'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Tuesday, April 30, 2002 ]

Somebody fucking kill me.



posted by Rob on 9:22 AM | link
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[ Monday, April 29, 2002 ]

Continuing the tradition of having Buck write my weblog entries for me, is a postcard I just got.

And don't say "Vegas, Baby."

Don't be that guy.

That guy's a tool.

Las Vegas.  The Gaming Capital Of The World.


"Little-known Las Vegas Facts (#12 in a series)

In 1956, at the height of the Estes Kefauver hearings exploring mob activity in Las Vegas, the city went through 8 mayors in the space of a year! From Mayor Anderson, whose bullet-riddled body was officially labeled a 'shaving accident,' to Mayor Rich, who was missing for 2 weeks before his body was found staked to an anthill in the desert, to Mayor Grant, whose foot was found protruding from a recently re-cemented section of Hoover Dam, their sacrifice made for a colorful period of Las Vegas history!

Love, Buck."



posted by Rob on 5:59 PM | link
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[ Saturday, April 27, 2002 ]


And, by popular demand, here's a quick button and banner I whipped up for the site:








posted by Rob on 11:03 PM | link
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You know I'm too lazy to come up with new material when I start doing these quiz things.

Add to the list of Things No One Is Suprised By:




What Psych-Ward do you belong to?


Yeah, yeah, frickin' yeah.

By the way, my dad and stepmom just got back from Viet Nam. Maybe I'll be able to post some pictures.



posted by Rob on 11:42 AM | link
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[ Thursday, April 25, 2002 ]

The hits just keep on coming:


Would you survive a horror movie? Find out @ She's Crafty


Which Action Star Are You? Find out @ She's Crafty


And this, of course, comes as a surprise to no one:


Which Buffy Guy Are You? Find out @ She's Crafty







posted by Rob on 2:41 PM | link
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Return to Quizville, kids.

I took the quiz to see who my 80's alter-ego was.

People who knew me in New Jersey will love this one:


Who's Your 80s Movie Icon Alter-Ego? Find out @ She's Crafty


Sigh.

Life is good.



posted by Rob on 1:02 PM | link
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[ Wednesday, April 24, 2002 ]

So, last night, as I cooked myself dinner, I had Fox on last night, as I was waiting for 24.

And, as always, I had to stop what I was doing to walk back into the t.v. room to turn off That 70's Show.

Why the hell is this show still on the air?

Why do people find this show funny?

You know, I could easily write for this show.

In fact, I'll give it a shot:

INT. BASEMENT - DAY

SKINNY KID
Hey, Stoner, what's up?


Stoner looks up.

STONER
Hey, man, you know.


Stoner does one of his hand gestures.

LAUGH TRACK FOR FIVE MINUTES.

STONER (cont.)
Anybody want to get high?


THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE. LAUGHTER.

Commercial break.


Okay, now somebody give me a fucking check.




posted by Rob on 11:58 AM | link
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[ Tuesday, April 23, 2002 ]

Got this in my mailbox today.

My buddy Scott is writing and directing his first show for Broom Street, and not only is it autobiographical, I remember when all of this happened to him.

Here's the plug:

It's almost here! A journey into madness and despair....! Where the ultimate battle between good and evil comes to a shattering climax! A young boy's journey into the depths of manhood takes a shocking turn to the forces of the dark side...and not even the love of a good woman can help him escape its clutches...!

But enough about the new Star Wars film. Let's talk about...

SCOTT FEINER's
MY FOUR FATHERS


Truth is indeed stranger than fiction!

My Four Fathers is a stunning new play about the complexities of one man's quest for the truth about his family history and the shocking revelations that send his entire world spinning into chaos!

Scott is currently holding tryouts for My Four Fathers which will feature a cast of 12 talented individuals, 6 men and 6 women.

Also needed are several individuals to perform the challenging task of tech production, including Set design, Lighting design and sound and light performance for the run of the show.

No preparation is necessary! Simply show up to auditions. Fill out the form, and you're on your way! Scenes from the script will be provided, and readings from books will be the process.

