Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Chat with Hootie and the Blowfish: The Interview

In the world of modern music, bands arrive and disappear like sinking Titanics. However, there are those certain musical outfits that, despite their current obsoleteness, come up in conversation every now and then under the guise of “hey ,what ever happened to those guys?” Hootie and the Blowfish is the quintessential band that everyone kind of, sort of remembers. With their smooth beats, silky vocals and “cool enough to make your face explode” vibes, Hootie aided by the Blowfish can be reminisced about with the best of them, easily on par with Ace of Base and, to a lesser extent, Marcy Playground. You’d be hard pressed to flip through a karaoke book without finding “Only Want to Be With You”, then not singing it. “Holy My Hand” is a song that undoubtedly has been downloaded on Limewire countless times (three times). And who could forget “Let Her Cry”, besides mostly everyone? Truly, Hootie and the Blowfish have made their mark on fairly recent American music, according to their moms.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with Hootie and said associated Blowfish at an Arby’s, where they were all enjoying the same roast beef melt. They appeared to be in fine spirits, as Arby’s makes damn good roast beef melts. I pulled up a chair to their booth and shook each of their hands; they were all there – Hootie; Blowfish; Blowfish; Blowfish. With so many questions racing through my mind, I began the interview promptly.
Q: Before we begin I’d just like to say it’s an honor to be able to talk to you guys.
Hootie: Thanks man, it’s always great to be out of the house.
Blowfish 1: Plus, I’d had about enough of his mom’s cooking.
All: (laughter)
Q: So guys, is it tough to be Hootie and the Blowfish? I mean, do you still lead normal lives?
Blowfish with Hat: What’s considered normal, man, you know? I wake up every day like anyone else, and brush the hay off of myself like anyone else, and sneak off the farmer’s land like anyone else, and go through my neighbor’s trash like anyone else.
Hootie: It’s tough though man, it’s hard to go anywhere without not getting recognized.
Blowfish 1: Yeah, I totally know how the Beatles must have felt. You know, before they were famous.
Q: So Hootie…
Hootie: That’s not my name.
Q: It is. So Hootie, what have you been up to?
Hootie: Well, I’ve been spending a lot of time on some side projects – finger paintings, macaroni necklaces, that sort of thing. But you know, every now and then I like to kick back and just play some music. Unfortunately, my Phil Collins – The Hits tape is getting pretty worn out.
Q: I see, and how about the other Blowfish?
Blowfish with Hat: We have names, you know. For instance, my name’s Mark. Very few people know that.
Q: Well there’s a reason, no one gives a ***t’s ****.
Lazy Eye Blowfish: I for one have taken this little “career hiatus”, if you will, to spend more time with my kids. Well, not my kids, but some kids.
Q: So let me ask you this, why did you guys break up?
Blowfish 1: That’s an odd misconception people seem to have. We didn’t break up, we just kind of stopped.
Hootie: The record company stopped returning my calls, I mean…when I used to have a phone. We took a hint, but we’ve got some big plans for the future.
Lazy Eye Blowfish: Yeah, we’re going to turn “Only Wanna Be with You” into a Broadway musical. I didn’t think America was ready in 1997, but a lot’s changed since then. For instance, I can no longer afford gum.
Blowfish with Hat: We’ve also been trying to use Hootie and the Blowfish name to launch a successful line of contraceptives. So get ready for Hootie and the Blowfish Custom Douches!
Q: Now I want to address Hootie for a minute here.
Hootie: My name’s Darius! Darius! Not Hootie!
Q: Oh is Darius like your stage name?
Hootie: No, it’s my real name. I was never “Hootie”.
Q: Oh I get it; have to remain covert in public. I’m still going to be calling you Hootie, because I like saying the word Hootie.
Hootie: (expletives)
Q: Is it tough as the leader of the band, to carry this legacy with you?
Blowfish with Hat: I’ll field this one. Yeah, it’s really tough to walk through a gas station on a Sunday afternoon, and see your Grammy winning album on sale at the register for $0.75 next to the matches, which cost a dollar. I mean, there’s your face on the cover, and you feel like when the owner kicks you out for drinking YooHoo’s and putting them back, he’s going to recognize you and start some awkward fan conversation. Luckily it never happens. Maybe the next gas station.
Q: Now, rumor has it that there is a “lost” member of Hootie and the Blowfish?
Blowfish with Hat: Yeah, that’s pretty much all of us.
Q: So do you guys have any favorite songs of yours?
Hootie: Probably “Only Wanna Be With You”, as along with most of America, it’s the only song of ours I remember.
Blowfish 1: Yeah, I agree. Did we do any other songs?
Lazy Eye Blowfish: I’m very partial to our early work, like the first half of “Only Wanna Be With You”. By our later period, you can really sense the disenchantment within the group, say about the last minute of the song. Then there was our “psychedelic phase” from about 1:13-2:38. Less said about that, the better.
Q: Where do you guys think you fit in to the music scene of today?
Hootie: Well I personally feel that right now we’re kind of on the sidelines, cheering the participants on.
Blowfish 1: We’re kind of a looming threat though, you know? I mean, current musicians probably are shaking in their boots thinking “Oh geez, I hope Hootie and the Blowfish don’t come back. Their silky smooth vibes will knock us right off the charts and probably end my career. Man I’m really scared. My name is Maroon 5!”
Lazy Eye Blowfish: And we don’t want to rock the boat.
Q: Fair enough. I want to ask you about the meaning of some of your lyrics. In “Only Wanna Be With You”, you wrote “Sometimes you’re crazy/And you wonder why/I’m such a baby yeah/The dolphins make me cry”.
Hootie: Yeah, those words are my babies. My poetic, awesome babies.
Q: Did the “dolphins” represent orphaned African babies during that strife filled era of genocide during the early nineties?
Hootie: No. I’m terrified of dolphins.
Q: If you had one message to send to America, what would it be?
Blowfish with Hat: I would definitely say – Hey everyone, dig peace, love and understanding. Music is beautiful.
Hootie: I’d say believe in the power of love.
Lazy Eye Blowfish: I’d say if you have any spare clothing or towels, please donate them to me so I can use them for blankets and pillows. Winter’s coming, after all.
Q: One more thing guys, before I go – how about a song?
Hootie: Song? Oh right, we were musicians. Mark, stop hogging that sandwich!
Blowfish with Hat: I’m the “hungry one” of the band, remember? I’m notorious!
Hootie: (slaps Blowfish with Hat)
Blowfish with Hat: (slaps Hootie)
Blowfish 1: Quit it, you guys! This is why we can’t do nice things! Well, this and the fact that we all have single digit salaries.
Q: Well I think I’m just about out of questions guys. Uh…I guess thanks for this.
Blowfish 1: Oh it’s been our pleasure.
Hootie: Now we have a question for you.
Q: Sure, shoot.
Hootie: Uh…can we have a ride home?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Weekly Reader

