Posts filed under ‘Observations’

Top Ten Hurricane Irene Social Media Clichés.

What a crazy weekend!  Now that it’s all over and most of us survived, we can look back and have a chuckle.  I was glued to Facebook and Twitter for the storm and noticed some trends.  And I’m certainly guilty of a few of these (definitely #1 and #10).  How many did you do?  Can you think of any that I missed?

In no particular order, here are The Top Ten Hurricane Irene Social Media Clichés:

1) Booze as emergency supplies.

Example: Pictured: A gallon of Jack Daniels.  Caption: “Emergency supplies!”

2) Equating things a hurricane does to sexual things a woman might do.

Example: “Blows,” “Gets you wet,” and “Weakens.”

3) Reports of coffee establishment status.

Example: “OMFG! Starbucks is closed!”

4) Saying “Good night, Irene.”

5) Changing the lyrics from Dexys Midnight Runners’ song “Come on Eileen” to “Come on Irene.”

6) Mentioning the person in your life named Irene and personifying the storm accordingly.

Example: “Not to worry, if Hurricane Irene is anything like my cousin Irene, it just means we’ll get an ugly sweater for Christmas.”

7) Picture of fallen tree.

8 ) Being disappointed in the downgrade to tropical storm.

Example: “Is that all ya’ got, Irene?!”

9) Being horrified that other people are disappointed it was downgraded to tropical storm.

Example: “How can you be upset by a downgrade?  Just be glad everyone is safe.”

10) Reports about what peoples’ parents are saying or doing.

Example: “My mother just called and told me to get an umbrella. Uh, thanks, Mom.”

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August 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm 1 comment

The words are either this or that. I’m not sure.

I love the song “The Choice is Yours” by Black Sheep.  Recently, it’s gotten a resurgence of popularity because of those wacky hamsters in the Kia commercial.  I realize I’ve been singing the lyrics to this song since it came out in the early 90’s.  I sing ’em loud and proud, assuming for almost 20 years that I know every single word.  It’s occurred to me lately that I might not know the correct lyrics.  So… as an experiment, I will transcribe what I believe the words are and then look them up and see where I’ve gone wrong.

Here are the actual lyrics of the song.  The words I got correct will be in green and the words I screwed up will be in red.  The words I thought they were are below.  I wish I could put these side by side for more visual ease.  Some of my mistakes are quite hilarious.

Yo! Who’s the Black Sheep, what’s the Black Sheep?
Know not who I am, or when I’m coming so you sleep
Wasn’t in my room or wasn’t in this sphere
Knew not who I was, but listen here
Dres, D-R-E-S, yes I guess I can start
If it’s all right with you, I’ll rip this here one apart
Back, Middle, to the front, don’t front
Wanna a good time, wanna give you what you want
Can I hear a hey? [Hey!]
Now get a yo! [Yo!]
You gotta hay? [Huh!]
It’s for the hoes [Oh!]
The styling is creative, Black Sheep of the Native
Can’t be violated, or even decepticated
I got brothers in the Jungle, cousins on the Quest
Dead retarded uncles, in pea porridge may they rest
Guess, which way, what, when, how
Mista Lawnge, Dres, Black Sheep slam NOW
Know you heard the others, phonies to the lovers
Then of course, the choice is yours

You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is where it’s at
You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is kinda phat

Where’s the Black Sheep, here’s the Black Sheep
Even if we wanted to the flock could not be weak
Watch me swing like this, why should I swing it like that,
Because in fact, on me it might not attract
Therefore, I ignore, do as I feel inside
I live with me, I’ve got my back tonight
Ya know what I’m saying, yo Black, I’m not playin’
Need to go with this, and go with this with no delayin’
See, in actuality, one be can it be,
I made it look easy, because it is to me
Any time capacity was filled, try to rock it
Any time a honey gave us play, tried to knock it
Never was a fool, so we finished school
Never see us sweat, and you’ll never see us drool
Out to rock the globe while it’s still here to rock
Don’t punch girls, and we don’t punch a clock
Gotta go, gotta go, see you later by the cat
And you can’t beat that with a bat

You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is where it’s at
You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is kinda phat

Engine, engine number nine
On the New York transit line
If my train goes off the track
Pick it up, pick it up, PICK IT UP!

