Ten Things Tuesday: BAD Self Help Books
- Suicide: You Know You Want It
- 10 Easy Steps to Lousy, Infrequent Sex
- Windex the Glass Ceiling With Your Ass TODAY!
- The Procrastinator’s Guide to Loving Yourself (Eventually)
- So You Wanna Be a Failure?
- How to Plateau at 18 Without Really Trying
- Loving Your Cubicle
- Own Your Inner Loser
- Prozac - It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore.
- “Pride” is for Lions. “Shame” is More Your Speed, Fuckwad!
A Poem for Jade and An Update
A Jaded Contest
By Andy Martello
There once was a blogger named Jade
If you can provide her a limerick writer
Monday February 27, Weigh-In
Net Loss for Week: No Change
Overall Net Loss: 15 Pounds
My first "plateau week". No biggie. I'm WAY ahead of schedule and my weight fluctuated a lot this week so I know I'm still on track.
Everybody's First Haiku
Not to be confused with other great
Andy Martello poems like...
Everybody's First Haiku
By Andy Martello
Mistakes from my past
Torment me in present day
And doom my future
OK, I know that everybody's REAL first Haiku goes something like this...
Five syllable line
Then there's seven syllables
Back to five - Got it!
Listen to Me On the Radio Tonight!
Well, actually you'll be listening to original member of The Kingsmen, Dick Peterson, and I'll be on chatting with the man as well. Confused? You won't be after logging on to The Allen Handelman Show (Click the link for info).
Allen Handelman hosts a show in Charlotte, NC every Sunday night from 10 PM to 1 AM (EST), Rock Talk. One of tomorrow's special guests will be the aforementioned Dick Peterson, author of a new book about the world's best party hit, Louie Louie. You may recall I blogged about this before Christmas.
I was asked earlier (Saturday night) if I'd like to be on the show to chat with Peterson. They even used a scan of my LL 45 on their website, as well as linking to my http://ifitrocks.com/streams.htm and they also stream at www.live365.com/stations/rocktalk. YOU can even call in to the show. Here are a few more details.
Heard live on Sundays from 10pm to 1am, EST
Call in to the show at 1-800-Rock-Talk(That's 1-800-762-5825)
Call Allan's voice mail: 704-596-4718
Send him email
So you see, there's really no excuse for missing this. I have no idea just how much talk time I'll be getting. I do know that this is quite a fun and cool honor for me to get to chat with the guy. I mean, Eric gets to do this kind of stuff all the time, but a moron like me? Nah!
Just a Reminder
March 14th is and ALWAYS Shall Be...
Ladies, if you even gave a minute's worth of thought about Valentine's Day and expected any sort of special attention or presents on that day, it is time for you to BRING IT!
I was at the stores prior to your stupid holiday and I KNOW
you didn't waste any of your precious time nor money on making your man's gift anything memorable. Countless men in line with flowers, jewelry, & candy and not one lady with even so much as a catalog for power tools in hand.
Our day is cumming and we would like our presents! It won't cost you much money (We'll pay for the damned steak, as always.) and we know "it fits"
so we surely won't return the gift. You only plan on doing this once a year anyway, why not make it as OBLIGATORY
as your silly Valentine's Day?
Oh, one month after Sweetest's Day, if you put us through THAT farce, you know what we'll be expecting from you. Maybe that day should be Pork Chops and Anal Day
Audrey Hepburn, Samson the Gorilla, Deni Bonet, & Other Andy News
It seems my very first Random Celebrity Memory about Audrey Hepburn has been linked within a post at the Audrey Hepburn Message Board. I can't say if any of the fans enjoying my little memoir are planning on checking out any other posts here, but I can say that I'm happy to have the traffic. I'm just sorry I didn't have any photos of her to share.
You may remember that some time back I was contacted by writer, Judith Ann Moriarty, regarding Samson the Gorilla and his long-time handler, Sam LaMalfa. You may also recall my article, "Samson" from The Cheers and the story of what proved to be quite possibly my fondest childhood memory. If you don't recall any of this then click the damn links already and get caught up. I'll wait. [SIGH!] You ready? Good.
In any event, the piece she was writing about Samson's "afterlife" for Milwaukee Magazine came out in the February 2006 issue and she was kind enough to mention me by name!
This was a cool little article about what happened to Milwaukee's most famous simian resident after his death in 1981. I wish it were longer, but then again, I'm unusually fascinated with Samson, and exceedingly pleased she thought to mention me.
I'll include a snapshot of the orange she references and hope you read the story I wrote for a better explanation as to why I have a shriveled orange. If you'd like to read the entire article I recommend you order an issue from Milwaukee Magazine. I could be convinced to e-mail you a scan if you promise not to tell anyone. SHHH!
I've sent out a press kit and DVD to the folks at the Bob & Tom show. My brother was kind enough to download the slice of the show where I was mentioned & it made me think that there was certainly no harm in sending along some promo. Who knows?
E-Pauly, aside from offering many insights into why men like women's breasts so much, has linked to this week's Ten Things Tuesday post and I thank him for the boost. I should send him some of my manly thoughts about breasts. I'm sure he'd appreciate another view. We all like different views of breasts.
UPDATE! 1:17 PM!
I did in fact send a short column to Paul last night and he was kind enough to post it today. So if you've ever wondered, "Hey, I wonder what a man about town like Andy Martello really thinks about a woman's breasts," then you should head over to read the previously unpublished work, The Big & Little On Breasts.
Gordon always has something nice to say about me and I can't say enough about him. Mostly because I don't know much about him. However, his blog does a most excellent job of helping anyone learn more about the guy and I read it most every day. As always, thanks for the many plugs, Gordon.
