Friday, April 29, 2011

Something I Wrote, Part 1: "The Eye Has It" Comedy Sketch

I never actually broke a leg, or
any bones, for that matter.
It's been a while since I've shared examples of the great many works of writing that I have either abandoned or maintain in a state of suspended animation. I thought it would be an unsolicited change of pace to post examples of the work I actually completed.

I've done a good deal of sketch-comedy writing and performing, and some of my most rewarding moments in life involve performing my own work on stage for laughs. Since the kids showed up I haven't been able to do much on the sketch front, and in many cases sketch comedy seems to be a young-person-who-lives-in-the-city's game, but I hope someday to get back into it.

What follows is an example of one of my sketches. The way it ends is not very easy to stage, so I've performed it with a slightly different ending, which really doesn't make an overall difference.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lists of Lists, Volume 3: Film Edition (Part 1 of Many)

Witness was actually just my second-
favorite Amish-themed movie. My
third-favorite: Churn My Butter.
Time for a bunch of lists. This set will demonstrate what a snob I am, as if you couldn't guess by now. (The fact that the title of this post says "film" instead of "movie" should also be a tip-off.)

I don't have as much time as I once had to watch all the movies I'd like to watch, and there are glaring holes in my viewing history. This is a shame, because with Netflix there are so many movies available instantly without the hassle of the video store.

Are you old enough to remember the video store? Or a VCR, for that matter? I remember when my parents bought our first VCR. Considering what late-adopters we were — my parents didn't subscribe to pay TV until I was in my thirties — I'm surprised this happened before 1990.

One of the first movies Dad rented (it might have been the first) was Witness, the Harrison-Ford-goes-undercover-as-an-Amish-barn-raiser crime thriller, so the first list for this post will be about that film.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Video Podcast Regarding My Fighting Trilogy


And look at how weird I look in the thumbnail.

One Out of Three Ain't Bad (Or, My Fights, Round 3)

You're gonna need more pants.
I'd call this the "rubber match" post of the trilogy of posts regarding my notable pugilistic shenanigans, only to be a true rubber match, you need to have split the first two bouts with your opponent.

My first fight, in sixth grade, could at best be scored a technical draw or a no contest: though my opponent drew blood, the sight of said blood compelled him to end the fight prematurely.

My second fight, in ninth grade, was clearly a loss via technical knockout. I could argue that I was fighting well out of my weight class, but no one cares.

My third fight occurred during the following school year, and this time it happened in front of a very large audience. Does this intrigue you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Never Give Up" Is Not Always a Wise Adage (Or, My Fights, Round 2)

Actually, there
isshame in losing
If you remember, or even care, I'd mentioned that I'd been in a few major fights (note: "few" = "three"), one of which I'd already blogged about.

That scrum took place in sixth grade, and it contained only one punch, resulting in (my) bloody nose and the fight being halted by the freaked-out guy who landed it.

My next big brawl took place three years later. The changes between sixth grade and ninth grade include a few inches and a number of pounds, but that didn't help me because the guy I was fighting was not a sixth-grader himself, but a larger-than-average tenth grader.

Add to this the fact that I really had no motivation to fight this guy, and what we end up with is one of those Worst Day Of My Life days.

All right, then! Let's get to it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

On Turning 40, and Other Personal Problems

I outlived him.
Picking up where I'd been bitching and/or moaning, I turned 40 on Friday. As with most big events, I'd given the day a lot of thought for several months and had several ideas that would require several stages of planning, but then I stopped thinking about everything until a week before the big day and by then it was too late to do anything reasonable.

This chain of events also applies annually to:
  • My anniversary
  • My parents' anniversary
  • My parents' birthdays
  • Any family gathering I choose to host
  • Mrs. The Anthony Show's birthday
You get the idea. In the case of my birthday, I sort of froze up when it came to major plans because I was hamstrung by the limits in funds and time. Had either of those elements been — not unlimited, but let's say less limited — things could have been a little different.

I must also note that for many years leading up to numero cuarenta, I had this hopeful assumption regarding my place in the universe, which would have a heavy influence on how I would celebrate this milestone.

What would that be like, you ask? Well...

Friday, April 22, 2011


Yes, wow, I did a podcast ON VIDEO about today's post. Yes, wow.

The "Park & Ride" Story, Part 2

This is what it feels like: a wax bonfire.
So anyway, for what it's worth, I turned 40 today.

But enough about present-day me. Let's get to the second part of the story about the time I went to the Park & Ride near the Long Island Expressway and had a couple of interesting encounters.

