Monday, February 28, 2005
* Chris Rock was hilarious. So hilarious, in fact, that a pissed-off Sean Penn had to come out later in the show and defend Jude Law as a "talented" actor. Looks like someone had to defend his lady love's honor.
* Every year, it's interesting to see the point where the host just gives up, just realizes that they've signed up to slog through an endless show that just gets on everyone's nerves, and perfuntorily introduces people in the hopes that they won't drone on and on. This year, Chris Rock made it about twenty minutes.
* Good to see someone invited "Grandpa" Robin Williams and his 40 year-old comedy routine.
His oh-so-timely Jack Nicholson-as-someone-in-a-movie-he-wasn't-cast-in bit.
Marlon Brando as Elmer Fudd? How about Robert DeNiro from Taxi Driver as - oh wait, he did that too.
* Drew Barrymore's hair gave her the glamourous air of a 42 year-old soccer mom from Dubuque.
Seriously, who's her stylist, Marge from the Pick n' Save off the highway?
* Hey Mike Meyers, the Degrassi Junior High hockey team called, and they want their hair back.
* Counting Crows are on? The fuck?
"And now, to sing 'Learn to Be Lonely' from Phantom of the Opera, Evan Dando and the Lemonheads."
* A friend of mine complained that the new Oscar distribution format ("Now we're giving an award onstage." "Now we're giving an award in the seats." "Now we're having Hall of Fame Quarterback Joe Namath toss the award to the winner." "Now Mr. Met will shoot an Oscar out of an air gun, and a lucky fan in the bleachers will catch it.") to be too confusing.
Of course, this system was implemented to keep the Oscars from going on too long, and of course, the Oscars went on way too long. (More on this on Wednesday, believe it or not.)
Anyway, my point is, all you have to do is remember that this year, the Oscars is more of an Interactive Murder Mystery Awards Dinner - that guy sitting next to you, is he a guest or - oh no, he's presenting the award for Best Animated Short! What a trickster!
* Al Pacino presenting an award to Sidney Lumet. He looked like a gang of kidnappers had just released him and, standing just offstage with a machine gun, forced him to read off the TelePrompTer or die.
* I thought Penelope Cruz & Selma Hayek trying to read the TelePrompTer was way funnier than anything else I've seen in the show.
They introduced best Sound Mixing, and all the nominees are onstage, all five hundred pasty white guys with glasses. It looked like someone kicked over a rock and found a Magic: The Gathering Tournament swarming underneath it.
* Now Selma Hayek's introducing a song as "The first Spanish language song to be nominated for an Oscar."
Wasn't that "El Gost y Senor Pollo"?
By the way, Antonio Banderas was emoting so hard, it was like he was tring to play to an 80 seat dinner theatre in Sandusky instead of a ten thousand theatre in Hollywood.
* Is it just me, or was Puff Daddy wearing a tuxedo made out of sweat suit material?
Just when you thought that Polar Express song couldn't get any worse, out comes Josh Groban to sing it.
I actually turned off the TV and walked away, then turned it back on to finish watching. Next year, I'm going to get people to donate 5 cents to charity for every ten minutes of the Oscars I make it through.
* Finally, Best Picture. (Martin Scorsese - which member of the Academy's sister did you impregnate and then leave? Seriously, it's like a personal vendetta.) To present the award - Barbra Streisan and Dustin Hoffman, the onscreen pairing from what I'm sure is the pride of both their resumes, Meet the Fockers.
Why is it that this is the only TV show all year that literally involves Hollywood's best creative minds on an annual basis, and yet is so incredibly hard to watch? I mean, in any movie, either of those two has so much charisma that you literally can't tear your eyes away, and yet here at this show, they might as well be my parents presenting an award for all the entertainment value they give you.
* One final thought:
- Bugs Bunny
Thursday, February 24, 2005
What made it really bad was -
I was constipated at the time.
You may proceed to LOL now.
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A TRUE CONVERSATION I HAD WITH A CASHIER ON MONDAY
CASHIER: Happy President's Day!
LIAM: Thanks. Who's your favorite president?
CASHIER: Um... Benjamin Franklin.
LIAM: He wasn't a President.
CASHIER: Oh - okay. Lemme think for a minute.
LIAM: I gotta go -
CASHIER: I know. George Washington. Because he chopped down that cherry tree. And I love cherries.
This is my favorite cashier ever.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
In case you missed it, the premise was that Donald Trump's reality show, The Apprentice, is a kind of "social services" experiment, because so many of the contestants are otherwise unemployable...
This year the contestants are split into two teams, "Book Smarts" and "Street Smarts."
"Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts?" It should be "Community College" vs. "Community Service."
Here's a free resume tip for this year's Apprentice contestants -
- It's good to list two years' experience at the Ford Motor Company.
- It's not so good to list two years' experience at the Betty Ford Clinic.
Here's a free resume tip for this year's Apprentice contestants –
- Oxford University, a good college you can put on your resume.
- Hogwarts University, not such a good college to put on your resume.
Hell, if Bush can be President of the United States, Drum Circle Danny can be Vice President of Marketing at Trump Worldwide.
If Donald keeps paying his hairdresser to do that to him, he'll hire anybody.
