Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bloody Wednesday and My Brush With Destiny('s Child)

For the past three days the New York Blood Center has been giving away free Mets tickets to anyone who donates blood at Brooklyn College. Since I didn't find out about the offer until last night, I made the trip all the way out to Flatbush to give blood today. Not the most altuistic behavior I've ever exhibited, I know, but I like the Mets (it's a Norfolk thing) and I don't mind giving blood. Get off my back. Besides, I donated blood in high school as soon I was old enough. And I didn't get anything out of that except for Hepatitis C. Just kidding. It was B. So now I have two tickets to see the Mets play the Washington Nationals on opening weekend at Shea.

On my way home from giving blood I saw two famous women. First, I saw the Statue of Liberty out of my window on the subway. Then, as I was walking through Times Square I saw a bunch of kids waiting outside of TRL with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus posters. I figured they were the guests for the day, so I didn't make much of it. But when I turned the corner at 45th St. I saw a small crowd of teens and a smaller crowd of paparazzi gathered outside of the MTV doors. There were six or so police officers and a couple of firefighters waiting as well. After finding out that they were waiting for a one Ms. Beyonce Knowles, I decided to stick around for a few minutes to see if she would come out. I knew I didn't want to wait anymore than 5 or 10 minutes. After all, I'd already seen Beyonce up close in person when the original Destiny's Child opened for Boyz II Men at the Virginia Beach Pavillion back in 1998. Just to give you a sense of how unfamous they were, the lineup was Uncle Sam ("I Don't Ever Wanna See You Again"), Destiny's Child ("No, No, No" was their only big single at the time), THEN Next ("Too Close"), then Boyz II Men. Destiny's Child and Next had booths set up where you could take a picture with them for $20. The Next booth was a lot busier than DC's. But I digress. So I waited for a few minutes with a crowd of about 10 people. We couldn't stand right outside of the door, so we had to stand across the street, which was only about an extra 20 feet away since everyone was standing in the middle of the street. Beyonce came out after a few minutes and posed for a few pictures for the paparazzi. Then she posed for pictures with the firefighters (they are heroes after all). As she started to get closer, a huge tour bus approached, in one of those classic scenarios you only see on tightly scripted situational comedies. But instead of letting the bus block their view, the crowd rushed forward and stood right in front of it, forcing it to stop, which in turn stopped the long line of cars behind it. Beyonce literally stopped traffic. But the best part came after Beyonce was safely in her black SUV.
As the car pulled out and raced down 45th St., a boy who was probably 12 or 13 years old raced down the street next to her window. He kept up with the car for a little while, then fell behind as it neared 9th Avenue. Fortunately for him, the car got a red light and he ran up to the window, along with 5 or 6 other people who must have had quite an inventive strategy, and bugged Beyonce for autographs. From where I was standing I couldn't tell if Beyonce actually rolled down her window, but as I walked down 45th St. I passed the kid, who was now grinning from ear to ear and holding this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, with "Beyonce" scrolled across the cover in black Sharpie. Now that's a well-earned autograph.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Hello again. Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I can explain. I've been kind of preoccupied lately. You see, I've taken up slomming.

In case you aren't familiar with the practice, slomming stands for Sticking Leeches On Myself. It's the latest craze in drug use, sponsored by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign (they'll try anything to get kids off pot). I'd never heard of this new sensation before I saw the ads for it. They're everywhere- infiltrating airtime during teen programs like Reba, popping up at the top of MySpace pages, I even came across a slomming ad at the dentist's office when I was parusing the latest edition of Highlights Magazine. According to its official website,, slomming has a few alternate definitions. The noun "slomming" is defined as "A series of decisions that sucks the life out of a person." The verb "to slom" means "To engage in an activity without thinking" and also "To make a decision based on wannabeitis." I'm pretty sure that means it gets you majorly fucked up. So basically I had to try it. I took this picture during my first slom sesh (I don't even remember taking it!).

The results were incredible. It's definitely a high like no others. Coke highs are too short. Heroin highs leave me with menstrual irregularity. And don't get me started on PCP. I'm just so thankful that the Office of National Drug Control Policy decided to spend America's hard-earned tax dollars on these expensive advertisements. I feel like I'm living life for the first time! I mean, I would be hard pressed to think of a better use of a Thursday night than slomming my brains out and watching Step by Step reruns on ABC Family (Patrick Duffy and leeches go hand-in-hand).

