Monday, September 28, 2009

Beard Challenge Fall 2009

As some of you know, I periodically grow a full and lustrous beard.... one that really makes the ladies take notice. In fact, my beards have had more success with women than I have. I'll just let you think real hard about that one. For those of you who have paid attention.... really way too much attention.... to my beard, you know that I tend to grow them in the fall and winter and go baby-faced in the spring and summer.... a baby with a five o'clock shadow.

Fall officially started last week, and the days are already getting cooler here in NYC. There's that magical fall feeling in the air.... it's a mix between swine flu and matzah balls. Yes, soon the children will be leaping through piles of fallen leaves, and the homeless will get relentless in their pursuit of my money.... money I don't have by the way. In all fairness to homeless people.... I don't like them. "Beat it, old homeless man! I wouldn't give you a single hair from my awesome beard!" That's not actually what I yell at them, but I think it. I don't give the homeless anything for free. I say make those guys earn it. As my old friend Walt says, "You can teach a man to fish, but getting him to fish for you feels so much better." I totally agree, Walter, and I've put your advice into practice for once. And, no, I'm not talking about buying pirated CDs and DVDs like some homeless sell on the street. I can buy those anywhere. What I want is something that I can't buy in stores. For example, I once gave a homeless guy $10 for walking in front of an oncoming bus. Why would I do that, you ask? Because I looked like a bad ass when I jumped in the street to save him. Now who's the idiot for giving a homeless guy $10? I just became an instant hero.

All of this points to only one thing: the beard is back. Now, read that statement again but with the song "The Boys Are Back in Town" playing in your head. And replace the words "boys are back in town" with "the beard is back on Mike's face".... just in case some of you couldn't figure that part out. This season, though, I'm offering the world something unprecedented. I'm going to document the growth of my beard by posting photos.... daily might be too much but maybe weekly. As Greg pointed out on the podcast, no one has actually asked me to provide this service. But, as I also mentioned on the show, I can't imagine a single reason why anyone wouldn't want to experience this with me.

All you'll have to do is come to my blog, and you'll be able to track my beard's growth into awesome, American manhood. Yeah, I like to think of it as similar to tracking the growth of a baby inside the womb. I can already tell what you're thinking.... yes, it will be like I'm pregnant and, yes, I am expecting to receive special treatment. So.... aren't you excited?! It'll be like you're right here with me.... watching our little beard child grow.... this is not to be confused with a bearded child. That's something completely different.... and entirely inappropriate in my mind.

You'll notice that there is not yet a photo of me up here. Well, I'm having to delay the actual Beard Challenge until next week.... I have a wedding to go to Saturday, and I've got to look my best. Clean-shaven is a good look and beard is a good look.... but in between is not really a great look. Again, it's like being pregnant.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blast from the Past

I recently checked my MySpace account, which I haven't done in almost a year. I guess I just got caught up with Facebook and forgot about MySpace. I think we all did. Anyways, it appears that I started a blog there several years ago. I was living in Texas at the time, and was then, as now, unemployed. Also, judging from the title of this first entry, it seems that I have a proclivity for listing items in sets of three. At any rate, I hope you enjoy even though it is rather short.


Unemployment, the homeless, and prostitutes

Right. So I'm unemployed. I sleep in a lot now, which isn't so bad. Actually, it's really good. Whenever I am scheduled for a job interview, I always tell them that afternoons are better for me: "Yeah, mornings really aren't good for me." or "Yeah, I volunteer at the homeless shelter every morning." I don't volunteer at a homeless shelter, but it is something that I've wanted to do for a while now. I don't even know if they have a homeless shelter around here. I haven't seen too many homeless people here in north Texas. Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough.

I've thought of looking for one....I'd probably start on Northwest Highway around the strip clubs. That's probably where I would go if I were homeless....not sure why. Of course, I'd probably run into some prostitutes, and I don't think I'd like that too much. It might not be too bad. You know, I've never spoken to a prostitute before.....of course, maybe I have and just didn't know it. I've spoken to lots of bitches but I don't think that's quite the same.

