Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Weekend with Aaron Marrs

I've written before about my good buddy Aaron Marrs. Unfortunately he's not with us anymore. Fortunately, while he was still here we had some really good times and I was able to capture one particular weekend on video.

It took place in early August 2003. We were both living in Nashville at the time and we had decided to go to his parents' house in Louisville for a weekend so we could catch a Bleach concert near Cincinnati and then hit King's Island the next day.

On the way to Louisville, we took a detour to visit GOLGOTHA (billed, no joke, as "the #1 shaded Biblical mini-golf resort"). You may have already seen the video but in case you haven't...

You may not have seen what we did for the rest of the weekend. I have decided to post that video as well and you can see it below. It was a really good time and thought those of you who knew Aaron might enjoy seeing him goofing around again.

Good times.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Life with Indy

Unless you're living in a cave filled with Kali worshipers, you've probably seen the trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. To say I was excited to catch my first glimpse of the new flick would be putting it mildly.

But then it hit me that a lot of kids who make up the precious 18-23 year-old demographic so many of the movies try to nab were toddlers the last time an Indy flick unspooled. I mean, my wife was only 6 when the third Indy film came out (and yet she's a huge fan of the trilogy. She's cool like that. She knows her good 80s flicks even though she was in diapers when they premiered; she was only 2 when Back to the Future was in theaters - man I love making myself feel old - but she's still a fan).

It doesn't seem like that long ago when that boulder first chased Indiana through the cave. But I guess I was 10 years old and I went to see it on a Saturday afternoon with my little sister, who would have been 5 at the time. Those were definitely different times when you could drop off a 10-year-old and a 5-year-old at the movies by themselves to watch the faces melt off of Nazis. We got home and couldn't stop ranting about Raiders of the Lost Ark. My brother (who had opted to go to the swimming pool instead of the movies) knew he missed out.

Three years later when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom rolled around, I was an official Indiana Jones movie geek. Before it had even come to theaters, I already had the soundtrack (on vinyl) and had it memorized. I knew every trumpet swell, every smash of the timpani, and had the crescendos down pat. In fact, when I sang along with the opening song - a rendition of "Anything Goes" in Japanese - I remember a few of the people in the audience giving me the stink eye. I had the collectible behind-the-scenes book as well as the cheap novelization of the movie and I had begun to go to the library and photocopy magazine articles about Steven Spielberg. I couldn't fully understand at 13 exactly what a director does but I knew his name and I knew he had a lot to do with it, and I wanted to have something to do with cool movies, too. I recognized his name from E.T. and that was when I knew whatever it was he did...I wanted to do it, too.

When Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade came out I was 18 and I knew everything you'd ever want to know about Spielberg. I studied his films and pored over every article I could get my hands on. And yet, Indy 3 disappointed me. I think this is the first time I'm saying this publicly.

The rest of my family, especially my dad, are such Indiana Jones fans, I couldn't bring myself to confess that I didn't love the third one as much as they did. And, if you know me, the reason for disliking it may seem odd. In the years since then, I've continued to be a fan of Spielberg but my tastes have veered to the comedic arts. I'm still interested in film but that is coupled with a love for stand-up comedy and all things Steve Martin, Dane Cook, and Will Ferrell.

And yet my complaint about Indy 3? It was too funny. Too goofy. Too much slapstick.

Sure, the first one had a few good laughs but for the most part, Indy was a serious down-to-business guy who got himself out of narrow scrapes and once in a while shot a guy instead of using his whip for a laugh. But all of a sudden he was running around with Sean Connery like 2 of the three stooges, complete with head bonks, slaps in the face, and pratfalls. Indiana Jones was never a comedy before... why were they trying to make it into one now?

And yet, even with this bitter taste in my mouth, I still remain a huge fan. I am trying to keep my expectations low and at the same time I'm really anxious to find out what happens next to our hero. The trailer that is online made me smile and even laugh and who knows, they may try to make Indiana funny again. I forgive them already if they do. I'm just looking forward to hanging out with my old buddy again.

Monday, February 25, 2008

And the Winners Are... was your Oscar party experience? I have to admit, mine was pretty darn cool. And here's proof:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Finding Timmy's Whiteness

Yesterday I was trying to catch up on my Entertainment Weeklys and was reading the February 8 issue (the one with Juno's Ellen Page on the front) and in the middle of reading the article on "Survivor" I saw my friend Timmy.

When I was in New York working at the mutual funds company, the guy who was my supervisor was Timmy. He was really cool and we got along really well, especially after finding out we were both performers at comedy clubs. I was doing improv at the National Comedy Theatre and he was part of a sketch troupe that performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. I was able to catch a performance and had a great time. In fact, I think I even blogged about it.

Anyhow, it was fun hearing about Timmy's adventures as they were invited to the Aspen Comedy Festival and were approached by some TV people.

Fast forward to me reading EW and seeing a full-page ad for The Whitest Kids U Know on IFC. And of course, there was Timmy with a huge finger pointed at his head (you have to see the ad to really get what I'm trying to describe).

This blog really has no point other than to say it was cool. Good job, Timmy. Good job Whitest Kids. Good job IFC.

Kudos all-around.

Monday, February 18, 2008

La la laaaaaaaaaaa

This weekend Sarah and I were driving back from Hershey and I was singing along with the band Ceili Rain. I was singin', singin', and singin' away and after the song ended Sarah turned to me and very earnestly said, "My Mom told me I'm tone-deaf but I still think you have a good voice."

I couldn't stop laughing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Goatee Record

I'm growing a goatee. Don't worry, it's not going to be around for very long. My friends John and Lisa throw a huge Oscar party every year and they've decided that this year everyone should dress accordingly. At first Lisa was going to have us dress as our favorite Oscar nominee from this year. And then it became any past Oscar winner. And now -- I think -- it's evolved into a Come As Any Movie Character.

When the parameters were still in the "Any Past Oscar Winner" phase, I decided who I was going to be. It would require minimum costume purchase and that was cool with me. In fact, all I'd really need to do is grow a mustache.  But I'm not a porn actor from the seventies or a child molester from any era, so I wasn't too keen on being "that guy" for the next month or so. I decided instead to grow out a goatee and then, on the day of the party, shave it to just the 'stache.

In the meantime I have a couple weeks' worth of growth and I look like most of my cousins did in the 10th grade. Now when I am introduced to people for the first time, this is who they think I am. The Guy With the Goatee. I met someone last week who knew me from the radio station but had never seen me and I was informed I looked "just how he pictured me."

I wanted to tell him this isn't actually how I look, but I didn't. I figured he probably wouldn't follow me when I explained to him I was only growing out this facial hair so  I could shave half of it off on the 24th and try to pass myself off as Kevin Kline from A Fish Called Wanda.

Yep. That's who I'm going to be. And, if you're like most people I know, you have no idea what film I'm talking about. Shame, really. It came out in 1988 and stars John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Michael Palin. Is it any good? you may ask yourself. And I will answer your question with one of my own: When's the last time you heard of someone winning an Academy Award for a comedic role?

Yes, it's that good. And it holds up. Sarah had never heard of it and watched it a couple weeks ago and I'm pleased to say it kept her laughing.

So now all I need is a black ball cap (check), a grey shirt (check), a black tie (check), and a soul patch and mustache (check and almost check).

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'll get you, Jim Gaffigan

About two and a half years ago I wrote a blog about a funny idea I had for my stand-up comedy. I refused to mention what it was about lest one of you online freaks steal my idea.

Well, it happened. I squandered it and sat on it and did nothing with it and wouldn't you know it, someone else came up with the idea and put it on their last CD and did it well.

Granted, he didn't do it exactly how I had it in mind -- we both go in different directions -- but they start off similarly enough that people will probably now think I'm stealing from Jim Gaffigan. I'm not. And I didn't.

But doggonit anyhow. Oh well. That's what I get for hiding it under a bushel.

Dude, You're Getting a....Wait a Second

A couple blogs ago I posted a copy of an online conversation I had with a computer tech support technician. I'm gonna Tarantino this one a bit (as Dane Cook would say). This blog actually takes place before that post, so to make sure you're up to speed, I'll briefly recap.

One of the speakers on my laptop stopped working.

There. Now you're all caught up.

I went to the Dell website to see if I couldn't diagnose the problem on my own before having to wait in line to speak with a Dell Customer Support rep.

In order to proceed, I was asked to enter my computer's serial number. I had no idea how to find that and followed the easy step-bystep How To Locate Your Serial Number instructions. After locating the serial number I entered it in the box and hit "return."

I was greeted with an error message that the serial number entered corresponds with a computer that was purchased outside of the United States. That, I knew, was a bold-faced lie, as I was present at the Circuit City in Indiana when it was purchased.

I tried again, but got the same error message.

I concluded that I must be entering the wrong number. I entered every other combination of numbers I could find printed on the many stickers on the bottom of computer but none of them worked, either.

Stupid Dell computers!!!

I spent the next twenty minutes scouring the Dell website, trying to find alternate ways to locate my serial number since this clearly wasn't working, but to no avail. I cursed Dell and I cursed that stoner kid who used to do their commercials a few years ago.

And then I looked at my laptop and realized I had a Gateway.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Still in Florida

Last night Sarah and I were watching 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to the zombie-type horror flick 28 Days Later. We had to turn the movie off halfway through.

Not because it was too scary (and it was).

Not because it was too intense (and it was intense, too).

Not because it was bloody and gory and violent (check, check, and check).

No...we had to stop the movie halfway through because we couldn't keep our hands off of each other.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you know the honeymoon hasn't ended.