I am quite sure you are aware of my odd obsession with the song "Louie Louie" by now. If not, let me quickly direct you to a few web links that will suitably explain everything.
Well today I received a most unexpected and most treasured gift from a man I've never met, but have conversed with via e-mail and letters for about 10 years now - Eric Predoehl.
If there is a world's foremost authority on the history of "Louie Louie", if not Rock n' Roll music in general, it would have to be Eric. Eric is a documentary filmmaker and video producer living in California (Check out his production company's website, Octalouie, for more info). For several years now he has been compiling footage and interviews for what will surely become the "March of the Penguins" of Rock n' Roll documentaries, "The Meaning of Louie".
As you can imagine, making any film is an arduous task. Making a documentary, especially one about a simple song with a most complicated and ever-changing history must be extremely difficult. Try to make such a film with nothing more than your own pocketbook and hard work and you could have a lifetime of working and dreaming ahead of you.
Over the years I have faithfully read Eric's, "The Louie Report", both in printed forms and later online. I check in at the Louie Louie newsgroup, started by Eric, and I try to read the relatively new Louie Louie Blog as often as possible. I've traded a few versions of the song with him, though I know I certainly have been more on the receiving end of these trades than the giving end. I try to do what I can to play with the gang and moreover, support the film and hope for its completion one day soon. Sadly, I've never been able to come up with any substantial cash to donate as I'm also a struggling man in the arts (especially these days! ZEESH!).
Today I received a holiday gift that I'll cherish for years to come. Eric sent me a DVD with several rare on long forgotten Louie Louie performances and references from across the television landscape, including a snippet of President Clinton playing the song on his sax. These are of course, all video transfers and not for sale or broadcast anywhere, but fuzzy footage aside, they are true gems to anyone with such a lunatic hobby as ours. In order to not ruffle any copywritten feathers I'll just say that there's a lot of very cool images on this disc.
Even more special is an entire concert, possibly the last live performance from Richard Berry, the man who wrote Rock's most recognized anthem. Richard was a true innovator in music and certainly deserves recognition in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame (though he'll likely be forgotten forever). You can learn considerable amounts of information about Richard and his legacy of excellent music at all of Eric's websites.
Watching the DVD I started to remember other times I've seen Louie Louie mentioned on TV shows and wish I had them on tape to send to Eric. There was a great spontaneous Louie singing on an old episode of "Match Game" years back. Kevin Arnold's band, The Electric Shoes, took the time to learn only one song on the show, "The Wonder Years" and you can guess what that song was I'm sure. One day, Paul Shaffer's band, dressed as Paul Revere and the Raiders broke into a funk version of the song on NBC. Someday I'll be able to find these gems and return the favor.
Heck, one of these days I'll figure out how to transfer songs from cassette to mp3 and make him a CD of some versions only I have. Someday I'll have enough cash to bankroll the completion of this film of his. Someday I'll figure out what I've done to deserve his kindness. He thanks me in his holiday card for all my help in the Louie Louie project. I assure you, other than telling a few folks about this cool film, I've done nothing more than covet his collection of Louie Louie versions, and chime in with a few tidbits of info when I have them to share. Whatever the reasons, I am grateful for this gift and I am hopeful that my readers and some patrons of the arts will check out his websites and do whatever they can to promote this noble project.
Many thanks, Eric!
The Things You Can Learn on the Internet
Some people find my blog by referrals. Others find it from search engines.
Among the reasons why I went with Blogger for this blog was its association with Google. Things I type in here today pop up in the searches almost immediately. That's why I occasionally will run "ads" for my services in posts (like yesterday's post). It helps bring the right people to the right place. Great marketing tool, this blog.
Anyway, some of the searches that lead people here actually bring me to some fascinating things. If you do a search on Marengo, Illinois (where I grew up) or the Shady Lane Playhouse (in Marengo) you will invariably find my blog. While checking stats recently I found out that Jerry Stiller (of Stiller & Meara fame...he was also on a couple of sit-coms & has a famous kid or something. LOL!) comes up if you search for Shady Lane. Check out this entry from the King of Queens website.
And I thought David Hasselhoff was the most famous person (other than myself) to appear on the Shady Lane stage. Small world, made smaller by the large world of the internet.
Attn: Cub Scouts, Den Mothers, Scout Masters, & Anyone Stuck Planning the Blue & Gold This Year!
As the Holiday Season draws to a close, a lesser-known season begins; Blue & Gold Season!
If you're a parent of a Cub Scout you need no explanation. If you've no idea what I'm talking about, read on.
The Blue & Gold Dinner is the birthday party for the Cub Scouts organization; a year-end annual shindig where scouts move up in rank, receive new badges & ribbons, review the good work they did last year, and discuss the events in the coming year. Blue & Gold Banquets generally take place between January and April, with the highest concentration falling in February and March.
Every year, some poor Den Mother is expected to find top-notch entertainment for the event. This is a daunting task, especially if you've never sought out professional entertainment before. Usually the talent scout is told, "Don't get someone lame like that kiddie magician we had last year," making the task even harder.
Your search is over!
I am not a magician. I work for a living! (That's a little joke I throw out to all my magician buddies. LOL!) I am a comedian & juggler who spins plates, eats fire, and makes you laugh.
