When we were all still in Chicago, Steve Delahoyde, Mark Geary, Kumail Nanjiani, Jared Logan, and I made a sitcom pilot. I wrote it with Kumail and Jared. Mark produced. And, Steve directed.
The plot involves a con artist, played by the amazing Peter Grosz, taking over a cult full of misfits.
We filmed it in minus 10 degree weather in an old church. The pipes froze, and the propane heaters we brought in burned our lungs. We got no sleep. It was fun. I'm really happy with how it turned out.
That's why I'm sharing it with you below. I hope you enjoy it. And, thank you to Steve for putting it online.
Whenever I go out for a drink, I tend to drink in a certain order. I call it my "drink order drink order." I like the night to build over time.
I’ll start off with something non-alcoholic, like an Arnold Palmer. A couple of those, and I’ll move on to a Shirley Temple. After that, I enjoy a cocktail with a little more kick to it. Something like a Tom Collins or a Rob Roy.
Then, it’s on to a Robert Guillaume, which leads into a Craig T. Nelson or a Natalie Imbruglia. Depends on what mood I’m in. Sometimes you wanna party. (Interesting side note, a virgin Natalie Imbruglia is often called a Nelly Furtado.)
I’ll drink a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow after that, which usually steers me toward an Allison Janney with a lime. I like a good Allison Janney. It’s hard to find a bartender who doesn’t use too much grenadine in his Allison Janney.
Around that time of night, I consistently order a Bill Paxton, even though I meant to order a Bill Pullman. It’s so easy to get those drinks mixed up. One has Cointreau, the other has Citron. Very confusing.
I’ll usually finish off the night with a Redd Foxx. Or if I don’t have work the next day, a Jim Thorpe. Man, ending the night on a Jim Thorpe really messes me up the next morning. But, I guess that’s what Sundays are for.
The story of the World’s Largest Pumpkin:
The world’s largest pumpkin was grown in 1932 by a man named Bumpert “Bumpy” Watson. I was just a child then, during a humid fall in Missourah that stretched on as if forever. I shall never forget the events that lead up to that over-sized pumpkin.
Bumpy had made himself a deal with the Devil, himself. In exchange for Bumpy’s eternal soul, the Devil gave him a handsome mule that could play on the xylophone the popular song "Beans! Beans!! Beans!!!" by Messrs. Elmer Bowman and Christopher Smith.
However, the Devil is crafty, and he made that mule to run away, leaving behind a steaming pile of mule flop directly atop Bumpy Watson’s pumpkin patch. I tell you, before that day, his pumpkin patch had produced nothing but tiny decorative squashes no bigger than a child’s goiter.
The next morning, the entire town had gathered to watch grow a pumpkin the likes of which none had witnessed before. Even Miss Tallulah Bickelson-Crawly, who had traveled clear to St. Louis had never laid her eyes to such a thing.
It stood ten men tall. Or thirteen men of lesser stature. Nine men, if they was all slightly taller than average. It was tall. As tall as multiple men. And, to match its astonishing height, the pumpkin had a girth that I can only describe as real big. I’m not good with adjectives.
Schoolchildren, myself included in the lot, raced heedlessly around the great vegetable, and with our naked eyes we could see it growing dangerously larger. Why one lap around might take a minute, the next two minutes, and so on exponentially. I don’t know why our parents allowed us near the thing. I reckon children weren’t expected to live long in those days.
Finally, when that vast, orange pumpkin filled the very periphery of our sight, it stopped its growing. Bumpy Watson stood dumfounded near his old hound dog, Blooferbean. We all admired his pumpkin growing skills greatly, but Mr. Watson shook off our congratulations. He was a modest man.
Just then is when the Devil showed back up. We knew it was the Devil, because he wore a necklace of wooden beads and a bright red leisure suit, as they came to be called in later decades. He wore his beard as pointy as his horns, and he radiated a raw, musty sexuality. When he looked at the womenfolk, they misted their petticoats.
