It’s Roasting In Here!

Roast beastSorry for the late post tonight, Modern Philosophers, but I was busy helping The Grinch carve the roast beast…

Truth be told, I was attending my first ever celebrity roast.  The Nite Show honored legendary Maine broadcaster George Hale, who has been on the air for over 60 years!

Danny Cashman, the host of The Nite Show was the Roast Master General, and we taped the show in the theater that once hosted The Nite Show.

We were literally roasting, Modern Philosophers.  The theater was incredibly hot, and even though I wore my lightest toga, I still felt like I was tied to a spit and being slowly turned over a raging fire.

I was happy to volunteer to help out tonight because there’s no way you can live in Maine and not be a fan of George Hale.  I actually have a funny story about being on George’s radio show, which I’ll share later in the post.

Danny was joined on the dais by several other Maine broadcasting personalities and comedians.  I wasn’t quite sure what the expect from this crew of roasters, and Danny asked a couple of The Nite Show writers to be on hand just in case any last minute joke writing help was needed.

roastI’ve got to admit, Modern Philosophers, that I was impressed with the roasters’ material.

While I expected plenty of jokes about George’s age (I believe he is 105), the stuff on that topic was original, raunchy, mean, and hilarious.

The material definitely got a little blue, which I’m sure will present a challenge during the editing process, but it was damn funny when heard live in that sweatshop of a theater.

George gave it just as well as he got it.  He knocked all of his roasters down to size, and earned plenty of hoots and hollers, and some potential fines from the FCC along the way.  The King of Maine Broadcasting received a raucous, standing ovation when it was all over.

Best of all, the money raised at tonight’s roast is going to a very good cause.

And added bonus was that I got to met Dave, one of the other writers for The Nite Show.  Even though we both always go to the tapings, he sits down front in the audience, while I prefer to hide in the back of the theater.  It was cool to finally meet him, riff on ideas for the new season, and talk about our comedy influences.

Finally, here is my story about being on George’s radio show.  It was a few years ago while I was doing a mini publicity tour for The Retirement Party (which also included a guest appearance on The Nite Show, long before I became a writer for the show).

GeorgeI was nervous as hell so The Girl Who Keeps Me Calm accompanied me and sat next to me in the studio.

George asked me some questions about my screenplay and the movie made from it, but he was clearly more interested in flirting with The Girl Who Was Blushing.

He just kept hitting on the gorgeous girl sitting next to me, and would then work in a question for me so I wouldn’t feel left out.  Afterwards, The Girl Who I Adore was gushing over how George Hale, a man three times her age, was flirting with her.

Typical George.  He just has an effect on people.  Congrats on your big night, sir.

The Roast of George Hale will air in November…

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Labor Day Special: My Least Favorite Jobs

I-QuitIn honor of Labor Day, I thought I’d compile a list of my least favorite jobs.

To be honest, I’m not a real fan of any job that isn’t a writing gig, but there were some that I’ve just hated way more than others.

And I’ll admit, I have liked some of my jobs.

Here’s my 3 Least Favorite Favorite Jobs:

1. Employment Agency —  When I first moved to Maine, I had a lot of problems finding a job.  Luckily, my wife (at the time) was able to keep her high paying job from California and set up her home office in our dining room.

When I’d check the classifieds, I’d notice the same numbers listed over and over.  I called and discovered that the jobs were listed through an employment agency.  I set up an interview, and they ended up hiring me to work for them.

I was desperate so I took the job even though it involved cold calling companies and working on a commission.  As it turned out, the job was a load of crap.  The company promised it had exclusive job listings, but the clients could have saved the fee and just found the jobs themselves by searching the internet or doing a little legwork.

I finally told my boss I thought it was unfair to claim we held the job listings exclusively.  That led to a clash of philosophies and my leaving, never to return.

waiter2. Waiter/Busboy — I put myself through NYU by working in a restaurant.  Every weekend, I’d leave campus to head back to Brooklyn.  I’d work four shifts (a double on Sunday) and crash at my sister’s apartment.

It was fun at first when I was 17 and making decent money for the first time.  The job quickly grew old, however.  I’m not really good at taking orders, and this job literally required that I do so.

I hate cleaning up after myself, so having to clean up after total strangers was a real trial.  Plus, I just really resented having to miss all the weekend fun at college.  Isn’t that what college is all about?

I kept the job after I graduated, but just walked out one night after I just couldn’t take it any more.  For the record, I have always been an excellent tipper as a result of having that job.  Be nice to your wait staff, Modern Philosophers!

3. Production Assistant — While I was at NYU, I interned for a production company and ad agency that did a ton of work for MTV and its sister stations.  One Summer, one of the directors was shooting a commercial for MTV and asked me if I wanted to be a P.A. on it.  It was four days’ work and paid $300.  I was down with that.

