Thursday, December 8, 2011

Frank Sinatra Wants You to Jingle All the Way, or Else

Jolly is not a word I'd ever
use to describe Frank Sinatra,
though he was known for
having a pal named Jilly.
So. Yesterday I discussed some Christmas songs that I like, and as usual I digressed. Today I'll try to keep focus and stay on topic. So focused, in fact, that I'm going to discuss just a single song.

But it's a great song.

I'll throw up some exposition in noting that I bear a slight affection for the Rat Pack, even if music from that era was soured by what the movie Swingers did to many people my age. (Hearing "Vegas, baby!" was almost as pneumatic-roofing-nails-slammed-into-my-cochlea grating as the sounds of Austin Powers impersonators yelling "Yeeeeeaaaahhhh, baby!" when the first of that awful trilogy was released a year later. In fact, I think hearing "baby" in these catchphrases kept me from trying to conceive a baby for almost a decade.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Songs That DON'T Suck, and Other Musings, Part I

Not even Frank Sinatra can
rock white socks like Dean.
After posting about the Christmas songs I abhor, a few others came to mind, and I realized that I could probably start a new blog called Christmas Songs I Abhor and have enough material to post every day for a year, then tie them all together and get a book deal.

Some day I'll do that. Today is not that day. AND DON'T STEAL MY IDEA OR I'LL FRIGGING SUE YOU IN INTERNET COURT. So, let's move on to my musings about other Christmas songs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Carols That Suck, and Other Musings

Hell yes.
I really wanted to say something profound about the Occupy Wall Street movement, but instead I'll share my opinions about the Christmas songs I do (and do not) like.

(As I was thinking about which songs would fall into which category, I discovered that the Onion's AVClub wrote a similar article. I have not read it yet, but you have my permission to do so.)

It's a little harder to create these lists than in years past because now I listen to Pandora — I'm tuned to the "Dean Martin (Holiday)" channel — so I'm able to get my fill of the songs I like without having to endure the crap that I used to face when I'd listen to the streaming versions of the radio stations pumping out all-Christmas tunes this time of year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Not So Yankee Doodle Dandy

You might hate these things by now, wondering why you
ever ate them in the first place, but when offered the opportunity,
you'd still eat them. And then hate yourself later.
What? Okay, just me, then.
Now, where were we? That's's been a while. I'll skip the "I haven't blogged in a while wow what a lazy person I am" prologue and get right to it.

Due to the nature of the distribution of chores and responsibilities in the The Anthony Show household, I am rarely if ever involved in the weekly acquisition of foodstuffs and sundries.

Mrs. The Anthony Show prefers it that way. Now that the kids are old enough that I can keep an eye on both of them by myself without the missus worrying that one child may shove the other child into an outlet, she usually hits the supermarkets (generally, Trader Joe's and Stop and Shop) on her own.

It's like a private vacation! For her, that is. Anyway, she always returns from her supermarket odyssey with a number of treats that would never be found in my parents' house when I lived there, unless they were smuggled there via the body cavities of sympathetic friends and relatives.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What the Hell Is Going on NOW?

I'm attempting to complete NaNoWriMo, against my better judgment. This year, I want to actually "finish" (that is, write a beginning-to-end first draft, no matter how shitty), so I'll probably be lax in my posting to The Anthony Show.

Not that I've been much on top of things lately, anyhow. But let's see how it goes!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Then We Sent a Spirit Into My Dorm-Mate's Stereo

If he looked more like this Hurley, we
would have played different pranks.
So there I was, blogging about the time I conspired to nearly disintegrate the digestive and colorectal systems of one of my college dorm-mates, whom I'm calling Hurley due to his physical resemblance to the Lost character, when I remembered another prank we pulled on the guy, which I'll share with you now.

I haven't even really begun this post, and I feel like I'm turning Hurley into some kind of poor martyr, but believe me, the guy could dish it out as good as he could take it. There are a couple of incidents I can mention but I won't, mainly because I like the guy and this blog is The Anthony Show, not The Guy Known On The Anthony Show As Hurley Show, that would assure you that he wasn't always the poor victim.

Unlike the Ex-Lax brownies incident, which required a small amount of planning, the next prank came about completely by accident when Hurley purchased a very expensive sound system for his room.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Ex-Lax-in-the-Brownies Prank

It helps if you picture a less-smiley
version of this guy.
The post I delivered on Friday jarred a few additional memories from my college years, so I think I’ll be sharing some of them in the near today.

The following tale involves a friend of mine whom I’ll refer to as Hurley, because if you were a fan of Lost and were able to flash back in time like many of the principals on that show, you’d instantly recognize the resemblances between my friend and the character portrayed by Jorge Garcia.

My Hurley was about five-foot-eight, 250 pounds or so (I never had the opportunity to weigh him), and usually wore his long wavy Cuban hair in a ponytail so thick that it seemed to defy gravity as it stuck straight out of his head.

Hurley was an area native who lived close enough to the university to be a commuter but, lacking car and driver's license (if I accurately recall), he lived down the hall from me during freshman year, then moved in with some guys from Brooklyn directly across from me.

Hurley was a friendly fellow but was also aggressive when it came to entering our rooms and eating our food. Rather than conduct an intervention with Hurley regarding his behavior, we decided to prank him.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Time My Roommate Climbed Into Bed With Me

Writing this post reminded me of Bosom
. If Skip and I had to wear dresses
to stay at the dorm, it would have made
a much more interesting tale.
Man, I really suck lately when it comes to updates. But enough about me. Well, not enough about me. Here's a Story about something that happened to me in college.

