Monday, March 29, 2010
1. The tagline “Release the Kraken” is comic gold. It’s quite possibly the best euphemism for unbuttoning your pants in a long, long time. I’m going to exclusively refer to my penis as The Kraken for at least the next year. And I will always use the Liam Neeson accent when doing so.
2. As a matter of fact, any verb used with the phrase “the Kraken,” along with Liam Neeson’s accent, is just pure unadulterated fun. Start with “Release the Kraken” and then work your way up to “Fondle the Kraken” or “Touch the Kraken” or “Tickle the Kraken.” I also like “I’ve got a sore Kraken” and “I pulled my Kraken the other day.” Kraken is a pretty versatile word.
3. The one joke I thought of in advance of seeing the film with Greg (I always have jokes prepared ahead of time when I’m with this guy) was telling him that when they originally filmed the movie, Liam Neeson actually said “Release the Giant Turtle” and that after a few poor test screenings they dubbed in “Kraken” over “Giant Turtle” throughout the entire film. Knowing this going in will change the way you watch the film.
4. About two thirds of the way through the movie things really hit high gear. The fellows end up going to Hades. When they tossed a coin into the river Styx and Charon’s boat starts to rise up out of the water, I couldn’t resist leaning over to Greg and saying “Scusi! Scusi! Scusi! I come down here to driva da boat.” Inside joke unless you saw Are You There God? It’s Me, Satan.
5. Greek goddess looking women are really hot. If I was a brunette with pale skin, I would exclusively wear flowing white robes and sandals. You cannot not look good in these outfits. I daresay you would release a lot of Krakens.
6. Greg pointed it out and I have to say it was true, but all of the women in this movie looked alike. Trying to tell them apart was like trying to tell all the soldiers apart in a WWII movie. There’s a hot brunette in white robes, another hot brunette in white robes, and the one with snakes in her hair.
7. Speaking of euphemisms, at some point Perseus gets a little hot under the collar and the hot brunette in flowing white robes who follows him around for most of the movie tells him to “Ease your storm.” Because apparently Perseus had a storm in his pants. And yes, I will be using that phrase this year, too.
8. After the Kraken jokes and the “ease my storm” jokes started to get old, Medusa shows up and starts turning men to stone. This movie was basically a two-hour dick joke for immature male viewers (me and Greg).
9. Sam Worthington looks like an action star. I actually like him. But after seeing Terminator: Salvation, Avatar, and Clash of the Titans, I have to say he only has one note. One masculine, square-jawed, chiseled good looking note.
10. That’s all I have. This movie is bad enough to be enjoyable. It made me Kraken up. And by the way, I like to pronounce "Titans" as if it rhymes with "kittens."
If you are looking for a brainy review of the movie, including meditations on the existential implications for those suffering through the disappointments of life, etc. etc. then go here.
Otherwise, I hereby grant Hot Tub Time Machine the Nat Topping Seal of Approval!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
First time I ate a McDonald's Big Mac burger sandwich:
March 24, 2010
First movie I have some recollection of seeing in a movie theater:
E.T. - I would have been 4 or 5. I do believe it made me cry.
First movie I have some recollection of terrifying me:
E.T. - when the government steps in the terror begins.
First girl I kissed:
I think that would have been Pam Hayden, who was also my first official girlfriend. Sure I don't remember specifically how I felt or how or where it happened, but I assume we kissed. I vaguely remember this happening. Besides, I probably did kiss someone before that too. I was a super cute kid and I had an older sister, so I probably got kissed by cooty-head girls as a lark all the time.
I guess this would be a tie. We had 2 dogs growing up, Charlie and Sandy. I don't know which dog was part of the family first because I only remember having both of them.
First pet I owned that wasn't a family pet nor some goldfish I won at a local carnival:
Commie, my Russian Tortoise.
First pet I owned and could honestly say is the cutest ever:
First time I ever ate chicken parmesan:
Don't remember the year - I was probably around 11 or 12 - but my family was visiting with my Uncle Joe and we went out to Ben's Big Boy (first time I ever went to a Big Boy too). I saw it on the menu. I ordered it, ate it, and fell in love. It's still one of my favorite foods of all time.