When we ended the previous story, my friend Chuck freaked out when two otherwise harmless gentlemen revealed to us that they were gay, and he hauled ass out of the parking lot.

I'm not sure what Chuck was afraid of, because I don't think we were in danger of unsolicited sodomy from 10 feet and two layers of car door away. Somehow, though, I was able to convince everyone to return to the scene of the no-crime. Before we returned, Tony insisted we switch seats so I could ride shotgun so it would be easier for me to handle the conversation.

Once we returned...

Lordy, I'm Turning Forty -- Plus a Video Podcast!

Today I'm turning 40. I'll have something to say about that, probably on Monday. Until then, please enjoy my very first video podcast!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The "Park & Ride" Story, Part 1

Gather 'round for story Story time!
Throughout one's life, all sorts of events occur. If you're me — and if you are me, please accept my condolences and return my gloves — most of these events are mundane. Somehow, I've been attempting to make many of these mundane happenings somewhat interesting to you, the reader.

Occasionally I'll recall a more memorable event — that is, something less trivial than some book from elementary school that I was reminded of when I mowed the lawn — that I refer to as a capital-S "Story." These are events from my past that, for a short-to-long while, I've told and retold, particularly in settings where telling tales like these are appropriate. Some of my recently recalled Stories include:
I categorize these memories slightly differently the other pieces of my past. I think that's because the Stories have more shelf life than the other events. I do eventually abandon some of my Stories, however, either because I'd forgotten them or because they don't seem as funny anymore due to evolving mores or my age.

The following story probably doesn't seem very amusing today — it might seem sad, or even pathetic (and I'm not talking about just my personal involvement — but with enough context, I'm hoping you'll understand what was going in the mindset of the people involved, even if you're shaking your head in disgust anyway.

Wow, what an intro. Are you ready for the Story?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Annoyance Is INSTANT, Too

You'd better run away, you bastard!
When you use Instant Messenger, unless you fastidiously maintain your list of contacts, you'll have people on your buddy list for years, even if they no longer qualify as a buddy, friend, amigo, or bro.

I can always see when these people are online, yet I never have the urge to shoot an IM to ask, say, Julie Klausner, with whom I took a couple of improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater like 10 years ago, how she's doing. (Apparently she's doing much better than I am in terms of writing and performing, thank you very much.)

I even have "buddies" I can longer identify. Who the hell are you, Rizzjox75? Did we used to work together? Did we do stand-up at New York Comedy Club back in 2003? It's not like I'm going to IM you to find out!

Then, the other day, I received an odd IM...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Notes on Stupid, Including My Own, Part 3

I might be related.
Yeah, so, here we are again. Another round of things I've done that I've regretted doing.

We all do stupid things, but I always assume that my things are stupider than everyone else's stupid things. I can't imagine my co-workers having suffering as many lapses in judgment as I have. Then again, when I watch COPS, which as you I know I do as often as I can, I realize how stupid people can really be.

Because when a guy is pulled over in a stolen car containing several packets of meth, you know that this isn't the first time this has happened, nor it will be his last. This proves a point that I've been making for some time: If you want to feel better about yourself, watch COPS.

Then again (yet again), it's kind of sad that I have to compare myself with drug-addled car thieves. But hell, you take what you can get. So, here we go!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just Mow Me

Not the tree in question, but
after a few hours it felt that way.
I spent most of Sunday dealing with a large branch — more of a mini-tree than a branch, actually — that landed on an adjacent tree. The rain and wind were particularly nasty on Saturday night, and this branch landed so it was about eight feet high, parallel to the ground, braced by the two trees like a log bridge you'd find in an Indiana Jones movie or the original King Kong.

I enlisted my father's help, because I'm so handy that I require a soon-to-be 75-year-old with sooner-to-have open-heart surgery to assist me with simple horticultural tasks. Dad brought over an assortment of tree-cutting weapons, but fortunately my probably-older-than-my-father neighbor whose house is behind my own took pity on us and offered his electric chain saw.

In the process of digging out an extension cord in great haste, I ending up breaking some items of personal value that shouldn't have been in my booby-trapped garage in the first place — a mere hour earlier I was in the garage and thought to myself, "Hey, I'd better move that crap" — and I cut myself on a splinter of glass. And this was BEFORE we even started.

Unfortunately, cutting this log down, then into pieces, took much more time than I'd planned, so I inadvertently screwed up Mrs. The Anthony Show's schedule. She usually does her freelance and school work on Sundays, and she was forced to make sure our kids didn't wander over near falling branches and spritzes of sawdust.

And then, after that shit...