Greetings connoisseurs of the printed English word, and thank you for picking up the latest in The Weekly Reader (pronounced “reed”er). For those of you looking to dig your eyes into a thick, succulent novel, you’ve arrived at the right place. I’m sorry I never got answered the letters of all my loyal readers last week complaining about my scathing review of “The Encyclopedia Britannica Volume 6. GE-HI”, but I simply did not at all care for the characters of Germany and William Henry Harrison. They just were not likeable, and I stand my ground on that stance. In journalism school, they always teach you to stick to your point and that’s the one I’m adhering myself to. But enough about the past, on to this week’s batch of readables! (pronounced “red”ables)
Though the publisher’s mentioned something to me over the phone about a shipping mistake, I nevertheless received their box of five books promptly on Wednesday. Now as you all may know, Wednesday is usually the day I walk Hortonstance. As you also all may know, Hortonstance is my favorite pet ferret, but that is neither here nor there. Anyway ,I decided to leave Hortonstance constipated this week and dive right into this cornucopia of creamy wordly goodness. Ready to read, readers? (pronounced “red”y to “reed”, “read”ers)
I propped my feet up on the nearest available ottoman and cuddled next to my favorite bed light and cracked open the first novel on which I could lay my grubby mitts – The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan. The story follows the life of Ruth a San Francisco career woman who makes her living by ghostwriting self-help books. She has little idea of her mother's past or true identity. What's more, their relationship has tended to be an angry one. Still, Ruth recognizes the onset of LuLing's decline--along with her own remorse over past rancor--and hires a translator to decipher some mysterious packets. She also resolves to "ask her mother to tell her about her life. For once, she would ask. She would listen. She would sit down and not be in a hurry or have anything else to do."And as she did in her earlier The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan uses these conflicts to explore the intricate dynamic that exists between first-generation Americans and their immigrant elders. A lot more stuff happens too, but I don’t want to spoil any surprises, and invite you to investigate for yourself –for Chinese-related adventure awaits with this thrilling read!
My reading skills were next given free rein to stretch their bony arms with the next novel in this week’s batch, The Bonesetter’s Daughter by another author, seemingly also named Any Tan. The story follows the life of Ruth, a San Francisco career woman who makes her living by ghostwriting self-help books. She has little idea of her mother’s past or true identity. What’s more, their relationship has tended to be an angry one. One would suspect that if I enjoyed one Chinese ghost writer-related novel, I would enjoy another. Not so. Alas, The Bonesetter’s Daughter did not tickle my fancy bones the way they had been tickled with The Bonesetter’s Daughter. I wonder if Amy Tan 1 realizes that she has a sound-alike competitor writing novels with the same name, cover, plotlines and characters. Either way, Granted, the bar was set relatively high, so a letdown was almost inevitable. Still, a valiant effort by Amy Tan 2.0. Ah well, no matter – we press on.
The third bookly volume that I had the pleasure of visually deciphering via means of piecing together a series of words and their respective meanings was the Amy Tan’s novel The Bonesetter’s Daughter. The story follows the life of Ruth, a San Francisco career woman who makes her living by ghostwriting self-help books. She has little idea of her mother’s past or true identity. Though this is clearly an age-old tale as old as time, the repetition and lack of originality sticks out like a sore thumb on a bloated marmoset. Now perhaps it is unfair to Amy Tan 3 that I’ve read Amy Tan 1 and 2’s book first, and the comparison is inevitable. But hey, if life wasn’t unfair, I’d have won that Babylon 5 lunchbox on ebay and not been outbid at the last minute by user “spankyNY95”. I have nothing left to say about this story, except that I don’t like it and it’s smelly. We press on.
The forth binded assortment of printed pages that I often refer to as “book” throws some diversity into the mix, and is a welcome departure in this somewhat monotonous series of “books”. I was delighted to unwrap this hardcover edition of The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan, who I will refer to here as Amy Tan IV, because Roman numerals make me feel rich. While the story was nearly identical to the previous three (the middle third contains a surprising twist involving Ms. Frumption’s independent jockstrap company), I did find that this book was a much better instrument for killing the cockroaches in my apartment.
At this stage in any reviewer’s process, he is tired, cranky, sick of reading, and full of valium. Needless to say, I was in dire need of a pickup after this very mixed bunch of books by various Amy Tans. Let me tell you, my prayers were answered by the unlikeliest of sources – The Bonesetter’s Daughter by an author whose work I initially thought I was unfamiliar with – Amy Ta. However, after further investigation, I realized the bottom left flap was folded over. Mending this revealed that in fact, an Amy Tan v.5 had exploded onto the novel writing arena. Let me tell you, this up and comer is truly promising, as this tale had me at the edge of my seat during the entire read, though I’m sure the valium had something to do with it. Every page was like a roller coaster hijacked by a drunk, seizure-prone terrorist. I simply could not put this masterwork of literary brilliance down, and I give it my coveted nine thumbs up rating. Amy Tan-tastic! So, in summation, The Bonesetter’s Daughter was way better than The Bonesetter’s Daughter, but could not achieve the dizzying heights established by The Bonesetter’s Daughter. On the other hand, The Bonesetter’s Daughter is worth a look if you find it lying in a dumpster somewhere, and The Bonesetter’s Daughter is suitable for only lining the bottom of ferret cages. Alright, hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s edition of The Weekly Reader. Stay tuned next week when I review a bunch of novels all called A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Mike's Writer's Strike Memory Scrapbook

Let’s face it gang, the life of a Letterman page is anything but easy. However, we all enjoy being there and the experience is something that we will cherish always in our lives. Forever. However, everyone in the Letterman page program has been thrown a curve with the current writer’s strike – putting us in a very strange, disenchanted position. During this timultuous period, I decided to keep a memory scrapbook so I can capture this exact strike-filled time of my life for future reminicing sessions. Here now, is Mike Hadge’s Writer’s Strike Memory Scrapbook. …

Strike Day 1: Wow, so I got a call from Jennifer Ray today, telling me that the writer’s have gone on strike and that we won’t be working for the next couple of days. Sweet – 4 day weekend! Nice! Time to get my biz-ooze on.

Strike Day 3: Okay, got another call from Jennifer Ray today, letting me know that we’re not going to be working for the rest of the week. Okay, that’s cool – it just gives me the week off. Suh-weet ass! Time to get my biz-eer on!

Strike Day 5: Man, this time off is great. I’ve got to catch up with some old friends, and watch some old Tivo’d episodes of Pushing Daisies. Ha, guess I won’t be falling behind on that show during this writer’s strike. It was great, I didn’t even wear socks today! Wow, I don’t think any bad could possibly come out of this strike. It’s like I get a free vacation with a job just waiting for me in the meantime! Awesome! Gtg, gotta go get my biz-udwiser on!

Strike Day 6: Omg, I haven’t gone outside in like three days, can you believe it? Lol.

Strike Day 7: Um…so…we’re not working for the next few days, either apparently. Thanks to Jennifer Ray for letting me know so soon, so at least, I mean, I can make plans for the next week. This break is a tad bit longer then I’d originally expected but hey, it’ll be…fun…fine…fun and fine. I’m sure the writer’s will work something out before long and we’ll be back in the saddle in no time. It’s cool though, I didn’t even have to wear pants today! Oh that reminds me, I have a shindig with the other pages tomorrow - gotsta set my alarm for 2:30PM, bright and early.

Strike Day 9: Man, I hope we get back soon, I’m getting a little antsy. I mean, I randomly asked a woman for her ID on the street today, just to make sure she was over 18 – she was. (Still got it!) Also, I saw a homeless man in the subway clapping to the beat of his own nonsensical ramblings for spare change. That man makes more money than I currently do.

Strike Day 10: Money has gotten a bit tighter than normal – who knew a $200 check could go such a long way? – but I’ve taken it as an opportunity to be a bit more creative. For instance, for lunch today I invented a dish I like to call processed American Cheese Surprise. Well, it’s really just American cheese…but it’s on a napkin. Surprise! Free life is still sweet though…I rewatched some of those Pushing Daisies episodes just to see if there were any jokes I’d missed the first time. There weren’t. Check this out though – I didn’t even put a shirt on today! Rock and roll!

Strike Day 11: What day of the week is it? Isn’t that so funny, I don’t even know anymore! I drank for the 12th day in a row at this point, but it’s not a problem or anything. It’s just casual, I could stop whenever I want. Stop looking at me like that, scrapbook! Well, it’s 5:30 in the AM, bout time I retired to my quarters.

Strike Day 12: Someone wrote on my facebook wall this morning, that was kinda cool. Also, I got a neat email ad for 20% off an item at Borders with my rewards card. Things are starting to turn around, methinks . I feel like any day now we’ll be right back in the game, yeah, anytime now Jennifer Ray will call with fantastic news! I’m sure of it! Also, wore nothing today.

Strike Day 12 (updated after call): Alright, not working for another…week….stay strong…breathe…

Strike Day 13: Rolled out of bed at 3:46PM – just in time to see the sunset! My breakfast today was remembering a time when I had a Nutrigrain bar. Yes, remembering it. But things may turn around – there have been rumors that Letterman is planning on paying his entire staff until the strike is over! Finally, a change of luck!

Strike Day 14: Jk.

Strike Day 15: I’d have shaved today, but I can’t recall the specifics of the procedure. Lord, I would choke a nun to be able to tell someone to put away their cell phone. Is that so much to ask? Got another call from someone congratulating me on getting paid during the strike. It was the first time I’d called my grandmother a c*******ing s*** c*** ***hole.

Strike Day 16: Woke up, checked email, ate, retired to quarters.

Strike Day 17: Woke up, cried, retired to quarters.

Strike Day 18: Woke up, retired to quarters.

Strike Day 19: Retired to quarters.

Strike Day 20: Chckled emale..noshowz..thanksgivisxk….contempl8ing peacvecorrr…..

Strike Day 21: (Page in scrapbook eaten)

Strike Day 22: (writing not legible…but smells like seizures.)

Strike Day 23: (crude drawings of ugly stick figures holding picket signs with the word “righters” and an arrow pointing to them, there are also stink lines coming up from said stick figures. It’s all just very immature, really)

Strike Day 24: lalala

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Pros and Cons of Homeless Life

In the aftermath of life at a University, I have been “weighing my options”, as any guidance counselor will tell you, is recommended at this point in life. Some people go off to Europe to find themselves. Others, Detroit. Then there are those who see graduate school as their most likely destiny, and still then there are those who go straight to their high paying job directly out of school. However, none of these options appear to be “up my ally”, as any guidance counselor will tell you, is frightening and I really shouldn’t be trusted to make decisions on my own. Nevertheless, I remain determined to find the silver lining on the grey cloud that is my latest endeavor: homeless life. With employment, school, and European getaways out of the question, it would appear that I am shaping up to be a young, budding homeless guy. After all, one would assume post-college life is where all homeless guys begin their career as homeless guys. It’s just the most logical path, and frankly, I’m shocked the career planning center at most universities do not offer at least a pamphlet on the subject. I realize that homeless life isn’t necessarily as easy or as fun as it sounds, so I’ve decided to make the list that lies just below this spot on the page to assist me in my future planning. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…

The Pros and Cons of Homeless Life.

