How Did This Get...

Hello. I’m alive! I’ve been busy, cranking out so many podcast episodes and new shows that your ears will bleed from just me talking about them. Check now, I’ll wait. With the success of How Did This Get Made about movies and How Did This Get Played about video games, I thought that I’d detail some of these recent podcasts that I’ve started:

My new podcast about how to cook fish is called How Did This Get Filleted.

My new podcast about dead vampires that I come across every week is called How Did This Get Slayed.

My new podcast about all of the times that I’ve been discouraged is called How Did I Get Dismayed.

My new podcast about all of the string and thread that has unraveled on my clothing is called How Did This Get Frayed.

My new podcast about all of the different ways that I’ve received money is called How Did I Get Paid.

My new podcast about safe pets to have that won’t reproduce is called How Did This Get Spayed.

My new podcast about all of the FAFSA forms that I submitted every year for college is called How Did This Get Aid.

My new podcast about me setting up my state quarter collection and hanging it on the wall is called How Did This Get Displayed.

My new podcast about me getting beaten every time that I play Nintendo video games is called How Did I Get Melee-d.

My new podcast about all of the dead roaches and bugs that I find all over my apartment is called How Did This Get Sprayed.

Give them a listen, see how you feel, and for the love of God, someone call Earwolf. We’ve got a literal gold mine here. I’m hoping someone knows them. I ask God every night. Hear that and more on my final new podcast How Did This Get Prayed.

I’ve Been Framed

As you may or may not know, the two sports that I participated in growing up were non-contact ones (not counting MathCounts or the Academic Team, which had a lot more shoving than you’d think). This was partly by choice and partly because you can’t get left out of a team of one, can you? Wait! Can you? Me? Where am I going?

As soon as I realized that I didn’t have to play soccer, the every-kid sport, I was thrilled to be able to remove the embarrassing shirts and shoes that I had on, and hop right on into even more embarrassing shirts and shoes as a bowler, or a golfer for that matter. See, I figured that instead of watching shins shatter, I’d rather watch pins splatter (whole post written around this line right here!!). It’s those precision sports that you only need one person to work on that I gravitated towards. Less name calling from my parents. Go figure!

Taking up bowling wasn’t the popular decision, by any means. My high school didn’t even have a team, and little interest to start one was floated around. Soccer we had, and my brother played for them, besting other schools with his “tricky moves,” (their words, not mine) which is also the name of his autobiography.

I was a morning person back then, a thing that I’ve lost my affinity for nowadays, eager to be at a bowing alley on a Saturday at 8:30 am, bowling in a league of over 30 teams. Parents sat in coffee-fueled slumps, while their children knocked over one pin every frame. With bumpers. It must’ve been such a drag. A couple of 80 pounders throwing 8-pounders down an oiled lane. But, I eventually excelled at it, getting my average up to 180 without even trying and being able to lift a 12-pound ball. Then, just like that, with a snap of my fingers, I stopped bowling when I went to college and then to New York City.

Cut to today. It’s been 3 years since my bowling ball was dusted by Thanos (it actually did split in half, to where 50% was left, which is an inevitability, or so I’m told) and I found my self itching to see if bowling still existed. So when the opportunity to bowl for about 6 weeks on a Better Off Bowling team popped up out of the Bantam Realm, I said “Take my money!” I jumped at it to retain a sense of normalcy. I bought a bowling ball on LetGo, then bought a regular, non-broken bowling ball from the only pro shop in New York, and headed to Frames Bowling Alley, literally in the alley behind Port Authority, the optimal place to bowl and smoke a bowl. I said what a lot of homeless folks say when they go behind Port Authority: I’m home.

