Thursday, October 28, 2010

Selling Body and Soul This Halloween

9 clever quips

Let’s take a partial break in my series of celebrity-sighting posts for some timely seasonal messages regarding Halloween.

I say “partial” because the first involves Jill Sobule, the singer/songwriter who wrote and performed the first “I Kissed a Girl” hit song back in the mid-1990s. She was the opening act for – ahem – me and Fountains of Wayne early this month and, because I exude some rare hormone that facilitates offbeat encounters with people of cult status or notorious nature, I ended up talking with her after the show … and owing her money. But that’s a story for later.  

Here’s Jill, in a performance from that night, discussing a Halloween trend that is especially disturbing for we parents of young girls:

Video: The Halloween Song by Jill Sobule

* * *

Since this time of year the odds of you coming face-to-face with The Devil go up exponentially, with Election Day looming nearby and all, I thought I’d present to you the one and only episode from the second incarnation of Twilight Zone that I remember anything about.

It’s eight completely entertaining minutes of how to beat Satan at his own game, featuring Sherman “George Jefferson” Hemsley (who unfortunately never yells “Weezie!” during it) and Ron Glass from Barney Miller sporting Lionel Richie’s hair and some real bad-ass designer jeans. Enjoy and go easy on the Fun-Size candy.

I of Newton, The Twilight Zone, 1985

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I’m With the Band. Really.

17 clever quips

“You need to have a little rhythm for this. I don’t know,” Adam said skeptically as he searched for second opinions and options with superior cleavage. “Does this guy look like has some rhythm?”

I nodded enthusiastically. Probably spastically. I undid a couple of buttons on my polo for good measure.

“OK,” he said, reluctantly pointing at me. “Go around there.”

Around I went. Up I climbed. There I stood.


My lower legs suddenly became shakier than an election year promise.

Here, you get to play this,” someone said.

The lights didn’t blind so much as they disoriented. Or maybe that was just the first Sierra Nevada kicking in.

At my feet stood My Love, smiling up in the second row. Or maybe that was just the third Sierra Nevada kicking in.

I’m in a movie in which the film had been flipped over on the reels. Left was right and right was left. My world had been inverted.

There may have been a count in.

1 … 2 … 1-

Back when this blog was in its infancy, I made a confession to the 16 of you who read it about my most secret desire.


Since I know most of you won’t click that link (though you might now because you feel guilty), I’ll repeat what I said back in June 2008:


“I have a new goal in life. Just once, in concert, I'd like to show off my rhythm egg skills on this song with the Fountains of Wayne folk. No harmonies will be attempted, just some shake 'n' bake. Trust me, I've got the wrist action down.”


Friends, on Oct. 7, 2010, at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, I didn’t succeed.

First off, I played maraca, not rhythm egg.

Uncool shakes it to Hey Julie by Fountains of Wayne Bowery Ballroom

Second, I sang harmony.


Uncool sings Hey Julie by Fountains of Wayne Bowery Ballroom

Luckily for the audience, I’m certain our microphone had been turned off or waaaaaaaaaay down.

But aside from that, I think I pretty much nailed it.

(Look at the 0:40 second mark. I take a quick glance to my right and in a split second I realize: Mother Fletcher. I’m on STAGE! With FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE! Good Clapton -- this woman on the tambourine has less musical talent than Linda McCartney! This guy on my left is stiffer than George Michael in public restroom! TURN IT UP, UNCOOL! UP TO 11!)

Video: Hey Julie by Fountains of Wayne (Bowery Ballroom, NYC, Oct. 7, 2010)

After the concert, fame followed me. Down to the basement.

“Hey, you were on stage!” said the man behind the man behind another man behind 15 other men waiting to empty their beer-bulging bladders.

Another man behind him, who had six others behind him, agreed. “Yeah, you were on stage!”

“That I was,” I said. “Now, could I cut in front you guys?”


Next time, I’ll add “cutsies” into my contract rider.

* * *

My eternal thanks to icm65, whomever you are, for taking and posting this video; and to David McTiernan – college student by day, rockin’ keyboardist by night -- who graciously took these photos upon request when my camera battery died and My Love was too under the influence to operate her iPhone camera.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Real Househusband Meets ‘Real Housewife of New Jersey’ – Really!

25 clever quips

This is the second and concluding post about my encounter with Danielle Staub of Real Housewives of New Jersey infamy. Need to catch up? Read Part One!