I'm not sure if Chris figured it out or not, but the Mighty Blonde One herself claims to have linked my blog in her blogroll. If this is the case I can not only thank her, but return the favor. She's also a resident of the Blogworld Trailer Park. This, plus the blonde thing should explain everything to you perfectly. Please take some time to check out, "So This is Life?"
Seems like I'm in the spotlight a lot this week. However, did you know that I'm quite literally "In the Spotlight" at Deni Bonet's blog? Well then, you'd better check out her most excellent blog and see for yourself.
Deni is quite possibly my all-time favorite, multi-talented, fun & quirky, violinist from New York. What? YOU don't have a favorite? Well that's just one more reason to read Last Girl on Earth. While you're there, be sure to check out her main site, buy some of her CDs and videos and see why she's way more successful in this business than I'll ever be, if not that much cooler!
Labels: Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Public Museum, Sam LaMalfa, Samson the Gorilla
God DAMN, I'm One Ugly Looking Bitch!
Remember when I said there were some really BAD pictures of me out there? Well, kids, at great personal risk and certain loss of local nookie as well as loss of fans/stalkers wanting to climb my bones, here are just a few of the most dreadful photos of me ever taken.
Since I am so keen on themes I've decided to share with you several I.D. photos, most of which are from Marengo Community High School. Keep in mind that Marengo is a small country town and they spend maybe on average between $6,000.00-$9,000.00 per student for education (which is pretty darned low by statewide comparison). What you are witnessing is the result of the most technologically advanced piece of equipment the place had in the 80's, the lamination machine.
Check out my Freshman student I.D. card. Notice that the loss of this card would cause the student to incur a heaping $1.50 fine. I've no idea what the hell I was wearing but I'm fairly certain it was some unkempt one-piece, layered look (These days I sport a more kempt, multi-item, layered look.) I won't even get into how odd my hair looks. I think I was still having my hair cut by my sister, who specialized in removing any follicle that dared show its split end beyond the rim of a bowl.
Believe it or not, by my Sophomore year, THIS person was actually getting laid quite often...by a SENIOR! Good lord! Must have had something to do with my remarkably clear skin.
Next we have either my Sophomore or Junior I.D. I really don't remember what year this was and you can tell by the devastatingly tight security measures taken to prevent fraudulent cards from circulating the halls of M.C.H.S., I've no way of really knowing what year these cards were issued. I do recall that one year we had no cards at all. This may be because I was sick the day they had fired up the lamination machine or they simply forgot to issue them. Either way, this is a stellar photo as well.
I'm not at all sure why I have such a "I dare you to knock this battery off my shoulder" look on my face, but I'm almost certain it had something to do with my still unresolved hair issues and awful polo shirt. If this was my Junior card then I was most definitely getting my hair cut by "professionals", which in McHenry County meant students who dropped out to have their babies. I wasn't getting my hair cut by them often as I was always broke, but I made the effort.
Moving on, we see me sporting a lovely sweater, a lousy haircut, and at least one classic zit. I'm starting to think that my Senior year was the year we didn't have an I.D. card and this was my Junior card. The "X Factor" is that I don't recall trying, and failing so miserably to grow a moustache until my Senior year. Notice the misspelling of my name.
I'll spare you the horror of my actual Senior yearbook photo for now.
Anyone else as amazed as I am that I was getting laid? I thought so. Anyone amazed I get laid now? Yep, me too.
The last high school I.D. card I have is from AFTER my Senior year, right after graduation.
The band was planning a trip across the U.S. and into Canada and they also included students from the choir, of which I was a proud member. Really I think the choir students were included so I could host the band shows and accent them with some comedy & juggling. I have no idea why they felt this crappy I.D. card would suffice for official identification, but apparently in 1988, this was all you needed to traverse around Canada without suspicion.
Finally we have the I.D. card from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. This one is beaten to crap because I carried this thing in my wallet for YEARS after leaving the institution of higher hilarity. We took this the first day of CC and it was freakin' hot & humid as all hell. Naturally they decided to take the photo after our long tour of the complex, when we all looked like shit. I shaved the 'stache soon after the photo because clown make-up is creepy enough without the moustache. Imagine how sad it would look with it.
I do find it interesting that any of my moustache photos would serve equally well as mug shot photos or pictures on a wanted poster. I always envisioned the Ringling I.D. photo with a slow-motion zoom & a voice-over by Robert Stack, pleading viewers to call an 800 number if they've seen me recently.
I should also point out that I NEVER had to flash any one of the above I.D. cards to anyone for any "official" reason. The Ringling one got pulled out often because so many people were oddly curious about anything Clown College and therefore would ask for it as "proof" I attended such a useless place. As for ever needing the I.D. cards to actually recognize or confirm my identify, THIS would be their maiden voyage. Gee, I was actually wondering why I'd kept these things all these years, until now.
God DAMN, I'm One Good Looking Bitch!
No Find the Penguini for you today. After nobody noticed my super special equal time Penguini game featuring Tommy Lee I figured I'd bring out the big guns and post photos of the hottest man around - ME!
What you are looking at here is probably the first and possibly the ONLY truly great photo of me ever taken. Check me out. I'm a-freakin-dorable and you are all helpless to resist my charms. OK, Bud, Doyle, Gordon, my ex-girlfriends, and probably a few family members who know better are having no trouble resisting my obvious beauty. But all you ladies are gushing right now cuz I'm so damned cute!
Yeah, I know. I'm so full of myself it hurts. Of course, if I don't sing my praises who will? Seriously, who? Besides, content is content. I found the pic and thought I'd share.
I still have the teddy bear.
