Friday, January 27, 2012

Tired? I don't think so Prick...

So as I have lamented in previous blogs I am a full time hammer swinging, heavy load moving (out of the gutters boys...and gals), lift operating, scenic carpenter. This job makes you sleepy. Makes you want to fall into the arms of a Bukowski type binge as well...but we digress...
Last night I was trying to sleep and ZODIAC came on. First off David Fincher could poo on a reel of film and I would go see it and sing it's praises. Regardless, Zodiac is good. It is one of his more under the radar films and also, a kind of slow burn that kept my blood shot scenic carpentry eyes riveted.
This motivated me to bring you:



I already said it so it is an easy #1. We get post meltdown pre-Iron Man Downey Jr.
We also get Jake Gyllenhaal before he hit and quick Taylor Swift (Dear Jake, you have to stick around an train a young lady dude... you can't just break up with her. Not America's sweeheart...jerk hole. She sings about "Love" man.  Capital "L". I mean you expect her to be a cat in the sack right away...Sorry, not gonna happen...thanks for reading Jake. ) which is good because he is good. We also get Elias Koteas, one of the most underrated and inconspicuous character actors around...all wrapped in the over exposed goodness of a Fincher Murder Story. It kept me a good way.

2. Notting Hill

Nothing more will be said about this. That is all. Except: "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." Oh, shit. Alright...

3. Shawshank Redemption

Holy shit and hallelujah. The Grand Daddy of them all. Logging in at 142 minutes this baby turns a midnight channel flip into a 2am Pink Dot delivery reeeeeal quick. (disregard this last statement if you live in New York. We can simply walk across our streets and get anything we want. Cheers.) Andy Dufresne, you my only friend...Well, you and Ellis Boy "Red" Redding.

4. Godfather 2

Now I know. By this point you're all like "Wrah Wrah you only like slow movies, Wrah Wrah...". Dude, It's f*cking Godfather 2.
"I knew it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!" 
Eveything you need to know bout being a European immigrant (or three generations removed from one) you can learn from Marlon Brado & Al Pacino. Move to New York. Capitalism sucks. Kill the family members you hate that betray you. Your Dad had a cat...doesn't mean you have to have one. Avoid toll booths.

5. The Royal Tenenbaums

This movie either evokes sighs of love or judgement. I LOVE this goddamn movie. Wes Anderson's balanced shots are about the only balance in my life. Gwyneth Paltrow in this movie is only ever bested in cinematic cuteness by a Wedding Singer Drew Barrymore. Wilson Bros incorporated...but more importantly, Gene Hackman. Let me just type that again. Gene Hackman. I can quote most every line and do often.
Me: Please consolidate these Subway cards Maam...
MTA Worker: (grumble)
Me: Please stop belittling never gave me the time of day until I started getting good reviews.
MTA Worker: You got $7.50 left.
Now, there are movies as an actor/filmmaker that you watch and get frustrated by because YOU could have made them that good. Then there are those that are the perfect storm of talent and personal taste....that you can't turn off. I have given you 5.

I love you. Goodnight. Prick

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Living in New York in a Job Kids...

...I make no excuses to myself for not blogging more except WRITING CLASS is hard work.
Writing Class has also lit a considerable fire under you know who's ass to blog that he has time blog.
My class would meet approx every three days and I was all like "Yeah that'll be easy writing a brand new, edited sketch that is good enough for presentation and also blogging about my weekly shellacking in class afterwards. Brilliant!"
Not brilliant.
Beat-me-up-ant. See. I'm exhausted. That joke sucked.
Point is.
If you live in New York or LA or London and you are not currently in a creative class of somekind (and a million friends told me this a million times but my ego driven ass thought it would be a waste) GET IN A CLASS.
I have produced more quality sketches in the past 4 weeks since I saw the movie Mallrats. A while folks.
The master notes that I took away from the class apply to all the arts.
You think Belushi was different than Baryishnikov? Well, he was but one thing is certain :All art benefits from a second, third, and forth look and laser like specificity.
In the words of my sage like Teacher: "Writing 'Drugs' is good. But 'Home Grown Blue Cyrstal Meth' is better." See? Specifics...
Also simultaneously with that I have begun working the 9-6pm life of a scenic carpenter. Check this shit out:

Yeah. That's called a Load In. ( Out of the gutters Dudes) Normally these babies last 2 weeks and will kick your ass. But moving scenery around and possessing enough carpentry skills not to shit the bed on a daily basis is a little harder than reminding your patrons to rewind. (Blockbuster reference, people.)

And NOW!!!!
(See? Specifics.)

