9 years agoMandellav
BNL's giving away a free download of their show as a 4some at Universal Studios--significantly better than the one I posted earlier since it's FLAC, mastered from a sound board, and downloadable.
10 years agoMandellav
A person's identity often flaps like a tattered flag in a gentle breeze--whapping and conforming in the air's current. And sometimes a forceful gale tears the flag right off the pole and a new one needs to be strung up.
Some identify themselves by nationality, by gender, by race, by religion, or any combination of these things. When someone asks you what you do, they are asking what you do for a living and often the answer for that question serves as a blanket identity.
When people ask me what I do, I often tell them I'm a student of American History and Film and that I want to be a teacher. And other times I say I work at a movie theater. Sometimes I say I write poetry. And sometimes I say, "I'm Kevin Smith. I don't have to do anything to be awesome."
And on more than one occasion, when someone asks me what I "do," I've answered:
I listen to Barenaked Ladies.
I've been ridiculed for liking a band identified with producing "poppy," "kitschy" songs like "One Week" and "If I Had $1,000,000."
Others have said "oh cool" and think nothing of it.
And others have said, "Oh Wow! I love that band too! Maroon is my favorite album ever!"
I take all these reactions in stride. I know the source of my obsession and I deal with it one song at a time. Anyone who knows me, knows I like BNL. They know I know every single word to every single song they've ever written. They know I've been to 10 shows and have met the band twice and ran into Ed Robertson on Mass Ave in Boston after a show. They know he was on his cell phone, so I didn't bother him, just gave him a head nod as I walked by which he returned in kind. It was a badass rock and roll moment.
So it must not be surprising that I felt that the tattered flag of my identity flew off the flagpole and into a puddle of scummy beer due to a hurricane when at 2 AM after a fine night out on the town that I found out that Steve Page, one of the lead singers and songwriters of BNL, quit the band.
When I began writing this statement to collect my thoughts, I wasn't quite sure how I felt about the situation. While I'm relieved that Ed, Tyler, Jim, and Kevin have decided to continue playing together as Barenaked Ladies, I just don't know if I can think of BNL the same way if Steve isn't on Steve's side of the stage. (Of the 10 shows, 9 of the shows I was seated on Steve's side.)
On the other hand, now I'll hopefully get to see an all Ed show which is awesome because slowing but surly I've been been treating my status as a Pageaholic with Robertsonol.
Although it's too early to tell what this means for BNL and for me, I do feel that tonight in someway altered the way I identify myself within the world. I think tomorrow, like everyday, I'll be able to raise my identity's flag without compromise and perhaps with only a few more holes and stains.
10 years agoMandellav
This is the opening scene to my first screenplay for a short film:
There are no opening credits except the title of the movie which is simply a black background with white letteringÃ¢â‚¬'referencing Kevin SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Clerks, however this film will be quite different and have no other references to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“viewaskewniverse.Ã¢â‚¬Â ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an abrupt cut from the title to a long shot of a one-way street with the cars parked facing away from the camera. The CAKE song Ã¢â‚¬Å“Long Line of CarsÃ¢â‚¬Â plays in the background as if from a car stereo parked quite a few cars down the lineÃ¢â‚¬'a song about being stuck in traffic which is ironic since these cars are just parkedÃ¢â‚¬'but in a way they are trapped too from being so closely parked to one another since space is so limited. The street belongs to a non-glorious college city like Albany, NY. There are parked cars on both sides. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a long street with tenement houses on both sides. Most have front steps leading up to two doorsÃ¢â‚¬'each door signifying an apartment. The camera is like a curious drunk. It moves slowly, but deliberately. It may focus itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attention on various details by zooming in on them, but when itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s moving along it must zoom out to check its pathÃ¢â‚¬'almost as if itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s afraid to trip. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got to be some fake things around. It should be garbage night and a Thursday night. Bags and garbage cans are piled in front of each house. Maybe people have thrown out some stuff that the camera finds interesting, some real things that can be called fake. Maybe a rotting package of imitation crab meat and a crumpled diet cola can. There are only a few street lights. Bored by the dingy surroundings, the camera thinks about wandering into various houses. It notices a bumper sticker in the window of one car that says Ã¢â‚¬Å“Marriage: Happily Ever After between a Man and WomanÃ¢â‚¬Â on it or some such thing and then turns itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attention to the blinds-down windows of the apartment which the car belongs to. The camera sees the silhouettes of a heterosexual couple and they are having a screaming match. The camera backs away from that situation and continues down the street and hears music by Dispatch or Pepper or some other jam band coming from the downstairs apartment of a typical college tenement. The blinds are up on this house and the camera catches the back of various guys and girls all drinking from beer bottles or red plastic cups. The camera decides to go up the steps and enter the open door. There are a few smokers on the front steps and the camera picks up that the cigarettes theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re smoking are Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lites.