Monday, November 29, 2004

Game Over for the Trail

Well it appears we've reached the end of the "Origami Trail." With minimal casualties, three wagon wheels, and just one case of cholera we turned out alright. Thanks again to everyone who came out and saw the show! It was a hilarious collection of skits and I'm sure a good time was had by all.

It was an interesting show to work on. The Dwellers were coming off the heels of a small improv break after doing two back to back summer shows ("Godzillas and Generals" and "Sam Spade or Neutered"). The group decided that we wanted to do a collection of skits based on a theme of "fall" instead of trying to sculpt a larger plot. One might say it was a throwback to our shows of years past. It was a great show because we could be so very creative, and have a great potluck of comedy. A guy bringing a plant to his factory job. Zombie real estate agents. Mr. Clean trying to seduce a housewife. Larry's flashbacks to his Vietnam childhood. The show had some extremely off-beat comedy and it all worked nicely.

And we don't kid when we say that each show is different. We performed OT four times, and each show it changed and evolved a little more. If you were one of the folks who came to see its opening performance in New Castle, you saw a great show, but it was a show that changed drastically the next week at CCBC. Throughout this show's run, we changed the order of the skits, we changed some jokes, and we even swapped a view skits along the way. Sometimes it's just good to change stuff up sometimes, and in the end each show was unique and hilarious. And of course the improv is always different, but you knew that.

What's up now? Well the Cellar Dwellers are tentatively getting ready for a reprise of our hit Christmas show "Deconstructing Santa." We are still working out the details of where and when, but a little bird is telling me to look for CCBC and maybe Geneva. But you didn't hear it from me... you heard it from that crazy bird. Decon Santa is one of the most successful Cellar Dweller shows produced over the past year, and was seen by a ton of folks over just two dates. Because of it's success we would like to share this great Christmas pageant with you again. So if you saw it last year, come on back, bring your family and friends, and celebrate the Christmas holiday with some classic Dweller comedy.

Hope everyone had a great holiday... come see some Improv on Fridays at the Beaver Valley Bowl.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Black Friday

Happy Black Friday (or at Toys-R-Us, Green Friday, supposedly from the money that comes in and not the color employees show up for work.)
This day is capitalism crazy. I’m surprised it doesn’t have its own Hallmark day.
- Here’s wishing you a grand ultimate day of capitalism!
- It’s 5 a.m. do you know where the best door busters are?
- Jesus is coming soon, and nothing says love like overpriced electronic and battery operated gadgets.
My first Black Friday, I arrived at work at 5 a.m. WHAT!? you ask. Who in their right mind would shop at such an ungodly hour of the morning? Then I found out. 30 or more people who want a GameBoy with one free game. That’s right, one free game, and they’ll run from the front door to the R-zone, and God help you if you get in the way. It’s what we in the business call ‘doorbusters’.
Door busters are all the rage. Or should I say all the rampage.
“Outta my way, punk ass! I need that Dora the Explorer talking house, or Christmas will be ruined for my granddaughter!”
And no one wants to ruin Christmas, especially on the first ‘official’ shopping day.
- To my grandmother on this first blessed day of the Christmas season … make sure that I receive a Nintendo DS or I’ll suffer shame and indignation throughout the year (and in turn I won’t love you) Love Billy.
I’m sure Jesus would have been pissed if he didn’t get the Moses action figure (complete with 1000 locusts) that was so big in the year 6, or that Pharaoh’s Talking Palace – "Shalom! If you see a first born, say, first born!”
This morning someone actually called a Toys employee a witch (with a “b”) and hit her with a cart. She deserved it, though. No one should be told at checkout time they have to wait in line like everyone else. The nerve.
- Dear Retailer, Happy Black Friday, and next year, could you please provide motorized shopping carts.
I forgive her though. Of course she didn’t hit me, and I know she’ll never make it to Best Buy to get that portable DVD player (the one little Billy is gonna use 3 times, twice before New Years to watch Shrek 2, and then once to see if his Playstation 2 games work in it).
Of course little Billy’s only 6 and he’s already getting a PlayStation 2, a Gamecube, a DVD player and the Mall Madness board game that mom ran a pregnant lady over at Wal-Mart to get before she got to Toys-R-Us to get him that Chicken Dance Elmo that was incessantly dancing in her cart of death.
And me? I got a sick thrill out of saying, “We sold out of that. You should have gotten here earlier.” Like 7:30 isn’t early enough to get a copy of Bad Boys for Playstation 2.
Oh, yeah. And I better get a Nintendo DS this Christmas, or there will be no love!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Swedish Furniture Whores

My recent, and first-ever, trip to Ikea revealed two things to me: the Swedes have excellent furniture, and they are pretentious, cocky, confusing bastards who need punched in the face for creating a store that inspires such madness. I went to the Ikea in Robinson Twp. looking for a set of drinking glasses, and I left a frazzled, confused and somewhat enlightened mess. The store itself is a paradox wrapped up in a flaky, low-carb enigma. For as much as it is insane and disorganized, it has a wonderful, cost-efficient zen about it that really makes me want to go back.