I wonder if there are any homeless prostitutes. Probably not....there's always someone willing to pay for sex. I might have to try that....being a prostitute....just walk up and down Northwest Highway at night and sell my body for money. Women only, of course. Well, maybe I wouldn't have to have sex with anyone because let's face it, the people willing to pay ME for sex probably should not be having sex.......ever. We could just chat for thirty minutes or something, and then I'd say, "Oh, look at the time. I've got to get going, but I promise we'll get it on next time." Of course, there wouldn't be a next time. I'd just say that to make the person feel like I liked her.....that's empowering.....building up others' self-esteem. And you can't put a price on that.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Hair Cut

I was thinking recently about my first blog post that I wrote a few months ago. When I started this thing, I imagined it as a way for me to write about my adventures. Somehow along the way, though, I got side-tracked by health care reform, writing a sitcom, and getting pregnant. In all honesty, I just didn't really have much to write from my own life.... even on a weekly basis. I suppose that I prefer the fantasy over the reality. Every once in a while, though, my fantasy and reality converge, and the result is a magical moment beyond my wildest imaginations.... like being in a 3rd grade class in which Tony Danza is the teacher.

The following story is not one of those moments.

I needed a hair-cut. It's not that my hair was especially long. It wasn't.... not on top anyways. But it was getting a bit shaggy on the sides. When I put off hair-cuts for too long, I start growing hairs out on my neck and.... well, I'm just going to stop there. It's downright gross. I think it's just as gross as you do. But I'm the one who has to live with it, so let's everyone just calm down. It's always an awkward moment for me when the barber has to trim the fine hairs bristling out of my neck. You'd think I would have gotten used to it after all these years.

Actually, the only time I really felt comfortable.... like completely at ease.... was in Italy (I lived there for almost two years). They know how to trim hairy men. They don't mess with electric razors. Where I went it was all old-fashioned.... with a straight edge razor or whatever you call it. It was great. This one time in particular I remember this old guy cutting my hair. A radio was playing, and all of a sudden this Johnny Cash song comes on. That just about knocked me out of my chair. It was awesome. It was some obscure Cash song, too, which made it all the more surprising. I miss those moments that you only get from living abroad.

I got a bit off track there.

So I went to get a hair cut the other day. A few months ago, I found the best person to cut my hair. Let me back up a bit first. The first two hair cuts I got since moving here were from a Dominican woman who didn't seem to speak any English. The crazy part was I sat down in the chair, and the lady just started cutting away.... didn't even make an attempt to ask what I wanted. Oh well.... it turned out okay, but I wasn't really pleased. As I say, though, I've been going to the same barber shop in my neighborhood for the past few months now.

The young lady who cuts my hair is Leslie, and she's awesome - just the sweetest person you could ever have cutting your hair. I always tip her well. I like to tip women who cut my hair. I always feel kind of bad for putting them through the ordeal of cutting my hair. I don't know.... the whole thing just seems too intimate. Speaking of intimate, one of my favorite parts of the hair cut experience is getting my hair washed. I swear, I would get my hair cut every week if it were physically possible just to have my hair shampooed and rinsed by someone else. Now, I know what you all are thinking, "Mike, you could pay to get your hair washed as often as you like." That's true, but even I must admit that it would be very creepy if I popped in once a week to get my hair washed.... especially if I insisted on having Leslie each time. "No, damn it! I will not let Carlos touch me! I'm not going anywhere until Leslie washes my hair!" I don't know why that turned so violent.

Now, I don't want to be beating a dead Hispanic horse.... but, yes, Leslie is Hispanic. And, yes, I suppose that it does add something extra to the whole experience. Wait, I just realized how creepy this would be if Leslie through some inexplicable way found this blog. Leslie, if you're reading this now, just ignore all that stuff I wrote. It was a big joke.... haha! Hilarious. I mean, it's not like I have a crush on you or something. When you wash my hair, I don't close my eyes and picture us strolling hand-in-hand through the streets of Brooklyn.... or something like that. Haha! Now that would be creepy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Episode 3

Well, episode 3 of Fourth Time Around is here! It's one of our finest episodes to date. True, this may not mean much considering that this is only our 3rd episode.... but, trust me, it's a good one. We focus our discussion on important topics this time around, such as superpowers, my childhood, and why the world is doomed.

You can find the podcast at our website:

http://web.me.com/icowrich/Site/Fourth_Time_Around/Fourth_Time_Around.html

As always, if you enjoyed the show and found yourself pleasantly surprised, please feel free to leave us a review on iTunes. Those reviews make us look awesome, and you can feel good knowing that you helped make that possible. So, I think it's a fair trade.

