Friday, September 25, 2009

Vblog: TRAFFIC in NYC, First School Gig of the Year, GO YANKEES!!!

We had a great gig in Warren NJ today. Spero, John Gleason and Chris Liedenfrost-Wilson joined Laurice and I for two shows. Tons of fun round trip in the NAVY -8-OR. Great Breakfast/Lunch at a diner COUNTRY SQUIRES. Pumpkin Pancakes make all of us happy. Unimpressed with Taylor Pork Roll. Good French Dip for Laurice. So we pull into the school and there is a FAMOUS DAVE's BBQ truck dropping off lunch for the kids. SERIOUSLY, this is a regular occurance. So remember all of those crappy school lunches. Pizza Friday being the highlight, we suffered rubbery hamburgers and runny wrapped dog food they dared called a burrito with that toxic cheese sauce. These New Jersey upstarts get restaurant catered lunch everyday but Tuesday. Burger King, REAL pizza from amazinging local joint, Wendy's, McDonalds, Local Deli Sandwiches AND FAMOUS DAVE's. The whole school smelled like PIT BBQ. I am ready to go back to school. Maybe they need atheater or music teacher. Heck i will be the hall monitor to get Famous Dave's BBQ once a week. ANYWAY.... We have two amazing shows - HILARIOUS!!! Great kids. Fun Audience. After the show, a bunch of kids came up to John "You look like Shaggy" and "Are you Jon Heder?" Especially after his voices in Authors. John will have to remind me what character he was portaying. Chris was doing the Dr. Suess and slipped into John's character voice. "Your voice is addicting" Now i have to comment on this towns civil planning. At least for the shopping malls. Of course being Jersey there is a series of strip malls on every corner. But no entrance/exit seemed to work normally. Each one either had a DO NOT ENTER sign, NO LEFT TURN, NO RIGHT TURN, etc and I seemed to violate every single one - making left turns from obviously right turning ramps etc. This happend at the bank, gas station, diner, and convenient store on the way out of town. We get back to the city. With the Yankee game coming soon, traffic is getting thick. We drive down to 145th street to get a photo inspection for our new car insurance (***SEE BELOW FOR FULL STORY***) and then we decide to head to Marble Hill Target, stock up on some groceries. Spero joins us as he has little shopping in his ghetto on the east side. Laurice is now driving so I can check on some emails from clients (QUITE A FEW ACTUALLY - Holiday is going to be busy season HO HO HO - I don't care if deemed wrong now I will always say HO HO HO and it has nothing to do with Madonna or your girlfriend so get over it) Me in the back, Spero is supposedly navigating. Anxiety is high from the bad traffic. We are all joking around. Listening to the Yankees. John Sterling starts talking about how great the Boston Pitcher is, seconds later we are lighting him up with hits. He gets out of the inning with just 1 run earned, but it was the beginning of the end or that guy. So I look up and say "You really need to turn right ASAP so we don't end up in the Bronx" What I did not realize.... i was too late. We were already on the bridge headed for Yankee war zone. We drive right pass it when i make the following video.


LONG STORY SHORT - One should never drive past Yankee Stadium during a game. EVEN WORSE while they play a very important playoff berth battle with the Boston Red Sox. Should not even drive anywhere in a 10 mile radius. So we are navigating the streets as a team. Almost hitting scalpers and traffic cops. one officer is waving us to go. i mean getting pissed that we are not moving, while a black car/limo is literally inches in front of us. etc etc etc

WATCH PART TWO - As the drama unfolds, Spero fears I might have to use his bathroom.

Joke on him I really did not have to go... Joke on me, Spero got out of the car 1 block early just in case so I could not run up. Hope to see folks at the TIMES SQUARE COMEDY CLUB this weekend. CLICK HERE for $5 tickets

Happy to report that as I publish this Yankees look to be headed for a win. 8-3 without any sign of giving up....

Did you hear the Irish Tenor - you know, the big guy with glasses and Ears that pick up radio waves from space, a cross between the monster son from goonies and humpty dumpty - sing GOD BLESS AMERICA. So they switch to Gulianni while IT (Irish Tenor) sings intro. On a really sour note, Gulianni winces to a point you would think he just crapped his pants - As if the former mayor sucked on a lemon at the same time it squirts in his eye. And it was bad - really bad - and that honest normal response from Rudy was priceless. So I dedicate the following Video to Spero who must have been thinking of me watching a fat guy sing like he was choking on a ball park frank.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome back to the real world - I'M LIVID - F@@@ Direct Tv and Verizon

NOTE: I started to write this WEDNESDAY afternoon. About to publish, and watching CNN, I felt inspired to comment on the UN activities today. Lets roll back the clock a few hours...

