My Improv Tour Diary

I really don't want every entry to be about improv since I'm fairly certain that's it's about as interesting a topic to most of my friends as me writing about the roster of the Muir Island X-Men.

But this weekend has been crazy and, after what inspired the previous blog, relieving. Friday night I attended a practice session at Katey's place, coached by Nate Smith of UCB team T.R.U.C.K.S. There were five of us present and we all got equal amounts of extensive scene time. It was crazy informative and I left feeling super refreshed, a feeling that was completely put to the test during UCB's Jammin' With Ralph at midnight.

Jammin' With Ralph is a free 'improv jam' where anyone who wishes to perform puts their name in a bucket. Teams are then formed by drawing the names from the bucket and each group gets to perform for ten minutes. The jam is hosted by Fwand, which is the team my teacher (Shannon O'Neill) is on.

The jam was a lot of fun but completely bonkers since pretty much every rule flies out the window; scenes were about 30 seconds long, tag outs were happening left and right, arguments arguments arguments (!!!), and a performer who drank four beers and smelt like pot during Death By Roo Roo's show an hour earlier. He couldn't form a sentence.

I attended Rob Riggle's (The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live) two-day workshop on Saturday and Sunday morning, and it was really one of the most rewarding experiences in my improv career (yes, all six months of it). Rob was great at helping us get comfortable in scenes, find the game of scenes, listen, all that essential stuff. I had my absolute best 301 class that night, maybe because things are starting to come naturally now that I'm doing this more often. I performed two Harolds just because the class had an odd number and I didn't make it to my chair quick enough. Still, I thought both games I did were great and heightened well.

I also learned more about Rob's career history, the audition process for SNL being one of the more interesting tidbits. I'm glad I'm doing all this, I'm glad I'm finally getting better again after a brief period of nasty, and I hope to be more immersed in this in more aspects of my life by the end of the year.

I also had three good friends come up and visit me this weekend. It's been almost five months since I've seen Nicole, Renee or Rick, but goshdarnit if it never feels like it. Maybe it's because I keep so busy up here or talk to everyone from home so much, but time goes by so quickly and it never feels like it's been more than a week. I guess that's a sign of great friendships, when you can just keep going despite being on opposite sides of the country (up and down, not left and right). We got to hear insane train banter (including the possible dissolution of a relationship between a wannabe heiress and the world's most annoying/drunk underage rugby player), mosey around Central Park, and sleep in a hotel that had the best ice bucket I've ever ate. Good times.

So I guess things are fine. I have enough positive stuff in my life to keep going, despite how incredibly disappointed and saddened I am at other things. But things work out for the best, apparently, and there's no use being upset about things I can't change, like my grocer's lack of fulfilling personal pizzas.


2/22 - 4/26

I just don't know what to do with myself
I don't know what to do with myself
planning everything for two
doing everything with you
and now that we're through
I just don't know what to do

I just don't know what to do with myself
I don't know what to do with myself
movies only make me sad
parties make me feel as bad
cause I'm not with you
I just don't know what to do


Two Oh Two

I've noticed that professional bloggers, or the bloggers that I like the most, tend to not do the sort of "hey, here's what I did this past weekend" sprawling-catch-all-entries that I tend to do. I'm going to try and focus every post on one thing.

If the pic located to the left of this text hasn't already caused you to start skimming this blog for a mention of your name or a TV show you watch, I will let you know that this entry will be about my new class at the UCB. It's Improv 202, advanced game study, and it's taught by Joe Wengert of Reuben Williams (Saturdays @ 10:30).

For the first time since my graduation show almost a month ago, I feel confident in my improvabilities. I've been in something of a rut in 301, not horrible but not living up to my high standards. I was freezing up in scenes a lot, only for a second but that second always seems like an entire Lord of the Rings film to me (crazy long with a slow intensity that is unmatched). I also hate hate hate how I always seem to go straight to 10, or 11, or Crazy Town (population: me), or Henry Rollins level shouting. I know that game and good scenes come from real connections with your partner, but for some reason I expedite the process in class out of fear of getting edited quickly and not finding something before that. Lame.

