Category Archives: actual occurrences

Just shut up and turn 30 already

Math is unavoidable. Making a fuss about it isn't.

Math is unavoidable. Making a fuss about it isn’t.

At some point in my life, I fell from ahead to behind. In most of school from elementary through early college, I was the youngest kid in class, and for whatever reason, the last to hit a growth spurt. Which meant I was the runty pipsqueak that got knocked out of the way on the playground while others ran up the jungle gym, looking down at me from a giant perch and calling me “kid” as they didn’t even bother to say “watch out.” I can’t explain the growth spurt (I’m a happily lanky 5’10″ish now) but the age thing came by a manner of birth circumstance: the cut-off date to enter school in our area of NJ was Oct. 1; and I was born at night on Sept. 30, just a few hours shy of midnight. So that made me usually the youngest kid in the entire grade, which meant I was also the last among our friends to get a license senior year (thanks for all the rides, guys). It meant that when I went off to college I was still a meager 17, for the first month or so, which was fine because at GW all the freshman just went out to clubs because DC is a swampy wasteland after 5pm and there was crap else to do.

So I made one good-faith effort to Make Friends and Go Out with my neighbors from the third floor of the dorm, only to be (expectedly) turned away at the door of the over-18 club (which was maybe The Spot? All the DC clubs run together in my brain like diseases in your roommate’s medical textbook you scanned once out of boredom). I put up no fight, turned on my heel and headed back with the few other not-yet-18s, feigning disappointment that I couldn’t make it past the door. We went back and watched Saturday Night Live and I never attempted to visit a club again. Continue reading

Favorite bro from last night’s RNC

In response to the Chris Christie line “They believe in teachers’ unions; we believe in teachers,” this guy, who must really freaking hate teacher unions.

 

Live from the Pete & Pete reunion show, or: Growing up is for blowholes

Photo via Flickr's Chloe Lee. Click through for more!

On Friday, the creators and entire principal cast of The Adventures of Pete and Pete reunited for one of the first times since the show ended in 1996 which, in case you forgot how old we are, was nearly 20 years ago. The show featured the first-ever live performance of The Blowholes, the fictional supergroup created for the episode about little Pete’s favorite song, featuring Marshall Crenshaw (aka the meter reader), Syd Straw (Ms. Fingerwood!) and little Pete. And it was Kreb-tastic! Here’s them covering the show’s theme, “Hey Sandy” (for which Straw is reading the lyrics off a sheet of paper):

Among the revelations at the reunion:

-Toby Huss (Artie) was the guy in the Mr. Softee suit.

-At one point, Iggy Pop went up to Hardy Rawls (Dad Wrigley) and said “That guy who plays Artie, he’s kind of a weirdo, huh?”

-Alison Fanelli was the only non-blonde, non-monotone actress to read for the part of Ellen. She handed in a resume on a piece of notebook paper with a picture attached. They hired her because of her cute unprofessionalism.

-While filming one day, the crew couldn’t find little Pete on set. Turns out he was in Iggy Pop’s trailer learning to play bass. He was about 12.

-Ms. Fingerwood was originally named something else (which I can’t remember, sorry!), but Nickelodeon deemed it too dirty. So they went with Fingerwood, which was less dirty somehow?

-All the cast and crew commented on how funny it was to see the gang all growns up: “It’s weird to see the Petes drunk on beer,” Straw told the crowd.

-The creators, buoyed by the burgeoning indie rock credentials of the show wanted to use a Pixies song (probably Wave of Mutilation, they said) in one episode. But they didn’t get to use it because it was too damn expensive.

-All the guest stars came through connections the show’s crew had to the downtown manhattan art scene in the 90s.

-Ellen is still totally crushable.

-Nick opposed the use of “blowhole” as one of the show’s standard insults. But as it was just officially defined as a fleshy hole for breathing, they had no grounds to stand on.

-Toby Huss IS a crazy bastard. And it’s great.

And now, let’s reflect why this was such a BFD:

I’ve revisited Pete & Pete a few times over the years, especially as the DVDs were released a few years ago, but it probably never really hit me until last week just how much of an influence it had on own strange maturation. I had grown up watching Nickelodeon, and Pete & Pete landed in that pocket of television where Nick was experimenting with the idea that it was OK to be weird, that it was perfectly acceptable to not want to be a grownup, to live in that world where the gross aesthetics of Ren and Stimpy and the slimy sounding names (like Slurm and Fingerwood) were perfect projections of the kid imagination, before it had been corrupted with pop culture and over-education.¬† Continue reading

David Carr on Russians, escaping the grid and douchey elitists

David Carr of the New York Times was one of the featured guests at Wednesday’s Ask Roulette at Housing Works, along with Starlee Kine (of This American Life), Kurt Braunohler (of Hot Tub w/Kristen Schaal) and Dave Hill (also TAL and elsewhere). The room was packed and Carr was in sharp, biting form as you might have expected (especially¬†if you saw Page One), and these three clips provide a little insight into the things that can make him be drenched in sweat first thing in the morning.

With comedian Dave Hill on the left and host Jody Avirgan of WNYC (off screen), answering a question from Hill, “What is your least favorite time of week?”

Answering a question about whether he’s afraid of turbulence on a flight, and talking a little about his upcoming trip to Russia to promote Page One.

Continue reading

Xeni Jardin has breast cancer

I just got way too overly emotional reading this tweet from writer, Boing Boinger and all-things-brilliant tech gadfly Xeni Jardin:

I follow Xeni’s work regularly, and even though I don’t know her personally, I think at this point it’s fair to say I’m pretty sick of cancer wreaking a pretty devastating path across this 30 years of life, claiming family, friends and friends who are so close they are most certainly family.

At last count, I am among a group of six close friends who all lost fathers to cancer of one form or another, including three of us to whom it happened with the same three-year period. A gallows humor club known as the Dead Fathers Society. And there’s more and more and more, breast cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, thyroid, whatever. Does it stop? What else can you do except fight on and on? Tell it, XKCD.

The best Occupy Wall Street sign?

Via Dave C. from Thursday’s Occupy march.

Sadly, Glass-Steagall will only be coming back to Netflix streaming, exclusively. But man is it one quotable act.

The part of my Halloween costume no one got

This, as part of the Newspaper Layoff Clark Kent outfit:

(If you don’t get the Patch joke, this comment from Etanowitz might help).

Also, this:

Hard times in the newspaper industry, especially when you always disappear instead of reporting on the biggest news events in Metropolis.