Friday, December 21, 2012

Ho Ho Ho Video!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

It's about 3:00 a.m.  This week, I am at the Loony Bin Comedy Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I can't sleep, so I decided to post a video of my brother Andy on Youtube.  This video, "Ho Ho Ho," shows Andy back in 1986, when he was almost 2.

Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because of the "Ho Ho Ho" video:

1. It's pretty silly/ cutesy.
This video depicts my brother back when he was still developing his brain. For some reason, when adults fail to complete simple tasks, other adults yell at them, call them stupid, say mean things.  There is no leniency. When a kid does it though, we just laugh and call it cute.  Kids bring out our kinder qualities like patience, understanding, innocence, and levity.  I am thankful for that!

These days, with all the finger pointing, hostility, escalation, we could use some benign, silly, cheesy, cutesy stuff too.  This video won't blow your mind, but it's nice; it's just nice.  I'm thankful for that!

2. It's cool to see how big things come from small beginnings.
My little brother Andy is really smart and he works hard.  He is an Eagle Scout. He is an accountant- a fun, creative accountant.  I am proud of him.  It's cool to see how much smarter he has become since he was almost 2!  I am especially thankful for that! Can you imagine if he was an adult with a 2-year-old's brain?  Actually, I have seen that before.  Moving on...

3. I like seeing the awful styles from the 1980s!
My mom's mom jeans, my sisters' mullets, my bowl cut, and Andy's bright red overalls are pretty sweet if you ask me!  Back in the day, nobody thought anything of our style!  I'm not saying we were fashionable trendsetters, but we didn't stand out either.  Everybody dressed weird in the 80s!  As a society, we all just decided to dress awfully.

Fortunately, everything people wear now is amazing. Nobody will ever look back and say we dressed stupidly in the 2010s!  I am so thankful for that!
This awesome vest will always remain in style.

Bye!  I'm Jake!

P.S. Here's a camo version of the same vest if you want to start dressing like me:



Friday, November 2, 2012

My Wife's Asleep!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

My wife and I stayed up until 3am last night.  That's not good.  We both need our sleep!  Good news, though: it's 11:45 and she is still in bed. Yay!  My wife's asleep!  Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For Because My Wife's Asleep:

1. I have time to write this blog.
If you read this blog regularly, you'll notice I haven't written for it since August. That's because I was getting ready for our big day: weddings sidetrack the crap out of you!  Plus, after you get married, suddenly your to do list expands exponentially!  Take all the things you have to do, then all the things she makes you do!  That's a lot to do!

Right now, while my wife is sleeping, she can't tell me any more things to do!  I am thankful for that!

Uh oh. She just woke up.  I better write this faster.

2. Sleeping wives save money!
Sleeping wives not only save you time, they save money.  They can't burn through your cash when they're running through a cornfield.  If you want to slash your budget, let her saw some logs!

Man, this month especially, I am so thankful she sleeps!

3. She talks in her sleep.
Callie talks in her sleep. She also laughs in her sleep. It is so awesome.  She says things like "I can't find my mittens. I guess I'll just use my gloves." and "but I want to go to the dance!"  

One time, she popped up in bed and scolded "You can not be serious!"  I thought she was mad because I turned on the bathroom light and woke her up.  Nope: even though she was sitting straight up in bed like the exorcist, she was still asleep.  It was awesome.

I'm thankful my wife is so entertaining.

In conclusion, I am thankful my wife was asleep.  However, now she is awake and it's time to spend money and do her to do list.  I'll write more after I put on some Netflix for us and she passes out.

Bye1  I'm Jake!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Carolina Thrift

Hi!  I'm Jake!

I'm in High Point, North Carolina, hanging out with my fianceé and her family.  Next month, we're getting married here. Yay! This week, Callie is also taking me to one of her best friends's wedding.  Yesterday, I found out that in addition to the dress up clothes I already brought out here, I need a second set of dress-up clothes for the rehearsal dinner. Fantastic.  They're doing a dress rehearsal dinner- only I am not allowed to wear the same dress clothes twice.  Lame.

This is how I like to dress,
wearing a vest, a John Deere hat,
and a puking snowman t-shirt.
Assuming I get the cheap kind of dress clothes Men's Wearhouse markets to my squalid demographic, a new set of clothes, complete with dress shirt, tie, suit, et cetera could cost me $300! That's about $350 more than I want to spend on dress clothes!

This is a problem for several reasons:
  • I hate dressing up. 
  • I hate being forced to dress up.
  • I hate trying on clothes- especially clothes I don't want to wear and that I will never wear again! 
  • I hate paying for clothes I don't want and that I will never wear again!
  • After paying for my wedding ring, my suit, the honeymoon, countless meals, flights, hotel rooms, all the times I have traveled out here regardless of the work I can add on to the trip, car repairs, et cetera, ad nauseam, I am broke!  I am literally broke.  I can't afford dress clothes.
  • I really hate dressing up.
Fortunately, we went to Carolina Thrift, High Point's main thrift store. Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because Carolina Thrift!

1. The total for our purchases was significantly less than $300.
Did I tell you how much I hate dressing up? Did I tell you how much I hate paying to dress up? Well good news: After a grueling hour picking out clothes, taking back the suit that we liked (but we found out it was a tux), wearing 10 different pairs of pants that didn't fit for 10 different reasons, we found something.  We found dress slacks, a nice shirt, and a blue, Republican blazer.

Based on the price tags, "we" only had to spend about $20.  At least it wasn't $300!  I'm thankful for that- kind of.

2. Okay, so I had a little fun- begrudgingly.
Turns out, trying on all the super-short pants and too tiny coats was fun.  It was fun finding out just how many articles of clothing had weird, inexplicable stains.  

My fianceé has often complained about my "bad taste in clothes."  However, back when I did college forensics (speech competitions, not dead people) I dressed up every weekend.  Despite my dislike for dressing nicely, I was pretty good at it. 

Yesterday, my fiancee picked out several shirts that I knew would not go with the solid blue blazer.  She picked out stripes, wrong colors, patterns, etc.  Some of these shirts were nice in their own right, but I knew they wouldn't go with the shirt and blazer we picked out.  I'm getting to the point.  The point is I knew a light blue dress shirt would look sharp with that combo.  She didn't believe me til I tried it on and put the combination together.  It was fun being right.

So, somehow, using my ego, she tricked me into having fun and taking pride in my appearance!  Tricky woman!  I am thankful for her.

3. I got a big surprise!
Usually, I get up to the register and I am surprised how much everything costs. However, as the cashier was ringing up my pants, jacket, and shirt, I noticed after every transaction, a number with a negative sign would appear too.

"$9.00.  -$4.50.  $5.00. -$2.50."

I asked what the hey was going on.  The cashier said "Everything with an orange tag is half-off today."  Incroyable!  I had no idea!  I was expecting to pay $20 and "we" only had to pay $10.59. Not bad!