Wednesday night was great. I had the same problems for a while but after listening to Joe's critiques and notes, I did what I consider to be my best scene in a long time. The suggestion was vintage and me and my scene partner did a nice scene about all the crap we were selling at our yet-to-be-opened vintage store. It had a nice game, real characters, and it made Joe and the class laugh. Spot on. It was great to feel successful, up to my stupid standards.

I knew this class was going to be great and Joe is a great instructor. Reuben has been my favorite improv team since I got back to New York and Joe has to be one of my favorite improvisers. So, good to learn from him. I've been lucky with teachers, as they've all been great. Seeing Shannon in Fwand is always spectacular and makes me want to work harder.

Some incredibly esoteric notes from Wednesday to remember:
- The scene is never about the crazy snake, it's about how the characters feel about the crazy snake
- Once you have your first weird thing, step away from it a bit, go about working at the Taco Bell or whatever; you'll come across the next move naturally and the audience will appreciate it more than if you just keep hitting the game over and over again
- It's hard to start a scene with an argument since the only heightening of that is insane crazy yelling land. Plus, most everyone goes through their day trying to not argue or have a confrontation, so it's realistic to not argue.
- Try not to do characters that are fooling people. It's much more fun to see people who are genuinely into what they are doing.
- Try and parallel the crazy stuff to something in real life, like a crazy meat cleaver using chef who serves things on tires and his 'apprentice.' Treat the apprentice like an intern or a daughter, some relationship that the audience can identify.

I'm sure there are more, but these are mostly the notes I was given and the ones I try to commit to memory.

More next week!


I need some time in the sunshine

I wore a t-shirt this weekend. A different one both days, but a lone t-shirt nonetheless. No sweater, no long sleeve shirt, no multiple jackets. Just a t-shirt with a light jacket brought along (just in case). First time this has happened all year and I am glad. Walking to 301 class on Sunday was some sort of crazy joy, listening to my iPod while walking in the sun. I was even smiling at tourists, feeling really happy for their obvious vacation as they wrangled their anxious children. I remember what it was like to be in NYC in the summer on vacation and I'm glad other people are experiencing it.

This is now, the first real weekend of spring. I'll have another tune to yodel in a month, I'm sure.

I spent Friday night watching the entire first season of The Real World, set in New York in 1992. Much like last Friday's viewing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I got to see NYC in all it's turn-of-the-decade grime as well as be shocked at how well the show stands up today. So many early 90s stereotypes are in the show and they all voice their beliefs so well! So many important issues are touched on (gayness, abortion, drug dealing, racism racism racism, homelessness, ticks on dogs) that I really regret loving the current Real World as much as I do. The show, when it started, was really important and it's turned into a nasty-fest. Not even the later-early seasons (Miami-Seattle) were as aware as the first three seasons.

I watched United 93 on Saturday and had my day thoroughly brought down. Really good movie but, geez, not a movie to watch in the middle of the day. Thankfully Louie came over and we watched an episode of Buffy and Hairspray. Two things that brought my mood up greatly and another two films in my 100 Film Initiative (I'm at 27, I think). I went to the final rooftop party with my friends from Late Show, but we cut out after a little while to go on an adventure.

A karaoke adventure.

Here. At SpotLightLive on Broadway.

The restaurant is at least three stories with a stage complete with lights and real instruments for the back up singers to incompetently strum during songs that "rock." The song selection for such a fancy establishment was appalling, but they made up for it in wild interactive features. Each table had a touch screen (because those are always efficient) computer that let you search for songs (all 38 of them), send messages to other tables, rate people performing, and watch past performances.

I was ready to sign up, the large stage, lights, and MTV reject backup singers did not frighten me. I came up with a list of songs to do on the way there. Knowing this was a fancy place, I thought they'd have a wider array of songs than the dinky sushi bar we normally go to (which has four Strokes songs and a couple Arctic Monkeys songs too, to show how random that place is). I planned on doing REM's "It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", anything by The Decemberists (a risk, but about as random as Arctic Monkeys), any B-52's song (preferably "Private Idaho" or one I haven't done), and "Ho" by Ludacris. But this place had none, not even "Love Shack." Somehow, they had "All Day and All Of The Night" by the Kinks, a staple of mine. I requested it, got on the list, all that. My turn got skipped, so I asked what the deal was. Apparently they didn't have it in their computer so it didn't show up on their thing, and there wasn't anything they could do about it. They had never heard of the song and wanted to know how it went, which I refused to enlighten them by singing. Whatever.

