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October 2008

October 30, 2008

This Is My Legacy

As regular readers to my blog know, I have been paying a lot of attention to the presidential election. As such, I have found myself watching a lot of news channels that I don’t normally pay attention to unless a celebrity is running from the law. One of the shows I have enjoyed a lot is “Anderson Cooper 360.” Each night, AC has in-depth coverage of the day’s political events featuring some of my favorite political commentators.

Every time I watch, though, I find myself changing the name “Anderson Cooper” to “Anderson Pooper.” There will no doubt be those among you who do not think that the name Anderson Pooper is funny. Moreover, there will probably be those among who think that I myself don’t find it funny, either, except ironically. But the truth is, I think it’s VERY funny.

Now, I’m sure that Anderson has heard this joke before. After all, it’s incredibly obvious. But I want to make the following point: while I’m confident that I’m not the first person to think of this, I have never heard it before. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that I WAS the first, and if I was, I deserve a medal. Because the name Anderson Pooper is among the top parody news names ever.

I’ll give you some of the others:

• Walter Cranktight

• Tom Blowcraw

• Peter Smellings

And of course:

• Dan Blather

As you can see, “Anderson Pooper” is as good, OR BETTER, than these names. Now, maybe I should display some false modesty here, but the truth is, you deserve better than the parody news names of the past. For too long you’ve put up with the mediocre, the humdrum, the downright blah. Walter Cranktight had his time, but that time is over. From now on, when people want a hilarious fake news name, you’ve got a choice. And when it’s time to make that choice, I hope you’ll choose Anderson Pooper.

The greatest parody news name in history.

October 28, 2008

Chick's Story Part I

People have been asking for more information about “Stand Up And Win,” the book I have consulting for my spiritual growth. Specifically, people are asking about the author, Chick Healy. Who is he? Where did he come from? What’s his story?

Fortunately, Chick himself provides the answers in his introduction to the book, which I am reprinting in excerpted form.

From “Stand Up And Win!”

Your Eleven Step System For Personal Growth, Getting Rich, Finding (Heterosexual) Love, and Getting Into the Best Shape of Your Life While Eating Whatever You Want!


Introduction

The holding cell smelled like a combination of body odor, urine, and vomit. There I was, former All-State striker for my high school soccer team, former magna cum laud Ivy League college student, former marketing consultant for a Fortune 500 company, sitting among the drunks, addicts, and degenerates that populate our nation’s prisons. Even worse, my overwhelming feeling at that moment wasn’t “I’ve got to turn my life around,” but instead a weary, “Here I am again.” In fact, I recognized several of the other prisoners. “Hey Chicky,” said a three hundred pound drag queen. “Hi, Aurora,” I said to “her.”

Yes, there I was again. For the fifth time, to be exact. I’m not proud to say this, but I was arrested (again) for soliciting sex with an undercover police officer. In other words, prostitution. How did a young man with so much potential end up as a “strung-out” drug addict committing unspeakable homosexual acts for money?

One thing I’ve learned about addiction in the years since that night is that addicts follow a million different paths to arrive at the same destination, a destination I call “The Dead End.”

The Dead End is that bleak place the addict finds himself where he can go no further. It’s a big brick wall spray painted with the most horrible graffiti that tells you in no uncertain terms that you are a failure, a loser, no good, a miscreant, and beyond redemption. Talk about “reading the writing on the wall!” Once you reach this place, there are only two options: 


Dead or End.

Continue reading "Chick's Story Part I" »

October 27, 2008

Stand Up and Win!

Recently, longtime contributor and friend Renee asked me to share my spiritual thoughts. Normally I'm reluctant to discuss such personal matters, but I've been reading a new book that is proving so helpful to me  that I decided to share portions of it with all of you in the hopes that it might help some of you.

Chick Healy is an ex drug addict and male prostitute who began turning his life around while in prison. The Stand Up and Win! system is the culmination of his life's study of the world's major religions as well as its best-selling self-help guides.

I'm including a small excerpt from the first chapter.

Stand Up And Win!

