May 2008 Archives

my father's internet famousness

Though this is not quite as exciting as when my mom's recipes were featured in the Contra Costa Times, my father achieved some regional newspaper fame this week. He's featured on The Hive, a blog for the Modesto Bee. According to Dad, this photo captures him "urging the others to get the heck off the Cedar Breaks summit where we were parked in Utah, and back down the other side to warmer weather". He was successful in his efforts, and just 36 short hours later, it did finally get warmer, once they reached Sacramento. Dad is the one in yellow.


Mom's article is unavailable online, so Dad is actually more internet famous than her now, even if his face is covered by a helmet in that photo. More importantly, Dad's appearance in the Bee should up my standing in the expatriate Modesto community.

[Digression: I've always maintained that if your local newspaper is called "The Bee", then you live in the boondocks. A cursory search reveals the following cities with Bees: Buffalo, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, Phillips (Wisconsin), Sandpoint (Idaho), Danville (Virginia), Bullhead City (Arizona), Belle Fourche (South Dakota), and Beeville (Texas). I guess I wasn't wrong.]

The non-Keane-related highlight of this blog entry:

When several of us couldn't figure out how to turn off the flash on our digital cameras, Henry, our Indian guide, said, "Let me show you the Navajo Way." He took a camera and put his finger over the flash. Yes, that must have been how the ancients did it....


Joe Gorman is the founder of the Baby Faces of Comedy Tour, and every Wednesday, he co-hosts an open mic at Delirium called Your Name Here. Once a month, the open mic becomes a showcase, as it did last month when I hosted and refereed Street Fight: Kevins vs. Joes. Mr. Gorman spoke to me about comedy, Full House, and his new showcase, The More You Know (tonight @ Delirium, 6:45, Free).

Sean Keane: How did you get the idea for The More You Know?

Joe Gorman: [Co-host Joey Devine and I] were were brainstorming possible themes. It was originally going to be a lecture, then a classroom, and finally we decided that if it was more of a PSA it would fly best.

Sean Keane: So are the comics supposed to be altering their sets to be more PSA-like? By the way, I just watched Almost Famous, so watch out for my inspired journalistic attitude.

Joe Gorman: No, they do normal sets, but after each one, Joey and I will break down the jokes and make bullet points of the important stuff, and there are questions at the end.

And for the record, I am a golden god.

Sean Keane: You're just going to deny that quote later, Gorman, unless a groupie shames you into coming clean later.

Is this show at all similar to "Get It!?" the famous comedy game show at the Punchline?

Joe Gorman: I'm going to say no because I've never seen it, so any similarities are just coincidental. Plus I think Get It? has prizes involved. It's not a quiz, just Cliff Notes. The audience is welcome to ask questions.

Sean Keane: Are you analyzing joke structure, then?

Joe Gorman: Just punchlines. It all comes down to what the audience asks.

Sean Keane: Who is on the bill?

Joe Gorman: Greg Edwards
David Wiswell
Sammy Obied
Adrien Palenchar
Miles K, and
Donny Davanian are on the list.
Jeff Cleary is set to make a guest appearance.

Sean Keane: If the comics on the bill were the Tanner sisters from Full House, who would Jeff Cleary be?

Joe Gorman: I'd say Kirk Cameron (who plays their cousin). He enters mysteriously, and is never mentioned again.

Sean Keane: Does DJ learn a lesson from that somehow?

Joe Gorman: That everyone changes, but family is consistent.

you flop with who brung you

With two seconds left in the Lakers-Spurs game tonight, Brent Barry got the ball behind the three-point arc. Derek Fisher jumped in front of Barry, hitting him in the neck. Barry staggered to the side, took one dribble, and then badly missed a long three-pointer as time expired. The ref didn't call a foul, and the game ended.

Afterward, the TNT crew took Barry to task for not playing up the contact. Kenny Smith said Barry should have jumped into Fisher. Reggie Miller had a mini-dissertation about how Barry needed to play up the contact - kick his leg out, fall backwards, and fake an injury - so the ref would blow the whistle. And Reggie Miller knows A LOT about pretending to be hurt in order to get calls.

Ironically, the usual knock on the Spurs is that they flop too much. There's a t-shirt devoted to Manu Ginobli's diving, and even Eva Longoria says Tony Parker milks injuries. ("Honey, I have to stay on the ground sometimes.") Yet, on the most crucial shot of the series, the Spurs were undone by underplaying the contact on an obvious foul.

