Thursday, February 25, 2010

How To Be Funny - By Roger Ebert

I was reading Roger Ebert's review of Cop Out this afternoon and his closing paragraph explained the mysterious dynamic of humor:

Years ago, at St. Joseph's Boys' Camp, there was this Chicago kid named Bob Calvano who was naturally hilarious around the campfire every night. Then I'd get up and flop with my memorized bits from Buddy Hackett records. "Ebert," he advised me kindly, "it isn't funny if you act like it's supposed to be funny. Act like you don't know." All I can do is pass along Calvano's advice.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting Good Grades is like Robbing a Bank

This morning, my friend Chase sent me this text message:

listening to junior kickstart getting ready to car-chase down a badass grade in the fluids midterm. fuck yeah.

If you don't already know and live your life by it, "Junior Kickstart" is a song by The Go! Team that legitimately sounds like a 1970s car chase. I first showed Chase the song when my friend Rex and I were helping Chase move. Chase said that we needed to get more pumped up. I told him I had the perfect song, explaining beforehand that the only way it'll really get us moving is if all three of us play along. "We all have to act like we're being pursued by the cops after a bank robbery," I told them.

Chase and Rex, as I expected, agreed before I was even done with the sentence.

As soon as the horns came in, Chase, behind the wheel, started speeding up. We were doing well over the speed limit through the hills of San Diego within seconds. Rex was armed with an invisible bazooka until Chase yelled for Rex to take the wheel, while he leaned out the driver's side window with an invisible shotgun, shooting backwards with fury. I was leaning out windows with invisible pistols that I had found in the backseat. At some point, I think we had invisible grenades. And, the entire time, we were yelling, swearing, making sound effects and appearing like delusional anarchist motorists to any car we passed or swerved around with vigor. Needless to say, I've never been more ready to help someone move in all my life.

Anyway, since then, that song has been an/the anthem for getting stoked and ready to seriously fuck shit up and/or robbing fake banks.

When I read Chase's text this morning, I started going through my college memories and realized that I very often tried to approach my exams like a bank robberies. Sure, if I was really nervous about a test, I listened to something mellow to calm me down, but it was rare. More often, I had either studied or just didn't give a shit (it was usually one of those) and I would listen to some bad-ass jams speeding on my way to school. I'd screech my tires through the parking lot and then storm to class while listening to songs like "Junior Kickstart." Exams are ruthless, so you have to be more ruthless. You have to be cut-throat.

Every college exam is a bank waiting to be robbed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"In Waking"

"In Waking"
it's kind of a poem, but not really, by jake kilroy.

In the violent throws of a lover's bed,
in the violet prose of another's head,
there is no mercy, only misery, in waking.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Brother vs. "Sleepless In Seattle"

As it was Valentine's Day yesterday, I had my brother watch a romantic comedy. And it's part of an unspoken experiment, project, war of ours.

My brother and I have always had a valued struggle of the male character. We're very different in what we believe a man should be. Or maybe we just like to argue and debate.

He thinks I need to appreciate more manly facets and I try convince him that he needs to appreciate a larger range of manliness. He repeatedly asks for my "man card" and I repeatedly explain to him that he doesn't understand women in the slightest. And it goes back to his stereotypical man being a hunter and mine being a poet.

In the last few months, it has become more endearing and realized. My brother was the first person to really try to get me to watch Mad Men (after he mockingly acted semi-delusional as a 1960s ad man any time he had a steak, telling me what accounts we lost and should go after while cutting up his slab of beef). Meanwhile, I got him to start watching Sex And The City seasons with me.

However, he and I have a lot of overlaps in interests. In fact, my whole family does. Many of our birthday presents could very well be for another person in the family.

Anyway, last night, the experiment continued. As my brother was sitting down to watch Sergio Leone's ultra-violent masterpiece city epic Once Upon A Time In America, I told him that we had to watch a romance movie, since it was Valentine's Day. After several minutes of jokes and arguments, he agreed. I looked for When Harry Met Sally... only to realize I had loaned it out. So, we went with Sleepless In Seattle, as we both agreed that it's "just one of those movies you have to see," if only to understands references and explore our culture's...culture.

And he enjoyed it and had many of the same opinions that I do of that movie, including that Meg Ryan totally fucks over Bill Pullman, who, for whatever reason, is totally ok and supportive of it. Oh, if only she knew that he would go on to become the president of the United States and lead this country to greatness among a big alien invasion years later).

My favorite moment: When Tom Hanks decides that he has to leave Chicago because everything reminds him of his recently deceased wife, he says that he's going to Seattle. To which, my brother said, "Oh my god, doesn't he know that he's not going to get any sleep there?"