Tryouts are:

Monday and Tuesday April 22, 23 and Monday and Tuesday April 29, 30
At 7:00 PM at the Broom Street Theater building, 1119 Williamson St in Madison.



For more info, call Scott at : 251-1632 or drop him an E-mail at: fourfathers@myrealbox.com

My Four Fathers -
Where truth is stranger (and more bizarre)than fiction could ever hope to be!


So go, try out, and for God's sake, tell me how it goes.



posted by Rob on 5:13 PM | link
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[ Monday, April 22, 2002 ]

Wil Wheaton has a cool post today about turning thirty.

I tried to post the following response, but the bastard server wouldn't let me.

So, now, it's going here:

I remember waiting on line for Batman.

It opened on June 23rd, and I remember this for two reasons:

1) The release date was plastered on every surface you could see for months before the film came out. Rumor has it that the film spent more on advertising than they made--not true, but I'd believe it. You couldn't open up a container of yogurt without a hand on a spring popping out with a damn bat-signal in it.

2) It came out the day after I graduated high school.

It's weird to think that.

And I'm already thirty, by the way.

Lately, I just feel old, and out of shape, and, well...

It's like I figured I should have been more together than this, you know?

Say it with me, kids:

I'm still living hand-to-mouth.

I can still only afford to live where I live by spending so much time at work that I'm never home.

Somewhere, I have debt that I have only sort of allowed myself to know about.

I still read comics.

I still watch cartoons.

I still play video games.

I still curse like I just discovered profanity.

I'm still bitter about Michael Keaton playing Batman.

I'm still angry about an argument I once had in high school.

I still miss the way the Pilgrim Diner used to be before it got rebuilt (even though I live nowhere near Montclair, New Jersey any more).

So say it loud, and say it proud, my brothers and sisters:

The teenage idiot I was is still me.


In other news, Unrealistic Expectations just put up my first review!

Here's how Russ (aka Roughy) puts what I do for the site:

Rob Matsushita is joining us as a reviewer, and I think he's got a pretty hysterical niche, too. Check him out--I don't think I have found another place on the web that's willing to go through the pain that Rob's willing to go through for you. Praise Rob!

He's reviewing all those movies at the video store that only show up with one box--not like the entire wall of Ocean's 11 that's up there now.

The videos that you rent when you've seen everything else...or at least the ones you seriously consider even though you know that Jean Claude playing himself as twins--yet again--really shouldn't be rented.

So, dig around. Thanks for stopping by!


Check it out.



posted by Rob on 1:52 PM | link
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[ Thursday, April 18, 2002 ]

So last night I'm watching the show "The Job," and in the episode, Denis Leary is sure that some guy he sees is involved in some sort of crime...only to find out that, of course, he's seen every out of context, and that he's been acting like an idiot all along.

Whoa. Didn't see that one coming.

Can't we just retire this plot once and for all?

Is there a name for it? I know Roger Ebert has a term called the "Idiot Plot," but this is specifically for tv shows--directly, tv sitcoms. I'm thinking something like The "Delusional Hero Complex" episode.

After they did this with Parker Posey on the Simpsons, there was no point in doing this plotline ever again.

Argh.

There's a bunch of plotlines I could do without, actually. I'm getting real tired of episodes of shows that revolve around a "hairbrained scheme."

Ed is starting to do this.

Come to think of it, all of the characters on all the network shows I watch are just getting stupider and stupider.

Someone, somewhere, must think this is what we want.

Double argh.

Anyway, in other news, everybody keep your eyes on Unrealistic Expectations, as I'm going to be reviewing Trash Movies (Oooh! My favorite!) for them. I've already written two reviews, and they should be put on the site soon.

I'm dash excited about it.

Pop quiz, hotshot: You're in a room with a girl who might not be a girl.

What do you click?