Pro: No bills to pay. Con: You’re homeless. Pro: Never have to clean up after yourself. Con: You’re homeless. Pro: Don’t have to take any guff from the boss about those reports! Con: You have no house. Pro: Your neighborhood can be wherever your heart desires. Con: You are sans a residence. Pro: Never have to mow the lawn. Con: No lawn. Pro: You can say whatever crazy stuff you want, and people will chock it up to “oh, it’s okay, he’s a crazy homeless guy.” Con: You’re a crazy homeless guy. Pro: You smell like urine and its okay! Con: You smell like urine, and its okay. Pro: Never have to drive/pick up the kids to/from school. Con: You smell like urine. Pro: Don’t have to worry about losing the vcr remote. Con: Mmm, a vcr remote would taste mighty fine. Pro: Don’t have to deal with internet pop-ups. Cons: You spent Saturday night shirtless in a subway terminal, rubbing your own nipples and singing “Feliz Navidad.” Pro: Your days of listening to the wife nag about your inattentiveness are over. Con: “Feliz Navidad”!? Pro: No boring commercials! Con: You had a plate of “imaginary shoe pie” for breakfast. Another Con: You went back for seconds. Another Con: You enjoyed it the second time even more than the first and would consider making it your signature dish. Pro: No furniture…hmm, I guess that’s really more of a Con. Con: No furniture.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Spelling Bee Winner Involved in Steroid Scandal

(AP – Thursday) The world of spelling bees was thrown on its axis today as the winner of this year’s World Spelling Classic was revealed to have used HGH during the proceedings. Missy Carmychel, 12, was exposed when her test results came back positive earlier this week.
A representative of Carmychel’s released a statement this afternoon, insisting that she only received the hormones via a prescription from her pediatrician, evidently to aid her “mild cold”. Carmychel’s representative claims that she had no knowledge of what she was taking, and insists that any injection of HGH into any of her veins was “by accident” and “purely coincidental.”
“It’s a real travesty – T-R-A-V-E-S-T-Y!” exclaimed former World Spelling Champion Hsu Hyung, 11. “If I were to use it in a sentence, I’d say ‘Missy Carmychel’s use of steroids is a travesty!’”
Avid followers of the World Spelling Classic claim that they became suspicious after Carmycle seemed to “jack up” significantly at age nine and began growing facial hair a lot earlier than most young girls. “I mean it was pretty obvious”, states World Spelling Classic concessions supervisor Don Cheedle, “She was the only 280lb ten year- old girl I’d ever seen. She would chew glass before a competition, for crying out loud.”
“What kind of example does this set for the younger spellers of America?” bemuses local lumberjack Biff Sweedly, “Carmycle is supposed to be a role model, and she’s basically saying ‘oh hey kids, take steroids! They’re delicious! Just like Skittles!’ Disgraceful.”
“Didn’t she see that movie Akeela and the Bee?!” asks devastated spelling bee aficionado Hernard Roffman, “Didn’t she listen to its message of hope, heart, and spirit?!” He then continued by adding, “I mean, I guess that movie was alright. It wasn’t that great, I guess. I mean it all depends on what you’re comparing it to. If you’re like ‘okay, Akeela vs. The Godfather’, then I guess it’s obvious who wins. But if you compare Akeela to a really good movie, like Transformers, it doesn’t stack up as well. I guess it all depends on who you saw it with too, you know? Like I saw Akeela on a night when I really needed a spiritual lift; I had just broken a button on my very favorite corduroys and you could say I was a bit down in the dumps, but I…” At this point, we asked Roffman to stop talking.
This has sparked a full scale investigation on the seedy underbelly of the competitive Spelling world. Experts believe it to be no coincidence that out of the last seven World Spelling Classic champions, six could bench three times their body weight. Former spelling contender Carlos Wentoro’s recently released tell-all book Joosed provides some insight on the steroid-scene during the mid-nineties, which have now been dubbed the “HGH-Era of Spelling”.
“Yeah, HGH – Carmychel can spell that,” claimed Wentoro on a local morning radio program, “with flying colors.”
Though it remains undetermined if the brawny Carmychel’s use of HGH actually improved her spelling abilities, she has been disqualified from further competitions, and is forbidden to ever spell anything again. In addition, there has been serious consideration by Thomas Jennings, the commissioner of Spelling, to add an asterisk next to Carmychel’s name, as well as several other letters, just to make it harder to spell. However, Carmychel does get to keep her gift certificate to Target – the grand prize of this year’s WSC.
When approached for comment, Carmychel socked us in the jaw really, really hard before tearing a phonebook in half and storming off.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Into the Woods - An Article From 3 Years Ago

Since no one reads this - here's an article from three years ago when I was in Fordham's production of Into the Woods. Sure its old, but this is my damn blog and if you're going to sacrifice your free time to read it, we're gonna play by MY rules.


