News for the ‘Random thoughts’ Category

You Have Already Made It

Congratulations, friend, you have made it!

At some point in most artist’s lives, they decide they want to create their art as a career choice. They want to do it. They want to make it. If there is one term in the comedy industry vocabulary to describe success, it’s making it. We leap and sometimes flop over our occupational hurdles in rabid pursuit of making it.

But you’re wrong. You’ve already made it.

By most people’s criteria, I’ve just recently made it. I’ve performed standup on The Tonight Show and now have the opportunity to get paid to create a sitcom I co-created. So at this point you might be saying, “Well, Andrew, fuck you. Sure it’s easy to sit on that little sack of success and holler down at me, the toiler, that I’ve made it. Save your fucking pep talk.”

But that’s exactly why I can tell you that you’ve made it. Because I’ve walked a bit ahead, just around the bend, so I can report back to you. I’ve spent twelve years focused intently on my comedy career, and the only epiphany I’ve had since making it is that I actually made it long, long ago.

The first time I made it was in May of 2003, when I was holding on tightly to the cool rock wall backstage at the downtown Comedy Works. The terrible book on how to perform comedy I read said not to drink before going onstage but I had lubed up with a few vodka cranberries. When my time came I lurched through the curtain and babbled two minutes of jokes.

But I made it. I did some art. I created some jokes, shared them, and- without trying to sound pretentious when describing jokes about traffic construction- put something enjoyable into the world that wasn’t there before. And this is the greatest of human endeavors, art.

But somewhere along the line, I bought into the fucked-up and just dumb inverted power dynamic that turns art into a commodity, and places you, the creator, at the bottom of that flipped pyramid. You, the comedian who just ate shit on a TV showcase, who walks alone to your car, wondering just where everything dissolved. You, the writer, sending out submissions and feeling lucky just to get a rejection letter in return. You, the musician hammering out songs wondering how anyone will ever hear them. You are not making it because other people cannot make money off of your efforts.

This inverted power dynamic tells you that your art is only valid when it is a product that is consumed on a large scale. Get on TV. Get paid money for what you do. Sell your book. Sell your album. But this isn’t making it, it’s selling it. As a quick aside, there’s nothing wrong with selling it. I’m incredibly humbled and mind-blowingly fortunate to get money for telling jokes and writing scripts. This is all I want to do, and the more I can do it and not worry about rent, the better.

But I would do it for free. I know I would because I have. Lots. When I was making The Grawlix web series, I remarked many times how much I loved it and how I would do it for free, forever. Because I was making it. Because I had made it. So if you love what you do and you would do it for free, then congrats- you’ve also made it.

To you, the comic who has waited all night to go up last at an open mic in front of six people- you’ve made it. To you, the actor waiting for an audition, feeling insecure and out of place- you’ve made it. To you, the writer who self-publishes your books just to share them with friends- you’ve made it. To you, the musician who would rather give her music away online just to be heard, you’ve made it.

So take heart, creators.

You have already made it.

You are already here.

Posted: March 12th, 2015
Categories: Andrew's Rants, Random thoughts
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The Tonight Show!

If you’re on my site you probably already knew this, but I’ll be telling jokes on The Tonight Show this coming Monday night! I am so excited that I am more just like a shuffling idiot zombie than stereotypically peppy. I can’t wait! And of course, my brain is already cooking up some stress nightmares for me! Here’s last night’s journal:

-As my set started, a black widow spider crawled out from the back of my sweater and bit me on the neck. I finished my set, but the bite swelled up horribly.

-Then my brain figured let’s take two on this, and the dream was the same, except when the spider emerged, Questlove ran over and brushed it off and saved me.

-Still not content, my brain took another take, and in this one a giant, Middle-Earth caliber spider dropped down and chomped me.

Posted: October 10th, 2014
Categories: In the news, Random thoughts
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The Barefoots featured in The Denver Post!

My daughter and my girlfriend’s son have their own cooking show, ‘The Barefoots’, and The Denver Post was cool enough to come by and do a little story on the show. If you haven’t seen the show, you can find the channel here.