...What do you click?



posted by Rob on 12:57 PM | link
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[ Monday, April 15, 2002 ]

So all the ladies in the house say yeah, yeah. Come on you motherfuckers, say a prayer, prayer. When you fight, you gots to fight fair. You motherfucker, ho, you motherfucker. You know what time it is. Tenacious D time, you motherfucker go. Fuck yeah. We ride with kings on mighty steeds, across the devils plain. We've walked with Jesus and his cross, he did not die in vain, no! Kyle's fingers be silver. Jack's voice then be gold, but lest you think we're vain. We know it's open mic night and we don't care. Tenacious D, we reign! We reign, supreme, oh God! Burrito supreme, and a chicken supreme, and a nacho supreme. Supreme, yeah. Go now Kyle, go now Kyle. Supreme!


Yeah, so this last weekend, Betsy and I go to see Tenacious D in Milwaukee.

(Insert "Laverne And Shirley" theme here, to be interrupted by "What're we doin'?!?! We got tickets to see Tenacious D!!!")

We lucked out, too. We got there a little early, so I was going to kill some time by writing an outline for the final act in my next show.



Then, of course, the security guy took away my pen.

"Well," Betsy said, "I guess it could be used as a weapon..."

Argh.

We get into the Eagles Ballroom.

Initially, we were in what could be called the third row center--which sounds great, except it wasn't the kind of situation where there were seats--we all were standing.

I'm 5'6".

My wife is 5'4".

We had to move.

Amazingly, we find a spot in the front row. It's in front of one of the speakers, but luckily, since The D is an acoustic two-man band, we don't get the tinnitus we were expecting.

Once the place got filled up, our little space on the fence keeping us from the stage got smaller, and I spend the whole show with my arms around Betsy, or rubbing her back to the beat.

I have never thrown the sign of the devil so many times in one night in my life.

I actually yell "K.G. ROCKS!!!" at Kyle Gass when he comes over near us (he's about five damn feet away, yo).

They play for about two and a half hours.

Oh, yeah, there is an opening group, by the way, called "Home Town Hero." They're pretty good, but aren't received well.

I often wonder why there has to be an opening act--especially when the main band is playing for over two hours.

The problem Home Town Hero had is that the were everything that The D isn't: skinny, young, classicly good-looking, power guitars, thumpin' bass (there's that tinnitus we were waiting for)--and the crowd didn't react well.

During their set, the lead singer throws some of their CDs out to the crowd.

One CD is thrown back--almost hitting the lead guitar.

"Man, that's harsh," my wife says.

Still, back when The D played Madison, the opening act was a band named "DuVall," and they were received worse.

"Why do you even remember the name of that band?" Betsy asks me.

Because someone up front screamed "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE?!?" at the show, during their set.

DuVall leaves the crowd curiously unrocked.

Anyway, The D plays great--this is my second time seeing them, and both times they seem geniunely shocked at the amazing response they get.

What's really astounding to me is two things:

1) I can't think of the last time an all acoustic group got this kind of reception.

2) The whole point of the Tenacious D tv show was that no one liked them--and now, everyone loves them!

I pretended that this was The D's cream dream, and that we were all in it.

Which is why, I think, they're so much fun live.

They showed two short films with them, one about Jack and Kyle going into the desert to take LSD, and another about how Jack makes extra money, why Kyle never has any money, and how the two are disturbingly related.

Afterwards, Betsy and I head back to the hotel, and then spend an hour looking for this place:

The secret password to get into The Safe House is 'Why Don't You Blow Me, You Fuckin' Cop.'


The Safe House, one of the coolest bars in Milwaukee.

There's no front entrance.

The outside is not labeled.

You need to know the password to get in.

If you don't know the password, the security makes you do something embarrassing to get in.

Betsy knows the password, so we enter, unscathed, through a bookcase that slides open, revealing a hallway.

Down the hallway, there is another wall, which, after triggering an automatic sensor, opens the wall, revealing the interior of the bar.

Inside, there is a dance floor, and cool spy and gangster paraphenalia, including lots of James Bond stuff.

"I want to take Raymond here sometime," Betsy says, "He'd love it."