Or so I thought.  The first day was about 12 hours long, which brought my hourly rate down to just over $6.  Not cool.

I spent most of the day painting the set white.  Over and over again until it was just the shade of white they needed for the shot.  There was also a lot of lugging around equipment and being barked at by anyone with a walkie talkie and a clipboard.

The P.A. is at the absolute bottom of the production food chain, and the $%^& on a commercial shoot flows right down on top of them.

I did not show up for days 2, 3, or 4 of the job.

labor dayI am very grateful for the job I have right now, but unfortunately, some jobs just suck.

On Labor Day, take some time to think about your past work experiences, and let me know if you had any that sounded like my bottom 3.

Happy Labor Day!

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An Icky, Sticky Labor Day (And I Mean That In A Good Way)

labor dayHappy Labor Day, Modern Philosophers!

While we are trained from birth to think that Labor Day Weekend marks the end of Summer, the beloved season actually still has almost three weeks left.

It definitely feels like Summer on this first day of September.  When I went on my morning run, the skies were deceptively overcast and it was a little foggy, but that was all a trick, Modern Philosophers.  It was icky, sticky, and gross out there.  Or maybe I should say hot, humid, and hellish.

However you want to describe it, it was definitely not Fall weather.  Summer is still in the air, and it caused my Running Toga to stick to my skin.

This morning’s 3 mile run was tougher than usual, which I assumed was because of the disgusting weather conditions.  Then I realized that it was my sixth run over the past eight days, and my body was just sore.

That realization made me smile.  When running becomes such a part of my regular routine that I don’t even think that I’ve been doing it too often, I know I’m in a good place.  I’m on vacation, and yet I ran six times.  Now that’s saying something about my commitment to getting healthy.

run sweatOr that I’ve simply lost touch with reality.

Either way, it’s a lot of running.

I know we’re supposed to relax and take it easy on Labor Day, but I figured that since I was working some labored breathing into the equation, that I wouldn’t be violating the rules of the Holiday.

Besides, this is the last day of my eleven day weekend, and I wanted to start it off in a sweaty manner.

Hopefully, I can maintain this pace after I return to work.  I’d been managing to run four days a week before vacation, which required getting up early two mornings to run before going to the office.  I don’t see any reason why that can’t continue.

It would be nice to have a running partner to keep me motivated.  Preferably one that’s about 5’6″, has brown eyes, long brown hair, and a dimple on her right cheek.  However, she seems to still be busy with that whole school thing…

When I need a little motivation, I’ll just think of The Girl Who Used To Run With Me and pretend that she’s just a few miles up the road, and if I can just get to her fast enough, I’ll finally be able to see her again.  Yeah, that should get my butt up out of bed…

happy laborAfter my run, I sat out on the front porch unwinding to a little music.  I didn’t mind that I was sweaty and gross because it just meant that I was being healthy and that Summer was still in the air.

Hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day!  Take advantage of the beautiful weather while it’s still here.  Maybe go for a run?

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Monday Morning Coffee Club: Labor Day 2014

Cofee signHappy Labor Day, Modern Philosophers!

I know it’s a Monday, but it’s a non-working Monday, so it’s okay to be chipper.  This is the second Monday in a row that I’ve been off, and I could certainly get used to it.  I’m sure, however, that I will work up plenty of Monday disdain for next week.

I’m in a good mood this morning because I just found out that my friend Kori, who is one of my favorite people on this planet, got engaged on Saturday night.  This was after she spent a good chunk of time on Saturday, via text, trying to help me figure out my smartphone.  Kori teaches fourth grade, so she is used to being patient with her students, but I know I’m way more of a handful than a roomful of fourth graders.

Kori is also the friend who showed up at The House on the Hill with Dunking Donuts and chocolate the day that Banky left me.  She sat out on the porch with me, made me laugh, distracted me from how sad I was, and made sure I was doing okay.

So congrats, Kori!  I wish you and Zach all the happiness in the world!  I’d do a back flip to celebrate, but I just went for a run and I’m a little sore…

MondayWhat’s the lesson from all this, Modern Philosophers?  If you’re nice to me, karma will reward you handsomely.  So just keep that in mind…

It’s back to work tomorrow after a very relaxing vacation.  To those people who insist that one must go away to truly vacation, I laugh at you mockingly.  I so desperately needed to relax, get away from the hustle and bustle of the rat race, and go into full writer mode.  These past eleven days have been a slice of Heaven.

