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Tour Day 3 – Driving From Salt Lake City To Portland

Tour Day 3: The next day we looked around downtown SLC and saw all of the amazing Mormon buildings. It’s quite a sight.
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Those Mormons really know what they’re doing and clearly have a bunch of dough to spend on fancy buildings and stuff. We did a little research (aka asked someone in a bar) and found out that less than 50% of SLC is Mormon. That’s still an extremely high percentage. Can you imagine if 50% of NYC were Jews. Oh wait. I think they are.
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Anyway. It’s alot of Mormons. Supposedly the rest of Utah is over 70% Mormon. Provo is something like 96% Mormon. It must suck if you’re a high school kid in Provo who’s not Mormon. I bet those kids get ostracized. Things were extraordinarily clean and pretty in SLC. The buildings are genuinely beautiful. The people are nice.
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There’s a bit of a Jesus vibe but so what? We got some more iced coffee (the official of The Comedy Men From Tomorrow Tour) and we got in the car and had a long drive ahead of us. Next stop Portland.
We drove mostly through Idaho and stopped for coffee in Boise which seems like a really cool little city.
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We left Boise around 8pm destination was an Indian reservation in Oregon with a casino but it was too far away and we were all really tired.
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Even though we gained an hour crossing the border from Idaho into Oregon we still weren’t gonna make to the casino Not to mention the fact that there was a tournament there or something and so no hotel rooms available. We listened to Jim Gaffigan’s comedy CD in the car and laughed much particularly at the Hot Pockets section which is classic comedy.
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Here’s the sky a bunch of times.
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More sky.
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We almost ate diner in this Chinese restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Right out of a David Lynch movie. Like we would walk in there and get gang raped by a gimp or something.
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That night we ate a disgusting sum of food at a 24 hr truck stop diner in Baker City, Oregon. I had eggs, german sausage, bacon, hash browns, rye toast, and mozzarella sticks. Eugene and Leo had chicken fried steak. Zak had a french dip. We all felt sick like we might die.
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We decided at some point that mozzarella sticks were the official appetizer of the Comedy Men tour. In most places we ordered the appetizer sampler and an extra order of mozzarella sticks.
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Finally we camped down after a long day of driving. Obviously the folks at the hotel were eagerly awaiting our arrival.
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Tour Day 2 – Salt Lake City (July 17th)

Tour Day Two.

Destination Salt Lake City. Only a nine hour drive. Yeah ry-ite! Only 500-something miles from Denver. Didn’t get the best night of sleep. Feeling a bad protein hangover from meat overdose on Tour Day One. Zak, heroically, does all the driving. Lots of beautiful landscape. Denver to Utah cuts through Wyoming. Wyoming is flat and kind of spare. Sort of what you’d expect.
Barren Wyoming landscape. Perfect for a Western.
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More barren Wyoming landscape. Perfect for a Western too…
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here we see the landscape changing towards more mountains and hills and Grand Canyon looking stuff in Utah.
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I postulated that there’s lots of Neo Nazis in Wyoming as well as Anti-Government militias. There’s cool people there too though. I have a family friend who lives in Casper. Big debate in van about baseball ethics.
Action shot of Eugene taking a nap.
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Guy talk. Male bonding. Extensive listening to music from Zak’s iPod. Zak has given me permission to list some of the artists he played: Imogen Heap; Kid Koala; Danko Jones; Divine Comedy; Boards Of Canada. Discussion in van ranged from comedy to politics: Is Dane Cook funny? I think he’s funny. I do. Do I love him? Is he as funny as Woody Allen? No, of course. Do I like him? Yeah, I like him. Does George Bush experience empathy? We think no. We arrive in Salt Lake City. We check the census report from 2000 and are stunned to discover that the population of SLC is under 200,000. Denver is just over 500,000. Anchorage, amazingly, is bigger than SLC according to census report. Burt’s Tikki Lounge was voted by Stuff Magazine as one of the best dive bars in America. It’s very cool.
here’s some shots of Burt’s. Across the street was just a big mountain range!
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This was the view across the street from Burts.
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The show that night went well. It was very full.
here’s the dudes hanging around pre-show.
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There were some drunken women at the bar who seemed to be kind of heckling though I wasn’t sure. I guess they wanted some attention. I made a joke about Cat Power and one of them gave me the finger. By the way this isn’t a picture of the drunken women. This is just a picture of the great crowd at Burt’s!
TOURBURTS4.jpg Apparently you’re not allowed to discuss Cat Power on stage. I wasn’t even making fun of Cat Power (not that I wouldn’t if I wanted to.) I asked her why she was giving me the finger and she said that it was because I was talking about Cat Power. Okay. You like Cat Power. That’s fine. I do too. Please don’t flip me the bird just because I’m talking about her. I won’t hurt her. I promise. Another one of them told me to “shut the fuck up” which I found strange considering I was being paid by the club to be on stage doing stand-up. I guess I was providing a distraction from the loud, slurry voiced conversation she was having with her friend about how her farts smelled like grapefruits or something. It was a little hard to tell though not for a lack of them talking louder than I was and I was on a microphone mind you. That was truly awkward – to be told to shut the fuck up. Normally I’m pretty good about that kind of thing but it threw me a bit. Another wierd thing happened – Just as I went on stage a young bearded gentelman came up the stage and handed me a cannister of shaving cream and told me to keep it. It was a gift. I didn’t know why he was giving me shaving cream? Maybe because he wanted me to shave? He told me to read the label. It said something about Gary Hall Jr. He screamed out, “He’s got diabetes!” I was very shaken and confused. I told the bearded man who gave me the shaving cream that I hated him (or something to that effect.) Then I apologized and said that I was tired from a nine hour drive between Denver and Salt Lake (though to be fair Zak did all the driving), and I said that I had eaten grotesque sums of meat, and that I was in a strange city and now I’m being handed shaving cream and people are giving me the finger. It was funny. After the show the woman who told me to shut the fuck up told me that she was actually telling the bouncer to shut the fuck up because he had told her to shut the fuck up and I said that either way she was being distracting and that was unfair to me and the other audience.
Also not a photo of the drunk girl
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If you’re reading this girl who told me/the bouncer in SLC to shut the fuck up I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have acted so snooty after the show. After the show we went to another bar and played pool with some locals. The bar had lots of peanut shells on the floor and Eugene remarked that it looked as though an “elephant had been there.” I found that funny and laughed mightily.

