Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I Leapt from a Twelve Story Building and all I got was a Blister on My Pinky Toe

Movies are destroying our reality.

Nowadays, when a person passes away in a hospital, often times the first thing that we think is “they must not have gotten improper medical care.” Why? Because modern medicine is not to be trusted? No (for the purposes of this argument, I’m not including pharmaceutical companies).

It’s because Dr. House can cure just about any life-threatening illness in an hour.

I’m guilty too. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to use the “Vulcan Neck Pinch” when I was a kid. As it turns out, you can’t debilitate your friends with a simple touch on the shoulder (but don’t let that stop you from trying. It’s fun).

And I can’t imagine the shock that people get when they punch someone in the face and don’t actually knock them out (yes, I spend a lot of time being concerned about the face-punchers of the world). When the reality of it is that if a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, there probably has been some serious damage done. At the very least, a concussion.

And yet we continue to jump from burning buildings. We trust that our SUVs are going to save our stupid lives no matter how recklessly we drive them (if they don’t, it’s a design flaw and Ford Motors must pay). We search in vein for amazing and spacious, yet affordable, apartments. We live under the delusion that Halle Berry has talent.

The reason that I bring this up is because of the ridiculous things that I heard on the news this morning. It had to do with the incident that occurred in New Orleans. In case you don’t know, an aggravated man (in a suit) threatened police with a knife after he punched a store clerk in the face (the clerk never lost conciousness). About 100 cops followed the dude down the street with their weapons drawn until the aggravated man made a threatening move and three of the cops fired, killing him.

All of this was caught on video, of course. And as we all know, if it’s on video and we see it, then we become divinely qualified as experts. So opinions about the shooting are flying all over the place.

Now, I’m not here to defend the cops (personally, I don’t like cops). Nor am I here to justify the man with the knife. My purpose is not to judge the situation at all.

But man, it’s quite interesting to listen to all the “couch commissioner’s” theories as to what the police should have done. There were all the usual ones, non-lethal bullets (which occasionally do kill people, how’s that for a lawsuit?), bean bags (not the kind for sitting in), discourse (always a popular one, after all, knife-wielding weirdoes are known for their sharp debate skills), let the guy go (this one always baffles me, and yet it’s always proposed)…

And then there are the ones that come from people who obviously watch too many action movies.

Shoot him in the leg! Or the arm! Better yet, position a team of CIA sharp-shooters in triangulated positions on the roofs of nearby buildings, when the word is given (via walkie-talkie with a phrase like “the chicken’s in the hen-house” or “go for green” or something), shoot the knife from the man’s hand! At the worst, he’ll lose a fingertip, right?!

I’m sure that somewhere there’s a police force out there who could pull this off, but not in New Orleans. I’ve seen the tape (most of it, they don’t show the part where he gets “taken out”). The New Orleans cops are just lucky that they didn’t kill themselves.

And this is the second time I’ve seen cops do this. They did here in LA not too long ago. So I have a question for the people who run the police academy; I understand that you’re trained to aim at the “center mass…”

But who the hell is training the cops to shoot at a subject while standing around them in a circle?!

When I was a kid, I saw an illustration of this exact phenomenon. It was in a book called “Truly Tasteless Jokes.” It was placed over a caption that read “Polish Firing Squad.”

While I don’t think that it’s funny to make fun of the fine people of Poland (or any ethnicity. Truly Tasteless Joke books were horribly racist, I hope they don’t print them anymore, but really, are kids nowadays going to get jokes about the Italian army? “There was a World War 2?!”) I think the point is made.

And every time I see cops do this, I can’t help but think of a certain country in central Europe.

Fun Fact: I woke up this morning with the theme song from “Smokey and the Bandit” stuck in my head. I have no idea why. But I did.

Here, sing along with the song in my head:

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'
We gonna do what they say can't be done
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there
I'm east bound, just watch ol' 'Bandit' run

Keep your foot hard on the pedal
Son, never mind them brakes
Let it all hang out 'cause we got a run to make
The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there's beer in Texarcana
And we'll bring it back no matter what it takes

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'
We gonna do what they say can't be done
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there
I'm east bound, just watch ol' 'Bandit' run...

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'
We gonna do what they say can't be done
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there
I'm east bound, just watch ol' 'Bandit' run...

Ol' Smokey's got them ears on
He's hot on your trail
He ain't gonna rest 'til you're in jail
So you got to dodge 'im and you got to duck 'im
You got to keep that diesel truckin'
Just put that hammer down and give it hell...

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'
We gonna do what they say can't be done
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there
I'm east bound, just watch ol' 'Bandit' run...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

There is Never a “Good Reason” to Hit

That’s what I kept telling myself on Christmas Day. It became my mantra.

But before I get into that, let me tell you that my trip to Washington State (I got back to LA on Christmas Day) was fantastic. I got to see both of my parents (which is a feat that sounds less impressive than it is, they’ve been divorced for 27 years and my father lives in West Virginia), I got to see my brother (who also live in WV), I got to see my sister, my brother-in-law, my favorite niece, some of my extended family and finally, I got to meet my little nephew Asher.

Needless to say, my new mantra wasn’t a result of them (oh, and mom, I made it back safely. I just forgot how to pick up a phone. Yes, it actually happened!)

As you already know, kids are the bane of my existence. Let me rephrase that. Parents of bad kids are the bane of my existence. I should clarify again…I hate bad parents.

There are 172 seats on a Boeing 737-900. 156 of those are in coach. So, mathematically, the chances of riding next to screaming child are much lower for poor people. And I am a poor person. Ergo, my odds of being seated next to a bratty kid are mathematically low. But then you must consider that it’s the poor people who are repopulating the earth. And don’t forget to adjust for karma.

Not only did I get seated next to a bothersome baby, I was surrounded by them.

That plane was my Waterloo.

I had a screaming baby behind me (who stopped screaming soon. It was a good baby). Now if that was the worst that fate could do, I would have been pretty happy. But no. Karma brought in the heavy artillery. A family with 4 kids. Two sets of Irish twins. One set under two.

I should have known that this family was going to be trouble from the start. For one, they were late for the plane. Two, they didn’t care what their tickets said, they sat wherever there was empty space (they wanted to be close to each other. The worst families always want to be close to each other. They have to be. It’s a deep need. See, no one else can stand them. They don’t have any friends so…they breed them). And since I had a substantial scowl going full blast from the time that I got on the plane for the sole purpose of having a row completely to myself, I became the hapless neighbor of the Dumbshit Family.

The Dumbshit Family wasn’t intimidated by my twisted visage. The tweens in the seat in front of me were though. I actually found myself wishing I had been friendlier. I could have had 10-year-olds sitting next to me. At least the 10-year-olds were as intelligent as…well, 10-year-olds.

Here’s the thing about the Dumbshit Family. They looked normal. They looked like an average couple with four average kids and one average grandmother. But no. They were evil. They were stupid. They almost got punched…every one of them.

The dad and, what I had thought was a really ugly baby girl (it turned out to be an extremely ugly baby boy) as well as the grandmother sat down next to me. I was annoyed, but fine. I sat next to grandma and she was scared of me so she kept her little distance. The ugly baby eventually calmed down and things were bearable (I spent the vacation with my adorable little nephew, so I was being more patient than normal although, my nephew doesn’t really require a hell of a lot of patience. My sister has two really great kids).

I was getting so comfortable in fact, that I fell asleep. It’s what I woke up to that could have gotten me shot by an air marshal.

It seems that in the three seconds that I was asleep, the ugly baby started to fuss. Daddy felt that it must have had something to do with the seat he was sitting in I guess because he moved to another seat closer to the front of the plane (the poor suckers in that row…). Granny wasn’t going to sit next to me without a bodyguard so she moved back a row to join her two older grandchildren. That left only two members of the family. Dumbshit Mom and a “kid” who I’ll call Limbsy. A toe-headed little thing. The mutant offspring of an elbow and a steel-toed boot. That’s Limbsy. Not as ugly as Ugly Baby, but with a disposition that cleared up any reservations I ever had about trying children for crimes as adults (an issue that this kid would do well to tackle now. Get a jump on it, I say).

The only advantage that I could see to having Limbsy and Ma Dumbshit as neighbors was that they only took up one seat. I was seated next to the window and they could take the isle.

Nope. They sat right next to me. Evidently, the isle seat was to only be used by their huge bag-o-baby-crap. They then proceeded to make me wish that I had walked back to LA. I was kicked. I was elbowed. My tray table was used as a toy (not as much as theirs was. Limbsy was fascinated with the ease at which his own tray table could be used as a percussion instrument). Ma Dumbshit even got in a few good jabs with her hairy elbow. And through it all, Ma Dumbshit ignored me. She knew I was being molested. She just didn’t care. Not an apology. Nothing. Not even an acknowledgement.

And trust me, I did everything short of throwing her child out the window with nothing other than a prayer and a seat cushion (to be used as a floatation device in the event that he land in a mud puddle). I sighed heavily. I slammed my book down in frustration. I glared at them. I mean real glaring. Eye-contact and everything.

Still nothing.

I hate confrontation. I don’t like to complain to people…to their faces anyway. But I had to do something. I was becoming homicidal.

Finally, I said, with every ounce of charm and sweetness I could muster “hey, is there anyone sitting in that seat?” referring to the one next to the isle.

“oh, well…” she knew that I was frustrated with her, “my…uh…my husband…is…uh…sitting there…it’s his seat.”

Well for one. It wasn’t. It was nobody’s seat. But I was going to argue semantics. Plus Pa was sitting about four rows in front of us. The entire plane knew this. He was constantly walking around in the isle even after being told repeatedly to sit down. Plus Ma would shout to him every couple of minutes. (“Don! Don! Do you know where Limbsy’s food is?! Don?! Don. Don. Don! Limbsy needs to eat! His elbows are becoming flaccid and less lethal! Don! Where are the iron filings we usually serve him?! Don?! Don!”)