Barefoots Logo2

Posted: August 20th, 2014
Categories: In the news, Random thoughts
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10 Fun Facts About Fireworks

1. The first firecracker was invented in 810 A.D. by Jiao Ji, who celebrated his discovery by promptly flushing it down principal Chen’s toilet.

2. The word ‘firework’ is a portmanteau of the words ‘fire’ and ‘work’. Were you really too dumb to see that?

3. Did you know it’s legal to light off fireworks year-round in England? I guess that’s a decent consolation prize for losing a war with your own colony.

4. In Australia they call firecrackers ‘bungers’, which definitively proves they’re just an island of inbred convicts.

5. An estimated 9,600 people were injured by fireworks in 2011. Can you believe there were that many double dares issued in one year?

6. Israel uses fireworks to celebrate Purim, a holiday I just found out existed while googling the word ‘fireworks’.

7. In China, fireworks are not only completely legal, but actually mandatory for every citizen. Every person must detonate at least one firecracker per day or face imprisonment.

8. All fireworks except rockets are legal in Norway. Only rockets are legal in Sweden. Scandinavia is fucking weird.

9. High powered firecrackers such as M-80’s are categorized as ‘Class C’ fireworks. The C stands for Cool.

10. In 1910 the United States switched to using firecrackers to celebrate its Independence Day instead of the formal tradition of just shooting anyone who sounded vaguely British.

Posted: July 5th, 2012
Categories: Andrew's Rants, Random thoughts
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Thanksgiving Diary

Authors Note: After performing this diary live someone pointed out that David Cross also has a bit about ‘eating gold’.  I’ll never do this diary aloud again, but I have retained my KILLER observation about eating gold for your amusement.  Do not email me to tell me that David Cross has a joke about eating gold.  I know all about it.

-8:00am-I wake up with a hideous, pounding hangover, which is probably the only Thanksgiving tradition I regularly recognize.  I figure if I have to spend the day with multiple families, there’s no reason why I should have anything close to an operating brain.  I prefer to reduce myself to a simple android who answers all questions with ‘pretty good, thanks’.

-10:00am-We’re meeting my in-laws for brunch at the swank Brown Palace hotel.  Outside the Brown Palace, I watch a bum wearing three pairs of filthy sweatpants smoothly insinuate himself into a conversation with some rich people, and realize that I am jealous.

10:10am-The maitre’d or whatever he’s called, I never go anywhere fancy, leads us upstairs and then tells us ‘Enjoy your meal’.  Not ‘hope you enjoy your meal’.  This is like a command.  Of course I add a few thick layers of meaning beneath his words, such as ‘Enjoy your meal, you low-class apes.  I can see through that Target outfit all the way to your nacho cheese core.  You aren’t fooling me, asshole.’

What are hunting crops? WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!!

-10:14am-Despite the Brown Palace’s fancy trappings, I realize now that all buffets attract the same people, and no buffet would be complete without an elderly woman picking individual pecans from out of a cheese plate, like a game of ‘food operation’.  BZZZZ don’t touch the cantelope!  JUST THE PECANS!.  As I stand behind her I fantasize about suddenly having a bulldozer that I can just plow her along the buffet line.  My pecansssss!

-11:00am-I guess the posh atmosphere has started to rub off on me.  I just slapped a waiter for bringing me a glass of water with an odd number of ice cubes in it.  It’s about symmetry, you service goblin.

-11:10am- This melon is out of season.  I think I’m going to write a letter.

-11:15am- For the last time, I don’t want fresh-squeezed orange juice.  I asked for hand-pressed papaya nectar, you oaf.  Now go fetch my request or fetch me your manager!

Only the finest establishments cover up unsightly lamp cords.

-11:25am- A trip to the bathroom and the cacophony of shitting inside brings me back to my senses.  It sounds like a series of low-altitude detonations over a paint factory.  It makes me remember who I am, and where I came from.  Phew

-11:30am- Time for desserts!  Turns out you can dip just about anything in the chocolate fountain except your wristwatch.  Well, if you don’t want people to do it you should have put a sign up.

-11:32am- I hear myself say “God motherfucking dammit!” as I manhandle a delicate lemon meringue tart with some tongs.  A lot of other people hear it, too.

