Okay, a little late when I got in last night, so I’m posting this morning. I was out at Haza Las Vegas, in Chinatown, trying out a new short set. Meh. But, it was a fun evening, all the same, thanks to Leo Gets and his partners. There was a $50 prize for the performer voted the best. That brought it to two singers (a couple of lovely chanteuses) and half a dozen comics. I didn’t win (I’d have been disappointed in the voting if I had) but the guy who did got my vote, so everything was fine at the end.
Haza serves Yakatori amongst other things; it’s a Japanese restaurant in Chinatown (on Jones) run by a bunch of Polacks, so you know it has to be good. There is comedy every Wednesday, usually professionals, not open mike. They serve a special comedy show drink, but I have no idea what’s in it. It costs $4.50. They have specials on Sapporo beer, too, and sake. There’s also a special comedy menu from 7PM, and the show starts at 8. Check it out!
I’m taking a class in stand-up comedy, which is more difficult than you’d imagine. As a part of that class, I have to write jokes (will wonders never cease, huh?) So, what follows is a list of the original (to me — so far as I know I made them up) jokes I’ve come up with so far. Laugh your asses off! I dare you!
I got a letter in the mail addressed to my neighbor today and stole a $100 check out of it.
He was okay with that because he said he was really enjoying my tax refund.
My cousin got a ticket the other day. Used his turn signal.
Isn’t it great to finally finish up at the DMV? After three hours stuck there you’re cleared to go out and drive ten miles per hour stuck behind a semi.
The way some people carry on, you’d think a cold in the head was the worst thing that could ever happen to them.
But it’s snot.
We keep a basset hound that’s so enthusiastic that she’ll jump right up on you. It’s bad manners, but you can’t really blame her, because her mother was a real bitch.
They keep changing the food pyramid, and I can never remember everything that’s in it.
Outside of grease, salt, and sugar I mean.
There are worse things than getting old.
Trouble is that I’m too old to remember what they are.
Went to Fry’s today to pick up one of those knockoff phones made in China, and discovered you can actually eat lunch there.
‘Course, I was hungry again an hour later.
There’s a new restaurant in town that serves food exactly like my mother used to make.
The health department is shutting them down tomorrow.
You know that feeling you get when all the lights turn green and you just fly across town?
Yeah, me neither.
And, here are the ones I wrote just today:
If comedy doesn’t work out I know I can be a photographer’s model. Everybody loved me at my session the other day.
Well, at least the photographer complimented my posing.
Okay, the guy taking the mug shots thanked me for my cooperation.
I like to run. I’ve completed four marathons. Last one was just yesterday morning.
Okay, it was closer to a half marathon.
Actually, it was just to the bathroom, and I barely made it.
Don’t you love living in Las Vegas? You get to hang out with all the stars!
Or at least you can run into them at the grocery store.
Okay, it’s easy to steal the souvenir napkins!
There are a lot of stories of bravery in Las Vegas. People rescuing people from burning buildings; overcoming personal tragedy; crossing Boulder Highway on foot.
I also write funny songs. I’ve got one about to hit the top ten.
It will as soon as I release it.
Right after I finish writing it.
In school I was always that kid who got As on everything.
Well, sure, I got a few lower grades.
Like when I flunked algebra, but outside of those . . .
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Yes, it has been a while. Thanks for asking! As I promised my Facebook friends, this is the first of probably three posts about a trip I recently took with Tami that took us to London, Barcelona, Paris, and back to London before we returned to Las Vegas. For the record, of the four cities mentioned in that sentence, Las Vegas is my runaway favorite. Let’s start seeing why, shall we?
Tami signed up for a British Airways (BA) credit card in order to get a bunch of frequent flyer miles. Then we bought all sorts of stuff with the card that we didn’t really need to buy with a credit card om order to get a bunch more frequent flyer miles. Never paid any interest yet, so I guess we did okay. But that’s why we got to fly to London round trip for only a thousand bucks or so. Yep, a free flight for under a grand. Is this a great country or what? I’m not knocking BA, not at all. We were away back in coach, behind the people with the comfortable seats, then through the cabin full of folks with extra legroom, and in fact we were in the last row on the way over. Bad? Hardly! I watched J. Edgar (the movie) on the way over and a bunch of American sitcoms to boot. After taking off at 8PM or so we arrived in London, finally, at about 4:30 the next afternoon.
Is London different than Vegas? Hoo-boy! For one thing, we took a cab from Paddington Station (yes, that Paddington Station) to our hotel in Leincster Gardens. It was named the Henry VIII, which is odd because he couldn’t have fit all of his wives into our room. In his later, fat days, i’m not sure he’d have fit into our room. But, as I was saying, the cab driver missed the hotel by half a block and wanted to knock 50p (that’s half a pound) off the fare. This would never happen in Vegas. In Vegas, of course, the driver would just circle the block and pretend he knew what he was doing all along. Is England honest? Well, Â we’ll see.
Just because it is appropriate to have pictures in a travelogue, here is a picture I took of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the one designed by Christopher Wren to replace the one that burned down in the great fire, as seen from the North end of theÂ MillenniumÂ Bridge. I’m reasonably sure that they put the bridge where it is so tourists could get this picture without moving about much. Right sporting of them, eh gov?
The bridge itself crosses over to the Tate Modern, a museum of modern art in the throbbing heart of London. That the heart throbs so much may be due to the fact that when the bridge was first opened for the 2000-2001 celebrations, so many people crowded onto it that it started swaying. According to one tour guide, it is therefore sometimes known as the “Wibbly Wobbly Bridge” in honor of such notable instability. The police closed it when that happened, however, and there has been no report of any problem with the structure since. (I learned about that nickname for the bridge some time after we walked across. Yay.)
And here is a view of the famous bridge, taken by simply turning around from taking the picture of St. Paul’s and clicking the shutter release anew. It’s actually a very convenient and attractive bridge. It felt very solid and safe, and I’d walk across it again without hesitation. Really.
We did go into the Tate Modern, in fact. Next door is the recreated Globe Theatre. I like Shakespeare, you know. Wish I could write even a little bit as well. I’ve seen his grave, his home, and read a lot of his stuff. Good stuff, really, particularly that play about some Scots king. I forget his name. Ask an actor friend; he’ll probably know. I say that as a way to also say that the recreated Globe, while maybe a good theatre (SIC — which means that that’s how they spell it, okay?) but it doesn’t have a lot to do with Shakespeare. I’d bet that the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City Utah is more closely related. Anybody else notice that this paragraph started out to be about the Tate Modern? Oh, good. Got away with it again!
The Tate Modern is housed in an old power plant and is chock-a-block full of modern art. They have a self portrait by Andy Warhol, for instance. Turns out he was magenta and blue; who’d have figured that, right? While I’m putting up pictures, here’s an
example of a hanging sculpture in the Tate. Sorry I didn’t have anything to write with, so I don’t know the artist. Don’t get me wrong: I kind of like this piece. Whatever it is.
But wait! That, as they say, ‘s not all! No, I won’t post more pix of the stuff here, but in fact, if you find yourself in London wondering how to pass the next couple of hours, you could do a lot worse than spending that time in the Tate Modern. And the admission, my friends, is free!
So, whattya think? Post-historic stainless steel dinosaur? Somebody went crazy and sprayed their livingroom with silver paint and it all stuck together and they picked up the stuck together mass and sold it to the Tate? Gotta be something like that, right?
We also walked through Hyde Park, went to Grosvenor Square because it’s featured in historic romance fiction. There we found Jane Austen, still cranking them out after all these years, in secret of course, and writing as . . . well, no, but we did find the United States Embassy. First hint was an Arizona flag. I mean, sure, London Bridge is in Arizona now, but to fly the flag in London? Turns out they have a flag from each of the fifty. They also have armed guards outside Â with automatic weapons. Gotta say, it didn’t exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling about things, but we walked right past the guards along the sidewalk on our way back to the park and they didn’t even look at us. Now I’m insulted because I don’t look dangerous! How dare they? But now I know where to go if I ever need to be on American soil in a hurry when I’m in London. There was a huge line for visas, but no line at all to go inside. (The visa office is out front.)
After the walk in the park we rented a car and drove to Brighton. Nice place, Brighton, also featured in a bunch of books. Helluva mess, London, when you’re trying to drive out. We took a wrong turn and it took 45 minutes to get back on course. We’d gone, meanwhile, three miles. I never said that I’d never drive in London again after my first experience, so I figured I was safe. Well, that didn’t work. In Brighton they have the Royal Pavilion, put up by the Prince Regent during the latter years of the reign of George III. It’s one of the ugliest, most ill conceived structures I’ve ever seen. No picture, sorry. You’ll have to look it up. Also some very nice beach made of pebbles and about twenty gazillion tourist shops. From Brighton we drove to Stansted Airport, which is located approximately in Belgium in relation to central London. I’ll have to tell you all about that sometime, but for now, we got up very early and took a six-o-clock flight to Barcelona. And Barcelona, my friends, really is a different story. Read all about it next time, won’t you?
Years ago I kept a running total on my funny page for a while about What My Dog Destroyed This Week.You can click the name there if you’d like to revisit those days of yore. That was Yore, Colorado, which is just West of Centennial and East of Broadway, if you’re curious.
Buffy (the subject dog) is still with us. She’s too old to be destructive, now, but she’s sort of getting younger as she is, literally, demented with the doggie version of Alzheimer’s. She’s happy, though, so it’s okay. The odd thing is that not all that long ago, we picked up this:
We wouldn’t have such a beast, and yes, she’s one big cat, if our little Maine Coon hadn’t disappeared. She was gone for so long that we figured she was a goner. It was summer, and nobody can survive the Mojave without some sort of outside support in the summer. While searching the Lied Animal Shelter (not the website, but the actual room full of cats) to see if she’d been turned in, I noticed a long-haired adult cat who had been there for a couple of months. Once we decided that our then Auxilliary Coon (the beloved and much missed Jabba the Hairball died recently so she got promoted)Â wasn’t coming back, I decided to go back to the shelter and pick up that friendly black cat I’d seen. She was there, and since I get animals really cheap because I’m older than dirt and they charge me eighteenth century rates, I adopted her and brought her home.