It was sophomore year, and I was living in the dorms. The way my particular building worked, you lived in a two-person suite that was connected to another two-person suite via a bathroom that connected both rooms. For my freshman year I was randomly paired with a guy named Eric, who was (and, I believe, still is) from a town in south-central New York called (I'm not making this up) Horseheads.

(The town, outside of Corning and Elmira, was near another curiously named area called Big Flats. I liked to ask Eric if that's also how you described the women that lived there. Yes, there was a time when my jokes were actually worse than they are now.)

He and I were as different as a Horseheads resident and Long Islander could be — when he read my full-of-vowels name off the "This is your roommate" card over the summer, he expected to meet a guy who drove an Iroc and wore wifebeaters all the time, he later told me — but we made a great pair of roommates, so we chose to be roommates in the same room for sophomore year.

Our suitemates were a similarly mismatched pair of fellas who I'll call Ken and Tim. Eric and I expected to become closer to Tim over Ken, because on the first night Ken mentioned how much he liked to smoke what he called "the herb," and back then I was an almost militant teetotaler. But for reasons I'll explain in another post, we ended up being friendlier with Ken, Tim ended up befriending some guys in another dorm and moved in with them for sophomore year, and Ken filled the open slot with his friend Skip, who hailed from way-the-hell-upstate Ogdensburg, which probably was to Horseheads what Horseheads was to Manhattan.

Skip was, and as far as I know still is, a blast. But he liked to drink. A lot.

By sophomore year I'd loosened my standards on drinking, so the actual imbibing didn't bother me. But it was the result of his drinking that led to the incident that is the source of this post. So, now that I've finally completed this prologue, let's get to the Story.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Time I Tried to Sell My English Teacher's Car

Best offer.
Now that I have children and grownup/parental responsibilities and no sleep and uh, a job, I no longer have a lot of free time.

And because I no longer have a lot of free time, one of the many things I don't experience much anymore is...boredom.

Sure, I'm bored at work (where do you think I'm writing this post?), but I actually have things I'm supposed to be doing with my day. I'm speaking of the boredom where you literally have nothing to do. (I don't count extra studying or other productive pursuits as "something to do"; this is an underachiever who's writing this post.)

Although I'd often just suffer through my boredom complaining about being bored, occasionally my boredom would compel me to engage in mischievous activity.

This post describes one of those times.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lists of Lists, Sports Edition

I hate you and your lazy eye, Breck Girl.
It's been a while since I last posted, so let me do a set of lists to get back into the swing again.

One of the biggest surprises people experience after they know me for a while is the fact that I'm very interested in professional sports. I don't know why this is such a surprise. Perhaps I exude such snobbish arrogance that it's assumed that sports are beneath me, or if I were to discuss sports, I'd sound like George Will.

But I do enjoy watching (and when my aging soft decrepit body allows, playing) sports. I also have some strong opinions about them, many of which I can put into a list format that would satisfy the "Lists of Lists" categorization with which I titled this post.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's the Deal With the Lack of Posts Lately?

I was on vacation last week, and returned to the warm embrace of Hurricane Irene, which has knocked out my power for four days and counting. As soon as it returns and I can descend to my depressing cellar, I'll be updating again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When Sitcom Dads Become Badasses While Remaining Dads

I've been thinking about the few remaining pleasures in my life. On one hand, it's easy to recall them, because there are so few of them, yet on the other hand, it's difficult to recall them, because they're buried among, well, other things.

But anyway. One of my pleasures is my Sunday night ritual of watching Breaking Bad. This is a program that I started watching from the very beginning, unlike, say, Lost, for which I had to cram a full first season into a two-week span before the second season started.

Watching a full season of a network show, especially an hour-long show, can be an endurance challenge. Mrs. The Anthony Show and I enjoyed watching the first season of Lost on DVD because we didn't have to deal with commercials and a week-long wait to start the next episode. On the other hand, after a few consecutive episodes it would suddenly be 12:45am on a work night and we'd be like, "Okay, just one more before we go to bed" and it turns out to be one of the more tedious Season 1 plots when Charlie's stuck in a cave or something for the entire hour.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On "Crazy" Women, Part II

She wears the I LOVE PAUL button so John,
George, and Ringo don't get the wrong idea.
So anyway, I have some more things to say about so-called "crazy" women.

The question that inspired last week's post was, would I date a hot woman even if she were crazy, and I concluded that at my current age and level of life experience, I probably wouldn't. But you must also understand that the level of crazy that I attract far exceeds the level of hotness that I'd attract. In addition, I think these two characteristics are related, so that the hotter the woman I'd attract, the crazier she'd be.

It's fortunate that I didn't attract many women at all when I was in high school, because I would have probably ruined my young life while dating a crazy hot girl.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On "Crazy" Women, Part I

Yes, I know that Janet Leigh wasn't the
psycho, but I'd probably date her
anyway if she were.
Yesterday a female co-worker asked, "Would you be willing to date a very hot woman if she were crazy?"

Because it's hard for me to answering a question without first asking a question, I asked in reply, "Define crazy."

"She's calls you all the time, won't leave you alone, she's clingy, that sort of thing."

Because it's even harder for me to answer any question with brevity, the following is based on the answer I gave.