Forget making commercials or creating buzz for instant coffee, the biggest challenge is watching Donald Trump not lose his temper week after week
What's wrong with the contestants?
- Brian – in his spare time, he performs magic. that makes sense – after all, he made himself disappear.
He turned down a full-paid scholarship to a college. Who offered him a scholarship, Whatsamatta U?
He dropped out of school to start a business selling glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Showing the same business ecumen as eight thousand Phish fans.
Danny – Run a company? This guy couldn't run a red light in an ambulance.
- What's up with that robe, dude? Maybe he thought he was competing to be The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
- None of the college graduate contestants could use a Burger King cash register. Which blows my theory that the college they graduated from was Hamburger University.
How hard is it use a Burger King cash register? You know who knows how to use a Burger King cash register? The people who work at Burger King.
And those bad commercials they made?
Team Magna's ad was so bad, not only did it make me not want to buy Dove soap, it made me hate porn.
In a way, both ads involved a guy getting an inappropriate facial.
How did they find these people?
"Caller 92 right now wins a chance to fly to New York and compete for a job with Donald Trump."
One of those commercials they have during the Jerry Springer show - "With Apex Tech, you can get a job in refrigerator repair, gun repair, auto mechanics, or vice president of executive affairs for Donald Trump."
Seems like they got this year's contestants from the standby line for The Price is Right.
They got this season's contestants from last season's reject pile.
I wonder what the casting sessions were like...
"Excuse me sir, but could you stop eating that chair? You're hired."
"Just so you know, you actually can't list the voice in your head that tells you to do stuff as a personal reference. "
"Okay, you've got your underwear on your head. I just don't see how that qualifies as a 'special skill.'"
"Quick, what's two and two? Yes you can use your fingers. Yes, you can use your toes. No, you can't use that, please put it away."
"Spell 'Cat.' Okay, now this time, try spelling it without any Zs - or Xs - or Fs."
"Now, you understand that if you get the job, you're going to have to put a shirt on."
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
INT. APARTMENT COMPLEX HALLWAY - EVENING
SEAN, a man in his early thirties, dressed for a fun night out. He's walking, slightly tipsy, with FRANCINE, his girlfriend, also in her early thirties, also dressed for a fun night out, also slightly tipsy. They're laughing at a joke that someone has just told.
They reach an apartment door.
SEAN: Oh, this is the best birthday ever.
FRANCINE: I'm just glad you could forget your wife ...
SEAN (uncomfortable): Uh, yeah.
FRANCINE: Oh. Oh geez, I'm so sorry.
SEAN: No, it's all right.
FRANCINE: Oh God, I shouldn't have brought it up. I know hard it's been on you.
SEAN: No no, let's just get your purse and go to dinner.
He opens the apartment door.
INT. APARTMENT - CONTINUED
Inside it's dark. We see SEAN and FRANCINE sillouhetted against the light of the hallway behind them.
MAN'S VOICE: Hold it right there, Sean Murphy.
SEAN: Okay, you caught me. I killed her.
SEAN: No, honey, it's over. They finally caught me. (to the MAN) Yeah, I killed her. And you know what? I'm glad I killed her. I couldn't take it any more. All the nagging, "Sean take out the garbage," "Sean, stop raising chickens in the bathtub." Nagging and nagging until one day I just - snapped. "Sean, stop kidnapping puppies for the ransom money." Arrgggghhhhhh. So I killed her. I killed her and I dumped her in the river and you can do what you want because I don't care any more.
A light switch is turned on. Inside, the apartment is filled with all of Sean's friends, half-crouched in hiding places, with stunned looks on their faces. Many are wearing party hats. There are streamers and balloons all over the place. A big banner reads: "SURPRISE!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!"
In the forefront is the MAN, who is Sean's best friend. His mouth is wide open in shock.
SEAN: Um, just .... kidding?
His friends start to file out past him in awkward silence.
Monday, February 21, 2005
I was an accountant a while ago - I don't know, six months? A year, year-and-a-half? I've never been very good with numbers.
I was a terrible accountant, but I was very popular. A lot of my former clients like to keep in touch, in fact I got the nicest letter yesterday -
"Liam, as soon as I get out of prison I'm going to find you and kill you."
Whoa, hey, thanks for inviting yourself over. Let's keep this relationship strictly business.
You know why it's called the tax "code"? Because you need to be an Army language expert to break it.
"If a exceeds c, then add line 14 to line 16 and subtract the result from 19. This is line 20."
That's not English. That's a language rich people have invented to communicate with each other. If you break the "tax code," I think it says, "Do you have a polo pony? That counts as 13 kids. Deduct accordingly."
Thursday, February 17, 2005
ARE YOU A MEATHEAD?
Take this simple quiz and find out. Simply check every answer that's true about you, and give yourself the number of points next to the question.
I OWN A SHIRT WITH THIS ON THE FRONT:
(1) _ "Ten Reasons A Beer Is Better Than A Woman"
(1) _ "Get A Job!" with one skeleton giving another a blowjob
(1) _ a bootleg shirt featuring cartoon characters doing something outlandishly out of character and/or saying something profane
(2) _ "One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor!"