I shouldn't say this is the only good photo as I have taken a few decent ones. Most of my good photos have been promo pics though and I don't have too many good photos otherwise.
There've been a few decent candid shots, like the one I use for my Blogger profile these days. The previous profile picture, though not really candid, is among my favorites. I mean, it was taken in Vegas, I've got a cigar and a beer, and there are PENGUINS. Plus I got to show off my completely nonexistent Photoshop skills so how can that be bad?
Last year, one of my all-time favorite photos of me was taken rather candidly before a Vegas Brothers show. Caysie Cannon snapped a shot I now use as my Nicky Vegas avatar for the Vegas Brothers blog and I think this photo is reminiscent of an old Dean Martin photograph. I realized awhile back that I don't have many photos of myself up anywhere, but if I do start posting a few pics from my historic plateau to mediocrity this would surely be one of the photos I hang proudly on the wall.
I don't have the original, but I have a decent enough scan of the full color version. Perhaps one day I'll get my hands on the original but I doubt it will happen.
Speaking of original photos I don't have in my possession, one great picture from my last brochure (I don't believe I've shared that one yet here) is lost forever. Well it may not be completely lost as the photographer who took the picture likely has the negative somewhere, but for all intents and purposes it is gone.
Here's an altered scan from the back page of my old brochure. The pic features me with a prop I don't use nearly as much as these days, the diabolo. The diabolo is a very large and ancient cousin to the modern day yo-yo and this photograph will always be one of my personal favorites. This was one of those photos where the second the flash went off I knew the photo would turn out well. I like everything about this photo, from the composition to the simple grin on my face.
I'm sure I have other good photos out there that have nothing to do with my showbiz life. There are certainly a few wonderful school photos somewhere in the family archives. I'll have to find some of my least attractive pictures to share as well. THOSE are all well worth seeing. Good lord, when I look at some of my really crappy photos I marvel at the fact I EVER got laid.
Welcome Bob & Tom Fans, if not Bob & Tom Themselves
Thanks to Lord Gotwa for alerting me to this tidbit. By the way, Mr. Gotwa, Best-Blog Name-EVER!
Nationally syndicated radio program, The Bob & Tom Show, was kind enough to mention my name and plug my website today. Apparently they were talking about hiring a plate spinner for their holiday party and I was the obvious choice for such a thing.
I've no real illusions of actually working their holiday event as I'm sure it was just a joke, but you never know. I'm just happy for the extra traffic to my main website and this blog.
Naturally I missed the whole thing. They play locally on a Joliet station and a Rockford station, but I rarely can get either of those stations in clearly. However, if Bob and/or Tom would like to drop me a line and chat about plate spinning or anything else, I'll be sure to find my way to a working radio. ;)
If any of my loyal readers and supporters would like to "encourage" the Bob & Tom Show to take a better look at my work, you can certainly e-mail them at
Feel free to mention some of my comedy writing, my "Suicide Hotline" sketch (the #3 most requested track of 2001 on the Dr. Demento Show), my "Juggling Tribute to Reservoir Dogs", the twisted humor you find here as opposed to my main website, whatever. Lord knows I could use the work, if not the publicity and easy access to babes in bikinis.
Let's see...The Bozo Show, Wild Chicago, Last Comic Standing, Dr. Demento, Steve Dahl, WGN Morning News, Bob & Tom...About 7 minutes of fame to go.
Ten Things Tuesday: Things You Shouldn't Read on a Headstone
- I found your cat!
- Ummm...you're standing on my nuts.
- Come closer. I'm trying to look up your skirt.
- With all eternity to reflect upon my life, I've come to realize that you're still a rotten, asshole of a son.
- Soylent Green is people, the chick in "The Crying Game" has a dick, and Rosebud was a sled. Get a fucking life!
- I know what you did last summer.
- Dude! Right now, I'm ACTUALLY skull-fucking your grandmother!
- HELL! Hell is for children.
- Maggots get a lot of bad press. You know, they can reach ALL the nooks and crannies. Better than your frigid bitch of a mother ever could.
- Listen carefully. Murder, THEN suicide!
In Case You Thought I Forgot
Monday February 20, Weigh-In
Net Loss for Week: 2 Pounds
Overall Net Loss: 15 Pounds
Reasons to Watch TV
Real Time with Bill Maher returned to HBO this week and I couldn't be happier. OK I could be happier and I expect I certainly will be on March 12 when The Sopranos presents their penultimate season. I've been waiting for about two years for this grand return and I'm already planning the big Italian meal for that night.
I haven't seen anything but previews yet but HBO promises to grab & keep my attention again with Big Love, a show starring Bill Paxton about a polygamist family. Looks extremely provocative, well-written, and certainly, uh, HOT! Seriously, you give me any show with Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin & Chloe Sevigny and I'm fairly certain there's gonna be some great fun! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean?
I can never extol the virtues of shows like House, on FOX enough. I'm so glad Hugh Laurie won that golden Globe as he truly deserves the accolades for such premium performances.
Sadly, American Idol has caused FOX to break up my favorite 1-2 combo of shows and has moved another surprisingly good show, Bones. Luckily for them, the show is good enough that I follow it around to whatever day they place the thing. Great chemistry among cast members, very solid writing, and how can any project with Emily Deschanel (or any Deschanel for that matter) not at least get my manly attention?
As always, FOX has The Simpsons, Family Guy, & American Dad to keep me laughing hysterically. They NEVER disappoint. FOX also has Arrested Development, possibly the funniest show on TV, but nobody watches it and probably never will because most people are FAR TOO STUPID TO PAY ATTENTION AND GET THE JOKES. If you resent me lumping you in with the STUPID PEOPLE, then watch the show and prove me wrong.