First of all, answering questions like these can be very difficult unless the answer is preceded by, to paraphrase the Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King, "I think I think." (The writer Peter King shouldn't be confused with the congressman Peter King, who displays a lot more certainty when he expresses his opinions. I don't actually say "I think I think," because I would sound crazy to talk like that, even though I might just start to include that phrase in my conversations from now on anyway, but the point that's taking me forever to make is that there are decisions about which you can only speculate, because you don't know how you'd actually react if you faced such a choice in real life.

In other words, I'm not in a position to date other women, and haven't been for than 13 years in a civil-contract sense, even longer in a Get-my-ass-whupped-if-I-went-out-with-another-woman sense. However, with all that in mind, here (finally!) is how I'd answer the question.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Time I Was Asked by a Total Stranger Whether I Needed to Deficate

This is a photo of the recently renovated bathroom at Penn.
I don't think my incident would have had the same kind of
"magic" in such a comparatively shinier place.
I no longer commute to New York City, and though it's been very beneficial to have a shortened commute — particularly because I'm home earlier so I can assist Mrs. The Anthony Show, who's outnumbered by the kids from the mid-afternoon onward — I do miss the occasional and unpredictable wacky and/or zany episode that is always possible when you travel in an area inhabited by several million random people.

This is the story of one of those episodes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Time I Personally Insulted a Very Angry Man I'd Never Met

Say hello to the little friend who
inspired one of my catchphrases.
Those who know me to a certain degree are quite aware that among my many idiosyncrasies is my habit of lodging a phrase — based on something I've read or viewed — into my head and repeating it, uh, repeatedly, only to abandon it abruptly and latch onto some other series of bon mots that are not all that bon.

Then, years later, I'll run into a former college classmate or co-worker from one of my many previous locations of employ and he'll ask me if I still say, for instance, "Pork chop sandwiches!" And sometimes I'll forget that I ever said "Pork chop sandwiches!" even though this particular person's mnemonic device for "Anthony, with whom I used to work" is PORK-CHOP SANDWICHES.

For unknown reasons, I suddenly thought of one of those long-abandoned phrases I used to say. To explain the reference I will touch on one of the most enjoyable films of all time, early gangsta rap, and my college-magazine experience.

And a good chunk of what follows is probably Not Suitable For Work, but that probably doesn't matter. You ready?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Time a Somewhat Drunken Crazy Lady Jumped Into My Car

I'll have to hitchhike with the other hand.
I didn't post last week. My niece stayed with us for a week and I didn't have much time to do much of anything. Right now I'm blogging shortly after the first of what will be two surgeries for my carpal tunnel syndrome. There's really not much to say about the surgery other than it seemed to go well, and I have to type this post with just one hand.

So, I'll return to blogging with a brief anecdote about my only notable experience with a hitchhiker.

Though I haven't read any data on hitchhiking, I'm guessing that the practice has been in steep decline over the past several decades, along with other pastimes like playing with Tinkertoys or making 8-track mixtapes. There are two memories from my childhood related to hitchhiking:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Like the Most Memorable Scene in "There's Something About Mary," but Not Really

I know I used this image before, but it's an
accurate representation of what my
groggy state felt like in the morning.
Here we go with the thrilling conclusion to my three-part series, "The Anthony Show Goes to the Sleep Center." I've discussed my arrival, being wired to a machine, and an evening that included one of the craziest dreams I've even had.

Today I'll tell you all how it ended.

After being roused by my caretaker, Harold, he quickly went to work removing the wires that were attached to my head, chest, and legs, as well as whatever it was that was wrapped around the front of my face and protruded into my nose, and the red light that was taped to my finger.

"How'd you sleep?" he asked.

"I don't know," I replied. "I guess you'll let me know in a week." Harold chuckled softly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Hope the Sleep Study Can't Record My Dreams!

What Steve-O of Jackass
will look like in 30 years,
if Steve-O lives that long.
When I previously blogged, I was dealing with a somewhat fitful night of slumber at the sleep center. I'd already woken up a couple of times and had to summon my caretaker, Harold, to unhook from a machine all the wires attached to my head, chest, and legs so I could take a leak.

Eventually I fell asleep again, and then I had The Dream, which I'll try to explain in as much detail as possible.

Keep in mind that I didn't "write" this dream, so I can't necessarily be held responsible for the weirdness that was crafted by my subconscious. I'm sure you've all had crazy dreams, too, dreams that are rendered crazier when you're sleeping in a strange bed.

So anyway, here it is...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You'd Think a "Sleep Study" Would as Easy as, uh, Sleeping

Home sweet home!
This is a busy month for me, healthwise. At the end of July, I'm having the first of two carpal tunnel syndrome surgeries, followed by the removal of a non-working vein in my leg. Since I've turned 40, I've started to address some of my lingering ailments.

Sunday night I continued the process of dealing with what could possibly be sleep-related issues. I always feel tired, but I'd chalked that up to having children in the house and my late bedtimes, which routinely exceed midnight. But Mrs. The Anthony Show has noted that I occasionally snore (and by "noted" I mean "would smother me with a pillow if she weren't so groggy because of the fact that"), so I made an appointment with a sleep specialist, who, after hearing my response to a number of questions about my sleep habits, suggested I go to the sleep center for a study.

Friday, July 8, 2011

And I Never Learned Mister Softee's First Name

My second father.
All that blogging I did for Tuesday's post about ice cream, combined with Father of the Anthony Show's birthday yesterday, brought back some summer memories that involved the ice cream gentlemen who roamed my neighborhood.

The main guys who worked the territory were Mister Softee, who usually showed up in the early afternoon, and the Circus Man — I still don't know what circuses have to do with ice cream — who'd swing by after dinner.

When my brother and I were young, too young to have any money of our own, the only truck we were allowed to patronize was Señor Softee. Dad's logic was that Monsieur Softee sold actual ice cream, not the "candy and junk" that the Circus Man offered. Back then, a basic soft-serve cone cost only 50 cents, so Dad could send us out of the house with a buck and we'd be rather satisfied for the next 20 minutes.

My brother and I never went to camp, except for one horrendous two-week experience that I'll probably blog about at another time, so the ice cream man appearances helped us know what time it was during the summer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We All Yell for Homemade Ice Cream

Oh yes.
Where most guys get the craving to build a man cave or tune up some kind of automobile engine or climb a mountain backward or jump off a bridge while on fire and tied to a large rubber band, I'm always seeking my next culinary accomplishment.

A couple of months after splurging on my Zoku ice pop maker, I found myself itching to make homemade ice cream; it's not quite my "climbing Mount Everest" ambition, it's probably up there with Mount McKinley.

All I needed...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Swapping Heads for Convenience and Profit, or: United Media Memories, Part 4

No chapter on how cartooning causes
a lapse into despair and madness.
My previous "weird" United Media tale concerned one of my co-workers. Today's is about one of the cartoonists whose work we syndicated.

I should begin by noting that to be a syndicated cartoonist, even if you're not a licensing machine like "Dilbert" or "Garfield," is to be in very exclusive company. Back in the mid-1990s, when I worked at United Media, I saw the contract for one of our lesser cartoonists ("lesser" not in quality but in the sheer numbers of newspapers carrying his strip) and the guy was making like 65 grand to draw funny pictures.

So it's not a bad gig, considering a cartoonist is probably getting paid for other illustration work, or whatever he's doing to fill the several hours that he's not drawing comics for United Media.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Shooting at Snoopy's House, or: United Media Memories, Part 3

Yeah, more stories.
As I take a small trip down United Media Memory Lane, I regret that there are some stories that I'm unable to tell because they're stories that were told to me; I didn't experience them firsthand.

If I could only track down the guy who told me some of these stories, I'd have him do a guest post. The crux of those pre–The Anthony Show United Media stories was that during the late 1980s, more than a couple of employees liked to consume drugs, particularly cocaine, and that resulted in episodes that were very funny when you hear them 10 years later but were likely very sad and regrettable during the time they occurred.

But I do have a couple of stories that I witnessed, and they definitely fall under the "that's weird!" category. Here's a good one...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Day I Met Charles M. Schulz, or: United Media Memories, Part 2

Perhaps one day I will be this happy.
My role at United Media, some memories of which I shared yesterday, was in the Comic Art department, where we received the comic strips from the artists. These were either actual hard copies via mail or scanned files on our server.

I spoke to many of the cartoonists, from Scott Adams of "Dilbert" to Brad Anderson of "Marmaduke," when they had questions or if I had to hound them when they were falling behind on their deadlines. Most of the cartoonists were helpful and humble, aware of how lucky they were to be getting paid to draw pictures. A couple of them were assholes. And a few of them gave me memories worth blogging about.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Time Gum Was Hurled at Me Because I Was Walking the Streets in a Tutu, or: Memories of United Media, Part I

As I've mentioned previously, I've switched jobs many times. What I should have been doing is switching careers instead, but that's for another blog post / session with my career counselor / subject to be discussed as the police and a priest try to talk me down from the ledge of a skyscraper.

Sometimes I leave jobs at the wrong time, like when I gave notice to my manager at a job where I felt I'd have no career advancement and she informed me that she had just given notice to her boss and I knew that would have been next in line for her job and that path might have put me in a better situation than the one I'm rotting in dealing with right now.

Other times, like in the case of a more recent employer, my co-workers and I knew our Titanic hit the iceberg (the Seattle office began to absorb the New York–area departments one by one) and I was able to float away on a new-job flotilla before the whole thing sank into Midtown West without a trace.

As I'd mentioned in a bit of an aside the other day, one of my former employers — the site of one of my first real job-jobs, in fact — had finally been liquidated thanks to the acquisition, the unpredictability of the media market, the evolution of the media market, and (I'm assuming) some form of greed.

I left this company, United Media, in 1998, so I'd been long gone before several different mini-upheavals occurred prior to The Big One. However, as the site of my second-longest tenure (three years and a couple of months) at any job, the place summons several memories, and if I can stay focused and not lazy, I'm going to discuss some of them this week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lists of Lists, Volume 5: Jobs Edition

Not this Jobs.
How many jobs have you had? Two? Three? I've had several. So many, in fact, that my resume was once three pages long, until a career consultant told me that a three-page resume is for braggarts and lunatics, and I've since found a way to pare it down to a pair of pages.

My lists in this post will concern some of my job history, for instance:

  1. Two Park Avenue
  2. 200 Park Avenue
  3. 200 Madison Avenue (the same employer as 200 Park; the office moved)
  4. 611 Broadway
  5. Two Penn Plaza (on two separate occasions, at the same company)
  6. Somewhere on either West 21st or West 22nd, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues 
  7. 45 West 18th Street (the same employer as West 21st/22nd; the office moved)
  8. 130 Fifth Avenue
  9. 1176 Avenue of the Americas
Scanning that list of addresses, more than looking at my resume, makes me realize I've worn out a lot of shoe leather during my career. If they wanted to do a bus tour of All The Places Where The Anthony Show Once Worked, it would take about three hours to hit everywhere, not counting the lunch break at Gray's Papaya.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Adventures in Gluttony, Part II

Angel hair = death.
Hello and welcome to the second part of my Confessions of a Disgusting Eater. Yesterday I shared memories of my burger/frozen-hot-chocolate trail of tears, and today I'll tell you about another time I ate like a death-row inmate who just learned that the governor doesn't give a crap about his two-week hunger strike.

