Month: March 2012

Resume Running Red Lights, LA

Found on Flickr (taken by puck90)

Good news, Los Angeles! Those automated cameras at certain intersections will no longer flicker that annoying white flash to let you know you just ran a red light and can expect to get a nice present in the mail. So if you’re looking for photographic evidence that you were driving somewhere at a specific time, you’re just going to have to ask someone to use their camera phone or something. Maybe they’ll even take a more flattering picture, and for free.

The 32 red light cameras throughout the city have documented an average of 45,000 traffic violations each year. The downside is they were also more expensive than the revenue they generated, and the tickets issued from those pictures were difficult to enforce (“That’s not my blurry, pixelated face! That’s not even my car! Plus I was in Denver that weekend and have a friend who can back me up.”) and caused an increase in rear-end collisions (some drivers slammed on their breaks hoping it was the car in front of them that got caught, much to the chagrin of the car behind them). Fortunately that’s all behind us now. We’re once again able to run red lights to our heart’s content! Let’s go forth and endanger people’s lives, everyone!

Better news: If you have an outstanding ticket from a red light camera, throw that sucker away! The city is no longer collecting money from them. See? Procrastinating pays off!

(Just be careful. There are still cities around LA proper that have cameras just waiting to get us.)

Living Room Theater: Twin Peaks Episode 3

The funeral of Laura Palmer

So far so good. We’re sticking to our schedule of one episode each week. Last night was Episode 3. Some random thoughts:

  • The police receptionist Lucy, as played by Kimmy Robertson (thanks, Wikipedia), is hilarious. Looks like she’s still working from time to time, which is always good to see.
  • What’s the deal with the eyepatch-wearing Nadine? She’s totally psycho over inventing frictionless curtain drapes, and when she does she goes totally ga-ga over her previously neglected, verbally abused husband Big Ed, who himself is kind of creepy for a big lug.
  • Worst. Funeral. Ever.
  • I love the opening credits of the soap opera within the show with an actress playing two roles, and then in walks Laura Palmer doppelgänger and cousin Maddy, both roles played by Sheryl Lee.
  • I thought the Bookhouse Boys were going to check out the bartender after interrogating the Canadian drug mule. Why did Sheriff Truman go make out with Josie?
  • Someone please dance with Laura’s father before he collapses on another coffin.

Caturday: Digging for Gold Edition

The Comics Observer recommends 3 new graphic novels worth checking out for new comic readers. And it also continues its coverage of the LA Times Festival of Books with a look at the just-announced program schedule.

In case you missed it here, learn about the Magic Meathands’ Comedy Outreach Project, bringing comedy to people in our community who need some laughter.

Nahleen had her first full week of blogging! Go her! This one, about how sometimes she just has to WAIT whether she wants to or not, might be my favorite of the week.

My Tumblr gets a rare but probably controversial update in support of Détente.

And on the totally other end of the music spectrum, if you’re into singer-songwriters from the late ’60s and early ’70s, take a look at the Troubadour Tribune. shares the journey of life with chronic health challenges

Uh oh. The blogging bug has spread to my wife. Our cat might be next.

Yes, Nahleen has started blogging at, where she’s writing about her experiences living with multiple sclerosis and lupus. Emphasis on living and trying to live better.

What’s amazing about this for me is that I’m learning new things about what she’s going through or gaining a deeper understanding, even though we talk a lot about it and even though I see her go through it every day. I guess that’s why we humans developed different ways to express ourselves.

Anyway, I hope you’ll stop by, subscribe, and share it with your friends if one or more posts resonate with you. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you.

The Comedy Outreach Project of the Magic Meathands

We just completed a thrilling run of shows, as we teamed up with Jump Start and Danger Pants! (formerly known as The Callbacks), but we’re not done yet! We’re revving up for a special show at a homeless shelter in Santa Monica as part of our Comedy Outreach Project. We’re also in talks to help out fundraising for an elementary school and seeing about returning to some of our regular partners.

The Comedy Outreach Project is all about us taking live improvised comedy out to the community. Whether it’s a boys’ home, transitional housing for women, a halfway house, senior centers, or local schools, we bring our funny to them. For some, this is their first experience with live theater and improvised comedy, and the discovery of joy and laughter is powerful to behold. It’s not always easy to get through to them to share that joy and laughter, but after a few hundred shows of doing just that, the Magic Meathands understand how to use high energy and audience-appropriate material that involves them and encourages creativity in diverse settings.

Do you know of a group of people that could use some laughter? Check out our Comedy Outreach Project page and get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

The above was cross-posted on the Magic Meathands blog. I’ve been a member of the Magic Meathands for over 3 years, performing over 150 shows of improvised comedy. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, give yourself a treat and catch one of our shows.

Caturday: Face Cleaning Kitteh Edition

Love the rotary phone.

Today I’m at WonderCon, a comic book convention happening all weekend long in Anaheim.

Tomorrow evening I’m performing improv comedy with the Magic Meathands in Hermosa Beach.

Meanwhile at The Comics Observer:

This Weekend is a Two’fer of Comedy

1 show down, 2 to go for March.

This weekend, we’re performing both Saturday and Sunday nights! That’s two times the funny! Can the universe survive?