By Chick Healy

Your Eleven Step System For Personal Growth, Getting Rich, Finding (Heterosexual) Love, and Getting Into the Best Shape of Your Life While Eating Whatever You Want!

Step Number 1:
Transform IOU into “Y”OU!

These days it seems like we owe everybody something: our boss needs a few hours on the weekend, the tax man wants his pound of flesh, our spouses need our time. So do the kids. And so we rush through life handing out IOUs. I owe you my time, my money, my energy. It seems like we always owe somebody something. But what about you? What do you owe yourself? Answer: Plenty!

The Stand Up and Win system is all about transforming IOU to “Y”OU! I call it the “YOU Force.” Because YOU are the most person in YOUR world. In fact, without YOU, none of those IOUs are ever going to get paid, because you won’t be around to pay them. That’s why rule number one of the “Stand Up and Win” system is:

Transform IOU into “Y”OU!

What does that mean? Simple. It means you’ve got to make YOU your number one priority.

Maybe it doesn’t seem possible to put yourself first. Not with all those IOUs out there. But trust me, it is. When a baby is born, that baby is exactly how God made her. Perfect. She’s not worried about anything other than getting what she needs when she needs it. And when she doesn’t, boy does she let you know!!!

Do we go around saying, “What a selfish baby?” Of course not. Her cries are the "YOU Force" at work. When a person makes their needs known, and then goes out and fulfills them, that person is acting in concert with the YOU Force, the natural universal force of positive attraction. When you put your wishes and desires into the universe, that’s exactly like the baby crying out to be fed! Only the difference between you and a baby, is that you have the ability to go out and get whatever you want.

Maybe you want a new job. Harness the YOU Force to go out and get it.

Maybe you want to find a wife or husband. Harness the YOU Force to go out and get it. 

A flat-screen TV: The YOU Force can help you get that too.

Continue reading "Stand Up and Win!" »

October 24, 2008

Stella Winter Tour '08!

I am pleased to announce the Stella Winter Tour '08. Yes, Stella is back for a limited time!

Come see Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain as they dress in suits and take to the stage to perform together for the first time in a long time. (I could check to see how long but that would require me taking the time to do that and I am far too busy preparing for this tour to do that.)

If you've never seen Stella before, then you are in a for real treat. There's a lot of banter, potty talk, and making fun of David. Plus, we'll probably bicker!!!

In addition, there is a very good chance there will be a BRAND NEW STELLA VIDEO!

Here are the dates:

ov 30: PHILADELPHIA - Keswick Theater
Dec 2: WASHINGTON DC - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
Dec 5: CHICAGO - The Vic (tickets not yet on sale)
Dec 7: CLEVELAND - House of Blues
Dec 9: NEW YORK - Nokia Theater
Dec 10: NEW YORK - Nokia Theater
Dec 11: BOSTON - Wilbur Theater
Dec 12: SAN FRANCISCO - UC Berkeley (tickets not yet on sale)

We hope to see you there. And if you can't make it, that's okay. We still love you.

DSC02131

October 22, 2008

I Am Not A Real American

A new theme has lately emerged in the upcoming presidential election by which certain parties claim that certain other parties are not “real” Americans, and may in fact be “anti-American.” Because I fall into the camp that is more often accused of such things, let me be the first of my people to come clean and declare to the world: I am not a real American.

I did not know this about myself until I started listening to the candidates. Whenever they discussed the habits and predilections of anti-Americans, I found myself thinking “Hey, that sounds like me.”

For example, I read the New York Times. Not once in a while. Every day. I thought I did this because I enjoy knowing what’s going on in the world, but now I know that I read that newspaper because I hate America.

Second, I live on the east coast. People on the east coast apparently drink a disproportionate amount of latte, eat an astronomical amount of cheese, and attend waaay too many cocktail parties. Guilty, guilty, and guilty (I do not drink coffee beverages, but I do drink green tea and if I had to guess, green tea is probably anti-American too). Furthermore, I spent ten years of my life living in New York City, probably the most godless, anti-American city in this country, except one:

Yes, I lived in Hollywood. For about a year and a half. To further my career. Big mistake. At the time, I didn’t consider moving to Southern California as anything worse than selling out my soul. Never did I imagine I was also selling out my country. But I was. Everybody now knows that people who live in Hollywood hate America. It’s like Tehran over there, only with more fake boobs and better fast food chicken.

