Saturday, February 26, 2005

Dweller newsletter 2-24-05

There’s a whole bunch of stuff coming up!

In this newsletter:
• “Prostate of the Union”
• Improv at Thursdays
• Booking the Dwellers


The Dwellers are very excited about our newest sketch comedy show, our first newly written show since November. It’s a collection of skits penned over the past few months and features a great set of humor for all tastes. Aside from the great writing in this show, we are also happy to talk about two special members joining us from the I-Factor improv troupe, Dave and Nang! These two have been doing improv with us for months now, and recently participated in a demo DVD we produced. They are now going to be joining us for “Prostate of the Union!”

The show features a whole potluck of comedy, with skits about: one man’s love for the Entertainment coupon book, a boy interning to be a South American dictator, Family Feuding, Stonewall Jackson, and a heck of a lot of singing… there are over twelve skits in the show and also a whole hour of unrehearsed, unscripted, unpredictable theater improv!

There’s nothing like this in Beaver County, so you aren’t going to want to miss this.

We are selling tickets in advance, so if you would like to reserve some, just reply to this e-mail with your name and how many you want. You can also buy tickets at the door. Admission is just $5.00 (which is cheaper than a movie… and I assure you this is going to be more entertaining than The Wedding Date.)

Our premiere show is THIS FRIDAY, March 4 at the Community College of Beaver County Allied Health Auditorium in Center Township. The show begins at 8:00PM.


We will be concluding our “triple threat” of improv shows at Thursdays on Saturday, March 12th. Thursday’s is a great atmosphere for some high-quality improvisation and a good meal or a drink. Our shows are all ages, and feature long-form improv not seen in any of our other improv shows. It’s almost like watching a sketch comedy show that YOU build with suggestions for scenes and games. A unique experience not found anywhere else in the area!

So come see our “Improv at Thursday’s” show next Saturday, March 12th and bring your pals. Admission is just $5.00.


We have been getting a lot of phone calls lately to do shows for various organizations and parties. I thought this would be a great time to remind everyone that we do that kind of thing! In the past we have been hired for birthday parties, graduation parties, corporate parties and club events. We have done workshops for high schools and colleges and are available to both teach and entertain.

The Dwellers can be hired to do improv, sketch comedy or a mixture of the two. We can tailor our shows to be more like workshops or straight up performances.

It’s always something to keep in mind if your workplace is planning a party or something.


Friday Night Improv is catching on (again)! Since we have restructured it to be more of a laid back workshop, everyone’s getting into the act. And because of this, everyone is walking away with our infamous Crappy Prizes. So don’t miss out on the fun!

Every Friday (say it with me now: EVERY FRIDAY?!) from 10PM til midnight on the third floor of the Beaver Valley Bowl in downtown Rochester.

There is a lot going in the Dweller-realm right now, so make sure you take advantage of it all! For all of you fans who are back home on Spring Break, come on back and pick up where you left off: with some good ol’ Beaver County improv and sketch comedy!

For more information, directions, show info, and more, visit us online:

Seeya at Prostate of the Union!

Cellar Dweller

Friday, February 25, 2005

Spilt Coffee and a Table to Blame

I drink alot of coffee, this is understood by those who know me. In all of my experiences with coffee shops across Western Pennsylvania, I have discovered that there is a single element to a coffee shop that makes it what it is. It's not the brown and dirty-gold interior, the good looking cashiers, or the fresh smell of ground up beans. It's something almost unnoticeable... until it splashes you in the lap. Every coffee shop, or donut shop, or anywhere that serves coffee in open containers (that aren't mugs), must have tables that are a tad wobbly.

People don't often notice this, blaming themselves instead of the furniture designers. "Oh it's just my overly sized, too-heavy, elbows! I'm just so freaking clumsy. I hate myself." I know we've all said this time and time again, and it is this kind of thinking that is feeding the diet craze in America (how's that for a pun?!) But now you can relax, because this happens to everyone. It's supposed to. That's the entire point of going to a coffee shop, so that table can wobble and spill coffee all over the place.

Why are coffee stables made to be wobbly? The answer isn't so simple...

You have to look back at the culture that first invented the table: the vikings. There are some theorists who say Joseph, the father of Jesus, invented the table. However since the Bible is to be viewed as symbolic and metaphorical, instead of literal, these theorists are labeled "insane." The vikings invented the table during their forge of Newfoundland and Maine back in the 1200's.