So there we are, gathered around the piano, off-book for the first time ever! The song: “Act 1 Finally – Part 4.” I play with a stray pair of gym shorts from 1985 as Lauren Canonico paces in anticipation of the doom which awaits us all. Musical director Lloyd Arriola breaks into the piano introduction and we’re off. Eyes are darting, beads of sweat are falling, pants are being soiled; it was a harrowing sight. I catch the eyes of Mark Metivier, as we try desperately to scrape for the correct lyrics. In a nervous panic, Grace Spangler attempts some form of violent pilates to gouge the words. Out of the corner of my eye, Christyn Sacowich can be seen sitting against the side of the stage, slamming her back into it repeatedly, looking ready to foam at the mouth. We’re quickly approaching the chorus, and then it happens. We’re locked in, on the train of “Act 1 Finally – Part 4” and there ain’t no getting off. “…And happily ever after” everyone sings in an epic crescendo. 5…6…CUT OFF! We’d done it. High fives and hugs are exchanged, and not a dry eye is to be found among us. However, in the back of our heads we know that now we just have to improve our tone, add movement, fix dynamics, add costumes, fine tune the movements, make sure we don’t forget the words, and do the same for sixty-eight other songs. Joy.
I am tired. Very, very tired. Why, you ask? Perhaps I’ve been up doing schoolwork all hours of the night? My word, no. Is it possible that I’ve had a long night of drinking and have yet to recover? I should be so lucky. Have I been traveling through time, fighting inter-galactic Russian space frogs from beyond the moon? Well, yes but that’s beside the point. The cause for my overwhelming exhaustion can be summed up in two words – Steven Sondheim. This man is insane. To perform a Sondheim musical is basically the equivalent of rapping, on crack, for three hours straight to awkward melodies and uneven rhythms. In other words, it rapes you sideways and doesn’t apologize. Nevertheless, I am writing this to provide Fordham’s Paper readers with an insight on the upcoming Mimes and Mummers production of Into the Woods that is bound to be better than The Ram’s inevitable cover story. Why am I so sure? Because its’ writer hasn’t been doing anything else with himself. Seriously, I’ve spent more time rehearsing it in the past month than eating, sleeping, drinking, studying, walking, stalking, or ransacking peasant villages combined. Any more questions?
The story behind the conception of Into the Woods is a fascinating one, and a tale I shall tell my illegitimate grandchildren when the time comes. Well, it’s not really a story, per say, more of an anecdote. It turns out that the musical was written by Sondheim as a one-act originally. The characters have their problems and curses to solve; they have adventures, and achieve their goals. Of course, everyone lives happily ever after. The end. Well, apparently the hot-shot Broadway fat-cats informed Sondheim that one was not nearly enough, and that if he wanted Into the Woods to be produced, a second act was required. So Sondheim created a second act equivalent of flipping off the entire Broadway industry…in which he has pretty much every character die. How’s THAT for a Hollywood ending?
Of course, what good is an article on an upcoming musical without a brief synopsis? On the other hand, it is near impossible to give a short summary without going into convulsions, this show is so damn action packed. Basically, if you take every fairy tale you’ve heard as a child, place it in a blender, then blow the blender up, you’ve pretty much got Into the Woods. As I explained before, the show could easily be split up into two completely different musicals; the first one called Happy Ever After (I Wish); the second called Death, Sex, and More Death (and Sex). However, through Sondheim’s fiddling about, he has created two halves that almost represent life itself – separated into fantasy and reality. Then again, maybe it’s just a coincidence brought on by a contractual obligation. Either way, Sondheim devises a metaphor in “the woods” that the audience is bound to figure out, ponder, and get sick of, before the show even starts.
Yes, Into the Woods is a pretty nutty show. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fabulous and everyone and their mom(s) should see it. However, I’ve definitely had my fair share of it in the past month, and would love to share some of this mental instability…I mean, wealth. Seriously, if I dedicated this much TLC into any of my classes, I would be a scholar, or at least less of a dumbass. You see, I play the part of the Baker (a.k.a. The Baker’s Wife’s Husband). How difficult could that be, you ask? That character doesn’t even have a name! Yeah. The Baker has 230 lines and six songs. So bite me. All of you. On a side note, I chose to use this as my excuse for this article having more grammar and spelling errors than the inevitable Ram cover story. Also because of this confounded musical, I’ve spent more time as the Baker than as rootin’-tootin’ Mike Hadge in the last month. In fact, I find myself hanging out with the Pillsbury doughboy much more than usual. Yeah, I guess he’s got some cool stuff, but that stomach poking thing is starting to creep me out. I mean, he just keeps asking me to do it.
As they say in the business, every asylum needs a coordinator. Enter the lovely Lisa Ann Goldsmith, director of Into the Woods. Lisa Ann’s an interesting character. With her nurturing but intimidating demeanor, she leaves the cast with ample opportunity to let their own ideas and interpretations shine. However, many of them are wrong, quite wrong indeed. In this case, Lisa Ann allows her greatest strengths to come into play. Much like Laquisha and her eleven children on their daily Fordham Road visit to “Donuts N Ribs”, Lisa Ann knows exactly what she wants. As such, Lisa Ann is quite possibly the best director this baker has worked with thus far in his career (the other one smelt of barnyard). Seriously though, Lisa Ann has this “mother hen” thing going that makes the cast collectively just eager to please the woman; make her proud when we get home from elementary school with a “93” on our speling test.
“It was you, !” yells musical director Lloyd Arriola at cast member Joe Zanko III, who had just held out a note a bit too long. Yes, Lloyd is the wind in our musical sails, the shepherd of our musical flock, nursing us at his musical teat. Talented as he is Portuguese. Without him, the cast may as well adlib the entire score, because as I stated earlier, Sondheim is fucking insane, like…Mariah Carey insane. Anyone with any musical knowledge can tell you, it ain’t easy to sing sixteenth notes at a 132 meter to words that have no set repetition or flow. In fact, those who have experienced it could not tell you, either, for they are in no mental condition to do so; yet somehow, Lloyd makes it all seem plausible. See, Sondheim thought it was a cute idea to make this the concept for an entire song (“Your Fault,” or as I call it, “Goddammit!”)! Oh, and melody is never a factor for Sondheim. I mean, who cares what a song sounds like as long as it has clever and quirky lyrics, right? Right?! (Sorry, but if I ever meet Sondheim on the street one day, I’m going to ask him how his day was, probably ask for an autograph, shake his hand, and then kick him in the face) Here is but a sample of Sondheim’s tomfoolery: “There’s no time to sit and dither, while her withers wither with her.” Gag. Nonetheless, the cast is EXTREMELY fortunate that Lloyd is at the helm. He knows his music, man, and he doth teach it well.
Of course, what is a wacky-ass show without a wacky-ass cast? Give Lisa Ann credit, she knew what she was doing when she cast this show (says one of the leads). At this point in the production though, one could easily see Lisa Ann’s vision for the cast and their respective characters. Given the small cast size of sixteen, Into the Woods plays straight to the philosophy that there are no small parts, only Mary Meler and Meg Fisher. Oh, they’re a colorful bunch, yes sir. Starting with myself as the Baker, and the always fabulous Lauren Canonico as the Baker’s Wife; we look like any typical young, medieval Italian-American couple. Lauren’s “take-no-shite” attitude translates perfectly to the part, plus she’s a gorgeous first soprano, so that helps. Speaking of gorgeous first sopranos, Meg Fisher plays a lovely Cinderella. In fact, I daresay she tops Brandy in the role, but let us not get too extreme. Oh, speaking of which, could anyone explain to me how the white King reproduces with the Whoopi Goldberg-portrayed Queen to make a CHINESE Prince?! I mean, I’m no scientologist but…
Theresa Achtziger plays the old bitch-turned-young bitch witch, previously played by Bernadette Peters and Vanessa Williams. Theresa, who makes a fabulous witch, even has to rap, and she can rap with the best of them. In fact, she’s headlining a tour of the Bronx this Spring under the name Phunky TZiger. I’ve begged her to reconsider. Moving on, we take a look at the young lad playing the young lad Jack. Yes, ‘tis none other than Joe Zanko III. Now this kid is a true Irish tenor, folks. Just listen to his rendition of “Giants In the Sky”, you’ll lose all control of your bladder. In a good way. Jeanmarie Beier, whose last name I would no doubt mispronounce if I had to read this aloud, is in the role of Jack’s Mother, and pulls the overbearing mother bit off quite well, almost to a frightening degree. Little Red Riding Hood is played by Mary Meler who, with her ongoing skip, is just cute as a button on a diabetic Care-bear. We had a close call with Mary last week though, as she had contracted a strange disease known to some as “mono”, but to me as “excuse for not going to church.” Fortunately, it turned out to be gas. I for one am quite relieved, as Mary is an incredibly valuable part of the cast. Plus, the only alternative would probably have been to dress Lloyd in an oversized red cape, and no one should have to sit through that.
Everyone’s favorite Mime and/or Mummer, Jim deProphetis does double duty as both the Narrator and Mysterious Man. For myself, as someone who’s been rejected from Mimes twice and the Ramblers three times (no bitterness…you whores), it has been great to finally be able to work with Jim. In fact, the duet Jim and I sing in the second half, “No More”, may be my favorite part of the show. Seriously, if this song doesn’t make you cry, you must be a Nazi. Also, he has to do a funny walk. As the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince, Mark Metivier plays the duel roles he was born to play – a sexual predator and an arrogant douche. Honestly though, he’d steal every scene he was in if it weren’t for Greg Bennett, a very worthy adversary. As Rapunzel’s Prince, Greg uses his uncanny height to great advantage, with a posture and glide as hilarious as the expression he uses when discovering that yes, they are his twins. As for Rapunzel, she’s a little nutty, but so’s Christyn Sakowich, so it all balances out. With her ridiculously high soprano songbird melody, Christyn stays securely locked in the tower on stage right for most of the show – as it should be.
Now we move on to the royal family, which I think is another perfect casting job. At the head is the delightfully bitchy evil stepmother played by the delightfully bitchy Grace Spangler. The drunken patriarch is portrayed by Chris Frescella, in a role that is no doubt a stretch for the young nun-in-training. Jenna Scanlon and Lenore Furlong handle duties as Florinda and Lucinda, the evil stepsisters. Again, they create a great dynamic and really make you laugh at (not with) them when they go blind after the first half. I mean, who are we kidding; laughing at the misfortunes of others is what makes the world go round. Screw love! Kate Lawlor is constantly popping out of something or mysteriously appearing somewhere as Granny and Cinderella’s Mother. I still think we should lower her down on wires for every scene she’s in, but I guess that’s why I’m not getting paid the big bucks. Joe Nolin plays a curiously British Steward to the Prince, and prides himself on his skipping abilities and the dance with his staff during the Act 1 Finally. Rounding out the illustrious cast is Kayti Roberts, who plays about twelve parts, most notably the voice of the giant. However, she’ll also be heard as a baby, a body double, and a miscellaneous princess. How’s THAT for versatility?
Of course, I could not write an article on Into the Woods without mentioning our fabulous producer and stage manager, Kristina Curatolo and Victoria Soutiere. There.
Alright kids, moral of the story: come to Into the Woods, please. Twice. Four times. Every night. Tell friends, tell relatives, tell complete strangers. We’re been working too damn hard! As I write this, I am about to embark on an epic Presidents day weekend of thirty-four hours of creamy Into the Woods goodness. Please, as you’re downing your bottles of malt liquor or gooseberry wine or whatever you kids are into these days, think of the courageous cast and crew of Into the Woods, who are out there putting their asses on the line every day, to provide you all with two-and-a-half hours of entertainment, and then break down the set forever and cry about it. “Get to the specifics, you ass” you say? Fine then. Into the Woods goes up March 2, and continues through March 3-6. All the shows are at like seven I think, except for the March 6, which is at 2. All the shows are in Collins Auditorium and are completely (carb) free! Got all that? Splendid, so you have no excuse not to come now. Trust me, if you love crazy shit and fine musical thee-ate-er, you shall not want to miss Into the Woods. DISCLAIMER: Those who are pregnant or weak of heart should not attend Into the Woods. Mimes and Mummers is not responsible for anyone burned, maimed, impaled, eaten, mugged, attacked, or molested during Into the Woods. Into the Woods is not to be used in dank atmospheres. Into the Woods tastes great on a cracker.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Latest from Fordham University

I received this e-mail earlier today...


Dear Members of the Fordham Community,

It gives me great pleasure to share Fordham's good news with you. This week Fordham received two honors:As you know by this point of course, as its been all over the national news, the University was chosen as one of the "25 Hottest Schools in America" by the editors of Kaplan/Newsweek’s How to Get Into College Guide. Today we learned that we have achieved one of Fordham's highest rankings ever in the latest U.S. News and World Report. We jumped from 70th last year to 67th, and we are fourth among Catholic schools (after Notre Dame at 19, Georgetown at 23 and Boston College at 35) and seventh among New York schools (after Columbia, Cornell, New York University, Rensselaer, Syracuse and Yeshiva). But we’re still ahead of Mass Maritime! Stupid Mass Maritime! They don’t even deserve to be capitalized by me! Stupid mass maritime! Look out though, Rensselaer, cause here comes Fordham!