(2) _ "I'm not as think as you drunk I am"
(2) _ (in fuzzy letters) "MASTURBATION WILL TURN YOU BLIND"
(3) _ any college you did not actually attend
(3) _ any bar's name and address
(4) _ "NEW YORK FUCKING CITY!!!"
(1) _ is an IROC
(1) _ is a Prowler
(1) _ has a very very loud stereo system
(1) _ has a horn that plays "The Theme From the Godfather"
(2) _ is a silver Prowler
(2) _ has sweet racing stripes
(2) _ has a Bad Boy/Yosemite Sam sticker across the back window
(3) _ has the brightest high-beams the law will allow
(3) _ has a horn that plays "La Cucaracha"
(4) _ has flames across the side
(4) _ is worth more to me than the lives of my wife and family
(5) _ is currently parked in a Handicap spot. What?
(5) _ is nicknamed "The Pussy Machine"
MY HOUSE IS DECORATED WITH
(1) _ velvet, velvet, velvet!
(1) _ a street sign
(1) _ a traffic light
(2) _ an "If You Sprinkle When You Tinkle, Please Be Neat and Wipe the Seat" bathroom poster (add a point if it isn't framed)
(2) _ a plaster matador statue
(3) _ a plaster matador lamp
(3) _ Christmas lights 365 days a year
(4) _ more than two sports-related memorabilia
(4) _ whatever my parents want, it's their house
ON A NORMAL DAY, I WEAR
(1) _ one gold-plated chain
(2) _ a gold-plated chain, plus a crucifix
(3) _ two gold-plated chains with a big crucifix and a fake-diamond ring
(4) _ three or more gold-plated chains, more than one fake-diamond ring, and something brass that spells out my name
(5) _ enough jewelry that people think I cleaned out QVC
ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS, I WEAR
(1) _ a polyester suit
(2) _ my "formal" baseball cap
(3) _ the fancy gold-color-plated jewelry
(4) _ a tuxedo t-shirt
(5) _ a shirt.
THE FUNNIEST THING I EVER SAW WAS
(1) _ that farting scene in Blazing Saddles
(1) _ This doll, it's a guy, and you squeeze this bulb and he pulls his pants down!
(1) _ Truly Tasteless Jokes XXII - that Blanche Knott, boy, she's still got it
(2) _ my "10 Ways a Beer Is Better Than A Woman" t-shirt
(2) _ "Married with Children," the first season
(2) _ Dice!
(3) _ this guy, he called up Larry King and started saying, "Baba Booey motherfucker" over and over
(3) _ The Three Stooges
(4) _ Gallagher
(5) _ the Special Olympics
I HAVE HAD
(1) _ a screaming match with my wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband outside of a bar at 3 in the morning
(1) _ more than one DWI charge (add a point for every DWI charge)
(1) _ a repo man visit me
(2) _ a mullet (guys)
(2) _ high hair (women)
(3) _ the best days of my life on the high school football team/cheerleading squad
(3) _ trouble understanding why people "shush" me for talking loudly to my wife and kids during movies
(4) _ a mullet (women)
(4) _ high hair (guys)
(5) _ the best days of my life in my old fraternity/sorority
(5) _ sex with a prostitute
(5) _ a trip to a nationally syndicated talk show to tell my significant other that I am dumping them/cheating on them/gay
(5) _ date rape charges filed against me after a party (add 5 points for each additional charge)
HOW TO SCORE
Total your points on all the statements you have checked. Now go back and check the rest of the statements you were ashamed to admit to truthfully the first time around and give yourself double points for those. Now go back and check all the statements that were true, but you figured didn't count because you had them "ironically," and give yourself triple points. Add 100 points if you mentally added a "How to Have Sex" joke after the "HOW TO SCORE" heading.
0 - 10 points - You are either a liar, a hippy, or a pretentious intellectual. Any way you slice it, you are probably not very popular.
10 - 40 points - You have an ordinary level of meatheadedness. Congratulations! You are an American!
41 - 60 points - Congratulations, Mr. President.
61 - 100 points You are a meathead extraordinaire. Shouldn't you be in a chat room, asking someone about their "AGE/SEX/LOCATION GOTTA PIC??!!!!"?
100 points + - Time to pack up your things and move out to Staten Island, kind of a Meathead Wildlife Preserve, where you will feel safe in a habitat among your own kind.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
I see a bruised pear in he supermarket, and I'm nauseous for weeks.
My point is, I used to belong to a biker gang. The worst biker gang in the world. Our motorcycles had training wheels. We used to lose in rumbles with a gang on tricycles.
We gave ourselves nicknames. I was "Hard-Drinkin' Liam," because I drink milk straight up out of the carton, no matter how many times my mom told me not to.
You're thinking, "Milk, what's so Hard-Drinkin' about that?"
Well, I'm lactose intolerant.
It's true. I won't have it in my house, I will not have it playing golf with me in my country club, and I will not have it marrying my daughter.
The worst nickname, though, was a member of the gang, Pete, who had an eye-patch and smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. He gave himself the nickname, "Butt Pirate Pete."
* * * * * * * * *
Monday, February 14, 2005
But what the hell - I'm going to be a contestant in a live "Dating Game" show tonight.
Come by if you want to see the hilarity that ensues when I try to talk to a woman.
The 2nd Annual PIT Dating Game Show!