The battle rages on.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jake Kilroy's Top Ten Movies for Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day.

I don't think it's stupid and I don't care if a good number of people spend their energy calling it a greeting card holiday. I know people always say things like, "I don't celebrate Valentine's Day because I'm not going to buy into some bullshit holiday where everyone's supposed to show someone how much they love them. Why not just show that person you love them whenever you want?" Yes, you should show your special someone that you love them whenever you want...but why not do that AND on Valentine's Day? I don't think you're that big of a pop culture revolutionary if you stand up to Valentine's Day. What are you fighting? Everyone telling their special someone that they love them? You're really going to ignore Valentine's Day so you can show your special someone that you care some random Thursday night in March INSTEAD of Valentine's Day? ? Why not do that AND Valentine's Day? You have to see how silly it is to talk about showing a person you love them and then actively choosing not to buy them something cute in order to prove a dismal point to greeting card companies. I mean...really. That's like the high students that brag about how smart they are but then don't try in class because they're too good for it. Ugh. Also, anyone who thinks that the roots of Valentine's Day actually go as deep as greeting card companies in the 20th Century...well, no, that's just not true and you've bought into some really lazy anti-type propaganda.

Anyway. Onward.

Let's get down to it.

I won't be around my television much this Valentine's Day. However, if I were, I'd watch all the movies that makes love seem overabundant, predictable and just all-around pretty awesome. So, in case you're wondering what you should watch, I made my own list of movies that would totally get you all stoked on the red and white lacy holiday. Shrug. I thought it'd be fun.

The movies below are ranked in my head under rules I probably can't really decipher myself. But they're in order of how important I think they are to the holiday. They are not in order of how good I think they are overall. Shit, I only think three or four of the films below are actually really well-written films. But I like all of them. I mean, you can't go into romantic comedies thinking that Meg Ryan is going to remake Citizen Kane, people. Meanwhile, you can certainly go into them all giggly and happy. Look, you know the two will end up together and you don't want it any other way sometimes, you know?

I excluded classic films that have grand romances but are realistic about the pains and confusions of love: Casablanca, The Apartment, Gone With The Wind, et cetera. I excluded comedy films that are realistic about love (and its many splendid problems) while also being more funny than romantic: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Just Friends, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Annie Hall, et cetera. And there were other reasons I forget now for excluding other films for other reasons. I don't know. It all made sense in my head. But I listed the top ten films that I think would put me in some sugary good mood on Valentine's Day.

Jake Kilroy's Top Ten Movies for Valentine's Day
1. The Princess Bride
2. Love Actually
3. When Harry Met Sally...
4. The Quiet Man
5. You've Got Mail
6. The Notebook
7. Down With Love
8. French Kiss
9. Sleepless In Seattle
10. Two Weeks Notice

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear Grandma....


That's how I like writing e-mails, when it shows that I'm using a loud but welcoming voice (all capital letters, but no exclamation points).


What are you doing Tuesday evening? Can I take you out to dinner? I have all kinds of money with this job that I don't know what to do with. If we don't go out to dinner, I will spend the money on drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.I will probably also rent and murder strippers. And that will be on you. You don't want that. Please, nobody wants that. Especially the strippers.

Anywhere you want to go and we'll go.

I've been so crazy busy these last few months and now everything's sort of settling, and I have more time and money. I don't see you (or anyone) often enough. Also, I totally never took you out for your birthday back in August. I said I was and then I had to skip town (for legitimate reasons, like and unlike an outlaw, but even outlaws have grandmothers).

So. Dinner. Tuesday. If not Tuesday, another evening? Yes?

Hooray! Huzzah!


Monday, February 8, 2010

"Limericks Are Lazy: A Limerick"

"Limericks Are Lazy: A Limerick"
finally, an honest poem by jake kilroy.

I've had writer's block these days, see,
but writing limericks like crazy;
then I had a thought
that maybe I ought
to admit this shit is lazy.

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Leaving Home: A Limerick"

"Leaving Home: A Limerick"
written by jake kilroy right before skipping town.

I'm leaving on the open road,
but what's out there, nobody knows;
so now I'll be gone,
but it won't be for long,
because where I leave from is my home.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Message In A Bottle: A Limerick"

"Message In A Bottle: A Limerick"
written lushly and slightly slanted by jake kilroy.

I found a bottle in the sea,
which I drank since I was thirsty;
twas a note in it,
that I had somehow missed,
and now the words are always with me.

"A Captain's Lament: A Limerick"

"A Captain's Lament: A Limerick"
written far away from the water by jake kilroy.

My men are worried about me,
as I get drunk too damn early;
the refuge of scum,
my last bottle of rum,
let us sail through the darkest sea.