Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Four different flavors

My music tastes of late have been entirely driven by YouTube. I don't know how folks keep up nowadays. I could turn on the radio I suppose, and I still dig KCRW when I think to turn on the tuner, but I'm not home often enough to consider it, I guess.

Anyway, here are three tracks I've been enjoying lately:

Macklemore X Ryan Lewis - Victory Lap

I've dug the tracks I've seen on Facebook, including Thrift Shop and Same Love. I dig this artist pretty well. Think I'm going to have to listen to more.

Kitty Pryde & Riff Raff - Orion's Belt

What's Tumblrcore? I'll admit I only watched Kitty Pryde's OK Cupid video because I had a crush on the X-Men Kitty Pryde character back when I was in Jr. High. There's just something about the vibe here that makes me want to curl up into a ball.

Underground Anthem - Dead Poetz

My buddy Otis Johnson directed this one and it reminded me immediately of the way we would go on and on about Dr. Octagon. The snake reminds me of the Jim Crow character from Grant Morrison's The Invisibles series, which I've recently re-read. It all fits into this weird little matrix that works in my head. Check out Otis's short film: The Silent Razor

MC Yogi - Hanuman

I've been listening to MC Yogi since I found his CD at Darren Rhoades yoga studio in Tucson a couple of years ago. His latest record Pilgrimage is one of the few CDs I can remember buying this year. Love it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inside the Master Class - Black Guy Auditions

If you haven't seen the original Inside the Master Class series, I posted all the episodes here. This is a thoughtful follow-up.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Want It Back

If I wasn't working at this very moment, I'd be seeing a free show with Amanda Palmer at Amoeba. I'll be honest and report that the only thing I knew about her before searching YouTube was that she's married to Neil Gaiman. It seems like she's a force to be reckoned with.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sex House

I love Sex House!

Meet the Nymphos!

Sexy Truth or Sexy Dare

Get On That Pole!

Erin Bares it All

Banana Sex Olympics

Dr. Sex

Sex in a Bottle

Orgy Scheming

Sex Climax


Yeah, that's it for season 1!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Williams and Osbournes

Trust Us With Your Life, Season 1, Episode 1 \ Trust Us With Your Life, Season 1, Episode 2 This is the latest improv show on television. What do you think? *** Overall, I think the show is entertaining enough. I'm curious to how the reception from the general public will go. My own thoughts as an improviser is that the structure of the show seems fairly rigid. Each player is proscribed their exact roles before they start their scenes. Essentially each of these games is a short form that while completely improvised by the actors has been considered before choosing been planned for by production. I remember when I first saw Whose Line Is It Anyway, I always felt that the play was stiff. That is I could feel that the the players had to hold in position for the cameras have to do the least work. I laughed a lot when I watched it, but I could feel their feet were, with some exceptions, stuck in place. More later.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Luke Skywalker!

Benji Shchwimmer auditions for So You Think You Can Dance Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 If you have watched So You Think You Can Dance, you might remember Benji Schwimmer, the West Coast Swing dancer who won season 2. Underneath his audition video, we see a fascinating 6 hour discussion of his time as a devout Mormon dealing with his questions of sexuality.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Super Psyche

Grant Morrison is my hero.
The Super Psyche

Freaks and Geeks redux

Freaks and Geeks is one of my favorite shows, up there with The Twilight Zone and The Wire. Here's an series that I really look forward to reading.
Paul Feig Walks us through Freaks and Geeks Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

"Sexy and I Know It"

I host the Happy Hour Challenge every Friday at iO West. This puts me in the mood! It's fun to watch folks figure out how to play this game. The players at my show ain't seen nothin' yet.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Most Important Word

What's the most important word in math?

That's a question I like to ask my students. I was inspired by this episode of The Adventures of Pete and Pete. It's called X=Why?. In it, Ellen Hickle asks a question of her math teacher which stumps the world and sends everything flying into chaos. I'd like to imagine that this question was asked in a fictional world in which there is no actual answer to this question. The show is full of whimsy and that works for me. I also love... well I'll let you watch the episode before I suggest.

There's also that joke floating around Facebook. I think it reads: "Dear Algebra, please stop trying to find your X. She's gone." It's a sad truth that students use humor to shield themselves from the frustrations and joys of learning. More on that some other time.

So what's the most important word in math, in my opinion? Take some time to consider and meet me below.

The most important word in math:


That is to say the verb "To Be." Like "I am," "he/she is," "they are" and all of those cojnugations.

Now that I've answered that question, what the hell does that mean exactly? The word "is" is so important that most folks wouldn't even think of it. It's so important that we take it completely for granted. Was it Hamlet who pondered "To be or not to be, that is the question?" What was he asking? Let's consider for a moment that he was asking one of the universe's most profound concerns.

What does that have to do with math? Let's start with the word "Equals." That's the word most analogous to "IS."

For instance, let's start with the thought that 12 eggs cost $3.00. A question most commonly asked might be "at this rate what is the cost of ONE egg?"

The way algebra works is pretty simple. Take the information you're given and use different symbols. If Twelve eggs are $3.00, we might translate that like so:

12X = 3

If you read from left to right, that's a very simple translation. Twelve(12) Eggs(x)are (=)$3.00(3). From there it is a matter of manipulation (moving things around with your hands) to find out the answer. I won't share the answer here. Figure it out yourself.

It occurs to me that algebra is often seen as much more difficult than it really is. Part of it is the element I mentioned above (manipulation) that students often refuse to learn. Instead of doing a little work on paper, they usually rely on their brains. That makes the practice much harder in my opinion. I once met a grown man at a Kinko's who asked a question like Ellen did in x=Why?: "Why should I have to learn that?" At the time I wasn't ready to answer him, but I think the answer is fairly profound.

We developed these skills to help us to find things that we don't know.

That's why to me the word "IS" is so amazingly important. Algebra exists to help us discover the things we don't know. The gifts of algebra are the toolset for discovering things that we haven't begun to understand. Those secrets may be as essential as the basics of existence.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

BIRTHDAZ'D: My annual year-long birthday celebration: the kick-off!

Last year's celebration of my birthday officially ends on January 25, 2012. That's the day before this year's celebration begins.

We have swing dancing, improv shows and classes, food-ishness and some as-yet-unplanned wackiness. The kick-off event is spread out over several days. Make it happen.

Last year, I challenged folks to try things they hadn't done much. The challenge is extended again this year. It runs on the honor system.

For some reason people have gotten the crazy idea that I don't want presents. If this is you, you've been misinformed. I love presents! Here's where to go if you want ideas about what to get: me want. If you get something from this list it is likely that I will weep openly. Sorry about that.

Here's the schedule as it stands. It's subject to change.

Thursday, January 26th
7:30pm beginner lesson
8:30pm-midnight dancing!
LindyGroove - This is my regular spot and always a blast. Admission is $8 and comes with a free beginner lesson. I also have less than 10 free passes I can give away for this night only. If I know you from Improv, yoga or math, this is a night I really want to see you! Swing dancers are welcome, but you were going to be there anyway so find another night.

Friday, January 27th - IO West -
Three hours of comedy shows on the main stage at IO West and admission is $10 for all the shows you want to watch.
09:00 PM - $10
Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!®
10:00 PM - $10
Orpheus Roy & Old Milwaukee
11:00 PM - $5
The Wild & Glory Stories

I want as many Lindy Hoppers here this night as possible, since they mention the possibility of a dance party afterward. Actually, everyone should come out for this, because it's always a hoot!

IO West
6366 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

After Lindy bombing IO, my bud Marshall is opening up a new club on the same block. It's an Electro Speakeasy, whatever that means. As I understand it, there's no cover.

1am-3am - Confidentiel

Saturday, January 28th -
12:45pm - Mixed level Yoga class at Mission Street Yoga
5pm - Cafe Gratitude - I've never been. There's food here!
7:30pm - Enter Spider at Nerdmelt - $10 at the door

Sunday, January 29th -
2pm-4pm - Improv Trick - Improv class
At the Underground Theater Annex
1314 N. Wilton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

4:30pm - Doomie's Home Cookin'
6pm-whenever: let's go roller skating around Hollywood!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to Read Nancy

Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik wrote How to Read Nancy. (A pdf will download if you click on the link)

I've never really read Nancy, but I was so blown away at Newgarden's short comic Love's Savage Fury when I first read it in Raw so long ago that it sticks with me today. I couldn't find a full copy online, but a detail shows above. It's available in Newgarden's collection We All Die Alone.

It takes Nancy and Sluggo and casts them as a young man and woman who may have exchanged a glance on a subway train. It's told from the mind's eye of the young man as he tries to recall the moment.

What is it about that strip that resonated with me?

I don't know. It's like poetry.

Visions of Frank

I've been a fan of Jim Woodring's for, dunno, maybe 20 years now. Frank is a character who has permeated my dreams.

Looks like someone went and animated some Frank stories.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Inside the Master Class + Bonus!

Still been doing a ton of improv! I just started level 1 at IO West this week. I've been playing at the jams with The Improv Trick and classes will resume tomorrow. I will be returning to Monkey Butler classes after I'm done with level 1 of IO since they're on the same nights. Seeing even more shows than last year, since I can get into the IO main stage for free now.

More about that later, of course. Here are some clips!

Maybe this will only be funny if you've ever been in an improv class. Here's all of Matt Besser's Inside The Master Class!


Thematically speaking:

From Life's Too Short: Liam Neeson wants to do improv.

Michael Scott does improv