I say to her,“I was just wondering if maybe you could move over to that one? (the empty one) I’m starting to feel a little claustrophobic.” I wasn’t lying. I was feeling claustrophobic. Limbsy was standing on Ma’s lap and his elbows were moving ever closer, squishing me more and more into the plane’s fuselage. I felt like I was in a retarded James Bond fick.

At this point Ma Dumbshit became surprisingly put out.

“Oh, well…” She seethed with as much sarcasm as her little brain could produce “I wouldn’t want you to get claustrophobic.”

You would have thought that I had asked her to move to Alaska. I hadn’t…yet. I just wanted her to move one fucking seat to her left. She did it. She slammed her bag-o-crap around. She sighed. She fussed. She even explained to her half-wit child why she was moving “Come on Limbsy, we’re making HIM claustrophobic.”

I just smiled and thanked her. What a bitch. But my troubles were over, right?


When the plane finally landed I got up to get my stuff. She wouldn’t let me out of the row. She just had to get off first. Her and her entire retarded family. Fine. Whatever.

I finally get my crap and follow the Dumbshit clan to the exit. As soon as we get to the front of the plane, she asks to speak with the pilot. I was sure that it was about me. It wasn’t. It was one of her stupid kids’ birthday. And we couldn’t get past them. So for the next 5 minutes the rest of Alaska Airlines flight 902 had to wait for some brainless kid to get congratulated for being born.

If only the pilot had known.

If only he had known that this kid’s birth was just the beginning of a string of tragedies that he would call his life.

After that, it took me 10 minutes to get up the jetway.

Limbsy just had to walk.

There is never a “good reason” to hit. There is never a “good reason” to hit. There is never a “good reason” to hit...

Fun Fact: Evidently, I have a tattoo on my forehead that reads “come to me, I’m the guy you want to talk to.”

But only stupid people can read it. Nobody cool. Nobody that matters. Just stupid people. I'm a fucktard magnet.

I don't know how to feel about that.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Let’s Blow this Popsicle Stand

I’m starting to sound like a hooker with a frozen fruit fetish.

It’s time to do some holiday traveling. I’m heading back to the great state of Washington for a few days to visit my family. I just put Tanya on a plane to Texas, so there’s really no reason to hang out here anyway. Besides, it’s about to get hot around this place. Nothing says Christmas like 80º weather.

Seriously, it’s supposed to be in the upper 70’s for Christmas day in Los Angeles. Maybe I’m old and set in my ways, maybe I’m not old enough to enjoy temperatures that are hot enough to melt every plastic snowman in the southland (at what age do we become cold-blooded?), but I can’t stand it when it’s too warm in the winter. I’m a traditionalist I guess. A person who likes his winters to be winters.

So I’m getting out while the getting’s good (although I will be back on Christmas Day). Hopefully they’ll have snow in Spokane. And weathermen who don’t get happier in direct relation to the rising mercury (“Hey it’s going to be 2000º tomorrow! Cockroaches are about to inherit the earth. Why not head to the beach and enjoy the lovely weather!”).

Merry Christmas!

Fun Fact: The latest Tam Cartoon is up! You may notice that it’s a little sweeter than usual. I wanted to do something with “heart” for Christmas.

But if you look closely, you may notice that it’s actually just a regular old, horrifyingly unfunny TAM Cartoon with a “touching” ending tacked on to it.

It’s like a very special “According to Jim.”

But with a bigger audience. Sugarshocksational!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

No, Really, I Was

I was going to post something interesting today. I have a backlog of topics that have been piling up since last Sunday. Alas, it’s not going to happen. I have another fun day of editing ahead of me today.

So now you’ll never get my thoughts on Extreme Makeover Home Edition and how they traveled to the “devastated Mississippi gulf region” to hand out clothes to the poor displaced victims of hurricane Katrina who are still stuck living in crappy shelters. You’ll never know my surprise at just how many white people were living in those shelters when months of news coverage, speculation and political haranguing have led me to believe otherwise.

You’ll never know how I feel about morning news shows and their ridiculously inequitable coverage, like why does convicted murder (turned anti-gang activist) Stanley “Tookie” Williams get an 8-minute spot whereas innocent hostages in Iraq get about 20 seconds even though they were both about to die, or why does a baby being thrown out of a burning building get a 6-minute spot plus interview and the irrefutable and devastating effects of global warming get only a 2-minute package? I understand that a baby being thrown three stories to safety is compelling television, but doesn’t the eminent end of life as we know it deserve at least to have Charlie Gibson put his coffee down for a second? I guess mass extinction isn’t cute enough. Has the earth ever caught a burning baby?! No.

And you’ll never know why I’m beginning to think that “it wasn’t me I tell you…it was a band of crazed hippies!” might not be the best murder defense.

No, not today.

Fun Fact: I’m trying – I really am trying – to get a new TAM Cartoon up before Christmas. So to all of you who have been waiting for it…hold your horses!

And on a strange note – this just hit me – when I was a little kid I thought that the “horses” I just referred to were actually my genitals. Why? Well, I guess it’s because “hold your horses” was the response my mom gave me every time I had to go to the bathroom “really, really bad” and there wasn’t a toilet handy.

There’s nothing like holding your horses to get the pee-pee to go away.

Ironically, I still call my genitals “horses,” but for a much different reason.

Speaking of enormous genitals, I can’t wait to see King Kong to discover how they “tackled” that touchy “area.” Seriously, there had to be at least one production meeting about it, right?

This post is going downhill now...Sorry.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Earth Keeps Spinning

Even without me! Although, I can’t be absolutely certain as I have never been on the Earth without me. You could all be figments of my imagination or a computer program embedded in my brain by jealous nemeses to convince me that I’m actually an out-of-work actor and screenwriter living in a humble apartment, enduring hours of the maddening construction that’s going on outside my windows instead of the highly successful and wealthy man-about-town that I actually am in the “real” world.

A guy can dream can’t he?

Anyway, the reason that I’m on this subject is because I was feeling a strange pang of guilt for not posting yesterday. I don’t know why. This isn’t some kind of public service or anything. Maybe it’s because there have been more than a few topics on which I was going to post – and then I got lazy.

But, rest assured, the world keeps moving even when I’m not around to bitch about it.

“Religious fundamentalist” politicians are still trying to win back Christmas – and the conservative vote.

Cops are still being suspended for making “sexist,” “racist,” and “generally insensitive” videos that don’t contain any more sexism, racism, or insensitivity than you would see on the average anything produced by MTV. Yes, the cops are being punished, basically, for poor production values. And for being idiots.

Good Morning America is still slowly turning into a Christian program by airing segments called “Keeping the Faith” with the vague notion that they’re including all religions, when the fact remains that this week, other than Christians talking about the bible, I’ve only seen one other religion represented…they found themselves one Jew. Am I supposed to believe that a network television show – a network television show that shoots in New York City – can’t find more than one Jewish person? And there were no Muslims or Hindus hanging around? Couldn’t flag down a cab or something?!

Kids in LA are still beating on each other because of the color of their skin.

The CIA still denies that there are any secret prisons operating in the world but are quick to state – hypothetically – that if there were, and if mistakes were made in regards to arrests and such, then those hypothetical mistakes would have been hypothetically handled in a hypothetically prudent manner…hypothetically.

George Bush is still a freaking moron.

Yes, the world keeps turning. The birds keep flying (although they are doing it wrong!). Even though I don’t draw unnecessary attention to it.

I just though that I would clear that up for you.

You’re welcome.

Fun Fact: The reason for my neglect of this blog (although this week I’ve been pretty good) is that I’m editing my latest short film, The Social Club. Well, I’m not (physically) editing it, the editor is, but I get to stand over his shoulder and aggravate him. It’s good to be the director.

So the next time you go to your local video store, ask for The Social Club.

Sure, it won’t be there. But it would be totally cool if you asked.

It would make me feel like a big man.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I finally saw the film Capote last night.

Now, among other things, I’m an actor. I’ve been one for over 14 years now. I’ve studied and studied. I’ve rehearsed and evaluated. I’ve opened myself up. I’ve closed myself down. I’ve emoted. I’ve been good. I’ve supremely sucked. But all things considered, I believe myself to be a decent one. I’m not spectacular, but I’m not one of those clueless, pipe-dreamers that think they’re going to make it just because someone told them that they were “mad sexy and should be on TV” once.

No one has ever told me I was “mad sexy.” In fact, I don’t want to hear anyone say the words “mad sexy.” I’ll settle for sexy. Or mad.

But with the work that I’ve put in on my acting in the past, I think that I’ve trained myself into a very capable actor. In fact, I’m going to go out on a self-aggrandizing limb here and call myself just above average. At least I thought I was.

But then I see a film like Capote. I see our favorite seedy ball of man, Philip Seymour Hoffman, stretch his acting muscles.

And I think, “man, I’m in the wrong business.”

Seriously, how am I supposed to live up to that kind of performance? Philip is throwing off the curve, man! Normally I don’t care for actors “putting on” the mannerisms of the actual person that they’re portraying. It makes me cringe. It generally points up the fact that the actor is more interested in trying to “be” whoever-it-is than actually doing any real acting.

This isn’t the case with Philip. He took a character that is so very easily caricatured and played him with accuracy, subtlety and – most importantly – honesty.

I heard a lot about this performance before I saw the film. But I’ve heard hype like this before (Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball?). It usually comes from a need for critics to find the next great performance rather than actual fact. But I have to tell you, the film and Philip’s performance (I like to call him Philip because if he reads this then maybe I can trick him into thinking that we’re actually friends) was everything that the critics said it was.

And the rest of the cast is just right also. How do you go wrong with Chris Cooper and Catherine Keener (especially when she’s playing Harper Lee, author of one of the greatest books ever written)?