When you initially walk into the store, you say to yourself "Hey, where's da stuff?!" The front windows of the store were filled with colored plastic balls, covered with a fine topping of children, and for a second I thought I accidentally drove to Chuckie Cheeses (again). There isn't any merchandise or anything on the inside of the door, just a staircase leading insanity.

You walk up the stairs and start a long chain of cells that is as cluttered and maddening as a yard sale after a tornado. But at the same time, it's clever. Each cell is a room, and the cells are grouped by the type of room they are. So you initially walk into a cluster of living rooms, each with a different set of furniture and decorations. And you can buy anything you see sitting around, from laptops to ottomans to plates. My biggest issue with this idea is that the items to buy aren't just sitting nearby on a shelf. You have to take a card or write down the number of the stuff you want, and then go down to their Home Depot-esque warehouse section, which is conveniently hidden from the rest of the world.

My friend Chris described the whole experience like going on a field trip to the zoo... you walk by looking at everything, but it's a one way path. So if you want to go back and get something in the bathroom section, you have to walk BACK through the living room, the kitchen, and the backyard. It's rather frustrating, especially since there is no rhyme or reason to the layout of the clusters. This is a subliminal form of punishment invoked on us capitalist pigs by the socialist Swedes... you wanna buy stuff from them, you gotta walk for it you fatties!

Liz and I were overwhelmed, with a side helping of anxiety, while walking through this build-it-yourself wonderland. There were so many people in such a crowded space, but I couldn't shake the feeling that they were all hanging out in my house! It was if I was having a party because my parents were out of town, and everyone invited invited four other people. People were yelling to each other, married couples fighting over crushed velvet, and babies wailing like that wall in Israel. The circus environment was completed when a young boy slammed his body against a floor-to-ceiling window and smushed his face screaming at the top of his lungs.

Ikea is one cocky furniture outlet. Their signs, all of which are filled with Swedish furniture designer names, just scream elitist. I don't pay attention to anything they say except for the price, which is surprisingly low for this kind of store. I knew I was out of place here just looking at the people shopping there. They were all artsy Pittsburgh folk (with ripped jeans, bee's waxed hair, et al.) and Middle Eastern engineer types. This was obviously not my bag, but I oh wanted it to be. I'd love to fill my dorm with this colorful, comfortable furniture. But alas, my Cougar and checking account weren't going to be able support such a venture.

I left the store that day empty handed. Their cups weren't what Liz and I were looking for. Instead we took the natural progress of life and went from Ikea to the Dollar Store, a place I fit in nicely. I'll return to Ikea some day... and I can only imagine that those Swedish bastards are going to a Netherland Wal-Mart and complaining until their skin actually takes on color.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Nostradamus- N.O.

Let me first start off by saying that My internet has been funny for a while and I haven't been online in months. Second, the few chances I had online were usually spent deleting hundreds of junk e-mails. So I come to you with a smile on my face and a song in my heart which I pound out for you in chaotic taps of a keyboard. Whatever.

Now, I don't read the Weekly World News, the National Enquirer, or the Star, but all of them have one thing in common... They see dead people.

Not just any dead people mind you, Nostradamus.
For those who don't know, Nostradamus was a French Philosopher/prophet born in the early 16th Century. He published 10 Centuries of Quatrains (4 line poems) which "predict" future events. It is said that his quatrains show either 1. Nostradamus was even more insightful than anyone can imagine, or 2. The quatrains are obscure enough that they can be connected to any topic.

Now these weekly news publications are always spouting that they have Newly told prophicies from Nostradamus. Do not believe this. Nostradamus wrote 942 quatrains about future events. Their "new prophicies" are really "Intern Jenny taking a shot at relating one of them to a possible future event" But my favorite are when they link them to events in the past. Princess Diana's death, September 11th attacks, Cabbage Patch craze of '85. They can't tell us these things ahead of time because they might be wrong. It's always, "Nostradamus predicted children would go crazy over plastic headed veggitable kids with yarn hair and some guys signature on their butt. He saw the whole thing happen, but we didn't, so we couldn't tell you to buy the things in October when they may have been cheaper and you wouldn't have had to beat up that lady in front of you. Read about it inside" Then they proceed to make up how 430 years ago he knew what he was talking about.

