Friday, August 31, 2007

Good news/bad news

Good: I did a fiendish level sudoku without resorting to pencil marks and made no mistakes. I'm a smart bastard when hung over.
Bad: Michael Jackson is dead. Any other fans out there?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thanks, BlogAsheville

I love voting for myself in the Mountain Xpress Best of WNC. Vote for me (pity there's no "most offensive stand-up comedian" section).

Reasons to get up today

  • I passed the first test on my online course. 80%, which was exactly the grade required to move on. There are multiple choice questions on ethics ideas, I lost 10% for answering "No" to the questions "Students are expected to appreciate and enjoy all assignments required of them" (ignoring that this is not a question, it's a statement).
  • In trying to write new material for the upcoming Feral Chihuahuas/Rebelles show I came up with a rapidly rejected idea that haunted me all through the night. Trick or treating at a hospital. Kids (maybe those adorable dying ones that you see on hospital drama shows) in little costumes, walking around with their IVs, to the morgue where the coroner takes time out of an autopsy to compliment them on their costumes and give them candy.
  • I promise something funnier than that for the show
  • There will still be a Feral Chihuahuas presence at LAAFF, but it may be just me doing the zombie stand with Jim and Elliot. Still come and laugh.
  • Personal to the guy who leaned out of the truck and tried to push me off the bastard bike while overtaking me on Broadway yesterday afternoon. It's not my fault you have a tiny penis further hidden by that gut that prevented you leaning far enough out the window from getting me. If incidents like this are helping you get through the day, end it now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You never stop learning, I guess.

Bastard U is in session. Today I started my road to academic recovery by taking an online course. I ditched most of the first class, it's a lot of "read, then click here to show you've read it". There's a chat room, which I'm hoping is being watched by Chris Hansen. Participation counts a lot towards the grade, I'm going for 100% in the chat room.
I can see the appeal of online learning though. It's not often I've been able to learn while watching porn and having the new They Might Be Giants CD on in the background. My instructor posted a picture of herself on the site, we're meant to do the same. I'm using this one.

It appears that the rest of the class is responsible adults. I'm looking forward to LOLCatting or drawing spitballs on their pictures. It takes a lot of effort to be a bad student online.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Various musings

Been feeling uninspired lately, but working on some new material helps. Random things in the mind of the bastard.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming back for another series. I'm happy because I like the show, and sad because I thought the last episode was going to be it, and it would have been a really fun way to end the show.
The Orange Peel continues to announce bizarre new shows. The Misfits are still around? Jerry Only and "friends", maybe? I haven't got time to grow my hair for that show. I thought They Might be Giants were going to skip Asheville this time around, but Orange Peel is a late add to their tour. For some of their tour, they have Corn Mo opening for them, but sadly not in Asheville.
The show I'm most looking forward to now is Girl Talk - thanks to Alex for showing me the samples of opening act Dan Deacon.
Not 100% official, but it's 95% likely that the Feral Chihuahuas will be a part of LAAFF, doing something with Jim Julien. Stop by and see a rare free outdoor performance.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Asheville stand-up throwdown!

The date is set - Saturday September 15, 9pm.

The venue is set - Caffiend, corner of Merrimon and Chestnut.

George the Bastard and the Feral Chihuahuas present "R U Funny Asheville"

What's happening? I'm ripping the concept off of Lew's Evil Open Mic at the Parkside Lounge. Bring your stand-up game, everyone gets 5 minutes, and there'll be prizes - cash prize for the best act, wacky prizes for wacky acts. Celebrity judges will pick the winners.

No charge, but buy lots of coffee while you're there.

Further details and flyers to come soon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


There's a post by another George over on BlogAsheville that gave me the heebie jeebies this afternoon. I'm a bit of a night owl, and on occasion a responsible person, and I usually walk downtown and around North Asheville at times of the early morning. During the day I'm often seen on the bastard bike peddling my way around. If you're on a bicycle, Merrimon is a deathtrap. It's the only road in Asheville where I ride on the sidewalk (where there is one - pity those trying to get from the Ace of Spades to the Merrimon Arts center). Bastard public service announcement: Alternate routes to Merrimon if you need to walk to North Asheville in the early morning.