Saturday night, we reunite with the improv group The Callbacks for our Tag Team Comedy night. That’s at the Mary Pickford Studio, near downtown Culver City, at 8 PM. Tickets are $7.

Then, on Sunday night, we’re doing a reprise of our Family Friendly Show with Jump Start. Our show with them this past Saturday night went so well, we’re doing it again in their neck of the woods. Yes, the Magic Meathands are hitting Hermosa Beach! So bring the kids, bring the grown-up kids, bring everyone to the 2nd Story Theater. The show is 6:30 to 8:30 PM and tickets are $10 ($5 for 12 and under).

The above was cross-posted on the Magic Meathands blog. I’ve been a member of the Magic Meathands for over 3 years, performing over 150 shows of improvised comedy. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, give yourself a treat and catch one of our shows.

NOTE: I will be at WonderCon on Saturday, so unfortunately I won’t be in Tag Team Comedy show. But I’ll be with the Meathands on the Sunday show in Hermosa Beach. I hope to see you there.

Now Playing Monday Nights at the Blake Living Room Theater: Twin Peaks

Organizing donuts. This is a job for the Twin Peaks police.

A few weeks ago, I heard from writer Brandon Seifert that the Hollywood Theatre would be screening every episode of the acclaimed TV series Twin Peaks once a week. Then I realized that the Hollywood Theatre is not located in nearby Hollywood, California, but instead the not-nearby Portland, Oregon. This made me consider starting a crusade against businesses named after geographic locations they are nowhere near.

If you’re in the Portland area, I hope you can check this out. The screenings started last Wednesday with the pilot, and future weeks will include two episodes each night.

This surreal TV series by filmmaker/artist/musician David Lynch aired in 1990 and ’91 and has defied understanding ever since. Writer/director Miguel Cima generously gave me the DVD box set a couple of years back, and I started to make my way through the series. I was several episodes in and then something interrupted my progress. I can’t remember what now. Maybe some deadline I had to meet, or some project, or maybe some fun health problems hit our family. Whatever it was, by the time I could get back to it, I couldn’t remember where I left off. So that was kind of that.

Then the above chance to see it in a theater came up, which sounded like an awesome way to experience the show. After realizing that I simply didn’t have enough frequent flyer miles built up to fly to Portland every week, I decided to recommit myself to watching the entire series.

So yesterday, I started back at the beginning with the 2-hour pilot episode and will proceed with one episode every Monday night around 8 PM.

Would you like tickets to the weekly screening? Sorry, it’s date night for my wife and me, and our apartment isn’t really a theater. But the show is on NetFlix. Why not play along at home? I can’t promise reviews, but maybe I’ll post some thoughts here and there as I make my way through it, and we can all compare notes. I’m sure I’ll also post about it on Facebook.

What do you think of Twin Peaks? Thoughts on the pilot in particular? Brilliant? Weird? Creepy?

Caturday: Kitteh Tongue Edition

Look at that tongue!


Tonight! It’s improv comedy! For you! Don’t miss it or you’ll ruin everything.

Hey, music list makers! Ten on the Tenth started this morning! Post 10 songs about hate! It’ll remain open until Monday at 9 AM Pacific / 12 noon Eastern.

And at The Comics Observer:

My Face on Funny Or Die, and 2 Film Festivals Like Web-Series I Was In

I don’t know if it’s still up this morning, but since Friday or Saturday, my face has been on the front page of Funny Or Die for a political satire video I acted in, Mayer For Mayor, Pt. 1. Craziness.

Here’s a screen capture from writer/director Sam Sero for proof, because as the internet has taught us, pics or didn’t happen.

There I am, right under Stephen Lang. (How many people get to write that sentence?)

Please go watch the video on Funny Or Die and vote ‘Funny’ so we can… win Internet points or something, I guess.

I would embed the video here but apparently Funny or Die and WordPress are rival gangs. If you can’t bear the thought of leaving, fortunately the Poopdog Entertainment team posted the video on YouTube so you can watch it right here:

My fellow Magic Meathands improviser Seth Rotkin is in this too. Yes, there are plans for a Mayer for Mayor, Pt. 2 and possibly more. It seems like maybe there’s some sort of political thing going on for the next 9 months or so that might make this timely. So if you like what you see, please let us know in the comments, share with your friends, and watch it over and over until you’ve memorized the entire thing backwards and forwards. There will be a test.

In other news about me and my face, two film festivals specializing in web-series and online content are particularly fond of a web-series that I appeared in called The Starmind Record. I originally wrote about my appearance in episode 6 and the project here. The Starmind Record is an official selection of both the LA Web Series Festival and the Hollyweb Festival.

If you’re in the LA area and want to check out The Starmind Record on the big screen, the LA Web Series Festival is running the weekend of April 6-8 at the LAX Raddison Hotel (exact screening details to be announced March 20). The Hollyweb Festival will begin screenings on March 9th (exact details should be announced any second now) with an award show on March 31 at the Dim Mak Studios (formerly Cinespace) in Hollywood. Check out the festivals’ websites for more details.

Here’s the episode I’m in, if you missed it the first time around: