Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Witz Pickz: Healthy Immune Systems

The grass might always be greener on the other side, but somehow I don't see myself lying dejected on the "Strong and Functional Immune System" side of the river and gazing jealously across to the "Witz's Useless Pathetic Immune System" pasture. It just doesn't seem like it would happen.

Because you see, my immune system is practically non-existent. They say that you can't get the same cold twice, which means that I am simply a stomping ground for every single individual cold strand that passes through a population. I am to the viral population what Chicago is to air travel. And just as everyone always gets delayed in Chicago-- so too do the germs in my body-- they just won't leave. Cold outside? Witz gets sick. Breezy in the summer? Witz gets sick. Stayed up past 8pm? Witz gets sick. Swam? Witz gets sick-- and an ear infection. It's effing unbelievable to me how easily my body succumbs to the millions of aggressive asshole bugs that are passed between humans on a casual basis.

So I take actions. I try to sleep early and often. Through the night even. I try to sleep in when possible. I try to stay bundled up. I drive the 3 blocks to work instead of walk. I turn the heat on. I sleep with clothes on. I air out the apartment, eat right, and drink fluids to the point when I am able to stand onstage with a bucket in front of me and Fruit Punch Powerade in hand and exhibit myself as a "color changing machine" as I drink the red Powerade and release the yellow urine. "It's amazing!" What happens in between? Oh, you know, mucus, fever, sore throat. All parts of the magic.

And I take vitamins. I take B, C, Zinc, Calcium, Q-10, Pau D'arco, Garlic, Echinacea-Phyto Caps, and something called Host Defense which has the picture of what has to be an alien growing on the label. Does this alien grow into a creature that hunts unwanted agents AKA the Predators of my body? If so, I approve. I take all these vitamins. My trick, you see, is that I take all of them sporadically and entirely haphazardly, so as not to allow the Evil Invader Cells to know what to expect, and create a routine out of my assaults. Unfortunately, this type of standoff is a war of attrition, and no matter who wins, I ultimately lose.

AND YET NONE OF THESE THINGS WORK! I sleep feverishly and with insane dreams where I have to do things like map the amazon river as I travel through dangerous territory or get shot repeatedly while I just try and buy fruit pies from my boss who in this dream works at the DMV. I'm buyin' fruit pies at the DMV? And getting shot for it? I try bundle up or turn up the heat, and my throat is even drier in the morning. My lungs ache. I smell dust where there is not dust. These types of things. I air out the apartment and then get sicker because it's cold and probably more germs were waiting to come on in. I drink fluids and my stomach just hurts. I take the vitamins, and nothing. NOTHING. I stay sick. Or I get better and get sick again. Or I'm healthy, and the only thing that I can think is, "I hope I don't get sick aga-- fuck. I'm sick again." Now my Dad tells me it's part mental. That if I think I'm going to get sick, I will. Which is great, except when I'm sick, and I think I'm gonna get healthy-- I DONT. And since I usually get sick, how can I not at least recognize the past when thinking, "Chances are high I might get sick" even while thinking, "I'm not going to get sick." It's a rough world out there and frankly, I'm not complaining. I like sick days. Nobody believes me that I'm sick all the time, but that doesn't mean I don't get the time off. I like sleeping. I like reading books and watching movies all day. And I like my magic trick.

But I still pick Strong Healthy Immune Systems. If I had one, I might never look back. But like the guy who's owned a Toyoto Corolla all these years, and is sold on it's consistency so he never buys a Porsche, I drive my crappy shit-eating immune system. I drive it right into the ground.

Witz Is Sick of Being Sick-- But Cannot Invent Airborne, Which Has Already Been Invented and No Longer Helps Witz Even Though It Used to Be His Godsend,

Friday, January 19, 2007

Witz Discusses: Weeds...again...By Request AND MORE

IrishGal wants to know what I think about Weeds since I enjoy Huff. A dialogue of sorts. So here we go:

I just can't get 100% behind this show. The first season plodded along and while action took place, it just wasn't enticing. I watched it for no apparently reason other than the fact that Mary Louise-Parker has a kind of hypnotic acting style/expression, but even the regularity of that became monotonous after a while. I like the sons a lot and think they provide most of the humor and drive along with the Uncle. Sometimes they'll come up with a great setup situation, but they don't always capitalize on it. I feel like a lot of the situations based around their whole "tiny boxes/and they all look just the same" theme aren't very unique or interesting considering it is a show about SELLING WEED. This was somewhat remedied in season 2 as some more conflict arose (DEA boyfriend), but they still didn't go all in on anything until the season 2 finale. The season 2 finale (and I've heard many people share this sentiment) was the first time I actually GOT INTO the show. When conflict actually occurred on a dramatic scale where bad things that aren't reversible happened and where a little more reality leaked into the ticky-tacky world. It was the first time in the entire series that I've said, "Damn, now I want to watch the next episode." And unfortunately, it was the first time I couldn't. I am looking to season 3 to sway me one way or the other. It's not that it's a bad show, I just feel it hasn't lived up to its potential, and I'm not entirely sure the writers know what that potential is or if they want to live up to it.

