Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time's Up, Pencils Down

I have a new blog: I probably won't be updating this anymore, but thanks to everyone who has come here. Check out my new thoughts and musings over on Tumblr. And remember, I will always love you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rap Battles for Jesus

Huffington Post just put up this amazing video of a Christian rap group espousing the merits of the "Christian Side Hug", therefore making sure teens don't accidentally have sex with one another while front-hugging.

Besides the inane subject matter, there are so many things to love about this video: the gunshot and police siren side effects (because guns and violence are cool as long as you don't hug anyone ), the weird bridge where they start talking about the decmocratic shift in congress, and the AMAZING chorus which says:

"I'm a Rough Rider
Filled up with Christ's' love"



Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm a writer so I am writing....

I am, for once, really truly at a loss. But I'm a writer, so I will write about it, because it's all I've got. If anyone reads this, I apologize ahead of time for the 100 percent self-indulgence that it reflects. But it's my blog and and I will cry if I want to. For lack of a better term. If you want light entertainment, feel free to look at other past (and I'm sure future) posts that contain hilarious links to retarded videos.

This morning, after my feline companion of 14 years, decided to have his little kitty heart attack I put his lifeless little body in a cat carrier and waited around for two hours for my vet to open. As soon as I got in touch I ran out of the house heaving the basket and realized what the term "dead weight" means. The little guy got a lot heavier with all that death in him, so I ended up getting a car, and then let myself have a little nervous breakdown outside of the vet before I went in. I didn't really say goodbye to him or anything, just handed him over, carrier and all. I opted to not get his ashes back, as I've never quite undestood how people find any solace in that tradition. My family isn't really one for funerals or things so I am always at a loss at these moments. It's an incredibly lonely feeling, to just give that little body away, but I didn't have the option of a ritual that would give me closure, so I was stuck with signing a credit card receipt for $75 to have hiim cremated somewhere in New Jersey. That had to do.

Then I walked home, called my dad, cried, slept, cried, watched TV, cried, checked facebook about 45 times, cried, slept, watched the Mad Men season finale, and then cried. What the hell? With the amount of moisture that has left my body I should be a dehydrated corpse at this point, but I apparently have a limitless reserve of tears for these occasions. I finally pulled it together and though maybe I was done for a bit, until my vet called to see how I was doing. Floodgates reopened. Doesn't take much.

It's been such a long time since I have dealt with death, which obviously is a good thing, but I forgot how these moments bring up so many feelings and questions and sense of displacement. You can't help but think how fleeting it all is. Especially with animals, who leave nothing behind besides a few cat toys and those adorable pictures that you took of them when they climbed into that laundry basket or whatever. But other than that, their existence is just a collection of your memories -- there are no things, no letters, no poems, no books they have written, no paintings they have painted, nothing. Just the memory you get when you look at the drawer that he would sleep in if you forgot to close it before going out or the scratches on your sofa where he would claw even though you would yell at him not to, and that has to be enough, but the impermanence of it is so sad and depressing and empty.

That said, although I am at best agnostic, I do believe that if there is proof of God that it lies largely in the amazing connection we have to our pets. So thanks to Franklin, my amazing cat, for giving me that connection and for being my most consistent loving, sometimes exasperating, curious, and entertaining friend for almost half my life. If there is a God you are with him surely.

Rest in peace my friend.

Uh-oh, floodgates again.....

There's nothing like sitting around with your dead cat to make you want to start blogging again....

My cat died about 20 minutes ago in my bed.

I was planning on having him put down today. I called the vet yesterday to make the appointment but they were already closed at 3pm so I figured I would just call first thing this morning. When I came home last night he was in bad shape and I put him in bed with me. He started seizing this morning and I just watched helplessly and tried to pet and calm him and then suddenly he was gone.

I don't know what time my vet opens his doors. It's about 6:30am and I think they may not open until 8am. This is a predicament. I put Franklin in his cat carrier and then wondered what I could do to pass the time, besides the obvious (cry, feel terrible, cry more, feel terrible more).

I pondered reading my Carlos Castaneda or History of Qabbala books but mulling over the nature of human (and animal) existence and deeper theological questions, although perfectly appropriate at times like these, is a little deeper than I care to go. Taking my Rosetta Stone French lesson somehow seems inappropriate and watching the glare of vapid morning TV programs just seems like a headache-inducing waste of time.

So here I am, pouring heart and soul into a defunct blog because there is nothing else to do at times like these but write down how terrible you feel and have the whole world read about it on some public platform. Such is the world we live in. At least I am not Tweeting about this. Yet.

From Franklin's (soon to be) ashes, I guess this blog has arisen again. I will find something less maudlin to write about next time I post, because hopefully I will not need something I love dearly to have died inches from my face in order to get me to write on here again.

We'll see.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes....

Due to the ridiculous venture I have embarked upon of running 13.1 miles this weekend in Phoenix, I had to go for a brief training run in the 24 degree weather.

As I was shivering/running through Park Slope, I ran past a group of 2nd graders who had just gotten out of school. As I ran past, one of the little 7 year old boys yelled after me "Run like the wind!".

Right. Will do. Thanks for the encouragement, kiddo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What the..?

Hillary Duff is set to star in a new Fox series about the youngest girl to ever pass the bar exam at the age of 18. The name of this vehicle?

Barely Legal.

OK, can I just saw "Ewwww."? Secondly, I'm glad to see that Fox is finally targeting that all-important 40-60 year old borderline-pedophile demographic. They have been ignored by the networks for way too long. Good going Fox!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I just saw this commercial:

This commercial is supposed to be about how "fun" Carnival Cruise Lines is, and how adults are just kids at heart who want to play with beach balls.

Let me tell you something, Carnival: The very first thing I thought as I watched this was that if a beachball that is approximately the size of my apartment dropped off the side of a building towards the street where I was standing, I would be FUCKING TERRIFIED. I literally felt anxious and almost started hyperventilating while watching this stupid fucking thing.

If this happened in reality, I would run screaming in terror and would have some sort of post-traumatic stress every time I saw a beach ball or was in a city or was in a crowd of people or was alive. This is like a very bizarre terrorist attack that somehow taps into my memories of being the outcast in gym class when I used to cower in the corner as volleyballs flew overhead.

Clearly a marketing genius made this commercial, because I am feeling so anxious that I must immediately go on a cruise.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


This post will be exclusively about my friend Chris Gethard and his new show that you should go see.

Gethard and I have known each other for about 6 or 7 years now. He is an improvisor, actor, and writer and has really weird shit happen to him on an almost daily basis. It's not uncommon to run into Chris and have him tell you in detail about the high speed car chase he was in earlier in the day or how he acquired the black eye that you have just inquired about. (Usually related to his brutal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training that he seems to do about 8 hours a day). Chris's many stories were the inspiration for my "30 Day Challenge" on this blog last year. He also shows his love/obsession with certain athletes by writing one man shows about them, or producing videos in which he states how gay he is for them. (Chris may have a hint of stalker about him, but he at least expresses it creatively).

On to the real point of this post: Chris has taken his penchant for attracting random happenings and combined it with his love of storytelling (at which he is a master), and the result is his new show "Chris Gethard's Magic Box of Stories", currently running at UCB. He has video commentary by his mother after each story he tells, and even if you have heard them many times (as I have) you will enjoy hearing them again. (At the last show I attended, people yelled out the names of their favorite stories-- repeat patrons!) You should see this. Go to here and make a reservation. He has a show tonight and a few more to come.

Also, please watch this:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some things I recommend and stuff

I am still sick. It is now day number five and I am finally on the upswing, after trying to be productive whilst simultaneously dying over the last few days. The most frustrating/uncomfortable side effect of this illness has been an asthmatic cough that seems to be infinite in its duration and ability to make me miserable.

In my illness I have managed to do a lot of web surfing and tv watching, during which I have stumbled upon some of the following delights: -- You get to make your own movies. So far I have made weird existential French films set in a Japanese rose garden and an English gangster film set in a playground.

Blogs: I highly recommend reading Julie Klausner's yearend wrapup blog. Julie is acerbic and hilarious, and will make you see the truth about Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP website, Jackie Mason, and sharks. Games! I used to play these all the time, but forgot about it with the advent of the time sucking Facebook apps such as Scramble and now defunct Scrabulous. These are simple and beautiful and nicely diverting.

I know at least 6 people in this movie. Rob Huebel, one of the aformentioned 6 people, says the screening he saw was hilarious. SUCCESS:

I also watched a lot of horrible TV/films and can say unequivocally that The Brothers McMullen is an unwatchable sloppily written terribly acted (with the exception of Connie Britton who manages to make the wooden dialogue sound sortuv realistic) mess of a film and the fact that this launched the career of Ed Burns is completely mystifying to me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I have had a wicked cold for 3 days. I seem to remember a time when a bad cold didn't make me want to die and crawl into bed but that seems to be the case these days. The fun of getting older. When I get sick I throw out my normal productive checklist and use my alternate only-when-I-am-sick checklist:

-Watch E! - show about 25 hottest Cougars in Hollywood
-Make Soup
-Take Dayquil
-Watch MTV's Hills Wrapup Show
-Take Zinc Lozenge-
-Make grilled cheese sandwich
-Watch E! True Hollywood Stories: Serial Killers
-Make Mac and Cheese
-Watch 27 Dresses on HBO

For some reason illness, starch, and bad movies and tabloid TV go hand in hand.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bipartisan Comedy

I was just having a convo with a friend about how this year's election really reinvigorated the comedy scene -- comedy became relevant again and it's the first time my parents actually were impressed by who I work with and what I and my frineds do (My mom finally understood who Amy Poheler was when Hillary Clinton went on SNL).

