Halloween is really the only holiday worth celebrating. The religious aspects of the day have been so long forgotten that it is really just a day for fun, something most people desperately need.
The costumes, the candy, the rather large amount of women who suddenly become complete and total whores in the minds of guys who can't separate a chick in a fetish costume like a cat or a French Maid from the reality that the ladies are all still frigid bitches who are just as unwilling to have sex with them - u...What was I saying?
Ah yes! Halloween! I love it. Next to April Fool's Day and my birthday there is really no other legitimate day worth celebrating on Earth.
One drawback to my job as an entertainer (and perhaps one of the reasons why I'm never invited to any parties) is that when everyone else in the world is having fun I am working. Holidays and weekends, the times when most people are partying down, are the times when I must work. Every major holiday and party weekend finds yours truly hard at work while you are wondering why I couldn't attend your barbecue.
Halloween is usually a little different from other days in that I generally have to dress down for my shows. Everyone else is in costume and the only way for me to appear different from the crowd is to dress a little more "normally" than everyone else. The rest of the year has me in good looking outfits that are always a bit more over-the-top than casual street-wear. Sometimes, when you are all in your everyday clothing, I am in a full-on costume.
Today I have to head on out to the North Riverside Park Mall for an event. I've been there several years in a row now and the person who books the thing has never figured out that even if the client requests that we wear "real costumes" instead of our standard show garb, we shouldn't wear costumes. It just confuses the situation and makes many of the parents think we're "creepy".
One year at the mall filled with kids and parents in costumes, I had to juggle dressed as Jake Blues. Nobody knew if I was supposed to be there or if I was some sort of freak trying to kidnap kids. There are a lot of freaks doing a lot of bad things on Halloween. It should follow that the entertainer shouldn't do something to appear unusual or out of the ordinary (the ordinary on Halloween being a person in a costume). I've been mistaken for a costumed-kidnapper before and I'm not eager to start that again.
Nevertheless, I have to sport some sort of costume.
I've finally gotten the agent to accept my red tuxedo jacket, tie, and shiny shoes (more or less my actual show attire) as that of a "Ringmaster" costume and that seems to appease the end client. Now if I could only get them to understand that I am NOT a magician and do NOT perform any magic tricks.
Every year I have to endure posters advertising a magician and I'm told to "bring a few small tricks in case anyone wants some magic." I always bring a deck of cards and go about my regular performances...Which are always well-received...You know, so good that they ask to have me back every damn year! Shocking to know I'm good at my job (NOT a job as a magician!).
Ah well, it is good to have the work.
Happy Halloween, everyone! Enjoy your parties and the trick-or-treating, I'll be the magical juggling "Ringmaster" at the mall.
The House of Sand and Fugeddaboutit
November 7th through the 11th April & I will be in our home away from home, Las Vegas! Mostly relaxing with a little bit of work stuff thrown in there.
Looking very forward to this because we BOTH very desperately need a break. Given the economy and the nature of some of my impending financial and legal situations, this may be the last vacation we get to take for a long, LONG time.
It's funny. We both used to never take a vacation of any kind. We always thought we'd never be able to find the time nor the money for a vacation. Then we made it a priority to try and save up and schedule one in there. Soon afterwards we realized we could in fact get a couple of weeks a year to blow off some steam. Now we're back facing the prospect of not getting to take any, only this time it is because we really might not be able to go as opposed to just thinking we could never afford to go. This will be fun for sure.
We're actually very excited this time because we're going to head to some more out of the way places. Some local bars and hangouts are on the agenda as is the Neon Museum, a place we've wanted to see for years! Even though it is not officially open to the public, the prospect of getting to see "The Boneyard" is just awesome for us.
I'm also hoping to snag some tickets to see Tim Conway & Harvey Korman at the Stardust. MOST excellent!
If any bloggers are in Arizona, Nevada, and all parts west and are close enough to come on out for a visit, I'm all about buying drinks for new friends. Besides, you'd be in VEGAS and I guarantee it is much more fun than where you are right now. Trust me.
Speaking of Las Vegas, I seem to be linked to another blog with a Las Vegas feeling. Check out BeTuMan and enjoy reading your favorite posts in English and Spanish. I can't imagine why someone wouldn't contact me and let me know they're linking to me. I'm always very good at the reciprocal link thing. A Permanent link will be up soon, whoever you are.
I'm even linked to some other blog called Rumo a Pequim and I was only recently contacted about the link. Of course since I can't read a damn word of the blog nor the e-mail asking for a link I will hold back on adding this one to my permanent links list. Really now, tell me what language this is so I can translate or send me an e-mail I can actually read. That's not too much to ask, right?
No "Remote Control", but Rat Tails Were Lampooned
Still no mention of the very funny MTV game show, "Remote Control" on the overdone "I Love the 80's" series. I doubt there'll be a volume four of this thing so April will have to settle for knowing she's way cooler than Hal Sparks.
However they did get around to talking trash about the "rat tail" hair style, something that for my own reasons, I sport in a much cooler form to this day.
I've had this hair for almost 20 years now and though it all started as a way to get attention, look different, and meet girls, it has become something of a trademark now. It is one of the ways people identify me and my act. It is in all my promo photos and I've actually been recognized after TV performances because of it.
Plus, my wife LOVES it.
