Tuesday, September 21, 2004

As if that isn't enough, I'm also performing this evening at WYSIWYG, where the theme is BULLIES AND MEAN GIRLS. Check out all the details here!

From an email I just sent out:

With the advent of autumn the air conditioners are finally coming out
of windows, beloved houseguests who've stayed just a little too long.
To celebrate this brief temperate period you might want to get out of
your apartment and stop by one of the three events I'm performing at
before fall abruptly departs and the ice storms descend.

THIS SUNDAY THE 26TH I'll be telling a story at The Moth--it's a real
honor to be asked to perform where so many talented, eccentric and
gifted storytellers have come before. Mark Katz, author of CLINTON AND
ME, is curating an evening titled OFF WITH THEIR HEADS: Stories About
Politics, and I will be doing my part to prove that the very best in
all politics is the personal. If that doesn't work, I'll be talking
trash about anyone in the crowd who got a Purple Heart--whichever works

Doors open at 6pm, the show starts at 7pm. Crash Mansion is located at
BLVD, 199 Bowery at Spring--all seats are $20. You can make
reservations at 212-868-4444 or by following this URL:

ON TUESDAY THE 28TH I'll be performing at Fez with Judy Blume, an
obscure author of a few mostly-forgotten books on teenage and childhood
antics. Ms. Blume will answer audience questions and read from her
book, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" in hopes that some
publisher will finally recognize its brilliance and get it back in
print. A number of luminaries will be presenting true stories of teen
angst and childhood gone awry, and donations will be accepted to help
the benighted Ms. Blume get a taxi home to Flushing.

Doors open at 7pm, and the show begins at 7:30pm at Fez Under Time
Cafe, 380 Lafayette Street @ Great Jones. Cover is $10, and you can
call 212-533-7000 to reserve tickets in advance.

ON THURSDAY THE 30TH I'll be reading at the Barbes Reading Series. Yes,
reading, not performing: in my copious free time I have been scratching
and clawing out a manuscript, and on the last day of September I will
release a small part of it into the world. A terrible mistake? A
delightful strategem? I invite you to Barbes so you can make the call

The reading starts at 7pm, and you can find Barbes at 376 9th Street in
lovely Brooklyn, just a few steps from the 7th Avenue F subway
stop...and this event is free, free, free.

Next month I perform in Los Angeles and Seattle--more details as they

Be seeing you,


Monday, September 13, 2004

My Brother Brian's Epic Saga Of Spending One Lost Day At A Motivational Seminar--The Kind You See On TV But Never Seriously Thought Anyone You Knew Would Actually Go, But When His Company Paid, Suddenly My Brother Is There!

(As Told In His Own Words.)

Part One: Let’s Get Motivated!

So this seminar that my boss got us tickets to began at 8:00 a.m., and started with scary indoor fireworks, which have always frightened me. Something about indoor explosions repulses me….I don’t know why. It was what I thought it would be, a lot of circular talk. Small paragraphs and monologues about self esteem, and fear of failure, punctuated with a remark on how America is the best country in the world, at which point the audience would clap. Or how much they really respected what all those troops are doing over there and at home. (More clapping) And how we won’t let those pesky terrorists change our way of life. (Lots of clapping) How you won’t get anywhere, let alone fail, if you never try, and if you try as hard as you can, it is the best you can do, and you should be happy with that. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win…” was the watchword of the day. These words are true, but it was like some sort of repeating Full House episode where Stephanie got a bad grade on her report card, and DJ told her she should change her ‘D’ to a ‘B’, and Michelle told Uncle Jessie, and he told Danny, and Danny had a long talk to Stephanie about doing her best, and effort, and responsibility. Danny said that no matter what could ever happen he would always love Stephanie with all his heart and then they hug. (Awwwwww………) Only it lasted for over two hours.

Part Two: Sermon On The Mount

Then everything got weird. It started with some talk about God. Just a mentioning, nothing more, so I dismissed it. Before you know it, it was a full blown christian conversion party, There was all sorts of God talk going around and how if you want to be successful, you need to have faith, and without faith, you would be misguided and frazzled, and basically worthless in a business sense. So all the atheists are basically unemployable crap-faces as far as this seminar is concerned. People are eating this stuff up, and the ruckus is getting louder now and I can’t believe that I am being paid to come to what has become for all practical purposes, a sermon/revival. There was a guy who talked about faith, and told us about some bible passages. He then offered us a prayer cd-rom, and a prayer email. Every two weeks you too can become closer to Jesus via the internet. So just to remind you, these tickets cost money. Like $50.00 U.S Dollars. Not like $50.00, it actually was $50.00. We could have gone to see Cher on her farewell tour, or the Rolling Stones on their 3rd farewell tour. We could have had any number of big headline bands, or maybe a couple of good plays. Or we could have gotten piss drunk. Lastly, we could have just gone to some church for free.

Part Three: The Speakers Speak

So like I said these tickets cost money, and there are several speaker of note. The primary players are:

*George from NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’. George told us to make sure we make lists, losts of note taking is essential to good business. Be prepared, and write everything doen in a spiral notebook. He says this specifically: “Yes, spiral notebooks, no post-its, you will just lose them and they never stick anyway. Only use SPIRAL NOTEBOOKS…” I am not sure if he has some sort of deal with the paper companies to hawk their wares. I can see him accepting a suitcase full of cash while the trench coated paper goon is telling him to talk trash about computers, palms, and ‘other note taking devices which may cause people to lose focus on paper.’ He then proceeded to make fun of Omarosa from season one. (Which is fine with me, I couldn’t stand the woman.) Then he just told us to make sure we watch season 2 of ‘The Apprentice’. He said it over ten times in less than a half hour. Then he collected another suitcase of money and left.

*Matt Hasselbeck, NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks was not even there. He was interviewed from the training field so that doesn’t really count as speaking, it is more like watching T.V. with 6-9,000 other people. He just talked about how the Seahawks are going to: ‘Take it to the top this year…Oh we definitely have a great chance of going all the way…..Oh yeah.’ Oh yes, he said three sentences on how important teamwork is. Then he just talked about how important he is to this team this year, and how they are working on defense, and ball handling. A man then came and gave him a suitcase full of money, and the screen faded.

Lunch was then had by all.

After lunch, we heard Dick Vitalle. He was one of the first sports commentators for ESPN. He was actually really good. He was very passionate. He joked, yelled, paced and was generally very motivating. He spoke about how making the choice to start your own business or follow your dream is easy, it’s the work and sacrifice that is hard. He told a touching story about his daughter while she was in college, and he actually had people’s undivided attention for 30 minutes. He waited until he was off stage to get his suitcase of money.

Then it happened:

All the work, all the time, sweat, money, and indoor fireworks displays that had been poured into captivating and motivating us, the audience, was all laid to waste in 15 minutes by Goldie Hawn. Yes, Goldie Hawn. It sounds strange, yet it is factual. She actually did the most damage with one sentence. Remember we had been there for 5+ hours thus far, listening to people tell us over and over that you must be decisive and hard working to get what you want. Goldie Hawn comes in to great applause and as it dies down she takes a big breath and starts her little spcheal, and then she starts talking about how her career started. That is when she says: ‘I didn’t want to be an actress. I wanted to, and studied dance. I wanted to be a dancer, and I was dancing in a go-go bar and I went to N.Y. and I met this producer guy who told me to go to L.A. and I went to this audition and the guy said he liked my voice and that is how I got Laugh In…..I really just fell into my Career. At first I really really didn’t want to act, but I thought I was making good money…….’ Boom! She dropped a giant fucking nuclear bomb full of anti-motivation radiation. It was a lethal dose for everyone in the building, even in the bathrooms. She then spent the last five minutes talking about how laughter is very important to living a healthy life. No one was really laughing at that point. Enter suitcase, exit Goldie.

Then we had the last memorable speaker: Rudy Gulianni. Except that the M.C. announced him as the Mayor of NYC. He used to be the mayor, but he isn’t now. It’s not like he is or was the president of the United States. So the fireworks start up and ballons are falling and there is confetti shimmering in the lights and everyone is screaming. Suddenly, a man jumps out with a gun and points it at Gulianni. Then, Clint Eastwood moves the mayor out of the way, taking the bullet for his country, and his president. Rudy picks up Clint’s .44 magnum and shoots the would-be assassin in the knee. Unfortunately the guys knee explodes from the impact, and he dies from shock holding the bloody stump, crying for forgiveness. Rudy helps Clint to the ambulance when it is revealed that Clint had a bullet proof vest on. Rudy smiles and then punched Clint in the face for scaring him like that. Then they hugged. (Awwwwww…..)

O.K. so that didn’t really all happen like that. Yes, Rudy Gulianni was really there. No, Clint Eastwood was not. Yes, Rudy Gulianni spoke about leadership, and such. Yes his is quite well spoken. No there was no assassin. Yes, he did get a suitcase full of money.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Popcorn is a good analogy for show business. Every time you make popcorn, there are always those fluffy, white, happy popped pieces that are fun to eat and look at and everybody likes them. But there are also always those burnt, hard kernels at the bottom that don't pop. You know why they don't pop? They don't pop because they have integrity.

Marc Maron

Saturday, September 11, 2004

To a Terrorist

For the historical ache, the ache passed down
which finds its circumstance and becomes
the present ache, I offer this poem

without hope, knowing there's nothing,
not even revenge, which alleviates
a life like yours. I offer it as one

might offer his father's ashes
to the wind, a gesture
when there's nothing else to do.

Still, I must say to you:
I hate your good reasons.
I hate the hatefulness that makes you fall

in love with death, your own included.
Perhaps you're hating me now,
I who own my own house

and live in a country so muscular,
so smug, it thinks its terror is meant
only to mean well, and to protect.

Christ turned his singular cheek,
one man's holiness another's absurdity.
Like you, the rest of us obey the sting,

the surge. I'm just speaking out loud
to cancel my silence. Consider it an old impulse,
doomed to become mere words.