She's talking about Raymond Benson, who's the current James Bond novelist and an old friend of hers. No big suprise, he's a huge James Bond fan. She keeps telling me we have to meet up.

A woman wearing something tight, black, and low cut, comes over with a platter, offering us shots. She speaks with a British accent.

My wife gets something called "Sex On The Beach," which is orange and served in a Nyquil cup. There are also Jello shots, as well as something in a Safe House shot glass that's blue. The server tells us that we can keep the glass if we get it. It's called "The Silencer," and it's five bucks.

Betsy goes for the Sex On The Beach. It's a buck.

What's in that?

"I don't really know," Betsy says. "It's citrusy."

She has two more before we leave out the secret side entrance.

When we get to the hotel, it's after two in the morning. We sleep until 10am.

I don't know how Dave Attell does it.



posted by Rob on 8:12 AM | link
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[ Wednesday, April 10, 2002 ]

I got a golden ticket!

Yesterday, I got my chuckpalahniuk.net t-shirt.

With the t-shirt, I got two raffle tickets for the ChuckPalahniuk.net T-Shirt Raffle. Kick ass.

Dennis, the guy who co-runs the site, is using the money to fund "Our Lady of Sorrow." (Click the above graphic to find out more.

By the way, I was one of the lucky few who got to read the script, and man, is it dark.

So come on, help a brother out.

Oh, and if you don't click here, you're clicking for Hitler.



posted by Rob on 10:05 AM | link
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[ Friday, April 05, 2002 ]

Previously, on BK3…

…For some reason, I really need corn dogs.

…I make a dare to get as many of the playwrights tonight to fit the phrase “serious assplay” into their show.

“…Good Lord! It’s the vicar!”

…Hey! I yell. Where the fuck did all my Red Bulls go? There’s only one left.

“…I say! You had better shower; you smell like a distillery!” “How does a distillery smell?” “With its nose! Haw-haw-haw-haw!”

… I’ve showered, dressed, and am now standing outside of Betsy’s car trying to get the ice off of the wipers with my bare hands, while inside, Betsy is mouthing the word “Sorry.”

… I realize I’m not going to get any sleep.

“…Ladies and Gentlemen,” Buck says, “welcome to Project: Blitzkrieg 3D.”

…It is showtime.


The following takes place on the second night on the first week of Blitzkrieg 3D between 8:00 pm and 1:30 am.

If events occurred in real time, we’d be here for five and a half freakin’ hours.


8:03 pm.
The plays begin.

The first is...







Alex, sitting next to me, stirs nervously.

He is clearly worried about how this will go over with the crowd.

After Buck does his wind up, the curtains open, and we see...






I reach over and pat Alex on the back. Good job, I tell him. Alex remains intense, still thinking about how this could be better.

It's the only other play besides mine to fit in the phrase "serious assplay," so it's okay by me.

As up comes...







Just before the next show, Buck informs us that Betty Diamond wishes to make an announcement.

Betty gets up and informs us that the next play contains homosexuality, and that no matter what happens, not to panic.

And with that begins...




(what sucks here is that the tape ran out before I could get any really cool shots, like Nathan Caracter in the spotlight, or the final, violent freeze frame. Not that these pictures really do this one justice--this, the story of a woman breaking up with her imaginary friend, was the favorite of the night.)



Intermission.

Applause. Lights up.

Matt Cibula runs up to me and Doug.

"Don't you just want to kill Konoplisky?" he says, laughing.

"Oh, yeah," Doug says.

"It was funny, well-written, and original--she's makin' us look bad," Matt says.

That's it, I say, let's get her.

So Matt, Doug and I run up to her during the intermission and tell her that we hate her, she sucks, and how dare she actually write instead of just goofing off like we do, and, you know, welcome to the family.

Alex Peterson steps outside with Matt Cibla and I, even though it's cold, and of the three of us, I'm the only one who smokes.

Alex feels weird about how it went, and tells me he's gonna go home.

"That wouldn't be too bad, would it?" he asks. "But I can't be around anyone just now."

Alex takes off.