So, yes I am aware that the sheer length and size of the tail I sport is a little odd. Sure I am the king of the 80's because of it. No, it is not a mullet, nor is it a scraggly little rat tail as seen in this show. It really should have it's own classification. Yes, it is the source of all my power.
When I get rid of it one day it will be a big deal. The tail I've had has been around for damn near all of the significant events in my life. It has outlast every girlfriend, been there during family births and deaths, and been the ONLY constant in my life outside of my mood swings and depression.
Mock me if you must. I don't give a "rat's ass!"
The Flying Penguinis Are No More
That's right, kiddies! The last remaining Flying Penguini Juggling Kits known to man have all been sold.
My client at yesterday's gig bought them up to give away as prizes for co-workers who completed my impromptu juggling lessons.
Fun stuff for an employee appreciation day.
So...Cherish the Penguinis you have and tell them how much you love them for you have a true collector's item.
Until I find something of equal penguin goodness to offer in return for a fan pic I'll be sending out the Collector's Cards and Louie Louie CDs as thank-you prizes. I'm sure I'll have some other good Andy-centric items to offer as FREE STUFF so I encourage you to show your Andy Land Love at every opportunity.
So which lucky blogger was the last to receive such a great prize? Gordon of Blog THIS, Pal! Be sure to check out his blog and enjoy these photos he took of his Penguinis misbehaving.
Amid All My Anger
Amid the anger, the frustration, the venting, & the sarcasm I forgot one very important thing.
Chicago, my beloved city of Chicago, has a World Series victory. Hasn't happened in a long, LONG time. Fantastic!
I suppose I should apologize to Cubs fans, but I won't. They should move and should be ashamed. They should also be very happy to see their city looking so damned good right now. I was reminded of that today working at a gig filled with Cubs fans. I'd almost forgotten how genuinely friendly our city and Midwesterners in general can be until I heard so many of them truly admit to being happy to have a championship in the town. Even if it was on the South side of Chicago, it was in fact IN Chicago. Seeing as how we don't get to say that all too often, I am proud of the Sox and even more proud of the baseball fans and the people of Chicago.
I'll say it again. Without reserve, I love the game of baseball.
My man, Max Headroom, finally got his props last night.
Now if I can just figure out how that damned series has managed to miss talking about the program, "Remote Control" for so long. It can't be a rights and clearances thing. It was an MTV show for fuck's sake! Ah well, maybe later tonight.
Nobody Ever Believes Me
I may not be right ALL the time, but I am right MOST of the time. Anyone who ever says otherwise can fuck right off.
Congrats to the White Sox.
I thank the heavens that I have divorced myself from the Major Leagues and my once favorite team, the Cubs. Last year I was in tears watching the Red Sox win the World Series. I cried because I knew I'd never see the Cubs as the champions. I knew that one year later I'd have to endure seeing a White Sox victory. I knew it then and I had an entire year to prepare.
No tears today. A little disappointed? Sure. However I am happier for the White Sox and the city of Chicago than I am upset at it all.
I will never allow the Cubs and their idiot fans to hold their heads in the sky for any reason. If the Cubs won the whole damn thing next year I wouldn't give a damn. If the Cubs won EVERY World Series for the next 10 years I'd never forgive them for robbing me and millions of others of their childhood.
I cannot let them forget that my father died (with his Die Hard Cubs Fan membership card) never having enjoyed a Cubs World Series victory. The list of people who ran out of "next years" waiting for the Cubs to get their heads out of their asses will never stop growing and I hate the Cubs for their crimes against humanity.
They stand alone, once and for all, as the ONLY losers in all of sports. They alone are the worst "professional" sports team in the history of organized competition. They have nobody to share their misery with any longer and they have only themselves to blame.
The fans of such a team are just as pathetic. Any TRUE Cubs fan would be leaping head-first from the rooftops at Waveland & Sheffield in the wake of a White Sox World Series victory. A TRUE Cubs fan would not look at the last two years as proof that anything can happen, but as proof that supporting a team like the Cubs is possibly the most awful and pointless act of frivolity ever. A TRUE Cubs fan would not arrive in record numbers at Wrigley Field knowing that the White Sox won a World Series before the Cubs. A TRUE Cubs fan would be devastated by this and consider moving out of the Chicagoland area, head hung in shame.
Luckily, I watch real baseball now, played by real teams. The Joliet Jackhammers, the Kane County Cougars, the Schaumburg Flyers, the Gary South Shore Railcats, the Windy City Thunderbolts, the Rockford Riverhawks, and the Beloit Snappers are ALL more worthy of a hard-earned dollar than the Chicago Cubs.
Once again, congratulations, White Sox. Well done! Chicago is the greatest city in the world, even though half of it is too scary to be out after 6 PM. No matter, Chicago has a WORLD CHAMPION once again.
A Snootful of Penguin News
I've been putting off all sorts of penguin-related news for some time now. Many a reason for neglecting my favorite subject (other than myself). Most reasons include being too busy or depressed to post anything. Another good reason? I forgot. :(
Anyway, let's start with this lovely photo of a Humboldt Penguin. This was taken by Cathy (you know...the porn buyer) when she and Bud were here visiting the Brookfield Zoo with me. Great little photo and a great way to segue into a link provided by Bud.
He found a great little article about how penguins are safely making homes in fields filled with LANDMINES.
Sadly, many a patch of land is still filled with thousands of landmines so many years after the Falklands Islands War. However, the penguins are too light to set them off and can make their homes in the Islands without worry. Therefore they are among the few animals on Earth with a modern-day security system.