When the table was first utilized by Erik the Red, he applauded his carpenter's work at making a fine and sturdy device to place meals and work papers on. It was far better than the Ottoman he had been using to eat off of. Everything was great until he tried to take the table on his boat. As you may know, the viking ships (before they invested in steel) were curved, narrow, and made of wood. Erik tried with all of his might to make the table fit on the ship, but objects with a square, flat base can't fit on a curved surface. To rectify the situation he had his carpenter cut two of the legs short. The table fit on the curved hull of the ship, but when he took it on to land again he saw that it was wobbly.

Future generations, basing their tables on his design, carried on the wobbly table tradition. Now every table in a coffee shop can fit perfectly on a viking ship. So don't blame yourself for Erik the Red's shortsighted design solutions. You spill your coffee because that's the viking way. Yeah... I went there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Italian Grieving and Sear's High Standards

Allow me to apologize for my last post. It was a personal thing, done for my own satisfaction. I know that it did not exhibit any of the trademarks of my writing: high brow humor, clever turns of phrase, and a raw, masculine sexuality oozing from every punctuation. As everyone knows, I like nothing better than to satisfy my hungry reading public - especially the ladies. So today, I plan to write a light frivolous post about what's going on in James World, and as always I will use humor to mask my deep seated anger, insecurities, and resentment, enjoy.

First, as noted in my previous post, I spent all of last week in New York for my grandfather's funeral. Now, this was not a fun trip. It was emotionally draining and exhausting, but this doesn't mean that there was absolutely nothing humorous of note. For instance, my father comes from a large Italian family, and, apparently, in the Italian-American community it is not customary to send flowers. Italians, being Italians, send food. LOTS of food. My grandmother was practically swimming in food. Cold cut trays were hanging from the ceiling. Trays upon trays pasta filled every nook and cranny. Chicken, beef, fruit hid in the corners. Of course, being the dutiful grandson that I am, I was called upon to eat my self stupid. I ate everything, even things I shouldn't have. I was half way through an apple when I figured out it was wax. I finished it. Nothing was allowed to go to waste.

Now I have returned home and find myself in dire straights, and no, not the band. They're not looking for new members. If they were I would apply, though. No, not because I have an incredible wealth of musical talents. I would apply because I am unemployed. That's right, after a brief flurry of work, I find myself once again without a job. So, as I have said in this very space many times before, if you know of anyone looking to hire a brilliant, creative young man, lie to them and tell them I fit the credentials.

I'm looking for work everywhere. There are more copies of my resume floating around than Paris Hilton sex tapes. My resume's also more titillating. I mean, 3.7 GPA, I'd like to see Paris do that. Anyway, I'm looking for work all over, and it is beginning to become discouraging. The other day I was at the mall doing the rounds applying everywhere - in a perfect world I wouldn't even think about going about menial, high school, retail jobs, but, hey, a man has to eat. I went to Sears and in the back - way past the softer side - they have a little computer you use to apply. I spent half an hour punching in my application. The infernal machine was so aggravating. The touch screen only worked occasionally, the mouse didn't work at all, and it kept asking me questions like: "If you saw a co-worker's fly was down, how would you let him know?". Then after all this, the stupid computer informed me that I did not meet the MINIMUM requirements to work at Sears. That's right the MINIMUM requirements. Have you ever seen the people who work at Sears? Apparently they're all better than I am. Of course, I did not take this information very well. Actually, when this message first appeared on the screen I was so overcome with unemployed rage that I temporarily blacked out. Some time later I awoke to discover that I had punched through the computers touch screen, torn off all my close, and began running around Sears home and garden center like a wild ape. I defecated on a beautiful Craftsman reciprocal saw with variable speeds and a 12 month full service guarantee (see, I could totally work at Sears...Once you take away the crapping on the product).

So, if you remember anything from this post, I would like it to be: Please, God, give me a job, because if you don't I will hold you responsible for the consequences.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

In Memorium

My grandfather's lair was the den. That's where I see him in all my childhood memories. I'd arrive for a visit after a long ride, my grandparents live in New Rochelle, New York, and he'd be sitting in the back room, in his recliner with wood paneling all around. The aroma was of beer. Grandpa drank Budweiser out of longnecks - the kind they don't make anymore - and if we were very good he'd let my brothers and me take a pull out of the bottle, or a sip out of a Dixie cup. I'd pretend to like it, to feel more adult, but I didn't. I remember playing at my grandfather's feet, occasionally looking up to for validation whenever I did anything I thought particularly clever. It always came.