Tour Journal (Day One…Last Monday…Er…Uh…)

Tour Day One – July 16th. (by the way, this happened last Monday)
Sorry it’s taken me so long. Internet is sparse up here! Ugh. I will keep the updates coming though. We started in Denver. Now we’re in San Francisco. We were in Portland, Anchorage, Seattle, Eugene, Boise, Salt Lake City, so much to say, so little time…but here’s how it all started last week. Flew out of JFK. Took a car with Zak and Eugene to the airport.

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Nothing too eventful. I bought a pack of Trident bubblegum and a Sports Illustrated (with the Mets on the cover.) Go Mets! The Amazin’s are good this year. Gotta love the kid (David Wright.) I remember a few summers ago marvelling at the disaster that was – Mo Vaughn, Robby Alomar, Jeromy Buritz. I mean who fuckin’ spells Jeromy like that? We had a snack in the terminal. I would tell you that I ate fruit but I didn’t. I had a meatball parm at noon. Fuck you. I don’t care. That’s what I ate. Zak has given me permission to report that he had a hamburger. Eugene has given me permission to report that he had pot stickers with hot and sour soup. Leo met us at the airport and he has given me permission to report that he had salmon and tofu. Leo has also requested that I call him by his new nickname, “Roach Motel” which is derived from a nickname I bequested upon him earlier, that being, “Leo Durocher”, the Hall of Fame Baseball manager.

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Leo has nicknamed me “Old Man River” which is derived from “Show Boat” which is of course derived from “Showalter.” Anyhow, the flight went off without much fanfare. We touched down in Denver and wondered what kind of food Denver was known for and someone suggested “Denver Omelette.” This made sense. We drove right to the venue – The Blue Bird Theater.

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I was overjoyed to see my name in lights above the marquee. I’ve always dreamed of sharing a bill with The Buzzcocks. What’s next? Echo And The Bunnymen? Aztec Camera? LL Cool J was playing a show too, down the street. We doubted highly that there was a conflict of interest there audience-wise. Not the same demo. We ate dinner at Wolfe’s, Denver’s best BBQ joint.

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The food was great. BBQ is the official food of The Comedy Men From Tomorrow. When four dudes travel together everything becomes fodder for jokes about penis or taking a crap. For instance, if someone says “Did anyone bring a hard drive?” The answer will be something like, “Yeah, I have a hard drive in my pants.” After the show we had a late night meal at Denver’s best all-night diner: Pete’s Kitchen. I had a cheeseburger. This brought my one day meat intake total to exactly one half of an entire cow.

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By the time we drove out of town we were a long gone memory.

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That’s show biz baby!

