When I was a young person, half out of my head with hormones and Anne Rice novels, I thought I wanted to be a vampire, because I thought living forever would be like SOOOO GREEEAT, and also I had the general idea that I would get multiple opportunities to make out with David Bowie, because I had watched the Hunger so many times that I wore out the rental tape from the Independence Parkway location Blockbuster in Plano, Texas. (As you know, all the most sinister people rent from Blockbuster). If I were a wampyr, (another way to say vampire!), I would feel powerful and important and I would save a lot of money on food, and I would outlive all of my enemies, except for the very small percentage of them that also became vampires. When you’re a young person and life feels like it’s full of infinite possibilities and people and combinations, so many paths to travel, this is an attractive concept. It seems like there will never be enough time to read all you want to read and see all you want to see. Twenty years later, you couldn’t pay me to be a dirty stinking undead vampire! If I’m this sick of humanity and media right now, how bad would it be at 500? There’s only fifteen different kinds of people in the world, and I’m sick to death of fourteen of them- Also, if I lived forever, how many Spiderman remakes would I have to endure? Who am I going to talk to? Already, my interests and music references are met with blank looks of incomprehension by young people in bars. What about the little girl vampire in Let The Right One In? Two hundred years old, and all she gives a shit about is sucking blood and working a Rubik’s cube! Who’s gonna talk to me about Robyn Hitchcock and Twin Peaks and Heathers in a hundred years? Huh? Answer me, goddammit!
I am close to taking my Summer Sabbatical, which is not really what it is, but it makes my Mom feel better when I say “I’m Taking A Sabbatical” instead of “I’m quitting my job and hanging out all Summer”. I thought it was time to get my list of “OTHER” skills together and post them on the Internet.
If you feel like you read a slightly different but kind of the same list as this one, it’s because my site was hacked and my service restored from last week’s restore point and I lost it. It’s because SOMEONE was very jealous of my 70 hits a day. Eat it, haters!
1. Pit Toilets: I’m very good at using pit toilets in Asia. You just have to pretend you’re camping, which you kind of are.
2. Sleeping on Airplanes: Also work related. I can sleep bolt upright on a red eye to Turkey and emerge as fresh and ready as if I had slept in a garbage- filled car.
3. Tap Dancing. I’m not the world’s best tap dancer (SAVION GLOVER, because we can really only have one famous tap dancer at a time), but it’s the skill that took the most time and expense to learn, and which has the lowest street value. I’m considering trying to make people pay me NOT to do it.
4. Bemani. It’s no longer fashionable but I can totally do it- I get more points for style than accuracy on Dance, Dance, Revolution, but Karaoke Revolution is my bitch.
5. For that matter, I can lead in six count swing, and I can lead about five things in Lindy hop- I’m a good Lindy follow- I like a lot of dances.
6. I can make dance parties happen. I can make people do it. At karaoke, at coffeeshops- most of the time.
7. Karaoke. I’m good at it. I don’t have the most amazing American Idol style voice, but I know my range and I will perform the SHIT out of a song. I like to work a crowd. When I do it in Hong Kong they are upset with the dancing and eye contact.
8. Comedy. I do it for money and for free. Mostly for free. Don’t ask me to tell you a joke, I’ll make you laugh, m-f. Just you wait.
9. I can draw- I haven’t for around five-seven years, but I probably still can, right? I’m sure I can. I have an art degree. I can blind contour the shit out of something.
10. According to the Munsell test of Color Acuity, I am a Superior Color Discriminator. I will discriminate the shit out of your color. I need a lab coat and a light box with a true North setting. But I will do it.
11. I can make patterns and sew. Again, I usually don’t. But I can make seriously obscure and fucked up Halloween costumes!
12. Goth Makeup and Fantasy Make up! I want to teach a stage makeup course for comics and actors sometime. I have an airbrush and I’m not scared to use it! I can airbrush a fake tattoo on you!
13. I’m really good at telling long, involved, interconnected stories to people on acid. I can be on acid or not, it doesn’t matter.