The People's Improv Theatre
154 W. 29th St. (at 7th Ave.)
8:00 pm — $10.00
Last year, the PIT hosted a Dating Game show on Valentine's Day (the real deal — not a performance!) and the couple that we sent on a date, are still together and are on the verge of getting married! Ssshhhh, keep your fingers crossed! We are 100% for connecting people and making love happen! We're gonna do it again! This is no joke... we will match a hot, smart mystery lady with a lucky PITizen-bachelor, right before your very eyes. Featuring improv from our house group, Threat, as an opening act, free beer, dancing and fun, all on a Monday night! Bring your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, or just your sweet self! Reservations highly recommended, call us at (212) 563-7488 to save a spot.
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Anyway, this blog has an annual Valentine's Day tradition. Here's a poem I wrote a few years ago on Valentine's Day, at home alone, doing some cleaning and watching TV:
AFTER I BROKE UP WITH YOU
After I broke up with you, I started thinking about you and me.
After I broke up with you, I started drinking to the way we used to be.
Do you remember? I do,
The way you owe me forty bucks.
I mean, no big deal, whenever you can get it to me is cool,
It's not like it bothers me or anything.
It's only forty bucks.
But still, you've owed it to me for a while now, and a little consideration would be nice.
All right, I won't bring it up again.
Now you say you think about me,
That you love me, and can not live without me.
But that's not what you were saying when I made all those jokes about wanting to have sex with your roommate.
Woman: Ficklety is thy name!
Come on now, honestly. If I thought for one second your roommate would actually be into me, do you really think i would have brought it up so many times?
No sense of humor, that's your problem.
Um, your roommate isn't into me, is she? Just, I know the way you girls talk.
Relax, jeez! Can't you tell when a fella's kidding?
You say it's the little things you're missing,
My little touches along the nape of your neck, my softest kissing.
And there are things I miss too,
Like that forty bucks I lent you.
Look, I know I said I wouldn't bring it up again, but I know how you forget the important things.
Like the time you said you'd pay my cable bill and then forgot after you had to go to the emergency room.
And I had to go without seeing that VH1 special on the Go-Gos.
You know how much I love the Go-Gos.
Seriously, I know that when I lent you the forty bucks, I may have used words like, "Keep it, it's yours, it's a gift, please take it I don't expect it back."
But honey, you have to know when I'm kidding.
This goes back to that whole "No Sense of Humor Thing" I was just talking about.
Like that time your sister accused me of making a drunken pass at her at your cousin's wedding,
And I told you she was a liar and that she was stealing money from your grandmother's purse for heroin,
And you didn't talk to her for eight months.
Well, of course I was just kidding.
Besides, I needed that money more than your grandmother did.
Your grandfather's insurance left her loaded.
I mean, how else was I going to pay for your birthday dinner? My job?
I can't believe you actually thought I had a job. Get real!
Vice-President of Finance at Goldman Sachs?
Honey, would the Vice President of Finance dress like this?
That's when the trouble began.
Your friends started putting ideas in your head,
Mean, awful ideas like "self-respect," and "you need a man who doesn't use you."
Frankly, I was as insulted as you were.
And so I had to dump you.
I can't be seeing someone who's weak enough to be swayed by the first trendy self-help idea that comes down the pike.
If I ever meet that Dr. Phil guy, I'm gonna punch him in the nose.
As I stand here among my belongings, which you are even now throwing out of your third-floor apartment window, I say this:
All right, but I'm only going to give you one last chance.
To give me my forty bucks back.
Friday, February 11, 2005
I never had a Bar Mitzvah or a confirmation, but when I was 13 my dad - and this is true - my dad took me to a murder mystery dinner at a Star Trek Convention.
"Today, my son, you are a man. A very unpopular man."
I was the nerdiest of the nerdy as a kid. I went to a summer camp where playing D&D was insanely popular. And by the way, it's pretty rare to see the words "playing D&D" and "insanely popular" in the same sentence like that.
I was so nerdy, I wasn't cool enough to hang out with the D&D kids. They wouldn't let me play.
The one time I was allowed in a game, the Dungeon Master killed me off in the first five minutes.
In high school I was made fun of by the yearbook staff. You know who made fun of the yearbook staff? Everyone. Including me.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I love when maids tell you they don't "do" windows.
That's your job. To clean stuff. Including windows.
No one else gets away with saying they won't "do" their job.
You'll never hear a doctor say, "I don't 'do' sick people. It's too much hassle. I only treat healthy people."
You'll never hear an accountant say, "Yeah, I don't 'do' the number 7. I'll do eight, I'll do twenty-three, but for me four plus three will always be eight."
You'll never hear a bus driver say, "I don't 'do' stops. Once I start, you'd better be going to a bus depot, because that's where I'm heading."
Thursday, February 10, 2005
I went into a seafood place once, and ordered "The Sailor's Delight."
They brought me a prostitute and a bottle of whiskey.
I gave that place four stars.
I was fired when my editor asked me how the food was, and I told him about how they gave me crabs.
* * * * * * * *
The following joke - I believe it has the germs of some good ideas that I'm going to try to get to grow. Go along with it as the rough draft of a joke blueprint, and you might enjoy it...
My friend Geoff works as a professor at MIT.