Besides the obvious examples, my friends Seth and Chad made a series on Funny or Die that I watched about 200 times. It's pretty much my favorite thing ever-- hilarious and clever, and makes a great point without being preachy. The first episode of the series still holds up post-election, so if you haven't seen it already, click below:

A tidbit

I am in the midst of the hazy malaise/crippling depression that the impending New Year generally brings (at least to me), so I have avoided posting here so as to save you all from self-indulgent heartache-y posts.
Instead I will leave you with this.

When I was in Paris, I went to a restaurant, clearly aimed at tourists, as it had English translation written underneath each dish. My favorite entry was the following, under appetizers:

(a collection of crudenesses)

I don't think that word means what those people think it means.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Would it be inappropriate if I...

....went up to the mother of the three children that are currently behind me in a coffee shop in Park Slope who are running in circles and screaming their heads off, oblivious to the glaring barely disguised vitriol of all the laptop-toting adults, and told her she was raising her children to be assholes? Just hypothetically.

Monday, December 08, 2008

This is a post where I complain about things

Don't say I didn't warn you people. It's right there in the title. I am cranky.

First of all. Holy shit it's fucking freezing outside. What the fuck?? I left my underheated home to go write in a coffee shop and the coffee shop is freezing. There is no escape. Fuck this bullshit.
I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between the drop in temperature and the rise in my expletive-usage. Fuck you cold weather.

Also, on Firefox my blog appears to be somewhat unreadable. These weird grey boxes appear over part of my text. It only happens in Firefox, and it's fine on other browsers. Anyone know why this is? If you do, please email me or send me a telgram or something. It probably has something to do with the fact that my computer is an antiquated piece of tin held together by duct tape that I suspect is operated by a little mouse running on a wheel.

My house is a mess. Another result of the cold. I pretty much end up under the covers if I stay home, which means the mountains of dirty clothes and paper/junk mail/old cereal boxes are simply left to pile up as I slowly shiver myself to death.

What a whiny post. I will shut up now.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


As mentioned in my previous post I recently returned from Paris. I haven't been there since I was a kid and I loved it.

I noted to a friend of mine that the cool thing about Paris is that it looks exactly the way it does in the movies. As opposed to NYC. New York is often shot in a splendorous-sunsetting-fall-foliage-Upper West Side/Greenwich Village-Sex-in-the-City-only-rich people-see-the-city-this-way-haze that bares only a passing resemblance to the New York I actually live in.

But the incredibly beautiful Parisian streets, French door/iron-balconied windows, boulangerie/cafe-filled streets that you see in movies actually exists. Everywhere. It is stunning.

Other things I noticed about Paris:

-People LOVE small dogs there.

-If French is spoken correctly it sounds like you are singing.

-The French apparently love old crappy American television shows, like Hunter and Simon & Simon, which are dubbed into French and run seemingly 24 hours per day. (They also have The Simpsons dubbed into French with actors that sound exactly like the American version).

-I saw a bar where you could buy 10 shots of absinthe for 30 Euros.

-At a cafe the average cost of a pint of beer was 10 euros. I did not drink a lot of beer.

-Every supermarket has a huge wine selection much of which costs only 2 euros. This made up for the beer thing.

-Many businesses close from 2 or 3pm until 5:30pm. I think this is cool.

-I went to Bon Marche which has an epic food hall. It's like Zabar's meets Whole Foods meets .... a lot of French people. I can't tell if it's cool or unbelievably sad that I spent like 5 hours wandering around looking at food.

-I am training for a marathon so had to run a lot while I was there. It's easier to run 9 miles when you get to run past Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower as you run along the Left Bank of the Seine.

-I went to the Paris Menagerie (zoo) on my last day there. Zoos are awesome no matter where you are.

-Homeless people are given huge comforters each night so they can sleep on the street in comfort.

-Buskers on the subway play accordion and violin and everyone gives them change.

Ah, Paris. So civilized.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kazoo Love

A while ago me and my good friend Chuck D found this amazing kazoo rendition of "Whole Lotta Love" online. I highly recommend listening to this. It sounds like a mix of Led Zeppelin and chickens dying. Listen to the whole's a real lesson in heightening and will make you laugh. Or cry. Or something.

The first 20-30 seconds are garbled introductions, don't get discouraged.

Due to its sreechy-dying-animal-quality this might be NSFW if you work in a quiet or uptight office.

Holy Merde

I just returned from ten days in Paris. It was awesome. The French have exquisite taste and style: amazing food, fabulous wine, beautiful clothes and architecture.

However French sophistication stops short at their love for truly, truly terrible comedy. If someone is making hilarious faces and funny voices, the French will love it.

I saw posters for the movie "Agathe Clery" all over Paris, trailer below. As with most French comedy, you don't need to understand French to get the gist.

There is nothing more hilarious than racism and modern-day black face. Leave it to the French to remake Soul Man in 2008.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some Pig

The couple who made this video won't allow embedding, clearly because people would be exploiting their amazing video to no end if they did, so all I can do is link below:

This video manages to simulataneously make your heart swell due to the adorableness of the featured pig and cringe at the lunacy of its well-meaning owners.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


-GAVIN AND STACY: No, this is not the name of the new Fountains of Wayne song (Good guess though!). It's the new show that premiered on BBC America last night. This show once again proves that British people are much more clever and hilarious than Americans. The striking thing is that this show is filled with quirky characters that on an American show would be unbelievable one-dimensional carictures, but on British TV come off as hilarious, well-rounded, and brilliant. ANNOYING! No, but seriously, watch this.

-THE FARMER'S MARKET: I have been eating tomato sandwiches almost exclusively for the last two weeks, thanks to the delectability of said produce, as available from The Farmer's Market. Recommending this is sort of like recommending water or oxygen -- we all know it's good for us, so it's a sort of useless recommendation. But I am flying in the face of futility and recommending it anyway.

-SLEEP: Another futile suggestion? Perhaps. But I have managed to get 8-9 hours of sleep per night for more than one night in a row and it has been fantastic. Recommended!! (I guess there is no such thing as "one night in a row" but you know what I mean)

Alright, clearly I just wanted to recommend Gavin and Stacy, but felt I needed a few other items, as a list containing only one item is not even a list. But that doesn't take away from my sincerity in recommending fresh produce and copious amounts of bedrest.

Health Kick

I quit smoking just over a week ago. I hadn't made any big plans to do it but after a debauchorous night out the thought of a cigarette made me gag, so I ended up not smoking for a few days and I just figured I would stick with it. It's hardest when I am drinking since that's when the impulse to smoke kicks in, but I remind myself at those weak moments that besides the fact that cigs in NYC now cost nine dollars a pack (!), I am training for a half marathon. Plus I don't want to have wrinkles. Or die of cancer. My mom is a pack a day smoker and her skin has an ashen grey undertone and she coughs all the time. Visions of my future if I don't stop now.

So if you see me with a cigarette dangling from my mouth you have my permission to tear it into a million pieces and then punch me in the stomach. Seriously.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Subsequent History Will Happen in the Eventual Present!

I recently sojourned briefly to the Catskills. In the Shandaken/Phoenicia area there are a number of local papers, most of which feature info on the local Spelling Bee Champion, news on the Rotary Club, and ads for the local fruit stand ("Alyce and Roger's Fruit Stand, Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY" read one ad - no frills advertising at its best).

In one of the local papers I saw my favorite headline ever:

"The Greener the Better: Local Sustainabiilty is Inevitably Just as Historical as Our Present Futures"

EXACTLY. I think.

OK, No, Really....

I wil be the first to admit that my blog has been filled with empty promises and broken dreams, but I am issuing a challenge to myself: Write in this blog for 30 days straight**. This might be really really boring.

**Contingent on internet access while I travel for much of September.

Here it goes....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Back on the Blogwagon

So clearly my resolution to write in my blog everyday was a complete and miserable failure. But things got Cuh-razy over the past few months. I worked 2 jobs which equalled a (minimum) 70 hour work week. I broke my wrist, I got mugged, started a new Maude team at UCB, and I was overall just f--ing exhausted. So the blog took a backseat. But hopefully from now on it will be firmly ensconced in the passenger seat of my priority list.

So: A few month's ago I broke my wrist. I have broken a few bones in the past so I'm no stranger to the process involved : I once got punched in the face by a cab driver, getting my jaw broken in two places, requiring me to wear braces that were wired shut until my jaw healed. I also broke my right wrist years ago when I was stage managing at Irving Plaza, which effectively rendered me unable to work, and afterward my tendons atrophied and I couldn't move my fingers or wrist for 6 months. But this one took the cake, being possibly the most pathetic injury of ALL TIME.