September is here, Modern Philosophers.  Technically, though, Summer still has about three weeks left.  Don’t waste them…

Enjoy the coffee.  Have a great Labor Day.  For once, don’t be in such a rush to see Monday to the door…

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Pope Francis To Help Deliver Babies on Labor Day


Happy Labor Day! Try to relax, enjoy your day off, and let Pope Francis do all the work. Remember your breathing exercises…

Originally posted on The Return of the Modern Philosopher:

PopePope Francis I, by far the most popular head of the Catholic Church in centuries, is going to celebrate Labor Day in a unique way.

Known as “The Partying Pontiff” for his love of holiday celebrations, Pope Francis plans to spend Labor Day in an undisclosed hospital in Rome helping women in labor to deliver their babies!

Is that safe?  Does the Pope know his way around a delivery room?  “Don’t worry, Austin,” the Pontiff assured this Modern Philosopher via Skype earlier this afternoon.  “I’m not actually going to be getting my hands dirty, and telling the lucky mother when it’s time to push.  I’m just there as a comfort, and to see if I can convince the proud parents to name the baby Francis or Frances…”

LaborThat sense of humor makes me not so upset about being a Catholic.  Why won’t he announce at which hospital he’ll be?


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Life At The Cat House On The Hill

BHSIt’s been just over a week since I adopted Cali and Luna from the Bangor Humane Society, and brought them home to live at The House on the Hill.

Already, it seems like I’ll need to change the name of the property to The Cat House on the Hill.

Yes, Modern Philosophers, the kitties are settling in, and seem to have decided that I can remain here to feed them, provide toys, rub their tummies, and pet their heads.

After a few days of not venturing too far from their sanctuary under my bed, both little monsters are very comfortable making use of the entire house.

Luna couchLuna has pretty much declared the love seat to be her private throne.  She’ll spend most of the day sprawled out there, and when the mood hits, she will allow me to approach and pet her.

As you can see, her teddy bear is allowed to sit up there with her, but Cali and I need to ask permission first.

Luna has proven to be a finicky eater.  She will silently follow me around in the morning until I put out her wet food.  She refuses to eat it when I first set it down for her, but then she eventually licks the plate clean.  I just think she likes her privacy, and prefers to eat when I’m not looking.

Cali, who was definitely the shyer one, took longer to come out from under the bed.  She has been making up for lost time, though.  After some exploration earlier in the week that had me thinking I’d lost her, she now runs around the house at top speeds while chasing down the catnip toys that always seem to be trying to escape from her.

Cali has also decided that I should never try to sleep without her cuddled up next to me.  I tried to take a nap on the couch this afternoon, and she fussed and fidgeted as she tried to find the perfect position to wedge herself in next to me.  She comes up on the bed with me at night, too.

Cali couchThe new little black cat has proven to be a lap kitty as well.  Her favorite time to sit in my lap is when the laptop is already there.

She’ll just plop down in the tiny space between the computer and my tummy.  I’ve had to learn to balance the laptop on my knees if I want to get any writing done.

Both kitties are obsessed with my study.  The room is closed off because it’s poorly insulated.  I don’t really use it much anymore now that I have the laptop and don’t need the old computer that’s in there.  I didn’t want the cats to get used to going in there since it’s way too cold in the Winter, and I have the heat vent closed to try to save money.

However, Luna followed me into the room one morning, and now they both sit outside the door waiting for reentry.  There’s only a computer desk and a chair in there, so they sprint from wall to wall, sit in the windows, and act like it’s the coolest room in the house.

I don’t understand why they like the room so much, but they run around like a couple of kids set loose at a playground.

It’s been really nice having the week off to help them adjust to their new home.  I know that I picked the perfect kitties for me, and I hope that they think I’m okay, too…

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Moving At The Speed Of Summer


What’s the rush

To leave us

In the dust?

I’ve never seen

A season

Move so quickly.

It’s like

The last

Three months

Have zipped by on fast forward.

Are you angry

At us?

Did we

Say something

To offend?

Is someone

Hassling you?

Are you

Trying to

Get out of town

Before the

Long arm

Of the law

Catches up

To you?

What gives, Summer?

I thought

We were friends.

You know

You can always

Talk to me, right?

I just want,


To understand

Why you

Are sprinting

Out of here

Like you’re

Determined to win

An Olympic

Gold medal.

Show me

On this photo

Of the sun

Where the bullies

Hit you.

Did they

Call you names?

Is there anything

We can do

Or say

To make

You stay?

Everyone has

A price.

Name yours,

And I’ll see

What I can do

To scrape

The funds together.

Just don’t



I’m not quite

Ready to

Say goodbye,

And in this case,

I tuly

Do believe













Don’t go, Summer.

Not yet…

Posted in Humor, musings, Philosophy, Poetry, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments