It was a magical evening – it started with me bringing a dress that didn’t suit the theme due to a miscommunication. I didn’t have an outfit so I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I happened to look in the convenience store next door and find the dress I’m wearing on sale for $10! I lucked out. I put on the dress which was a little big, so we pinned it… and I got help with my hair. I’m thinking about doing a beehive a lot more often now. I was pretty psyched with how high we got my beehive to go with only a few minutes to put it up and spray it. I’m posting a picture here.
Our production designer Wendie Goode Dox came up with the design and everyone pitched in to build the set. I sewed the columns – they are made from brightly colored silk sewn around small exercise hoops. Wendie suggested we try this to get the shape. There are lights at the base of each column to give an illuminated effect. Sky Adams and the stage manager nailed the flats together. The stage manager added the silvery curtain in the back, and Pierce Cook worked on the lighting. A fun piece of trivia – the couch apparently used to belong to Burt Reynolds! Haha!
The unicorn is actually too big inflated to fit in a car. Wendie had to go to a gas station to blow it up, and then walk down the street carrying the unicorn back to the theatre.
We have a lot of editing to do, so the special will hopefully be out in the first half of 2017.
I applied for a comedy grant. Quoting from the website: “The Martin Grant was established by Steve Hofstetter and Next Round Entertainment in order to identify and reward up and coming stand-up comedians. It was inspired by Hofstetter’s work on Laughs, and the loss of his father. Read the full story here.
The grant was named in honor of Hofstetter’s father, Martin. The grant will be awarded in order to aid a talented comedian with rent, car payments, or anything else that will help them focus on developing their art. A panel of some of the most influential television executives, comedy club owners, talent agents, and managers will view applications and eventually decide a winner.
The grant is funded thanks to Reddit.com and their wonderful store. A unique comedy tee was designed exclusively by Inkventive, and 100% of all proceeds from sales are used to fund the grant.”
Today was exciting, because I found out I was accepted as a finalist! Woohoo!
Here’s a piece I’ve posted about before called “Shivers at Midnight.” It’s about a pathetic guy who wants to be a werewolf so he can kill his terrible girlfriend. It was first published in the Antipodean SF. They usually only take Australian writers, but were kind enough to include me as well!
It’s archived here: SHIVERS AT MIDNIGHT
And I’m just going to post the story here as well:
“Wait,” the shackled werewolf whimpered. “You don’t understand. It’s not like what you think. It’s a terrible curse! I — “.
Samuel cut his pleading short by punching a needle into his neck. The werewolf screamed.
“Now, your fiendish powers will be mine!” Samuel cackled as he drained a blood sample, removed the needle, and plunged it into his own arm. “I can feel the power coursing through my veins already!” Laughing wildly, Samuel tore from the apartment, everything forgotten now except his newfound joy at becoming a werewolf.
The little man chained to the wall sighed. Awkwardly, he transformed, slipping his shackles. He padded out through the open door of his apartment into the moonlight to retrieve the evening news.
In his car, Samuel sped along a dark, wooded road. He was almost at the trailhead where his girlfriend was supposed to meet him.
Samuel’s phone rang.
“Where are you?” Samantha screeched.
“Nearly there, dear, for 11:45 as planned.”
“Oh. Alright. I thought you were going to be late again.”
“Wouldn’t miss tonight for the world,” Samuel said.
Samuel disconnected the call and grinned. Yes. Tonight, he would deal with Samantha. He’d broken up with her at least seventeen times, but she always came back — like a stubborn wart. But not tonight. Because tonight, Samuel would transform into a werewolf, tear Samantha to shreds, and eat her.
“Let’s see her come back from that,” Samuel giggled. He wondered if girlfriend tasted anything like steak. He licked his lips in anticipation and almost missed the turn for the trailhead. Damn. It wouldn’t do to be late. He’d read about werewolves. His first transformation was involuntary, and would happen around midnight.