Back in January I started a three month day job while still working at UCB full time in order to pay off debts. The day my job started also marked the first day I had an afternoon improv class with Anthony King. One of the exercises Anthony has the class do is to play Duck Duck Goose. In truth, I dreaded playing this game, since it took me right back to my gangly uncoordinated 9-year old self. And true to form, as I ran around the circle I (overenthusiastically) took a turn too hard, bounced off a wall and wiped out. And landed on my wrist. I knew things weren't good, but I convinced myself it was just a sprain, iced it down, borrowed a boxing wrap from Eli Newell in lieu of an ace bandage, and left for my first day of work at my new job. Then I went to UCB and bartended for 7 hours (one handed). Then I worked double shifts for three days in a row. Finally I went and go an X-ray and learned that I had broken two bones.

There is nothing like telling an ER doctor that you broke your wrist playing Duck Duck Goose. And then explaining that I am not a nursery school teacher (which was their assumption), but that I was playing with a bunch of twenty-somethings so that we coudl illustrate basic improv concepts.

I have since almost fully recovered, although I can't put a lot of weight on my wrist. This was the maybe the most exhausting period of my life, but I have survived to blog again. More to come!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Swan Song

I have been part of a really great sketch team at the UCB Theater for the last 9 months or so. I have never been part of a more supportive and fun group of people --every meeting and rehearsal was guaranteed laughs, which can rarely be said. Sadly we are being disbanded as they are revamping the sketch team program and we are having our final show tonight. If you are looking for something to do tonight please come by to catch it. I am very proud of all of our work and this show in particular -- I feel like we took some risks and had a particular voice and it's been a blast. In short, my team kicks ass and I am so happy to have been a part of it.

iBadger final show!!
Monday January 21st
UCB Theater
26th and 8th

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Homeland Obscurity

I recently did an online search to see what items one can bring on the plane in carry-on luggage. I have finally decided to kowtow to the demands of heightened security after waiting forever at baggage claim and losing my luggage on more than one occasion. The requirements for bringing travel items is both disturbing and hilarious.

One can only bring travel-size items on board if you have them packed separately in a plastic bag. Apparently the size of the bag is VERY important:

"All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag."

Right after this very specific request the website reads:

"Please keep in mind that these rules were developed after extensive research and understanding of current threats."

Aha. The unknown threat of the gallon-size plastic bag! Here we all are, sleeping tight each night in blissful ignorance as our vigilant security forces uncover the myriad conspiracies that are slowly threatening to dissolve our wonderful Western democracy. We may not understand it, but let's just follow along, our lives depend on it. If they say quart-size bags only, then there must be a good reason for it. No rules are arbitrary in the fight for our nation's security!

There are exceptions to the 3 oz. rule of course. The TSA is not completely heartless. They understand that us lowly travelers have some needs that must be met. They allow baby formula, breast milk, water or juice (but only for people who medically require it, which I thought was every human being on earth, but apparently not), life support and life-sustaining liquids like bone marrow, blood, organ transplants, and "mastectomy products". They care, they really do. The best part of this list is that you ARE allowed to bring KY Jelly on the plane. Well thank God for that.

Among the other forbidden items:

-You cannot bring ice axes, sabers, or swords. Mountaineers and old-timey Sultans are screwed!
-Spear Guns. Is nothing sacred??
-Hatchets, Cattle Prods. Pretty prejudicial against cowboys and serial killers. Harumph.
-Throwing Stars. Ninjas are being targeted now. What the hell???
-Snow Globes. My grandma will be devastated.

Safe travels everyone.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Samantha Huh?

I finally watched an episode of Samantha Who?. the Christina Applegate vehicle on ABC. I didn't really know much about it. It turns out that this show is about a girl who suffers massive head trauma, loses her memory, and thus can't remember her former life: wacky adventures ensue! The twist is that her character used to be a total douchebag so now she has to spend her time making amends for things she can't remember. So it's sort of like the female version of "My Name is Earl" except with the hilarious possibility of aneurism or embolism that could occur at any moment. Wow, what a GREAT idea!

This show has inspired me to come up with some pitches, so when the writer's strike ends I am ready to go:

The Blind Leading the Mind: A misogynist male model gets blinded by acid while getting a facial peel and must learn to appreciate true inner beauty. Shallow Hal meets Awakenings. Wacky Adventures Ensue!

Lead Foot: An arrogant world-class athlete loses her leg in a freak strength-training accident. She must learn how to navigate the world with a new iron leg and her new job as a toll booth operator. Like My Left Foot but hilarious. Wacky Adventures Ensue!

Objection!: A snarky fast-talking lawyer loses the ability to speak and hear after a freak gavel-throwing incident. Now he must learn to navigate the world by using interpretive dance. Wacky Adventures Ensue!

Come up with your own! TV shows guaranteed!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


At the moment I am living in squalor. By the end of this day I hope to halve the said-squalor so maybe it no longer qualifies for that title and can be downgraded to minor disarray.

I am aided in this pursuit by the fact that my housemate didn't pay the cable bill so our service got shut off, thus disabling my unhealthy habit of watching 12 hours of America's Next Top Model reruns or Goodfellas which seems to be playing in an incessant loop on A&E lately.

To keep you occupied, I recommend you check out the blog of Dan Harmon, this post in particular. This will only work if you have a MySpace account. If you don't have one, sign up for one just so you can read his stuff. Whilst reading his rants I go between spectacular joy that someone can write something so weird and hilarious and clenched-fist rage that what he tosses off in two seconds with no thought whatsoever is a ten times better than any writing I spend ten hours laboring over. Seriously read it.

Until tomorrow. Or maybe later today depending on how my squalor bashing goes.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Let's Reevaluate

A number of things have come up recently that have caused me to reevaluate some fundamental points of my existence. But nothing as disturbing as this.

Yesterday my meals consisted of the following:

Chef Boyardee out of a can
Nissin Cup o' Noodles
Power Bar

Some things need to change.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Life in J-Pop

When I was bumming around the music biz trying to have a respectable career so that my parents wouldn't freak out, one of the many jobs I held was working for a music management company. They dealt exclusively in J-Pop, their main client being the band Pizzicato Five which at the time was a cult sensation signed to Matador Records.

We operated out of a small one room office on Broadway and 25th Street. I got paid a pittance and worked weird hours. We always had more money going out then coming in and a few times they didn't have enough money to pay me. My two bosses were an awesome lady named Terri who was a total Japanophile and a Japanese man named Tom. They worked, quite literally 20 hours a day. Often I would come in to find Tom sleeping on the floor. They really had to hustle to get their deals done.

Dealing with the Japanese recording industry posed a unique set of challenges. First of all there is the obvious time difference--we would come in to find faxes littering the floor and the answering machine filled with messages. The mastermind of the p5 duo was named Konishi and he would send long hand-written letters via fax complete with pictures he had drawn and little cartoons to illustrate his points. At that time p5 was pretty big in Japan but not so much in America, and Konishi perceived this to be an unfair disparity, which we heard about constantly.

They also had a completely separate management company and record label in Japan which caused a lot of problems and wrangling so we could do deals without fucking up the pre-existing deals they had made in Japan. Matador Records fits the cliche of indie record companies - their office was in a loft space on lower Broadway and people wore ripped jeans to work and smoked cigarettes at their desks. The Japanese record executive wore suits, bowed upon meeting you, constantly talked about honor and things of that nature. Bringing both sides to the table for import/export deals and the like was an exercise in diplomacy that I hope I never have to deal with again. One time I had to forge a letter from Matador apologizing for some faulty product.

Through this job I met Simon Timony and his mom who ran our fan club. Simon was in a band called the Stinky Puffs which he had formed with the son of someone from Sonic Youth when he was 7 years old. I think he was about 10 or 11 when I met him and I set up some gigs for them at dives like the Continental since in those days I knew everyone that booked everything in the downtown music scene. Simon's biggest claim to fame was that Kurt Cobain had been a huge fan of the band and they had become friends before he died and had played together. Lots of heavy stuff for a 10 year old kid. I think he has a band in San Francisco now.

Anyway, after about 6 months, my interest in this high-pressure low-paying job began to wane and I decided to kiss the music industry good-bye. My bosses were really sweet people, and I think were relieved to have me go, as I was beginning to have a pretty bad attitude. Right around the time I left they signed Buffalo Daughter which went on to some success here in the States. Last I heard the whole company had relocated to Japan where I assume they still are hustling and working exhausting hours.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Day

I had a better than expected New Year's Day. Tens of phone calls, text messages, and IMs later, I realized I have an amazing support system of super great friends. My evening was spent with two of my housemates and my friend Nate Smith, who came over to hang out and be the awesome supportive friend he always is. My housemate Poker made us all an enormous dinner: roast, salad, veggies, black eyed peas, home made scones, and pie. After a few hours of awesome conversation and red wine I felt like a zillion bucks. Or more accurately a zillion bucks that had been fished out of the river of regret. But still, a zillion bucks.

I am following my friend Kate Spencer's lead and attempting to write in my blog every day in January. So look forward to more self-indulgent posts about what I ate for dinner. You're welcome.

**Edited to add: Please check out my friend Chris Gethard's blog. He is one of the best storytellers I have ever known, and the one who inspired my 30 Day Challenge blog last year. He is posting a new story every week, the first one having gone up today. Check it out.

Happy Fucking New Year Part 2

Within minutes of my last post I had three people call or text me to ask if I was okay. So my prediction was true. This IS the year of awesome friends.

In a related note, I got a MySpace message today from an old old friend I knew in the Scrap Bar days. He told me that the days of him being a homeless junkie are long gone and he is now married with a 9 year old son and has his own business. It's a nice reminder that things can turn around even after the worst of times.