See that, fancy North Carolinans?  I can come to your high societé functions dressed to the nines, but I'll also be dress to the $9.99s!  I look hoity-toity, but for a fraction of the price! I'm thankful for that!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rep. Todd Akin Legitimate Raped His Own Career!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

If you have access to the internet- since you're reading this, I postulate that you do- then you are aware that Representative Todd Akin (R, Missouri) spoke some very unwise words this week. He said “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare.... If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” -Talking Points Memo Magazine.

Watch this awesome video:













Wow!  Wow!  Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because Rep. Todd Akin Legitimate Raped His Own Career!

1. Twitter has been a bunch of fun today!
After Akin's ridiculous remarks, Twitter exploded as  comedian/ Twitter star Rob Delaney (@robdelaney) popularized a twitter trend/ hashtag, #legitimaterape. Thousands of people are using this hashtag to discuss the issue.  Even Facebook is getting in on the fun -as well as they can.  But yeah, I have been reading tweets and laughing all day!

Here's one of my favorites that @robdelaney wrote:
I’m glad GOP Congress members have excellent gov’t healthcare so they can get the ulcer medication they’ll need after this@RepToddAkin news

Here's one from Comedian Lizz Winstead) (@LizzWinstead):
Where on the doll did he legitimize you? #LegitimateRape #BurningStupidity

Here's a tweet I wrote (@jakeisfantastic):
@RepToddAkin knows what he's talking about. His #legitimaterape studies are thorough, based on the legitimate rapes he conducted.

Anyway, it has been a lot of fun.  Rape is not a super funny topic, but watching an idiot ruin his career with a dumb comment about it is funny!  I'm thankful for that.

2. Akin is a pariah- even amongst the Republican Party!
With the rapid spread of this Twitter hashtag, the GOP has distanced themselves from Akin.  Today, they pulled his funding from his upcoming Missouri House of Representatives race. Yay!  I'm thankful for that!  

That's what you get for being stupid on TV! I am glad we live in a country where we are theoretically free to say whatever we want. I am just glad that this comment reached enough people so they can see who is- and has been- "representing them" this whole time.  I am thankful for that!

3. I am a loudmouthed idiot, but I am smarter than a Congressman!
I have said some super-dumb things in my life.  I accidentally made a joke about my fianceè's grandma today that landed me in the dog house.  I wasn't jokin about her actual grandma, but I used the word grandma inappropriately (I will not repeat the joke for fear of repercussions) and it made her super mad/ sad. Fortunately, I sad that comment to her.  I didn't air my stupid comment on TV.  I said it in her kitchen.   I was then able to apologize directly to all parties affected.  

Todd Akin, on the other hand, is just screwed.  Americans like a show.  They like to be fickle.  They don't really have any ide who their representatives really are.  We just know our reps are rich and taking advantage of us.  But when one of them screws up like this, at least we get a show.  At least now, we know that this guy needs to get fired.  I'm thankful for that!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Schlitterbahn

Hi!  I'm Jake!

Yesterday was awesome.  I have lived in Texas for most of the past year.  Yet, yesterday, I finally went to one of the biggest water parks in Texas- nay, the world!  I went to Schlitterbahn, in New Braunfels, Texas.  It was a fun-filled day!

So here are 3 Things I am Thankful For about Schlitterbahn!

1. We had fun in the sun (and water) for over 10 hours!
Because the price of admission is so expensive ($45 for a day pass), Matt Golightly & I made a day of it. We got there at 10:15, right after it opened.  We left at 8:45- 45 minutes after they closed!  They were pretty cool about it. Aside from standing in line, we spent most of the day wetter than pus.

The best ride was Master Blaster. Of course, that also had about an hour-long wait in line each time we did it.  But Master Blaster was awesome. You basically drop straight down then the water pressure shoots you up almost as quickly. This happens several times.  The ride only lasts about 50 seconds, but it's pretty sweet.

I also liked The Falls, a lazy river that loops around and around the park.  You can get off at several exits and enjoy rides near those exits. The Falls also has occasional rapids.  It's fun.  There aren't really any actual falls, though.  That's kind of misleading.  It's basically just a lazy river that is not so lazy.

I think it was a good deal. Since they let us bring in food and beverages, we didn't have to buy their pricey foods and beverages.  The main cost was the $45 admission.  Considering we rode rides for about 10.5 hours, that's about $4 per hour.


2. Schlitterbahn is fun to say!
There are several scenarios when it's fun to say Schlitterbahn. By the way, try saying that sentence 3 times fast! "There are sheveral schenarios when it's fun to shay Schlitterbahn."  

Here are some examples of when it's fun to say Schlitterbahn:
  • If you have even the slightest lisp, say Schlitterbahn, and you'll sound like a giant dork. It's great!  Do it at parties! "I shell Schlitterbahn sheason pashes down by the theashore."
  • Schlitterbahn sounds like a poo joke.  "I need to get some New Braunfels.  I just Schlitterbahned myself!"
  • Schlitterbahn is a great innuendo. Instead of saying you drove up the Hershey Highway, say "Francine is great. She let me drive up her Schlitterbahn!"
  • I look pinker than the
    hot dogs my gut eats.
     
  • The next time your friend gets on a scary water park ride, tell them "Schlitter-Bon Voyage!"
See? Schlitterbahn is just fun to say. I'm thankful for that.  You are probably not.

3. I got a great tan.
You'd be surprised how dark you get after 10 hours of uninterrupted Texas sunshine.  Look at my beautiful skin!  A tan can help protect your body against harmful radioactive sun rays. Well, imagine how much protection my body has after this great, sexy dark tan! I'm thankful for that!


As always, I am thankful you read my blog.
Bye!  I'm Jake!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tao Te Ching 16-We're all Going To Die!


Hi!  I'm Jake!

My mind has been a crumbly scramble the past few weeks. Delayed flights, my hernia, awesome shows, bad news, performing near the mass graves lining the Mexican border.  I even missed a gig due to Southwest Airlines's broken planes.  My reputation suffered.  I've also had some of my most favorite shows ever in the past 2 weeks.  Money coming and going, being surrounded by cokeheads. Ups and downs like crazy.

I've gotten a lot of useful and comforting advice from my dad, my roommate, and my fianceè.  ¡Fantastico!  However, when I was on the plane to and from the gig Southwest caused me to miss, and when I was within 15 miles of mass murders that regularly happen across the border, it was great just to read and re-read and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read chapters 12, 13, and 16 of Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.  Here's Chapter 16:

"ATTAIN to utmost Emptiness.
Cling single-heartedly to interior peace.
While all things are stirring together,
I only contemplate the Return.
For flourishing as they do,
Each of them will return to its root.
To return to the root is to find peace.
To find peace is to fulfill one's destiny.
To fulfill one's destiny is to be constant.
To know the Constant is called Insight.
If one does not know the Constant,
One runs blindly into disasters.
If one knows the Constant,
One can understand and embrace all.
If one understands and embraces all,
One is capable of doing justice.
To be just is to be kingly;
To be kingly is to be heavenly;
To be heavenly is to be one with the Tao;
To be one with the Tao is to abide forever.
Such a one will be safe and whole
Even after the dissolution of his body." -Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
Okay, there is a lot to read and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read here. To break it down, though, Tao Te Ching is telling is to constantly contemplate "the Return", or our deaths.  It says we will all return to our "root"- or the dirt.  That's our destiny.  If we don't know our destiny, we run blindly into disasters.  But, if you know you're going to die, you can stop worrying about all that crap in life that is pretty meaningless.  You can put that stuff aside, be just, kingly, heavenly, safe and whole- even after your body rots and you return to the dirt.