-11:33am- They have tarts with gold flakes on top of them.  We’re eating gold in here.  Fuck you, the 99%, we’re eating gold in here!  Because why not!!!  I almost lose myself again.

-11:40am- I just don’t see why you would name something the ‘grand ballroom’ and not have the world’s best ball pit in there.  I don’t think I’m alone in this.  Fuck this place.

Hope your Thanksgiving was stuffed full of food.

Posted: December 1st, 2011
Categories: Random thoughts
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W.T.Fatherhood

 

When I first began comedy in Denver in 2003, I was lucky enough to come in right after the previous talent crop, and right before the new crop.  I guess comedians are like quarterbacks that way.  Two comedians, Matt Conty and Harrison Rains took interest in me, and provided a lot of encouragement and insight into my comedy baby steps.  While Harrison Rains quit comedy to become a tea trader in Singapore, Matt Conty is still plugging away in St. Louis, bringing his unique brand of ‘mostly crowd work’ to the masses.

Jest and japery aside, Matt is a great comic, and now (supposedly) a great dad.  He started his own blog, the W.T.Fatherhood blog, and let me write a guest entry.  I decided to write it about attachment parenting, since  that is a parenting style many people don’t know about (or do know about and hate).

You can find it here.

 

Thanks for everything, Matt!  I wouldn’t be where I am today (nowhere) without you!

Posted: October 18th, 2011
Categories: Random thoughts
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Weaksauce.

Most people have lost a pet in their lifetime.  Even if the loss is temporary (as with me), almost everyone knows that sickening feeling when you realize your animal buddy is lost, and you, their caretaker, probably let it happen.  It feels terrible.  I can imagine that if you do not recover your pet it feels even more terribler.  I know terribler is not a word.

Luckily for me, big fat Peaches will apparently jump happily into any stranger’s car, where she is deposited at the nearest vet.  She has ventured off a handful of times but I’ve always been lucky enough to find her before I had to create a missing pet poster.

Which brings me to the subject of this blog.  It seems the local weekly Westword, a paper which I have enjoyed to varying degrees over the years, has a new feature wherein their cartoonist Kenny Be finds missing pet flyers and then makes fun of them.

There’s two problems with this.  The first is that Kenny Be is decidedly unfunny.  His usual feature is a political cartoon where he skewers local politicians, which is precisely as funny as it sounds.  It’s the drawn equivalent of ‘WHO GIVES A FUCK!’

The second problem is that this feature would never be funny.  Not to anyone who has ever lost a pet, which is almost everyone.  To make this idea work you would have to be incredibly clever, and have an incredibly clever idea.  I’ve actually found an example of this, and you can find it here on David Thorne’s amazing website.  I have no idea if Missy is actually missing, but it’s a very funny feature either way.

Here is Kenny Be’s Westword feature.  Feel free to look over the three entries, and soak in the comedy.  And, if you’ve made it this far in my blog, and have the time, leave a comment on there and let them know just how un-fucking-funny this feature is.

Posted: September 11th, 2011
Categories: Andrew's Rants, In the news, Random thoughts
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Recipes III

Rustic 5-grain cereal

-1 cup whole wheat

-1 cup buckwheat

-1 cup spelt

-1 cup millet

-1 cup rye seed

Gather each grain in a field using a scythe and woven basket.  Grind grains into meal using giant stone wheel and team of oxen.  Walk three miles to a creek and fill lamb’s stomach with water.  Cook cereal over smithy’s stove for 4 hours.  Deliver to land baron. Repeat for life. (27 years)

World’s Best Tuna Salad

-1 can tuna

– some mayonnaise

-Absolutely nothing else

Combine tuna and mayonnaise and absolutely nothing else.  Resist impulse to fuck up tuna salad by adding anything else at all, including, but not limited to: relish, onions, green onions, peppers, celery, apple chunks, cheese, raisins, craisins, black licorice, and cigarette butts.