Ã¢â‚¬Â The camera also notices a hanging plant on the stoop. However, it notices a price tag or another sign that clearly shows that it is a fabricated plant. It enters the door. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a college party. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a kitchen table converted into a beer pong table. The women are dressed nicely and the guys at least try to be neat but in reality all is normal. There are no half naked girls running around like Hollywood movies try to make us believe. There is no dancing save for a few individuals who are just digging the tunes in the middle of conversation. There isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a keg in sight. The camera is gender neutral. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t devalue women in anyway. The beer is cheap and generally from cans which are bestrewn about everywhere. It is also all Light Beer. The camera doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t focus on peoplesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ faces or even parts. It might pick up on a clothing detail, but generally continues its arch. It comes around the corner and into the living room. It notices the coffee table and especially whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on it. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a giant flesh colored dildo and nobody seems to be care about it at all. The camera follows the length of it until it catches a foot resting on the table. It pulls back a little bit as itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still tracking to reveal the shoe to be a Ã¢â‚¬Å“bootÃ¢â‚¬Â or a Ã¢â‚¬Å“walking cast.Ã¢â‚¬Â The camera tracks up the leg to reveal its owner. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a little more than slightly overweight guy wearing black thick rimmed glasses, a terrible messy but gelled haircut, khaki shorts, and stripped or floral print silk shirt. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s drinking a light beer from a bottle. Otherwise, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lips are sealed and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just watching. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s miserable, but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trying to look amicable. His gaze is only interrupted when his closest friend (but still not quite a best friend) Chuck comes up to speak with him.
The camera quickly pans to Chuck who is tall, athletic, and nothing like Kenny. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s drunk already. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do a close up, instead itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pulling back from Kenny as he speaks.
Chuck: (excited and chipper) WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re up next, Kenny. First time weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re getting a chance to play pong before you were put in the cast. You sure youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re up to it?
The camera pans back to Kenny and closes in, never quite getting to close up range.
Kenny: (broken out of a daze and barely cracking a smile as he formulates a response) Ya, ya. This fake cast will allow me to do wondrous deeds.
The camera finally cuts to a shot of a ping pong ball going into the last cup in beer pong match thrown from KennyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hand.
11 years agoMandellav
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wild Cherry Flavored Cheyenne Little Cigars 100Ã¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ¢â‚¬Â
I bothered to read the label
The next day after a late night
Stumble to the Corner Store.
This Product Contains/Produces
Chemicals Known To The State of
To Cause Cancer,
And Birth Defects
Or Other Reproductive
But I bought these in New York so my
Testicles should function properly.
11 years agoMandellav
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Woody Allen SyndromeÃ¢â‚¬Â
Idea for a Story:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A distraught twenty-something
Blonde with big bouncy breasts
Walks up to the box office of
A downtown Movie Theater
And asks the big bouncy clerk
If he just sold two tickets to
A man wearing a YankeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cap.
The big bouncy clerk says Ã¢â‚¬Å“yesÃ¢â‚¬Â
And the Blonde looks into the
Clerk's eyes and says Ã¢â‚¬Å“thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
My boyfriend and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s with
That unsightly boar of a whore.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The big bouncy clerkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face
Freezes and his jaw drops while
Trying to formulate a response.
He comes up with Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m so sorry.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Only, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comes out as:
The blonde yells Ã¢â‚¬Å“assholeÃ¢â‚¬Â
in the General direction
of her Soon-to-be ex
and yanks the clerk
By his wrinkled collar
And slams a juicy one
On his still dropped jaw
Therefore landing her
Failed attempt at a very
passionate first kiss right
On the clerkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s huge chin.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A typewriter clicks and clangs
As the author churns another dayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
Worth of events and people into
A dull dialog-driven dramedy.
