Philly's Special Friend

On Monday, my hometown of Philadelphia unveiled a new Flyers mascot that is so Gritty, they literally named it that. Looking like the love child of the muppet Animal and a South Street dumpster fire, Gritty has all the nuance of the Heat Miser's dead wife. Imagine if the Philly Phanatic starred in Little Nicky with Adam Sandler. Steve Buscemi looks more appealing than this thing.

When I think of the Flyers, I think of their original mascot; a hockey puck. Wasn't that the old mascot? Or like a drunk guy eating horse poop? One of those is right. You know what I don't think of? An even raunchier version of an Avenue Q character, where they like do meth instead of just fuck other puppets. Seems to me that Philadelphia fans have a lot to digest here, especially since the new Flyers mascot looks like someone ate and threw up a pizza on quilt your grandmom made you.

The name Gritty doesn't tell me enough. Everyone in Philadelphia is gritty. The whole goddamn city is gritty. But that's not something to name a mascot after. Cleveland's Indian mascot is called Slider. You don't see them naming it after their city, by which I mean naming it Mistake. Although most will tell you that naming the team the Indians was a mistake. I just don't know how to feel about the mascot from the name. I definitely feel dirty talking about it, but that could also be from talking about Philly.

Well, as I've made clear, the Flyers' mascot looks like if the Tasmanian Devil was really a devil, and drank all the beer at your cousin's sweet 16. That's just uncle Greg being Greg. Anyway, I can't wait to see what team's mascot they unveil next. I'm betting it'll be the Philly Union's Onion, cause we don't have a circular mascot yet and that has some layers to it, unlike Gritty, which looks like if Elmo grew up, let himself go, and now manages a glory hole near the stadiums.

Dilly! Dilly! Philly Special!

Vacation Charlie

Long time fans of the late Chris Gethard Show will tell you that Chris had a feud with Vacation Jason. I argue that there's a worse man to feud with. He's hell bent on fighting me to the death, but I won't give in. I won't let him get that satisfaction. Of course, I'm referring to an incredible foe named Vacation Charlie. Everyone hates Vacation Charlie.

Financial institutions love Vacation Charlie. He's got tons of credit cards in different area codes and that's good for the banks. Keep 'em guessing as to which fills up first. Like that carnival game where you shoot water and make the horses move forward. Cause this guy has no limit when he's on vacation. The limit used to be the sky, but now he's invested in SpaceX, so it's not. No cost is too costly, no card too full. Skydiving for $1000? Seems fun. Every excursion possible on a cruise? Take pictures. Food that costs more than your rent? Leave no leftovers. This guy's on vacation.

When Vacation Charlie gets back from vacation, and becomes regular Charlie again, that's the point when it's all fun and games until someone loses a buck. Oh the bills! For some reason, Vacation Charlie is just a different animal. He has no regard for tomorrow. I've tried to reason with him, but geez, I can't really find him. We are the same person and can only occupy our body one at a time. By the time I wake up from vacation, it's too late. He's gone, only leaving a pile of sand and receipts behind him.

I guess I'll say it. He's my alter ego. The Jekyll to my Hyde. The Thelma to my Louise. The Scooby Doo to my Shaggy. I'd like to throw him down a flight of stairs, but I'm afraid he'd say we can afford the medical bills. He's lying! Don't listen to him. Take away his cards. Just send him on vacation with like $50 and a couple books. He'll be fine.

Shhh! Shhh! I set up a trap and I'm trying to get him to fall for it. It's a box balanced on a stick with a Delta Airlines gift card underneath. I'm gonna pull the string and see if we can get him. He's right underneath it. Thwack! Got him! *lifts box*

What? He's gone. And so is the gift card! In it's place is a receipt for two mohitos and a hotel room. Godammit! Back to the old drawing board. I'll get you one day, Vacation Charlie. One day....

The World Without an "S"

One thing that continually bothers me to this day, something that, for me, feels like nails on a chalkboard, is the ability for some people to pluralize Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Nobles, they'll say. Incorrect, folk. It's actually just Barnes and Noble, no "s." This is due to the fact that it's a man's name. Barnes has an "s" on it, but his name is first. If it was called Noble and Barnes, then they'd be a law firm and arguably have more books.