He's pretty famous. He once wrote an article about how the Earth doesn't revolve around the sun - it revolves around 3am when everyone's asleep.
He conducted an experiment where he found out that when the cameras are turned off, Paris Hilton ceases to exist.
And he has a famous theory about the creation of the Universe. His theory is that right before the Big Bang there had been another event called The Huge Awkward Silence.
Someone had said something racist about black holes, and the Universe is a direct result of a build-up of huge amounts of what he calls "Nervous Tension."
He came up with this theory while researching a paper called "Why Do Chihuahuas Exist?"
Anyway, he had gotten into behavioural therapy for a while - for the chicks.
He conducted a couple of experiments - he put 20 career pickpockets in a room with 20 career lawyers, and waited to see who walked out with the most of the other groups' wallets.
He also put twenty murderers in a room with twenty insurance salesmen, just to see who would crack first.
It was a bloodbath.
All twenty murderers died of extreme boredom halfway through a presentation on High-Risk Actuarial Tables and Process Management.
His most famous experiment, though, was he decided to see if he could force the process of evolution.
He wanted to evolve a gorilla into an animal slightly more related to humans - an NFL running back.
So he put a gorilla named Koko in a cage with a running back ma,ed Frank "The Tank" Owens. Neither was fed by the scientists; the only way they could get food was by pressing a green button, which dispensed a banana. If niether the gorilla nor Owens could figure out how to get bananas to come out, they would both starve.
The gorilla did alright. It made eight thousand dollars selling bananas to Owens.
Owens tried to eat the green button.
At the end of the experiment, the gorilla had doubled its IQ from 40 to 80., making it overqualified to be an NFL running back.
It ended up landing a job as Vice President of Programming at FOX News.
Owens, on the other hand, dropped so many IQ points, the gorilla had no choice but to hire him to host a show on FOX.
And you can see his show to this day, it's called Hannity & Colmes.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
I've decided to try failing at comedy full-time, instead of making it a part-time hobby.
I plan to spend a lot of time writing, so expect some obnoxiously long blog posts in the weeks to come.
In fact, please note - I know that today's entry is a bit long and rambly. It actually ends up being a pretty funny story at the end, if you don't have patience for all my digressions, but I swear I'll show restraint from now on.
My game plan for quitting my horrible day job was to just march into my boss' office and say, "You can take this job - and let me come back if things don't work out the way I'm hoping."
But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men...
(HINT: They involve cheese.)
Now, I hadn't been at work since last Thursday, when I just got really dizzy and sick at my desk out of the blue, and left.
My body is smarter than my brain - it knew it was time for me to get out of that job, even though my brain was still on the fence about leaving.
So basically, my body quit before I did. Hooray for my body.
Now, Monday is payday, and I wanted my second-to-last paycheck in any case, so I figured I'd come in in person, like a mature human being, and just say, "Sorry my boss, but I can no longer come in. I need to be able to look in the mirror and feel like a goddamn human being once in a while."
I was a little nervous; I always get worried whenever I'm about to do something that normal people take completely for granted, like asking for a refund at a store, say, or calling someone who gave me their business card and told me they wanted to talk to me, or even quitting a job.
But then I figured that I was just being excessively nuerotic. After all, people quit jobs all the time, especially shitty dead-end jobs like I had, and it's 95% of the time understood that it's nothing personal.
Especially in the kind of shitty dead-end job that, until Monday, I had.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I do - excuse me, I did - market research over the phone. Basically calling folks out of the blue and asking them survey questions. I tried not to tell folks what I did too much, because it's a bit of a conversation-stopper. It's really embarassing.
The only way my job could have been less socially acceptable is if it involved randomly injecting people with AIDS.
So I walked into the company office and walked up to my boss' desk. My boss is - excuse me, was - "The Dragon Lady," named such not so much for her demeanor (dragon-like), or the way she treated her employees (like cattle), or even for the way she looks (kind of like a dragon), but because of her horrible nasty breath. I swear, she could rent herself out for home fumigations.
She shares an open desk area with a man I can only describe as "Urkel If He Made Some Bad Life Choices." And by the way, I only kid because these are terrible human beings.
So as I entered, she was giving another of my fellow interviewers shit - and check this out, this shows what kind of slimeballs I was working for:
Okay, so when there's a fallow period in market-interviewing, when they don't have a lot of clients, they lay off 95% of the workers. No warning, no "Hey, after next week there's not going to be a lot of work so here's a list of people who won't be coming in."
Just an "Oh, by the way, Liam, there's no work tomorrow. So don't bother coming in. Call in next week to see if things have picked up."
It can make forward financial planning difficult.
So The Dragon Lady is giving this poor lady shit because after a two-week lay-off, she didn't know there was work for her, because the Company had put her back on the schedule without telling her. This woman - call her "Tynisa" - was getting chewed out for not coming in to work - because no one had told her to come in.
And then this Tynisa had apparently decided, hell, she wasn't working nohow, might as well take a trip next week.
But The Dragon Lady was telling her she wasn't allowed because the Company needed her to work then, they had a bunch of jobs at once to complete, and like a little child, she was being grounded, there was no way she could even dream of taking this time off, because The Company needed her.
It is really like a little serfdom there in Midtown Manhattan.