In Texas, they say you dance with who brung you. Flopping made the Spurs who they are. Now's not the time to deny their identity, their very nature. Did E-40 quit drinking at the height of the hyphy movement? Did Kenny Smith shave off his flattop during the 1994 NBA Finals? Did Sergeant Roger Murtaugh start believing he was young enough for this shit at any point in the Lethal Weapon series? No, no, and no. If the Spurs are going out, they should go out flopping.

Of course, here's the real problem: at the end of the game, needing one basket to save their season, the Spurs threw the ball to Brent Freaking Barry. Game over, series over.

Part One
Part Two

The year was 1991. The United States had just brought peace to war-torn Iraq. Murphy Brown was about to get knocked up and bring shame on America. Color Me Badd wanted to sex us up. And I spent a lot of time with my best friend Danny.

This was one of the first years that I had occasional spending money of my own, and enough trust from my parents to go on bike rides. That led to a lot of 7-11 purchases, as I was still too young to prefer quality to quantity. That held true in all areas of my life. The same instincts that spurred me to purchase a "Thirsty-Two-Ounce" fountain soda also led me to play Mario 3 well past the point where my thumbs were sore and calloused. It's the same reason our class trip to Great America ended with us running around the park at top speed, trying to squeeze in just one more ride on the Vortex, despite our Rip-Roaring-Rapids-soaked clothing and lingering headaches from previous frantic Vortex rides. Quantity over quality.

The same was true for jokes. If an inside joke was funny, repeating it fifty times could only add to the funniness. Danny invented one that we later repeated as much as we could; that is, until we legitimately feared physical harm. Here's how it went:

When we heard the distinctive jingle of the ice cream truck coming down our suburban street, we'd immediately go the curb and wave our arms. When we'd flagged down the ice cream man, Danny would usually take the lead, because I was much more of a pussy. He'd ask himself, "What do I want? What would I like?" as he slowly scanned the menu. Danny would milk this as long as possible, because drawing the joke out was more important than timing. Quantity over quality.

Finally, he'd pretend to make a decision. "I would like... hmmm... I would like...hmmm..."

And then the zinger:

"I would like...for you to go away!"

And then we would run inside laughing, while the ice cream man fumed, and drove away as angrily, or as angrily as you can when your vehicle is playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" at top volume. Later we'd drink tall beverages comprised of eight ounces each of Coke, root beer, 7-up, and orange soda (no ice!) and feel like kings. To the heart, tick tock, ya don't stop, at least until the ice cream man will no longer pull over at your house.

Errol Morris has a new documentary about Abu Ghraib called Standard Operating Procedure, which is currently playing at the Sundance Kabuki in SF and at the Elmwood in Berkeley. If you'd like to go see it, let me know. Morris also blogs for the New York Times, and last night posted a fascinating and chilling article about one particular photo, which appears after the jump.

Interleague baseball started last weekend, and I for one could not be happier. Far from being a cheap gimmick designed to artificially drum up interest in an overlong baseball season, or a relic of baseball owners' post-strike desperation, interleague baseball is a magical time for baseball fans. In SF this weekend, we got the rare chance to see American League stars like Nick Swisher! And Jermaine Dye! And former Giants A.J. Pierzyzsynkski!

The more important element of interleague play is that it helps resolve the bitter rivalries between cities, smoldering conflicts whose fires are stoked highest by triennial faceoffs on the diamond. When the Minnesota Twins play the Colorado Rockies, it's not just about baseball; it's the Minneapolis versus Denver, lakes versus mountains, white people versus white people. The winning city gets bragging rights, and in many cases, a whole lot more.

Let's go through the weekend of games and look at the fallout.

Chicago White Sox sweep the Giants

With its decisive victory, Chicago retains its title as the Windy City. Because the White Sox won in a sweep, Abe Froman becomes the Sausage King of San Francisco.

Toronto takes two out of three from Philadelphia

Toronto gets full custody of the mullet, though Philadelphia has visitation rights. Also, Joe Carter gets to take a whiz on the Philly Phanatic.


Baltimore defeats Washington

Cal Ripken, Jr. receives a seat in Congress, though he will never be allowed to abstain from a vote.

Boston sweeps Milwaukee

Milwaukee has to start serving bratwurst chowder until the end of the season. "Laverne and Shirley" will be replaced by "Cheers" on all Green Bay television stations.

Atlanta wins two out of three from Oakland

Tickets for Two Dollar Wednesday must now be purchased with Confederate currency.

