Ode to an Orkan

Posted: August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

On August 11th, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead by the Marin County Sheriff’s Department.   Pre-autopsy, the cause of death is suspected to be suicide by way of asphyxiation.

I don’t consider myself a big fan of things or people usually.  I like a few specific games and shows and stars, but I never cared to be Super Fan #1 of anything. I usually like my certain things and kind of keep to myself about it.  It just happens to be my personal preference.  I equate how I feel about Robin Williams as I do to Fred Rogers.  I saw them as favorite uncles.  Of course, there’s a bit of familiarity that I’m attributing to them, but it works in my head.  I didn’t see them very frequently, but when I did, I was always happy to see them and they always made me smile. I watched Mork & Mindy in syndication as much as I could and have seen a good amount of Robin Williams movies (who in middle America hasn’t really?) and I was in high school when Dead Poets’ Society came out, so like every drama nerd at the time, that was my movie.  OH, CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN.   I even liked Popeye (hey, I didn’t say it was good, just that I liked it). When I was notified by Facebookland, which is pretty much where you see news first now, about his suspected suicide, I felt like someone slapped me in the face.  I can’t imagine what he was going through, but I know a lot of comedians cover up great pain with comedy.

The difference between how I feel about this and how I felt about Mr. Rogers dying is that when I heard Mr. Rogers died, I just felt sadness.  Right now, I’m definitely sad.  I’m also very, very angry.  This brings up very personal feelings about the way we deal with mental health in this country for me and I feel like I need to get it out.  Anyone reading this who knows me well enough, knows I have strong feelings about mental health and illness.  I don’t feel like Robin was mentally ill, but it goes without saying that he obviously needed help.  I’ve had many a conversation with people who are going through a difficult time and I’ve recommended maybe going to a therapist.  I would easily say 75% of them balked at the idea, or outright dismissed it.  In this day and age, I’m actually astounded that people still think the best way to deal with depression, anxiety, stress, misplaced anger or just out and out head problems are to ‘get over it.’  I’m not saying this of the people I know as a whole.  I have a good amount of friends in therapy or who have seen one and had it help them a lot, but there’s still so much shame surrounding getting help with your problems or a general mistrust of another person to show vulnerability.  It breaks my heart to think of the pain Robin Williams was in to have him think he had no other choice.  It breaks my heart to think anyone would think that.  The thing that makes me mad is the thought that anyone would be ashamed to reach out and ask for help or that they wouldn’t get the help they needed. And as much as I know he was in pain, I’m angry at him for leaving behind the people who loved him (as in the world).  I know he was in pain, but that IS where you have to do something about it.  When you leave other people behind to deal with the grief over something you’ve done.  That’s where it’s time to get serious.  Get help.  Talk to someone.  Even if you think you have it under wraps, just think of it as quality control.  It creeps up on you.  And there’s no shame in admitting that you’re just plain human.

 

Ar ar ar.

Ar ar ar.

yourboogieman:

Awesome rebuttal to internet vitrtiol on her character, Beverly Katz, on NBC’s HANNIBAL from Hetienne Park. Good stuff.

Originally posted on Eat This:

headshotimdb_
I’m an American actress and I play Beverly Katz on NBC’s HANNIBAL created by Bryan Fuller. (Spoiler Alert coming right now!!!) And she dies in episode 4 of Season 2. That episode got a lot of positive reviews, but it also incited an on-line storm of vitriol directed to Fuller himself for killing off Katz, or more specifically, for being racist and sexist. I caught wind of this myself via Twitter from our beloved Fannibals. And I thought maybe it’d be productive to talk about rather than ignore it.

Fuller cast me in a role that I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting. I rarely if ever see minorities, women, minority women, let alone Asian women, get to play characters like Beverly Katz. I rarely if ever see characters like Beverly Katz period. And her last name is Katz for Christ’s sake. Pretty open-minded, non-racist, pro-feminine…

View original 1,658 more words

I’MA BRING THE THUNDER!!!!

Posted: January 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Wow, this thing still works.

