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February 13, 2010


Well it’s a freezing Saturday night in Baltimore. Michael Showalter and I are doing a show at the Otto Bar, a rock venue we’ve played several times before. As you may have heard, the Baltimore/DC area has received many feet of snow over the last week. The snow is piled up in huge treacherous mountains along every street, making driving slow and walking almost impossible. Did that stop me from taking my daily run? It did. Do I ever take a daily run? I do not.

Baltimore is one of those cities that looks perfectly reasonable if you stay within certain small radii. In our case, that means about three blocks in every direction from our hotel. Within that three blocks one can buy all manner of fudge, ice cream, and coffee concoctions. Just past it is a big store called “Scratch and Dent,” which sells anything the proprietors can find that has either been scratched or dented. I wonder if they sometimes buy new merchandise and then beat the shit out of it before putting it out on their shelves. After the “Scratch and Dent” block things seem to go steadily downhill. But I turned around and walked back to the hotel because it was cold and because I was scared.

Having driven through Baltimore before, I know there are areas of the city that are like post-Katrina New Orleans, only without having been through a flood: block after block or ruined, abandoned and derelict buildings. At least New Orleans has an excuse. I don’t know what happened here. Something awful. The most likely explanation is a recent zombie invasion but I feel like I would have heard about that.

Last night we were in Philadelphia, which is a much better town than Baltimore but still no Shangri-La (unless you count the cheese steaks which are actually better than the kind you find in Shangri-La, which tend to be made out of healthy but bland rainbows). I like Philadelphia. It’s quaint and historic, which is usually a good combination. I hope to be quaint and historic myself one day, like Ben Franklin, himself a Philadelphia resident before he went off to Paris to diddle French ladies.

How is it that other world cities manage to age gracefully while American cities get wrinkly, saggy boobs pretty much as soon as they hit puberty?  Rome, Paris, London, Tokyo. All old cities who have problems but still seem to retain their charm. They are Sophia Laurens compared to our Lindsay Lohans. Maybe our cities are just going through an awkward stage and will re-emerge after they have a little work done.

In the meantime, I’m not giving up on you, Baltimore. We can turn this thing around. Maybe not this century, but soon. But while we’re waiting could you please turn up the heat?


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Hmm. There you go comparing cities to aging females. Why *are* inanimate things always female? "There she blows!"

Speaking of turning up the heat, Kahlua breath, sometimes cities are saggy boobed and wrinkly due to the absence of mojo rising. This, and the drying up of the river Viagra. Maybe the work needs to be done on THAT bridge, Mister - The Wiener Bridge.

And how dare you bring up Sohpia Loren and her hooded Italian eyes!

Anyway...what I'm really wondering is...what are you wearing? I mean...underneath.


Now come on, Michael. You know and I know that a business that would buy new furniture only to beat it up and sell it at a discounted price just isn't being financially responsible. Why, I'm surprised they're still open. Maybe you can find a pair of tennis rackets for snow shoes? There I go again, always thinking....

Eric J.

Compared to the other cities you mentioned, American cities aren't aging yet. They're just putting on the "Freshman Fifteen."

Jason H

Ohhh boo hoo, waa waa. Mr. HollyWEIRD bigshot doesn't like BALTIMORE. Maybe if we put down the wine and brie and stopped hanging out with the MADONNA and KAto KAELIN long enough to go catch a SPORTS TEAM game and visit the DOMINO sugar company, we might just see that Baltimore is not so BAD after all. But NOO that's not something celebz do, is it? Harumph.

Mike H

"Baltimore is one of those cities that looks perfectly reasonable if you stay within certain small radi"

There are 20 or of these small radi around Baltimore City though. And unfortunately it sounds like you were staying off of 295 near the stadiums or in Remington (??). NOT one those aforementioned certain small areas.


You would think you'd hear about a recent zombie invasion, except that everyone that would report on such a thing is already a zombie. And no zombie wants to alert non-zombies because they're SO much easier to catch when their brains are not alert. And a calm brain might be better tasting. I don't know from experience though. Like I've never attended a brain tasting. Seriously, I haven't. Calm down.


aah, Mr. Black. You make me laugh...then pee a little.

Aleata Illusion

Hahahaha, Lindsay Lohans!


