Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I love tomato paste in a tube.

Now, I want toothpaste in a can.

And Brylcream in the bush.

Waggling the tail of my new coonskin condoms.

Brother Raccoon.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Didja Read the Latest News?

Supreme Court, In Controversial Decision, To Give Al Gore's Oscar to G.W. Bush

Alimentary, My Dear Watson

You know, this going to the bathroom thing is a metaphor for the unknowability of people.

Like, I just asked some guys at this cafe/bookstore to watch my computer while I went to the bathroom. (I generally ask people who have better-looking computers than mine.) Then I went running to the bathroom, feelin' the need as I ran.

But 'til I did that, those guys (if they'd been paying any attention to me) couldn't have known I needed relief. From their perspective, I'd simply have been toppin' up my phone or writing happily.

But inside there was a growing distraction; a major need a-brewin'.

It couldn't be seen but it informed what I was doing; how I was being.

Just like thought.

Just like personality.

Just like all the internal things that can't be seen, though their effect on your actions helps define you in others' eyes.

So, let's start improving our lot by eliminating the need to go to the bathroom. It can't be hard; some high-tech, bio-mechanical take on the standard colostomy bag would probably do the trick.

Getting rid of this internal/external inconsistency which confounds (and sometimes assists) us in our interactions with the world might just make life easier.

Let's start with the metaphor and the more insidious disconnect between what we think and what we seem could simply follow it into the toilet.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


'Round midnight, Delancey St. subway station.

Two girls have gotten off a rerouted A, unaware the train would have returned to its normal route and gotten them to Nostrand Ave. (presumably) without a problem. Now, they don't know how the fuck to get where they're going.

Two guys with (to my ear) Caribbean/gay accents try to help them.

One of the girls wants to know where they are, Manhattan or Brooklyn.

One of the guys says they're "between" Manhattan and Brooklyn.

(I'm guessin' they're on the Island of Misfit Passengers.)


Saw a yellow dragon sticking his head in stores, trying to frighten people in Chinatown yesterday, but people just smiled and laughed.

Inside the dragon was a white guy. (Must've eaten him.)

Around a corner, two blue dragons were fighting each other.

In the other direction and (nominally) into Little Italy, two white (with black trimming) dragons marched with men who were clanging things.

The Year of the Golden Pig and all I see are dragons.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I Left My Heart in Long Island City

One of the great places from which to view the Manhattan skyline is from the window of the N or W train as it runs through Tony Bennett's hometown.

Tony Bennett's hometown is New York City, of course, but I was referring to a specific neighborhood, Astoria, Queens, which was erroneously referred to by hopeless Long Islander Billy Crystal (and/or the script) as Bennett's "hometown" in a recent special based on Bennett's successful album of duets. Crystal referred to Bennett's youthful trips into New York (meaning Manhattan) to explore jazz venues like the ones that used to be on 52nd St., without mentioning it was a distance that could very well be walked.

Y'see, Astoria and its neighbor, Long Island City, are directly across the East River from Manhattan, bounded (more or less) to the north and south by the Triborough and Queensboro bridges. (The Queensboro is the "Feelin' Groovy" bridge.) A trip by "subway" (it's elevated in Bennettland) from Astoria to midtown takes mere minutes and, as mentioned above, gives one a perfect chance to view the skyline from the comfort of a noisy and possibly unheated train.

But as good as the view is anytime of day, it's best for people who stay out late or get up early, 'cause the look of those buildings before the sun has finished rising is close to as good as it gets.

Just a few moments later, you'll see the thrilling, not-yet-blinding reflection of orange sun on steel and glass but before that happens there's just a glow; a twinkle that gives the array of skyscrapers a twinkliness; a pixieishness that makes the structures seem light and fun.

God, it's a good way to start (or end) the day.

And though the skyline was different when Tony Bennett was a kid, it's easy to imagine that what he saw from the window as he took the train to and from his "hometown" helped instill in him the joy that's still so evident in his performances.