The rest of my party went and demanded it be found, and it was. I went on stage and rocked out with those gosh darn back up singers. These singers, let me tell you, sing the entire song on top of you in order to make every performance bearable, I guess. I don't need this. So I made sure to pump up the energy, pick up my mic stand, and do my best rock and roll screams. I showed them what's what.

The rest of my group had equally awesome experiences. Todd jumped on stage and broke it down whiteboy style to "Pump Up The Jam" (the most random song for karaoke ever, I'd say) and later did a paralyzing rendition of No Mercy's "Where Do You Go" after a mishap similar to mine. Ryan did "Sweet Caroline" which really brought the place to its knees, the backup singers looking confused at his crooning, and Reagan poured all of his sass into "Faith" and truly touched the audience.

We owned that karaoke bar, the only person coming close to us being the lady who looked like Kevin Sorbo who sang "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree." She was awesome.

Sunday was a lot quieter, but I had a nice 301 class. I have discovered that my gift is bringing opening games back around, full circle, to the suggestion. We did monologue hotspot, suggestion being tennis, and it got way far away from tennis for about 5 minutes. Most people had forgotten the suggestion, but I managed to link photographs to my time at yearbook and the awkward pictures of tennis players we had to go through. Yes, I was thinking of Nicole. I did this a couple more times during the organic openings we started learning. I only wish I could apply this confidence to my scenes, which seem to be okay. I don't think anyone is afraid to be in scenes with me, I just have noticed that I freeze up a lot and play the same character over and over again, mostly out of that same freezed-up-fear. Oy.

I saw Louie's form, Hotboard, done at the Magnet after class. It was really enjoyable and Louie did a great job of putting the cast together. The form itself was really cool, very quick and lots of song references (which I'm a fan of). I hope it's successful, since it deserves to be, and he gets to do it more often.

I start my 202 class with Joe Wengert on Wednesday. This is going to be a busy week.



Becoming friends with April on flickr a few minutes ago made me both happy and sad (that's :) and :( , okay). Happy because I'm glad I get another way to keep in touch with everyone back in Murfreesboro, happy because I finally have a picture of me in my Peter Parker costume (under a bloody tampon, yep). Sad because I see that everyone at home is having fun with each other and going to events that need to be photographed. Good chums. And I'm not in the photos. When I'm at work patroling the internet, I get homesick often. I need to be reminded of the things that NYC has to offer me and it's a good thing it's Thursday, the night of my UCB fun where I get to go to events that could be photographed (but aren't since I got my camera stolen). Whenever someone doesn't know that a toboggan is also a head covering, whenever someone goes to "get a pop," whenever I see a Mini Cooper, whenever I hear Melinda Doolittle represent on American Idol, I miss home. Being up here doesn't seem worth it and I want to run back to a place where this is going on without me.

Buuuuuuuut whenever I meet celebrities or take an improv class or see an awesome concert or just, you know, go to Boston for the weekend or hang out with the people I've met up here, I'm reminded of why this is fine. I'm still in the adjustment period and, really if Nashville had improv and a comedy television show worth five bits of beans, I'd be more conflicted. But career wise, and personal matters wise, New York is good for me. Maybe the best for me. I just wish I could do stuff like this here. More like I wish I could marry all of my close friends, live in a big house together, to paraphrase Of Montreal.

And The Features are playing in New York again on June 5th. Thank God! But, rassum frassum, they're playing with Kings Of Leon. Whatev, I'll cut out early. But being attached to that band means I have to pay $30 to see The Features in a big venue with a crowd of KOL fans who will be wearing feathered earrings, skinny jeans, and trendy cowboy boots while also sporting homeless person hair. So...I'm glad the Features will be getting that exposure, but the "intimate" setting I saw them in last time isn't making a return appearance.


