Monday, February 26, 2007

Award-winning Journalist

Just found out from my boss that I won second place in the Environmental Writing category in the New Jersey Press Association's 2006 Better Newspaper Contest. This is my seventh journalism award. I won my first one, the Lloyd P. Burns Memorial Ward for Responsible Journalism, in 1995. All in all, in the NJPA contest, won four first-place awards, two second place awards. I also won a third place in 1995 from the Society for Professional Journalists.
The news was very welcome, as I came down from a really bad weekend. I see it as a sign that I should do more with my job and with writing than trying to become some comedic wizard. Even though it's only a second place award, the story was about dredging in Ocean City, and was really well done, with two sidebars that went with the main story. I put a lot of time and effort into it and it showed. But I must remain humble, however. After all, someone else got the first place award.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Artie Party

Went to an autograph signing for Artie Lange today at the Cumberland Mall with Big Rick. Lange was playing Atlantic City and in the area signing autographs. The line at the record store for the signing snaked around the perimeter of the store and out into the mall. The man himself arrived a half hour late, but the people were thrilled to see him. I've liked Artie from his earlier work on MadTV, where he distinguished himself amicably. He did a skit on that show called "That's My White Momma" that absolutely kills me every time I see it. When he replaced Jackie the Joke Man on the Howard Stern Show, I absolutely loved it. He's a really funny guy with a great "in your face" New Jersey attitude and a down-to-earthiness that's better than many of the douchebags out there doing comedy. Artie is funny as hell and he autographed my copy of his DVD "It's The Whiskey Talkin'". Someone ordered pizza and brought boxes of Devil Dogs for him. I thanked him for the autograph and he replied, "Yeah, thanks for comin' out."
To sum up: I like Artie Lange. He's a nice guy and funny as hell. FI-YAH!!!!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In Between Diapers Radio Hour!

Our radio show went on the air on 92.1 FM WVLT without a glitch! Big Rick and I drove out to this little radio station in Vineland, NJ and did our show. We brought Rick's laptop filled with sound effects and our killer intro, the 2001 Space Odyssey theme dubbed over with weird shit like exerpts from the Hindenburg disaster, movie clips such as "As Good As It Gets", "Weird Science," "Caddyshack," "One Flew Over The Coocoo's Nest" and "Office Space". Rick and I sat around this tiny table in the studio, put our headphones on and spoke into microphones while a guy with the station, Matt, manned the soundboard and took phone calls.
We came back from the commercials to do the news, a sketch I wrote similar to the Daily Show and SNL's Weekend Update. I wrote about the war in Iraq, Kim Jong-il's 65th birthday, some crazy lady in Oregon who had sex with an 11-year old and made Rick talk about Anna Nicole Smith and some sports stories. The news section went very well. I got to do a killer Larry Flynt impression.
When we came back from our second break, we ran the Sphincter Blast commercial, then thanked Milt, Justin, Tara, Chris and Lonny. We also gave a few shout outs to Jimmy Graham and Steve Trevilese. We ended the show with banter about some polls and stats Rick pulled from Maxim Magazine.
All in all, our first foray into radio was awesome! Though there were some minor problems, we could iron them all out before our next show. We totally rocked!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Stopped by Justin, our main tech geek's house last night along with Rick and Milt from In Between Diapers comedy troupe. We're all working on securing our own radio show, which will air Friday night, so we were just getting our sound effects together. Justin has a sweet setup and provided us with three CDs filled with sound effects.
We also recorded some skits I wrote for the show. One of the skits, "Sphincter Blast," a phony commercial for a laxative, was a riot to record. I wrote it for Milt, the oldest member of the troupe. He's a 74-year-old Jewish guy from Philly, so you can imagine how that went. Milt couldn't pronounce "sphincter." What's more, he cracked himself up and his laugh sounds like the Joker from Batman, so that cracked everybody up! It took us six takes to record it and we just were all dying laughing! I never laughed so hard in my life. Guess you had to be there.
I'm really excited about this radio show. For a long time, I've always wanted to do goofy voices on the radio. Ever since listening to Howard Stern as a teenager in the 1980s, I've yearned to do radio. Now I'm finally going to get that opportunity in a few days!
It's going to be a little nerve-wracking as we find our places and learn the ropes, but it'll be worth it.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith

I don’t know why actress, Playboy Playmate and model Anna Nicole Smith died today. Details were sketchy when the Internet buzzed with the news this afternoon. She collapsed in a hotel in Hollywood, Florida. I don’t try and understand these things. I just report them. She was 39. I mean, I'm 37. That sure makes you think about your own mortality and how fragile life is, doesn't it?
The thing is, I wasn’t much of a Anna Nicole Smith fan. I thought her cable show was mindless fluff, I thought she was a gold digger for marrying billionaire J. Howard Marshall. She wasn’t even a great actress. Yeah, she lost a lot of weight on TrimSpa, but so what? Her 20-year old son died last October and she has an infant daughter. What a soap opera of a life!
What makes her so interesting, like it or not, was she was a Hollywood success story. She was born in Houston and dreamed of being the next Marilyn Monroe. She worked at a fast food restaurant, danced as a stripper and made it as a Playboy model. She became Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1993, had a few small acting roles and became a big-chested sex symbol.
So she was goofy and had the IQ of a walnut, but she never abandoned her dreams. That speaks volumes about her life.
Like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and several others before her, Anna Nicole Smith had a sad life and left this world too early.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

King Tut

The King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute was really great. I went today and there was a sizable crowd for its opening weekend. The exhibit mostly had artifacts from the early New Kingdom, and showcased some of Tut's predecessors. Akhenaten, Thuyu and Amenhotep had items on display, along with Tutankhamun. The last part of the exhibit focused on items found in Tutankhamun's tomb, including statues, gold vestments and the crook and flail.
I'm a fan of ancient Egpytian mythology and their gods and goddesses, and the artifacts contained representations of gods such as Osiris, Anubis, Horus and Thoth.
Before going, I read posts on the Internet from people who attended the exhibit in Chicago and Los Angeles and they complained the death mask and sarcophagus weren't included. My take on it is, so what? You're already looking at relics from Tut's tomb and other Egyptian artifacts that are thousands of years old. The detail and intricacies on these artifacts must be seen up close. The exhibit didn't have the death mask but they did have a golden coffinette that held Tut's liver. The beauty and rich detail of this piece should be viewed in person in order to be appreciated.
It took about an hour to walk through the entire exhibit, which chronicled Egyptian life, religion, death rituals, Tut's predecessors, Tut's reign and the discovery of his tomb. All in all, a very good exhibit. It made me think: these artifacts were forged by artisans living over 3,000 years ago. When Tut ruled, his civilization was already 2,000 years old. And the quality and beauty of ancient Egyptian artifacts can't be understated. I walked away with a greater appreciation of ancient Egyptian culture.
Archeologist Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of Tut's tomb became a celebrated event in archeology. The tomb, with its riches and artifacts intact, allows up to peer into the lives of ancient Egyptians and into the life of a boy king. It's because of Carter and others like him that we glean a better picutre of these long-forgotten civilizations.
During my visit, a father hoisted his kid on his shoulders and said, "Son, you're seeing history." He's right. It's an exhibit showcasing history that should be seen.
Total props to the Egyptians, dude.