From now through July 15th, regular site duties will be suspended. Please do not expect updates for the duration, and please do not smash things when your inappropriate expectations are not met.
I will be communicating (probably on a weekly basis) with the "TREMBLE 2000" mailing list. If you have already subscribed to it, I'll speak with you soon. If you have not, it's easy enough to remedy that. Have a lovely summer movie season.
PACKED IN, UP (MAY CONTAIN BRAGS).
Just before splitting, I've been trying to stuff myself with New York City. A few shows, then Wigfield last saturday night, with Steven Colbert, Paul Dinello and my only persevering celebrity crush, Amy Sedaris. (i am generally a pretty even-tempered person when i encounter art or entertainment that rubs up against my personal pursuits. i refrain from jealousy quite easily, and i have been glad to find only inspiration in both excellent and excremental plays/movies/films/books. however, wigfield made me genuinely envious. it's at once very smart and distasteful. i was really caught up in the way characters toyed with language. for example, "if there's one thing i love about wigfield, it's two things..." it was like watching some unrealized, never-conceived personal project executed more precisely than my current skill set would allow. it was great, even though i bled a little.)
Last night I lucked out with one of the best meals I've had in this city for months. (i will not press my luck by eating out again, at least until i return.) Each bite was better than the last, and at one point dancing broke out in the restaurant. Individuals from two separate, unrelated tables rose suddenly and joined for salsa steps. That's quality dining.
Then today I taped something for an upcoming show on [A MAJOR CABLE NETWORK THAT WILL PROBABLY NOT SUE ME FOR USING ITS NAME BUT I CANNOT HELP MYSELF ANYWAY]. I'm still not sure how or why I was recommended but the experience was odd, fun. I showed up in a wool blazer and glasses - my NY JEW disguise - but had to remove the jacket since I was sweating like a child molestor. I was buffed (and rebuffed!) with powder by a camera operator named "biz" (of course) and then, once the gleam was cut from my tremendous forehead, I talked my ass off for a full hour. A producer fed me questions about famous television commercial jingles and I stammered pleasantly until something kind of funny came out. Here's an example...
On SLINKYs: "Can I have some more water?"
On the DIET PEPSI commercial with Ray Charles: "BLIND! BLIND! BLIND GUY!!! OK, was that funny?"
On MY BUDDY: "Don't they make those for adults now?"
On the MENTOS commercials: "These are instructional. They show us what life is really like in Norway. Or Denmark. Or Iceland. Or Weirdville."
On 'COKE IS IT': "Can Biz buff me again?"
And so on. I'm certain, when it airs later this summer, my hour will be cut down to a quick shot of me wiping sweat from my upper lip as "The best part of waking up is Folger's in your cup" plays in the background. Then they'll cut to Hal Sparks doing an impression of the Oscar Mayer Bologna kid and the day will officially be saved.
A lot of fun before I sleep, but right now: CAT FOOD. And lots of it.*
*this is why i don't discuss my personal life online. it would be mostly talk of cats, baldness and upset stomachs. right now, everyone i know who reads tremble.com is nodding a head, possibly even their own.
ANALOG CRAP, DIGITAL CRAPPIER.
I have a relationship with technology that can best be described as "adversarial." If technology had a human face, I would want to stare into its eyes as I kicked it in the testicles. That's how much it infuriates me.
Case in point: I had a really great time performing this past friday night and was fortunate enough to engineer an extremely rare confluence of having a decent set and remembering to bring a tape recorder AND remembering to press record AND keep that button depressed for the duration of the show. I was so excited that I decided, for the first time ever, I would digitize that recording and post it on tremble so all of my readers could weep with joy to hear.
Well, I fucked up. Irrevocably, in fact. Analog and digital technology conspired against me and I wound up recording over my entire set with the background noise of my apartment - the sound of cats sleeping and the new Califone record. I then digitized this. The set is forever missing now, replaced with a very low fidelity bootleg of the song "your golden ass".
So, apologies. I guess you just had to be there. In fact, if any of you were there and would like to submit a professional-sounding recollection of the evening I will gladly publish it here, unexpurgated. I will not censor or qualify your words, no matter their nature. You know where to send them.
THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS.
OK. I didn't want it to come to this. I really didn't. I am a very busy man. This month alone, I am opening three Quizno's sandwich shops in Brooklyn and Queens, so I hardly have time to discuss past dalliances and present beefs. Unfortunately, some people make that impossible.
Today, Christian Finnegan posted a very authentic-looking photograph of me in what seems to be an old Bob Fosse production. Fine. It's true. We all have a past, and it only hurts us when we deny it. Vin Diesel grew up with liberal Jewish parents in the West Village. Peter Jennings never completed the fourth grade. Kissinger was a shoe-freak. And, briefly, in college, I experimented with modern and jazz dance. I made a lot of great friends back then and I'm still in touch with many of the dancers, costumers, and choreographers from my college days. They were good days! Sadly, I've lost many of them to Billy Joel musicals and Mohegan Sun revues, but whenever I'm in the theater district I still receive an excellent discount on glitter.