High on my Love, Love, LOVE list are Made in America with John Ratzenberger and MythBusters. Seriously, if these shows had their own 24-hour networks dedicated to them, I'd be watching and probably getting a TIVO so I can see everything they've got. MAJOR addictions there. Maybe I should join the MythBusters Fan Club. Hmmm...
I was so happy to find reruns of the short-lived Fastlane on G4 and while watching that network, mostly dedicated to video games & action programs I came across Brainiac. Brainiac is the British, short-form, extra snarky version of MythBusters with large-breasted women and explosives. This show may have come out long before MythBusters but I don't care. I watch them both and enjoy!
In the British shows brought to America category I have to recommend Distraction. Any game show where the contestants are frequently forced to endure bottles being broken over their heads while trying to answer trivia questions is good with me.
Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere.
I guess it is no secret that I enjoy penguins. I am sent penguin news, penguin gifts, and offered penguin information on a pretty regular basis. I've even been told that when some folks find products with penguins in the name or on the packaging they immediately think of me. Isn't that cute? Funny, I tend to think of Golfwidow when I see penguins.
Speaking of Golfwidow, she was kind enough to send me this very funny little penguin cartoon yesterday. How could I just let it fester on my hard drive when I could be sharing it with YOU? Thanks, GW!
Just the other day the fine folks at the Outhouse Rag sent me a video of some chimpanzees telling a penguin joke (a clip gleaned from The Man Show). Always cool.
I was also given a very cool penguin gift from my lovely wife recently. Aside from all the beautiful sterling & stainless steel jewelry, body jewelry, and belt buckles sold at Marche' Noir (where she works), they also have an excellent selection of way cool watches. I know this because I've bought MANY excellenttime piecess from there ever since she started working at the place.
One such supplier of watches is the mighty Fossil company. I've always liked their watches and lately I like their packaging as much as the product itself. Currently their watches come in very cute little metal boxes with all sorts of eye-catching pop art on the sides. Check out the designs on this particular box!
What's that? Is that a pair of Origami Penguins on the box? Well shuck my corn, it is!
Now this wouldn't be cool enough for a blog post at Andy Land if there weren't something extra right? Well kiddies, on the sides of the box are diagrams teaching you how to make your very own Origami Penguin!
How cool is that?!
Now don't worry about some poor customer being slighted a watch box. Every box is different and they actually have hundreds of extra Fossil boxes at the store. Since I have more than a few Fossil watches it seemed OK for one box to find its way home to me and April had the blessing of the Supervising Manager of Fossil Box Inventory Management. Uh, yeah.
Now if you'd like a better description of how to make your own penguin you can certainly go here and get a PDF file. I have yet to try this myself, but I know I'll get around to it someday.
Thanks, baby for giving me a little box!
Wait! That came out all wrong.
Andy Martellos Across the Globe
While making my blog post to Ed Martello about how a common last name made me so fascinated with the El Rey Club, I realized I haven't done any sort of ego-surfing in awhile.
So I took the initiative and did a search on my name, only this time I went to Google and did an image search on "Andy Martello".
Naturally there were many pics from my website and some of the agency sites that feature my act.
I also found some photos from "the other Andy Martello", an Andy Martello I have e-mailed a few times after a bout of ego-surfing a few years back. He's a bit younger than I am, lives in Missouri and he's even been kind enough to link to my website. He certainly seems like a good guy, but then again, aren't all Andy Martellos good guys?
A few years back I found a few listings for an Andy Martello playing some form of minor league European football (not to be confused with European rugby player, Alan Martello), but I have since lost the links and never did find a photo.
This recent search provided me with an Andrew Martello in the U.K. that is also a good guy. At least I assume he's a good guy since he's the HIV advocacy manager for the Abbott pharmaceutical company there.
I found this entry particularly interesting because just last week I, the "real" Andy Martello, did a gig for Abbott's offices in Illinois. Abbott is a MASSIVE global company, but the liklihood of having two Andy Martellos working for them, even for one day, is pretty slim.
Here's a screen shot of U.K. Andrew Martello, taken from the Positive Nation website.
I think it would be cool to one day have some sort of Andy Martello summit where all Andy & Andrew Martellos come together to solve the world's problems (or maybe cause them). We could create a worldwide organization of Andy Martellos and change the world. At the very least an Andy Martello webring could happen.
Missing My Friend
At the time of this writing I'm feeling a bit blue and since I can't really talk about why (I have MANY problems I can't discuss here for MANY varying reasons - SIGH!) I thought I'd talk about some of the things I think about when I'm feeling blue due to unrelated issues.
I have mentioned often that I don't have many friends. People always think I'm lying or exaggerating because I'm such an outgoing person and "everybody likes you, Andy", & all that crap. I always find that funny because if I am trying to talk to you about my problems, among them being my lack of friends to talk to about said problems, and you dismiss my lack of friends, you are in essence avoiding listening to my problems and reinforcing my belief that I truly have no friends. The truth is I have very few people I can talk to or hang out with just for fun.
This is one of my few true long-time friends, Col. Travis Green. I met him some time ago, around Spring of 1989. We were both working on the touring indoor circus, the Family Showcase Theatre (The same show where I showered with Gabby the Wonder Horse). He's got to be about 20 years older than me if not a little more, yet we're very close friends.
Travis has been working in entertainment most of his life. He stared out as a rock drummer and has worked with damn near everyone. He started tinkering with magic & illusions and began working that act in between sets with a few of his bands. Nice gig. Work your ass off drumming then work your ass off sawing chicks in half only to work your ass off drumming another set. Of course the paychecks weren't bad. He's also worked in radio, but primarily has been an illusionist for traveling circuses for the last few decades.
