Friday, June 27, 2014

A Milestone With a Friend

About five years ago I walked into D&D Bicycles on 12 Mile Rd. in Berkley, MI and a short time later I rode out on a 2008 Trek Soho 1.0. It's not the flashiest bike on the market, but as soon as I saw it I knew it was the bike for me. Since it was a previous year’s model I got it for cheap. We’ve ridden a lot over the years, and as of last week we marked a milestone of sorts. 10,000 miles together. That number probably isn’t all that impressive to a lot of riders. Some riders do that in a year, but it’s the most I’ve ever done something that's good so I’m proud of it. The miles have fluctuated from year to year. Over the years we've gone over a lot of different roads. We even traveled across Ohio together. There's been some bumps along the way. Some of which have resulted flats. We've gone through tubes, tires, and chains. Spend a couple thousand miles a year on a bike and you two will see some shit. So here are some of my favorite stories that me and Serenity have shared.

Serenity circa 2013

Last summer on our way to work we saw a dead guy being fished out of a river. It was the first time I saw a dead guy in the wild. If you haven't it's pretty gross. I watched naked dude get fished out of the river then I went and worked an eight hour shift at Best Buy. It was a solid day.

There have been numerous interactions with rats. I’ve run over a few. One I’m pretty sure died. A few I’ve just nipped some tails. One in particular stands out. I have these things called pedal cages. They’re supposed to get more out of each pedal stroke by keeping my feet from moving around too much. The downside of having something that keeps my feet from moving around too much is when you have a rat on your foot and your wearing shorts. It was late and I was on the Hudson River Bike Path. A rat darted out in front of me. I clipped his tail with my front wheel. The rat was surprised and jumped straight in the air and then he landed on my foot. We were both pretty surprised by how that worked out. I ended up riding about thirty yards with the rat on my foot clinging for dear life. Eventually I very carefully eased my foot out of the cage and flung that stupid stowaway as far as my legs would fling him.
Sorry buddy
We’ve hit a couple pedestrians. There was the giant bro who jumped into the bike lane as I was cruising through a green. I just clipped his dumb bro arm, but I flew off the bike and landed hard. I then proceeded to get up and call him a cunt. A lot of times. More times than I’ve ever called someone a cunt. I called him so many cunts in such an aggressive manner that a lady intervened. She was so moved by how much of an asshole I was that they went out to get a drink together. I’d like to think that those two crazy kids found a way to make it work in this mixed up world. Hopefully when they tell people how they met I'm a big part of the cute meeting story. Whenever anyone asks how they met they'll talk about the crazed asshole wearing a helmet and a silly reflective strap wrapped around his ankle that brought them together. Good luck you two oblivious morons!

Cops have been both a blessing and curse. I’ve been pulled over a few times for being in parks after 1:00 AM. I had to walk my bike over the West Side Highway because the officer who pulled me over wouldn’t let me continue the half a mile until the next exit off the bike path. But I guess it was my own fault for being there in the first place. Another personal favorite cop interaction is when I was passing peacefully through an intersection and a traffic cop decided start opposing traffic. I had the green, but he decided that traffic needed to get moving right now. I almost got hit by about ten oncoming cars. I stopped and casually screamed “what the fuck is the matter with you?’ He looked at me then looked at his partner and said “I’m hungry. I’m gonna go eat a sandwich in the car.” That cleared that up. Good work, New York’s finest. 

I'll admit sometimes I wish she was faster or had a steel frame instead of aluminum. I'm sure sometimes she wished I was lighter and didn't screw up every time I tried my own maintenance. But all in all I wouldn't have done it with anyone else. Here's to at least ten thousand more.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ten Best Free Comedy Shows In NYC (Based On Bathrooms)

If you live in New York chances are that you’re a comedian. If you’re one of seven people in this city who isn’t a comic then hopefully you’re at least a comedy fan. New York is great for comedy both to perform and to take in. Which can be great. There are so many chances to perform, but just as importantly there are so many chances to see amazing comedy every night of the week. Most estimates conservatively put the number of free comedy shows every week at roughly 75,000. Given all those options it can be hard to figure out which show is the right one for you on any given night. Sure there are posts on the internet that’ll tell you which show has which comics. Which shows have the most surprise big shot drop ins and the like. And while all that is very helpful, these lists aren’t giving the whole picture one might need in order to make an informed choice for all their comedy needs.