We are, of course, pleased that Fordham's reputation is catching up with its accomplishments. The Kaplan/Newsweek and U.S. News designation as one of the nation's top universities is a recognition of all the University offers its students: intellectual rigor; unparalleled learning and career opportunities in New York City; the Jesuit concern for the whole person; and the ability to funnel two forties of Milwaukee’s Best with minimal spillage. We've known for some time now that students who want to be the best and do the best come to Fordham. Those who want to be stupid and ugly go to Boston College and Georgetown. Clearly, Fordham is an institution on the move and it’s wonderful that others around the country are recognizing that fact. Those who continue to deny it are just racist and retarded and gay. It is especially good that the Kaplan guide highlights our commitment to cura personalis, a concern for the care and educational development of the whole person, for it’s truly at the heart of a Fordham education. Also, Fordham came in third at this year’s Semi-Annual Pelham Hot Dog Eating Scarfaroo. In addition, Fordham was told by heartthrob quarterback Chad McMichaels that it looked “pretty cute tonight” at the High School Hop.

The media spotlight comes amid a record-breaking year for Fordham in which 21,942 students applied for admission. It was the first time in the University’s history that the applicant pool crossed the 20,000 mark during an admissions cycle. Next year, the total is projected to be closer to a bajillion-trillion applicants, as Fordham’s popularity increases. We now have over 500 friends on MySpace! In all, applications have increased by 54 percent since 2004, and the acceptance rate has dropped to 42 percent. So…yeah, we’re pretty great.

For complete details on both honors, see the articles on Fordham’s news page. Also, be sure to vote for our photo on! So far, we’re a 4! Not too shabby!

See?! We’re good!! See?!

Best regards,

Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

Adopt a Robot Child

January 13, 2005

A tender smile. An innocent laugh. A new coat of wax. These are some things that some children never have growing up, especially if these children are robots. Every day, young robot children like 7F02 and 89-41S here grow rusty, old, and low on battery power. For only $24 a day, you can give these robot children the ray of hope they’ve sorely needed. In 1996, evil supervillain Doctor Bizarro built a massive army of robot children, only to pass away from a liver disorder two months later, leaving these orphaned robot children alone and without a purpose. For only $24 a day, you will receive a monthly postcard from your robot child, and a matching 5 x 7 photograph, suitable for framing. Show them a proper family. With your help, these robots will finally get the kind of nurturing that can only come from a bi-monthly oiling, and for only $24 a day - that’s less than you would spend if you bought a car every day! Remember, robots are more expensive than regular children. They need to be oiled. So please, won’t you please do your part, and together we can bring these robot children some human happiness.


January 17, 2005

Robot children! Robot children! Robot children! If there’s one thing that human children want, it’s robot children! Low on real friends? A robot child is the ideal solution for your socially awkward son or daughter, providing almost lifelike companionship for hours on end. You see, unlike real children, robot children will never find themselves too cool to hang out with your child. On the contrary, your brand new robot child will fit into your home environment perfectly, even offering to take care of the chores every now and then. And of course, your robot child will never malfunction and try to kill you. All this for two thousand easy payments of twenty four dollars a day! Twenty four dollars, that’s way less than if you had to bail yourself out of jail every day! Your very own robot child will be a symbol of love and affection in your life. Perfect for infertile mothers, the dad on the go, or supervillains attempting to build their own massive robot child army!


January 19, 2005

They’ve gone too far, oh sweet Jesus the carnage! It happened only about an hour ago, all the robots started making this high pitched buzzing noise and then…oh god I don’t even know. We’ve consulted the outside for help, but we think it was just the robot children on the other line, doing their very best impression of a 911 operator. Damn, they’re too smart. We built them too smart! Gary, Gary no! You bastards! You’ve killed him! Oh, sweet Jesus! Please, only you can help! The only way to truly destroy these killer robot children is to purchase a robot child destroying cathode ray. Now these are quite expensive, so we need your help! For only about $24 a day, you can contribute to keep everyone here from…OH CHRIST! THE HUMANITY!...uh, from the robot children. That should give us just enough! HOLY SHIT! That’s right, you can help! Act now, and we’ll throw in one, no, two of the robot children at no extra charge. That’s right! Your own robot child, a $24 a day value! And this one won’t maim and kill you, because…well, it just won’t! OH GOD! Call now, operators are standing by. Please, dear lord, please!

The Robot Children's Foundation went under on January 20, 2005.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Harry Potter and the Lost Spells of Hadge

Here are a few incantations that for one reason or another, Hogwarts left out of their curriculum.

Descendo Stockmarkum – Little known spell that causes the stock market to crash.

Contacto Domino – Orders your enemy twenty-seven anchovy pizzas from Domino’s that they will totally have to pay for. It’ll be awesome.

Motorus Uncoordinato - Makes it so that everytime a driver is unlocking a passenger side car door for your enemy, they try to lift the handle at that exact moment of the attempted unlocking, thus keeping the door locked and leading to several more vain attempts to open the car door. It gets really annoying after awhile.

Elongo Titanico – Increases the running time of the film Titanic by an hour and thirty-five minutes. Nobody really ever uses this one.

Gottfriedo – Spell that causes your enemy to sound like comedian Gilbert Gottfried. There is no known counter spell.

Collectus Dialus – Bewitches your enemy into making collect calls to everyone they know, thus pissing them off royally.

Reducto Testicli – Used to bring fiercest of enemies “down a notch”. They never see it coming.

Cosbify – Causes your enemy to think their Bill Cosby-impression is hilarious, and to break it out at wildly inappropriate moments.

You Got Servedium! – Serves your enemy without the tiresome procedure of a break dancing competition.

Rectium Verbosa – Causes your enemy’s anus to start talking in a Russian accent. It’s actually pretty funny.

Drugifirus Speedofus - Plants a baggie of cocaine in your enemy’s glove compartment, then bewitches them into driving over the speed limit the next time they motor their vehicle, getting themselves pulled over by a state trooper, who then discovers the stash when your enemy reaches for their license and registration. A bit long winded, but effective.

Impotencia – Blocks your enemy from being able to get it up.

Smashmouthus Infinitum – Causes your enemy to have “All Star” by Smash Mouth stuck in their head indefinitely.

Lifto Douchebagiti – Permanently pops your opposition’s collar indefinitely, causing their peers to go “Pfft, what a tool. Can you believe that guy?”

Retardos – Does probably what you think.

Tivotum Scrubsotus – Tivo’s Scrubs for later viewing.

Tivotum Jhericotus – “ Jherico “ “ “

Impregno – Plants a seed in your enemy, male or female, that grows up to be a real pain in the ass.

Silencio Protencia – Quiets down anyone who is giving a heavy-handed, pretentious speech about their views. This comes in handy if one is visiting a liberal arts college.

Minoritos – Causes your enemy to have the racial tolerance of a seventy-eight year old Alabama veteran.

Circumcizum – Take a wild guess.

Tim Allencantatum – Causes your enemy to make a string of really shitty Disney movies.

Reducto Bladdium – Causes your enemy to have to run to the john every three minutes.

Erecto Patronum – Basically serves as the magical equivalent of Viagra. Also, keeps Dementors away. Counter jinx to Impotencia.

Hepititus Totalus – self explanatory.

AIDS! – Ditto.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Updated Resumes, Employment, and Other "Real Life" Things

The search for a job can be long and hard, often driving the unemployed to depression, madness, or religion. However, we must remain steadfast in our search and often adjust to the ever-changing needs for different services in the early twenty-first century. We must remember; there are jobs out there, we simply must be willing to seek them out and make our own alterations to meet their requirements. The most important aspect of all of this, of course, is adjusting one’s resume to the job applied for. I recently have discovered this, and present to you some examples of the resume’s I’ve sent out, beginning with my original resume that has, thus far, gotten me nowhere. Sure, my initial goal was to work in the entertainment industry, but as of now, I’ve received no bites from the shallow sea of show business. However, I have learned my lesson, and broadened my fields, as demonstrated by my newer, more refined and yes, more potentially successful resumes. Take a look…


Michael W. Hadge
C: 508-944-0555

OBJECTIVE: To obtain employment in the entertainment industry.

Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Communications May 2007
Cumulative GPA: 3.3


Sesame Street New York, NY
Post-Production Intern 1/2007-5/2007

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart New York, NY
Production Intern 1/2006-5/2006
Assisted on field shoots and in writers’ meetings
Booked and dealt with audience members
Performed any task to help the show run smoothly
filing, faxing, various organizational work

Fordham Comedy Magazine The Paper Bronx, NY
Writer 9/2004 -

Fordham Sketch Comedy Troupe “Free Pizza” Bronx, NY
Founder/Director/Writer 9/2006 -
Put on several original sketch shows to college crowds
Selected for Upright Citizen’s Brigade’s SPANK sketch showcase, performed at their Manhattan theater

Fordham Experimental Theater Bronx, NY
Writer/Performer/Director/Producer 9/2003-
Co-director of Fordham Improv Comedy Troupe
Wrote and directed comedy Nazareth High for successful four night run
Wrote and directed Fordham: The Musical for successful four night run.

