Sunday, December 23, 2012

My dog waiting to open presents.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hooked my old Atari back up. I've been loving Reactor, although I never would've figured out the purpose of the game without googling it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"We can stand anything God and nature can throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick."

--John Steinbeck
Obama pretends to be caught in Spiderman's web. Shot by Pete Souza and featured in Time Magazine as part of their feature on Obama as person of the year who is most likely to sell the highest quantity of magazines.

Steve Jobs on Creativity

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” 
--Steve Jobs
via Wired, February, 1996
Compelling article about suspected marathon fraud, the enigmatic suspect at the heart of the controversy, and the obsessed detectives who cracked the case, via the New Yorker.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

San Francisco Patriots

This morning in the coffee shop an old man and his old wife were waiting in line to buy coffee. A pack of young construction workers walked in, and one of them noticed the old guy was wearing a San Francisco 49ers sweatshirt.
"San Francisco, huh?"
The old guy must have heard a tone in his voice, because he said very nicely, "Yes I'm from San Francisco. I grew up there. I lived there my whole life."
He smiled.
The construction worker glared at him angrily for a long time, then said quietly, "Go New England."
"Ha ha! Yeah, that was quite a game, huh?" The old man shifted uncomfortably.
The young guy didn't respond and turned his back on the guy.
The barista asked the old man, "Would you like anything else, sir?"
The old man laughed again, but this time it was a real laugh. "Nobody's called me sir since I was in the war!" he said, walking out with his wife.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Smoking Darth Vader and They Live! posters by Tony Delfino. I assume that Vader is a mashup with something else, but I can't figure out what. Michael Jackson? If you figure it out, lemme know.

Monday, December 17, 2012

"I got to feeling like a machine, and that's no way to feel."

Richard Roundtree, drawn by Doogie Horner.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stephin Merritt, of the Magnetic Fields, covers one of Beck's songs from his new sheet music only "album."
Here is Old Shanghai.
Love Tree, by Poorly Drawn Lines

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Murray Christmas everyone! For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Maxfield Parrish, Misty Morn

Friday, December 7, 2012

Doing Standup at Holiday Parties, the Epilogue

Two days ago I told you I was going to perform at an office's holiday party, and promised to report back after the show. I wondered, "How awful will it be?" as it was only a question of magnitude. I can now answer that question.
I got to the restaurant at 8:15, by which time the guests were supposed to be done eating. However they actually hadn't even started dinner yet, so we had to push the performance time back to 9:15.
So far so good.
Let me describe the room I was going to perform in: It was a long, narrow room with a big table running the length of it. If you stood at one end everyone could see you, but the people at the other end were too far away to hear you, because there was no microphone. If you walked to the middle of the room half the crowd had their back to you.
So far so good.
When I returned an hour later people were still eating. I said, "They're still eating," and the host replied, "Yeah, but it's just dessert." This doesn't change the fact that people don't like to laugh with their mouths full, but it was less problematic then the fact that everyone was talking, walking around, and at a level of drunk you can only reach if you're wearing khakis.
I told my host to introduce me. He said, "Doogie Howser is here!" and that was it.
I tried to start my set but nobody was listening. They were talking, standing, eating dessert. I tried to do a little crowd work, at least get some people looking in my direction.
"What did you guys have for dinner?"
Somewhere, a lady said, "Fish."
"Was it good?"
"Uh . . . how was it prepared?"
I had nothing. They were ignoring me. I was a man standing near a table, talking loudly to myself.
I screamed, "I am fucking hilarious! I'm so funny you're going to shit yourselves! I hope you enjoyed that fancy fucking meal, because you're going to see it again in 5 seconds!"
There was an audible gasp and the clink of someone dropping a fork on their plate. The room went dead quiet, and in the silence an old lady said, "I thought this was supposed to be a G-rated comedy show?"
"In my defense," I said, "I've only said 'fuck' twice so far."
"Well it doesn't have to be G-rated," someone said diplomatically, "but it's gotta be at least PG-13."
"Which one of you is 12?" I asked the room of 40 year-old office workers.
People started talking again. A girl whispered something to the guy next to her and they laughed. I moved towards the center of the room, talking as I walked, but in my mind I was sliding down the side of a glass skyscraper, scrabbling for handholds. "I'm taking a creative writing class. The first story I wrote was about a Russian submarine captain who falls in love with a mermaid . . ."
Now that I was in the middle of the table, half the audience had their backs to me. And guess what? They didn't turn around.
I suddenly realized there was a radio over my shoulder, softly playing Fiona Apple. I've been a bad, bad girl. I've been careless with a delicate man.
A guy stood up and started talking to two old ladies. I stopped my act and watched them have a conversation for a solid minute, then loudly asked him, "ARE THOSE FRIENDS OF YOURS?" He didn't look at me and left the room.
I scanned the long table: people shoving ice cream in their mouths; a guy in a turtleneck chugging merlot; a woman with her face buried against her shoulder like a sleeping bird. I knew if I didn't leave soon I would start screaming insults at them, so I threw my hand up, said "Goodnight!" and walked out, an exit that went unnoticed by most of them.
I passed the restaurant owner on the way out and he asked, "How were they?"
"I hope they burn in hell," I said, which was the most diplomatic response I could think of, although it may not have sounded as equitable as I had intended.
It's the first show I've ever walked out on.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