First nudity I saw in a movie:
This is a close one, but I think I saw Blue Lagoon before I saw Dragonslayer.
My first love:
I would say the first girl I ever said to myself, "I actually love this girl" would be Michelle Carpentar. Boy, was I way off on that one.
First time I smoked a cigarette:
It was at my grandpa's house. I was maybe around 12ish years old. There was a kid there - can't remember his name but he is probably a second cousin of mine or something like that. I've never been good with genealogy. He was a couple years older then me. We walked around my grandpa's land and the neighbor's land and threw rocks at cows. The kid took out a pack of smokes and gave one to me and I smoked it. I have a picture of this kid from that momentous day. P.S. Cigarettes do make you cool. They really do. It's a damn shame they kill you at the same time.
First time I went to a movie by myself:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze. That was in 1991 at the Olean Mall.
First time an odor brought me to tears:
Shoveling tons (yeah - literally tons) of rotten potatoes. I dare you to take just one potato (like a big russet baking potato), leave it in the sun, let it really rot, then take a big whiff, then multiply that by tons. Me and my friend Marty went as far as rubbing mint toothpaste directly under our nostrils to try and lessen the rotten potato smell just a little bit.
First concert I went to:
The first one I remember is Kenny Rogers. My and my family saw him at Melody Fair in North Tonawanda, NY.
First concert I went to without my family:
Aerosmith, on their Get a Grip tour.
Dishwasher at the Mansard Inn in Orchard Park, NY. I worked their Saturday afternoon and night. My dad has been a part-time bartender there since the place first opened (he still works their to this day). Orchard Park is about 40 to 45 minutes away from where I grew up. So me and Dad would drive out there around 3pm. He would bar tend, I would wash dishes. We would be done somewhere around midnight or so and head home, always stopping at a particular convenience store in East Aurora to get some snacks. Them was some good times.
First play I was in:
E.T. 2. It was an adaption of an E.T. book one of my fellow classmates had. I believe this was in third grade. I played the evil king. At the end of the play E.T. and her (yup, E.T. was a her) friends captured the evil king with a trap they had set up earlier in the play. Well less then halfway through the play, even before the scene where they set up the trap happens, there is a scene where the evil king is coming after E.T. and her friends. E.T. forgot her lines, paused, then said "Let's spring that trap on the king that we set up earlier in the castle". So they spring the trap, which was a net falling from the ceiling (not a real net mind you, we didn't have that type of budget), and I got captured. I guess this would also be my first experience with improv, since the moment was completely out of the blue and I simply went along with it and immediately began to mime being caught in a net.
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
First Jury Summons I ever received:
Right now. I just went to my mailbox and there was a jury summons in it. I cursed myself with this damn post (yes - the original post was written before I got the mail today)
First time I got tired of writing a blog about firsts and abruptly quit:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
*Stop right there, mister: I always used the word "coloreds," when referring to my clothes, which I know is wrong. And by wrong I mean in usage, not in a racist sort of way because I am not racist and I do not use that term to describe people because I am not racist and I do not live in the 1950's. I'm not even sure I spelled it correctly, although most of the racists I know about are probably not the best at spelling, so maybe that proves nothing. Anyway, let me belabor the point here, but I am not a racist, even though I have always separated my clothes into "whites" and "coloreds."*** I suppose in the area of clothes washing I believe in segregation. And I also suppose that the more I type the more I sound like a racist, so I will just stop.
**This was all my original post was going to be. This one line demonstrating that I am basically a 40-year old nerd who has too many superhero T-Shirts (I'm wearing a Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) one right now) but then my use of the word "coloreds" hijacked my post. I would hope that my over reliance on superhero clothing might be yet one more piece of evidence that I am not a racist. I don't know how, I just hope that there is a strong connection between superhero values and the people who constantly wear superhero symbols on their shirts, hats, hoodies, and sleeping pants.