Paris Cabaret Starline Room Stoughton, MA
Writer/Waiter/Performer 6/2004-8/2005
Responsible for energizing and interacting with audience
Required to multitask quite

Received awards for two self directed films in 2003 Easton Film Festival
Run own blog –
Proficient at Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point
Selected for “Lord of the Manor” speaker position at pre-graduation ceremonies in May 2007.


Michael W. Hadge
C: 508-944-0555

OBJECTIVE: To become a gourmet chef at Rodrigo’s Authentic Italian Eatery.

Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Communications May 2007
Cumulative GPA: 3.3


Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Easton, MA
Have made it really good 4/1996- 7/2007
Sometimes with tomato

Watched Emiril New York, NY
Occasional Viewer 1/2006-5/2006
Saw an episode where he made a casserole
Know that “Kick It Up a Notch!” and “BAM!” are his catchphrases
Saw another episode where he made some sort of sauce
TiVo’d last night’s episode and will watch it

Toast Bronx, NY
I’ve made toast before 9/2004 -
It was good, not too burnt
Utilized butter and/or peanut butter on finished product

Microwave Celeste Pizza Easton, MA
Cooker of It 9/1998 –
Followed directions on back of box to perfection
Attempted to cook it in toaster oven
Attempt unsuccessful

Microwavable Bagel Bites Bronx, NY
Preparer/Director/De-froster 9/2003-
Prepared pizza in the morning
Pizza in the evening
Pizza at suppertime
When pizza’s on a bagel, I could eat pizza anytime

Saw Like Water For Chocolate Stoughton, MA
Well, half of it 6/2005-6/2005
It had subtitles
So, required to multitask
Food in the title

Keep Food Network on in background while I do other things
Eating three meals a day, plus various snacks
Hate Rachel Ray, but tolerate her
Proficient at Microsoft word, Excel, Power Point


Michael W. Hadge
C: 508-944-0555

OBJECTIVE: To become Senior Visual Designer for Sullivan Architecture Inc.

Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Communications May 2007
Cumulative GPA: 3.3


Sandcastles Cape Cod, MA
Builder/Creative Consultant 4/1985- 6/2007
Responsible for the successful raising of no less than twenty-four exemplary sandcastles
Twelve of said sandcastles did not collapse at the pressure of high tide
Each housed at least three twig-people

Personal Tree Fort Easton, MA
Planner/Designer/Supervisor 2/1988 – 4/1988
Created projective blue prints for Deluxe Super Secret Tree Fort on construction paper in purple crayon
Died at preproduction due to lack of sufficient funds and man power

Popsicle Stick House Easton, MA
Exterior/Interior Designer 5/1990 – 6/1990
Successfully conceived popsicle stick dream house
Began construction utilizing popsicle sticks, Scotch tape, and Elmer’s Glue
Abandoned project midway due to lack of attention span

This Old House Easton, MA
Heard of it 6/1984 -
And I know its about designing and building homes

“Our House” by CSNY New York, NY
Know the words 11/2003 –
I know most of the words
It’s on my iPod
Also possess knowledge of what CSNY stands for

“Our House” by Madness Bronx, NY
Know how it goes 9/2003-
I’m humming the tune right now
It’s also on my iPod

Can draw Spongebob Squarepants with decent accuracy
Can trace the white house from an old Social Studies text book
Proficient at Microsoft word, Excel, Power Point
Have lived in numerous architectural structures


Michael W. Hadge
C: 508-944-0555

OBJECTIVE: To become a litigation consulting accountant manager for J&C Paralegal.

Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Communications May 2007
Cumulative GPA: 3.3


N/A Easton, MA
6/1984 –

Proficient at Microsoft word, Excel, Power Point

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


It brings me great sorrow and heartbreak to resign this day from the facebook group, “Teach For America”. Truly, my heart had never been in it from day one, as I joined the group blindly because a girl I kind of liked invited me. I am truly sorry for my inexcusable deception. However, the truth is, I would make a terrible teacher, and I don’t even particularly support teachers or education, so my mere presence in this group was completely, utterly in vain. Apologies to anyone who has been affected by this faux pas.
Also, I regret to say that I have also removed myself from the “Human Being Group” on facebook, as I feel it’s simply too accepting. If I am going to be part of a group or club, I prefer it to exclude at least some type of denomination as to boost my fragile ego. The “Human Being Group” also lacked any real organization, and failed on its initial promises of prosperity for the human race. Instead, the group merely provided inane wall postings and a few google image photos of Chuck Norris.
While we’re on the topic, I would like to take this time to announce my departure from “The Christian Bale Appreciation Club”. Sure, I think Christian Bale’s alright, really gave the Batman franchise a refreshing kick in the pants, but I don’t appreciate him so much as to belong to a group dedicated to his body of work. My heart simply was not in it during my tenure, and for the past three years I honestly forgot that I had ever been a member.
I’m also quite disturbed and saddened to announce that I will no longer consider myself a member of “That’s SO Andrew Kingsley!” I don’t know Andrew Kingsley, I’m not facebook friends with Andrew Kingsley, and I’ve barely ever heard of Andrew Kingsley. However, judging from the pictures of drunken escapades on the group page, including several of the young man mugging for the camera with a solo cup in one hand and at least one popped collar, I can safely assume that Andrew Kingsley does not merit his own group, let alone my membership in said own group. While he looks like he’s a hit at frat parties, Andrew Kingsley sadly falters in the facebook group department. My membership from day one was a complete and utter charade, and I do apologize to the deceived.
It also pains me greatly to inform you that I will be cutting ties with the group, “Facebook Members For the Kyoto Protocol in the United States”. Amongst my reasons for leaving are I do not often visit the group page, and I don’t know WTF this is! My gut instinct is that I was invited by one of my outspoken, hippie facebook friends and its to support some lame thing like genocide in another country that a damn facebook group full of privileged white college kids won’t be able to do a damn thing about anyway. Sorry, I needed to get that out of my system. Am I going to hell (again)?
Also, since I have your attention, and I assume that I do, I would like to tender my resignation from the group “If This Group Reaches 250,000, My Girlfriend Will Have A Threesome With Me!” Look, I’m all for helping my fellow man get laid, but this is taking it all a bit too far, in my humble opinion. While I see that the group is currently at 549 members, there appears to be little chance of this anonymous individual receiving his hypothetical orgy as it is. However, I’m afraid that total shall now be 548, as I feel I can no longer support this dying cause. Besides, the group administrator should learn that there are other ways to get close to your romantic partner other than hoping she’ll lose a bet over a facebook group. Or at least make the number more realistic next time.
While we’re at it, I’m also reporting my resignation from the group “We Remember 90s Nickelodeon!” The wave of quirky retro nostalgia, I fear, has passed, and truly, no one came out the better for it. Also, I regret to announce my departure from the facebook group, “Kerry/Edwards in ‘04”. It’s just good housekeeping.
Finally, I’m leaving the group “Fordham Praise and Worship”. For perhaps it is fitting that I deleted each bi-daily group message which announced the next prayer session or special mass before ever reading them. My heart was truly never in this group, as, I admit freely, I thought they were kidding. For this, I am truly sorry. If Jesus was on facebook, surely he would de-friend me.
Life has truly taken me in different directions in the most recent months, and I must adjust accordingly. Apologies to all involved, and I do hope we meet again in less pointless circumstances. I would, while I have your attention, like to announce my newest facebook group, “Enough With All These Facebook Groups!!!”, has just opened up. Once you join, there’s no way out.