So, even though it makes me wish that I’d gotten a law degree, if you get a chance to see Capote, take it. You won’t be disappointed. Well, maybe you will, how the hell am I supposed to know what your expectations are?

I’m not a mind reader!

And after seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote, evidently, I’m not an actor either.

Damn you, Phil.

Fun Fact: Today isn’t just that day that I write a love letter to Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s also a “date that will live in infamy.”

Yes, it’s Pearl Harbor Day. And I will always remember “a date that will live in infamy.”

Oh, no, not the actual date. I mean the phrase. “A date that will live in infamy.” The “lives in infamy” part is the only thing that “lives in infamy” in my brain. I can never actually remember the date. I know that the quote from FDR comes with a date attached to it at the beginning… “December…something…nineteen-forty…something…a date that will live in infamy!”

How am I supposed to remember that date? Couldn’t somebody come up with a better way to remember it? I know that in fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue. I know that in 1814 we took a little trip along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.

But all I get for the beginning of US involvement in the greatest war ever fought is “December…something…nineteen-forty…something…a date that will live in infamy!?”

Is that fair to the brave men and women who fought against tyranny?! No. So here, let’s solve this problem once and for all.

On December 7 we took a little trip
Along with FDR as planes attacked some ships
‘Twas nineteen-hundred and forty-one
Columbus sailed the ocean blue

Problem solved.

Thanks, WWII vets.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Please Keep Your Child on a Leash

It’s the cry of disenfranchised non-parents everywhere. At least it’s mine. Especially lately.

I was inspired by my recent experience at a restaurant and the TAM Cartoon that I drew yesterday (yes, I was actually inspired by myself, how’s that for narcissism?!). So I came up with these.

I even made a special TAM themed one (and, of course, they’re all available in shirt form at the various TAM online stores).

Sure they may seem a bit “insensitive.” But so is allowing your out-of-control children to run free like they’re on some kind of brat preserve.

And hey, if you’re a parent with well-behaved kids, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

Not so fast, mom (sorry, you were just unlucky).

Fun Fact: As you can see, the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Gnomertastic!

And the capital of Yugoslavia was Belgrade. Now Belgrade is the capital of Serbia. Yugoslavia’s other half is now Montenegro. And Montenegro’s capital is now Podgorica. Confused? Me too.

That’s what I get for trying to pull a fun fact out of thin air. I was just going to post the capital of Yugoslavia. I completely forgot that Yugoslavia doesn’t exist anymore. I’m so ignorant.

I guess that why they stopped making those crappy little cars?

Monday, December 05, 2005

How Dull is My Life


I don’t even have anything interesting to post about.

Wait, because of events that took place last night in a public restaurant (I don’t want to get specific because Tanya called “dibs” on the subject), I just want to say that there are fundamental differences between rights and privileges.

You have the right to want children. You don’t necessarily have the right to have children. Because, sometimes, it’s out of your hands for medical reasons or whatnot. But if you’re 65, still have a uterus and still feel that biological clock ticking away, go for it, you have the right to try at least. Hell, even if you don’t have a uterus…science is remarkable.

As a parent, you also have the right to take your children out to a “family” restaurant. But if those kids become a nuisance, you don’t have the right to inflict them on the rest of diners.

You have the right to an evening out without the kiddies too. But you don’t have the right to take the kiddies with you and just pretend that they’re not there.

As a smoker, I’ve learned to live with that fine line of rights and privileges. I have the right to destroy my own health. But I don’t have the right to subject others to it.

But parents these days don’t see it as the same thing – even though an ill-behaved child gives me the brain fever. Most modern parents (I say most because that’s my perception; perhaps it’s just the fact that I’m forced to pay attention to the selfish parents that causes my cynicism?) don’t see children as a privilege. There are stories all over the place about “parent’s groups” fighting restaurants because they feel persecuted somehow. Evidently, asking a parent to control their child is just too much.

And I understand. I really do. I was a kid too. I was one of those kids in fact that people would change booths to avoid. And it wasn’t because my mother was neglectful. I remember many an instance when I was being unruly and my mother would grab my arm and squeeze as she seethed through clenched teeth “if you don’t behave yourself right now, the manager is going to throw you out of here!” Which translated, means “if I get thrown out of here and embarrassed, your ass is going to be grass, pally”

And a lot of the time it was. I had a grassy ass. Whatever that means.

But I don’t see much of that anymore (from other people, my mom hasn’t squeezed my arm in frustration for at least two years). Parents with poorly behaved kids seem hesitant to discipline them in public (or at all). Kids aren’t viewed in the same light these days. Kids, no matter what they act like, are considered “precious little gems mined from the magical wombs of the women in God’s army.” And heaven forbid you should ever say otherwise.

But it’s not the kids’ fault. Kids will get away with whatever they can. And if their parents don’t teach them appropriate behavior, what are they supposed to do? Society can’t raise your children for you with just some disgusted looks and the occasional frustrated outburst. Kids don’t pick up on that.

But I’m not here to preach about how to raise a child. I have no idea. I’m ignorant on that subject (among many others). I just wanted to say that having children is a privilege, not a right.

And, no matter how much hard work it is, raising kids is not a public service!

When your snot-nosed little brat throws a temper tantrum at my feet, no matter how much you may want me to, I’m not going to thank you for bearing the burden of proliferating the human race.

Humanity will do just fine without your contribution.

I guess if I had children, my life would be a lot less dull. But if that’s the case then I guess I should be glad my life is so uneventful. I haven’t ever been so bored that I would have kids for recreational purposes. Every Mariah Carey album ever made couldn’t bore me enough for that.

Fun Fact: If you’ve ever said to yourself, “hey, you know what, I’d really like to have a picture of Kevin Sage to wear around on my chest,” then you’re in luck.

Kevin has opened his own Café Press store. Go here and live the dream.

And don’t forget, there is still plenty of great TAM merchandise at the holiday store. And it’s not too late to get it before Christmas either! Order now!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Boba Fett of Foliage

Somewhere, sometime, the tree switched sides.

The Christmas Tree is at it again. This time it’s fighting for the other team. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the “war on Christmas.” It turns out that Christian conservatives are unhappy with the homogenization on the holiday season.

Leading the troops on the side of conservatism is Jerry Falwell. As always. He put together a legal super-squad to sue Boston over the renaming of their city’s Christmas Tree. You probably already know all this, but if you don’t, I’ll tell you. Bean Town was keen on the idea of changing their Christmas tree into a Holiday Tree. Just like that. As if by magic. They felt that the name change might help people to feel included in the holiday season. As if by magic.

Also, as if by magic, the city changed its mind. The Boston Christmas Tree remains, unchanged.

The whole idea is stupid if you ask me. I’m an atheist. I don’t have much use for religious fundamentalists. I have even less use for Jerry Falwell. But does it really matter if the name of the tree changes? Who cares. Call it a Christmas Tree (I do), don’t call it a Christmas Tree…

Jerry cares. He was on TV this morning talking about Christmas trees and what they represent. How the Christmas tree is a fundamental symbol of the birth of Christ. “It’s not a Ramadan tree” he said. Yup, I’m sure that Muslims are really bummed about that.

Man, you would think to hear Jerry go on about it, that the Christmas tree practically gave birth to little Jesus (maybe it was J’s wet nurse or something, I don’t read the Bible all that much).

Yet, it seems like only a few years ago that the Christmas tree was again on the front lines in the battle against Christmas. But in those days, Christians would have you believe that the tree was trying to put a 60 caliber round square in Jesus’ forehead. It was there in the trenches, breathing mustard gas and sharing naked pictures of pin-up girls with Santa, the Menorah, Fanoos and Kikombi Cha Umoja.

But then the Tree turned mercenary.

Now it’s fighting for the Christians. Now it’s fighting for Jerry Falwell. Now it’s Jerry symbol for the birth of Jesus.

The tree is also prophetic it turns out. It’s been around a lot longer than Jesus. In fact Jeremiah writes about it in the Old Testament (of the Bible). But he’s not as cool with it as Jerry. Here’s what Jeremiah had to say about it:

Jeremiah 10:2-4: "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (King James Version)

Okay, so the Bible condemns Christmas trees. So what. That’s the Old Testament anyway. It was written by Jews. Of course they don’t like Christmas trees. Besides, it sounds like Jeremiah has more of a problem with tree bondage than anything else.

You go, Jerry. You fight that good fight. Maybe someday you’ll actually win the battle against Christmas. It’ll be saved! They might even make it a national holiday! Who knows?

But, Christmas Tree, I’m very disappointed in you. There’s blood on your hands, pal.

Really though, it’s just a freaking tree, people.

Fun Fact: A Fanoos (or Fanus) is a traditional Ramadan lantern hung by the Egyptians to celebrate the magical month. As it turns out, the Fanoos is also under fire by certain Muslim groups who feel that it is incompatible with Islam. Maybe because one of the derivation theories has it originating with Christians? Does it really matter, Muslims?

It’s just a freaking lantern, people.

The Kikombi Cha Umoja is a traditional Kwanzaa cup used for…well…drinking and pouring stuff…that is meant to symbolize the first Principal of Kwanzaa, Umoja (Unity). The principal of Umoja is to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

That “race” part makes me a little uneasy (what does unity of race entail exactly?). No one is attacking the Kikombi Cha Umoja, but hey, does it really matter?

It’s just a freaking cup, people.

And if you don’t know what a Menorah is…TS.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Can I get some moisture in the air here please?! I’m tired of tooling around like a walking, talking Van de Graaff machine.

The weather has finally cooled off in southern California. This is great for my spirit, but it’s bad for my fingertips. I swear that if you look closely, you’ll see little singe marks at the ends of my fingernails. Is there nothing more surprising than the pain of an unanticipated electrical arc shooting from you to the doorknob (or vise versa)?

I guess that’s why they call it a shock (or vise versa).