Continue reading "I Am Not A Real American" »

October 21, 2008

Some Things You Could Put In A Wheelbarrow/Some Things You Couldn't Put In A Wheelbarrow

Could: Dirt
Couldn't: Two Jennifer Love Hewitts

Could: Wood chips
Couldn't: The same wheelbarrow

Could: Grass trimmings
Couldn't: The swimming pool from my camp

Could: Scrap lumber
Couldn't: Yourself if you also needed to push the wheelbarrow.

Could: Gravel
Couldn't: All the cinnamon

Could: Bricks
Couldn't: A real dragon!

Could: Sand
Couldn't: A teeny-tiny fart made by a teeny-tiny caterpillar riding a teeny-tiny bicycle

Could: Firewood
Couldn't: Some kind of pudding that hasn't been invented yet. (Once it's been invented it is no longer a kind of pudding that hasn't been invented yet.)

Could: Other wood chips
Couldn't: Outer space

Could: Roof tiles
Couldn't: The ineffable soul of Jim Henson

Could: Bags of concrete mix
Couldn't: My love for all of you!

October 18, 2008

Hey Persians, Nice Job!

Last night my wife and I went to a Persian restaurant, my first time eating the food of those happy people, whose president would wipe Israel off the map. All I have to say is: nice job! The place is called Lala Rokh, which (to my disappointment) does not have anything to do with karaoke, but instead is apparently a term of affection meaning "tulip cheeks." (A side note: I sometimes get tulip cheeks when I sit on the toilet too long.)

Picture 2
                                           (Persians)

If you're wondering whether mashed-up olives and garlic taste good with pomegranate seeds, I have the answer: no. But that was the only thing we had that was not flat-out terrific. We had mokhalafat sampler, which is the Persian equivalent
of the appetizer plate you get at TGIF where they give you potato skins, wings, and jalapeno poppers. In this case, it was the aforementioned olive paste, some kind of cold spinach thing with white shit on it, and a delicious onion and eggplant dish that was so good it gave me a little bit of a boner.

In addition to the mokhalafat, they give us a basket of tasty bread and a small bowl of garlicky hummus. Boy, do I like hummus, especially the garlikcy kind. Does it give me bad breath? Yes. But does it make my breath any worse than it was before? No. As far as my breath goes, it was a wash.

We shared asl (entrees): The first was a duck stew with more pomegranate seeds. For some reason, pomegranate and duck is perfectly paired. It was sweet and kind of velvety. So velvety in fact that in addition to being delicious, it was also a fine balm for my shingles. Then we shared a lamb shank with potatoes, okra, chick peas, and green beans. Not as good as the duck, but also yummy.

The worst part of our meal was the couple behind us. They were obviously on a date, possibly Harvard students, who were trying to woo each other by force of their massive intellects. The guy was the worst, responding to everything she said in a very loud, affected voice by saying, "That's so fascinating!" Then he told a long story about being in Egypt and meeting "the bedouin," who invited him for coffee, where they conversed in English and "some Arabic." The content of the conversation wasn't offensive, exactly, but the eagerness each had to display how fascinating they were was horrible. I felt like I was being molested by his enormous brain. My wife wanted to tell them to "go fuck already," but she wisely restrained herself.

If you can stomach the mighty intellects that may envelop you in their gravity, I suggest Lala Rokh for a fine meal of unpronounceable food.

