Monthly Archives: December 2012

What did you do, Joseph, what did you do?

I suspect I am not alone in feeling as though I am never really getting enough done. While I try not to procrastinate too much, I do make jokes about procrastinating a lot. When I realize I’m procrastinating, I have a lot of little motivational phrases I say out loud to myself. One of them is this:

“Get back to work, you idiot.”

And if I don’t get back to work, I sometimes follow up with:

“You are a bad and stupid person.”

Then I feel guilty that I’m being so mean to myself and I try to make it up to me by allowing myself to make a joke on Twitter about procrastinating. And the cycle continues.

This year, I decided to actually review my calendar and make a list of (almost) everything I did. Please enjoy procrastinating from your work to read about mine!

January

I worked with John Kovalic on some spec scripts and started writing daily tweets for @DrBlinkShrink.

I did two shows at The San Francisco SketchFest. CineMadness with Bill Corbett and a short version of my geek stand-up/storytelling show, Comedy of Doom.

I performed the role of “Balthazar, D & D Champion” in promotional videos for a company called Awesome Dice.

I co-wrote an internal awards show for General Mills.

I made jokes on Twitter about procrastinating.

February

I launched the Obsessed podcast as both a live show in Minneapolis and released the first episode online. There have been 10 live shows that have generated 16 podcast episodes.

I wrote a sketch for a magician.

I wrote and performed (with Shanan Custer) a commentary about smartphones for Minnesota Public Radio.

I did a story with the spoken word collective The Rockstar Storytellers.

I was one of the entertainers on JoCoCruiseCrazy II. I performed a full length version of Comedy of Doom. I was thrilled to get a surprise volunteer named Wil Wheaton for my Star Trek bit. I also played the role of “Ed McMahon” on Paul & Storm’s podcast with Paul F. Tompkins.

I gave a talk in a bar about zombies and Minnesota geek culture for the Minnesota Historical Society.

I made jokes on Facebook about procrastinating.

March

I performed at the Twin Cities convention Mars Con.

I started working as an occasional writer and performer on Wits. Since March, I’ve written for and/or performed with Tim Meadows, Rhett Miller, Andy Richter, Reggie Watts, Fred Willard, Paul F. Tompkins, Wyatt Cenac, Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Sedaris, Dave Foley, Mike Doughty, Maria Bamford, and Brandi Carlile. And of course host John Moe, John Munson and The Witnesses, and other frequent Wits performers Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, and Neil Gaiman.

I went out to eat with my wife on her birthday. She mentioned maybe I should write a book.

I made jokes on Google+ about procrastinating.

April

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I wrote and did eight performances of a one person stand-up show about vampires, stand-up, and vampires doing stand-up called The Sad Vampire Comedy Hour.

I wrote and performed a short story as part of a Minnesota Public Radio showcase led by Kevin Kling.

I did three performances and presentations about using comedy to discuss history for the American Alliance of Museums convention.

I did not get around to making any jokes on social media about procrastinating.

May

I launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book version of Comedy of Doom.

I wrote a lot of new material for the book. I edited the material from the stage version. I took photos for the cover and organized all the illustrations for the book. I hit refresh on the Kickstarter page roughly 700 times a day.

My odd little rock band called Math Emergency (composed of a math professor, a public radio producer, a public radio host, and me) played a gig. I played the drums and made jokes into a microphone.

I appeared on the AON podcast.

I made jokes on Twitter about spending too much time on Twitter.

June

I went on my friends’ annual bar crawl. I only note this because, while fun, going to 13 bars in 12 hours does feel a bit like work.

I appeared on the Vilification Tennis podcast where I cemented my reputation as an Axl Rose apologist.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I did multiple rounds of proofing and editing on the book and we sent it off to be printed. Comedy of Doom was officially published on June 20, 2012.

I wrote the pilot for an animated series version of the web comic Least I Could Do.

I made mean jokes about Google+ on Twitter.

July

We sent out all the copies of Comedy of Doom to the kind Kickstarter backers.

I attended the big Twin Cities convention CONvergence. I wrote and performed a one person storytelling and stand-up show about romantic advice for geeks called Verbing The Noun. We’ll be releasing a CD and digital download of the show in time for Valentine’s Day 2013. I did a live Obsessed show with Paul Cornell and Bonnie Burton. I did 10 other comedy panels and a signing for Comedy of Doom.

I went to San Diego Comic-Con. I performed at w00tstock. I had fun meetings, fancy parties, and saw a lot of men dressed as Jedi having a hard time at urinals.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I co-wrote and performed a comedy show called Comedy: The Show with Four Humors Theater on the Centennial Showboat in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I made a quick trip to Los Angeles for a friend’s birthday party. I even wrote something for that.

I made mean jokes about Google+ on Facebook.

August

I wrote, produced, and performed in an hour long one act play called Nightmare Without Pants for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Here is a three minute live video preview of the show, in which I perform an accidental magic trick with a pair of rip-away pants.

Due to the stubborn forward movement of time I became a year older on August 17th.

I performed and did some comedy panels at Dragon*Con in Atlanta.

I made jokes about Google+ on Google+.