Angel Food Cake

-1 cups pastry flour

-12 eggs, separated

-1 cup sugar

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make cake like you’re supposed to.  Watch through oven window as cake gradually sinks and slumps, crushing your dream and ruining the birthday party.  You gave it your best shot.  Dave is gonna run to Albertsons and just buy one, you go sit down and relax.

3-Cheese Quesadilla

-1 cup shredded cheddar, Monterey jack, and asadero cheese

-1 large tortilla

Did you really need a recipe to make a quesadilla, idiot?

Homestyle Apple Pie

If you know a good apple pie recipe, let me know, I got nothin’.

Calorie Cutter Diet Cherry Pie

-1 stick unsalted butter

-1 cup pastry flour

-1 cup white sugar

-1/2 cup brown sugar

-1 can cherry pie filling

Make pie and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let pie cool and then help yourself to a generous slice.  Whoops, wrong recipe!

Ants on a Face

-1 package of black currants

-1 Mr. Potato Head toy, generously covered in cream cheese

Place currant ‘ants’ all over the cream cheese.  Serve on a large plate, splattered with beet juice.

Zesty Chex Mix

3 cups corn chex cereal

3 cups wheat chex cereal

¼ cup Worchester sauce

½ teaspoon you’re really going to make fucking chex mix at home?  You know they sell this shit literally everywhere, right?  I’ll go get some at 7-11, Wolfgang Puck.

The Cannon

2 bowls of oatmeal, or any high fiber cereal (hot or cold)

3 cups coffee, slugged in rapid succession

Combine ingredients in a hasty, stressful breakfast.  Allow recipe to build power from 10 to 20 minutes.  Have industrial strength toilet near sprinting distance.

Posted: August 12th, 2011
Categories: Random thoughts
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Typical Andy.

In my podcast post (last blog entry, did you check it out and listen to it and enjoy it yet) I thanked a lot of people, because in general I’m a pretty thankful guy.  I like to make sure everyone gets credit for their work, regardless of how small that part may be.

Unless, of course, they’re so good at their work that it doesn’t seem like work.  If they’re so efficient that I never really think about the time they put in.  If they’re such a solid partner that I just sort of assume they’re taking care of my business while I galavant around town.

So it was that I forgot to thank my webmaster (and, to a lesser extent, wife) Natalie, for not only helping with all the final screws in the podcast- translating things like this: ‘The URL before the GET-style form values (before the first ?) must end in a media file extension (e.g. mp3). To work around this, the feed provider can alter their URL from this-‘ but for also managing every little bit of this site, save for my little blog ramblings.

SEO in DenverSo, here’s to you, Natalie!  Thanks for making this site precisely what I wanted it to be!  Thanks for optimizing it behind the scenes so it not only looks like I want it to, it performs in cool and secret ways that I do not understand, but am happy for!  If you’re reading this blog and you feel your website is not up to snuff, or you are curious how it could be secretly better (it can), hit up Natalie.  She emerges from the ocean on the 14th of every month.

Posted: August 11th, 2011
Categories: Random thoughts
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More recipes!

Power Smoothie

Smoothie Joke Recipe

-1 banana

-1 cup frozen strawberries

-1 cup frozen blueberries

-2 teaspoons flax seeds

-1 cup plain yogurt

-1 tablespoon wheat germ

-30 milligrams cocaine

Do cocaine.  Fuck this smoothie, let’s go!  Come on, I want to get the Beemer waxed before we hit the lake!

Leftover Surprise

-Whatever leftovers you have in the fridge

-A new, hot takeout meal from a restaurant

Agree with your partner that you need to save money and start eating leftovers.  Tell him or her that you’re going to make dinner, then unveil the delicious takeout meal!  Surprise, you’re getting divorced!

Vegan Pizza

Just kidding!

Toddler’s Treat Dinner

-One prepared dinner of macaroni and cheese

-One grilled cheese sandwich

-One piece of peanut butter toast

-Steamed vegetables

-Apple slices

-Brown rice

-Cottage cheese

-Crackers

-String cheese

-1 banana

-Oatmeal

Feed each ingredient as demanded, in a repeating cycle, until toddler seems to have eaten ¼ cup of food.

Posted: August 7th, 2011
Categories: Random thoughts
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