“When You’ve Got So Much To Say, It’s Called Gratitude”
That’s a line from the Beastie Boys’ track “Gratitude” and as you may be able to tell, I’m in a grateful mood. I just got a new job offer; finally a full-time job. It’s been a while dealing with phases of unemployment / semi-unemployment / under-employment / part-time work…
I’ve had a ton of pieces of my life given to me in the form of hand me downs, and I don’t mind it or regret, and I’m actually very thankful for it.
It started with small things, like moving into my brothers’ room, or getting their clothes, and then their toys… It also included bigger things like values and musical tastes (from the oldies to heavy metal), being passed on through generations…
When I first moved out from my childhood home in Maspeth to Woodside with two of my best friends, I was given a couch from my cousin, then another couch set from my brother & his wife, and a cool old wooden book case from my oldest brothers (its small detailed designs remind me of something from a Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath cover… probably only from my own personal associations…) To them I say a great big “Thank You.”
Then during my first time in between jobs, my stepfather let me move into his house in Middle Village (since he had moved in with my mother). Luckily it wasn’t long until I got a new job and a new apartment in Sunnyside Gardens, one of the nicest places in the city (it’s even landmarked). He passed on to me a bed (finally no more tiny twin bed!), two large dressers that my friends hated helping me move (I feel like royalty saying I have an armoire), and a table & TV stand… To him I say, “Danke schön.”
While in Sunnyside, I was also able to get a 30-inch flat screen HDTV from a filmmaker friend who was moving home to Sweden and couldn’t take it with him. I offered him $50 but he insisted on $20 (he said he was going to throw it out anyway so didn’t want that much), and threw in a DVD player and a bunch of DVDs. To him I say “Tack vänligt.”
…And then the Recession hit and I got laid off and eventually had to move out. A strange turn of events occurred where my grandmother had moved to a nursing home a few months prior, and my mom got her permission for me to move in to her old house back in Maspeth. While I wasn’t actually being given the house, I was in a way having it passed down to me for the time being. A pre-war, 1930’s (maybe even older) home, where my grandmother’s family moved here from Brooklyn (East New York) when she was a teenager, to Maspeth where there were plenty of other Polish families. It then became home to her & my grandfather as they raised my mom and her 3 brothers and 2 sisters. This favor of letting me move in also included that I take care of my grandmother’s cat, who sheds everywhere and throws up almost every day. (But she’s a nice cat.) To grandma, I say “Dziękuję kochanie.”
Another thing that I inherited when I first moved out in 2006, was a book I found in the attic in my childhood home in Maspeth. It’s one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. “All The Wonders We Seek: Thirteen Tales of Surprise and Prodigy.” It’s a collection of short stories by Felix Marti’-Ibanez, a doctor and author from Spain. The book was originally published in 1954, and the one I found was printed in 1963. I don’t know which family member it belonged to, but whoever had it also wrote in the back of it “JFK Dead”, perhaps as a reminder to tell someone about the crazy news of that year. The other unique thing about is that it was signed by the author himself on the inside cover. The book has given me one of my favorite quotes, one that has inspired a future tattoo, and maybe even a line for my future headstone: “I Do Not Fear Life, I Am A Poet.” To the author I say “Gracias.”
But perhaps the most important thing to be thankful for, is not just the things my family gave me, but for my family and friends themselves. And to go further, most especially my mother and father, because they gave me the greatest hand me down ever. My life. <3
So while I haven’t been very active in the comedy world, or the comed-o-sphere, for a while, I did have a chance to make an appearance, (or my “fans” can call it a cameo) in this new web-series by J-L.
I just play one of several students in this comedy school, but it was a lot of fun to be a part of. His imitations are pretty damn good if you the comedians he’s poking fun at. Check out the Comedy Academy. You may learn something!
This is the 9 episode web series created by J-L Cauvin about a fictional comedy school run by Louis CK where the faculty is made up of famous and influential stand up comedians shaping the next wave of comedy greatness. Written and directed by J-L Cauvin.
The above image reminded me about how much I think about Halloween and other things that are usually associated with that holiday. I also saw a recent Simpsons episode where Bart mentions that most people do things on Valentine’s Day out of fear - for fear of reprisal of not doing what’s demanded on that day. So in a way, Valentine’s Day is the true fearful holiday. Fear of being alone, fear of missing out, fear of not living up to expectations… How romantic can one be when it is expected? I think it’s better to be spontaneous when it comes to displays of affection. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would want a second Halloween instead.
