Monday, September 21, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New web series!

Starring the not-Chris Elliott, Chris Schneider. Written by me and Ben Bleichman.



Go to MakinLemonade.blip.tv to watch all 4!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Poison control

I nearly killed someone today. My friend did some window shopping at my herb garden, curious about some of the more exotic things I planted. Turns out pennyroyal, from the mint genus, is deadly poisonous. That wasn't clear until after he sampled a leaf. My friend remembered how he'd heard of the herb--as a medieval potion used for abortions.

We initially went to household remedies: all beer related. My friend's tongue went numb and he started shaking. Wikipedia told me how toxic this plant really is, but I for some reason was not telling him the truth. My frame of mind was to not get his heart rate up, and also to not ruin my buzz.

The call to California Poison Control went like this:

ME: Yeah, my friend just ate a leaf from a pennyroyal plant...
PC: Well, why did he do that?
ME: He didn't know it was poisonous.
PC: Yeah, it's poisonous. Deadly poisonous.
ME: Should we take him to a hospital?!
PC: Ah, lemme check.

We held for seventy-one seconds. It sounded like this guy took this call from his cabin in the Sierras.

PC: Well, if he just ate a leaf, he should be alright. It takes about 100 grams to kill an adult. He may have some bowel trouble for the next couple weeks though.

So far, he's wolfed down a Subway footlong and everything, for the time, seems to be all right.

And I'm getting rid of that awful, useless fucking plant.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Part it down the side

Got my haircut today, and those of you who are old friends of the blog know that I often have horrible experiences with that. You'll be happy to know that I've corrected my behavior. No more Supercuts. I only get trims from people who have facial piercings--the best of the best.

This guy took a long time with my hair. After 25 minutes, he stepped back and said "There. Now your hairline makes sense."

I replied, "Hey, this shop cut it last time." I remembered multiple occasions when I'd have to get corrective surgery on my head after getting a cut from...a deaf man with cataracts.

"Yeah, it's just really confusing up here. You see," He pulled back my hair. "See, you're starting to thin on this side, but not on this side. But I just made this side longer so it evens out."

Translation: I am balding in the worst possible way. I am balding from right to left.

Maybe back to front would be worse.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crappy Hour

Sorry I've been so delinquent. More uncomfortable positions to come. Here's something I wrote. Sorry about the audio.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another commercial



Starring the very talented Rob Ullett and Dani Repp. Shot by Josh Silfen. I wrote and directed it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

So You're Painting a Chair, Hey?

In my neighborhood, everyone's got a little patch of land between the sidewalk and the street, which is technically city property, but something that the homeowners are responsible for. And ours is a blight. I am literally mortified by its state, and I actually have such a major complex that I believe my neighbors look at it from their porches and scowl. They hate me because I don't know what to do with St. Augustine grass. I will only work on that public section of my yard during low-traffic hours in order to avoid conversations. And if a neighbor does come along? Well, I've got my iPod in, and...oh, I'm so involved in pulling out this weed! Or...oh! Boy, my peripheral vision isn't as good as yours, so I just didn't see you there!

Finally, this bustling Saturday afternoon, I bit my lip I transformed it into what you see above. That's about a ton of Desert Rose rock. I kept my head down, I didn't talk to the dogs, I didn't wave at the babies. Then, as I'm spreading this rock around the space, a shadow comes over me. I can't play it off. I have to look up, and I prepare myself for some kind of scorn. I know, I know, I should have planted these cacti further from the sidewalk...

"Hey, um, do you think you have a moment of your time?" Asked a chubby kid who looked a little like the lightsaber viral-video guy. He squinted so hard from the sun that it pulled on his upper lip.

"Well, I'm pretty busy."

"I just wanted to know...where'd you get this rock?"

Oh, I thought he was going to sell me magazines. Now I feel bad. "I got it at Home Depot. There's, like, a ton here." Oh, he likes that.

"Um, can I have one?"

"Oh, sure!" I pick a small, rose-colored stone out and hand it to him.

"No, um, that one." He points to a ten-pound granite boulder I have, one of a few I've got decorating the area.

Now, is it a bad idea to give a kid a big rock? It's in that grey area between gun and scissors. I feel like this is a test. Like those neighbors are pulling a prank on me, or if it isn't a prank, that it's some kind of initiation test. They've got their binoculars focused on my perplexed face. "Did he pass the rock test?" they'll all be whispering. No one will come to our house for Halloween. Dogs will shit in my rose rock garden.

I say, "Yeah, take it."

He scoops it up, says thank you, and walks it over to a landscaping truck. The boulder is handed to the driver of the truck. They both get in and drive away.

I don't know what to think, but I'm spending the rest of the day inside.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cold Cereal

A punctuation mark on the state of my exhaustion lately: I opened my fridge to get a mid-morning snack to discover that the Raisin Bran box was in there. And, of course, the milk was in the cupboard. Right where I left it an hour ago.