And remember that you can always send questions for Greg, Ross, and me to discuss on the show. Contact us whichever way you'd prefer; this blog, Facebook, or my email: mikemaiella@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Sitcom

The new fall season of television is starting up this month. As usual, there should be a slew of new shows. Most will be disappointing, and many will be canceled within a few weeks. I'm afraid that television is just not what it used to be. Sadly, the glory days of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Sanford and Son are long gone. We had a moment of salvation with Seinfeld, but that has long since passed. Now, year after year we're force-fed the same formulaic, predictable drivel.

So instead of just complaining (as I often do), I decided to do something about it. I've created my own idea for a new sitcom.... and it is guaranteed to be hilarious. My creative process was simple really - What hasn't been done before? And then it hit me: 18th-century England.

Okay, picture this.... You're an English Lord (I don't know, perhaps an Earl of Essex or something), the King is visiting your estate today, and you can't find your best knickers. But wait.... suddenly, you hear some uncouth noises coming from your eldest daughter's bedroom. When you open the door to find out what's going on, you find her in bed with some young rogue.... the churlish swine! You have this scoundrel taken into the courtyard to be given 20 lashes with the whip, but just then His Majesty the King arrives with his entourage. Can you see where this is going? Nothing can be allowed to mar the King's visit, so you have to do everything to prevent the King from discovering the whipping in the courtyard. This is a clear case of comedy with no easy solution.

I know what you're all thinking: Why can't the Earl of Essex simply order the whipping to be stopped? He can't. While he is in the presence of the King, he can't give any orders.... it's an old English rule. I think they still use it. To make matters worse - your neighbor, Lord Kramwell (that's right.... combination of Kramer and Cromwell) shows up asking if he can borrow some sugar. So I'm sure by now you all are wondering, "How does it end?!" This is the part where I say, "Tune in and find out."

Actually, I imagined the commercial to sound something like this:

"What happens when your father discovers you fooling around with a young scallywag.... (Show clip of Earl opening the door to his daughter's bedroom. Then, close-up on daughter's horrified face. Then, quick close-up on scallywag's face.).... and His Majesty the King is coming over for a visit? The Earl has to weasel his way out of another fine mess on the next episode of Royal Pains."

Well, there you have it in a nutshell. Oh yeah. I decided to call it Royal Pains. I imagine the show as being 18th-century England meets Seinfeld meets 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mexican Bakery Girl

As some of you may have heard on my podcast, Fourth Time Around, the Hispanic woman at my laundry mat has a little crush on me. At least, I'm 85% sure that she would probably reciprocate my romantic advances. Of course, I'm rather indifferent about the whole thing. It's not that I don't especially like her. Obviously, I have a slightly creepy fascination with Latina women.... generally speaking anyways. But the Hispanic women in my neighborhood are more for me to see than to touch.... if you know what I mean. If you don't, then you need to go have a talk with your parents because I'm not about to explain how all that works. In fact, as I've said before, I don't really know how it works. I think you can get pregnant from holding hands or something. Or there's a stork involved, too. Yeah, I think a stork has to fly over as you hold hands with a woman. It's got to be that easy because 80% of the women in my neighborhood are either pregnant or pushing strollers. That's just a fact, folks.

But I'm getting off track as I often do. As I mentioned on the podcast, I'm not sure if I'm prepared to enter the Hispanic world of Brooklyn. I'm convinced that there could be some dire consequences for me. To make things more complicated, though, I've already found another woman to pursue at my local Mexican bakery. Sure, it's dangerous.... but my middle name is.... well, actually my middle name is Louis. But I'm also dangerous. As my old friend Walt says, "You're dangerous." He really does say that. At any rate, I've written an open letter to the Mexican bakery girl.


Dear Mexican Bakery Girl,

How are you? It's Mike. I stopped by the bakery today and bought some of those Mexican pastry things. I'm sorry. I'm not sure what they're called.... caliente balls, or something like that. Whatever they are, they're amazing! Do you make them yourself?

Anyways - Mexican bakery girl, I don't even know your name. But I think you're cute. I think you and me should get a coffee.... or do you even like coffee? I don't know. Never mind. Let's just go get a taco sometime. Yeah, that'd be fun.