I, like a lot of you probably, have a body that only uses only some of the food I put into for energy. The rest of what I eat and drink is discarded as waste. Given all these comedy shows and all this waste that needs to be discarded what is one to choose on any given night. There are some great shows, and there are some great toilets in this city, but are there shows that combine both? Until now there was no way to know what you were getting yourself into. That’s why I present the definitive list of comedy shows based on bathroom.

10. Comedy as a Second Language at Kabin 
Brought to you by Chesley Calloway, Rebecca Trent, and Sean Patton
Every Thursday at 9:30
92 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Now, this is only a top ten list. But this is by no means the tenth best comedy bathroom in the city. This isn’t even the ten billionth best bathroom in the city. I only put it tenth on this list as a warning. Watch what you eat before you head over to this show. I don’t ask for a lot in a bathroom. I do like a lock. Call me nuts, but when I’m using the bathroom, I want to be the only one using it at that time. Keep in mind that it’s not a large bathroom that’ll house multiple people. It’s made for but one person at a time. Some bros will consider this a challenge for some reason. I, like a normal person with a soul, when accidentally entering a bathroom that is already occupied will quickly say “sorry,” leave, and wait my turn. Some folks not so much. They enter as if not only did they expect to see someone else in there, but they’re downright happy they get to share a phone booth sized bathroom with a total stranger.

Lucky. There just wasn't a sink for a while. Don't even ask about soap

9: Any show at The Creek (the bathroom on the right)
Shows every night of the week at various times
10-93 Jackson Ave. LIC, NY 11101

There’s bunch of shows at The Creek. There’s mics, improv, solo shows, variety shows, all kinds of great stuff. The one thing they all have in common is that there's two bathrooms and the bathroom on the right sucks. For starters the door. Public restrooms should default to the “ajar” setting when not in use. That way there’s no questions as to whether or not they’re in use. There’s nothing worse than approaching a closed bathroom door and having no idea what’s going on over on the other side. Sure you can knock and press your ear against the door. Listen like a jackass for someone to say “just a minute.” More often than not while your ear is pressed against the door they’ll come out and run into your dumb head and you’ll look like a fool. Secondly there’s no ventilation fan. Listen, I don’t want to get too graphic, but occasionally I do things in the bathroom that requires “ventilation.” As do a lot of people it seems, because if a bathroom is gonna stink, it’s gonna be this one.

Is someone in there? There's no easy way to tell


8:  Hot Crowd at Over the Eight
Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday 
Brought to you by Jono Zalay, Taylor Ketchum, and Joe Zimmerman
594 Union Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211

What’s to like about this cramped piece of shit of bathroom? Absolutely nothing. Where to I begin, I think it might have to be the cardboard like stall making any kind of sitting down business a no-go. Not too mention the fact that the bathroom is so narrow if anyone decides they also need the bathroom they are going to bump the shit out of you (pun: intended and landed flawlessly) on their way to and fro. Add to all this a sink that is insanely powerful and right next to the urinal. Even though I’m pretty well able to handle it, most others do not. So as you are using the bathroom you’ll get sprayed by some jackass who doesn’t know the power of the sink he’s working with.
No glory here
Cramped and gross

See, any weirdo can just take pictures of you while you pee. Gross. 

7: Class Warfare Three of Cups
Once a month on Thursdays at either 7 or 8. It depends
Brought to you by Myka Fox and Evan Davis
83 1st Ave, Manhattan, NY 10003

Now this bathroom is pretty low on this list. Quick caveat though it might be one of the best bathrooms ever. I don’t know, I’ve never seen it! This bathroom has almost no lights. I am not in a place where I want to give this bathroom the benefit of the doubt. Chances are if you’re in a bathroom at a bar and you can’t see for shit, then you’re just doing whatever wherever. This is the kind of bathroom where I’m sure ignorance is bliss.
Come on

If the department of health can't see shit then they can't report you for anything
6: Barely Regal at Palace Cafe
Last Wednesday of every month at 9
Brought to you by Lauren Vino and Natalie Shure
206 Nassau Ave Brooklyn, NY

This is definitely a bathroom that belongs as a number six. Not gross or dimly lit enough to be down there at the bottom of the list, but definitely below average. Nothing really makes it stand out. But the folks over at Palace Cafe could definitely stand to put in a little extra effort to their bathroom. Maybe a little nicer lighting. Fix whatever it is that necessitates having a plastic hanger on the sink. It’s not really the fault of the Palace staff, but in order to be one of the greats I’m usually a bigger fan of a private bathroom. It took some getting used to. I grew up in the midwest. Where I was used to sprawling multi toilet bathrooms that stretched on further than a Michigan grocery store. That’s what I was used to. Now that I’ve been in the city a few years I can’t go back. I like a nice private one person bathroom. There’s a certain freedom to being in there all alone. Just you and your waste. My opinions may change depending on how badly I need to go and what the line situation is looking like.