Many people, not the least of which, Bitchitude, have brought my attention to a story about how the Christian right have been trying to use "March of the Penguins" in order to reinforce family values, disprove evolution, prove intelligent design bullshit, eliminate abortion, prove that homosexuality is immoral and against God's plan, and generally promote their agendas at every turn. I apologize for taking so long to comment about this, but I thought it was so absurd it would go away quickly. It hasn't.
I am not even going to honor this ludicrous notion with a link. I will, however, give you a link talking about how STUPID this crap is!
I will also say that some of the things the Christian right has cleverly forgotten about Emperor Penguins when making their arguments include the following facts.
The penguins fuck like rabbits with many anonymous partners before choosing a suitable mate for the duration of their long mating season. Some even [GASP!] fuck independently from the mating season.
The penguins ABANDON their young several times in order to find food for themselves and the chicks. There are periods of weeks where their young chicks have no more protection from predators. Good parents to be sure.
Some penguins (younger ones mostly), abandon their eggs in favor of relative warmth found back in the waters. In effect they are terminating their pregancies voluntarily for self preservation.
Penguins of all species have exhibited homosexual behavior. I won't bore you with a link about the gay penguins at the zoo hooking up and then breaking up. We've all heard it. I'm just reminding you of the fact.
The adult penguins jump ship and head back to the sea long before the chicks are old enough to completely fend for themselves. They've never even been given a swimming lesson by the time the folks take off. How do the chicks even know how to swim? Could it be...Inherent knowledge from years of...EVOLUTION???
Speaking of which, if watching how these creatures have adapted to the harshest climate on Earth isn't an example of evolution I can't imagine what is. I could see the Christian right using this as an argument against evolution if they would just say something clever like, "If evolution exists why didn't the penguins evolve into a species smart enough to get the fuck out of Antarctica?" Instead, they let assholes like Michael Medved say things for them about family values, intelligent design and the like.
Hey Michael! Let me say something to you. Nobody listened to you when you & Jeffrey Lyons were the hack replacements for Siskel & Ebert on "Sneak Previews". Nobody listens to your crappy radio show. I'm surprised you haven't figured out that nobody is really listening to you now. OK, I listened long enough to figure out you're the guy I should make fun of, but really...shut the fuck up!
Lastly, since I'm speaking about a film that came out this year, let me show you a photo sent to me by Eric of the Louie Louie blog. This pic is a great example of what unfortunate things can happen when a theatre marquee is too small to accommodate the complete titles being shown. Many thanks, Eric!
So Help Me God...
If VH1's latest pop-culture overkill series, "I Love the 80's - 3D", doesn't include a segment about Max Headroom I'm gonna bust some asses!
I mean really, if you're going to talk about pop culture oddities from the 80's not once, not twice, but THREE times and miss the whole Max Headroom phenomenon then you don't deserve the paychecks you're cashing.
It is bad enough I'm not one of the many semi-funny comics commenting on EVERY damn VH1 program on the air, but to miss one of the most stereotypically 80's characters again and again is just unforgivable!
The bizarre character, played by actor, Matt Frewer, had a couple of television programs, ad campaigns for Coke, numerous magazine and TV appearances, and a spoof in a freakin' "Back to the Future" film. He was an icon for the 80's if ever there was one.
Maybe the guy at My Blog is Poop will read this and give me some insight as to how such an atrocity can happen. Then maybe he can get me a freakin' audition at "Best Week Ever".
I'll keep you posted and report on any Max Headroom news. I'm sure you're all eager to see how this all plays out.
Why Am I Always to Blame?
The Penguinis I sent to Sue in Iowa have gone on a drinking binge. Naturally, she blames me for sending alcoholic Penguinis.
She hasn't even considered the fact that most people, when faced with the prospect of eternity in Iowa, take to the bottle. They've already tried to escape. They must have seen the endless rows of corn fields and thought being drunk was better. It clearly is her fault for not locking the liquor cabinet.
Besides, all Penguinis are party animals. Just wait til you see what my personal Penguinis do in Las Vegas later in November!
And Yet, No Readers
While checking my stats today I found someone discovered my blog by typing in the question, "What is funny to read in blog universe?". Of course I can't imagine such a long and complete sentence being used in a Google search, but nonetheless someone did indeed ask the question.
As it happens the "answer" to such a Google question has Andy Land in the TOP THREE of the 2,700,000 possible websites listed. Now that's very cool indeed.
Sadly I don't even register if you type in "What is FUN to read in the Blog universe?" That must add to the ongoing explanation as to why I have so few readers and comments.
I'm funny, but I'm no fun. Funny how the blog universe reflects real life. No fun seeing the truth played out online.
I'm a man with few friends. I have many acquaintances, professional and personal, but I have maybe two or three friends. Random phone calls to see how I'm doing from my friends are rare. Get-togethers and social visits are practically nonexistent. Few people, if any, are ever around to offer me advice when I need it most. Turnouts for some of my bigger shows hardly ever have any of my friends in the audience.
And yet, I'm good for a laugh or two.
I'm frequently told how funny I am and what a great guy I am. I guess I'm good at a party, but not all that good to have around otherwise. In fact I go to more parties than anyone I know. Unfortunately I'm never an invited guest. I'm a paid performer. Good for the career, bad for the self esteem.