The first poet probably spoke to thunder
and, for a while, believed
thunder had an ear and a choice.

Stephen Dunn

Friday, September 10, 2004

A Confession

My Lord, I loved strawberry jam
And the dark sweetness of a woman's body.
Also well-chilled vodka, herring in olive oil,
Scents, of cinnamon, of cloves.
So what kind of prophet am I? Why should the spirit
Have visited such a man? Many others
Were justly called, and trustworthy.
Who would have trusted me? For they saw
How I empty glasses, throw myself on food,
And glance greedily at the waitress's neck.
Flawed and aware of it. Desiring greatness,
Able to recognize greatness wherever it is,
And yet not quite, only in part, clairvoyant,
I knew what was left for smaller men like me:
A feast of brief hopes, a rally of the proud,
A tournament of hunchbacks, literature.

Czeslaw Milosz

Riding the Elevator Into the Sky

As the fireman said:
Don't book a room over the fifth floor
in any hotel in New York.
They have ladders that will reach further
but no one will climb them.
As the New York Times said:
The elevator always seeks out
the floor of the fire
and automatically opens
and won't shut.
These are the warnings
that you must forget
if you're climbing out of yourself.
If you're going to smash into the sky.

Many times I've gone past
the fifth floor,
cranking toward,
but only once
have I gone all the way up.
Sixtieth floor: small plants and swans bending
into their grave.
Floor two hundred:
mountains with the patience of a cat,
silence wearing its sneakers.
Floor five hundred:
messages and letters centuries old,
birds to drink,
a kitchen of clouds.
Floor six thousand:
the stars,
skeletons on fire,
their arms singing.
And a key,
a very large key,
that opens something
some useful door
up there.

Anne Sexton

Thursday, September 09, 2004

My friend Amy is in an ad campaign.

I need to wear someone else's leather jacket and get a gig like that.

Also, last night I met they albino python that Brittney Spears danced with.

It was a very pleasant snake.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sunday, September 05, 2004

So last night we went to Joe's Pub, where we got to see Lil G'n'R--the world's first all-child GUNS N' ROSES tribute band.

They were delightful, and the audience loved them--especially Lil Slash, who could not coordinate her hat, guitar and glasses at the same time, but was determined to ROCK OUT!!!!!!!! on every song, even the slow ones.

Then it was time for the main event: The Fabulous Entourage.

I'm not a big fan of live music, but TFE have a special theatricality, intelligence and, above all, heart. Tons and tons of sincere commitment to doing performances that turn glam rock aesthetics on their ear. It was a great show--I hope that Joe's Pub has them back soon, because it was a great fit for them.

Since this posting actually contains some information about my life, perhaps that means that more regular posting will begin. I can make no promises, but that does seem possible.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Slate analysis of last night's RNC shenanigans: "'What do a bullhorn and a baseball have in common?' Thompson asked, and soon, we were told: The defining moment of the Bush presidency came not only on Sept. 14, as previously thought, when Bush stood at Ground Zero and proclaimed that the terrorists who struck New York and Washington would 'hear from us.' It also came a month later, when Bush marched to the mound of Yankee Stadium and boldly, decisively, resolutely tossed out the first pitch of the World Series. 'What he did that night, that man in the arena, he helped us come back. That's the story of this presidency,' Thompson said, as I wondered how many takes it took Thompson to do this without giggling. You keep pitching, no matter what, Thompson said. You go to the game, no matter what. 'You throw, and you become who you are.' The delegates went nuts. Remember that time Osama chased Bush's slider in the dirt?"
Now the Bush tool Swift Boat Veterans For Truth have another charge to answer: they've committed identity theft:

"'It's kind of like stealing my identity,' said Anderson, who spent a year on a swift boat as an engine man and gunner.

The letter, which was posted on the Swift Boat Veter-ans for Truth Web site, claims the Demo-cratic presidential candidate has 'grossly and knowingly distorted the conduct of the American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen of that (Vietnam) war.'

The letter also criticizes Kerry for trying to change his image from a critic of the war to a war hero.

'After reading the letter,' Anderson said, 'it kind of got under my skin. I had never come across a situation where someone used my name without my support or approval. It's not a very comforting feeling.'

What's worse, he said, he disagrees with the letter.

'Had they asked me to use my name, I wouldn't have allowed them to,' he said."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Get ready: you may be able to use your cell phone on flights as early as 2006. I'd like the freedom, but I'd like WiFi on flights even more.

From the New York Times: "As the Republican National Convention approached its final evening tonight, nearly 1,800 protesters had been arrested on the streets, two-thirds of them on Tuesday night alone. But for all the anger of the demonstrations, they have barely interrupted the convention narrative, and have drawn relatively little national news coverage." Apparently violence works for getting people's attention, and anything else is a wash.
Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight. I'm not always a fan of Mr. Keilor, but I respect his work, which is often a better path. I've returned to New York City, and even in the bright sunlight today there's an astouding pall over teh city, a wan and lifeless ticking. It isn't good.

That was the long silence of a week in central Maine. Transmissions should now resume on a more regular schedule.