Wheels Of Fire

It was chilly for an evening in early July, but somehow that didn’t make a difference. Everyone was still out under the tent, drinking beer and eating steak tips smothered in the most succulent sauces anyone could have realistically expected. Since I had changed into jeans hours before, I was moderately comfortable, and the candles intended to keep away mosquitoes helped warm my outsides. It was a mixed crowd for the graduation party, or I should say, joint graduation party, as Jack and three of his cousins had all just graduated from one form of education or another. Naturally, Jack was off perusing the atmosphere, appeasing distant relatives and college friends. I fell into neither category, as Jack and I had grown up together. Through the years we always found something in common, though it was usually music. The only bands either of us had ever played in included the other – Jack on keyboards and myself on guitar. It was always difficult to find a bassist and drummer, but the ones we had found were there that night as well. The Thrasher brothers, Gil and Derek, were high school acquaintances of ours who had turned into the townies everyone predicted they would be. The former worked for various auto repair shops in the area, while the latter made a habit of getting fired from local restaurant chains. We had all begun catching up, as it had been no less than four years since we’d last spoken.
“Yeah, life’s pretty good” stated Derek, “But I mean, I guess I have the new bike to thank for that.”
“Oh?” I replied.
“Oh yeah, we both just got new motorcycles” chimed in Gil “I’m telling you, they’re great, you feel like you’re flying even if you’re just going thirty!”
“My commute to work used to be hell, but with this bike, I can zip through traffic and make it home in like ten minutes. It’s great!” added Derek.
“I’ll just ride it up and down the block for fun, it just has made my life more enjoyable in so many ways. Sounds crazy I know, but man, its fun” said Gil.
I had not been known for my competitive nature, nor my constant need to outdo people, but that’s simply because I hid them well.
“Yeah, mine’s good too,” I said, smirking on the inside because I had in fact driven my mother’s minivan to the party that night, and never owned a motorcycle. Hell, I’d never owned a Huffy bike with more than ten speeds. However, I felt that luck was on my side that night.
“Oh, you have a bike?” asked Derek curiously. “What kind is it?”
“Harley Davidson” I replied after not a second, really just glad that I’ve heard of a motorcycle brand. Damn, I was on.
“Really? They’re pretty outrageous, I mean for both cost and just structure” claimed Gil.
“Yeah, well, I won it on The Price Is Right. Fell in love with it after, you know.” I responded, feeling I had dodged a potential bullet right there. However, I wanted to up the stakes for myself, I was feeling saucy. “I mean, it goes pretty fast – like 0 to 90 in like five seconds.” Hmmm, I might have overshot it. Nah.
The brothers laughed together, and I joined in as to not cause suspicion.
“You’re kidding right?” Derek asked, giving me a clear opening to get out of this outrageous lie.
“No” I said.
“Wow, that’s really amazing. I didn’t think anything outside of an airliner could get that kind of speed” claimed Gil.
“Well, this can. I mean I’m no expert, but I think the jetpacks on the side of it help” I said for some reason.
“Jetpacks on the side?” asked Gil.
“Yeah, I mean again, I’m no expert, but I would think that jetpacks would account for any added speed it gets. It can’t fly or anything though, they’re just for speed”. Smooth, I was kicking ass tonight.
After about an hour, the party had begun to break up, and most of the diverse crowd had gone their equally diverse ways. Derek, Gil, and I decided that our time had come to part as well.
“Well let’s go look at our bikes first, I’d really like to see yours.” said Derek.
“Um, alright, yeah, sure, I’d like to see what kind of ‘bike’ you guys have too.” I actually made quotation marks with my fingers.
We strolled across the street, the brothers and I, to the parking lot of an abandoned fire station. Jack lived on a busy street and had a very small driveway, so it was only natural that many utilized the fire station’s parking lot that night. It had grown darker and the fruit flies had gotten hungrier by this time, and I could see the motorcycles parked in their spaces…right next to my mother’s minivan. This was it, I thought, my lie could not be carried on any longer. Nevertheless, I remained cool and calm. Gil showed me his bike first; revving it up to demonstrate what I assumed was the engine’s power? I just nodded and said “oh yeah, you gotta have that” to every feature pointed out by the brothers about their motorcycles, though they might as well have been speaking Chinese. Finally, they asked where my bike was parked. The jig was pretty much up, I’d had my fun but now it was time to admit it – I’d never owned a motorcycle.
“Oh, it’s right here” I claimed, referring to the minivan next to me. Needless to say, I had them both dumbfounded.
“I thought you said you rode a bike here,” said Gil.
“Yeah, I did,” said I, referring again to my mother’s minivan. Derek and Gil just gave me a look that seemed to be a combination of anger, amusement, and pity. It was as though they were extremely jealous of my awesome ride.
“Whatever”, said Derek, as the boys got on their respective bikes and revved their respective engines. I in turn switched on my mother’s minivan, which chirped with awesomely gentle power. As we all prepared to leave, the brothers now ignoring me out of their jealousy, I rolled down the window (half way…it was child proof), gave them an intense stare, and presented a simple challenge…
“Drag race. Right now. Your bikes against mine. Let’s see what you boys got.” I wasn’t letting this one go. I saw the two brothers give each other defeated glances before Derek sighed and said, “Fine, whatever. Whoever makes it to the corner of Main and Depot Street wins.” They were totally afraid.
“You are so on!” I pumped my fist and rolled the window back up. I turned up my soft rock radio extra loud to get riled up for the big race. I could hear the brothers revving their engines, and I countered with turning up Fleetwood Mac even more. The race was on, the moment was approaching. They lined their bikes up to the edge of the parking lot, and we got Phil, another mutual friend, to signal when the race started. He had a whistle that he carried around for just such an occasion, and prepared to blow it once we were ready to go. I pulled my mother’s minivan up to the starting line, staring the opposition down through my tinted windows, though they probably couldn’t tell. Phil signaled for the race to begin.
And they were off, the brothers sped off on their motorbikes like bats out of hell, zooming up past the Dunkin Donuts in the distance before even a few seconds had passed. Using the last trick in my bag, I pulled out of the parking lot and leisurely drove home. “Hehe, fools.” I chuckled to myself. “This wasn’t really a motorcycle…”

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hadge's Latest Fortune Cookie Fortunes

I invest way too much in what fortune cookies have to tell me. I’m serious, days have been built around the fortunes I’ve received in those little devils. Knowing that my very fate is determined based on what cookie I choose can be a little nerve wracking, and as led to many a psychiatrist bill. Either way, given the fact that I am a young adult, lost in the world, confused, still deciding whether or not to have a career, a fortune cookie can hold a good chunk of the answers. And it’s worked before, that’s the thing. I just hate when they put in those damn fortunes that are just statements. Like “you are an astute observer of qualities”. Oh really? Thanks. “You have been a good acquaintance” – no shit? Wow. Guess I can quit my job now. Please, dear cookie, don’t waste both of our time. You don’t know me, I don’t know you, but I will eat you very soon. I just want some life advice, and I really don’t think it’s too much to ask. Really, it’s your entire purpose. That’s like me walking into a doctor’s office and him going “you have diabetes – now get out!” I know the problem, fix it!

That being said, here are some fortunes that I would welcome finding after I've split the stale sugary goodness open. Its simple really, for those Chinese restaurant owners who frequent this blog (don't pretend you don't exist!) - just print out this page, and cut out each of these fortunes into neat little rectangles, slap a bullshit Chinese translation on the back, stuff it in a cookie and voila! You can pay me later, I do have a PayPal account. Anyway, enjoy:

You are astute and smell nice.

‘Tis wise to present oneself with pants on. Usually.

Just give up, seriously.

_____ in bed.

Your name is Ray Washington and you have two kids and a blue car. No? Damn, but still, how cool would that have been?

Responsibility leads to admiration. Admiration leads to confidence. Confidence leads to pride. Pride leads to damnation. Good luck.

You achieve great peace of mind when you talk with an old friend. Then you realize he stole your wallet. Have an affair with his wife.

You are never selfish with advice or your help, but “everything will turn out okay” is getting really goddamn old, buddy.

The first step to success is spirit. And money. Can’t forget money.

You have AIDS. Sorry you had to find out this way. Enjoy the cookie!

You don’t care what they say; Raising Helen is an enjoyable guilty pleasure.

A fortune cookie fortune will make you suddenly depressed for some reason because of its vagueness.

You under-tipped the delivery guy, don’t think I didn’t notice.

A pleasant surprise awaits you. The baby wasn’t yours!

Your car sucks, buy a better one.

Congratulations! You’ve just selected the one-millionth fortune cookie, and will thus be rewarded one million dollars! (Jk!)

Two words - Pyramid schemes.

You will be contacted by a long lost lover. She wants her stuff back.

Don’t tempt fate, she is a fickle wench. She’s probably just leave you for your better looking half-brother anyway.

Never mix beer with milk, seriously. I’m still feeling that one.

On that show Lost, they're all clones. You read it here first.

This cookie will go straight to your thighs.

Brenda, if you end up getting this, I thought we really connected last night. Shoot me an email:

A generous gift awaits you from a loved one. It’ll be another goddamn ugly-ass sweater from Grammy, which she made so you can’t return it anywhere.

Self-respect is step one in a nine step-program of success and a twenty-one step program of failure.

Take up smoking, you’ll look cooler.

A tingly feeling awaits you while viewing ESPN2’s log rolling competition.

People find much to like about you. (throws up)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Viewers Like You

While at work today at Sesame Street Workshop, it occurs to me that public television is in terrible, terrible shape. While I enjoy it here quite a bit, there are simply some facets that cannot compare to my previous internship, The Daily Show, which is a cable show. Like any other walk in life, I base internships on one major factor - the free stuff. Seeing as internships are typically unpaid, the free stuff factor can be very huge. That being said, let's do a quick comparison between the contents of the Daily Show's free stuff bin and Sesame Street's free stuff bin...

The Daily Show (MTV Networks): Deluxe emmy dvd box sets, Colbert Report poster not available in stores, Fuck This Book, She Comes First (book), He Comes Next (book), HBO 34-dvd cube, humerous Dick Chaney t-shirt, Bush "countdown of time left in office" keychain, The Simpsons: Season 7 dvd set, lots of various candy

Sesame Street (PBS): Half of a bag of prezels someone didn't want to finish.