Yes, everything I touch seems to hurt me these days. Even the simplest act of switching on the lights can be nerve racking. I get up off the sofa and before I can touch anything I have to find a way to release the static charge that comes with sitting on a cloth couch through an entire episode of Prison Break (seriously, they couldn’t at least escape before the end of the “fall finale?!” How lame. And what the hell is a “fall finale” anyway. I hate network scheduling directors).

Having to discharge my static makes me feel like I’m about to start working on volatile explosives. But at least at the “volatile explosives factory” they have chambers and such. They way they discharge their static is a bit more…graceful…than mine.

I just have to find something metal…and then grab it as fast as I can before it “bites me.”

This process may not be fancy, but it works. Sure I look like an idiot. But I look like a bigger idiot when I jump back three feet just because my shoulder accidentally brushed against the rabbit ears on the television.

I need cable.

And don’t even get me started on the terror I face just getting in and out of the car.

Stupid static electricity. I’ll bet it’s getting back at me for never doing a demonstration on it in grade school science class. I’m sorry!

I’m scared of balloons.

Fun Fact: Static electricity causes a spark because negatively charged electrons in one material are attracted to the atoms in the other material that have an excess positive charge.

Opposites attract.

I guess that’s why I continue to touch Tanya even though she shocks the hell out of me every time. But the shocks had better stop soon. Even a lab rat learns its lesson after a while. I feel like I’m being conditioned.

“TAM, why did you and Tanya break up?”

“I don’t know really. It was an exceptionally dry month. After a while I just lost all desire to make any kind of contact with her. In fact, the prospect of it became frightening and debilitating.”

“Oh, sorry man, that’s so sad.”

“Yeah, she was a cool chick. Anyway, thanks for your concern. Hey, while you’re here, could you turn on my lights and start my car for me?”

Oh, and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Shockalicious!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What a Load of Crap

Say you. Not so, say I. There is nothing crappy about the fantastic TAM Merchandise that I purchased for myself at the TAM Holiday Café Press Store.

In fact, here is a picture of some of it.

That, my friends, is a Mr. Gnomertote (for all your notable totables), a Mr. Gnomerton’s First Christmas women’s ringer tee (festive), a Magic of Christmas large-sized mug (perfect for drinking coffee with those new holiday flavored creamers from Coffee Mate – I recommend the Pumpkin and the Peppermint Mocha – they’re quite tasty) and a Mr. Gnomerton’s First Christmas tile coaster (because getting a wet ring on your IKEA furniture can be deadly).

All of these fine products came quickly and are of a quality much higher than I actually expected. Really, what do you expect from a “make-it-as-it’s-ordered” online store? But don’t be scared. There’s a reason that Café Press has done so well for itself. They sell good crap. It’s just the quality of the actual images printed on that good crap that’s the gamble. And since you already know the quality of the TAM Cartoon there should be no fear.

Wait. Forget about the quality of the TAM Cartoon. Go ahead and order some junk. It’s reasonably priced.

What’s with this constant sales pitch, you ask? Are you trying to make money by guilting your friends into buying stuff?


Is this some kind of pyramid scheme, you wonder?


Are you just some kind of horrible narcissist?



Fun Fact: Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I just wanted to remind you in case you’d forgotten. I don’t want to hear “dude, I totally spaced on Thanksgiving this year! Why didn’t you remind me?!”

It’s tomorrow – weirdo.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Early Bird Special

I’m posting the latest TAM Cartoon today! One day early! Yowza!

You may be thinking to yourself, “TAM has a regular cartoon posting schedule?” the answer is…yes. Pay attention!

I just thought that since this is another Thanksgiving themed cartoon and Thanksgiving is coming very soon, I had better get it up now so that it can be “enjoyed” before the holiday instead of after. Looking at a Thanksgiving cartoon after Thanksgiving is over is annoying. Like when people leave their Christmas trees up until February.

Don’t leave your Christmas trees up until February. The only people with an excuse are those poor shut-ins who die and no one notices until months later when neighbors become aware only because the mail starts piling up and the neighborhood cats look healthier and more satisfied. They can’t really help it. So unless you’re dead, take that tree down by late January – at the least.

The lights though are another story. Live the Yuletide spirit all year long with festive Christmas lights!

Live it!

Fun Fact: Tanya reads magazines backwards. I don’t know why. I guess she doesn’t care if she ruins the ending.

Spoiler Alert!

The Absolute Vodka did it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Master of the Obvious

That's me.

Yesterday, I actually saw Star Wars Episode III for the first time.

It sucked.

Fun Fact: George Lucas is a bad screenwriter.

Speaking of bad screenwriters, don’t forget to visit my TAM store and pick up some great holiday crap! How’s that for a sales pitch?!

Man, I feel like the Willy Lowman of internet commerce. Hold on, I'm just going to jump in my car...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pig in a Poke

That title either means that it’s another “grab bag” post today…or that I’m a fatty in a sack.

Perhaps both are true? Thanks to my new diet however, the former is more true than the latter. Here we go.

Gravity and GAP Have Conspired to Make Me Look Like a Perv

I’ve always been a huge proponent of calling people before you show up at their doorstep. Really, it’s just common courtesy. After all, you don’t know what people are doing at home at any given moment. Luckily, my friends never show up without calling first. They’re just good people. At least that’s what I suspect since none of them ever show up (oh, how sad).

Now, I never show up an-announced, true. But my nature being what it is, I’ve shown up plenty of times early. Sometimes extremely early. I’m talking “sitting on the curb outside their place for 10 minutes trying to find that balance of being early but not obscenely early” early. And I’ve gotten that distinct feeling that I’ve interrupted people before. That feeling when you can tell that something has just happened, but you don’t know what.

“Oh, my host’s face is flushed, they seem nervous and out-of-breath. Either they were crying or…let’s just pretend they were crying…all alone.”

I’m sure that you’ve gotten this feeling before. We all have. But why is that? Do we expect our friends to be a bunch of depraved deviants, just getting in one “quick one” before their buddys show up? Or is it that irrational fear that someday it will actually happen that makes us suspicious? Or is it perhaps that we know how we behave that makes us wary? In any case, it’s not your host’s problem is it?

Anyway, yesterday I got a call from Kevin. I had some stuff of his here that I borrowed and have been trying to get back to him before Tanya throws me out (for some reason she doesn’t like to dine with a Digital Video Deck on the dinner table…go figure). So, as I said, he called yesterday.

“Hey I just got back from my audition and thought that I could stop by, pick up my DV deck and hang out for a little while.”

“Sure, I’m not doing anything…when? Where are you?

“In your driveway. I can come back later if you want.”

“No, come on up.”

Hey, he did call before he knocked, right? And he offered to come back later. But you can’t really tell people to come back later. It makes it sounds like you’re doing something you shouldn’t.

And I wasn’t. I was just sitting here trying to find some recording software. Nothing seedy…or even interesting. But still, I wasn’t exactly prepared for a guest. I have to at least try to look cool, right? Look at least put-together. But I wasn’t. I did some quick cleaning and opened the door for him…a little late.

No big deal. We sat around and talked for a bit. I gave him his stuff. He left.

Now, I don’t know if it’s my brain playing tricks on me after the fact, but he seemed a little uncomfortable. Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn’t. But I got the distinct feeling that he thought that he had interrupted something. And since I was home alone

Why am I worried about it, you ask? Normally, I wouldn’t be. But I was wearing a pair of pants that I got at the GAP. I don’t wear these pants very often so I had failed to notice that they have one very annoying…quirk. A quirk that I have absolutely no control over.

After Kevin left, to my horror, I noticed that my pants had done it to me again…my zipper was down.

So much for looking put-together.

So much for not looking like a pervert.

Maybe he didn’t notice?

No, he noticed. I just know it. Damnit.

Snowman Jam

No, not preserves made from Frosty’s peeps. Tanya got me a great present yesterday. One that I was very excited about. I would say that I’m a little embarrassed to mention it but I just got done telling you that I hung out with my friend while my pants offered a grotesque window to my beanie-weenies. So this is nothing.

Tanya got me the singing snowman from Hallmark. Maybe you’ve seen the commercials. It’s cheap if you buy three greeting cards. So Tanya bought three greeting cards…and I got a new friend. One who won’t judge me if I don’t zip up every once in a while.

Who cares if he sings like Dean Martin on helium, he’s a fine piano player (and singing like Dean Martin, even on helium, can never be that bad).

We jammed.

He rocks. Thanks, Tanya.

Fun Fact: It’s weekly weigh-in time! I’ve been on the South Beach diet for exactly one week so far. Last week at this time I weighed 184 pounds (at least that’s what my scale says; the gym scale has a different agenda).

It’s been a week of eating meat, cheese and lots and lots of vegetables. And inadvertently cheating twice. I had an apple (really, how pathetic! How do you cheat with an apple?! I forgot that in the first two weeks you’re not supposed to have fruit) and last night I had a glass of white wine (I forgot about that too, it was an ingredient in the Cornish game hens that I was making and if I hadn’t drank it then, it would have sat around until it was undrinkable).

But now I weigh…drumroll…a big 175!

Hey, that’s 9 pounds! That’s “Biggest Looser” numbers there. Only 5 more to go. But I still need to loose my belly. I swear, I’m the only person on Earth who can be fat and skinny at the same time.

NASA should study me.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005


There’s a reunion going on here at The Anthropomorphic Male today. A reunion between you…and the Tam Cartoon! Yes, finally, the latest one is here! Lazycartoonistastic!

Like every good reunion, it’s been a while since you’ve seen each other. At least the latest incarnation of each other. You used to be BFFs, but somehow, you’ve drifted apart. I don’t know about you, but the TAM Cartoon was thinking about not coming to this thing. It said that it felt fat. I worried that while you’d been doing wonderful things with your life; it was just sitting around, stuck in some kind of rut. After all, it has never left its home town. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of, is it? Sometimes people and cartoons just have different priorities. Not everyone can be an astronaut or a famous movie star. At least that’s what the TAM Cartoon keeps telling itself. So it simply put itself on the South Beach diet for a couple weeks, thought of ways to make sitting around at home sound like an exciting occupation, bit the bullet and showed up.