25 February, 2007 @ 02:14 GMT

Friday, February 23, 2007

Copy Editor Position Open

My friend says he's caught many typos in my blog lately. (Hasn't told me what they were, though.)

If you spot something, please let me know, so I can fix it and make the next reader's experience smoother and, as we say in Good Writing Land, more better.

Thanks ever so --

Virtual-Weather Friend

Saw yesterday that British comedian Ava Vidal has a MySpace page.

Or had I noticed it once before and sent her a friend request that was never consummated?

She does have less "friends" than many. Maybe she's selective.

Oh, well. I sent her a friend request yesterday. It's possible I hadn't done it before.

Checked back today and my request was still pending.

But her page said she'd logged in today.

Am I being neglected?


MySpace is usually the place where you have fake friends who wouldn't necessarily be your real friends. I thought Ava was an real friend.

Maybe that's the problem.

Maybe she doesn't wanna mix real friends with fake friends.

Or maybe she's embarrassed by the prospect of introducing me to her fake friends. Maybe I'm too real. Maybe I don't mix well with fake.


23 February, 2007 @ 17:46 GMT

I'm sitting here . . .

. . . trying to figure out why I've done what I've done for the last month or so, since getting back to New York from my father's place in Tucson. My plan was to get back to London this month, as soon as I had enough money to do it. An occasional gig, my friend Steven's cooking and the ability to walk long distances would then combine to help me get by until the word of my greatness blew through the trees and was carried by the wind to bookers and colleagues and bears (oh my!), rendering me the fifth most employable comic in Britain.

Central to accomplishing this, however, was having the money to buy a ticket on a plane.

Now, I'm not a total idiot - I had a plan for this, too, But as with the rock solid, intellectually pure, basic "get thee to Britain" plan, the doing was not up the (already questionable) level of the planning.

For example, one source of money I was counting on was my friend Marc, a comedian who's been throwing some dollars my way in exchange for helping him develop new (very good and generated by him) ideas for his act. And he has not let me down.

But, for some reason(s), I haven't done the work as frequently or dedicatedly as I might have. Which has resulted in less money, less frequently -- an eminently predictable corollary.

Another small but useful chunk of money was to have come from the headline I sold The Onion. But it never came and I didn't want to be a noodge for fear they wouldn't buy something from me again, although if they haven't paid, they haven't really bought anything in the first place, have they?

So, I waited and, occasionally, obliquely asked about it and eventually I was told to send an invoice, which I would happily have done two months earlier had I been given the chance but . . .

That money still hasn't come, although it may be in my friend's mailbox.

Well, we're talking about hundreds of dollars from those two sources alone. That could have been my plane ticket money.

But I didn't get it and I don't have it and, to be honest, I knew I was going to have to delay my return to the UK by mid-January; still I hoped I'd be there by now.

However, with a little money for a ticket and maybe a little more than that for day-to-day things and a little money from an occasional gig and no guarantee of anything else, my survival over there would depend largely upon the reliability of my friend Steven's good home cooking.

So, naturally, as the end of January approached, he informed me he would be leaving town and subletting his flat for -- months -- starting in February.

This meant I couldn't enact my "plan" (really more of a scheme) even it I had a ticket. (Thank God I hadn't licked my money into a ticket. Thank God I hadn't gotten my money.) Fortunately, things in New York were interesting. I wasn't that unhappy about sticking around.

There've been television ideas I've helped develop and theater spaces I've been involved in conceptualizing. Good food and drink (and a winter coat) have been thrown my way in return and there is the promise of greater reward. But even without that reward, the creativity is sufficiently rewarding to make my efforts feel as if they were worthwhile. (Feeling this way has probably been my undoing.)

Also, there are women in New York who have piqued my interest and crucial to finding favor with them is being here and not elsewhere, currying (dis?)favor with others. Unfortunately, I seem to have developed a pattern of meeting women who, after meeting me, make the decision to another state before we have our first date, which we then, futilely, might still have.

