Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pittsburgh, Pie, Pi, and Pirates

I found myself stumbling through the streets of Pittsburgh, PA recently and had a
surprisingly good time. I say "surprisingly" because PBurgh isn't the sort of place one might normally choose as a holiday destination. But it is one of those places that, once you have a good reason for going there (like business, a convention, escaping the law,) you are glad you did.

I was asked by the fine folks who run Toonseum – a cartoon art museum inside the Children's Museum – to emcee a thing called Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School. The group started in Brooklyn, but now has dozens of satellite orgs all over the planet. What happens is that burlesque-style performers and models do a song or dance for a few minutes, then freeze in poses for various lengths of time while audience members draw them. As MC, I vamped and entertained in between poses and drew funny funny cartoons on a big pad of paper. As if that weren't enough fun, there were also prizes, beer, pie, and shenanigans of all sorts.

The theme was Piraro, Pie, Pirates, Pi and Pittsburgh. It was March 14th (3.14 is both the date and the math thing), I put pieces of pie in my cartoons almost daily, I have a book of pirate cartoons coming out in a few months, and the names of both the city and myself start with the letters "p,i". What more do you need for a theme?

Here's your MC for the evening, dressed in some
semi-piratey gear. I dress this way fairly often,
but it was nice to have a legitimate excuse for once.

The non-stop goofy goings-on on stage looked something like this. If you're wondering if the evening included monkey business, the answer is yes.

Here, in true pirate style, I am hugging a bottle of spiced rum.

One of the beautiful and talented performers signs my leg. I really wish I could remember her name. Was it "signy"? No, it was not.

This is a crazy artist dude who lived in the artist-loft-studio-former-brewery-dilapidated-warehouse place where the event took place. I think his name is Ray, but I can't be certain. I was distracted by his hat. That's some of his work behind us.

Lastly, I must share this amazing sculpture at the children's museum. It is made of plastic pieces from old gas station signs. As you can see from the closeup, they are sort of stitched together with wire. The whole thing has a stained glass look resulting from the translucency of the plastic. It's dandy as hell, I tell you.

Thanks for sharing my fun time in Pittsburgh with me. I hope you enjoyed it and will savor the memory for the rest of your life.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

And another thing

The blog below this one about marriage and weddings is the one I wrote to you about today. But here are a few general facts I need to mention also.

I was mentioned in the first paragraph of an article in the Feb issue of GQ on page 73. I'm still really thrilled by this kind of thing. That's how you can tell that I'm not "really" famous.

Here is a link to a video interview of me at the Purple Onion, a couple hours before my show there a couple weeks ago. Michael Capozzola – cartoonist, stand-up comic, and PR guy extraordinaire – is the interviewer.

I was featured in the March-May issue of Australian publication Vegan Voice magazine. Subscribe here and support compassion down under!

Thanks for indulging my fragile ego!
3 thighs

Phony Wedding, Real Marriage

I’ve been away from the blogometer for quite a while and for good reason. The Crazy Half-Nekked Wife and I journeyed across the continent of our birth to the West Coast where comedy, chaos and cocktails ensued.

First stop, San Francisco. My comedy shows at the Purple Onion were both sellouts -–ticket-wise, not content-wise– and Johnny Steele was brilliant. Only an idiot would follow that guy on stage but I was up to the task.

Did another show the next night at a vegan medical conference up in Santa Rosa and met some terrific folks. It’s always fun to chat with people who don’t have shreds of dead animal carcasses dangling from their teeth. (insert smiley face with wink here)

I also signed books at WonderCon, a comics convention in SF that same weekend. Here is a shot of me with Stormtrooper Elvis, a foreshadowing of things to come later in this blog. Just like a Bergman film.

After such a far out weekend of grooviness, we unwound by hiking in Marin County with a group of friends and followed it with some hot tubbing and a massage. Go here for a short video of our friend Anne and me enjoying our hike.

It was an extremely pleasurable day with the exception of the hot tub. Anne's boyfriend, Nemo, for reasons yet to be determined by local law enforcement officals, assaulted our eyes with a tiny, black, shiny strip of fabric stretched across his reproductive organ. He called it a bathing suit. We called it the recurring centerpiece of future nightmares.

While in SF, we also went to the studio of my good friend and eminent Rock & Roll photographer, Pat Johnson, for some new publicity shots. He’s the coolest daddio who ever stroked a goatee and we always have fun at his place. Here’s one of the shots he took. In my mind, I’m BB King.

From SF, we flew like naked apes strapped inside a metal tube to Las Vegas for a reenactment of our wedding of six years ago, when I surprised Ashley and a few of her family members with a wedding by an Elvis impersonator. (Yes, I am a classy dude.) Since so few friends or family were at the original shindig, we decided to throw the whole dang thing again. Here’s the pic the chapel provides for only a huge amount of money. Incidentally, there is something funky about the color here. In real life, Ashley's hair is approximately 100% less red than this.

Simultaneously hysterical and touching, the wedding etched its image in the minds of all in attendance for who knows how long. At least until they got wasted at the after party.

Vegas is one of those places that you can’t believe exists outside of the Old Testament, just moments before God obliterates it with a flaming tower of vengeance. But that’s not why I like it. Even though I don’t gamble, it’s one of the last places on earth where you can walk around with a cocktail in your hand and smoke cigars indoors. It’s the little things in life that make me smile.

Here is a shot of me and my good friend, Lance hanging out in a casino. He’s a porn star or something, I think.

Here is a shot of my wife, Ashley, and her bevy of hot babe friends. I'm never too busy for a trip to the beach with her and her gal pals.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my memory of the last two weeks. Another installment in a week or so.