Okay, so my turn.
JUST A PARENTHETICAL NOTE
When I was in London, my mom had to come pick up my paychecks for me and deposit them in my bank, so I wouldn't starve to death overseas.
When I got back, the first thing she told me was that the office where I worked smelled bad.
It does. It generally smells like a homeless shelter - that's because for quite a few people who work there, especially on the night shift, this was their thin line between living in Sectio 8 Housing and a cardboard box on the street.
And I'm not making fun - oh, hell, yes I am. I've been super-poor several times, but I've always budgeted for soap and deodorant.
So on Mondays, payday, when the night shift comes in to collect their pay, it gets real thick in there. Add to that my boss' dragon breath, and the fact that another guy who shares their office is about as sweaty as they come, and the air is heavy. I could have probably cut a window through the funk with a machete.
So The Dragon Lady starts in with, "Where were you Liam? You left a message, but we haven't heard from you since then."
And I started defending myself, automatically: "Hey, I was really sick. I had to go to the Emergency Room, and then I was home in bed all weekend."
Then I realized that this was ridiculous. So I said, "Anyway, I'm just here to tell you that I'm quitting."
The Dragon Lady started in with the whole Why-didn't-you-call-it's-really-irresponsible-of-you-next-time-you'd-better-call-in-and-let-us-know-what's-going-on lecture routine.
So I repeated myself: "I'm quitting. I'm not coming back."
Conversationally, it was like watching a large Mack truck skid to a dead stop, and try to reverse gears.
DRAGON LADY: Wait, you're quitting?
ME: Yeah, I got another job.
DRAGON LADY: So you're just quitting just like that?
DRAGON LADY: You know, it's only fair to give your job two weeks notice, so we have time to get someone to replace you.
ME: Dragon Lady, are you kidding me? You keep laying me off, telling me not to come into work for weeks at a time, and now you're saying I should give you two weeks' notice?
DRAGON LADY: Well, Liam, we only call in the top producers to work when things get slow. If you brought up your production rate, you'd be working steadily.
ME:If I'm not producing, then it should be easy to get someone to replace me.
DRAGON LADY: Don't be cute.
ME: I'm serious. A top producer from the night shift would be happy to take my place.
Now I can see the back of Bad-Life-Decision-Urkel's shoulders, and he's shaking in silent laughter.
DRAGON LADY (giving me a very dramatic turn-away, like I'd just offended my grandmother and she was going to give me a huge guilt trip): You know what, you're right Liam. It doesn't make no difference nohow.
DRAGON LADY: It doesn't make no difference nohow.
ME: Okay. So I'm going to go.
DRAGON LADY: Go ahead. You're right. It makes no difference nohow. We can get anyone to replace you.
ME: All right, I'm glad we could part on such good terms.
DRAGON LADY: Me too. It doesn't make no difference nohow. You're very easily replaced.
I swear, you'd think I was breaking up with her. And so I left that job behind. Sometimes you need to cut the cord, you need a kick in the ass to send you packing.
Now I feel like I have absolutely no choice but to start taking my comedy to the next level. It's scary, but it's also a huge weight off my chest.
And by "Taking my comedy to the next level," I mean with a joke like the following which I wrote to annoy a couple of comedians I was talking to tonight:
"My uncle was a Hardwarewolf. Every full moon, he turned into a hammer."
NOTE: I know I promised to tell the Bloodmobile story, but then I was too weak to even type, let alone think, so I'll shelve it for a slow period when I have nothing better to blog about.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
That way, I can pretty much cruise right through today's blog entry without trying too hard:
The SuperBowl happens this Sunday, and it's the one game out of the football season that even non-fans like me can enjoy.
The end of football season means I can concentrate all my energy on not caring about basketball season.
The Super Bowl makes it easy for any guy to feel macho; just chug eighteen beers, scream at the TV any time anyone moves, and once in a while say, "Yeah, of course the play-offs are the REAL Super Bowl."
For me, the Super Bowl is one set of guys I hated in high school beating the crap out of another set of guys I hated in high school.
TIPS TO THROW A KICKASS SUPER BOWL PARTY
a. Go to a homeless shelter, advertise that you're going to have a "Bowl a' Soup" party and invite all the homeless guys. Try to tell the crazy screaming sports fan from the crazy screaming homeless guy with bees in his head.
b. Bring a hot girl. Watch 30 middle-aged sports fans try to suck in their beer guts for four hours.
c. Bring a seven year-old, watch drunk guys try not to swear: "Run, you god-dam- uh - dam-aged son of a bit-um-bitter-better luck next time, pal. Oh My God, that motherfun-time-happy player just lost me my life savings!"
AND IF YOU NEED SOMETHING TO DO TO KEEP FROM GETTING BORED...
a. Go in the other room and hit on your friend's wife for two hours. Even though it's football, you're still going to third base! Wokka Wokka Wokka!
b. Put on a cape and some tights, tell everyone you thought it was a Superhero Game party, and that you came as Superman.
THE COMMERCIALS ARE A HIGH POINT OF THE GAME BECAUSE...
They give you a sneak preview of the year's upcoming hottest movies. What's the next Incredible Hulk or Riddick gonna be?