I have been reading too much Deepak Chopra.

Happy Fucking New Year indeed.

Happy Fucking New Year

I had without a doubt the absolute Worst New Year's I have ever had in my life.

There is nothing like having an old good friend completely disrespect you without regard to your personal feelings to ring in the New Year. Fortunately my good friend Shannon O'Neill and her husband saw my utter meltdown and insisted in driving me all the way home to Brooklyn even though they live in far Queens. HEROES.

Plus I lost 50 bucks somewhere.

So I choose to see this New Year as out with the old crappy friends and in with the new awesome friends that step up and help you out in the worst of times. And the year that I lose 50 dollars.

Yeah I am putting a positive spin on this.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 31, 2007


Every year we all go about making resolutions we don't keep. So I have decided to go the opposite route and list a bunch of resolutions that I will definitely keep, not matter how hard I may resist:

I resolve to:

-watch The Hills when I should be cleaning the house.
-forget to buy cat food at least once a month.
-say I am going to spend time writing and instead update my Facebook profile.
-let my laundry pile up until I have nothing left to wear.
-spend too much money on cabs and food and beer.
-spend too much money on the above even when I can't pay my rent.
-start at least one crafty project that will get only partially done and then sit in the corner of my room for six months.
-look up ex-boyfriends on MySpace and Facebook.
-make plans with people that never happen because I am too lazy to actaully call them when the time comes.

I am pretty sure I can keep these. Look for an update at the end of 2008 to see how I did!!!

Viva la New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Must Like Dogs

I have been sick for 5 days. FIVE. It hasn't been a full-blown flu, but rather a slow metamorphasis from fever/cold to cold/couch to cough/sore throat. I can't wait to see what evolves into next.

Anyway, being sick during the one week where I have next to no obligations is par for the course. On the bright side, I dont' have rent money so the fact that I have been bed-ridden for the past 5 days has kept me from frittering away money on things like food and taxis. Except for the one night in the middle of my flu-storm when I decided to go out and drink beer and 5 whiskies at McManus thus exposing me to the worst hangover I have had since college.

But that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to talk about After everyone I know has told me I have to try online dating, I filled out a profile on Match which is excruciating because you need to be charming and funny while you talk about why you hate Good Charlotte and love Dave Eggers without sounding like an asshole, which is pretty much impossible. You also have to fill out all sorts of lists as in Interests: Coffee and Conversation, Dining Out, Movies. Wow, that probably tells you a lot about me - I like coffee, conversation, eating, and movies. You like those things too? No kidding.

Then you get hilarious emails from which let you know that someone has contacted you. One email read, "Hello Rachael! You just got an email from a dog person!:

Then when you open the email it says:

Look how much you have in common:

He is a dog person too.
He also wants kids someday.

Wow. That is a match made in heaven. I am picking out my wedding dress right now.

Anyway, I have already given up on, partially because I am in a holding pattern with someone I like (and actually know in real life), but mostly because this shit costs like 40 DOLLARS for one month. I am broke y'all. I have no desire to pay 40 dollars just to meet someone who enjoys basic activities that only a retard/recluse would abstain from.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I, along with every other comedy nerd on the planet, am reading Steve Martin's new book "Born Standing Up" which chronicles his stand up career. I recommend this book if you like Steve Martin, or comedy, or creativity, or life.

Among the many nuggets of wisdom contained in this book, the following is my favorite quote so far, as it pertains to any creative pursuit and sums up the challenges of that pursuit so well:

"It was easy to be great. Every entertainer has a night when everything is clicking. These nights are accidental and statistical: Like lucky cards in poker, you can account on them occurring over time. What was hard was to be good, consistently good, night after night, now matter what the abominable circumstances."

2008: Strive for goodness.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A New Old Video

I made this video a zillion years ago. It stars me, Billy Merritt, Sean Conroy, Michael Delaney, and a bunch of other familiar UCB faces. It's up on Funny or Die ( If you like it please go there and rate it. Unfortuantely I didn't really know shit about filmmaking at the time so the sound is truly terrible, but other then that I am still pretty proud of it.

I am working on a bunch of short film scripts right now so hopefully there will be more to come.


Christmas seems as good a time as any to bring back this blog. And yes, I realize that on the religious calendar Christmas is not about resurrection but I don't play by the rules. Fun Fact #1: I had to look up the correct spelling of resurrection in the dictionary. Fun Fact #2: When I woke up today I wasn't sure if it was Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I cannot tell if this makes my life unbelievably cool or unbelievably sad.

I am not sure what I will be writing about here. I feel like I have run out of fun stories from my past, although if I think of any I will surely share them here. So more then likely I will just rant about the strike, or what I had for lunch, or the people that annoyed me today, or The Hills. In other words, this blog will not be particularly distinguishable from anyone else's.

I thought of taking on a cool project, like my friend Jen McNeil's, but frankly I don't have the energy, or the time. My finances are dire which means that I will probably take another job soon, leaving me less time for doing things like visiting every museum in NYC and writing about it or watching every movie on the AFI's top 100 list and then giving you my amateur criticism which no one would care about but me. (I have legitimately thought of doing these things in the past, I am not being hip and ironic here).

I am going through a transitional period right now, although I always feel like I am going through a transitional period. Which means I will probably write a bunch of self-serving soul-searching posts about the state of my existence and how I am alone in this big black void we call life and how I can't get a date and how my cat is constantly throwing up and how my house is a mess. Also I will probably write about movies and food.

2008: the year of the meaningless rambling post. Now you have something to look forward to. (Yeah I ended my sentence with a preposition. Like I said, I don't play by the rules.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Strong Words

Entertainment Weekly has written the first fair article about the strike in the mainstream press. My favorite quote:

''Corporations are fond of reminding their employees that they're all a 'family' during tough times. But when families sit down to dinner, Dad doesn't get to say, 'I'm gonna eat until I decide I'm full, and then we'll see if there's anything left for the rest of you.'''

Full article here:,,20159387,00.html

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Strike Day #2

Today a lot of disturbing information came out about the strike that is so infuriating and heart rending it's unbelievable. The Producer's Alliance has essentially pulled a fast one on the WGA, luring them to the table by saying that if they pulled the DVD issue off the table they would restructure the internet package. The WGA held up their end of the bargain. The AMPTP did not. Not only did this force the strike, but it will keep both sides from even going back to the table for quite some time.

For the time being I suspect this blog will be primarily about the strike. If you read this and agree (or are just interested), please pass this information on to your friends. Public support will be key. Fortunately the politicians have hopped on the writer's bandwagon -- Barack Obama and John Edwards have voiced their support for the writers, so that's something.

There have been a lot of eloquent and passionate articles and blogs appearing over the past few days that are well worth the read if you are interested in this issue. (We are writers after all, so you can expect a lot of prose flowing as the strike continues). I will be linking to or posting them here.

Here is one of them written by Micah Wright, passed on to me by my friend Brian Stack who writes for Conan O'Brien. I am assuming that he won't mind it being reprinted here, but I am sure someone will let me know if it is a problem. His overview of the issues is really interesting, passionate, and astute:

(The following was written by Micah Wright on WriterAction. It's in response to a writer who takes issue with WGA leadership.)

The AMPTP clearly never intends to pay us one single cent for internet delivery. The music business model clearly indicates that internet delivery for most, if not all content is the future. What then were we supposed to do when faced with rollbacks and refusals to bargain in good faith? Pray? Or just swallow the bullshit they were trying to shove down our throats, and forget about not only what we're making, but also what every person who ever follows us into this union will ever make?

People like you keep bitching about the DVD negotiating point, and yeah, you're right: DVD was lost 20 years ago, but there's no magic rule which says we can't reopen that topic. More importantly, though, DVD didn't take off for almost a decade after the '88 strike... the Internet is here NOW, and it's here FOREVER, and if we give in and allow them to pay us ZERO on Internet delivery, we can just kiss the idea of ever getting paid residuals goodbye forever.

It's not self-righteousness which is driving this negotiation... it's quite simply the greed of the AMPTP, which clearly sees this as the year in which they intend to break the WGA on the rack once and for all. But you don't see that... you seem unable to get it through your head that the AMPTP doesn't want to ever pay us anything. If you think these people are so reasonable and that they deal in good faith, then try talking to writers who work in Animation and Reality... THAT is the future that the AMPTP has in store for EVERY WRITER IN THE WGA. Because if they don't have to pay residuals to the woman who wrote The Lion King, then why should they ever have to pay one to YOU? Or anyone else?

Oh, and before you give me some fucking sob story about the disastrous strike of 1988, let me bring you up to date with a more RECENT story: mine.

I came to this guild having had a "successful" career writing Animation for $1400/week for five years. During that time, I wrote on several of Nickelodeon's highest-rated shows. My writing partner wrote and directed 1/4 of the episodes of "SpongeBob SquarePants" and I was responsible for 1/5 of the episodes of "The Angry Beavers." The current value that those shows have generated for Viacom? $12 Billion dollars. My writing partner topped out at $2100/week. In the year 2001, tired of not receiving residuals for my endlessly-repeating work (even though the actors and composers for my episodes do), I joined with 28 other writers and we signed our WGA cards.

