Helen, who was young and beautiful, by the time they rescued her ten years later, she was old and ugly.
Tina: But wasn't recovering the king's wife reward enough for the Greeks?
Chuck Noblet: Tina, an ugly woman is never a reward.

Jerri Blank: Do a lot of the people die of syphilis?
Chuck Noblet: Oh, absolutely. Historically, syphilis is right up there with Germans. It wiped out the Romanovs, it decimated our fleet at Pearl Harbor, and of course, Fidel Castro impersonated Marilyn Monroe and gave President Kennedy a case of syphilis so severe that eventually it blew the back of his head off.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The "F" Words

PreppyGirl has assigned a letter to me. I'm supposed to write about 10 words beginning with "F". Here goes...

Fantastic - I use this word often at work. The character, Dougal, from "Father Ted" also used it often, drawing it out a bit - "Fannnntastic!"

Froaderick - From "Young Frankenstein"
Igor: Dr. Frankenstein...
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: "Fronkensteen."
Igor: You're putting me on.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No, it's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
Igor: Do you also say "Froaderick"?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No..."Frederick."
Igor: Well, why isn't it "Froaderick Fronkensteen"?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: It isn't; it's "Frederick Fronensteen."
Igor: I see.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: You must be Igor.
[He pronounces it ee-gor]
Igor: No, it's pronounced "eye-gor."
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: But they told me it was "ee-gor."
Igor: Well, they were wrong then, weren't they?

Foxy This is one I remember being carried over from the seventies into the early eighties. I think I used it as a child. Now it has been revived as a nod to Pam Grier's titular character. Beyonce's Foxy Cleopatra characterization in Austin Power: Goldmember was not fantastic.

Flip - A nickname given to some boys and men by saying "Phillip" really fast. I went to high school with Flip Freihoffer and to grad school with Flip Schultz.
Forgiveness - Something I don't ask enough for from my wife.

Flick - An ant in "A Bug's Life" and the hapless, pole-licking buddy in "A Christmas Story"

Fluffernutter I like this way this word sounds. What is this stuff?

Frappucino - Man, these things are tasty! When I was in Scotland last summer, Starbucks chains were the only stores that made anything remotely like iced coffee. I spent a lot of pounds on them.

Flying (Burrito Brothers) - The forefathers of alternative country. Gram Parson's Fallen Angels, The Eagles and Desert Rose Band all had links to this group.

Fritter - Preferably an apple fritter. The local grocer's bakery sells them the size of my fist. Yum.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Gas I've Passed

I was at a performance in my school's auditorium last night, sitting to the side and rear of the rest of the audience. A few students were performing a song onstage and one of the parents was standing along the wall a few feet away from me. As the audience politely watched the peformance, the parent farted. It was quick, it had clarity and, luckily, it didn't smell (it has always been my belief that the louder they are, the less they stink. Effort and explosiveness = fewer wrinkled noses). To my added relief, no one near us seemed to notice. This incident set me to thinking about the top 3 flatulations from my lifetime:

1. The Late 1980's - Math Class I was sitting near the back and center of the classroom. Miss Klingenberg was teaching her lesson when I realized I needed to float an air biscuit. I slowly began the release of an SBD (silent but deadly). It started off well enough. But soon I had to strain to get the rest out. Completely unaware of how I might look, I leaned forward in my desk, so much so that the rear legs of my chair rose above the floor. At this very moment, hunched like a dog on the lawn, the gas erupted - loudly. I immediately set my chair back down and pretended to attend to the lesson. It was too late to act nonchalantly. I was clearly the culprit. My peers nearest me looked at me, scanning my face for signs of weakness. I foolishly looked around the room as if I too was searching for the source. This gave me away instantly. The classroom roared with laughter as the teacher returned to her lesson.

2. The Late 1980's - Math Class I won't waste space here. Sadly, a year after the last indiscretion in Klingenberg's class, I did the same thing under nearly identical circumstances. Some of the faces had changed, but the gas remained the same.

3. 2000 - Theater Class This time, I was the teacher in a Kindergarten theater class. A few of the students were performing part of a play, while the rest sat on chorus risers. I stood next the class, watching. Feeling the need to let one fly, I waited for a funny moment when the kids in the audience would laugh. The volume of a group of six year olds can easily mask a near "boom-boom". To my dismay, the laughter wasn't forthcoming. I had to resort to an SBD. My mother, who is also a teacher, told me she would often walk the aisles in her classrooms, discreetly depositing her payload between two students who would inevitably blame each other. Taking her experiences to heart, I did my business and quietly stepped away from the crime scene. The young girl sitting nearest to the invisible cloud sat politely - hands folded in her lap. Soon her nose began to twitch. She squinted her eyes and looked side to side for the source of the smell. Having enough of the nice-nice she broke down and began swatting the air in front of her face, as if trying to knock away an fly. I felt a little bad for the poor kid, but my pride in following in my mother's footsteps swelled. I beamed at the knowledge that I had gotten away with the perfect crime.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Post Time

As I've been waiting for the Kentucky Derby coverage to begin, I've been flipping through a couple of television shows - one newer one and the other a blast from the past.

