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February 13, 2010

Baltimore

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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Jaime

I'm sorry about MMHI. It really sucks. I remember when you and Show went MIA, pouring your guts into everything, then went MIA x 2 repouring your guts into it, not knowing if it would get picked up. So you know, you've got great guts Mr Black. I think Comedy Central is just a cheerleader whore who can't see your Lloyd Dobler weirdness and beauty. I know that analogy doesn't really work because Diane Court wasn't a cheerleader whore, and, unlike most 80s movies, there was no cheerleader whore archetype in that one, but Lloyd Dobler is my favorite offbeat round lead character, so I'm using it anyway. You need to shop channels. I'm sure some FX/TNT/USA/AMC channel would be your Corey and say "You're not a guy Michael. No. The world is full of guys. You're a man."

(I really need to get over this movie.)

Anyway -- quit scheduling shows at UNT in the middle of the week! I'm a teacher damnit! I can't make it. Also, recap: you're not a guy. You're a beautiful man in Madonna drag with good guts. Keep it up.

Reen

Michael, what the heck *are* you up to, anyway? Chilling with your fam? Playing poker and eating at casinos? Working on other projects?

Camille's viagragovernmentemporium

Listen, I'm not going to pressure you to blog. You just do it when you're good and ready. Really. No pressure.
I won't fill the void your non-blogging leaves with Breyer's Vanilla Bean ice cream.
I won't make up some company name and spam numerous blogs just to see new comments.
I won't continue to keep those candles lit in my MIB "room" until you blog.
That would be downright creepy.

Camille

Listen, I'm not going to pressure you to blog. You just do it when you're good and ready. Really. No pressure.
I won't fill the void your non-blogging leaves with Breyer's Vanilla Bean ice cream.
I won't make up some company name and spam numerous blogs just to see new comments.
I won't continue to keep those candles lit in my MIB "room" until you blog.
That would be downright creepy.

Camille

Disregard both of those last statements. (regretting there's no delete button)

sartysarty

Hi, Michael. So, this is weird of me, but I'm writing this because I'm worried about you a little bit. Your tweets have seemed kind of up and down and then you talked (joked?) about divorce a couple of times and I guess I just wanted to write and say that I hope everything is okay with you. And that if things aren't, then I hope they get better soon.

Your overly-sensitive fan,
Jen

jeremy

I second Zane's comment. That's 2 no-shows in 6 months for LA. How many times will we have to see Nick Kroll instead?

Paula

You're always in Philadelphia when I'm at school in Pittsburgh, except for a couple of years ago when I saw you and Sho at the TLA. anywaayyy, you should come to Pittsburgh because it's seriously lacking good entertainment.

Shane Schneider

Michael,
Saggy boobs are, nonetheless, boobs. And boobage is nearly always ... good. Especially since I haven't seen any for a while. Except for my own. I'm a guy, by the way.

Jaime

Jen -- you're not weird. I have also been looking at Michael goin', "I want to internet hug you." Ok, maybe we're both weird Jen. But there is solidarity in weirdness, right? Right?? Right???! Maybe not. Oh well. You're not alone sister :) Group Internet Hugging you Michael!

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