And hey, really it’s been too long. You guys should keep in touch better. Make a pledge to write to each other more often. And hey, who knows, maybe you’ll see ach other again at the next reunion.

Fun Fact: This was one lame post. And I have never attended a reunion. I’ve been out of high school now for about 14 years (good god, really?!). Not one reunion. But what did I expect? I mean most of my classmates couldn’t figure out how to use the soda machine. And yet I expect them to organize a reunion?

Ah, public education.

Oh, and don’t forget to pick up your TAM Merchandise on the way out (follow the links on the right of this page). It’s cheap. It’s fast. It’s “cool.”


Friday, November 11, 2005

Shameless, Baby!

Hey, I’ve got TAM merchandise here! Well, not here exactly. But if you’ll follow the links to the right under “TAM Merchandise” you’ll be whisked away to paradise.

That is, if your idea of paradise is buying crappy TAM merchandise.

If you have any requests, let me know.

Go ahead and buy. Eric did. And he’s super cool! Especially since he’s the only person on earth that owns TAM merchandise. But don’t feel bad for him, just because you buy some, it won’t make him less cool. He’ll still be the first ever to own a TAM coffee mug!

Thanks, Eric. You’re way cool. And did I mention cool?


Thursday, November 10, 2005

I Want to See Less of Myself These Days

At least I’d like to see less of my midsection. That’s why I’ve put myself on a diet. I’ve always struggled with my weight. By that, I mean that when I’m a fatty, I struggle to lift myself. And while it’s not as bad as all that, I’m firing a preemptive strike here.

And I’m trying a weight-loss plan that I’ve never tried before. I’ve done the vegetarian/bagels and Taco Bell/1200 calories a day diet (lost 100 pounds on that one…I don’t recommend it). I’ve tried “Atkins” (by which I mean that I cut out carbs. I didn’t actually follow the legitimate plan. Lost 20 pounds on that one in about a month…gained back 40 pounds in about three days). I’ve even done Weight Watchers by proxy (I’ve decided that one can’t lose weight on any diet done by proxy…but you can gain a few).

This time it’s The South Beach Diet (the actual, real-deal plan). It’s pretty much a conglomeration of all those previous diets except without vegetarianism, bagels and Taco Bell (really, that diet is just bad news).

I’ve decided (right at this moment) to go ahead and share my successes and failures with you on this blog. I know that the first question you have when you wake up in the morning is “how much weight has TAM lost this week?” Now you don’t have to wonder. The answers will be yours.

At the moment I’m 6’ tall and weigh 185 pounds.

I don’t really expect to lose any height (at least I hope not, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they’re talking about when they promise that you’ll lose inches), but I wanted to put things in perspective.

My goal is to lose about 15-20 pounds. Do I really need to go to such extremes to lose a measly 15 pounds? Yes, I do. It’s always hardest to lose those last “few” pounds. That’s why I get so frustrated when I see shows like the biggest looser. Sure, a 400 pound dude can drop 150 pounds pretty easily. Hell, his body is begging for it. I think that it actually takes more energy to become 400 pounds than it does to not. But that’s an extreme. I tell you from experience that it’s damn easy to get to 265. And you can get to 200 before you realize it.

As an actor, I’m in no man’s land. I’m too thin to be the “fat” guy and I’m too fat to be the “cool best friend guy.” By the way, I’m too goofy looking to be the “lead guy”…and too terrified to be the “young father.”

I’ve been the “fat” guy before and I’m none too eager to go back to that.

That’s why the preemptive strike. Wish me luck. I’ll keep you posted (I know, it’s your dream isn’t it?) And if you’re in a supportive mood, why not visit Mike and Tanya’s blog and support them too.

Fun Fact: As I said a couple days ago, I just finished shooting a short. I dressed the set for it with various pieces of furniture that I found on the side of the street.

For those of you who don’t know, people in LA don’t throw furniture away. They don’t donate it either. They just put it out on the street to picked up by whoever wants it. It’s an ugly system (most of the stuff is just crap), but for the most part it works…and hey, I got some cool furniture for the short out of it.

Anyway, when the short was over, I returned the two stuffed chairs that I found to their street-side home. This morning while I was on my walk, I saw those two chairs again. They had sat out in the rain and looked pretty horrible (I had cleaned them up for the shoot).

And then it hit me…guilt. I felt bad for leaving these chairs out in the cold like that. After all, they had helped me out in my time of need. I know, they’re freaking chairs. But somehow, as I walked past them, dripping and dirty, I could swear that they were giving me “puppy dog eyes.”

And for a second – just a second – I was tempted to bring them back home and let them live in my carport again (as a kid, I used to kick rocks home from school and then feel bad for just leaving them. I ended up with an unhealthy collection of “kicking rocks”). Then I remembered that they were chairs. And that they were heavy (I’ve already logged more than enough mileage around town, looking goofy, carrying them on my head). And, most importantly, I remembered that they were wet.

I ain’t carrying a wet stuffed chair for nobody, pal.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

You Gotta Have Friends

I’ve always said that I would rather have good friends than money or material goods. Especially if those friends give me cash and cool stuff.

I spent this past weekend directing my latest short film, The Social Club. If you want to know what kind of friends you have, direct a no-budget short with them. Ask them to sacrifice a ton of their time. Ask them to spend their own hard-earned money on coffee and gasoline (hell, what are they going to need it for anyway, you’ve already destroyed their entire weekend, right?). Ask them to drive to the valley. Ask them to breathe artificial fog into their lungs for 36 hours. While you’re at it, why not ask them to borrow thousands and thousands of dollars of production equipment, or a home worth more money than you’ll probably see in the next 15 years (especially if you continue to direct no-budget shorts).

On top of all that, ask them to do it with the only the promise of a credit like “set photographer,” “grip,” “boom operator,” “grip/eye-blackener/beat-up dude in chair,” “cardboard taperer-to-windower,” “chili-maker/makeup/fog wrangler,” “light designer/A.D./b-roll director/hijack victim,” “homeowner/cleaning lady,” “put-upon D.P./editor/furniture mover.”

Well, there’s the credit…and my undying appreciation.

Hopefully the credit will be worth something someday anyway.

But things went great. I really do want to thank everyone that helped out. I can never repay you. I repeat: I can never repay you. So don’t ask.

Directing is a lot like giving birth I suspect. There’s a great deal of discomfort involved, you don’t get a lot of sleep before and during the process, in the heat of it all you can say snarky things that you don’t really mean, there’s a fear that the thing that bursts from your creative loins will be some hideous purple space alien-looking thing that looks less like it’s parents and more like its long-deceased great great aunt Maivis (present tense) – and it’s practically guaranteed that you won’t remember the pain after it’s all said and done.

Now, while I can’t guarantee that the finished product won’t have “alien-baby” syndrome, I can say that this project was the most pleasant one that I’ve had the privilege to work on. And, yes, I have forgotten the pain. In just a day or so. That’s some kind of record.

I tell you, it’s really easy during a shoot to say “I’m never going to direct ever again!” Let me say from experience that it’s way easier to delude yourself into thinking that the next one is going to win an Oscar.

Show me to that Academy Award (the one for best short under $400).

Fun Fact: In the 1960 movie "Psycho" by Alfred Hitchcock, Hitch used chocolate syrup for blood in the shower scene. On the set of the movie “The Social Club,” chocolate syrup was not used for blood…

…because I forgot it at home.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Vice is Right

I’m a smoker. It’s not something that I’m necessarily proud of. It’s bad. Any 5-year-old could tell you that. Ask a 5-year-old about smoking cigarettes and chances are that they’ll look at you as if you had just said a dirty word. Poophead.

I wonder how a 5-year-old feels about wine coolers?

ABC News, in a noble attempt to get more people to quit smoking and keep potential addicts from ever starting, has implemented a new health series called “Quit to Live.” Every night on the evening news they’ll do a little story about the dangers of smoking.

Last night, the danger they reported on was the tobacco industry itself.

See, Big Tobacco is targeting our children. Yes, again. This time they’re doing it in new and more clever ways. Tobacco marketing campaigns are the stuff of legend. It seems that no mere mortal is impervious to their genius strategies. Why are they seen in this light? Well, because so many people have died from cigarette smoking that it would seem completely unbelievable that new smokers would ever pick up the habit. And yet they do pick up the habit. People continue to smoke. It has to be because of Big Tobacco’s revolutionary and devious marketing strategies, right?

I mean people can’t be that stupid could they?

Why can’t we just call smokers stupid? I know I am. Smokers are stupid. Smoking is stupid.

Calling the Tobacco companies “evil geniuses” is stupid.

As I said, ABC news was critical of the tobacco industry last night for marketing cigarettes to our children. Even in this post Joe Camel world. How are they doing it you ask? What unbelievably evil scheme has the tobacco industry implemented to push nicotine to the kiddies? It’s a plan so fiendishly clever that it has gripped the attention of the world.

They’ve lowered prices, they’re offering freebies and they’re making flavored cigarettes.

What will those evil geniuses think of next?!

And so specific to children! I know, as an adult, that I have no use really for free, inexpensive or good-tasting things. That’s why we have Starbucks. Adults like to drink $5 latés that taste like drywall.

Damn you Big Tobacco! Lets just keep the cigarettes tasting like the inside of a chimney. And god forbid you should try to keep the price down. The next time I see a “buy two packs, get a third pack free” promotion at the 7-11, I’m going to throw my Slurpie right in the cashier’s Hindu face!