TV: Lost "Catch-22"

TEASER It really, really sucks to be Desmond. He goes from being a slave to a button that 'saves the world' to being a slave to visions that save a washed up (but lovable...sometimes) rock star. I don't even remember when that cable was first found, season one maybe? Darn you, writers of Lost, and your sharp memories! You don't forget anything! Keep that up.

ACT ONE BRIAN K. VAUGHAN. Just today I was wondering when Vaughan, the greatest and most consistently genius comic writer of the past ten years, was going to make his debut. Bada-bing, here it is. This, wow. I have a weird sense of pride, like, my lil' comic writer is all grown up and fending for himself in the big bad world of TV. TV writers often go to comics and boy-oh-boy are those results mixed....and delayed (Lost's own Damon Lindelof tried to write Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine, and it's been over a year and a half since #2 came out...where's #3?). But comic writers hardly ever go to TV and I can't think of a real track record outside of Jeph Loeb, who himself was a story editor last season on this show. Also, we know why Desmond calls everyone 'brother,' so that's cool. Although, no clue how him being a monk or whatever fits in with his back story. And I swear, if I have to lose both Sanjaya AND Charlie tonight? No. I can't deal with that.

ACT TWO Lots of people doing things for selfish reasons. It seems that Desmond doesn't care about Charlie's life, so long as he gets Penny back. Kate doesn't really care if she hurts Sawyer, just so long as she can make the hurt of seeing Jack and Juliet together go away. The show has done a swell job of making me genuinely want a Kate/Jack or Kate/Sawyer relationship, but seeing how she's acting post-decision-for-Sawyer, I want neither. She's got too many issues and isn't good enough for either right now. Of course Juliet is maybe evil so she's not good for Jack either. Geez, who knows. And I'm not so sure what just happened. Did the helicopter crash and someone eject? My bad reception isn't making this clear.

ACT THREE Okay, so the monk thing was pre-Penny and shows that Desmond is willing to make sacrifices in order to go after what he considers to be more important. I was skeptical about the pilot actually being Penny, but that bookmark makes me think differently. Maybe someone was borrowing her copy?

So yay, Desmond has some sorta conscience, but the look Charlie just gave him makes me think Des isn't getting off so easy.

Okay conclusion, except I'm kinda mad that the pilot is someone we don't know. I knew it wasn't going to be Penny, too easy. I thought maybe it was going to be the woman Des left at the altar, but no clue as to why she would have that picture in the book. Now it's someone even Desmond doesn't know, and we have no idea why she has that picture. Maybe she was sent by Penny? I assume so. Eh, okay. Not a strong conclusion.

MY SCORE: *** (out of 5)


Professor Jalopy

I've become very familiar with the term "nor'easter" over the past 24 hours. Being from the south, I wasn't at all sure what this silly term meant until I looked it up. Yes, it applies. It has been raining since Saturday night, the worst of it all being yesterday. I had to leave the house to go to my second 301 class, which meant a ten minute walk in a nor'easter (I'm using the word!). My umbrella protected me somewhat, but my Adidas and Bad Jeans were still fairly damp. The trek home was even worse. My 301 went okay. It was a lot of fun but my mood (hunger + soak) got in the way a bit. The rain had let up in Manhattan when I got out of class at 9:30 PM, but after finally making it home (the R train has some hilarious kinks late at night) it had picked up worse than ever. The umbrella was fine for keeping my head and face dry, but I was soaked up to my thighs. Mmmm...good times.

That was the only bad thing about this weekend. Steph and Kim came over Friday night and we watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Empire Records in a half-hearted attempt to relive the 90s. Re-watching Turtles, I realized that the film is spectacular. Directing, writing, acting, turtle acting, it's all top notch and highly enjoyable. So much glee from this movie! Empire doesn't hold up as well but goshdarnit if it wasn't one of the most important movies of my teenage years.