It's no big deal. I don't like me that much either and certainly understand not wanting to have me around. I can be opinionated, depressing, needy, and obnoxious. Why would you want to interact with that after you got the laugh you needed?
I spend a lot of time online reading blogs. There are about 10 to 15 must read blogs for me, and many that I peck at and check in with when I can. A common complaint I see from the writers is that they get no traffic. Of the people complaining of no traffic, maybe about half of them truly get no visitors. The rest? Check out their comments fields. 20, 30, 40 or more people leaving comments and responding. Last time I checked that was indeed successful traffic.
Now there are certainly ways to increase traffic via links and RSS feeds. Posting interesting content doesn't hurt either. I an also highly recommend doing a link exchange with Attu. When I was on his blogroll I got a good 100 more hits per day than I do now. No idea why I'm off the list now, but who cares, right?
I'm coming to the conclusion that the only real way to get traffic is to comment relentlessly at other blogs. People take their blogs very seriously and view it as a personal insult if you don't feel compelled to comment. Apparently it is not enough to merely read the blog and register your cookie within their temporary folder.
I am notoriously bad at commenting elsewhere, which may explain why I have about 15 to 20 regular visitors here a day and maybe 6 of those folks leave comments. Of course, I am GRATEFUL anD THANKFUL for all the readers I've had this past year. I'm just noticing trends and the like, creating theories, etc..
Perhaps I'll mount a campaign where I spend a day leaving comments at every single blog on my links list and see what happens from there. Could be a fascinating waste of time, if not a great distraction from cleaning the apartment. Lord knows I have no pressing social engagement to go to today.
Every search engine claims to posses the ability to bring you the most relevant links and content. For some time now, Google has been the leader of the pack.
Today I found out why.
If you type the word, "failure" (with or without quotes) into a Google search and then hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, you'll be whisked away to this site.
Now I am thoroughly convinced that Google does indeed provide the net-surfer with the most relevant and accurate information. I must thank E-Pauly for bringing this to my attention.
Lord knows how long it will take before Rove and his gang find a way to get Google to alter the truth. So be sure to pass this along right away, before the truth eludes us all once again.
Today, for the first time in nearly 50 years, the only sporting event worth watching, The World Series, will be played in Chicago.
I should be happier.
The guy in me that has lived here forever and been a member of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau should be ecstatic for the city. Instead I don't really give a damn.
Some of this is because I was raised a Cubs fan and couldn't possibly root for the White Sox. Some is because I have completely given up on Major League Baseball in favor of the heart-filled beauty of the Minor Leagues and Independent Leagues.
I'm eager to see a Chicago team win the World Series. It is only fitting that the greatest city in the world get to enjoy a victory in the greatest game in the world.
I'm a bit worried about the prospect of playing the Astros, knowing that they have never played in nor won a World Series. That is certainly a factor that could cause the Baseball Gods to shit all over my theory about why the Sox will win. However, I stand behind the fact that the Sox will win. The Baseball Gods hate ME almost as much as they hate the Cubs you know. Gods in general aren't all that fond of me I guess. All I know for certain is that I will likely not watch a single game.
Best of luck to the Chicago White Sox.
To the Chicago Cubs (the organization as opposed to the players), respectfully, GO FUCK YOURSELVES!
You should be in the dugout at Wrigley Field sucking the business end of a shotgun from SHAME for allowing the White Sox to arrive at the World Series before you did. You are a complete disgrace to the great city of Chicago and I cannot bear to think of life in the wake of a White Sox World Series Victory. Sadly, you cannot think of a world where you are the champions. You have no heart, no vision, and no drive to succeed.
At least the White Sox played the game this season with the child-like exuberance and enthusiasm needed to win loyalty as well as ball games. The White Sox even managed to play a little fundamental baseball. Great pitching, timely hitting, and good fundamental baseball seem to help teams achieve greatness. The Chicago Cubs have made a mockery of baseball for nearly a full century now. I hope you suffer greatly when the White Sox win it all. You may have the best marketing department and the finest stadium in the game, but at least this year, the White Sox have the best team. Choke on that, Cubs. You know how to choke, right?
Out of the blue, I received an e-mail today from Judith, who is writing a story for Milwaukee Magazine about Samson the Gorilla.
You may recall an article I wrote about Samson for The Cheers some time back. If not, PLEASE go read it and learn about one of the few, truly great and happy days in my life. The day I met Samson will stand as one of the best experiences of my mostly mediocre existence.
Now, before I tell about Judith let me alert you to something odd at The Cheers. My article seems to be sans photos now. However, the captions for those photos seem to be intact and are actually IN the column, making the damn thing seems rather disjointed. So please disregard the lines, "Samson (courtesy gorilla-haven.org)", "At Least it Was Sugarless!", The Last Surviving Samson Orange", & "Andy Reunited With Samson" and everything will make perfect sense.
Anyway, Judith was able to provide me with the name of the animal handler who made the most memorable day of my life possible. So for now, when you read the column and wish there was a name instead of a phrase like, "the handler" just insert Sam LaMalfa into those sentences.
Mr. LaMalfa is now retired and is something of an artist. You can see a sketch he drew of Samson at Gorilla Haven.
Publicly, let me say,
THANK YOU MR. LaMALFA FOR MAKING ONE DAY IN MY LIFE SO REMARKABLE!