Back on the scene
Crispy and clean
You can try, but then why?
Cause you can’t intervene
We be the outcast
Down for the settle
Won’t play rock
Won’t play the pebble
Open the door
You best believe
We’re slidin’
Through it swiffft-ly

Niftily
We can make it
Hip to be
What we are
‘Cause
What we be
Be the epitome
Do Dah Dippity

So now I dwell
Just to say your plainer
Pull your coat
Cause I got the container
Pass the plate-ah
Cross the fader
Black Sheep get played
Like the Sony Innovator
Never the traitor
Party of later
And you can get a scoop
Later

I did a lot better than I thought I would.  I can’t believe what I thought was “do as I philaside” was actually “do as I feel inside” and that “deppa dawn and uncles” was actually “dead retarded uncles.”  And what the hell is “decepticated”?  Also, “Know you heard the others, phonies to the lovers” was not what I had been singing all along: “Know ya hurba hubbas, call yourself a lover” — that’s surprising.

Here are the words I transcribed first, as I thought they were, nonsense words and all:

Yo, who’s the black sheep, what’s the black sheep
Know not who I am or when I come inside your sleep
Wasn’t in your realm or in your sphere
Know not who I was b’nest then here
Pres, P-R-E-S
Yes, I get second start
If it’s alright with you, I’ll rip this here gun apart
Back, middle to the front, don’t front
Want a good time, gonna give you what you want
Can I hear a hey? Hey!
A giddio? Yo!
Ya got a have? It’s for the house
Cause darling it’s creative
Black sheep of the native
Can’t be violated or even decepticated
I got brothers in the jungle
Cousins on a quest
Deppa dawn and uncles, in the car is where they rest
Yes, which way, what way, how?
Mr. Long dress, black sheep slam now
Know ya hurba hubbas
Call yourself a lover
Then of course, the choice is yours

You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is where it’s at
You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is kinda phat

Where’s the black sheep?
Here’s the black sheep
Even if we wanted to, the clock cannot be beat
Cause we swing it like this, why should we swing it like that?
Because in fact, on me it might not attract
Therefor I ignore, do as a I philaside
I live with me, I’ve got my back tonight
Y’know what I’m sayin’?
Yo, black, I’m not playin’
Neither go with this and go with this with no delay
And see in actuality
One the canopy I make it look easy because it is to me
Anytime capacity, what’s up, try to rock it
Anytime a honey gave us play, try to mock it
Never was a fool, so we finished school
Never see us sweat and you’ll never see us drool
Out to rock the globe while it’s still here to rock
Don’t punch girls and we don’t punch a clock
Gotta go, gotta go, see you later by the cat
And you can’t beat that with a bat

You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is where it’s at
You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is kinda phat

Engine engine number nine
On the New York transit line
If my train falls off the track
Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!

Back on the scene, crispy and clean
You could try but don’t work cause you can’t intervene
We be the outcasts, down for the setter
Won’t play rock, won’t play the pebble
Open the door, you best believe we’re sliding through it swiftly
Niftily, we could make it hip to be
What we are ’cause what we be
Be the epitome
Doo dah dippity
So now I dwell just to say it plainer
Hold your cup ’cause I got the container
Pass the plate up, cross the fader
Black sheep could play like the Sony innovator
Never a traitor, party of later
And you can get a scoop later

You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is where it’s at
You can get with this or you can get with that (X3)
I think you’ll get with this ’cause this is kinda phat

This experiment was quite insightful (and took fucking forever).  I think I will continue to sing my lyrics.  After all, I’m an awesome rapper.

August 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm 2 comments

The starting-on-time thing.

New York City shows never starts on time. The show says it starts at 8:00pm but it doesn’t get started until 8:15. Why is that? I’ve taken the liberty of trying to explain part of it:

First, a look behind the scenes:

A producer creates a show and gets comics/musicians/actors to agree to perform in it. The show is to begin at 8:00pm. At 7:50pm on the night of the show, the producer will say, “Ten minutes until show time” and everyone backstage swoons with anticipation. Then 8:00 will come and someone will say, “Okay, time to start the show,” and the producer will say, “Well, people are still filing in, let’s give them a few minutes to sit down.” And everyone agrees that starting the show when people are still walking in the door, finding their seats and getting settled would be distracting and annoying. So they wait. After all, shows never start on time. Everyone knows that.

Now, what’s happening outside:

Being supportive awesome friends, a group of people decide they want to see their friend perform on a stage. They all agree to meet at the venue at 7:45pm. That will give them enough time to grab a drink at the bar and get seated. Then one of them is a few minutes late. He arrives at 7:55pm and is apologetic and spends a few minutes explaining his delay to his friends. Before the show, everyone realizes that they should go to the bathroom. But since everyone had this idea simultaneously and this is a tiny New York venue, there is a big long line. Everyone waits. No one is anxious. After all, shows never start on time. Everyone knows that.

Do you see what’s happening here? The show is late because the audience is late and the audience is late because the show is late . It’s a vicious cycle. Better yet, here’s a graphic:

I’m not offering any solutions.  I’m just getting it out there for the good people, both performers and audience, who have said, “Aw poo, nothing starts on time in this city!”

I used four colons to make my point. Is that too many?

February 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm 4 comments

24 Hours in ONE DAY?

I’m shopping for a new bank. I really don’t think that “24-hour ATMs” are quite the selling point they once were. In this modern age, I expect an ATM to be available 24 hours a day. It shouldn’t be the first bullet point in your short list of reasons why I should do my business with your bank. It’s like the hotel that still advertises “Color TV” in its ads. Really? ALL the colors? On one TV? Wow.  Sign me up.  Welcome to the future.

January 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm 1 comment

How long you been doing it?

At some point, when two comics are getting to know each other, one will inevitably ask the other one, “How long you been doing it?”  It’s kind of like asking someone what their major is or what they do for a living.  It’s a getting-to-know-you type of question.  But, of course, it’s wrought with judgment thusly:

If the comedian really sucks, and they’ve been doing it 10 years, you think to yourself, “Holy shit, 10 years and you still suck? What happened? I’m so glad I’m not you.”

If the comedian is amazingly excellent and they’ve been doing it five months, you think to yourself, “Holy shit, five months and you’re already that good already?  Damn you!” And no matter how good they are, no matter how they shred an audience into strips, if they’ve only being doing it five months, they’re still considered a newborn.  There’s a kind of paying-your-dues that they still have to endure. Where is the cut-off for earned industry respect?  I’m not entirely sure.

The thing that I always want to ask is:  How intensive was the time that you’ve been doing stand-up?  Assuming natural talent is equal, if you’ve gotten on stage once every six months for the last 10 years, yeah, you might still suck.  And if you’ve been getting up three times a night for the last five months, yeah, you might be really really good. A better question is: How many times have you been on stage in the time you’ve been doing stand-up?  I’m not sure if every comedian knows that number but I know mine (and I have no idea how it compares, incidentally).

I’ve been doing it just over three years — still a baby in the eyes of the industry.  But the very first time I ever got on stage alone to tell original jokes to a live audience was one night two years before that.  Should I count that?  If that’s the case, I can legitimately answer five years.  But I don’t count that. I count the day I said, “I want to be an stand-up comedian,” and quivered on stage for the first time — and then started getting up regularly.

One time, I asked a comedian how long she’d been doing it and she simply answered, “I don’t answer that.”  On the one hand, that’s a little snotty, but on the other hand, she was saying that her comedy should speak for itself.  If she’s good, she’s good, and it shouldn’t matter how long she’s been doing it.  It’s a good point.  But I still wanted to know, y’know, to judge her and stuff.

September 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm 1 comment

How the show goes.

After doing comedy a while, I’ve noticed that there is a science to whether or not I have a good set on a given night.  And since a picture speaks a thousand words, I have created this handy chart to illustrate the results of my scientific research.  Here is how you can know how your set will go:

That’s all there is to it.  I hope this research helps a young aspiring comedian out there.

August 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm 1 comment

Things that scare me.

Not that you asked, but here is a list of my fears, from most to least feared:

  1. Being on the subway with no reading material.
  2. Dunkin’ Donuts employees.
  3. Death.
  4. Big mean dogs.
  5. Unknowingly going on stage with some kind of stain on my crotch.

It feels good to share.

July 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm 1 comment

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Next shows:

Thursday, December 1st
9:30
Ed Sullivan On Acid Comedy Show
The Duplex
61 Christopher St
New York, NY

Sunday, December 11th
8:30
Jazz on the Park

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