So, Nickelodeon quickly filed suit against our petition for an election, and set about trying to ferret out who the "ringleaders" were. In the meantime, they canceled the show that I had created 4 episodes into an order of 26. Then they fired the 3 writers who'd been working on my show. Then they fired 20 more of my fellow writers and shut down three more shows, kicking almost their entire primetime lineup for 2002 to the curb, and laying off 250 artists.

Then, once the WGA's petition for election was tied up in court over our illegal firings, Nickelodeon called in the IATSE Local 839 "Cartoonists Guild" -- a racket union which exists only the screw the WGA and its own members -- and they signed a deal which forever locks the WGA out of Nickelodeon, even though we were there first. Neato!

Then Nickelodeon's brass decided --out of thin fucking air-- that myself and two other writers had been "the ringleaders" of this organizing effort, so they called around to Warner Bros. Animation, the Cartoon Network, Disney Animation, and Fox Kids, effectively blacklisting the three of us out of animation permanently.

And why did Nickelodeon do this? Why were they so eager to decimate their own 2002 schedule, fire 24 writers, break multiple federal labor laws, sign a union deal, and to even bring back the fucking blacklist? They did all of that to prevent us from getting the same whopping $5 residual that the actors & composers of our shows get.

For five lousy fucking bucks, they destroyed three people's careers and put 250 artists out of work and fucked up their own channel for a year.

Ahh, but my episodes run about 400 times a year worldwide, though, so obviously Sumner Redstone (Salary in 2001: $65 million dollars) and Tom Freston (2001 salary: $55 million) were right to do what they did... myself and those other 23 writers might have broken the bank, what with each of us going to cost them another TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS each! OH NO! That... that's... FORTY EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS!


So don't come crying to those of us who have EXPERIENCED what the AMPTP plans for all of the rest of you, that people who are deciding to stand up to bully-boy tactics like that are the crazy bunch of "horads" lustily marching "through" the streets searching for blood. The AMPTP are the barbarians sacking Rome in this scenario.

The AMPTP and their glittering-eyed weasel lawyers are a bunch of lying, blacklisting, law-breaking scumbags, and the fact that they haven't budged off of ANY of their proposals in the last three months proves that what they have in store for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU is exactly what they did to us at Nickelodeon, and what they can do any day of the week in daytime animation. Or reality.

Strike or no strike. That's their plan: to winnow down your membership, to snip away at your MBA, to chew away at your health & pension plans until there's just nothing left of the WGA. Why? Because they've had a good strong drink of how much money they make off of animation when they don't have to cut the creators in for any of the cash, and now they want to extend that free ride to all of live action as well. THAT is why they have pushed for this strike at every step, with their insulting press releases, with their refusals to negotiate, etc. -- because they're HOPING we go on strike, and that enough cowards and Quislings come crawling out of the woodwork after six weeks that they can force us to accept the same deal that Reality TV show writers have.

If you doubt me, go read their contract proposals again... there's not ONE of them which isn't an insult and a deal-breaking non-starter.

So can we PLEASE stop hearing about how it's the current WGA management which is the fucking problem here? Because, frankly, that canard is getting a little stale.

Or perhaps you prefer presidents like the President of the Guild back in 2001 who just threw up her hands when we were fired and blacklisted out of our careers and said, and I quote, "oh well, it was a good try"?'

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Strike

The midst of the WGA writer's strike seems like as good a time as any to ressurect this blog. I certainly won't be writing anything else for a while.

Yesterday I walked the picket line in support of the Writer's Guild Strike. Most people who read this blog are fully aware of what is at issue, but for the few of you who are not indoctrinated here is a quick overview:

- DVD revenue: Currently writers get 4 cents per DVD. They are asking for 8 cents. The average DVD sale price ranges from 10-30 dollars, so this request is not exactly breaking the bank.

- Internet Coverage: Currently writers get no residuals for any television content shown on the networks websites (or elsewhere). Also there is no contract for any new content that is created for the internet, meaning any web shows, etc. Since, much like the music industry, internet is the future, this is a pretty serious issue. If the writers lose this battle, it in essence means that writers will not be paid for their work, since down the line most shows will be viewed via the internet.

The writers actually took the DVD issue off the table and the producers still walked out. Then they went to the trades and said that the writers walked out. Douchebags.

The AMPTP is trying to paint a picture which implies that writers are greedy and unreasonable when all they are asking is their fair share of the profits from content they helped to create. (A successful show can generate millions, sometimes even billions, of dollars and the writers get a very small portion of that.) Due to their complete unwillingness to negotiate, particularly on the topic of internet usage, they have forced the writers to strike, which seems to be what they want. They are in essence trying to break the union by showing reality TV and reruns. However if writers capitulate on the internet issue it is in effect saying that writers will not be paid for their work if it is shown on any medium other than television - like the music industry, new media is the future so capitulation on this issue is impossible.

The Producers Alliance keeps citing the fact that they don't know how new media will work, which is why they don't want to commit to any percentages. Which makes no sense. If they make money, writers get a percentage, but if they make no money writers get a percantage of nothing, which doesn't hurt the producers bottom line in the least.

What is inspiring is that many show runners (quite literally the people that run each show) have refused to cross picket lines even though they are technically producers. This includes showrunners from The Office, The Shield, and Grey's Anatomy, to name a few, which has brought production on those shows (and others) to a complete halt.

A few people have asked me why I chose to walk the line even though I am not a Guild member. Sadly this strike effects me and almost every one of my friends in innumerable ways. I walked because:

1-I want to support my many friends and acquaintances who are directly affected by the strike.

2-As a writer who expects to be in this union sooner or later they are essentially fighting for the contract that I will eventually live by, so as far as I am concerned this is my fight as much as anyone's.

This strike will affect me and all of my friends: no acting work outside of commercials and a few movies already in production, no pitch meetings, no industry to come see our shows, no development deals. My friends who recently sold shows to TV or got cast on shows are now going to wait around and hope their deals don't fall through by the time everyone gets back to work. This is what me and all of my friends work for and there will be nothing for us to do until the strike is over. Despite all this, we all support the strike because the producers want to give us (all writers and actors) literally nothing.

Good luck to everyone. Let's hope it resolves itself soon.

Me and my friend Doug Mand outside of 30 Rock. (picture by Dan Gregor)

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I just returned from a much needed mini-vacation upstate with my folks. We take a yearly sojourn to the Catskills where we stay at a resort-esque German place complete with homemade Appalachian style housing and German food near the town of Phoenicia. It is a true getaway as there is no cell phone service and no email. Mostly I sat on the terrace and read, and napped for what seemed to be most of each day. I had no idea how tired and stressed out I was until I was forced to do nothing for three and a half days. It was also cool enough to do a few quick runs (I despise running in heat and running on treadmills which effectively makes me exercise-less in summer months). I was surprised to find that my DCM-acquired pack-a-day cigarette habit didn't adversely affect my running abilities.

This area we stay in caters to the summer season tourists, so has its fair share of nice restaurants (we ate well,) curio and tshirt shops (not sold to us), and it was hot enough on one day to use the pool, which is unusual since it's usually significantly cooler in the mountains. I love the paradox of small upstate towns: you can eat a five star meal at a restaurant, but the next table will probably be filled with bikers wearing leather, and your waitress will probably be a 15 year old freshman from the local high school. Also, if Phoenicia is anything to go by, the dying art of airbrushing vans and trucks is indeed alive and well.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Blog is Back.

I have decided to bring this blog out of its temporary retirement. I have been too busy writing other things lately, but plan to designate more time to this in the months to come. I have been thinking of doing another 30 day challenge, but am afraid I have used up all the good stuff. My life apparently comes down to 30 posts. So I am trying to think up a more specific or different 30 day challenge...any ideas, dear readers? If so, leave a comment.

In the land of recent activity, I worked 125 hours (seriously!) last week due to the Del Close Marathon, which is an annual foray into controlled chaos that we at the UCB stage for the enjoyment of improv nerds from around the country. As usual I got to see almost no improv since I was running around doing damage control every spare second, and taking any nap I could. I had to miss my much anticipated sketch workshop with Matt Besser due to my work schedule which sucked, but otherwise I managed to keep it together. Sort of.

Here's a numerical overview of this year's DCM

Total sleep time (Friday morning to Monday morning) = 7.5 hours*
Total alcohol consumed = Several gallons
Total number of improv shows I got to watch in their entirety = 2**
Total Number of cigarettes smoked = 428***
Total of cute out of town boys flirted with = 3
Total number of makeout sessions = 0
Total Number of hours I worked a day, on average = 15
Total Number of workshops signed up for = 2
Total Number of workshops attended = 1
Total number of breakdowns = 3

*2.5 hours Saturday morning
1.5 hours Saturday night
3.5 hours Sunday morning

**Police Chief Rumble and Bruckheimer -- both wonderfully awesome.

***This is probably a lie.

Other highlights:

-Kevin Dorff showing up with a bag filled with 25 packs of cigarettes for the DCM staff
-Having awesome interns helping out every other second without being asked
-Shirt Swap!! If you don't know what this is, just use your imagination
-Sitting in a corner at the closing party quietly weeping.

I will be on a much needed vacation this week but the blog shall continue....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Raffle for Charity!