***I think the proper term is "colors" anyway and maybe I will try to stick to this term in the future.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"I want a hamburger, off the grill, no pickles. I want a McChicken, fresh, with no mayo. And a medium order of fries, no salt."
You know what? Don't ever do that, in the line at McDonald's, in front of me, when all I want is a McFucking Shamrock Shake.
Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Here, rank these shows in order of best to worst and then compare them with my order:
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Unfortunately, there won't be a reunion for the induction. Hicks and Elliott front the current version of the Hollies (who have never officially broken up) and refuse to cancel a gig in London on the same night. Nash has announced that he will sing backed by Maroon 5, with Sylvester possibly sitting in. Clarke will be there but retired from singing in 1999 because his voice is shot. No word yet about Haydock or Calvert.
The following are some of my favorite Hollies songs....
Here's the Clarke/Nash/Hicks/Elliott/Haydock line-up on Shindig! in 1965
I've Got a Way of My Own (1966)
The classic Clarke/Nash/Hicks/Elliott/Calvert line-up:
After Nash left to join those other three unknowns:
Finally, my favorite Hollies song:
For the Hollies, it's about time. For inductee Ellie Greenwich, it's too late. Greenwich, with ex-husband Jeff Barry, wrote a ton of 60's hit including "Be My Baby," "River Deep, Mountain High," and "Do Wah Diddy Diddy." Greenwich died in August. Great timing, Hall. She also wrote my wedding song:
Also, ABBA is being inducted. Fuck them.
Friday, March 12, 2010
In 1984, Sally Field won her second Academy Award (for "Places of the Heart") and showcased one of the most memorable speeches in Oscar history. With vulnerability that only Sally Field could get away with, she stated, "I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"
This past week's Oscars showed us a different reaction to winning the same award again. Winning her third Oscar for Best Costume Design was Sandy Powell, who is as welcoming as the Svedka fem-bot. After showing no surprise at her name being announced as "winner", she sauntered to the stage, proudly displaying the mostly delightful smuggness I've ever seen (in addition to an equally smug tiny hat). Then, in a nearly exasperated breath she said, "Wow. Well.... I already have two of these....."
First thought: What. A. Bitch.
Second thought: YES!!!!
Sure, I'll cry every time the camera cuts to strong black women holding back tears of joy and pride, but what I really want in a speech is arrogance. Why humbly accept an award you know damn-well you deserve more than anyone else? Shake those tail feathers, let's hear that roar!
As artists, we need a way to express ourselves. When you dominate another person (or people), the feeling of superiority must be let loose. The touchdown dance was invented for this very reason. I'm hoping that Sandy Powell's casual "I would expect nothing less" attitude will pave the way for more gaudy displays of egotism.
This might mean doing a choreographed dance with your costume assistants and stylists, or grabbing a Meryl Streep's shawl to dry-rub your crotch, or taking the stance of Jesus on the cross, rising into heaven. Or why not get down and dirty dirty like a Ludacris video, blow a snot-rocket, and give Penelope Cruz an atomic wedgie?
Sandy Powell, you are a pioneer. Considering the airs of dignity and grace on display at the awards, you really took it to another level. Thank you for Michael-Jordan-reverse-jamming that Oscar statue through the goal posts and shaking your Victorian pelvis at me. But don't stop now. We both know you'll win this award again, so start planning for next year because you've got to keep moving forward. In the words of Nelson Mandela, "After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." The world is your oyster. Get it, girl.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
45 Minutes Productions and WNEP Theater announce auditions for “365 Sketches”
26 different sketch comedy revues done in ten nights to showcase the 365 sketches written in 365 days by Second City Instructor Joe Janes.
The shows are June 3 - 13 and will take place at Strawdog Theater in Hugan Hall.
WHERE: Zoo Studios, 4001 N. Ravenswood (just off the Irving Park Brown Line) Basement
WHEN: Saturday, March 27 from 11AM – 6PM
WHAT: Small group auditions – improvisation and cold readings
To schedule a place in one of our seven 45-minute slots, email Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you with a time for Saturday.
