Well, I'm Finally Famous

When I set out to become a comedy writer, I told myself and anyone who asked that it wasn't about being famous, that it was about making a living doing what I loved. And that's mostly true. I've worked hard at my craft, caught some extremely lucky breaks, and today I can honestly say I get paid and paid well to try to entertain people. Regardless of the day-to-day bullshit that a job can heap on you, that's a feather I display proudly in my cap. It's one of the few things my knee-jerk self-defeating reflex lets me feel good about.

But recently I learned that I've TRULY made it. I am, officially, famous. And it's a heady thing to hear, but I'm going to try and be humble while I tell you the story.


This Video Could Have Really Helped Me

I think.

Gas Mileage Gang Sign

Three. Five. One.

That's what the construction worker flashed me with his hands as I was sitting at a stoplight in my car. Slowly. Deliberately. He was obviously trying to tell me something. I shrugged.

Three. Five. One.

He followed up with another attempt. I looked around. There was no one else he could be talking to. Was he messing with me? Was this some sort of construction worker prank they used to pass the time while baking under the sun holding up a flag to slow people down? He was smiling. My inner teenager began to panic that there was a joke being played on me and I didn't know what it was.

Three. Five. One. He finished it this time by pointing at me. What the fuck was going on? Out of ideas, I flashed the same thing back to him. Three fingers, five fingers, one finger. Point. He laughed and started walking towards the car. I wondered if I had just responded to some sort of challenge. I rolled down my window.

"I bet you get about 35 miles to the gallon in that thing," he motioned to my car.

"Oh. Yeah. About 35, you're right," I hoped he didn't notice my mpg gauge reading 28.

"Sheeeeeeeeit, you can get along just about anywhere then," he grinned and motioned to the stoplight, which was now green, "have a good one, my man."


The Internet is Weird

Yesterday a person I don't know wrote in to my job to complain that a thing I didn't even write was obviously written by me, personally, with the intent of offending him, the person I don't know.

Seriously. He called me out by name in his email. And somehow the synapses in his head fired in such an irregular pattern as to convince him that maybe there's some kind of shadowy internet conspiracy run by me with the insidious purpose of mildly offending some dude in the Midwest via a website he visits.

People are fucking SCARY sometimes.


The Badge Wars Have Ended. All Hail the Victorious.

You may recall that I had some slight run-ins with office security goons over the necessity of wearing a badge around my neck on a lanyard like a good little cog in the machine. For a little over two years I'd put up with almost daily cajoling, harassment, and having to repeatedly explain the rules these guys were supposed to be enforcing to them, because they hadn't bothered to read their own sign.

I'm happy to report that as of a few weeks ago, those idiots are all gone. 

They've been replaced with people in blue shirts as opposed to black, but these new people are actually human beings and say things like, "hello," and "have a good day." They don't give two shits about where my badge is so long as it works. They are nice. That goes a long way.

So while a billion dollar company is still paying people to watch elevators all day long, at least they had the sense to hire someone with a positive attitude and the mental ability to navigate the slightest deviation from the three situations they were trained to deal with.

That's progress.


I Almost Fought an Old Man in Canada

That sounds like one of those Facebook things your friends pass around: "If your first name starts with an R and your date of birth was in 1992 then you are a red ninja who fights old men in Canada because a hot dog pissed on your mom." But it's true. I went to Canada, possibly the nicest place on earth, and found myself in an aggressive argument with an old man. Oh, and we were at a garden. Watching fireworks.


That's Not How I Wanted to Start My Day

It's six AM. The light from the rising sun has just barely started to filter down the hillside that shades my bedroom window with woods. The fan is on, softly whirring a lullaby while keeping me at an optimal sleeping temperature. The blankets have achieved the perfect level of warm inside, cool outside. I have one hour before I should get up, and two hours before I probably will get up. I am dreaming.


In my house, the use of sudden, unannounced lighting while one is sleeping usually precipitates a fight or some dramatic news being announced. I snap awake, bleary-eyed and moaning. I see my wife standing in the doorway to our bedroom, naked and still damp from her shower.

"Sorry," she barks, "but there is a huge fucking spider in the house."


It's the Little Things

Sometimes you just have to sit back and congratulate yourself for not being immortalized in a YouTube video about running into shit. (God I hope I'm not immortalized in a YouTube video somewhere about running into shit)


No Thanks, Netflix.

Sometimes Netflix suggests really great stuff. Other times, not so much:

"When scientist Buck Hogan voices concerns about the safety of his company's cancer-curing device, they punish him by implanting a bomb in his body."


Shlock the Vote: Is that Fidel Castro?

How the hell do you NOT vote for a guy who rocks this look?

I can just imagine cabinet meetings erupting into accusations of various members' dedication to the plight of the worker. 

See more Shlock the Vote entries


Shlock the Vote: Mike the Mover

"Always leave 'em wanting more. Besides, I'm running for SENATOR. It's not like people want to know a bunch of shit about me anyway."