Top Chef seems to be modeled after "The Apprentice". Several contestants compete on teams and as individuals in a variety of small and large challenges. A chef is eliminated at the end of each episode. Now, I started watching this halfway through the season when only 6 contestants remained, but I am hooked. I enjoy the styles of food created each week and the show doesn't shy away from using technical terms at all. The variety of cooking methods and favored ingredients varies in each episode - which is a treat. I've only one beef(no pun) with Top Chef, though. To keep viewers titilated, the producers seem to encourage some of the constestants and the hosts to be two-faced, arrogant pricks to one another. Upside? Most of the assholes have been eliminated. The final product's quality, in each competition, seems to move contestants forward as opposed to who screwed up in the process. I hope future seasons don't attract more celebrity starved applicants than serious contestants. "The Real World" suffered from this phenomenom from season 2 onward.

'80's sitcom relic, Kate and Allie has returned to basic cable on WE and I couldn't be happier - honestly. Jane Curtin and Susan St. James star as two single mothers raising their children together in New York City. I love this show. It well written and kind of hip (St. James' character references Joe Jackson and The Clash in the same sentence in one ep, making it the "Gilmore Girls" of its time). The show has sentimental value for me as well. For a few precious, short years, the CBS Monday night lineup was one my parents and I both watched together - NBC Thursday nights being the other. Bonus appeal in location. Who wouldn't want to live in that sweet basement apartment the women shared? Nice open living, dining and kitchen space. Not to mention the lovely young teenage daughters living there - a brunette and a strawberry blond. Freddy Koehler was a lucky little boy. Only the Huxtable's pad in Brooklyn had more appeal.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A list...

1. I started blogging after reading my wife’s blogs. She had published some “areas of improvement” I could work on and I took them to heart.
2. Her blog is not directed at my faults. She just comments on her views on life and I come up once in a while.
3. I enjoy her writings.
4. I teach theatre in a high school.
5. I don’t like behind the scenes “drama” in a theatre program for kids. They’ll likely deal with a lot of that crap in the professional world. I’d prefer that the students treat each other with more respect.
6. I worked part-time as an actor while living in Florida.
7. I did one semi-professional play and several non-professional gigs.
8. I was also an extra in some film and television productions.
9. I had a fear of auditioning for plays, so I didn’t pursue that work aggressively.
10. I believe that some prominent regional theatres in South Florida have a bias against local professional actors.
11. I don’t think coming from New York City makes you a better stage actor than someone else.
12. I’ve been a “Saturday Night Live” fan for over 25 years.
13. The season featuring Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest was my favorite.
14. I do not enjoy watching Mad TV.
15. I don’t enjoy reality tv shows where the participant’s focus is to scheme and treat other people like crap.
16. My favorite reality shows are “Queer Eye”, “Manor House” and “Mythbusters”.
17. I have issues with Sean Combs’ public persona.
18. I’ve recently started watching “The Sopranos”.
19. I don’t buy into the “tough guy” image that some of the actors in that show try to project in public.
20. Though I am a large and sometimes imposing person, I’ve had little experience in fighting. I’ve usually broken fights up.
21. My father and two uncles worked as bouncers in Long Island, New York bars.
22. Two of my uncles and a grandfather worked on tug boats in New York harbors.
23. I am predominantly Irish-American with some Italian roots.
24. My mother’s side of the family is more Irish than my father’s.
25. As a family, we’ve embraced our Irish heritage more in the last 15 years.
26. I traveled to Ireland with my brother, mother and stepdad 6 years ago.
27. I could envision my family living and working in Ireland.
28. My wife’s family is predominately Irish and Swedish.
29. I used to explain certain behaviors and attitudes of mine as the result of Irish roots, but shy away from that now.
30. I often get frustrated with tasks which are out of my control or mechanical in nature.
31. My kids both exhibit reactionary behavior similar to my own.
32. I believe I need to change my behaviors in order to help my children.
33. I don’t interact with my kids as much as my wife does.
34. I’m changing jobs this summer in order to focus more on my family.
35. My wife is a fantastic spouse and a dedicated mother.
36. Our children have a lot of “potential”.
37. I can live simply and be happy.
38. However, I have a media addiction which costs money.
39. I’m hooked on Satellite radio and television, as well as the internet.
40. Talk radio is, by far, my favorite radio genre.
41. Public radio and ESPN radio are tops with me.
42. I love “Morning Edition”, “Bob and Tom”, “ATC”, “Car Talk”, “Wait, Wait”, “Le Show”, “This American Life”, “Dan Patrick”, “Air America Radio” and “Mike and Mike”.
43. I’m listening to’s vintage stream right now.
44. I do not enjoy “Jim Rome” or listener commentaries on WBFO in Buffalo.
45. I do not enjoy “news readers” on morning comedy shows who try to turn the show towards themselves.
46. I’ve begun listening to Howard Stern. I think he’s entertaining and even poignant half of the time. The other half is shit. Kind of like “Family Guy”.
47. I would love a job where I could listen to streaming audio as I work. Driving delivery trucks might be my thing.
48. My all-time favorite job was working at a Border’s Books and Music ten years ago.
49. I have a fondness for the years spanning 1990 until 1998. These were my college, post-grad and bastard periods of my life.
50. In 1990, my musical tastes change drastically as I graduated from hair metal to college music.
51. The band – Uncle Tupelo was introduced to me by a college friend, Barry Marquart.
52. I’ve introduced Uncle Tupelo to several friends and family members.
53. They were one of those groups I felt a connection to because I saw a lot of their shows before they signed to a major label and broke up.
54. I was at their 4th and 3rd last shows before they disbanded. They commemorated their last 4 shows in an old-fashioned silk-screened poster which now hangs framed in my living room.
55. Uncle Tupelo spawned Son Volt and Wilco, both of which I listen to.
56. My friend Duder and myself blew out Tom McNamara’s speakers while listening to Tupelo’s “Postcard”.
57. Duder is one of 5 guys I hung out with during summer breaks from college from 1991-1993. We all lived near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at the time. The group included Duder, Tom, Mike Elliott, Ted Herman and Lurch. A few other guys were on the periphery of this group – Sugie Procter and Mike Brady were among them.
58. I’ve kept in touch with Duder the most.
59. In ’93 we attended the Lollapalooza concert in Philly. During this show, Rage Against The Machine protested by duct taping their mouths shut, painting PMRC on their chests and standing naked before the crowd. The only sounds were feedback from the amps and the crowd. This went on for 12 minutes, before they left the stage.
60. College was fun for me. Grad school was even better.
61. I lost the big “V” at the end of senior year in college. I only dated 3 girls in four years. In grad school I cut loose.
62. My “crew” in grad school included Jimmy McDermott (Chicago theatre director and performer), Charlie Berfield (New York actor), Richard Thorne (Wilkinson when I knew him and L.A. actor) and Brian Ridolfo (Technical Director in Florida). All 4 guys were in my wedding.
63. Jimmy is the funniest guy I know. My wife is the funniest gal I know.
64. While trying to break into the biz after grad school, I worked as a carpenter, puppeteer, teacher and book and music seller.
65. I met my wife while working as a production assistant at a performing arts center in Florida.
66. We were set up by mutual friend and comedienne, Suzanne Dunn because of height and personality.
67. I’d been looking for a tall girl for a long time. Preppy Girl fit the bill.
68. We fell fast and hard for each other.
69. I moved in with her a few months after we began dating. My parents liked her and knew she was the one. I knew she was the one too!
70. My wife balances me out with patience, understanding and wisdom. I’m learning how to be a better parent by her example.
71. I’m not sure how I balance her, but I think my humor, cooking, garbage disposal and lawn-mowing might be part of it.
72. Our wedding was the coolest day of my life. Others have come close. We were married in the city where we now live.
73. Many of our out of town guests became enamored of our city and two of its bars.
74. Preppy Girl’s dad, The Silver Fox, has a lot of pull in some social circles here.
75. My groomsmen nicknamed him “The Mayor” because of some of his influence.
76. Our daughter, Kate, was born while we lived in Florida. Her birthday along with Pete’s (my son) are collectively the best days of my life beyond the wedding. When kids are born, the whole world around you seems to stop. Nothing else matters on that first day.
77. Kate looks like Preppy Girl and Pete looks like me. They both have the blond hair I had as a child.
78. We moved to our small city to start new lives.
79. I’ve worked mainly in and around schools since arriving here.
80. I’ve also done free work as an actor at The Bunbury Theatre Company.
81. We did some good shows there.
82. My improve group had its roots at that theatre.
83. The group was started by my brother-in-law Gary, Ian Thorsell, Jane Fischer, myself and Eric Hand-Smith.
84. We are The Unexpected Guests (TUG).
85. Eric taught, a ComedySportz alumnus, taught us from the beginning.
86. For over a year and a half the troupe has been “self taught”.
87. Eric still performs with us on occasion, but has another group in Buffalo he founded.
88. The rest of us are still performing together.
89. I enjoy doing the improv games, but I’d like to explore long form as well.
90. I will not wear a bowling shirt or t-shirt with our troupe name as a performance uniform.
91. I’ve got a full head of dark, brown hair.
92. I cannot grow full, luscious side burns.
93. My beard and mustache come out reddish.
94. My wife hates it when I have facial hair.
95. I am very tall.
96. I played basketball in high school and for one season in college.
97. I am the product of a Catholic education.
98. My shoe size is 15.
99. My favorite sneakers are Vans.
100. There are two old pairs of my Vans are on the roof of my garage. I just can’t let them go.