The Gun Seller: House wrote a book. Did I tell you this? He wrote a book and it's really good. He wrote it in '96 and it was recently re-published because Hugh Laurie is now HOUSE MD. The book is interesting, fast paced, and laden with Hugh Laurie's lingual enjoyment. Jokes abound, rambling occurs, and puns are had. It is a mystery type novel, but more so it is a fun little adventure of "who's who" that you can tear through in a few days.

President's vs. Presidents' Day:
Is coming up in February. I had a conversation with my friend Matt that went like this:
Matt: Do you get President's Day off?"
Witz: I do.
Matt: Do you get one or two days off?
Witz:...You believe we should get two days off for President's Day?
Matt: My mom said when she was little they got two days off.
Witz: Did your Mom go to school in Ye Old Timey Schoolhouse?
Matt: One for Lincoln, one for Washington.
Witz: That's amazing.
Matt: Yeah.

THEY USED TO GET TWO DAYS OFF! So my question is: When did Presidents' Day turn into President's Day? Did the CIA snag the apostrophe one night and move it over? Did they have a tall guy walk past and swat it backwards as he passed? Did they sublet the job to the Liberians? How'd this go down?

Happy Belated Martin Luther King Juniors' Day,

Witz Pickz: Insanely Rude Yet Competent Sandwhich Maker

Grocery stores are not known for their sandwhiches (actually, maybe they are...crap).

Grocery stores might not be known for their sandwhiches (nice save, Witz), and I once laughed in my girlfriend's face when she suggested we get a sandwhich from Safeway because "they're sooo good", but now it is her laughing in my face as well as somewhat larger stomach (Last laugh = Me) because they really are "Soooo good!"

The thing is, at the particular Safeway that we go to, the sandwhich makers are the slowest people I have ever seen in my entire life. They slowly saunter from the counter to the bread basket to the counter again, each movement like the world is wearing them down (which I don't doubt it is-- I mean, you work the deli/chinese food/sandwhich counter at Safeway, but it's your job, so try and work with me here). When I order my fantabulous "California Dreamin'" sandwhich-- turkey, bacon, herbed cream cheese, guacamole, lettuce, and tomato on some soft but crispy tuscan bread-- it takes them minutes to simply find and cut the bread. Then there are minutes of searching for the turkey. Pondering over the bacon. Meandering hands to the lettuce and tomato, and I have never seen anyone spread anything, ANY-THING, slower than these people spread the cream cheese and guacamole. It is lobotomized service. There is a high turnover rate. I can understand not knowing how to make the sandwhich so that slows things down, but the turtilion (cool new word maybe?) speed of the actual individual functions has put the purchasing of these sandwhiches in question by the two of us. And then last Saturday happened.

I go it alone and walk over to the counter. It's about noon. I see one woman with a hat on finishing up a sandwhich and standing in the sandwhich section. I take a deep breath, preparing for the eternity, and walk up to the counter. The woman stares at me. "What," she offers annoyed.

"Hi, I need to get two sandwhiches actually."
"From over there?" she gestures towards the pre-made sandwhich section, every inch of her annoyed.
"Um, no, preferably from you," here...and the counter...where I have approached with intent to purchase...
"What do you want?"
"A 6 inch California Dreamin' and a 6 inch Classic Sandwhich with Salami on multi-grain."
"Classic Salami? What is that-- I don't know what that is." Total disgust.
"It's your "Classic Sandwhich" with salami..."
"Fine," she spews my way and turns back to the bread. "What kind of bread?"
"Multi-Grain." She zips to get it and gets back.
She looks around and huffs. "We don't have salami I don't think. We have-- we have salami and ham." At this point she has truly defeated me.
"Isn't this a deli?"
"I have salami and ham."
"Ok?" Before I can put together how nuts this is, she is ready for me again.
"Do you want CHEESE??"
"I would enjoy cheddar?"
"Mayo and Mustard?"
"No thank you."
"No mayo and mustard?" Incredulous.
"Nope." Per my girlfriend's request.
"Fine. What else."
I tell her and she complies. Not only that, she complies faster than I have ever seen anyone comply. It's great.
"California Dreamin'?"
"Yep," I reply.
"Fine," and she whips it together like a freaking speed demon. Like a speed reader cruisin' through the dictionary. like one of those Rubix Cube solvers who do it in like 5 seconds. Like that kid who beat Super Mario in like 6 minutes. Actually, it was a LOT like that. I stare up at my sandwhiches.
"Here. Take them," she jeers at me and I do, because they are delicious. Even if one does have unwanted ham on it.

