Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Fisherman's Wharf

I am Fisherman.

This is my Wharf. Take a look. Can you see that? The beams of sunlight bounce softly off the majestic cherry-oak frame. Can you hear that? The waves crashing like water-muffins dropped from a hot tray onto a cold, steel girder of Wharf exuberance. Wharfuberance.

The wharf abounds with grace and beauty. Truly, a wharf built by the hand of man, but welded by the thunderbolt of Zeus himself. I grew up on this Wharf, quite literally.

My grandfather, Fisherman, built this place. Upon its completion, he died; lost at sea, right next to the Wharf, in what was later called "The Perfect Wharf Storm," also known as "The Whaorm of 1911." At that time, no one could inherit the Wharf, since my grandfather had not lived to beget a son. Years past, and the orphan wharf, now but a Wharfan, fell into disrepair.

The year 1919 arrived and with it the culmination of the Women's Suffrage movement. It was at that moment that my grandmother, Fisherman's Woman, sad widow of my grandfather, discovered that she had had a daughter, Fisherman's Woman, living somewhere in the lowlands. My grandmother recalled neither the pregnancy nor the birth, yet received by carrier seal a confirmation letter: her spawness lived! My mother.

It was the 20's and things were different then. My mother was brought to the Wharf and raised by the Sea Lions, since her mother could not bear to look upon her, lest she be reminded of her husband, lost at sea, right there by the wharf. He was buried there, you know.

My mother, Fisherman's Woman, married Darryl, a woodsman raised in the desert. The Women's Suffrage movement gave The Women crazy ideas, and Darryl was forced by knifepoint to take the last name of his wife, and thus carried on the Fisherman name. Night fell the day they were married, and my grandmother, Fisherman's Woman, took her own life, quite happily, to the thunderous applause of both wedding attendees. A picture of this was taken. It was never found.

The next morning Fisherman and his new wife, Fisherman's Woman, my father and mother, built a small log cabin on top of the wharf. It was a simple place- a cast iron stove, three shoes, dried fish, and a pocketwatch adorned the walls. Fisherman made it his life work to care for the cabin- Mother would spend her days walking up and down the wharf, picking up small pieces of fish and bits of sand, throwing them back into the surf, saying, "That will be for another day." They lived like this for sixty years.

I don't remember the details, but I was conceived under a full moon on the evening of January 13th.

Soon after, I was born. As I exited my mother, a Sea Lion grabbed me in its Jowels and vowed then and there to take me to another Sea Land. He told me things I dare not repeat to you whose ears may hear them. I whisper these words only to myself in my private moments. I could hear the faint whimpers of Mother and Fisherman as Sea Lion began to swim away, I in its clutches.


With my three-second old hand I grabbed the Starboard support column of the Wharf, made good on my grip, and let out great underwater shriek, "I shall not leave this place! This is my Wharf!"

Soaking wet and with a great cherry-oak splinter in my hand I crawled out of the water and back onto my Wharf. By this time, Mother and Fisherman had died of old age.

And so begins my story. I am Fisherman. This is my Wharf.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Guest Blogger John Heydinger: Notes from the Last Frontier, pt.3


John Heydinger is a great friend, currently somewhere in Alaska tracking brown bears on the ground and from the air via helicopter. He enjoys macaroni and cheese and watching basketball, particularly the insight of color commentator and former star Bill Walton.

The following is part three in his series, "Notes from the Last Frontier" a journal of his Alaska experience. Enjoy.


On a rare off-day I decided to really get some exercise.

I took a hike up Johnson Pass, a fairly flat trail. The pass is known for an easy trail with the opportunity to walk along Upper Trail Lake for a few miles before heading upwards. Because I needed to work the next day I would be unable to camp-out, therefore I wanted to focus on speed and I strapped on my Vibram Five-Fingers (thanks to my friend Jason for introducing me), hoping to get in 26 miles.

One of the primary rules for hiking in brown bear country is that you don't hike alone; also, you must make a fair amount of noise as you move so that you don't surprise a bear on the trail. About twenty minutes into the hike I realized that I was barely making any noise at all, as my Five-Fingers forced me to walk largely toe-to-heel, instead of the normal heel-to-toe "clomp clomp" of booted hiking. This was fine with me as I resolved to keep myself alert.
About an hour into the hike I came around a bend in the trail and saw, not twenty feet in front of me, a big ole porcupine, lumbering down the trail in front of me. He (or she, I'm not the best at sexing porcupines) was headed away from me and he neither saw nor heard me so close to him. Because I wasn't particularly in a hurry and I found this fellow so interesting, I decided to follow him, close, but not so close that he would become aware of me and change his behavior, or take off into the woods.

It would be easy to say that the half-an-hour which followed was wholly uneventful.

My little friend continued to trundle along the trail, while I followed, slowly and quietly, within ten feet of him. Here and there he would stop to chew a piece of grass, and I would duck behind a tree. He would stop to scratch himself, much like a dog, and sniff around the base of trees. I had no particular feeling of connection nor special "belonging to the land" as all of this happened. Rather, it was thoroughly pleasant to see a rather reclusive animal, moving along, solely at his own ease; to be there to witness another simply going about the business of living and walking in the sunlight.