Samuel brought his car to a screeching stop at the trailhead at 11:46.
Samantha tapped her watch as Samuel approached. “Just as I thought,” she said, “late.”
Samuel ground his teeth. “But not too late to show you a wonderful surprise!”
Samantha’s face softened. “I think I know what it is.”
He winced. The idiotic woman thought he was going to propose. Samuel made an attempt to give her an adoring look. Just a few more minutes now. “Let’s hurry,” he said.
“Samuel! My shoes!” her voice was shrill.
Samuel took a moment to examine Samantha’s outfit. She’d picked heels and a miniskirt for a walk in the woods. He grinned. A silver lining. She wouldn’t be outrunning him in those.
“No trouble,” Samuel said and hoisted her off the ground.
Samantha squirmed in his arms and whined, “I hope we’re not going far. How far in do we need to go to be romantic anyway?”
A strange hush fell over the woods.
Samuel yelped. He dropped Samantha and fell to the ground, writhing, his lips skinned back into a fierce snarl. Within seconds Samuel morphed into a chihuahua with glowing red eyes.
“What —,” said Samantha with a wide-eyed grin, “Samuel! You knew I didn’t approve of you becoming a werewolf and you’ve found a lovely compromise! You’re just adorable.”
Samantha scooped him into her purse. “You’re the perfect size for a supernatural being.”
Samuel snuffled and growled. He licked Samantha’s hand and howled — forever doomed to transform into a Werehuahua on the night of a full moon.
Hey Nerd Legion –
I’m excited to announce I’ll be taping my first comedy special at Rooster T. Feathers! Come on out and support 12/12/12 …you can get tickets for this special event here: TICKETS
Or call: (408) 736-0921
I put together a show at the SF Punchline with my friend Dave Sirus (he appeared as his alter ego Brick Stone on the show). The night of the show it rained really hard but we still had a good crowd turn out. I think the best part about putting on your own shows is picking the line up – we had a fantastic group of comedians: Nina Daniels, Alison Stevenson, Tapan Trivedi, Keith Lowell Jensen, and Larry “Bubbles” Brown did a guest set since Sammy Obeid couldn’t make it.
Larry was pretty hilarious backstage. My favorite line of his was “I like girls with glasses. You know why? Less credible eye witness testimony.”
Another cool part of doing this show was we made pick of the week for what to do with your Tuesday Night. Keith Bowers did a great write up on our show and here it is (there’s also a lovely picture of Keith dressed as a banana in it!):
I made it into the New York Post on April 1st. I wonder if anybody will actually click the link to check it out or if they’ll think this is a joke. Also, three people have already played the ‘this link didn’t work’ prank on me… so that’s enough of that one!
I’m on page 5 of the NY Post for a one liner I wrote about the hotness 1-10 scale people use. My mom made my dad get hard copies of the paper, pretty cool! I’m on page 5: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/april_fools_d6Dj4yDHyq9B5MPoFDr3IL/4
For many of us, (sadly) this is not our first Judgment Day. I’ll try to run through the obvious stuff quickly before moving on to the finer points for how you can best prepare for the Rapture.
1. Sell all worldly possessions (but keep the cash, the Lord tests us in mysterious ways).
2. If you have a get together, don’t serve Kool Aid. It’s tacky.
3. Enjoy a week of passive aggressive meeting planning – schedule all meetings with annoying people after the 21st of May. Actually, if you can, push them out past October 21st.
4. Drop off your pets at the post-apocalyptic baby sitting service of your choice. May I suggest “Eternal Earthbound Pets.”
5. Avoid party planning. Your guest list may shrink, and anyway, if you have a post-rapture party your holy friends will only feel like you’re rubbing things in.
6. Turn off electronics. Remember, just because you were swept away doesn’t mean lesser beings need to suffer through your alarm clock going off every morning until the apocalypse comes.