There is almost no reason to be ashamed of the past, if only because it is forever linked to one's present character. In fact, even Christian has a past he's had some difficulty escaping. (for pretty obvious reasons) I'm sure many of you have seen the classy graphic treatment at the top of his site. But, after a quick scan through his images folder, I found something interesting. "Drivel!" is surely a very funny (and accurate) thing for Christian's choppy little head to pronounce to his readers, but it's a bit noncommittal. It seems the original image planned for his site was a bit more outspoken. Meet the real Christian Finnegan. Only God can judge him now. (thankfully, god is jewish.)
See you at the Gershwin tomorrow night.
POTENTIALLY, THE BLOODIEST COMEDY SHOW EVER.
This friday evening, The Gershwin Hotel will be replacing the normal microphone in their performance space with a Kevlar mic. Guests will be patted down, traced with metal detection wands, and covered in spiders. The chairs will be bullet-proof, the vodka will be 80 proof. Comics will roll 10, 20, and even thirty deep. Andre 3000 will be turned away at the door. And all because, for the first time since our historic online beef, Todd "Never Killed A Single Puppy, Even In Self-Defense" Levin and Christian "Has An Entire Dresser Drawer Filled With Leashes And Collars Belonging To Neighborhood Dogs Gone Missing" Finnegan will share a comedy stage.
Please come out on friday night to get caught in the crossfire:
Hosted By Christian Finnegan
FRIDAY, MAY 9th @ 10PM
Gershwin Hotel (E. 27th St., b/w 5th and Madison)
Right now, you could concievably be asking yourself, "isn't this a little odd? Mortal online enemies, sharing a stage? With one of them hosting it? Did Christian actually book this guy he's beefing with? Why would he invite that kind of drama? If I didn't know any better, I'd start thinking this whole online beef thing was made up. Nothing more than a ruse. A poke at pop culture. I wonder: should I leave my AK-47 at home on friday night?" Yes.
TREMBLE ROLLS ON 24" SPINNERS; FINNEGAN ROLLS ON DEODORANT.
Everyone knows me as a very religious man. Therefore, it's not so unusual for me to pray nightly for Christian Finnegan to be raped. And, because I have a close relationship with the man upstairs - you may recall that we met at an Internet caf■ in '98, updating our web sites side by side, and we've rolled together tighter than a Philly blunt ever since - I can expect a prayer answer rate of 99.3%. I'm just saying...
As you may have heard, via Star and Buc Wild's morning show on HOT 97 in NYC, or Blog This! magazine, this site has been involved in an ongoing online beef with Finnegan's "Tower of Hubris." (and honestly, i can't think of a more fitting name for that site, with the possible exception of "Who Farted?") Would I like to see this beef end? Of course. It's taken too many lives already. Word.com. Feedmag.com. Stim.com. Suck.com. Spiv.com. Flooz.com. Biggie.com. Tupac.edu. What happened to all these sites? Natural causes? Or the direct result of Finnegan's psychotic scramble for online power?
Today, Finnegan has taken what started as a cheap, though partially true, joke about my mother, and turned it into a series of specious personal attacks. Worse still, I woke up this morning to find that my iPod had been stabbed. Will it ever end?
Finnegan spits vitriol on his site with regards to our beef, but before you rush to judgment here are some facts:
FACT: On today's entry, Christian compares my fans to Bulgarians at a Michael Jackson concert. This is because Christian is racist.
FACT: Yesterday, Christian claimed he is "not a fan of hip-hop" but likes the "wackier" stuff like Kool Keith. Making a statement like this is akin to saying, "I'm not a fan of rock and roll but I really like that Weird Al Yankovic" or "I'm not a fan of black people but I know the name of one of those guys - I think we learned it in school. Was it Fred Sanford?" or "I'm a racist." (see above)
FACT: Today Christian claimed I live my life in imaginary quotation marks. He neglected to mention that those quotation marks are made of imaginary solid platinum, and are lined with imaginary mink fur. He also neglected to mention that he lives inside quotation marks as well, right next door to the words "bi-curious". (in fact, he just moved there from his old neighborhood, "not fair! you can't strike out in kickball!!")
FACT: tremble.com has been down since 1998, and was an old-school tilde account before that. Tower of Hubris has been around for slightly less time than Sisqo's "Dragon" clothing collection, and has even fewer supporters.