So.... I'm sorry for not giving you the correct amount of money for the caliente balls today. You told me the price in Spanish, and I was too embarrassed to admit that I don't speak Spanish. Wait - you do speak English, don't you? I hadn't even thought of that. Oh well.... maybe this won't work out after all. This reminds me of the movie Fools Rush In (I think that's what it's called) starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek. I'm like Matthew Perry, and you're just like Salma. Awesome. Ok, maybe this isn't exactly like that movie, but still.... you should check it out sometime. None stop laughs and a beautiful love story find a happy marriage in this endearing romantic comedy. It came out in '97, and, trust me, it's going to be a classic. I can tell that it has that timeless quality that is so hard to find in film today.

Anyways, let me know what you think.

Sincerely,
Mike

P.S. - I do know a little Spanish. I once looked up how to say, "I have diarrhea. Where is the absolute nearest toilet?"

P.P.S. - Have you ever been pregnant? I once held a girl's hand for more than 30 seconds, but I don't think that counts.

P.P.P.S. - I know you might not speak English, but you should check out my podcast, Fourth Time Around:

http://web.me.com/icowrich/Site/Fourth_Time_Around/Fourth_Time_Around.html

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2nd Episode of Fourth Time Around

Hey, folks!

The second episode of Fourth Time Around (my new podcast with Greg Wolfe and Ross Olsaver) is now available on iTunes and our website:

http://web.me.com/icowrich/Site/Fourth_Time_Around/Fourth_Time_Around.html

Please let us know what you think.... Questions for us are always welcome!

Just to clarify, we have a new link on iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=330492009

You can also simply search iTunes using the show's or any of our names and find it. If you subscribed to the show via the old link, I think you'll need to go ahead and subscribe again via the new link.

Anyways, I'm probably only making this more complicated than it needs to be. Whatever.... I don't know how any of this stuff works. I just push a button, things light up, I talk, and magically my words come out of iTunes.... at least that's how Greg explained it for me.

As always - if you enjoy the show, please leave us a review. If you've never written a review and perhaps are nervous, don't worry. I've compiled a short list of words and phrases that will help you get started.
  • Awesome
  • Cool
  • Amazing
  • Best podcast ever
  • Hilarious
  • Perverted
  • Mike is my favorite!
  • Greg is kind of a pansy.
  • Ross smells like chicken soup.
  • But Mike is awesome.
Yeah, that's about it. That should be enough to at least help you get started. Don't worry.... I ran this list by the others. They're cool with it.

And finally, I want to give a big thank you to Rich Simpkins for all of his help behind the scenes with the recording and editing. Thanks, Rich!

Hope you enjoy the show!

Friday, September 4, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Convenient Store Indian Guy,

You are really getting on my nerves. The other day when I stopped by your store to buy some tasty treats and some beer, I could hardly understand you. You kind of slurred your words together..... so that I couldn't understand that you were asking, "Debit or credit?" To my ears it sounded like, "Dib o cur." That's right, no question mark either because it didn't even sound like you were asking a question. You really need to work on that.... raising the inflection at the end of your sentences when asking a question or whatever. I don't know how it works. When I open my mouth, stuff just comes out like right now.... but it makes sense when I speak.

Also, could you please order some more Planters Cajun Snack Mix? They're awesome, but you always seem to be out. It's weird. I think my brother and I are the only people who buy them, but oh well. Maybe you could also get some hot pockets. Winter is right around the corner, and I need to put on my annual 15 extra pounds as I slip into what is bound to be another bout of seasonal depression. Don't judge me, Convenient Store Indian Guy. Just buy me my tasty treats.... that was funny..... I almost spelled tits by accident. Haha. See, Convenient Store Indian Guy, I have a sense of humor. I'm not all work. I'm not riding your ass for kicks. Wait.... you do know what that means, don't you? I'm just trying to discipline you a little.... I'm not gay.

Look, Convenient Store Indian Guy, it's really simple. Just make sure you stock up on all my tasty treats and beverages. Do you understand me? See that.... I raised the inflection of my voice as I typed that. Did you hear that in your thick, ignorant head? You know what else I'm going to raise? My foot up your ass. Just kidding. That was over the line. As my old friend Walt says, "There's nothing funny about a foot up the ass.... unless it's up the ass of a convenient store Indian guy." Oops.... sorry about that.