Here’s the kicker; Frames uses no oil. They haveoil, cause they served me French Fries, but they don’t drop any on the lanes. That’s not good for me because I’m a hooker. Wait, let me rephrase that. My balls get a lot of action. Shit! Hold on. I roll a curve so strong that teachers hate it. I learned it from an oiled lane. One with Spider or Shark or Spider Shark as the oil pattern. I used to stick two fingers in, tuck my pinky back, and twist at the end (talking about bowling here, folks, get your mind out of the gutter). That kind of spin is hard to control, and impossible to manage when the ball won’t slide. The only entity that could handle this much abrupt spinning is the White House. It’s a rip-it-and-watch-it-grip-it scenario. I’ve never seen anything grip wood so hard since my days as a hooker.

I just can’t seem to find my spot. I’ve moved all the way over to the leftmost board. I’m standing so far left that I’m voting for Bernie Sanders in the next election. Nothing is helping. I’m untucking the pinky in an effort to control this twelve pound STORMborn dragon glass bowling ball. But, so far, nothing is helping.

I’ll get the hang of it as soon as this league ends, I’m sure. But, for now, I’m doing two games a week for an hour and a half on Sundays, just enough to get the ball rolling.

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Holey Moley

Woah! Hole-y moley! I just got back from (you’ll never guess where)… that black hole they discovered four weeks ago. Don’t ask me how, but I went to check out the rent prices, cause I’m always looking for a deal. Well, let me tell you, prices were astronomical. Actually, it was a literal timeshare, and I don’t have the mental capacity for any spiels or schlemiels right now. Just deals, baby!

So, my only logical question now is, what else have I missed in the last four weeks?

  • Game of Thrones returned to tell us that winter is coming. Judging by how much snowy weather I’ve seen on the show, I think a meteorologist would say it’s already here. It doesn’t take all of the remaining characters to tell us that. Shut up, Bran!

  • The Mueller Report was released, and we found out that President Trump is [Redacted], although we can’t say [Redacted] anymore, so now we have to call him mentally challenged.

  • The unofficial stoner holiday of 420 coincided with the official Jewish holiday of Passover. I tried to infuse the two, by celebrating PuffPuffPassover #grassover420 with dank, bitter herb, a lot of thought provoking questions, and a whole lot of Matzoh to munch on.

  • Significant, spoiler heavy parts of The Avengers: Endgame were leaked online prior to the movie’s release. I watched the footage, and it was just 10 minutes of Thanos watching beat poetry, snapping, and the poet disappearing. Boring!!

  • Joe Biden has announced his bid for presidency, stating that he’s very touched by the support he’s received. “Now you know how we feel,” said every woman he’s ever met. “I hope it smells your hair,” they chanted collectively.

March’s Madness

People must think I’m both funny and crazy, because I’ve been walking around with a tick lately. Cute little fella, six legs, blood sucking pouches, and... Nah, I’m kidding. The tick I have is more of the medical/physical kind, where for some strange reason, I will randomly yell “Busted,” at friends and passerbys on the street.

“Can you develop Tourette’s from the stress of watching March Madness?” is what I would’ve typed into Google if I knew how to research anything or cared. Hell, I should remember the answer; it was my thesis in college. “Busted!” The stress I’m feeling watching these games is compounding nicely with my general everyday stress, and the two of them are screwing like rabbits. When I put money down on this tournament, one whole Jackson, I said “I’m getting this back two fold, just like last year.” I was wrong. “Busted!” I’m not getting it back, which couldn’t have come at a worse time, since Thanos gave his infinity gauntlet to the IRS and they’ve snapped half my bank account away. “Move over Spider-Man, I don’t feel too good either, Mr. Stark.” “Dusted!”

I think a lot of people are feeling this way, and there’s no amount of second chance bracketology that can heal these deep NCAA wounds. Turns out, watching the tournament wasn’t a foolproof recipe for making my teams win. “Busted!” Who knew? I guess it’s bigger than me, on some level. Well, until this whole stress induced nightmare is over, I bid you all safe tidings. Rest up, destress, and leave sports betting to the professionals, a.k.a. degenerate gamblers. “BUSTED!”