Matt asks me where Alex went, and I tell him.

"That's too bad," Matt says, "I was gonna tell him how much I liked what he did with my show."

I tell Matt that I realized this morning that I, in all likelihood, drank all my Red Bulls last night--so I probably had no truck with blaming John Sable.

"Oh, bullshit," Matt says, "I was keeping a close tally of your Red Bulls--there was no WAY you drank them all..."

I realize that he is right.

But it's time for the second half of the show. I sit down next to Doug.

Matt, heading to his seat, mentions how he's looking forward to Doug's show, with its distillery joke.

"Good lord! It's the vicar!" Doug says as the lights go down.

And so, Act Two begins.


Buck comes out and introduces my play...


The first thing I notice is that the music is wrong--the cd is play one track early, so instead of a song by Eminem playing over what we're seeing, it's a spoken word bit that starts with the line "Eminem would like you to suck his motherfucking cock!"

Oops.

This is not to say that Mark Penner, the sound engineer, does a bad job that night--in fact, he was pretty Goddamn amazing--but there is one time in the show when a gun goes off when it shouldn't.

At any rate, here is....






Not my best work for Blitzkreig, but a lot of fun.

Up next is...







And now for a more serious show...






And so, finally, it's the one, the only...







...and it's about here that my battery dies. Argh.

Anyway, the show goes on, until finally, the moment we've all been waiting for happens:

"You'd better shower--you smell like a distillery!"

And Linda Hartay says:

"And what does a distillery smell like?"

Very long pause.

"With...its...nose?"

Very long pause.

And five rows ahead of me, Matt Cibula brays like a fisted donkey.

It's the hugest laugh of the night.

Doug and I give each other the thumbs up, like the Hudson Brothers.

10:42 pm.
The show is over, and people are more concern with getting their stuff out of the theater than partying afterwards.

After a moment of panic when one of my guns seem to be missing, I find it and all is calmer.

I run into Craig.

Craig, I say, I really liked the direction in yours--the blocking was really solid. Considering you only had two actors and one of them was tied to a chair, you found a lot of really good blocking compositions.

"Yeah," he says, "And yours had...girls...and guns. And high kicks!"

I sigh.

10:55 pm.
Betsy and I have all our stuff, and start to head out the back door.

"You going home?" Buck asks.

Is something going on?

"There's talk of going to Jenna's."

Cool. Who else is going?

"Everyone, I think. I've got to stick around for the strike, but I'll see you there."

Cool.

Betsy and I head out.

The bag I have is huge, and has wheels on the back, so you can pull it along.

This doesn't mean shit when there's a foot of snow on the ground.

Betsy has the gun case, which has got to be at least 40 or 50 pounds--and she's the one of the two of us who has it easy.

The snow is coming down.

Cars are swirving all over the road.

Betsy says: "Maybe we should just go home..."

Nooo-OOO-oooo-OOO, I say. This sounds wimpier than it reads. Last year I missed out on the after show get-together, and I don't want to miss it this year.

Despite the insanity of the snow, we get to the car, exhausted, load it up, and take off.

11:15 pm.
After not so much driving as snowmobiling to the bar, and miraculously finding a parking spot, we discover that we are the first ones to arrive.

11:45 am.
We realize we are the only ones to arrive.

We head to the Concourse Hotel.

12:06 am.
Having checked in, we go to the bar in the hotel and chill out.

The other people in the bar are dressed in formal wear--they look like they've come here from a prom.

Betsy and I are in jeans and t-shirts.

My t-shirt has The Punisher on it.

I get up to get us some drinks.

Could I get a chardonay and a Coke? I ask the bartender.

He brings over the drinks.

"And what does The Punsher drink?" he says.

The Punisher drinks Jolt.

"Jolt, huh? Not Coke?"

The Punisher thinks that Coke is for housewives and little girls, I say. I adapt better.

12:20 am
We walk into our room.

"This is weird," Betsy says.

What, walking into a hotel room with no luggage?

"Yeah."

We space out.

"Okay," she says. "I'm gonna take a shower."