Now where did I put that baby...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sun-sorship

A friend who works in mooovies was just contacted by the MPAA regarding a web clip, created for a movie, in which an animated cartoon commando sun shoots bullets of radiation into the Earth and then enjoys a smoke. Here's their concern:

"Someone here in our office feels very strongly that the cartoon image of the sun with some sort of cigarette in its mouth, while it is wearing at headband and staring at the Earth after it turns into an orange, is a realistic depiction of marijuana use. Is that a "joint", or is it just a hand rolled tobaccos cigarette? Also, is the sun old enough to smoke?"


My friend, after clearing her eyes of tears, initially wrote:

"The image in the animation of the sun includes a hand-drawn hand-rolled tobacco cigarette. The sun, while personified in the clip, still represents the 4.5 billion year old celestial body, which is old enough to smoke."


Naturally, my friend came to me for advice on how to speak to a government employee. Here's how I urged her to reply:

"One, as a commando, the Sun would be forced to condense his supplies and waterproof them. Therefore, it would be more efficient for the Sun to carry flat rolling papers in one cargo pocket, and an air-tight bag of tobaccos in another pocket. Carrying a whole carton of Virginia Slims would be inefficient and amateurish. Also, it wouldn't make combat sense for the Sun to be smoking marijuana because it would obviously impair the senses, unlike tobaccos, which would make him feel more masculine and therefore more deadly.

"Lastly, if the Sun is old enough to shoot radiation bullets into planets, he's old enough to smoke.

"This is all very ironic, you realize, because with the amount of flammable gasses the Sun exhales, even smoking the smallest cigarette would engulf him in flames."


She went with her original reply.

Yo, SWA!

Another spec commercial written and directed by myself and shot by Josh Silfen. This one stars Sokrates Frantzis and Ashley Cozine.

video

Midnight Odor

I had a terrible night's sleep. It started at two, when the smell of our kitchen garbage woke me up from a dream I was having about being face-down on a roll of carpet padding. I went to investigate the stink, and sure enough, it was the kitchen trash--probably 80 feet from where I sleep. It smelled like chemicals. I considered throwing it out, but K doesn't like it when I walk outside in my underwear.

I put some Vick's on to cover up the smell. Didn't work, though. I went back to sleep and had the following dreams:

- Working in a microfiber-couch warehouse
- Wearing a poncho in the rain at a Boy Scout camp in Alaska
- Eating airplane peanuts
- Taking out the trash in my underwear

I woke up with a sore throat. I took the trash out first thing, but the smell's still lingering. I'm beginning to think that my throat's the one who smells like carpet padding.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New video!

Here's something I wrote and directed, with Josh Silfen as DP and Heather Lynn Morris as the superstar.

video

Monday, January 26, 2009

Where it hurts

The first two (professional?) massages I've ever had were from women who were clearly nervous about doing it. The first told me that I had to keep this massage a secret because her boyfriend doesn't like it when she works on men (this was at a spa in Niagara Falls). On my second try, I spouted off a bunch of muscle aches I was having, to which she replied something in a Northern European language. But I decided to give it one more go today, since for the past week I've been OD'ing on muscle rub due to an overworked rhomboid (not the parallelogram.)

It was great. Strong hands. Lotsa conversing in English. Good job, Tamar.

Something was unleashed, though. On my drive home, struggling to find a radio station now that Indie 103.1 is gone, I turned to some goofy lunchtime show on a rock channel. And I could not stop LAUGHING at their inane banter. I mean "a-heul, a-heul-heul," Goofy-type laughing. Driver-next-to-me-watching laughter. It was a half-hour drive.

Also, I think the massage broke my kidney. Which is funny because it is ironic.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Posse on Broadway

No one outside of Seattle knows this song, right? Are there any other songs that represented a town, but never made it OUT of that town?

Am I wrong, Seattle natives? You know every word, right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just a little off the middle

Lately, K and I have been discussing how we both think we're actually fairly stingy. We only buy on sale days. I don't mind drinking sour milk. K still uses her backpack from kindergarten. And I hate spending more than $15 on a haircut. That's burned me many times before, like when I didn't realize a barber had severe cataracts until after he gave me a reverse mohawk.

Today I went to Supercuts. It's right across the street from a nicer, but more expensive barbershop, so I actually can debate the cost/benefits right until the end. Sometimes I splurge. Sometimes I save. The cars behind me don't like that.

This morning's winning argument in favor of Supercuts was that what I'm really paying extra for at the other guy's is the intelligibility of the small talk. To me, that's like choosing an airline based on the quality of their food. I'd rather have the barber shut up so I can sulk at my multiplying chins. I couldn't do that today, though. This time, I was distracted by my Supercut barber's outfit: a knee-length, black t-shirt with the words "Special Sale $10!" This isn't particularly funny put into the context (which I discovered later in the haircut, after I had a quiet chuckle between myself and myself in the mirror) of a hair salon trying to sell eyebrow and and lip waxing at a discount. Signs advertising this were all over the shop.