When I met him he was still doing a more typical "magician in a tuxedo" type of act (and one very funny comedy magic act, Mysto the Magician) a different wife (Pam, whom I rarely saw, but liked a lot) a dog (Bandit, a GREAT dog!), and he had one tattoo. Now he's got a completely more distinctive western-theme magic and illusion show, a new wife (Rusty, whom I know well & love dearly), two different dogs (Merlin, a dreadful cur & a big-ass Newfoundland who's name I can't remember), and is "sleeved out" on both arms and has a few tats elsewhere.
He's a big wild west buff and he's made quite a career out of being a Buffalo Bill lookalike/illusionist/Wild West Gunslinger guy. Our paths have crossed many times over the years and we've had many an adventure. We both enjoy cigars and alcohol, hate unnecessary travel, and love to entertain but hate the bullshit that comes with the business. There would be many times where we'd only get to see each other once or twice a year and we still call each other often. He's a guy I can confide in, act like a moron with, and borrow money from. All told, he's one of my best friends.
Like a few other "circus friends" I've got on my short list of true friends I know that there's never any judgment about my stupid moves and actions over the years. He understands and has done just about as many stupid things as I have.
These days he's at the Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum in Phoenix and will likely be performing there on a permanent basis, FINALLY getting off the road, and enjoying all the fun that accompanies being a wild west guy living in a wild west town. I'm very happy that he's found a great place to work, but I miss my friend.
We weren't able to get together this past Christmas and even though he's always trying to drum up work for me near him, I've no idea when I'm going to get to see him again. His boss has ventures in Las Vegas and all over the west so I have hope I'll get out there down the road. Certainly there's the prospect that I will just make a trip to Arizona to visit.
All I know is that on a day when I'm feeling blue, I'd love to share some Old Crow and a good cigar with Travis and try to forget my problems, if not forgive myself for my mistakes.
If you're out in the Phoenix area be sure to check out Pioneer Arizona and find Travis & Rusty. They have a great act and are wonderful people. Tell them Andy sent ya and Travis just might not shoot you on sight, but I can't promise anything.
Even the Ladies Love to Play...Find the Penguini!
Fresh from a world tour of celery & pineapple farms...
Ten Things Tuesday: Martinis & Cocktails I WON'T Be Drinking
Massengill Gin Fizz
My Penguin Has V.D. Fun!
It seems that Andylander, the penguin adopted for me by the lovely Golfwidow
some time ago, has a date for Valentine's Day. He will be taking out Claudia, the new pet belonging to perennial blog-crush, Jessica
. I sure hope he gets lucky! If not he already smells like fish so he can lie convincingly.
be getting lucky on Valentine's Day, but that could have something to do with the fact that nobody in this household believes in such a STUPID
fake holiday. The only reason to celebrate Valentine's Day is that you are one month away from a REAL
holiday, Steak & BJ Day
(which I WILL
To better illustrate my point I happily reprint my column, "The Folly of Valentine's Day".
The Folly of Valentine's Day
By Andy Martello
©Andy Martello, All Rights Reserved
I won't lie to you. I am not the best husband in the world. I am not the greatest guy around. I am extremely selfish and flawed. I try very hard to be a better man both for myself and for my wife. Some days are better than others, but for the most part I am an alright person.
When February rolls around I am reminded of how good I have it when it comes to my wife, April. Don't get me wrong, she is not perfect either, but she makes a few things extremely more comfortable for me. These things tend make me the envy of many a man.
Long before we were married I was informed that if I EVER wanted to flat-out lose my lady love, all I had to do was acknowledge the most awful of fake holidays, Valentine's Day.
I am simply not allowed to buy a present for her on that day. No velvet boxes,no pretty jewelry, not a single piece of chocolate, not one cuddly stuffed animal, not even a card imprinted with some corporation's verbalization of how I love my wife is allowed to be brought into our home. THIS, is one cool lady and one easy to follow policy!
I know what the men are thinking. Those not hoping I'm getting a divorce or wondering if April has a single sister are convinced this is part of some "woman trick."
Men have fallen victims to these sorts of ploys before. We get TOLD that we're not expected to "do anything special" for Valentine's Day. When we do NOTHING we end up sleeping alone in the garage for a week. Sometimes we do SOMETHING, just not "something special," and we get the mildly hurt expression and the, "That's OK. I love it...really," response. We all know that response means we failed the test. Believe me, guys, I have been there. I feel your pain.
I thought I was being set up for failure the first time April and I approached a Valentine's Day. I was pretty sure she meant what she said, but a big part of me was panicking inside. I humored thoughts of having a go-to safety gift waiting in the wings, JUST IN CASE! If it was indeed true that Valentine's Day meant nothing to her I could save the gift for a birthday, an anniversary, or better yet, the "no particular occasion gift." Those gifts always score big points! If the no Valentine's gift concept was all a clever plot to trap me I'd have a great, "A-HA!" moment and save the day with a pretty package. Instead, I did nothing. I had no present-parachute to save my life. As luck would have it, I survived the day.
April truly hates Valentine's Day and all it represents. This is a girl that otherwise LOVES presents, chocolates, and gifts of all kinds. Associate any of those things with Valentine's Day and she will have nothing to do with them.
All men hate Valentine's Day and the unnecessary pressure put upon us to perform properly. If you are neither dating nor married, you hate it because of the awful implied loser image associated with being "alone."
Being with April has been a real eye-opening experience for me. She first put this concept into my head and in the years since we've been together a genuinely nice theory has emerged.
Why not love your significant other every day of the year?