14. I can tell a fake art history lecture at the drop of a hat, especially if the hat is from a particularly evocative period
15. I’m really good at making one kind of vegan chocolate chip cookies. Just one kind.
16. I’m really good at maintaining a blog for 8 years that only my mother consistently reads!
17. If I had just bought my first guitar, I would be a crazy natural guitar playing genius- however, I have had my own guitar for a decade, and play it occasionally. I’m mediocre, but proud!
18. I’m really good at steering an oversized Costco shopping cart with my elbows while eating free BBQ nuts.
19. I’m a good trivia team member- I don’t know that much about television or sports, but I’m very good at arbitration to try to determine the likeliest answer. Also, I like to win but I don’t care if I do.
20. I’m really good at running a White Elephant party. I will whip the crowd into a frenzy over Scratch tickets and a rubber garden gnome. Blood will flow!
21. Despite all the above, I’m really good at not going to Burning Man! I haven’t gone every year it’s happened! Consecutively!
With this kind of skill set, I’m gonna destroy this job market!
Well, we’re all winners, because we all got to tell jokes and hang out at the 5th annual Bridgetown Comedy Festival, which was widely regarded as The Best Yet, but here are some of my random thoughts on the event:
My Shortest Attendance Of A Party, Ever: The promotional shindig for the Riot, LA’s alternative comedy festival- I got there at 1, I gave Pete Holmes a hug and watched Lachlan Patterson pretend to play the harp, the cops busted it at 1:10 and we were bringing our noise disturbance to the street.
Person Who Is The Best Partner For An Extended Interpretive Dance: Jono Zalay
Person Who Is More Handsome Than His Headshot: Jono Zalay
Best Sex Talk: Jon Glaser
Most Multi-Talented: Mary Mack
Most Amazing Dancer Besides Me: Guy Branum. Way to play to the stereotype, baby.
Least Surprising Winner of a Trivia Contest Who Is Nonetheless Very Fun To Play With: TV Geek Paul Goebel.
Third Person To Get Engaged At or Near Bridgetown, That I Know Of: David Cope
Most Amazing, Most Giving, Most Funny, Most Worshipped: Maria Bamford
Dummy Most Likely To Have Her Badge And ID Stolen By Drunk Sluts At An Afterparty: Me
My Hero, For Getting My Badge Back From Sluts: Richard Bain
Best Combination Of Funny and Good Hugs: Tim Harmston
Hottest Person With A Fiftieth Birthday: Dwight Slade
Most Incredible Sensual Bird Mime: Kurt Braunholer
Funniest Person I Can’t Believe I Hadn’t Heard Of: Dave Hill. Smart, surreal, and very rock-and-roll- seriously, he’s amazing.
Most Talked About In Reverent Tones Of Adoration: James Adomian
Best Impression Of An Effeminate Southern Coin Collector: David Crowe
Show Which Had No Indication Of Being Well-Attended And Great: Hawthorne Lounge Portlandia Show, where we did comedy to the sounds of Guitar Wolf being played next door
Person Who Most Worried Me That He Would Fall Off The Large Thing He Had Climbed Onto, And Mar My Show With His Death: Patrick Keane
The Best Erotic Fiction About Star Trek And Mythology (lifetime award): Mike Drucker
Best Place To Meet Other Comics on a Delta Flight: The SLC-PDX leg from the Mormon-infested west coast hub. I met one comic I knew and three I didn’t, but whom I identified from their bitching about being asked to host shows.
The Most Disturbing Portrait of Dora The Explorer: Aparna Nancherla
Most Amazing After-Party DJ: April Richardson
Most Likely To Be Mistaken For Each Other: Whitmer Thomas and Christian Ricketts
Least Twinlike Brothers: The Walsh Brothers (FLIPPING HILARIOUS)
Most Adorable: Alex Gavlick
Most Excited Fans: Tim Heidecker
Most People Showing Up For His Show Who Were Sad That He Was Stuck In Yakima, WA: Joe Frice
Most Hilariously Upside-Down Show: The Closing Show at the Bagdad, where Doug Benson, Todd Barry, and Matt Braunger opened so that they could run to other shows
Simply Wonderful: Rory Scovel
Most Discussed Panel: The Humor Code, where scientific mind Myq Kaplan and Superstitious Wunderkind Pete Holmes discussed theories about what makes things funny, and Mary Mack was kept down by the Man who would not supply her with a microphone. Because The Man is afraid of The Truth!
