Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Day in Internetland

I've been a bit busy on the internets lately. You can hear me on a new podcast, namely MANIC MOMMIES:

I got a very nice compliment when one of the mommies said when she was editing it she almost peed herself. There is no better compliment to a comedian. Either peeing on yourself or spitting out your drink with laughter, it’s a compliment that either way involves some kind of fluid.
A friend of mine, Don Barnhart Jr. made CNN when a woman went into labor after one of his shows. Now that’s a compliment. “You were so funny, I gave birth!”

The internet is a great “equalizer” in the sense that it’s tough to get on television. Duh. I always get those “suggestions” like “You should go on Oprah and promote your book.” REALLY? I never thought of that! Do you have her number? Maybe you could call her for me and tell her she should put me on. And then maybe we could both go home with Kindles!

But it’s not easy. Mainly because I’m over 30. I’m always one social networking site behind, and just when I’m getting used to it, they fucking change how it works. For the Love of Lucy, Facebook, WTF? You changed your feed and now people are seeing me and I’m seeing them at COMPLETELY RANDOM TIMES AT YOUR OWN CHOOSING. Then you suggested I “reconnect” with my own wife. I don’t need your automated robot marriage counseling, Facebook. Do you WANT to become the next MySpace? Is that what you want? Keep going the way you’re going and you’ll do it. Remember Friendster? I thought so.

My buddy Graham Elwood and I even started our own comedy and film website last year called and it just relaunched yesterday. Soft launch. Which means it can have problems and people will forgive you for a few weeks because you start getting angry e-mails. The old site, that crashed hard was besieged with angry nerds. “I love your content but hate your site” “Your navigation sucks” “Your logo is in the wrong place” etc…

It’s a site for comedians to write about movies and we have a store so you can buy CDs DVDs and books, most of them signed and some even personalized. For instance if you buy Doug Benson’s CD or my book, we’ll make it out specifically to you.

So blogs, podcasts, websites, message boards and e-mails. That’s where you’ll find me. And please, internet, could you change the way you do things a little more slowly, please? So Twitter has lists now? OK. Wait, Why!?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How HGTV Bought Us a New Fridge

Our kitchen was falling apart. We had to do something about it, but we weren’t sure what. We couldn’t afford to just redo it. Even if we went cheap we couldn’t have done it. The kitchen, from the 70’s, was simply falling apart.

So then our neighbor told us we should apply for a new HGTV show the $250,000 challenge. Five families on the block compete, each week a new room is worked on and the winner gets $250,000. Wow. So even if we didn’t win, at least we could get to the kitchen stage. That would be a win for us.

It sounded so simple. Need something? Perhaps you need… a kitchen redone? A million dollars from starving yourself on an island? Perhaps you just need to feed a self destructive narcissistic craving for attention. Then ask a reality show for help. They’re there for YOU!

So we applied. We did many interviews. I think we did well. The producers came and looked at our house. They looked at the different rooms and tried to figure out if our house would suit their needs and if we would fit their needs for the camera.

When the producer saw our kitchen, he actually stopped and let out a bit of an anguished cry, like “ohhewwewoh” He then tried to cover it up but we knew that he knew that we knew that our kitchen was a disaster. Which of course, was not such a bad thing for a home improvement show.

Half of our house we had worked on. We have a very nice living room, one of the bathrooms was redone, our family room was in decent shape and over the years we converted the garage into an office. The previous owners were using it to grow pot, so all the insulation and outlets were already installed. A little drywall and add a window, and presto. Salacious drug den to nerdy office.

So we had a bathroom, a bedroom and a disastrous kitchen that could be redone. Plus, my wife and I would be pretty fun on camera, I would think. Not typical HGTV types.
More interviews, and a little good news. They had picked our street. Great! Getting closer. They were narrowing it down.

Soon another call came. They had narrowed it down to eight families, of which were were part of the eight and then they were going to pick five. We were so close. There’s no way we’d be in the loser three, right? Then we started thinking, hell, maybe we’ll get a new kitchen and then also win $250,000. Why not? With that kind of money we could turn the garage back into a… never mind.

But then as we were waiting for the next call, our fridge up and died on us. Gave up the frozen ghost. We thought, if it had just lasted a few weeks more… But then we got the call. Yes, THE call. The call that told us HGTV was passing on us, and we were not in the top five. Damn it!
So we went and got a fridge. We miserably went and got a fridge, our hopes of getting our house redone for free quietly disappearing. But we did get a really nice fridge. We lucked out and got a Fisher and Paykel, on a markdown due to it having a little ding on the side that we didn’t care about.

But then, we got ANOTHER call from HGTV. A much better one, this time. While we still weren’t on the show, they were sending us a check for all the time and interviews we did. It covered our new fridge.