I stumble away from the counter having never felt so much confusingly directed disgust and anger in my life. And yet, through every second of the encounter, I have an objection on my tongue that was countered by the shear speed of her work. In a perfect world, I would expect a sandwhich made quickly enough without taking shit for it, but in this world, I'm just happy to get my California Dreamin'. I might even write in an Employee of the Month comment for that lady. The Insanely Rude Yet Competent Sandwhich Maker.

6 Inches Of Heaven,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Witz Pickz: Crossword Puzzles, Huff, and More Things (You thought I was gonna say STUFF didn't you, you arrogant prick!)

Sorry, I went into a little "24" anger coma and wasn't able to write for a bit. But like that ass-rash that you just can't get enough of-- I'm back.

The film about crossword puzzles and puzzle enthusiasts is far more enjoyable than anything discussed in the film. You get to see how world-class puzzlemakers come up with their crosswords (not by hand of god as previously assumed) and get to see the World Championship of Crosswords hosted by the New York Times' crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz. My girlfriend recently noted that Shortz spells his last name the way Witz would and for that I pick both Will Shortz for his clear declaration of Witz Pickz fan-dom and her for the insight that clearly shows I've taken over her brain. Anyway, it's really hard to not get into the crossword tournament and pick your favorites and you get to meet all kinds of uppity nerds. One of my favorite parts, however, was simply seeing people I know doing crossword puzzles and talking about why they love them. I imagine the producers knew that I would love this and the reason is most likely because I am an idiot, but still, I couldn't get enough of John Stewart solving his friday crossword with ease and yelling at the camera to step it up, or Bill Clinton doing the sunday puzzle, laughing and loving every minute of it. It reminds me why we need to elect Hillary Clinton. We went from a President who does the Sunday NYTimes puzzle for the SHEAR FUN OF IT, to a guy who is still stuck on his Clifford The Dog 16 piece Puzzle that he does because he's thrown out every other educational, mind-stimulating toy he owns. It is also impossible to see this film and not immediately want to do crossword puzzles. I watched it three weeks ago and have picked up the Ny Times puzzle every weekday since.

Nobody gets Showtime. That's a problem. Not for me so much as Showtime and ultimately, good shows like Huff. A few months ago I was on the fence with this one, but after watching the rest of the first season via netflix, I was sold. This show combines insightful writing about life with absolutely hilarious comedy, ranging from intelligent quips to extended conversations between parents and son about the "blowjob party" he went to. The cast makes the writing work, with Hank Azaria as Dr. Craig Huffstodt, Oliver Platt as his lawyer friend, and the extremely precocious, yet fantastic son, played by Anton Yelchin who will very soon be kidnapped by Justin Timberlake in Alpha Dog. Blythe Danner plays Huff's live-in mother and gives the role a much more interesting depth than the normal television mother role. Unfortunately, the problem with nobody watching showtime is that the show has been cancelled after it's second season. I haven't watched it yet, but have been painstakingly acquiring it since Showtime has apparently cast off the show as ever existing. Checkout the first season of Huff, hope the second comes out on DVD soon, and hope that in the future, shows like this stick around (or are on HBO).

