Friday, November 27, 2015

There's no place like Clarketplace for the holidays

Hi there!
Are you looking for something different to give as gifts this holiday season? Something maybe created by not only a person's hands but with their heart and soul? Something that really symbolizes that you truly care for someone so much that you picked something that wasn't a box sitting on a shelf in some brightly-lit warehouse?
Good news! There are people out there, many of whom might be in your own neighborhood, making things exactly like that who will sell them to you!
Over the next month or so, I'm making space available to these people so you can see their offerings. They aren't paying me. I'm damn sure not paying them. I'm just using this space to introduce you to one another.

First up...
Small Saturday Pop-Up Shop
Brought to you by 8-Count Studios at the Rialto Theatre
1617 N. Franklin Street, Tampa, FL, 33602

Support local small businesses while doing your holiday shopping this year and have a direct impact on our local economy. Avoid the crowds, enjoy the extra time with your families, and shop hop for some great deals, right here in Tampa Heights. The historic Rialto will be the backdrop for some local favorites that you may only get to visit online, local markets, and various locations.

Vendor list and offers:

  • Stay Humble clothing and accessories
  • Transformation Yoga health products and services
  • BooN seasonal product packages
  • Mejia Handmade jewelry
  • Inspire event planning, staging, and decor
  • Rialto Theatre offering 10% off event bookings
Established in 2011, 8-Count Productions, LLC became a brick and mortar as 8-Count Studios in 2013 at the historic Rialto Theatre in downtown-adjacent Tampa Heights.  Both owners have worked within the arts and entertainment industry most of their lives and share a wealth of experience and expertise to offer creative consulting and choreographed solutions for a variety of arts, entertainment, production, and event needs.  8-Count Studios at the Rialto houses an art gallery, artist studios, dance and photography classes, event, rehearsal, and production space.

Other cool links for 8-Count Studios and the Rialto Theatre

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stuff yo'self

This week over at "The Unbelievables", my writing partners Jeff Hickmott and Michael Noble are sharing Thanksgiving side dish recipes! You won't have to worry about offending anyone because all of our recipes are ethnically ambiguous, just like this family:

I fear, however, that in our haste to share our favorite side dishes, we may have overlooked the main dish! So here's a recipe for that:

  • A turkey. Or a goose. Or a duck. Or a chicken. Or a ham (aka pork turkey). Or vegetables (aka not turkey), a big lump of them, made into a loaf shaped like a dead animal carcass, I guess
  • Stuffing
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. If there's stuff already inside whatever you're going to cook, take it out. All of it.
  2. Throw it away. Some people will tell you that you can use that stuff for gravy or soup, or in the case of vegetables, seeds, for growing new vegetables. Some people are horrible, filthy liars.
  3. Take your stuffing (Use my recipe if you want, or don't. I don't care. Stuffing is like God; it can be whatever you want, as long as it makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you and you don't try to impose your stuffing on others. Think I give a shit? I don't. No disrespect or anything but I have my own life to lead. Worrying about what you do or don't do when it comes to stuffing is something I just can't take on right now.) and put it inside of what you're cooking. Go ahead and pack it in there. You might have to carve a hole into a ham or the vegetable lump loaf in order to do this. That should be self-evident and I shouldn't have to tell you that.
  4. Apply salt and pepper. Once it's cooked, you won't know that you did it but it's something you do when you cook.
  5. I was just informed that you can't really stuff a ham. Sorry. Pull all that stuffing out of there and fill the hole up with the ham you dug out to make it. You didn't throw that ham away, did you? You idiot! That was perfectly good ham!
  6. Heat up your oven. 325° F. That's pretty hot and should get the job done. You probably could have done this while preparing the food to cook. Oh well. The moment has passed. You can't sit around now and fuss about just how much of your life has been wasted. That will happen later, when you talk to your family.
  7. If you don't have an oven, try a slow-burning box of some sort. No temperature controls on those so you're going to have to just eyeball it. I honestly don't know if that will work. I'm thinking probably not.
  8. Depending on the weight of whatever you're cooking, it's going to need to be in there for anywhere from 2 1/4 hours to 6 1/2 hours, however long it takes to get the internal temperature of the food to a bacteria-eating-your-body-from-the-inside-out-proof  165° F.
  9. If you live in a country that uses C degrees instead of F degrees, good luck because nobody knows what the hell that is.
  10. Take it out when it's done.
  11. Eat it.
If for some reason this or any other recipes don't work out, don't despair...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Adele-sgiving!