Why put so much importance on one single day? We already have Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays and anniversaries to show affection and appreciation and buy gifts. There are special days for mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Even secretaries and bosses get singled out for extra love on certain days. If the greeting card people could market a "Best Friends Day" or a "Wonderful Pets Day" I'm sure they'd do it.
Excluding religious holidays, any of these non-holidays could be removed from our calendars and replaced with 364 more days of general appreciation.
While my wife and I may not always LIKE each other, we LOVE each other every day of the year. We don't need a cold day in February filled with pink cards and roses to remind us of that. There are plenty of times we surprise each other with little gifts or go to dinner just to be together.
Why trouble ourselves with impossible dinner reservations on February 14th when we can eat the same meal on May 14th? Think about it, wouldn't YOU like to have some fun May 14th? Nothing ever happens on May 14th, why not make that a special day?
Pick any day other than Valentine's Day and have some fun. They sell greeting cards and gifts year-round, so go for it!
Single? Great! Make November 29th "Single People RULE Day" and give the bars and night clubs a reason to jump start the holiday season. Invite all your single friends and give each other cool gifts and cards. Put photos of your married friends and their kids in the cards and point out how tired and depressed the married folks look. Tell them the pictures were taken on Valentine's Day to make the moment sweeter.
The possibilities are endless once you free yourself from the bonds of a useless and meaningless holiday like Valentine's Day!
Of course, I know I am the exception to the rule. My wife is special. When we got engaged she didn't want a diamond ring. She HATES diamonds. When we got married she chose to wear her GARNET engagement ring I bought her. In fact, she didn't insist I wear a wedding ring at all! SHE knows I'm married to her.
I've been told if I ever wanted a wedding ring, she'd buy one for me. I may just go ahead and push the envelope and ask for one with a diamond inside. I think I'll ask for one this Sweetest Day and see what happens.
Monday Feb. 13 Weigh-in
Loss for Week: 1 Pound
Overall Net Loss: 13 Pounds
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
That's probably the best way to put it.
The newly completed Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum is among the most state-of-the-art, impressive creations of its kind. A truly remarkable attraction filled with wonderful artifacts, fantastic interactive exhibits, and high-tech visuals.
Not ever being even remotely interested in history, for me to be so enamored of the place is quite a feat. I have never been to ANY museum where I felt compelled to read every word of information, thoroughly absorb every display or photograph, and become so emotionally involved with the stories and lives being portrayed until I visited this museum.
There's just no real way to describe the sensation of visiting this place. The website does both the library and museum justice (though we did not visit the library), but you really have to see this place to believe it all. You get the complete journey from childhood to his death as well as his impact in the years since his time on Earth.
They have two theatrical displays that feature high-tech visuals unlike anything I've seen before. The SBC Ghosts of the Library presentation combines live action acting with holographic 3-D effects, scrim curtain lighting, and other stagecraft that rivals anything you've ever seen in Vegas, on Broadway, or elsewhere. The Union Theatre offers a multiscreen film and 3-D staging along with interactive theatrical stimulation to bring the film truly off the screen and into your soul.
In the War Gallery you can get detailed information behind many photographic images along the wall (coupled with computer diagrams and a virtual tour) and a full-screen video presentation, The Civil War in Four Minutes (One startlingly fascinating thing to watch)
There's even a very cool Ask Mr. Lincoln section where you can punch up questions on a very wide range of topics and in the connecting room, historic footage and readings taken from Lincoln's own words that answer your questions.
Of course there's actual artifacts and items that belonged to the Lincoln family and large dioramas recreating many of the significant moments in the lives of this famous family.
One of my favorite sections was The Whispering Gallery, a very large room featuring countless political cartoons from the era, ALL of which slamming Lincoln for every move he made. Every single piece of artwork shows just how reviled he was as President and how seemingly nobody had any faith in his abilities as a leader. Everything from his policies, to his wife, and even worse, his family woes such as the deaths of his children was impuned and brought into question in the press. All of the frames around the cartoons were slanted and off center in some way, giving a funhouse effect to the place. Soon after leaving the room you are bombarded by visuals of people in period costume (playing historic figures) verbally assaulting the President and his policies. It was stunning to see and hear how such an amazing man was so completely reviled and misunderstood during his life.
You get a snootful of Lincoln if you visit Springfield, Illinois and to be honest it can get a little annoying or tiresome before too long. However, if you take a visit to this museum, you cannot be anything but awed and inspired by President Lincoln. You are left with a much greater appreciation for the man, history, and the world we live in by visiting this remarkable place. I have never been more proud to be an American than I was after visiting the museum. That pride is something many of us sorely lack in this country these days. If for no other reason, the trip was worth the admission price.
Dating Your Daughter Revisited
In the last couple of weeks I have performed at both "Daddy/Daughter" and "Mother/Son" dances. Even though these things creep me out a little bit, I am happy to have the work and I do have fun performing at them.
Having just completed a Daddy/Daughter event I thought I'd reprint one of my columns, "Date Your Daughter! It's All the Rage!".
If for some reason you don't want to read it here, you can read it in the archives of e-pauly
, Malicious Bitch
, and The Cheers
"Date Your Daughter! It's All the Rage!"
By Andy Martello
© Andy Martello, All Rights ReservedThere are "seasons" in the entertainment field just like any other business. I can expect certain bookings to fall at certain times.
I know that the early months in the year have many trade shows and school functions. February and March are ripe with Cub Scout Blue & Gold Dinners as well as one type of gig that seems to be found only in the suburbs of major metropolitan areas. These are the 'Daddy/Daughter' Dances.
Let me say right now that while I have NEVER seen anything untoward happen at any of them, these events always seem a bit "creepy" to me.