About a year into my marriage, Mrs. The Anthony Show and her friend wanted to backpack through Europe. I was offered the opportunity to join them, but declined because
  1. I generally hate to travel
  2. We went to Greece (Mykonos and Athens and a couple of islands I don't remember) for my honeymoon, and that was enough European roughing it for me
  3. I wouldn't have minded a little Anthony Time for a week

Monday, June 20, 2011

Adventures in Gluttony, Part 1

I ate a little too much on Father's Day, starting with this:

Poached eggs = boiled awesomeness.

To be honest, I eat a little too much every day, but I had a rather large breakfast at Toast, an airy breakfast place in Huntington, and then I treated myself to a small Crumbs cupcake (the kids indulged in frozen hot chocolates at the Dunkin Donuts next door), and as we walked around the downtown streets, I had that "I can't believe I ate that whole thing" feeling.

As the contents of my breakfast began to clog my pyloric valve, I thought about those times when I truly, madly, deeply ate too much.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm Going to Need Douchebag Insurance

I am already bored into rigor mortis.
I subscribe to the notion that even if you're completely satisfied in your current state of employment — and if you are, I hate you but would like to have to forward my resume to the HR department  — it never hurts to keep your resume up-to-date and ready in the event you hear about that dream job earning six figures alternating playing the Grand Theft Auto franchise, testing the deliciousness of various chocolate desserts, and rating the skills of very attractive masseuses.

Well, a guy can dream. That's why I uploaded my most recent resumes to Monster and Careerbuilder the other day.

The good thing about these sites is that new resumes alert employers who can scan your resume and get in touch with you about jobs that you didn't know were available.

The bad thing about these sites is that new resumes alert employers who can scan your resume and get in touch with you about jobs that you didn't know were available. I will explain.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Too Many Delays, and a Fun Chat

I've been pretty bad about updating this blog, but things have been a little hectic. Oh well. Anyway, here's another crazy IM chat I had with a robot/scammer.

When "Annita Sansing" contacted me with "[smiley face] hi sweetie" I knew I was in for another round of instant-messenger lunacy. I keep this going until I finally get bored, which happens quickly because it's probably not a real human on the other end. The "conversation" starts out well, but devolves into an argument between two deaf mental patients.

But see if you can spot my references to Shakespeare's Richard III, Logan's Run, Wikipedia, and a sign that you'd find on a wet floor!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Strip Club Week, Day 3: Stripper for One

I'm running out of related
images for these posts.
How have you enjoyed Strip Club Week on The Anthony Show so far? Wow, that's great. Have you thrown up yet?

Meanwhile, I'd mentioned that although I've been to strip clubs, it's only been while in the company of others. I've never gone to a strip club alone. Hell, I don't think I've ever walked into a normal bar by myself, and I even have trouble going to the supermarket without a chaperone: I tend to wander the aisles, spend way too much time reading labels, fill up my cart with impulse items, freak out moments before I reach the checkout line, and abandon the cart and slink off empty-handed.

Now, if you recall, my first club experience was in Niagara Falls at a place called Mints. That locale required people to sit at tables or on stools right in front of the runway. There was a bar, but it was mainly for the waitress to fulfill their orders. If you got your drink at the bar, the waitresses wouldn't get tips, and the waitresses would get mad.

But other clubs had accessible bars. These bars are very handy if your party just wants to check things out without making the commitment to sit at a table. Some strip clubs don't have this option, while the smaller ones have only this option: in other words, the main "stage," if you can call it that, is surrounded by the bar, and there are private-dance areas in the back.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strip Club Week, Day 2: The Stripper Force-Field

The Mints I dealt with were
curiously nude.
When we last chatted, I was in the middle of my first strip club experience. Let's return to that den of sin!

Mints was the kind of place where a hostess seats your party at a table. I later learned that other clubs let you kind of roam around or hang out at the bar, but at Mints they kept the men on a tight leash. The other things that made the ladies of Mints different from those at other clubs I later experienced in the States:
  • They took off everything, and I mean everything
  • They worked with a force field

One of my friends called over one of the girls, who was dressed in her not-yet-naked attire. When she showed up, he whispered in her ear and pointed at me. She nodded and gave me one of those "come with me" gestures. I had no choice but to go with her — when a woman in a bikini gives you an order, unless that woman is Joy Behar, you follow that order.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Strip Club Week, Day 1: Welcome to Strip Club Week

Whoops! Wrong stripper.
But that IS a very sexy car!
Even though I've already told my best strip club story, I want to back up a moment and share my overall musings regarding what is referred to by a number of euphemisms, including "adult entertainment," "gentlemen clubs," or, as we'd say when we'd drive across the border into Canada, "the ballet."

I don't know whether I'll have enough posts about strip clubs to fill a week, but "Strip Club Week" on a blog sounds almost as cool as "Shark Week" or "Exotic Hamburger Week."