John Wayne and Gary Cooper on vacation in Mexico. I love how cute they look in their little summer outfits! Via If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Doing Standup at Holiday Parties

Should you ever perform standup at a company's holiday party? The answer is "no."

Have I ever performed standup at a holiday party? The answer is "you betcha," and also, "I'm doing it again tomorrow." I knew it was a bad idea, but I said yes anyway because I'm stupid and also a sadist who enjoys ruining parties.

I actually performed for an office holiday party one other time, like three years ago. I can't remember the name of the company, but I think they were an engineering firm. Half their employees were Greek, the other half were Swedish, and nobody would tell me why. Back then my jokes were even less funny and relatable then they are now, if you can believe that, so the show was pretty apocalyptic, except for three moments:

1. The stage had floor to ceiling tinsel hanging behind it. When I walked out on stage I walked behind the tinsel, instead of in front of it, then acted confused.

2. I did some crowd work with a distractingly gorgeous woman. When I asked if the boss—who was standing next to her—ever sexually harassed her, she immediately and earnestly said "yes." Everyone laughed much longer than they should have, except for her, who stared at me, dead serious.

3. There was a cake-baking contest after the comedy show. I said, "Are you guys excited for the cake contest?" and everyone clapped.

Will this week's holiday party compare favorably to that one? I don't know, 3 good moments is going to be hard to beat. Check back here on Friday, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bill Murray interview at NYT

Q. When you’re playing a real-life figure like Roosevelt, do you do any additional preparation for the role?

A. I’ve always tried to be a little bit loose. This great director we had at Second City [Del Close] said: “You wear your characters like a trench coat. It’s still you in there, but there’s like a trench coat.” So I figured this was like a winter trench coat, because there was just a little bit more character that comes to the party. So I did a lot more reading, a lot more studying.

Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images For BFI
Super excited for the holidays! My favorite season.
Gremlins drawing from the Great Showdowns by Scott C. Which are amazing, you should definitely check them out.

Friday, November 30, 2012

McSweeney's List

I have written a list of Pretentious Trees.
Above, an engraving of the Great Elm of Shackamaxon, a pretentious tree who didn't make the list and is probably furious.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chuck Klosterman, KISS interview

"If you like a band, you appreciate all the things they do well. But if you LOVE a band, the parts of their career that truly fascinate you are the aspects that go wrong."
Vincent Price on Spanish cuisine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“The first draft is always shit.” 
- Ernest Hemingway
"Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public."

Quote from a great article about irony by Christy Wampole, over at the NYT.

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Open Letter from Hostess Brands Inc. to the People of Earth

People say revenge is a dish best served cold, but they're only half right. It's best served cold, with a cream filling, sealed in a cellophane wrapper and infused with enough preservatives to guarantee that it'll outlast your enemies, everyone they love, and probably the entire human race.

Hi, my name is Donald Hostess, and for over eighty years my family has run Hostess Baking company. Eighty years. That's four generations. I took over the company after my father, whose face I only recognized from reading official Hostess stock publications and from seeing the side of his head as he'd pass my bedroom door after a long day of work.

As you know, after eight decades of making high-quality baked goods, the Hostess company is going out of business. The closing of a quintessential American company is of course a sad occasion, but people are especially upset that they’ll no longer be able to enjoy our delicious Twinkies. However, I have a confession to make. As a matter of fact, I have four confessions, and this is the first: The Hostess company baked Wonderbread, and we baked Ho-Hos, but we never, ever baked any Twinkies.