Avenge the Busted! (or Dusted, whichever you prefer!)

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Hiatus? I Hate This. Here’s Some Pages.

Wow! Been a minute, huh? I hate to not post regularly on here. This is my roots, my bread and butter, my money maker (currently makes me no money). I started here and I’m not going anywhere, I’m just taking power naps because I have to wake up so early everyday. Which reminds me; about a month ago I tried being an artist and did morning pages on the subway. I wrote on a notepad while folks dropped money in my hat. Quietest showtime ever, I was told. And what came from it was about one and a half pages of stream of consciousness bullshit. That’s the point, I think.

“To get out the bullshit, or not get out the bullshit. That is the question.” - Hamlet

Anyway, lets see what’s usable from these pages. My vote is for nothing being usable, but don’t go by me. I always bet against myself so that I can simultaneously win and lose. I know, I know. I’m weird. Here are the page(s):

“Hello! This is my first attempt at writing morning pages. Going pretty well so far, I think. Whoops, I’m stuck! Jk, it’s very easy. It’s early on in the process and the day. They should call these the late night early morning pages because I don’t enjoy waking up at 2 am to write. I like to wake up at 2 am to pee and then go back to sleep. As I write this I’m late for work on the train, a theme with me these days. I’m writing long hand, i.e. no computer, and it’s bumpy, but I’m pretty good at it. Positivity is key with this kind of stuff.

The temptation to reach for my phone or something else to do is hard, but I’m resisting it. This is brand new for me and everyone talks about it being such a good idea so figured why not start now. Three long hand pages will be a lot to do so I won’t require it. I’ll get as far as I can on the train and that’ll be it. This will free me up for sketch editing later on tonight while I bartend. Wow, is the temptation to stop this and pull my phone out really strong. Like really strong. Fuck! Let me cry it out!

My headphones are already broken. Apple needs to get their shit figured out or else they won’t stay in business. Nah, I guess they’ll be fine.

The train is stopped at 7th Ave for longer than I’d like. Man, I gotta stop being late to work. It’s just a matter of waking up earlier. Or going to bed earlier. Or both. But I stayed up to make food and record a podcast. That’s  important stuff. I use the word stuff a lot. Is that professional? Doesn’t feel like it. 

Boy, this makes me fidgety now. There’s a mentally unwell person on the train who keeps yelling. By now, the train gets so crowded that it’s standing room only, everyday. I’m trying to put together a new sketch show of my old sketches, but I need to edit them first to make them more coherent/cohesive. So I’ll do that tonight.

Everything has to line up trainwise for me to make it today. Let’s not sit in the station too long. I gotta catch that F. If I can get on one at 8:00 am, there’s a slim chance I can make it to work on time. The guys phone brightness next to me is cranked all the way up to full it seems. Necessary? I don’t think so. But maybe it helps him. Why do I judge? I shouldn’t.

Almost grabbed for my phone again. Nice try, me! But I stopped it before I did. What will the phone do? This is really fidgety. I’m anxious writing all of this. Three pages long hand is maybe a goal to work towards, not something to be perfected on try #1.

I looked at my phone for the first time. Ugh. But it was falling out of my pocket, so maybe I had a good reason to touch it. Look at me try to justify it. So sad. I’mma stop now.”

Valentine's Schmalentine's

Ah, Valentine's Day, or as it's more commonly know in America: Little Jewelry Boxing Day. Is there more of a commercial holiday than Valentine's Day? I mean, excluding New Year's, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day? I don't think so.

But what about flipping it on it's head, flowers be damned? Flowers Be Damned is actually the title of my gardening self care book, coming out late never. What about saying no to society, staying in with a bottle of wine, and just having a nice time with someone you care about? Is that not enough? When will these questions end?