I get it. Borders had an "s" on it and we live in a reboot culture or a culture of reboots, plural. So if you want to add that "s" somewhere, put it on your Borders tribute store, Edges. I'm waiting for the documentary, Borders 2: Edgier. Then we can finally figure out what happened there. I mean, you would think a book store would be good at managing the books. It makes sense, but alas, I digress.

If you are talking about multiple Barnes and Noble stores, then please carry on as is. I'm fine with that. As in "They were out of the Hunger Games at Barnes and Nobles all over this city." Fine. But, all I ask, is that you keep it singular when referring to only one. That's how the good lord intended it to be. Don't forget, He/She/They wrote the first book, the good book, the Bible. It's not called the The Bibles (well, maybe because of all of the different versions, it is, but you get my point). And if you can't follow this stuff, I will send you a strongly written letter, urging you try, and only threatening legal action from Noble and Barnes when/where necessary. We still cool?


Here's a bit that I've tried on stage at open mics. I'll write it out, then I'll give you my thoughts and get personal, making it better, mayhaps:

"I always carry a condom in my wallet, because it's that kind of thing about how if you have your umbrella, it's not gonna rain, but if you don't have your umbrella, someone's gonna get wet."

See? It doesn't quite work. What might work better is if I say:

"I always carry a condom in my wallet, because it's that kind of thing about how, if you have your umbrella, it's not gonna rain. You're so prepared, that it doesn't happen. That means, I've successfully avoided sex for a long time. I could change that, but it's so difficult to remember to remove the condom from my wallet. Plus, if I do take it out and use it, we all know it's just gonna end up inside out and mangled in a New York City trashcan."

Marginally better, I think. Makes a joke somewhere at the end.

Speaking of segues, condoms still fascinate me. I say 'still,' but I'm technically very new to the process of using them... and I've been fucking since high school (*high five*)! But, in all seriousness, I am new at this. And the assumption that I keep working on is that all condoms are the same size (incorrect, I know). Like a one size fits all weenie beanie. I learned that they aren't (for lack of a better phrase) the hard way." (Ba dum tiss!!)

Now, as I've discussed with you before, I tend to be most comfortable wearing loose, baggy clothing. The same shouldn't seem to apply here. Condoms are better than clothes, in the sense that you are literally supposed to grow into them, but with this, it's different. Size doesn't matter (incorrect, I know), but a tighter fit is better. Too tight is the counterpoint and equally bad, especially since "doing it" on a counter in destructive. There's no way you clear the appliances and decorative flower bowls in an orderly manner. I just have never seen that happen.

I need to get it through my brain that there are little size markers (actual size markers?) somewhere on the erotic packaging of condoms. There have to be. Next time I'm in the vicinity of one, I'll look... wait?! There's one in my wallet!

*opens wallet*

What?!? It's not in there. It's gone. Shit! Well, someone's gonna get pregnant tonight. My bad!

P.S. Don't even get me started on the different outside designs and whatchamacallits. Ribbed, lubed, contemplating grad school. They've done everything to these little tugger huggers. It's overwhelming and literally all encompassing. Who needs 'em, am I right honey? *slap* Ouch!! Fine, we'll use them. I was kidding. Geez. More to cum in a few weeks 😉!

Don't Spill the Beans

I'm your typical New Yorker; poor and looking to cook at home. I would have my personal chef do it, but I don't have one. Anyway, I do have a Farmshare that I signed up for that delivers straight to my dead end job. So, I end up with really weird ingredients every Thursday and no clue what to do with them. That's kind of how I ended up with a brown paper bag full of black beans.

"It'll be easy," they said. "Just soak them in water overnight and then cook them," they said. Well, I did that, and let me tell you, these beans were like an old curmudgeoned man: they never softened. I tried everything, but no amount of dog videos or babies laughing seem to soften these beans. Let me explain the recipe. Maybe you can tell me what I did wrong, besides think that I could ever cook with black beans in the first place.

First, I chopped some chicken off of some drumsticks and wings that I had defrosted. That meat was on there tighter than super glue, so I ended up with very uneven pieces of chicken, but chicken nonetheless. Next, I cooked the chicken in a large pot, with garlic and olive oil and onions. It's called sautéing, with a little symbol over the 'e', because it's French, and the French are hella fancy and good at cooking.