But seriously. I don’t want to defend the tobacco companies. But let’s be fair here. Adults do enjoy flavored cigarettes. Ever been to a pipe shop? That place is like a smoker’s candy store. And they’re not new. Flavored cigarettes aren’t new. Sure, kids will enjoy a good “Mandarin Mint” smoke every once in a while. After all, nothing compliments a luke-warm beer served in a plastic keg cup like a flavored cigarette. But let’s not relegate all “flavored things” to the kids. I enjoy good things too much. (Like cartoons. Another thing that has been completely handed over to the tykes. If it’s animated…it must be for kids, what with the vibrant colors and all)

And since when did the children get the monopoly on all inexpensive things? The experts on ABC News claimed that since “kids smoke more when the cigarettes are less expensive,” the “lower prices” of cigarettes promotes smoking specifically to kids.

Excuse me?

Really, though, this has all gotten out of hand. Until it’s made illegal, tobacco companies have the right to promote their product (not to kids of course). I don’t care if you like it or not (I hate Miracle Whip but they still sent me a coupon for it). Let’s not be hypocrites here. If you want to go after Big Tobacco, fine. Go for it. Tell the world about the evils of smoking. You wouldn’t be lying. But let’s not stretch the truth about it just to create a sensationalized hatred for the tobacco companies. There are so many things to hate the tobacco companies for, we don’t need to create reasons.

And what about liquor? Why have I not seen a single news story about Schnapps? So many wonderful flavors. So easy to get drunk off of. Wine coolers? They’re essentially melted snow-cones for slutty chicks, right? Flavored vodkas and gins? Cocktails? And even if kids are too lazy to make a decent cosmopolitan, they can get them now, pre made, in cans. Tasty.

The last time I checked, no high school kid ever smoked one too many vanilla flavored cigarettes and ended up getting pregnant or falling off a roof or crashing their car into a mini-van full of pre-schoolers.

Isn’t smoking bad enough on its own? Do we really need the hellfire and brimstone?

Fun Fact: Wall-Mart has a new commercial touting their dedication to community and the veterans. On it they have a WWII veteran talking about how much he likes Wal-Mart. And he should like it, after all he works there. He’s really old. He can barely walk. But he works a Wal-Mart. I’ll bet that nobody else would hire him.

How nice that after driving prices so low with foreign goods that employers can’t afford to pay retirement benefits to their long-term employees and still compete in the marketplace, Wal-Mart had the heart to give this 80-year-old man a job so that he can work until he drops dead.

Yeah Wal-Mart!

I need a cigarette (I'll take a menthol, it's not really a flavor, it's been grandfathered out of the flavor category).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Gimme That Old Time Fun

The kind where we stay home.

Of course, now that I’ve typed that, I can’t get Grandpa Simpson out of my head. Now to the point…

There’s something really great about old-timey radio broadcasts. Abbot and Costello, Buck Rogers, Itchy and Scratchy (Eleanor Roosevelt did the voice of Scratchy during the war). I actually remember them from my childhood. Not because they were actually on. My mom was a huge fan.

Plus, when I was in the second grade or so, we moved into a big old house in Deer Park, Washington. It was creepy. In my bedroom closet (which was inexplicably attached to my mother’s closet, it was like a secret passageway…with clothes on the floor…I’m a slob) I found a cassette tape that was left by the previous tenant. A great old chiller called “Only the Dead Die Twice,” an episode from the infamous inner Sanctum series (give it a listen). I listened to that old thing all the time. In fact, the only time I would switch it out was to listen to my “Scooby Doo” radio drama (yes, it really existed but with different voices, on the tape I had they were busting counterfeiters). Or sometimes I would have to acquiesce to my sister and listen to “Thumbelina” or Strawberry Shortcake (I’m the Peculiar Purple Pie Man from Porcupine Peak, cha cha cha cha cha cha ch-cha cha cha!).

Anyway, I have since nurtured a big soft spot for radio shows. So you can imagine my thrill when I came across this on the net today while I was looking for something else. It’s amazing. I really only find cool stuff on the internet when I’m looking for something else. Rarely do I ever set out to find cool stuff. I forget that there is actually worthwhile crap on the web. I mean besides this blog, porn and video game cheat codes.

If you find yourself bored today, why not listen to an episode or two of the old Abbot and Costello show? They have really cheesy jokes. Some of which are just itching for a comeback.

Fun Fact: Charles Herrold of San Jose, California was the first person to broadcast a regular radio show. As a professor, his first broadcasts consisted mostly of his students playing popular records for their friends.

Herrold was on the air daily from 1909 to 1917 and didn’t give away a single U2 concert ticket.

Monday, October 31, 2005

To the Hughes Avenue Slasher…A poem:

What was it
That made you slash my tire?
Was it just a good time
Or some misplaced ire?

Were you picked on and put upon
And pummeled and troubled
By bleak nightmare visions
Of offenses redoubled?

Has the world left you crying
So strikingly alone
Wondering where your friends
And self-respect have flown?

Are you missing the love
Of your pitiful dad?
Is that what has made you
Destructive and sad?

Was your mom’s breast milk tainted?
Was it curdled and bitter?
Were you touched on your no-nos
By a bad baby-sitter?

Is that why you snuck
Into my vehicle’s home
To shiv its rear tire
So the air would be gone?

Or could the answer be much more easy to see?
Something as simple as mere jealousy?

When you looked into my carport
Your choler, it grew
‘Cause my tire’s more handsome
And smarter than you.

Fun Fact: I hate vandalism. Yes, some jerk-ass slashed my car’s tire. They also got my neighbor’s. However, they didn’t actually slash my neighbor’s tire; the chicken-shit vandal just let the air out of it. See, my neighbor actually spent money on his tires, it would have been hard to slash it. Almost impossible. They’re huge freaking tires.

But, damnit, I’m not going to let some fucktard with a pen knife make me spend more that $35 on a freaking tire! This is America! I should be able to buy cheap tires without fear of attack. If they come apart while driving on the freeway, then hey, that’s my problem because I bought cheap tires. But vandalism shouldn’t be a concern.

And why would someone want to slash my tires anyway? Have they seen my dirty, rusty car?

Did they really need to add insult to injury?

Friday, October 28, 2005

News Grab Bag

Aw, Poor Harriet

Yes, just days after they publicly executed her political career, Republicans everywhere are singing a lament for Harriet Meirs. Poor, poor Harriet. She didn’t deserve such a shameful lambasting did she?

Well, no, she didn’t. It’s not as if she discussed pubic hairs and Long Dong Silver with co-workers. If she had, we’d have put her on the bench faster than…something that’s really fast. She was just under-qualified – and a woman.

Far-right Republicans don’t like chicks on the bench. It doesn’t matter how many assault rifles Harriet keeps in the hands of “sportsmen” or how many uteruses she controls, she’s still a chick. And “justicing” is a man’s business.

But now, for some reason, we’re all supposed to feel bad for Harriet Meirs. Not because she pronounces her own last name completely wrong, but because “she deserves a chance.”

What?! Really?

Hey, I think she was treated shoddily, sure. But that’s the way this stuff goes. Republicans talk a good game about giving nominees their day in committee, but they’re really only talking about people they like.

This is politics. It’ll be a sad day when we start allowing people on the Supreme Court just because we feel bad for them. We already chose a president because he seems like “a real kind of guy” (which is because he’s completely stupid), we can’t start letting pity pick our Justices.

Hot For Teacher…

But not in the good “an underage boy who had sex with his older hot teacher was the coolest kid on campus in the 80s” sort of way.

Here in California, Governor Schwarzenegger has declared war on teachers. He’s backing Prop. 74, a proposal that would make it more difficult for teachers to get tenure and a “job for life.”

A new pro-74 ad is running in TV that tells the “story” of a teacher who “verbally abused” her students and showed “rated R movies in class.”

What did they do with this horrible teacher? Well because she (he?) was tenured, she only “resigned” with a fat $25,000 paycheck (an entire year’s salary no doubt!).

See, they couldn’t fire her because she had tenure. The benevolent school administrators could do nothing but throw money at her, their capable and pristine hands were tied ever so tightly. All they wanted was to make the school a better place. All they wanted was to be able to fire this bad teacher without any kind of hearing. After all, if you work at McDonalds and drop you coworker in the fry cooker, chances are you’re going to get fired and quick. And that job actually required dedication and skill! But noooo. Not teachers. Freaking tenure!

For those of you who don’t know, “tenure” is an impervious invisible shield which protects shiftless teachers from responsibility. Not even Superman could make a tenured teacher give a rat’s ass. Tenured teachers are lame duck fat-cats, just sitting back in their gilded teacher’s lounges, sucking down cocktails and raking in huge paychecks.

And as we know, teachers are what’s really wrong with the education system these days. Let’s not pretend that modern “parents” have anything to do with the slipping GPAs in this country. After all, if it were the parent’s responsibility to educate their children, we wouldn’t send kids to school, right?

And schools everywhere are filled with teachers like our “abusive/R-rated movie-watching” walking horror named in the “yes on 74 ad.” I men, we all had that one teacher who would swear in class. And in health class they made me watch a film of a woman giving birth (sure it had the desired effect, I’m still terrified of fathering little, bloody alien babies, but it had vaginas in it!).

In fact, the pro-74 people needed hardly to look for a horrible teacher to make an example of. All they had to do was find a case that took place…in 1999.

But hey, I’m sure these kinds of teachers are rampant even today.

Bad teachers. Why don’t you all just die already?!

Coolio or a Foolio?

Should you use slang like “bling” and “don’t go there?” That was the question on the minds of NBC’s “Today Show” this morning.

Really, there’s a freaking war going on. Can we find no better questions to posit than whether or not octogenarians in the heartland should tell people to “talk to the hand?”

The oil companies are gouging the hell out of us (and don’t give me that crap about the “markets” driving the price of oil, the companies don’t create the demand but they do guide the markets), the polar ice caps are disappearing at an alarming rate and hurricanes are pointing out severe shortcoming in our nation's leadership!