Did you know you can grow your own Twinkies at home? Here's how: place a small sliver of Twinkie in a shoebox full of moist bread and put it in a dark closet. If you don't have wet bread you can also use a cup of cereal dust, some napkins, and a dead mouse. Put something heavy on top of the box and wait exactly one lunar cycle. You may have dreams where a woman with black eyes tells you to wait two lunar cycles to open the shoebox. "What harm could it do?" she whispers convincingly, her lips brushing your ear.

Do not listen to her.

Wait one lunar cycle—no longer—and then open up the shoebox. Inside you'll find a whole, perfectly formed Twinkie, just like the Twinkies you buy at the store, but with one important difference: it won't have any preservatives. You must eat it immediately, or it will go bad.

It will go bad in ways you cannot possibly imagine.

People like to make fun of Twinkies. You've probably done it yourself. Sitting with your friends wearing yoga pants, eating granola from hand-carved bamboo bowls, you've chuckled self-righteously at the long list of chemicals and additives inside Twinkies. You have laughed with mouths full of salad, never realizing that Twinkies are, in fact organic. This is my second confession: Twinkies are not just organic, they are sentient.

If you waited two lunar cycles to open that shoebox, you wouldn't have found a Twinkie inside. You wouldn't have found anything except a large hole gnawed in the side of the box. Twinkies are the juvenile stage in the organism's life-cycle—like a caterpillar inside a chrysalis, or a chicken embryo in an egg—and when the Twinkies emerge from their cocoon they are full-grown Twinks that can move, reason, and hunt—usually in packs.

The preservatives we infuse Twinkies with are what prevent Twinkies from advancing to the adult stage of their growth process. Market research showed us that very few people want to eat mummified fetuses, which is why we have pretended that Twinkies are yellow sponge cake with cream filling.

You may think this lie weighs heavily on my conscience, and that's why I'm writing this confession, but the cloud smothering my soul is caused by a darker deception than the one we have played on the American people, and I will reveal it here in my third confession: Twinks, the adult Twinkies, can talk. They can talk, and I have heard them beg for the lives of their children as we rip the young Twinkies from the succor of their mothers. I have heard their music, and it is achingly beautiful. They have an instrument called an om which only they can play because it requires twelve arms and an exceptionally large mouth, and I can hear one wailing mournfully from the Twink cells now, rising up to my office where I'm writing this note.

My fourth and final confession: After I finish this letter I will go down to the dungeon and open all the cells. I have no doubt that the Twinks will exact terrible retribution on me, and I know that I deserve it. However I don't know what the Twinks will do once they discover themselves free and without a master. Will they maraud through the streets, devouring women and children with their hundreds of needle like teeth? Will they savor the rich revenge that has been denied to them for almost a century?

Perhaps a hundred years from now our skyscrapers will be covered in Twink cream-filling cocoons. The eerie wail of theom will carom around canyons of collapsed rubble, and Young Twinks wearing twelve-legged yoga pants will make fun of the fat Twinks who like to eat cream-filled human fetuses.

“Do you know what they put in those things?” one Twink will say to another. “Yes,” his friend will say. “I know exactly what they put in these, and that's why I like them.” And they’ll both laugh with hellish mouths full of strange salad.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Great Patton Oswalt Interview from the AV Club

My favorite part of the interview:

AVC: Did Young Adult give you more confidence in yourself as an actor?

PO: It didn’t give me the confidence to say, “I can do it.” It gave me the confidence to say, “I can put the work in,” which, weirdly enough, a lot of people don’t. And for a long time, I didn’t really have the confidence to do that either, because I had come up out of that whole alternative scene, which was all about, “Don’t try it, man. Just go up and wing it.” I think a lot of that comes from insecurity. It’s that fashion of improv and amateurism that comes from the insecurity of saying to the audience, “Well, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t go well, because I didn’t even try that hard to begin with.” It’s like, “Oh, that’s why you’re not [trying]. If you actually tried hard and it sucked, then you’ve got to blame yourself.” So that’s what makes it hard for some people to sit down and actually just do the fucking work, because doing the work means you’re making a commitment. I’m giving this my all. Now my all might not be good enough—and I’m just now seeing that with some movies I’ve done—sometimes your all is not good enough, but that’s a scary risk to take. That’s what Young Adult gave me the confidence to do, and working with someone like Charlize, who just gives her fucking all.