I am also NOT lame. My act will entertain both the scouts and the parents equally and I never talk down to the kids. Unlike some of the content found at this blog (my after hours haven) all material is family-oriented and appropriate for all ages. I was a scout myself and I even earned my Arrow of Light patch and I know a lot about the scouting world. The show is affordable and runs 45 minutes in length. I travel extensively across the country as well as performing for events in and around the Chicago area. I have worked for countless Scouting events in my 20 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS. In short, I am exactly what you are looking for.
So, frustrated Den Mothers & tired Scout Masters, please take a look at my main website, www.andymartello.com, and review the many photos, videos, and references found within. Should you have any questions about the show you can contact me by e-mail or by phone (Phone number at my site). Should you need promotional materials to show your committee, I will happily forward a DVD & press kit.
Don't wait til the last minute like so many have when planning their events this year. Guarantee a great time for your event by contacting me today!
Is Nothing Sacred? Someday I'll Live in Vegas.
See, if I live in Las Vegas I'll be surrounded by an historic town that respects its history...then promptly destroys it. If I live there knowing that's how things work I can't be upset when landmark buildings and business institutions go away.
Here, in the Chicago area, we are being raped by corporations and robbed of our memories and pride on a daily basis these days.
The Berghoff, a Chicago institution, a landmark restaurant, and a fine place to enjoy some of the best things Chicago has to offer for the last 107 years will be closing on February 28, 2006.
Why? Are sales down? Has the food gone bad? Are constant bans on smoking, and other "sins" ruining the business? No. The place still sells more than 1,500 meals a day and countless gallons of beer.
The place is closing because the owners, Herman & Jan Berghoff, would like to retire and "start a new chapter of our lives together." Now I am all for retirement, new beginnings and all that, but at age 70, Herman, how many chapters do you plan on completing, much less starting? Seriously, you have faithfully maintained the restaurant your grandfather built. You have taken pride in being issued the FIRST Chicago liquor license after prohibition was repealed and you still have it on the wall. You have enjoyed years of being one of THE places people think of first when making their trip to Chicago. You, sir should have considered having a family that could take over the family business!
What's that? You DO have a family? Ah yes, a daughter...in the catering business! Hmmm...and you plan on leasing the building that has housed your family's legacy for over a century to her...so she can serve food...just not at the Berghoff. Let me be among the first to say, WHAT THE FUCK???
There's NOBODY in your family with the pride and the sack of walnuts between their legs to carry on your rich family's tradition? NOBODY wants to see their children and their grandchildren take the Berghoff name and the coveted downtown location into another century? This is a total sham! I applaud you for being in a position to retire and enjoy your golden years with your lovely wife. However I have to say that I'm extremely disappointed. You have a family member in the hectic food industry and she doesn't see the beauty and downright good business in a 107 year customer base? Something doesn't smell right.
I have eaten there a handful of times. However, working as many events as I do in the city, I have answered questions like, "What's fun to do in Chicago?", "Where can I get a good meal?", and "What shouldn't I miss on a trip to Chicago?" , all the time. Without reserve I mention the Berghoff. Why? BECAUSE IT'S THE FUCKING BERGHOFF!
This comes within three months of the awful news that Marshall Field's is being renamed Macy's (a good business move, so long as you KEEP the historic flagship downtown location as a Marshall Field's store...which isn't going to happen). Hell, Trader Vic's is even heading into the sunset.
What the hell is my beloved city of Chicago coming to? How can the Mayor let so much Chicago history simply fade away? I know all things must pass and that the city will survive. Somehow I always felt that Chicago was better than that.
Sue, Sue, Sue...
I'm not much of a card-sender, which would probably explain why I have so few friends and barely any holiday cards to clean up. However, for the last few years I have been trying very hard to send out Christmas cards. I always send out many cards to clients, but I've been diligent about sending them to friends and family, especially if they sent me a card.
Ever since installing this policy of relentlessly sending out holiday wishes, I've gotten progressively fewer and fewer cards, with this being the most meager of all years. Either they've hated my cards or realized I'm not worth the postage.
Sensing a poor turnout for 2005 I decided early on...no more fucking cards to friends and family! Clients and potential clients are much more worth my time and hard-earned pennies for stamps and I KNOW not to expect anything in return (but I hope they'll call for a gig).
That being said I did receive a couple nice cards from some blog buddies. Oddly enough, the cards and presents I received were from people I've never even met, further proving my theory that knowing me is certainly not loving me. Translation: Once you get to know me you realize I'm not worth the time you've invested getting to know me...and you'll NEVER get that time back!
Regardless, I share with you a lovely little card from Sue of The Torn Pages. Many thanks, Sue! I hope you and yours have a fantastic New Year, even if it is in Iowa.
Speaking of Sue, she has tagged me to play one of those memes. She hasn't been around here long enough to know that I rarely play those things and when I do, I end up tagging people who NEVER read my blog and will likely never play the game (thereby ending the meme).