* * *

Feeling refreshed and several hundred dollars lighter the next day at the casino, we hit the pauper’s breakfast buffet with the Mohegan Sun’s main clientele. After navigating our way through the portable oxygen tanks and wheelchairs, we head upstairs to valet parking.

As we wait for the Minivan of Manliness to appear among the Lexuses, Navigators and H2s and wonder why none of these car owners were at the buffet with us earlier, a guy as tall and skinny as a telephone pole strolls up the sidewalk in a track suit, greets the doorman by name, fist bumps him, then enters the hotel.

"Let me guess," I say to the doorman, "that guy's a pro basketball player?"

The man used to play in the NBA and now clowns with the Harlem Globetrotters, the doorman tells me.

"Wow -- this is celebrity sighting weekend for me,” I say proudly. “Last night, we dined across from one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey."

“Yeah? Which one?”

“Danielle, I think."

"Yep, that was Danielle," says a man in a gray FDNY T-shirt who had just come up next to us. "She's the crazy one."

“That’s funny. That’s exactly how the guy who told me who she was last night described her to me.”

“Well, I should know,” says FDNY Guy. “My wife is her publicist.”

(After this, maybe now ex-publicist. Or ex-wife. Sorry about that, FDNY Guy.)

Two minutes later, I’m relaying this bizarre coincidence to My Love. But something is amiss. I notice her eyes are not on me.

“She’s standing right behind you,” she says sotto voce, which is Italian for “in a manner so as not to make an ass out of you, dearest.”

I turn and there she is: Danielle, the PROSTITUTIONWHORE! herself. She dressed down from when I saw her last in this:

danielle staub real housewives new jersey mohegan

This Sunday, she’s in flats, a loose-fitting long sleeve blouse and jeans not nearly tight or low-cut enough for me to even venture a guess as to whether she had underwear on.

“Dear,” I say in a tone I plan on using again on the day I meet Thing 1’s first boyfriend, “give me the camera. … Not the iPhone – the REAL camera.”

Danielle is hugging someone, a man I don’t recognize. There’s no squealing. No snippiness. No drama. She’s smiling. In these few moments, she seems – and I know this may disappoint some you – perfectly normal.

"Excuse me,” I say, “I'm sorry to interrupt -- but are you Danielle from the Real Housewives?"

She instantly smiles with teeth whiter than any Vermont college town.

"Yes, I am!" she says.

She’s upbeat, dare I say it – perky – and I’m not referring to her boobs because they are modestly concealed under the gentle flow of her taupe-colored top. 

"Would you mind if I got a photo with you?"

"No, not at all!" She chirps, stepping to one side so I can stand next to her.

I hand the camera to the guy she had been hugging.

"My wife and I sat across from you at dinner last night."

"I was MUCH taller last night," she says as we slide arms around each other's backs, without hesitation or awkwardness.

"Yes, my wife was admiring how you could actually stand in those shoes,” I lie.

“Not very well! Did you see how many guys I had holding me up?" she says, gesturing and there they are -- the future heads of the Jerry Springer Show security team from the night before. They are standing on the sidewalk, giving them a few more imposing inches of height. I see no expressions, just muscles and the pain they could cause someone they don’t like.

It was then, and there, I decided it was best not to bring up the whole PROSTITUTIONWHORE! thing. Or, as was suggested to me by someone on Twitter, that I yank on Danielle’s hair extensions.

It was then I realized how much I enjoy having all my own teeth.

Even if they’re not as white as Danielle Staub’s.

danielle staub real housewives new jersey uncool

* * *

Since that day we met, I’ve done a little more Googling and thinking.

There’s an alleged sex tape (NO! NO! NO! NOT ME! Her!!!) coming out. (UPDATED – BabyBloomr, I will never doubt you again. Ever. Now please pass the boric acid.)) I should have expected that.

But speaking of coming out, I now learn Danielle may be having a lesbian love affair (which I’m sure completely explains why she did not feel up me backside, right, love?).

She’s also trying to reshape her image doing PSAs against bullying, supporting gay rights and working with some charities.

Good for her.

Maybe she’s turning her life around, scampered up on a true morale high ground where she’s found redemption and a stable, loving relationship to make her whole.


But she's always PROSTITUTIONWHORE! to me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Real Househusband Meets “Real Housewife of New Jersey,” Part 1

16 clever quips

Since I never break from “Always Home” mode halfheartedly, the next few posts will feature Your Uncoolness out and about having fame, stardom and celebrity fall into his lap like a pole dancer with vertigo.