Friday, April 15, 2011

The 7-Eleven Story

"If they're open 24 hours,
why do they have
locks on the doors?"
Hello! I've been really bad about getting my posts posted as early as I'd like. My schedule's been a bit out of whack this week, so I've been playing catch-up late in the evenings a few times. I'll close out the week with a story I've been teasing for quite some time, in terms of the life of this blog.

I'd mentioned that I'd be discussing an incident that took place at a 7-Eleven in my past two posts about what I planned to blog about in the future. Well, we're finally here. It's not much of a story, but it's kind of funny.

This took place in the summer of 1988. I was 17, and I just became good friends with a guy I'll call Friend. Friend and I had known each other since seventh grade, but we didn't have much to do with each other throughout junior high and high school. We had some common friends, and sometimes appeared at the same parties.

(Note: By "parties" I mean...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lists of Lists, Volume 2

Who are you, The Anthony Show?
Here we go with another set of lists to list the things I've listed. Because you've been a loyal reader of The Anthony Show, and you've wondered to yourself, and perhaps to others as well, "Wow, that The Anthony Show is quite an interesting person with his tales of minor drug use and elementary school fistfights. But when are we going to learn more about The Anthony Show, the person?"

Well, let's get to it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shiitake Happens, Part 2

Peanut butter put me in a jam!
Previously on The Anthony Show, I was just about to take a bite of a magic-mushroom-embedded peanut-butter sandwich in order to stave off the boredom of hanging out in a club I had no business hanging out in.

Eating a regular peanut-butter-sans-jelly sandwich would have been no small task. I'd only recently begun eating PB&Js, as I hated nut-related foods until I left college; even Snickers bars were eaten with great reluctance. And the only thing that made the PB&J remotely edible was the J.

There was no J, this time...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shiitake Happens, Part 1

With friends like these...
I begin by reminding you that I have lived a very boring life. It's not an unhappy life (some days are less better than others), just a relatively dull one.

Sure, I've been on one prime-time game show and have appeared, with my wife and house, on a home-remodeling/reality-type show, and I've accomplished a few things worth blogging/bragging about, but I don't have any real juicy stories to tell.

Most of the challenges facing this blog concern squeezing something worth reading out of the ordinary and mundane. The idea of an entertainment based on "nothing" worked for a show called Seinfeld (kids, ask your parents about that one), but in Jerry's case, he had three cooky friends with whom he shared his wacky urban adventures. In my defense, none of my friends later had a very public case of racism.

Therefore, there are certain kinds of tales that you won't find on The Anthony Show. For instance...

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Recipe Is Bananas!

After posting my first post related to something I baked, I discovered one of the advantages of such a post: lots of photos, and we all know that people love to look at photos, which is why those look-what-I-wore-today fashion blogs are so popular.

One of the disadvantages of such a post: lots of photos, because it's sometimes a pain in the ass to stopping every step of the alchemy that is baking in order to photograph the evidence.

In my previous baking post I discussed making Rice Krispies treats using Cocoa Krispies, a recipe that almost any idiot can pull off. Today I'd like to tell you about another treat that I made only twice in my life, but each instance resulted in a bit of banana-y bliss.

Friday, April 8, 2011

An Assessment of The Anthony Show, Thus Far

It's a Lenten Friday,
and I want a Bistro Burger!
Wow. We've completed a full month's worth of The Anthony Show. We've learned a lot about Anthony and his The Anthony Show, and not just how broadly we like to employ the pronoun "we."

I don't think it's too early to examine some of the accomplishments of The Anthony Show. Here are some highlights:
  • I've posted on every weekday since I started, fulfilling my Lenten pledge to do so (unlike the pledge I made to not eat like Walter Hudson)
  • I came up with a permanent name and secured the URL
  • I recorded a few podcasts
  • I posted some of the posts I said I would post in a previous post regarding future posts that I posted the week after the very first post
  • I've recorded some very curious stats, which I'll discuss in further detail below
  • I haven't be sued yet
Just so you don't think I'm patting myself on the back, I'm also aware of my shortcomings, blog-wise:
  • I didn't blog about everything I'd wished to have blogged about by now
  • I would been happier if I'd recorded more podcasts
  • I still hate lots of people, places, and things
  • I didn't receive a jillion dollars from some venture-capital-funded site that was impressed with my blogging, not to mention the cut of my jib
I still haven't decided on a theme/gimmick for my blog. I was hoping that by now the theme would poke its way through the blogger birth canal, but just like Son of The Anthony Show was on his date of birth, it's still stuck, so we might have to yank it out and hope that the forceps-marks on its cheeks fade away as quickly as the ones on my son did.