To break it down further, Tao Te Ching says "we're all going to die so chill out and don't scurry around screwing up people's lives like an insane dickface."

Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because of Tao Te Ching Chapter 16- We're All Going To Die!

1. Tao Te Ching Chapter 16 rhymes.
If something rhymes, it makes it way easier for me to look it up again. "What chapter was that?  Oh yeah: it rhymes with 'Ching' so it must be 16.  ¡Fantastico!"

I'm thankful for that.

2. Chapter 16 relieves my stress.
Especially these days with information overload, it is really easy for my attention deficit brain to overload. It's really easy for me to short circuit myself into a jerk.  When I realized I was missing a really important gig due to Southwest Airlines's shortcomings, my first response was to quickly unravel and spin out of control into panic mode.  I was leaving frantic voicemails and texts.  I basically did a lot of things that the sane, rational version of myself regrets.

When I finally got on a plane, though, Tao Te Ching reminded me there will always be a bunch of things stirring around, but one day I will be back in the dirt.  So, the fact that Southwest Airlines kind of  dorked me out of a gig might suck today- and it might even screw up my reputation with this booker I was supposed to work for- none of that matters when I'm in the dirt.  The only thing I can do is calm my mind and experience the situation.  That's way more productive.

After reading this passage, I was way less of a douche.  You're thankful for that.

3. Chapter 16 is only one page.
That's one cool thing about Tao Te Ching.  Each chapter is only one page- max!  A lot of the chapters are only half page- or even just a quarter page!  So, I can bang out a whole chapter in minutes. That feels pretty good. "I need to read this chapter.  Ok. Done!  What's next on my queue?"

Also, I'm really glad each chapter is only one page. I have been reading this book for about 7 years. I read each chapter over and over and over. The more I read this book, the more it blows my mind.  Every time I read a chapter, I have to stop.  I need to soak that message in before I get my mind blown again.  My mind is like my body.  It can only be blown once before it needs to recharge for a bit.  Yep. That's a sexual epiphany. Enjoy!  You;re thankful for that.  Me too.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The UMS 2012 Rocked!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

I'm a little late in writing about this, but last week, I was back in Denver for The Underground Music Showcase (The UMS).  It's a really fun indy music festival. I think they had 35 stages and over 300 bands. For being underground, it's a pretty big music festival!

I've been involved in The UMS for 5 years now. This was my 5th year putting together a great line-up of comedians and hosting the show.

This year, they gave us a 3-hour show. Typically, 3 hours is too long for a comedy show.  Unless they're watching Lord of the Rings, nobody has a 3-hour attention span.  However, the crowds came and went several times throughout the show.  One weird thing about a music festival like this is because there are so many shows going on at once, each show has a revolving door. Crowds come. Crowds go.  They want to check out as many things as possible.  When my show wasn't going on, I did the same thing!  I watched a band, stayed for a few songs, then wen off to sample some more.

As long as when they came in the door something funny was happening, they stuck around for awhile.  Even if something funny was happening, though, at some point, they left to go see other bands.  Or, they left other bands to come see us.  The show started with maybe 5 people in the crowd.  By the end of the night, every table was full.  That's usually the opposite of how my shows go!

Wel, let's get to it. Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because of The 2012 Underground Music Showcase:

1.  I got to come back to Denver.
I left Denver August 2011.  I have been back briefly since then twice, once last November, and once this January. I miss my friends.  I miss my family.

And right now,  the Denver comedy scene is exploding. People are getting in the Montreal Comedy Festival.  All these ladies are getting Nick at Nite.  Huffington Post is writing about everybody and their mother. Denver is the place to be. So what do I do? I move. Good call. Good career choice.  That's what I do: make good career choices.

By the way, if I had to move anywhere, I am glad to be in Austin. Every time I am actually in town, I have a lot of fun down there.

Anyway, it was good to be back home for a bit.  I saw family.  I went to the gun range. I saw the mountains. I was home.  I am thankful for that.


2.  I got to see a lot of my comedy friends.
For this year's UMS, we performed at The Hornet's stage. The Hornet is one of my favorite places to eat in Denver.  It's right by my old apartment. You don't really need to know that part- unless you want a little Jake Sharon apartment history tour.

This year, I booked 20 of my favorite underground comedians.  At the last minute, I had a couple surprise drop-ins too.

Here's the lineup:
  1. Jake Sharon (emcee)
  2. Mike Jones (West Virginia/ Denver)
  3. Heather Snow (Denver)
  4. Jordan Doll (Denver)
  5. Adrian Mesa (Miami/ Denver)
  6. Brent The Great (Denver)
  7. Erik Lindstrom (Fort Collins)
  8. Stacy Roquemore (Denver)
  9. Rick Bryan (Denver)
  10. Tim Messenger (Boston/ D.C./ Denver)
  11. Rubi Nicholas (Philadelphia/ Denver)
  12. Elliot Woolsey (Denver)
  13. Leif Cedar (Denver)
  14. Brady Quarterman (Denver)
  15. Michael Carter (Denver)
  16. Matt Monroe (Denver)
  17. Abbey Jordan (San Francisco/ Portland/ Denver)
  18. John Crist (Denver)
  19. Rick DeSimone (Denver)
  20. Alex Ash (Denver)
  21. Maureen Hobbs (Denver)
  22. Brad Galli (Denver)
  23. Jim Hickox (Denver)
When you have this many people on the show each doing 5-8 minute sets, you're going to have a pretty wide variety of content. We had physical comedy, family-friendly comedy, abrasive rapey comedy, political jokes, stoner jokes, relationship jokes, racial jokes, stories. Oddly enough, there weren't any musical comedians.  We're at a music festival and there's no music on the show!  Huh. But yeah, something for everybody- unless you wanted music.

I hadn't seen Adrian Mesa in 6 years.  I hadn't seen Rubi in 4 or 5.  Most of these other guys I hadn't seen since The February*, the last time I was in Denver.  So, it was super cool to see everybody showcase their new jokes. It was just supercool to see everybody, just in general.  I'm thankful for that.

3.  I got to see some great bands.
One of my favorite aspects of doing The UMS each year is I get to see a ton of cool bands.  It's four straight nights of just about every kind of indy music you can imagine.  As a performer, I got to see it all.  