ADVANCED – SCHEDULING NOTES:
The Rapture is scheduled to happen at precisely 6 p.m. local time. Things may get very confusing in locations such as College Corner on the Indiana side when the Rapture and massive earthquake hits the Ohio side while leaving your side alone for an additional hour. I recommend lawn chairs, popcorn, and patience, it’s only a matter of time before the Rapture reaches you too.
Please do refrain from running across time zones in an attempt to get God to pick you up. This will only make you look desperate, and really if God wants you in the Rapture he’s not going to miss you.
What to Do if You are Left Behind: Please refer to my motivational pamphlet “So You Didn’t Get Swept Away by the Rapture.”
The Cherpumple Pie Cake is the creation of humorist and ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix. It’s a crazy holiday dessert inspired by the Turducken. For the sake of brevity, I’ll paste his definition in here, but without the typo:
“The Cherpumple is the dessert version of the Turducken. It’s a three-layer cake with a pie stuffed in each layer. YUM! Cherpumple is short for CHERry, PUMpkin and apPLE pie. The apple pie is baked in spice cake, the pumpkin in yellow and the cherry in white. I DARE YOU TO TRY IT AT HOME!…& SEND PIX! Share your Cherpumple “Monster” Pie Cake creation!”
While amusing, I was not going to try making one because I am not a baker. However at the bottom of the recipe, Charles says you can set your final product on fire. WHOA… fire? Anytime there is an opportunity to set food on fire where it actually counts as on purpose, I’m interested. It saves me having to come up with excuses for doing it anyway.
I decided on a Cherpeaple pie. Cherry, peach, and apple. I know Charles added pumpkin, but I don’t like pumpkin, and this is more fun to say. If somebody says ‘what’s in it?’ you can raise your eyebrows knowingly and then ask where one of the guests disappeared to. See, tons of fun.
I put chocolate cake mix around the cherry pie, yellow cake mix around the peach pie, and just to add a touch of class, white ‘funfetti’ cake on the apple pie. For those not in the know, white ‘funfetti’ cake mix is like white cake mix except it’s full of sprinkles that melt in the oven, making it appear as though your cake is riddled with bits of brightly colored plastic.
It all started out innocently enough:
As instructed, I poured cake mix on top of each thawed and cooked pie. A summary of disasters:
Disaster #1: I forgot to add oil to the chocolate cake. Oh well, it probably will come out fine anyway right?
Disaster #2: The apple pie was reluctant to leave its home in pie tin #1 and join the cake mix in pie tin #2.
Disaster #3: I didn’t know you can’t tell a cake is done by staring at it. Apparently, you have to poke it with a stick.
Disaster #4: Did I say stick? I guess it’s a toothpick. Lesson learned.
Eventually, I did get three actual cakes with pies inside of them cooked and I didn’t burn the house down. My clever friend who actually bakes things set the cake-pie things to cool on this device, I believe it is called a cake pie cooling rack thing.
Phase 2 began, which involved getting the cakes out of the pie tins and stacked on top of one another. When Charles does it, it looks really cute. All the cakes are the same size and he artfully trims one of them a teensy weensy bit and they look beautiful.
I was filled with hope that I might match him with cake layer #1, it looks okay see? And look, my little eyes still have a spark in them:
Disaster #5: Do not put cream cheese frosting, or well, any kind of frosting really, on a hot cake-pie. It melts and gets goopy and then it peels up layers of cake when you add more frosting to cover over your mess. Not that this is what happened or anything.
Tip #1: Cake frosting is kinda like glue. And spackle. Did you make a mistake? (Not that I did, clearly my work is impeccable.) ADD MORE FROSTING!
Learning from Disaster #5 and being terribly impatient, I found some interesting methods for cooling the other cake pies. Supposedly good bakers can remove the layers from the tins, set them out to cool and then stack them.
I think we’ve established I’m not a good baker. Therefore, the following cooling solution was employed:
It is sanitary because there is a layer of saran wrap between the cake and the ice pack. Talk about icing a cake oh rimshot! By the way, if you want my advice (which you probably don’t by now), if you wish to cool your cake pie using this method, be sure to move the ice pack around. If you leave it on there, it makes a dent which resembles oh I dunno, a mashed up ice pack maybe. Note: I have no idea why there is lettuce in this photo either. No lettuce was used in the making of this cake pie.
Once I got the first layer cooled, I added frosting and the second layer of the cake pie. It was not even with the bottom layer, so I had to trim it. However, I am not clever at baking like Charles, so I just used some scissors to fix my cake pie. This is me trimming the edges of the second layer of the cake pie in a futile attempt to make this thing look pretty. If this isn’t the definition of putting lipstick on a pig I don’t know what is (move it on over Sarah Palin!)
Adding layer 2 was okay. I just kept the mantra ‘you can fix it later with frosting’ running through my head and added layer 3. This layer was pretty stubborn, as you can see my third pie defied gravity:
Whatever makes some pies stay in the tin no matter what you try, they should use it for some kind of building material. This pie was incredibly stubborn:
Disaster #6: Peach pie, maybe to punish me for selecting it over the suggested pumpkin pie, refused to come out as one complete pie cake.
Some people might’ve packed it in at this point and gone for two layer, but one of my hobbies is sculpting so I just scraped it out of the tin and shaped it into a cake kinda shape.
At this point my friend stepped in since the cake pie was in need of a serious make over. She sculpted while I trimmed. It was all very professional.
Once we finished frosting the monstrosity I mean cake, it was time to decorate it and get it all dolled up for the boys. I wanted to set it on fire, so I made a tasteful blue ring on top of the cake for the flame to sit in. Lovely isn’t it? The sad part is at the beginning I was kinda trying to make it look nice. FAIL!
My friend was not the slightest bit interested in making the cake presentable. She said the freedom to scribble all over the cake was “liberating.” I guess she is probably right – everyone secretly wants to decorate a cake and go nuts with it. She put the title of a film we made together with some other people on top of the cake (Meep!). Fortunately you cannot see the back of the cake in this image…there was an air pocket in her frosting can and it blasted a big glob of frosting on the cake. I tried to write “Cherpeaple” on the front of the cake.
Btw, I think the cake decorating qualifies as…
Disaster #7: Decorating a cake is harder than it looks.
This is me responding to my friend’s explanation of her decoration (I was making those swoopy things you see on cakes…):
At last the masterpiece was complete… Ta-da-AUGH!
I am available as a professional baker for weddings but not children’s parties. No kid is going to out bake me right where I can see.
With the final cake complete, it was time to set it on fire. Charles says you can do this with lemon extract. The ring was to hold the lemon extract but my hand slipped and I got it all over the whole entire top of the cake oops.
No one was fooled.
Disaster #8: Did you know frosting melts under intense heat?
I did not get oohs and aahs. However the owners of the kitchen I baked this thing in did mention they are getting a fire extinguisher.
When I cut the cake, it lost all structural integrity. I don’t know how I can even use the word integrity when referring to this thing, but yeah, as you can see in this image, the whole cake kind of sags in the middle:
Surprisingly, though the journey to get to the completed cake pie was fraught with disaster, it actually tasted pretty good. See, here are some pictures of people I paid to eat it:
Doesn’t it look delicious? Kidding aside, it’s actually pretty tasty, it’s all your favorite cakes and pies in one place and it’s only 2000 calories or so per piece.
Just for good measure I set it on fire again. This time I accidentally upended the rest of the lemon extract bottle.
No one was fooled.
I am particularly partial to this next image since it looks like blue lava is trickling down the cake pie’s remains:
And there we have it, documented proof that I am not a baker. However, this was incredibly fun to make. I am pleased to annouce I have officially discovered the definition of ‘hot mess’ (please refer to images above).
I am thrilled that Charles Phoenix invented this dish.
***All photos by Rob Millner