I'll admit it. I got caught empty-handed (or rather, empty-headed) this morning. I'm going to give myself a pass because we're all in holiday mode already and very little is going to get done between now and January 2nd. I did find this Thanksgiving video from Saturday Night Live, so there's that. I think this covers me even if I don't come up with anything at all this week, even though I probably will. Or not.
Either way, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015

My love affair with Kymatic Studios continues!

"Kymatic Studios is a progressive and versatile space in the Warehouse Arts District. We are an art gallery, a workshop, a music venue and teaching space. It is a space for more ideas to blossom then just what is already here." - Places to go in St. Petersburg

Hell yeah it is!
I've had the privilege of performing with and in front of really nice people in this funky, friendly space before and I'm excited about two opportunities I have to do so again...

"Late Night at Kymatic Studios"
Friday, November 20 @ 10:00 pm

"Late Night at Kymatic is an underground show in Saint Petersburg, Florida that showcases local talent, shooting in the warehouse art district and in the Kymatic studios with hosts Dan McCune and Jason Beck. The show comes to you every saturday at midnight. filmed by Don Becknell and music by RusselTamsen. The show tries to feature local artists of all varieties and businesses in the area."

I'll be a guest on the show which will be recorded tonight at 10 and available on YouTube afterward.

"Jam Night at Kymatic Studios"
Wednesday, December 2 @ 8:00 pm

They bill this as an open mic, but it's much more of an actual show than what you'll find at a typical open mic. Poetry, music, different types of performance art and, of course, stand-up comedy.

I'll be performing as a featured act that night, my first time having the honor of that designation.

The joint is located at 2436 Emerson Ave S in St. Petersburg. It's near Tropicana Field and not far from all the fun places up and down Central Ave. They love me there and I love them back just as much. Come on out and get some love too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

No shame

Last Saturday, I watched as scores of people changed their Facebook profile pictures to blue, white and red in response to the attacks that took place in Paris the night before. I saw someone who didn't do it ask what the point was and someone else replied, "it's better than nothing". My initial response, which, thankfully, I didn't post was, "No, it isn't. It's the exact same as nothing. Because it is nothing." I was proud of myself initially for thinking that. Why? Because, like everyone else, sometimes I'm a dick.
Hard to believe, I know. But here's proof.
I'm not a fan of "slacktivism", which is what happened when everybody decided they were sick of the Confederate flag. Remember? People made a lot of noise about taking the flag down in places where it was still displayed, acting as though the removal of a visible symbol associated with racism was the same thing as eliminating racism itself, which is obviously not the case.

I mistakenly applied that filter to people changing their profile pictures, with the belief that these people weren't doing anything that would actually help the people of France, but just doing something to make themselves feel better.

Don't get me wrong; I still believe that's the case - because it is - but I now understand that that's okay.

What happened was horrific and has made people really sad and really scared. They feel like they have to do something, even if they have no idea what. If making this small, symbolic gesture does nothing but help them feel like they reached out and expressed some empathy, then that's enough. It's fine. There are other people out there, and I was this close to being one of them, who want to jump down their throats for not really doing anything but selfishly making themselves feel better. You can identify them by the way they say things like "Yeah, but what about..." and "Where were you when..." Those people aren't doing anything either. In fact, the only thing they're accomplishing is also selfishly making themselves feel better, only they're doing it by trying to shame people and make them feel bad. At least the first group, even if they're being totally self-indulgent, isn't being shitty to other people.

The sheer volume of so many awful things coming at us at the same time is frightening and causing us to be overly sensitive and defensive while simultaneously making us more predatory and aggressive. We're causing each other harm over the most ridiculous things. A prey-or-be-prey mindset seems to be taking hold among a number of us. Certain politicians are running for office with that as the primary plank in their platform. That's the opposite of what's needed right now. We're regressing when we should be evolving. This has to stop and the only way to make that happen is individual human beings, not faceless groups of whomever it is you consider your adversaries, changing their behavior. If not right here and right now, then at least sooner than later.

