People sure are friendly in NYC

They say in the south, you’ll never meet a stranger. People will bend over backwards to help you if you need a hand. Admittedly, I was afraid that when I moved up here to New York I’d be put off by the unfriendliness of the locals. I think everyone has heard how New Yorkers would step over a dying man rather than do anything to help.

You know what? Everything I had heard is completely wrong.

Back home you tend to know just about everyone around town. It’s not uncommon to be out and around town while someone driving along will see you and give you a friendly honk. Etiquette dictates that you return it with a friendly nod and a wave. This is about the only time you hear a car’s horn.

Imagine my surprise while walking down 34th street and every other car is giving me a friendly honk. They tend to lay on the horn a little more than they do back home but that’s probably because there’s a lot going on around me and I may not notice them honking right away. So I turn their way and give them the required nod and wave. I tell ya, I can’t walk two feet before having to stop and wave at someone. It’s great everyone is so friendly but it takes me twice as long as it should to walk a single block.

So let it be said that New Yorkers are way friendlier than you might have heard. So much so that I have trouble sleeping at night while they honk a little hello to all their friends.

News of my death has been greatly exaggerated

First, let me address my cryptic post recently about being in San Francisco. I was barely getting settled in NY when I had to take off to SF for a week of training with my new job. I had fully intended to sit down that evening in the hotel and write up a big My New Life Thus Far post but I wimped out and made up some nonsense instead. My apologies to all.

So. I’ve been in the Big Apple for just over 2 months now. We’ve gotten all settled in and there are no more boxes sitting around. It’s kinda late right now, but remind me to post some pics of our apartment after the movers delivered all the boxes filled with our junk. Holy Moley.

I think about our life and friends and family that we left in Mississippi and I miss it all so. Fortunately, we like it here too and it balances out pretty well. But, Lord, is it cold.

We packed everything up as best we could and let the movers do the rest. It was weird to sit in our empty trailer after living there for 7 years.

Empty Nest

We caught a last football game (and the Dawgs won!).

Our Last Home Game

Then we rented a car and started our 3 day trip to NY.


We stopped in at the Natural Bridge.

Natural Bridge

I managed to snap a quick pic as we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line. Goodbye South.

Mason-Dixon Line

We stopped at Hersey, Pennsylvania and tried not to spend too much money on chocolate.


I drove across Manhattan and over the Manhattan Bridge. Regardless of this photo, I was completely sober.

Manhattan Bridge

The next day, all our junk was delivered.

New Place

This is right outside our door looking up towards Prospect Park.

Union St

We live 4 blocks from Prospect Park.

Prospect Park
Prospect Park

This is our neighborhood, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Park Slope
Park Slope

We took a carriage ride in Central Park. The horse decided to leave without the driver, who is taking the picture.

Carriage Ride

We’ve already had the first big snow storm though I’m not sure if we got any pictures. We also had visitors from Mississippi which was fun. Now the new year is upon us and we look forward to what it will bring. Personally, I’m hoping for less siren noise.

I’m not in New York

I’m in San Francisco. I decided that 4 weeks was enough of the east coast and now I’m trying out the west cost. Tomorrow I plan to check out the hard-to-find island from LOST because it is just way too boring around here. Though I guess I should wait until my training for my new job is done, but then I’m so outta here.

The reason I logged into this here website with my name on it is to update you on my new (but short lived) life in New York. But since I’ll soon be hanging with Hurley and Locke (or maybe not, I can’t remember how last season ended and who was where), I ain’t gonna. I’ll send a new update for the blog via carrier sea gull as soon as I can trap one on the island and convince him (or her) to carry my Very Important Message back to you all on the internet. I’ll have to google the directions to get to the internet from the island because I don’t know what they are but birds are smart, especially sea gulls because they always know just when to poop when flying over you such that you get a nice present on your head. That’s an innate grasp of physics, folks.

So I’ll get back with you soon.

I’m Moving to New York, You Guys

IMG_0812.JPGIf you follow me on twitter, you may know this already: I’m joining the ranks of other esteemed Mississippi ex-pats and striking out for new adventures, namely New York City.

How did this come about you ask? Well, it’s been a long time coming and I won’t go into the entire back story. The important bit to know is M is all finished up with her (third, but career-changing) degree and we will need to relocate to find work for both of us. As much as we love the south, we would like to experience other areas of this great nation before it completely falls apart. Both the east and west coasts were considered and in the end we choose bitter, cold winters over earth quakes.

So, I start my new job on October 20th and there’s so much to do between now and then. Like packing up my entire household and finding a place to live. It’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate over the years and it feels good to get rid of it by pushing it off on neighbors and friends.

We’re excited and sad. We’re excited about starting this new chapter in our lives. We’re sad because we’ll be so far from our friends and family. We’ve lived in Mississippi our entire lives (all 21 years!) and I will miss fried okra a lot.

Y’all come and visit us.

Thoughts on Comedy Influence and Style

Last night I went to the State Theatre Indie Film Showcase. It was really cool to see films made by Mississippi filmmakers. Three Good Commitment shorts were shown. One of them was Disborderlies. This is one we made by tremendous effort in a single weekend for a sketch competition. The other two were parodies.

Someone asked me afterward if we were influenced by Stella. I had never thought about it before, but there is a Stella feel to Disborderlies if you look for it. I’ve seen a bit of Stella’s work and I’m not sure if James and Gabe (co-writers on Disborderlies) have been exposed to Stella at all. The sketch was about the exploits of three oblivious, self-entitled Americans. I think the absurd, Stella tone of the sketch grew organically as we pieced it together. Overall, we are very proud of what we were able to do in two and a half days, though a few weak places show through from the lack of dedicated director/script supervisor.

Having someone ask me about being influenced by another comedy source got me thinking about what makes me laugh and what kind of comedy I tend to make. Confident, idiot characters that lead to awkward, tension-filled situations make me laugh. People who do this well are Steven Colbert, Danny McBride, and Zach Galifianakis. Of course, dick jokes and kicks to the groin also have been known to make me laugh too. But the classic set up (build tension) and punchline (relieve tension) are not usually what I come up with when I have an idea.

I generally don’t analyze too much when an idea hits me and it makes me laugh. But I got to thinking about why I find something funny when a lot of times people aren’t sure if it’s supposed to be funny or not. For example, this last video, My Today Song doesn’t really have a punchline. It builds tension and never relieves it in a satisfactory way. Who does this sound like?

Steve Martin.

Honestly, I’m not familiar with Martin’s ground-breaking comedy routines of the 70’s except for the arrow-through-the-head and happy feet. It was all a bit before my time, but I read his memoirs when they came out and he talks about building tension and not relieving it to let the audience figure out on their own where to laugh. I imagine countless comedians were influenced by Martin and I have been indirectly influenced by him.

So that was an interesting realization to make. I’m influenced by lots of comedians. Certain styles and sensibilities rub off on me when I find them funny. I try not to ape other people’s material or routines but take it all in and sometimes it’s interesting to see what comes out.