“Why, that there is a mighty fine pumpkin you’ve grown for yourself, Bumpy. I’d sure’n like to buy it off you if you was sellin’,” said the Devil. “I’d gladly give you back your eternal soul for such a grand example of the vegetable kingdom.”
But, Bumpy replied no. After he lost his mule, which had been his only love, all Bumpy Watson had left in this world was that there pumpkin. He had decided to cut a door in the side make it his home, which is exactly what he did.
Until about four day later when his head was crushed in by a giant pumpkin seed that fell down from the rafters. The Devil arrived and slurped Bumpert’s soul out the top of his head with a soup spoon. We all watched from behind the fence, horrified yet still captivated by this cruel monster in red polyester.
To this day, I can never catch the scent of a pumpkin pie without thinking of Bumpy and the Devil and how attractive the Devil was. I’m not gay, per se, but the Devil had an effortless swagger to him that made you want him inside you. When he looked at you, you felt embarrassed to be innocent. You wanted him to teach you dirty, dirty things…
I’m sorry. I feel like I may have gotten off track somewhere. Did I mention how large pumpkin was? It was very large for a pumpkin.
I'm going to give you a few quick notes on the font you’ve created. I realize you didn’t ask for notes, but I’ve put a great deal of thought into this, so just shut up and listen. I said shut up!
First off, your ascenders are resplendent! My goodness, I simply adore your ascenders. Many designers get so focused on their descenders they completely forget their ascenders. Your ratio of cap height to ascender height... I’m speechless.
You’re descenders, on the other hand, are boorish and abrasive. Tsk. It’s as though you put all your eggs into your acscender basket, and you forgot completely your descenders. I see a disturbing lack of focus in your descenders. I pity the baseline grid that has to accommodate that lower-case "g."
Moving on to serifs. Solid. Not the worst serifs I’ve ever seen, but certainly not the best. Did I ever tell you about the serifs Lennart Waldenström made for his display font, Kortenkasse Grotesque? Organic. Delicate yet sturdy. Divine. His serifs were something out of Swan Lake. Yours are strained yet passable.
Your em dashes and en dashes, though, are arrogant and ill-mannered.
You’ve overworked your dipthongs and ligatures. That’s a clear indicator that a designer has gotten into typography for all the wrong reasons. The type world isn’t all glitz and glamour. Beware the draw of ligatures. A glyph here, a glyph there--the next thing you know, you’ll be designing dingbats in some dank alley for used copies of Creative Suite.
Listen, I can see by your ampersand that you have a great deal of raw talent. I’m simply trying to bring it out in you. It’s not your fault you don’t know your crossbar from your baseline. You’re young and stupid. That’s to be expected. Stop crying! If I’d wanted you to cry, I would have told you my thoughts on your drop caps.
Honestly, if you couldn't handle a little criticism, you shouldn't have not asked for it.
Today is my 200th blog post! I’m pretty excited about that. Thank you to everybody who has been reading it so far.
I decided to celebrate by making the video above. I’ve talked about my amazing dancing before quite a bit, and I thought it was time to show it off. If that doesn't sound appealing, some other stuff happens about halfway through. Hope you enjoy it.
Remember to keep coming back, and feel free to hit the "share" button early and often. Thanks again.
A lot of people think the only way you can get bed bugs is by having sex with a bedbug or sharing a dirty needle with a bed bug. Wrong. You can catch bed bugs from anywhere--offices, hotels, girls named Jessica. They're unavoidable. Here are a few tips for avoiding bed bugs:
- If you hear yourself saying the words, "Hey, free mattress!" stop and count to ten. Is that free curb mattress worth getting bed bugs? It might be. Depends on the mattress.
- Subways and cabs are perfect carriers for bed bugs. Never leave your house.
- Put thrift store purchases in your freezer for a week to kill any bed bugs. Don’t worry, that yellow velour trench coat will still be awesome next week.
- Take apart your bed frame every night and shake it out the window.
- Bed bugs don't just live in your bed—they often live in your picture frames. Sorry, photo of grandma, you gotta go.