My apartment hunt, marathon training, fundraising, show at UCB, and new sketch team have taken up a lot of my time lately, so please excuse my long absence from blogging -- I hope to soon be spinning more yarns about past NY stories, but for now I humbly submit the following plug for the charity raffle I am holding. I am raising money for cancer research by running a half marathon in Alaska, details below.

I have been fundraising for some time for my half marathon in Alaska --I am running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and have agreed to raise $5100. My deadline is looming (June 8th) and I have a lot of money to raise! So I have decided to hold a raffle.

Tickets are $20.
TICKETS CAN BE BOUGHT ONLINE (instructions below).
The raffle is open until June 6th -- only 2 and a half weeks away!
List of prizes are below, and hopefully I will be adding a few things on Monday or Tuesday:


4 VIP tickets to the Daily Show
2 tickets to the Colbert Report
2 tickets to Late Night with Conan O'Brien
2 more tickets to Late Night with Conan O'Brien (seperate prize)
Conan long-sleeved tshirt
Autographed Colbert tshirt
A UCB merchandise package with items signed by Amy Poehler (including UCB Season 1 DVD, Martin and Orloff, Matt Besser CD, UCB lighters, patches, and Tshirts)
A month-long pass to Assscat, UCB's most popular show!
A 1 hour massage from Jaya Bodywork

If you work in an office, have friends who might be interested, or can blog about this yourself, please link to this blog or cut and paste and send in an email. My goal is to sell 200 raffle tickets! You can buy tickets online so it's super easy!

Instructions for buying tickets:

1-If you are someone who sees me regularly, you can buy one in person. If you wish to pay by check (these contributions are tax deductible), then make the check out to "The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society".

2-You can pay online. Go to my donation page:
Rachael's Donation Page
Make a donation of $20 (or multiples of 20 if you want to buy more than one ticket). Once you have completed your donation, send me an email at Let me know how many tickets you purchased and also send me your contact info: name, phone number, email, and mailing address. Once I have confirmed your donation I will email you the numbers of your raffle tickets. PLEASE EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT A TICKET. If you donate without emailing me I will assume it is just a donation and you will not be entered in the raffle.

The drawing will be Wednesday June 6th -- probably at a final fundraising party TBA. Please pass on the info! 100 percent of money raised goes towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Things you should see and looking for an apartment is slowly killing me

I will be back on track with this blog soon: I have a bunch of half finished posts that I will get to shortly.

In the meanwhile, please enjoy the following endorsements and complaints:

Please watch Human Giant on MTV. This will probably be the first and last time I ever recommend something on this channel (besides The Hills cuz that's an AMAZING show). It stars and is written by my friends Rob, Paul, and Aziz and is truly hilarious and smart. I can't quite believe what they have managed to get away with. Please check it out.

I have a show coming up at the UCB Theater called Half Empty which I am sure I will plug again down the road. Right now, we are working out the kinks and doing a few workshop shows in April, the first of which is this Thursday April 12th at 7pm. Please swing on by if you have nothing to do after work or before going out for a debauchorous night of karaoke or Scrabble.

Lastly, I have been looking for an apartment F-O-R-E-V-E-R. It is slowly erasing the need I have to exist. If anyone has any leads, let me know.

More to come, in a less whiny and self-serving format, in the near future....

Friday, April 06, 2007

Head. Ache.

So I received yet another notice from this person who seems to think I am personally out to get him, this time pertaining to cached content. Which I have no idea how to erase. I followed Google's instructions and it doesn't seem to make a difference. For all of my tech savvy friends out there, let me know what the secret is, besides robot meta tags, if there is one. I love that my inability to understand HTML tags has caused such an uproar. Viva technology.

Cease and Desist and Remove All "Cached" Content Containing Your Slanderous Statements Pertaining to ---- on Your Blogspot Blog

I have been informed by Google you have made no attempt to remove your false and slanderous statements about me from Google search engines . Meaning "cached" content linking my name to your slanderous comments continues to be released to the public. Since this can be easily done through your google help center. I take this as an knowingly and willfull, continued act of slander and harassment.
You did not know me 15 years ago. I have never met you.I have never talked to you. I do not ever care to know you. All parties involved in this slander and harassment, will be held legally liable for all damages done to my business and personal reputation.

(name withheld)

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Power of the Internet

As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. And those of us who use the internet do wield at least some power.
As I posted earlier I received a cease and desist notice. At first I thought it was over the top but then, upon reading the post in question, I realized that they actually had a good reason to be pissed. (I posted a full name and the possibly less than legal activities that they may or may not have engaged in). This person may be applying for jobs, have a child who does google searches, or just may not want their name posted in a public forum and I have to say that isn't a lot to ask. I forget that as much as I assume that the only people that read these recollections and thoughts may be friends or friends of friends it is still available for everyone or anyone to read and there is a certain responsibility that goes along with that. I will be combing through my past posts and changing or deleting names if I feel it is warranted.
Lesson learned. Welcome to the internet.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cease and Desist!

I just received a cease and desist request via MySpace because I used someone's name in a story on one of my blogs. Goddamn those google searches:

It has come to my attention that you have been releasing to the public false and slanderous statements about me.
Cease, desist, and remove your slanderous public statements or legal civil action will begin.
(name withheld 3/29/07)

Yikes! Will do, good sir. (or madam, if you wish to truly remain anonymous).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hiatus Over!

I have taken a longer than expected hiatus from this blog to recuperate after my 30 day challenge and to work on my sketch show at UCB which went up on Monday, allowing me to breathe a relief-filled sigh and return to the comfort of my online journal.

A quick plug is in order before I get to a story:

I highly encourage you to check out the Most Awkward Boy in the World series of video shorts made by my friends Chris Gethard and Zach Woods. They are each less than a minute long, are high-larious and star a bunch of my friends being completely insane, which as far as I am concerned, is a great combination. One of my favorites is below, and you can check out a bunch more at their Youtube page under Cutman films.

Stories about Camp

I went to two sleepaway camps when I was a kid. And I fucking hated it. I grew up in the city and spending that much time in the wilderness was not even remotely appealing. The first camp I went to was Lenox Hill -- I was asked not to return after punching a girl in the face which then set off her asthma and sent her to the hospital. I am not sure why they didn't expel me immediately. I was really really difficult -- I remember refusing to take showers and crying a lot. I did not go back to Lenox Hill.

The second one was called Camp Incarnation, also known as "ECCC" which stood for Episcopal Camp and Conference Center. It was in Connecticut and in retrospect, it was a really terrible camp. I attended it for three years. My best friend, Alex Coveleski, went there and LOVED it. She was, and is to this day, a real outdoor nature buff kind of girl. So my parents figured that if she loved it, I would to. MISTAKE.

The camp was divided into different areas, separated by age. I don't remember what the boys' sections were called (Dave Thunder went to this camp so he can chime in if he ever reads this) , but the girl's sections were "Woodlands" which were for 10-11 year olds, Highlands for 12 year olds, and Winds for 13 year olds. After that you went to Pioneer Village, known as "PV" which was essentially full time outdoor camping, which sounds like a nightmare. How they duped parents into shelling out a bunch of bread so that kids could fend for themselves outdoors for 1-2 months is beyond me.

Many of my memories came from dining hall. The food here was so terrible it was amazing. The secret to making the food remotely tolerable was literally putting ketchup on everything: chicken, fish, eggs, etc. My parents said that one year on parent's day they overheard the following conversation by two of fellow campers: "Wow, that soup at lunch was terrrible." The second girl responded "That wasn't soup, that was meatloaf." My parents thougth that this was hysterical and kept sending me to hell camp. (Welcome to my parents' sense of humour). We also sang songs at meals including "Sardines and Pork and Beans", and the Bumblebee Tuna theme song (which had a mime-like dance attached to it that I still know to this day).

Once per session we had to go an "overnight" which meant real camping out in the woods. I hated these more than anything. I am a mosquito magnet and would usually have a hundred bites by morning, plus peeing in the woods and eating burnt food was not my idea of a good time. I was already a complete whiner through these sessions, but usually at least one legitimately horrible thing would happen to me on these trips: one year they were carrying a pot of boiled water to make hot chocolate and someone tripped and the hot water went all over my legs causing minor burns. Another year as we hiked back to camp I complained of feeling dizzy and nauseous. The counselors didn't believe me and forced me to march another two miles or so in the hot sun until we got back to camp. I collapsed on the floor of our tent and another camper dragged me to the infirmary where I was informed that I had a 104 degree favor and was completely dehydrated. I then spent three days in the unairconditioned infirmary in the blazing heat.

I made some pretty good friends at camp. The one that I kept in touch with for years was Siobhan Oakley. She was from Australia and her dad was a diplomat who worked at the UN. She was the toast of camp due to her exotic accent and her super cute appearance. She made out with boys, which I remember being sort of shocking to my 12 year old self.

The year I met Siobhan, a girl named Katie was in our group, and I guess upon seeing Siobhan's immediate acceptance and popularity due to her accent, Katie decided to pretend she was British. We all knew she was faking and we were merciless and vicious. We would quiz her about British food and history and politics, we would ask her to repeat herself whenever she accidentally dropped her accent, and on parents' day we came dangerously close to busting her in front of her clearly American parents. In retrospect, it's clear that this was probably a split second decision that she made on the first day of camp during introductions which then completely screwed her for full month afterwards.

I am sure I wil recall more camp horror stories....This post has been long enough. It won't be another 20 days before I post again.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

And thus endeth the challenge....