It seems the women who are attracted to me are likely to be reaching the edge of their patience with life in New York and considering me as worthy of their attention is probably indicative of this, the feeling being, "Who knows? Maybe this kinda guy . . . "

I had a woman in (unbeknownst to me) just such a New York crisis track me down via the internet after losing the contact information I'd given her at an East Village bar. We drank wine ("Two-Buck Chuck") and ate Nathan's hot dogs on the beach at Coney Island on the same day that she was gathering up boxes to facilitate her move to Vermont.

And last month's most-desirable moved, suddenly, back to Indiana, which was particularly frustrating because she's since said she hadn't realized I was that interested 'cause I'd been dilly-dallying about when we'd be getting together.

Which comes, of course, back to money.

With no income and an unstable living situation, what would have been a good time for us to get together?

One day, I might have needed to do laundry but had no money, another I might have been down south at my sister's to save cash. Or maybe I couldn't be reached because I hadn't topped up my phone.

Y'see what I'm saying?

So, why, you might ask, did I not just get some kind of job to get me through this rough patch?

Well, after always getting by (if only just) via my wits and my art, I had a job for six years and when it ended I decided I would devote my time and energies to my comedy career alone, no longer allowing "the man" to sap my strength and focus. Maybe these current difficulties are necessary if I'm to get what I want from life.

But surely, I could've worked a couple of hours a day slinging hamburgers at my friend Anthony's burger joint.

Why? I was gonna make enough money to get to England doing what I was doing. It wasn't necessary.

It could've helped me have a social life in the meantime.

I wasn't gonna be around here long, anyway. And there are women I like in England.

But I'm not going to England so quickly. Especially since my friend whose place I stay in told me his place would be unavailable starting this month.

But since then, he got a gig that's keeping him there 'til March.

But I don't have the money to get there now. And it's almost March, anyway. What do I do when he leaves?

Maybe there'll be comedy opportunities there.

Maybe there'll be comedy opportunities here. My friend Zach, who's been a regular on several series and co-starred in the movie, "The Comedians of Comedy", said he'd get me in with the upper echelon of hip comedy venues and performers.

(God, I must be going crazy. I'm talking to myself.)

Through all this mental back and forth, only one thing remains clear:

My sneakers are really starting to stink again. I gotta do a laundry or buy new socks.

Or a powder or a spray.

But to get the money, I gotta PayPal money I don't have to a friend and get the cash from him, counting on the money I think is coming in being available by the time PayPal tries to take it from my bank.

Otherwise there'll be a $30 fee.

But in the meantime, I'll have sweet-smelling shoes.

Oh, yeah. my friend Alan said to stop boring you with the stuff about my stinky shoes. (But then he also said that people like to read about it because they like a "geek show", so how boring can it be?)

But stinky shoes are a serious issue in the world today. If I have stinky shoes, how can I take out a troubled girl in time to stop her from leaving the city in humiliation and defeat? (That's not a spelling error. I meant the other kind of "de feet". You know, the failure kind, not the stinky kind.)

I wonder if Alan's making meatloaf today or if he made it yesterday when I wasn't able to come by.

Would be good if he made it tomorrow, 'cause tonight I have to go to my friend Jack Fetterman's monthly party. (I have to.)

I guess I'll be blacking out later tonight and ending up in The Bronx or Bermuda or something. (See Don't know what it is about those Jack Fetterman parties . . . ) Maybe I'll wake up on the tube in London and then all this agonizing will be moot.

Giving me the chance to engage in some new and better agonizing.

21 February, 2007 @ 17:08 GMT

Feet 7

(Feet 1 --
(Feet 2 --
(Feet 3 --
(Feet 4 --
(Feet 5 --
(Feet 6 --

In a life lived uncertainly, moving between coasts constantly and not
knowing where you'll be laying your head that night (I've been on
planes heading from New York to Los Angeles, not knowing where I'll be
staying that night), hygiene is often a casualty. Throw in a lack of
income and you've got a prescription for bad smells.

Among the parts of the body most susceptible to such smells are feet.