See more Shlock the Vote entries

Shlock the Vote: Goodspaceguy

Have you ever taken the time to read your voters' guide? I mean really read it, not just check to see who's in your party before voting blindly. There are some real gems in there, especially on the local level. It's enough to make you realize why everyone's so disenchanted with voting and too apathetic to bother any more.

But then comes a candidate who shakes up the status quo! He comes from hardworking, honest stock! He studied abroad in Sweden! His dad fought NAZIS, for Christ's sake! Let's all mark our ballots for... Goodspaceguy?


Do These Things Not Happen to Everyone Else?

I play D&D (or some version thereof) most every Thursday night with friends at a place called Cafe Mox. Cafe Mox is a clean, well-lit, newly opened bar attached to a gaming store. It's awesome. Not long ago we had a splinter faction decide to play other variations at a different location, the Baranhof. The Baranhof is not a gaming bar. It is not clean. It is not well-lit. In fact, walking into the Baranhof is akin to entering the cantina scene from Star Wars.  You can be assured that one of the smoky drunks who has been there since time immemorial will corner you and have an intensely spirited and wildly misinformed conversation about SOMETHING, be it the disappearance of the white race, credit scores, or just that goddamn squirrel stuck in their wall panels at home.

Last week I decided to check out the game going on at the Baranhof.


I don't understand you people.

Voting Conservative when you're middle or lower class is like getting fucked in the ass, complaining about how your ass hurts, and then asking someone to fuck your ass harder to try and fix the problem.

North to Alaska! Part 2

Continuing the tale of my Alaskan exploits this last summer...

I packed for my trip to Alaska the same way I do a lot of things in life, which is to say incorrectly. Kat had warned me that it would be cold, but what did she know? She only goes up there every year, right? Besides, I live with her and I know for a fact that the woman is cold roughly 87% of the time anyway. I loaded my duffel bag with some jeans, work pants, boots, and a few long sleeve Old Navy shirts to layer under my usual wardrobe of "hilarious" tees. Then, to show I was prepared, I packed a fleece jacket and a windbreaker. What more would I need? It was JULY, for cryin' out loud.

My suspicions were confirmed when I landed in Anchorage for my first layover. It was a little chilly in shorts and a t-shirt, but chilly I could handle. I stared out from the curb of Ted Stevens Airport into the pale, sunny sky and checked my phone for the time: 11:45pm. 



Dear "Guy Who Spends Way Too Much Time Primping in the Men's Room Mirror,"

No one cares. Seriously. You're not that well-put-together. And I can't hold in this fart forever.


Kat and I went to see a laser show last night, specifically Laser Queen. She'd never been, and I hadn't been to a laser show since I was about eight, so we grabbed dinner and headed to the Science Center.


Life After the Bell: AC Slater

Continuing my examination of what happened to the characters of Saved by the Bell once the lights turned off.

When he first arrived at Bayside, many looked at A.C. Slater as Zack Morris's biggest threat and eventual usurper. However, Zack's cunning and guile soon reduced Slater to little more than a lackey, muscle for his ever increasing army of popular kids. The transition's effects were lost on Slater, whose dalliances with performance enhancing steroids in the quest for athletic supremacy left him unable to see beyond his own ever-increasing rage at the world. An army brat upbringing and an absentee mother forced Slater to grow up a lot younger than most teens. He was exposed to harsh realities, and his father's overcompensating, ridiculous ideas of what "manhood" consisted of heaped enormous pressure on his son. 


We're All Just Pigeons

Have you ever watched pigeons? Really watched them, I mean, for more than five seconds. Pigeons have their own little social hierarchy they follow just like us, and if you ever take a second to watch a group of them you'll notice a few start puffing up and strutting around like they're king of the goddam world and every other pigeon in the area better fucking respect that.

And to us, people with real shit to worry about, they look absolutely ridiculous stomping around and puffing out their chests over a three inch square of sidewalk that happens to have a half-eaten bagel on it. They're pigeons, for god's sake. Who cares?

But I feel like on a larger scale, that's all of us. We've all got our niches, our little jobs and lives and interestes we carve out and stake as our own. We nurture them. We become enthusiasts, maybe even experts. It becomes our life's work. It becomes the thing that is most rewarding for us to do. 

And yet, to the next guy on the street, you're just a puffed up pigeon going on about some ridiculous bullshit he couldn't care less about.


How to Write for Jezebel

Step 1: Be a woman.
Step 2: Be freshly out of college, or maybe even just a freshman in college, with a focus on Women's Studies.
Step 3: Pick an object. Any object. Write a piece about how that object is actually a vagina.
Step 4: In the aforementioned article, include unrelated, throwaway fluff about how it's all men's fault.
Step 5: Repeat. Ad nauseum.


Interesting statistics.

Four people found my blog by googling "Lions with Wings." I have no idea what they were looking for or what I have on my blog that somehow led them here.

Dear people at crosswalks...