For those unfamiliar, let me explain the concept. 'Daddy/Daughter' Dances, often sponsored by local park districts, are formal dances where young girls aged from 4 to about 12 are escorted by their fathers for a magical evening of fun & frolic. They are not unlike proms or other formal occasions. A dinner is served and there are corsages, a D.J., mood lighting, pretty dresses, and men in nice suits.
The entire evening is dedicated to forging that special bond between a daddy and his daughter by encouraging a daughter to "date" her father! O.K. I may be exaggerating the point, but therein lies the reason these events are so creepy to me.
I completely understand the simple and innocent ideas behind events like these. There is a limited amount of time in a young girl's life when she really loves her dad and thinks of him as the ultimate hero of a man. That precious little bit of time between a girl being daddy's princess and being daddy's nemesis should be cherished by all. What I don't get is why there has to be a formal dance and all the accoutrements to promote this relationship.
Isn't there enough time for a young girl to develop social dating behavior? At such an early age, do we have to start these girls on the quest for the perfect dress and subject them to the catty judgment from other girls if the dress is "off the rack"? Should we be giving these girls the primer for dating before they've even begun to like boys? More importantly, should we be encouraging these girls to date their own fathers? I mean honestly, a few southern states in the U.S. aside, this seems wrong on so many levels!
I wonder: Are there moments where the dads covet the other daughters, wishing they had a better date? Or worse: Are there guys who show up all dejected because they couldn't get a date for the 'Daddy/Daughter' Dance? Are there daughters that ask other people's fathers to the thing? EEEWWWWWW! Creepy! Wrong!! BAD!!!!
As I've said, nothing unusual or dirty ever happens at these things and they are often very successful events. Still I have to wonder why there is such a need for these gatherings in the first place. Have parents become so bad at expressing love for their kids that we need to set up kiddie proms?
As a boy, I remember all the special moments with both my parents. I remember playing catch or fishing with my dad and watching my mother sew new lettering on my basketball uniform after a washing turned everything a decidedly un-macho shade of pink. Things like this are what reinforced the bond between child and parent for me. I knew my folks loved me and I didn't need to go on a special date with my mom to figure it all out.
Speaking of dating your mom, don't think that the mothers are exempt form these bizarre rituals. I've worked my fair share of 'Mommy/Son' Dances and those are JUST as disturbing!
The boys in attendance are often on the younger side, but in general the idea is the same. A boy must date his mother and then suffer years of abuse and "mamma's boy" taunts from future girlfriends. I work these events and wonder how Kevin Spacey could bear the sarcasm after taking his mom to the Oscars.
Even though these events are similar in nature there are some CLEAR differences.
At the 'Daddy/Daughter' Dances, the fathers are really into the whole evening. These guys put on their best suits, buy boutonnières and corsages, walk hand-in-hand with their girl, and show them a magical evening. For the dads and the daughters, the event, while creepy, achieves the goal of making a special event.
At 'Mommy/Son' Dances, the mothers, at least the vast majority of them, couldn't care any less about the whole thing. They make the sons get all dressed up but show up in house clothes & yoga pants themselves. There is very little actual dancing with their sons and not much interaction at all. Most of the time, I see the mothers grab their food and retire to the back of the room with the other mothers, telling their sons to "go play with your friends."
Every now and again you'll see a boy GET UP THE NERVE to ask his mother to dance and sometimes the mother agrees to a dance, crushing the little boy‘s heart when she hasn‘t the time to dance with her son. SOMETIMES! How awful is this, teaching a boy early on that women and the rejection they may bestow upon you are to be feared at all costs? The whole thing is just wrong, wrong, WRONG!
I am always happy to work these dances and I have some great audiences at these events. However, I see a much different side of these things than most people. I see the differences in parenting styles, the contrast between how boys and girls are treated, and the fact that there are a lot of parents with no ideas on how to show proper affection towards their kids.
I talk about these issues with the folks that book me for the dances, and they often agree with me. 'Daddy/Daughter' Dances and their counterparts are inherently odd. Yet, they are among the most popular and most requested events at any park district. Nobody knows who had the idea for the first one, and nobody knows why they are so well attended.
Maybe I'm just missing the point entirely. Perhaps I'm reading too much into these things. Is it possible that the only truly offensive thing is that we live in a world where something as sweet in intent as a day where dads take their daughters out for dinner and dancing should seem so wrong? I just wish they wouldn't schedule so many of these things during Valentine's Day week.
Henson Robinson Zoo & Illinois State Museum, Take Two
Let's try this again.
Our first day in Springfield started at the Henson Robinson Zoo. While this may not be the biggest or the best zoo you'll find it is one of the most charming you'll come across. At $3.25 a person it is certainly a good bargin and well worth the trip.
Among the highlights in a display of African (Jackass) Penguins so you know that I was a happy camper. They also have many other animals such as Lemurs, Cougars, an Australian Walk-Through exhibit, and more.
We were fortunate enough to see a very newly awakened groundhog emerge from his bedding and that alone was enough to make April's trip complete. This groggy little guy was so adorable I thought she was going to cry. That was our first groundhog of 2006 and we're eager to see some locally soon.
Later in the day (After the MOST EXCELLENT Museum of Funeral Customs) we found ourselves at the Illinois State Museum, a FREE ADMISSION museum with loads of fantastic info and artifacts from Illinois, past & present. Everywhere we looked we found some eye-catching display and interactive activity. It was one of the better laid out places of it's kind that we'd ever been to.
There were many prehistoric fossils and exceptionally well done life-sized dioramas of wilderness scenes depicting the various ecological sections of Illinois. Upstairs were beautiful art exhibits from local artists and a special display called 50 Years of Powwow, which illustrated a rich tradition of the Native American people. Throw in some stuffed birds and other critters & a good gift shop, and you have one most excellent attraction in the heart of downtown Springfield.