Which brings me to my uncomfortable position. Let's face it: I've got big eyebrows. I know it, my friends know it, and this pushy female barber wanted to make $10 off of them. After my haircut, she implored that I add an additional service.

"Vould you like a champoo? Or..."
"No, I'm fine. The cut looks fine."
"Ve also have other serbices, you know."
"Oh, no, just the haircut."
"Vell, we're having zis sale all month."

I don't think I can go back there now. And that's probably better for all of us.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nose business


A couple of days ago I discovered that I can put a cotton swab all the way into my nose.


I think it's important to note that I wasn't just rooting around my orifices for a new party trick. I read about the secret nose hiding spot, THEN did my own experimenting. See, I think that makes me less weird. It's not like I was just searching for a place to put my q-tip.


I was super impressed with myself, even if K only huffed after I told her about my new trick. Five years ago, I started to wear corduroys. Last year, I ate sushi. Now, I can stick virtually any 4 1/2 inch-long, non-barbed object into my nasal cavity. I walk intrepidly into the future.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I need to Twitter these things

Picture a street fight between two people where BOTH of them have tazers. Just a lot of short kicking and short poking. Hilarious.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Soft Sell

A man came to the door trying to sell me magazines. He asked if I was the "king of the castle." I said "No, this house has more of a queen and a prince."

It occurs to me now that that isn't quite what I meant.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The classics

Today, I'm getting inspiration from "A Treasury of College Humor" (1950). Reading this book has solicited all sorts of leers from the writer folk at Psychobabble cafe. I feel like the kid in the lunch room who got a Hostess Cupcake in his lunchbox.

From Robert Benchley's "Traffic Regulations for Air-Lanes" (1912, abridged)

Examination for Urban Pilot's License

This examination is to be taken while still on the ground.

  • Are you quite sure that you really want to fly? Remember--no fair changing your mind once you are up.
  • Do you have an uncontrollable desire to jump from great heights?
  • If you answered "Yes" to the preceding question, just what arrangement would you make for the disposition of your ship if you should give in to your whim to jump?
  • Aside from their characteristic noises, what are the main differences between an oncoming airplane and an oncoming sea-gull?
  • Does the term "flying blind" mean the same as "flying drunk?"
  • How many drinks do you consider "a couple?"
  • A ship, which is passing you, forces you out of your traffic lane into the path of an oncoming ship, which forces you up into the path of a descending ship, which forces you down in to the path of an ascending ship. What do you do? What difference does it make?
  • Name three popular directions besides "up."
  • On a rough guess, how high is "up?"


Mechanics: Don't forget. Each one of these little instruments has its own special use, and only one of them plays the radio.

  • The Altimer: This tells you how high you are. Don't look!
  • The Pessimeter: Tells you how low you are.
  • Gasoline Gauge: This will tell you when you have run out of gas. Another sign is when pedestrians begin coming up and peering into your cockpit at you, or a man rushes out and asks you to get off his lawn.


Would this have been funny in 1812, 100 years before it was written? I mean, if the thought of human flying machines didn't simply terrify the British sailors blockading American ports. Will it be funny 100 years from now? I get the feeling that my grandchildren will not laugh at a single thing I do. Maybe I should get some puppets. That's the future, you know.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day late. Dollar short.

Every good idea has been taken. Some genius thought of this before me. I thought of it today.

Has anyone considered putting an A-Team of MERCs to go after Osama Bin Laden and his $50-million bounty? Has anyone considered making that a documentary? I'm not counting Morgan Spurlock.

2008, according to my iTunes

"Walcott" - Vampire Weekend (24 on the Play Count)
"Re-arrange Us" - Mates of State (20 times)
"Send a Little Love Token" - The Duke Spirit (17)
"Buildings and Mountains" - Republic Tigers (13)
"Set Me Free" - The Heavy (12)
"MC Chris is Dead" - MC Chris (12)
"Time to Pretend" - MGMT (11)
"Furr" - Blitzen Trapper (9)
"Senor and the Queen" - The Gaslight Anthem (9)
"Bye Bye Bye" - Plants and Animals (8)
"Sex on Fire" - Kings of Leon (7)
"Resistance Street" - What Made Milwaukee Famous (7)
"Boracay" - The Little Ones (6)
"Wishing Well" - The Airborne Toxic Event (5)
"Grinding Halt" - The Muslims (5)
"Tiger Mountain Pleasant Song" - Fleet Foxes (4)
"Little Bit of Feel Good" - Jamie Lidell (4)

I'll have to take iTunes's unbiased word for these. I can't believe I listened to Walcott that many times. But then looking at, say, The Gaslight Anthem song, some of these I don't even know the words to. And just seeing that Lidell song on there makes me nose hurt like I walked into a freshly bleached school bathroom.

You'll be happy to know, Poetic and Divine, that I listened to "Kind Fate" (by The Wax Standard) four times. Beat out all my Michael Franti.