His chair has permanent lean to one side, caused by years of resting on the lamp side to get light to read by. He read voraciously. At some point he even picked up a taste for romance novels, the kind with women fainting into the arms of ripped shirted latharios on the cover. I remember seeing stacks of such books on the table next to his chair and thinking it odd that he read the same things my mother did. I never said anything. I wouldn't dream of it as a child, and as I got older I discovered Grandpa had been a marine in WWII, was among the first deployed at Gualdelcanal. I figure he'd earned the right to read what ever he wanted.

Grandpa spent countless hours in that den. It's easy to forget that he had a full life outside of it. By all accounts, he moved through life with quiet strength. He grew up tough. He enlisted in the Marines after Pearl Harbor, but was hard pressed to discuss it. He came back became a plumber, married my grandmother - who he loved and remained married to for over fifty years - and started a family. He worked hard. My father has told me about the long hours spent in cramped conditions which often remained unheated in winter and insufferably hot in summer. He didn't stand for doing a job in any other way than the right way. My father has told me that in his summers spent helping my grandfather, he was given very limited responsibilities because he did not do things the right way - my father did not inherit grandpa's talent with his hands. My father also has told me many times that grandpa was an excellent mason. He was good with stone and brick, and produced wonderful walls and walks. When my father talks of this I sometimes think he views this as more of an art than a simple skill. Although my grandfather would probably deny such talk.

Grandpa did not brag. He did not boast of himself. He was by all accounts a very good golfer. He had - I am told - an excellent short game. But I never heard him brag of this. When he talked about golf - which was quite often - I usually remember him talking about the weather, the guys he was with, the good times had. He did brag and boast about one thing though - his family. He was proud of my father who graduated from college joined the Air Force later became a minister, and, most important of all, started a family. He was proud of his other four children too and of their children. My later visits with him were filled with news about how well my cousins were doing, how good some were at sports, or how some had started college and were doing well, or how well some were doing in there jobs.

I remember talking to him the day of my college graduation. He was proud of me. I told him I made magna cum laude. He was proud because I had done it, that I had applied myself. I remember telling him about my doubts for the future, how I had no real plans. He encouraged me. He told me I could do anything. Even over the last couple of years, as I've become something of a screw up with vast periods of unemployment, he was still proud of me. The last time I saw him - last summer - he was still proud of me. He had no doubt I would make it, that I would make him and the rest of my family proud.

My Grandfather, Sonny Catullo, was laid to rest last Thursday, leaving behind a loving if grieving family. We stood in awe of him, who had done so much, much more than I can tell you now. He leaves behind children and grandchildren who were proud of him and who he was proud to call his family. He also left behind at least one grandson who wants to live up to the pride his grandfather had in him, I'm sure I'm not the only one.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentines for Broken Homes

hey, joe here
theres an untaped market out there, and i'm tappin it baby i'm tappin it
and that market is Valentines for Broken Homes,
1 happy valentines day,... grab a beer.....for me you bastard

2 i only hit you because i love you ....happy valentines day

3 may you find that special someone on valentines better be a girl this time!!!

4 may all your valentines wishes come true .....your still not getting a puppy

5 your mom may not love you ....but i still do

6 i'm building my dreams around you.....well habbitat for humanity is at least

7 happy valentines day....i'm glad i changed my mind on the abortion

8 I heart you....but i club your mother

9 valentines day is full of love....that comes in a bottle from the state store

10 happy valentines dad....and dad

well there you have it

joe eoj

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Bet, or Joe will give me $100.00

That's right, Joe Wichryk II will give me One Hundred Dollars.

Now this won't be for another few years or so, possibly even decades, but this, I promise, will occur.

One Hundred dollars is alot of money you say, what is this strange and curious bet? Backstory:
Around new years eve, 2000, joe and i were talking about chain restaurants. I had mentioned that there was going to be a new Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh and it would be cool to go. Joe said that it's just like all the other HRC's in the United States, whats the big deal. I said, No, they're all different, all with different music related artifacts and memoribilia. then i proceeded to say how it would be exciting to visit every one. Joe callously, and quickly retorted, "I bet you can't go to every Hard Rock Cafe in the United States by the time you die."
Ben: "How much?"
Joe : " One Hundred bucks!"
Ben : "Deal."

