Memorial Day is the official kick off to summer for most Americans, graduation season and the first three day weekend in quite a while for most. It’s also, oh by the way, a day designated to honor and remember the fallen service members. It may be the only holiday with such a somber purpose. Every other holiday is the opposite. Christmas is the birth of Jesus, or present time, for you Godless heathens. Thanksgiving is a day to feast and be thankful, or super fatty day, for most of us. Arbor Day is make out with a tree day, or only government employees get off day for most of us. You get it.
It is even weirder to me that we say “Happy Memorial Day” with the background. I also wish that more media and events were directed to memorial activities. The average American can name more serial killers or Kardashians than fallen soldiers. The American soldier has had great influence on history and endured tremendous difficulty throughout. Horrific stories abound of the great sacrifices made in far-off lands, prison camps and now, in the modern age of non-traditional warfare, where the attacks can come from anyone and any time. I don’t know how many other countries have such days to celebrate, but I think it’s a necessary part of a free society to recognize what cost liberty has. Eternal thanks to all who served and especially those who did not make it home.
http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-archive.php Here’s the link to the Medal of Honor site.
Here’s the link to www.tombguard.org, for the Tomb of Unknown Soldier.
I never thought I would be in this position, but I have officially become old enough to say, “Oh you just wait!” and “You don’t remember _____? What’s wrong with you young people?” It’s depressing.
That said, here’s some advice for my friends that still have that thing called youth. Yes, older readers, I know it’s worse for you.
Things just start popping and hurting. When I was in my 20’s I tore a hamstring playing softball. Probably because I was chugging a beer before my at bat vs. stretching. Yesterday, I felt something pop in my heel. I was standing still. I chugged no beers. It just popped. We’ll see want disastrous injury is looming once I actually move.
You had better plan your drinking. I think I drank water 4 or 5 times in my 20’s. Now, if I’m planning on drinking, I’m ordering waters before, during and after. I can’t switch drinks or I get a hangover. I had four drinks last year and was hungover because three of them were different. Oh, and stay away from shots – all the crazy stuff is gone, but morning after is worse. 20 year old Chris did shots, someone was jumping off a roof for a laugh. Now Chris does a shot he wishes he jumped off a roof.
Get ready for a full blown therapy session every time you look in the mirror. “What in the hell is that eyebrow doing? Do I need to get a stronger contact prescription? Is that really hair growing on my back/arm/ear/nose?”
It’s not all bad though, as older age and life changes have brought some positive things.
Once you have a kid, you can do whatever you want, sort of. “Hey, you should come to our party. Sure, it’s mostly so my wife can try to sell your wife makeup, but it’s basically a party!” Ooooooohhh, my kid, um, hasn’t been feeling well. Thanks though!” Guilt free walk away, oh yeah.
You can act like everything was better back in the day and no one can call you out. “Did you watch ____?” Me: “Oh, no, I’m not really into that show. Have you ever seen the A-Team?” “No.” “Oh man, that was when TV was really great. So well done.” “I wish I’d seen it!” (Me: Every episode was exactly the same. It wasn’t even really very good, in retrospect. Oh well, at least I don’t look like an ass for not watching whatever show he’s talking about.)
You don’t need alarm clocks, because you wake up earlier than your alarm! OK, that should be in the shitty section of this blog, but at least you won’t get fired from your job.
That’s about it – check out my next show Saturday, May 27 at 9 pm at Shrunken Head. Girls, gags and giggles. Great if you like trivia, burlesque, comedy or the letter G. Details in the “Shows” section of this site. See you there!
Like many who grew up in the 90’s, I listened to grunge. It exploded onto America via Nirvana first, then through Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. It was basically the bullet that killed off hair bands of the 80’s (I still like hair bands, it’s just that there were too damn many of them to last that long). The music was more somber, less formulaic, and hit a nerve with a lot of people. The lyrics were cryptic at times or flat out nonsensical, but you felt smarter for listening. I played Pearl Jam’s Ten so much on tape, I wore the cassette out completely in a year before picking up others. Kurt Cobain was the most well known; Eddie Vedder’s voice was like Helen of antiquity – the face that launched a thousand ships. His voice launched a thousand lead singers that wanted to emulate his style, most not even close (sorry Scott Stapp). I thought Layne Staley’s voice matched Alice in Chains’ music more closely than any other band’s vocalist ever could, but no one could sing like Chris Cornell. No one.