I would play along. I do love silly internet fun. However the goal of these things is to generate readership at your blog and if you play the things well, you would not tag someone on your blogroll because you assume that person already reads your blog. Tag someone who has a blog that even you haven't read and you have a shot of bringing in some new readers. At least that's how I see it. Regardless it never works. I never get any more readers here and those that are here don't always play the silly games I've provided for them to enjoy (Snowflakes? Free Stuff? Damn, I even offer prizes!) In fact, to alter a favorite line from "Blazing Saddles", they stay away in droves.
Sue's meme is cute because it asks the tagged blogger to reveal 5 weird things about himself. This is funny because A) Sue didn't reveal a single thing in her post and B) Anyone who has read this blog or any of my columns already knows SEVERAL weird things about me. Asking for more is just greedy. ;) Of course, since we've established that I have no readers...aw nevermind.
So please head over to Sue's blog and read the other blogs she tagged to play here meme. I'll likely check them out and see who else plays along. Her blog is fun to read even if you don't want to play any games
Getting Bush OUT of the House!
I'm cleaning some of the photos and graphics out of the old hard drive today. I have a rather odd assortment of things on there. Pics sent to me, photos I found and liberated from other sites and blogs, and things that just made me laugh.
Since I'm about to enter 2006 with TWO lousy gigs, and since the economy is not one iota better than it was before I've decided to vent a little frustration on the man most responsible for the woes of myself and the country by posting a montage of G-Dub photos. Then I can get them off my hard drive and eagerly await something else to clutter up my computer memory.
Don't bother giving me any pro-Bush political nonsense. I rarely do any sort of political things here and I'll delete any overly political comments anyway to avoid pointless flame wars. Never forget, in Andy Land, I reign supreme and I'm always correct! Besides, to defend that which is indefensible is abhorrent and wrong and you should have your head examined...if you can afford it in this lousy economy.
Holiday Greetings - Andy Style!
Hope you all have a great Christmas day.
I'm told today is the first day of Hannukah as well.
In fairness I should say...too bad, suckers! Go and celebrate with your undecorated bush and your magic candle.
What's that? A present? The first of eight? WOW! Can't wait to open - socks. Great. Tomorrow you get a letter opener or a giftwrapped box of bandaids.Fan-freakin-tastic. Christmas so totally rocks!
But you get, like a zillion days off from school and work per year, and everyone thinks you're smarter than everyone else (except the Japanese...they just look intensely smart...and they can all rip out our hearts and show them to us before we die) so you've got that going for ya. ;)
Merry Christmas & Happy Hannukah to all who celebrate either.
For you Kwanzaa folks...that's a made up holiday designed to make white Christains and Jews feel guilty. Not gonna happen. We dominate this time of year and are too stuck on ourselves to notice a damn thing. You really should have picked a better time of year for that. We'd maybe notice and get all filled with white man's burden in May. Not much happening in May. Make it early May. Right after Easter but way before my birthday. That works fine for me.
Besides, you're all opening Christmas presents now anyway. Admit it!
Anyway, sarcasm, satire, and snide remarks aside, I hope you all have a fantastic Holiday season and a fun and safe New Year.
She Cared Enough to Send Me a Card!
It says so, right there on the back. See?
And what a lovely card it is! I can see that Golfwidow
is miles ahead of any graphics and design skills I may have. Of course, since I'm really a comedian/juggler I guess I have no need for such useful skills and everything works out in the end.
I've got Golfwidow on the brain today. I just found out that she gave me quite the big-time shout out in her recent Brain Confetti podcast
and then a lovely package of goodies arrives from the same fine lady.
She obviously rocks beyond words and everyone should read her work, including her online comics! I'll let you find links at her blog and tease you with one of her comics.
Aside from a lovely and amusing card, she included these tasty chocolate treats! UCONN Husky Bars!
They're made with REAL HUSKY
We tend to stuff our stockings with candy and chocolates around here and these will make a perfect addition to our humongous asses! I can't wait!
I can't do much in return for the lady. I did send her a small package of Peach Penguins this week, but it pales by comparison. About all I can do for her is post this rather gratuitous photograph of men in very tight pants. They're even dressed in holiday colors.
Oh COME all ye faithful!
Many thanks, Sondra. You're the best!
Thank You to All Who Hired Me in 2005!
Keeping with the "tradition"
of sharing chunks of Andy marketing & promo with you, I give you a "raw"
look at my client Thank You card for 2005. I say "raw"
because I usually tweak things like this so damned much that it is likely to change a bit between posting and sending. In fact I've already fixed a couple of glaring errors on the thing since posting the scan. LOL!
In any event, this is what I'm sending out to past clients and agents that were kind enough to hire me this year. Since this year was a bit more trying than years past I felt something a little more personal was in order. Turned out pretty special and I'm getting teary-eyed as we speak. ;)
As if You Needed One More Reason to Love the Mustard Museum!
While placing my gift order for my brother-in-law, it was brought to my attention that I am featured prominently in the current Mustard Museum catalog. Somehow my issue got lost in the mail (have to justify the January postage hike I guess) and I was completely unaware of this fact. Barry & Patti Levinson (owners) being such great people, rectified the situation by sending me many catalogs for my enjoyment and my files. Lo and behold, I am on page 8 of the catalog juggling three bottles of French's Mustard.
Naturally I am as giddy as can be! I had a great time working the National Mustard Day festival this year and the MANY jars of mustard and other gifts bestowed upon me was more than enough to tickle my fancy. Getting a little extra boost in their catalog is that much better!
In the scan above you can see the way cool Mustard Museum Scrubs being modeled by Barry Levinson. Didn't I tell you those things are freakin' cool! I have my very own set of those and they accompany me often on road trips. You should really consider picking up some for yourselves.
I bring this to your attention for a few reasons.
- First of all, if you are among the few silly Andy Martello collectors out there (Jade!), you should definitely request a catalog from the Mustard Museum.
- Next, you will have to take note of the many delicious condiments available for purchase through the Museum and consider placing an order. I promise you'll find something you'll love.
- This is very important. If you are one of those frustrated writers (aren't all bloggers frustrated writers?) you absolutely have to check out the Mustard Mystery Contest. You could win $5,000.00 for writing the next chapter in the story, "Murder at the Mustard Museum". I don't know about you, but I could use $5,000.00 and I plan on entering (I am eligible, ya know.). I highly recommend you do the same.
Labels: Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, National Mustard Day, National Mustard Museum
Hogs Are Flying to Michigan!
I know you're not supposed to "spoil" a holiday gift by talking about it before the big day. However, since this gift was delivered today at my brother's home in Marquette, Michigan and could actually "spoil" were he not smart enough to open the package, I know there's no big deal in discussing this gift. Besides, if you're REALLY
hurting for a good last-minute gift idea, then you should consider these guys!
I may have mentioned before how much fun Memphis, Tennessee is to visit. There's also a good chance that if you're in Memphis and you don't head downtown and get yourself some ribs from the Rendezvous
, then you are doing your palate a truly unforgivable disservice. These things are among the tastiest treats on Earth and they will send their ribs, sauces, and pork shoulders just about anywhere in the world.
I was trying to find a good gift for my brother and his family and rather than hunt for that perfect gift for every individual in the group, I took the easy way out and decided to get one gift everyone would enjoy. As it happens, you place an order today and it is on the doorstep tomorrow. Think of it, perfectly cooked ribs, eagerly awaiting your best time to re-heat and eat.
April and I have been thinking of ordering these for ourselves since we miss those damn ribs so much, but decided to test the ordering & shipping processes on my brother first. The funny thing is, being a regular reader of my blog, he was certain I was going to send him a selection of mustards from the Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum
. Silly man. I sent those to my brother-in-law!
Labels: Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, National Mustard Museum, Rendezvous Ribs
Awww! A Teddy Bear for Christmas!
This is just a screen shot.
Click the photo or the link to truly enjoy this adorable holiday treat.
Really, you could send this to a friend just about ANY time of the year.
Toga! Toga! Toga!
I swear I had nothing to do with this
Thanks to Kellie & Eric for thinking of me and sending along the links.
Last Minute Gift Ideas
Let's face it. You're way behind on your holiday shopping. How do I know this? You're one of those lazy mofos that spends all sorts of time online reading blogs. Caught ya, didn't I?
Anyway, here are a few fine gift ideas for you to consider. Wait - Screw that! Don't "consider" a damn thing. BUY something, dammit!
OK, now that I have your attention, let me direct you to some of the most beautiful handmade craft items on the planet. Our House Crafts. Based in Winter, Wisconsin, Our House has been providing wonderful and original craft items for over 15 years. Check out these painted jars and glass items. You'll never find more delicate brush strokes anywhere else in the craft world (The scans don't do the artwork justice in some cases).
Our House has started more trends in the craft world than most crafters have followed. Many of the items you find at craft stores today are pale imitations to the iron-clad unique creations found at Our House.
Aside from painted glass, you'll find beautiful original designs on antique furniture, drift wood sculptures, wreaths, and more. They even offer screen printing and embroidery services for businesses and customers of all shapes and sizes.
Check out their new online store and find something to cherish for a lifetime. While you're visiting and placing an order, be sure to say, "Hi!" to Lisa and Randy, the owners. Lisa is my sister and Randy is her husband. Aren't I the best brother ever?
Do you like good music? Hmmm...that sounds like a song lyric, doesn't it? Anyway, if you like good music and would like to help support the arts, why not support the work of one of the artists?
Bud Buckley needs to raise money for his new CD project. What better way to do this than by selling the hell out of his first CD, "Feel My Love"? I'll give you the pitch in Bud's own words (reprinted from his blog).
"I need to raise more money for the production of my next CD which I hope to start seriously recording as soon as the busy season ends here around April. So I'm putting my CD, Feel My Love, up for sale. Many of my long term readers already own it. I'm offering it to everybody now for $10 with free shipping. Until Christmas. That's a $4 saving. I'll autograph every CD if you e-mail me instructions. You can use this as a gift. I HOPE you'll use it as a gift. I'm gonna repeat this offer daily but I don't have time to redesign the buy page just yet. So e-mail me, Bud@BudBuckley.com, and I'll give you a mailing address for you to send a check.
Special offer for those who already bought one: I'll sell you a second one for $9. Free postage. Again, think gift."
Bud is a good man and a talented musician, if not a good friend. Do yourself a favor and help this good man continue to make good music.