We shook, and thus the pact was made.

Details were ironed out, but that is not the intriguing part of the discussion. Basically, I have to go to every Hard Rock Cafe in the Continental United States and do a shot out of the 2oz shot glasses that are emblazed with the city's name. i then return home with the glass and rub it in Joe's face. Wednesday night I purchaced glass number 13, Philadelphia. (the first Joe will know of this information is when he reads this blog) The only place you can get the city glasses are from the city themselves. I cannot go to Atlanta and buy a glass with Los Angelos on it.

I have a hell of a time doing this, it's alot of fun and i get to see the country. I do not have to go to Hawaii, (which has 3 Hard Rock Cafe's ) but i will just for fun. this also does not include international HRC's so my 2 from Canada and the one from Berlin do not count. (my wife got the Berlin one for me, so it wouldn't count anyway)

Now i do understand that there are many drawbacks to this bet:
1. I loose no matter what.
If I die before i complete the task, joe get's 100 bucks.
If I do in fact complete the task and got to every HRC in the Cont. U.S., i will spend way more than 100 dollars. On average, my check amount when eating at the cafe has been 35 bucks. so far i have been to 15 HRC's (canada), that is 525 dollars i've spent on food and drink alone. (the glass is included in this total. it's 6.25 for a glass including the shot, 5 for the glass, no shot. I go for broke) already i'm in the hole 425 bucks. Currently there are 46 Cafe's in the US (including Hawaii, and new additions since our 2000 pact, all of which i don't have to go to) that means i have 33 more to go. In food alone, i will be spending about $1,155.00. This does not include travel, parking, hotel, and tipping. I look to be spending about $5000 or more.
2. Some HRC's have been torn down.
One Hard Rock was in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is no longer there. I have to find a shot glass from St. Paul, go to the fromer location of the HRC, and do a shot. quite a task if you ask me. it is the only one, that i am aware of, that has closed. But they have been opening more than they have been closing, so i think i'm in ok shape.

So why dod i do this stupid thing to waste money??? For principle. Joe doesn't believe that i'll do it. He thinks i'll eventualy figure out it's a waste of my time and money and i'll give up.

I will never give up. It gives me a great excuse to get away for a while, see the country, base avcations around, get a hobby, collect something, do something interesting with my life. With 13 under my belt, and i plan on at least 3 more this year, that will give me 16 in that last 5 years. in 10 more years, at my current pace, i should have all 46 (assuming they don't open any more) if they do, we'll say 12 years. My personal goal is by the time i'm 40 have them all locked up.

So naysayers shake your head, but well-wishers wish me luck, and please, find me a 2oz shot glass from the Hard Rock Cafe in St. Paul Minnesota. PLEASE!


Friday, February 11, 2005

why aubry's parents should let her major in theater

hey all, joe here,

as you know by now , if i'm not condeming one cause i'm supporting another, and todays casuse of the week, is convincing a talented young actressess parents to let her major in theater.

some of you may or may not know i directed b.h.s. fall plays , and the first year i did that a young lady stood out within the magnificent cast i had, her name was and still is aubry
aubry was one of my most dedicated kids, so dedicated that even after she contracted a severe facial injury just a day before the show opened , she went on and superbly i might add, with 5 stitches across the front of her lower lip,

so, that said, aubry went on and graduated from highschool and is now in a college near new york. and low and behold, doing theater, (without the support of her family) . but , with my full support, for waht ever thats worth, in any event the time had come for her, a freshman, to perform in the yearly production at her college, so being her former director i decided to drive up there and check it out

the play was an oliver goldsmith comedy she stoops to conquer writen in the late 1700's if i remeber correctly. in any event aubry (freshman) was cast as one of the lead roles, the older yet fashionable wife of a rich important man, (not the actual charector name, i forgot that ,it was long and complicated.) any who, not only did she have to play the role of a 17th century 50 year old noble woman nagging bitch, she played it superbly so good in fact even bet midler would be impressed,

aubry immediatly became the audience favorite, with rounds of applause at the end of her tyraids to hoots , hollars , and claps (the good kind) every time her charactor walked on stage. aubry stood head and shoulders above her older more experienced classmates, but even more importantly then that, she made the rest of the cast look great, even the bad actors and actressess seemed more alive and in charector when performing in scences with her,

so in clossing after viewing this stand out steller, better then college level acting, heck better then most acitng , performance , i ask beseach mr and mrs aubry's parents, encourage and nurture the gift your daughter has recieved so that more people in the world can be inspired and taken in by her amazing charactor acting.

well thats all for now

joe eoj

Thursday, February 10, 2005

How can they not be getting some?

