So hungry!

If this blog was a child, it would have quietly passed away from malnourishment a couple days ago, slumped in my closet, the dying cries being drowned out by "Grip Like A Vice" by The Go! Team and the evangelical ramblings of those crazy kids in Jesus Camp.

Here's what I've been up to. The first sentence informs you of what the rest of the paragraph is about, so skip the ones you don't care about.

1. I acquired a roommate at the start of this month, her musings can be read here (along with pictures of our apartment, documentation I have not been able to produce ever since I was robbed). Living with someone has both ups and downs. I can no longer walk around the apartment in my underwear, marveling at my stunning physique in the giant mirror doors in my foyer. My ego may start to suffer from the lack of self-ogling. On the plus side, I've actually had meals and someone to watch movies with, so it's a winning situation. And who knows, she may eventually warm to the idea of me flexing my nearly nude self. Um, a lot of that was a joke.

2. My improv group that has been practicing since May finally has a name and a debut date. We are Bad Data (myspace link) after oh-so-much deliberation and our first show will be at Under St. Mark's on September 1st, with Sherpa. I feel a lot more confident about myself when I'm with these guys (or gals, actually, me and Mitch are far outnumbered) and I think we're on the way to forming a nice solid unit. Crazy, I've been performing with Jess and Katey for almost a year now. A year! I'm looking forward to getting into the performing scene; I feel a bit like Rob in High Fidelity when he finally releases an album he produced after years of loving music. You become a part of what you love.

3. I started interning at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater the first Friday of this month. The internship lasts the duration of two back-to-back UCB classes (usually 4-6 months), the first of mine begins at the start of September. It's a special sketch writing class focusing on writing for Saturday Night Live. I'm way excited about it. Back to the internship, I'm loving it so far. I love being a wee bit responsible for the running of the theater. I feel like I'm earning my keep in a way, that this differentiates me from just being a touristy person stopping by. I feel like I'm paying my dues, I feel as good as I did when I was interning at Late Show. Also, this is as close as I'm going to come to feeling like a cast member in Empire Records. It's awesome.

4. My 401 class with Michael Delaney is another case entirely. We had our first class show (of two) on Monday and it went....okay. I've been struggling, or just getting by, in class, not really making any huge mistakes or getting a lot of notes. Until Sunday. I got a weird note. Delaney told me I tend to always play character games that are fine, but they take focus away from my scene partner and can become dull and boring to the audience. Okay sometimes, but I do this in every scene I'm in, so, no good. It was also a compliment because he said I'm clever and a really funny guy, and that I have the ability to take anything (anything) tossed at me in a scene and justify it immediately. That's good. I just need to learn how to apply that to enhancing my scene partner and not myself.

5. I'm doing poorly with my 100 Film Initiative. I've only seen 53 movies this year which puts me about two months behind schedule. No doubt how busy I've been has affected this, but on the plus side, I think this is a record. I can't think of any other time when I've seen 53 movies in a year, so, go me. Stranger Than Fiction was the last one I watched and I thought it was really touching, so much so it deserved a five star rating (thus causing an even greater rift in me and Ashley's Netflix similarity rating). I also got to see Superbad a good while before it opens and I can say that it is good. Highly entertaining with just enough smarts and true character work to balance out the gross out humor and constant barrage of f-bombs (it distracted me at times, so what?).

6. I bought tickets to see The Apples In Stereo in September. I would have gotten Go! Team tickets but they sold out before I even knew they were on sale. This greatly irritates me since every time I watch a clip of them on YouTube, I become immediately envious of the people in the front row getting sprayed by the sweat being blasted off of Ninja's body by her jubilant jumping and dancing. I mean, they have a great live show, even if the vocals are completely different live than on the record (I'm still not sure if I have the UK or US version of the debut album, or if the supposed changes are even noticeable). The Hives have a date in October not opening for Maroon 5, so I have to figure out when those go on sale and get them. Seeing The Hives live will complete a 5 year long mission of mine.

7. Comic books are great. I spent The Great Flood Day last week (right?) reading the start of Bill Sienkiewicz's run on New Mutants and I haven't been let down. The art is solid (better at the start than towards the end) and Claremont's characterization is a thing to study and emulate. The man was a genius. Reading these issues for the first time (yep!) makes me love Cannonball and Wolfsbane even more. And yeah, shame on me for reading them for the first time. I got most of the 80s spin-off books at random times and usually in bulk, so I never made it through all of them.