Add caption
A little elbow grease goes further than potpourri spray can

5:  Lake Winnipesaukee Comedy Night at The Grey Lady
Mondays at 9
Brought to you by Dean Masello and Robbie Collier
77 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002

Here’s a bathroom situation that’s really trying. Multiple bathrooms. Which is a nice way to get around the problems with the lines. Generally pretty clean. Well lit. They try some unique shit that I see what they’re trying to do, and I appreciate the effort, but at the same time I don’t need any kind of jazzing up of the bathrooms. Keep it simple. Weird sliding doors to begin with. What’s the fuck with the weird sliding doors? What’s wrong a good old fashioned heavy American door? I don’t need a silly sliding door. Another thing that prevents this bathroom from being in the upper echelon is the shared sink. I don’t know if they the place could only afford one, but regardless shared sinks are not my idea of a Comedy Central ready bathroom. Though given the choice between one sink and four bathrooms or four sinks and only one bathroom I’ll take the latter every time. Solid effort Grey Lady.

Now we're cooking

That's not my beer. I do NOT support bringing drinks into the bathroom with you

4: Comedyology at Videology 
Brought to you by Daralyn Kelleher and Ross Parsons
3rd Saturday of every month
308 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11211

One of the newer bathroom show entrants on the list, but this is one that came out swinging. Showing up bathrooms that have years of experience on it. Among the newer bathrooms on this list, and it shows what happens when you build a bathroom from the ground up. Everything is nice and clean. Very bright. Plenty of soap and paper towels for clean dry hands. And to top it off a nice heavy door to keep outside noise outside. Aside from the poor bathroom to person ratio it’s a really solid setup, and I expect to these this bathroom on a lot of future best of lists.

3: The Wine and Cheese Comedy Show at Rest Au Rant
Every Tuesday at 9:30
Brought to you by Steve Forrest, Mark Chalifoux, and Jason Kanter
30-01 35th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106

Normally I’m a guy who likes a larger bathroom. But there is something to be said about a nice cozy space. You don’t always need to stretch out to feel home. Maybe it’s just a matter of it being that I’ve used this bathroom among the most on this list and I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for it. Plus a bunch of pictures of pretty ladies from back in the day can go a long way to make you feel comfortable. Biggest issue with this particular bathroom. Extremely tough flusher to get to. The lid goes all the way back in order to flush it you either have to put the seat and lid down like a lady or bend way down to reach under the lid to grab the flusher. If you keep your phone in your shirt pocket you need to be extra careful. You may loose it on the way to the flush.


Hard to flush. Watch you phone!

Hubba hubba

Va Va Voom

Something for everyone

2. Any show at The Creek and Cave where you use the bathroom on the left. 
Shows every night of the week at various times
10-93 Jackson Ave. LIC, NY 11101

Remember everything I said about the bathroom at The Creek lower on list, well THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW! I don’t know the story behind the two bathrooms here, but I can only assume that this one was built after all the negative feedback that was received from the first one. You know the door that doesn’t stay ajar? Well this one does. So you walk up knowing whether or not it’s actually in use. You want a ventilation fan? You got it. Go to bar area, have some fish tacos and well whiskey, and then go and ventilate until your heart’s content. If you find yourself there the bathroom on the left is worth the wait.


Well here we are. The top comedy show bathroom in the city. The pee de resistance. Number one on this list…

1. Comedy at Beauty Bar at The Beauty Bar
Every Sunday at 8:30
Brought to you by Nate Fridson, Brad Austin, and me
231 W 14th St. New York, NY 

The official story is that the Beauty Bar used to be a hair salon and that’s how they settled on the theme of a beauty salon styled bar because it used to be a beauty salon. Legend has it though that before it was a beauty salon it was an outfit that was a high end bathroom bar for the rich and famous of the city. That’s the only logical explanation as to why so many great bathrooms can be housed in such a small area. Most bars would be lucky to have one of these bathrooms. But this place has four amazing bathrooms, each one better than the one before. The two main bathrooms are each good enough to take the top spot on the list. But lets you’re the kind of person who likes a little variety in your bathrooms. There’s a third one waiting for you in the back. That’s three separate trips to the head without seeing the same one twice. Now, assume for a minute that you want to take in a comedy show. And also that you’re the queen of England. Surely none of these bathrooms are going to meet your high standards. Think again. That’s where the fourth bathroom comes into play. Nestled way back in the corner out of view of anyone in the bar. It may be the best kept secret in the city. Large, clean, well lit, and a flush that’d peel chrome off of a tailpipe. This is the kind of bathroom you could spend your whole life searching for. Well search no more. Because it’s at The Beauty Bar waiting for you every Sunday. So come out and give it a flush. You'll be glad you did.