Well, vacation is over it was only a matter of time that stress of the real world crept back into daily existence. I go to make a phone call today. SERVICE DISRUPTED on HOME PHONE. Why? Direct TV, which I cancelled May 28th, was still being charged to my Verizon Bill. I call up Direct TV, and they say that cancellation was not completed. I have not had a Dish on my roof since before May 28th when my landlord ripped it off and threw it out. I have been paying for Cable via Time - Warner since June 1st. It is was over priced but all I can get. CAN WE SAY MONOPOLY? Now my ass really hurts from being F*&$ed hard by corporate America. My only payback or defense is blogging. Like this is doing me much more good than throwing the TV out the window. Although that is not far from happening. I have to admit - Bitching in public, even if no one ever reads this diatribe, is so truly therapeutic. So I call up Verizon to try and separate my bill from Direct TV so that the phone is not disconnected again. Many clients call me for booking on that line. My livelihood - and that of a dozen other actors , part time a least - rely on that phone. Their answer is to pay the bill and then dispute and HOPE for payback from Direct TV. If that does not work I have to pursue via legal means. Which could take years.

Anyone have similar experience? Any ideas out there? Free legal advise?

But this leads me to a larger issue of customer service which is a blog that has been wanting to get out for years. I really don't care if the customer service is in Queens or India or Colorado. Arguing outsourcing of American jobs is left for another day. Another rant.

When was the last time anyone picked up the phone and really received SERVICE. Let alone GOOD SERVICE. I don't mean the easy things. Actually the only company that has consistently HELPED me when I call is Best Buy. I pay for their GEEK SQUAD service via warranty for my computers. They will continue to get my business as a result.

But what do you do when an entire industry is bad. Name one phone company that really cares about your satisfaction. I just know my experiences with MCI, Sprint, Verizon and numerous mobile phones leaves me thinking the industry is full of con artists. And what defense do you have over the sneaky tricks. Cause if you call to complain there is nothing they are willing to do to help. They might send out a service guy and charge you whether issues are fixed or not. Chances are you just beg and plead and get nada. Rather what you get is a migraine. Acid Reflux. Clinical Depression?

I am at a point that I suffer serious severe anxiety from the notion of having to call customer service for anything. I procrastinate out of hatred for that feeling I get in my gut. As soon as I realized there was an issue today, I got light headed. Dizzy. Ate some pasta and tuna trying to calm down - not that pasta and tuna are any great remedy, but the only pasta and good cards laying around.

While on the phone today, while i said a few colorful comments, i maintained relative calm, but my hands shaked like leaves. Jokingly but seriously saying "My ass hurts from all of the violating activity back there" (I have in the past been less clever - relatively speaking - and more vulgar in similar situations) In fact at one point I leaned over to Laurice saying, "Can you please dump that out?" pointing to my ice coffee. "I honestly can't take anymore of that AND this!"

This is one of the few things that gets me going. Bottom line customer service - 9 times out of 10 - can do nothing but talk you down from suicide over the issue their company is causing. They have no power to do real good. They follow talking points closer that politicians on the hill. Meanwhile phone companies sneak on charges to your bill, change your package plan without any notice - SAY NO TO BUNDLES!!!! - and do it all knowing that their competition is just as evil and you will eventually come right back OR will just trade spots with a fleeing refugee from across the hall. Like a Libertarian hoping Democrats will listen to their plight.

Perhaps we could have the exact same rant about Health Insurance, Car Insurance, GAS (Ever get a call to save money on your bill - hang up - it will cost you more in months to come), Slum Lords, banks and anyone else that you are forced to deal with for certain service that have industry wide corruption. They are not much better than identity thieves. At least real crooks have the honor and just take your money. These other guys are hiding behind CORPORATE POLICY!

Saturday 9/26 - Sunday 9/27
Times Square Arts Center 669 8th Avenue, NY Y 10032
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MOHAMMAR GADAFI (sp?) stars in Love Labours Lost - SHAMOUD Ahmadinejad postponed

Do you know the Shakespearean play? Funny i just saw the movie musical by Kenneth Brannaugh this morning on IFC. In it the King and court swear to avoid women. So that they are not tempted they keep all women outside the main gates, so when the princess of France arrives, she is forced to lodge in tents outside in nearby fields.