Salt In the Shower:
My mom's a bit into the whole "spiritual" and "energy" world and so when I'm sick she tells me to do things like focus on healing and cast out the bad energy. I've gone from entirely casting off these things to being completely open to trying them (in a "I'm streaming snot from my nose and fire is growing in my throat, so why the hell not" kinda way). One staple in her bag of tricks is to rub salt all over you in the shower and let it sit for two minutes before washing off. Something about ions or free radicals. It also makes your skin soft when you wash off because you rub the shit out of yourself (not like that) and all the dead skin comes off. In addition, after the hot water and the salt, you smell DELICIOUS. Who doesn't enjoy walking around for the rest of the day enjoying that fine, "Just escaped from the oven" smell? Anyway, the other day I was trying this and it actually worked-- but here's the thing-- I shave before I shower. So I got in the shower having just shaved, ignoring the knicks on my throat, and proceeded to salt up. "Salt on me legs, salt on me thigs, salt on my belly, but no salt in me eyes," is a song I sometimes sing while doing this to remind myself of the time I DID get salt in my eyes and was terrifically annoyed. "Salt on me chest, like a sailor on a boat, salt on my arms, and salt on me throat." Wait a minute. Salt on me-- OHHHHH FUUUUUUCK! OW OW OW! SONOFABITCH! FUCK! FUUCK! GODDAMN IT! Yeah, I put salt on my throat right after shaving it. I literally rubbed salt in my own wounds. Who the hell does that? Fortunately, I have a bathtub/shower, so I could sit down and enjoy the water crashing down on me until the wave of light-headedness that accompanies extreme pain passed. And when it did, do you know what? I wasn't feeling quite so crappy from my cold anymore. Homeopathic Remedies work.

"Scooters, vacation, fall":
as I write this, Blogger has given me a blank in the section below saying "Labels for this post:" the examples given are, "scooters, vacation, fall." I'm not sure quite what to make of this other than the fact that apparently blogger thinks that either I or most bloggers write about scooters, vacation, and fall-- these are common things to blog about. Not just one scooter. Numerous. Vacation I can understand. But fall? Yo, lemme drop some ill shit on....fall....because it's January bitches and it's time to remind yo' ass about photosynthesis and the fine foliage of New England. Perhaps there are people who blog about scooters and seasons, but I have yet to meet them. I thank you all yet again for sticking with me, who writes about suggestions of what blogger thinks I should write about. If nothing else, it's post-modern.

Butternut Squash Knows It's The Bomb,

PS. My magazine, The Wonder Boy Review is currently looking for submissions. The deadline is Jan 22, and we are accepting any short pieces-- prose, poetry, photography, art, comics, cartoons, essays (business, political, sports, music, film, society, culture), and anything else you might think of. Please email all submissions with your information to

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Witz Pickz: They Don't Know Jack: the "24" Blog

"24" went bad. It did. But like Fox with "The War At Home", I seem to have gotten myself into a contract that I am unable to break. 24: The Post College Years (now known as They Don't Know Jack) was started two years ago for season five and blew up, gaining contributors from all over the place. Therefore, I am reluctantly returning to post on this blog and while I no longer enjoy the show, I have hope, and I will continue to enjoy the artist formerly known as Jack Bauer, the sporadic and underutilized asset of Curtis, and the void left by our beloved Edgah. If you are a fan of the show, or just want to keep tabs with what is going on while getting a severe dose of humor and analysis, check out They Don't Know Jack.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Witz DOESN'T PICK: "Are You On The List?" ...More Heroes Frustration

The new "Heroes" slogan is "Are you on the list?". The chearleader has been saved, so that bit's out, and now a list has been discovered. But look-- "Save the chearleader, save the world" was bad enough, because it wasn't cryptic, it was just prevalent. ARE YOU ON THE LIST IS borderline ridiculous. What they mean is, "Are you gonna watch out show for christ's sake, I mean you've been into it this far right so why not keep going even though we can't act, speak, move the plot forward at a manageable pace or provide a shorter mid-season break." That must be what they mean, because I'm not a betting man (well, since the new laws prohibiting online gambling that is...and excluding the NFL Survivor Pool I was just a part of...), but I would be willing to wager everything I own that I am, in fact, NOT on the list. And here's why:


Simple, really, but apparently overlooked by the marketing department. The fact that I live here, watching said television program, should automatically limit my ability to be a character on the television. I'm pretty sure Stephen Hawking wrote about this. If I'm "on the list" I better damn well know about it via a phone call, contract, bank deposit, and probably days of grueling acting with Peter Petrelli or the Suggest-You-Do-Something chick who may or may not have helped the kid who stole baseball cards on Prison Break flee. That is, unless somebody rufees-ed me, brought me to the studio, got me to act (hopefully with my special power not being "takin' it in the butt") and then returned me to my home whispering gleefully (he's gonna love this surprise-- best birthday gift EVER!).

So no, I don't expect to be on the list. Heroes. But I still might watch your damn show.

Are You In the Group?

Monday, January 08, 2007

WitzPickz: YOU!

