Best picture: That movie you were going to see, but realized it wasn’t in theaters by the time you heard about it.
Best actor: That one guy, he was in that one movie you saw four years ago – no, that other one.
Best actress: Have you co-worker tell you, you don’t know who it is or what movie.
Best director: It doesn’t matter, you’ll never see that movie.
Best animated film: Zootopia – OH MY GOD I’VE SEEN THAT ONE IT WAS REALLY GOOD!
Spaceship of unknown origin hovers over the Earth; two aliens stare at a screen, watching a woman bawling in front of her television. A man sits beside her with a twisted grimace on his face.
“See Quagnar? This bizarre species appears to force their child bearers to watch a show called “This is Us” on the communication box. Whatever this broadcasts, it makes these creatures leak salt water from their faces. It is a sign of sadness to these bipedal hominids.”
“Ah, what a bizarre ritual.”
“That’s not all Quagnar, they are then forced to tell people on another public forum called Facebook. Then people “like” their misery in a great public shaming by selecting it from a menu of choices.”
“Even more strange. What horrible crimes did they commit? Did they fire their quantum rays without permission from the Overlord? Did they not replace the spectra-transport power source?”
“No Quagnar, here is the suprise. They CHOOSE to do this to themselves! They themselves volunteer for this torture while their non child bearers appear to suffer in silence instead! The female units actually actively engage in this behavior.”
“They are clearly too unstable a species to share our technology with. Let us move on and share our superior science and medicine with another planet.”
Vessel flies off to other worlds.
There are a few things I’ve learned in the last year and a half, I thought it may be useful to pass along.
1. Your tolerance for disgusting is raised 300% a week. Your kid doesn’t like food? Spits it out, half chewed wherever it will land. Blowout diapers are an entire different world, let alone when your little one decides lying still isn’t fun while you are trying to change a diaper full of a third of your kid’s body weight.
2. You learn to communicate in a new language. I remember my sister having entire conversations with my nieces and I couldn’t pick out one word. Now I can identify 23 different stuffed animals off key words, including a growl (tiger), an arm raise (elephant) and an action – hop, hop, hop means rabbit. My wife is even better. It’s like watching Jane Goodall with silverback gorillas.
3. You can say all the hard ass parenting stuff you want, once you have a kid, it changes. “I’m not letting my child watch ANY TV.” Three months later, you’re curled up on the floor begging PBS for a new Sesame Street to DVR. “Please don’t make me watch Pogo Games again…anything but Pogo Games.”
4. That previous one leads to this one: CHILDREN CAN DO THE SAME STUFF OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER….FOR ETERNITY. It really is amazing. My kid can work the Sesame Street phone app. She’ll click on one, watch ten seconds, then exit out and click it again. As an adult, you’re thinking – “I need some closure here. What in the hell? I must know how Oscar is going to react to this song!”
Of course, there’s the obvious, like the fact they can fill you full of joy and purpose. Then again, some of that may be delirium from lack of sleep. I saw an article pop up on my feed about people dying from sleep deprivation. I would have thought this to be BS before, but now I believe.
I have decided to on occasion go over some of the highlights and lowlights of comedy as I near a full decade of doing whatever in hell it is I’ve been doing. I can start with something I’m not sure I’ve ever blogged about, the real first time I did stand-up.
I for real started comedy in 2007 – that’s when I actually wrote jokes, hit real open mics, and once I got going, didn’t stop. However in 2004, my roommate Brady proclaimed to the entire group drinking at our house that there was a comedy open mic at Adobe Gilas that I should do. Brady had three states 1) Going to work and grumpy 2) Home from work and crushing Natty Lights and 3) Sleeping/sleepwalking. I didn’t really want to do it, so I hoped he was deep into stage 2 and would forget. He didn’t.