See what I mean? Please, do your part to save public I can get better free stuff. Thank you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Night the Internet Went Out

The time? 8:01 PM – Friday, February 17, 2007. The internet’s just been turned off throughout Fordham. I hit “refresh” again and again, only to receive the same “404 File Not Found” message that stares back at me, mocking me. An attempt to sign on to AOL Instant Messenger proves just as pointless, never quite getting past the “Step 1. Connecting” stage, and subsequently informing me that my “Connection has been lost” – cruel bastards, cruel heartless bastards. I can’t quite think straight, everything’s a little darker. Want to google so many things but alas, know this is no longer possible. Try to keep control of myself, but I only drool more. Parts of my body have begun to twitch and I have no idea of how exactly to stop them. Suicide is outrageous I know, but it begins to creep into the picture as a possibility. I’ve stopped blinking, for I have no longer a reason to keep my eyes moistened. Eating? Forget it, my appetite is as blank as my homepage as it “Detects proxy settings” to no avail. Any control I may have at one point had over any and all bodily functions has been lost in a deep sea of despair and confusion on my carpet. I’ve eaten two of my toes, though I’m aware of my pastrami sandwich in the fridge that I didn’t finish at lunch. The madness takes over. I can feel it like a virus, consuming my very being, spreading its way up into my nostrils and through my soul, slithering and writhing like the ungodly beings of hell…the madness…the madness…

The time? 8:03 PM – Friday, February 17, 2007. It’s working again. False alarm.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The War on Student Activities (Part 1)

For years, Fordham students have formed clubs and exclusive groups, no matter how odd the focus may be (basket weaving?). Nevertheless, clubs are necessary to keep Fordham students active, interested, and sober/drunk. Think about it, what would Fordham students do without clubs except get drunk, study, drink, get shitfaced, play beer pong, bar hop, consume alcohol, wet their whistles, drown their troubles, drink, drink vodka, make drinks, mix drinks, think about drinking, drunkenly drink, booze up, knock ‘em back, down some brews, and drink? Seriously, your mind is now boggled by the very thought. Here’s where the plethora of Fordham clubs come into the picture, and the extreme and diverse spectrum of clubs allows for anyone to find that Facebook-group-to-be that best suit’s their interests. For instace, where would Fordham students be without the option of joining a coed a cappella group (b-Sides) or an all female one (Satin Dolls, Ramblers)? There are kids in Ethiopia who would love to be so fortunate to have these kind of options, but we sadly take them for so much freekin’ granted.
Unfortunately, the overseer of all things Fordham clubs seems to be doing its best to restrict them as much as possible. Ladies and gentlemen, I speak of Student Activities, or OSL, which I am not sure stands for anything. Ruling with an iron fist, the fine folks at Student Activities have been working hard to make life as difficult as possible for any and every Fordham club, recently adding deadlines and previously nonexistent two-week windows for booking venues. That’s right, every club must book everything two weeks in advance. Now I’m not sure if they go to the same Fordham that I do, but most of the student body (and faculty) don’t usually know where they’re going to be for lunch at breakfast. Hell, most syllabuses I’ve received in the last few semesters have read “Class 1: Introduction, Class 2-15: Wing It”. It’s simply inconsistent with what the rest of Fordham actually practices.
In short, Student Activities has waged a war on its students. They’re depriving Fordham’s students from the very activities they’re supposed to provide. Now, they’re clearly taking the same “stricter order for the greater good” approach once employed by Hitler, Stalin, and Darth Vader. Unfortunately, for all intents and purposes, the intents and purposes of OSL in their current power trip remains a mystery. Sure, organization is great – but there are ways to achieve it without going all dominatrix on our asses. Yes, there are issues of budget, but even when money is in no way involved, student activities has thrown as many roadblocks as possible down to prevent students from reaching their club’s goals. Maybe it’s not all the clubs, come to think of it. Perhaps they just hate everything I’m in, I don’t know. If so, this article sure as hell ain’t helping.
Anyway, let’s cut right to the chase (he says four paragraphs in): last week I made a gallant attempt to book the Collins Backdoor Theater for a Free Pizza sketch comedy show (shameless plug…seriously though, come see it….shameless plug though, seriously though…). Without even saying a word, an OSL representative handed me a packet of loosely stapled-together papers, the title page of which read “So You Want to Book an Extracurricular Event”. I flipped through to the first page, and received this set of instructions.

Hello, young Fordham Scholar. So, you wish to make some sort of reservation with the great and powerful OSL, do you? Harharharharhar! Silly moral, you may not advertise for your event! No one advertises for their events! Unless of course, they wish to meet the demands of the great and benevolent OSL! But be warned, few who attempt to accomplish the demands of the great and benevolent OSL make it back alive! Harharharharharharhar!
-Event must be booked two weeks in advance.
-Sheet must be filled out and signed by faculty advisor
-Budget must be up to code
-After these three things are taken care of, director of said group must eat an entire Ramvan, piece by piece, and then carry fourteen students to Lincoln Center on his/her back.
-Once at Lincoln Center, director must flash I.D. to desk guard. If he nods once, keep on walking. If he nods twice, then he is a spy and not to be trusted, you are to challenge him to an arm wrestling match. Only if you survive can you then continue your journey.
-Proceed to the Lincoln Center library, located deep within the bowels of the Lincoln Center campus. Once there, seek out a book on origami. From the teachings of this book, build yourself a giant origami swan, and fly it out of the library. Burn the remains of the library, for no one must know where you got that origami swan.
-The swan’s name is Lucius. You must refer to him as such.
-Lucius will fly you to Zeroxana, a remote island in the South Seas that has yet to be discovered by humans. Once there, you must pick the sweet fruit from the Goyog trees, juice it into an open wound, and await the spiritual journey ahead.
-On this spiritual journey, you will meet a man named Jennifer, with a flowing green beard and eye patch. Jennifer will tell you the tale of the Xanqua, an ancient race of robot men who were forced into captivity by the earliest cavemen tribes on earth. That’s right, robots preceded cavemen. Who would have thunk it?
-Jennifer will give you a small ivory box, but on your spiritual journey you will not open this box. -With a snap of his fingers, Jennifer will awaken you from your slumber, and you will still actually be holding the ivory box. It’ll be like one of those dreams where you imagine you found some really cool stuff, like a Gameboy when you were seven, and you wake up and it’s not there and you’re all like “man I wish that dream was real, I could have sworn I owned that!” except this time, you will actually still have it. You must return that ivory box and its contents back to Student Activities.
-Lucius will fly you back to the main land of Manhattan, but at this point he will probably need to be fed. Now you’re probably asking yourself “what do paper swans need to eat, if anything?” My answer to you is – ivory boxes. Now you have a choice to make, young traveler.
-You have wisely chosen not to feed your giant origami swan, but unfortunately that results in Lucius unfolding from exhaustion and landing in the ocean as one giant sheet of construction paper. Fear not however, as a ship will be waiting for you wherever you land. The ship shall be called the S.S. Ess-Ess, and will be helmed by a half-man half-wheelchair named Toronto. Toronto shall feed you and keep you warm, occasionally boring you with his stories of life as a buoy hunter. Regardless, he will drop you off at the isle of Manhattan after about three weeks. Make sure he hasn’t stolen your ivory box – men of the sea are not to be trusted.
-Catch the nearest bus at the South Street Seaport, it should lead you into the financial district, where you can easily hop onto an A train. You should make sure you have enough money left for a metro card.
-Transfer to the D,B, or 1 and get off at 59th Street Columbus Circle, and walk to Lincoln Center. Be sure to lay low, there’ll be a strict investigation about who burned down the library and you will be a prime suspect at this point.
-Successfully vomit up your as-yet-somehow-undigested Ram Van, piece it back together, and drive it back to Rose Hill. Rush hour shall act as your greatest foe, here.
-Come back up to Student Activities, where you shall present us with the ivory box. We shall give it to you to open. Once you open it, you shall see the meaning of life.
You open it, and there’s a mirror. You see your reflection and realize this whole journey was about you, growing and maturing as a person. You respond by angrily shouting expletives and throwing any available office supplies around the room. Yes, I suppose it was all a little bullshit.
-Bring us three copies of whatever poster you’d like approved.
-Congratulations, you’ve reached the halfway point!

At this point I just closed the damn thing and threw it in the nearest trash receptacle. Unfortunately, it seems as though things are only going to get worse, and Fordham students are going to be reminded constantly that if they want to get anything done themselves, they’ve got to fly to a remote undiscovered island on the back of a paper swan only to receive a magic box that doesn’t hold anything of real value. Pointless? Methinks so. OSL seems to be missing the entire point of student activities, which is to encourage students to get out there and do what they enjoy. These new rules do nothing but discourage any student with pie-in-the-sky dreams of extracurricular activities. The more obstacles OSL throws in the way, the less likely students are going to want to go after their goals. It’s simple baby boomer-boomer/MTV generation logic. Thanks anyway, Student Activities, we know you have the best intentions.

(Reads the whole thing to himself before submitting) Geez, I was angry that day.