And it lets advertisers reach that key "18 – 25 Male denying homoerotic undertones" demographic.
Also, it's rare to see someone spend $5 million on a thirty second event – unless you count Trump's honeymoon. LOL!!!!!
THE HALF-TIME SHOW
In last year's half-time show, Janet Jackson exposed her left breast. This year, the NFL decided that if it wanted something that had gone soft and saggy with age, it would hire Paul McCartney.
Finally, we can make a blood sport where grown men in tights and uniforms jump all over each other to get their balls in play safe for the kids
Paul McCartney's a good choice for family entertainment – his solo career from Wings to that Freedom song has something for every member of the family to hate.
WOULD I WATCH THE LINGERIE BOWL?
I'm not sure if I want to go to a party where we turn on the soft-core porn halfway through.
Oh wait, yes. Yes I do.
I just want there to be a lot more women involved.
* * * * * * * * *
America is having a love affair with gambling. Finally, televisions shows are capturing the thrill of losing your child's college fund due to a compulsive addiction disease.
I'm hoping we see other shows soon like, "Whoops! Sold your TV for crack!"
Gamblers are having the best week ever. It makes everyone else feel better about their lives, because you can f up at work and do a really bad job, and still your boss isn't going to send a big guy named Vito to your house to break your t'umbs.
OSCAR ODDS I'D BET ON:
4 – 1 Russell Crowe punches Joan Rivers in the face on the red carpet.
10 – 7 Clint Eastwood is shot by poachers for a leather handbag.
2000 –1 Paul Giamatti walks away with the Best Actor trophy, and is asked to return it by actual winner Leonardo DiCaprio.
SUPERBOWL ODDS I'D BET ON:
20 – 1 At halftime, the Eagles will throw up their hands angrily and say they don't want to play any more.
88 – 1 We'll see a dramatic come-from-behind victory by an entity that has really been taking a pounding all night – my liver.
1,000,000 – 5 The Quarterbacks will realize they never wanted the ball; all they ever really wanted – was each other.
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS ODDS I'D BET ON:
- How many times Hillary Clinton's caught rolling her eyes.
- How many times Cheney's lips move during Bush's speech.
- Vegas is giving 20 – 1 odds that at some point during the State of the Union, the Wizard will ome out from behind a curtain and give Bush a brain, Cheney a heart, and Rumsfeld some courage.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Other than that, I don't feel really qualified to comment on the game. They say it was a boriong game, btu to me every football game is kinda boring.
Sorry ladies. No alpha-male me.
On Thursday, every part of my body just kind of quit feeling good all at once.
I think my body pulled a little wildcat strike.
I think there's just a point where your average body part says, "Hey asshole, we've spent the last year staying out late and drinking too much and replacing caffeine with sleep, and I for one am having no more of it!"
The good news is I feel better now, but I'm going to spend the next week or so being a little nicer to myself. Hopefully I don't die.
Anyway, that's it. Enjoy today's blog entry. It could be funnier, but you know what? I'm not going to push myself.
I can't wait until I'm a crotchety old man.
Oh sure, a lot of people say that your late-20s, early-30s are supposed to be the best years of your life.
But let's be real - old age is when I'm finally going to shine.
When I'm in my sixties, I'm going to be able to mutter at people when they walk by, togive them the evil eye and tell them that they're no-good bums. And all they can really do is laugh it off and say, "That's Ol' Man McEneaney for ya! 83 and sharp as a whip!"
"Sharp as a whip" is Talking 'Bout The Elderly Code for, "What an old bastard!"
I'll be able to tell young girls they look pretty without fear of getting slapped in the face or being told that, "Hey, I'm her boyfriend, lay off before I lay you out!"
I realized how much I was looking forward to being an old bastard when I was at a screening of Meet the Fockers in Woodstock, Illinois (a whole separate issue), and these little kids who are just kind of dropped off so the movies can be their baby-sitter (another whole separate issue) were running up and down the aisle, and I really really really wanted to "accidentally" trip them.
But I couldn't for two reasons:
A) I had no cane to trip them with.
B) I'm in my late-20s, and that's the kind of thing I'm still young enough that folks would pretend to be scandalized by my behaviour, instead of being jealous and wishing they could also get away with it.
Both those issues will be resolved once I hit 75.
Also, I plan to lose all my money to a slick-talking swindler ("Sure I'll give you my Social Security and bank numbers! I can't believe Mastercard has an office in a cardboard box in the middle of Central Park!"), so you young people better start saving up your piggy banks now, because in forty years I'm gonna be your problem.
And guess what? All the lawmakers who you think will help you then - are all my age.
It's gonna be awesome.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Whereas, I watch our President, and I get the feeling that he has no idea that he's a liar.
I think he genuinely believes whatever his advisers tell him to be true.
Rumsfeld's body language - closed-off, defensive. Spewing lies in twenty different, almost-contradictory directions, getting huffy whenever he's caught out.
He's my generation's Nixon, and believe me, we should treasure him*.
* You know, if it wasn't for the whole his-lies-send-people-my-age-and-younger-overseas-to-die-and-then-keep-them-there-past-the-time-they're-legally-allowed-to-leave thing.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Here's my weekend in Woodstock, Illinois:
Woodstock, Illinois, is where Harold Ramis filmed the movie Groundhog Day in the early '90s. My sister lives nearby, and she hooked me up with the Stage Left Cafe that's connected to the Woodstock Opera House. I headlined for the weekend there; played to some excellent crowds, made some money, had my first out-of-town headlining gig.