AVC: It takes real humility to say, “I’m going to work doggedly at my craft because I need to.”

PO: It’s real humility and not that false, “I’ve been doing this for 22 years. How hard could this be?” Just think of yourself as starting from zero every time. That’s what I do with every new role. I’m at zero, and I’m going to do the work.

READ the whole interview

– – –

This applies to acting, standup, writing, drawing: Trying hard is frightening because it raises the stakes for you personally. Acting like you don't care, or self-sabotaging by legitimately not caring, is a defense mechanism; it allows you to think, "I would've done better if I had tried harder." If you try your hardest, you can't fall back on that caveat.
Infinite Drunk Ron Swanson

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Life as a Golden Retriever

My Life as a Golden Retriever
by Bentley the Golden Retriever

When a legally deaf and blind spice gardener also loses his ability to love, it's up to Bentley to teach him how to fertilize the soil of life to make hope grow again. A life-affirming memoir about old dogs learning new tricks, from Pennypack Books, available in bookstores everywhere August 28.

for Distribution Purposes Only
No Resale

Learning to Roll Over

WUF. Wuf.

– – –


– – –

WARUF WOOF BARK BARK WOOF. BARK? Wurf Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Wurf.
GGGRrrrr. HOWL? Bentley. Bentleyyyyy?

Available in bookstores everywhere August 28.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pug attack. My dog is freaked out by pugs because they breath weird.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Britain Has Invaded 9 out of 10 Countries

Over the course of recorded history, there are only 22 countries that Britain hasn't invaded.
"We're nice guys, honestly!"
by the Telegraph, via the New Shelton Wet Dry

Night of a Thousand Cats

A scene from my favorite film at the 24 hour horror festival this year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

via this isn't happiness, a site I look at more than probably any other on the interwebs

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm not voting, I already have a king.
Just kidding! I guess I'll vote for the guy who wants to give me healthcare and values public education. I guess.
the power of subliminal messages

Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nice cream. Ooh, that's refreshing. via Julia Segal

Thursday, November 1, 2012

They've come to take their children home, via Good#1

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Exhumed Films

Every year I go to Exhumed Films' 24-Hour Horror Movie Marathon. Exhumed shows lots of cool, rare sci-fi, horror, and exploitation films all year, but the centerpiece of their programming is the 24 hour fest. All the movies are shown on film. Some of them are classics, some are rarities, and some abominations that have never seen the light of day. I think we've gone six years now? We've only made it the full 24 for the past two years. It's brutal, but awesome, and I look forward to it all year.
Here's the list of films they showed this year, in case you'd like to duplicate the experience in your own home.
1. The Gate
Classic, solid, well-done, and legitimately funny. Tiny demons invade suburbia. Similar feeling to Poltergeist.
2. Q: The Winged Serpent
Michael Moriarty's twitchy performance as the incredibly unlikeable Jimmy Quinn is what really drives this film. Brilliant, fun dialogue.
3. the Driller Killer
This movie bored a hole in me. Having said that, it was unique and boring in ways I've never been bored before. A unique film.
4. Extro
Another legitimately well-made film. Horror sci-fi.
5. Halloween 3
A lot of people hate this movie, so I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't suck. I mean, it kind of sucks, but in pleasing ways.
6. Suspiria
I can't believe I'd never seen this movie before. I've heard how great it is, and it was really well shot, but the sound design was overbearing and the story didn't grab me. Having said that, I acknowledge that everyone says this movie is great.
7. C.H.U.D.
Underground cannibals eat hobos. We missed most of this because we had to go home and walk Toby.
8. Night of a Thousand Cats
My favorite movie of the festival. Horribly shot, acted, and written in a perfect storm of incompetence that creates a film so awesome it couldn't have been done intentionally.
9. The Vampires' Night Orgy
Pretty solid little flick, although there's no orgy and only one real vampire.
10. the Hidden
Fun action/sci-fi/horror. The first scene is a blast and watching the characters tear shit up gives you a vicarious thrill ala Falling Down. Again, a legitimately well-made movie.
11. Little Red Riding Hood and the Monsters
Describing this film wouldn't do it justice. Just watch the beginning here. Unfortunately I slept through a little of it. It's so horrible, it's great.
12. Son of Blob
So horrible it's almost good. But not quite.
13. the Incredible Melting Man
Meh. Well done, but way too long. Most of the movie is just this drippy guy shambling around looking gross.
14. Humongous
Solid late-night 80s horror film. If you saw this on cable you wouldn't be disappointed, but not a standout film.
15. Dr. Butcher, aka Zombi Holocaust
Kind of a disappointing last film. Gross, low-budget, dumb, it should've been more fun than it was. But it's possible I enjoyed it less because I was so sleep deprived.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Carry me across the river," the clever dog told the horse, "and I will let you wed my daughter."
"Is your daughter a horse?" the lonely horse asked.
"Ummm . . . yes?"
"What, is she adopted?"
"Are you sure?" the gullible horse asked, "because your voice keeps going up at the end of each declaration, as though you're asking a question, or are unsure yourself."
"I will also give you all my gold," the clever dog said.
"How much gold do you have?"
"A lot? I mean—a lot. I have a lot of gold."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I like American music. Do you like American music?