At the 2011 UMS, I got to see one of my new favorite bands, Chicago's Git Some.  I got their 2008 CD, Cosmic Rock.  Those guys put out a really loud, in your face sound. I also saw Wheelchair Sports Camp, a nationally touring Denver hip-hop group with a sound that's on the level of Digable Planets.  I got their CD, Mixed Tapes.

This year, I head to leave The UMS right after my show on Friday night.  Bummer. I didn't get to see enough bands. At 11:15 pm, I got in my car so I could make my gig in San Angelo, Texas.  Hey, got to pay the bills.

However, before my show, I went to The UMS mainstage and I got to see Mancub.  Wow!  Those guys were great! Mancub is a laidback Denver techno duo, kind of a hi-tech/ lo-tech combo.  I'm a new fan.  Check em out at http://www.mancub303.com/.

That's the thing about the UMS: You'll see a ton of great bands, and you'll remember a few of them enough to become their fans.  Wow.  That sentence kind of rhymed.  I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

I haven't blogged in over a week. I am super-stressed! In the past week, I have ruined my bike in a bike accident, almost died, driven over 2500 miles, been to the auto shop 4 times, and spent $1000 on my car.  Plus, I need hernia surgery. All this stuff is piling up and it's freaking me out! I am getting married soon, I need to take my debt down, not bring it up even more!

Fortunately, this week, I went to the gun range and got some stress relief. Here are 3 Things I am Thankful For Because of Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang!

1. I got some stress relief. 
Sometimes, I just need to calm down and focus.  Nothing makes me focus better than yoga.  However, the only thing that helps me focus almost as much as yoga is shooting at a target over and over, making paper zombie target carnage.

With both yoga and guns, you have to have proper form and concentrated breathing.  You have to focus. Focusing my mind make me relax.

2. I got to test out a Thureon Defense 9mm Carbine with a Slide Fire Solutions stock.
Oh, man!  What a treat! Remember the first time you played the 8-bit Nintendo with controllers that had turbo buttons?  Koopa Troopas aren't so tough now, right?  Well, the Slide Fire Solutions stock is basically a turbo button for your rifle.  It uses the gun's recoil and your body to increase your firing rate- significantly!  Plus, it's legal.

Check out this video of my sweet day at the range!  Talk about stress relief!  Shooting this Slide Fire- equipped 9mm really puts a smile on my face!  Try it out sometime.  You'll smile too.  I'm always thankful for smiles- except creepy smiles.  Then, not so much. See that?  I brought back "not so much."

3. I spent time with my dad.
I love going to the range with my dad.  Guns are one thing my dad and I both really enjoy.  Plus, every time I hang out with my dad, I am happy. We have a great relationship. Hanging out with him as an adult is just as fun as hanging out with him when I was a kid.  I've always enjoyed that- except when I'm in trouble.

My dad's my hero.  He's a good guy.  He's honest.  He's laid back- which also calms me down.  I know sometimes life makes him crazy too- but he doesn't freak out like I do.  He rolls with it.  I need to learn how to do that better.  Everybody around me would be thankful if I just CALMED DOWN! CALM DOWN, JAKE!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

That Rubber Band!


Hi!  I'm Jake!

The RAM X-Grip mounted onto
my bike.
I have been cycling a lot lately. In the previous entries, I wrote about how I am thankful to have the RAM Mount X-Grip Universal Cell Phone Holder, mounts my Droid Thunderbolt smart phone onto my handle bars. The X-Grip allows me to view the trail map while I'm riding.

As much as I like the X-Grip, it has a big flaw: whenever I hit a nasty bump on the bike path,  there is a decent chance the spring-loaded X-Grip will let go of my cell phone.  This happened 3 times within the first week of using the X-Grip!  The first time the X-Grip dropped my phone, I didn't even realize what had happened.  I just heard something drop behind me.  Suddenly I realized my phone was gone so I turned around.  Imagine if I hadn't heard that dropping sound, though!  
My Otterbox-encased
Droid Thunderbolt
mounted on to my X-Grip.

The second time the X-Grip dropped my phone, I could see it hurdling through the dirt.  The third time it happened was about 10 minutes after the second time it happened.  There will not be a fourth time!

Fortunately, my phone is in an Otterbox, a protective case that prevented my phone from total annihilation. The sim card did slip out of its slot- so I couldn't make any phone calls till I took my phone apart and fixed it.

This rubberband that ensures my RAM X-Grip won't
drop my phone again!
I am thankful my Otterbox protected my phone from utter destruction. However,  this entry is not about the Otterbox. It's about my solution to the X-Grip's shortcomings: To keep my phone securely attached to the X-Grip, I have been using a rubber band.  That's right: I spent $50 on RAM's mounting system, but a two-penny rubber band is what keeps my Droid securely fastened to my bike!  

So, here are 3 Things I am Thankful For because of That Rubber Band!

1. First off, it keeps my Droid mounted to my bike!
Before I started using the rubber band to supplement my X-Grip, my Droid fell off my bike 3 times.  Since I started using the rubber band, it hasn't fallen off once.  

This week- since using the rubberband- a pedestrian ran out right in front of me and I had to swerve to avoid running over her.  I swerved off the path, hit a bunch of tree roots and the X-Grip almost dropped my phone again. Even with the rubberband, the phone almost came out.  It came half way out.  It would have come all the way out, but the rubberband held it in place. Without the rubberband, my Droid would have definitely dropped.

I am thankful my rubberband is more reliable than my X-Grip!

2. When I get off my bike, I can use the rubberband to shoot somebody.
If another lady cuts me off and forces me off the trail, I can stop the bike, put my phone in my back pack, then bike up behind her and shoot the rubberband at the back of her head, execution style.  

Then, I can pick the rubberband back up, reattach it and my phone to my X-Grip and merrily ride off into the sunset.

3. I can use a rubberband to hold just about anything in place!
If I shoot a lady with a rubberband, she might come after me. What if she lunges at me and I fall off my bike, down a hill, through the Farmer Jenkins's thorn patch, over the river, through the woods, through Grandma's house and into some more tree roots?  Owie!  If all that happens, a rubberband can hold gauze onto my tree root wounds!  Thanks, rubberband!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

RAM Mount Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder

RAM Mount
Universal X-Grip
Cell Phone Holder
Hi!  I'm Jake!

In my previous blog entry, I wrote about how I have been cycling again lately. To keep track of my miles-per-hour, overall miles, and my route, I have been using a Droid app, MapMyRide.

I went riding with one of my buddies a few months ago and he has a bike mount for his i-Pod.  So I can view the MapMyRide trail map while I'm riding, I wanted something similar for my Droid. Using Amazon.com, I found the RAM Mount Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder.

RAM Mount
Aluminum Short Dual
1.0 inch Socket Arm
I got the RAM Mount Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder, the RAM Mount Aluminum Short Dual 1.0 inch Socket Arm, and the RAM Mount Zinc Coated U-Bolt Base w/1" Ball.  The entire order cost me about $55.