Or, maybe it doesn't, and it actually sounds misogynist, pathetic, and soulless. But anyway, here's the first post.

Before I'd ever set foot in such a place, my only impression of what a strip club would be like was formed from movies that included scenes in strip clubs, which usually starred Eddie Murphy before he started wearing fat suits or co-starring with children or talking animals, such as Beverly Hills Cop. These movies were mass-market films that presented strip clubs — if I can accurately summon the memories from my mid- to late teens — as tantalizing dens of masculinity where men whooped and hollered and waved rolled-up dollar bills in the air, and the women were not tragically deformed by plastic surgery or drugs.

The women also wore a lot of makeup, never completely disrobed (a rare topless shot was as risqué as it got), and, if I remember correctly, occasionally wore outfits made of feathers. I should note that these movies were made in the 1980s (which could explain the feathers and why the men all seemed to be wearing plaid dress shirts), and they weren't the kind of movies that showed anything seedy, like if Jodie Foster's character grew up and starred in a Taxi Driver sequel where instead of hooking (or maybe in addition to hooking) she worked at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club.

(The movie would end with Travis Bickle showing up with a flamethrower to fry Larry Flynt in his wheelchair, and I know you'd pay to see that.)

Anyway, onto my first (and, alas, not last) strip-club experience...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On Being Italian, Part I

If you ever catch me in this shirt,
you have permission to hit me
in the groin with a bag of meatballs.
Some days I'm not sure what to blog about. I come home from the soul-suck of a job, fulfill my parenting duties until the kids go to bed, then stagger downstairs to one of the computers to face a blank Blogger screen in order to write something for which I will receive no compensation instead of working on something that could possibly lead to compensation, even if it's the literary equivalent of an incomplete Powerball ticket.

For inspiration, I headed over to the blog written by my former boss, a blog I highly recommend, and noticed that he had written -- with his usual flair for logos, ethos, and pathos -- about his confusion regarding his heritage. So I decided I will do the same.

I have a very Italian-sounding name, even though I'm only 75 percent Italian. I'm 12½ percent Greek and 12½ percent German. When I mention these ratios I usually get an odd look, like I'm trying to be amusing with those "half percents," but it's simple math:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spend the Night With This "Booty Call," or Lists of Lists, Volume 4: Film Edition (Part 2)

"They TOOK the BAR!"
I haven't done one of these list-lists in a while. Last time I discussed films I liked and despised, so I'll just build upon that theme.

I could probably do a list of "my favorite films" several times a year, and each time, I'd have a different list, depending on how I'm feeling, how much I've been influenced by the films I've seen most recently, and how long I spend thinking about it.

So, let me have my first list be

  1. Animal House (1978)
  2. The Godfather, Part II (1974)
  3. The Godfather (1972)
  4. Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (2008)
  5. Groundhog Day (1993)
  6. The Boys in the Band (1970)
  7. The Hangover (2009)
  8. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (2006)
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Yes, it's an eclectic list, but if I were to compile it again15 minutes later, it would probably be different. The point is...

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Somewhat Memorable Memorial Day: S'mores!

Chef's hat + cook's utility belt =
I need to do more sit-ups.
Today began with rain, which I kind of welcomed because we had planned to go to the beach along with, I assume, the rest of Long Island. Sometimes I dread the whole lotion-up-the-kids ordeal, but now they're older and can at least help us lug some crap to and from our little patch of sand. Still, the beach is never all that relaxing when you've got two kids in tow.

We planned to host a barbecue at around 3, so the morning was supposed to be spent at the beach with Mrs. The Anthony Show's .

The skies cleared up by late morning, and Mrs. The Anthony Show convinced me that we should take a shot at the beach. Here's how the convincing went:

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Time I Was Forcibly Removed From a Strip Club

It's never like this.
Sometimes my blog-post titles oversell the posts themselves. I did get forcibly removed from a strip club, but I was part of an entire group that was forcibly removed from a strip club, and I was guilty only by association. But it's not easy to explain those distinctions to the kinds of people who bounce at strip clubs.

I'm eventually going to run a post on my overall thoughts on strip clubs, but I'll put that on hold for now and instead discuss the evening I was forcibly removed from a strip club.

This episode was part of a larger undertaking, a bachelor party that began at Yankee Stadium on a perfect day for baseball, especially when it ends with a walk-off homer by Scott Brosius. After the game we hopped in a limo — riding in a limo is cool, but leaving a Yankee game in a limo is even cooler — that took us to dinner at El Cantinero in the NYU part of town.

Dinner was some buffet-style Mexican that was very good. Better than dessert was learning that the open bar wasn't just for beer, but for everything at the bar. It was the first and only time that I ever said to a bartender, "Twenty-five lemon-drop shots, please!" without fleeing the bar before I got the bill.

Things seemed to be moving smoothly until...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gadget Alert, "Money Melons," and Other Musings

The real money melon.
Krusty the Clown once said that honeydew is the "money melon." Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski and I might have a few things in common, but our views on sweet round fleshy fruit cannot be more different.

For me, cantaloupe is where it's at; "it" meaning "melony goodness" and "at" meaning "juices running down my chin."

The problem with cantaloupe — or any melon, for that matter — is getting through its protective shell, eliminating the pits that trip you up and spoil things, and reaching the good part. I could use that last sentence as a profound way of explaining how that also applies to the mystery of interaction and what makes human relationships truly human, but quite frankly whenever someone says "melons" I can only think of boobs.