September

I was still at Dragon*Con. For one panel, I was challenged to sing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” I attempted to do it in the style of Nine Inch Nails. It’s a better song that way.

I did a performance at Space Camp with Marian Call, Molly Lewis, Ken Plume, Phil Plait, and more.

Obsessed was featured on iTunes as “New & Noteworthy” and a “Staff Favorite.”

I co-wrote, helped to organize, and performed in a large awards show for the Minnesota theater community called The Iveys.

I did a podcast with the awesome Len Peralta and became a trading card for his Geek-A-Week series.

I hosted and performed at a viewing of the Doctor Who episode “The Angels Take Manhattan” at The Parkway Theater.

I tried to treat Google+ with a little more respect.

October

I co-produced, directed, and wrote a piece for a theater event called Thirst. It’s a series of short one-act plays performed in a bar. The show had three performances and it was a benefit to fight for Marriage Equality in Minnesota. Here’s the monologue I wrote about Harry Potter and kindness.

I joined The Ladies of Ragnarok (Molly Lewis, The Doubleclicks, and tour manager Dammit Liz) for a leg of their tour. I performed in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Madison. The Ladies also appeared on Obsessed.

I recorded the audiobook version of Comedy of Doom. We’re still working on editing and mastering the hours of audio.

I did another show with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I wrote and performed a ghost story for Torch Theater in Minneapolis.

I played another gig with Math Emergency.

I started a Tumblr account and wrote a thing about Halloween.

November

I used National Novel Writing Month as a motivation to work on some screenplays. I finished plotting and scripting the first drafts of two feature length films. Now working on second drafts.

My wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. The traditional gift is iron. The contemporary gift is candy. We gave one another Iron Man Pez dispensers.

I tried to make fun of Google+ on Tumblr, but I felt like I was kicking a puppy.

December

I wrote and performed the short story Adult Santa for The New Standards holiday show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

We (and by “we” I really mean my wife Sara and my graphic designer, Matthew Foster) made Comedy of Doom available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and many stores in the Twin Cities.

I wrote a story about the grim superhero The Leaping Lord for Paul Cornell’s 12 Blogs of Christmas.

I started writing a new stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing on JoCoCruiseCrazy III.

I started writing another stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis in March of 2013.

I booked guests for Obsessed through March of 2013.

I wrote some stuff that I’ll perform for my annual New Year’s Eve show at the Bryant Lake Bowl.

I made fun of LinkedIn on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr.

I debated whether or not I should write this. I stared off into space and screwed around on social media. I beat myself up about procrastinating. I forced myself to write this. I read it. I thought about all the amazing creative people I got to meet and work with this year. I ran the post by my wife and business partner without whom none of the above would be remotely possible.

Later tonight, I’ll watch some TV, drink a martini, and think about ways to get even more done in 2013.

I’m going to start by coming up with some new motivational phrases.

I think I’ll try:

“Come on, you idiot, get stuff done so you have something to blog about next year.”

and

“Stop calling yourself an idiot, you jackass.”

And then I’ll hug myself and move on.

Happy New Year’s,

Joseph

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The Imaginary Advent Calendar 2012

Last year on Twitter, I joked about wanting an advent calendar that had little bottles of whiskey inside the door instead of chocolate. This year, I discovered the joke was a reality.

I was too late to order my whiskey calendar, so each day I tweeted the gifts found in my Imaginary Advent Calendar. Here are all my gifts in one place. Enjoy!

Day One: A mimosa and guilt.
Day Two: A sweater vest and some opium.
Day Three: Fine lace doilies and desperate longing.
Day Four: $67 in cash and a gun. Uh-oh.
Day Five: A smaller Advent Calendar and the horn sound effect from Inception.
Day Six: A small effigy of me and a warning to stop my investigation.
Day Seven: Holiday pants.
Day Eight: A tiny voice whispering a prophecy about The Boy Who Lived.
Day Nine: A tiny snow shovel and a large bottle of pain meds.
Day Ten: Fake passports, a candy cane sharpened to a deadly point, a list of targets. Who am I?
Day Eleven: An episode of Friends on VHS and a loud modem sound.
Day Twelve: Some Doritos and a dime bag of Myrrh.
Day Thirteen: A snarky AV Club article sort of complimenting but also mocking Advent Calendars.
Day Fourteen: A hugging robot. A robot designed only to hug people.
Day Fifteen: A huge pile of unused Oxford Commas. They just want to help us understand one another.
Day Sixteen: Two live squirrels and an empty bottle of Ritalin. Jesus.
Day Seventeen: Mistletoe and a mirror. Creepy.
Day Eighteen: A fruitcake and a big pile of existential dread.
Day Nineteen: The nativity scene recreated with Ikea furniture. Have to assemble it myself. 🙁
Day Twenty: A large chocolate bunny. Holidays are confusing.
Day Twenty-One: A 404 error message. Oh my.
Day Twenty-Two: A small note that read, “Our bad. Math is hard. LOL. Happy Holidays, the Maya.”
Day Twenty-Three: A Nutcracker doll that came to life, did the Gangnam Style dance, then became a doll again.
Day Twenty-Four: A stress ball, magic refilling box of wine, ham, an ox, a lamb, a jazz snare drum.
And finally…
Day Twenty-Five: A flock of doves, a mimosa, and a Kickstarter campaign for next year’s Advent Calendar.