8. I'm G.I. Joe crazy right now and the 25th Anniversary of the relaunched Hasbro line is the reason. The action figures that are coming out/have come out are breathtaking. Seriously. I spent a whole afternoon reading about the Joes on wikipedia and have decided to buy back issues of the Marvel Comics series. I wonder what happened to me and the Joes. I've been a fan for as long as I can remember and they stood the test of time, outliving TMNT and existing alongside Star Wars and the X-Men until the comic ended in 1995. But then they just sorta faded away, I guess my outgrowing toys (in the playing-with-them capacity) and the disappearance of the comic and cartoon erasing them from my mind and day-to-day existence.

9. I've been included in a sketch group that is tentatively called Zartan (after I realized that every member of Cobra's code-names would be a great improv/sketch team name). I performed in a sketch a couple weeks ago at UCB's "Liquid Courage" (a show where anyone can perform a sketch, as long as you sign up and, you know, have a sketch prepared). The goal is to do this every time "Courage" is offered and eventually start performing at other venues and putting things on YouTube.

10. Things that annoy me: FedEx/delivery people not having pens when they deliver something and need you to sign for it. Subway rides to Brooklyn.

Hopefully this was enough to keep the child that is my blog alive for a little while longer.



Sophomore year of high school, we did an exercise in Drama I where we challenged ourselves to talk for as long as we could on one subject without using filler. No "uhs" or "likes" or anything like that. Most people had a hard time staying afloat, drowning in a sea of like-heavy sentences. Me? I talked for so long that the teacher had to cut me off at twelve minutes. Twelve minutes of talking about Oasis. I may have revealed blood types.

Ever since that exercise, I've noticed what filler people use and I become easily distracted by it. I will count how many times you say "really." I will notice how many rhetorical questions you ask. I will notice and I will count them. I managed to turn this into a game starting my junior year of high school. Our AP english teacher (Mrs. Walls) was completely floored at the number of students in the class. AP classes are meant to be smaller than honors so that the student can learn/not form a strong enough mob to revolt against another request to open up their Harbraces. Our class was pushing 30, easily. In the first two classes of the school year, Mrs. Walls said at least 20 times that the class was too big and then waved her hands around, completely beside herself. I then decided to start counting every instance of this. I did this again the next year with my pre-calculus teacher every time she said "mouths are closed."

This awareness is a curse, all around. Sure, counting nervous sayings by teachers got laughs (the good kind), but it's not worth the annoyance that is directed at myself. I am hyper aware of every word I say, which is quite possibly the worst possible thing to accompany a mouth that always speaks without thinking. I spend a good portion post-conversation time going over all the dumb crap I said. Here is a list of my horrible verbal habits...

Word - When in doubt, I speak urban slang from 1995.
What up? - The catch phrase that the writers on NewsRadio wanted to attach to Matthew Brock. Do I want to be like Matthew Brock? Andy Dick?
Like - Not excusable. I have a better vocabulary than this and this filler word has outlived its purpose. Twenty years strong, I think 'like' used as filler is soon going to be in the dictionary. Oh wait, it is (definition #25).
Awesome - My default adjective for things that are generally good, above average, mind blowing, etc. I also say this in improv scenes, whether I'm a grandad or Satan.
Bee tea double you - This is recent and I hope, I hope, that it doesn't stick. Speaking internet slang is both funny and annoying, oh em gee, double you tea eff.
I dunno - Once the bane of my vocabluary, I think I've gotten rid of this one. I swear, this would pop up with as much frequency as 'like' in almost the exact same places.

But as annoying as those are, none compare to my physical habits that accompany meeting or saying goodbye to someone.

The Salute - I started this a while ago and it's annoying now. It's a casual salute though, like Han Solo rebelliousness being reigned in to show a sly modicum of respect to someone. What is my problem?
Air Guns - This started recently and a lot over the past weeked at the Del Close Marathon. I form guns (index finger out, thumb up, other fingers crammed into my hard fist like a real man) with both hands and then...shoot them...at whoever I'm leaving. Kill me. Where did this come from? Did Matthew Brock do this, or any other of Andy Dick's characters? What's going on with me?!

Add these to my other social anxieties of putting my foot in my mouth and saying exactly what I don't mean, I'm sure I make a horrible first impression on people. That doesn't go away. Because I still continue to shoot them with air bullets. From my air glocks.

If you see me or hear me do any of the above, call me out on it. It has to stop.