That's right! YOU! After reading Time Magazine's Person of the Year article, I decided that while I've picked all sorts of things in the last year, I haven't picked the one thing which according to some philosophers proves my own existence-- my readers. If you stare really hard at the image on the side here, you will see that you are actually what I picked*

Now that i've picked you, leave some comments so I know that someone is actually reading my blog. This is called "feedback", but casually referred to as "shout outs," "props," or sometimes even, "blatant and unnecessary ego boosting." I want to know my readers, communicate with them, and then track them down individually and watch them while they sleep.

Leaving a comment is the first step towards this mutually awkward relationship.


As I thank you for the last year, we move on to the next, and so I decided to pick my New Year's Resolution because if there's one thing nobody actually means, it's these. It is for this reason that my resolution this year is: To Do My Best To Stick To Future Resolutions. That's right, I'm resolving to resolve in the future. While this might sound like a total cop-out, it is actually quite brilliant. You see, every year I make a resolution and then say, "meh, nobody's holding me to that one..." you know these resolutions; when you don't feel like doing those situps, when you figure why not watch 6 hours of television tonight? When you say you're gonna eat better, but then at Thanksgiving gravy suddenly becomes soup. Hot Fudge Shortage strikes the East Coast-- Failed Resolution To Blame. That type of thing. Well now with this new resolution to try harder on future resolutions, I have two layers of defense. In the future, when I resolve to make it in professional arm wrestling, I can't just quit after my first defeat to an elderly yet suprisingly spry grandmother. "It's just this year's resolution" i'll think, but then will remember that it is also LAST year's resolution. That's two levels of legitimacy instead of one.

Think of it as laying a groundwork for the future. Perhaps next year I'll make another structural resolution to even more solidify this year's. If the Iraq War has taught us anything, it is that infrastructure is king (but not the kind of king that gasses his own people), and we must therefore lay a strong infrastructure for our own future. It is an "ally-oop" resolution-- This year I am simply throwing the ball in the air, but over the next year, three, years, ten years, I will be slamming down the resolutions-- food, tv, drinking, dual handguns, fear of Popples. There is no telling how much I might be able to improve my life simply due to this year's resolution Resolution.

What Else Ya Got Witz?

I rode on a train to and from NYC over the last few weeks and man are those puppies useful. They drive it for you, you pay not all that much money, and you get to hear babies crying for free! Most car-rides i'm thinkin' "Yeah, sure the smooth tunes of David Tesh are groovin', but where the hell are the sounds of babies crying?" The answer it turns out is, "on the train!"

World Trade Center
The movie. I don't pick it so much as not not pick it. I had loads of problems with this movie being made, "it's too soon/why is this necessary/Oliver Stone" but I ended up renting it recently just to have done that and see what it was like and was actually fairly pleasantly surprised-- like when you think you shat in a trashcan in a dream with the whole office watching and then wakeup and realize that you didn't do that, but then think that you might have shat your bed instead only to realize (hope of all hopes) that you actually just have to go take a crap. Anyway, the movie was kinda like that-- it was alright, Nicholas Cage really can't hold an accent (I recently saw him in Captain Corelli's Mandolin and every word he said with an Italian accent sounded like, "It's a-ME, Maario!"), but I was taken in, liked the way it was shot, AND IT HAD A SLAMMIN SOUNDTRACK (not really). My favorite part, however, was the 24 connection. Mike "The Skeaze" Novick played one of the Port Authority Police Higher Ups by barely adjusting his face, and out of NOWHERE came Curtis "I swear I'm in this show" as a random guy who shows up and does stuff (yeah, i forgot most of the film already). Anyway, it's alright, and if you're bored, I guess go check it out.

World War Z:
Amazing book from the author of The Zombie Survival Guide. In World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, author Max Brooks describes the Zombie War (which just occurred) through a series of interviews and accounts. The book gets into every issue imaginable, from global commerce, to racism, to pop culture, while keeping the reader glued to the page to see how this all ended up happening. It is a parable with zombies and that's exactly what we need right now.

Coffee Coolattas:
Every time I return to the east coast and have a coolatta I remember how I could gain more weight in a hurry. Absolutely delicious.

Happy New Yearz,

*this is not at all the case-- while mirrors are entirely capable of reflecting images, PICTURES of mirrors do not have these properties. If you are actually staring at the mirror, in the hopes of seeing either yourself or some sort of Jesus/Che image if you stare hard enough and then look at a blank wall, I am sorry. It is only a picture.