  • Central Ave: Very little traffic, underpass under I-240. My standard road for getting in and out of downtown. There was an attack there about a year ago, but I haven't had any problems.
  • Madison Ave: Not quite as hilly as Washington or Liberty, and the steepish walls in front of the houses on the west side of the street combined with the occasional light make it easy to see other people on the street.
  • Murdock Ave: Part of me doesn't like the dividers on this street because they're dangerous if you're cycling and there is a car behind you. But it has kept traffic down on this street, and kept the cars pretty slow. Another Asheville street that lacks paving on both sides, stick to the west side of the street and you should be OK.
  • Kimberly Ave: If you're going further north, there's much less traffic, lights, and the dangers can't afford to be here. Easy walk or cycle all the way to Beaverdam road - a great cross street for getting back to Merrimon is Ottari - fairly flat and the speed humps keep traffic down.
Safe walking and cycling, hope that guy from this morning made it. UPDATE: he didn't, there's more details at ashevegas...

Friday, August 24, 2007

The bastard of all crosswords

Every week I try to slog through the Listener Crossword. Printed on Saturday in the London Times, it is the most difficult crossword in the world. In about five years of attempting the thing, I have successfully solved it four times. The paper gives you three weeks to solve it, and the answers for the one from three weeks ago went live half an hour ago. This is the closest I've come to solving one in forever...

In order to solve any of the clues, you had to remove letters from the clues, it turns out the letters removed were blood groups in roughly the representative proportions (most of the time you were removing an O, or B, sometimes an A and in two cases an AB). This led to a quotation to solve on the left hand side which is the only part that escapes me. Oh Listener crossword, why do you mock me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back in the saddle again

30% chance of rain today and so the bastardmobile has been ditched in favor of the biowheels bastard bike. If you see a fat red-faced bastard puffing and panting up a hill then honk or point and wave. Current odds are heart attack 3:1, stroke 5:1.

Saw on the news this morning that the Chinese were using lead paint in Spongebob toys. Should I sue them for copyright violation, since I've been going by Spongebob Leadinthepants in play areas for years?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The question on Michael Vick's mind...

How much was that doggie in the bucket
The one that I skinned by the tail
The other I plugged into the socket
How long does that put me in jail?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

At the mercy of the elements

  • The worst thing I can see in the morning is "40% chance of rain". I don't like having to use the bastardmobile, so I walk or cycle whenever possible. 40% is my limit, if it's 40% or over, the bastardmobile is called into service. Now watch it not rain.
  • If you're looking for a good laugh this morning, support our troops and read this
  • Thanks Sarah for the Violet Crumbles. Violet Crumbles good.
  • Since I used the bastardmobile and guaranteed there'll be no rain today, the Asheville Tourists start one of their last homestands tonight. Clinging to 2nd place by a single game, should be a really good game tonight. And it's cheap hotdog night, if you're looking to sate your inner Kobayashi.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Karoke review: MacKells

I always thought this place was a private club, and there's nothing funnier than blundering into a new bar and being told "we don't want bastards in here". Drawn by the lure of 25 cent wings, I joined some fellow ferals at the bar in the shadow of the huge sign proclaiming whatever is going to go up at the top of the hill.

Wings were pretty good, couple of different sauces. I tried the house sauce, which I liked and the hottest one they had which was good but hung around a little too long (8:40 the next morning = too long). Crowd was small initially, people avoiding eye contact with each other. Things got fun when the karaoke started - it appears there's a point where MacKells becomes a hangout for wait staff from other places. The karaoke DJ was open to novelty and obscure songs, and had a pretty huge list. I butchered "Eloise" but I didn't care at that point. Many people smoke, but there's reasonable air circulation.

If you don't have to work on Monday, or your job benefits from feeling seedy, check out karaoke on Sundays at 10pm at MacKells.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The end of the 35 Below Late Night Comedy series

Went to the show last night, Greg Brown/Oxymorons/Gag Order to finish off a full summer of shows at 35 Below. Good but odd crowd last night, seems like a portion of the audience couldn't take any more sustained laughter at intermission and went to Mission to sponge bathe Billy Graham. Gag Order had a particularly good night, I'm going to have to go to one of their shows at the Blue Ridge Performing Arts Center - I like the mix of personalities in the group. Hung out with some assorted Oxymorons later.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The 35 Below shows are in the bag