From good to great, new locks!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

A New Video

I don't often post videos. Posting them requires recording them, and I forget to do that a lot. Then usually before you post them you have to watch it in order to trim the unnecessary parts. And there's nothing I enjoy less than watching videos of myself. But I recorded a set the other night and powered through the whole watching myself part, because I know that you deserve it. So this is me on The Wildcats show last Friday at The Creek and Cave. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Expert Blogger

As everyone who reads flimsily supported pop-sociology books is familiar with, it takes ten thousand of something to become an expert. I won’t go into specifics because I’ve spent zero thousand hours reading The Outliers: The Story of Success. But in the book author Malcolm Gladwell explains that in order to become truly great at something you have to put in the work. How much work? Exactly ten thousand hours.

Social "Science"

 Then and only then are you to be considered an expert. After that you can just coast. I don’t know how exactly an hour of work equates to page views, but I’ll assume that it’s a direct 1:1 ratio. By that rule I am proud to announce that as of yesterday the entirety of Earth has become an expert at reading this blog!
Good work everyone!

Readership seemed to pick up after I started it. Thanks Google.

It took everyone a lot of hard work. You saw me through some hard times. Those first couple posts were pretty abysmal. There were some lulls to be sure. Not to mention typos on top of tpyos on top of typos. And who can forget that dark time when I thought about packing the whole operation up and moving over to Tumblr.
I have no idea what this chart is saying, but it's the only one that shows Blogger doing better than Tumblr. It's probably showing the amount of cool dudes on each.

But you prevailed, and let’s be honest you’re better for it. So congratulations Earth. You couldn’t have done it without me.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. A day that is supposed to be unlucky. I don’t know the origin of why it’s unlucky and don’t really feel like going to Wikipedia to find out, because I don’t care about superstitious bullshit. It’s not that I’m one of those idiots who lives a life free of frivolous worry. Far from it. I don’t worry about superstitions because I’m too wrapped up in every other thing there is to worry about. 

Not giving any fucks

I heard that some airlines discount certain tickets on Friday the 13th because a certain segment of people are scared to fly that day. Those people are amateurs. Why just worry about flying on Friday the 13th when you can be paralyzed by fear every time you fly! 

Thanks CNN!

You should be nervous if you cross a black cat as that means your luck is gonna suck and you should be careful doing everyday activities. Everyday activities like crossing the street. You should ALWAYS be nervous crossing the street. The street is filled with idiots driving multiple tons of soundproofed weapons at speeds that will kill you instantly. That should make you nervous. The only bad luck I have with cats crossing my path is that I’ll often bend down to pet them making approaching cars even less likely to see me before they slam into my head. 

Fun fact: 100000% of New Yorkers die everyday

You should be nervous about crossing under a ladder because that’s also bad luck. I think it’s better luck to be under a ladder at any given time. Less chance for the hundreds of poorly installed AC units to fall on your head and crush you to death. 
In the owner of that AC unit's defense he would've had to pay his super twenty bucks to avoid having this happen
If the next seven years suck, it’s not because you broke a mirror it’s because it's just another year. Most years kinda suck for most people. Who are you to think this was gonna be your seven anyhow?

So worry about today if you want to. Me, I'll be worrying about every other day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The One Where (Almost) Everything Changed

Like I’m sure every American of a certain age I remember vividly where I was and what I was doing on September 11th 2001. It was a jarring terrible time in this country’s history. I was confused and scared. I just needed someone to tell me how to feel. So I turned to the one place we all turn in times of need during the early aughts, the show Friends. Come to find out even though Friends took place in New York and was on the air in 2001, they completely neglected to mention the fact that a place four stops away on the 2 train was being attacked. At first I just assumed that Friends existed in an alternate reality New York where the World Trade Center (and black people for that matter) never existed.

But alas that wasn’t the case.

So I figured I’d help them out and write what should have made it into the Friends 9-11 episode. I initially wanted to film this as a sketch, but unfortunately most the cast was either unwilling or unable to come to a stranger’s apartment and work for pizza. So instead I just superimposed text over pictures. I think the effect works just as well. So without further ado here you go!

& Sokol!

And scene.