I went to Roger's Time Machine with Louie and some friends on Saturday. My request for back issues was heartily met, all for insanely low prices. I did buy a second copy of Alpha Flight #2 because I hadn't updated my Need List, oops. I also bought Avengers #200, the issue where Ms. Marvel is impregnated and gives birth to the man who impregnated her, all at an accelerated rate. Needless to say, it's a doozy of an issue. Between this and Ms. Marvel losing her powers to Rogue a year later, the 80s were a craptacular decade for her.

Saturday night was the Magnet Theater's birthday party and I can't think of a more fun time in recent memory. I got my doses of dancing and conversing, two things I've missed so. The Magnet is filled with nice people, by the way, and I like spending time with them. It's not as intimidating as UCB, definitely.

And Professor Jalopy is a name I made up to describe how I'm dressed today, due to the nor'easter (I used it again). My tan trench coat, my brown newsboy cap, my brown corduroy pants, and a brown argyle sweater. It's the 1940s, it's London, and I'm teaching you literature, Russian literature. Bring me my pipe, lad.


English Sandwich

I've passed Keith Olberman and Pat Sajak on the street in the last couple weeks. Neither of those casual brushes with celebrity compared to yesterday morning. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost stopped by a certain XM radio show to promote their film Hot Fuzz (which I raved about here). These guys also did Shaun of the Dead, which firmly puts writer Pegg and director/writer Edgar Wright in my top five filmmakers of all time (only Joss Whedon and Alexander Payne are competition, I'd say). I've been pumped about this meeting since seeing Hot Fuzz and Don Imus almost ruined it for me.

Apparently Opie idolizes Don Imus and the absolutely tragic and witch-hunty events (sarcasm ahoy) happening to Imus have put Opie into tantrum mode, meaning that he wanted to spend all five hours of his show on Tuesday talking about nothing but Imus. Meaning no Simon and Nick, two guests who will be on "Kimmel," "Late Show," "Conan," "Leno," and "GMA" in the next couple weeks. Yeah Opie, your show is bigger than all those. Keep telling yourself that. You'll eventually find yourself without any guests and no show. And that'll make me happy. A compromise was made and Simon and Nick got to be on the show for 15 minutes.

I got to XM a half hour before they were supposed to go on, so the guys had just started to hear what O&A's show is like and had just started to get angry. It was a weird mood but they were so nice and very happy that I loved the movie. Joyful picture taken and I left soon after.

The interview itself was horrible. Simon politely disagreed with O&A, believing that racist humor doesn't have a place unless its done intelligently to open a dialogue. This goes against O&A since the majority of their humor relies on verbally raping people based on their sexual orientation, nationality, race or weight.

So in the middle of the glory of meeting Simon and Nick, my hatred for shock jocks has reached a boiling point. I think they should all go, every one of them. They contribute nothing but hatred and intolerence and, hey, aren't funny at all. That's the point, isn't it? To be funny? Calling someone a faggot isn't funny.


Super Weekender

The past couple days have run through my life like gang busters. I haven't had much time to blog or do anything that involves me at home. Friday night was Louie's and Heidi's (his roommate) seder of the rock and roll variety. Passover seders are normally like this; this one involved Talking Heads, Freddy Krueger, the Beatles, and lots of other pop culture-y items. It was good fun and I enjoyed hanging out with people, being in the company of a house party. The art of the house party seems to be lost on New York City. Too many birthdays are celebrated in bars and I don't think I'll ever see show of any sort in what was formerly a living room in NYC. Murfreesboro citizens, be thankful for your homes that inside of which you party.

Saturday was spent designing a flyer for my friend Jeffrey Marx's upcoming sketch show at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. I've only been in the city 8 months and I'm about to have something that I designed inside of the most important place (to me) in all of the city. Never mind the fact that I was never hired to design anything for anyone in Tennessee. I hope this leads to more. Saturday evening was my ramshackle improv practice group with some of my fave classmates. It was good and successful, as successful as it can be without a coach. Yoink. But we had fun and any time that I get to hang out with people at my apartment is a good time. Went to see Grindhouse that night. A mixed bag leaning towards good, that movie is. "Planet Terror" was great fun, but "Death Proof" was painful to watch with most of that pain being the "Stop talking, shut up, just SHUT UP, please do something, anything, STOP STOP SHUT UP NO MORE TALK AAAHHHH!!" kind, some being the "this action is so intense it hurts!" kind. Grindhouse was the 23rd entry in The 100 Film Initiative, I do believe.