On the other hand...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lists of Lists, Volume 1

Sorry, but no.
Hello! I spent today (that is, yesterday, when I actually wrote this post) driving Father of The Anthony Show to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan to see the cardiologist who will be performing the mitral valve repair surgery on him next month. The meeting went well and we had good weather and relatively decent traffic, but I am friggin' drained, so I was brainstorming for ideas for The Anthony Show posts that would require little effort on my part yet deliver the entertainment value and laugh/cry/offend/yawn ratio that you've come to expect from The Anthony Show.

Surprisingly, even before I cracked open my first can of Pabst Blue Ribbon of the evening, I was able on hit an idea that I can expand into an ongoing series.

Thus, I present "Lists of Lists."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"A versatile calendar of labour."

Spam itself isn't as annoying
as the repetition of spam.
There are a number of things in this world that don't bother me at all, things that would clearly bother the average person. (I can't think of any examples right now, but just bear with me.) And then there are the things that really stick in my craw, more than they'd probably stick in your craw.

(Incidentally, have you had your craw checked lately? I think April is National Craw Awareness Month.)

Two unavoidable facts of life with which I have yet to be at peace are certain Facebook ads and certain spam e-mails.

Some spam I understand. I don't approve of it, but I get the point of trying to trick me into thinking I have a FedEx package waiting, or why you'd try to fool me into entering my bank account info onto a page that looks exactly like but in fact is not the homepage for Bank of America, even if I've never banked at Bank of America.

And then there's the spam that annoys me because the e-mail is so amateur, so moronic, that my intelligence is insulted because it's as if the spammers aren't even trying anymore.

Certainly, I am definitely not the smartest person in the world, as I've proven time and again, but...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's Cooking? Glad You Asked!

I noticed that several of these Web logs, also known as "blogs," provide evidence of the ability of the writer to perform culinary tasks of varying degrees of difficulty. Today I will attempt to do the same.

This is not a closeup of stuff scraped out of arteries from an anti-smoking commercial.
A number of blogs, particularly the fashion blogs I discussed in a previous post, include recipes, but their posts almost always have what I lack:
  • A clean kitchen
  • Great photography
  • Food that's worthy of that photography, which is always coffee-table-cookbook ready
With that being said, one of my interests — "hobbies," if you will — is cooking, especially baking.

Have I whetted your appetite? (See what I did there?) If so, read on!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'd Definitely Say I Wasn't a LOVER... (Or, My Fights, Round 1)

Me and Ali: two fightin'
peas in a pod. that means I must have been a fighter. If you were to scan my entire school career, from kindergarten to 12th grade, you'd be able to count all my girlfriends on the fingers of one hand even if the hand ignored the explicit warning on most fireworks — LIGHT FUSE. GET AWAY. — and allowed that cherry bomb to expel every digit but the thumb.

By "girlfriend" I mean someone whom I asked out, and who agreed to go out with me without immediately adding, "April fool!" (I have been asked out before, believe it or not, but those tales are worth recalling in a future post.) There were other girls with whom I'd had a tangible amount of romantic involvement ranging from minimal to I Love You Almost Like A Third Cousin Once Removed, but for this exercise I'm talking about situations where I was able to say, "X is my girlfriend" without appearing delusional or in need of a restraining order.

And this isn't one of those "poor me what a loveless loser I was in high school" posts. (Not today, anyway.) My point, and I don't have one, is that if you were to tally the number of fistfights I've had during my time in school, well, let's just say my lips touched more boys' fists than girls' lips.

And I write "fistfights" instead of plain ol' "fights" because I don't mean the occasional rough-housing that gets, er, rough. I mean either...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Arresting Entertainment, Part 3

Attention, nerds and geeks:
This woman will not date you.
Hello! This the third and probably final part of what has turned into a trilogy of blog posts about COPS, the fact that it runs ad infinitum on the G4 channel, and the other shows on G4. In this post I'll be discussing some of my observations about the channel in general.

From what I've gathered by scanning its Wikipedia page, G4 launched about nine years ago with several shows about video games. That kind of programming appeals to a particular kind of demographic. What I've also noticed about G4, thanks to a steady diet of COPS/Campus PD/Cheaters, is that a lot of its shows are hosted or co-hosted by very attractive women.

And therein is the con. Picture the typical gamer, someone who spends most of his waking hours (and hours a normal person wouldn't be awake) trying to complete Halo 2 or Final Fantasy Infinity, and you picture a guy with questionable hygiene whose forwarding address is Mom's Basement, USA. This is a generalization, yes, but there is a great deal of reality to it, about which I'll explain later.

G4's female-hiring decision is very smart, because...