EVERYONE with taste buds should head over to the world famous Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum for their holiday shopping. You can choose from over 500 different varieties of mustard, sauces, and other tasty treats.
They also have some excellent novelty items, cookbooks, and apparel for the mustard-lover in your family. The Mustard Museum is the happiest place on Earth and I'd be crushed to know that you didn't check them out and avail yourselves to the champion of all condiments.
I don't have an online shop set up where you can order yourselves some Vegas Brothers T-Shirts. So I'll do this the old fashioned way, or at least as old fashioned as you can get online.
T-shirts are normally $15.00 plus shipping, but if you send me $10.00 (per shirt) I'll send you the things and eat the shipping costs. Shirts are in red or black and come in sizes from adult medium to XL. E-mail me if you have any additional questions.
AND SPEAKING OF T-SHIRTS, head on over to Fu-Qtoo.com and check out some of their wickedly funny and subversive t-shirt designs. At least three of the designs are inspired by yours truly. Two of them are designs that come from my stand-up act, including the "Rooster with Tourette Syndrome" and the "Second-Hand Smoke" shirt (which would make a GREAT gift for anyone living in Chicago right now!).
Go. Shop. Rejoice!
Thank me later.
Labels: Bud Buckley, Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, National Mustard Museum
What's That? Andy Articles at Malicious Bitch? NO WAY!!!
Yes indeed, I have added a few chunks of Andy history into the fine pages of Malicious Bitch. It has been a long time since I sent them anything and I must apologize to all of my fans (both of them) for the absence. I've been in something of a writing funk lately and even adding past works into MBC has seemed like a pointless endeavor. However I realized I had a couple of Santa columns in the hopper and thought it would be good to share them with the MBC readers.
I'd like to write more for MBC and will do what I can to get off my ass and write. It would be cool if MBC were more like a paper magazine with deadlines and new issues on specific dates. I can't really tell who's reading or when they're tuning in for new content or anything like that and it feels awkward to me. In any event, I'll try to get more in there in case you are one of the regular readers.
So please check out Tales From Andy Land: The Column, at Malicious Bitch and read two stories about why I rarely (if ever) take on gigs as Santa Claus. Those columns are...
WANTED: Old, Fat Man in Red Suit - A story explaining why the in-home Santa visit SHOULD be cause for alarm among suburbanites...but isn't.
Bad Santa? Bad PARENTS! - This one explains why so many parents are Major League Assholes in tacky holiday sweaters around holiday season. That particular column makes reference to a photo of me (as Santa) with a couple of kids at a shopping center. I shared this with you last year here at the blog and at The Cheers. But since I can't upload photos at MBC I thought I'd add it here again and you can get a better idea of the frustration of the moment.
Don't forget that you can also read "The Christmas Miracle" at the prestigious Riverwalk Journal all throughout the holiday season. Already read my crap? Then recommend it to your friends who are in dire need of some entertaining literature (AKA, my crap).
Andy Asks Bitchitude the Burning Question, "Would Ya?"
Christine is running a contest. Basically, all month she will answer the questions from her blog readers and the answer that inspires the most comments will be "the winner" and the person who asked the question will receive FABULOUS PRIZES from her. I hear the prizes will include many a Hawaii-centric item. If I win I'll probably get a can of SPAM and a really, REALLY fat Polynesian dude that can't cook. Either way, I asked her the most important question ever asked and she answered.
The question: "Would ya?"
That's it. This is a game men play often when in the company of other men. The idea is that a guy will thrown out a name to another guy and then ask, "Hey...Would ya?". As an example, I would say to my brother, "Hey...Angelina Jolie...Would ya?" and then I would await his response.
Of course the game rarely has names of people that attractive. No, the game usually involves names of people that most guys "wouldn't" except for certain circumstances, which are briefly explained in the answer. Another example. "Uh...Doris Roberts...Would ya?" The answer could be, "HELL NO!" or "Uh...Sure...With yours." You could even get a "On Christmas morning with my family present!" and that would really mess up your brain. It doesn't really matter what the answer is, it just ends up telling a lot about the person answering.
Men play this game all the time, with people we know and celebrities as the subject. Howard Stern fans have probably hear a version of this game where the question comes in three parts; Bang, Marry, and Kill. Then three names are rattled off and you have to decide in an instant who you would bang, who you would marry, and who you would kill. Yes, I know...Men are juvenile morons. That's why "Would ya" seemed like a most excellent question to ask the great Bitch at Bitchitude.
Go see the long and VERY unusual list of names I threw at her and feel free to leave a comment. Hell, just comment to tell her who half of the people on the list are! ZEESH! I did a little free association to come up with the list and it apparently made a section of Christine's brain liquefy and ooze out of her ear. In that, I was a success and do not need such things as Kona coffee...But go leave a comment anyway. You never know, she could send me that workout chick from ESPN 2. She claims to be givin' good lei away after all. ;)
If you'd like to ask Christine a question and enter the contest CLICK HERE.
New Link Partner - Roxy's World
Please check out Roxy's World, one of MANY fine blogs from the lovely and talented Roxy. I'm a sucker for just about any woman named Roxy. A Roxy that links to my blog is even better.
I dunno how she found me, but I thank her for the link.
