March 04, 2004

Hey babies.

Got to talk about lotsa things. Lotsa things to talk about.

One thing I shouldn't talk about is how me and my friends here got all into doing Chris Rock imitations, 'cause it's one of those you-had-to-be-there things. I think college kids are big into things you had to be there for. In-jokes. That's how come all the white boards on peoples' doors with quotes from drunken evenings. Having been to at least three other colleges now in the course of the school, I am ready and willing to declare the obnoxious cute-quote board to be a national phenomenon, because as we know, there are only four colleges in the United States, and apparently people think the things they say there when they're drunk are fuckin' HI-larious.

But yea, Chris Rock. It started when we were up at Skidmore, a tale I never finished, and in all honesty, probably won't. It's all about the hard consonants and repetition. Nice to listen to, fun to do. Start everything "Got to talk about (subject), got to talk about the (adjective) (adjective) (synonym for subject)" or "Lotta _____ in the crowd tonight, lotta _____ in the crowd." Pace back and forth like a caged tiger. Drop the mic.

This weekend we went to the Dirty South Improv Festival, and perhaps apropros of our setting the impression du jour was Dr. Phil. The key phrases at work are "You are so stupid," followed by a description of why someone's stupid, and "You need to talk to your family about..." followed by what the stupid fucking person needs to talk to their family about. Bombastic. Southern. Homespun metaphors. Absolute inability to even begin to grasp how stupid you are.

At one point we had six Dr. Phils going, in different languages, as twelve of us in a foggy-windowed van drove back from a sub-par party. Definitely the highlight of the evening, but again, you had to be there. There's something about an impression of a country-fried showbiz shrink done in Hebrew that can't be captured, on, say, a white-board on somebody's door.

The thing I like about us is, we're not that group on stage. The pop-culture group. The spoof group. The funny-voice group. Definitely not the "You've been Punk'd!" group! And this gives us license to both look down our snooty metropolitan noses at anyone so much as one iota less devestatingly urbane, and act like total fuckin' retards offstage.

Hence, ten-decibel Dr. Philling across parking lots that blows my voice out.

Hence, a note slipped under the door of our two-bed hotel room, where ten of us were sleeping, by the neighbor two doors down, which said, among other things, "you need to learn to respect your fellow man as old-timmers (sic) do."

Hence, a twenty-two ounce Corona bottle full of urine. Thanks, Lou.

A good time, all told, although we're not sure going back next year is necessarily worth the ass-numbing drive.

(Note to the East Coast: why not a few more states? If I'm not passing through at least six states an hour, I feel like I might as well be in the Midwest.)

(Note to the South: You sure are fuckin' creepy to drive through at night! A streetlight or two might be in order, but, uh, I don't want to tell you how to do your business, you seem to have this deserted-rural-highway thing down to a T. To your credit, you kept your bigoted mirror-sunglassed sheriffs from peering in our driver's side windows, and at no point in our trip did any one of your residents utter the words, "You boys ain't from around here, are ya?" which I had, at the outset of the weekend, declared was the We-Are-Going-To-Get-Brutalized-And-Left-For-Dead-In-The-Woods-Now Phrase That Pays. Chapel Hill's campus is suspiciously idyllic, and the weather was fall-down gorgeous, so well done on both those counts.)

(Note To Waffle House In Virginia: Thanks for shaping pure unadulterated butter into the shapes of various breakfast foods, such as hash browns, waffles, and grits! If there is any feeling I want after a mid-road-trip meal, it's that America's Dairyland has been lock-stock-and-barrel transplanted right into my aorta.

Seriously though, all sarcasm aside, move to NY, you beautiful greasy bastards. We're sorry Donald played the Dixie Chick's "Landslide" cover on the jukebox just as we left. We weren't trying to patronize you and The South. Please tell The South. I already sent it its note. It was about highways. Donald really does like that song. And that version. I know, the original is outstanding, and even the Smashing Pumpkins cover is better than--

Yea, I'd love some eggs. Over-easy, please. Liberal with the butter. I know I don't gotta tell you that.)