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Man, this pen is dusty.   Is anyone out there?  Hello *echo* hello hello hello….

I think I still have some words in me.

When I was very young, my dad had a turntable in our living room that was hidden behind a false painting of The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainesborough. It pivoted open to reveal an empty space and my dad turned it into the entertainment center. I grew up staring at that doughy face and that foppish hat and going, “Dude, Percy, stop looking at me. You’re freaking me out.” But I loved that turntable. My dad only had music of his, but when I was around seven or eight, I would go through his vinyl and I would put on things like The Bee Gees Jive Talkin’ and I would get damn funky. My Nana would sit in the dining room and sit and laugh as she watched me jump around and do this goofy dance that my older brother, Larry, referred to as “Allen’s Crazy Ostrich Dance.” I can’t even being to describe it further than it absolutely looked like an ostrich running. I bet you can even guess which part of the song I did it to. I would even go so far to get my GI Joes and make them do it, too. Especially Firefly and Zartan. Those dudes were my favorite. I still have a soft spot for Firefly because he just started out as just some Cobra demolitionist and in the comics, they said, “Hey, this dude looks like a ninja with his balaclava. Let’s give him a crazy backstory where he kills Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow’s master and is this super ninja!” Oh, you crazy GI Joe writers. And I just liked making Zartan change colors over and over again and I melted his fake mask that you could put on him with a magnifying glass so it looked like The Incredible Melting Man. DISCO DISCO, YA YA!

 

 

Yeah, nice upgrade, douche.

I just watched this video a bit ago.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s actually funny and hits some nice spots.  What it did in my brain was rehash a subject I’ve thought about a couple times:  Hipster Hate.  I’m as guilty as the next human being of bashing Hipsters riding past on a vintage bicycle wearing a plaid scarf and sporting a moustachio of epic proportions on their way to the Farmers Market to get ingredients to make their own tampons.  See, I just did it there.   You know what that just sounded like?  An old person.   I’m not saying everyone who bashes hipsters for drinking only PBR for its taste and insisting that if a song is the most popular one from a band, it obviously can’t be your favorite because so many other people like it (I love this argument) is an old person.  But you sure sound like one.  See, I did it again.  It’s hard not to.  This is why it just needs to stop.

Yes, yes, sometimes during a generation, a certain subset of people are interested in specific things that might seem more interesting to them because it makes them feel a bit unique or special, thereby making them less special because they heard about it from other people who felt it made them feel more unique or special.  This has been going on as far back as Grok decided he’d wear his fur a bit lower than his other friends because that’s the way he saw one dude in another cave do it who didn’t follow the herd EITHER and so his girlfriend, Unga, decided to follow suit and so on and so on.  On the scale of culture, hipsters are on par with Beatniks, Mods, Punks, Ravers, Rude Boys, Hippies, Emo Kids, Goths, Swing Kids and even Trekkies.   Most of which, after a certain amount of time, gain nostalgic levels of cool with the general populace (remember hippy spirit day in high school? PEACE MAN).

I have two points I just want to make.  Point Uno: it’s too easy.  Making fun of someone for trying to be unique or for actually being unique is the bastion of every schoolyard bully that has ever stalked the playgrounds of the world.  I’m not saying everyone who rolls their eyes and says, “Fucking Hipsters,” is a bully.  But I am saying you’re emulating one.  If Hipsters prevent you from getting a Whole Foods in your neighborhood because they’re afraid of gentrification, sure, raise a stink.  But if you’re filled with rage because someone is going on about how they like a band you’ve never heard of and it makes you so mad, then that brings me to point number two.  You’re really just hating.  Hipsters think they’re SO cool.  Guess what?  They kind of are.  At least using the definition of “hip and with it.”  In their subculture, they are cool.  And who cares?  So Hipsters might pay more attention to what’s new and interesting and that actually might be more important to them.  Does this hurt you?  Doubt it.  Can you feel superior about it?  Sure, go ahead.  It just removes all your credibility when you complain about how they seem pretentious and act superior to YOU.