The Gift of Penguins
See this? This is the lid to a hand-painted box I bought yesterday for a fellow penguin-lover. I filled the box with all sorts of candies and chocolates from MANY different stores. I even included a bag full of peach penguins, one of my favorite candy treats. Mind you, these are the GOOD peach penguins (black & white) and not the stupid ORANGE-COLORED ones. That's love!
This is among the coolest of penguin creations I've found and I am actually sad to part with it. I scanned the lid and I'll be content to have it as my screensaver for a little while. I contacted the artist and I may commission some new penguins for my main website, assuming I ever get the time or money to update the damn thing.
Anyway, I got most of my Christmas shopping done yesterday. Tomorrow I'll probably set up the tree in its stand and light the damn thing. I have another fairly busy weekend with gigs this weekend so I had better get all that crap done soon.
While reading the Louie Report blog, I noticed one cool item for my Christmas list (click the photo or web link for more info), should anyone feel like spending a few bucks on me. If not, I'm really just bringing attention to a cool blog anyway.
There's also a reissue of the definitive book about the saga of Louie Louie by Dave Marsh. Apparently it has some updates from the original printing, as well as new cover art. So I suppose I'll be needing to get my hands on a copy of that book too. Zeesh! The funny thing is...I don't read much, if ever at all.
In other news, I still can't seem to post comments to any blog that has Haloscan. So...Gordon...if you're reading...you can't cut off my pony tail even if you wanted to. It is the source of all my power!
Random Celebrity Memories! Vol. Six: Sam Phillips
I recently saw "Walk the Line" and remembered a good random celebrity memory for you to enjoy.
A few years back, I was fortunate enough to find myself with a booking in Columbus, Mississippi. I know that doesn't really sound like such a fortunate happening, but indeed it was. I met some great people, saw some beautiful country, ate some outstanding food, and managed to pass through one of my favorite cities - Memphis, Tennessee.
I'd never been to Memphis prior to this trip. Whenever I have long travels ahead of me I tend to leave a day or two early in order to help insure I don't miss the gig due to roadside emergencies. Seeing that Memphis was directly in my path of travel I took it upon myself to explore.
Memphis is just too much fun. They have a fantastic zoo, many museums, Graceland, and if you are a rock music fan (like myself) you simply can't find a better place to roam than Memphis. At the time I was there the Stax Museum of Soul Music had not yet been completed. However, the original Sun Records recording studio was still around and it was certainly a GREAT place to take a tour, especially if moments before you were enjoying the tacky splendor that is Graceland.
Sam Phillips was the owner of Sun Records and arguably, the inventor of Rock n' Roll. He was the first to record and produce such greats as Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and one of my heroes, Johnny Cash. Knowing I could stand in the same room where some of the greatest rock and roll music was ever recorded I was eager to see Sun Studios.
After completing my tour and spending some cash on CDs and other souvenirs I finally made my way to the car. Upon leaving, I came across two older, bearded guys who, by my estimation, were admiring the edifice of Sun Studios. I assumed they were simple fans, just like myself.
The one gentleman who was doing the vast majority of the talking, pointing, and mentioning historic events, looked somewhat familiar to me. However he looked more like someone with "one of those faces" as opposed to someone I should genuinely be familiar with otherwise. Honestly, in Memphis, you tend to see a lot of older, bearded guys with sunglasses so I saw no reason to take any special notice.
In any event I thought these guys were caught up in the moment and swept away by being in the presence of such a holy place. As I passed them I made a general quip, "It is kind of overwhelming. Isn't it?" The man in the glasses and jacket just looked at me and in an effort to blow me off said with sarcasm, "I've seen it!" I laughed and walked away.
As I got about half-way down the block it dawned on me why the man seemed so familiar to me. I turned around and took as close a look as I could, sneaking back a little bit to get a better look. Indeed I had just walked past the great Sam Phillips. The original Sun Studios is still a functioning recording studio and behind the historic building is a more modern recording facility used by bands from across the world. Of course Sam Phillips could be seen in the area. I felt so stupid.
I thought about returning and trying to shake his hand or something, but thinking about it, I doubt I'd have managed a more stereotypically "Andy" moment than the brief exchange of words I had with a legend. I just walked away, embarrassed and in awe.
Random Celebrity Photos! Vol. Six: Bill Daily
Thinking about my previous post about comedy heroes (Go ahead and read that one in case you missed it) I decided to post a photo of me with one of my own comedy heroes, Bill Daily.
You SHOULD remember Daily as one of the stars of "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Bob Newhart Show". If you have no idea who I am talking about you are either too young (stupid) or you have no sense of humor whatsoever (just as stupid).
While many people do not immediately think of Bill Daily as any kind of comedy legend, he truly is a master and his performances should be watched very closely. My father was always keen to point out to me how undeniably funny Daily was on TV. With great reverence, both dad & I would watch him hold his own on stage with a genius like Bob Newhart and steal scenes.
Long before his noteworthy television roles made him famous, he was a hard-working stand-up comedian working the road in night clubs, theatres, and other venues. Comedy clubs were not really around much in his day so a lot of the places where he performed were some really rough room.