I want to have a gay membership card. I want the clothes, the muscles, the women. I just don't want to date men nor have the hard life. Can I do that? I want to be buff like a gay guy. I want to be able to afford to dress like a gay guy (coordinated and stylish). And I want women flocking to me. Are these wrong? Yes. I am a greedy celebate whore.

Speaking of getting some, Pittsburgh needs to get some Latin people. Mostly because I like the culture, the food, the dancing, and the women. If you've never heard someone sing in Spanish, eaten Cuban food, Salsa danced and looked at anyone from Brazil, you're missing out.

I need to get a job, and I intersperse my days with looking like a burrowing animal trying to find a job and loooong stretches of video gaming, because I might be addicted. Does that get passed on like alcoholism? My son might have it too then. Dammit.

Life is weird, at least God is still cool.
Mike the Tall

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Truth About Old People

One of the more interesting aspects of my move back to Beaver County this past fall is that I now live very close - about a 3 minute drive tops - from my grandmother. This compounded with my current unemployment - that's right another unemployed Cellar Dweller, it's now a trend - makes me the defacto family errand boy for my grandmother. Whenever she needs anything, I'm the first person she calls, and, trust me on this one, my grandmother needs a lot of help. She's old, she's in poor health, and even small things become Herculean tasks. So, it's not uncommon for me to get phone calls such as: "James, I need to carry laundry down to the basement," or "James, could you come over and move the dining room chairs so I can vacuum?" Of course this can become very trying for me. I am happy that I can help my grandmother and I would never refuse her, still as virile young man these seemingly mundane tasks are dull. Plus they are often made duller and slower because my grandmother needs to make sure I do everything 'her way' which means she hovers over me step by step telling me what to do, forcing me to do everything at her pace. Even though I am perfectly capable of, say, taking a bunch of boxes into the basement quite quickly on my own, she has to follow me and make sure I put the boxes exactly where she wants them.

Not that there are no pluses to this. I do get the satisfaction of knowing I am helping an elderly relative. When I tell chicks that I spend a lot of time helping my grandmother, they think I am sweet and sensitive - and I will not dissuade them from this delusion. Also, I have a new and fun perspective on old people. Not just of my grandmother, but of old people in general. This is because whenever my grandmother takes me out for lunch - maybe twice a week - we usually end up going to places frequented by old people. So I have been able to make a few interesting observations.

For instance, every old person must reach a point where fashion doesn't matter any more. And at this point they simply keep the style they have at that moment. Seriously, look around at the elderly people you know. Have you ever noticed how a lot of them - the men in particular - still have clothes reminiscent of the 70's - loud pants, wide lapel jackets, wide ties. It's as if an entire generation at once said "Screw fashion. We're getting old. I'm tired of trying to keep up with young people. I'm sticking with the clothes I've got, no matter how dumb I'm going to look in the future." So, now we're stuck with old people stalking salad bars at 4:30 in plaid pants, flared pants, and ties which look like sails for a schooner.

Now, this brings up a very interesting question for to me. What will my generation be wearing when we get old? Will we naturally revert to the old people fashions of our old people forebears, or will we have our very own old people fashions? I like to think we'll have our own. That at some time in the future, when my generation starts pushing 55-60, we'll also give up and just keep whatever style of clothes we have going at the time. And who knows what we'll look like? Maybe some people will still be trying to wear hip hop clothes. This could be hilarious, especially the white 75 year old posers with FUBU and baggy jeans hanging around their thighs revealing their Depends. Or maybe some of us will still be dressing like punks. Tight T-shirts for bands that our grandkids will think are lame no matter how cool they may seem now. Maybe these geriatric punk wannabes will still be wearing dumb wrist bands and studded clothing. Sure, we'll look dumb and we'll probably even know it, but we just won't care. Because we'll be old and we won't have the energy to care anymore.