1: Angry Boys.
The Goodness.
On HBO. Just knowing that I had Chris Lilly's latest episodic opus waiting for me in a DVR cue when I got home was motivation enough to hold that 300 pound platform up in the air with 6 other dudes while electricians talked shit. If you don't watch? I will treat you the same way I treat every person that pays money for "Man on a Ledge." Strong looks. Strong.

2: The WWE and The Fact that the ROYAL RUMBLE is around the corner.

Speaker of the Houses.

Yes, the ROYAL RUMBLE is this Sunday. The Second Pay Per View on the all important list of the Four High Holy Days of Wrestling. As a wise man once said "There is nothing finer than two men squaring off in the squared circle." Well,  how about 30 men in an over the top rope match to decide who goes to WrestleMania in the Main Event? Six to One, Half Dozen to the THE ROYAL RUMBLE IS THIS SUNDAY AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

3: Red Bull.
A bull by any other name...
They could tell me that they put ground up Unicorns that were in line to be rode by a dying child as a last wish in this shit and I would drink two. Mixing a can of this with equal amounts of OJ in the morning will get you closer to the feeling of when you used to take Xenadrine in College (when it still had Ephedra in it...sigh) to stay awake, lose weight, or just, you know, tweek a bit, than anything legal will.

Robot. Robot Boobs.

The dudes over at Topless Robot do the nerd filtering for me. So when I need a good dose of what is all good in Frodo's Crib or the Android's Dungeon...I let the sage like advice of Rob Bricken flow over me like a Jack and Coke. I mean, Jack and Diet Coke. What? I like the taste.

5: The Suicide Machines : Definition by Destruction
Some people pray for strength. Imagine that...
Top to bottom a fine, fine album. You know what helps waking up on the 4th day of a week that has kicked your soft writing ass into pain town? Nothing. But you know what will make you pick em up and put em down till Friday? See the answer above.

I love you. If you need me I'll be in a salt bath trying to skank.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


heroes plural of he·ro (Noun)

  1. A person, typically a man, who is constantly reminding people that life is a joke. That authority is a mind set. That there is more romance in a crushed beer can than a rose. That everything, even the institution of marriage and religion has been set up by people we don't even know that were frightened old men that and unliked in their own time. 
  2. I give you. The people that inspire Endearing Prick. 
  3. That is All. Happy Saturday. I should be doing homework.
CM Punk.
straight edge. hard core.
Brodie Bruce.
every funny I have ever made is inspired by...

Bill Murray.
once ran down a NYC street screaming about giant lobsters. that is why Dane Cook sucks.

Charlie Kelly.

Ric Flair.
4 wives. 16 World Championships. Easy Math.

Louis CK (God.)
Our world through his eyes is how it is. Deny it? Meh. Good for you.

Charles Bukowski.
"The nine-to-five- is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind."

President Obama...

...may be under quite a bit of fire lately. But come on. I mean really. This is f*cking awesome.

Writing is hard.

Like anything writing is intensive. Anybody can have "unique ideas". But making them funny...Well, believe it or not it's not just putting the words to paper then patting yourself on the back and having a cocktail while you roll around in your own genius. That is merely the stretch to the sprint.
Good art is something that has been looked at from every angle. Then re worked with the same set of eyes looking at it with a "new" clarity. In theatre complete acts are flipped around. Characters cut. Scenes deleted. In simple drawing you make the blacks darker and the whites lighter in the revision.
In sketch writing you have to heighten everything without breaking it. Also, believe it or not, everything has to make some semblance of sense. Why are these characters here, right now, doing what they are doing? Also is "what" they are doing the best or funniest choice? Would it be funnier if they were somewhere else or in a different setting? Can any negative thing they are doing be made into a funnier positive thing?
The sketch that I brought to class was to be a parody commercial for a new home security product: Hobo Security. I presented our narrator at his home computer watching his Hobo keep his home safe. Once from thugs. Once from pesky trick or treaters. This hobo is great. He works for booze and leftovers....Then I added the caveat. The only thing you have to pay for is hobo wrangler insurance in case he goes bat shit crazy. Then I ended the skit with the Hobo, now naked, coming in to steal the homeowners computer. Not bad.
So how was this skit looked at in a new way. Why is it bad to have your Hobo freak out? Wouldn't you want that if there is a gang coming into your house? Does he have to steal the computer at the end or is it better if he climbs into bed? Why is the homeowner at his computer? Why break our preconceived mold of a "security commercial"? On that note, if you are going to parody something that is as familiar as a security commercial you should use the "norm" of security commercials. Use it! Climb in there and then make a funny.
This is part of the craft I am finding. Looking at something as simple as a security commercial and finding the blaringly obvious funny that has been there all along and point at it. Then insert a hobo.
For our next meeting I am to come up with two premises for "reveals". Example: 2 women are hidden in bathroom stalls. The one women ask the other for TP, then perfume, the a condom. Then the door opens and the women that asked for the things is an 80 year old women. (buh-dum-dum)
Also we have to rewrite one of our parodies. I'll probably go with the security one as my first one was a Head and Shoulders commercial that revealed the secret ingredient in Head and SHoulders was ground up magical elves.
Alright here are the other nuggets of truth that we garnished:
-specify your characters to add context
-when an entire writers room seems to riff the same way on something "harness the universality in the room"
-sometimes in a parody you have to bring people up to speed
-if you are sticking it to somebody a little to hard the funny might go away
-sometimes your idea is "in the right neighborhood but at the wrong address"
-identify your campaign and mission in the product of you parody and from that the funny will come
-sometimes you have to "use the explosion to put out the fire"
-entertain all the funnys from the original idea
-specificity will pull out the funny
-"it's sketch comedy, not oil painting comedy. sketch it out."
-if your parody looks or reads to real make sure you use that
-in how FEW words can I write this?
-"laughter is the sound of surprise"
keep it real.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dale takes a Writing Class: Part 1 of 6.