St. Louis wins the series against Tampa Bay

From now on, Devil Rays players are no longer allowed to make fun of Albert Pujols's last name.

Texas takes two out of three from Houston

Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler gets a seat on the space shuttle Discovery's mission to the international space station. In addition, team president Nolan Ryan can select the Houston player of his choice, put him in a headlock, and punch him in the face 10-12 times.


Colorado defeats Minnesota 2-1

The ghost of John Denver will haunt Garrison Keillor for the next six months.

LA Angels take two out of three from LA Dodgers

The Dodgers have to change their name to the Anaheim Dodgers of Los Angeles.

Seattle defeats San Diego

As a result of this series, the Chargers will be forced to sign former Seahawk running back Shaun Alexander.

Arizona won two out of three against Detroit

John McCain no longer has to drive around in an American car.

New York Mets win both games over the New York Yankees

Mr. Met gets a free four-hour session with one of Eliot Spitzer's "seven-diamond" girls, while the Yankees must eat only pizza from Infamous Derivative Ray's until the two teams meet again in late June.

Kansas City over Florida

Kansas City gets a hundred pounds of fried bananas, while Florida has to house all of Kansas City's retirees until they die.

Cincinnati sweeps Cleveland

The Indians have to pay for Ken Griffey Junior's next arthroscopic surgery, and former Bengals coach Sam Wyche gets to make this speech during the seventh-inning stretch of a game at Jacobs Field.

there will be little lady

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I watched the Danson-Guttenberg-Selleck classic Three Men and a Little Lady last week, which I discussed extensively over at Sean Keane Comedy Dot Com. The most striking thing about the film is probably Tom Selleck's wardrobe, which includes a pullover sweater that says "Wild Child" on it and three-piece suits. Next is Selleck's impeccably-groomed mustache, facial hair that looks like it's from a different era. In fact, it most reminds me of Daniel Plainview, Daniel Day-Lewis's character from There Will Be Blood.



They both love orphans, too! What if Daniel Plainview had been one of the Three Men instead of Selleck?

There Will Be Little Lady

Scene One

(The THREE MEN assemble to sing the Little Lady a lullaby.)

Jack & Michael: (singing) Good night sweetheart, well, it's time to go. Good night sweetheart, well, it's time to go.

Daniel Plainview: I'm not going to sing.

Jack: Come on, Daniel!

Michael: She'll never go to bed otherwise.

Daniel Plainview: (grimacing) Fine. Just give me the harmony part. Give me the harmony part!

Jack: Fine.

Jack & Michael: (singing) Well, it's three o'clock in the morning.

Daniel Plainview: It's three o'clock. Yes.

Mary: Sing louder, Daniel!

Daniel Plainview: It's three o'clock in the morning! Three o'clock! I've abandoned my bachelor lifestyle! I'VE ABANDONED MY BACHELOR LIFESTYLE!

Scene Two

(Daniel Plainview slaps Michael in the face, over and over again, knocking him into the dirt, for four-and-a-half minutes straight)

Daniel Plainview: Don't ever be late to pick her up from day care again.

Scene Three

(Mary and Daniel Plainview sit together on a plane bound for England.)

Mary: But I don't want to go to England, Daniel! I'm going to miss everyone.

Daniel Plainview: Your mother is getting married, you have to go. Besides, all you have to do is imagine, and we'll be there. Close your eyes. Can you see us?

Mary: No.

Daniel Plainview: Look closer. Can you see us now?

Mary: Yeah.

Daniel Plainview: What are we doing?

Mary: Michael is drawing, Jack is looking in the mirror, and you are buying up land at cheap prices for oil speculation...

(As she speaks, Daniel Plainview gets up and walks out of the plane. His associate sits down in his seat.)

Mary: ...and you're calling Jack a charlatan and a false prophet. Hey, where did Daniel go? And what happened to my milkshake?

Scene Four

Daniel Plainview: Mary, let me tell you something. You were a bastard from a basket.

Mary: I know that. My mom left me on your doorstep.

Daniel Plainview: I just needed a sweet face to buy land. You were a BASTARD from a BASKET. There's none of me in you.

Mary: Daniel, Jack is my biological father. You know that.

Daniel Plainview: Bastard from a basket, bastard from a basket! You're a bastard from a basket!

(Daniel Plainview walks away muttering, chugging whiskey and throwing bowling pins haphazardly.)

Mary: Does this mean no rapping lullaby tonight?

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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