Now. I've been single, cold, and wet for Valentine's Day more times than I've been with someone, and it seems weird to me to all of sudden listen to society. Society doesn't know me! Now sure, society generally knows "what's up!" But, I mean, for my sanity and yours, can we not? Whoops, I asked a question again. What I mean to say is I'm not going to blindly buy a single rose and some chocolate, even though I do love eating roses and putting chocolate in water. Because really, a plant is just a commitment between two people to watch something die together. And I'm not gonna do anything blindly because this isn't freaking Birdbox.

Then. It's the thought that counts. I’ve had countless thoughts that haven’t added up to squat. So fooey to your idea there, society. I call fake news. Valentine’s Day is kind of like fake news, in that President Trump never celebrates it. I don’t actually know if he does or doesn’t, but Melania doesn’t seem like th affectionate type when dealing with him. Nevertheless, thought only counts in horseshoes (am I getting that saying correct?). 

So. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s ok to end up like Jack at the end of the Titanic: Single, cold, wet, and roseless. Don’t be discouraged. It’ll happen one day, trust me, or my name isn’t Cupid (tears off mask and clothes, unleashes bouquet of arrows, and shoots everyone).

And This is What’s Leftover (Belated from After Thanksgiving)

Oh boy! This week, I’m going do a list, cause I haven’t done one in a while and it’ll be funny (probably).

Thanksgiving came and went, and this is what’s leftover:

- one loose fitting glove (check your pockets, folks)

- one PS3 controller that GameStop wouldn’t take for trade-in value before I bought a PS4 on Black Friday

- a turkey leg and half a container of stuffing

- many yet-to-be-used Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons (they never expire!)

-  a couple disposable razors to substitute for my good one that I forget constantly

- an unpunched, discounted NJ Transit ticket from the express train floor

Just that stuff for now. I’ll find more as I do a deep clean of the house. See ya!  

A New Podcast

Hello!!! It’s been a while, but look, it’s ok. I’m still here. And also, my brother is here. We’ve started a new podcast. After the debacle that was Shulmania (4 episodes of nonsense), we’ve combined heads and become Siamese. No, we’ve started again, this time, droning on monotonously about music and comedy (6 or more episodes of nonsense).

See, he goes to a lot of concerts. That’s not a humble brag, just a sad fact, because most of the time he’s alone. And I do New York comedy. Again, no humblebrag, just aggressive, yelling comedy, and also sad and alone.

But seriously, we talk all the shows out and even banter about music a little. If you like me, you’ll think this is ok too. If you hate me, that’s understandable. Just focus on relating to my brother. That’s what I would do.

Did I mention real guests? In the past, I’ve done impressions. That still happens but we also have real guests. It’s gonna be lit, if the kids will let me say that.

Please find this brocast here, using the tabs at the top, under podcasts -> To Whom it May Concert, for the time being, until we can figure out Adobe Dreamweaver and get that website up and running. Ok, that’s it for this update. Another coming soon?!? I’m ok with that. Listen to To Whom it May Concert by my brother and me. 

​2018 - It Was Hard Knowing You

2018, as a year, was like a bag of almonds: nuts! 2018, as a number, however, is even. But again, as a year, it was odd. It came in like a lion, and left like a lion still, but one that had done all of the hunting for its lion family and was now basking in the accolades of that post hunting rest. Oh, man, that rest after the thrill of catching something. We humans only know the feeling because we get it every time we find a last minute deal at a yard sale and then bring home the treasure. It really is the hunt that we love. Which reminds me, 2018, I’d like to wish you a happy new year and to say “go rot in whatever hell you crawled out of.”

My grandmother died almost two weeks into 2018. That was hard. She was like a bag of almonds: a little nutty. She had been fighting illness, but signs were pointing to a speedy recovery. The speedy recovery turned into a speedy death, shocking me, the one who is 101 miles away from their immediate family and doesn’t always have a finger on the family matters pulse. I have a finger on the Family Matters pulse, though, because I’ve seen every episode of that show. The grim reaper seemed to ask for us by name, a little later, when at the end of February, my girlfriend’s stepmother died. Again, that was hard. I’d only gotten to know her a little bit over about a year and three months, but still, I’m terrible with death and found myself emotionally opened, like a sad bag of almonds. I still think of her every time I use that lint roller from my Christmas stocking.