I don’t think I’m touching on any new ground here.   We’ve seen the general populace tell punks to cut their hair right, hippies to cut their hair right and mods to stop cutting their hair so right.  Just remember the next time you sneer at some kid walking by wearing a scarf in the middle of summer holding a pug and sporting an Arcade Fire ring or something, you’re wasting your hate.  It’s useless.  Go hate some Neo-nazis or something and just leave the Hipsters alone.

MUST PUNCH THEM FOR DRESSING CURRENT!

“Be ashamed to die, until you have won some victory for humanity.”  – Horace Mann

I’ve been recently picking up a few newer issues of some of the mainstream titles from Marvel (I gave the new DC a chance, REALLY I DID.  They’re just almost all ridiculous).  Although, pay attention here, too, DC.  There’s still hope you’ll pull your proverbial head out of your ass.

There’s an idea that runs across your two universes, guys, that is well known and has become a tired and overused cliche.  There is no permadeath.  Ever since the return (and within a not-so-coincidental short amount of time in-between them) of both Jason Todd and Bucky, the idea of DEAD-DEAD is gone.  Just poof.  DC tried to wipe it out with Brightest Day with their proclamation of, “IT’S NOT SO EASY TO COME BACK ANYMORE.”  Marvel has been trying to stick with keeping Jean Grey in her ol’ dirt nap, but no one’s buying it.  Seriously?  Guys, come on.  You know it, we know it.  Death just does not carry the weight that it once did.  I was recently reading the new Cable and X-Force book and he’s got a brain tumor and yadda yadda and he has to complete his mission and etc and etc and who cares.  You know why?  Because he’s not really going to die.  Cable has died a billion times.  How can this even be a plot device?  And do you REALLY think Charles Xavier won’t be back, either from a multiversal double, resurrection, time travel glitch or whatever else goofy explanation you can come up with?  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE goofy explanations.  “So, Jean Grey was really alive in a rock cocoon at the bottom of the ocean the whole time and The Phoenix stole her identity while she healed and Reed Richards stumbled upon her in the middle of the ocean by accident? Awesome, sign me up.”   You’re beating a dead horse, that will soon be up and running again on his own.

"Oh, get up, Chuck.  You're not fooling anyone."

“Oh, get up, Chuck. You’re not fooling anyone.”

My advice to you moving forward is to truly, truly OWN it.  Don’t shy from it.  Snide comments about revolving pearly gates doesn’t cut it.  I mean really use it as a plot device.  One thing that you have the ability to do is make your characters that you’re the deity of have self-awareness.  Peter David is excellent at this.  I’m not going to blow smoke up PD’s ass, I do that enough in other posts.  Jamie Madrox went from a, at best, D-list mutant to a fully fleshed out, self-aware and incredibly human character.  Okay, maybe I am going to blow smoke up PD’s ass.  Whatever.  Point being, X-Factor has taken death and made it a regular part of life.  When Guido (also known as Strong Guy, still my favorite named superhero besides Captain ****) was killed, they just brought him RIGHT back.  And used that as a story point.  The X-men have seen one of their own die and come back so many times, how does Xavier’s death really mean anything past, “What do we do to bring him back?  Cyclops, get on that.  Also, make me a cappuccino, you whiny bitch.”  Side note, Cyclops is the Luke Skywalker of the X-men.  I don’t even need to lay that one out for you.  But, I digress.

I didn’t mean for this to turn into the nerd rant that it did (pretty unavoidable with me, though), other than to say that you’re missing out on some really great opportunities here.  Your fan base are mostly intelligent people who will keep up with you if you give them the chance.   Death of an established character has been the number one literary device to fuel fear in literature since the beginning of time.  Find something else or you’ll become the dinosaurs that everyone worries that you already are.

Whatever.

Whatever.