* * *

The Indian casinos in Connecticut have a special name for My Love: “Doubles Down in Vain.” This notoriety comes with certain perks, which the tribes tease us with every month or so through bright and shiny postcards that arrive in our mailbox.




Everything to get her and her debit card to their gaming tables short of a police-escorted limousine ride and lap dance from Denzel Washington. (Psst – the limo wouldn’t be necessary if you promised her the lap dance.)

Luckily, she limits these benders to two or three times a year which, thanks to the freebies heaped upon us, allows us to turn into our incurring gambling debt into educational family trips.

“Hey, kids – look!” I’ll yell into the back seat with unbridled Clark Griswoldian enthusiasm as we roll up to the resort. “See that new hotel tower? It cost $18.3 million to build. How many consecutive hands of blackjack, at $50 a hand with $2 tips given to the dealer every sixth hand, did your Mom lose to pay for that new tower?”

On one of these visits a few weekends back, we dropped the Things off at the all-night kids’ arcade (where, you should know, they don’t take kindly to hypothetical questions about what happens if you lose the cash you set aside for their child care fees to a tightwad Deuces Wild video poker machine) and we headed for our ritual last meal before she hit the tables and I hit the bar to try to break my record for “free” Newcastle Brown Ales downed while noodling through $20 worth of quarter Jacks or Better.

The antipasto had come and gone when three couples work their way into the corner booth diagonal from us. Two of the guys, who look like they had just spruced up after an afternoon of security duty at the local meth lab, clear a path for a woman with thick dark hair, towering stilettos and a short tight black dress that gave anyone seated nearby the chance search for yeast infections.

A few minutes pass and a young couple approaches the booth. He’s holding a point-and-shoot camera. The two Hell’s Angels poster boys climb out of their seats and Long Tan Woman in a Black Washcloth poses, hand on hip, for photos with the couple, together and separately.

My viewing of reality TV is limited, but I am regularly sucked into that celeb gossip fest Extra because it follows Katie Couric’s nightly ritual of failing to profess her deepest, darkest desire to grab a certain at-home dad by the love handles and ride him hard and put him away wet. This led me to guess aloud to My Love that the woman is one of the Real Housewives because:

  1. She has that "I need to be the center of attention" get-up on.
  2. She has a perfectly even tan during a prematurely cold New England October.
  3. She's too tall and coherent to be Snooki.

My dormant investigative journalism gene kicks in. I knock over my chair, very stealthily, bump into a few tables and cruise around the restaurant to find the couple who had their photo snapped with the woman.

“That’s Danielle from Real Housewives of New Jersey,” says the woman.


"Which one is she?" I ask.

"She's the crazy one," says the guy, looking into the camera’s display screen. “My God, she’s hooooooooooot!”

(I didn’t have a camera on me, but she looked pretty much as she does in this photo, but with longer, darker hair.) (And sluttier couture.)Danielle Staub Real Housewives of New Jersey

Hmm. My BlogHer bedmate, TwoBusy, writes about that show for an entertainment blog. I wonder if she’s the one he has a special nickname for.

I return to the table, grab My Love’s iPhone and fire up ye olde Twitter app.


Later that evening, I had my answer.

Will this real househusband meet up with this “real” Housewife?

If so, will he slip and call her PROSTITUTIONWHORE!?

If so, would she hold it against him (I hope not – I’m behind on my shots)?

Tune in later …

Friday, October 15, 2010

Love; Pass It On

20 clever quips

Because the monsoon sweeping down as I type is carrying away the grass seed I put down for the 12th time in a month.

Because when the sun rises, and with it -- me, much of autumn’s bursting brilliance will have become soggy blanket of Crayola puke upon my muddy yard.

Speaking of expulsing bodily fluids, because no sooner did I step out of a New York City parking garage this week then did I step smack into a steaming pile.

Because that last bit compelled me, friend to all things canine – even those with the squirts, to give the stink eye to every dog and dog owner I passed in the next hour.

Because when I finally found a public bathroom, they were out of toilet paper.

Because while waiting to learn this, the thick-accented South American woman queued in front of me answered her cell then burst into tears because her sister really did have cancer, and I couldn’t do anything except hope my reeking shoe didn’t make this even worse for her.

Because my blog reader and Twitter feed has been filled with death, divorce, disease, despair and destruction of late. This may have drove my favorite escape, our TiVo, to finally off itself permanently Wednesday at the tender age of 6, taking with it my favorite two episodes of Ed.

Because Thing 1 is again struggling with her reading and resisting all my efforts to help her.

Because the doctor told me my total cholesterol and bad cholesterol are both over the limit. Dearest cheese, I’ll shall always think back fondly on the many tasty moments of crumbly delight we shared.

But finally because the keyboardist in this band did me a real solid last week (more on that later) and this is just the kind of infectious hook those of you bruised and battered by the past week could use right about now.

So, crank it!

And yes, you may interpret that as need be.

Video: Love; Pass It On by The Middle Eight

* * *

Everyday Goddess AwardFinally, a special thanks to Elise of Everyday Goddess for making me a “Post of the Week” earlier this month.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ch'i Whiz, Another Attempt At Yoga

16 clever quips

Vacations are only successful if you break routines and try new things, someone once told me. It’s good advice that I solemnly repeat, with eyebrows waggling, to My Love whenever we throw down (waggle) our baggage (wagglewaggle) on the bed (wagglewagglewaggle) at our latest holiday destination.

She always obliges immediately, offering to swap sides of the mattress we sleep on.

beach stay focused message from This indicates a clear lack of communication between us or, more likely, that even my most suggestive waggle suffers from a severe lack of lower forehead flexibility.

Hence, I enthusiastically supported My Love's decision to spice up our annual beach trip this year by bringing in an outsider to loosen us up.

Yes, she hired a yoga instructor who makes house calls.

Morning stretches on the warm sand.

A symphony of seagulls and crashing waves in our ears.

The scent of undispersed BP crude lubricating our lungs.

If anything, it would have to be better than my last attempt at yoga. (For those to lazy to click the link, that consisted of me prone on a cold basement floor getting the heebie-jeebies, via grainy videotape, from a sculpted and oily yogi dude with a hipster ponytail who kept urging me to get in touch with myself and breeeeeeathe.)

irish yoga beach towelThis go-round, we started with a perfect harmonic convergence. Not between body and spirit nor, more likely, my body and alcoholic spirits. The great unification occurred between our scheduled yoga time and high tide.

As my swimming skills are suspect, we immediately moved to the second-floor deck of the beach house. This higher elevation should have offered us a stellar view of the Atlantic waters gently caressing the shore or, at a minimum, the waters carrying off the lounge chairs we had left a too close to the shore overnight. Instead, the rising sun blinded us as it focused down like God's own laser pointer.

"Petey? See these two?"

"Which two, God? Those freaks Heidi and Spencer at it again?"

"No! Right there! No! There! Those doofs on the deck! Jesus!"

"Not now, Dad! I'm trying to, uh, take the shower!"

"Sorry about that, son. And drop it. You really think I don't know what you're up to just because you pulled a few clouds around you?"

When I managed to see through my own perspiration and stench, I focused as best I could on our instructor. She was what you'd expect: toned, tanned, voice like liquid Smart Balance "butter." She also had a slight gap in between her front teeth. This made her bear an uncanny resemblance to the sister of a friend of mine, assuming said sister had giving up her habits of eight reality shows, two packs of smokes and case of Miller Lite a day. This image, along with my complete lack of coordination, contributed to an incongruity between my mind and body that not only prevented me from focusing on my breathing while trying to fold and unfold myself like an origami crane but also made briefly forget how to breathe.

INSTRUCTOR: "Breathe in. Feel your bellybutton rise slightly with the motion."

UNCOOL BRAIN: Wait -- wait! My bellybutton's going down. Quick - exhale. Exhale and reboot.

INSTRUCTOR: "Now, slowly breathe out through your mouth. Notice your bellybutton as it falls slightly."

UNCOOL BRAIN: Exha- … ack! No air! Inhale, inhale! Through my mouth or nose? Why is my belly button moving the opposite way again? Is it? AHHH! I can't feel my belly button! Where is it?! AHHH!

(Ironic realization: As a blogger, you would think I'd be better at naval gazing.)

At last, something started to click.

A warm, soothing calmness flowed through my limbs. My eyes closed, and I listened for my own heart beating.

And there it was: low, steady, pumping, thumping like a 10-year-old girl bouncing up the deck stairs, one wooden tread at a time …

"Daddy," Thing 1 called, "do you know where there's a plunger?"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dream in Hand, Part 1

26 clever quips

Why is Thing 1 smiling?

thing 1 smiles

This is why:

cure jm pepsi refresh check

Her facial expression changed dramatically once I told her she couldn’t use the check to go shopping at Justice.

(According to My Love, the second half of the Pepsi Refresh grant comes after Cure JM files a progress report on our use of the first half of the money. I’ll keep you posted.)

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My Uncool Past