That's another fun thing about old people. They don't care anymore, because they've already seen so much, done so much, and don't have time to care anymore. There are some rules of society which my grandmother simply refuses to abide by, because she's old, she doesn't have time to do things right, and she knows people will let her slide because she's old. For instance, the 12 item or less express lane at Wal-Mart means nothing to her. I've been with her - and I go to the store with her a lot - when she has almost a hundred dollars worth of groceries and she goes straight for the express lane. She doesn't care because she's so old she doesn't have time for the regular lines, and no one ever calls her on it because she's old and no one wants to call an old person on this sort of thing. The major problem is that I am usually the one stuck emptying the cart which means I get all the evil stares from people held up behind us - my grandmother is often out of sight because she rides in the store electric carts and is a little below the line of sight for most people behind us.

Also, old people are not good tippers. This is a fact I am sure anyone who has ever waited tables will attest to. It's not that old people are mean - they are often very kind and sweet. It is not that they are cheap - my grandmother is always willing to spring for meals for me among other things. The reason they are bad tippers is they no longer have any idea what good tipping is. Much like with fashion, they're tipping is generally stuck at some point in the past when it was acceptable. My grandmother always leaves $2, no more, no less. It doesn't matter how much the bill is. It could be $10. It could be $50. There is no way there is going to be more than $2 on that table. I think this is partly due to the fact that my grandmother is old and no longer has the patience for math. Who has time to figure out 15-20%, when you have no idea when you are going to die? This is mainly due, I am sure, to the fact that my grandmother thinks $2 dollars is a very generous tip no matter what, and I am sure that at some point this may have been true. Now, a $2 tip for a $20 check seems a little, well, cheap. But my grandmother won't change. I've tried hinting at the idea. I've tried putting a little extra cash on the table for the waitress, but my grandmother scolds me. After all, she already put down two freaking dollars, and that's a GOOD tip.

These are only a few of the things I have observed. I'd go on, but I will begin to become redundant. The basic theme is that old people are old and don't care anymore. This leads to odd or amusing behaviour. I also hope that I have not sounded too rude or callous, because I have nothing against old people - or the elderly as I probably should have referred to them all along. I love my grandmother and am sincerely happy that I live close enough to help her. I am only pointing out things which I have culled from countless hours of observation. I don't want to anger old people because they deserve respect and they would surely think nothing of chasing me down in their Rascals, and beat me within an inch of my life with canes and false teeth. They won't think twice about doing this because they're old and they just don't care anymore.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Weapons of George Michael Destruction

hey, joe here,

it's not very often that i condemn the stupidity of hippies but i do believe that society's new improved hippie of the new millenium pales in comparison to it's 60's free love predicesor
and here is why

i like to eat, so i went to giant eagle on my way to the liquor store to buy some food, and in the "organic food isle" which is actually just a small section of shelf with rotting and bruised produce on, i overheard this conversation. now keep in mind i may not have gotten the whole thing right, or had the back story of what led this early 20's unwashed tie dyed trubador to say what he said , but even if i did.........

hippy #1. So all is far in love and war then that must make love like war

hippy #2. well love is like war man, love is like this big army invading another country
inorder to get what it wants

joe's thoughts. no thats called sex

hippy #1 ya sort of like when two people invade each other when they love each other

hippy #2 it's like when you love someone like., ok, like say a father loved a son , the father
would go through the sons room to make sure the son didnt have like things that
he could hurt someone else with or himself. like bush did to iraq with the w.a.m's

joe's thoughts. wam's? whats george micheal have to do with bush , he doesnt like bush in any
sense of the word

hippy #1 whats w.a.m's

hippy #2 weapons of mass destruction man

hippy # 1 shouldnt that be w.m.a's

hippy #2 oh ya,

joe's thoughts that hippy done smoked himself stupid,

the conversation went on from there , but that was the best part,
and i guess the only thing i took from it was i'm glad my dad loved me enough when i was younger to invaid my room and search it for things i could hurt myself with.... like pot!!!!

joe eoj

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ribbons for Every Occasion

About six months ago a few great people came up with the idea of selling magnetic ribbons honoring our armed forces in action across the world. All of the proceeds from these ribbons would be given to the armed forces to provide for the troops. The ribbons were a hit, and rightfully so, soon appearing on the majority of cars I see whizzing by me.