Some of us - most of us probably - might need to force ourselves to apply some reason to our thought process from time to time. We are capable of compassion and empathy on more than one level at a time. Just because Cecil the Lion makes somebody sad doesn't mean they don't care about kids being abused. Just because someone says Black Lives Matter doesn't mean they hate cops. Just because somebody thinks that a person who works at Burger King deserves to make more money doesn't mean they think paramedics should live in poverty. Just because someone puts a French flag on their Facebook profile doesn't mean they don't care about people in Kenya. It's not a competition, and Thank God, because how truly horrible would we be if it was?

It's simply impossible to devote equal amounts of attention to every single awful thing that deserves it. Some people put coins in a donation bucket. Some put dollar bills. Some might put nothing at all but might actually donate their time in service to a cause. You don't know their situation so don't act like you do. If you don't feel like putting any money in the donation bucket, that's all right. Just don't squat over it and take a shit in it.

People are sad and scared and struggling to feel good. They're doing the best they can. And even if they aren't, it's not your job to police them. If throwing up a French flag helps them feel better about themselves and lets them get through something that's stressing them out, just leave them alone and let them have that.

If nothing else, if you find yourself in a situation like this (or any situation, really) and you think you might be on the verge of being a dick, err on the side of caution and just keep your mouth shut. That alone will be an act of positive change.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hey, thanks!

At the risk of coming off as unctuous or smarmy...

With the state of current events being as crappy as it is (You guys are aware that the state of current events is crappy, right? I hope so because this concept has no legs if you're not. You are? Oh good. I don't mean "good", I mean... never mind), it's truly a privilege to be given the opportunity to help a roomful of people who don't know each other laugh about stuff for a while. So to those of you who have come out to a show, those of you who keep coming out to shows and those of you have supported me in any way at all, Thanks for giving me the opportunity to provide a level of therapeutic relief from whatever crap that's making things crappy for you. It may be funny business but I take it seriously.

Sincerely, Thank You.

That's my time. Don't forget to tip your servers.

PS: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I advanced to the third round of the tournament. More fart jokes and at least one silly video coming your way soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tonight: Help prevent a car fire with your LOLZ

The other night, Cam Bertrand, someone I'm proud to say is a fellow comic and a friend, competed in the "Florida's Funniest" competition, which is a considerably bigger deal than the tournament I'm competing in tonight at Side Splitters, being as it is a statewide competition. Unfortunately, he didn't advance to the next round. Afterward, he posted this on Facebook:
"Couldn't be more proud of my comedy brothers Preacher Jovan Lawson Mike Charette and Rio Paris. The guys I had picked to win. Congrats family."
This kid: Class act.
Cam's a huge smartass but that was a classy gesture because down deep past all the smartass parts, he's a classy guy.

Here's the thing, though: I am not.

I'm a thin-skinned, petulant cry-baby with self-entitlement issues and I'm competing against Todd Stimmell tonight at Side Splitters. And if I lose, I'm going to set his car on fire. That's bad for two reasons...

  1. I've met Todd and he seems like a nice guy who doesn't deserve to have his car set on fire.
  2. I have no idea what kind of car he drives so the odds are that I'll be setting some random person's car on fire, somebody who's not even involved in the competition in any way.

So that means it's up to you. If you want to prevent an innocent victim (might be Todd Stimmell or a school teacher or a baby panda) from having to deal with a burnt-up car, the only thing you can do is come to Side Splitters tonight and, oh yeah, laugh at my jokes and then vote for me. As you are undoubtedly aware by now, you can do so for the low, low, LOW price of only $5 when you use my initials (CB) as the promo code when you buy online.

Tonight at 7 PM
Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

BONUS INCENTIVE FOR YOU TO ATTEND: Cam Bertrand, the classy smartass himself, will be your host for the evening!

Remember, if you don't want this on your conscience...