Upon the recommendation of someone at the Convention & Visitor's Bureau we checked out Saputo's for dinner and enjoyed some of the best home made Italian food we'd had in a while (at a restaurant, mind you. OUR stuff we make is PRIME STUFF!) The place has been in the same location and owned by the same family seemingly forever and it was a real treat.
In a short amount of time we came to the conclusion that Springfield is WAY more fun than when we were forced as kids to go and visit.
I Wrote this Beautiful Post
And then it all disappeared. So...
You're stuck with this piece of crap.
Here are a few links and updates for you. I'll have more about the Springfield trip tomorrow.
E-pauly has been kind enough to link my last two Ten things Tuesday lists. His blog is always entertaining and it is certainly an honor to be included in his wide assortment of cool content.
I've always enjoyed kj4ever's blog, FFS. She's a good Chicago girl with a HOT driver's license photo and she is an entertaining writer. I hope to meet her one day at a show or something. She was kind enough to add me to her links list and I'm happy to reciprocate.
has sent me many fine links to videos. Presumably, many of which may not be safe for work so check them out at your leisure. I've not taken the time to review any of them as of yet. Been busy with other stuff. In any event, here are many links from isch2K
The Museum of Funeral Customs
Let's just say that April & I are among the only people who do searches of towns we plan on visiting and get all squoozy inside at the thought of heading to a place called The Museum of Funeral Customs. That's probably among the many reasons we get along so well.
The museum is exactly what it sounds like. When you head out to Springfield, Illinois you are certain to encounter a whole lot of history. Old Abe Lincoln and his crazy antics are to be found everywhere within the city. Naturally you'd want to head out to Oak Ridge Cemetery to see Lincoln's tomb and the most excellent war memorials found within the cemetery. I can't recommend highly enough that you make a stop at The Museum of Funeral Customs, which is conveniently located at the entrance of Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Admission is very reasonable at $3.00 for adults and it is a self-guided tour. Inside you learn about things you likely never would have considered learning about before such as the history of embalming, funeral rites & customs throughout the ages, and all about proper mourning attire & mourning periods.
There are many extremely interesting and tasteful displays of various caskets and preparation rooms. You will find fascinating photos of funerals and wakes from around the world. Of course, there's a wealth of information about the preparation, transport, services, and interment of President Lincoln. All told, there's a lot of great things to see and enjoy in this museum.
How we deal with death seems to have a great correlation to how we deal with life. Our traditions and customs hold a mirror up to the way we live our lives today. Being in this museum does not at all reflect some morbid curiosity with death, but rather creates an appreciation for life and a greater understanding of death.
This is a MUST if you are in the Springfield area.
When we get our film back I'll be sure to post some snapshots for you. Until then please enjoy their website and these scans I made from their brochure.
Nobody Can Say April & I Don't Know How To Have Fun!
This is just a links list of the many places we went to visit in Springfield, Illinois this Tuesday & Wednesday. Keep in mind that we left early in the morning on Tuesday and returned by 9:30 PM on Wednesday. I'll try to post these in order.
Henson Robinson Zoo
Museum of Funeral Customs
Oak Ridge Cemetery (War Memorials & Lincoln's Tomb)
Illinois State Museum
Dinner at Saputo's
Old State Capitol Building
Lots of shopping including Pease's
Lunch at Norb Andy's for Horseshoes
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (We really only saw the museum)
I'm sure I'm forgetting something. When I have photos I'll surely share more.
I'm Back. I'm Tired.
So later I'll have some interesting things about our little trip to Springfield. Until then, get caught up on all the going's on around the world. Or at least get caught up on everything here at Andy Land.
Heading Out. Back Wednesday Night.
Astonishingly, April not only has two days off in a week (rarely happens), but she has two days off IN A ROW (NEVER happens)! So we're making a day trip to Springfield to have some fun and enjoy life. They've got a Museum of Funeral Customs, which has a gift shop. I'm dying to see this place. COME ON!
I am certain I won't have any access to my e-mail so here's what I've done. Right below this post will be my Ten Things Tuesday for this week. Not having any sort of auto-post thingy, under that post will be my scheduled Wednesday post.
You can either choose to read it all today or come back and read them on their appropriate days. I don't really care so log as you are all here when I get back. Also don't act like things are out of order as I just explained everything perfectly well. Oh yeah, don't forget to leave comments and tell your friends about how freakin' cool I am. ;)
Lastly, the 2006 collector's cards have arrived. Yesterday I sent out cards to Golfwidow (who secretly wants me), Jade (Who definitely wants me, but only if I dress like Nicky Vegas), Sue (who wants me to stay away from her daughters...no doubt so she can keep me to herself), & Kim (who said she wants me - er, um my card).
If anyone else wants the 2006 version of the card, regardless of if you wanna get with my stuff, feel free to comment here and e-mail me with your mailing address.
See ya in a couple of days.
Ten Things Tuesday: Reasons Why Cigars Are Better than Men
Some women like short, fat cigars.
A woman will actually put a cigar in her mouth.
If you don't like your cigar you can throw it out.
It's legal to cut the head off your cigar.
With cigars you suck and blow at YOUR convenience.
Your neighbors and parents don't mind if you take a Cuban home with you.
A cigar isn't finished until you are.
Cigars are smarter, they're always there for you, and they know their place.
Cigars like to be taken out for long walks in the park too.
When a woman finishes her cigar she's ALWAYS satisfied!
I really should have saved this for Valentine's Day. Enjoy, ladies.