I can’t remember if he peer pressured me or actually signed me up (he also signed me up for ballroom dancing class one time – quite the dickhead), but I got coerced into doing it. I didn’t know much about stand up then, as in, I hadn’t watched stand-up at club ever at that point. So I wrote jokes heavy in shock factor. 90 seconds worth of material, including the always smooth move of an inside joke about my other roommate banging his girlfriend. Crowds LOVE inside jokes, let me tell you.
I walked into the bar/restaurant on a Saturday afternoon and there was a host and a huge gong behind the stage. Only three of us were signed up. Low turnout at 3 pm on a Saturday, apparently. I was last and watch as the first two got the gong. One guy looked like Gollum and did three jokes about what his girlfriend (probably made up) thought was funny. GONG! I hit the very small stage, proud to have just finished my ninth beer in the last hour and a half. The stagefright melts away, as does the coherence and likeability. I did my awful set and the seven people that came with me loved it. The other nine people hated my guts. I still can’t remember my set, but I can yet to this day see that large girl at the head of the table right in front of the stage looking at me with a disdain that would stop a train in its tracks. I didn’t get gonged, only because I had a home team there.
I did the set at a party a week later, but that was it for three more years. Looking back, I now realize I fit the stereotype of a young white male comic more closely than anyone in history and I’m glad I took a break…and so is anyone who might have seen my next set in that span. Hey young white guys – there’s shocking and there’s funny. Not always the same. You’re welcome.
If I turn on Netflix and pick “Kids”, I can get about seven or eight dozen puppy movies on a bad day. The puppies generally cause some shenanigans (food knocked over, someone falls down, the town event is ruined – especially watch out if you’re a snooty rich person; they are guaranteed to have a plate of food flipped onto their fancy clothes.) It’s actually much different.
We have had our pup for over a month now…I think. Here’s a puppy’s day, in summation. Wake up, go outside, eat. Then bite, bite, chew, chew, bite, bite, get yelled at for biting, chew, chew something you’re not supposed to, go back to biting, break owner’s skin, get yelled at but with curse words, go to back door and pee on floor – then bark to go outside. Nap. Wake up, bite, bite, chew, chew up DVD, get yelled at, stranger comes over so act really cute, then chew up socks, bite, bite, bite, really get yelled at with more obscenities, eat, drink, go to back door every ten minutes and drive owner insane because he thinks you’re peeing on floor again, bite, bite, sleep. Repeat the next day.
My wife took the stage last night in the “Better Half” show at Shadowbox – part of Tuesday with Mak & Winks (shadowboxlive.org/shows/tuesdays), hosted by Tom Plute. The show was born of Tom’s idea that it would be a riot if the wives/husbands/etc. of comics did their significant others’ material. For my part, I didn’t have to do anything! Well, except the following…
This was actually harder than if I did it myself. I had to write the material (already done). That was easy, but then I had to type up every single word and email it to my wife. Sounds easy, except the fact that she went full literal on me. “You typed first off on this part of the joke, then later in the joke you list four points and say first. It says first twice.” Yes, I was in a hurry to get the material to you, just change one of the words, it’s not relevant to the joke. “I need you to type it exactly. Also, didn’t you say this joke differently? Didn’t you say this part of the sentence before the this other part?” Sigh. Can I just do the show? That would be easier.
Once the show started, it went very well. I don’t know what was funnier, the material of the side comments from the better halves about their significant others’ material. Hope did even better than I expected, especially since she didn’t get much practice time. Having a kid that refuses to sleep isn’t the best comedy assistance. I would post the video, but I don’t have the bandwidth to do so…and she may stab me, so we’ll see if I can figure out a way to do it.
Afterwards, I asked if she had fun. “Just at the end. (Because it was over)” I told her she just needs to hit about 50 open mics and work out the stage jitters and was met with a slew of sarcastic comments. Looks like I’ll be the only comic in this house going forward. Good thing I make millions a show because the depressing thing is until last week we had the same of amount of shows this month and I booked it myself. Comedy is great.