Dale takes a writing class....
I have no opposable thumb dude.
So the location and the teacher of my course will remain anonymous. (Just easier that way) And this baby should be around six entries. But before we delve into class details we are going to do a little exercise to explain why I'm taking a sketch writing class called:

18 year old Dale meets 31 year old Dale!...on a street in NYC.
18: Hey what's up future me? You live here now?
31: Yeah. Yeah.
18: Cool so we did it huh? I thought I'd be at Blockbuster forever.
31: No you didn't.
18: Yeah, you're right. So we famous yet?
31: At this point just working on providing ourselves with primary income through creative outputs instead of letting the day job suck the life out of us...
18: That was a mouthful...
31: You're a mouthful...
18: You're a mouthful...
31: Hey!
18: Sorry. Right on. So what's new?
31: Just started my first writing class since Austin Peay.
18: We get into Austin Peay! Yes!
31: Yeah it's a nice time.
18: Wait did you say first since college?
31: Yeah.
18: That's crappy. What happened there? Writing was always your favorite. and you fucking love The State, Kids in theHall, SCTV, SNL the most! And we live here now. So there's like UCB and PIT and...
31: Look Past Dale can you not give me shit. Point is I'm finally doing it.
18: Fair enough. You heard the newest Less than Jake. It's the best.
31: Yeah. It's good. Look I gotta go.
18: Any sage like advice?
31: There's no such thing as luck. And it's not about ignoring the bad wolf. It's about feeding the good one. Later Past Dale.
18: Right on Future Dale!

Get it? Good. I've always wanted to get into sketch comedy but life, well, you know the rest. Point is, same one I made to my Past Self, is we are finally doing it.
So what did we learn last night? Some super official great stuff.
Super O-Fich-AHL.
I would feel happy paying what I paid for the entire course after just last night. And I actually have homework for the first time in 9 years!
The coolest bit of knowledge that I gathered was the format that SNL writers write in. Which is dope. (The class has a SNL focus.)
In addition to that these were the gems that stood out for me for all you future or current sketch comedians out there:
1: Anything online. No longer than a minute.
2: Differ between a theme or content to a premise
4: Consolidate your Premise into one idea
5: Follow the rule of threes
6: Bend the joke, don't break it (don't make the sketch to inaccessible by being to far out there, or too blue)
7: Write the sketches you can produce by yourself tomorrow
8: Find the delivery device
9: Find the right frame for your skit
10: If you are parodying an existing product you have to ask yourself why would this product (i.e. and i phone and apple) be showing this product doing this. If they wouldn't, make up your own product. Exception: funny trumps all.
11: 1-present problem 2-present solution 3-show problem with solution
13: Create a world around your joke
14: If this, then what?
Because it rocks my asses face right off my ass.
Awesome kids. Keep it real.
I hate to love you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"I'm sorry that I got fat...

...I will slim down."
                    -Wesley Willis
Well gosh darn it, I am not sorry that I got fat! In fact, in the season of resolutions to slim down I give you, inspired by the Fat Mac himself...


Now a lot of people will have you believe that you can just get fat by looking at a bag of lays potato chips ...(I'm looking at you Richard, you dolphin short wearing, afro rocking card, you.)...
Not so I say. Here are some sure fire ways to expand your waist line and be wearing your favorite sweats to Shake Shack in no time.