Bill Daily has comedic timing unlike anyone around. In his touring days he was regularly on the bill with his good friend and comedy icon, Bob Newhart. Both men were from the Midwest and cut their teeth in and around the Chicago night club scene.
I had a chance to meet Mr. Daily at a collector's show and he was very generous with his time, rattling off some great stories about days on the road with Newhart, comedy theory, and a life in show business. He shared some fantastic tales about nights where both he and Newhart bombed on stage and we talked about how awful a feeling it is to stand on stage with no audience laughter.
I, of course, love these stories because I'm often asked about what it is like to simply die in front of an audience. I love hearing these tales because it is the one single common denominator in comedy. Bombing is the great equalizer & the best way to humble an ego. It is also the best way to learn more about becoming a better performer.
I learned a lot in my very brief time talking with this friendly, talented man. I was suffering from some awful sunburn the day my photo with Bill was taken so I turned this into a black & white picture to prevent me from looking even sillier sitting next to one of TV's all-time greats.
As we all heard about the passing of comedy hero, Richard Pryor, I was reminded of the website of one of my current comedic heroes, David Cross.
PLEASE check out the current "David's Corner" entry at the Bob and David website.
Bob and David are Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, of "Mr. Show" fame (and only about a million other high-quality projects. Those two are possibly the most envied in my world right now. Had I the real dedication to the craft I could one day achieve their level of genius, insight, and near perfection. As it stands, I am just as unsung and unknown as I've ever been. Regardless, you HAVE to read this "Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy" in its entirety. Absolute excellence!
Here's Why You Won't Hear Much from Me This Weekend
- Thursday Night = Blues Bros. Gig
- Friday Afternoon = Game Show Host
- Saturday (1:00 PM) = Comedy/Juggling Show in Naperville, IL
- Saturday (2:30 PM) = Comedy/Juggling Show in Northlake, IL
- Saturday (8:00 PM) = Comedy/Juggling Show in Appleton, WI
- Sunday (11:00 AM & 6:00 PM) = Comedy Juggling Shows in Oconomowoc, WI
- Sunday ( 10:00 PM - ?) = Attend Alley Christmas Party with April, assuming I make it home in time.
SO...not much blogging going on from old Andy. I recommend reading some of my past posts from this week as I am confident you missed something. Also check out the many fine blogs in my links list and play some fine online games. If you could send along some positive blogger mojo to insure safe travels and good shows, that would also be very much appreciated.
Great! It's SNOWING!
Not a big fan of snow here. People who love snow freak me out because they are so clearly WRONG AND ARE DANGERS TO SOCIETY! Maybe all those snow-lovers will find themselves caught in traffic on a snowy day or at the bottom of an avalanche and they can rethink their position on the subject. In any event...
In honor of the snootful of snow I'll soon be driving in to get to my gig, I offer you a fun-filled, snow-related, PENGUIN GAME!
Since none of you seem all that excited about creating snowflakes, penguin flakes or otherwise, I thought I'd direct your attention to the "Save the Egg" game, found HERE!
This is, of course, brought to you by the fine folks at National Geographic. These are the same people who brought 2005's BEST PICTURE, "March of the Penguins" (STILL awaiting a review from Becky! ) Enjoy the game!
[SIGH!] Smoking Ban Passed in Chicago. Some Day I'll live in Las Vegas
Sad news for all people who quietly respect the choices of others.
Today, the city of Chicago passed a smoking ban for all public places. Bars & restaurants are exempt from this restriction until mid 2008, at which time they will have to prove that their in-house air filtration systems adequately clean ambient smoke from the air.
I know it is not a popular point of view, but I believe that so long as tobacco is a legal product being sold to adults, then you should be able to smoke in any place that allows you to do so. I am not a cigarette smoker and in fact I really dislike cigarettes. I have wanted my own mother to stop smoking for as long as I've known her. However that doesn't mean I think it should be banned from public places.
I do smoke cigars and I only smoke in places where I know I am allowed. When asked (POLITELY) by someone around me to put out my cigar, even if it is in a cigar-friendly establishment, I do so. Cigar and pipe smokers are inherently more respectful in that way.
The ban includes limits on how close a smoker can be to the entrance to a public place, keeping them 15 feet away at all times. It is already bad enough to see so many people forced to huddle outside an office building to have a smoke, but to add an element of distance just confounds things even more. In some places, 15 feet from the door is in oncoming traffic. All places, put the people in the position of having to stand outside and away from any shelter in the middle of a Chicago winter.
People who smoke have chosen to smoke. If they want to choose to stop they should be allowed to do that on their schedule. Smokers have been subjected to ridiculous restrictions, excessive taxation, and other humiliations all because the folks who don't smoke are louder.
Don't give me the argument about how a non-smoker is involuntarily subjected to a smoker's foul air. That never holds water with me.
When I go to a restaurant and expect a peaceful eating experience that is ruined by a screaming baby, or the sound of a child undereducated about the social niceties, I, a childless married man, am the one made to suffer. Nobody ever tries to ban the children from the restaurants or ban breeding. Hell, they don't even have a "families only" section of major restaurants.