Why do I know more about Angelina Jolie and her quest to adopt every child on the planet than I do about global warming?!

What the freakin’ dilly!?

Fun Fact: I’m wearing a new sweater today. Nothing special about it. It’s just a sweater. Sometimes these fun facts are difficult to come up with, you know.

Oh, the sweater is made out of Marino Wool. Huh? How about that! My sweater used to quarterback for the Miami Dolphins!

Yeah, I don’t really know what Marino wool is. But it sounds impressive. NBC should do a story on it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Take a Seat

Goodbye Rosa Parks, you were one hell of a lady.

Fact is that I made my peace with Rosa’s passing years ago. All through school when I was learning about her, I had just assumed that she was dead (and I think that my history teachers did too because none of them ever gave any indication to the contrary). I mean practically everyone else in my history book was dead, so why not sweet old Rosa? She was already 42 at the time of her Montgomery, Alabama bus stand (or non-stand, whatever). When I was a kid, 42-year-olds had one foot in the grave already.

Imagine my surprise when I got older and learned that she was indeed very much alive. And still fighting for equality!

Sorry, Rosa, for thinking that you were gone when you weren’t. I’ll never make that mistake again. Because this time, sadly, it’s true.

Fun Fact: It’s a funny thing about history. We put it in books in order to preserve a record for future generations. But there’s something about putting things in a book that lessens them. I don’t really think that future generations can really quite grasp the full nuance of history. I know that I didn’t.

Like Rosa Parks. The woman passed away yesterday at the tender age of 92. Like I said, she was 42 when she was arrested in Montgomery. It really hit it home to me that this event took place only 50 years ago (I was always aware of this, but for some reason Rosa’s passing pointed it up). That’s not a long time, but for most of us it might as well have taken place in the middle ages. It seems like ancient history.

But it is amazing to realize how far we’ve come in such a short time (I know that some people would disagree…they would be wrong). I mean think about this. I’m 32 years old. When I was born, there were people running around whose parents owned slaves.

I hate these little pedestrian epiphanies. They make me feel like I’ve been wandering around my entire life in a self-centered haze. And maybe I have.

But I doubt it. I’m pretty sure that I am the center of the universe.

A wonderful, hazy universe.

Oh and the latest TAM Cartoon is up! Hazy-licious!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Call CPS

On numerous occasions in the past I’ve taken issue with kid’s shows. Not on this blog, mind you, but I have. Just trust me on this.

For the most part, my grief with kid’s programming is the way that it paints the parents. They’re almost always morons. Sure, they often throw their inane two-cents in, “Don’t leave the house without a sweater,” “We’ve all had our heart broken at one time or another, it’s called growing up,” or “A real friend wouldn’t shiv you with a screwdriver and leave you for dead in a ditch on your birthday…” Just stupid crap. And at the end of the episode the kid usually learns their lesson which is “I should have listened to mom and/or dad.”

But really, should we expect them to listen to mom and/or dad? Mom and/or dad is usually caught up in their own juvenile escapade…if they’re present at all. I mean Kim Possible’s lucky if here parents even make her a meal. And she’s out risking her life everyday, sometimes way past bedtime. What kind of parent allows their high-school aged child do that?

A bad one.

And don’t get me started on Ron Stoppable. That kid’s inept and his parents don’t care that he almost dies once a week. There’s clear neglect going on there.

The ones that really get me are the tween “sitcoms.” Especially shows like “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” and “Lizzie McGuire” (thank god this one’s gone). The adults on these shows are absolute idiots. No wonder their kids are so self-centered and idiotic.

I’ve ranted and railed against these shows citing that they don’t stack up to the shows that I used to enjoy. Sure, the adults on “You Can’t Do That on Television” were absolute nincompoops, but it didn’t stop us from learning valuable lessons. Lessons like don’t say “water” and “I don’t know.” Don’t eat at Barth’s because people puke in the burgers. You can always talk your way out of being executed by a firing squad… Important lessons.

But this past weekend my eyes were opened. Because Halloween is around the corner, I popped one of my favorite holiday classics into the ol’ DVD player, and I was hit with a startling epiphany.

The “worst adults in a children’s show” award goes to the grown-ups in “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

Sure, the adults in the peanuts cartoons don’t really exist. They don’t even have voices, they all sound like trombones being played with a plunger. But at least there’s no pretense of parental supervision. I can forgive this fact. I can even forgive the fact the Lucy has to retrieve Linus from the freezing cold pumpkin patch at 4 in the morning when she realizes that he never came in the house for bed. Sure, his parents probably should have noticed, but in their “defense” they were probably pretty hungover from some kind of Halloween party. I’m sure that Mr. Van Pelt had a little too much egg nog and Mrs. Van Pelt spent the entire night explaining to the other women at the party that her husband is just a “really friendly drunk.” And I’m positive that by the time Mrs. Van Pelt finally figured out which of the women at the party now had the Mr’s house keys and got him out of there and into bed, the last thing on her mind was her delusional child freezing his butt of in a pumpkin patch.

But there is one thing that I can’t forgive.

It’s trick-or-treat time in Peanuts land. All the kids are wearing lame outfits. Poor Charlie Brown had some trouble with the scissors. He made a ghost costume with about 20 eye holes. But hey, it’s a ghost costume. A stupid ghost costume. Half the neighborhood is wearing one. Shouldn’t Charlie Brown get some points for being original?!

He’s the ghost of a potato!

But no. He gets no points for originality. He gets teased. I can understand this coming from the kids…

But what kind of sick, twisted adult gives the poor mentally challenged kid a freaking rock for tricks-or-treats?!

And not just one adult did this. The entire neighborhood did. They had to have planned it, right? I don’t know about you but I don’t keep rocks next to my Halloween candy. The adults had to have organized this before hand.

It’s obvious that Charlie Brown was targeted. He was the victim of some heartless neighborhood campaign to humiliate the unpopular kid.

It’s sick. And it’s wrong. And the wawa adults of Peanutsland should be ashamed of themselves.

Fun Fact: the “meanest parent in a Christmas special” award goes to Donner the Reindeer, Rudolph’s father in the Rankin Bass classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer.”

Never has parental shame been so clearly manifested in such an abusive manner.

Well done Donner. Congratulations.

Friday, October 21, 2005

My Guidance Counselor Warned Me About This

No, not being a hopeless, unemployed burden on society. That’s swell. I like that. It’s enjoyable. But before I mortgaged my future for the good life had a lot of crappy jobs. The worst of which was cleaning a movie complex at 3 am before I went to clean a Payless Drug at 6.

I can’t tell you how many complaints I got from my boss. Seems that nothing I did was ever good enough. I could never scrape all the gum off the seats. I could never pick up every little piece of popcorn. Even when I recruited help, it was hopeless. I quit after three days.

But even that horrible job isn’t the absolute worst out there. Armpit sniffer, medical guinea pig, non-lethal weapons test subject and high school teacher are all much worse. But I think I found one that tops them all.

This last week it rained here in LA. And it turned the newly dug foundation hole in the lot next door into a Mississippi swimming pond. Work was brought to a halt for a couple days while the water sat there, taunting the contractor and breeding super-mosquitoes.

What to do? What if your work-hole is filled with West Nile infected sludge?

Call this dude. And tell him to bring his bucket and his cup.

Seriously, this guy spend all day yesterday emptying the water with a 5-gallon bucket and a fast-food “collectors” cup. Just walking back and forth. Filling the bucket, walking up the mud ramp and dumping the sludge in the street, then back to the muck. All day. It had to suck.

It had to super-suck.

And to add insult to injury, there is still a lot of water in the hole next door. His job sucks and he’s ineffectual.

Take that, ego.

Fun Fact: I just touched someone else’s laundry. They left it in the washing machine all night. It had to be moved so that we could do our laundry this morning. I hate doing that. I mean, it was clean laundry (albeit wet)…

But somehow I still feel really dirty.

Other people’s laundry…ewwwww.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Unsolicited Plug

Shop at Target. I mean it. Go. Now. Just look for the concentric red circles. It’s easy. And hey, you’ll also be giving a big “screw you” to the Salvation Army. If you’re into giving a big “screw you” to the Salvation Army, that is. Personally, I’m not interested in that. I shop at the Salvation Army. But I’m not here to talk about the Salvation Army or whether or not the Salvation Army should be allowed to solicit for charity outside of Target stores. Just let me say the words “Salvation Army” one more time though before I get to my point.

Salvation Army.

There. That was a hoot. Thanks for that.

Anyway, you should shop at Target. There are many reasons. They aren’t Wal-Mart, for one. That’s a huge plus. And they have quality merchandise for low prices, but not so low that you get the distinct impression that there’s a 5-year-old Chinese kid sitting under a portrait of Chairman Mao earning 5 cents a day while his little fingers bleed and he silently curses your name.

Not that low. But low enough to still allow you to feel superior to third-world nationals.

But as if low, low prices aren’t enough, Target goes one better with a little installment called “The Dollar Spot.” It’s a group of colorful displays near the front entrance. They’ll be easy to “spot,” it’s the part of the store that, after typically considerate bargain shoppers have gotten to it, looks as if a small atomic device has detonated there. It’s a mess, sure, but smart shoppers know that the best deals can be found in the messiest places. I worked retail, I know. I’ve had to “recover” my fair share of women’s clearance racks. (Why is it that all my life women have been yelling at me to pick up my clothes from the floor? I’ve seen the way they shop. They should be ashamed of themselves. Hypocrites. At least I leave my clothes on the floor because I’m actually going to wear them again. The floor is my “wardrobe staging area.” What’s their excuse?)

Usually the Dollar Spot is filled with knick-knacky-type stuff. Mostly party supplies and yarn. Which leads me to believe that knitters love a good dry martini served with a plastic swizzle stick shaped like a pink cowboy head.

But who doesn’t really?