I was extremely excited when I received the package containing all 3 of these items.  However, upon opening my parcel, I realized the shippers didn't send any installation instructions.  Each component came with a plastic baggy and a brochure to buy more parts.  So, I had instructions on how I could get more parts, but not instructions on how to use the parts I already had! Nevertheless, using a screw driver and my manly intuition, I installed the mounting system on my bike in about 5 minutes.
RAM Mount
Zinc Coated
U-Bolt Base w/1" Ball

I have taken the RAM mounting system out for several rides and for the most part, it has worked great! Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because of my RAM Mount Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder!

1. While cycling, I can easily read my cell phone's display.
With my phone mounted right on my bike, I can look down at my handlebars and easily view all my stats (miles per hour, miles traveled, top speed).  I can read the MapMyRide map so I know where I am and how to get back.

I can even see if someone is calling me. So far that hasn't happened yet.  But when I get some friends and they call me, I can brag to them that I am exercising.  Bragging always makes me feel thankful!

2. I can quickly mount my phone on my bike- and take it off again!
The way the X-Grip works is 4 spring-loaded arms clasp around the phone, holding it in place.  To mount the phone, I squeeze 2 of the arms together, slide the phone right in, and let go.

To remove the phone, all I have to do is squeeze the arms together and grab the phone. Another way to remove the phone is to hit a big-ol' bump in the road.  The phone will fall out on the trail behind you- so you can double back and get a little extra exercise!  I'm always thankful for extra exercise!

3. The X-grip cradle can also easily be taken off my bike and used with other RAM mounts.
One other really cool thing about the X-Grip is I don't have to use it with the other components shown above.  RAM makes a windshield suction cup that, along with the RAM Mount Aluminum Short Dual 1.0 inch Socket Arm, allows you to mount the X-Grip in your car!

With my phone mounted in my car, I can view the Google Navigator app, see who is calling me, or even watch Netflix!  Sure, I watch Netflix a bunch in my car already, but now I can do it safely!  I am thankful for that!  Yay!






Monday, June 11, 2012

MapMyRide!


Hi!  I'm Jake!

Because of my big ol' Texas gut, you haven't heard from me for about a week.  See, I am tired of my gut so when I finally found a decent bike trail here in Austin, I started riding about an 60-90 minutes per day. It feels great!

To help monitor my exercise progress, I am using a GPS-based Droid app called MapMyRide.  It's pretty handy.  Here are #3ThingsIamThankfulFor because of MapMyRide!

1. MapMyRide Informs The Crap Out Of Me!
Back when I lived in Denver, I used to bike 30 miles per day, at least 3 times per week. I was really fit.  At my peak, I was biking around 15.5 miles per hour. 

I'd bike a lot faster if all you poky
chumps got out of the way!
When I started biking again about a week-and-a-half ago, I had no idea how fast I was going.  All I knew is that the only bike path I have found so far is also a pedestrian path.  It's cluttered with meandering pedestrians who walk slowly, with all their friends. They are chunky, trodding obstructions, who hog the whole width of the path. If the bike/pedestrian path is a urethra, they are the gall stone clogging up the works.  Regardless of how many times I call out "On your left!" they don't move out of the way till I just about run them over.  Get out of the way, jerks!  It's for your safety!

I almost got in 2 accidents on Friday!  Do you want me to run over you and your baby?  Get out of the way, dimples!

Because of all the pedestrians, I know I am not hitting my target speed of 15 miles per hour.  However, that's not very accurate information.  That's just a good guess based on fat people. MapMyRide tells me I am averaging about 13 miles per hour and my top speed was 30 miles per hour.  That 30 miles per hour must have been downhill!  

MapMyRide also tells me:
  • How many how many total miles I've biked.
  • How many minutes I have biked.
  • How many calories I've burned, so I know how much ice cream I can eat. 
  • What day it is.  That's important information!
I am thankful for the information.  It is way more accurate than my guesses and hopes.  Now, get out of the way, you mosying pedestrians!

2. MapMyRide shows me a map of my ride.
MapMyRide even displays a map of each ride.  It shows me exactly which route I took.

This is important because every time I ride, I vary my route slightly.  Combined with my speed statistics for each ride, eventually, I'll figure out which route I take allows me to go the fastest.  Another of way of saying that, I'll find out which path has the least meandering pedestrians. Hooray!  I'm thankful for that!

3. MapMyRide has an Auto Pause function.
The current routes I am using also go out into traffic a couple times. Traffic means I have to stop at red lights and/or stop for cars before I cross the road.  As soon as I stop moving, the Auto Pause function stops the clock.  Once I start moving again, it starts the clock again.  I am not really sure how that helps me, but I think I am thankful for that!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grass!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

It's almost summertime.  Growing up, one of my favorite things about summer was running around barefoot with the other kids on the Fourth of July. I loved laying on the cool, refreshing grass, looking up at the sky, imagining what it would be like if my parents let me watch the fireworks.  Childhood was great!

Me and my pretty bride to be.
Last night, I went to Austin's Blues on the Green with my lady.  As we traversed Zilker Park to get closer to the music, some chick looked back, checked me out, and gave me a sexyface smile.  Callie was like "Hey! Keep off my man!"  That was cool.

We met up with a couple of my couchsurfing friends to hear a few bands play the "blues."  It wasn't really the blues.  It was just a bunch of white guys singing about how they have a new CD for sale at the merch table. But it was nice listening to music outside.  We ate veggie burgers, and chips and guacamole.  I got a couple nice pictures with my lady. That all happened while we sat on the grass.  Thanks, grass!

Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because Grass:

1. Mowing the lawn is therapeutic.
I used to hate mowing the lawn.  It was a chore.  Eventually, I realized its potential to put my mind at ease. Mowing the lawn is relaxing. It's orderly. You have a simple task.  You go back and forth, clipping every lane of grass until it is done.  That's what makes mowing the lawn so great: Many tasks in my life are ongoing, constantly unfinished- but you either finished mowing the lawn or you didn't.  You either clipped that little grass mohawk by the elm trees or you didn't.  Either you whacked all the weeds with your weedwhacker or you didn't.  Either you ran over than tennis ball and it made a cool sound or you didn't. The point is, when you mow the lawn, there is no room for interpretation: You are either done or you are either not done. 

When you are done, you have a sense of accomplishment more rewarding than North Carolina corn pudding!  I'm thankful for that.  I'd also like some corn pudding.

2. You can put grass in your pants!
When I was a child, my cul de sac neighbors, John and Rocky made me put grass in my onesy feeted pajamas.  They were so funny.  I looked like a scarecrow!  That was silly!  John and Rocky always made the neighbor kids do crazy things. One of them is now in jail.  Guess which one!

Anyway, grass brought the Bristlecone Place cul de sac kids together.  I'm thankful for that!

