Showtime

Her: But he always does that. Haven’t you noticed?

Me: Does what?

Her: Won’t say yes to your idea. His is always better. You haven’t noticed that? He has NO RESPECT for the work.  We’re trying to improvise a show here! Doesn’t he? I mean… Fucker. I know he hates me.

Me: Of course he hates you.

(long pause)

Her: What?

(long pause)

Me: Nothing.

(long pause)

Her: What’s that supposed to mean?

Me: Nothing.  He’s Kyle’s best friend. He thinks you’re the devil. You can see that, right?

(pause)

Me: Let’s just get ready for this show. Huh? He’s funny. You’re funny. No bigs, right? Let’s change the subject.

Her: Let’s go into this grocery store.

Me: Why? Do you need something?

Her: I’m a little hungry. We’ve got 20 minutes to kill before we warm up. Come on.

(we enter the store)

Her: Ooh! Look at this. Marshmallows! Yummy right? Pretty. Don’t you want to eat them?

Me: I’m full, but you should get some if you’re hungry.

Her: No. They’re made of cow hooves. I just remembered. Don’t you think he’s a little bit of a steamroller? I mean, he just powers through scenes. There’s no subtlety.

Me: He’s a big player. He plays big. What do you want? He’s fucking hilarious.

Her: See. That’s what bugs me. He gets rewarded for doing bad improv. He doesn’t support. Oooh! Look at this melon.

Me: It’s a watermelon.

Her: But doesn’t it look great? He’s a dick.

Me: He’s not a dick. You can’t buy a whole watermelon right before we do a show.

Her: Why not?

Me: You won’t be able to cut it open. He’s just super aggressive with his moves and so are you. It can cause friction.

Her: I’m not aggressive!

Me: You are. It’s a good thing, remember?

Her: I’m not aggressive like he is.

Me: I mean…

Her: I’m not! Am I?

Me: Yes. You’re aggressive. We all have our shows where we’re barreling through. I have to remind myself to slow down. What about a granola bar?

Her: I don’t want a granola bar – ooooh, look at these pickles! They look so good!

Me: When did pickles become 11 dollars?

Her: They’re artesianal.

Me: They’re cucumbers.  Are you hungry or what?

Her: Whydoyouask?

Me: Jeez. I dunno, Ellen. I guess because every time you’re stressed out over a show you take me to a grocery store and look at food items you don’t purchase.

Her: Is that weird?

Me: A little. I mean, especially knowing you had an issue with anorexia.

Her: I usually eat some bread and cheese in the morning to make sure I have some protein inside me.

Me: That’s not reassuring. I’m sorry to tell you this, but yes, we’re all aggressive sometimes. And yes, Carl hates you. You broke his best friend’s heart. You had an affair with one actor in the show, and then you had an affair with another, and you expect everyone to just get along, when both men loved you.

Her: I LOVED THEM TOO. I’m not a monster in all this!

Me: I’m not saying you’re a monster. I’m saying, people can’t always put their feelings aside and do the show.

Her: I can.

Me: Can you?

Her: YES. I’m a professional. He’s not. I’m only aggressive in scenes with him!

Me: That’s not true, but even if it was – how is that you putting your feelings aside?!

Her: He hates women! He doesn’t do that with you, does he? He can’t stand an assertive woman improviser, that’s what it is.

Me: That might be part of it. You’re aggressive onstage.

Her: Assertive.

Me: AGGRESSIVE. And yes. Comedy is full of immature boys that condescend to women. Please don’t start crying. We have to do a show in ten minutes. Come on. Let’s go.

Her: (still crying) Why does everyone hate me?

Me: They don’t… because they’re jealous of you. You have a big talent and it’s intimidating to them. They probably don’t even know they’re jealous of you. You’re a force to be reckoned with. Look, we all love each other, even when we get jealous. We all love being here, and respect each other.

Her: How do I know you’re not just saying that because we’re going onstage right now?

Me: You don’t. You just – we have to trust each other. I’m on your side. Okay?

Her: I guess.

Me: I’m sorry I brought this up at the wrong time. I was a jerk for doing that. Will you eat something?

Her: No.

Me: Okay. Let’s go. It’s showtime.

What Makes You Smile?

Be very, very quiet.

I’m hunting a wabbit.

Er, more specifically, I’m braising a rabbit.  An entire rabbit.

I’m going to bake this bunny into pie.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, Michael, did you buy a frozen rabbit from the butcher, make him cut it into 1/8 pieces with his band saw, braise it, and then pull out the bones, like you would for pulled pork?

Yes.  That’s exactly what I did.  I braised it with scallions, onions, and celery.

Yes.  I feel bad about it.  But only because today is opposite day.  (no it isn’t – I’m late by a few days – GET OFF MY BACK)

It was a special occasion.  I had a tech rehearsal for my sketch team, Thunder Gulch.  We put up a new show every month on the first Monday.  It’s hard work, and I usually bake something simple for tech rehearsals, because they’re long and arduous.