2018 also saw the culmination of years of anxiety for me all being brought to a bursting point, a powder keg about to explode, at one time convincing me that I was sick with stomach cancer. I’m not, but for a few days, I generally thought I was. “Turns out, I’ve always had anxiety,” said the guy who couldn’t pee in a public restroom for 8 years. So, dealing with that has been exhausting and time consuming and expensive. But taking these steps to better myself now, when I’m crotchety, as opposed to later, when I’m old and crotchety, will make me better. Give me your CBD oil, your therapy, your breathing exercises. I’ll throw anything to the wall of anxiety and see what sticks, because I’m just like a bag of almonds: a tough nut to crack.

The end of 2018 put me into a job that I have little to no experience in: relationship doctor. Open and honest communication are like the penicillin and, I don’t know, Aleve?, of relationships. They can solve anything. Take two before bed every night. That and Mucinex; there’s something going around and it WILL clog you up. Hopefully, 2019 will get rid of these winter colds, and bring in those winter blues. Hello February and March, you old hags, how’ve you been? Because, when you think about it, relationships are a lot like a bag of almonds: salty, bulky, and purchased on a whim in the checkout aisle.

Let’s get at those New Year’s Resolutions. Yep, these are back, and I’m gonna hold myself accountable. Get ready, here we go:

  1. Write a spec script for Life in Pieces and Big Mouth.
  2. Write my own pilot script idea.
  3. Save money to travel to another country for a food based vacation.
  4. Write for a Late Night TV based show.
  5. Perform impressions and characters at at least 10 shows this year.
  6. Perform improv when possible and get into at least one festival with a team.
  7. Host a podcast with my brother and regularly update episodes and content.
  8. Manage my anxiety in ways that I haven’t before.
  9. Make money from performing or small jobs that don’t rely on my larger, time committing day job.
  10. Experiment with more salt and flavor while cooking.
  11. Declutter my room and certain aspects of my life that are in the way of my career and personal goals.
  12. Remain at my stable, current, comfy day job.
  13. Listen more, feel more, and live more.

Let’s start with 13. I know the tendency would be to do 19, but 13 is plenty. I’m good. Happy New Year.

Pet Peeve Proofing My Home for the Holidays

We all have pet peeves. The one that bothers me the most (more than the sketch versus skit debate) is a cute little bugger that gets into all of the shoes in my closet. Just kidding, shoes don’t fit in my closet because I have too much junk. Anyway, my pet peeve is one of the mistakes that is most easiest to make when it comes to addressing me personally, and no, it’s not calling me Joel. It’s adding a “c” to my last name, effectively writing “Schulman.”

Schulman is the type of name that you would find in church, on like a donations list. Shulman is Jewish and doesn’t like donating. Schulman teaches karate to young kids. Shulman teaches Krav Maga to frigtened teens. Schulman brings home the bacon from his marketing firm. Shulman doesn’t eat bacon. Do you get it? 

Don’t get me wrong; I love the “c” in my first name. I just don’t like it in my last name. It doesn’t bother me as much if you’ve only heard my name said, and you guessed at the spelling, like a third grader. That’s excusable, I guess. But a lot of people who get it wrong, and you know who you are, stare at my name for a good chunk of time online. What’s your excuse? Trick question! There is no excuse! You’re excuseless! Don’t come to me with your holiday mix-ups and New Year’s Resolutions. Just get it right, after staring at my Facebook profile or workplace emails. Again, not singling anyone specific out, but you know who you are.

Happy Holidays!  

P.S. It’s S-H-U-L-M-A-N, for reference.