Couple a days wearing the same socks = bad smell
Wearing the shoes without socks = bad-smelling shoes
Periodic socklessness = a stink that crawls up out of your shoes and
surrounds you, sometimes mimicking the smell of shit

There are only two things you can do when you've reached this point
and don't have the money to get new shoes or a spray or some kind of
powder or something:

#1. You can hide (if you have someplace do it).


#2. You can simply live your life, acting as if everything is normal
and hoping others won't notice or will understand and accept, though
you know they've gotta notice, but if they don't say anything, then
you won't know for sure, so maybe it was okay and you were worrying

I have generally chosen, or had thrust upon me, #2.

And the hardest place to cling to the most optimistic yearnings of #2
is in a car.

The doors are closed and you're often sitting right next to someone.
Man, it's hell.

Which is why I was so impressed when comedian Bruce Smirnoff gave me a
lift home from The Comedy Store one night. He had to notice, I knew.
But he asked me how I was and if there was anything he could do for me
without criticizing or insulting me or outing me as a stinky feet guy.

And he said I should call him if I ever needed anything. Man, he was nice.

So, a year or two later, when my friend Michael said he was going to a
hip, singles thing being thrown by Bruce Smirnoff at a fashionable
club, I said, "I'll go with you. Bruce Smirnoff is a really nice guy
and he really likes me."

The plan was made and later and when the time came to go, Michael told
me I could not.

"Bruce said you can't come," said Michael. "He said not to bring you;
that you smell and that if I bring you he won't ever invite me to
anything else again."

"But I smell okay today. Did you tell him that?"

"I tried to convince him, but he wouldn't listen. And don't tell him I
told you this, 'cause he told me not to say anything to you."

I was mortified. I was so embarrassed.

It would have been so much better if Bruce had said something back in
that car. I guess when someone doesn't say something, it doesn't mean
everything's okay.

Because some things just can't be transcended. Like the primitive,
locked-in, unavoidable revulsion to terrible smells.

Still, those smells must be there for a reason, such as to alert us to

For instance, my stinky shoes alerted me to the fact Bruce Smirnoff
was an insincere prick.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Well, I've gone and arranged to do take 2 Edinburgh slots as part of the "Free Festival".  One's gonna be a completely improvised hour of the sort that was so well-received when I did it 2 years ago.  The other will be a "serious"comedic hour of the sort that pissed off audiences last year, especially those who had seen the freewheeling hour the year before and wanted more of the same.

The final week or so of last year's epic struggle was intensely satisfying for me and much of the audience and the lessons learned should greatly inform this year's themed effort, which, as of now, is to be called "Every Day I Write the Book".  It bears a relationship to this blog, as it will also be a recounting of this year's experiences but it will not be a staged version of the blog.  In fact, the different yet equally factual ways in which the same life can be expressed should be interesting to anyone who's been reading this for a while.

Both shows are scheduled to be presented in a place called Berlin, which, as I understand it, is at, or just past, the "castle end" of Princes Street.  (I forget which way is east and which is west.)

I'm guessing I'll see some of you at one or both of the shows.  I hope so.

Updates as available.


17 February, 2007 @ 17:02 GMT

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sweatin' the Small Stuff

The other day, when I was dancing in Brooklyn, I started with my big winter coat on, a zip-up hoodie under that, and a backpack on my back. I'm not trying to be an eccentric dancer -- "Chico and the Man"'s Jack Albertson can rest in peace -- it's just that I ran into someone upon my arrival who wanted to dance.

And I liked the idea of summoning up a terpsichorean sinuousness while all bundled up for winter travel. The girl I danced with liked it too. (Especially 'cause I was good.)

But then I realized I couldn't afford to sweat up my clothes 'cause it'd mean I'd have to wash 'em sooner, a significant (in my life, as you've come to know it) expense.

So, I stopped short of dancing myself into the poor house and, eventually, took off all the winter clothes to protect my primary garments from my body's oh-so-efficient saltwater cooling system.


Economy can really be the enemy of funny.

20 February, 2007 @ 16:14 GMT