Happy Holidays!

If you enjoy this story, there are many others like it in my book Comedy of Doom. Thanks for reading.

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SANTA CLAUS: Obsessed Ep 16

Mystical being, Santa Claus, is obsessed with fresh breath and shampoo. Santa also has a lot to say about elf cruelty, the Supreme Court, Godfather’s Pizza, and reindeer putting on plays. PLUS random audience volunteer, Madde Gibba, reveals her obsession with Animals in Clothes on the Internet. Enjoy!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

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Adult Santa Claus

I originally wrote this piece for the very awesome New Standards holiday show. Many thanks to John, Chan, and Steve.

I have a new holiday tradition. Right around Thanksgiving, I turn to my beautiful wife and say, “Honey, I hate Christmas.” She patiently listens as I go on the exact same rant that I do every year.

“I don’t want to hate Christmas. I used to love Christmas. I used to get a break from school. I used to look forward to opening presents. I normally got Star Wars action figures, but one year my mother hurt her back, got high on pain meds, and gave me three different individually wrapped flashlights.

I didn’t even care.

I just went to my room, turned off all the lights, and pretended the flashlight was a lightsaber. I danced around in the dark waving a flashlight like an idiot. That’s what Christmas used to be–a warm comforting light in the middle of the dark winter. It used to feel magical. Now it’s just more stuff I have to do.”

This year instead of just complaining to my wife, I’ve decided to make Christmas magical again. In order to do that, I’ve invented a new myth.

The myth of Adult Santa Claus.

I don’t mean Adult Santa Claus like a special holiday movie you would order in a hotel room.

No, Adult Santa is like your cool uncle who also happens to be a life coach. He has the magical ability to visit every stressed out adult in the world on one night. He doesn’t have a sleigh guided by reindeer and he doesn’t enter through a chimney. He drives a 1997 Ford Taurus with a missing muffler and he comes in the front door like a normal person.

Adult Santa has many names. In Germany he’s known as Dave Kringle. Some know him as Saint Chad, the patron saint of whatever, man. In Belgium, they just call him Low-Stress Pete.

Adult Santa doesn’t say, “Ho Ho Ho!” He says, “Ho Ho Ohhh—I’m tired. Whooo! My back is killing me. Ahhhhhhh! Son of a—!” And he just goes on like that for a while.

His face doesn’t appear on Coke cans, but you might see him on a package of Nicorette or a bottle of Xanax. Because Adult Santa is just here to help.

He logs onto your facebook account and deletes that horrible post you wrote about your mother-in-law while you were hiding in the bathroom during dinner. He finishes that stupid PowerPoint Presentation you have to give on December 27th. He leaves a big bottle of Trader Joe’s wine under your pillow. He knows Trader Joe’s wine isn’t fancy, but you like it, so who cares? Adult Santa doesn’t judge.

Maybe he just sits on the end of the bed and rubs your feet. It should be creepy that an old dude named Dave sneaks into your house and rubs your feet, but it’s not.

It’s magical.

He will even hang out with you. Adult Santa will stay up late and watch that episode of Downton Abbey you’ve had on the DVR for two weeks. He agrees with you that the best part of Project Runway is Tim Gunn. He’ll bring you an Xbox and play co-op Call of Duty all night. He is really good with a grenade launcher.

Adult Santa won’t force you to sing Christmas Carols. But if you want to, he’s got a couple of carols he likes to sing. He calls them Realistic Christmas Carols. His favorites include “Silent Night, Passive-Aggressive Night,” “I’m Beginning To Bitch A Lot About Christmas,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is Two F’ing Minutes To Myself.” Adult Santa likes to say that by title alone his favorite Christmas Carol is “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.

Unless you don’t like that kind of sarcasm, then Adult Santa just keeps it to himself. Because he’s not here to fight, he just wants you to be happy.

Adult Santa knows Christmas doesn’t actually suck.

It’s just really, really hard to be an adult.

So this year, I am going to recapture the magic of Christmas. On December 24th, I’m going to stay up late at night and wait for Adult Santa. I’ll set out some whiskey and a wedge of brie. I’ll sit in a dark room illuminated only by the glow of the Christmas tree. I’ll sip some of that whiskey as I listen for the low rumble of his rusted out Ford Taurus. I will feel warm and safe.

In that moment, I will get the true gift of Christmas. A gift that all adults deserve. Just a few precious minutes of peace on Earth.

Thank you and merry realistic Christmas to one and all.

This story is now available in audio format as part of my comedy album A VERY HOLIDAY THING. The album and the blog post were made possible by funding from Patreon. Thanks, patrons!

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A CROCKPOT OF FEELINGS: Obsessed Ep 15

Comedian Mike Fotis is a man of many obsessions including productivity, crockpot cooking, bat fear, and football yelling. This episode also features particularly loud noises from the bowling alley located next to the theater. Enjoy!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

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