- I think it’s time to finally start washing your clothes.
- Bed bugs can live for a year without eating. That one’s more of a trivia fact than a tip, but it’s pretty interesting, right?
- Bed bugs like dark, warm nooks and crannies. Tape up all your crannies.
- Constantly blast Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like a Woman at all hours. Bed bugs hate that song.
- If you stay at a hotel where the staff is itchy and grumpy, wear your scuba wetsuit to bed.
- When travelling, never set your suitcase down onto a pile of bed bugs.
- Buy a plastic mattress cover. If you’re embarrassed to tell the store clerk about bed bugs, just tell him you’re incontinent.
- Vacuum often in erratic patterns the bed bugs can’t predict.
- When a friend tells you she has bed bugs, she is no longer your friend. She’s something else. Remove the head or destroy the brain.
- When renting a new place, check the Internet for bed bug complaints. Try not to get distracted by all the pornography online, otherwise you’ll never …
The following is a list of my favorite subgenres of Afropop Bluegrass fusion:
- Analogue Sampled Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Neo-Grunge Klezmer Afropop Bluegrass fusion
- Slashpunk Brassband Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Shoegazer Mumble-Metal Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Chamber Quintet Ramblin' Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Post-Electro-Funk Dissonant Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Lo-Fi Bollywood D.I.Y. Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Pre-Ironic Bellbottom Rock Jazzy Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Progressive Stadium First-Wave Dancehall Gypsy-Billy Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
- Backyard Trip Hop Surfer-Folk Wall-of-Sound Teeny-Bopper Tejano Afropop Bluegrass Fusion
Thank you so much for your constant input. I'm glad you feel comfortable sharing every tiny thought about what I am doing and how I could do it better.
For instance, the advice you gave me while I was driving--very helpful. You were correct that my hands should have been at 10 & 2. I was, indeed, signaling a bit too early. And, while I had seen the sign for the off ramp, it was nice having a backup scream as it approached.
Your incessant input was also appreciated at the conference hall. I hadn't realized my tie was ugly until you pointed it out. Good note. I'm sure everyone within earshot agreed. Also, I am more than happy to work on a "manlier" handshake.
You really are gifted at giving unrequested, unrelenting feedback. Not just to me, either. The wait staff during our business lunch—I’m sure they learned quite a bit about the quality of their croutons. If it weren't for you, our waitress might never have known she was "too tall." It's amazing how often you can find the opportunity to slip in those kinds of "teaching moments."
Thank you, too, for informing me how much nicer your hotel room was compared to mine. Next time I book a room, I’ll be sure to use your many, many helpful hints. The tip about faking deafness will prove especially helpful, I'm sure.
All in all, I'm just so grateful to have someone who assumes he's my mentor. I don't know what I would do without you. I can only constantly imagine.
If you think it's awkward telling your kids about the birds and the bees, just imagine what it was like having "the talk" with my wife about the bird and the bee and the other bee.
At first, she didn't know what I was saying. Had there been other bees? Was it the same bird? What does the second bee do while the bird about the first bee were doing birds-and-bees stuff?
So, I carefully explained that I had never done anything with another bee before. I had only watched a “documentary” on Cinemax about bees. I just thought an additional bee might be something fun to incorporate into our nest/hive. Would she be interested in that?
Turns out she was very interested. I guess my wife had been fantasizing about bird-on-bee-on-bee stuff for a while. She even had another bee in mind. Which was awesome. Then she told me who it was.
And I was like, "Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa. Bees in this scenario are lady bees. Why would a bee be her dance instructor, Hector? That doesn't make any sense." Then we got into a long argument about stingers, which I think shows a distressing literal-mindedness on her part.
Anyway, huge fight. Super late night, and we never ended up settling on the proper bird to bee ratio.
We did tentatively agree that next time the bird could flap his wings while the bee makes honey. I'm not exactly sure what that metaphor means, but knowing my wife, it's not going to be a dirty/fun as it sounds.