We were disappointed to be sure, but we also realized that when you’re doing a show like that you really don’t get to take your time and do it the way you want to. We do like to take our time with things and get them the way we like them. Or so we rationalized. So while we didn’t get to meet Drew Lachey of 98 degrees, we do have a new fridge, which runs at a cool 45 degrees. OK, that was a stretch, I know.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

At The Long Beach Comic-Con

I was on a panel recently at the first annual Long Beach Comic Con and it was really fun. It should be up in a week or two for viewing. ( I was with Matt Weinhold, Jonathan London, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. Big fun. Matt and Jonathan I had met before (both hilarious) but it was the first time I had met Jimmy and Amanda. And dammit, they’re good people. In addition to being great comic book writer/artists, of course. Amanda even bought my book. I was very flattered. We talked about kids and she told me to bring my daughter down the next day and she would sign a Supergirl print for her. It had never occurred to me to bring my four year old daughter down the next day.

But I thought about it, and I did. Isabella and I got into the car nice and early and drove down to Long Beach. We went in and instantly Bella’s eyes lit up. “Look, there’s Superman!” she exclaimed. It never occurred to me that the people dressed up at a Comic Con have the same effect on children as Pluto in Disneyland. She wanted a picture with him. The dude dressed as Superman was happy to do it. This was really cool. I soon learned that people dressed up at a Con expect this from children and are happy to take pictures with them. I think it gives them as much of a thrill as it does the child. Hey, we all get our kicks in different ways. No judgments here. We got pictures with Supergirl, Batgirl, Boba Fett, some weird stormtrooper guy (I think). Sometimes the costumes are so obscure it’s almost like a super secret nerd joke. Okay, so you’re a character from a video game that only came out in Japan circa 1989? You look very pixilated.

Also, speaking of cons this tweet from Brian Michael Bendis really made me giggle and roll my eyes at the same time:
RT @BRIANMBENDIS: con goers: not all asian women are in costume. some are just asian. dont ask what character they are. yes, this happened

Bella and I then walked around, went to the Nintendo Booth and played some games together. They were cool too, showing Bella how to play. She kicked ass at the wakeboarding game.

I realized I had been completely wrong. The comic book convention is simply made for children. Not just us big children but actual, shorter children. The problem is Comic-Con in San Diego has gotten so huge and so unmanageable it’s hard to walk around as an adult, let alone try to keep your child from running into a Klingon with his batleth out. The Long Beach Comic-Con was perfect. Small, manageable, you could walk around, and I even chatted with Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica briefly.

Although Bella didn’t understand that people were waiting in line to meet an artist, and not a superhero. But we did wait in line to see Amanda Conner and she gave Bella a signed Supergirl print, which is awesome by the way. We’re going to frame it. But I wasn’t sure how to protect it until the guy behind me said “If you wait one minute I can give you a rubber band to roll it up with”

“Thanks.” He gave me the rubber band and then watched in disapproval as I rolled it up.

“You need to roll it tighter so it doesn’t get any creases.”

“—er OK. Thanks.” I did it again. Satisfied, my anal, rubber band providing, poster rolling friend departed.

Amanda gave Bella the print and didn’t charge me. I tried to pay her, saying she bought my book but she wouldn’t take my money. She said “you have kids.” I immediately nodded and thanked her for her generosity. Ha. “you have kids” ‘nuff said.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Boardwalks, Meltdowns, and Diabolical Baby Formula

Misadventures on the Ocean City NJ Boardwalk. Are there any other kind? Over at

Monday, October 5, 2009

Random Acts of Irritation

Our kitchen STILL isn’t done. At some point, a company really has to stop lying to you and actually do their fucking job. Supposedly, Monday is that day, when they install our countertop that apparently had to be shipped in from the moon.

Tom Delay on Dancing with The Stars dancing to “Wild Thing” I saw a few seconds of this by accident, and I’m sorry to say I may take it with me to the grave. Please… I know Sarah Palin is the first reality Show politician, but please politicians, stop going on reality shows. We know you’re narcissistic egomaniacs. You don’t need to prove it anymore. At least Rod Blagojevich has been laying low. Probably combing his luxurious hair…

We just got a new cordless phone. My wife did a new thing where it rang and then she handed the cordless phone to me, twice, without answering it, thinking the calls were for me. By the time she got it in my hand, it had already gone to voicemail. Twice. When I mentioned this she got angry at me for having attitude and blamed the new phone for not working.

Our cable isn’t working properly and hasn’t for a while. The cable company’s attitude is pretty much “So what? Where you gonna go? We bought the other companies. Go get a satellite dish, then. Go. We don’t care. Now go get your shinebox…”

It takes me longer to learn new technologies now. Stupid aging process. And stupid Twitter, PayPal, HTML, and shopping cart integrations.

At least the new season of Dexter started. Love that show.

What’s irritating YOU, right now?

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