I would like to see the fired list of Interns who messed up though. Sometimes internes get inventive, crazy, even step out of line. THEY PREDICT (using Nostradamus's quatrains) FUTURE EVENTS. Sometimes (all the time) the interns are wrong. Like how the world was going to end in 1999. Or how the world was going to end in 2000. Or how the world was going to end in September of 2004. From what i can tell, the world hasn't ended yet. And Corrections are never made... EVER! No "we made a mistake," No"We Siked you fools out!... SIIIIKKKKEEE!" They just fire an intern and move on with the daily falsifying of current events.

The "new prophecy" IS that there is going to be a stock market crash in 2005. Now the problem i have with this is that i don't think Nostradamus knew what a stock market is/was going to be in the 20th century let alone that it would "Crash." Could you see that Conversation of Nostradamus with whoever
N.- In 2005, the stock market will crash
Who- the what
N. Stock market
Who- the meat market will fall over
N. - No, not the meat market, the stock market. people put money in companies, thus owning a piece of them. well there are thousands of companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Intel, all of which's stocks are publicly traded in the Stock market.
Who- Coca what?
N.-never mind.
Maybe market indicators say that the market will go down, but crash, i don't think.

But hey... maybe i'm wrong. Maybe all this is in hindsight. we don't quite know what's going to hppen, but Nostradamus has a good idea. He uses vague symbolism to point us in the right direction. He was a Jew who was converted to Catholicism in the Inquisition. Maybe this is his way at getting back at the world.

The way I see it, Nostradamus' quatrains are the writings of a crazy man who lost his wife and children to the Black Plague. He Published his first set in 1555, and with 942 of them (one for every year) that puts us at... let's see 7, 9, 4, carry the 1, the year 2497. Hmm. 2497. How old will you be in 2497? That's right. Dead, that's how old. So as long as I don't live to be 516, I think i'm pretty safe. So until the next "New prophecy" comes out, be it the end of the world on March 15th, 2011, or volcanos erupting and filling in the Mississippi River, just remember, if the world gets you down by killing your family and making you change your religion, you too can write crazy poems and have centuries of people call you a prophet.

Buenos Aires

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Dwellers are coming back to Geneva

Our final performance of "Origami Trail" is coming around the bend... just after Thanksgiving, actually. We will be at the Bagpiper Theater, at Geneva College, on Saturday, November 27th. The show, as always, starts at 8PM and tickets are just $5. What better way to reunite with your friends from college than to check out the comedy troupe you loved in high school!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Here Comes the Draft!

Hey kids, I dunno if you heard yet or not, but there's gonna be a draft! And I tell you, I can't be more excited. When I was doing my research on the issues involved with this year's election, I came across MTV's commercials warning me of the inevitable draft. And because MTV is the only reliable news source that I pay attention to, I made sure to tell everyone about this upcoming draft! From what I hear, it's going to not only be terribly corporate, insensitive and damning, but also a hell of a lot of fun! Think of it as the NBA draft plus innocent middle class children mixed with the aura of the Children's Crusade back in the Medieval times.

I can't remember who first told me about the draft... was it P. Diddy or MTV? Or are they the same... Well whomever it was, they were pretty adament about the fact that Bush was the evil man that's going to be ripping me from the loving arms of my liberal arts college and throwing me into the quaggy mire of war. How inconsiderate! I mean, afterall this war is happening only because of this man's delicious lust for oil... Barbara Steisand told me so!

In order to prepare for my inevitable departure overseas I've begun compiling a list of things to do or pack:

1. Start eating nothing but hardboiled eggs, celery, and V8 Splash in order to get my body to the size it needs to be to combat innocent civilians.
2. To get interviewed by MTV and say how much my life will be ruined by Donald Rumsfeld and his gang of merry men.
3. Be as ignorant and gung-ho as Michael Moore portays our troops... afterall I want to make sure I fit in.
4. Call the Dixie Chicks and let them know that they should kick the fat one out of the group... and that their anti-war/country-jamming is not only out of character, but totally right! Oh Dixie Chicks you were right about this draft!
5. Pack the following items: a camera phone so I can tip off Al-Jazeera as to my whereabouts, a copy of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 Companion, a confederate flag, my Canadian immigration papers stamped with the word "DENIED," my incomplete college transcripts, the complete first season of Punk'd on DVD, and of course plenty of grenades so I can blow up grandparents and playing children, because afterall that's all we soldiers do overseas!

Wow, this draft has me so excited! And to think that it's all because I didn't rock the vote hard enough... if only I had plugged my absentee ballot up to a Yahama amp and let that sucker blast! Seriously, who cares if there is currently no legislation in place that would call for a draft! And what does it matter that the only bill asking for a draft was unanimously voted down in Congress, even by the guy who proposed the bill! That doesn't mean a thing to me, because there are commercials on TV telling me otherwise!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to tell off all of my professors, rip up my text books and trash my co-curricular transcript because I'm getting drafted out of this college any day now!!!!