I am hopeful I can find some sort of contact info for the guy and write him a letter. I am also hopeful I'll get mentioned in the upcoming piece. Either way, I am extremely happy to have heard from Judith. Thanks, much!
Labels: Milwaukee County Zoo, Sam LaMalfa, Samson the Gorilla
E-Pauly is BACK!
Great news! E-Pauly, one of my favorite blogs, and a place kind enough to publish many an Andy Martello column, is back.
Get caught up on all the Canadian fun at E-Pauly and be sure to drop him an e-mail and remind him how much you enjoy getting extra Andy goodness there.
Why Would ANY Self-Respecting Penguini Go to Iowa?
After Sue posted an Andy Land fan pic (you remember...the one I made FOR HER!), she "earned" her prize of a Flying Penguini Juggling Kit.
Naturally, once the Penguinis found themselves in new surroundings, they immediately started causing problems. In this case, they did what anyone would do if they found themselves trapped in Iowa...they tried to escape!
This is merely a composite of the entire photographic saga. For more details, please check out The Torn Pages.
My personal favorite of the photos is this one, with the caption, "Penguini tried to blend in with their surroundings".
Enjoy your Penguinis, Sue.
While looking through photos for more blogging fun I took a better look at the photo from Bud Buckley's trip with me at the Brookfield Zoo. The above photo has me cropped out of the frame for this experiment. Believe me, I'll have some closer examination of my own silly self later.
Perhaps I've been drinking too much lately, but I believe that Bud and the statue of Olga the Walrus are one and the same. Yes! That's right! Bud Buckley is actually a bronze walrus!
Notice the similarities. Olga is dark brown in color and sitting on a tan-colored rock. Bud is wearing a dark brown shirt and wearing tan-colored pants. Flippers and shoes are also dark brown. Top to bottom, they are so alike it is uncanny!
There is also an amazing resemblance in the face. See the scruffy whiskers? Coincidence? I think not!
Olga was also known to be something of a crowd-pleaser, much like our very own Bud Buckley. What many people do not know is that Olga was ALSO a guitar player and retired teacher! Who knew?
About the only real discernible difference is in sheer size. Bud is a much smaller creature than Olga. The real overweight monster in the photo? ME! Perhaps that's why I cropped myself out of the picture.
In a Heartbeat! (Vol. One)
That's all I gotta say!
(I figured I needed at least one post that gets a lot of traffic.)
What the Heck is This?
I'm wondering about the thing in the middle of this screen shot. The small pop-up window with nothing more than an exclamation point and an OK button. It has mysteriously shown up randomly when viewing a few different websites.
I always just close the window and not hit the OK button, in case it is something evil, but I've no idea. So...anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Photos and Graphics On File
Looking through my hard drive I found a few pics and images here and there that I saved for one reason or another. Many of them provide me with a memory of saving them, but no real memory as to why I saved them.
What's that? You want examples? Why SURE!
Here you find a most excellent photo of the shrine/sculpture commemorating the Masters of the Impossible, Siegfried & Roy. This can be found in front of the Mirage in Las Vegas and I believe I found this particular photo at the She's Krafty blog.
I have vague recollections of wanting to incorporate this photo into a post about fan letters. I can't remember for sure.
Sacha (Major blog crush!) may have taken this photo herself and if that is the case, please go to her blog and tell her how much she rocks. She hasn't taken too many photos of late and I feel she needs to get her eye focusing through the old shutter again.
I can only assume I saved this next photo for my own personal reasons. I mean really, it has just about everything you'd need to get a good fetish-whack going. School girl outfits, legs, asses, panties, acrobatics not found in any bedroom I visit - it is a good photo.
However I seem to recall thinking that this would be a good photo to accent some column I never wrote for The Cheers or Malicious Bitch, or even Eklektikos. If I ever remember the subject of that column, I'll be sure to use that photo.
Speaking of Eklektikos, here's something kind of cool.
Jonathan Rosillo, photographer, graphics guy, and fellow contributor to The Cheers and Eklektikos originally was going to do all of the design work and graphics stuff for Eklektikos. There was some sort of creative disagreement and his designs never saw the light of day.
This was meant to be the background for all Andy Martello columns. I'm not all that sure if I was supposed to see it before the mag went live (and then went dead) but if he wants to sue me or something, I'm worth about eighteen bucks. Either way it looks cool and would make a good blog skin, actually.
Did someone say "blog skin"?
Some time back, after Bitchitude got a cool new look, I was on the path to getting a spanking new cool blog skin of my own. Same designer. Same price (FREE!).
Well, after many design ideas, my favorite being represented here, the poor gal got much busier with work, real life family things, and most importantly...PAYING CLIENTS! No biggie. Money talks and it speaks very loudly.
We've exchanged a few e-mails back and forth, but I long forgot about the new blog skin for Andy Land and didn't really think of it again until making this post. So I suppose I don't really miss nor need a new blog skin here. This one seems to attract the same 19 repeat visitors every day all on it's own.
Anyway, this was very close to being "THE ONE". I was hoping to add my stand-up comedy penguin cartoon on the stage somewhere, and a few other little goodies elsewhere. For now and likely forever, this is all you'll get. I wonder what Tech Wench charges. I can save up a few pennies if I get the urge to personalize again in the future.
Believe me, there are more pics clogging up my hard drive. I'll be sure to share them all when I get the chance.