Person Who I Stalked At The Coffeeshop The Most: Jake Barker
People I Most Wanted To See And Did Not Manage To See (aka The Bridgetown Curse): Janeane Garofalo and Claire Titelman.
Almost Too Fun To Hang Out With: Janine Brito
Strangest Internet Distinction: Bridgetown Comedy Festival has the odd distinction of becoming Twitter spam: bots are tweeting “BRIDGETOWN COMEDY FESTIVAL BLOG: THE WRAP-UP” today.
Hardest-Working Behind-The-Scenes (TIE): Volunteer Coordinator Charlene Conley, Logistics Manager Rylee Newton, Hospitality Manager Helen Vank, Transportation Coordinator Amanda Pants, and Organizer and COO Andy Wood. Thanks everybody!
I’ll be judging Chapman college vs. LMU for the 2012 National College Comedy Competition at the Hollywood Improv at 7:30 tomorrow! I have to determine which is the funniest 20 year old white man! Which one will be funniest? Ah, to be young and unjaded comedy again!
Postscript: Really enjoyed Arman Singh, and am sad that he will not be moving on. A gentleman from Spokane was unwittingly telling the joke that Louis C.K. sued Dane Cook over. Several gentleman had extended bits about Oompa Loompas, and I found it hilarious that the second one did not waver from his original direction after the first one had plowed that territory. I had fun hanging out with fellow judge Jessi Campbell, who is very funny and who will destroy you at Words with Friends. We high-fived when the fifth comic to take the stage was the first one who moved the microphone stand. I was recognized as being on Portlandia, which is so weird to me, since my part is so small! But I’ll take attention where I can get it, clearly.
Kevin Keegan, not a vegan
In Cockney rhyming slang, “I’m going to the Fatboy Slim” means “I’m going to the gym.” This is interesting, because as far as I can tell, Norman Cook’s fitness regimen is cocaine, which in cockney is “charlie.”
To call someone a “Berk” is short for “Berkely Hunt”, which rhymes with something that is the reason why the Mighty Boosh can never be shown in prime time in England, because the inoffensive-sounding “berk” is slang for something very dirty, something that rhymes with “hunt”, and starts with a “c”.
In cockney, to say something is Kevin Keegan, after the legendary footballer and coach, means that something is vegan. My tiny friend Emiko from Foodfightgrocery.com let me know this triv, that if you are at a party and pointing at various foods, asking “Zat Kevin?”, you are asking if it’s free of animal products, not made of an unlucky friend.
I took a picture of this sign at Nike, which makes me laugh but doesn’t make anyone else laugh, because it implies that the hallway is vegan. I think it’s Eddie. (eddie money=funny.)
Postscript: Like most of us, I was watching the Julien Temple short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean, on the treadmill last night (sidebar: Bowie was 37 when this film was made, and in my opinion at the height of his personal awesomeness. Goals, people.) Anyway, in this film, when Bowie is portraying the most challenging role of his career, a scheming poster-hanger named Vic, he says “I’m a berk!”, which means that Bowie tricked MTV into letting him say “cunt” repeatedly on their network in 1984, which is just another reason he’s my hero.
I was aware that my new hood of Long Beach was hosting this year’s illustrious TED talks, which my friend, the famous author Mykle Hansen, and I had a lot of fun paying tribute to at last year’s CHAD chats, but I was still surprised to see a Deranged Millionaire, John Hodgman, walking up my street. I gave him the traditional surprised, over-excited nerd HI! and immediately tweeted him that I didn’t mean to yell HI at him, and was unreasonably thrilled that he wrote back.
I’m still kind of excited about it, which is a good way to tell that one is not as cool as one would like to pretend.
You might wonder: How does a Deranged Millionaire dress so as to blend in seamlessly with the TED populace and pass undetected? Why, he wears a navy arctic fleece half-zip pullover, obviously as a complicated meta-joke on the awful Seattle-ness of such a garment, and the fact that people in SoCal will bundle up like people being sent to prison camp in Serbia the second the temperature drops below 60 degrees.