However, just in time for Halloween, Target has seriously stepped up the Dollar Spot’s substance. They have DVDs for a buck at Target! No frills DVDs, okay, but DVDs nonetheless. And not just your average DVDs. No. Not crappy titles like Navy Seals or Legends of the Fall. Good movies. And every DVD is a double feature of true horror-genre cinematic masterpieces!

That brings the value to 50 cents a flick. And if you factor in the fact that every disc also includes a classic cartoon short, that makes it even better!

Here’s what I got.

“Tales of the Undead” which includes:
Atom Age Vampire
Casper the friendly Ghost in “A-Haunting We Will Go”
Revolt of the Zombies

“Chills” which features:
Dead Men Walk
A mislabeled cartoon (not what’s on the box)
The Monster Maker

“Nightmares” which includes:
Bloodlust (Starring Robert Reed, I already have this one incidentally because of MST3K)
The Magic Mummy (cartoon)
Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (the original, not the musical. Both are excellent)

“Threshold of Terror,” which is probably the best in the collection and includes:
Bluebeard (Starring John Carradine)
Superman in “Mechanical Monsters” (great cartoon)
The House on Haunted Hill (the one with Vincent Price and Richard Long of “Nanny and the Professor” fame. The only old movie of this kind that actually, genuinely creeps me out. It’s awesome. It’s good. Mostly because of its complete lack of Taye Diggs, Famke Janssen and Jeffrey Combs.)

Go to Target and get these films. You won’t be disappointed. There are others too. The Brain that Wouldn’t Die (already have it), the Beast of Yucca Flats…

There are no special features or anything. No subtitling. No nothing. Not even chapters. But they’re really cheap and since they don’t come with a case, you get to make your own! Crafty!

Salvation Army.

Fun Fact: The latest (Halloween themed) TAM Cartoon is up! Johncarradinewasinredzonecuba-sational!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Flame On

I actually had some heartfelt criticism of my blog post earlier today. I wasn't just ignored or written off as intellectually deficient like usual. I feel all grown up now.

Adam didn’t like what I had to say about Pastor Greg. Normally, I wouldn’t respond to him. I usually don’t really care. But today I’m feeling slightly defensive. Mostly because I felt like I was being a little harsh on ol’ Greg Robbins’ show Pastor Greg.

But the more I thought about it…

Well, Here’s what Adam had to say to me in the comments section of the last post:

Those who, those who can't...criticize. It took nine years to get this show on the air. He had a dream, he followed it, and by the Grace of God, he made it happen. Tell me, have you done the same?

By the way, you're making these smart-aleck remarks after watching 1 episode and 4 short clips of episodes.
- Adam Graham

Yes, you're right. I'm being unfair. Greg Robbins did get his show on the air. He worked really hard on it. We should all give him the respect that's due him for just trying. The world is full of critics like myself who thrive on demeaning the hard work of others. We live to see them fail because it makes us feel better about ourselves. When I attack Pastor Greg, I don't do it because the show is an insult to the intellect and taste of the Christians and TV watchers of the world, I do it because I hate seeing someone gain the respect and admiration of others, respect that I could never hope to receive.

That’s one way of looking at it anyway.

Then there’s reality. I don’t dislike Greg Robbins, If anything, I really do admire the way that he brought his show to television and grabbed the attention of the nation with his ideas. Mostly because those ideas are just so…bad.

Hey, you’re right, Adam, I am getting down on the guy. I don’t want to. But I’m not being unfair. That’s television. That’s the business.

That’s art.

And even though art is highly subjective, there are still standards (yes, even in television…hell, even Paris Hilton finally lost her show thank god). It’s why we will probably never see my 2nd grade macaroni art hanging in the Louvre (although, they’re more than welcome to it).

Besides, the entire idea for Pastor Greg was born out of criticism. Criticism of the shows on mainstream television. So, yes, you’re right, maybe my response to Pastor Greg should be to make my own television show that is all the things Pastor Greg isn’t. I’m working on that. But until then I’ll be critical.

Because Pastor Greg, while it may be the best-intentioned labor of love ever to be put on the small screen, is just bad TV. And without genuine criticism art becomes complacent. It stagnates. Pastor Greg could run unchallenged for 15 years, never growing, never trying to be better, never evolving. And what would that be? Other than a supreme waste of time and money? Why not strive to be something more than just a “noble effort?”

That’s my opinion, Adam.

And the rest of you can check out Adam’s blog here.

Oh, and hey Adam, if you want, I can invite you to the premiere of the short film I’m directing next month. If you ever entertained any thoughts of payback, I’m sure it will give you more than enough ammunition.

I mean, if this blog doesn’t give you enough to make fun of already. And come on, man. We shouldn’t fight. We’re kindred spirits. You have a cable access show, a blog and a podcast! I find it hard to believe that you don’t understand what it’s like to be a self-important narcissist.



dment. Amendment.

Hey look, a rare Saturday post! I’m here to add to an earlier post. It’s not really an amendment. But “adden…dum” didn’t have the biblical ring I was looking for.

Thanks to Kevin, you now get to enjoy the spectacularly hyped Christian Sitcom Pastor Greg.

Go here for the opportunity to watch 5 streaming episodes. Although, I guarantee that you won’t make it past the pilot (Impressions).

But give it a look. Go see what passes for funny with certain Christians. The laugh track will help you spot the jokes (you’ll need it).

I have a few notes for the producers at Pastor Greg.

1) When installing the carpet on your set, don’t put the seam in the middle of the playing area.

2) When installing fake brick pillars, make sure that the corners match up. No gaps. Real bricks don’t have gaps at the corners.

3) I know that you’re building the spirit of community, but don’t just hand out “5-and-under” roles to any member of your parish that raises their hand that week.

4) Don’t end the show in the middle.

5) Sitcoms are supposed to be simple. They really shouldn’t have plot holes.

6) Utilizing the word “dude” doesn’t make Pastor Greg hip and cool.

7) Fire the writers.

8) Recast…everyone.

And a question: How come the kids in the church can get away with directly disobeying the pastor? They were escorted out of the room where they were drawing pictures, only to sneak back in sometime later (off camera) to continue drawing. While I respect their need for creative outlet, I can’t abide the blatant disrespect for the under-pastor’s wishes. And why do the “fuddy-duddy” parishioners become “hip and cool” before they meet their new hip and cool Pastor Greg?

Thanks for your time, producer-type-people.

Really, though. Go watch the show. And make a prayer request while you’re at it.

And just try to keep that theme song out of your head.

No really.

Fun Fact: There is nothing fun about Pastor Greg. That’s a fact.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Making Friends

And influencing them.

It was all over the news yesterday. I’m tardy. Michelle Duggar and her husband...Jim Bob...have given birth to their 16th child. Jim Bob is especially excited because it’s his first daughter in 8 years. Michelle is excited because she finally has another little girl to dress in truly nauseating outfits.

Why do we celebrate these people like they’re some kind of overachievers? It’s like going to the circus freak show with the pretense of learning hygiene secrets from the bearded lady.

Here they are. And they don’t just wear that crap on picture day at Sears. They wear it all the time. That’s dressing up to them. It’s dressing down too. I’m pretty sure that mom makes them for the girls out of the old sheets. Look closely at that photo and you may catch a glimpse of Holly Hobby.

The kids are Joshua, 17; John David, 15; Janna, 15; Jill, 14; Jessa, 12; Jinger, 11; Joseph, 10; Josiah, 9; Joy-Anna, 8; Jeremiah, 6; Jedidiah, 6; Jason, 5; James, 4; Justin, 2; Jackson Levi, 1; and now Johannah, newborn, purple and creepy.

All their names begin with the letter “J.” Just like Daddy. It’s cool of Daddy Jim Bob to give himself such an immense tribute. He sure deserves it. After all, he has to put up with that hormonal wife of his while she’s pregnant…constantly. In fact the only time she’s not been pregnant for any real duration was the first 4 years of their marriage. She was just 17 when they married. Which is strange that she wasn’t pregnant. I mean, isn’t that the only reason people marry 17-year-olds?

Oh, J also stands for Jesus.

I shouldn’t make fun. It’s not easy to raise 16 kids, I’m sure. Especially when you home-school them.

Of course, I’ll never know. I’ll never have to do it because…well…I’m not freaking crazy.

Yes, the Duggars are freaking crazy. Freaking crazy for Jesus. Religious weirdoes. The kind that think that Jesus wants you to give birth to babies until your cervix no longer has the strength to hold them in for the full gestational period.

This is what Jim Bob had to say:

We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them…or else I will beat Satan from her until she gives in to the Lord’s will.

Okay, I added that last part about Satan. I don’t think that the husband is forcing her to have babies. I think she likes it. I mean, after 10 kids, she pretty much has to keep having them. It’s either that or a hysterectomy, right? She sure as hell can’t go back to having a menstrual cycle. Let’s just say that Tampax hasn’t marketed a product equipped to handle a task of that….considerable size.

Personally, I don’t understand this conviction. I don’t understand why Jesus wants religious wack-jobs to have a million and a half kids. Is he living vicariously?

Whatever the reason, Jim Bob and Michelle are going to continue to pop out the chillun’. What does Jim Bob care if his wife’s vagina becomes the size of Madison Square Garden?

It’s procreation, not recreation, people.

And if all else fails, he can rent her crotch out for concerts and boxing events.

Fun Fact: The heaviest ever baby born was a boy weighing 22 lb 8 oz. He was born to Sig. Carmelina Fedele in Aversa, Italy in September 1955.

That would be a snap for ol’ Michelle Duggar. She could use the baby’s weight to her advantage. She wouldn’t have to go through those painful 5 seconds of pushing. All she’d have to do is stand up and let gravity do all the work.

What? Gross? Hey, the woman isn’t a human anymore, she’s a freaking factory. There are bunny rabbits out there rolling their eyes at her.