I found a gadget that helps tackle the melon-carving problem. If you're looking for a gadget to help you get more boobs, you'll have to seek advice elsewhere.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Something I Cooked: Bacon-Dog Armageddon

The eggs being hard-boiled were not part of this project.
Have you ever made yourself a dish that was like really really good, but then after you ate it you were like, Yeah, I won't be making and/or eating that for a long long time?

Welcome to my Monday night!

I hit the treadmill for the first time in a while. I have been getting exercise and also risking heart failure mowing the lawn with my manual push mower, but I need to keep exercising in order to fight the age and fat and random health problems that are clawing me into the grave.

So what better way to commemorate my return to traditional exercise than with a bacon hot dog?

Monday, May 23, 2011

This Dream Will Give You a Nightmare

I was going to put up a pic of
teeth falling out, but I decided
to reverse course. You're welcome.
You have been warned.

I'm not someone who believes in all that dream-interpretation stuff. Several times a year I have one of those dreams where I either lose my teeth or forget my locker combination or my class schedule, which I'm told means I've got some kind of worry or insecurity.

This makes me wonder why I don't have these kinds of dreams every day, or why I'm not losing my teeth in real life, but that's for another post.

We all have weird dreams. Some of them are just so bizarre that you can barely describe them to someone else, or you're just afraid to. With that in mind, I'm going to share with you a crazy dream I had over the weekend. It's could be one of the worst things you'll ever read.

Again, you've been warned. So, hey, read on!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Something I Wrote, Part 3: "The Rehearsal" Comedy Sketch

In sort-of-honor of the passing of Randy Savage, I've decided to post my only wrestling-based comedy sketch.

This one was actually performed a few times, and it usually went well, mainly because it's short. It began as a much longer version, but my writing teacher suggested I go in a slightly different (and shorter and better) direction.

In many ways I prefer the long version, but it's an example of a sketch that looks really great as I'm writing it (and perhaps as you're reading it), but when you rehearse it, it just doesn't work. The timing doesn't come through, and it drags in spots you weren't expecting.

But that's the difference between writing that's meant to be read and writing that's meant to be performed. Not every piece of writing works in both formats. I always wonder whether my novels, if I were ever to finish any of them, would be entertaining to read aloud if I were fortunate to hold a book reading/signing.

But before I'll ever know that, I'd have to actually complete a novel first. I know I just wrote that; I'm just emphasizing the fact that I have a number of unfinished novels.

So enjoy the finished version, and snap into a Slim Jim for our deceased ring hero. May you finally enjoy the company of Elizabeth, Macho Man.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Not-So-Triumphant Sort-of-Return to New York City

I had an appointment in the city today. During the two-plus years since I left my most recent city job for the employer for whom I currently slave, I’ve been back to the Big Apple only a few times, and all those times I’d driven in.

Today I experienced my first train ride since very early 2009, after 14 years as a Long Island Railroad commuter. I was surprised that the experience didn’t seem as strange as I thought it would be. It was as if I'd been on a two-year vacation. The main differences between my last train ride and today’s is that I now have a phone that allows me to surf the Internet, and I have a netbook small enough to fit in my bag and which can be used without taking up too much train-seat real estate.

I took some pictures to document this somewhat boring trip!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Silly Gagdet Alert: Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower

I'm not sure why I'm calling this series of posts "Silly Gadget Alert." The gadgets I buy are certainly not silly. Some of them are definitely impractical and eventually unused, even if I acquired them with good intentions, like the FoodSaver that lingers as a dust collector in my basement.

Considering my love/hate relationship with lawn maintenance, I became very frustrated when my attempt at do-it-yourself mower maintenance techniques — changing the spark plug and air filter for the first time in my John Deere's nine-year history — did nothing to improve its performance.

When my gas can went empty and I computed how much it would cost to fill, I finally decided to take a plunge I'd wanted to take for years: buying a reel mower.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something I Cooked: Custard French Toast

"You don't need a license to drive a sandwich."
As I write this post, I'm home with my sort-of-sick daughter, watching The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie for the second (of I'm not sure how many) consecutive times.

Having a sick 4-year-old is usually better than having, say, a sick 2-year-old, because I can stick her in front of the TV for most of the day and call it compassionate parenting rather than lazy neglect.

One drawback with a sick 4-year-old, particularly my 4-year-old, is that she's wants me to play with her dolls in her bedroom. The dolls part isn't the problem, but rather the fact that there's nowhere for me to sit in her tiny room, and I haven't had the muscular flexibility to sit comfortably on a floor (especially in a position we used to call "Indian style," but which my kids called "crisscross applesauce) since I was 6.

I convinced her to bring her various dolls and dollhouses into the living room, so I can play with her while sitting on the couch and, if I'm lucky, watching paternity-test results on Maury.

While Mrs. The Anthony Show was getting ready to venture out into an angry rain to drop off her last final paper of the semester, I took the opportunity to make use some French toast.

I'm rather a fan of Alton Brown's recipe. It's not very difficult (meaning there's no reason why you shouldn't try it out sometime), and it takes to a new level the soggy old French toast your used to. Let's see how it worked out this morning...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't Ask Me About My Weekend

Not my weekend.
How was your weekend?

Does that innocent question cause you to clench your fists and/or sigh pathetically?

Everyone knows how the question How are you?, particularly around the workplace, can be an open-ended query with the potential to open a Pandora's box of misery.

What I realized recently is that there's an even worse question you can ask a person in my state of life:

"How was your weekend?"