1)Eat when you are full, bored or not hungry.

past dale.
Now being Hungarian I was raised to "clean my plate!" Awesome right? Fast forward to now a days where I eat every meal as my last in double time. Cleaning ones plate meant more Nintendo or hitting golf balls with baseball bats at the discount grocery store. Come can do it. If you put that second half of that footlong in the fridge you know as well as I do it is going to look like a science experiment gone horribly wrong in about two weeks when it gets pushed to the back of your fridge by drunken Chinese takeout later tonight. So EAT IT! What else you gonna do? Sit there and suck in your cheeks like Kelly Ripa does?

2)Make every occasion punctuated with food...ya'll.
Next GOP candidate.
Isn't that right Paula? Playing Xbox with the Pals? Pizza time. Shit man why not pizza, cheesy, bread and wings time? Out with the boys at a dive bar? Rudy's has free hot dogs. If not at Rudy's seek out bars with fried appetizers you know "to soak up the booze". Throwing a party? Finger foods means foods that would be served in the fried child's buffet at a bar mitzvah. Mac and cheese, chicken fingers...crudites can go (bleep) themselves.

3) Tartar sauce on french fries.

Don't ask questions.

4) Eat before you go to bed.
gaga does it.
Every time I hear someone be all like "blah blah I don't have dreams. For realzies! I just DON'T! blah blah" I fell sorry that they have never had the splendor of a chicken parm hero induced nightmare. As a matter of fact Sumo wrestlers do just this to bulk up while training. True story. For realzies.

5) Drink your f*cking face off.
example for us all.

"Thanks. I needed that." Beer is best. General rule. Craft beers REALLY pack it on. Stay away from the clear booze unless you want to be like all of those size 4 and down freaks of nature. Brown booze is best. Rums, whiskey, bourbon, anything with lots of sugar, Jager or any type of fake sugary cordial. And when mixing NEVER use the diet soda. It's evil and makes you lose you hair. You can't be fat and bald. To help you in your times of "I can't drink AGAIN tonight dude." Put on Animal House, Beer Fest, The Big Lebowski, or Old School. All adhere to the mantra that we all should be following anyway: " Be one with one's pleasures...pleasures meaning your drunk ass face." All will light a fire under you ass that will having you scream "toga!" or "who wants to shotgun?!?" Or just watch any of Robert Pattinson's movies...they'll ALL make you want to drink. Remember that really crappy one he did that ended with the 9/11 thing? I was ACTUALLY drinking in that movie and couldn't take it. But I digress...)

Did you see her on West Wing? Awesome.
I will not explain.

As always I love you. If you didn't dig the entry then  roll it up and smoke it with Mary-Louise Parker.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ape-Ocalypse Now

So I had the privilege of flying home red eye status to NYC last night to this morning. I flew Jet Blue which is always good because they have TVs in the back of the seats in front of you.(Regardless of the fact that 75% of the shit on the TV was Reality TV. Ug, #WeAreGettingDumber. I'll take Storage Wars over the Kardashians any day. Yuuuup.) So needless to say I passed on the free TV.
What I did watch was this:
(Now I realize I am a little late to the Ape Party but) HOLY SHITBALLS PEOPLE!
Have you seen this movie? First of all I love the Ape movies. I'll cancel plans if there is a marathon on any crappy local cable provider, commercials and all. But this, this one, was sweet. Super sweet.
It's a litte late to do a full on review considering this film came out in August but what it did make me think of was:
Now pop culture, George Romero, Robert Kirkland and Yves Saint Laurent have secretly been preparing us for a world when Zombies walk the earth...But WTF do we do when this shit goes down? Well, as always, I am glad you asked. Here is your APE-OCALYPSE survival guide:

5) ASL Sign Language book
Get yours on Amazon now!
Now I know by the end of the film and in the older Ape movies they Apes are full on talking. But to pre-suppose that it will go down the way it did in Rise your hand had better know how to buy a vowel Alex. Flipping Caeser the finger will only get you so far I'm afraid. Brush up you ASL, start studying it now...

4) Cookies
The future dollar.
Yo son. You do me, I cookie you. In the Ape led future cash money will only be used to start fires and torches. (Sorry, Nelly and 50.) In the Ape movie Ceaser rewards/bribes his tribe with cookies thus gaining their trust and allegiance. The cookie will be the staple of all commerce. Thus Bakers being the new gatekeepers and mint. How good are your cookies? Hmmmmm? Hmmmmm?

3) Gas Mask- S10 Mask with 40mm screw thread
No, not to smoke out of, Bro.