Mary Jo Bolduc
Derek Van Tassel
In addition to Joe, the project also includes none other than our very own RvD member Chris Othic, and former "Satan" from "Are You There God? It's Me, Satan" Trish Vignola.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Talking with my wife. Earlier. She works with children in the teaching capacity. She was talking about using sensory type tools and projects to further the children's learning. Suddenly my mind lept (Firefox auto-spell correction tells me "lept" is not a word. I insist it is, but I will not research this; rather I simply remain confident in its validity) to the 7th grade overnight field trip to Toronto I took with my school in 7th grade. It's the same trip where I lost (or was pick pocketed) my wallet I had acquired from my recently deceased grandfather. It's the same trip where I saw a gorilla poop in his hand, eat some of his own poop, vomit into the same hand, then eat some of the vomit. It's the same trip where me and Ryan M. chickened out and did not ride the Jet Scream at Canada's Wonderland amusement park. It's the same trip where we went to The Organ Grinder; a huge restaurant that I just now realized was like a Dave and Busters for early teen kids (or an amped up Chuck E. Cheese; Showtime Pizza if your nasty) in which a man played a mish-mash of all the recent pop song hits on the giant pipe organ and it was loud and we were all very tired and hardly enjoyed it. I spent most of the time trying to find aspirin for a raging headache the pipe organ was not helping with, and I also lost my wallet there. About a decade later I found and purchased a shooter glass from The Organ Grinder at a random lawn sale.
So on this trip we also visited the Toronto Science Museum. This place was huge and fun. There were Tibetan monks there. They were making a Mandala Sand Painting. A huge one. These things are intricate and beautiful and sacred and, at least in this case, huge. In cae you're to lazy or busy to click on the previously provided link, here is a pic:
They take a long time (days, weeks, and beyond) to create. The monks were creating one using the guests of the museum. So you could wait in line and, when your turn arose, take the Mandala Sand Painting tool and add just a very small bit to the whole painting. We knew this was going to be happening at the museum too. Our teachers told us all about it and we learned how sacred and wonderful the whole process was. I waited in line. My turn came. Bliss and eagerness filled my body.
The nearest monk handed me the creation tool. It was in two parts. The part holding the sand was a tapered clay tube. It looked like a Bugle (the snack, not the instrument). The other part was a simple clay rod. Rub the clay rod against the clay Bugle agitating it causing some sand to come out and add to the painting. I was excited. I was really excited. The monk handed me the tools. I sat down in the provided chair. I thought what exactly I wanted to add to the painting. I promptly tipped the Bugle part the wrong way and dump a full load of sand into my crotch. My friends waiting in line laughed. Some strangers around us laughed. The monks laughed.
I was embarrassed. I felt bad. I knew that Mandala Sand Painting was a pretty big deal, and this was kind of a once in a lifetime deal to be able to help create one of these paintings. So I did feel bad and I was embarrassed. But the monks laughed, and that made things so much better. I remember standing up and brushing all the sand off of my pants. And after the embarrassment wore down I realized that I am probably one of the very few people in the world that made the Tibetan monks laugh. A true and genuine in the moment laugh. I actually was pretty happy about the incident after that. Laughter is the best medicine truth in comedy blah blah blah blah. It was a wonderful moment, plain and simple.
I also once stole a pair of underwear from my AP History teacher, but that's another story for another day.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
1. “And by ________, I mean ___________.”
This is as easy as jokes get. When a character says something like, “I’m going to the grocery store,” just have them follow it up with one of these zingers “And by grocery store, I mean adult bookshop.”
And probably the best way to use this is to replace a verb with the word “masturbate.” Works every time.
And by every time, I mean occasionally.
2. “I’m just sayin’.”
After a character says something particularly weird, crazy, truthful, whatever, just add the words “I’m just sayin’.” This will make whatever you just wrote appear to be mildly funny.
For instance, one character says, “I just wanted you to know, I’m wearing your underpants and even though they are a little tight, I like them a lot. I’m just sayin’.”
It won’t be incredibly funny, though. I’m just sayin’.
3. Make your characters British.
Works every time. Unless you are in a British accented country. Then you should give them an Australian or Irish accent.