He could go deep or high. His voice sounded strained and chaotic, but he was always perfectly in control. Soundgarden could do any song style with his vocals; I then heard Temple of the Dog and his solo work, first in the song “Seasons” off the Single soundtrack (hey guys, ‘member when soundtracks had good music?). “Room a Thousand Years Wide”, “Fresh Tendrils” and “4th of July” got put on repeat over and over when I was doing homework. Later, I still followed Chris’s solo work, his stint with Audioslave and his guest spots – he never lost a step right to the end. Some music nerds said Grunge began to die when Cobain shot himself; but to many it really evaporated when Soundgarden broke up in the late 90’s. After Grunge, rock really has struggled to make headway as a mass movement. The late 90’s boy band push and the transition of popular rock back to “butt rock” while metal became harder and harder to find was brutal for me – I really never got back into music outside what I already liked after that. I think when the industry kicked all the ugly people out it really went downhill. MORE UGLY PEOPLE WITH GUITARS PLEASE. This isn’t a fashion show or strip club, it’s my radio.
What was really surprising was that Chris hung himself. Soundgarden was back together and was about to headline Rock on the Range, the biggest rock show in America annually. He was still a great, transformative singer; even was married with 3 kids. So what is it with suicide, especially with entertainers?
Suicide is very strange – unexpected death is like a gut punch, but suicide is even more cruel in some ways. It leaves a swath of guilt, anger and regret in its wake and no one is safe. Suicide is viewed as the most selfish act a person can commit by some; others run to point at mental illness. I think every case is unique, there’s a not a cookie cutter answer, like most things in life. Reading stories about kids in elementary school is heart wrenching. I think part of it is the fact people think social media has replaced actual, meaningful relationships. Part of it is being overwhelmed by despair at a time and place no one is around in that moment to help…but again, who can speak for every case. Having been touched by suicide close to me I can just say one thing to anyone considering it. Someone needs you, even if you don’t think so. Someone will be devastated, even though you think no one cares. Someone will plunge into the depths of grief, maybe deeper than you think you’re at now, over what you chose to do. Someone loves you. Reach out first. Ask for help. If you’re too embarrassed or ashamed to talk to family or friends, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline – Call 1-800-273-8255. It always gets better than you feel at the worst.
I feel the most for his family and for those left behind after these things happen; I hope they find strength that they will surely need. Well, another hilarious blog in the books. I’ll be funny next time, but thought it needed said to the five or six people that read this blog.
I got to host the Columbus Funny Bone Talent Search finals Wednesday night (and close the show out). It was a great time and is always a very interesting experience to host a contest. 1) I’m usually the only one not about to dislodge their bowels (from nerves, anyway). 2) The crowd is rowdy. 3) The crowd is not rowdy (if their friend or family member isn’t up).
I always open contests with mentioning the clap off at the end of the show, thus enjoy all the comics and get all white trash excited at the end. This is because the first contest I ever did I ate it so hard I nearly switched to poetry reading instead where no one cares how bad you suck. I overheard some ladies whisper as they went past me later, “Remember, we don’t cheer for anyone but Adam!” Some one timer that didn’t even come to open mikes filled the crowd – apparently he worked with 3000 people at Fun Corp and promised free liquor. It makes for a bad show when people do that, so just laugh and go nutty in the butty after.
I also loathe emcees that mail it in. I’m probably the least likely personality type to emcee – I look (and probably am) angry all the time, I am not a high energy comic and I don’t like doing a ton of unscripted crowd work in short sets. That said, if an emcee walks up and says “This next comic works clubs and colleges all over the US” or “This next guy is a close, personal friend of mine” then people tune out the emcee and it makes the energy drop for people trying to win a contest.
That said, I ad lib, which is good practice and much more fun than standing under the fire exit for 90 minutes staring at the next comedian up. Example: A comic went up and sang a song, “You are ugly and therefore difficult to love.” It was very well done and the crowd dug it. I walked up after and said, “I always wondered what song my wife was humming all these years. We have some talking to do tonight!” It got a big laugh. Another comedian during the clap off got a huge applause break and cheer that went on for 20 seconds. I said, “Comedians don’t have friends, what in the hell is going on here?” It broke some of the stage tension, which was good, because I knew the next comic was going to be washed in silence compared to that.