While there are plenty of noise ordinances in many cities, nobody seems to do anything about loud music booming out of the back seats of cars. I can still hear radios played too loudly, and make out the lyrics of a song being played by a band at a local festival. I can NEVER get the Latin music to stop playing in the neighboring apartments in my building. Nobody is banning music nor enforcing the ordinances in place.
I have been around FAR TOO MANY people who either have either NO personal hygiene or too much freaking cologne. Polar opposites that achieve the same effect by disgusting the surrounding inhabitants of a room and creating mass nausea. I haven't seen any laws prohibiting Patchouli nor have I seen any laws requiring people to bathe. For the record, I would support ANY laws of this kind.
Let's keep this in the office setting. Just about every office has a break room where some moron manages to burn some microwave popcorn everyday. The smell is dreadful and possibly toxic, if inhaled often. We don't know for sure. There are certainly many office workers that work very closely to one another and somehow have not figured out that they had extremely bad breath. Could simple chronic halitosis, no - second-hand simple chronic halitosis adversely affect your life enough to get a law passed?
Now the anti-smoking/anti-freedom folks out there (Sorry, Gordon. I shouldn't generalize and make hysterical statements. I know you're a good guy that likes his freedom, but I'm on a roll.) will all say that the difference between these examples and smoking is that none of those things can kill or injure you. Well then...
People are subjected to pollutants in the air from cars, industry, taco-eating teenagers, animal droppings, and jet planes every day, yet nobody is trying to ban farming, factories, automobiles, jet planes, and farting. ALL of these things COULD have detrimental effects on a "healthy" person, the same way second-hand smoke COULD cause lung cancer in a non-smoker. There are evidential reports about industrial pollution and lung disease, products that offer to protect your car, self, and home from jet fuel fallout, there are studies about animal flatulence contributing to global warming. Still, no laws prohibiting people from living with these things nor preventing them from making a living in these areas. I am fairly confident that if you just take car exhaust and industrial pollution stats and leave out any of the sillier things I've mentioned, you'd have considerably more illnesses and deaths that you'll ever find in the people who can't seem to remember to ask for the non-smoking section of a restaurant.
Still not convinced? I have one word for you; PEANUTS! Peanut allergies have run rampant across the country. There are more people DYING from just being in the same room as a freaking peanut than dying from second-hand smoke. Have you ever been around anyone with a severe peanut allergy? I have and I can tell you that these folks can suffer IMMEDIATELY and die within minutes if there's a peanut in a dish, some peanut dust in the air, or peanut oil in the food. Has anybody declared an all-out war against the peanut-lovers of the world?
When these reports are being researched, why is it that nobody ever considers the likelihood of a person developing lung disease based upon their family histories and proclivities towards contracting cancer? I am not saying that second-hand smoke can't cause problems nor am I saying it doesn't. I am merely saying that it certainly doesn't guarantee an increased risk to someone who have absolutely no history towards getting lung cancer.
I certainly hope I never get any form of cancer and I do not wish to tempt fate with this rant, but I am a lot more worried about things like diabetes than lung cancer. Why? Many people in my family, smokers and non-smokers alike, have died from diabetes. Thankfully, there have been few if any instances of any form of cancer in my family. Isn't it just possible that SOME people are more prone to cancers than others? Why should we alter the laws to favor a majority of people with a minority chance of injury?
I do think the blame for this extreme swing sweeping across the country to ban smoking, yet not ban tobacco on two specific groups.
Government officials and more importantly, cigarette smokers. The government officials are always shady characters, but they are acting on behalf of their constituents by banning smoking, and acting on behalf of the good of the nation by not banning tobacco. It is a HUGE cash crop and it is a MAJOR part of our nation's economy. Shrewd.
The cigarette smokers really hold the lion's share of the blame for this mess they find themselves in right now. They have QUIETLY let people dump all over them. They have allowed themselves to be publicly shamed and humiliated. They have never spoken out against the taxes, the bans, and the public hatred, even though their dollars allocated for their cigarettes have powered the economy for generations and they'll never get to ease their nervous tension on an airplane again. They have quietly watched as the tobacco companies (scoundrels to be sure, don't get me wrong) have dished out billions in law suit settlements.
Oddly enough, in this cynical age, there has never been a smoker who has decided to sue McDonald's for making them fat, Jack Daniels for making them drunk, or Jerry Seinfeld for making them laugh til their sides hurt. Instead, the smokers, realizing the folly of their wasted years, have added to the mess by subverting their own blame and passing the buck along to others. Whether it is one's inability to smoke at a bar, the public ridicule, or lung cancer, smokers have themselves to blame for all their problems.
Thankfully, I don't really have to worry about this affecting my life as I am not a cigarette smoker. I just think it is high time somebody speaks out for the people who have every legal right to ruin their lives however they want. As for ruining YOUR life, if you really think the guy lighting up in the booth next to you is that big of a deal, you really should tell me how you have managed to have so few real problems in your life that you can obviously sweat the small stuff so vigorously.
In honor of this event, and in an effort to get a few smokers to rally and spend a few bucks that will benefit ME
for a change, I remind you of a t-shirt based on a line from my comedy act. Available at Fu-Qtoo.com
, I give you the Second-Hand Smoke T-Shirt
. A PERFECT
Christmas gift from the smoker to the asshole who doesn't have the sense to open a window when he's upset.