3. Grass is a source of life.
I have done about a hundred video shoots for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and various other agricultural entities.  I have video taped cattle in all of their natural environments, including:
053112 maneatscoweatsgrass by Jake Sharon
  • the farm pasture
  • the ranch
  • natural grasslands
  • the feedyard
In most of these places, the cattle eat grass. That helps them become tasty cheeseburgers for my mouth. I have even eaten grass-fed cattleburgers- while sitting on the grass! I ate cattle as food while sitting on their food! That felt amazing. Go America!

Now, time to put a cloud on this glory. Imagine if cattle ate something besides grass?  What if they ate tasty cheeseburgers for my mouth? This whole cycle would be ruined.  Chaos. 

Thank India that's not the case.  Cows eat grass.  I sit on the grass. I eat cows. Life goes round.  Thanks, grass!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Live In AUX, Not PDX

Hi!  I'm Jake!

As some of me may know, I live in Austin, Texas, not Portland, Oregon.  Both have artsy fartsy.  Both have food trucks.  Both claim to keep it weird.  Both are cool towns. However, according to my budget, I can only live in one place at a time.  Currently, that place is Austin.

Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because I Live In AUX, Not PDX:

1. AUX Has Authentic BBQ.
I really enjoyed the "I Like Thai" food truck I found when I worked in Portland a few weeks ago.  It was only $5 for a ton of food. The Thai iced tea was only another dollar.  I love Thai iced tea!  So delicious!

"053012 Oregon BBQ" by Jake Sharon
However, before I picked the "I Like Thai" food truck, I passed about 20 other food trucks, including an "authentic Texas BBQ" food truck.  Granted, I didn't give that truck a chance- that's because I'm not stupid!  I eat Texas bbq all the time.  I wouldn't say I'm a bbq connoisseur, but I have eaten "Texas brisket" in other states and I have been burned!  I went to 12 Bones in Asheville, North Carolina.  That place makes a mean plate of pork.  They know NC bbq as well as anybody.  Their corn pudding is more rewarding than having a sense of accomplishment.  Their jalapeno cheese grits will rock your world like a fat chick fight.  However, even though they rock NC bbq, they made me a plate of brisket that had the flavor and consistency of shoe leather.

My point is 12 Bones will rock your hippie flip flops off with their delectable North Carolina bbq.  It's the best!  Yet, these bbq masters failed making Texas brisket. They absolutely failed.  So, do you think for one second I'm dumb enough to let some weed smoking, hipster Oregonians sell me their version of Texas bbq?  Think again.  

I am smart enough to know that you don't order sushi in Texas.  That's not not their specialty.  You don't get gumbo in Maine.  You don't get soul food from Albuquerque.  You don't eat Mexican in Boston.  You don't buy maple syrup from a midget. You sure as shrimp don't order brisket in Portland!

In short, I ate at Rudy's BBQ 3 times in the past week. I have eaten over 2 pounds of meat and several cups of creamed corn- made with real cream!  I am thankful for that!

2. Blow Your Mind With Barrels, Not Pipes.
In Portland, they have amazing weed.  No one can deny that. There was a time when that was important to me. However, in Austin -and pretty much anywhere in Texas- we have amazing gun laws!  Smoking weed may have calmed me down, but going to the gun range for several hours and improving my accuracy gives me a sense of accomplishment.  That's almost as rewarding as 12 Bones' corn pudding!

Sure, weed may have helped inspire me to paint some great paintings, but I never felt accomplished by merely smoking weed.  By the end of the day at the gun range, I feel calm because:

  • My breathing is more controlled, relaxed.
  • With controlled stance, breathing, and self awareness, you get focus- something that doesn't come naturally to me.
  • My groupings are tighter and I am hitting more bullseyes- so I have made measurable progress.
  • Most importantly, after a day at the range, because of my improved ability, I feel more empowered to protect my lady.  She deserves that.  It makes me feel good, too.  

So, I just outlined 4 more things I'm thankful for within the 3 things I am thankful for today.  There is a lot of thankfulness going around!  The point is I am thankful I live in a state that encourages responsible gun use instead of tempting me with drug use.  By the way, they still have drugs here; they just aren't as good.  Just ask Portland about that!


3. There Is A Direct Flight That Goes Between Both Towns.
I really do love Austin. It's great!  My fiancee and I spent a bunch of time the past couple days looking for a job, a horse stable, and a gym so when she moves here we can both be really happy. All this exploring is showing us just how great Austin truly is.

However, I got to explore Portland a bunch when I worked at Harvey's Comedy Club a couple weeks ago.  I know it is a great town too.  Harvey's was fun. Voodoo Doughnuts was delicious! I Like Thai was incredible.  Southwest Airlines, also one of my favorites, has a direct flight between the 2 cities.  So, even though I live in Austin, I am only a few hours away from Portland.  I am really thankful for that!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I Am Not A Pigeon

Hi! I'm Jake!

Rivercenter Comedy Club, courtesy of Google Maps
Last week, I worked with Jim Short at Rivercenter Comedy Club in San Antonio, Texas.  Those 8 shows were a blast! Each show was better than the previous show.  The final show, the Sunday late show was amazing!  I'm thankful for that.

Rivercenter Comedy Club is located a couple blocks from the historical Alamo, right in the epicenter of San Antonio's tourist trap.  Tourists clog the streets.  Employees at local restaurants don't like the tourists, so they frown a lot. They joylessly take their time bringing out their chain restaurant food.

So, Jim, Callie (my fianceè), and I decided to walk as far away from downtown as our hungry stomachs could take us.  We sought out delicious, local, San Antonio cuisine.  We found it a mile from downtown, at a little restaurant called Taco Garage.

Now, Sunday was a hot muggy, day. We checked inside Taco Garage to see if it was any cooler than their outside.  Nope.  The slight, almost imperceptible breeze outside made outside dining somewhat more pleasant.  Sitting outside gave us a chance to people watch.  Turns out, it also gave us a chance to pigeon watch.

The restaurant which shall heretofore remain nameless, had several un-bussed tables.  Pigeons, enjoying the food scrap bounty each dirty table offered, fearlessly feasted- which indicates these tables are dirty on a regular basis. These fat pigeons eat there all the time.

In some ways, the pigeon antics were fun to watch.  These rats of the sky had difficulty eating full-sized tortillas, so they flopped them in the air like Italians with their pizza dough.  They were territorial, too; the pigeons fiercely wrestled baby birds- and even crows- for every morsel.

Honestly, if I was a pigeon, I'd fight somebody for that food too: Taco Garage makes extremely delicious, authentic Mexican food.  It is soooo good!  We knew it.  The pigeons knew it.  So they battled for food.  They chased the other birds.  They pecked.  They tortilla tossed.  We had food and a show!

However, I soon realized the price for our entertainment: bird poop adorned our table.  If the food wasn't so good, we would have left.  I ate my delicious, molè-slathered chicken enchiladas- hoping my tasty wouldn't have a digestive price.  Pigeon poo does not do my insides any favors.