The ribbons covered all the major, and even not-so-major, branches of the armed forces. They also sported such phrases as "God Bless Our Troops" and "In God We Trust, " phrases that were being debated between secularists and traditionalists on Capitol Hill. All of these things were excellent, and beneficial to our troops. Then I started seeing these ribbons for P.O.W.s and men who were M.I.A. Okay, another worthy cause, if not necessarily what I would call the "natural progression of magnetic ribbon subjects." But over the last few weeks I've been seeing weirder and weirder ribbons, all trying to capitalize on an original, charitable idea. Some are for other diseases and causes, and others are for sports teams...

When I travel along the turnpike every weekend I see plenty of these ribbons. And since I've been looking at alot of them for the purposes of this blog entry, I usually have to speed up and drive really close to these cars to actually figure out what they are for. Recently, I've been surprised each time.

First are the "disease ribbons," all of which look very similar, at first glance, to the standard "Support our Troops" stuff. Upon closer examination I find ribbons for Ovarian Cancer, Heart Disease, AIDS, and Kidney stones. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the proceeds from these ribbons are going to support research for these diseases but this charitable bandwagon might be beginning to tip a little. Of course I was thinking this before I saw the "Early Detection Saves Lives" ribbon. Early detection of what? (Obviously they are talking about breast cancer, but I'm not sure if everyone knows this. Then again were they talking about Carbon Monoxide leaks?)

But by far the weirdest of all the disease ribbons, and possibly even a little offensive, was the Autism one. Not because it was for Autistic kids, but because the ribbon, instead of being a solid color, was made up of puzzle pieces. Huh? Puzzle pieces? Are they trying to say autistic kids like to put together puzzles, or that the disease in general is very puzzling? Either way it's ridiculous and goofy. Not to mention it takes forever to actually make out the words set on top of this jigsaw design.

Next comes another stupid, and utterly thoughtless category: "sports ribbons in disguise." The whole ribbon thing is a good idea because it's a cheap way to give folks a reason to donate money to a specific cause or charity. Even if you buy a goofy ribbon like "Autism Awareness" you are still supporting the research behind this puzzling condition. But recently there have been ribbons for sports teams, usually found on the side of large pick-up trucks or crummy Corsicas. Nothing like supporting the multi-million dollar-a-year charity like the Pittsburgh Steelers so they can continue researching how to build up the hopes of an entire city only to choke like Mama Kass at a sandwich luncheon. You can put Steelers (or any other sports team) crap on your car, but making it look like charity ribbons is a little sleazy.

To make matters worse, I also found a handful of ribbons that just said "Go Pittsburgh!" Not really in reference to any specific team, mind you, just the city in general. Hey Pittsburgh... go! I'd like one that said "Pittsburgh, Stop Chasing Away Small Businesses and Residents!" Now that's a charity I can get behind.

Finally, and perhaps the most pathetic, is the "blank ribbon" category. This category is exactly how it sounds. There is nothing there. I parked my car the other day, only to find that my neighbor had a yellow ribbon on her car. This ribbon had nothing written on it... I guess it could be for anything. But in reality I'm assuming it stands for nothing, she just wanted it on there so she could fit in with the other cars. And it was probably alot cheaper this way, since you don't really have to give money to an organization...

This whole ribbon thing is a fad, just like wearing ribbons on your jacket or a pennant on your car antennae. Soon people will think of other clever ways to raise money for good causes... and soon other people will figure out ways to rape and pillage those very good intentions to make a quick buck for themselves.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

hey, Joe here,
with some random thoughts about some random things that have been going on at random in my life,
first of i'd just like to say that i'm becoming increasingly more satisfied with F.N.I.B.C it seems to finally be on the right track as far as a mixture of entertaining performance, teaching, and genaral improv practice. secondly ,. i'm increasingly less satisfied as a realestate agent, so i think i'm done with that whole deal
here is a brief conversation that happened in my office,

So Joe you think you'll sell any houses this year

well i guess, i sold one last year why break the cycle

most agents go for more then one a year

well i strive to be different

if you'd come in the office more that might help you out, take some floor time answer the phones , and follow up

ya well i'm here now, and so far it's been 2 and a half hours and the phone rang once, and they wanted to order a pizza


i took there order, man are they gonna be pissed in about 30 minutes or less

you missed a good meeting thursday joe

i had to work

you wouldnt have to work so much if you were here more

well i'd be here more if i had someone else to pay my bills while i was getting started

i didnt have any one to pay my bills while i started,

didnt you tell me last week that your husband was a lawyer

were divorced,

remember the alamony

just come to the weekly meetings ok.