Next, I threw in some chicken stock, some apple cider vinegar (which came highly recommended by the Farmshare folks), and those sweet, sweet beans I was talking about earlier. And BAM! (Emerill Lagassi was there too!) There it is! Now, I brought that puppy to a boil (not a real puppy), then a low simmer and sat back and let the hot water work its magic. Cooking is easy!

For a compliment to the beans, I said "You look nice!" and I also made rice in a rice cooker. A rice cooker is like a stove pot except it says Black and Decker on it. From there, I kept checking my simmering black beans, knowing the whole time that this was working. It actually worked!!

It didn't work. The black beans came out a little softer than they went in, which is weird, cause I soaked them overnight in a bowl of water. They were wet, no question. What they weren't were soft and flavorful. They felt and tasted like trying to chew through tiny, black potatoes. Mix that with the rice and the other veggies and the chicken simmering, and that's a heavy meal. It was so heavy, Michael J. Fox would look at it and say it was "too heavy stuff, doc!"

The meal tasted fine, mind you, it's just that the beans were underdone and underwhelming. I'd been pumping them up in my head so much so that they were already soft when I imagined them. But in reality, no, they were like a bad Viagra experience; still hard after all this time. I was a combination of mortified and hungry. I served my girlfriend the dinner (and I use this word loosely), she took a few bites, and asked "What else are we having?" My life was ruined. And all because I blew it on some beans that I had gotten, beans that I had no business cooking. When you have no business cooking something, that's called pulling a Guy Fieri. The worst part is that I made enough for about ten servings, so I've BEAN eating this all week.

I feel like I let most chefs down. So if you're reading this, and you're a chef, please take pity on me. Praise me for my courage; don't braise me because it increases flavor. Remember me how I was before, determined and hopeful, ready to take on whatever life threw at me. It just so happens that life threw beans at me, and I failed. It's no secret that I need a few more lessons in cooking. One day, I'll make black beans so well that even Chipotle will be like "How'd he do that?" That's the dream; to be better than Chipotle.

Dizzy Dizzy

 "Kids, have I ever told you about the time that I was dizzy for a week and a half? No? Good. I thought I may have, we've been sitting here for like 11 years or something, I think. I... What?... No, who gives a shit where your mother was. This is a better story. Anyway, I went to bed gently toking on some old, old Mary Jane that actually still worked, surprisingly, but not as well. Side note, you're much to young to mess with that stuff. Stay in school. When I awoke, I was dizzy. The walls were doing that inception thing where they fold in on themselves. It was the morning, and I didn't think that I was still lightly high from the night before. I did get really excited, briefly, because kids, I thought I was goddamn Leo DiCaprio. When I looked in the mirrors, I realized I wasn't and got scared because we only had one mirror. So why we're there 4 of me? Hold on, here's a commercial."

"Barney, Robin, Lily, and uncle whats-his-face were all at work, doing whatever it is they do, we never found out. Anyway, this dragged on for a day and I got worried because it was worse the next day, almost like I dropped a level in Inception canon. What I decided was that I needed to see a doctor, so I went to my PCP. She tested me neurologically, which meant we played patty cake for a couple of minutes, from which she reasoned that I was fine. How she got all of that from my hands touching hers is beyond me. Then, she looked me in my two eyes and I looked her in all 8 of hers and she said 'Haaavvveee... you had vertigo before?' I said 'No' and she said 'You probably have that. Let's get you sea sickness pills and an MRI.' Another commercial break, kids. It pays for that couch you're on."

"Where was I? These stories tend to drag on with no real point. Oh yeah, the MRI went fine. I'm ok and my brain is unremarkable, which I tried to argue wasn't true, but the doctors shut me down. It's funny, I got the MRI way after I stopped being dizzy. The dizziness lasted for a week and a half and then disappeared. That was a week and a half of feeling buzzed, which I'll tell you about when you're older. As quickly as it came, it went, like Barney and one of his nightly guests. No explanation given. It put the 'go' in Vertigo... Ok, sorry, I'll get on with it. We never actually found out what made me dizzy. Let's call it stress. Kind of like the stress you feel while you wait for me to tell you how I met, well, my wife. She was my wife before she was your mother. Did you know that, kids?"