Anyway, after I saw that above picture, I then I came across my old college newspaper articles from when I was at Fordham and thought I should share this post. It’s from October 2004, so for that Halloween issue I chose to write about Abracadabra, one of NYC’s biggest Halloween stores. I hear you can get some great gifts for your Valentine there…
the paper, October 2004
ABRACADABRA WILL REACH OUT AND GRAB YA
by Ted McAdams
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Less than two seconds after walking through the door to Abracabra, the Halloween costume superstore, a seven-foot-tall gargoyle gives me the evil eye. It looks like it belongs on a skyscraper or a cathedral. The price tag reads “$2,500” and I try to imagine who would spend that kind of money, let alone have enough room for the monstrosity. My face winces in disgust as I see a functioning statue of a deformed body vomiting into a toxic waste barrel.
The place is like a twisted museum. Realistic statues and other expensive works of art lurk in every dark corner of the establishment. A black knight rides a horse; a golden Buddha sits contently on a shelf, not worrying about the giant, hairy tarantula next to him; a sadistic clown with razor sharp teeth laughs at the menacing leprechaun, holding a butcher knife. Although the large props will grab the average patron’s eyes at first, there is still a massive inventory of other products to check out. The shelves are stacked with merchandise, ranging from humorous Groucho Marx glasses to realistic looking severed corpses.
After my neck gets stiff from staring up at all of these strange artworks for so long, I decide to venture into the store. The high ceiling, long shelves, and vast amount of items to choose from make it seem almost infinite. There are some mannequin heads lying on the floor that look like they were victims of the Cerberus residing nearby.
After seeing the vicious three-headed dog, I delve further into the maze and see an uninterested Elvis eating pizza on his break. Abracadabra offers period costumes from the 1920’s to the 1980’s as well as elegant medieval kings and queens outfits. I begin to feel like a child in a supermarket who couldn’t reach the top shelf when I step in front of the huge wall displaying costumes. I remember dressing up as Batman when I was a kid, with a piece of cardboard, a marker, a rubber band, and a towel for a cape. The ones here put my youthful efforts to shame with things like Spider-Man webslingers, Bat-belts, and high quality fabrics. The hottest sellers has been Donald Trump, complete with famous wig.
Martha Stewart’s indictment also put her mask on their best seller list. Presidents’ masks are usually always good sellers thanks to the famous Nixon mask in Point Break, but the election also helped move significant amounts of the Bush and Kerry ones. I’m informed that clubs rent out the expensive statues and equipment. I also learn that the store caters to a number of clowns, magicians, and independent filmmakers.
Wandering around, I bump into a worker dressed as a jester moving a mobile stepladder. “We’re busy all year ‘round with occasions like masquerade balls, themed weddings, or even ‘80s parties have become a big thing lately. There’s not really a ‘slow’ time of year, it’s just that compared to the rest of the year, now is the most hectic. I call it ‘Halloween Madness’.” He then proceeded to show a customer various types of eyeballs.
This is a review I did about Anchorman 2 on the website Local Write-Up.
Give it a look see.
I think this is the funniest picture of my nephew ever.
He looks like a drunk executive at a work holiday party.
(By the way, he was about almost 1 and a half in the picture. He’s now 2.)
I decided to come up with a bunch of hypothetical dialogue for him. I imagine he quotes a lot of Rodney Dangerfield at the office.
"Great party guys! Where’s Sharon from Accounting?"
"I don’t know what was better, the shrimp or the crab cakes!"
"Yeah, Sharon over there, she just winked at me. We have this thing where I call her Cher. She’s totally into it."
"They went a little light on the liquor, but it’s an open bar right?"
"Is that Josh, from the 4th floor? I think he owes me a few bucks from happy hour last week. Hey Josh! Just tip the bartenders for me and we’re even! I’m all out of singles! What? You know why!"
Co-worker: “Tommy, Sharon’s waving at you…”
Tommy: (staring out the window) “…..hehe…”
Co-worker: “Tommy, wave back to her, say something!”
Tommy: “….she’s…wow, what?”
"Hey guys, how’s it going? You hitting the beer or the wine? Whatever, look, listen up… like, imagine this… you know how Sanders, yeah the VP, yeah him…. you know how he’s such a dickbag? …get this, we should…. we should like JERRY MAGUIRE the shit out of this place! …oh yeah not now, like in 2 weeks maybe. …I’m getting a refill. Need anything? C’mon! One more!"