I'm gonna go exploring.

"Exploring?"

Just down the hall.

"Uh, okay," she says in that way that means I love you, but I can't really claim to understand you.

I get this look quite a bit.

12:32 pm.
I walk out of one of the bathrooms in the upper lobby. My travels have taken me there.

My curiousity is at its ebb, so I decide to head upstairs. I can hear some kind of a crowd in some kind of a hall ahead of me--it has security guys out front.

I ignore this and get in the express elevator.

As I get on, three big guys get in, clearly drunk.

Oh, boy, I think.

I ring the floor.

One of them is about to ring the floor, but sees which one I've pressed and withdraws his hand.

Of fucking course, I think. Of course these drunk frat boy morons are going to the same floor as me.

Of fucking course.

We all stand on the elevator, not saying anything.

But I do see a look go from one of their faces to the other.

Oh, shit.

I know that look.

It's that look someone gets because they know they're going to do something naughty.

And these dumbasses start giggling.

Finally, we get to our floor.

I walk briskly out, heading to my room.

I can hear them behind me.

I walk fast.

They're still gigggling.

I get out my key card.

I hear something made out of glass shatter behind me, followed by laughter.

I reach the door.

They're still walking toward me.

I walk in.

Close the door behind me.

"How'd the exploring go?" Betsy asks.

It went alright, I say.

12:45 am.
Turning on the set reveals that “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” is on—and it’s the one with John Ritter as a robot.

Ah, sweet, calming violence. You are like mother’s milk to me.

1:00 am.
“Can’t relax?” my wife asks.

No. I’m not sure what it is…I think…

“It’s because we’re in an actual bed.”

You’re right! It’s been a while.

1:30 am.
In nine hours, I learn that “continental breakfast” means that I paid twenty extra dollars for orange juice and cereal.

But none of that matters, now.

Blitzkrieg 3D, or at least, my leg of it, is over.

And so, I sleep.

THE END.


Epilogue:

This weekend, as I look around for something, I find the large bag I used for Blitzkreig.

I still haven't unpacked it.

I open the side.

And I find four cans of Red Bull.

Oh.



posted by Rob on 10:15 AM | link
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[ Monday, April 01, 2002 ]

Okay, as promised, here's Spudnuts' reaction:

Hey, nice going, Bobby the Mat.

I'm fucking ruined.

I was going to record some of my own posts to MP3, but you're bogarting all the Spudnuts.

You're not leaving any Spudnuts.

So...

Now.

If I try to post my own reading of a Spudnuts post, it's gonna look BAD <-- (whiny voice).

Somebody's going to listen to MY reading and say "THAT'S not Spudnuts. Why is this dick trying to play Spudnuts? Mommy, bring back real Spudnuts. I don't like this man. This man scares me with his trying too hard to be Spudnuts when clearly he is NOT Spudnuts. Make the scary man go away. Make him GO AWAY!"

And that scary man is ME!

I'm the Scary Man, Bobby.

And YOU are making me the Scary Man.

So, now... the PEOPLE are developing a taste for The Guy Who Plays Spudnuts and they will reject ME... the actual Spudnuts.

You're fucking killing me here, Bobby.

You're good.

Too good.

And you're getting better.

You're like Kirk's friend, that dude who went to the planet and his eyes glowed and then he became...

AS A GOD!

And then he was moving rocks with his mind and choking people with cables with his mind.

And THEN the bitch thought he was ready for Kirk.

Are you ready for Kirk, Bobby?

HUH, ARE YOU?!

(rips shirt)

But yeah...

That's you're best reading EVER.



posted by Rob on 1:17 PM | link
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This weekend I put a new Spudnuts mp3 up, called Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Hopefully, I'll be able to put Spudnuts' reaction to it (he liked it) later today--but right now, WWDN is down, so I can't get to it.

And, since I haven't done one of these in a while, straight people, click here for some desperately needed help. (This is so embarrassing--I've actually done some of this stuff.)



posted by Rob on 8:57 AM | link
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