Roll credits.

Del Closed

Well, I'm still finding my footing in this new 2.0 world, but look: this last weekend of June saw the conclusion of the Del Close Marathon in New York City. It, like countless other New Yorkers looking for work, is moving to LA next year. Sources report that it will soon go out for commercial auditions and sit in a room of other festivals and marathons that look just like it. Also, it's borrowing it's Dad's four door Acura and driving out there, cross country. City of Stars, baby

Will I follow it to LA next year? Maybe... but probably not. But that's not why I'm here today, to speculate on my living situation. No. I'm here to give a review of the whole thing this year. Leggo!

I slept everyday. I had to, I've been feeling burnt out since before this whole thing started, but we'll get to that later, once I nail down what it is. It all started with ASSSSCAT at Carnegie Hall on Thursday. If you've ever wanted to watch improv but not hear improv, then Carnegie Hall is for you. I was ok because I had headphones and those fancy tiny binoculars, but for the rest of the audience, I doubt they enjoyed it. Kind of like watching a TV on mute. I needed Tina Fey to write (Del) close(d) captioning. Anyway, it was a good show (or so I'm told by the front row) and I enjoyed being in that iconic hall for that iconic show. It just goes to show us that if we practice, practice, practice in sweaty studios, we to can get to Carnegie Hall doing improv.

The lines at DCM tend to be long. I'm no stranger to camping on the pavements of NYC, so this is always a sidewalk in the park for me. With the new UCB being basically on the Intrepid, it's tough to wrap lines around buildings without alerting the residential neighborhood that too many white people in their 20's and 30's are laying on the ground waiting to see celebrities bullshit their way through thirty minutes of empty stage time. People were confused but ok with it

Celebrities showed up in full force, at all hours of the day. There was McBrayer, Mantzoukas, Scheer, St. Clair, Parham, Kroll, Byer, Walsh, Besser, Roberts, Poehler, Gemberling, Antamanuik, Gabrus, and so many others. My head nearly exploded. But, it does that every year, so I'm never concerned.

I wasn't picked to volunteer, probably to let the new guys/gals do it before DCM moves to Tinsel Town. I'm ok with that, but my wallet isn't. If I listen really close, at night, I can still hear it whining when I sleep. It's either that, or I have tinnitus from the cheering and applause. Because I didn't volunteer or perform (Thank You, Del), I had no access to the party space, which is this magical place full of beer and dancing, like a bar that has the layout of an art gallery. Guess I'll have to go when I get to LA next year... (wink)

They're Back!!!

Sorry I've been gone so long. It took me forever to update my terms and conditions. You should be a receiving an email shortly. Man, these European COPD laws are no joke. Whatever the case, it's been updated, resolved, and concluded. Come at me, Cambridge Analytica! You won't do it, no balls! No, I don't mean all of the data of the people that you have whose last names are Balls, I mean courage. (I'm currently being infiltrated by Cambridge Analytica. Send help!)

What I wanted to talk about today is something that's kind of topical. Why, as culture, do we have to reboot and reuse everything we've created before? I'm very content to let sleeping dogs lie, unless Sleeping Dogs was a hit TV show in the 80's; then, by all means, reboot it. I'd love to see Alan Alda again! With everything else, though, let's just let it exist. Is the star of the show a racist, rapist, or rakist (doesn't like fall yardwork)? Then, at the very least, we had that art that someone made. We can still enjoy it. Let's not invite this person back to make it again, and uncover new theories about how Rosanne likes Trump. This much, we knew. Seems like we're trying to beat a dead horse. Kind of like watching a remake of Mr. Ed.

I'm happy to let the newcomers in; the hes and shes and theys who have something to say. Fresh faces = new places! (So glad I got to write that here. I've een pitching it to L'Oréal for months but they won't respond to my DMs.) The time is now! Seize it while you can. If you work in any type of media, please employ new people. Don't let the crazy old people make you think that the landscape is garbage. The young ones might surprise you. Unless you want to reboot the old.

In fact, that's what's happened here. This is People Say I'm Funny 2: Electric Bugaloo! This is the rebooted PSIF, where we brought back all of the same characters you know and love, except Becky is played by a different white actress and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson are busy (spending the money they made their parents twenty years ago). Tune in! We're. Back!

Let It Go

Recently, I've been using the mobile application letgo to sell a few things. For those who don't know, letgo is an item selling app that lets you communicate and exchange belongings for money with interested people. Their slogan is "letgo: For when a yard sale doesn't feel enough like a drug deal." Don't get it confused with my actual drug dealing app called Let'sGo!, which is where you meet someone for drugs, and after a few minutes, a siren alarm goes off and makes everyone leave.

Letgo is pretty good. In a city like New York, people always want old junk or white-elephant-gone-wrong gifts. If you have any of these, I urge you to sell them on the internet to strangers who live near you but not near any public transportation. I like to meet folks at a Dunkin Donuts or a Starbucks because they are everywhere, and because there are witnesses. The other day, I met someone in the Manhattan Mall in front of the Starbucks kiosk. When the barista asked if I wanted anything, I said "You to promise that you're watching me." I didn't have to specify; the barista understood that it was a tall order.

It's kind of like Craigslist but with less cuddling, if that makes any sense. They've now done that annoying thing where it's all linked up with Facebook, and they pester you with your "friends" using it. But I don't need to use letgo to sell things to friends. I need it to sell things to people who just have a name and a zip code. Kisha 11223. And people who want the dumb shit that I have in my apartment that my friends have given me. Don't tell me my friends want something. I'll ask them myself.

I guess what I'm trying to say is sponsor me, letgo, so that when you decide to not sponsor me anymore, I can say "I don't know what happened, they let me go." That'll be good for a few guffaws. Anyway, we'll see if I can sell anything else to random Brooklynites looking for plates and bowls or a loft bed. Because I'm Brooklyn, one man's trash is another man's clutter. 

Fraud Protection?

I bank with PNC, which basically means that I went to college. In New York, using PNC is not an easy thing to do, since there aren't very many branches or ATMs. I feel like PNC modeled their business off of Chik Fil-A, except PNC doesn't hate the LGBTQIA community. But both are hard to find and closed on Sundays and both have a lot of my money. (I couldn't care less about what they think of me and my lifestyle habits, I just need those tasty, tasty nuggets. But, I digest. [I've made that joke before, I think. It's hard to keep track. Yell at me on twitter for it.])

Why I am telling you where I bank? Cause it doesn't matter anymore. Facebook already sold all of my information to Cambridge Analytica, so they know everything. (And all because one of my friends clicked on a silly questions quiz, or so they told me when I clicked the mysterious link that appeared last week on Facebook.) The cat's out of the money bag, as it were. (Side note: I love Cambridge Analytica. Best encyclopedia I've ever owned. Their software really paired well with Encarta Online when I was a kid.) The main reason I even mention the Pittsburghian Native Casholder (PNC?) is because recently, they've thought that my card has been fraught with frauds (better title).

I recently booked an AirBnB upstate for half of a week over the summer to "take care of something." I got an automated call letting me know that suspected fraud had occurred on my credit card. Oh not so, Personal 'N'ytime Cash (P'n'C?) credit card. I made the purchase. With the tax return I just received, I payed you down and charged more on. That's your one job: to send and receive virtual money, like the OG bitcoin. Don't ask me about train tickets to New Jersey or my journey to upstate New York. I live in this area. I live in New York City.

I don't want to have to call and verify purchases with a robot. It's embarrassing and slightly unsettling as a person. Oh, what? This robot thinks its right and now has full jurisdiction over me and my debt, cause let's face it, that's what's in the bank. Anyway, guess I need to fill out a travel form when I go out of state to one over or stay in one state, just go to the other edge of it. Sheesh!

On the plus side though, fraud protection really does do good work, and I should be thanking the Permanent New Checking (PNC???) system. I love knowing that they always have my back. Also, I still have a student account, and it's been four years since I graduated. I'll let you know when that scam hits the fan. That's the fraud they should be seeing. But no, they see Oswego, NY, and think "Is his card stolen?" Boy, Oswego must be really bad. I guess I'll find out when I'm doing my "business by a river and lake upstate." (Nothing illegal or fraudulent, of course. Just going to a Renaissance Faire.)