Today is the end of my 30 Day Challenge. It has been an interesting road. Thanks to everyone who has read, commented, linked to and otherwise encouraged me during this experiment. I encourage you to do the same (or a shorter version) because a) it makes you write every day, b) it makes you examine your life in a completely different way, and c) your life is more interesting than you think. My favorite blogs have always been the ones that detail past or current stories from people's own lives. I will continue writing whatever random memories come to me, just not every day....

This final story reveals me at my most pathetic. Plus if future employers read this, they probably won't hire me:

When I worked at the Scrap Bar I was just a young puddle of insecurity. I partied a lot, met rock stars, and generally had a good time, but was often relegated to the role of funny friend amongst my set of gorgeous rocker chick supermodel friends. This led to some disastrous decisions on my part, since the minute any guy paid attention to me, logic and self-esteem went out the window to be replaced by stupidity and desperation for acceptance.

Enter Nick. Tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, tattoos, in a band, charming, boyish, flirty. The other elements of his lifestyle included heroin addiction, lack of job, lack of money, and lack of a place to live. I chose to see these aspects as signs of his rebellious nature. Nick loved to spend nights at my house, mainly because he was homeless. I chose to see this as his undying love for me. Plus he was in a band! What more could I want?

Things were going swimmingly until his ex-girlfriend came back to town. She was the love of his life and they had one of those tempestuous and tortured relationships that are horrendous to live through but from a distance seem romantic and passionate. I was horribly jealous. Predictably, Nick stopped turning up on my doorstep soon after. I never had really thought Nick was my boyfriend, but I still felt betrayed. I dreamed of the many ways I would make him jealous and he would realize what a horrible mistake he had made. And inevitably, one day, I walked into the bar and there he was. No girlfirend in sight. I planned to tell him what a jerk he was, but as soon as I got up to him he kissed me and asked if I wanted to get high. Within the drug culture, getting high is an excuse to bond with people around you. So I immediately trashed any version of self respect that I had floating around and said yes. I envisioned doing some drugs, going into a corner of the bar, making out, going home and confessing our undying love for one another.

Instead of hanging out, Nick led me out to the street and into a cab which quickly took us to the very sketchy corner that was 9th Street and Avenue A where he flagged down a go between -- a young, early 20s at most, Hispanic dude who led us to an apartment complex somewhere between Avenues C and D. And suddenly I was in a crack house.

Nick went off into a corner to make a buy and I was left surrounded by a bunch of emaciated men and women with pockmarked skin and rotting teeth (the beautiful hallmarks of serious drug addiction). Nick quickly returned with a pipe and it was passed around the group. When it was offered to me, I had no desire to take it but then noticed the ten sets of eyes peering at me. So...I ended up smoking crack. To impress a dude.

After it was all over, Nick and I crashed at my house. The crash from this drug is terrible. You are wired and exhausted at the same time, making it impossible to sleep. The next day I woke up and was horrified at what I had done. That was the beginning of the end....I rarely saw Nick after that. The last time I did he was on the corner of St. Marks and 2nd handing out flyers for a hair salon. Can you say winner? I completely debased myself for a guy whose last name I can't even remember now.

Ah, young love.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two more.....

I have been swamped and falling behind! Today, two posts to make up for yesterday's lack thereof:

After Hours
The days of going to After Hours joints are long past for me, so I have no idea if or where they still exist. But my feeling is they are not as prevalent as they used to be. (By after hours, I mean TRUE after hours -- places that didn't open until 2 or 3 am and would close at noon or later). When I was growing up and hanging out on the LES, the main after hours was called Save the Robots. It was on Avenue B between 2nd and 3rd Streets, which back then was a much more shady area. Roger, the singer from the punk band Nausea, would work the door and go around and let us in the back way. Save the Robots was a real 80s club. It had different themed rooms -- the downstairs had a beach theme and the floor was covered in sand. The drinks were pricey and the music fell more into the dance/techno category. Still it was some place to go at 4am (which when you are 18 in NYC is important). I believe the club reopened again in the last few years with the same name, but of course, nothing close to the original.

The other infamous places were Brownie's and Frankie's. Brownie's I didn't go too as often. You needed a password and people needed to know you, and I didn't have the connections, so I only went with other people. Frankie's was my hang out. It was on 2nd Street just off 1st Avenue. The front was totally innocuous -- a boarded up store front painted black which you would walk right by if you didn't know that it was there. Once you opened the door you would be in a liviing room/bar. It was cluttered with all sorts of memorobilia and had a ratty pool table that was impossible to play on. The pool table was ripped up and the room was so narrow that you couldn't properly line up a shot because the cue wouldn't fit between the wall and the table.

In the back was a bar which served 10 dollar beers. This was the after hours for nightclub employees who liked to do a lot of drugs. There was a bathroom out in the hallway where everyone would discreetly go to do their intake. The hallway was actually the downstairs of a residential building and I can only imagine what they thought of this club that ran every night underneath their apartments. The owner of the place, Frankie, must have been in his 60s or 70s and would give cocaine to all the pretty girls (while trying to cop a feel). There was a backyard where we would hang out as well. I remember a lot of drug-fueled arguments happening back there. There were no windows in the bar, which often led to people staying there until noon or 1pm. Cocaine messes with time -- you are so speeded out that you have no idea what time it is.

Frankie would take pictures of everyone. The next time you came in he would whip out a little box which had envelopes with people's names on them and hand you an envelope of pictures of yourself from the last time you were there so you could have a memento of your last trashed bender at Frankie's.

Guns n Roses Parties

Guns n Roses lived a life of excess and threw lavish parties after every single concert on their tours. Over the years I went to a few of them. They often had a theme: Toga party (complete with bartenders etc. in togas and a roasted pig on a spit being carried through the party), Game night, Casino, etc. One particular time comes to mind as one of the more ridiculous parties I attended: They came to NYC with Metallica and Faith No More to play the Meadowlands. My friend Betty, who had been in the Cycle Sluts, and Jerry, who worked at the Scrap Bar, decided we wanted to go. Back then it was pretty common for us to just decide to go to a concert without tickets and talk our way in. We knew enough people that somebody would usually vouch for you.

We got to the Meadowlands after having taken a drunken bus ride out there and found our way back to the stage door gates. I don't remember exactly how we got in. I think Jerry may have talked us in, or Stuart, Axl's brother, whom I had dated for about 10 seconds, shooed us in, but we ended up tooling around backstage for a while and then grabbing seats right next to the stage during Metallica's set. Afterwards we went backstage and hung out with those guys -- Betty used to date James Hetfield. There was a really big feud between Metallica and GnR then, and I remember James (and Lars in other occasions around this same period), railing against how they were idiots to spend so much money on these parties and how Axl was a lunatic who didn't take care of his voice.

The party was the usual antics: It was a speakeasy theme. They had fake Guns n Roses money that you could use to play any number of casino games they had set up. Whoever won the most fake money would win some crazy prize, like a stereo system or something. They had a huge spread: steak, sushi, etc. There was a magician wandering around, and free video games, and pool. Me and James played pool and I talked to the Faith No More dudes for a while. I also did about 12 shots of Jack Daniels. At some point somebody pointed out that there was a hot tub in the corner in this curtained off area. Me and Betty had about 10 gallons of liquor each in us and decided it would be a GREAT idea to get in....completely naked. So we did. We figured no one would know. Well within seconds it seemed the entire party was peering in to that corner throught the curtains to see which crazy groupies were being decadent and stupid enough to jump into a hot tub naked in the middle of a crowded party. Axl came in and chatted with us, guys were leering. Me and Betty laughed it off, but we didn't have a choice...finally someone came and brought us towels so we could get out. Stuart was pretty annoyed at me I think.

The only other thing I remember about that party was that Axl Rose was dating Stephanie Seymour and she dragged me into the DJ booth proclaiming that the music sucked and that we should DJ for a while, which we proceeded to do. The rest of the night is a haze. I vaugely remember getting a ride to the city and going to some bar and then crawling home and sleeping for two days.

You wouldn't know it to look at me, wouldya?

The Crazies

The thing about the bar/rock n roll scene is that it definitely attracts some shady characters. I have met my fair share of drug dealers and just plain psychos hanging out in that scene. There was a drug dealer who was constantly talking about getting me to go to the "dark side" with him. This was sort of laughable except that he took it so sersiouly himself that it definitely creeped me out.

The serial killer Joel Rifkin hung around the fringes of the scene. I never talked to him but I remember being aware of him -- other girls talked about the fact that he was creepy and/or socially retarded. He mainly gravitated towards the really screwed up druggie girls. When he was arrested it creeped everyone out, as you can imagine.

When I was 17 my friend Liz was dating a young dude who was very intense. His name escapes me, but he ended up hitting on me, and I think I made out with him mainly due to the fact that it was the first time (maybe the last) when a guy actually chose me over one of my hot friends. (Girls are horrible people when they are 17.) I finally came to my senses and told him I couldn't see him because of LIz and he said okay but pursued me pretty intensey for a while anyway. He went off to college at Syracuse and two months later got arrested for digging up a body, taking the remains, and boiling them in his dorm room. He was supposedly using them for an art project. It made the front page of the News or the Post. (People wonder why I'm single....)