For starters, Saturday and Sunday haven't comprised "my" weekend since 2003 or so, perhaps earlier. I know I'm preaching to the choir to many of you, but when I'm asked about my weekend I'm forced to remember how much of my weekend has been chewed away like the income of a rich person without a smart accountant.

A worse question is What did you do this weekend?, but there's yet a still more horrible question...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Video Podcast #4: Losing Money While Enraged

Blogger had some problems and apparently ate my previous post, about losing my wallet yesterday. In today's video podcast (I didn't write this one because Blogger was down), I talk about losing something else the following day...and without as happy an ending as the wallet episode.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How I Lost My Wallet...And My MIND (Dun Dun DUN!)

THERE it is! On my blog!
(Spoiler alert: I did find my wallet.)

Yesterday morning I was going through my usual routine of having to perform a half-hour's worth of tasks in 10 minutes, and at the last minute I couldn't find my wallet.

I'd been running myself particularly ragged the past couple of weeks, what with Mrs. The Anthony Show finishing school and taking Father Of The Anthony Show to and from Mount Sinai and cranking through my rare but coveted freelance editing assignment, so the morning was particularly blurry.

I was groggier than usual because in the middle of the night, my daughter wandered into my bed (Mrs. The Anthony Show had fallen asleep on the couch while researching one of her final papers) because she'd had a bad dream. In the morning I asked her what the dream was about, and she replied, "The Leapster."

Lest you think she was talking about some kind of hipster ogre with thick calf muscles, this is a Leapster:

I Have Neither the Attention Nor the Patience for a Russian Bride

I am mistaken for him quite often.
I was going to mention the following e-mail in yesterday's post about crazy spam e-mails I've received, but it wasn't job-related.

Not all of my spam is worthy of a blog post, but every now and then I receive something that neither bores nor enrages me.

The following e-mail was found in my spam folder, and the "sender" was my own e-mail address, more evidence that spam would be more successful if the spammers did a little homework and assume that I wouldn't send myself an e-mail to buy erection pills or Russian brides, because why would I buy something from myself, other than to boost my eBay transaction score?

But anyway, on to the e-mail:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Soviet Russia, Jobs Apply for YOU!

This is your soul on job.
I want a job.

True, I already have a job, and bitching about your job in this economy is like complaining about the side effects of Viagra to a guy without any genitals, but my current state of employment pinches off morsels of my soul like a guy pulling pieces of monkey bread.

I had about 10 jobs since I graduated from college, and wherever I've been I always had this nagging feeling that somewhere, somehow, there's a better position out there for me.

(This professional-life attitude does not apply to my personal life. Mrs. The Anthony Show and I have been together [counting marriage and pre-marriage] for 20 years now — half my life — and if the cards I was dealt don't always turn up blackjack, I know when to hold on a pair of kings.)

(And if you can understand one of the worst metaphors ever, congratulations.)

So anyway. I've got my resume circulating on a number of job sites, so whenever I receive an e-mail whose subject line seems to be related to a job opening, I get excited, then enraged when I discover that the "job" is some kind of spam.

"What do you mean, The Anthony Show?" Well, I'll show you...

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Hope This Father/Son Activity Will CATCH ON

When he turns 7, I'll show him
how to hook up with cougars.
This weekend I experienced a father/son milestone: having a catch for the first time.

That's not to say Son and I haven't thrown things at each other in the past, but Saturday was the first time we had an official grab-the-glove, go-to-the-park, toss-the-ball-around event.

I wasn't the kind of dad-to-be who already picked out a glove and bat even before the kid was born, though watching some of Son's fellow 6-year-olds throw and hit like they're already ready to be scouted, I wonder whether I should have been reading up on how to adjust the kid's in utero pitching mechanics.

We went to this cozy, newly renovated park that contained a small playground area and a full-size little league field, with fresh grass and lines and everything. Son, who is on a little league team, wanted to take some practice swings, but
  • We had only one ball
  • He doesn't hit pitched balls very well yet
These two factors would create a situation with this formula...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Something I Wrote, Part 2: "Bread Crumbs" Comedy Sketch

Don't ask.
Last week I showed you a comedy sketch that I'd written. This week I'll show you another comedy sketch I've written.

The difference between the two is that last week's sketch, "The Eye Has It," has been performed — more than once, with different players — and has gotten laughs in both rehearsal and performance. It's usually my go-to piece when someone wants to review a sample of my comedic work.

The sketch I'm about to present has resulted in odd looks and nervous laughter during the couple of rehearsals and classes in which I've unleashed it. It has never been performed live.

I once took a sketch-writing class with Ian Roberts, who was in the core Upright Citizens Brigade quartet when Amy Poehler was just another underground improv comedienne. (When I took the class, I believe she was just a "featured player" on SNL.)

I considered it an honor to be in a class taught by Roberts, but he seemed rather depressed most of the time when he taught our class. He did give great criticism of our work, but the sketch I'm presenting today completely stumped him. He said that he honestly didn't know what to say about it.

I also brought it out for a comedy-writing class I took with D.B. Gilles, a great writing teacher from NYU and author of books including The Screenwriter Within. His criticism of the sketch, as far as I remember, resulted in a very heated argument between us. I can't remember why, nor do I blame him.

Anyway, I bet you can't wait to read it, right? Here goes! (I should also mention that Mrs. The Anthony Show hates it more than anything I've ever written, and that includes letters to all my ex-girlfriends she discovered the night before we married.)