(Note to Girls At Future Parties On Comedy Trips We Go On: Don't make the mistake the girls in South Carolina did. Talk to us. I think you will find that we Fucking Rule.)

In other news:

I started a babysitting job on weekends. It's great. It will be greater if next time I work I don't drop forty bucks in Brooklyn while fumbling with directions to get back home.

We (Hammerkatz) performed at UCB on Monday night. I might have failed to make clear in my post on that subject, brief as it was, what a huge, huge deal this was. UCB is essentially THE SPOT for improv and sketch in the city; SNL, VH-1, and Comedy Central all draft talent from the theater. It was also made clear to us beforehand that this show was essentially an audition for a longer run, say, a month of weekly shows. This was predicated on two questions: Could we turn out an audience, and could we make them laugh?

Show went awesome. Both questions were answered strongly in the affirmative: NYU came uptown to support its hometown boys and girls. It was a modified version of the set we did at Skidmore, and we killed. Dillinger are not only badass improvisers but stand-up folks as well. Couldn't wait to go back and it's looking like we're going to get to: they invited us back for (tentatively) a weekly slot in April.

Since comedy is blowing up huge
right now I'm looking for ways to stay here most of the summer. The ideal plan is going home early May, returning in early June and working the desk at a dorm, which allows me to stay in the city for free. The positions are apparently very hard to get, so I'm not pinning all my hopes on that eventuality, other options are actually PAYING to stay in the dorm (here's the part where I quote the outlandish amount of money that costs and you recoil in horror and then I quote the makes-the-other-figure-look-tame amount of money a room in a regular, y'know, Manhattan apartment costs and you wish you hadn't recoiled the first time 'cause it takes you at least a half an hour to be able to do it again), people's couches, uber-wealthy sugar mama, or a combination of all of the above. The only thing that makes it vaguely feasible is that I'll have plenty o' time to work, what with no school and all, and that I'll WANT to work, because this dirt-poor shit is getting as ugly as it is terrible-smelling (PS-- Tony, Michael from NZ, and Trevor all hit the paypal jar with donations of more than twenty bucks. If they weren't princes among men before, they sure as hell are now. But they were before, so now they're...aww, I dunno. Kings. Hella charitable kings who rock the mad blogpatronage. Thanks for keeping dude fed.) And it's not that I don't want to work now. And I try. My schedule just doesn't permit much room for a day job, and I've been excluded from the few four or five day-a-week babysitting jobs I applied for because of my afternoons full of scheduling hurdles.

So the plan this summer is to make the paper, do UCB longform improv Level 2 (started Level 1 on Tuesday, rock), perform in whatever opportunities come along for those twin bitch-godesses of NYU comedy, Hammerkatz and Dangerbox, raise hell with Andrew when he comes in July to model his ass off, seduce Chelsea if she comes out, visit Emilie at JewCamp, go to parties Donald has in Brooklyn, and attempt to maintain that level of happiness whereby I'm certain something bad must naturally be around the corner. I've been that happy a lot lately. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's been above 50 every day since I've been back. Sweater weather is Jesus' weather.

I don't know what I mean by that.

A certain percentage of this wanting-to-stay has to do with these comedy trips. Just realizing that people not much older than me do exactly what I want to do, what I'd never dream of asking to get paid for, for a living, and they didn't have to be discovered, they just put in the hours and made names for themselves. Even more than that, though, and it happened to other people so if I'm a pretentious douchebag at least others have joined me in my pretentious douchebaggery, but it's coming back after these trips.

It's seeing the skyline, and it's still intimidatingly majestic, and it's still, to a certain extent, jaw-dropping, but it's these things in small ways. The feeling in the foreground is your shock at how much it feels, above all else, like your home.

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