you bet.

so thats pretty much the jist of why i am not going back to the office

on a good note, my kitten roxy is doing well and as cute as ever.

lots of love and what not

joe eoj

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Why White Castle left me unsatisfied

It was Friday. I'm sure of it.
I went to work and got a paycheck. I went out to eat with my dad. I showed up at the bowl around 8 to work on the new Cellar Dweller show and to prepare for FNIBC.
We did some improv. We laughed, we cried, we had awesome audience participation and we gave away some crappy prizes. We had fun.
But the front row was empty. There were no deputy dwellers to be seen.
But that's impossible, you say? They're there every Friday. (Every Friday?!)
But, alas, this Friday, they left on a quest for the small greasy burger, somewhere in Ohio, and left me with a nagging sense of emptiness in my day.
I hope they had fun "stormin' the White Castle," but I'm left to wonder; will they return from that strange land this Friday? Will we see our deputies again?
Only time will tell. (And perhaps Harold and Kumar.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Tough Questions

Still unemplyed here. My mom is freaking out, but I'm surprisingly calm. I am attmepting to get "the crap job," whilst looking for the good job. Even those make you take a test. Now far be if from me to judge the mass business realm, but do I need to take a test to see if I can pass out videos at Blockbuster? Hmmm. The choices are A. Yes B. No C. There are many dependant factors D. Don't I have two college degrees and am vying for this job against high school kids and retirees?

I might be a postman. A stretch, but I'd be in much better shape on the upside, on the downside? more dog interaction. During my brief stint as an insurance salesman, I was almost viciously attacked by dogs four times. I also found out today that I ended up almost $500 down in sales from the insurance from people dropping the programs. That's what I get for being placed in homes of people who have very little money in the poorest county in PA and like 2nd in the US. Nice Job! They said if I worked hard, I'd make a ton of money. I worked hard and ended up over 400 dollars in the hole. Hmmm.

Also, if anyone knows this, please tell me. How do you know when blue cheese dressing goes bad? Does it go bad? Blue cheese is already moldy, does it just get better like the cheese itself?

Also, why does everyone tell me that George Bush is the reason I can't find a job? I tell people I'm looking for a job and they say, "That's Bush's economic plan for you in action." And I say, "No, it's not that at all." I walk into places and they see my resume filled with theater jobs and they look at me and start speaking slower, like I'm a moron. As a theatre professional I did three office jobs while keeping a story moving forward and meeting deadlines. But someone outside of theatre can't comprehend this. I can type and use word and excel cause I needed to for my other jobs. Bush didn't make business people nearsighted. Silly people.

There are some jobs I'd love. Game show host. But how do you get that? THat's my real calling as we all know. I wouldn't mind being on SNL or a Solid Gold dancer, cause you know that was a huge orgy waiting to happen. I'd be a game tester for video games. I'd be good at that,cause anyone that knows my gaming style, I have to walk and explore everything and try everything trying to find all the money or candy or golden spatulas, whatever the case may be. I'm like that. So, I'm thourough and have a long attention span. I'd also be a good editor, but I have no idea how to break into that, especially without an English degree.

Speaking of that, I think that my college degree is good for one thing now: making me frustrated that I am not qualified with all the schooling that I have for any real practical job. College is not practical, but places won't let you get a job without a degree. Do they just want to defer you for four or five years and put you in debt before they take you for a month and tell you how to do everything they do anyhow? I don't get it.

Why could Lateta buy a stuffed bear holding two 12 ounce bottles of lotion from bath and body works for $6.75 and one 8 ounce bottle was $5.00? What?

What happened to innuendo? Has anyone seen the new 50 cent video? "I'm going to take you to the candy store so you can like the lollipop" said while pointing to the crotchular area. Is this innuendo? Is this what passes for coy? Is it acceptable to be that blatent now? Drop the f-bomb in a well plotted metaphor and it's ok? Woah! I recently watched an episode of the Burns and Allen show. There were sex jokes all through one episode, but there was nothing that a five year old could not watch. Where is that? That's an art. Being dirty and only having the adults get it.

Enough for now. Why do I feel so good when I have no job and no money? Maybe it's church. Maybe it's the crazy amount of faith or just the fact that something good has to happen if there is anything like karma out there.

Mike the Tall needs cuddles...and a pizza.