Louie got to experience Easter/springtime holiday as I know it when we went to his teammate Alexis' brunch. There was a smorgasbord of breakfast food fresh from Paula Deen's cookbook and Easter egg dying. This was the first time in a long time that I've done anything egg-related for Easter. Sunday night I saw TJ & Dave do improv and it was more inspirational and enjoyable than last time. A nice monthly tradition.

I returned to work yesterday but that did not make my day uneventful. No no no! I saw The Protomen last night, fresh from Murfreesboro and thriving in NYC. There was an actual line of people there to see them, including teeny children, pre-teens, and high schoolers that you just know wear t-shirts with wolves on them. The rest of the crowd was the adult type, don't worry. People were pumping their fists, singing along, doing air guitar, all this to a band from Murfreesboro that features people that I hang/hung out with on a semi-regular basis. It was a crazy night and I'm so glad that the band is doing so well. Lots of pride in my hometown.

I couldn't hang out after the show since I had to get up early early to meet Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) at XM.

That post is coming

The picture of me in a Simon and Nick sandwich is too.


Comic Lust

I'm addicted to comics. It's such a pathetic thing to be addicted to, especially to admit, but it's true. Since comic-reading is a lonely habit, becoming social once a week when you go to the comic store and get extremely pissed off at having to fight your way to Runaways #25 (Midtown Comics, I'm glaring at you), so I don't know what it's like to be a normal comic fan.

Is it normal to keep up with your collection in an Excel spreadsheet? Is it normal to countdown to when your collection reaches the big 3000 (only fifty more to go!)?

Is it normal to re-read all of your old issues and grade them on a scale of 1-10 based on how good the issue is? Is it normal to do this in hopes of one day having a definitive list of my 100 favorite issues?

Is it normal to keep a list of comics you need (not want, need) in your wallet for handy reference? Is it normal to try multiple times to put this list on your iPod to varying degrees of success?

The big one I'm asking myself today: is it normal to let current issues and current events completely convince you that you need to track down back issues? The ones I currently need (yes, need) are:

Black costume era issues of Amazing Spider-Man (#252-300)
I started collecting issues from this period a couple years ago but that fell by the wayside and gave way to my Avengers craze of early 2006. The current insanity that is Spider-Man 3's promotion in NYC makes me want these even more.

She-Hulk era issues of Fantastic Four (#265-298)
I make no secret of how much I love She-Hulk in her current series, so I really want to see how she fared during her time with the FF. Plus, these are the John Bryne issues, widely regarded as the series' best. The upcoming movie that may not suck (emphasis on may) also has a hand in this, so since I can't spend $2200 to get the three issues that inspired the film, I'm sticking with this.

Julia Carpenter's tenure with the West Coast Avengers (#74-102)
Julia was better known as Spider-Woman until the original bearer of that name came back from obscurity and joined the New Avengers. Now Julia goes by Arachne and has been a supporting player in Ms. Marvel for the last couple issues (yes, I'm still buying it). Her interactions with Wonder Man and Ms. Marvel don't have much weight with me and I want to read these issues just to get a better grip on her character and place in the Marvel Universe. Plus, I need another Marvel heroine to enjoy after She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel.

Just a little more disposable income and I'll be giving in.



I love my friend Susie for many reasons, the most current one being that she has this picture on her myspace page. This was New Year's Eve 05/06 and...well, it's just a darn fun picture. It's a tad misleading for I do have male friends, a good number actually. They just happened to not be in the early 90s dance party that was going down in April's bedroom (and we all know if there's an early 90s dance party, I'm spinning like Spinderella). What I really love about this picture is how it seems to be a composite of how most everyone looks in their own pictures all caught together in one moment...except for me. I usually look stupid/goofy in pictures, but rarely can that also be described as "sinister" or "devilish" like in this pic.

