I've probably said this before – I realize apologizing for a lack of activity on one's web site suggests the author is simultaneously narcissistic and small beer. (Yes, I totally just used small beer in a sentence. And I called myself an "author." I've lost control of this ship, clearly.) But here I go, anyway. I have been up to other things, and these other things have caused me to sacrifice the amazingly mundane experiences that often serve as the fuel for this web site.
I've been working on a couple of piece of writing-for-hire, one of which is available online today, at The Morning News. It's a cleaned-up version of something I read at the last How to Kick People — a tour diary of The Piano Men, North America's only five-man Billy Joel tribute band. You can read it today, and forever, right here. (It's in the "Spoofs and Satire" section of the site, which kind of tickles me because I like the word "spoof" all on its own. Say it out loud and I think you'll agree that it's pretty good stuff. Spoof. You dropped your spoof. etc.)
Anyway, the other piece will be printed in a national humor magazine around springtime unless I totally messed it up. We'll see.
I've also been writing new pieces for a few upcoming shows this month, including the WYSIWYG Talent Show, on February 14th. (plug!) The theme of the show is "Worst. Sex. Ever." and I understand this has been a pretty popular subject for them, since this is their third go-around on that particular theme. It's a bit touchy, doing a show about bad sex on Valentine's Day, with your girlfriend in the audience. It's even touchier when you have home movies documenting that bad sex, and you're planning on showing them. (patently untrue!)
There are a couple other shows this week I'm pretty excited about. The first is The Clip Joint, this Wednesday night (feb. 8th) at Ars Nova. It's an alternative comedy showcase produced by Comedy Central, and the performances will be taped live, then mercilessly edited, and posted on CC's new broadband content experiment, Motherload.
Also working on this month's How to Kick People, which is already proving itself to be our most ambitious show yet. Bob and I decided we wanted to do something big for a 2-year anniversary show, so we're killing ourselves. Instead of performing on the show, we'll be staging our funeral with guests presenting eulogies, etc. There are going to be a lot of surprises, I think, but it's also a ridiculous amount of work, especially considering that Bob and I won't even be sharing hosting duties this month.
There are other things, too. TV things. Book things. Painting walls things. Drinking whiskey things. Kissing and hugging things. Getting very fat things. Things that get in the way of other things.
What's most frustrating is that, while I've been working I was completely unaware of Diet Pepsi's new campaign, "Brown & Bubbly." Diet Pepsi, now you done lost your mind. I think — and emphasis on the word "think" because I can't presume to know what goes on in the crazy heads of companies that large — Diet Pepsi was hoping to equate their beverage with champagne and, by extension, hip-hop's obsession with easy symbols of wealth. So, if champagne is bubbly, Diet Pepsi is also bubbly. And, unfortunately, brown. (Add your own racist subtext here.) But "brown & bubbly" does not sound like a fresh-ass champagne-sipping yacht-cruise. It sounds like a carbonated turd. Really. Not even just a little bit. BROWN & BUBBLY sounds like hot, gaseous turds.
The thing is, this campaign would have already been a failure just by the fact that it pairs a singing, headphone-wearing can of Diet Pepsi with a culturally irrelevant can of P. Diddy. I realize Diddy is sort of high-profile, but his days as a hip-hop mogul are long gone. What's he working on these days, apart from his massive, sprawling front lawn? The MASE comeback album? A Lil Cease concert film? Turning his old voicemails from Biggie into a double-album? Honestly, when I saw that commercial I actually believed that Diddy is so out of touch he'd sign a can of soda to Bad Boy records without a second thought. So there.
And because I don't like saying goodbye with a long complaint, here are five small things I really love right now:
- Wallace & Gromit in Curse of the Were-Rabbit - I wish everyone put this much work into their art. This movie is so lovingly made it kills me. And even the cheap jokes (like Wallace covering his nudity with a cheese box that has a sticker on it reading, "MAY CONTAIN NUTS") are clever and satisfying. It is sort of hard to believe the same film industry can produce this movie and A Shark Tale, with fish drawn to look like Will Smith and Martin Scorcese. Jesus!
- The Magic Numbers - still one of my favorite CDs from 2005, but I'm kind of a sucker for this kind of Nuggets-inspired psych music. (I've also been listening to The Black Mountain and the last couple of albums by The Coral on super-repeat.)
- Jelly Hearts - the jelly heart is single low-pressure element of Valentine's Day, and I love them for it. Red, enamel-stripping, gum-lodging sugar bombs. Nothing says "I love you" more than a candy heart that is sure to give you Type 2 Diabetes.
- The touch of a cat's nose. Wet, dry, or sort of sweaty-sticky, it's an all-time classic.
- Spyspace.com - my newest, and sickest pleasure. Really, there aren't enough ways to self-validate, are there? Soon we will all hear a bell in our heads whenever someone is thinking about us, even indirectly.