Thus is the lot for Quadaffi, Gadafi, Kaddaffi, Kacky DuckDaffi? This guy has more spelling options the 8days of Jewish holidays. Mandated by religious doctrine, he has to sleep in tents. I believe one of his destinations is Trumps back yard. What, Staten Island landfill too nice? Coney Island offered circus tent former location. Numerous places in New York and Jersey have turned his people down. Did they finish tearing down Yankee stadium yet? How about Roosevelt Island? Perhaps Woodside right next to the Hasidics? Of course this is why Reagan missed him back in 1986. He bombed the palace. Missed the backyard tent. I wonder if his mom came out when he had nightmares.

At long last we finally get to hear this man speak at the United Nations. I personally have been losing sleep for decades wondering if this would ever occur. Now I fall asleep as he speaks for six times his scheduled time, pissing off Iranian dictator and fellow terrorist Mahmoud AhmadineJIHAD - the one true legitimate ruler of a free people with free elections and free speech. Sorry - the sarcasm is a bit thick, eh? Shamoud had to be rescheduled for later this evening. Another must see TV moment... By the way, the Canadians decided to Boycott the Iranian mob boss. Yeah, that should stick it to them.

So Qadictaffy, obviously tired from lodging confusions, begins his 96-minute rant. Most importantly adding to his tent issues, the UN is just too far from his home tent and should be moved closer to lessen his Jet Lag. If only his terorist buddies felt the same way. "Hey guys, lets bomb someplace closer to home. We can carry backpacks anywhere. We don't need an 8-hour flight with lay overs. OH ALLAH I hate the lay overs..." Perhaps if he lodges at the Waldorf he would have been more alert. Perhaps if he used the teleprompter rather than squint at hand written scribbles, he would have stayed more focused. Instead about to tear up a copy of the UN charter, he loses his place and forgets his gesture of defiance. As usual we are the Devil. Although the UN is now the "Silent Devil" for its inactions and the Security Council the "Terror Council". MoMoneyar Gaudafi called just about everybody a liar, hopes Obama ("OUR" son of Africa) could remain President forever, and further denied rumors he wears underwear saying "Lockerbie Shmockerbie".

Obviously Quackdaffi was not listening to Obama when he said America is done being the world's solution. So we can all look forward to the wonderful days of the Roaring 20s Isolationism? And perhaps rise to another Hitler?

While all of this is happening and because no one else in our country will listen, Sarah Palin goes to Hong Kong in search of an audience. Talk about you Dim Sum!!!

PS... Anyone see the reports on Afganistan? I mean the results and photos from the "classified" meeting. I guess CNN is not the only news source willing to give up our military secrets.


Environmentalists MUST not have allergies. Leave me and my smog alone! Stop cleaning up MY urban paradise!

I have been travelling around the great American south east region for the past three weeks. Loving the water sports - Boating and Swimming in river, lake, gulf and ocean. Eating the best comfort food in the world!!! Suffering from the worst environmental allergies in years. Watery eyes, sneezing, swollen glands, scratchy throat and more.

Living in NYC the past twelve years has been the greatest cure to allergies ever. Smog and other pollution tends to kill most living things. Surrounded by iron, glass, brick and mortar rather than trees, grass and flowers keeps the body feeling great. But this paradise to allergy sufferers is under attack. There are those that would destroy this safe haven. And we need to stand up to progress and change. We need to bring this battle to the presses and local politicians. Our children deserve a world without rag weed, pollen and yes, hay fever!

Every year since moving to New York City I have noticed a slow constant worsening of my allergies. Every year more trees replace former dead zones. Now they are putting parks on top of old rail roads in midtown. Sure these creations of nature are pretty to look at. Sure they seem great on paper. But are we thinking straight? We already cleaned up the streets. Pushing out the mafia and gangs to the outskirts of town. We reduced the number of hookers, xxx clubs and con men in Mid Town, making a show like THE LIFE dated. We confiscated dozens of book bags and backpacks saving us all from terrorism once again. We even finally took care of Bernie "Made-off with billions" Madoff. Can't we leave pollution alone?

If you want "CLEAN" air move else where. But leave my dirty dead breathing supply alone. I want a dirty air candidate for Mayor. Which mayoral candidate will protect my right to smog? NOT Bloomberg. NOT any of the boobs taking pot shots at him. We need fresh political talent that realizes MY needs.

Last night I slept 16 hours with out once snoring or coughing. This morning my nasal and sinus passages are squeaky clean. My throat is mildly and properly moist but not coated. My chest is breathing clear and ready for Wagner.

Friday gig in NJ. Shows at Times Square Arts Center this weekend.
Upcoming Public Appearances
Oct 3rd 12-3pm Smithsonian Museum of Art
Oct 16 7 & 9 pm TWO SHOWS West Virginia
Oct 27 8pm Jumpin' Java, VIENNA VA