FACT: I was on the "Increase.com the Peace.com: Repairing the Blogger vs. Diaryland Schism" panel at last year's Web DevCon. Halfway through my slide presentation, three shots were fired from the back of the lecture hall. I was uninjured, thanks to my kevlar smoking jacket, but one of the bullets grazed that "I Kiss You" guy, and his sunglasses were knocked from his face. Fortunately, the sunglasses were also unharmed, thanks to the sunglass strap, donated by Micron Computers, one of the sponsors of the conference. Christian Finnegan was unreachable for questioning, but later claimed he was doing a stand-up comedy "road gig" at the time. An investigation is pending, but I'm still pretty sure even cursory detective work will prove that there is no such comedy club called "The Hee Spot." Nice try, Finnegan. Or should I call you "Attempted Murderer-egan?" OK, I won't. But only because it's a very cumbersome name.
FACT: It's true that I have several "ironic" t-shirts, but it is also true that Christian Finnegan has a very unironic vagina.
FACT: Finally, Finnegan claims that I have a more powerful readership, but he has all the cred. I ask you, does this look like a credible man?
Check out that face. The caricature on my home page is more flattering. I haven't seen image quality that poor since the R. Kelly urination sex video. (i received a copy from christian's mom, who was the key grip on that production.) Dude, what happened to that picture? It's more blurry and pixilated than a Mafia rat's face in a 60 Minutes interview. How are you supposed to represent without PhotoShop skills? That's the first order of the online streets.
Finnegan, you chain-snatching, beef-starting, 80s pop culture-adoring hater - when are you going to squash this nonsense? You're attacking me. You're attacking my readers. (who, as you can see from your rocked comments boards, know how to defend themselves.) You're attacking American values. When will you recognize that my site is more phat than triple-cream and more popular than triple-platinum; you're still trying to make it to double-plastic. Let's end this now. If I have to spill another shot of Moxie soda in memory of my dead online homies, I'm going to short out my keyboard.
SENSITIVE THUGS, Y'ALL NEED HUGS.
What the online community finally needs: an online beef. Enough of this cordial "congratulations to us!" attitude. Squash that "best gay/lesbian/bi-friendly blog, canada" web award b.s. Just in time for The Drama King Kay Slay's official label debut, my friend Christian has opened up a web beef with me on his site. Check out his May 5th entry. Then please contribute to the entry's "comments" and show him you have to give respect to get respect.
(i'm going to shoot him in his face at the Source Awards. shh. don't tell!)
I wish more web sites would do this, but in a more organized fashion. Take someone else's entry and then write an entry based on it, tearing it apart with witty, unpredictable talent and natural game. I wish...
Upstate New York, visiting my immediate family. This affords me a couple of opportunities. First, I get to eat like a fat guy because this city is full of fat guys who mind their own business. It's the kind of city where fat guys unapologetically dip their slices of tavern pizza in little plastic buckets filled with liquefied bleu cheese. Fuck you, sex appeal, is what their scowls telegraph. And fuck you, too, is what I think as I drink directly from a bottle of Thousand Island dressing. I spank its bottom until a piece of relish pops on to my tongue, then I spin the bottle across the table, pay my check and split. Goodbye is a drag of my sleeve across my lips. Fat guys run this piece.
Because my sister has little children, being here also means I get to play my favorite game ever. It's the one where I push her 3 year-old on his "rocket booster" playground swing, praying I'll be able to get him high enough to tear the highest branches down from the highest tree, high enough so I can launch him to the telephone wires and all the other heights I was too afraid to swing to when I was his age. And, while pushing him higher and higher - he's fearless - I try my hardest to engage him with an absurd quiz. The subject matter changes constantly, but the rules are a constant. I find something important in his life - in this case, a trip to Disney World less than 24 hours away - and begin quizzing him on his preparedness.
"Did you pack an umbrella?"
"Did you pack your pyjamas?"
And then I start making things up, praying I'll be able to crack him.
"Did you pack a jar filled with pee?"
"Did you pack a gum gum bird?"
"Did you pack a snizzle?"
"Did you pack a pair of poopy diapers?"
"Did you pack your best haircut?"
"Did you pack your nacho cheese pants?"
And so on, until one or both of us are laughing like fools. I intend to try this game out on adults very, very soon.
p.s. Here's a joke I'll never tell again, so I'm going to leave it here for you to pick apart like cheetahs on elk. My review of the film Phone Booth: It's like Speed...in a phone booth.
I was looking at an item on eBay today, wondering how I could rationalize bidding on it. I think this is a wonderful example of confusing one's wants with one's needs. I won't tell you what it is (one zillion bonus points and a dream date in glorious Cancun, Mexico if you can guess without cheating), but here's a selection from this item's description:
This set is nearly complete - It is missing a couple warts, 1 set of eyebrows, head bandage, 1 scar and the fangs. This set comes with 2 original glue sticks and the instructions.
I wish I could bottle the joy that description brings me, because then I'd sell it on eBay and be so rich I could punch anyone in the belly and then pay them not to tell on me.