Friday, October 19, 2012


I had a lot of fun reading some of my short fiction at the Greenlight Bookstore last night in Brooklyn. What a bookstore! It took every ounce of will I have to resist buying all the books—except the kids books cuz I ain't no kid.
Afterwards we went to a very nice German bar with REAL GERMANS working behind the bar. You could tell they were real because they had no strings or visible ball and socket joints. Also I lifted up one guy's shirt, and he had a belly button, so they weren't clones either. These were REAL LIVE Germans which is the area most German bars skimp on. You think I don't know the different between a German and a Dutch accent? Think again, bottom-shelf bullshit German bars.
Steve Gerben visited too and that's always a pleasure. He was drinking vodka from a coffee cup which is how Steve rolls—like a boss. He was wearing a beautiful shirt: nice checker pattern in complex earthy tones. I was looking forward to playing a game of chess with him but we didn't get a chance.
Afterwards Anna Goldfarb gave me a ride home and paid $2 for a plastic bag with 5 apple slices in it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the Final Joke

Hardy Harhar, the famous vaudeville comedian, is over 100 years old.
Death, a dark shrouded figure with a massive scythe, knocks on his door.
"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Death who?"
"Death, the dark angel who has come to escort you to the underworld."
"Death, the dark angel who has come to escort you to the underworld who?"
"Death, the dark angel who has come to escort you to the underworld who is not the type of spirit who likes to joke around."
"Death, the dark angel who has come to escort you to the underworld who is not the type of spirit who likes to joke around who?"
"Death, the dark angel who has come to escort you to the underworld who is not the type of spirit who likes to joke around who do you think you are talking to the steward of hades, the ebony lord of all spirits and warden of the damned like he's some kind of schmuck?"
"Wow, you have a really long name! How do you fit that whole thing on your driver's license?"
"I don't drive."
"Really? Because you're driving me crazy!"
Death massages his temples like he has a headache.
"Look, I have a lot of people to escort to the afterlife."
"I bet you do."
"Are you coming or not? Wait, why am I even asking you? YOU'RE DEAD. COME WITH ME NOW!"
"You're dead, come with me now who?"
"Me who?"
"Forget it! I'm leaving. Fuck you, live forever, see if I care."
Death drops his scythe and walks away.

It's Dog Day

I brought my dog to the office yesterday, and he had a lot of fun staring at people until they petted him.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Andre and Hulk foreva! I like that one of Andre's finishing moves was a hug. I wish all of his finishing moves had just been him trying to do nice things but inadvertently injuring people due to his size. "The handshake." "Pet the bunny." "High five." "Can I hold your pysanky egg?"
[editor's note] I have been alerted that Andre's finishing move wasn't simply a hug, but was actually called the Giant Anteater Death Hug. My apologies.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Forget wifi, I want hifi. Illustrated by Derek Yaniger.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Poem



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

—although here we call them hoagies. via Yimmy's Yayo
Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937


Dog, 1982
Museum Security [Broadway Meltdown], 1983
50 cent Piece, 1983

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Get down, goblin!

Bert: Talk to the fucking elephant.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Everything used to be better. Even the hoodlums.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

David Byrne, Whitney Houston

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tom Hanks is awesome.
It's my birthday.

Thursday, September 20, 2012