All in all, it was a strong set by all and a well earned win by Johnny Phillips (WHO IS APPEARING TONIGHT WITH ME AT REHAB TAVERN AT 8PM, 456 W. TOWN ST. COLUMBUS OHIO FREE TO THE PUBLIC, COUGH COUGH). He won some cash, plus gets some club work and finally a trophy and his name on a plaque. I would have my name on a plaque from when I won in 2008, but no one is alive who was on that show, so I’ll have to plow on. (COME OUT TO REHAB TAVERN TONIGHT AND MAYBE I’LL TALK ABOUT IT AND SECRET TREASURE LOCATIONS)
Steve Harvey made some waves with a rather harshly worded memo to his staff about being left alone – no one is to visit his dressing room, pop in, bother him and, well, basically, don’t annoy him before a show. One disgruntled staff member leaked it and made him look bad.
The part behind the scenes that he just dumped a ton of staff is more debatable, but in all honesty, if you have a problem with Steve Harvey, think of it this way. Clearly, he was being constantly bothered and it was affecting his performance. Need a good example? Imagine when a client or customer walks in your office right when you open or two seconds before you close. Take that times five when you’re a comedian/performer/host. I’ll explain.
I used to work a job where we opened at 7 am. I would get there at 6 am (or 6:45 and say the clock in machine was broken, yet again) and it never failed, someone was there waiting. I had to fire up the computers, make coffee, and check in anywhere from 5-25 trucks; checking fuel levels, damage and mileage every morning. When the person tried to walk in from the back or didn’t have a reservation, it sent me into a blind rage, but that was one person. Imagine the same feeling, but right before you have to walk in front of dozens (or in Harvey’s case, millions via camera) and some staffer has a third cousin barge in while you’re trying to review your lines or jokes. Plus, he screwed up the Miss World pageant, so he’s probably even more sensitive about it.
Even lowly, stupid me hates it at bar shows. I traveled hours once, got to the venue, saw the crowd was way older than I expected and the room was set up weird with no stage or spotlight. I pulled out my notebook and some guy meanders up. “You the funny man?” We’ll find out soon, right? “I did jokes once. They told me I should have been a comedian.” (Mentally – That’s amazing. Who are “they?” Why are you talking to me? Why are you wasting my time? Why do I have to be nice to you, oh that’s right, you’re in the crowd and I need your laughs). After blathering on, while I got less and less friendly, he ended up running me right up to the showtime – then left as the show was starting. Walked right out. I wasted three months of nice on him and he didn’t even stay. I got off to a horrible start and this clown was to blame. In summation, get ’em Steve Harvey and do what you need to for your show. I’ll be avoiding eye contact with drunks and hoping for the best.
My wife shared an article with me that said dogs not only pick up tone, but what you are actually saying. That’s right. Someone probably got a $20 million grant from your tax money to tell you your dog basically understands spoken language. Hmm, well good, my dog is an idiot!
I have recently decided to test this, by having these one way discussions with my 6 month old pup. Hopefully, some of these words sink in; after all, it’s science.
“How can your poop stink that badly? Good Lord, you eat the same thing for every meal.”
(After eating food off the table when I turned my back) “You are the worst dog on Earth. I’ve seen German Shepards on black and white documentaries that were better behaved than you.”
(After escaping the fenced in back yard, yet again.) “Do you actually do anything, other than start the process of a stroke in my brain? One that will hit me randomly, maybe 3 decades from now?”
(After trying to eat my shoes, again) “I make you into shoes if you touch my shoes one more time.” (She grabbed my shoes three minutes later, I didn’t make her into shoes…yet.)
(After biting me in the head to wake me up) “I’m going to spray paint “4 sale” on you and hope some poor bastard gives me a buck for your worthless ass.” (She didn’t stop)
Well, science is wrong on this one, so stuff it eggheads. I guess the world is flat and dogs don’t know English, because she is trying to eat my shoes again.