Callie, Jim, and I left full, and lethargic.  Even though those fat pigeons had a great feast that day, I am still thankful I am not one of those devil-eyed sky rats.  So, here are 3 Things I Am Thankful for because I Am Not a Pigeon:

1. Pigeons have to scavenge for their food.
Pigeons can't cook eggs.  They can't grill a steak.  Pigeons can't order chicken enchiladas.  They have to wait for us humans to leave our dirty plates before they can eat.  If they try eating before we leave, they might get a punch to the face! That's right, next time you see a pigeon eating your food, punch it in the face!

That is one of the worst things about being a scavenger: your nutrition depends on old ladies and dirty restaurants.  Stupid bird bums! I'm thankful I don't have that problem!

2. Pigeons have weird eyeballs.
If you dress like the devil, you will fail any job interview- unless they are casting a devil.  It's the same thing with pigeons.  They can't get jobs.  That's because their eyes look like devil eyes. That is inappropriate for any non-devil job interview. Maybe that's why pigeons act like beggar homeless people all the time: they can't get jobs because of their devil eyes but then it's somehow my job to feed them?  Well, pigeons can go suck an egg if they I'm going to pay their rent!

Anyway, I'm glad I have a job- kind of. I am so thankful I don't have stupid pigeon devil eyes!


3. Pigeons can't type very well.
Again, pigeons!  If you can't learn a basic skill set like typing, you are going to be jobless.  Again, pigeons!  Again!  You contribute nothing to society! You're everybody's burden!  Why don't you go back to that restaurant job where you flip tortillas for tourist entertainment?! I'd be thankful for that!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I Do Not Have a Hump


Hi! I'm Jake!
I don't have a hump. There's no back story to this. I just don't have a hump. I'm really glad about that.

Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because I Do Not Have A Hump:

1. I don't have to wear a special sweater.
Hump people often have big heads too. I'm not saying they are overly egotistical- I mean, they are egotistical because they have more real estate for neck tattoos- but they also have physically bigger heads.  Humpback heads will stretch a sweater neck hole like a fat baby's birth.

I'm thankful I don't have the head or the hump to ruin my clothes.

2. I am not the go-to guy for piggy back rides.
052612 River Center's Rules Humpback,
by Jake Sharon
I used to work for a lady so big that her butt had a shelf. You could stand on it, take it for a ride! I pictured children gayly riding it around to all the barbecue joints.

Humpbacks have a similar kid seat on their neck. That torso cankle is a big enough platform to serve a four-course dinner!

People love a sweet piggy back ride like that. They ride it around like Hannibal on his elephants. It's fun for the passenger, but demoralizing for the Quasimodo. It's probably bad for their back, too! Their back is already bad- and now people want humpback pigback rides?

I'm thankful I don't have that problem. Now, if I could only get rid of this mustache, I wouldn't have to give any rides at all!

3. No hump sunburns.
A back hump is just an epidermal flat land. It would be a great place for a solar panel. However, when the sun is out, assuming there aren't any piggy back passengers, that area is exposed for the sun's scorn.

Imagine peeling off a humpback's plate-sized, post-sunburn skin peel! I don't have that problem and I am so thankful!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Susan Jones

Hi!  I'm Jake!

The past few weeks, I have had a blast on my Northwest tour.  Shows every night. Great crowds.  Headlining new rooms.  I'm ending this tour at one of my favorite club, Harvey's Comedy Club in Portland, Oregon.  Great town.  Great club.  I've been coming up to the Northwest for 2-3 years. Each time I work here, I get even better gigs than I had last time.  I love the Northwest!

One of the main reasons I do so well up here is several years ago, I did a contest in Colorado.  It was the first annual and last annual somethingorother Colorado comedy competition. I can't remember what that contest was called.  What I do remember is I briefly met comedian Susan Jones.  I had no idea how important that quick meeting was.  Susan has great advice.  She has helped open doors for me.

Susan is a killer comedian, on the verge of some really big things.  She's a great friend. She's helped me out a bunch. So here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because of Susan Jones:


1. Susan & Larry run a comedy bed & breakfast.
Most of the gigs put me up in a hotel or comedy condo. In the rare instance I have a night without a place to stay, my friends Susan, & her fiancee, Larry put me up on their couch or in their guest room.


It's a blast!  Besides Larry & Susan, there are always a ton of people in the house. Susan's nephew, cousin, & another nephew pretty much reside there.  Great people. There are always comedians at their place.  This time, Sam Demaris was in town. Killer comedian from Houston.  Great storyteller. Sam is actually staying at my place in Austin next week.  James Milton popped his head in a couple times.  He's quiet, but when he speaks, that kid is funny.  


Every time I'm there, it's a different mix of comedians.  We write, workshop material, exchange business ideas, exchange business contacts.  Mostly, though, we go on adventures. Midnight karaoke. Crash an open mic or two.  Stuff our faces with Seattle cuisine like dim sum, sushi, pancakes.  Five full comedians stuffed in a 4-person car, riffing.  It's a great time. It's like going to a comedy festival but nobody charged me a submission fee.  I've gotten more business & material, & I've had more fun during one stay at Susan's & Larry's than all the comedy festivals I have ever done - combined!  I'm thankful for that.


2. Susan Jones is connected.
So, Susan & Larry constantly host out-of-town comedians. Comedy comes to them. Susan is also an integral part of the Seattle comedy scene.  She used to manage a prominent comedy club.  When she isn't on the road, she's constantly onstage in town.  To say she's funny is an understatement.  You should see her level an audience.  Check out a clip here.

Partly because she's a strong comedian & partly because she's just a nice person*, she's a great resource when your schedule up here is a little light. She knows everybody. A high percentage of the gigs I get up here are due either to her information or to her direct influence.  "My friend Jake is in town next month.  Can you get him a gig?" We're sitting in her living room, me on the couch & her in "the command chair."  She says "Okay, so what dates do you have open again?" We make calls, send some e-mails. We fill the dates. Usually, it's pretty tough to get a hold of the clubs & bookers you want to work for, but bookers call her!

She's fostering talent, building a community of comedians who help each other get work. Usually when a comedian helps another comedian it's kind of like a "you scratch my back I scratch yours" kind of deal, but Susan's a lot farther in her career than I am.  I've gotten her a couple shows here & there, but nothing compared to how much she has helped me. I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely pay her back.  As I told her recently, I pretty much just need to get famous- just so I can hook her up someday!

These days, I know enough folks up here I can usually book most of my gigs on my own.  Susan helped pave that road for me, though.  Most of these gigs are repeat business- but before I could repeat that business, Susan helped me get in.  If you haven't worked in show business, you probably don't have any idea how important that is.  There are millions of new comedians taking gigs every day.  Even if you're super funny, it's a rough business.  Doors don't open themselves.  So, I appreciate the help!