Give a Blow Job or a Box of Chocolates to an Orphan or Shut-in Day
Perhaps "Sweetest Day" had a catchier ring to it.
Click here to learn why Sweetest Day is a crock-o-shit. That is to say, it is a crock-o-shit if you are one of the LOSER, HOSE-BAG, BITCH-FLAPS that expected presents or jewelry from your man today.
Go do something nice for someone considerably less arrogant, self-centered, and ignorant than yourself like you're supposed to do and stop making guys buy you presents. Christmas is coming soon enough you greedy whores!
By the way, I don't celebrate Sweetest Day. Neither does my lovely wife. I do, however perform MANY shows for the elderly every year. I get a pass today. :Þ
Thanks, Kellie for the info.
When you travel along southbound Interstate 57, en route to southern Illinois, shortly after passing Kankakee, you will find an exit for a town . The name of that town?
When you take the Buckley exit you will find yourself facing a small business at the end of the exit ramp. That business?
If you were to enter the Lion's Den Adult Superstore in Buckley, you would be greeted by a young lady who also checks I.D.s and rings up your purchases. The young lady's name?
Heading Out. Back Tomorrow.
Gotta go today to Mt. Vernon, IL for a gig tomorrow morning. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon or early evening. Read all the blogs listed in my sidebar and enjoy yourselves.
That's how many people alert me when a plate I am spinning is about to fall. They all yell out loud, "Hey, Andy!" That phrase has been around me for years. Today, I found out a new use for that simple exclamation.
Gordon, from Blog THIS, Pal!, has become the newest member of the now infamous (and possibly incontinent) Penguini Posse! Just check out this little bit-o' fun I received in my inbox today.
Beautiful what some free time, a little bit of technology, and just enough user knowledge of MS Paint can bring to the world isn't it?
Many thanks, Gordon, both for the fan pic and for the mention you gave me earlier this week. Penguinis are on the way.
Be sure to read Gordon's most excellent blog for tons of news and views on comics, pop culture, and anything of interest in the St. Louis area.
How Pathetic Am I Really?
Do you see this? Look at this thing! Have you any idea what this is? THIS is a fan pic from Sue at The Torn Pages. She's been desperate to get her hands on some Flying Penguinis and she found out this was the best way to get them. Well sort of.
I actually had to make this photo for her. I meant it as a joke. She left a comment for me about how difficult it is to find something penguin related to add to a fan pic...or even make a fan pic...or even send one to me...from Iowa. I just figure she doesn't have a digital camera or a scanner. I've been to Boone, Iowa. I'm freakin' AMAZED there's a computer in the damned town! Forget the digital camera. So I, being the smart-ass that I am, made a fan pic for her and posted a link to it on her own blog.
Being a practical Midwestern lass, figured that a job well done needn't be a job done twice and therefore she posted the photo on her blog. I have to admit, that's pretty damned funny.
So anyway, here is her fan pic, full of all the fake sincerity and mock adoration that I have so come to enjoy with this little blog nonsense. She'll receive her Penguinis and take her place among the most dysfunctional of all families, The Penguini Posse.
It is really telling when an entertainer is so desperate for attention and love that he'll actually write the fan letter for you. Yep. I'm something truly special. Where's that Draino?
Random Celebrity Memories! Vol. Five: Robert Altman
Director, Robert Altman, has been making some of the film world's most acclaimed and entertaining movies for well over 30 years. He also made "The Company", a rather forgettable and extremely slow-paced film about Chicago's very own Joffrey Ballet Company.
I know some folks that loved this film and if you are a lover of dance then perhaps this film is considerably better than the general populace suggested when they almost universally decided to drive far, FAR away from any theatre running the film. I didn't even go see this movie in the theatres and I was in the damned thing!
Well, I was an extra on this film and I was only in one scene. Maybe if I get the courage to rent the DVD again I'll post some screen shots so you can see me. I'm out of the frame in the pan & scan version. Full screen? BOOYAH!
My scene was kind of cool because I rarely do any sort of acting or extra work any more and I enjoyed spending the day on the set. It was also kind of entertaining because I was surrounded by "career extras", who are among the scariest and most lame of all performers. I mean, really, one lady wrote a book about being an extra and actually sells it to other fools while eating her free donuts and waiting for her big scene (There's a chapter about the Kraft Services Table. I shit you not!)
Some of these freaks tell grand stories about their scenes with Deniro and Nicholson and if you didn't know that their scenes usually involved being in the other room eating free donuts while Deniro and Nicholson were actually working, you'd think these people had something going in the biz. I held no such illusions. I, along with everyone else in the room know we were extras on a Robert Altman movie starring Neve Campbell. Extras are extras and there's rarely anything about the gig...unless you're me.
My big scene involved the one and only Malcolm McDowell and director, Robert Altman, was running the show. In the greatest moment of irony, NONE of the extras, all "real actors" and lovers of their craft, noticed or even recognized Malcolm McDowell. I, the non-actor, had to tell these people who he was. Afterwards, they all got squishy for McDowell.
I'd tell you my other Malcolm McDowell story, but that basically involves me deciding not to bother the man and just notice how much taller he was in person than I'd imagined.
The scene was set at a formal awards dinner and I was one of the attendees at the party. After shooting the short scene a few times Mr. Altman, or "Bob" as everyone was calling him, was extremely personable and fun to be around on set. He started taking notice of many of the extras and wanted to very quickly shoot some background footage to be cut into the main sequence. Angles of people watching the speech being given by McDowell and the like.