Well, Convenient Store Indian Guy, perhaps I've been a bit too harsh on you. I'm sorry. I have nothing against Indians per se, and I know that you don't have an easy job, especially with all the gangsters in my neighborhood (notice I didn't say what ethnicity they are.... I want to be very clear about that).

Let's be best friends forever!

Sincerely,
Mike Maiella

P.S. - The other day when I stopped by your store, I saw a cop buy a small packet of condoms. It made me laugh inside. I don't know why.... I just wanted to tell you that.

P.P.S. - What is that odor emanating from your body? It's kind of like a baby who's eaten curry and hasn't had its diaper changed for a week. And how can I bottle that scent for consumers? We could have the market sewn up.... no more pepper spray. Ladies, just spray this stuff on when you're walking home late at night!

P.P.P.S. - Don't forget to check out my podcast, Fourth Time Around available for free at iTunes:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=330492009

or at our website:
http://web.me.com/icowrich/Site/Fourth_Time_Around/rss.xml

Thursday, September 3, 2009

4th Time Around

Hey, folks! Just writing to tell you that my new podcast with Ross and Greg is finally here: 4th Time Around. It is currently available for free from iTunes, which you can find at this link:

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=330109179

You will have to use this direct link to find the podcast for now. It will take 1-2 days until you will be able to search for it in iTunes.

Let us know what you think! And definitely tell us if you have trouble getting to the website or whatever.

You can contact me directly at my email: mikemaiella@gmail.com

Thanks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm Having a Baby

Just kidding. I'm not actually having a baby. My doctor keeps telling me that it's physically impossible for me to conceive and bear children. My old arch-nemesis, Mark V., however, has formed a truce with me and is working on a formula to get me pregnant. So far we've had no luck. No sure what this "formula" is exactly. I have a suspicion that it's just pineapple juice.

Anyways - I recently got to spend some time with a baby. My goddaughter and her mother came to visit me in NYC for a few days. Her name is Alexandra, and she's only 13 months old.... the baby, I mean. Not the mother. For her birthday in July, I bought her some cute little clothes. And it's really strange because I didn't realize that you buy baby clothes based on their age in months. Of course, this does make sense since they grow so quickly. So there's a big difference between a size 6-months and a size 12-months or 18-months. Can you imagine if adults bought clothes like that? "I need a size 347 months pair of pants please." That makes me sound huge!

So I got to take little Alex to Central Park and play in the playgrounds there. She's only 13 months, but she can stumble around on two legs. It's crazy. Babies have these super chunky sausage rolls for legs. They really don't look like they should be holding them up. She held my hand for support, and we walked around the playground together. At times I would sit on the bench while Alex's mother walked around with her. And a strange thing occurred to me. There's a very fine line between "loving father watching his child play" and "that creepy guy watching the kids play." I felt like I was straddling both types. Not that I'm a creepy guy, but when I was sitting alone on the bench watching the kids play.... I felt that others may have seen me that way. When I walked with Alex, though, it's like I had a free pass to go wherever and do whatever I wanted and it would be socially acceptable. A child (and especially a baby) will get you into any social circles. They're like magic keys that will get you into the forbidden city. With her beside me, I could walk into any group of women and immediately be accepted, trusted, respected.... and perhaps admired. And believe me - I could feel this on the playground with the mothers. It was awesome.

As you can imagine, all of this has only reinforced my desire to have a baby. It may be difficult, but as my old friend Walt says, "When you can't make a baby, make a vodka tonic." Damn it, Walter.... sometimes you don't make any sense.

Now before any of you ladies start getting any ideas about me being a sweet and nice guy. Let me just warn you that I will try to impregnate you if we ever meet. For the record then, that is the second time that I've given you ladies fair warning in my blog. Just take that for whatever it's worth. So to recap, if we ever meet I'll most likely try to get you pregnant. Once you give birth, though, that's where I step in and take the baby to raise as my future heir. And you can go back to doing whatever it is you do.... probably serving alcohol on Bedford Avenue.

**** Ladies and gentlemen, I'm happy to announce the wait is almost over. My all new podcast with Ross and Greg is set to air this week! It should be available to download for free from iTunes. I'll let you know when it's ready. ****