After I got tired of the usual slomming method, I started freebasing leeches. That was fun for awhile, but it really messed up my nice spoons. I think the healthiest approach is using a vaporizer. I simply set my vaporizer to the special leech temperature, put the leeches on the electrically heated metal plate, let the machine go to work for a few minutes, and then inhale the vapors through a tube. This eliminates tars and other unhealthy additives found in store bought leeches. It makes for a much healthier slomming experience.

If you want to try slomming, I definitely recommend it. I have to warn you, however, that slomming may be a gateway drug. I've started dabbling in ULWEPing (Using Live Wasps as EarPlugs) and IPSIMRing (Inserting Poisonous Scorpions Into My Rectum). These are also fun ways to pass the time until the next 2 hour episode of American Idol. So what are you waiting for? Get slomming!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Julian Beever in Union Square

Anyone one who reads their Myspace bulletins or has a mass e-mail-sending friend is familiar with the art of Julian Beever. He's the sidewalk artist who creates incredible, 3-D paintings using only chalk.
I've been an admirer of his work for several years now, so imagine my excitement when I found out he was coming to NYC to paint the "Fountain of Youth" in Union Square. The official unveiling was January 25, but as Time Out NY said, it would be on display until March 29. "March 29th", I said to myself, "that's a long time for a chalk drawing to survive. They must have some special, all-weaher chalk and high tech sealants to preserve something like this for so long. I'll wait one week and check it out with my family. That'll show them what NYC's all about!"

A week later we went to Union Square to check it out. After an exhaustive walk through the farmer's market, we finally found the amazing "Fountain of Youth." I guess you see where this is going.

I haven't been this dissapointed since the (sports team) lost the (sports championship).
No, since visiting Williamsburg, Brooklyn for the first time.
Wait, since seeing Mr. Wrong in the theater.
Nay, since the day I found out Jesus isn't real.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Guru Pitka Live

Since last spring, Mike Myers has been testing out his new character, Guru Pitka, on NYC audiences. Friday night he brought the Guru to the Magnet Theater and I went with my family to witness the spectacle.

The tiny theater (less than 100 seats) was packed with friends of Mike Myers (including Sarah Vowell) and NYC improv scenesters who were lucky enough to get through the phone lines last Tuesday to make a reservation. People were standing along the walls and sitting on the stairs and stage, all hoping to see Myer's next big screen character, Guru Pitka, who is kind of like the offspring of an obnoxious yogi and Dr. Phil.

The show certainly didn't dissapoint. I appreciated the time and effort Myers spent on this show. If it weren't for those twinkling eyes of his, you might not even recognize him in his Guru costume, complete with silver wig and beard combo, prosthetic nose, and white robe. He also put a lot of work into the show's graphics. His lecture was accompanied by a slideshow that displayed pictures of his Gurus (Guru Tugginmypuddha), examples of his previous self-help books ("I Know You Are, But Who Am I?"), and highlighted clever play-on-words that parodied the ridiculous world of motivational speakers (the topic of the evening was "Intimacy" or "Into Me I See," and he spoke of taking us from "nowhere" to "now here").

The crowd loved the blessing that is exchanged between the Guru and his followers after every encounter: "Mariska Hargitay." Hilarity ensued during the Q & A, when a Scottish audience member (who, not surprisingly, sounded a lot like Fat Bastard) asked the Guru about losing his aura. Myers responded by saying, "It's hard to hear your accent and not do your accent." But the crowd pleasiest moment came when Guru Pitka was explaining the importance of self-acceptance. He ran through a list of embarrasing scenarios, each one ending with "You must accept yourself." The last scenario was "Even if you’re on a telethon with Kanye West when he decides to say George Bush doesn’t care about black people and you know that motherfucker is right but he didn’t tell you ahead of time, you must accept yourself." Needless to say, this one brought the house down.