I recommend this guy. It has a shelf life of 20 years if properly cared for and the NATO filters, so long as the vacuum seal is intact, have a shelf life of 10 years. Now Dale, how do you know Jack or Shit about gas masks? The internet. Duh.
It will protect you from any extra ALZ-113 those damn dirty apes have gotten their hands on and the common cold. Nice.

2) Build A Bear Pet Monkey
Winner of Iowa Caucus.
What! You say! Trust me. I know these Apes are smart but wiggle this little guy when they are bearing down on you with a fence post or a piece of a Chevelle and they HAVE to stop. It's like cat nip for Apes.
1-Show. 2-Stop incoming attack. 3-Throw and divert attention. 4-Run.

1) James Franco
No brainer and the easy number 1. Ceaser's sweet heart and Dad. Even though he is kinda crappy at rock climbing and all, he's a definite accessory. Plus the dude is probably holding, which is, like

Well Kiddies I am jet lagged as hell. I love you. Ooh ee ooh aah aah.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Heaven is a place called...

Bingo can suck it. That is all. Well, not suck it all the way. But it can still suck it.
Last night we bingoed it up. (I am at home in Arizona visiting my family, mind you.)
And up until last night a bingo hall meant some temporarily converted Moose Lodge in Midwesternville, Midwest that the good old boys let their big haired wives take over for the evening so they will stop giving them shit about the mess in the garage.. Not the case here in the desert, my friends.
In Arizona the bingo halls are IN the Casinos. Merle Haggard and both George Bush territory.
The spectacle of walking up to the casino almost made up for the fact that I had mini heart attacks all night as I was a mere two daubed numbers away from hundreds of dollars.
We were at the luxurious Lone Butte Casino:
Lone Butte Casino
Walking into a bingo hall as a young man can only be likened to walking in front a firing squad of retired soccer moms smoking Pall Malls. Territorial smirks and looks all around, that is if the eyes weren't dead all ready.
Talk and be shushed. Library rules apply. These people mean Busy-Ness.
The biggest sign that these women were not to be fucked with was the latest development in bingoing. News Flash: the days of the dauber are slowly dying my friends.. They actually have electronic machines now that you purchase a code from the teller window for, input said code and then watch the display of your cards as electronic dots cover the predetermined number with the corresponding number of the balls that are announced.
Old School.

Long story short. I lost. I am in general a rotten sport and if I had won I would be singing the praises of the Lone Butte and how bingoing was the fast cash fix of the future.
But I must say if you are ever in Arizona and you want to smoke indoors and hang with a room full of people who have some STORIES kid, haunt the Lone Butte.
I knew the way that Lady Luck had treated other guys she'd been with...and Luck was no lady with me.
I love you New York. I will be in your arms tonight.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 with a bullet.

No resolutions. (except lose my mind less at the line that never goes away at the 67th and Columbus Starbucks) Only goals.
One of them is to WRITE MORE. So this blog is born.
" I am a writer." is an iffy statement in general and should be uttered with caution due to the conversation and self realization it may yield. Example conversation:
Some guy: What do you do?
Me: I am a writer.
Some guy: Oh yeah. What do you write?
Me: Screenplays. Plays. Sketches. The short story sometimes. Poems in college, but come on, we all did that.
Some guy: Oh. Sold anything.
Me: Come close.
Some guy: Oh.
(uncomfortable silence)
Some guy: You tried this random craft beer that I'm holding?
Me: Yeah! Yeah. Yeah, it's really great...
I could go on for days.
So I am using this blog as a stretch in brain muscle. A brain workout if you will.
Read. Don't read. But if you do, I will make you smarter...or pissed off.
Here we go!
My 2012 started with the inevitable hangover. What was I drinking? How kind of you to ask:
...and it was good. I bought it on the sole principle that it was made by a brewing company called SKA BREWING COMPANY out of Durango, CO. Now what a bunch of dudes who like picking it up are doing making beer in Colorado, I don't know. What I do know is they made that Pale Ale nice. Check em out here:
And, of course, as expected my good friend Jagermeister made an appearance as well. Revelry was had and noise makers were blown. Friends and family rejoiced.
So it being the New Year now my little brother brought me a cleanse. Something he makes himself and affectionately calls "Green Juice".
Frightening, right? It tastes like lawn clippings and gatorade had a bastard child. Why I bring this up is because even though I drank this cleanse in effort to "begin anew" I know for a friggin' fact that I will be eating the leftover summer sausage log and dodgy left over shrimp cocktail right after I post this.
Speaking of which. I must go.
I love you all. Keep watching wrestling. Keep listening to good music and if you go see "Man on a Ledge" I will never talk to you again.