More on this in future posts.....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Scrap Bar

I have mentioned the Scrap Bar in quite a few previous posts, and figured I should designate a little more time to it. Scrap Bar was a small bar on McDougal Street between Bleecker and West Third Street. Its name came from the fact that the entire bar was decorated with pieces of scrap metal. It was in a basement and the stairs leading down to it were also decorated with various pieces of scrap metal. Today I think it's some frat bar, as everything on that block is, called the Wreck Room. You can see pics from that era at the Scrap Bar website. It was definitely the metal years and the pictures prove it.

Scrap Bar was a huge rock star hangout. MTV did one of its first rockumentaries on Guns n Roses and used the bar as a location. Should you ever see it, the bartenders working in the background were my friends Fiona and Jerry. I don't know whether that doc started the mass influx of wannabe rockstars and actual rockstars to this little hole in the wall bar or if it had already happened, but Scrap Bar became pretty famous. If a band was playing in NYC, you could almost certainly be guaranteed that they would make an appearance at the Scrap Bar afterwards.

As I have mentioned before, it was a big biker hangout -- the Angels were our security. Add to the mix a bunch of heroin addict musicians, a bunch of celebrities, a bunch of groupies, and then the occasional tourist, and you get an interesting and volatile combo. There were a lot of fights there. Not every single night, but enough that I remember them.

There were a lot of interesting characters there, as well as some shady ones. A lot of people did a lot of drugs. Heroin was incredibly popular then and a lot of people were addicts. Because of the drug fueled energy there was a lot of violence and death. One of the bartender's boyfriends killed himself, a guy named John threw himself off a roof, our friend Reuben who was the door person at the Limelight and a real scenester did the same after finding out he was HIV positive. My friend Mikey, who was one of our barbacks, was always high and getting into horrible accidents which he would miraculously survive. He once fell down the stairs AND out of a window and was fine the next day. Sadly his luck ended when he fell off a roof -- there was always speculation about whether it was an accident or suicide. I also watched a lot of people spiral out of control --heroin is really an evil drug and will make the smartest coolest person turn into a smarmy dirty beggar -- an evolution that is pretty painful to watch.

As I have noted, a lot of rock stars and celebrities came through the place. Guns n Roses hung out a lot. Slash supposedly got a BJ from Savannah (the porn star) while sitting at the bar -- it got written up in some rag and he freaked out and said it wasn't true. I was there that night and I heard people talking about it all night so I guess it was, although I didn't see the action happening myself. I did a lot of shots with Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. He was really into trading clothes. He would see something he liked of yours and offer to trade you his jacket or vest or belt for it. My friend Mick had Chris Robinson's jacket for years. The Metallica dudes were in there a lot, Sebastian Bach, the guys from Alice in Chains, Eddie Van Halen, and just about everyone else you can think of. I got to see a lot of bands for free and get a lot of backstage passes just by working at that bar.

I think working there was my first real brush with fame and decadence, as well as real violence and sadness. An interesting dichotomy.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I missed a day!

Friday was a long and boozy adventure: So much so that when I began this post at 3am I realized it was pointless and abandoned the whole venture. So today I will have to come up with two for the price of one:

Harris Day

Every school has some version of "senior cut day." It usually takes place on the last day of school and allows seniors a glimpse into their future as college students who can sleep through all of their classes should they so choose. I went to the Bronx High School of Science, which you could probably guess from the creative name, is located in the Bronx. Most schools in NYC don't have any outdoor space, but in many ways we were a much more suburban high school and actually had a field across the street. It was called Harris Field and was rarely used for gym or anything constructive. It served mainly as a place for people to get high, have keg parties, and make out.

Our version of senior cut day was called Harris Day and it was pretty famous throughout the city. Kids would come from all of the other schools to come to it. Esseentially the entire field was overrun by insane high school students. Kids would erect tents, people would bring kegs of beer, everyone would be on acid, bands would show up and play acoustic sets. It was like being at an open air concert. With lots and lots of drunk idiot teenageers. The main thing about Harris day was that just about everyone got sick: Mixing a bunch of high school students with unlimited drinks and drugs is a decidedly unsavory mix. The field and the surrounding area was unbelievably trashed for days afterwards. I pity the poor souls who had to clean it.

We had this insane party in full view of the high school. The ultimate fuck you to those that kept our young minds caged with late passes and homeroom bells during the school year. The school, as one can imagine, was not pleased. I am sure there were many outraged phone calls from parents that inevitably occurred when their bright straight A-on-the-way-to-Harvard son or daugther came home from school covered in vomit and hallucinating from the acid they dropped. As a result, around my sophomore year, the powers that be announced that anyone caught on Harris Field on the last day of school would be expelled and that seniors would not get to graduate. I don't know if that threat was even sustainable, but I went to a school of academics, so with rare exception the thought of expulsion was too nightmare-ish to comprehend. That year a very mild version of Harris Day occurred. It was mostly kids from other schools that couldn't get in trouble for being there. The following year it petered out completely.

PS3 Stories

In a previous post I wrote a little bit about my hippie elementary school, PS3, which was located in the heart of the village, on Christopher and Hudson Streets.

It was an old building, but actually was nicer than most of the crappy turn-of-the-century schools that dot the city. There were five floors, but the fifth was not in use and remained locked. This spawned many a ghost story: Rumours were that kids had died up there or that a crazy man lived up there. Someone even took the trouble to create the myth of the "Red Hand" which was a ghost that supposedly roamed the school. Someone went around the school with paint and put red handprints in various stairways to effectively scare the bejeezus out of us poor elementary school children. I finally ended up filming some movie up there that one of the parents was making and very diappointedly discovering that it was just old classrooms and no crazy people lived up there. (For some reason if you were a kid in the village you ended up being in a lot of movies).

We had a lot of arts-oriented classes. We had a mandatory dance class we had to attend run by Joan, a short squat woman who would carry around a drum and beat rhythmically to it. We were all supposed to dance around to it and then when she stopped drumming we were supposed to freeze. We had singing classes. Every year we did a weird celebration of May Day with a maypole dance. (I suspect that we were the only school in the country to do this).

About half the teachers at my school were gay: Diane, my third grade teacher was a super butch. She was really no nonsense. I remember a boy lifted up a girl's skirt and Diane told him to drop his pants. The boy freaked out. I don't think she actually made him do it, but that response was par for the course - she was all about quid pro quo. The rest of the teachers were pretty liberal as well, as you can imagine. The day after John Lennon died I remember half of the kids staying home from school and most of the teachers being absent. As kids we were all aware of who he was, but I don't think any of us understood the ramifications of his death for our hippie parents and teachers. I remember my friend Shanti being baffled as she told me that her mother went out on the fire escape and started yelling "Why? Why" down on to the street.

I wonder if anyone would scream "Why?" and keep their child home from school if a musician got shot today.....Just a thought.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Am a DJ and I Am What I Play....

I was a rock n roll DJ.

A few years ago, my friends Melanie and Kate were waitresses and DJs at Lucky Strike, the only cool and semi inexpensive place left to eat in SoHo. I would go and watch Melanie spin her vinyl collection and it dawned on me that I had tons of vinyl myself. I approached the manager and told him that I had TONS of DJ experience (lie #1) and I would bring tons of people in to the place if he hired me (Lie #2). He called me to fill in for someone the next day.

DJing at Lucky Strike was great because you could pretty much play what you wanted, so in one night I would go from Billie Holiday to Outkast to Neil Diamond to The Damned and back again. DJing is like playing the game Chain Reaction. If I am playing a Howard Jones 80s classic but want to get to a heavy Black Sabbath number, there are a few steps one can take: Howard Jones - Joe Jackson -Elvis Costello - The Clash - The Dickies - Black Sabbath. Conversely, if I am playing Weezer but want to get to the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers classic "Islands in the Stream" one has to get creative: Weezer - The Muffs - AC/DC - Lynyrd Skynyrd - Steve Miller - Paul Simon - Parton/Rogers. It all really appeals to my sense of order and logic. (Not surprisingly, High Fidelity is one of my favorite books, as it would be for any obsessive record collector).

The other great thing about DJing was that I essentially got paid to sit around with my friends, play music, smoke cigarettes, eat food, and get drunk. All of my friends worked in this place and enough of my friends stopped by that it was a pretty jovial work environment. I met Jimmy Jatho who now works at the UCB in LA and who is a good frined of mine at Lucky Strike, and Mike Myers was a regular as well -- he would sit in the DJ booth and help pick out songs.

I occasionally DJ'd elsewhere -- friends hired me for parties and such. I even worked the big clubs once in a while which was nerve-racking -- at Lucky Strike nobody really cares if thiings go silent for a moment, or a record skips, but in a large club with a killer sound system those kind of errors are a nightmare.

I haven't DJ'd in a long time -- I still have over 600 vinyl records, many I still have from my youth , and I can't quite bear to get rid of them even though they take up too much space and I don't play them as often as I should. I keep thinking I will eventually DJ again or that I will eventually live in a place where I can dedicate a room to my old school albums.

(Tangential Note: Buying albums as a kid was a thrilling experience -- there were pictures and liner notes and all sorts of extras. There used to a huge record store on my corner in SoHo and I would peruse the albums and save my allowance to buy one. Packaging doesn't mean much in this era of the electronic download, and I think that is a shame. Once upon a time, album covers were a way for a band to convey their image and who they were which made buying albums very exciting.)