After the show Myers was nice enough to sign autographs (my copy of Wayne's World!) and pose for pictures. I asked him about the high-tech cameras that recorded the show from multiple angles (they even had a camera just for audience reactions), whether or not they were for shopping around to studios. He said he's already got the greenlight for the movie, so it looks like we will definitely see Pitka on the big screen. He said he's been working on the script for the past 7 months and realized, "Oh wait, I don't even know this character." So he decided to workshop the Guru more to continue developing him. When I asked him if this would be the last show for the character, he responded with an emphatic "No!" But he's not sure if future shows will be back at the Magnet Theater. So good news for the hopeful few who couldn't get into Friday's show, the Guru will return.

Friday, February 02, 2007

2econd Stage Theatre is Ageist

I don't often use this blog to slam people or public broadcasting television shows that have done me wrong, but the time has come for me to speak out about something.

My mom and sister are coming to visit this weekend, and my mom, a long-time Tony Shalhoub fan, wanted to see him in "The Scene." She also wanted to see Patricia Heaton, another star in the off-Broadway play, until I told her about the anti-stem cell research ads she made for the November elections. She had the same response I had when I found out about Heaton's ultra-conservative views: Yuck. But we still love Tony Shalhoub. We even have the first two seasons of Wings on DVD. So I looked into getting student tickets (okay, I'm technically not a student anymore, but I still have the ID) and found the following on the website:

"Student RUSH $15****One ticket per valid ID / full-time college or high school students only. No advance reservations. 1 hour prior to curtain only. Subject to availability."

Okay, I thought, only one ticket per person might be kind of difficult, but I think I can swing it. And $15 sure beats $75. So I called the 2econd Stage Theatre box office to investigate. And I found out something very interesting. There are no student tickets. There never were any student tickets. There never will be any student tickets. Instead of setting aside 10 or 20 student tickets a night so that humble college students like me can experience the culture and excitement of live theatre, 2econd Stage Theatre is selling ALL of their seats for full price and greedily making the most money they can.

So shame on you, 2econd Stage Theatre. Shame on you.
I'll take my business elsewhere. And then donate the money I saved getting student tickets to stem-cell research (or candy).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Invite Them Up Recap and Gay Robot

I just got back from Invite Them Up and thought I would share the highlights of the night.

-Chris Jurek gave out great prizes, including Super Bowl tickets (two pieces of paper straight out of his printer with the words "Super Bowl XLI- Row 1 Seat 1") and tickets to the Oscars (same as Super Bowl tickets, but with "The Oscars" printed on them).

-Laura Krafft did an excellent job of staying in character as a French comedian throughout her entire set.

-Brett Gelman was in character as child entertainer Klaus Van Fun, a scantily clad German man with a blonde mullet wig. He read an amazing original story, "Scadoodle, you poodle," or something like that.

-John Mulaney talked about his recent gig on Best Week Ever, and said he promised himself before he went to the studio that he wouldn't make any Lindsay Lohan jokes, then caved as soon as he got there.

-During the break we spotted Zak Orth (Wet Hot American Summer) in the crowd and talked about the awesome job he did playing a college student-turned-rapist on Law and Order: SVU. Then, minutes later, Eugene Mirman read aloud his answers from the "21 Questions" feature he's doing for an upcoming New York magazine. The last question was "What makes someone a New Yorker?" Eugene's answer: "Being on Law and Order." We looked at each other and laughed, and then noticed the girl next to us poking the guy she was with in a "Hey, that's you!" kind of way. And I wondered, how many people in this room have been on Law and Order?

-And finally, Jon Glaser closed the show by reading the last e-mail his father sent him before he died, a collection of vagina nicknames (our favorites include vertical smile, roast beef curtains, and ever-lasting cum stopper). After the show I asked Jon about "Gay Robot," Nick Swardson's pilot for Comedy Central, on which Glaser plays the professor. After seeing clips from the show several months ago on Myspace, I was looking forward to seeing more of it on TV. Unfortunately, Jon says the show has been canned by Comedy Central. This might be old news to a lot of people, but it was devastatingly fresh news to me. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of Gay Robot.

Gay Robot - PILOT CLIP 2

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-After the show about half the audience stuck around to help out with Jon Glaser's new pilot for Adult Swim. Our job was to sit and watch Eugene do Russian stand-up. We didn't understand a word he said, but that didn't stop one drunk guy from laughing too loudly (maybe you'll hear him on the show!).