So now I'm starting to wonder when a picture like this will happen up here in NYC. There's a level of intimacy in the above photo, and not due to the alcohol that was consumed. There's an ease, a spontaneity, something that 90210 cast photos strived for. This photo is the result of friendships years in the making and the goshdarn survival of another year in Murfreesboro, no eyes cast on the upcoming year of boring Boro life. That moment, En Vogue in the background and good friends all around.

I have no clue when a photo like this will be taken up here. I'm starting to really make friends up here, I'm starting to be social. Things are going well, thanks to one special person in particular. Who knew such fine Italian cuisine could be found in Astoria? I'm also getting a practice group together for improv purposes with the hopes of performing by the end of the year. I've settled into a groove, now that I have a home. I like this groove. Life is starting to feel like life and not just an internship or a vacation. It's starting to feel like I live here. And looking at that picture above makes me sad that this is true. But also happy because that picture was taken and can be taken again with the same, new, who knows, people.

That's the way it is.


Odds & Ends

I spend a lot of time on the internet and when I'm not reading about dinosaurs on wikipedia, I'm stumbling across comedy/nerdtastic gold. Here are four such nuggets, only two of which are nerdtastic.

The 50 Greatest Local TV Commercials
Any jingle that rhymes lizard with chinchilla and dog with scorpion is brilliant in my book. My favorite is just below, but spend some time watching all fifty.

And this is the craziest thing I've ever seen. And I've seen Wynonna Judd.

Ten Things I Like About The Empire Strikes Back
A hilarious and too true post about ten minute-but-riveting aspects of my favorite film of all time. I'm such a nerd I noticed most all of these on my own before reading this article. My fave moment (R2 vs. Yoda over the lamp) is not included.

They Didn't Study
One of my favorite entries in Davy Rothbart's Found is a found algebra test from a kid who just didn't study but, goshdarnit, he was creative with his answers. The teacher did not give him credit for his rap about how bad his algebra skills were. Here are some other tests gone funny.

The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection
Hand sculpted out of lead, hand painted with love, and depicting modern and classic versions of my fave characters, these figurines are a must have that I just stumbled across today. Apparently they're only available in the UK and come with a monthly Marvel mag (that's what I gather from a light browsing of the non-figurine-photos section of the site). My favorites have to be the five of the six members of Astonishing X-Men represented here, Storm (X-Treme X-Men era), the classic Angel, a modern She-Hulk, Mike Mayhew's version of Mystique, and Captain Marvel. Yes. Captain Marvel. I love that these figurines aren't restricted to the heavy hitters! I have to figure out a way to get all of them. They're like happy meal toys for adults.



It was both a long weekend and the last weekend without internet. The wonderful (?) people of RCN should be arriving on Saturday to give me the hook up, thus bringing back my immediate Lost reviews and weekend musings.

My 201 class show was on Saturday and I have nothing but huge grin-filled hugs and high fives for the peeps that came to see me. Really, did not expect that much of a showing. I'm glad that I also didn't suck totally; I had a good first beat and a Looney Toons second beat that was grounded since Ulla and I kept playing our game, not letting crazy groundskeepers and moving corpses completely derail us. It was a manic scene. I was proud of the montage we did.

The rest of the day was spent having lunch with my awesome class, going to Bryant park with Katey and Jessica, and then seeing the entire Saturday night lineup at UCB (Let's Have A Ball, Mother, Reuben Williams, CageMatch: Wrestleslamania 2). Mother (pictured above) was the best I've probably ever seen them and ReuWi was with all 8 members for the first time this year. It was a magical night. Plus I got to see my teacher shoot her pussy cheese at a giant rat during CageMatch. I was out til 5 AM that night.

My improv 301 class started Sunday and it was, maybe, the best first day I've had. It's a smaller class (only 10 of us) with some familiar faces and lots of new ones. I got one good scene out of the class as a new hire at a recycling plant just looking for a father figure. I also got a compliment on my pattern game skills, so that will be something I use to inflate my ego at every possible moment.

Now I'm back at work. Gnarly.