Awhile back, when I was inhabiting the wasteland of Williamsburg, I regaled the internet with tales of my adventures in dining and odd flea market spelunking.  I realized that the list spawned from that was far from complete, considering it was mostly the area surrounding Williamsburg and I had neglected large areas of Manhattan that I have grown to appreciate.  I’ve used that prior list (presented HERE for your lazy perusal) to give tips and tricks for visitors to the lands of the Five Boroughs and I feel like I have more to share.  SO.  Without further hullabaloo…I present a continuation of The Monster’s Guide to New York Gluttony and Dipsomania.  You’ll notice that a lot of these gems are in the same general area.  I don’t do a lot of Midtown if I can avoid it and Times Square gives me hives, so I prefer the Village, East and West if I can help it.

One addition to the last list that I recently discovered was an (somewhat) addendum to Angel’s Share.  This yakitori joint that assaults you with brain-piercing neon and J-pop played loud enough to cause Neo-Tokyo to implode turns out to be pretty decent.  The portal to the wonder that is Angel’s Share, Village Yokocho, has a good, solid menu of Japanese small plates and a nice beer and sake selection.  I recommend a drop in before calming down at AS.  8 Stuyvesant.

If you’re in the mood for a more formal setting (not too formal, you snob), I was finally (and easily) cajoled by Monster Hunter Y to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar, which I repeatedly insist on mispronouncing, much to The Red Queen’s chagrin.  With an astounding menu of ramen and other delicacies from the far East Village, Momofuku is a great spot to stuff yourself stupid.  I’ve never had much luck on a weekend getting in, but during the weekday, there was absolutely no wait.  171 First Avenue.

SLUUUURRRP!

SLUUUURRRP!

If it’s heartier fare you crave, look no further, my attentive audience.  Just a very small stone’s throw away from Momofuku is the Hungarian Burger shop dubbed Korzo Haus.  Locally sourced and forcefully served, the burgers at Korzo Haus are perfectly cooked after being wrapped in a delicious dough cradle called Langoš and then deep fried to destroy any possibly evil spirits lurking in the meat, I’m assuming.  Don’t forget the potato spetzel and if you’re super gross, the beet ketchup.  Uck, beets.  Barf.  178 E. 7th St.

YOU WILL EAT THE BURGER OR WE WILL FIGHT.

YOU WILL EAT THE BURGER OR WE WILL FIGHT.

If that’s not enough dead animal flesh sliding down your gullet, a quick jaunt over to Stanton St will bring you to the always satisfying Meatball Shop.  It’s really hard to try to put a different face on specialty shops than what they are.  They’re somewhat trendy now, but I can’t complain because sometimes, specializing is good.  Maybe the insects are right.  Meatball Shop is just amazing meatballs in multiple configurations.  GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME, FOOL.  Don’t forget to try the ice cream sandwich with fresh baked cookies and in-house ice cream.  84 Stanton St.

To cleanse the palate, time for more ice cream! It’s a good idea to maybe shove a big, fat gay ice cream cone down your throat when you’re already getting so much meat.  Oh, look, NYC has that for you, too.  Big Gay Ice Cream is exactly what it sounds like.  Big Gay Ice Cream.  GOOD Big Gay Ice Cream.  I devoured The Salty Pimp cone without looking back.  Okay, maybe I looked back to take, like, five Lactaids, BUT WHATEVER, WORTH IT.  Fancy and pretty and fun and the ice cream is unique and cool.  If you’re too much of a big, dumb sissy to go to Big Gay Ice Cream, well, try Baskin-Robbins.  And live a life unfulfilled.  125 East 7th Street.

At this point, you might want to calm down.  I mean, you’re only human.  Or subhuman.  Abby Human?  Well, you can take a seat nearby here at The Bourgeois Pig.  Very dark and sexy and comfortable, with some nice wine, cocktails and charcuterie, The Bourgeois Pig is a nice place to get away from the heaviness of the city for a moment and feel like you’re fleeing all the king’s men.  111 E 7th St.

Now, I’ve been mostly describing restaurants and eateries, but if you feel like venturing north a bit, another El Hybrid addition to the repertoire is The Russian Vodka Room.  Something straight out of an Ian Fleming novel, this small, red, delicious slice of hell is closer to Times Square, but has a lot going for it.  Infused vodkas and pickled vegetables and INCREDIBLY attentive staff make for a perfect winter oasis.  165 W 52nd St.