Picture 1

October 17, 2008

Ten Years

I'm off today to celebrate my ten year anniversary with my wife, whose name escapes me at the moment. I am not saying where we are going because it is so exclusive and luxe that it doesn't even have a name, unless you happen to be one of the elite few who have heard of a little outpost called "Boston." Yes, we're off to Boston for a little R&R. It was a toss-up between Boston and Paris. Paris is lovely and romantic, but in this election season we decided to vote American! So we chose Boston, which is not nearly as lovely nor romantic. But, and this was decisive in our decision-making process, we can afford it. Goodbye to the days when we used to rack up thirty or forty thousand dollars a night in room service bills and spa treatments. So long to the private plane, the yacht, the hovercraft, and jet pack. See you later, flying car - we used to love you but now it's time to part ways. No, for our tenth, we're taking the Greyhound to Beantown. Our hotel: two better than a Motel 6. We're staying at a Super 8. We're brown bagging breakfast and lunch, but dinner will be a splurge: if you happen to see us at Denny's, come say hello.

Yes, times are tough with the Blacks, and not just because Comedy Central is dithering on whether or not to pick up our pilot, "Michael and Michael Have Issues," but also because I very foolishly decided to plow all of our savings into AIG stock about six months ago. Stupid, stupid, stupid. On the plus side, when we do get divorced (I give it six months), there will be very few assets to split up, aside from the children (and we all know I don't want them), so the divorce should be relatively easy. Regarding our marriage, my only goal is to last longer than David Duchovny and Tea Leoni. They made it to eleven. If I can beat them, I'll be satisfied. People ask me all the time what the secret is to a successful marriage. I compare a marriage to running a marathon. There are many times during the course of a marathon when you feel like you can't possibly go another step, when you feel as though you would rather die than continue running. When those moments come, just tell your body "one more step." Just one more step, and then when that step comes, no matter how excrutiating, no matter how much that tiny step makes you want to vomit, tell yourself, "Just one more step." And then you keep doing that until one of you dies. That's the secret.

So yes, we're off to "celebrate." In the end, what that probably means is that I will drop her off at the motel and then head over to Foxwoods for a few days. They've got excellent bus service from the casino, and she can find the bus station on her own just fine. Ten years is a long time to be married to somebody, but on the bright side, at this point I'm pretty sure we're both pretty much HIV negative. That's something, anyway.

October 15, 2008

How Awesome Is This Guy?

Answer: pretty fucking awesome.

You may not care about tax rates for small business, capital gains taxes, health credits, etc. But do you care about a presidential candidate taking the time to answer a question from a regular guy in a cogent, persuasive, and intelligent manner? I do.

UPDATE: Apparently John McCain reads my blog because Joe the Plumber was referenced about a million times in last night's debate. Suspiciously absent, however, was any mention of me.

Music I Listened To While Waiting For Sarah Palin To Begin Speaking At A Rally On CNN.com.

While browsing the internet as I sometimes do because, like so many Americans, I am unemployed, I noticed that a Sarah Palin rally was about to start on CNN.com. So because I am a staunch patriot, I decided to watch. However, I arrived a little before Sarah so I had the opportunity to listen to some of the music her campaign selected for these events to keep the crowd entertained while waiting for Sarah Barracuda. Incidentally, the Heart song “Barracuda” was not played (Probably because of the cease and desist request they filed, as well as the statement put out by the band which reads, in part, “Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image.”) But there was still lots of great music to be had. What follows is the list of songs I heard while waiting for the lipstick-wearing hockey mom to make her entrance, which she ultimately did while being carried aloft by six paunch, hairy, gun-toting shirtless white guys she referred to as “The Joe Six Pack Six” (not true).

Okay, so when I first clicked in, they were playing, predictably “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.

Sample lyrics:

So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger
It's the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he's watching us all
With the eye of the tiger

Which begs the question: did Sarah trade her passions for glory? Did it happen too fast for her? What are her dreams of the past, aside from winning Miss Alaska? I’d never really thought about this song before, content to just let it represent the awesomeness that is Rocky Balboa, but now that I look at the chorus, it gets confusing for me when he starts singing about the last known survivor “stalking his prey in the night.” If he’s the last known survivor, what prey is left? It seems like he would have vanquished all his prey. And why does this have to take place in the night? To answer this question, I turned once again to the internet. As it happens, tigers are not nocturnal, although they do often hunt at night. (Which seems pretty nocturnal to me, but I'm not a scientist)

Continue reading "Music I Listened To While Waiting For Sarah Palin To Begin Speaking At A Rally On CNN.com. " »