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...