Since you’re in the area, if you’re looking for a nice, aged steak and more well done cocktails, Gallagher’s is right down the way and worth a visit.   Since 1927, Gallagher’s has been doing Manhattans and Martinis up for the locals and doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon.  228 W 52nd St.

If you’re craving something slightly more carnal at this point, a New York favorite is The Museum of Sex.  Not for the squeamish, but neither is this blog, so you should be alright.  Ribald, but also informative, The Museum of Sex has some titillating and interesting exhibits and is always a fun jaunt after you’ve gotten your fill elsewhere.   233 5th Ave.

Since we’re on the subject of pork, back down to the East Village for some pork sandwiches.  Porchetta is, you guessed it, all about pork.  You’ll be presented with a very simple and tasty pork sandwich, done up with thick bread and some greens on the side.  That’s good porkin’, man.  The staff was very courteous and easy to chat with and offer nice suggestions.  An accidental drop-in last time in the city and a very happy accident at that.  110 E 7th St.

If it’s more dairy you want in your diet, then look no further than Little Meunster.  A specialty grilled cheese shop that is easily the size of a postage stamp, Little Meunster offers not much more than very fancy (their website says so!) grilled cheese slung with some tasty soup and chips.  Good stuff and very comforting.  100 Stanton St.

It’s time to head back into Brooklyn for a place I neglected to mention last article.  Dumont on Union has what is very possibly my favorite burger.  Not overly complicated, but a good healthy portion, the Dumont burger is grass-fed, organic, served on a brioche bun and is phenomenal in its quality and taste.  I COULD EAT A BILLION.  I haven’t personally tried it, but I’ve also heard excellent things about their Reuben sandwich.  432 Union Ave.

While you’re in the area, one of my favorite comfort spots is The Huckleberry Bar.  A cozy spot with well made drinks and decent bar food, the Huckleberry’s true appeal is the atmosphere.  At first glance, it’s nothing special, but it has the appeal of being very low-key and friendly, except on holiday nights.  I went on Halloween.  Ugh.  Never again. Otherwise, would hang again A++.  588 Grand St.

Last but not least, in tribute to The Cos, NYC has a pudding specialty shop dubbed Puddin’.  Easily the best pudding I’ve ever had, there is even a vegan choice (Banana) and Puddin’ has surprised many a naysayer with its quality and deliciousness.  I recommend both the Lemon Drop and the Banana Cream Dream or whatever flavor you prefer with key lime angel food pieces. YUM, DUDE, YUM.  102 St. Mark’s Place.

I'MA GET THAT PUDDIN'!

I’MA GET THAT PUDDIN’!

This list is by no means conclusive, but an update was definitely in order.  If you have any suggestions that I missed, let me know and I’ll put it in the brain bank for next time, but this should get your arteries clogged pretty well for now.

Yeah. Right. Hell.

I just received this email from the pals at Extra Life.

Hello Allen,
 
We hope you’ve been able to catch up on some much needed (and well deserved rest) since the 20th
 
We wanted to reach out to you with some good news. You were in our top fundraising players this year. What does that mean for you? You’ll be getting your very own Extra Life dice! Though we wish we could teleport them to you right this minute, we need to process all the winners by hand; it’s going to take us a bit. (We’re sorry!) The good news is that you should have them by Thanksgiving—so break out the board games to play with the family.
 
Now a bit of housekeeping—we’ll be shipping to the address you listed when you registered. If you need to update that information, please do so as soon as you can! To do that, log in to your account. In the upper right hand corner, you’ll see “Welcome, Allen.” Click on the triangle next to that and chose to go to your profile. You’ll see the address we have for you on that page. If it’s not correct, just click “Edit Profile” and update your information. Easy as that!!
 
Thank you again for all you did this year. We hope you enjoy our little gift to you for being so awesome!

For The Kids (FTK!),

Team Extra Life @ExtraLife4Kids
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals @cmnhospitals
:D

Hell, yeah.