4. Have your characters mug to the audience.
Every time a character says something funny, have them turn to the audience and smile. Or bow. Really. I got this from watching Telemundo. If they can also cross their eyes when they turn to the audience, it will be twice as funny.
5. Add a pop culture reference.
Don’t talk about someone have a big ass unless you mention Kim Kardashian’s ass. Someone isn’t getting drunk and stoned, they are getting Keith Richards-ed. That girl isn’t a skinny train wreck, she’s pulling a Lindsay Lohan.
The best of these of all time is the phrase “getting a Lewinsky.”
6. Have everyone wear Snuggies.
This is funny. It’s also using a pop culture reference.
7. Use bad sound effects.
It’s always funny to see people get shot on stage if you have a really loud over the top gun sound effect. Or if it’s a handgun, make sure the sound effect is for a machine gun. Also, a screeching cat works no matter what is happening on stage. Don’t forget to use the rule of three--if a character throws something breakable, have them throw three things and the sound effects should be: glass breaking, glass breaking, screeching cat.
8. Add some slapstick.
So you are writing a scene about a guy breaking up with a girl. Boring. But I’m writing a scene about a guy breaking up with a girl by throwing a pie in her face! That exciting, and funny!
It’s time to bring the pie in the face back, don’t you think?
9. Use names of old girlfriends/boyfriends in your scenes, then do really bad stuff to their characters.
It will be funny to you, at least.
10. Have your characters reference their blogs.
Have your characters set it up by asking a question, like: “Did you hear that my Grandma died this weekend?” And then when someone says, “No, what happened?” the answer is “You haven't been reading my blog.”
It’s always good for a chuckle.
If you use any of these ideas, please remember to give me credit, preferably by turning to the audience with your eyes crossed, and saying, in a British accent “I really Chris Othic-ed that joke!” Then following it up with a sad trombone sound effect. It will be hilarious.
And by hilarious, I mean excruciating. I’m just sayin.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Whatever. Here I am, I don’t have anything to blog about, so what happened yesterday?
Ah yes: the Oscars.
Usually I look at the Best Picture list from the Academy Awards and have seen one or two movies. This year, despite there being a ridiculous amount of nominations, I’ve actually seen all but two of the nominees. Ultimately the Academy went with the “surprise pick” by not picking the multi-billion dollar behemoth and going with the “sleeper” film that has already won a shit-ton of awards. Count me as shocked.
Anyway, not that it matters, here are my thoughts and picks for this year. Feel free to deride them in the comment section.
Avatar: on the surface would seem like the favorite. It’s got 3D! They got sexy blue-painted ladies! Explosions! Fun! Unfortunately for James Cameron, being a sci-fi movie is as close to a death sentence in Oscar land as you can get. Fortunately for James Cameron: two billion dollars.
The Blind Side: Did not see it. It’s about football, though. Football usually means no Oscar.
District 9: great movie, fun to watch, explosions. However, once again, sci-fi, and probably only included because they needed ten movies this year for some reason.
An Education: I saw this on Saturday. It was actually pretty good, once you get over the creepy factor (the inherent creepiness of Peter Sarsgaard combined with the whole older man/teenager dynamic). Some very good performances, a very clear plot and message, and an apt title. I imagine it got a good look from the academy.
The Hurt Locker (WINNER): Explosions! An apolitical look at a divisive war! Plot? Meh. But: explosions! It was a good movie, but best picture? I don’t know, guys. I guess it did have Ralph Fiennes in it, which I believe is +5 Oscar points.
Inglourious Basterds: Upon review, I think this is actually my favorite movie of the ten. Bloody but smart, well written but with deliberately and blatantly historic inaccuracies. It’s the kind of movie it takes balls to make – they misspelled the title, for godsake - and Christoph Waltz was lights out.
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire: Did not see it. Not my kind of movie. I don’t mean that in a racist way. No. I mean it in a sexist way.