Amazingly, she, like Buffy before her, has no fear of Satan, since the Lord of the Underworld must certainly be afraid of her.
According to several sources, including this article from Wikipedia, this breed is from Scandinavia, principally Norway, where they adapted (big surprise) to a very cold climate. I’ve never seen a cat with more hair on it, and that’s a fact. Also, like many Scandinavians and descendants of same, she’s huge, compared to a normal cat. I’ve read that many believe that it was these cats, brought over by the Vikings away back a long time ago, ya, that are ancestral to Maine Coons. That story holds a lot more water with me than the one about Marie Antoinette’s Angoras, but judge for yourself. She is about the most affectionate and friendly cat I’ve ever seen. I do not know if that is true of Norwegian Forest Humans.
The thing is, maybe because she’s so big, she just assumes that she’ll get what she wants. Only the fact that she’s only 1/3 the size of a basset hound limits her destruction. Still, she will crawl up anywhere and throw things onto the floor, in spite of repeated tossing-offs. She eats what she wants, when she wants it. She goes where she wants (which is almost nowhere, to be honest) when she wants to go there. I’ve never before seen an animal with such an inborn sense of privilege. She apparently has no concern over dogs, which quickly learn to ignore her since that’s what she’s doing to them. And, of course, she’s big, and fat. When you adopt an adult cat from a shelter it’s going to be heavy. After all, there’s not much for a cat to do there but sleep in a cage and eat. Oddly, this is perfectly acceptable to most cats. When we picked up Jabba the Hairball he weighed about 20 pounds, but he slimmed down to 13 or so from running around and such. Cleopottamus is over twenty pounds, and she goes, as I said, pretty much nowhere. She goes out back to do her thing, then comes back in and sleeps. She will, naturally, sleep in whatever place you’d least like to see a sleeping cat, but that doesn’t do a thing for her figure, which remains rotund. She’s like a giant, furry basketball with legs.
Originally she was Cleo as in Cleopatra, but after six weeks or so, in which time Cleo got fatter if anything, the name changed to Cleo the Cleopottamus, and so it will stay, although when we found out her ancestry we did consider names like Frieda or Ingrid or some such. I won’t be starting a page reporting on her activities, because I’ve just written down everything she ever does. In sum: go outside to drop some dog food (uh-huh), eat, crawl up on something and throw everything there on the floor, and sleep. It’s a heckuva deal. For a Cleopottamus.
I haven’t said much about it here, but I’ve been following the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with interest. It was primarily aimed at people who are tired of the quality of national discourse lately. It was supposed to be non political, but if you look at the pictures you’ll see that the only political statements (and there were some) came from lefties. Maybe because the right wing at the moment lacks a sense of humor. Certainly they’re taking life too seriously for their own good.
Stewart ended with a serious speech slamming cable news for spoiling people’s view of society. In fact, as he said, we do work together to solve problems every day, we do all try to make things better as we go along, and we all love America. If someone is telling you something different, they’re trying to sell you something you really don’t need.
If I was gonna update my funny page, I might put this there. Be that as it may . . .
1. There are no aliens or alien spacecraft at Area 51. There are some odd looking people on the periphery looking in with night vision goggles and stuff, but no aliens. Unless they’re Mexicans. Holy cats! Undocumented Mexicans spying on our top-secret aircraft testing range! Alert the FBI!
2. The President was born in Hawaii. I don’t know what else to tell you. Hey, he’s not my favorite President either, but he’s at least as legitimate as W. Bush in his first term. He didn’t even call in the Supreme Court. Or wait, is that what he’s up to with Kagen? Stacking the court for the next election? That has to be it! He’s never denied that it’s true! Call Glen Beck, I have a new one for him to research!
Judges make law all the time, and they have been since before there was even an England, much less a USA. It’s called “common law,” even when it isn’t common sense. Yes, we are in the grips of a system designed from the beginning to thwart the will of a majority of the people. There’s nothing to be done, except maybe contact those aliens in Nevada about emigrating. Maybe they’re from that vacation planet from Star Trek? Hey, it could happen! And our government is keeping that from us, just to stop us from leaving for a better place. Don’t take that lying down, get up to Area 51 today and demand some action!
3. Also, it’s true that somebody accused of a crime has more rights than the victim. This goes all the way back to when King John got cornered by his nobles at Runnymeade. Funny name, Runnymeade. Would you want your meade to be thick and gooey? Ish! Anyhow, all the way back then, King John the only of that name had to give the accused special rights. This, of course, is a travesty of justice. Do you know that Lizzie Borden died an officially innocent woman? Can you believe it? There are countries where justice is swift and sure. For a list of the best of them, check out a map of the Middle East. Unfortunately, our free government trips to Iraq just ended today, but it’ll be worth your travel expenses to see justice served, finally. Try the baklava.
I could go on, but I’d rather go back to complaining all the time. Maybe it doesn’t solve anything, but hey, it worked out well for Rush, didn’t it?