3. Susan Jones has a Ragnar.
I never thought I'd like any poodle.  When I think of poodles, I think of high maintenance, fancy pants, snotty owners who give their dogs doucheface haircuts & parade them around on TV because that's easier than being an interesting person.

Susan has a toy poodle named Ragnar who goes absolutely batnuts when you come to the door.   His tail wags faster than a hummingbird.  It practically lifts him off the ground. You'd think you were his best friend who miraculously came back from the dead.

Ragnar doesn't have a stupid haircut. I didn't even know he was a poodle till somebody told me. He's just a happy little goof.  Plus, he has a couple buddies.  Lady is a sweet little dachshund.  Dozer is one of two or three cats on this planet I actually like.  Most cats suck, not dozer. Now that I'm engaged, she might be the only female my fiancee will let take a nap with me.

Anyway, Susan & Larry have exposed their animals to a multitude of us vagabond comedians, so they are social, super chill.  Along with Susan, Larry, their family, & all the comedians, these pets make you feel at home. When you're on the road, sometimes you're just in a crappy hotel, eating ramen.  So, feeling at home is pretty cool. I'm thankful & honored to be part of that cast.
There are a lot of great things I can say about Susan.  I barely scratched the surface. I haven't even begun to tell you how great Larry is.  Super chill dude.  He puts up with comedians in his house, constantly.  Believe me: that's a big deal.  Comedians are high maintenance! He takes us to the airport & the ferry....

Anyway, I'm thankful I know Susan & Larry.  Make sure to check out her website, wannarollafatty.com/ . If you're in the area where she's performing, go to a show.

I'm also really thankful you read my blog.  Until next time...

Bye!  I'm Jake!

*Susan is a super nice person.  It's probably not a good idea to screw her over though.  She does know everybody up here. :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Can't Feel My Wounds!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

 Check out the grey skin surrounding my blister hole!
Bad news: last week, I was playing with fire and I gave myself a 2nd degree burn wound.

Good news: I burned my nerves!  So, when the grey-skinned pus-bubble blister burst open, I didn't feel it.  Hooray!

Here Are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because I Can't Feel My Wounds!

1. No pain means I can type this blog.
Last time I had a burn wound, anything that even came near my scar tissue issue hurt like a son of a grinch!

This burn is way worse.  If it felt as bad as it looks, my pointer finger would be debilitated. Unencumbered by pain, my pointer finger can peck at each individual letter.  In a few hours, this blog entry will be complete.  Without the use of pointy -that's the nickname I gave my pointer finger- without pointy, I'd have to use Middly. Middly is what I call my pinky.  Pinker is what I call my middle finger.  It's confusing.  Anyway, if I put Middly in charge of typing this blog, who knows how long it would take?  Truth be told, if Middly was in charge, everybody would probably die.

Fortunately, Pointy is in charge.  That means I can finish my blog tonight and not everybody will die.  I'm thankful for that!


2. I must not be hurt too bad.
I feel pain when I am hurt real bad.  I currently don't feel the pain. So, according to faulty logic, I am not hurt real bad.  I am thankful for that.

3. I can sleep tonight.
When I'm in excruciating pain, it's hard to sleep- probably because of all the screaming and crying.  The fact that I'd be up all night typing with Middly wouldn't help matters either.  Fricking Middly!

Fortunately, Middly has been given the responsibility of just occasionally typing the shift key.  Pointy is in charge and he feels relaxed enough to let me sleep without cries or screams.  As long as the voices in my head shut up too, tomorrow I'll awake, rested and content.  I'll be thankful for that!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thanks, Zoom!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

I have a bad memory.  I am constantly writing new material for my stand-up comedy act, but I have a hard time remembering half the things I've written.  So, whenever I do a gig, I usually revert to the tried and true material that I've been doing for forever.  My writing is way more prolific than my act would lead you to believe because my crappy memory bottlenecks my process!  I can't give you new material if I can't remember it!

So, a few months ago, I began a change:  I now record every single set on my Zoom H1.  Then, I endeavor to listen to each set within a week of recording it. This is crucial!  Listening to my sets while reading the material I wrote for those sets helps me remember the material.

Moreover, I ad-lib constantly. Even though most of my material comes from sitting down, shuffling through my notes, & cranking out jokes & stories, I have an improv background- so, a decent percentage of my best punchlines were originally ad-libs.  I tend to say things more naturally on stage than I do on paper.

The problem is my brain doesn't always remember my ad-libs.  However, my Zoom H1 records everything. Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because I have a Zoom H1:

1. The audio is crystal clear.
The microphones on the Zoom H1 sound amazing.  My previous voice recorder, some Olympus piece of dung cost $85, which is about $10 less than the Zoom H1. The Olympus recorder's microphones sounded horrible, tinny. Every time I tried listening to a performance, I had to play back each line about 10 times just to see if I could figure out what I said.  With the H1, I can recognize every word instantly.  Unless I am mumbling, or my face is buried in a pillow, I can hear & understand every word, every punchline, every ad-lib.

In fact, the audio is so good I often use my ad-libs on my podcast, The Battery Podcast.  If I'm interacting with an audience member, you can distinctly hear both of us. That Olympus piece of crap barely picked me up, let alone some loudmouth idiot from the 10th row! So, you can hear the same idiot I heard! I'm thankful for that.

2. The H1 is out of the way. I'm out of the way too.
In the past, to get a decent recording of my set, I'd have to get some line-cook slash sound guy from the comedy club to give me permission to connect my device to his soundboard.  "I promise: I'll re-connect all the cables I pulled.  I know.  I know.  The last guy that promised you that didn't take care of that. Then, because you do a soundcheck, you didn't have audio until a half-hour into the show.  I swear.  I won't leave you hanging."

I've had that conversation a million times.  Because I worked two weeks after an irresponsible, big-headed douche who screwed up the club's audio, I didn't get to record.  Or, I did get to record, but I had a long tenuous conversation before they'd let me do anything.

With the H1, I don't have to do that anymore. I also don't have to wear a lavalier mic.  I'm not a news reporter.  I don't need a lav.

I also don't have to worry about the door guy slash sound guy accidentally turning my device off or pressing a button so I don't get any recording.

I have crystal clear audio in my pocket.  If for any reason it is screwed up, it's because I forgot to put in new batteries. That's it.  I'm the only one who's accountable.  I am extremely thankful for that.


3. The H1 can record a variety of file formats.
This part isn't glamorous.  This is nerd talk.  My H1 can record broadcast quality WAV (96 kHz, 48 kHz, 44.1 kHZ, at 16-bit or 24-bit). It can also record mp3 from 48 mbps to 320 mbps. Source: amazon.com

The point is, I can record over 2 hours' worth of high quality audio, or over 20 hours' worth of still pretty amazing audio!  Considering I'm the kind of guy who occasionally forgets to empty my memory card before my next recording, this is huge!

As long as I put in fresh batteries, I always have a recording.  Reliability is crucial when recording.  The H1 is more reliable than I am!  I'm thankful for that.