Pushing the crosswalk button a bunch of times doesn't do anything. It doesn't speed up the process, it doesn't fool the light into thinking there are actually 50 people waiting to cross the street, and it doesn't help you make friends with anyone else waiting with you listening to your incessant clacking on the button.


Let's All Go to the Movies!

My wife's out of town for the weekend kicking butt at a singing competition, so I had the house for myself to do whatever I wanted to do. Unfortunately, my lungs decided that meant taking a break from recovering from a horrible cold I've had for two weeks now and developing full-blown bronchitis, so I mostly lied around.

Sunday, though, I decided to see a movie; specifically, Cabin in the Woods. Kat doesn't share my enthusiasm for going to the movies, since she'd rather, y'know, do stuff. Like, outside. When I can convince her to watch a movie with me, the compromise is usually that it's something with minimal violence and scary stuff. She just can't handle it. Not in a "I don't like to be scared" way, either; I'm talking, like actual psychic damage to her soul. She cried at the violence in an episode of Family Guy. So I figured if ever I wanted to see this flick, this weekend would be my best chance.

But first I had to overcome my social anxiety about going to the movies alone. What is it about that? I know I'm not the only one who feels weird about seeing a movie alone, but why? It's passively watching a screen; I do that alone all the time. And it's not like watching a movie is all that social an experience anyway. If you talk to someone during a movie, you're not enjoying a movie. You're an asshole. So whatever, I watched a movie alone and felt like a creepy guy. Such is my emotional baggage.

The movie was good. I kept seeing people talking about the "twist," which I don't really understand because A) the "twist" is explained in the opening five seconds, and B) I'm familiar with The SCP Foundation, which I feel like Joss Whedon pretty blatantly ripped off. I hope they at least got some kind of royalty. But I'm not even gonna talk about the movie. Go see it if you're into scary movies. It's good.

I missed a 15-minute portion, though, because a severely drunk, belligerent, apparently-homeless guy of indeterminate Southeast Asian origin (Indian? Pakistani? I didn't get to ask) stormed into the dark theater screaming at...someone. He dragged two or three ushers in with him and charged up the stairs to a row behind me and began wading through the increasingly-alarmed crowd screaming obscenities and insulting a woman about something. He also kept screaming "I STOP THIS WHOLE MOVIE NOW!" Between that and all the F-bombs and outbursts of "whore" and various insults, it didn't take long for him to agitate a lot of the dudes there with dates and either feeling threatened or required to impress their ladies into standing up and shouting back.

While three extremely-overwhelmed teenage ushers repeatedly radioed in for security, three of the bigger patrons stood up and manhandled this guy (and his three or four shopping bags, I guess he stopped to pick up a few things on his way in) out the theater. The whole way he screamed things like, "Fuck you!" and the good Samaritans would respond, "NO, FUCK YOU!" as if trying to shout down a guy like that is ever going to convince him of the error of his ways.

He was tossed out and eventually everyone settled down after briefly directing their built up anger on one guy who kept yelling at the projectionist to rewind the movie.

At least I got a free pass to come back and see another movie for free.


I am Very Easily Amused

I don't know why I find this so hilarious, but damn I find this hilarious. Really makes me want to play the game too, for some odd reason.


Creativity 101

What do you do when you pour hours into creating a song, only to realize it's a pretty disappointing, generic drum and bass track with a "hilarious" Borat sample? Make a video full of mindless T&A and get it passed around the internet!


I want to have kids just so I can get them to do stuff like this.

The guitarist? 10. The keyboard player? 8. The drummer. FREAKING FIVE.

I guess this is supposed to attest to the abilities of something called EarPower to teach kids music. I don't know. I'm just impressed with that five-year-old's rhythm and intimidated by the 10-year-old guitar-playing, German-speaking, violin-playing rock god.

But seriously. The drummer! 

Hopefully it doesn't come out later that their parents beat them mercilessly until they learned to play or something.

The Importance of Choosing a Font

Kat's at the point in her culinary school career where she's regularly making menus and things and sometimes seeks my advice for certain design ideas to fancy things up a bit (i.e. "How do I center a paragraph?"). This makes me feel helpful and knowledgeable and generally strokes my fragile male ego, because I can usually figure out MS Word despite the fact that we use it on a Mac and Microsoft took what was a serviceable word processor and turned it into the buggiest, most non-responsive piece of shit in computing history when it runs on an Apple machine (guess we should switch to a PC, HAR HAR HAR!).

Usually, Kat's questions revolve around fonts. Like the other night when she was obsessing, as she sometimes does because she is a super anal perfectionist about things, about the font for her menu. I was pretty confident that the menu would be graded more on the ingredients and recipes since it's culinary school, but it was important to her and she wanted tips. She also wanted me to talk her out of using Comic Sans, which I'm happy to say I did. We briefly discussed things like serifs, italicized type, and in the end she went with some perfectly-fine-but-generic-enough fonts and was pleased.

The point is I've had fonts on the brain for a few days. 

So this morning I was riding the bus in to work (OH GOD NOT ANOTHER BUS STORY) when I saw this: