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.