It was then when Mr. Altman began rearranging people in the room in order to take advantage of some of the faces and one of the faces he took a liking to was mine. He wanted a scene where my face would be in the foreground and that of an older gentleman would be in the back. We'd be listening and reacting to the speech and wondering if our shots would make the final cut.
While moving us around he singled me out and asked if I would mind moving from my table and heading on to a new destination better for filming this shot.
"No problem, Bob", I replied. A few laughs aside, the room became silent and all of the real actor extras nearly passed out from the shock. I just smirked.
Mr. Altman cocked his head and asked, "Did you just call me Bob?"
"Yes I did, Bob. That is your name."
Not missing a beat, Mr. Altman then asked, "And what should I call you?"
With a nod and a wink I explained, "You may call me Mr. Martello". There was a bit more laughter starting to rake over the room.
"Well, Mr. Martello, would you please take your mark?"
"Yes, sir, " I said, and I took my seat.
Afterwards I actually introduced myself to him. We shared a brief laugh and a moment where I let him know how much I've admired his work and his character over the years. When I thanked him for allowing me the opportunity to watch him work he simply said, "It was my pleasure, Mr. Martello," and he walked away.
Random Celebrity Photos! Vol. Five: Lydia Cornell & Deborah Van Valkenburgh
It has been awhile since I posted any sort of semi-interesting blog fodder for you and seeing as how Doyle tells me all you have to do to get readers is to keep writing I guess I should add something to this waste of bandwidth known as my blog.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" tonight featured a scene with former "Too Close for Comfort" star and eternal sweater-stretcher, Lydia Cornell. As I watched the episode I remembered I have a photos of her and I together on my wall.
Earlier this year, while helping cover a Hollywood Collector's Show for a local television program, I was fortunate enough to meet several celebrities from TV and film. Both the lovely ladies who played Ted Knight's daughters in the show, Lydia Cornell and Deborah Van Valkenburgh were in attendance.
Contrary to most people's beliefs, I always had more of a crush on Van Valkenburgh (the less not at all buxom brunette) than Cornell (the VERY buxom blonde). Sure I was in the beginning of my raging male hormone surges when the show was on and would certainly find the alone time for each of them if I had the need. But if I was looking for the girl I'd want to have hang around with naked and clothed, it would have always been Deborah Van Valkenburgh. This is all assuming that the many, MANY other celebrity chick crushes I had were unavailable. The "Too Close for Comfort" Girls weren't all that ya know!
In any event both ladies were extremely friendly and easy to talk to. Both were there signing autographs and the like. Both looked pretty darned good and brought back some...uh...memories. In terms of "aging well" I would say that Lydia Cornell looks dramatically better than she did back then. I always thought she looked curvy, but not really pretty during the run of the show. Van Valkenburgh always looked great to me and still does to this day. She's got class and that often wins with me!
Now here's why the photo is so interesting to me (other then the fact that my face is all red and sunburned from a recent trip to Vegas). I never really get star-struck at all. However I ended up talking to Deborah Van Valkenburgh considerably less that day than I did to Lydia Cornell. We ended up posing for this photo and in the pose I am decidedly more chummy with Cornell than Van Valkenburgh. By all accounts this is almost like a classic scene from out of the sit-com, where the curvy blonde gets more attention than the slender brunette. In all honesty, I was just far too intimidated and respectful of Deborah Van Valkenburgh's presence than I was Lydia Cornell's, and therefore couldn't bring myself to pose with my arm around her. In effect, I was a bit star-struck by Deborah Van Valkenburgh.
To all the world I appear as though I'm trying to get a good shot with the bombshell and the librarian snuck in the photo. In reality, I wanted to get my arm around the librarian and have the bombshell as a back up.
OK, if I had my choice I'd have both of them and this post would be considerably more interesting, if not on a different blog altogether. But you get the idea.
Hey, maybe that's why I married April. She's the librarian with the bombshell's body. Excellent!
Stay tuned! Volume Five of "Random Celebrity Memories" will be up later today.
Free Stuff Revisited
So you want FREE STUFF
but just can't get a handle on what it takes to receive free goodies from old Andy? Today is your lucky day!
Sure I could just direct you to the FREE STUFF
link, but that is WAY
too complicated. Here's the Cliffs Notes
version of that post.E-mail me a fan pic
E-mail me fan pic AND post it on your own blog
If said fan pic ALSO features you with some sort of penguin
(photos, drawings, stuffed toys, anything penguin related)
If said fan pic happens to be of a lovely scantily clad lady
ALL OF THE ABOVE!
This isn't rocket surgery here. Ask any of the Penguini Posse
yourself. I'm usually a pretty easy sell and I always bring on the goodies. All I ask for is some shameless plugging and visible signs of your love for me, even if you're just faking it in order to get FREE STUFF
In case there's any doubt, I believe the Chicago White Sox will win the World Series this year.
This has nothing to do with the fact that I live in Chicago and it certainly has nothing to do with my being a fan of the White Sox. I absolutely hate the White Sox and was raised a Cubs fan. Not giving a shit about the Major Leagues anymore I feel I can make this statement with a clear mind.