Nearly sold out both shows last night, and for a change it was the later audience (the brave souls who didn't escape until morning) who were the rowdier crowd.
Stand-up went OK, wasn't my best night, though it was a tough week for inspiration. Got a few laughs from both crowds, so I was happy with that. A bit of audience participation saw an old joke slip through in the second set, but apart from that it was all new stuff.
Thanks to both audiences! Shows went well, finale went over well - I wasn't worth much at the after party.
So what next for the bastard and the Feral Chihuahuas. Ferals are going to take a break before the October shows with the Rebelles, November at Revoluticon.
As for George the Bastard, I'm going to take a week or two to breathe and work on my new project to encourage stand-up in Asheville. Watch this space for details!
Tonight is the last show of the Summer Comedy Series, and I'm probably going. It's Greg Brown, Gag Order and the OxyMorons. Where else can you get three acts for $10?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Busy week

Haven't had a lot of time to update. Rehearsals went late last night and I missed the Tom Chalmers/Scott Bunn "Laugh Free or Die Hard" show last night (a ticket went unused, sad).

The big news is that two Feral Chihuahuas will die in the show on Friday. Fans of death and destruction, sketch comedy and fresh-as-filth-can-be standup don't want to miss this one. The first show was very close to sold out this afternoon, but tickets are available for the second show starting 10:15(ish). Wrap party most likely at Scully's.

On top of that we have some great sketches, song, dance, video pieces and a showstopping finale.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fly Well, little Chihuahua

  • Good luck to Feral Chihuahua Cameron! Break every leg in sight.
  • I'm looking forward to seeing "Laugh Free or Die Hard" on Wednesday night (if I can make it after rehearsal). I'm sure Tom Chalmers has some pent-up aggression from those teenage comedy camps, and we might see a bit of the bastard in him on Wednesday.
  • Come on Asheville Tourists!!! Rehearsals have eaten into my drinking in games time this summer, but I've got playoff tickets in hope and earnest. Still clinging to a slender lead at the top of the division.
  • Stay tuned for more details of my new stand-up project - especially if you're curious about how you would do as a stand-up comedian.
  • In an announcement that may effect the choice of date for Extravabloiversapaloozathon 2007, Vic Chestnutt is playing the Grey Eagle on September 29.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday it is, and so Mondayitis

Hmmm, another week dawns and what did we learn from the weekend?

  • URTV on Saturday. Thanks Matt for the exposure, it was a very new experience. I had done live-to-tape before (and on commercial TV, where ad breaks can be used for staging and setting). I think I did OK for going in on a few hours notice and thinking it was going to be an interview, and not a URTV-friendly routine. I saw myself later on - I think I came off as pretty much a bastard, I would have liked to spend more time answering questions and not getting filmed as up close as I was. I went straight from the optometrist as well, if you happen to catch a replay, look at the size of my pupils.
  • Oxymorons/Greg Brown show on Saturday. Small but very fun crowd, 35 Below suits the morons, at previous shows there have been too many distractions to really get the full effect. Sarah was terrific at bullying the timider audience members into making suggestions. Greg Brown opened strongly, but started to fall apart and rely too heavily on the paper notes. I'm guily of that too, especially when I'm doing new material (look at my wrists when I do stand-up at 35 below - at comedy clubs I like to take a bottle of beer on stage with me and peel off the label to crib the set list under).
  • The bastardmobile returns today, and it'll be nice to have motorized wheels again. On the other hand, it was good to be back to cycling longer distances, and if I can keep it up I'll be a leaner, meaner bastard. People get good mileage out of seeing me after a show or at caffiend with a bike helmet.
  • FRIDAY IS THE LAST 35 BELOW SHOW OF THE SEASON!!!! We've got some great stuff planned, huge show-stopping ending, singing, dancing, video pieces, brand new stand up and something you never thought you would see at a Feral Chihuahuas show. Get tickets early, this is going to sell out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bye bye Merv

Read today about the passing of Merv Griffin, best known as the elevator killer in "The Man With Two Brains". We'll miss you, windex man.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Feral Chihuahuas Interview

Elizabeth, Jay, Andrew and I are going to be guests on today's Matt Howard show on URTV, 5 p.m. Mayhem is a good possibility.