He never did see me. As he came to a bridge on the trail his path and mine diverged and he made his way along the creek bed, up the hill. Stalking this fellow I learned little about his ecology, or his habits as such. Rather he helped to remind me that we are all moving along together and that we are well served to remember that our community extends beyond ourselves. It was simply nice to share the space with him.

at least for while.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guest Blogger Omar Cedeno: On Women in Boston

I have to be honest: I don't really know Omar very well. I know his sister. She was my babysitter when I was ten and now she's a close family friend. I remember meeting Omar a few times when I was that age, and soon after he moved to Boston and I honestly don't think I've seen him in about fifteen years. However, we do correspond on Facebook, and he's a fan of this blog. I also know that he's a pretty cool guy, or at least a lot cooler than his lame-ass attempt at a sister. I've asked him to provide his own introduction:

An intro, eh? I'll say this: it took a lot longer to figure out how to introduce myself than writing the blog. Well, my name is obvious, though my identity is not. It's Omar, if you were just wondering. Hmm. Not sure what to say that would define me. Too many variables and too many numbers dot my life, making it that much harder to pin down what I'm about. Anarchy. A lack of respect for arbitrary traditions and borders. I'm hardly a nihilist, but it's hard to not be cynical. I suppose the only thing I really respect that people do is art. That's how I define myself: an artist. I don't mean painting or writing or anything else that would be considered 'art'. There are no rules in art, and I think that's what I love about it, and why I try to live in a wold with no rules. You know the thing about chaos? It's fair. My name is Omar Cedeno.

Thanks to Omar for his guest post, and readers, please enjoy!


With his usual deadpan-snide-remarks, Max inadvertently invited me to write a guest column on his awesomely named “Last Jew Standing” (which sounds suspiciously like some underground fight club). That being said, I can see why someone would shy away from this grenade of an article. Nothing of what I say is meant in a blanket generalizations.

I used to live on Long Island. First Southampton (which is an entirely different column), and then Brentwood, which is pretty much the ghetto. While there I met all kinds of women. I lucked out because I became very good friends with some women that I still keep in contact with. In October of 2000, I moved to Winthrop, a suburb outside of Boston. Not a bad place, nice people, very safe. Now, I've lived here for almost 10 years, and the girls (and I stress girls) haven't exactly impressed me with their own morality.

There was a former friend who bragged about fucking 3 guys in a 24 hour period. I'll save you the details she shoved in my face (so to speak). I was disgusted. I don't even know why she told me those dirty details. I repeatedly told her to knock it off, but she had to say she was scared of one of the cocks. She then mentioned that her girlfriend was jealous she was in the other room fucking another guy. The orgies and group sex stuff was fucking gross. I'm no prude (my god, I have a porn collection that would put stores to shame), but that went well beyond any acceptable behavior. If you ain't a porn star, don't pull that shit.

Especially when you don't use protection.

It wasn't just that, though. She was a mother of a just-born child. That's totally wrong. This is just the tip of the iceberg of debauchery. Every girl I've met who has been in a relationship (and I mean serious ones) have cheated. And told me about it. I don't get it-- you have something good, why do you want to fuck it up? Duh, men do the same thing, but women are supposedly “the fairer sex.” Bah. I think feminism is at the point in the road where it's dark, and some feel like sleeping around is a feminist idea. I like to think of myself as feminist, but I don't see the connection. If you sleep around, you're gonna get a rep, y'know? Men, same sentiments.

But lets talk about the women I know in Boston.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Guest Blogger Jill Bernard: Being a Woman in Comedy

Jill Bernard is a world-renowned improvisor and teacher based in Minneapolis. She is the coach of my Six Ring Circus improv team, Tightrope, and my friend.
More info on her can be found at

I've been asked to write on Being A Woman in Comedy.

Unfortunately I cannot. Here's the thing. One thing a lot of people don't know about
me is I'm actually just a jar of olives. I'm a 5.75 oz jar of Manzanilla olives stuffed with pimentos. I try to keep this information on the D.L. because I'm not sure students would feel confident taking classes from someone who is a large percentage brine and glass.

The most challenging part of it, I guess, is I don't have any arms or hands, so when I'm trying to make really impressive gestures to my students they just don't understand. Also another hard thing is I'm really scared I'll break. Sometimes I coach from a tabletop or a chair and I feel a little close to the edge. I worry if I get too worked up giving notes on a scene I will fall to my death! It's

There's a little bit of loneliness too. I don't go out to the bar after rehearsals and stuff because of the martinis. I don't need to see that.

I feel pride in what I've been able to accomplish despite being a jar of olives. I'm the first from my shelf to get a college degree. I've also been super-lucky to work with a lot of really amazing people. A shout out to Comedy Sportz and the Brave New Institute - a lot of theater schools would not have the courage to hire a jar of olives, but they had the courage to look at my abilities and not my ingredients list.