"pssst! PSSST! (whispers) guys! shhh, don’t stare, but Johnson is passed out in the coat room… (laughs) …sorry, haha, I can’t stop laughing! (giggles) …he has one shoe off! Go look, but don’t wake him!"
"Hey guys, what a party right? Oh yeah, these are the same clothes I wore yesterday. Lipstick on my shirt? Where? There’s none on my collar… OHHHhhhh, at the bottom of my shirt. Let me just tuck that in there. Who knows what coulda happened. Sooooo, is the Olympics this year?"
Co-worker: “Hey, Tom, what are you gonna be for Halloween this year?”
Tommy: “Me, from last year’s Christmas party!”
Tommy (cont’d): “No, really, I didn’t do dy cleaning this week.”
Tommy: (brings several coffees over) “Hey guys, enjoying the snow day??”
Co-worker: “You know, a snow day is when you DON’T have to come into work in the snow.”
Tommy: “Well the boss isn’t coming in today, so I’m staying extra warm today.”
Co-worker: “I could use some coffee.” (takes sip.) “Whoaaa, this is strong. You spiked this?!”
Tommy: “The only way to make a proper Irish coffee.”
Music Video for “Bricks" by the Koniac Net
I played a small part in this music video, a non-speaking role. The song is really good. The singer/guitarist of The Koniac Net knows my friends who shot & directed it, and we shot it around Astoria and Manhattan. The storyline is about 2 versions of a guy, his 9-5 business self and his rock & roll self. They start off at opposite ends and eventually switch places in terms of where they are in life. I was in the fictional band as the drummer. I used to play drums as a teenager (I got a set of drums as a teenager but only jammed on them for 2 summers. Never learned a proper song. They were given to me by my aunt’s cousins who are in Wheatus, of “Teenage Dirtbag” fame.) We had to keep the tempo slow, to just look like we were rehearsing. That was actually more difficult for me, because I was so used to jamming really fast, and also I hadn’t played drums in 15 years. There were a few good shots of me jamming (the music we made wasn’t audible, the actual song plays over it,) but they didn’t make it into the final cut of the video. Funny thing is the comments people have said about my nipples point through the shirt. Yes, I know. I’ll never wear a tanktop on camera again. Unless that’s what they’re really going for. Anyway, tapping drums on the subway was fun. (Hopefully I never have to do it for money!)
This motherf***a is worth his weight in gold. When I get rich, I want a life-size replica of Chris Gethard made of gold, like an Oscar trophy but better. He’s ascending into the Dhalai Llama of comedy nerds or some shit.
If you’re reading this, it means that an official announcement has been made - The Chris Gethard Show is making a pilot presentation for Comedy Central.
I can’t explain how excited myself and the cast and crew are for this opportunity. Like, I’m sure you know that we must be excited, but…
(at least what my mind associates with them…)
1900s – stuffy, stuffy nose (no smell. But if there was, Probably same as 1910s)
1910s – mothballs and collected dust
1920s – freshly printed money and bootleg whiskey
1930s – dirt drug in from work and tears after the great depression
1940s – hot metal and gun powder
1950s – plastic TV dinner trays and freshly paved driveway concrete
1960s – a lit joint and newly bought records
1970s – fresh sweat and worn polyester
1980s – cotton candy and leather jackets
1990s – newly purchased electronics and fresh cut grass
2000s – public transportation and cigarettes
2010s – hot garbage waiting to be picked up from the curb and moving trucks
I’m now collaborating with the gang at Pit Stop Entertainment! Talented, from Queens, and weird as hell. No wonder I fit in.
watch & subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/user/PitStopEnt
They started a new series following the character “Officer Nicky Blaine” and he’s great. (Follow Nicky on Instagram. Seriously.) This is episode #2: The Deli Thief.
The look of shock and astonishment is pretty real at the end since it was a real knife. And I really got licked. Multiple times.
I suffer for my art… so you don’t have to!
So’s I hoyd people write stuff, like their thoughts and whatnot on this internet thing, so I started doin’ it too.
They call ‘em tweets but I think dat’s just stupid. So, um, come on and click or whatever an read my… stuff.
Yeah, fuck it, whatever you wanna call it, read it. And then meet me at the bar. I saved you a seat. For now.