I like Woodstock. It's a beautiful little town that may be a wee bit too proud of it's connection to Groundhog Day. I mean, it was a really good movie, but it's not like it was a cultural milestone.
Now, I understand that this attitude partly comes from the fact that I'm from New York City, where it's been a while since we've been charmed by the magic of movie-making. No amount of stardust can cloak the stench of movie crews blocking off a sidewalk and demanding you walk six blocks out of your way.
In fact, many many New Yorkers have come to loathe the Tisch Grads with their headsets and clipboards addressing you, the mere pedestrian, with the same sort of barely-concealed loathing you'd give a homeless guy trying to walk through your living room, saying, "Excuse me sir, you're going to have to wait. We're shooting something here."
And if you dare to ask what's filming there, they'll pretend they didn't hear you, or say condescendingly, "A movie." The last time one of these guys stopped me, because Sex and the City was using Sixth Avenue as a backlot, I simply walked behind the cameras and kept going. The ass with the clipboard shouted at me, "Don't you care that you're making the crew's work difficult?"
* * * * * *
"New York has a holiday a lot like Groundhog Day, called "Christmas." The only difference is, it only lasts twelve days."
- Me, in Woodstock
Over the years, Woodstock has turned Groundhog Day into a town holiday. This year, the town hostd "Groundhog Days," week-long celebration, lasting from Friday, January 29th, through Wednesday, February 2nd. I was there for the opening night ceremony, The Lighting of the Groundhog. The town Groundhog is Woodstock Willie, and he's one of the town's leading citizens.
I don't mean that as an insult. I mean that the town fire chief, who is also a councilman, was inside a groundhog costume on a balcony of the Woodstock Opera House. Fireworks went off around him as he waved to the crowds gathered below (yes, there were crowds gathered below). Then he came down and shook hands, posed for pictures with citizens.
As a New Yorker, the tendency is to be suspicious of people who gather in a group on the street to celebrate something; it's only a matter of time until everyone's getting drunk, rowdy, and shooting off guns or setting things on fire.
And in LA, crowds like that only gather to support a celebrity accused of child molestation. By the way, in case any of my show-biz colleagues are super-puzzled, wondering why the rest of America can't really connect to the LA culture - people there swarm out to support child molesters! (Alleged child molesters!)
Any other town in the US - and I include New York in this sentence - if a crowd that large gathers around a courthouse where a guy's on trial for child molesting, the sheriffs are geting out the riot gear and tear gas, because someone's going to get dragged out and murdered.
Society kind of looks down on (allegedly) touching little kids. You know why? Because it's pure-d wrong.
Why do folks in LA celebrate Michael Jackson? Because he's famous. Ugh.
* * * * * * * *
My sister had gotten a friend of hers to put me up for the weekend, a lovely woman named Donna, who had a delightful cat named Sweetness (after Walter Payton). I stayed in her daughter's bedroom, and don't worry - her daughter's out of town, so it wasn't anything bad. Although I do have one confession to make;
When I was leaving, this nice lady was saying what a great guest I was because I made the bed every morning when I woke up.
The reason for that is this:
I got into town last Thursday night, and pretty much crashed there. But I noticed how nicely the bed had been made. It looked like a professional hotel bed. I immediately got intimidated; I knew that, try as I might, I could never make the bed that nicely. Since this woman was doing me and my sister such a huge favour , I didn't want to mess up her nice house or daughter's bed or anything. So I slept the entire weekend on top of the covers. I used a rug folded over the railing at the foot of the bed as a blanket.
I realize that this is excessively nuerotic on my part, but I find that there's nothing worse than a slovenly houseguest who just leaves their shit all over the place. In fact, I pretty much devoted my weekend to finding things outside the house to do, so I could stay out of this lady's hair.
Luckily, I was in Woodstock for GROUNDHOG DAYS, and man did the events come fast and furious. Saturday morning, I went to a free screening of the movie, and I must say that, as much as I might scoff, there's a point where Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell drive by the movie theatre where we're watching the movie, and there was something undeniably cool about that.
Then I went on the Groundhog Day Walking Tour, where the location manager for the movie walked us around the town square and showed us different locations from the movie. Each location, by the way, has a plaque. Remember the snowball fight? There's a plaque there. Remember the puddle where Bill Murray stepped every morning? A plaque there, too, that says "BILL MURRAY STEPPED HERE."
Saturday night, some of my blog ladyfriends came to the show; two of them from Minnesota. I'm not allowed to say their names, because I'm going to put up a picture of them later, and apparently, there's one or two creepy pervy people on the Internet. I knwo what you're going to say, "Liam! Not on the Internet, which is funded by companies that make movies about German men defecating on Japanese schoolgirls."
Yes, even the Internet, this last bastion of morality.
So I'm not allowed to say their names, but let's just say they rhyme with "Boolia Bobberts."
Okay, I'm too tired to write more. Tomorrow, the story of trying to give blood outside the Woodstock VFW. Ugh.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
So I will have a big post later today.