Why don't I have a pretty design by my name like the rest of these yahoos?

I'm posting again just to see.

Note: if it doesn't come up a pretty design, I shall no longer view that as a fluke, for surely it's an omen. However, if it DOES come up then all is well and I shall continue on my journey, via red flyer wagon. And if you try to look up my dress, I'll slap you. Then let you.


2 out of 3


I wish I didn't reveal my superstitious plans up there. Now it's like I have to "follow through" and go away or something.

Well fuck YOU, Stevie Wonder. I am not the person you think I am!

Ron St.Amant

All big cities have a dark underbelly...but it would be nice if a few of them did some crunches every once in a while to work the abs.
My friend and I were in DC once to catch a Joe Jackson concert (eons ago), we got lost on the way to the venue and wound up somewhere down by harbour. Let's face it, winding up 'down by the harbour' of any town is usually what happens right before you're robbed and left naked in a ditch. Luckily for us, no naked and no ditch. Though there was a stop, finally, to ask directions at a fast food restaurant that seemed straight out of the imagination of David Cronenberg.

rachie babe

Did you know that Balti-morons nickname for their city is "Charm City"? I find nothing charming about heroin or syphillis.


a. Modern architecture and lack of quality of most structures. They don't hold up and weren't meant to.

b. Also, many historical societies started kicking up in the beginning to the middle of this century, so before that? Blam-O to anything old and cool.

c. And also also, what Eric said. I'd agree -- We're just a pimply-faced dorky teeny bopper country. Too bad :(

d. And also also lastly, if you want to get all sociopsychological, you'd start spouting off about homogenization and the influence of television creating a boring old ninny dull mono-culture. I kind of agree with that most.

Ponderings are good. Problem solving time.

Solution: Let's create a huge bronze bust of MIB's bust to class up the joint. Fight the drab!


Reen -- you're special. No pretty design, but you get like a personalized license plate id: "Reen." You're cool. You are a personalized license plate.


<3 Jaime <3, THANK YOU. I was *this close* to cutting.

Thank you for making me feel that perhaps Michael wasn't trying to block me and my rants from his site and his actions got foiled up because he sucks at technology...

::the sweet smile of delusional success::

So Jaimester - I'm hot for the bronzed bust idea, but can we, like, motorize it or something?


Motorized bust bust. Hmmm, good question. I say we just make enough for every major city, right? I mean, c'mon: class.


Baltimore is scary as shit most of the time, while Philadelphia is scary as shit also most of the time.

...What I meant to say is that, "both cities are pretty terrible, except for very specific areas where you might not get robbed, maybe."

Nickel Jean

I have never been to Baltimore, nor Philadelphia, but this entry made me laugh a lot. Keep 'em coming!

Carmen AKA famousgirl

I love Philadelphia too! I have family there. Visit often. Heard of Baltimore but not in the same manner you put it! Quite surreal… So business took you there? I lost that somewhere in the beat up goods placed in the store front as old and used… haha

What a way to describe it! Nice. Cya round!


I know I am supposed to have a comment about this post, but I basically just wanted to say that I think you are fabulous. I used to read this blog every single day but I now have a job that doesn't give me enough time to do that. So, I just wait until I get the chance and then catch up on all the posts that I missed. I have just done that and I loved it! Really, just knowing that I can read this blog or go home and watch DVR'd shows with your funny ass in them cheers me up. I hope I don't sound too stalkerish (there are people that I actually know and real-life things that cheer me up as well). If you could hear my tone of voice, you would understand that although I mean it when I say I think you are great, I am relatively well-adjusted. Having said that, I think you're funny, smart, honest, and hot. And just so you know, I'll continue buying any product you sell!


I know it's a tv show but "The Wire" is a good place to start learning about the condition that Baltimore is in.


Great analogies MIB but I am surprised you didn't note Wilmington, DE. Wilmington doesn't even get washed up starlet status, it's more of a child star gone bad, like Gary Coleman at 60.


A scratch and dent store would be the best place to take kids --- who could prove they did what!


You have been in LA how long now, didn't make it to the Witstream show (everyone in the audience was so disappointed that you weren't there, by the way) and still no new news for us to read about your goings-on... I think my diehard crush on you is waning, please resurface with something adorable, asap. Thanks!!

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