But this one was more like a party.  It was Shannon O’Neil’s  birthday, first of all.  And then secondly – one of my team mates (he’s shy and doesn’t want me to say his name)  was offered a job as a writer on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  Both of those people are actors on my team, so it was party time.

My friend Kris came over.  He helped me braise the bunny and bake it into 20 miniature pies.  I’ve known him for almost a year now.  He’s got a good head on his shoulders and he learns stuff quickly.  Also, in case you don’t have eyes, he’s super cute.  So pretty.

So, this is the first time I’ve tried to make mini-pies.  There’s about 15 people involved in making Thunder Gulch happen every month – 6 actors, 7 writers, a director and a tech person.  I wanted to make at least 20 pies.  I wanted there to be more pie than people could eat.  Usually that doesn’t happen if I make a single pie for 15 peeps.

I braised the rabbit etc at a reasonable temperature.  400 maybe?  I don’t remember.  I don’t cook my pie fillings from recipes, I just go by instinct.

We added potato after the bunny had braised for a few hours in its own juice.

My butcher said it would thicken up the filling without using cornstarch or a butter roux.  He was right.

For good measure, flavor, and texture, I also added some collard and turnip greens i was making for this week’s lunches.

Give them some fiber, right?  Let the funny idiots have a little fiber, I say.

Look at that guy.  What an idiot. But not a constipated idiot.

Fiber.

(Not-Opposite Day:  Get your fiber, guys)

Me:  Come on, Kris – you’re the boss.  You’re the boss of that bunny.  Get that meat off the bone.  Pull it.

Him:  I just want to do it right.

Me:  Okay, but quickly, huh?  Aren’t there sweat-shop workers in your family?  Aren’t you Chinese?

Him:  Great.  A sweat shop joke.  Made by a white person.  Just what the world needs.  More of that.

Me:  Touche.  I shall think of a good poop joke.

There was a carefully staged spill!!!  We got some bunny bits on the floor!!

Kris was nice enough to clean it up.

Look at those socks.  Cute.

So, Kris is currently working on a really cool project for his thesis.

He wants to know What Makes You Smile?

Him: Smiling is one of those innate reactions in human life. This isn’t to say that happiness is the only reason why we smile, in fact, it isn’t. There are an infinite amount of reasons to smile and there are various types of a smile. I am fascinated, however, by what makes others smile. The kind of smile I am looking for is a Duchenne smile, or simply put a genuine smile. I see this thesis as a way of being able to change someone’s life by simply talking to them. In a world where digital interaction is on the rise and physical declining, the act of having a conversation in-person can be seen as refreshing. By asking people I have never met “what makes you smile?” an unfamiliar experience is made which can then inspire those to talk to those around them and re-create the experience.

Um.  Isn’t that the nicest thing you’ve ever heard?

You should contact him, and get interviewed.  Unless you’re too cool for that sort of thing.  You’re probably too cool for that.  You’ll probably hang around on Data Lounge all day complaining about stuff that doesn’t matter, instead.

Well, as long as you’re having fun. That’s my philosophy.

No, scratch that.  That’s not my philosophy.  I’m pretty sure the Columbine kids were having fun.  And Stalin.  He had a blast.  Manson was a good time Charlie.

New philosophy:  Don’t have any fun, if you’re an online hater.  Just hate.  It’s what you do.  It’s who you are.  Have fun!  (Opposite Day)

Anywhore.

Contact Kris, if you want to interview with him about what makes you smile.

Contact me if you want to hear sweatshop and poop jokes.

Or if you have a question you’d like me to answer.  Like, should you leave your  boyfriend?  Or, why does your younger brother act homophobic around you?  Or, how can you smile through dinner (and serve pie) when your condescending hipster friends say things like ‘you should put that in your comedy routine?’

Reminder:  Poop comes from my butt.  It’s where half of my sex happens too.  (The other half happens in YOUR butt).

Calm down.  WE WASHED OUR DIRTY GAY HANDS FIRST.

(Opposite Day – we never wash our hands because we’re filthy homos!!)

Kris liked tidy little flat top pies.  I favored bulging, abundant ones.

We put an egg wash on top of them and sprinkled with coarse sea-salt.

We spiced the filling with French Tarragon and Cumin.

What’s that hater?  Those two spices don’t work well together?  You’re wrong.  Go fuck yourself.

(Opposite Day – no sex for you.)

Big thanks to Thunder Gulch for a great tech rehearsal and a great show last night.  Big thanks to Kris Louie for helping me with these 20 pies – THEY TOOK FOREVER!!!

Big thanks to the Data Lounge for being massive Jerks this weekend.

As for the rest of you?  I love you all and don’t think you’re Jerks.

(Opposite Day)