11 years agoMandellav
You are a young single man with aspirations a plenty and prospects none. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not fully introverted, but you cherish time alone with a keyboard and some thoughts. You even write poetry from time to time. You might even write something like this on a lazy Friday afternoon:
Beautiful as a Word is about as stale as
A pretzel stick in an open bowl by the
End of a twenty-first birthday party.
The word spoken,
The pretzel eaten,
And for the same
Old stupid reason.
You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know it, but youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re friend is about to walk through the open door to your dorm room and invite you to a twenty-first birthday party. You might think about the startling literary coincidence, but you might think about what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to wear to the party instead. She says to wear something black so that the Ã¢â‚¬Å“bouncerÃ¢â‚¬Â will let you in without a hassle. You quickly weigh the options (even though a large proportion of your wardrobe consists of black t-shirts) and you decide itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to bring that black cowboy hat you purchased from a street vender in Cancun out of retirement. Your friend says sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see you at ten, but you opt to keep the cowboy hat a secret for now. You hope it will be worth at a least a dozen laughs after beer number three. You think about a joke regarding a beer-to-laugh ratio. You remember that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not a stand-up comedian.
11 years agoMandellav
You show up at the front door around ten fifteen and the Ã¢â‚¬Å“bouncerÃ¢â‚¬Â guides you down a narrow hallway toward a beer pong table and a freshly tapped keg. Actually, the Ã¢â‚¬Å“bouncerÃ¢â‚¬Â is your friend Jack in a black golf shirt that has Ã¢â‚¬Å“SecurityÃ¢â‚¬Â screened across the chest that he purchased at the Army-Navy Store on Newbury Street. You gleefully fork over five bucks to a tall blond you recognize from a statistics course you took last semester. You remember you secretly wished she needed a study buddy, but she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t follow the stereotype. You fill the red plastic cup with golden liquid courage and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s surprisingly refreshingly cold. You down it quickly and get your free refill while the line at the keg consists only of that guy Sam who stands by the keg all night manning the pump. You joke to yourself that latter that night Sam will be your temporary best friend in the whole wide world.
You scan the small rooms jutting off of the cramped hallway and you see your permanent best friend in the room with the TV permanently tuned into ESPN. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on mute with closed-captioning on so as not to interfere with thump-boom-thump of the subwoofer blaring something similar to music or perhaps the sound a rabid fox makes when a crazy man fends it off by smacking it with a loaf of Wonderbread. You nod at your friend Ted and exchange the customary Ã¢â‚¬Å“What ups.Ã¢â‚¬Â You notice your friend Chrissana and you realize you forgot your cowboy hat back at the dorm. You think about the seemingly random way the mind surfaces thoughts and you think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time that Ted and you get your names on the beer pong list. You call shotgun for the next available game only to find there is actually a piece of paper taped on the wall titled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Beer Pong List.Ã¢â‚¬Â You realize these guys take this drinking game perhaps a bit too seriously when you see that the table theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re using is an Ã¢â‚¬Å“Officially Certified Beer Pong AssociationÃ¢â‚¬Â table according to the seal of approval running along the tableÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s border. You wager that your teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s number wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be called for a solid hour or two and you detect the red cup in your hand is too light. You gander on over to the now six-partygoer deep line meandered around the keg and down the narrow hallway. You wait your turn and eventually Sam fills your cup mostly with foam. Your judgment in tact, you tell yourself this is probably for the best since you should slow down.
You finish your foamy beverage while mingling with a group of friends. The birthday girl struts in the front door bombarded by a cluster of her girlfriends wishing to give her a hug while a sarcastic cheer of Ã¢â‚¬Å“surpriseÃ¢â‚¬Â rings out amongst the thirty or so of us crammed into this party shack. You give her a nod as she walks by and she says Ã¢â‚¬Å“thanks for comingÃ¢â‚¬Â as another two of her girlfriends tackle her for a hug. You notice for the first time the balloons that are falling from the top of the walls since they were poorly scotchtaped into place. You kick one up into the air and yell Ã¢â‚¬Å“keep it upÃ¢â‚¬Â (Ted yells Ã¢â‚¬Å“thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what she saidÃ¢â‚¬Â) and you feel that your bladder is about to pull a Hindenburg. You squeeze your way toward the bathroom only to find a line longer than the one at the keg. You throw your cup to Ted and ask him to watch it for you while you run across the street to your dorm to take a leak.
As youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re running you notice the first snow of the new winter on the ground. Barely a dusting, but slippery as baby oil on cellophane to your Vans. You suavely squeeze passed security and into the bathroom without a hitch and think to yourself, Ã¢â‚¬Å“crisis averted.Ã¢â‚¬Â You remember your cowboy hat sitting on your bedpost up in your room. You run up and get it justifying your decision with a Ã¢â‚¬Å“itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cold outside.Ã¢â‚¬Â
11 years agoMandellav
Your opponents missed their opening shots and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time for you to show your meddle. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re drunk, but tell yourself that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not that drunk yet and that your hearty Irish constitution will prove a valuable ally in this beer pong match to end all beer pong matches. You look straight into your opponentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ eyes and throw the ball somehow sinking your first shot without gazing intently at the target as most others would do. You hope your opponents fail to ascertain that this was a fluke. You lack hand-eye coordination and alcohol surprisingly tends not to enhance that that ability.
And then She walks up and coyly whispers in your ear, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cowboy, I like your hat.Ã¢â‚¬Â
You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know where she came from. As far as you recall, no one introduced her to you. A form-fitting black dress clings to her soft body and her breath smells of peppermint schnapps. She wore black to get past the Ã¢â‚¬Å“bouncer,Ã¢â‚¬Â but you know Jack would let this girl in even if she donned a potato sack.
Wasting all your inebriated mental energy trying to figure out how this mysterious girl got into the party even though the birthday girl probably invited her, you finally speak up after an unacceptable gap in conversation. You say the simplest response available. You say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Thank you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
You immediately wish you spent more time formulating a better response. You smack your thigh when it clicks that you should have fired a sincere, yet witty compliment right back. To your surprise, she leans in and she whispers, Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re welcome, CowboyÃ¢â‚¬Â and she smacks her forehead against the brim of that damn black hat. You nervously apologize and she laughs it off with a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not a problem!Ã¢â‚¬Â You quickly take your next shot since your concentration now lies with this mysterious girl. Her black dress reveals enough cleavage to leave you contently curious. It is cut just high enough above the knee to satisfy your not terribly secret preferences. You are a stereotypical legs man.
She is laughing at you. You assume itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the hat. Ã¢â‚¬Å“WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so funny about my hat?Ã¢â‚¬Â you remark with slight sarcasm. She bursts out into a full belly roar. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not your hat! ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that shot you just took! You fell short by a foot!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Even with your ego popped like the latex balloon you just accidentally stepped on, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help but agree with this mysterious stranger. That shot was terribly funny. You both laugh at the situation and exchange a warm smile between your eyes. You wonder if this is actually happening
She loiters around your half of the table like your own personal cheerleader. Before your next shot she leans in closely again and gives you advice: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just concentrate on the cup.Ã¢â‚¬Â You think this is the wisest advice anyone has ever given you. You throw the ping-pong ball directly into your opponentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s crotch. You both continue to laugh hysterically.
You continue playing until this mysterious stranger asks you to look up at the beer pong waiting list to see where she stands in line. You tell her you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know her name. She laughs and says her name isÃ¢â‚¬Â¦something. You ask her again (this time a bit louder since you must attempt to drown out the sound of a dozen rabid foxes being beaten by a dozen loaves of Wonderbread.) She says her name is Sarah with an Ã¢â‚¬Å“H.Ã¢â‚¬Â You say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh, you mean Hara?Ã¢â‚¬Â She laughs as if sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s never heard that one before.
You look up and find her on the list. You tell her sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the next in line, but you ask her why her partnerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name is heavily crossed out. She says her partner left for another party. Just then this Rico Suave-Casanova walks into your conversation and asks to replace her wayward cohort. You tense up with jealousy, but the beer and the atmosphere convince you that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had your turn. Besides, you can hang around her half of the table like her own personal cheerleader.
The only ball you sink the entire match is the first one you sank without looking. Ted fails to countermand your awfulness and you lose embarrassingly to the reigning champs. Apparently it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the beer pong match to end all beer pong matches.
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