I don't know what the future holds. My 'best if used by' date seems far away now but I know I won't last forever. I try to live for the moment, and stuff each day with joy, friendship, love, and laughter.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Live-Tweeting QVC: An Intimate Evening with the Quacker Factory

Last night, at around 11pm CST, I decided to devote 30 minutes of my life to Quality, Value, and Convenience. I didn't know which channel would best suit these three immediate values. There must be one, I thought, that encompassed those three ideas. Fortunately, my lack of cable provided a lake-wave to channel surf, and what luck! I landed at QVC, the greatest and single longest infomercial in television, nay, human, history.

I also had with me a computer, TweetDeck, and my wits about me.

Lovely readers, I offer you the live-tweeting of QVC of Monday, July 5th, 2010. Enjoy.

perhaps I should live-tweet like, 20 mins of QVC
4:59 PM Jul 5th

right now: "Quacker Factory" selling zip front cardigans. named after a duck that makes cardigans?
Mon Jul 5 22:48:02 2010

selling fast! get your rhinestone zip front cardigans for a steal: $55!
Mon Jul 5 22:48:40 2010

"jean" from quacker factory wearing some kind of rhinestone bandana. going into battle? a battle for rhinestone duck prowess?
Mon Jul 5 22:49:34 2010
"jean" also has the word "dream" sitting in front of her. am I dreaming, or is there actually a "quaker factory" that exists?
Mon Jul 5 22:50:46 2010

are rhinestones actual mineral deposits? if so, they must be quite plentiful
Mon Jul 5 22:51:33 2010

"the nautical theme is always appropriate" says jean
Mon Jul 5 22:54:54 2010

growing up in a town with a lighthouse makes you feel nautical and "yahtzee"
Mon Jul 5 22:55:17 2010

jean assures us that the oil on the beaches is really not a problem. thanks jean
Mon Jul 5 22:55:44 2010

pink palm tree cardigan features trees whose bark just happens to turn yellow at the nipples. coincidence or fate?
Mon Jul 5 22:58:02 2010

the days pass so quickly on QVC! "today's special value" occurs at least four times an hour
Mon Jul 5 22:59:02 2010
hour 1 of quacker factory complete. next, time eternal!
Mon Jul 5 22:59:57 2010

V-neck rhinestone cardigan looks like you were eating lots of rhinestones and the cardigan is your bib
Mon Jul 5 23:00:42 2010

matching hoodie for stalkers who dig rhinestones
Mon Jul 5 23:02:09 2010

"angel"! you can wear it with the white pants! awesome!
Mon Jul 5 23:03:53 2010

"a quacker sweater" sounds like a sex position
Mon Jul 5 23:04:35 2010

machine wash, tumble dry comes with its own dance
Mon Jul 5 23:05:06 2010

what is the deal with jean's rhinestone headdress, seriously????
Mon Jul 5 23:05:32 2010

"a t-shirt price in quacker world" I'd love to live in quacker world
Mon Jul 5 23:07:33 2010

yeah, these outfits would fit right in at a packer game...good call jean
Mon Jul 5 23:08:30 2010

the prettiness of every woman is from the boobs up? oh, i beg to differ, jean
Mon Jul 5 23:09:47 2010

dammit, angel! who asked you anything? speak when spoken to!
Mon Jul 5 23:10:41 2010

shopping to the next level: don't just shop, Q.
Mon Jul 5 23:13:19 2010

wondering if quacker factory can retrofit my hoodies with rhinestones
Mon Jul 5 23:15:10 2010

honestly barbara, chill out about being able to put this shit in the washing's pretty standard for clothing
Mon Jul 5 23:17:21 2010

jean says she looks dorky with her hood up. but not incredibly weird with a fucking rhinestone war bandana
Mon Jul 5 23:17:57 2010

16,000 ordered already. quacker factory is making bank tonight
Mon Jul 5 23:19:08 2010

quacker factory offers a white t shirt. innovative design ideas from an innovative company. that is soooo quacker factory
Mon Jul 5 23:21:13 2010

how can you pass up a product called, "embellished scallop ham crop pants"?
Mon Jul 5 23:23:10 2010

sparser is not a word, barbara. look at the dictionary...holy shit! it is now! the omnipotence of "quacker factory!"
Mon Jul 5 23:25:09 2010

Light navy has sold out! kelly green is last call! what will the world do?!?
Mon Jul 5 23:29:09 2010

jean claims she has offered her first-born child to provide us with today's special value. I believe that child is worth 2x $16.42.
Mon Jul 5 23:30:32 2010

what's the currency exchange between a price and a QVC price?
Mon Jul 5 23:31:32 2010

jean introduces the dichotomy of "virginal quackers" and "closet quackers". as a writer, I want her brain, so so bad.
Mon Jul 5 23:32:03 2010

conversation has swerved to jean's workout regimen: "paddle from one side of the pool to the other." off-topic, for realz.
Mon Jul 5 23:33:46 2010

a quacker factory shirt provides deep cover for inert gym-goers
Mon Jul 5 23:34:55 2010

jean: don't let that kid from minnesota bother you. barb: he's serious! jean: poppycock! he talks a big game."
Mon Jul 5 23:35:54 2010

Thanks for reading today, and please enjoy