Ramblings…

Our tour began in earnest this evening. Of course by “in earnest” I don’t actually mean “in Earnest” as in “inside a guy named Earnest.” No, that’s not what I mean. I mean “in earnest” as in “in the town of Earnest, New York.” For those of you not in the know, that’s what the phrase “in earnest” refers to. It’s a small pork rustling town west of New Paltz. Anyway, I’m veering wildly of course here. Where was I? Ah yes, tonight our tour began in the town of Earnest, New York. Wait, no, that’ s not true. It began at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. The legendary NJ music club (not the Stone Pony…played there too though…whatever I’m just saying.)
Stone Pony has The Boss.
Maxwell’s has Freedy.
Stone Pony has Bon Jovi.
Maxwell’s has Yo La.
Stone Pony has South Side Johnny.
Maxwell’s has…Yo La.
Where was I? Oh yes! Tonight the tour began inside the bowls of a portly fool called Earnest. Wait that’s not true! It began in earnest on the stage of Maxwell’s. Great club. Amazing burger. Fantastic crowd of New Jersey’ans. My people. I’m from Jersey originally.
“What exit?” You ask.
“Nine.” I say and then with a smile, “You fucker.”
We’re going to Anchorage for the tour. I’m very much looking forward to that. They have the perfect climate there for me. Frigid. Unfortunately I won’t be able to do any of my crude Nanook of the North jokes.
We’re going to Salt Lake City for the tour. I’m very much looking forward to that too. Here’s what I know about SLC.
1) Karl Malone is the only black guy there.
2) Mormons.
3) Napoleon Dynamite.
That’s not a lot. I’m excited to learn more.

I Wish It Were…

October and crisp and cold (like Iceberg lettuce? Maybe.) Here I am in my Halloween costume. What do you call an empy hot dog? A hollow weenie. Or something to that effect.

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I was a boxer in my early youth. When I was seven. Camp Academy. We learned of “upper cuts” and “crosses” and “jabs.” I was a bleeder. Quick hands though. Great power and notable for my agile movements and good foot work. But I was a bleeder. One punch to my nose and I bled too much. Fight was always being called. But oh my hand speed. And I had the boxers mind too. Yes. Strategic! Violent! But cautious. Wait…wait…wait…find the opening…wait for your moment michael…attack! You’ve got him on the ropes! Attack! Beat him! Beat his butt! Punch! Punch! Jab! Right hand! Left! Counter! You’ve got him! Go! Attack! Wait…fuck! He hit me in my nose! Fuck! I’m bleeding! Wait…no! Don’t call the fight! No…don’t call it…shit…ow…I’m bleeding…

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And then here we have a picture I drew of a Smurf’s penis. (Just turned 36 in June by the way.)

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Random Thoughts July 5th

This year’s fourth of July was great. Just cooked some food (gazpacho, hotdogs/sausages with sauer kraut, hamburgers, corn on the cob, peach crumble.) After eating we went up to the roof to watch the fireworks. Here’s a snapshot.

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I like fireworks. I don’t LOVE fireworks. Some people LOVE them. I like them. I think they’re fine. I’ve been watching them for a really long time now. Every year. Truthfully, I’m starting to feel a little bored. I’d rather watch Project Runway. They’re okay. I like them. I don’t LOVE them. If I squint my eyes and look at stop lights I can get the same effect. When they were finishing up I made a joke. Someone said here comes the “finale” and I said “finally the finale.” It was very funny. And though no one laughed I repeated it several times until people laughed out of courtesy.

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I have had some bad times on the fourth of July in the past. Several summers ago I was arrested by a sadistic cop in upstate New York. He had a really sweaty neck. I’ve since determined that he was on lots of steroids. If I play out that theory then I can fairly assume he a) has rage issues, b) has a tiny shrunken steroid wiener and testicle combo platter. Here are the two mug shots I had taken at five in the morning at the Ulster County Jail. The guys who processed me were nice enough to give me copies of my pictures.

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I wanted to look like I was a real sad sack low life criminal. That’s why I’m making that face.
But then I decided it would be funny if I took one of myself looking happier so I asked them if they’d take another. Here’s what we came up with.

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Every year on the fourth of July, during the fireworks. People start singing the Star Spangled Banner. They do this for a variety of reasons. 1) To draw attention to themselves. 2) To be ironic. Of course, we don’t really love our country. We’re liberals. We think America is fucked up and bad at soccer. (Which is unforgivable.) It’s so ironic that we of all people would sing the Star Spangled Banner. 3) To draw attention to ourselves. 4) To show everyone that we know it. Which for some reason means something. I don’t know why or what. But it means that you’re special if you know the words. Fuck that. 5) It gives you something to do because a) the fireworks aren’t that great. b) conversation is awkward and it’s more fun to sing. 6) It gives you an opportunity to show everyone that you’ve got a really good singing voice. Prompting comments like, “Wow, I didn’t know you could sing.” And “Wow. You’ve got a really good singing voice.” And “Hey, you can sing! I didn’t know that.” There’s always the person who needs to sing louder than everyone else to prove that he knows the lyrics EVEN better than you do (and you thought you knew them by heart.) He not only knows the lyrics but he can sing the song in four-part harmony. Fuck him! Push him off the roof! He sings the loudest. He controls the pace. Fuck him! Push him off the roof! He sings the loudest. He makes you do it his way! Fuck him. Push him off the roof. Then you’ll really see some fireworks. And by fireworks I mean a dead guy who’s just been pushed off a roof.

Doodles

Awkward Father/Son Talk

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Night Sky

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Light Headed

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Angry Boss

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