Among my friends and family, I made this prediction at the conclusion of last year's World Series. When I saw the Red Sox finally win I immediately began to think that the White Sox were next in line. It had nothing to do with the talent on the team, the belief that anything was possible, the theory that every dog has his day. No, my reasoning is much more deeply seated in baseball mythology.
The Cubs are the single worst experiment in professional sports history. They are truly the biggest abomination in baseball and they will NEVER in anyone's lifetime win a World Series. They are still tops in the all-time World Series victory drought list, followed by the White Sox and until last year, the Red Sox were in third place.
Baseball is filled with many great stories and superstitions. The Baseball Gods can be very cruel and very poetic at the same time. My reasoning for believing the White Sox will end up victorious stems from my belief that the Cubs and their moronic fans are destined for eternal pain and suffering at the hands of both the idiot management & ownership of the team, but more importantly, the Baseball Gods.
What could POSSIBLY be more embarrassing and devastating to a Cubs fan than the Red Sox winning the World Series before the Cubs? Only one thing - the White Sox winning before the Cubs.
Go White Sox! Maybe after you win the Cubs will FINALLY close up shop and let a real professional team play on the north side.
What Wine Goes with Porn?
It was most excellent getting to meet Bud Buckley & his wife, Cathy. They are such genuinely nice people and Bud is thankfully, the same funny and likeable guy in person as he is in his blog.
He and I have talked about how refreshing it is to meet people who are not putting on a persona for the sake of internet fun and we were both relieved that we were indeed who we appeared to be. Of course, since I generally appear to be an angry, depressed, suicidal cynic I shouldn't really be all that proud.
The three of us got to enjoy a great day at the Brookfield Zoo on Monday of this week. The weather was beautiful. The animals were playful and adorable. The fun we had was memorable. However the day before provided me with the main subject of today's post.
Scheduling conflicts made it difficult for me to meet with the Buckleys and friends for a show on Sunday. My good friend Jon Spiegel, musician & zither player for Blue Man Group here in Chicago, was kind enough to hook me up with free tickets to the show and I, in turn barely had the opportunity to look like a guy with "connections".
Afterwards I was able to finally meet for drinks, snacks, and fun at a swanky place called Jack's on Halsted. Very tasty food, high quality martinis, and ambiance oozing out of every door. It was there that I presented the Buckleys with an mp3 disc filled with Johnny Cash's American Recordings and a collectible Dr. Demento CD that featured a comedy sketch by yours truly. As it happened, Bud and Cathy had a present for me as well.
If you read the "About Me" section of this craptacular blog, you will learn just about all you need to know about me. "I like to drink martinis. I like penguins. I like to smoke cigars. I like naked women." Well, Cathy presented me with a gift bag that had most all of those bases covered.
Inside the bag was a bottle of gin accompanied by some green olives, two very nice cigars from a little shop in Florida, and a pack of playing cards featuring naked women.
In fact, these cards actually feature some of the women in the stable of performers at the famed Vivid Video adult film family. Had Cathy not prefaced the opening of the present with a little story, I'd have assumed that Bud bought the cards for me. I would have been wrong.
Cathy explained to me that after reading my blog she felt it necessary to provide me with many of the things on my "like list". Naked women being on the list meant that somehow I'd need to have some porn. After consulting her hairdresser as to what kind of porn would be appropriate and where would be the best place to procure said porn, she was on a mission! As they say, "Only her hairdresser knows for sure."
Apparently, this was Cathy's very first trip to a smut shop and boy-howdy was she impressed! She regaled us with many a tale of the toys on the walls, the videos playing in the background, and the many different types of porno playing cards available for purchase. I think the assortment of inflatable women and farm animals there was more than enough to keep her entertained, if not everyone at the table hearing these stories as Bud laughed away.
She told me that there were hard core cards, topless cards, full-on naked cards, cards with naked men - the list went on and on.
Cathy opted not to go for the hard core cards because that involved too much naked penis and "naked women" did not translate into "naked penis". I informed her that devotees of porn come to accept the naked penis as a necessary evil involved with enjoying all of the other things we watch the porn for. Good snack time conversation. She also chose not to go for the full-on naked women because some of the cards were too much like a gynecological examination to be enjoyed. Right about then the appetizers arrived.
She chose the topless girls of Vivid Video and I couldn't be happier.
I've been given many a fine gift from many a thoughtful person over the years. However, I cannot think of anything quite so oddly flattering as Cathy's willingness and need to provide me with such a personalized gift, a need that brought her to her very first porn shop. I bring out a lot of fascinating behavior among women and this is no exception. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it now. [sniff, sniff].
I think I'll enjoy the gift and play a little "solitaire".
Too Busy To Blog
To quote my old roommate, "I've been as busy as a puppy with two peters."
I've been helping out at April's store to put my years of retail experience to good use at a place woefully short on employees right now and to make a few extra bucks (which I may need very badly in the next few weeks). Believe it or not, I may be considering a major career change, if not a supplemental career very soon. Stay tuned!
I've had a few gigs, many hours at the store, and the happy arrival of Bud Buckley and his lovely wife, Cathy, to occupy my time and I haven't had the chance to post about anything. Since I was too stupid to remember my camera at any of my meetings with the Buckleys, I'll direct you to his blog right now and fill you in on some of the gory details later.
I will tease you with this little tidbit...
Bud's wife, Cathy, made her first (ever) trip to a porn shop prior to their trip to Chicago...and it was ALL BECAUSE OF ME!
Just try and wait for the details!