35 Below, week 8

Penultimate show in the bag, and thanks again to the awesome audience we had for both shows. Very pleased with the stand-up, I think I had some good stuff and a few bits that can go into the permanent routine. It was certainly a weird show, but Wyman did a stellar job with the mail-order bride video that will hopefully be available soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Karaoke review: Razcal's, Thursday nights

Karaoke is a very guilty pleasure. I can't sing and I have rotten taste in music. Most Asheville karaoke nights see me coming up to the DJ station and immediately crumple my selection. So to find a new haunt is welcoming. It was my first time at Razcals, and it's not a bad place. Woody interiors, large screens very high up on the walls to make sure your neck gets a good workout, cheap PBR. A proper shuffleboard table with real sand.
Extensive karaoke list and though the bar was maybe two-thirds full, not a lot of people were showing off their lyrical stylings. We stayed around two hours and all three of us got to sing twice (the first time in almost a year I've managed to get a second song in).
I took a stab at an actual song and butchered "Live it Up" by Mental as Anything. Songs nobody knows are always safe. Since nobody stabbed me on the way back to the table, I'm assuming nobody was actually paying any attention. Second time up was "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" by Ian Dury. Much more suited to the bastard lyrical stylings.
The big test will come when I return, and attempt to sing again. But this one rated at least four plastic dinosaurs.

Tonight is the penultimate Feral Chihuahuas show at 35 Below. Come out and laugh - featuring an all-new set of stand up!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

We who are not worthy

It gets repeated a few times tomorrow - Buck Henry (creator of "Get Smart" and "Quark") was on The Daily Show last night. If I make it to that age, I want to be that lucid and that funny.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New Feral Chihuahuas video online

First attempt at embedding a video in the blog

And it seems to work! Here it is - featuring Andrew and Jay and many thanks for Wyman for technoskills and camerosity.

Back in Asheville

The cruelest sight on I-40 coming back from Durham is the Red Oak Brewery, just outside of Greensboro. It tempts you with the sight of giant vats looming over the interstate, rubbing in your miserable face that you have three hours more driving to do, and will be in trouble if you pull off at the next exit for delicious battlefield black. They had better be at Brewgrass!

This Friday is the penultimate Feral Chihuahuas show at 35 Below, and it's going to be a good one - we're shredding the envelopes of taste and comedy and setting the stage for a spectacular anticlimax on August 17th. I've spent eight hours on the road and endless times in new-day-job soul destroying meetings, so I should have some great stand-up worked out, but I'll have a good excuse for not having any.

The Feral Chihuahuas are sitting on Friday for the Faces of Asheville project. What body mutilation should I do before Friday?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Visions of hell

I am in a large room in a monolithic building in Raleigh. There are desks in the shape of a U, most people have a laptop. The space in the centre of the room is wasted, I would feel better if there was a microphone and I could tell jokes. Those who do not have a laptop are trying to talk to each other and sneak peeks on to other people's laptops. There is coffee. It is in an urn. Two projectors show a web page on identical large screens at the same end of the room. Are they slightly different so that if I cross my eyes I can see a fish swimming in the middle. Maybe. Where is this place? Why am I here? I am told I must stay until 3pm and then I am free to go.

This is my new day job.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nice piece of work

We've been e-mortalized as Simpsons characters! From left to right...
Wyman the director dude
Andrew the blond one
Jay the tallest by far
Elizabeth whose true roots are only known by a select few
Sarah who needs to come back soon
Cameron who likes it when I write long words for him to pronounce
George the bastard
Tommy, who has since shaved, and so now only the eyebrows are accurate
Dick, the light and sound guru whose job I have made incredibly difficult this week

Things that make a bastard happy

  • Filling in a coffee card at Caffiend and getting free coffee. Free coffee keeps bastards moving.
  • Weekend-long drinking with visiting Australians.
  • Metalocalypse is back on the Cartoon Network line-up and new episodes are coming soon!
  • Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co bringing back "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" for late shows. Remember to shout at the screen often.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Show 7 is in the bag

Thanks to everyone who came out last night - I thought the stand-up went pretty well (particularly in the first show) for bits that were mostly written on the day of the show. I had three large speaking parts in sketches, usually I prefer to lurk and do tiny bits because I'm a horrible actor and can't remember lines (especially ones I didn't write). I came close to disaster in one sketch but pulled it together, kind of. Great audiences last night!
I'm going to be out of town for a few days, but I'm hoping to make the URTV show on Thursday that I couldn't do last Thursday.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Food poisoning

Oh joy. Now what was it about buffet sashimi that had been sitting there for hours that seemed like a good idea?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What August Means to Me

August is one of my 12 favorite months of the year...

  • Many of my friends have birthdays in August. That means that most of their parents had sex on Christmas or New Years Eve. Happy birthday, booze babies!
  • Schoolchildren go back to school in August, so online predators, you only have a few precious days left.
  • August sadly marks the end of the Late Night Comedy Festival. Feral Chihuahuas have only three shows left, catch us while you can!
Happy August, fellow bastards!