A Serious Man: requisite Coen Brothers nomination. I think it’s in the Academy bylaws that one Coen brothers movie must be nominated in order to hold an award ceremony. How was the movie itself? “Interesting” I say, which means “ I wasn’t pulling my teeth out watching it, but at the end wondered ‘what was the point?’” If it had won, I probably would have said something to the effect of “erg.”
Up: it’s a cartoon and it makes grown men cry. I’m crying right now. Also, talking dogs are hilarious. It’s a cartoon, though. Last cartoon to win Best Picture? Exactly.
Up in the Air: I liked this movie. It was smart, funny, bittersweet, and I actually enjoyed watching it the whole way through. Alas, this also normally means ‘no Oscar.’
MY ORIGINAL ‘IN A PERFECT WORLD’ PICK: Up in the Air.
MY AFTER THE FACT ‘ACTUALLY NOW THAT I LOOK AT IT’ PICK: Inglourious Basterds
THE ‘THIS MOVIE MADE OUR INDUSTRY BILLIONS OF DOLARS’ PICK: Avatar
THE ‘SAFE MONEY / LACK OF BALLS / EVERY OTHER AWARD SHOW PICKED THEM SO WHY NOT US’ PICK: The Hurt Locker
I imagine James Cameron sitting at home licking his wounds. And by ‘licking his wounds’ I mean buying two billion dollars worth of solid gold, melting it down, and then making his own gigantic twelve foot tall Oscar statue for his lawn.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Best Muppet - Oscar the Grouch
Best Slob - Oscar Madison
Best Meat - Oscar Meyer
Best Punching - Oscar de la Hoya
Best King of Sweden - Oscar II
Best Pianist - Oscar Peterson
Best Name That Means You've Destroyed Your Beer Mug - Oscar Hammerstein
Best Oscar - Outstanding Sound Mixing in a Silent Australian Snuff Film
Best Picture - Oscar (1991)
Best Excuse to Say a Dirty Word - Oscar Cuntington
Thursday, March 4, 2010
"I ain't know no bout no holiday on May 4!" Well where have been living the last your entire life, a fucking cave-well? It's May 4 2010 bitches! Lace up your skates and hang onto your shoes because I'm about to blow your brain right through your ass-socks! Check your Earth Calendar y'all, 'cause it's mutha' fuckin'
Get all your coverage here!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaw shit mutha fucka!
"But Earth Calendar is incorrect. Vermont's Town Hall Meeting Day falls on the first Tuesday of March each year, which means it was actually two days ago."
FUCK YOU MUTHA FUCKA! I already done been writin' this blog and I ain't stoppin' now. You saying Earth Calendar is wrong?! How dare you challenge Earth Calendar! Earth Calendar has a lot of pressure tryin' to keep all them cracker ass dates straight! Don't you sweat on Earth Calendar! Earth Calendar gonna fuck you up! WHOOT WHOOOOOOOT! C YA!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Adam had ‘em.
Then I did a Google search (I refuse to use Bing but that’s another blog entry altogether) and found this one that claims to be even shorter:
Ode to a Goldfish
“O Wet Pet”
Then I wrote this one myself:
What Did The Fonz Say?
And that is how you knock out a blog entry and write the shortest poem ever at the same time.
Monday, March 1, 2010
So in that regard, it’s probably best that they won. There would have been mass hysterics. Had Canada lost, the entire Olympics would have been for naught. This is not an exaggeration. And a minute in to overtime, you could just kind of tell. They were not leaving the ice without the win.
And so commence the comments about inferiority complexes and medal counts and little brothers and that “most Canadians live such and such miles from the border” argument that I never understood because the vast majority of Canada is uninhabitable so where the hell else are they supposed to live? and all the other grousing and moaning that you can expect when you lose a very close game to a very good team.
But you Americans can be happy with the following: (A) your national hockey team is young and nobody thought they would even make the medal rounds, much less to the final game, (B) they beat the most talented team once and played them to overtime on the rematch, and (C) you got to see a good game and a good representation of what hockey can be.
Hats off to you, Canada.
That said, I will now flip over to the NFL combine and salivate over a bunch of college seniors running their asses off for forty yards.